SOVIET RUSSIA. Brief history of the USSR
On March 27, 1917, the Provisional Government issued a declaration on the absence of aggressive goals in the ongoing war and on loyalty to allied obligations: "By providing the will of the people in close union with our allies to finally resolve all issues related to the world war and its end, the Provisional Government He considers it his right and duty now to declare that the goal of a free Russia is not domination over other nations, not taking away their national wealth, not violent seizure of foreign territories, but approved ie a lasting peace on the basis of self-determination. The Russian people are not seeking external gain power at the expense of his other nations. " However, the Entente demanded from the new Russian government more definite statements about its foreign policy.
On April 17, a meeting of the P rovisional Government was held at the apartment of the ill A.I. Guchkov (Moika, 67), where the entire cabinet, without exception, approved the text of the note by Foreign Minister P.N. Milyukov. On April 18, the note was sent to the governments of the Entente countries. It dealt with the "nationwide desire to bring world war to a decisive victory." On April 22, the Provisional Government informed the ambassadors of the Allied Powers that this document was adopted unanimously. The news of the note Milyukov caused the anti-government speeches on April 20-21 and led to a crisis of the Provisional Government.
The April crisis turned into a first armed demonstration against the government. In the ho-de clashes that took place, the dead and wounded appeared. Soon, Milyukov learned that in his absence the members of the Provisional Government decided to leave him the post of Minister of Public Education, having nominated a man * who would be "more flexible in conducting the foreign policy of the state". The crisis in the office reached its apogee on April 25, when Milyukov refused to accept the Minister of Education portfolio, saying later that “I did not leave, but I left” as Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Before dissolving, the first part of the Provisional Government addressed the population with a political appeal (its text was published in the newspapers on April 26, 1917), in which it was called upon to refuse to satisfy "private aspirations and interests to the detriment of the common" in order to keep the country from the collapse, defeat at the front, as well as "internecine war and anarchy, carrying the death of freedom."
At the same time, the head of the government, Prince G. Lvov, sent an official letter to N. S. Chkheidze, inviting him to initiate the process of entering the new cabinet of socialists and social democrats. On the night of May 1, 1917, the executive committee of the Petrosoviet made the final decision on participation in the formation of the government.
Thus, the April demonstrations of soldiers and workers of Petrograd, in which about 100,000 people participated (later A. F. Kerensky accused V.I. Lenin and the Bolsheviks in their organization), marked the beginning of a government crisis and led to the formation of the first coalition government. from the 5th of May to the 2nd of July 1917.
In the new cabinet, Prince Lvov remained minister-in-chief, but Guchkov and Mi-Lyukov found no place in it. A.F. Kerensky became military and naval minister, the Foreign Ministry was headed by M.I. Tereshchenko, who was considered by allies to be a more "convenient" foreign minister. The Ministry of Agriculture was headed by Social Revolutionary V.M. Chernov, the Ministry of Labor, the Menshevik M.I. Skobelev, the Ministry of Posts and Telegraphs, the Menshevik I.G. Tsereteli. Cadet A. I. Shingaryov "moved" to the post of Minister of Finance.
On May 5, the new composition of the Provisional Government, which now includes the Social Revolutionaries and the Mensheviks, published a declaration. In it, the government set itself the goal of "the earliest achievement of universal peace ... without annexations and indemnities on the basis of the self-determination of peoples." At the same time, the ministers declared that Russia would not allow the Germans to defeat our allies in the West and would strive to strengthen the country's combat capability "in both defensive and offensive actions." The last phrase was proclaimed "the most important task of the Provisional Government."
The spring months of 1917 became the time of the highest influence of the two parties of the revolutionary democracy. Their influence prevailed at the 1st All-Russian Congress of Soviets from June 3 to 24. During his work, the Bolsheviks were preparing for the demonstration, which was initiated by some soldiers of the Petrograd garrison, who did not want to be sent to the front. The Congress of Soviets, however, banned this demonstration, but was forced to appoint a new one for June 18. The Bolsheviks took direct part in it. Over 500 thousand people then took to the streets of the city, which for the first time completely belonged to the Bolsheviks. The slogan "All power to Sove-there!" Has gained immense popularity.
In June, the Russian government, faithful to its allied commitments, began an offensive on the front after six months of preparation. By creating a large grouping of troops in the South-West direction, the Stavka sought to begin active military operations as quickly as possible. A.F. Kerensky decided to go round the troops and raise the offensive spirit of the army. L. D. Trotsky on this occasion later ironically remarked: "Kerensky drove around the front, conjured, threatened, knelt, kissed the earth, in a word, clowned in every way, not giving the soldiers an answer to any question that tormented them." And the Minister of War and Navy himself admitted that among the part of the Russian officers behind him the humorous nickname “supreme leader” had become stronger.
The offensive on the front began on June 18 and initially developed very successfully. Several thousand enemy soldiers were captured, dozens of field guns were captured. However, it was not possible to develop the victorious march. The report of Lieutenant-General I. G. Erdelyi, commander of the 11th Army, said: "Despite our successes, reached on June 18 and 19, which could raise the morale of the soldiers and inspire them to further attack, in fact most of the regiments have no enthusiasm not observed, and in some the conviction prevailed that they have already completed their task and there is no point in continuing the offensive longer. "
An attempt to raise the morale of the soldiers was the creation in May-June 1917 of the women's death battalions. The initiator of this undertaking was M. L. Bochkarev, who received a full bow of St. George's crosses (all 4 degrees) and a number of medals for military distinction in a war. General L. G. Kornilov, from the command of the South-Western Front, presented Bochkareva with a revolver and a saber with a golden hilt. Keren-sky made it to the ensigns. By the end of the First World War, there were up to 15 women's battalions throughout Russia. However, they could not really influence the situation. Having suffered serious losses in battles, the battalions were relegated to the rear. Ultimately, the reluctance to fight became their usual phenomenon.
The failure of the June offensive caused a stormy protest of the masses of soldiers who did not want to be sent to the front. Already on July 2, many thousands of rallies began in Petrograd. By that time, a group of ministers had returned to the capital from Kiev: Kerensky, Tereshchenko and Tsereteli.
There they tried to resolve the problem of the Ukrainian army: in the Kiev and Odessa military districts, as well as on the South-Western front, the formation of nationalist units was underway. In addition, in June 1917, the Central Rada, which led the Ukrainian national liberation movement, contrary to the wishes of the Provisional Government, proclaimed the autonomy of Ukraine, postponing its implementation until the All-Russian Constituent Assembly.
The news that on the night of July 3, the cadet ministers, because of disagreements over the attitude to the Ukrainian Central Rada, withdrew from the government, made the situation in Petrograd even more explosive. After lengthy informal negotiations in the office of G. Lvov, it was decided to postpone for a while the issue of new appointments in the government. Kerensky again went to the front, seeking to preserve the combat capability of the army.
In Petrograd, meanwhile, the situation escalated. The performance of the soldiers of the 1st machine-gun regiment, who were heavily influenced by the anarchists who called on the workers, as well as the garrison for an anti-government armed demonstration, expanded. One of the leaders of the Kronstadt sailors in 1917, the Bolshevik F. F. Raskolnikov, who constantly maintained telephone contact with Lenin, Zinoviev, Kamenev and other leaders of the RSDLP (b), noted that the group of anarchists, on July 3 in Kronstadt, She suggested that she immediately go to the barracks, seize weapons, seize all the available steamers, and move to St. Petersburg to assist the "blood brothers - the workers and soldiers." To go "against the current" in such a situation, according to Raskolnikov, it was extremely difficult. The Central Committee of the Bolsheviks ultimately decided to participate in the movement, seeking to give it an organized character.
On the evening of July 3, the Moscow Grenadier, Pavlovsky, -180th, 1st reserve regiments and the 6th engineer battalion took to the streets with calls to overthrow the Provisional Government. On July 4, a large detachment of Kronstadt sailors arrived in Petrograd. On July 5, F. F. Raskolnikov became commandant of the Kshesinskaya palace in Petrograd, where the Central Committee and the PC of the Bolsheviks were located.
The interim government declared the capital on martial law. Loyal to the government troops were called in from the front, and the order was given to arrest the "instigators" of the July demonstration. The result of the events of July 3-5, which put an end to the dual power, became dozens of dead and hundreds of wounded. The government crisis was exacerbated by July 7, Prime Minister G. E. Lvov. On July 8, Kerensky stood at the head of the cabinet, retaining the post of military and maritime minister.
In an order on the army and navy issued on the same day, Kerensky noted: “I order to restore discipline among the troops, displaying revolutionary power in full, without stopping when rescuing the army before using armed force; decomposition of the army is unacceptable. but to withdraw from the military units all criminal elements leading through the press and agitation of preaching disobedience of power and non-execution of military orders. " The CEC of the Soviets recognized for the Provisional Government "unlimited powers and unlimited power".
The evaluation of the events of July 3-5 was different already in 1917. Thus, Kerensky, calling them a "Leninist uprising," was convinced that the Germans ’counteroffensive on the front and the actions of the Bolsheviks were two sides of the same coin. According to him, in those days, "a double counteroffensive was being prepared" - Lenin’s strike "with a knife in the back of the revolution and ... a frontal offensive by Ludendorff."
The leaders of the Bol-Shevik in every way emphasized the peaceful nature of the demonstrations that broke out. At the same time, however, many of them believed that in the current situation the party was conducting a trial of strength, a military review of the revolutionary vanguard, saving the spontaneous mass movement from "premature, senseless bloodletting." G. E. Zinoviev recalled that V. I. Lenin at that moment was against the seizure of power: "The front-line soldiers are not all ours ... the front-line soldier will come and cut the Petersburg workers." But, laughing, the same Lenin on July 4 told Trotsky and Zinoviev: “But shall we try now?”
The military leaders of the Bolsheviks, such as F. Raskolnikov, believed that in case of success of the speech and sympathetic support of its front, the party always had the opportunity to turn an armed uprising, but peaceful, demonstration into an armed uprising: "Aspiring to overthrow the Provisional Government, we were would be bad revolutionaries if they missed this opportunity. "
After the July events, the Provisional Government began repressions against the Bolsheviks, the revolutionary workers and soldiers. L. B. Kamenev, L. D. Trotsky, A. V. Lunacharsky, F. F. Raskolnikov and others were arrested and sent to the Kresty prison in Petrograd, and others. V. I. Lenin was accused of organizing an uprising against the government and espionage in favor of Germany, a warrant was issued for his arrest and subsequent trial. The peaceful development of the revolution has become impossible. The leader of the Bolsheviks will write about this: "The counter-revolution was organized, strengthened, and actually took power in the state into its own hands." The second coalition government came to the leadership of the country (July 24 - August 26).
Thousands of anti-government demonstrations of those days in Petrograd, Moscow, Kiev, Riga, Orekhovo-Zuev, Nizhny Novgorod, Krasnoyarsk and other cities have shown that the country is on the verge of a national crisis.
History of the Soviet Union and Russia in the 20th Century