The Russian Civil War

An interesting, and long read about the Russian Civil War, which followed the Revolution of 1917.

Main Points of note:

  • The Russians opposing the Bolsheviks were not all supporters of the Tsar. Many were supporters of the burgeoning republican movement in Russia, or were supporters of the Provisional Governemnt set up by the Duma (Russian Parliament) after the abdication of the Tsar. White Russians was the collective term for these disparate groups.
  • Of the Western nations that supported the White Russians, the UK and USA took a more cautious approach while France and Itsly were more direct and willing to support. The USA’s unwillingness to do so likely a result of it’s Republican Governemnts isolationism policies.
  • A number of independent republics were born in this time, such as the Balkan States, countries like Latvia and Estonia. These were a little later retaken by the Red Army, and incorporated into the U.S.S.R, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
  • Minorities like the Tartars of the Crimea and Muslim minorities in the Caucasian region (Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia) suffered greatly during the war and afterwards. Later Stalin removed the Tartars from the Crimea, killing most, and replaced the population with Russians, which is why the Crimea is contentious between Russia and Ukraine today.
  • Bolsheivik victory was largely due to military superiority, they controlled the centre of European Russian, more people, more factories, and more infrastructure to wage a war.

The Russian Civil War masked the first time West and East had clashed over ideology, and it was a war that was eventually won easily by the Bolsheiviks, increasing fear of the Reds in the west, and leading to vastly increased tension down the line.

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