The fronts of the Civil War in their usual, finished form did not appear immediately. Even before October, on the ground, especially in national suburbs, national “governments” appeared with their military formations, which set a course for “autonomy”. After the Bolsheviks took power in Petrograd and Moscow, in a number of areas, both the forces of counter-revolution and the forces supporting the socialist revolution are becoming established. For example, on the Don, on the one hand, there was a large proletariat, nonresident peasantry, virtually powerless, Cossack front-line veterans who accepted the left-wing ideas and revolutionary soldiers, and on the other hand large landowners (Cossack generals and officers) and Cossack-kulaks who used centuries privileges, also came here "white" to create a counter-revolutionary army. They start fighting with each other. The final folding of the fronts of the Civil War will occur later, with the beginning of a large-scale external intervention. Invaders will support one or another of the counter-revolutionary forces - the whites, the White Cossacks, the nationalists, so that they become their striking force in the struggle against the Bolsheviks (the Reds).
Gradually, against the general background of minor clashes of local significance, larger military events and operations will appear. At this time, military operations were mainly associated with the main directions, usually coinciding with the directions of through railway lines. The military historian N. Ye. Kakurin called this period of the Civil War a period of “echelon war” (“How the revolution fought”). Both sides had at this time a small number of active bayonets and sabers, they were poorly organized, it tied them to the lines of railways: "... the struggle was almost exclusively" echelon "character." The small number of troops, the echelon nature of the war, with great mobility, maneuverability created a picture of unusual diversity and diversity. The “Army” of several hundred people, traveling around in echelons, quickly and unexpectedly concentrated on important areas and solved strategic tasks in a short time.
The strategic operations of the "echelon war" were reduced by the counter-revolutionary forces to the organization of "armies" and the expansion of space, to control communications and resources, from the revolutionary forces - to expand and consolidate the territory under Soviet control and bypass the enemy forces to put out the fire at the initial stage.
Counterrevolution on the Don
On the Don, counterrevolutionary forces were led by the Don government, Ataman A. M. Kaledin. General Kaledin, who was removed from the command of the 8 Army, for not accepting the February Revolution and refusing to comply with the Provisional Government's order to democratize the troops, arrived at the Don. At the end of May, Kaledin took part in the work of the Don Military Circle and, against his will, yielding to the persuasion of the Cossack public, agreed to be elected a military ataman.
The confrontation between the central government and the Don began under the Provisional Government, as well as the formation on the spot of several centers of power. So, in May 1917, the Regional Congress of Peasants decided to abolish private ownership of land, however, the Don Army Circle declared the lands of the Don "historical property of the Cossacks ”and decided to recall the Cossacks from the apparatus of the Provisional Government and from the Soviets. This led to an intensification of rivalry between the two power structures - the Troops Government and the Soviets of Workers, Soldiers, Peasants and Cossack Deputies. On September 1, 1917, the Minister of War of the Provisional Government A.I. Verkhovsky ordered the arrest of Kaledin for involvement in the Kornilov rebellion, but the Don government refused to comply with the order. As a result, A.F. Kerensky conceded and canceled the arrest order.
After October, the situation became even more acute. In the cities, especially in Rostov and Taganrog, the socialist parties prevailed, with distrust of the Cossack government. The Mensheviks numerically prevailed in all the dumas of the Don Region, the central bureaus of trade unions and in many Soviets. They were inferior to the Social Revolutionaries and Bolsheviks. Moderate social democrats did not want to support the Soviet government, as they continued to consider the transition to socialism in Russia premature. On the other hand, they feared the Cadet-Kaledin dictatorship. Therefore, the Mensheviks called on their organizations to play the role of a "third force".
Ataman Kaledin declared the seizure of power by the Bolsheviks criminal. The Don government "temporarily, until the restoration of the power of the Provisional Government and order in Russia, ... assumed the fullness of the executive state power in the Don region". Kaledin invited members of the Provisional Government to Novocherkassk to organize the struggle against the Bolsheviks and is trying to establish control over the Don Region. October 26 (November 8) 1917, while in Rostov the Council tried to take power into their own hands, Kaledin imposed martial law in the coal-mining region of the region, sending Cossacks there. 2 (15) November Kaledin issued an order to impose martial law in the entire Don region. In all industrial centers military units were deployed. The Soviets were liquidated, the workers' organizations were closed, their activists were dismissed from their jobs and were expelled with their families outside the region. 7 (20) November Ataman Kaledin, realizing that the time of the Provisional Government was irretrievably gone, appealed to the population of the Don region with the statement that the Military Government does not recognize the Bolshevik government, and therefore the region is proclaimed independent before the formation of the legitimate Russian government.
Troops Ataman of the Don Cossack Area, cavalry general Alexei Kaledin
At the same time, the Don started forming the nucleus of the future White Army (For more information, see: How to create a volunteer army; How the battle for the Don began). 2 (15) November, General MV Alekseev arrived in Novocherkassk from Petrograd. Kaledin formally refused the request to “give shelter to the Russian officers,” not wanting to aggravate relations with the Cossacks, who were returning home from the front en masse and generally supported left-wing ideas, wanted peace, enough to swallow the vicissitudes of war. But in general, the ataman closed his eyes to creating the backbone of the white army and informally supported this process. Alekseev is actively forming his organization (“Alekseev organization”). 4 (17) November created the first military unit - Consolidated Officer Company. Then formed the Junker battalion, the Summary Mikhailovsko-Konstantinovskaya battery and other parts.
Most of the Cossacks did not want to fight and sympathized with the Bolsheviks, so Kaledin had to turn to Alekseev when the Bolshevik uprising began on November 25 (December 8) in Rostov. After several days of stubborn fighting, by December 2 (15), Rostov was freed from the Reds. Kaledins and Alekseevs also captured Taganrog and a significant part of the Donbass.
In December, General L. G. Kornilov arrived in Novocherkassk. The general originally planned to go to the Volga region and further to Siberia to head there counter-revolutionary forces. But he was persuaded to remain in the south of Russia, despite disagreements with General Alekseev. It was a matter of financing whites and their support from the Entente. In the second half of December, at a meeting of white generals with delegates of the Right Center, an agreement was reached on the division of powers between the Kaledin-Alekseev-Kornilov triumvirate. Triumvirat became the head of the Don Civil Council, created to lead the White movement throughout the territory of the former Russian Empire and claim the role of the All-Russian government. The countries of the Entente entered into contact with him, sending their representatives to Novocherkassk.
Supreme Head of the Volunteer Army M. V. Alekseev
20 December 1917 (2 January 1918) Ataman Kaledin officially authorized the formation of volunteer units on the territory of the Don Region. Officially, the creation of the “Volunteer Army” and the opening of a record in it was announced on 24 December 1917 of the year (January 6 1918). 25 December 1917 of the Year (January 7 1918 of the Year), it was announced that General Kornilov assumed the post of Army Commander, who was called Volunteer by his initiative. As a result, Alekseev remained the leader of the army (political leadership and finance were behind him), Kornilov commander-in-chief, General A.S. Lukomsky — chief of staff, General A.I. Denikin — chief of the 1 division. Lieutenant General S.L. Markov, who served as chief of staff of the 1 Division and commander of the 1 Officer Regiment formed by him and received his own patronage after Markov’s death, became the “Kornilov’s Spire”.
It is worth noting that, given the position of most of the Cossacks, the white, counter-revolutionary forces could not create a large army on the Don. Kaledin failed to raise the front-line Cossacks to fight the Soviet government. The Cossacks, returning from the front, overwhelmingly went home and did not want to fight. Moreover, many of them supported the first decrees of the Soviet government. Among the front-line Cossacks, the idea of "neutrality" in relation to Soviet power was widely adopted. The Bolsheviks, for their part, sought to use this hesitant mood of ordinary Cossacks, receiving support from the so-called. "Labor Cossacks". Front-line Cossacks seized power in the villages and did not support the anti-revolutionary course of the Don government.
Eventually The "neutrality" of the Cossacks prevented Kaledin, Alekseev and Kornilov from forming on Don a truly numerous army of volunteers and Cossacks. The volunteer army was perceived by the Cossacks as a force that encroached upon their autonomy and which led to a clash with the central Soviet authorities. In addition, the Don government also did not become a strong, authoritative power, it was torn apart by contradictions. Many of its members hoped to “come to terms” with the local revolutionary institutions and their loyalty towards the Soviet government to reconcile Red Petrograd with Don and avoid hostilities. As a result, only about 5 thousand fighters entered the Volunteer Army.
Volunteer army. January 1918 of the year
The counter-revolutionary nationalist government of Ukraine
In Kiev, after the February revolution, the Central Rada entered the arena of political life. During this period, two opinions prevailed among the Ukrainian intelligentsia regarding the future of Ukraine (Little Russia). Supporters of independence (independent), led by N. Mikhnovsky, advocated the immediate declaration of independence. Autonomists (V. Vinnichenko, D. Doroshenko and their supporters from the Association of Ukrainian Progressists) saw Ukraine as an autonomous republic in a federation with Russia.
In this case, it must be remembered that the overwhelming majority of the population of Little Russia (Little Russians, Southern Rus, Rusyns, etc.) did not consider themselves to be “Ukrainians” at that time. The word "Ukraine-Ukraine" originally meant the outskirts of the Commonwealth and Muscovy. “Ukrainian Chimera” - the idea of the existence of an “ancient Ukrainian people”, separate from the Russians, was created in the ideological centers of the Vatican, Poland, Austria-Hungary and Germany (this inheritance was later adopted in England and the USA). The goal is the dismemberment of a single super-ethnos of the Rus (Russian people), the bleeding of the Russians with the Russians (the future “Ukrainians”), the weakening of the passionate, demographic and resource potential of the Russian civilization and the people. With the subsequent assimilation of "Ukrainians" (ethnographic material for refreshing the blood of Americans, Canadians, French, etc.), transcoding them into the "cannon fodder" of the West, creating permanent enemies of the Russians who remained. Previously, a similar program was worked out on the Polish-glades.
At the beginning of the 20th century, only a handful of marginal nationalist intelligentsia considered themselves “Ukrainians”. The rest of the inhabitants of the Ukraine, Ukraine were ordinary Russian, who had their own territorial, linguistic and everyday characteristics. For example, the Cossacks of the Don, Kuban, Orenburg, Siberia, the Pomors in the North, the Siberians, etc. had the same features. And even earlier the residents of Ryazan, Tver, Moscow, Novgorod, Pskov, etc. had the same features. But everything they were representatives of one Russian super-ethnos, and not separate ethnic groups, ethnic groups.
Now a handful of national separatists had the opportunity to spread their views to most of the population in a vast region. They got this opportunity only because of the beginning of the Troubles in Russia. Otherwise, the Ukrainian nationalists would have remained on the sidelines of the social and political life of Little Russia. Besides, on the nationalists relied on as the powers of the German bloc, and the Entente, who cherished plans for the dismemberment and seizure of the territories of Russia, the solution of the "Russian question" - the exclusion of the Russian civilization and the people from the Great Game.
4 (17) March 1917, the creation of the Ukrainian Central Council was announced. In her welcoming telegram addressed to the head of the Provisional Government, Prince Lvov and Minister of Justice Kerensky, from 4 (17) in March, and in the “Appeal to the Ukrainian people” in March, Central Rada declared support for the Provisional Government. In a welcoming telegram, in particular, gratitude was expressed for caring about the national interests of Ukrainians and the hope that “the time for the complete fulfillment of our long-standing aspirations for a free federation of free peoples is not far away”. 9 (22) March, the election of the leadership of the Central Council. The recognized leader of the Ukrainians, Professor Mikhail Hrushevsky, one of the leaders of the Ukrainian Progressives Association, who was serving a link in Moscow at that time, was elected in absentia as chairman of the UCR. He was temporarily replaced by V. Naumenko, and D. Antonovich and D. Doroshenko were elected vice-chairmen.
It should be noted that The Central Council was formed without prior arrangement by persons who declared themselves “deputies” from groups, circles and small organizations that had emerged from the revolutionary wave, who had declared themselves parties. Thus, the population of Little Russia did not in the slightest degree represent the CR and was an institution that was completely arbitrary. Ukrainian nationalists took advantage of the turmoil and chaos that began in Russia to declare themselves power.
With the arrival of Grushevskogo Central Rada launched an active activity, with the aim of forming Ukrainian statehood and gaining independence by Ukraine. That is, the Ukrainian nationalists acted as one of the detachments for the collapse of historical Russia, contributing to the development of unrest and chaos in the territory of the former Russian Empire. "Ukrainian Chimera" - as a state and a people - had no historical, state or national roots, therefore, its creation led to a number of serious problems, aggravating the general confusion.
The Ukrainian Social Democrats and the Ukrainian Social Revolutionaries made up the majority in the CR. Their goal was to form the national-territorial autonomy of Ukraine in Russia, which was later supposed to be transformed into a treaty federation. At the same time, Ukraine was to receive maximum autonomy, including with its own delegation at a future peace conference, and with its army. In the Ukraine at that time there were other centers of power. The provisional government in Kiev was represented by the provincial commissariat. The actual power in their areas and on the ground was held by the Soviets of workers, peasants and soldiers. Thus, in the Kiev Council of Workers' Deputies, Menshevik leaders initially dominated, but soon the Bolsheviks began to play the leading role in it.
6 — 8 (19 — 21) On April 1917, the All-Ukrainian National Congress was held. As a result, the process of forming the Central Rada was completed. The delegates to the congress elected a new composition of the Central Rada and a new Presidium of the UCR. Hrushevsky was re-elected head of the UCR, S. A. Efremov and V. K. Vinnichenko became his deputies. They also headed the legislative and executive body of the 20 man - the Central Rada Committee (later called Malaya Rada). The resolution of the congress stated: "In accordance with the historical traditions and modern real needs of the Ukrainian people, the congress recognizes that only the national-territorial autonomy of Ukraine is able to satisfy the aspirations of our people and all other peoples living on Ukrainian soil." The resolution recognized that the main problems facing the country can be discussed and solved only by the Constituent Assembly. However, there was a requirement that “except for representatives of the warring powers, and representatives of the peoples on whose territory the war is taking place, including Ukraine,” took part in the future peace conference, which indicated a desire to turn Ukraine into a subject of international law.
Ukrainian politician Vladimir Kirillovich Vinnichenko
The decisive demand for “the immediate proclamation by a special act of the principle of national-territorial autonomy” was also contained in the decisions of the First All-Ukrainian Military Congress, which took place in May 1917, on the initiative of a new socio-political organization - the Ukrainian Military Club named after Hetman Pavel Polubotka, led by N. Mikhnovsky. The goal of the Ukrainian Military Club was to Ukrainize military units deployed on the territory of Ukraine and create the Ukrainian army. The military congress called for the immediate appointment of the Minister for Ukrainian Affairs under the Provisional Government, the reorganization of the army according to the national-territorial principle, the formation of the Ukrainian national army, as well as the "Ukrainianization" of the Black Sea fleet and section of the Baltic Fleet. That is, the arrogance of Ukrainian nationalists grew as Russia decomposed. True, in general, the position of the "autonomists" this time still won.
Based on the resolutions of the congresses, the Rada drew up a special memorandum to the Provisional Government. The Provisional Government was expected to have a “principled attitude of goodwill” towards the slogan of autonomy. Requirements were put forward: the participation of "representatives of the Ukrainian people" in the international discussion of the "Ukrainian issue"; proposed to appoint a “special commissioner” for Ukraine’s affairs; to raise the fighting efficiency and restore discipline, it was proposed to single out the Ukrainians into separate military units both in the rear and at the front. It was actually the main step towards the creation of a separate army, that is, an independent state. In addition, it was envisaged to extend the Ukrainization of the elementary school to the secondary and higher education, to carry out the Ukrainization of the administrative apparatus, the amnesty or the rehabilitation of the repressed persons of Ukrainian nationality. At the same time subsidize the Ukrainian government structures from the center. That is, to conduct the “Ukrainization” of Little Russia at the expense of the Russians themselves. Very Jesuit move.
16 (29) May, a delegation of the UCR headed by Vinnichenko and Efremov headed for Petrograd. The UCR Memorandum was considered at the meeting of the Legal Meeting of the Provisional Government, however, no clear, precise decision was made regarding the claims submitted. The provisional government, as usual, preferred to wait passively for subsequent events. The revolutionary revolutionaries, having destroyed the weak, in their opinion, royal power, turned out to be complete nonentities in the sphere of foreign and domestic policy.
The weakness and passivity of the Provisional Government pushed the CR to take more decisive action. 3 (16) June, the government reported on the "negative decision on the issuance of the act of autonomy of Ukraine." On the same day, at a general meeting of the Central Committee, it was decided to appeal to the people with an appeal "to organize and proceed to the immediate laying of the foundations of an autonomous system in Ukraine."
The 5 (18) of June in Kiev opened the 2-th All-Ukrainian military congress, convened contrary to the ban of the Minister of War A. Kerensky (ignored). The congress was held in the spirit of the complete victory of Ukrainian separatism. Speaking to the participants of the 7 congress (20) of June, Vinnichenko made it clear that the slogan of the autonomy of Ukraine within Russia, the rejection of violent measures in defense of national demands - these are only temporary, tactical moves. 10 (23) of June, at the meeting of the Central Rada Committee, the First Universal was adopted and announced at the military congress on the same day, proclaiming unilaterally the national-territorial autonomy of Ukraine within Russia. The legislature of the autonomy was declared the National Ukrainian Assembly (Sejm), elected by universal equal, direct, secret ballot. The decisions of the Seimas received priority over the decisions of the future All-Russian Constituent Assembly. The CR took responsibility for the current state of affairs in Ukraine, and additional charges from the population of Ukraine were introduced to ensure its activities. In addition, it was decided to create a national-territorial army.
16 (29) June, the Central Council established the General Secretariat - the executive body. Vinnichenko was elected chairman (prime minister) of the General Secretariat (government). S. Petliura took the post of Secretary General for Military Affairs. The General Secretariat adopted the Declaration, in which the Central Committee was named the highest not only the executive, but also the legislative body of the entire organized Ukrainian people.
On June 28 (July 11), a delegation of the Provisional Government, composed of A. Kerensky, I. Tsereteli, M. Tereshchenko, arrived in Kiev with the goal of establishing relations with the Central Rada. The Provisional Government made concessions: they did not object to the autonomy of Ukraine, but the Constituent Assembly should have finally decided the issue. The government also recognized the General Secretariat as the highest regulatory body of Ukraine, and reported that it would favorably consider the drafting of a national-political statute of Ukraine by the Ukrainian Rada. In response, the CR also lowered the tone and 3 (16) July released the Second Universal, in which it was stated that "we, the Central Council, ... always stood for not separating Ukraine from Russia." The General Secretariat was declared "the body of the Provisional Government", etc. In response, the radicals raised an uprising (Revolt of the Polubotkovets), but they quickly suppressed it.
Chairman of the Ukrainian Central Council, historian Mikhail Sergeevich Hrushevsky
In mid-July, the Ukrainian delegation arrived in Petrograd for approval by the Provisional Government of the composition of the General Secretariat and the Statute of Higher Management of Ukraine (in the final version - the Statute of the General Secretariat). The Central Council was recognized by the body of the revolutionary democracy of all peoples of Ukraine, its goal is the final introduction of the autonomy of Ukraine, the preparation of the All-Ukrainian and All-Russian constituent assemblies. The General Secretariat was declared the highest authority to which all local authorities must comply. It included the creation of a board of general secretaries from 14, whose authority extended to all areas, with the exception of international relations. The Interim Government retained only the functions of approving the composition of the General Secretariat, the bills adopted by the Rada and its financial requests. All the laws of the Provisional Government were deprived of direct action - they could enter into force only after they were published in the Ukrainian government newsletter in the Ukrainian language.
The Provisional Government rejected the Statute and 4 (17) of August replaced it with the Provisional Instruction to the General Secretariat of the Provisional Government in Ukraine. The general secretariat turned into a local body of the Provisional Government, its eligibility extended only to five of the nine Ukrainian provinces claimed by the CR (Kiev, Volyn, Podolsk, Poltava and Chernihiv (without four northern counties). The number of secretaries-general decreased to seven - the secretariats were eliminated military, food, court cases, communications, postal and telegraphs. Quotas were introduced based on nationality: at least three of the seven secretaries-general require axis to appoint persons who do not belong to Ukrainian nationality. It is clear that the Ukrainian separatists did not like it. .
It should be remembered that the course of the Ukrainian separatists who usurped power was still not popular among the people. So, July 23 (August 5) in Ukraine held elections to the city government bodies. Supporters of the independence of Ukraine they completely failed, not getting a single place (!); All-Russian parties received 870 seats, federalists - 128. Thus, if further events were going along the lines of traditional democratic elections, the Ukrainian national separatists would have no chance of remaining in power. The overwhelming majority of the South-West Russian population of Little Russia did not want any “separatism” and “Ukrainization”.
The CR was not a full-fledged state body, but was only a kind of social institution, which, however, very skillfully used the all-Russian confusion, the passivity of the Provisional Government, and consistently went towards its goal (the collapse of Russia into parts). There was no real power and the General Secretariat. Government agencies ignored him, his activities were not funded, and taxes, as before, went to the Russian treasury.
The state meeting in Moscow, held at the initiative of the Provisional Government in August, was boycotted by the Central Committee. After the insurrection, Kornilov Rada announced that in Ukraine the only legitimate authority was the CR and the Secretary General.
After the October Revolution, the CR went into a tactical alliance with the Kiev Bolsheviks in order to prevent the transfer of loyal government troops from the South-Western Front to Petrograd. However, further actions of the Rada led to a rupture. Outraged, the Bolsheviks left the Regional Committee and the Small Council. The command of the Kiev Military District, which retained the military power with the consent of Malaya Rada, with the help of the loyal parts of the Provisional Government, smashed the premises of the city Soviet of Workers' Deputies, which caused a Bolshevik uprising in Kiev. The CR dragged loyal units to Kiev, including transferring troops from the front. Within a few days the Bolsheviks were driven out of the city.
Ukrainian separatists got the opportunity to extend their power. The General Secretariat took over the affairs of the military, food and communications. The CR extended the authority of the General Secretariat to Kherson, Yekaterinoslav, Kharkiv, Kholmsk and partially Tauride, Kursk and Voronezh provinces. 6 (19) of November, the Ukrainian representatives sent to the Headquarters agreed with the Chief Chief NN Dukhonin on the issue of re-forming front-line units in order to create a Ukrainian army based on ethnicity and territoriality.
7 (20) of November by the decision of the Minor Rada, the Third Universal was adopted on an emergency basis, which proclaimed the creation of the Ukrainian People's Republic (UNR) in federal connection with the Russian Republic. It was announced about the inclusion in the UNR of the territories, the majority of whose population are "Ukrainians": Kiev, Volyn, Podolsk, Kherson, Chernihiv, Poltava, Kharkov, Ekaterinoslav provinces and counties of Northern Tavria (without Crimea). From the point of view of joining parts of the Kursk, Kholmsk, Voronezh and neighboring provinces and regions with the majority of the “Ukrainian” population, the final determination of the boundaries of the UPR was to take place “by agreement of the organized will of the peoples”.
Pribotkovtsy during a demonstration on the Day of the holiday of revolution
To be continued ...