In the course of the collapse of the Rurik Empire (the Old Russian state), the Western Russian lands were ruled by Lithuania and Poland. In the 16th century, Lithuania and Poland concluded a union, the Polish – Lithuanian Commonwealth was formed. The huge Slavic empire claimed dominance in Eastern Europe. Its demographic and economic potential was much more powerful than that of Muscovy. Poland could become a center for uniting most of the Russian lands However, the Polish elite was not capable of this. The Polish elite could not combine the Poles and the Russians into one development project. Although during this period, the Polish glades and the Russians were practically still part of the same super-ethnos. After all, literally at the time of the first princes of Rurikovich, the western glades (Poles) and the Rus-Russians had a single spiritual and material culture, one language and faith.
But the Polish elite became part of the western development project, the western matrix. That is a project to create a global slave civilization. Then the control center of this project was Catholic Rome. For more than a thousand years, Poland has become an instrument for war with Russia (Russian civilization and Russian superethnos) for more than a thousand years. The masters of the West repeatedly threw the brothers of Slavic Poles into Russia-Russia. The Commonwealth during the crisis, Russia captured vast territories, including Kiev, Minsk and Smolensk. The Poles laid claim to Pskov and Novgorod, broke spears against the walls of Moscow.
However, the Polish elite, submitting to the Western project (through Catholicism), failed and did not want to create a common state for the Poles and Russians. In Poland itself, the majority of the population (peasants) were serfs for gentry-gentry. Working cattle (cattle) for the "chosen" -pans, gentlemen-gentry. Relations were built in the Western Russian lands along the same lines. The Russian princely-boyar elite was polished, heaped. And the Russian masses were turned into slaves, which were oppressed not only socially and economically, but also along national and religious lines. At the same time, the Polish gentlemen were mired in luxury, feasts and debauchery. The quality of management has plummeted.
It is not surprising that the loose Eastern European empire did not last long (historically). She was knocked down by the uprisings of the Russian population, endless wars with neighbors and civil conflicts, when the lords created confederations-unions and fought wars among themselves for their candidate for the royal throne and for other reasons. As the Russian kingdom was restored, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, which had no internal unity, began to suffer one defeat after another. During the national liberation war of Bogdan Khmelnitsky in the middle of the XVII century. The Russian kingdom was reunited with part of the lands of Western Russia (Left-bank Ukraine, Zaporizhia army). In 1772 — 1795 during the three divisions of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (Poland’s tough internal crisis with the participation of external players), Polish statehood was destroyed, and Western Russian lands returned to Russia — Belaya Rus and Malaya Russia-Russia (without Galician Russia). Ethnic Polish lands were divided between Prussia and Austria.
In the 1807 year after the defeat of Prussia, Napoleon transferred the Belostok District to Russia. And on the territory of the Polish possessions of Prussia, the Duchy of Warsaw was formed. After the defeat of Napoleon’s empire, the Duchy of Warsaw was divided between Prussia, Austria and Russia. Emperor Alexander I granted the Poles autonomy - the Kingdom of Poland was created. Due to the growth of Polish nationalism and uprisings 1830 - 1831 and 1863 - 1864. Polish autonomy was curtailed. In 1867, its status was downgraded, and it received the name Privislensky Territory: Warsaw, Kaliszka, Petrokovskaya, Kaletskaya, Radomskaya, Suvalki, Lomzhinskaya, Lyublinskaya and Sedletskaya (from 1912 year - Kholm region) provinces.
Restoration of the Polish state
With the outbreak of the First World War, Russian Tsar Nicholas II promised, after victory, to unite Polish lands as part of Russia with Polish regions that were part of Austria-Hungary and Germany. The restored Polish state was supposed to exist in union with Russia. Polish nationalists at this time were divided into two parties: the first believed that Poland would be restored with the help of Russia and at the expense of Germany and Austria-Hungary; the latter considered the main enemy of the Russians and the path to independence of Poland was through the defeat of the Russian empire, it actively cooperated with the Germans and the Austrians. Jozef Pilsudski, one of the leaders of the Polish Socialist Party, began to create Polish legions as part of the Austro-Hungarian army.
In 1915, the Austro-German troops occupied the territory of the Kingdom of Poland. In 1916, the German authorities proclaimed the creation of the puppet Kingdom of Poland. Berlin tried to involve the Poles in the struggle against Russia and to use the resources of Poland in their best interests. In reality, they were not going to restore Poland as an independent state, but to Germanize and make it a province of the Second Reich. After the February Revolution 1917, the Russian Provisional Government announced that it would contribute to the restoration of the Polish state on all the lands inhabited by the majority of Poles, subject to the conclusion of a military alliance with Russia. The formation of the 1 Polish Corps commanded by I. Dovbor-Musnitsky began. After the October Revolution, the Soviet government decreed 10 of December 1917 of the year recognized the independence of Poland.
In January, 1918, the Polish corps of Dovbor-Musnitsky, raised a mutiny. Red troops under the leadership of Vatsetisa defeated the Poles, they retreated. However, then, with the support of the Germans and Belarusian nationalists, they launched a counter-offensive and in February occupied Minsk. The Polish corps became part of the German occupying forces in Belarus (then it was disbanded). After Germany's capitulation in November 1918, the Regency Council of the Kingdom appointed Pilsudski (he was then the most popular Polish politician) interim head of state. The Polish Republic was established (Second Rzecz Pospolita).
The new Polish leadership, led by Pilsudski, set the task of restoring the Commonwealth within the boundaries of 1772, with the establishment of control over the Western Russian lands (White and Little Russia) and the Baltic states. Warsaw planned to create a powerful country from the Baltic to the Black Sea, to dominate Eastern Europe - from Finland to the Caucasus. Russia, cut off from the Baltic and Black Seas, from the lands and resources of the south and southwest, was hoped to be turned into a second-rate power. The war with Soviet Russia in such conditions was inevitable. It should be noted that at the same time the Poles claimed part of the lands of Czechoslovakia and Germany.
"What will end pansky venture." Soviet poster
The beginning of confrontation
Under the terms of the Brest Peace Treaty, Soviet Russia refused the Benefit of the Central Powers from the Baltic states, parts of Belarus and Ukraine. West Russian lands were occupied by the Austro-German army. Moscow was not able to continue the war with Germany, but the concession was a temporary measure. The Soviet government did not refuse from Belarus and Ukraine. In addition, within the framework of the concept of the world revolution, Lenin considered it necessary to make Warsaw Soviet in order to destroy the Versailles system and unite with Germany. Soviet Russia and the victory of the socialist Revolution in Germany created the basis for the victory of the world revolution.
In November, 1918, after the capitulation of Germany, the Soviet government issued an order for the Red Army (7 and the Western army — only about 16 thousand bayonets and sabers) to be sent to the western lands of Russia for the retreating German forces. At the same time, the offensive of the Soviet troops was complicated by the actions of the Germans: the destruction of communications, the delay in evacuation; assistance to the white, local nationalists and Poles in the formation of their own detachments, their armament and equipment; the delay of the German garrisons in Western Belarus and the Baltic States.
10 December 1918, the Red Army occupied Minsk. The Polish government of Pilsudski ordered to occupy Vilna. 1 January 1919, the Poles captured Vilna. In December 1918 - January 1919 Reds occupied most of the territory of Lithuania. 5 January Soviet troops drove the Poles out of Vilna.
Formed new Soviet republics. December 16 The Lithuanian Soviet Republic was formed on December 1918. 30 - December 31 The Belarusian Provisional Revolutionary Workers 'and Peasants' Government was established in Smolensk on December 1918. 1 January 1919 The Provisional Revolutionary Government published a manifesto that proclaimed the formation of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Belarus (SSRB). 31 January 1919 of the year The SSRB withdrew from the RSFSR and was renamed the Belarusian Soviet Socialist Republic, the independence of which was officially recognized by the government of Soviet Russia. February 27 occurred the merger of the Lithuanian and Belarusian Republics, the Lithuanian-Belarusian SSR (Litbel) was established with its capital in Vilna. Litbel suggested Warsaw to enter into negotiations and settle the issue of a common border. Pilsudski ignored this sentence.
Poland could not immediately go on a decisive offensive, since the Germans had not yet completed the evacuation, and part of the Polish forces were diverted to the western border (border conflicts with Czechoslovakia and Germany). Only after the intervention of the Entente in February, which transferred Poland into its sphere of influence (as a millennial anti-Russian gun), did the German troops let the Poles east. As a result, Polish troops occupied Kovel, Brest-Litovsk, Kobris in February 1919, and in the Little Russia - Kholmshchina, Vldymyr-Volynsky. 9 - 14 February 1919, the Germans missed the Poles on the line p. Neman - p. Zelvianka - p. Rouzhanka - Pruzhany - Kobrin. Soon parts of the Western Front of the Red Army approached. Thus, the Polish-Soviet front was formed on the territory of Lithuania and White Russia.
At the same time, the opposition began in the southern strategic direction (Polish-Ukrainian war 1918 - 1919). At first, Polish and Ukrainian nationalists clashed there in Galicia, in the battle for Lviv. The Galician Army of the West Ukrainian Republic (ZUNR), which was then supported by the Kiev Directory, lost the war. This led to the occupation of Galicia by the Poles. In addition, the Romanians captured Bukovina during the war, and the Czechs captured Transcarpathia. In the spring of 1919 of the year, the Soviet Ukrainian front came in contact with the Polish army in the south, which had by this time restored Soviet power in Little Russia.
Having regrouped their forces, at the end of February 1919, the Polish army crossed the Neman and launched an offensive. Soviet troops in the western direction totaled 45 thousand people, but by this time the most combat-ready units were sent to other directions. And the situation on the Eastern (Kolchak offensive), Southern and Ukrainian fronts (Denikin's offensive, uprising) did not allow to further strengthen the Western Front. In March, 1919, the Polish troops captured Slonim, Pinsk, in April - Lida, Novogrudok, Baranavichy, Vilna and Grodno. In May - July 1919, the Polish forces were significantly strengthened by Jozef Haller's 70-thousand army, which the Entente had previously formed in France for the war with Germany. In July, the Poles captured Molodechno, Slutsk, in August - Minsk and Bobruisk. In the fall, the Red Army troops counterattacked, but failed. After that, there was a pause on the front.
This was largely due to the offensive of Denikin’s army and the position of the Entente powers (the Declaration on Poland’s eastern border limited the appetites of the Poles). The Polish government was concerned about the success of Denikin’s army in southern Russia. The White government recognized the independence of Poland, but opposed the claims of the Poles to the Russian lands. Therefore, the Poles decided to take a break. Pilsudski underestimated the Red Army, did not want Denikin to win, and waited for the Russians to bleed each other, which would make it possible to realize plans for the creation of a “Greater Poland”. He waited for the Reds to crush the Denikinists, and then it would be possible to beat the Red Army and dictate the world that would be advantageous to Poland. In addition, Pilsudski dealt with internal issues, fought with the opposition. In the west, the Poles fought with the Germans, in Galicia with the Ukrainian nationalists. In August, miners' workers rebelled in Silesia's 1919. The Polish army suppressed the uprising, but the tension remained. Therefore, Pilsudski decided to stop the movement to the east, to wait for a more favorable situation.
Jozef Pilsudski in Minsk. 1919 year