The emergency commissioner of the South of Russia, Ordzhonikidze, suggested that the remnants of the 11 Army (1 and 2 rifle divisions and other units with a total number of 20-25 thousand bayonets and sabers) would depart to Vladikavkaz. In the area of Vladikavkaz - Grozny, relying on the mountaineers supporting the Soviet power, it was possible to organize a strong defense and hold on to the arrival of reinforcements from Astrakhan and the appearance of the Red Army, which was conducting an offensive from under Tsaritsyn. These forces could allow to keep the Vladikavkaz area and divert significant forces of Denikin’s army (Lyakhov’s army corps and part of the Pokrovsky equestrian corps), holding down whites in the North Caucasus. However, the bulk of the remaining forces of the 11 Army fled to Kizlyar and beyond. A group under the command of Ordzhonikidze, Gikalo, Agniyev and Dyakov remained in the area of Vladikavkaz.
The North Caucasus Defense Council appointed Gikalo commander of the armed forces of the Terek region. By his order, three columns of Soviet troops were created from scattered detachments. The Reds tried to stop the enemy’s offensive on the approaches to Vladikavkaz and throw the whites to Cool. However, they were defeated on the Darg-Koch, Arkhonskaya, Khristianovsky line and moved to Vladikavkaz.
Simultaneously with the offensive of the Pokrovsky corps on Kizlyar, and then the movements of the Shatilova division on Grozny, the Lyakhov corps — Shkuro's cavalry and Kuban geyman's plungers moved to Vladikavkaz. The White Command planned to finish off the Reds in Vladikavkaz, and pacify Ossetia and Ingushetia. In Ossetia there was a strong pro-Bolshevik movement, the so-called. the Kerminists (members of the Kermen organization), and the Ingush, because of the enmity with the Terek Cossacks, were almost entirely in favor of Soviet power. Shkuro proposed to agree, after the victory over the Reds, to gather in Vladikavkaz the Ingush delegation. The Kerminists offered to clear the Christian village, their fortified center, to go to the mountains, otherwise threatened with repressions. Those refused. At the end of January 1919, whites in a stubborn battle, after a two-day artillery shelling of the village, took the Christian.
Having overcome the resistance of the enemy on the Darg-Koch, Arkhonskoye line, the White Guards approached Vladikavkaz for February 1. The Shkuro division, coming close to Vladikavkaz, opened heavy artillery fire and rushed along the railroad to Kurskaya Slobodka (city district), trying to rush into the city on the move. At the same time, she attacked the Molokansky suburb from the south, trying to cut off the city’s garrison from the rear. Molokans are adherents of one of the directions of Christianity. At the end of the XIX century the number of Molokans in Russia exceeded 500 thousand people. Most of them lived in the Caucasus. The Molokans conducted a collective economy, that is, the ideas of the Bolsheviks were partially close to them. In addition, earlier Molokans were considered a harmful heresy and subjected to repression by the royal authorities. Therefore, the Molokans took the side of the Bolsheviks.
The city held a garrison as part of the Vladikavkaz Infantry Regiment, the Red Regiment, the 1 and 2 Communist detachments, the Grozny regiment battalion, the self-defense detachments from the workers of the city, and the Ingush, the International Detachment from the Chinese, the Cheka detachment (around 3 KT. ). The red garrison had 12 guns, a squad of armored vehicles (4 vehicles) and a 1 armored train. Commanded the defense of the city Peter Agniev (Agniashvili).
The division of General Geiman attacked Vladikavkaz from the north, and 2 — 3 in February she reached the Dolakovo-Kantyshevo line (in 25 km from the city). Belykh tried to stop the Vladikavkaz school of red cadets in 180 number of people under the command of Kazan. She was supported by the Ingush detachment and the working company. For five days the cadets kept the area assigned to them and most of the fighters died or were injured. Only after this, the remnants of the detachment moved to the city.
1 - February 2 Shkuro troops shelled the Kursk, Molokanskaya and Vladimirskaya settlements. White offered the enemy to capitulate, the ultimatum was rejected. February 3 Shkuro's troops broke into the river part of Vladikavkaz, occupying the cadet corps. Simultaneously with the attacks on Vladikavkaz, parts of the Geiman cut the road from Vladikavkaz to Bazorkino, where Ordzhonikidze and the headquarters of the commander of the armed forces of the Terek region Gikalo were located. The Ingush and Kabardian Red units attacked the whites, squeezed the enemy, but could not restore contact with the city.
Red fought back, went on the counter. So, 5 February attacked the enemy, who intended to go on the offensive, on the Kursk Slobodka - Bazorkinskaya road and threw him to the starting positions. 6 - February 7 Reds held an additional mobilization of the population in the city, collecting weapons and ammunition. February 6 whites, concentrating large forces, broke through the defense of the Reds and captured the northern suburb of Kurskaya Slobodka. With the help of two armored vehicles sent from the general reserve, the garrison counterattacked the enemy, knocked him out of the Kursk Slobodka and threw him over the river. Terek. On the same day there was a fierce battle on the southern sector, the White Guards occupied Lysa Mountain and thus cut off the retreat along the Georgian Military Highway. Then White attacked the Molokan suburb, where he held the defense of the 1 th Vladikavkaz Infantry Regiment. The White Guards were repelled by the Red Regiment's squadron counter with two armored vehicles. In this battle, the death of the brave died the commander of the 1 th Vladikavkaz Infantry Regiment Peter Fomenko. February 7 fierce fighting continued in the area of Kursk Slobodka. On the plot of Vladimir Slobodka, whites broke into the city by night attack. The garrison reserve counterattack stopped the breakthrough. The Reds moved troops from station to area, skillfully used the reserve, this helped them to put up serious resistance to the enemy. White could not immediately take the city.
The troops of Heiman were under attack by the Ingush detachments that attacked the flank and rear. Local mountaineers almost all sided with the Bolsheviks. The White Command noted the extremely fierce resistance of the Ingush, who, with the support of the Reds, stubbornly resisted. To secure themselves from the rear, White had to put up resistance to the Ingush villages for several days. So, after a fierce battle, the Shkuro troops took Murtazovo. Then Shkuro was able to convince the Ingush in the senselessness of further resistance. He succeeded in persuading the probolshevist-minded residents defending Nazran to surrender. February 9 Nazran capitulated.
February 8 fierce battles for Vladikavkaz continued. Volunteers continued strong attacks on the Kursk and Molokan suburbs, but they all fought off the Red Army. However, the situation has worsened. Vladikavkaz was continuously bombarded with artillery fire. The defenders of the city ran out of ammunition. White intercepted the Bazorka road, interrupted the movement along the Georgian Military Highway, managed to break into defensive positions and take part of the Molokanskaya Slobodka, the building of the cadet corps. The Reds continued fierce counterattacks, lost their positions for a while, but on the whole the situation was already hopeless. The situation was further complicated by the fact that there were up to 10 in the city thousands of typhus patients in the 11 th army. There was nowhere to take them out and there was nothing.
February 9 fierce fighting continued. It became obvious that the situation was hopeless. There will be no help. From standing out two armored vehicles. Ammunition is running out. The Ingush left the city to protect their villages. Ways of withdrawal intercepted by the enemy. Gikalo and Orzhonikidze retreated to Samashkinskaya, in the direction of Grozny. The enemy strengthened the blockade ring around Vladikavkaz. Some commanders offered to leave the city. 10 February Shkuro's division dealt a strong blow to the Kursk suburb and captured it. The Reds threw in a counterattack reserve, a detachment of armored vehicles. The whole day was a fierce battle. The Red Army again threw the enemy to their original positions.
At night, the red command, having exhausted the possibilities for defense, decided to leave along the Georgian Military Highway. White, bringing up reinforcements, in the morning of February 11 again went on a decisive assault and, after a three-hour battle, captured Kursk suburb. Reds went to the counter, but this time without success. At the same time, Denikinians captured Shaldon and attacked the Vladimir and Upper Ossetian suburbs. The Red Army soldiers in the evening began to retreat to the Molokansky suburb, and then break through the Georgian Military Highway. Thus ended the 10-day battle for Vladikavkaz.
Having broken into the city, the White Guards carried out a brutal massacre of the Red Army soldiers who had been wounded and suffered from typhus. Thousands of people were killed. Part of the Reds retreated to Georgia, the Cossacks Shkuro pursued them and killed many. In passing through the winter passes, many died. Fearing typhus, the Georgian government initially refused to let in refugees. As a result, they allowed, and interned.
The Reds, pressed against the Caucasus Range in the Sunzhenskaya Valley between Vladikavkaz and Grozny, under the command of Ordzhonikidze, Gikalo, Dyakova, tried to break through to the sea by the valley of the Sunzha River. The Reds were going to pass through Grozny to the Caspian Sea. General Shatilau, speaking from Grozny, entered into battle with them. White has overturned the advanced parts of the red near the village of Samashkinskaya. Then a bitter battle broke out at Mikhailovskaya. The Reds had strong artillery and several armored trains, which advanced, caused serious damage to the White Guards. The Bolsheviks themselves went on the offensive several times, but the whites threw them away with cavalry attacks. As a result, the White Guards were able to accomplish a detour and a simultaneous attack from the front and flank defeated the enemy. Several thousand Red Army soldiers were taken prisoner, whites also captured many guns and 7 armored trains. The remains of the red group fled to Chechnya.
The commander of the 1 Caucasian Cossack Division A. G. Shkuro
Thus, the Vladikavkaz red group was destroyed and scattered. In February, 1919, the Denikin Army, completed the campaign in the North Caucasus. The White Army secured a relatively strong rear and strategic base for the campaign in central Russia. After the storming of Vladikavkaz, two Kuban divisions under the general command of Shkuro were immediately transferred to the Don, where the situation for the White Cossacks was critical. Denikin had to urgently send troops to support the Don Army, which in January 1919 suffered another defeat at Tsaritsyn and began to fall apart, and on the Donbass.
The red detachments that had switched to the partisan struggle, kept only in the mountains of Chechnya and Dagestan. Anarchy also continued in the mountainous regions, almost every nation had its own “government”, which Georgia, Azerbaijan or the British tried to influence. Denikin, on the other hand, tried to restore order in the Caucasus, to abolish these “autonomous states”, and to set up governors of white officers and generals (often local) in national areas. In the spring of 1919, the Denikinians established their power over Dagestan. Mountain republic ceased to exist. Imam Gotsinsky refused to fight and led his detachment to the Petrovsk region, hoping for the support of the British. But another imam, Uzun-Haji, declared jihad against Denikin. He led his squad to the mountains, on the border of Chechnya and Dagestan. Uzun-Haji was elected Imam of Dagestan and Chechnya, and Vedeno was elected as the residence of the Imamat. He began the creation of the North Caucasus Emirate and led the war against Denikin. The “government” Uzuna-Haji tried to establish relations with Georgia, Azerbaijan and Turkey in order to receive armed assistance.
Interestingly, the jihadists entered into a tactical alliance with the remnants of the red led by Gikalo. They formed an international detachment of the Red rebels, which was stationed on the territory of the emirate and subordinated to the headquarters of Uzun-Haji as the 5 regiment of the army of the North Caucasus emirate. In addition, the Imam was subordinate to the Ingush detachment of red partisans led by Ortskhanov, located in the mountains of Ingushetia, he was considered the 7 regiment of the Uzun-Khadzhi army.
As a result, apart from individual centers of resistance, the entire North Caucasus was controlled by whites. The whites in general suppressed the resistance of the mountaineers of Dagestan and Chechnya in the spring of 1919, but the White Guards had neither the strength nor the time to conquer the mountainous regions.
In addition, the whites came into conflict with Georgia. Another small war took place - the White Guard-Georgian. The conflict was originally caused by the anti-Russian position of the new “independent” Georgian government. The Georgian and white governments were enemies of the Bolsheviks, but could not find a common language. Denikin advocated a “united and indivisible Russia,” that is, he was categorically opposed to the independence of the Caucasian republics, which were only formally “independent,” but in reality were guided first by Germany and Turkey, and then by the Entente powers. The leading role here was played by the British, who simultaneously inspired hopes to the white and national governments and conducted their Great Game, solving the strategic task of dismembering and destroying Russian civilization. The White government postponed all questions of independence of the republics, future borders, etc., until the Constituent Assembly was convened, after the victory over the Bolsheviks. The Georgian government, on the other hand, sought to take advantage of the distemper in Russia in order to round off its possessions, in particular, at the expense of the Sochi district. The Georgians also tried to step up insurgent activities in the North Caucasus in order to create various “autonomies” that could become a buffer between Georgia and Russia. Thus, the Georgians actively supported the uprising against Denikin in the area of Chechnya and Dagestan.
The Georgian-Armenian war, which began in December 1918, was the reason for the intensification of military operations. It affected the Armenian community of the Sochi district, occupied by Georgian troops. The Armenian community there was a third of the population, and there were few Georgians. The insurgents, who were brutally suppressed by Georgian troops, asked for help from Denikin. The white government, despite the protests of the British, in February 1919 of the year moved troops from Tuapse to Sochi under the command of Burnevich. The White Guards, with the support of the Armenians, quickly defeated the Georgians and February 6 occupied Sochi. A few days later, White occupied the entire Sochi district. The British tried to put pressure on Denikin, ultimately demanding the cleansing of the Sochi district, otherwise threatening to stop military assistance, but received a decisive refusal.