The first contacts of the Volunteer Army with Georgia
During the campaign of the Taman army ("The heroic campaign of the Taman army"), which was retreating under the onslaught of volunteers, at the end of August 1918 of the Reds encountered units of the infantry division of the Georgian Republic in the region of Gelendzhik. The Georgian army, based in Tuapse, occupied the Black Sea coast to Gelendzhik. Tamans easily knocked down the front barrier of the Georgians and August 27 occupied Gelendzhik.
Continuing the offensive, the Reds overthrew the Georgians near the village of Pshadskaya, and on August 28 approached Arkhipo-Osipovka, where they encountered more serious resistance. Georgian reinforcements were reinforced by an infantry regiment and a battery. The Georgians opened heavy fire and stopped the Tamans. Then the Reds with the help of cavalry went around the enemy and completely defeated him. Georgians suffered serious losses. 29 August Tamans occupied Novo-Mikhailovskaya. On September 1, the Tamans in a fierce battle, again using a cavalry maneuver, defeated the Georgian division and took Tuapse. The Reds lost several hundred people killed and wounded, and destroyed, according to the commander of the Taman army Kovtyukh, the entire enemy division - about 7 thousand people (apparently an exaggeration, for the most part, the Georgians simply fled). At the same time, the Tamans, who had already practically exhausted their ammunition, seized a large number of trophies, weapons and stocks of the Georgian infantry division in Tuapse. This allowed the Taman Division to continue the campaign and successfully break through to their own.
After the Tamanians left Tuapse, the Georgians again occupied the city. Almost simultaneously with them, volunteers, Kolosovsky's cavalry, entered the city. On behalf of Denikin, the former quartermaster general of the headquarters of the Caucasian Front, E.V. Maslovsky, traveled to the Tuapse area. He was supposed to unite all the anti-Bolshevik forces on the Black Sea coast to Maykop. At the same time, relying on his authority as the former quartermaster general of the headquarters of the Caucasian Front, Maslovsky was to include the Black Sea region in the scope of the Volunteer Army. Many former officers of the Russian imperial army, like General Mazniev, became the core of the Georgian army. The commander of the Georgian division Mazniev agreed to enter into submission to the Volunteer Army (DA). The head of the Volunteer Army, General Alekseev, sent a letter to Mazniev, in which he expressed joy at the union.
During this period, Denikin tried to limit the collapse of Russia, while preserving the Transcaucasus in its sphere of influence. Georgia, according to Denikin, lived by “Russian heritage” (which was true) and could not be an independent state. Also in Georgia were the main rear warehouses of the former Caucasian Front, and the whites needed weapons, ammunition and equipment for a war with the Reds. Denikin wanted to receive part of this inheritance of the Russian Empire. In addition, Georgia at that time was under the influence of Germany, and Denikin considered himself loyal to an alliance with the Entente.
It seemed that the two anti-Bolshevik forces would enter into a strong alliance. Georgian leaders, whose policies Denikin described as “anti-Russian,” did not want an alliance with the Bolsheviks or volunteers. The Mensheviks saw the threat in the Bolsheviks and the whites. The Georgian Mensheviks were real revolutionaries, they participated in the organization of the February revolution and the subsequent unrest in Russia. Now they were afraid of both the Bolsheviks, who established their dictatorship, and with "iron and blood," again united the empire, and the Denikinists, who were considered reactionary. A "colonialist" force hostile to social democracy and trying to destroy all the gains of the revolution.
Therefore, General Mazniyev was accused of Russophilism and recalled to Tiflis. He was replaced by General A. Koniev. He took a tough stance towards volunteers. Georgian troops were withdrawn from Tuapse and formed a front at Sochi, Dagomys and Adler, where the Georgians pulled together additional forces and began to build fortifications. Thus, Tiflis blocked the further advance of Denikin’s army along the coast.
Negotiations in Ekaterinodar
To find a common language, the white command invited the Georgian side to negotiate in Yekaterinodar. The Georgian government sent to Ekaterinodar a delegation led by Foreign Minister E. P. Gegechkori, who was accompanied by General Mazniyev. 25 -26 September negotiations took place. The volunteer army was represented by Alekseev, Denikin, Dragomirov, Lukomsky, Romanovsky, Stepanov and Shulgin. On the part of the Kuban government, the ataman Filimonov, the head of the government Bych and a member of the government of Vorobiev participated in the talks.
The following issues were raised at the meeting: 1) establishing trade between Georgia and the Kuban regional government, YES; 2) the question of the military property of the Russian army in Georgia. Denikin wanted to get weapon and ammunition, if not free of charge, as allied aid, then in exchange for food (in Georgia, food was bad); 3) the question of the border, the ownership of the Sochi district; 4) on the situation of Russians in Georgia; 5) about a possible alliance and the nature of Georgia’s relations with YES. Whites wanted to see a friendly neighbor in Georgia in order to have a calm rear and it was not necessary to keep serious forces on the Georgian border, which are so necessary to fight the reds.
However, negotiations quickly failed. Neither side was able to make principal concessions. The white government was not going to give Tiflis the Russian territories of the Black Sea province, although de facto they were occupied by the Georgian army. The Georgian side did not want to soften the Russophobic policy towards the Russians in Georgia and return the illegally occupied Sochi district. According to Denikin, most of the settlements in the district were Russian, the rest with a mixed population, and only one Georgian. And Georgians in the Sochi district only made up about 11% of the population. At the same time, the Sochi district for Russian money from a wasteland was turned into a flourishing health resort. Therefore, General Denikin rightly noted that “for historical or ethnographic reasons, Georgia did not have any rights to Sochi district”. Abkhazia was also forcibly seized by Georgia, but according to it, Denikin and Alekseev were ready to make concessions if the Georgians cleared Sochi.
According to the Georgian delegation, the Georgian in the Sochi district was 22% and YES could not represent the interests of the Russians, as it is a private organization. Tiflis considered the Sochi district very important in terms of ensuring the independence of Georgia. The Georgians planned to turn the Sochi region into an “insurmountable barrier” for the White Army of Alekseev and Denikin.
It was a difficult situation for the Russians in Georgia. It should be noted that, in general, the Georgian people treated the Russians well, and the government, with the support of the nationalist minority, pursued a Russophobic policy. In Georgia, as Russia moved to the Caucasus, a significant Russian community formed from various specialists and employees. In addition, after the World War in Georgia, and the headquarters of the Caucasian Front was located in Tiflis, there remained a few thousand Russian officers. The Georgian authorities feared them, considered them unreliable and disloyal to the new government. If desired, Russian officers could take power in Georgia, but there was no organizing force among them. Many were at a loss, for them the Caucasus, Tiflis was the motherland, and suddenly they became “alien”, “abroad”. Therefore, the Russians in Georgia were “harassed” with various kinds of cavils, deprived of civil rights, and with active protest they were subjected to arrest and deportation. Russian officers in Tiflis lived in misery, for the most part did not have capital, sources of income, were in a beggarly state. At the same time, the Georgian authorities diligently stopped the attempts of officers to leave to join the Volunteer Army. It is clear that all this irritated Denikin.
At the same time, with the radicalization of local authorities and the growth of nationalist sentiment, the position of the Russians in Tiflis became simply dangerous. Russian officers were beaten, robbed, and maimed by gangs of nationalists and the tramps, the criminals who joined them. The Russians were “outlawed” in Georgia, that is, defenseless. It is clear that in such a situation, the masses of officials, employees and the military who were thrown into the streets began to look for a way out. Many decided to flee to Little Russia. -Ukraine, for this they were looking for "Ukrainian roots" for themselves. In Hetman Ukraine, they hoped to get rid of the threat of nationalists and the arrival of the Bolsheviks (under the protection of German bayonets). As a result, most of the officers fled to Ukraine.
Thus, the negotiations failed because of the intransigence of the parties. Alekseev expressed his readiness to recognize “a friendly and independent Georgia,” but he firmly raised the question of the need to end the persecution of the Russians in the new Georgian state and the withdrawal of the Georgian army from Sochi. In turn, Gegechkori, this “desperate, angry, intolerant Georgian chauvinist,” as described by his famous Russian political figure and white ideologue Shulgin, took a firm stand. He did not recognize that the Russians in Georgia were being oppressed and refused to recognize the Volunteer Army as the successor of the Russian Empire, which he insulted Alekseev. The Georgian side refused to leave Sochi district.
Commander of the Volunteer Army, General A. I. Denikin, end of 1918 or beginning of 1919 of the year
White Guard-Georgian war
After the failure of the negotiations in Ekaterinodar in the Sochi district until the end of 1918 - the beginning of 1919, the position of “neither peace nor war” remained. Volunteers stood south of Tuapse, occupying the leading parts of the village of Lazarevskoye. The Georgian forces of General Koniev stood against them at Loo station. The Georgians continued to rob the Sochi region, oppressed the Armenian community. Local residents asked the army of Denikin to free them from the Georgian occupation.
The reason for the beginning of an open confrontation between Georgia and the DA was the Georgian-Armenian war that began in December 1918. After the withdrawal of the German-Turkish occupation forces, the Georgian government, continuing the policy of expansion, decided to establish control over the areas of the former Tiflis province of Borchali (Lori) and Akhalkalaki, where the Armenian population prevailed. In addition, the richest copper mines were located in the Lori area. Thus, one Alaverdi copper-chemical plant produced one-fourth of copper smelting throughout the Russian Empire.
The war was stopped under the pressure of the British. British troops landed in Georgia. The British forced the Armenians and Georgians to make peace. In January, an agreement was signed on 1919 in Tiflis, until the final resolution of all disputed territorial issues at the Paris conference, the northern part of Borchaly district was transferred to Georgia, the southern part to Armenia, and the average (in which the Alaverdi copper mines were located) was declared a neutral zone and was under control the English. The Armenian authorities agreed to withdraw their claims to the Akhalkalaki district on the condition that the district would be under the control of the British and the participation of the Armenians in local self-government would be guaranteed.
Because of the war with Armenia, Georgians began to transfer troops from the Sochi region to the line of the new front. Volunteers began to move, occupying the left territory. 29 December Georgians left the station Loo, which occupied the whites. Then the withdrawal of the Georgian troops halted and during the month the sides took up positions on the Loo River.
The war of Armenia with Georgia was reflected in the Armenian community of Sochi district. The Armenians, who constituted up to a third of the region’s population, raised a rebellion. In many ways, it was caused by the predatory, repressive policies of the Georgian authorities. Georgian troops began to suppress the uprising. Armenians turned to Denikin for help. The commander-in-chief ordered the commander of the troops in the Black Sea region, General Matthew Burnevich, to take Sochi. At the same time, Denikin ignored the demand of General Forestier-Walker, commander of British troops in the Caucasus, to stop the offensive in the Sochi district before obtaining British consent.
6 February 1919, the Denikinians crossed the Loo River. From the rear, Georgian troops attacked the Armenian partisans. The Georgian commander, General Koniyev, and his headquarters at that time were walking at a wedding in Gagra. Therefore, the attack of the Russian troops for the Georgians was unexpected. Having put up little resistance, the Georgian troops capitulated. White occupied Sochi. General Koniev while captured. A few days later, Denikin liberated the entire district, Gagra, and reached the line of the Bzyb River. Georgia dispatched the People’s Guard battalions to the 6 river, but the British stopped the further development of the war. They divided the warring parties with their post. The British command issued an ultimatum to Denikin demanding to clear the Sochi circle. However, Denikin refused to give Russian land. Koniyev and his soldiers were later returned to Georgia. The Georgian authorities, in response, strengthened the repressive policy towards the Russian community.
In the future, YES and Georgia remained in hostile relations. In the spring of 1919, when the white command transferred the main forces to the north to fight the Red Army, the Georgians prepared an offensive to repel Sochi. 6 - 8 has been concentrated behind Bzyb. soldier with 20 guns. In addition, in the rear of the whites was organized uprising "green" - the bandits. Under the onslaught of the Georgian army, the whites retreated across the Mzymta River. With the help of reinforcements from Sochi, the whites broke the “greens” and stabilized the front. White was preparing a counterattack, but at the suggestion of the British, they entered into new negotiations. They led to nothing. The front has stabilized at Mekhadyri.
Until the spring of 1920, the White Command held on the Black Sea coast from 2,5 to 6,5 thousands of people to restrain Georgians and “greens” who were supported by the Georgian authorities trying to organize an uprising in the rear of the White Army. In addition, Georgia, like Azerbaijan, supported the uprisings of mountaineers and jihadists in Chechnya and Dagestan. Tiflis tried to support the creation of a mountain republic in the North Caucasus in order to obtain a buffer area between Georgia and Russia. Therefore, Georgia supported insurgent gangster formations, sending instructors, fighters and weapons to the mountainous regions of the North Caucasus.
In the spring of 1920, the Red Army reached the borders of the Black Sea province and the Georgian government had to abandon plans for the expansion of Georgia at the expense of Russian territory.
The White 2 Infantry Division in the city of Sochi, liberated from the troops of independent Georgia. 1919 year