Inside the Cossack regions, the Cossacks were also not drunk from revolutionary freedoms and, making some local changes, continued to live as before, without making any economic or social upheavals. At the front in the military units, the order for the army, completely changing the bases of the military order, was taken with bewilderment by the Cossacks and continued to maintain order and discipline in the new conditions, most often electing their former commanders and chiefs. There were no refusals in the execution of orders and personal accounts with the commanding staff also did not occur. But the tension gradually increased. The population of the Cossack regions and the Cossack units at the front were subjected to active revolutionary propaganda, which unwittingly had to reflect on their psychology and made them listen carefully to the calls and demands of the revolutionary leaders. In the area of the Don Cossacks, one of the most important revolutionary acts was the dismissal of the ataman Count Grabbe, his replacement by an elected ataman of Cossack origin, General Kaledin, and the restoration of the convocation of public representatives to the Military Circle, according to custom that had existed since antiquity, before the reign of Emperor Peter I. continued to go without much shock. There was an acute question of relations with the non-Kazach population, which, psychologically, proceeded along the same revolutionary paths as the population of the rest of Russia. At the front, among the Cossack military units, powerful propaganda was conducted, accusing ataman Kaledin of counter-revolutionism and having a certain success among the Cossacks. The seizure of power by the Bolsheviks in Petrograd was accompanied by a decree addressed to the Cossacks, in which only geographical names changed, and it was promised that the Cossacks would be freed from the burden of generals and the severity of military service and equality and democratic freedoms would be established in everything. The Cossacks had nothing against it.
Fig. 1 Region of the Don Cossacks
The Bolsheviks came to power under anti-war slogans and soon began to fulfill their promises. In November 1917, the Council of People's Commissars invited all the belligerent countries to begin peace negotiations, but the Entente countries refused. Then Ulyanov sent a delegation to Brest-Litovsk occupied by the Germans, for separate peace talks with the delegates of Germany, Austria-Hungary, Turkey and Bulgaria. The ultimate demands of Germany shocked the delegates and caused hesitation even among the Bolsheviks, who were not particularly patriotic, but Ulyanov accepted these conditions. The "obscene Brest Peace" was concluded, according to which Russia lost about 1 million km² of territory, pledged to demobilize the army and navy, transfer ships and infrastructure of the Black Sea to Germany fleetpay indemnity in the amount of 6 billion marks, recognize the independence of Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Finland. The hands of the Germans to continue the war in the west were untied. In early March, the German army on the whole front began to advance for the occupation of territories given by the Bolsheviks under a peace treaty. Moreover, in addition to the agreement, Germany announced to Ulyanov that Ukraine should be considered a province of Germany, to which Ulyanov also agreed. There is a fact in this matter that is not widely known. The diplomatic defeat of Russia in Brest-Litovsk was caused not only by corruption, inconsistency and adventurism of the Petrograd negotiators. The joker played a key role here. A new partner suddenly appeared in the group of contracting parties - the Ukrainian Central Council, which, with all the precariousness of its position, signed a separate peace treaty with Germany in Brest-Litovsk on February 9 (January 27), 1918. The next day, the Soviet delegation with the slogan "stop the war, but do not sign peace," interrupted the negotiations. In response, on February 18, German troops launched an offensive along the entire front line. At the same time, the German-Austrian side tightened peace. In view of the complete inability of the Sovietized old army and the beginnings of the Red Army to withstand even the limited German offensive and the need for respite to strengthen the Bolshevik regime, Russia also signed the Brest Peace Treaty on March 3. After that, the “independent” Ukraine was occupied by the Germans and, as unnecessary, they threw Petlyura “off the throne”, placing the puppet hetman Skoropadsky on it. Thus, shortly before sunk into oblivion, the Second Reich, under the leadership of Kaiser Wilhelm II, captured Ukraine and Crimea.
After the Bolsheviks concluded the Brest Peace, part of the territory of the Russian Empire turned into zones of occupation of the Central countries. Austro-German troops occupied Finland, the Baltic States, Belarus, Ukraine and eliminated the Soviets there. The Allies kept a sharp eye on what was happening in Russia and also tried to ensure their interests, connecting them with the former Russia. In addition, there were up to two million prisoners in Russia who, with the consent of the Bolsheviks, were sent to their countries, and for the Entente powers, it was important to prevent the return of prisoners of war to Germany and Austria-Hungary. For the connection of Russia with allies, ports served in the north of Murmansk and Arkhangelsk, in the Far East of Vladivostok. In these ports were concentrated large warehouses of property and military equipment, delivered on the orders of the Russian government by foreigners. Accumulated cargo was over a million tons worth up to 2 and a half billion rubles. The cargo was shamelessly stolen, including by local revkomi. To ensure the safety of goods, these ports were gradually occupied by the Allies. Since orders imported from England, France and Italy were sent through the northern ports, they were occupied by parts of the British in 12 Ltd. and the allies in 11 LLC man. Imports from the United States and Japan went through Vladivostok. 6 July 1918, the Entente declared Vladivostok an international zone, and the city was occupied by parts of Japan at 57 Ltd. and other allies at 13 000 people. But they did not overthrow the Bolshevik power. On July 29 alone, the power of the Bolsheviks in Vladivostok was overthrown by the White Czechs under the leadership of the Russian General MK Diterikhs.
In the internal policy, the Bolsheviks issued decrees that destroyed all social structures: banks, national industry, private property, land ownership, and often national looting under the guise of nationalization was carried out without any government leadership. The country began the inevitable devastation in which the Bolsheviks blamed the bourgeoisie and the "rotten intellectuals", and these classes were subjected to brutal terror, bordering on destruction. Until now, it is impossible to fully understand how this all-destructive force came to power in Russia, given that power was seized in a country that had a thousand-year history and culture. After all, by the same measures, the international destructive forces hoped to produce an internal explosion in fermenting France, transferring up to 10 million francs to French banks for this purpose. But France, by the beginning of the twentieth century, had already exhausted its limit on the revolution and was tired of them. Unfortunately for the revolutionaries, there were forces in the country that were able to unravel the insidious and far-reaching plans of the leaders of the proletariat and resist them. About this in the Military Review was written in more detail in the article "How America saved Western Europe from the ghost of the world revolution."
One of the main reasons for allowing the Bolsheviks to carry out a coup d'etat and then quickly seize power in many areas and cities of the Russian Empire was the support of numerous reserve and training battalions who did not want to go to the front. It was Lenin’s promise of an immediate end to the war with Germany that predetermined the transition of the Russian army, which had decayed during the “Kerenzchyna” to the side of the Bolsheviks, which ensured their victory. In most parts of the country, the establishment of the Bolshevik government passed quickly and peacefully: from 84 provincial and other major cities only fifteen Soviet power was established as a result of armed struggle. By adopting the “Decree on Peace” on the second day of their presidency, the Bolsheviks ensured the “triumphal march of Soviet power” throughout Russia from October 1917 to February 1918.
The relations of the Cossacks and the rulers of the Bolsheviks were determined by the decrees of the Union of Cossack troops and the Soviet government. 22 November 1917, the Cossack Forces Union submitted a decree in which it informed the Soviet government that:
- The Cossacks are not looking for anything for themselves and do not require anything outside of their regions. But, being guided by the democratic principles of self-determination of the nationalities, it will not tolerate on its territories any other authority than the national one, formed by the free agreement of the local nationalities without any external or external influence.
- Sending punitive units against Cossack areas, in particular against the Don, will bring civil war to the outskirts, where energetic work is underway to establish public order. This will cause a breakdown of transport, will be an obstacle to the delivery of goods, coal, oil and steel to the cities of Russia and worsen the food business, disrupting the breadbasket of Russia.
- The Cossacks oppose any introduction of foreign troops in the Cossack regions without the consent of the military and regional Cossack governments.
In response to the peace declaration of the Union of Cossack troops, the Bolsheviks issued a decree to open military operations against the south, which read:
- Relying on the Black Sea Fleet, carry out the armament and organization of the Red Guard to occupy the Donetsk coal region.
- From the north, from the headquarters of the Commander-in-Chief, move squadrons south to the starting points: Gomel, Bryansk, Kharkov, Voronezh.
- The most active parts to move from the Zhmerinka area to the east for the occupation of Donbass.
This decree created the germ of the fratricidal civil war of Soviet power against the Cossack regions. For the existence of the Bolsheviks badly needed were Caucasian oil, Donetsk coal and bread of the southern suburbs. The mass famine that had begun was pushing Soviet Russia toward the rich south. At the disposal of the Don and Kuban governments, there were no well-organized and sufficient forces to protect the areas. The units returning from the front did not want to fight, sought to disperse from the villages, and the young Cossacks-front-line soldiers entered into an open struggle with the elderly. In many villages this struggle acquired a fierce character, the massacres on both sides were brutal. But the Cossacks who came from the front were many, they were well armed and the tombs, had combat experience, and in most of the villages the victory was left to the front-line youth strongly infected by Bolshevism. It soon became clear that in the Cossack regions strong parts can only be created on the basis of volunteering. To maintain order on the Don and Kuban, their governments used detachments consisting of volunteers: students, cadets, cadets and young people. Many Cossack officers volunteered to form such volunteer units (among the Cossacks they are called partisan), but in the headquarters this business was not well organized. Permission for the formation of such detachments was given to almost everyone who asked. There were many adventurers, even brigands, who simply robbed the population for the purpose of profit. However, the main threat to the Cossack areas turned out to be the regiments returning from the front, as many of those who returned were contaminated by Bolshevism. The formation of volunteer red Cossack units also began immediately after the Bolsheviks came to power. At the end of November 1917, at a meeting of representatives of the Cossack units of the Petrograd Military District, it was decided to create revolutionary detachments from the Cossacks of the 5 Cossack Division, 1, 4 and 14 of the Don regiments and send them to the Don, Kuban and Terek to defeat the counter-revolution and establish the Soviet authorities. In January, 1918, in the village of Kamenskaya, convened a congress of front-line Cossacks with the participation of delegates from 46 Cossack regiments. The congress recognized Soviet power and created Donvoenrevkom, declaring the Don General’s A.D. Kaledin, speaking against the Bolsheviks. Among the commanders of the Don Cossacks, the supporters of Bolshevik ideas were two head officers, troop officers Golubov and Mironov, and Golubov’s closest associate was Podorunkov. In January, 1918 of the Don Cossack Regiment returned to the Don from the Romanian Front. Having elected troop foreman F.K. Mironov, the regiment supported the establishment of Soviet power, and decided not to go home until the counter-revolution led by ataman Kaledin was defeated. But Golubov played the most tragic role on the Don. In February, he occupied Novocherkassk with two regiments of the Cossacks propagating them, dispersed the Military Circle meeting, arrested General Nazarov, the Ataman of the Army who had taken office after his death, and shot him. After a short time, this “hero” of the revolution was shot by the Cossacks right at the rally, and Podtyolkov, who had large sums of money with him, was captured by the Cossacks and was hanged by their sentence. The fate of Mironov was also tragic. He managed to entice a significant number of Cossacks, with whom he fought on the side of the Reds, but, not being satisfied with their order, he decided to go over to the side of the fighting Don with the Cossacks. Mironov was arrested in red, sent to Moscow, where he was shot. But it will be then. In the meantime, Don was a great turmoil. If the Cossack population still hesitated, and only in a part of the stanitsas the sensible voice of the old men took advantage, then the non-Kazach population completely sided with the Bolsheviks. Non-resident population in the Cossack regions always envied the Cossacks, who owned a large amount of land. Standing on the side of the Bolsheviks, nonresidents hoped to take part in the division of officer, landlord Cossack lands.
Other armed forces in the south were detachments of the formed Volunteer Army located in Rostov. 2 November 1917, General Alekseev arrived at the Don, entered into contact with Ataman Kaledin and asked him for permission to form volunteer groups on the Don. The purpose of General Alekseev was to use the southeastern base of the armed forces in order to assemble the remaining stalwart officers, junkers, old soldiers and organize an army of them necessary for establishing order in Russia. Despite the complete lack of funds, Alekseev ardently set to work. On Barochnaya Street, the premises of one of the hospitals were turned into an officer's hostel, which became the cradle of volunteering. Soon the first donation was received, 400 rubles. This is all that in November, the Russian society singled out its defenders. But people were just going to the Don, having no idea what awaits them, gropingly, in darkness, through the continuous Bolshevik sea. They walked to the place where the centuries-old traditions of Cossack freemen and the names of the leaders whom popular rumor associated with Don served as a bright beacon. They came exhausted, hungry, ragged, but not lost in spirit. December 6 (19), disguised as a peasant, arrived on the railway to Don General Kornilov with a false passport. He wanted to go further to the Volga, and from there to Siberia. He considered it more correct that General Alekseev remained in the south of Russia, and he would be given the opportunity to work in Siberia. He argued that in this case they would not interfere with each other and he would manage to organize a big deal in Siberia. He rushed into the open. But representatives of the National Center who came to Novocherkassk from Moscow insisted that Kornilov stay in the south of Russia and work together with Kaledin and Alekseev. An agreement was concluded between them, according to which General Alekseev assumed responsibility for all financial and political issues, General Kornilov assumed the organization and command of the Volunteer Army, General Kaledin continued the formation of the Don Army and the management of the affairs of the Don Army. Kornilov had little faith in the success of his work in the south of Russia, where he would have to create a white case in the territories of Cossack troops and depend on military atamans. He said this: “I know Siberia, I believe in Siberia, it is possible to put business there widely. Here, Alekseev alone can easily cope with the case. ” With all his heart and soul, Kornilov rushed to Siberia, wanted him to be released and treated the work of forming the Volunteer Army without much interest. Kornilov’s fear that he would have friction and misunderstandings with Alekseev was justified from the first days of their joint work. The forced abandonment of Kornilov in the south of Russia was a big political mistake of the “National Center”. But they believed that if Kornilov left, many volunteers would leave behind him and the work begun in Novocherkassk could fall apart. The formation of the welfare advance was slow, with an average of 75-80 volunteers enrolling per day. The soldiers were few, mostly officers, junkers, students, cadets and high school students recorded. Weapons in the Don warehouses it was not enough, it was necessary to take it away from the soldiers traveling to their homes, to train troop echelons passing through Rostov and Novocherkassk, or to buy through buyers in the same echelon. Lack of funds is extremely difficult work. The formation of the Don units progressed even worse. Generals Alekseev and Kornilov understood that the Cossacks did not want to go to restore order in Russia, but they were sure that the Cossacks would defend their lands. However, the situation in the Cossack regions of the southeast was much more complex. The regiments returning from the front were completely neutral in the events that were taking place, and even showed a tendency toward Bolshevism, declaring that the Bolsheviks had done nothing wrong with them.
In addition, within the Cossack regions there was a hard struggle with a non-resident population, and in the Kuban and Terek regions also against the highlanders. The military atamans had the opportunity to use the well-trained teams of young Cossacks, who were preparing to be sent to the front, and to organize the call-up of regular ages of youth. General Kaledin could have had support in this from the side of the old men and the front-line soldiers who said: "We have served ourselves, now we must call others on." The formation of the Cossack youth from the draft age could give up to 2-3 divisions, which at that time was enough to maintain order on the Don, but this was not done. In late December, representatives of the British and French military missions arrived in Novocherkassk. They asked what had been done, what was planned to be done, after which they declared that they would be able to help, but so far only with money, in the amount of 100 million rubles, in tranches of 10 million per month. The first payment was expected in January, but was never received, and then the situation changed completely. The initial funds for the formation of the Dobroarmy consisted of donations, but they were scanty, mainly because of the greediness and stinginess of the Russian bourgeoisie and other propertied classes unimaginable for these circumstances. It should be said that the stinginess and avarice of the Russian bourgeoisie is simply legendary. Back in 1909, during the discussion in the State Duma on the issue of the kulaks, P.A. Stolypin uttered prophetic words. He said: “... there is no more greedy and shameless fist and bourgeois than in Russia. Not by chance in the Russian language in the course of the phrase "fist-world-eater and the bourgeois-world-eater." If they do not change the type of their social behavior, big shocks are waiting for us ... ”. He looked into the water. Social behavior, they have not changed. Almost all the organizers of the white movement point to the low usefulness of their appeals for material assistance to the property classes. Nevertheless, by the middle of January, a small Volunteer Army (about 5 thousand people) was turned out to be a very militant and morally strong army. Sovnarkom demanded the issuance or dispersal of volunteers. Kaledin and Krug answered: “There is no issue from the Don!”. The Bolsheviks, in order to liquidate the counter-revolutionaries, began to force their loyal troops from the Western and Caucasian fronts to the Don region. They began to threaten Don from the side of Donbass, Voronezh, Torgovaya and Tikhoretskaya. In addition, the Bolsheviks tightened control on the railways and the influx of volunteers dropped sharply. At the end of January, the Bolsheviks took Bataysk and Taganrog, on January 29, horse units moved from the Donbas to Novocherkassk. Don was defenseless against the red. Ataman Kaledin was taken aback, did not want bloodshed and decided to transfer his authority to the City Duma and democratic organizations, and then ended his life with a shot at the heart. It was a sad but logical outcome of his activities. The first Don Circle gave the first an elected ataman, but did not give him power.
At the head of the region was put the Military Government of the 14 elders, elected from each district. Their meetings had the character of a provincial duma and left no trace in the history of the Don. On November 20, the government appealed to the population with a very liberal declaration, convening a Cossack and peasant population congress on December 29 to arrange the life of the Don Region. In early January, a coalition government was created on a parity basis, 7 seats were provided to the Cossacks, 7 nonresident. The involvement of demagogues-intellectuals and revolutionary democracy into the government finally led to the paralysis of power. Ataman Kaledin ruined his trust in the Don peasants and non-residents, his famous "parity". He failed to glue together diverse pieces of the population of the Don region. Don, when he split into two camps, the Cossacks and Don peasants, along with non-resident workers and artisans. The last with a few exceptions were with the Bolsheviks. The Don peasantry, which constituted 48% of the population of the region, fascinated by the broad promises of the Bolsheviks, was not satisfied with the measures of the Don power: the introduction of zemstvos in the peasants' districts, the involvement of the peasants to participate in the village self-government, their wide acceptance in the Cossack class and the endowment of millions of ten thousand in their households, and in a massive number of ten thousand. Under the influence of the new socialist element, the Don peasantry demanded a general division of the entire Cossack land. The numerically smallest working environment (10-11%) was concentrated in the most important centers, was the most restless, and did not hide its sympathy for Soviet power. The revolutionary-democratic intelligentsia did not outlive its former psychology and, with surprising blinding, continued its destructive policy, which led to the demise of democracy on an all-Russian scale. The bloc of Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries reigned in all peasant and non-resident congresses, all sorts of thoughts, councils, trade unions and inter-party meetings. There was not a single meeting where resolutions on mistrust of the ataman, the government and the Circle, protests against their adoption of measures against anarchy, criminality and banditry would not be made.
They preached neutrality and reconciliation with the force that openly declared: "He who is not with us is against us." In the cities, working-class settlements and peasant settlements, the uprisings against the Cossacks did not subside. Attempts to put the divisions of workers and peasants in the Cossack regiments ended in disaster. They betrayed the Cossacks, went to the Bolsheviks and took the Cossack officers with them to torment and death. The war acquired the character of a class struggle. Cossacks defended their Cossack rights from the Don workers and peasants. The death of Ataman Kaledin and the occupation by the Bolsheviks of Novocherkassk end in the south during the Great War and the transition to a civil war.
On February 12, the Bolshevik detachments occupied Novocherkassk and the army foreman Golubov in “thanks” for what General Nazarov once saved him from prison, and shot the new ataman. Having lost all hope of keeping Rostov, on the night of 9 (22) in February, the Dobronarmiya of the 2500 fighters left the city on Aksai, and then moved to the Kuban. After the establishment of the power of the Bolsheviks in Novocherkassk, terror began. The Cossack units were prudently scattered throughout the city in small groups, dominance in the city was in the hands of non-resident and Bolsheviks. On suspicion of having connections with Dobroarmiya, merciless executions of officers were carried out. The robberies and robberies of the Bolsheviks forced the Cossacks on their guard, even the Cossacks of the Golubovsky regiments took a wait. In the villages, where the power was seized by nonresident and Don peasants, the executive committees began to divide the Cossack lands. These atrocities soon caused Cossack uprisings in the stanitsas adjacent to Novocherkassk. The head of the Reds on the Don, Poditykov and the head of the Antonov punitive detachment, fled to Rostov, then were captured and executed. The occupation by the White Cossacks in April of Novocherkassk coincided with the occupation of Rostov by the Germans and the return of the Volunteer Army to the Don Region. But from the 252 stanitsas, Donskoy troops only 10 were liberated from the Bolsheviks. The Germans firmly occupied Rostov and Taganrog and the entire western part of the Donetsk district. Outposts of the Bavarian cavalry stood 12 versts from Novocherkassk. Under these conditions, Don faced four main tasks:
- immediately convene a new Circle, in which only the delegates of the liberated villages could take part
- to establish relations with the German authorities, find out their intentions and negotiate with them
- to recreate the Don Army
- establish relationships with the Volunteer Army.
April 28 held a general meeting of the Don government and delegates from the villages and military units who took part in the expulsion of Soviet troops from the Don region. The composition of this Circle could not have a claim to resolve questions for the whole Army, and therefore limited its work to the organization of the struggle for the liberation of the Don. The assembly decided to declare itself the Circle of Don's salvation. It had 130 people. Even in the Democratic Don it was the most popular assembly. The circle was called gray because there was no intelligentsia on it. The cowardly intelligentsia sat at this time in the cellars and basements, shook itself in its life, or fawned before the commissioners, enrolling in the council service or trying to get innocent in institutions for education, food and finance. She was not in the mood for elections in this troubled time, when both voters and deputies risked their heads. The circle was chosen without party struggle, it was not before. The circle was chosen and exclusively Cossacks were elected to it, who passionately wanted to save their native Don and were ready to give their lives for this. And these were not empty words, because after the elections, having sent their delegates, the electors themselves dismantled their weapons and went to save Don. This Circle did not have political physiognomy and had one goal - to save the Don from the Bolsheviks, by all means and at any cost. He was truly popular, meek, wise, and businesslike. And this gray, from the greatcoat and paltovy cloth, that is truly democratic, the Circle was saved by the Don people's mind. Already by the time of the convocation of the full military circle 15 of August 1918, the Don Land was cleared of the Bolsheviks.
The second urgent task for the Don was the settlement of relations with the Germans who occupied Ukraine and the western part of the land of the Don Army. Ukraine also claimed the Don lands occupied by the Germans: Donbass, Taganrog and Rostov. Attitudes towards the Germans and Ukraine were the most pressing issue, and 29 of April, the Circle decided to send an authorized plenipotentiary embassy to the Germans in Kiev to ascertain the reasons for their appearance on the territory of the Don. Negotiations took place in calm conditions. The Germans said that they were not going to occupy the region and promised to clear the occupied villages, which they soon fulfilled. On the same day, the Circle decided on the organization of a real army, not from partisans, volunteers or combatants, but obedient laws and discipline. So, around and around what for years the ataman Kaledin trampled down with his government and the Circle, consisting of talkers-intellectuals, and the gray circle of Don's salvation decided at two meetings. The Don Army was only in the project, and the command of the Volunteer Army already wished to bend it under itself. But the Circle clearly and concretely replied: “The high command of all without exception the military forces operating on the territory of the Don Cossacks should belong to the ataman of the troops ...”. Such an answer did not satisfy Denikin, he wanted in the face of the Don Cossacks to have large replenishments with people and material part, and not to have a “allied” army nearby. The circle worked intensively, meetings were held in the morning and in the evening. He was in a hurry to restore order and was not afraid of reproaches for striving to return to the old regime. 1 May Circle ruled: "Unlike the Bolshevik gangs, which do not wear any external distinction signs, all units involved in the defense of the Don immediately take on their military look and wear shoulder straps and other insignia." May 3 as a result of a closed vote 107 votes (13 against, 10 abstained), Major General P.N. was elected as ataman. Krasnov. General Krasnov did not accept this election before the Circle passes the laws that he considers necessary to be introduced in the Don Army for the possibility of fulfilling the tasks set for him by the Circle. Krasnov said at the Circle: “Creativity has never been the lot of the team. Raphael Madonna created Raphael, not the committee of artists ... You are the owners of the land of the Don, I am your manager. It's all about trust. If you trust me, you accept the laws proposed by me, if you do not adopt them, it means that you do not trust me, you are afraid that I use the power you have given to the detriment of the army. Then we have nothing to talk about. Without your complete trust, I cannot rule the army. ” On the question of one of the members of the Circle, whether he could not propose to change or alter in the laws proposed by the ataman, Krasnov replied: “You can. 48,49,50 articles. You can offer any flag except red, any coat of arms other than the Jewish five-pointed star, any anthem except the International ... ". The very next day, the Circle reviewed all the laws proposed by the ataman and adopted them. The circle restored the old pre-Petrine title “The Great Don Army”. The laws were almost a complete copy of the basic laws of the Russian Empire, with the difference that the rights and prerogatives of the emperor passed on to ... ataman. And there was no time for sentiment.
Before the eyes of the Don Salvation Circle there were bloodied ghosts of the shot dead ataman Kaledin and the shot ataman Nazarov. Don lay in the rubble, he was not only destroyed, but dirtied by the Bolsheviks, and German horses drank the water of the Quiet Don, sacred to the Cossacks river. The work of the former Circles led to this, and Kaledin and Nazarov fought against the resolutions, but could not win because they had no power. But these laws have created ataman many enemies. As soon as the Bolsheviks were expelled, the intelligentsia crawled out of the cellars and basements and climbed out and arranged a liberal howl. Nor did these laws satisfy Denikin, who saw in them the desire for separatism. 5 May Circle dispersed, and the ataman was left alone to rule the army. That same evening, his adjutant, Esul Kulgavov, went to Kiev with handwritten letters to Hetman Skoropadsky and Emperor Wilhelm. The result of the letter was that the German delegation came to the Ataman 8 in May, stating that the Germans did not pursue any aggressive goals towards Don and would leave Rostov and Taganrog as soon as they saw that the Don Region had been restored to full order. May 9 Krasnov met with the Kuban chieftain Filimonov and the delegation of Georgia, and May 15 met in the village of Manychskaya with Alekseev and Denikin. The meeting revealed deep differences between the Don Ataman and the Command of the Goodwill in both tactics and the strategy of fighting the Bolsheviks. The purpose of the rebellious Cossacks was the liberation of the land of the Don from the Bolsheviks. They had no further intention to wage war outside their territory.
By the time Novocherkassk was seized and the ataman was elected around the Don rescue circle, all armed forces consisted of six foot and two cavalry regiments of different numbers. The junior officers were from the villages and were good, but there were a shortage of hundreds and regimental commanders. Having experienced many insults and humiliations during the revolution, many senior commanders at first had a distrust of the Cossack movement. Cossacks were dressed in their paramilitary dress, lacking boots. Up to 30% were dressed in supports and sandals. Most wore epaulets, caps and hats all wore white stripes to distinguish it from the red guard. Discipline was fraternal, the officers ate with the Cossacks from the same cauldron, because they were most often relatives. The headquarters were small, for economic purposes there were several public figures from the villages in the shelves who solved all logistical issues. The fight was transient. Trenches and fortifications were not built. There was little of a shanty tool, and natural laziness interfered with digging into the Cossacks. The tactic was simple. At dawn, the attack started with liquid chains. At this time, an intricate route moved roundabout in the flank and rear of the enemy. If the enemy was ten times stronger, it was considered normal for the offensive. As soon as a roundabout column appeared, the Reds began to retreat and then the Cossack cavalry rushed at them with a wild, chilling geek, overturned and captured. Sometimes the battle began with a mock retreat of twenty versts (this is an ancient Cossack Venter). Red rushed to pursue, and at this time roundabout columns closed behind them and the enemy found himself in a firing bag. With such tactics, Colonel Guselshchikov with regiments in 2-3 thousands of people crushed and captured entire Red Guard divisions in 10-15 thousands of people with transports and artillery. The Cossack custom demanded that officers go ahead, therefore their losses were very great. For example, the commander General Mamantov was wounded three times and all in chains. In the attack, the Cossacks were merciless, were also merciless to the captive Red Guards. Particularly harsh were the captive Cossacks, who were considered traitors to the Don. Here the father used to sentence his son to death and did not want to say goodbye to him. Sometimes and vice versa. At that time, the echelons of the Red forces, which had fled to the east, continued to move across the territory of the Don. But in June, the railway line was cleared of the Reds, and in July, after the Bolsheviks were expelled from the Khopersky District, the entire territory of the Don was freed from the Reds by the Cossacks themselves.
In other Cossack regions the situation was no easier than on the Don. A particularly difficult situation was among the Caucasian tribes, where the Russian population was scattered. The North Caucasus was raging. The fall of the central government caused a more serious shock here than anywhere else. Reconciled by the royal power, but not outdated by age-old discord and not forgotten old offenses, the multi-tribal population became agitated. The Russian element that united it, about 40% of the population consisted of two equal groups, the Terek Cossacks and non-resident. But these groups were separated by social conditions, reduced their land accounts and could not oppose the Bolshevik danger of unity and strength. While the ataman Karaulov was alive, several Terek regiments and some ghost of power remained. On December 13, at the station of the Cool crowd of Bolshevik soldiers, by order of the Vladikavkaz Soviet, uncoupled the ataman car, drove off to a long dead end, and fired at the car. Karaulov was killed. In fact, on the Terek, power passed to local councils and gangs of soldiers of the Caucasian front, who flowed from the South Caucasus in a continuous stream and, not being able to penetrate further, to their native places, due to complete blockage of the Caucasian highways, settled as locusts on the Terek-Dagestan edge. They terrorized the population, implanted new soviets or hired the service of existing ones, bringing fear, blood and destruction everywhere. This stream served as the most powerful conductor of Bolshevism, which seized the Russian population nonresident (because of the thirst of the land), hurt the Cossack intelligentsia (because of the thirst for power) and embarrassed the Terek Cossacks (because of the fear of “going against the people”). As for the mountaineers, they were extremely conservative in their way of life, in which social and land inequality was very poorly reflected. True to their customs and traditions, they were governed by their national councils and were alien to the ideas of Bolshevism. But the mountaineers quickly and willingly perceived the applied sides of the central anarchy and intensified violence and plunder. By disarming passing troop trains, they had a lot of weapons and ammunition. On the basis of the Caucasian native corps, they formed national military formations.
Fig. 4 Cossack areas of Russia
After the death of Ataman Karaulov, the overwhelming struggle against the Bolshevik detachments that filled the region and the aggravation of controversial issues with neighbors - Kabardians, Chechens, Ossetians, Ingushs - the Terek Army was turned into a republic that was part of the RSFSR. Quantitatively, the Terek Cossacks in the Terek region accounted for 20% of the population, non-residents - 20%, Ossetians - 17%, Chechens - 16%, Kabardians - 12% and Ingushs - 4%. The most active among other nations were the smallest — the Ingush, who set out a strong and well-armed detachment. They robbed everyone and kept Vladikavkaz in constant fear, which they captured and plundered in January. When 9 March 1918 was established in Dagestan, like on the Terek, Soviet power was established, the Council of People's Commissars set the first goal to break the Terek Cossacks, destroying its special advantages. Armed expeditions of the highlanders were sent to the stanitsa, robbery, violence and murder were made, land was taken and transferred to the Ingush and Chechens. In this difficult situation Terek Cossacks fell spirit. While the mountain peoples created their armed forces by improvisation, the natural Cossack army, which had well-organized regiments of 12, decomposed, dispersed and disarmed at the request of the Bolsheviks. However, the excesses of the red led to the fact that the 18 of June 1918 of the year begins the uprising of the Terek Cossacks under the leadership of Bicherahov. The Cossacks defeat the Red troops and block their remnants in Grozny and Kizlyar. On July 20 in Mozdok, the Cossacks were convened at a congress, at which they decided to launch an armed uprising against Soviet power. The Tertians established contact with the command of the Volunteer Army, the Terek Cossacks created a fighting unit to 12 000 people with 40 guns and resolutely took the path of fighting the Bolsheviks.
The Orenburg Army under the leadership of Ataman Dutov, the first to declare independence from the power of the Soviets, was the first to undergo an invasion of detachments of workers and red soldiers who began robbery and repression. A veteran of the fight against the Soviets of Orenburg Cossack General I.G. Akulinin recalled: “The stupid and harsh policy of the Bolsheviks, their undisguised hatred of the Cossacks, abuse of Cossack shrines and, especially, massacres, requisition, indemnity and robbery in the villages - all this opened the eyes to the essence of Soviet power and forced to take up arms . The Bolsheviks could not lure the Kazakov. The Cossacks had land, and they returned the will in the form of the widest self-government in the first days of the February revolution. ” In the mood of the ordinary and front-line Cossacks, a turning point gradually came, it began to speak more and more actively against the violence and arbitrariness of the new government. If in January 1918, the ataman Dutov, under pressure from the Soviet troops, left Orenburg, and he had barely three hundred active fighters, then on the night of April 4, more than 1000 Cossacks made an attack on the sleeping Orenburg, and on July 3 power again in Orenburg passed into the hands of the chieftain.
In the area of the Ural Cossacks, resistance proceeded more successfully, despite the small size of the Army. Uralsk was not occupied by the Bolsheviks. Since the beginning of the birth of Bolshevism, the Ural Cossacks did not accept its ideology and, in March, the local Bolshevik revolutionary committees easily dispersed. The main reasons were that there were no nonresident people among the Urals, there was a lot of land, and the Cossacks were Old Believers, who kept their religious and moral principles more strictly. Cossack areas of Asian Russia in general occupied a special position. All of them were few in composition, most of them historically formed under special conditions by state measures, for purposes of state necessity, and their historical existence was determined by insignificant terms. Despite the fact that these troops did not have well-established Cossack traditions, attitudes and skills to the forms of statehood, they all turned out to be hostile to the advancing Bolshevism. In the middle of April, 1918, from Manchuria in Transbaikalia, troops of Ataman Semyonov launched an offensive around 1000 bayonets and sabers against 5,5 thousands of Reds. At the same time, the uprising of the Trans-Baikal Cossacks began. By May, the troops of Semenov approached Chita, but they could not immediately take it. The fights between the Cossacks of Semenov and the red detachments, consisting mainly of former political prisoners and captured Hungarians, in the Transbaikalia went with varying success. However, in late July, the Cossacks defeated the red troops and 28 of August took Chita. Soon the Amur Cossacks drove the Bolsheviks out of their capital, Blagoveshchensk, and the Ussuri Cossacks took Khabarovsk. Thus, under the command of their atamans: Zabaikalsky-Semenov, Ussuriysky-Kalmykov, Semirechensky-Annenkov, Ural-Tolstova, Siberian-Ivanov, Orenburg-Dutov, Astrakhan-Prince Tundutov, they entered a decisive battle. In the fight against the Bolsheviks, the Cossack regions fought exclusively for their lands and the rule of law, and their actions, by definition, by historians, were in the nature of a partisan war.
Fig. 6 White Cossacks
A huge role throughout the Siberian railway track was played by the troops of the Czechoslovak legions, formed by the Russian government from Czech and Slovak prisoners of war, numbering up to 45 LLC man. By the beginning of the revolution, the Czech corps was standing in the rear of the South-Western Front in Ukraine. In the eyes of the Austro-Germans, legionnaires, like former prisoners of war, were traitors. When the Germans attacked Ukraine in March 1918, the Czechs put up strong resistance to them, but most Czechs did not see their place in Soviet Russia and wished to return to the European front. Under an agreement with the Bolsheviks, Czech echelons were sent to Siberia for boarding ships in Vladivostok and sending them to Europe. In addition to the Czechoslovakia, there were many captured Hungarians in Russia who mostly sympathized with red. With the Hungarians, the Czechoslovakians had a centuries-old and fierce hostility and enmity (as in this connection, one cannot recall the immortal works of J. Hasek). Due to the fear of attacks in the way of the Hungarian red units, the Czechs resolutely refused to obey the Bolshevik order to surrender all weapons, which is why the Czech legions were decided to disperse. They were divided into four groups with a distance between groups of trains in 1000 kilometers, so that the trains with the Czechs stretched across Siberia from the Volga to Transbaikalia. The Czech legions played a colossal role in the Russian civil war, since after their rebellion the struggle against the Soviets intensified sharply.
Fig. 7 Czech Legion on the way to Transsib
Despite the agreements, there were considerable misunderstandings in the relations between the Czechs, the Hungarians and the local revolutionary committees. As a result of 25 in May 1918, 4,5, thousands of Czechs rebelled in Mariinsk, and on May 26, the Hungarians provoked an uprising of 8,8 in thousands of Czechs in Chelyabinsk. Then, with the support of the Czechoslovak troops, the power of the Bolsheviks was overthrown by 26 May in Novikolayevsk, 29 May in Penza, 30 May in Syzran, 31 May in Tomsk and Kurgan, 7 June in Omsk, 8 June in Samara and 18 June in Krasnoyarsk. The formation of Russian military units began in the liberated areas. July 5 Russian and Czechoslovak troops occupy Ufa, and July YNK take 25. The Czechoslovak legionaries themselves at the end of the 1918 year began a gradual withdrawal to the Far East. But, participating in battles in the army of Kolchak, they will finally finish the withdrawal and go from Vladivostok to France only at the beginning of the 1920 year. In such conditions, the Russian white movement began in the Volga region and Siberia, not counting the independent actions of the Ural and Orenburg Cossack troops, who began the struggle against the Bolsheviks immediately after their coming to power. On June 8, a Constituent Assembly Committee (Komuch) was created in the Samara liberated from the Reds. He declared himself a temporary revolutionary power, which, having spread over the entire territory of Russia, was to transfer the control of the country to the legally elected Constituent Assembly. The rising population of the Volga region began a successful struggle against the Bolsheviks, but in the liberated places the administration was in the hands of the fleeing fragments of the Provisional Government. These heirs and participants of the destructive activity, having formed the government, carried out the same pernicious work. At the same time, Komuch created his own armed forces - the People's Army. 9 June in Samara, a detachment in 350 man began to command Lieutenant Colonel Kappel. The replenished squad in mid-June takes Syzran, Stavropol Volzhsky (now Togliatti), and also inflicts a heavy defeat in red near Melekes. July 21 Kappel takes Simbirsk, defeating the superior forces of the Soviet city commander Guy defending the city. As a result, by the beginning of August 1918, the territory of the Constituent Assembly extends from west to east on the 750 versts from Syzran to Zlatoust, from north to south on the 500 versts from Simbirsk to Volsk. On August 7, the troops of Kappel, after having crushed the red river flotilla that had come out towards them, took Kazan to the mouth of the Kama. There, they capture part of the gold reserves of the Russian Empire (650 million gold rubles in coins, 100 million rubles by credit signs, gold bars, platinum and other valuables), as well as huge warehouses with weapons, ammunition, medicines, ammunition. This gave the Samara government a solid financial and material base. With the capture of Kazan, the full-staff Academy in the city of General Staff, headed by General A. I. Andogsky, entered the anti-Bolshevik camp.
Fig. 8 Hero Komucha Lt. Col. Kappel V.O.
In Yekaterinburg, a government of industrialists was formed, in Omsk, a Siberian government, in Chita, the government of Ataman Semyonov, who led the Trans-Baikal army. The Allies dominated Vladivostok. Then General Horvain arrived from Harbin, and as many as three authorities were formed: from the Allies' appointees, General Horvath, and from the board of the railway. Such fragmentation of the anti-Bolshevik front in the east required unification, and a meeting was convened in Ufa to select a single authoritative state authority. The situation in parts of the anti-Bolshevik forces was unfavorable. The Czechs did not want to fight in Russia and demanded that they be sent to the European fronts against the Germans. There was no confidence in the Siberian government and members of Komuch among the troops and among the people. In addition, the representative of England, General Knox, said that until a firm government was created, the delivery of supplies from the British would be stopped. Under these conditions, Admiral Kolchak joined the government and in the fall he made a coup and was proclaimed head of the government and supreme commander with the transfer of all his power.
In the south of Russia, events developed as follows. After being red at the start of Novocherkassk’s 1918, the Volunteer Army retreated to the Kuban. During the march to Ekaterinodar, the army, having endured all the difficulties of the winter campaign, later called the “ice march”, continuously fought. After the death of General Kornilov, who was killed near Yekaterinodar on 31 of March (13 of April), the army again broke through with a large number of prisoners to the territory of the Don, where by then the Cossacks revolted against the Bolsheviks and began clearing their territory. The army only by May got into conditions that allowed it to rest and replenish for further struggle against the Bolsheviks. Although the relationship between the command of the Volunteer Army and the German army was irreconcilable, it did not have the means of armament and tearfully begged the ataman Krasnov to send the Volunteer army the weapons, shells and ammunition he received from the German army. Ataman Krasnov, in his colorful expression, receiving military equipment from hostile Germans, washed them in the clear waters of the Don and transferred part of the Volunteer Army. Kuban was still occupied by the Bolsheviks. In the Kuban region, the gap with the center, which occurred in the Don due to the collapse of the Provisional Government, occurred earlier and sharper. Even 5 of October, with a decisive protest of the Provisional Government, the regional Cossack glad took a decision on the allocation of the territory in an independent Kuban republic. At the same time, only the Cossack, the mountain population and the old-age peasants were given the right to choose the self-government body, that is, almost half of the region’s population was deprived of voting rights. At the head of the socialist government was a military ataman, colonel Filimonov. The discord between the Cossack and non-resident population took more and more acute forms. Not only non-resident population, but also front-line Cossacks, were against the Rada and the government. Bolshevism came to this mass. The Kuban units, returning from the front, did not go to war against the government, did not want to fight the Bolsheviks, and did not obey the orders of their elected government. An attempt to model the Don on the basis of "parity" ended in the same paralysis of power. Everywhere, in every village, village, a red guard from non-resident gathered, a part of the front-line Cossacks, poorly subordinate to the center, but following exactly his policy, joined them. These undisciplined, but well-armed and violent gangs set about planting Soviet power, redistributing the land, withdrawing grain surpluses and socializing, and simply plundering the well-to-do Cossacks and decapitating the Cossacks — persecuting officers, non-Bolshevik intelligentsia, priests, authoritative old men. And above all to disarmament. It is surprising that the Cossack villages, shelves and batteries gave up their rifles, machine guns, and guns with complete nonresistance. When the stanitsas of the Yeisk Department revolted in late April, it was a completely unarmed militia. The Cossacks had no more than a hundred 10 rifles, the rest were armed with what they could. Some attached daggers or scythes to long sticks, others took pitchforks, others spears, and others simply shovels and axes. Punitive detachments with ... Cossack weapons came out against defenseless villages. By the beginning of April, all villages of other cities and 85 from 87 villages were Bolshevik. But the Bolshevism of the villages was purely external. Often, only the names changed: the ataman became a commissar, the stanitsa gathering - by the council, the stanitsa government - by the party.
Where executive committees were seized from other cities, there was a sabotage of their decisions, re-electing every week. There was a stubborn, but passive, without enthusiasm and enthusiasm, the struggle of the age-old structure of the Cossack democracy and life with the new government. There was a desire to preserve the Cossack democracy, but there was no daring. All this, in addition, was heavily mixed in on the pro-Ukrainian separatism of the part of the Cossacks who had Dnieper roots. The pro-Ukrainian leader Luka Bych, who was at the head of the Rada, said: "To help the Volunteer Army is to prepare Russia for the absorption of the Kuban again." Under these conditions, Ataman Shkuro assembled the first partisan detachment located in the region of Stavropol, where the Council met, stepped up the struggle and presented an ultimatum to the Council. The uprising of the Kuban Cossacks quickly gained momentum. In June, the 8 thousandth Volunteer Army began its second campaign against the Kuban who had completely rebelled against the Bolsheviks. This time, White was lucky. General Denikin consistently defeated Kalnin’s thousandth army under White Clay and Tikhoretskaya 30, then in the fierce battle near Yekaterinodar, 30, the thousandth army of Sorokin. July 21 white occupies Stavropol, and August 17 Ekaterinodar. Blocked on the Taman Peninsula, the 30 thousandth grouping of Reds under the command of Kovtyukh, the so-called "Taman Army", along the Black Sea coast with fights, breaks through the Kuban River, where the remnants of the defeated armies of Kalnin and Sorokin fled. By the end of August, the territory of the Kuban army was completely cleared of the Bolsheviks, and the number of the white army reached 40 thousand bayonets and sabers. However, having entered the territory of the Kuban, Denikin issued a decree addressed to the Kuban chieftain and the government, demanding:
- full tension from the Kuban for his speedy release from the Bolsheviks
- all the primary units of the Kuban military forces must henceforth be part of the Volunteer Army to perform national tasks
- in the future by the liberated Kuban Cossacks no separatism should be manifested.
Such a blatant interference by the command of the Volunteer Army in the internal affairs of the Kuban Cossacks was negative. General Denikin led an army that did not have a certain territory, a people under his control and, even worse, a political ideology. The commander of the Don Army, General Denisov, in his hearts even called the volunteers "wandering musicians." The ideas of General Denikin focused on the armed struggle. Not having sufficient funds for this, General Denikin demanded that the Cossack regions of the Don and the Kuban be subordinated to him for the struggle. Don was in better conditions and absolutely not bound by Denikin’s instructions. The German army was perceived on the Don as a real force, helping to get rid of Bolshevik domination and terror. The Don government entered into contact with the German command and established fruitful cooperation. Relations with the Germans turned into a purely business form. The exchange rate of the German mark in 75 kopecks of the Don currency was established, the rate of the Russian rifle with 30 cartridges in one pood of wheat or rye was made, other supply agreements were concluded. For the first month and a half, the Don army received from the German army: 11 651 rifle, 88 machine guns, 46 troops, 109 thousands of artillery shells, 11,5 millions of rifle cartridges, from which were transferred to the Volunteer Army 35 thousands of artillery shells and manufacured ammunition shells and manufacterers of numerical artillery shells, thousands of artillery shells, and 9 rifle cartridges. At the same time, the whole shame of peaceful relations with an implacable opponent fell solely on the ataman Krasnov. As for the High Command, then, according to the laws of the Don Army, it could only belong to the Military Ataman, and before his election, to the traveling Ataman. This discrepancy led to the fact that Don demanded the return of all Donians from the Donor Army. Relations between Don and Dobromrmiya were not allied, but relations of fellow travelers.
In addition to tactics, there were also large discrepancies in the white movement in strategy, politics, and war aims. The goal of the Cossack masses was to liberate their land from the invasion of the Bolsheviks, establish order in their area and provide the Russian people with the opportunity to arrange their own destiny. Meanwhile, the forms of civil war and the organization of the armed forces returned military art in the era of the XIX century. The successes of the troops then depended solely on the qualities of the commander who directly controlled the troops. Good commanders of the XIX century, the main forces were not scattered, and directed to one main goal: the seizure of the political center of the enemy. With the seizure of the center, the paralysis of the government of the country takes place and the conduct of the war is complicated. Sovnarkom, who was sitting in Moscow, was in extremely difficult conditions, reminiscent of the position of Muscovite XIV-XV centuries, limited to the Oka and Volga rivers. Moscow was cut off from all types of supplies, and the goals of the Soviet rulers were limited to obtaining basic food and a piece of sustenance. In the pathetic calls of the leaders there were no longer high motives emanating from the ideas of Marx, they sounded cynical, figurative and simple, as they once sounded in the speeches of the national leader Pugachev: "Go, take everything and destroy everyone who stands in your way" . Commissar Bronstein (Trotsky) in his speech on 9 June 1918, pointed out simple and clear goals: “Comrades! Among all the questions that worry our hearts, there is one simple question - the question of our daily bread. Over all thoughts, over all our ideals, one concern now dominates, one anxiety: how to survive tomorrow. Everyone involuntarily thinks about himself, about his family ... My task is not to conduct only one campaign among you. We need to seriously talk about the food situation of the country. According to our statistics, in 17, the year of excess bread in those places that produce and export bread, was 882 LLC LLC poods. On the other hand, there are areas in the country where there is not enough bread. If you count, it turns out that they lack 322 LLC LLC poods. So, in one part of the country there are 882 LLC LLC pounds of excess, and in the other 322 LLC LLC poods are not enough ...
In the North Caucasus alone, there is now no less grain surplus than 140 000 000: we, in order to satisfy hunger, need the whole country 15 000 LLC pounds per month. So think for it: 140 000 000 pounds of surplus, located only in the North Caucasus, may be enough for ten months for the whole country. ... Let each of you now promise to provide immediate practical assistance in order for us to set up a campaign for bread. ” In fact, it was a direct call for robbery. Due to the complete lack of publicity, the paralysis of public life and the complete fragmentation of the country, the Bolsheviks nominated people for leadership positions for whom in normal conditions there is one place - a prison. Under such conditions, the task of the white command in the struggle against the Bolsheviks should have had the shortest goal of seizing Moscow, without being distracted by any other secondary tasks. And to accomplish this main task, it was necessary to attract the widest sections of the people, primarily the peasants. In reality, it was the opposite. Instead of going to Moscow, the volunteer army was firmly bogged down in the North Caucasus, the Ural-Siberian white troops could not get over the Volga. All the revolutionary changes beneficial to the peasants and the people, economic and political, were not recognized as whites. The first step of their civil representatives in the liberated territory was a decree repealing all orders issued by the Provisional Government and Council of People's Commissars, including those relating to property relations. General Denikin, having absolutely no plan to establish a new order capable of satisfying the population, consciously or unconsciously, wanted to return Russia to its original pre-revolutionary position, and the peasants were obliged to pay for the occupied lands to their former owners. After that, could whites rely on the support of their activities by peasants? Of course not. Cossacks also refused to go beyond the Don Cossacks. And they were right. Voronezh, Saratov and other peasants not only did not fight the Bolsheviks, but also went against the Cossacks. The Cossacks, not without difficulty, were able to cope with their Don peasants and non-townspeople, but they could not defeat the entire peasant central Russia and understood this perfectly.
As the Russian and non-Russian history shows us, when cardinal changes and decisions are required, we need not just people, but extraordinary personalities, which unfortunately did not turn out during the Russian timelessness. The country needed a power that could not only issue decrees, but also have wit and authority, so that these decrees were carried out by the people, preferably voluntarily. Such power does not depend on state forms, but is based, as a rule, solely on the abilities and authority of the leader. Bonaparte, having approved the power, did not look for any forms, but managed to force him to obey his will. He forced France to serve both the representatives of the Korolev levies and those who came from sans-culottes. There were no such consolidating personalities in the white and red movement and this led to an incredible split and bitterness in the ensuing civil war. But that's another story.
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