Who knows about the Ossetian war? And about the Karabakh war? Everything? And how was the first Chechen war lost, and how was the second won? I'm talking about those that happened in 1920 year. Do you want to know what will end the war in the Donbas and Ukraine? Then you need to study very well. history first civil war in Russia, which like two drops of water repeats the current situation.
The first civil war in Russia was so similar to modernity that many people are trying to forget it today. Forget that inconvenient analogies and comparisons are not made, and that no far-reaching conclusions are made on the basis of them. Each of the participants and trends of mixed ethnic groups, Bolsheviks, White Guards and interventionists in that first Civil War have their own prototypes today. Yes, and the problems of the war was similar to the present. The same problems give rise to the same solutions that have already been found once.
What ruined the Russian Empire
The reasons why the Romanovs' 300-year-old empire fell was a mass, and in this article it is pointless to dwell on them. Because, in fact, its foreign "partners" split it on one basis - the national one. Everything else was just the background and part of the search within Russia for the path that we should go on.
To verify this, just look at the political map of the year 1918. Poland, due to the German occupation, actually fell out of the empire, and in its depths were preparing forces ready to begin to restore the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth "From Sea to Sea". Finland quickly went into free swimming, simultaneously destroying the "Russian invaders" where they sluggishly risked lingering. In Ukraine (about which more detailed below), following the impotent Central Rada, Germany brought Hetman Skoropadsky to power. At the same time, the Belarusian People’s Republic was proclaimed, but the Kaiser also did not need her services, and therefore she was not able to express herself fully. The Baltic States, as at the beginning of 1990, quietly separated themselves, and began to eradicate the remnants of a "totalitarian past." Transcaucasia immediately plunged into a series of internecine wars (Azeris and Armenians habitually slaughtered each other in Karabakh during their independence) from which there was no way out. And the Georgians tried to solve the Abkhaz and Ossetian problems that they had immediately after the coordination of territorial issues in the south. In the spaces of the newly annexed Central Asia, with the help of "English comrades", "independent" emirs, who did not want any republics, but simply wanted power independent from anyone, lifted their heads.
All this happened before General Denikin or Admiral Kolchak appeared on the political arena, and even before the Czechoslovak Corps launched its famous uprising.
The role of Kiev in the Civil War
Kiev was the third largest city in the empire. It was from here that “Christianity went”, it was Kiev princes who first united Russia, and by the beginning of the 20 century, the city had grown into a rather large industrial and commercial center. And besides, it was around Kiev that they managed to create the most powerful national "minority" of the Russian empire, which declared its independence. 30 of millions of Ukrainians - that's exactly what was written then.
Yes, I was not mistaken. For some reason in Russia it is considered that in the 1918 year in Ukraine everyone considered themselves to be Little Russians or Russians, and only stupid Bolsheviks consciously created this “problem” for themselves - Ukrainians. Here is a census of Kiev residents for March 1919, where the population itself determined who they were and who they felt like:
If anything, everything is taken hence.
As we understand, the main "sermon" on the education of Ukrainians was much earlier: at the end of 19, the beginning of 20 centuries. An indirect confirmation of this is the belated and ineffective actions of the central government to limit the spread of such a phenomenon as “Ukrainian nationalism” (it is clear that at that time it was called differently).
The first such documents appeared in 1870's. That is, before the UNR was still 40 years. At the same time, it is noteworthy that only an insignificantly small part of Kiev residents in 1919 (less than 10%) owned Ukrainian grammar (ibid.). And what about the Bolsheviks - they simply headed the process (in this case, it’s not good or bad). It is important to note that the nationalization of Ukraine began long before the fall of tsarism and that the Central Council and the attempt to oppose Ukraine and Russia were well prepared for several decades.
At the same time, it is possible to say with 100% that in 1919, Kiev was for the most part a Russian city.
It was he who, according to the German plan, was to become “Anti-Russia”. Rather, the center of pro-German Russia, which no longer matters how is it called: Kievan Rus, Ukraine, or Hetmanat Skoropadsky. The main thing is to never again have the idea of combining these two parts. That is why he didn’t complain about the accelerated consciousness of the Ukrainian nation and the search for points of separation of society.
Moreover, in Great Russia itself, then matters with the national question were not important. She threatened to break up into several warring states with (just do not laugh) different nations: Cossacks, Siberians, Vyatchevs, Kuryans, Permians, etc.
Great Russia or Russia
Strange question? It is today, but if we figure out the terms and find out what 100 was meant by them years ago, we will again see the modern problem of Russia.
“With Germany or with Russia” is a little-known geopolitical sketch of the situation in the middle of 1918, published in Petrograd, in which the author pays much attention not only to the division of the empire and the separation from it of “national suburbs”, but also talks about the “intra-national” split in Great Russia.
Moreover, the author deliberately contrasts the concept of Great Russia and Russia, implying at the same time completely different concepts.
Having translated it into modern concepts, it is synonymous with the Russian Federation (Great Russia) and a certain Union of Nations (Russia).
So, Siberians, Perm citizens, Vyatichi, kurians. The question of the Don, Kuban and Crimea in the work of a contemporary VI. Lenin was generally raised on the basis of their “national” autonomy. That is how Russia lived then. Internal disorganization of political life and at the same time not a word about the white movement, which was only created underground. Perhaps to some citizens, the war that would break out in just a few months seemed then also impossible, just like the war in the Donbas for the people of Ukraine in December of 2013. Russia's political thought lived with problems, how to live on with those countries that were already formed: Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, Poland. Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan (I give their modern names for a better understanding). Their existence has already become a fact, and the probability of their absorption back (as it seemed at the time) was tending to zero.
I repeat, at the time, and this is interesting. Until the refusal of the German attack on Marne in July 1918 of the year, it was believed that by the end of the year Germany would finish the allies and impose a world advantageous for them. No wonder that the French themselves then called their victory "a miracle on the Marne."
The very end of the book is also remarkable, where the author gives his assessment of the processes that took place at that time:
“And if it was a historical crime of the Russian social forces that they could not put the limit of oppression by the authorities in the old days, it would be a completely irreparable trouble if these forces are currently in the net, or, even worse, if they embark on the path of betrayal of small nations, on the path of salvation of one Great Russia, at the cost of betraying the cause of Russia, on the path of "Great Russian separatism", alas, no less real and effective than the separatism of the marginal peoples. "
Familiar picture? Is not it?
By the way, the independence of Chechnya was proclaimed in the years of the civil war. At first it was the North Caucasus Emirate, headed by Emir Imam Sheikh Uzun-Haji. And then there was a rebellion of the Highlanders headed by Seyid-Sheikh (a descendant of Shamil). Everything is as it should be with the cutting out of all the Russians who did not run away, with awkward attempts to pacify - in December 1920 of the year. To suppress the rebels, an army was thrown from the 9 of thousands of soldiers of the Red Army, who were stopped everywhere and thrown back with the loss of only those killed and only for the last month of that fatal year, 1372 people. And then it began: in 1922, the population of the region was allocated 110,5 thousand pounds of grain, 150 thousand pounds of oil. 1 billion rubles was allocated for the restoration of the economy. Nothing like? What about the inclusion of the most influential imams in 1924 in the revolutionary committees and executive committees? All this was the reason that by the end of 1925, the war in Chechnya was over.
So the picture of correspondences, the further - the fuller. There will be more.
European Union and Middle Europe
And what is this “Middle Europe”, so often mentioned in the book, but unknown to us in history?
As we understand, at that time, without the existence of a Eurocentric idea, no split in the Russian Empire was possible. Only the creation of a powerful pole of attraction in the West could give the nationalists enough strength to resist the old imperial center. And such a center at the end of 1917 of the year was Kaiser Germany, in the depths of which the idea of “Middle Europe” was born in 1915.
This concept is unfairly forgotten today, became the basis of the worldview of German politicians from Kaiser Wilhelm to Adolf Hitler (a man whose propaganda is prohibited in the Russian Federation).
That is why so often in the book 1918 of the year (link above) we read about “Central Europe”. Then it was not just a trend. At that time, it was considered only a matter of time to create it. The authors of the concept believed that for the common good it was only necessary to find a place for all the peoples of Europe in this education and under the leadership of Germany (Chapter “German orientation and“ Middle Europe ”).
Basically, after the collapse of Kaiser Germany, this concept was developed and developed by the outstanding German geopolitics Karl Haushofer (1869-1946). It was he who introduced such a concept, the axis Berlin-Moscow-Tokyo and its opposition in the form of "Great Sushi" to "Great Islands" in the person of Britain and the USA. All European countries, except Britain and, possibly, Scandinavia, should have entered this union, and its basis should be: “Middle Europe”, “Heartland” (Eurasia) and the Japanese Empire, which at that time was considered the full owner in the Far East . The new union of three equal centers of power was to become the basis of an invincible world order. But he did not, because the "Great Islands" were quick.
By the way, the author of this theory did not like the Fuhrer Adolf very much and considered him a poorly-educated upstart, who led Germany in the wrong direction. His son was shot in the case of the attempted assassination of Hitler, and he was in a concentration camp until the end of the war.
Meanwhile, without Britain, the idea of the EU degenerated into the concept of "Central Europe". How it is all modern and interesting.
Two stages of the victory of the Bolsheviks in the Civil War.
Suppression of internal Russian separatism and the creation of a unifying idea.
If we look at the history of the Civil War 1917-21, we will encounter some discrepancies with its official assessment.
We will see a bloody clash between supporters of reds and whites on the territory of modern Russia and those territories that climbed into this confrontation: the Cossack territories of Asia and southern Russia, Donetsk-Krivoi Rog Republic, Crimea, Tavria.
It was generally completed by the start of the 1920 of the year, and only Crimea was taken a little later.
Having defeated the internal opposition and having become stronger, the government of the RSFSR proceeded to the second stage of the civil war: the return of the “marginal lands”, which had fallen away during this new Russian turmoil. There, the war took a completely different turn: hybrid - a combination of diplomacy, agitation and pinpoint strikes.
An example of such operations is the landing of parts of the Red Army in Baku (1920) to help the “insurgent Azerbaijani people.” The coming to power of a revolutionary government in Armenia in December 1920, and in Georgia, the analogies were just ridiculously similar to the recent history of the post-Soviet space:
Already 28 May 1918, Georgia and Germany signed an agreement under which the three-thousandth expeditionary force under the command of Friedrich Kress von Kressenstein was transferred by sea from the Crimea to the Georgian port of Poti; it was subsequently reinforced by German troops transferred here from Ukraine and Syria, as well as by liberated German prisoners of war and mobilized by German colonists. United German-Georgian garrisons were deployed in various parts of Georgia; Germany’s military aid in June 1918 eliminated the threat from the Russian Bolsheviks, who proclaimed Soviet power in Abkhazia.
About the analogies of a hundred years ago the South Ossetian conflict can be found here. Wikipedia
Now it is clear from what the Russian army saved the Ossetians in 2008 year? It all ended with a lightning campaign of the Red Army in February 1921 of the year on Tiflis and the establishment of Soviet power there.
Nothing like that? If this were all, I would not write this article.
From a completely different angle, I propose to consider the seemingly well-studied Soviet-Polish 1919-21 war.
To begin with the list of participants. "For Poland" fought: the Polish Republic, the Ukrainian People's Republic, the Belarusian People's Republic, the Republic of Latvia with their full military and technical support from the governments of the Entente.
Regarding BNR, you can simply read the mass of available materials and see how similar these two sisters were then (Belarus and Ukraine). Create something similar in 1990-s prevented the "last dictator of Europe" Alexander Lukashenko. That is why, unlike Ukraine, the merging of the “BNR governments in exile” and the “democratic government” in Minsk in a single ecstasy did not happen.
The creation of an independent Ukraine under the German protectorate in 1918 and the center of German influence based on it on the western borders of Russia failed. The power of the Rada, and then of the hetman, fell along with German power, and Ukrainian “statehood” fell into complete insanity.
Only the creation of a new center of forces in Warsaw and the defeat of the Galicians of ZUNR by the army of Pilsudski allowed the Entente countries to think about creating a new belt of independent states against the still weak Russia by the beginning of 1919, the main objectives of which were war with the RSFSR or the whites.
Whoever wins, this belt would be hostile to the new Russia, and so it was valuable.
Poland and its younger allies, Ukraine, Byelorussia, and Latvia, had to become the main strike force against Russia. Lithuania, for obvious reasons, could not be. We again saw the familiar picture of the confrontation, where the role of cannon fodder by the West today is assigned to Ukraine.
Isn't it because Poland understands this well, they so zealously support the nationalist Ukraine. They understand that if the regime in Kiev falls, then they will have to become the “shield of Europe” against Russia - with all the ensuing consequences.
The campaign of the Red Army in Warsaw in 1920 failed, and finally all questions of the civil war were lifted only in 1939-40, when Soviet units were met with flowers in Tallinn, Riga, Vilna and even Lviv.
This is a historical fact, and the enthusiasm of the local population about it at that time was not disputed by anyone. Then there were the SS division "Galicia" and many similar units in the Baltic States, but this is another story that has not yet logically ended.
It is precisely by implying the difficulty of solving the arisen national problems in Ukraine and Belarus, the Transcaucasus and Central Asia, as well as the unresolved nature of this problem following the civil war, which forced the government in Moscow to give the green light to the creation of the USSR as a union of republics, not autonomies within the RSFSR .
In relation to the Ukrainian SSR it will be interesting to consider the example of the Donetsk-Krivoy Rog Republic. In order to strengthen the influence of an element foreign to Ukrainian nationalism throughout Ukraine, at the "suggestion" of the head of the Council of People's Commissars and the Council of Defense of the RSFSR, VI. Lenin in February 1919 of the year, its structure included (without the consent of the population and with some opposition from the local authorities) the territory of Donetsk-Krivoy Rog Republic. And the capital of the Ukrainian SSR, before 1932, was in Kharkov - in the city, where the Soviet (pro-Russian) Ukraine, alternative to nationalist, was proclaimed.
An interesting way to solve the "Donetsk-Ukrainian" conflict? And 100 years ago, it was resolved that way.
That's all. It's time to start drawing conclusions.
Findings. We will never be brothers?
As we saw in the mass of examples above, the scenario of the Civil War in Russia 1917— ... is remarkably similar to the scenario of today's confrontation (1991- ...). The same painful nodal points and the same problems. Matches sometimes just to the smallest detail. And when some very “patriotic” citizens along both lines of the front really want to read aloud the poem of Anastasia Dmitruk again and again “We will never be brothers”, I want to ask them: “What do you understand in civil wars and how well do you know your story? "