2. Russia (1904-1922)

 

Crisis Phase (July 28, 1904-December 8, 1917): Viacheslav Plehve, Czar Nicholas II’s Minister of the Interior, was assassinated by revolutionaries on July 28, 1904. Some 80,000 Russian workers went on strike in St. Petersburg on January 7, 1905. Russian troops fired on a demonstration led by Father Gapon in front of the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg on January 9, 1905, resulting in the deaths of some 200 individuals. Government troops fired on demonstrators in Riga, Latvia on January 13, 1905, resulting in the deaths of 70 individuals. Government troops fired on demonstrators in Warsaw, Poland on January 14, 1905, resulting in the deaths of 93 individuals. Some 2,000 Jews were killed by government troops in Odessa on the Black Sea in June 1905. Government troops fired on demonstrators in Reval, Estonia on October 16, 1905, resulting in the deaths of 150 individuals. Russian workers went on strike in St. Petersburg from October 20-30, 1905. On October 30, 1905, Czar Nicholas II issued the October Manifesto, which granted the country a constitution and an elected parliament. Some 4,000 Jews were killed in pogroms in October and November 1905. Sergei Witt was appointed as prime minister, and he ordered the arrest of 190 members of the St. Petersburg soviet (council) on December 16, 1905. Russian workers rebelled against the government in Moscow on December 15, 1905, but the rebellion was suppressed by government troops on January 1, 1906. Some 1,000 individuals were killed during the Moscow rebellion, and some 20,000 individuals were killed in political violence in 1905 and 1906. Parliamentary elections were held on April 4, 1906, and the Constitutional Democrats (Kadets) won 180 out of 524 seats in the Russian Duma (parliament). Prime Minister Witt was dismissed on May 2, 1906, and Ivan Goremykin was appointed as prime minister on May 3, 1906. The Russian Duma convened on May 10, 1906. Some 100 Jews were killed in a pogrom in Bialystok on June 14-15, 1906. Czar Nicholas II dissolved the Russian Duma on July 21, 1906. The Russian Duma reconvened from March 5 to June 16, 1907. The Third Duma convened between November 1, 1907 and June 21, 1912. Some 780 Russians were executed for anti-government activities in 1908. Prime Minister Peter Stolypin was shot by an anarchist in Kiev on September 14, 1911, and he died on September 18, 1911. Vladimir Kokovtsev was appointed as prime minister on September 19, 1911. The Bolsheviks split from the RSDP in January 1912. Some 170 Russian workers were killed during demonstrations against the government in Siberia in April 1912. Muslim nationalists in Turkestan rebelled against the government in 1916, but the rebellion was suppressed by Russian government troops. Some 3,733 Russian civilians, 275 government troops, and 5,000 Muslims were killed during the rebellion. Russian workers and soldiers demonstrated and rioted in opposition to the government in Petrograd on February 23-27, 1917, resulting in the deaths of some 1,500 individuals. Czar Nicholas II suspended the Duma on February 26, 1917, and Prince Golitsyn resigned as chairman of the Council of Ministers on February 27, 1917. Russians demonstrated against the government of Czar Nicholas II in Petrograd on February 26-27, 1917, resulting in the deaths of 587 demonstrators and 728 Russian soldiers. Some 40 Russian naval officers were killed during a rebellion at the Kronstadt naval base on February 28, 1917. Czar Nicholas II abdicated in favor of his brother, Grand Duke Mikhail Aleksandrovich, on March 2, 1917 (Grand Duke Mikhail Aleksandrovich abdicated on March 3, 1917). The Russian Duma established a provisional government headed by Prince George Yevgenyevich Lvov on March 2, 1917. Vladimir Lenin returned to Petrograd from exile in Switzerland on April 3, 1917. The provisional government suppressed an attempted rebellion by the Bolsheviks in Petrograd on July 3-5, 1917, and Vladimir Lenin fled to Finland. Prime Minister Lvov resigned on July 7, 1917, and he was replaced by Minister of War Aleksandr Kerensky on July 8, 1917. General Lavr Kornilov unsuccessfully attempted to overthrow the government of Prime Minister Kerensky on August 24-28, 1917. Bolsheviks revolted against the provisional government on October 24-25, 1917, resulting in the deaths of five individuals. The Council of People’s Commissars (CPC) headed by Vladimir Lenin took control of the government on October 26, 1917. Elections for the Constituent Assembly were held on November 12, 1917, and the Social Revolutionaries (SR) won 420 seats. The Bolsheviks won 225 seats in the Constituent Assembly. Some 35,000 individuals were killed during the crisis.

Conflict Phase (December 9, 1917-November 16, 1920): General A.M. Kaledin and General Lavr Kornilov led a Don Cossack rebellion against the Bolshevik government in southern Russia beginning on December 9, 1917. The Constituent Assembly convened in Petrograd on January 5, 1918, but the Bolsheviks dissolved the Constituent Assembly on January 6, 1918. The Bolshevik government nationalized all agricultural land on February 19, 1918. The Bolshevik government moved to Moscow on March 12, 1918, and Leon Trotsky was appointed as Commissar of War on April 13, 1918. Japanese and British troops occupied Vladivostok in eastern Russia (Siberia) on April 5, 1918. General Anton Denikin took command of the anti-Bolshevik troops in southern Russia after the death of General Kornilov on April 13, 1918. Czech troops, which were a part of French military, rebelled against the Bolshevik government on May 26, 1918. Czech troops captured Samara on June 8, 1918, and the SR formed a government in opposition to the Bolshevik government in Samara on June 9, 1918. The British, French, and US governments agreed to intervene on behalf of the anti-Bolsheviks in northern Russia on June 3, 1918, and British troops commanded by General Edmund Ironside occupied Murmansk on June 23, 1918. Some 5,000 US troops were deployed in northern Russia. The Russian Soviet Federal Socialist Republic (RSFSR) adopted a constitution on July 10, 1918. Czar Nicholas II and his family were executed by Bolshevik officials in Ekaterinburg on July 17, 1918. British and French troops occupied Archangel on August 2, 1918. Some 10,000 US troops landed at Vladivostok in eastern Siberia on August 10, 1918, and the troops guarded the Trans-Siberian railway from Lake Baikal to Vladivostok (joining 4,000 Canadian, 3,000 French, and 2,000 British troops). Vladimir Lenin survived an attempted assassination by a member of the SR party on August 30, 1918. Bolshevik troops captured Samara on October 2, 1918. Admiral Alexander Kolchak established an anti-Bolshevik government in Omsk in eastern Russia in November 1918. Admiral Kolchak’s troops captured Perm from the Bolsheviks in December 1918. Bolshevik troops captured Kiev, Ukraine on February 6, 1919. General Denikin assumed command of anti-Bolshevik troops in southeastern Russia on February 15, 1919. French troops, which had intervened in the Ukraine beginning in 1918, were withdrawn from Odessa on April 5, 1919 (French troops were evacuated from Sevastopol on April 30, 1919). Bolshevik troops commanded by General Mikhail Tukhachevsky defeated Admiral Kolchak’s troops in southern Russia on May 4, 1919. General Denikin’s troops captured Odessa on August 23, 1919, and captured Kiev on August 31, 1919.  US troops withdrew from northern Russia on September 19, 1919.  Some 250 US troops died during the intervention in Russia. French and British troops were withdrawn from Murmansk in northern Russia on October 12, 1919. Bolshevik troops recaptured Kiev on December 16, 1919.  Admiral Kolchak resigned as commander of anti-Bolshevik troops on January 4, 1920, and he was executed by the Bolsheviks on February 4, 1920.  US troops began their withdrawal from eastern Russia (Vladivostok) on January 8, 1920.  Bolshevik troops captured Omsk on February 7, 1920.  Bolshevik troops attacked Nikolaevsk in eastern Russia in March 1920, resulting in the deaths of 700 Japanese troops and civilians and 6,000 Russian civilians.  Allied troops completed their withdrawal from eastern Russia in April 1920, although Japanese troops remained in eastern Russia until October 1922.  General Peter Wrangel assumed command of anti-Bolshevik troops in the Crimea on April 7, 1920. Britain appealed to the Russian government for a ceasefire on April 11, 1920, but Russia rejected the appeal on April 20, 1920. The US lifted economic sanctions (trade embargo) against Russia on July 8, 1920.  A. S. Antonov led a peasant rebellion against the Bolshevik government in the Tambov Province beginning in August 1920.  Some 5,000 peasants and 1,700 Bolsheviks were killed in the conflict, and some 2,500 peasants were executed following the suppression of the rebellion in August 1921.  General Wrangel’s troops were evacuated from the Crimea by British ships on November 11-16, 1920.  Some 25 million Russian civilians and 500,000 military personnel died during the conflict, and some one million Russians fled as refugees to other countries.

Post-Conflict Phase (November 17, 1920-December 30, 1922): Russian sailors at the Kronstadt naval base rebelled against the Bolshevik government beginning on February 23, 1921. Some 50,000 Bolshevik troops led by General Mikhail Tukhachevsky suppressed the rebellion on March 18, 1921, resulting in the deaths of some 600 rebels and 700 Bolshevik troops. Josef Stalin was appointed as general-secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) on April 3, 1922. The Bolshevik government established the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) on December 30, 1922.

[Sources: Bradley 1968; Clodfelter, 1992, 611-612, 615-618, 621, 622-623, 627; Ference, 1994, 337-391; Langer, 1972, 749-755, 1028-1036, 1214-1219; Lincoln 1989; Simpson, 1939, 62-116; Skran, 1995, 32-40.]