Semyon Ivanovich Aralov was the first head of the Soviet Red Army Intelligence Directorate and subsequently had a career in the Soviet diplomatic service. Aralov was born in the son of a wealthy merchant, he joined the Imperial Russian Army in 1905 and during the First World War he was promoted to the rank of Major in the Military Intelligence department. He participated in the October Revolution Aralov was a founding member of the Cheka and in January 1918 he was appointed head of the Moscow Military District. Trotsky sent him to Siberia to lead negotiations with the Czech Legion. By September 1918 he was appointed to the Military Revolutionary Committee and in charge of hostage taking, whereby the Red Army seized family members of former Tsarist officers whose loyalty they doubted; when the Registration Unit, as the Red Army Intelligence Directorate was called, was founded in October 1918, he was the head, joining Trotsky and Jukums Vācietis on the Executive Bureau of the Defence Council. In July 1920 Aralov relinquished his role as head of the GRU taking up an operational role as head of intelligence with the 12th Army and between 1921 and 1927 interspersed his role as deputy head with various foreign assignments under diplomatic cover.
This included working as ambassador to Lithuania and Turkey before going to China as an ambassador to Chiang Kai-shek's Kuomintang Government. His subsequent diplomatic career included postings in the United States and Japan. During the purges of 1937, he was dismissed from all intelligence posts. However, he was able to gain the post of a deputy director of the Literature Museum, he volunteered for service in the Second World War at age 60 in 1941 and was discharged in 1946. He was involved in Communist Party work until retiring in 1957, he was interred at the Novodevichy Cemetery. Secret Soldiers of the Revolution by Raymond W. Leonard, Greenwood Press 1999 Leaders of Soviet Military Intelligence accessed 28 March 2009
Battle of the Caucasus
The Battle of the Caucasus is a name given to a series of Axis and Soviet operations in the Caucasus area on the Eastern Front of World War II. On 25 July 1942, German troops captured Rostov-on-Don, opening the Caucasus region of the southern Soviet Union, the oil fields beyond at Maikop and Baku, to the Germans. Two days prior, Adolf Hitler issued a directive to launch such an operation into the Caucasus region, to be named Operation Edelweiß. German forces were compelled to withdraw from the area that winter as Operation Little Saturn threatened to cut them off. North Caucasian Front - until September 1942 Transcaucasian Front Black Sea Fleet Azov Sea Flotilla Army Group A - General Field Marshal Wilhelm List 1st Panzer Army- General Paul von Kleist 17th Army - Colonel-General Richard Ruoff 3rd Romanian Army - General Petre Dumitrescu Operation Edelweiss, named after the mountain flower, was a German plan to gain control over the Caucasus and capture the oil fields of Baku during the Soviet-German War.
The operation was authorised by Hitler on 23 July 1942. The main forces included Army Group A commanded by Wilhelm List, 1st Panzer Army, 4th Panzer Army, 17th Army, part of the Luftflotte 4 and the 3rd Romanian Army. Army Group A was supported to the east by Army Group B commanded by Fedor von Bock and by the remaining 4th Air Fleet aircraft; the land forces, accompanied by 15,000 oil industry workers, included 167,000 troopers, 4,540 guns and 1,130 tanks. Several oil firms such as "German Oil on Caucasus", "Ost-Öl" and "Karpaten-Öl" had been established in Germany, they were awarded an exclusive 99-year lease to exploit the Caucasian oil fields. For this purpose, a large number of pipes—which proved useful to Soviet oil industry workers—were delivered. A special economic inspection "A", headed by Lieutenant-General Nidenfuhr was created. Bombing of the oil fields was forbidden. To defend them from destruction by Soviet units under the command of Nikolai Baibakov and Semyon Budyonny, an SS guard regiment and a Cossack regiment were formed.
The head of the Abwehr developed Operation Schamil, which called for landing in the Grozny and Maikop regions. They would be supported by the local fifth column. After neutralizing the Soviet counter-attack in the Izyum-Barvenkovsk direction the German Army Group A attacked towards the Caucasus; when Rostov-on-Don, nicknamed "The Gates of Caucasus," fell on 23 July 1942, the tank units of Ewald von Kleist moved across the Caucasian Mountain Range. The "Edelweiss" division commander, Hubert Lanz, decided to advance through the gorges of rivers of the Kuban River basin and by crossing the Marukhskiy Pass, Uchkulan reach the Klukhorskiy Pass, through the Khotyu-tau Pass block the upper reaches of the Baksan River and the Donguz-Orun and Becho passes. Concurrently with the outflanking maneuvers, the Caucasian Mountain Range was supposed to be crossed through such passes as Sancharo and Marukhskiy to reach Kutaisi, Zugdidi and the Soviet Georgian capital city of Tbilisi; the units of the 4th German Mountain Division, manned with Tyroleans, were active in this thrust.
They succeeded in advancing 30 km toward Sukhumi. To attack from the Kuban region, capture the passes that led to Elbrus, cover the "Edelweiss" flank, a vanguard detachment of 150 men commanded by Captain Heinz Groth, was formed. From the Old Karachay through the Khurzuk aul and the Ullu-kam Gorge the detachment reached the Khotyu-tau Pass, which had not been defended by the Soviet troops. Khotyu-tau gained a new name — "The Pass of General Konrad"; the starting point of the operation on the Krasnodar-Pyatigorsk-Maikop line was reached on 10 August 1942. On 16 August the battalion commanded by von Hirschfeld reached the Kadar Gorge. On 21 August troops from the 1st Mountain Division planted the flag of Nazi Germany on the summit of Mount Elbrus, the highest peak in the Caucasus and Europe. 3 August 1942 - Wehrmacht takes Stavropol 10 August 1942 - Wehrmacht takes Maykop 12 August 1942 - Wehrmacht takes Krasnodar 25 August 1942 - Wehrmacht takes Mozdok 11 September 1942 - Wehrmacht and Romanian Army take Novorossiysk End of September 1942 - Wehrmacht blitzkrieg stopped at two Chechen-Ingush ASSR towns: Malgobek and Ordzhonikidze There were no military operations in the region in 1941.
But the region was affected by warfare elsewhere in the Soviet Union. In his memoirs, Soviet Transcaucasian Front commander Ivan Tiulenev recounts how thousands of civilians attempted to flee from Ukraine to the comparatively safe Caspian ports, such as Makhachkala and Baku; the Caucasus area became a new area of industry when 226 factories were evacuated there during the industrial evacuations undertaken by the Soviet Union in 1941. After the Grozny to Kiev line was captured during Axis advances, a new link between Moscow and Transcaucasia was established with the construction of the new railway line running from Baku to Orsk, bypassing the front line Grozny, while a shipping line was maintained over the Caspian Sea through the town of Krasnovodsk in Turkmenistan. In 1942, the German Army launched Operation Edelweiss, aimed at advancing to the oil field of Azerbaijan; the German offensive slowed as it entered the mountains in the southern Caucasus and did not reach all of its 1942 objectives.
After the Soviet breakthroughs in the region around Stali
Ivano-Frankivsk is a historic city located in Western Ukraine. It is the administrative centre of Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast. Administratively, it is designated as a city of regional significance within the oblast, together with a number of rural localities, is incorporated as Ivano-Frankivsk Municipality. Population: 230,929 . Built in the mid-17th century as a fortress of the Polish Potocki family, Stanisławów was annexed to the Habsburg Empire during the First Partition of Poland in 1772, after which it became the property of the State within the Austrian Empire; the fortress was transformed into one of the most prominent cities at the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains. After World War I, for several months, it served as a temporary capital of the West Ukrainian People's Republic. Following Peace of Riga, Stanisławów became part of the Second Polish Republic. After the Soviet invasion of Poland at the onset of World War II, the city was annexed by the Soviet Union, only to be occupied by Nazi Germany two years later.
With the liberation of Soviet Ukraine in 1944 and the shifting of borders, the Communist regime ran the city for the next four-and-a-half decades. A few years before the fall of the Soviet Union, the blue-yellow flag was raised in the city as the symbol of an independent Ukraine. A city visitor may find elements of various cultures intertwined within Ivano-Frankivsk, the Polish city hall, the Austro-Hungarian city's business center, the Soviet prefabicated apartment blocks at the city's rural–urban fringe, others. Ivano-Frankivsk is one of the principal cities of the Carpathian Euroregion. Stanisławów was founded as a fortress and was named after the Polish hetman Stanisław "Rewera" Potocki; some sources claim. Following the First Partition of Poland in 1772, the name was transliterated as Stanislau in German, as the city became part of the Austrian Empire. Other spellings used in the local press media included: Russian: Станиславов and Yiddish: סטאַניסלאוו. After World War II it was changed by the Soviet authorities into a simplified version Stanislav.
In 1962, on the city's 300th anniversary, it was renamed to honor the Ukrainian writer Ivan Franko. Due to the city's wordy name, unofficially it is sometimes called Franyk by its residents. Though Ivano-Frankivsk is the accepted name, the city's original name has never been abandoned and/or forgotten and can be found throughout the city in all kinds of variations; the name of the city was altered several times through the centuries. It was founded as Stanisławów. In 1939 transliteration changed to Stanislav, in 1941 in 1944 again to Stanislav, and on November 9, 1962, the name was changed by the First Secretary Nikita Khrushchev as an honour to poet Ivan Franko. The town of Stanisławów was founded as a fortress in order to protect the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth from Tatar invasions and to defend the multi-ethnic population of the region in case of armed conflicts such as the Khmelnytsky Uprising of 1648; the fort was built next to Zabolotiv village, Knyahynyn. The village of Zabolotiv and the land around it were purchased by Andrzej Potocki from another Polish nobleman, Rzeczkowski.
Stanisławów was issued by Potocki and his declaration establishing the city with Magdeburg rights on May 7, 1662. By 1672, the fortress had been rebuilt from wood to stone and mortar. A new large fortified Potocki palace was erected in the place of an older wood structure. Today this building serves as the military hospital. In the same year Jews were granted the right to become permanent residents, who could work, conduct commerce and travel in and out of the city as they pleased; the city was divided into two districts: Tysmenytsia and Halych. Sometime in 1817–1819 the neighbouring village of Zabolottya, that had a special status, was incorporated into the city as a new district, while Tysmenytsia district was divided into Tysmenytsia and Lysets districts; each district had its main street corresponded with its name: Halych Street, Tysmenytsia Street which today is Independence Street, Zabolotiv Street – Mykhailo Hrushevsky Street and Street of Vasylyanok, Lysets Street – Hetman Mazepa Street.
The city was split into six small districts: midtown where the rich Catholic population and patricians lived and four suburbs – Zabolotiv, Tysmenytsia and Lysets where the plebeians lived. In October 1918, the Austro-Hungarian Empire collapsed and the Western Ukrainian People's Republic was proclaimed. In the early months of 1919 the city became a temporary capital of the West Ukrainian National Republic, while still recovering from World War I. All state affairs took place in the building of Dnister Hot
Uman is a city located in Cherkasy Oblast in central Ukraine, to the east of Vinnytsia. Located in the historical region of the eastern Podolia, the city rests on the banks of the Umanka River at around 48°45′N 30°13′E. Uman serves as the administrative center of Uman Raion, but is designated as a city of oblast significance and does not belong to the raion. Population: 85,473 Among Ukrainians, Uman is known for its depiction of the Haidamak rebellions in Taras Shevchenko's longest of poems, Haidamaky; the city is a pilgrimage site for Breslov Hasidic Jews and a major center of gardening research containing the dendrological park Sofiyivka and the University of Gardening. Uman was a owned city of Poland and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Uman was first mentioned in historical documents in 1616, it was part of the Bracław Voivodeship of the Lesser Poland Province of the Polish Crown. Its role at this time was as a defensive fort to withstand Tatar raids, containing a prominent Cossack regiment, stationed within the town.
In 1648 it was taken from the Poles by Ivan Hanzha, colonel to Cossack leader Bohdan Khmelnytsky, Uman was converted to the administrative center of cossack regiment for the region. Poland retook Uman in 1667, after which the town was deserted by many of its residents who fled eastward to Left-bank Ukraine. From 1670–1674, Uman was a residence to the Hetman of right-bank Ukraine. Under the ownership of the Potocki family of Polish nobles Uman grew in economic and cultural importance. A Basilian monastery and school were established in this time; the Uman region was site of haidamaky uprisings in 1734, 1750, 1768. Notably during the latter, Cossack rebels Maksym Zalizniak and Ivan Gonta captured Uman during the Koliyivshchyna uprising against Polish rule. During this revolt, a massacre took place against Jews and Ukrainian Uniates. On the first day large numbers of Ukrainians deserted the ranks of Polish forces and joined the rebels when the city was surrounded. Thousands from the surrounding areas fled to the Cossack garrison in Uman for protection.
The military commander of Uman, betrayed the city's Jews and allowed the pursuing Cossacks in, in exchange for clemency towards the Polish population. In the span of three days an estimated 20,000 Poles and Jews were slain with extreme cruelty, according to numerous Polish sources, with one source giving an estimate of 2,000 casualties. Uman's modern coat-of-arms commemorates the event depicting a "Koliy" rebel armed with a spear. With the 1793 Second Partition of Poland, Uman became part of the Russian Empire and a number of aristocratic residences were built there. In 1795 Uman became a povit/uezd center in Voznesensk Governorate, in 1797, in Kiev Governorate. Into the 20th century, Uman was linked by rail to Kiev and Odessa, leading to rapid development of its industrial sector, its population grew from 10,100 in 1860 to 29,900 in 1900 and over 50,000 in 1914. According to the Russian census of 1897, Uman with a population of 31,016 was the second largest city of Podolia after Kamianets-Podilskyi.
In 1941, the Battle of Uman took place in the vicinity of the town, where the German army encircled Soviet positions. Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini visited Uman in 1941. Uman was occupied by German forces from August 1, 1941 to March 10, 1944. Today the city has optical and farm-machinery plants, a cannery, a brewery, a vitamin factory, a sewing factory, a footwear factory, other industrial enterprises, its highest educational institutions are the Uman National University of Horticulture and the Uman State Pedagogical University. The main architectural monuments are the catacombs of the old fortress, the Basilian monastery, the city hall, the Dormition Roman Catholic church in the Classicist style, 19th-century trading stalls. Uman's landmark is a famous park complex, founded in 1796 by Count Stanisław Szczęsny Potocki, a Polish noble, who named it for his wife Sofia; the park features a number of waterfalls and narrow, arching stone bridges crossing the streams and scenic ravines. A large Jewish community lived in Uman in the 19th centuries.
During the Second World War, in 1941, the Battle of Uman took place in the vicinity of the town, where the German army encircled Soviet positions. The Germans deported the entire Jewish community, murdering some 17,000 Jews, destroyed the Jewish cemetery, burial place of the victims of the 1768 uprising as well as Rebbe Nachman of Breslov. Since the 1990s there has been a small, but growing, Jewish population in Uman, concentrated around Rebbe Nachman of Breslov tomb in Pushkina street; the local Jews are involved in pilgrimage of Jewish tourists that arrive to the town. In 2018 the community saw large growth with about 10-20 families coming from Israel, accompanied by a small movement of young American couples. Newcomers to the city are concentrating with some toward Nova Uman area. In conjunction with this growth in the community, a new school of Yiddish was established. If current trends continue, there will continue to be improvement of the Jewish community in Uman; every Rosh Hashana, there is a major pilgrimage by tens of thousands of Hasidim and others from around the world to the burial site of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, located on the former site of the Jewish cemetery in a rebuilt synagogue.
Rebbe Nachman spent the last five months of his life in Uman, requested t
Russian 102nd Military Base
The Russian 102nd Military Base known as the 102nd Military Base of the Group of Russian Forces in Transcaucasia is a Russian military base in Gyumri, part of the Transcaucasian Group of Forces. It was the base of the 127th Motor Rifle Division of the Soviet Seventh Guards Army; the base is about 120 kilometers north of Yerevan. The base traces its history to the 261st Rifle Division of the Soviet Union's Red Army; the 261st Rifle Division began forming on 18 July 1941 at Berdiansk in the Odessa Military District. It was made up from a combination of reservists and volunteers, its basic order of battle was as follows: 974th Rifle Regiment 976th Rifle Regiment 978th Rifle Regiment 809th Artillery RegimentThe division went into Southern Front in August, first as part of 6th Army, but was reassigned to 12th Army, in the same Front, by September 1, it remained with that Army up to at least August 1942 but was assigned to the Transcaucasian Front's Black Sea Group of Forces. It spent much of the part of World War II, from January 1, 1943, onwards with the small 45th Army of the Transcaucasian Front, guarding the Soviet borders with Turkey.
After the war ended, the 261st Rifle Division was transferred to Leninakan. It became. On 25 June 1957, it became the 127th Motor Rifle Division. In April 1990, the division's 120th Guards Tank Regiment was divided into the 116th Separate Guards Tank Battalion and the 1360th Motor Rifle Regiment. On 21 August 1992, it became the 102nd Military Base, the first numbered military base of the Russian Ground Forces. By the mid-late 1990s the composition of the 127th Motor Rifle Division had changed, following the departure of the majority of the Soviet forces from Armenia, it consisted of the 123rd, 124th, 128th Motor Rifle Regiments, the 992nd Artillery Regiment, the 116th Independent Tank Battalion. The 123rd Motor Rifle Regiment was formed from the former 164th Motor Rifle Division stationed in Armenia. There are 3,000 Russian soldiers reported to be stationed at the 102nd Military Base located in Gyumri. In early 2005, the 102nd Military Base had 74 tanks, 17 infantry fighting vehicles, 148 armored personnel carriers, 84 artillery pieces, 18 MiG-29 fighters and several batteries of S-300 anti-aircraft missiles.
A great deal of military hardware has been moved to the 102nd Base from the Russian 12th Military Base in Batumi and the Russian 62nd Military Base in Akhalkalaki, Georgia which includes 35 tanks and armored vehicles and 370 pieces of military hardware. The military base is part of a joint air defense system of the Commonwealth of Independent States, deployed in Armenia in 1995. Furthermore, the Armenian Air Force relies upon the Russian MiG-29s located at the military base, for the defense of Armenia's airspace; the Russian military base was deployed on the territory of Armenia as early as 1996. The bilateral treaty states that the Russian military will be in the base for 25 years, but Armenian authorities have said that if needed this time-frame can be reviewed, in the direction of prolongation. Although Russia does not pay the Armenian government for the military base stationed in Gyumri, the Armenian side takes care of all public utilities water, etc. In 1997, Armenia and Russia signed a far-reaching friendship treaty, which calls for mutual assistance in the event of a military threat to either party and allows Russian border guards to patrol Armenia’s frontiers with Turkey and Iran.
In August 2003 the base's commanding officer, General Major Alexander Titov, was dismissed for not maintaining military discipline and allowing corruption and the sale of state equipment. In early 2009, the motorized arm of the base was divided two separate motor rifle brigades. In 2013, the chief commander of 102nd military base Andrey Ruzinsky said in an interview that "If Azerbaijan decides to restore jurisdiction over Nagorno-Karabakh by force the military base may join in the armed conflict in accordance with the Russian Federation’s obligations within the framework of the Collective Security Treaty Organization." A special five-year agreement concluded with Georgia on March 31, 2006, allowed Russia access to the 102nd Military Base through Georgia's land and airspace. The agreement prohibited Russia from handing over any armament transited through Georgian territory to a third country and from transiting biological, nuclear or chemical substances, as well as weapons of mass destruction or their components.
It further stipulated that the amount of military cargo should have been agreed between Russia and Georgia one year in advance. Furthermore, Georgia could refuse the transit if it posed a threat to its national security or if the final destination of the transited military cargo was a location within a conflict zone or a warring state. In December 2006, Russia accused Georgia of "sabotaging" the cargoes destined for the 102nd Military Base; the transit of Russian military personnel and cargo was suspended by the government of Georgia in the aftermath of the 2008 war with Russia. Upon expiration of its five-year term, on April 19, 2011, the Parliament of Georgia annulled the 2006 agreement with Russia; the question about the presence of the Russian military base in Armenia has been raised in the European Commission. Some argue that the presence of the base serves an obstacle to Western investment and reforms and that the Armenian public and
Soviet invasion of Poland
The Soviet invasion of Poland was a military operation by the Soviet Union without a formal declaration of war. On 17 September 1939, the Soviet Union invaded Poland from the east, sixteen days after Germany invaded Poland from the west. Subsequent military operations lasted for the following 20 days and ended on 6 October 1939 with the two-way division and annexation of the entire territory of the Second Polish Republic by Germany and the Soviet Union; the Soviet invasion of Poland was secretly approved by Germany following the signing of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact on 23 August 1939. The Red Army, which vastly outnumbered the Polish defenders, achieved its targets encountering only limited resistance; some 320,000 Polish prisoners of war had been captured. The campaign of mass persecution in the newly acquired areas began immediately. In November 1939 the Soviet government ostensibly annexed the entire Polish territory under its control; some 13.5 million Polish citizens who fell under the military occupation were made into new Soviet subjects following show elections conducted by the NKVD secret police in the atmosphere of terror, the results of which were used to legitimize the use of force.
A Soviet campaign of political murders and other forms of repression, targeting Polish figures of authority such as military officers and priests, began with a wave of arrests and summary executions. The Soviet NKVD sent hundreds of thousands of people from eastern Poland to Siberia and other remote parts of the Soviet Union in four major waves of deportation between 1939 and 1941. Soviet forces occupied eastern Poland until the summer of 1941, when they were driven out by the German army in the course of Operation Barbarossa; the area was under German occupation until the Red Army reconquered it in the summer of 1944. An agreement at the Yalta Conference permitted the Soviet Union to annex all of their Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact portion of the Second Polish Republic, compensating the People's Republic of Poland with the southern half of East Prussia and territories east of the Oder–Neisse line; the Soviet Union enclosed most of the conquered annexed territories into the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic and the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic.
After the end of World War II in Europe, the USSR signed a new border agreement with the Soviet-backed and installed Polish communist puppet state on 16 August 1945. This agreement recognized the status quo as the new official border between the two countries with the exception of the region around Białystok and a minor part of Galicia east of the San river around Przemyśl, which were returned to Poland. Several months before the invasion, in early 1939 the Soviet Union began strategic alliance negotiations with the United Kingdom, France and Romania against the crash militarization of Nazi Germany under Adolf Hitler; the USSR played a double game by secretly engaging in parallel talks with Germany. The negotiations with the Western democracies failed much to soviet disappointment:when the Soviet Union insisted that Poland and Romania give Soviet troops transit rights through their territory as part of a collective security arrangement; the terms were rejected, thus giving Josef Stalin a free hand in pursuing the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact with Adolf Hitler, signed on 23 August 1939.
The non-aggression pact contained a secret protocol dividing Northern and Eastern Europe into German and Soviet spheres of influence in the event of war. One week after the signing of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, German forces invaded Poland from the west and south on 1 September 1939. Polish forces withdrew to the southeast where they prepared for a long defence of the Romanian Bridgehead and awaited the French and British support and relief that they were expecting. On 17 September 1939 the Soviet Red Army invaded the Kresy regions in accordance with the secret protocol. At the opening of hostilities several Polish cities including Dubno, Łuck and Włodzimierz Wołyński let the Red Army in peacefully, convinced that it was marching on in order to fight the Germans. General Juliusz Rómmel of the Polish Army issued an unauthorised order to treat them like an ally before it was too late; the Soviet government announced it was acting to protect the Ukrainians and Belarusians who lived in the eastern part of Poland, because the Polish state – according to Soviet propaganda – had collapsed in the face of the Nazi German attack and could no longer guarantee the security of its own citizens.
Facing a second front, the Polish government concluded that the defence of the Romanian Bridgehead was no longer feasible and ordered an emergency evacuation of all uniformed troops to then-neutral Romania. The result of the Paris Peace Conference did little to decrease the territorial ambitions of parties in the region. Józef Piłsudski sought to expand the Polish borders as far east as possible in an attempt to create a Polish-led federation to counter any potential imperialist intentions on the part of Russia or Germany. At the same time, the Bolsheviks began to gain the upper hand in the Russian Civil War and started to advance westward towards the disputed territories with the intent of assisting other Communist movements in Western Europe; the border skirmishes of 1919 progressively escalated into the Polish–Soviet War in 1920. Following the Polish victory at the Battle of Warsaw, the Soviets sued for peace and the war ended with an armistice in October 1920; the parties signed the formal peace treaty, the Peace of Riga, on 18 March 1921, dividing the disputed territories between Poland and Soviet Russia.
In an action that determined the Soviet-Polish border during the interwar period, the Soviets offered the Polish peace delegation territorial concessions in the contested borderland areas resembling the border between th
Russian Civil War
The Russian Civil War was a multi-party war in the former Russian Empire after the two Russian Revolutions of 1917, as many factions vied to determine Russia's political future. The two largest combatant groups were the Red Army, fighting for the Bolshevik form of socialism led by Vladimir Lenin, the loosely allied forces known as the White Army, which included diverse interests favouring political monarchism, economic capitalism and alternative forms of socialism, each with democratic and anti-democratic variants. In addition, rival militant socialists and non-ideological Green armies fought against both the Bolsheviks and the Whites. Eight foreign nations intervened against the Red Army, notably the former Allied military forces from the World War and the pro-German armies; the Red Army defeated the White Armed Forces of South Russia in Ukraine and the army led by Admiral Aleksandr Kolchak to the east in Siberia in 1919. The remains of the White forces commanded by Pyotr Nikolayevich Wrangel were beaten in Crimea and evacuated in late 1920.
Lesser battles of the war continued on the periphery for two more years, minor skirmishes with the remnants of the White forces in the Far East continued well into 1923. The war ended in 1923 in the sense that Bolshevik communist control of the newly formed Soviet Union was now assured, although armed national resistance in Central Asia was not crushed until 1934. There were an estimated 7,000,000–12,000,000 casualties during the war civilians; the Russian Civil War has been described by some as the greatest national catastrophe that Europe had yet seen. Many pro-independence movements emerged after the break-up of the Russian Empire and fought in the war. Several parts of the former Russian Empire—Finland, Latvia and Poland—were established as sovereign states, with their own civil wars and wars of independence; the rest of the former Russian Empire was consolidated into the Soviet Union shortly afterwards. After the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, the Russian Provisional Government was established during the February Revolution of 1917.
Provisional Government was unable to solve the most pressing issues of the country, most to end the war with Central Powers, was overthrown by the Bolshevik wing of Russian Social Democratic Labour Party in the late 1917. From mid-1917 onwards, the Russian Army, the successor-organisation of the old Russian Imperial Army, started to disintegrate. In January 1918, after significant Bolshevik reverses in combat, the future People's Commissar for Military and Naval Affairs, Leon Trotsky headed the reorganization of the Red Guards into a Workers' and Peasants' Red Army in order to create a more effective fighting force; the Bolsheviks appointed political commissars to each unit of the Red Army to maintain morale and to ensure loyalty. In June 1918, when it had become apparent that a revolutionary army composed of workers would not suffice, Trotsky instituted mandatory conscription of the rural peasantry into the Red Army; the Bolsheviks overcame opposition of rural Russians to Red-Army conscription units by taking hostages and shooting them when necessary in order to force compliance the same practices used by the White Army officers.
The Red Army utilized former Tsarist officers as "military specialists". At the start of the civil war, former Tsarist officers comprised three-quarters of the Red Army officer-corps. By its end, 83% of all Red Army divisional and corps commanders were ex-Tsarist soldiers. While resistance to the Red Guard began on the day after the Bolshevik uprising, the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk and the instinct of one party rule became a catalyst for the formation of anti-Bolshevik groups both inside and outside Russia, pushing them into action against the new regime. A loose confederation of anti-Bolshevik forces aligned against the Communist government, including landowners, conservatives, middle-class citizens, pro-monarchists, army generals, non-Bolshevik socialists who still had grievances and democratic reformists voluntarily united only in their opposition to Bolshevik rule, their military forces, bolstered by forced conscriptions and terror as well as foreign influence, under the leadership of General Nikolai Yudenich, Admiral Alexander Kolchak and General Anton Denikin, became known as the White movement and controlled significant parts of the former Russian Empire for most of the war.
A Ukrainian nationalist movement was active in Ukraine during the war. More significant was the emergence of an anarchist political and military movement known as the Revolutionary Insurrectionary Army of Ukraine or the Anarchist Black Army led by Nestor Makhno; the Black Army, which counted numerous Jews and Ukrainian peasants in its ranks, played a key part in halting Denikin's White Army offensive towards Moscow during 1919 ejecting White forces from Crimea. The remoteness of the Volga Region, the Ural Region and the Far East was favorable for the anti-Bolshevik forces, the Whites set up a number of organizations in the cities of these regions; some of the military forces were set up on the basis of clandestine officers' organizations in the cities. The Czechoslovak Legions had been part of the Russian army and numbered around 30,000 troops by October 1917, they had an agreement with the new Bolshevik governmen