Kontinuum der Gewalt: Der Norden Russlands 1914–1920
The Archangelsk Governorate was only a fraction of the European front during the First World War. But this ostensibly marginal region is representative for Russia. Neither the year 1917 nor the year 1918 represented a turning point. The First World War, the Revolution, and the Civil War were so tightly interwoven that contemporaries saw these periods as one continuum. Practices from the World War were transferred to the Civil War, military force turned into paramilitary violence, and veterans returning from the front waged various overlapping conflicts.
This article analyzes grass-root politics in the Russian Civil War, challenging the traditional assumption that the Bolsheviks with their program of radical revolutionary change enjoyed greater popularity than their White adversaries. On the example of the Northern region, it demonstrates that the local «counter-revolutionary» government commanded considerable sympathies of the provincial population. This popularity was based on the government's ability to supply the population of this non-agricultural province with imported grain, to provide military protection and arms for self-defense. Ultimately, the article strives to explain the outcome of the Civil War not by conflicting ideologies and policies, but by practical circumstances and local factors that on a grass-root level conditioned changing political loyalties.
Since the fall of Communism in the Soviet Union the historiography of revolutionary Russia has developed a distinct provincial turn. The opening of Soviet central and provincial archives provided new research opportunities to historians. Numerous articles and volumes focusing on Russia’s provinces have since appeared on both sides of the former Soviet border, and the historiography of the Russian revolution matured with an accelerated speed to account for multiple local variables. The understanding of multiplicity of local experiences profoundly changed and challenged the historical interpretations of the crisis that played out in Russia from 1917 to 1921. The article discusses the variety of local revolutionary experiences as they are revealed in recent historiography, but also focuses on some larger themes and issues where this regional perspective provides new insights and affects the general understanding of the Russian revolution. In particular, it discusses the factors contributing to the disintegration and reconstruction of the state, including the patterns and meaning of power in a provincial context, mechanisms of popular mobilization in the civil-war period including in Russia’s non-Russian regions, as well as transition to peace.
The chapter examines the origins of Jewish pogroms during the Civil War in Russia (1918-1921), shows the genetic connection between the "military pogroms" of the World War I and pogroms of the Civil War. Among other issues, the article analyzes the motive of a "shot in the back" as a pretext for pogroms.
An analysis of the historical basis of Benya Krik (1926) film after I. Babel's script, directed by V. Vilner. More precisely, an analysis of how art transforms reality and then, in turn, forms our perceptions about historical reality. The film was quickly taken off the screen for 'poeticizing banditism'. The prototype for Benya Krik, the character of Babel's Oddesa Tales, is Mishka the Japanese. It was a nickname of Moisei Vinnitskiy - an Odessa raider and a commander of a Red Army unit, who was in the end killed in a Cheka operation.