Russia’s Red Revolutionary and White Terror, 1917–1921: a Provincial Perspective
This essay re-examines White and Red terror during the Russian Civil War by studying public participation in the acts of political violence. It shifts attention from the ideological and political motifs of terror to places and contexts where violence occurred. On the example of paramilitary groups of White and Red partisans in Arkhangel’sk province in the Russian North, it demonstrates how local factors, such as the nearby frontline, poor economic conditions or traditional enmity between neighboring communities contributed to the escalation of terror on a grass-root level.
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.
Article analyzes the position of famous naturalist Vladimir Vernadsky in period 1917-1918, and his active participation in the reorganization of university education in Petrograd Provisional government , and in revolutionary Kiev . Vernadsky opponents in Kiev were as nationally minded Ukrainian intellectuals (like historian Hrushevsky ) and conservative professors former Imperial University of St.. Vladimir in Kiev . These contradictions and conflicts affected and then on different assessments " academic revolution " in Kiev and Ukraine among Ukrainian and Russian emigration after 1922.
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.
This volume presents a series of essays from leading international scholars that expand our understanding of the Russian Revolution through the detailed study of specific localities. Answering the important question of how locality affected the revolutionary experience, these essays provide regional snapshots from across Russia that highlight important themes of the revolution. Drawing on new empirical research from local archives, the authors contribute to the larger historiographic debates on the social and political meaning of the Russian revolution as well as the nature of the Russian state. Russia’s Revolution in Regional Perspective highlights several important themes of the period that are reflected in this volume: a multitudinal state, the fluidity of party politics, the importance of violence as an historical agent, individual experiences, and the importance of economics and social forces. We reconceptualize developments in Russia between 1914 and 1922 as a kaleidoscopic process whose dynamic was not solely determined in the capitals.
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.