Russian Civil War

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The Russian Civil War (Russian: Гражданская война в России) was a war in parts of the former Russian Empire between the Red Army and counter-revolutionary White Army. Imperialists from 14 foreign countries including the United States also intervened in the war to help the Whites.

October Revolution

On 7 November [O.S. 25 October], the Bolsheviks overthrew the Russian Republic led by Alexander Kerensky, and Kerensky fled from the Winter Palace in Petrograd to Pskov. The Menshevik Voitinsky had proposed sending troops to aid the provisional government in Petrograd but was removed in a no-confidence vote. Nikolai Kishkin from the Constitutional Democratic Party was then appointed as dictator and refrained from sending troops to Petrograd.[1]

Civil war

White General Alexander Kolchak in Omsk was declared Supreme Ruler of Russia. He advanced towards the Volga in the spring of 1919 but was defeated in April by the Red Army and retreated into Siberia. The Bolsheviks captured and executed Kolchak at the end of 1919.

Anton Denikin began an offensive against the Bolsheviks in the summer of 1920 in southern Russia.[2]


British and French intervention

In December 1917, the United States authorized aid to anti-communist forces in southern Russia and the Caucasus.[3]

In the first half of 1918, British and French forces invaded northwest Russia and occupied Arkhangelsk and Murmansk, overthrew the soviets in the area, and established the counterrevolutionary Government of North Russia. The British and French also supported White generals Kornilov, Alexeyev, and Denikin in the North Caucasus. In the Volga region and Siberia, they organized a revolt of Czechoslovak prisoners of war who had recently been released by the Soviet government.[2]

German intervention

Germany supported Generals Krasnov and Mamontov in organizing a revolt of the Don Cossacks and occupied the Don region and Ukraine.[2]

Japanese intervention

In January 1918, Japanese forces on the cruiser Iwami invaded Vladivostok. They were followed by a British vessel, a Statesian cruiser, and another Japanese cruiser.[4] Japanese intervention in the Far East continued until 1922.[2]

Polish intervention

See main article: Polish–Soviet War

In April 1920, Poland under the right-wing nationalist Józef Piłsudski invaded Soviet Ukraine and occupied Kiev.[2]


  1. E. Yaroslavsky, et al. (1946). The History of the Civil War in the U.S.S.R: 'The Suppression of the Anti-Soviet Mutiny'. [PDF]
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Joseph Stalin (1939). History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Bolsheviks): 'The Bolshevik Party in the Period of Foreign Military Intervention and Civil War'. [PDF] New York City: International Publishers. [MIA]
  3. David S. Foglesong (1995). America's Secret War against Bolshevism: 'The British Connection' (p. 76). [PDF] University of North Carolina Press.
  4. V. Parfenov (1941). The Intervention in Siberia (1918–1922): 'Preparation for Intervention' (p. 8). [PDF] New York City: Workers Literary Publishers, Inc..