Timeline of the Russian Civil War

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Opposition and Repression - Nov 1917-May 1918
9th Dec Volunteer Army launches an attack on Rostov on behalf of the Don Cossack Ataman Kaledin. They capture Rostov after six days. Figes1996: p557.

5th Jan The day the Constituent Assembly is to open Petrograd is under marshal law. A demonstration in favor of the Constituent Assembly is fired - ten dead. The Assembly succeeds in passing the SR land law before it is dissolved by troops in the early hours of the following morning.Figes1996: p513-7

1918 Feb 1/14 Russian calendar moves forward 14 days.

25th Dec Bolsheviks capture the Don Cossack capital of Novocherkassk. Lenin declairs the Civil War over. Figes1996: p562.

18th Feb A week after Trotsky's refusal to sign an annexationist peace, the German Army launches an offensive. Russian troops offer only token resistance.Figes1996: p545.

3rd Mar A Bolsheviks delegation signs the dictated peace of Brest-Litovsk. Figes1996: p547-8.

10th Apr Volunteer Army, along with allied Kuban Cossacks, launch and attack on Ekaterinodar. This proves to be complete debacle in which Kornilov is killed. Figes1996: p564

1918 May 9th Bolshevik troops open fire on workers protesting at food shortages in the town of Kolpino

1917 14th-15th Dec A Congress of Regional Representatives decides to set up a Siberian regional Duma and resolves that a Siberian Regional government should be set up. Dotsenko: pp19-20

1918 Late Jan A government of Siberia chosen by the Siberian regional Duma. Dotsenko: p20

1918 6th Feb Bosheviks supress the Siberian regional Duma. Those arrested include Shatilov, a member of the newly chosen Siberian government. Dotsenko: pp20-21

Civil War -Socialist Revolutionary phase May 1918 -Sept 1918
8th Jun Czechs along with the local Socialist Revolutionary underground capture Samara. As a result, the KOMUCH (Committee of members of the Constituent Assembly) is set up. Figes1996: p577

1918 July The left SRs assassinate the German ambassador and are in turn crushed by the Bolsheviks.

4th July Fifth Soviet Congress opens with a large Left-SR delegation. The suspicion is that size the Bolshevik majority is the result of the packing of the Congress with Bolshevik supportersFiges1996: pp633

6th July The German Ambasador is assasinated by Left SRs. This leads to fighting in Moscow in which the Left SRs are defeatedFiges1996: pp633-5

July-Aug Some 200 uprisings against Bolshevik food brigades. Figes1996: pp619-20

7th Aug Kazan falls to KOMUCH forces under Kappel and the 1st Czech Regiment. Petroff2000: p76

10th Sept With troops taken from those facing the Germans the Bolsheviks take Kazan. Figes1996: p584

7th Oct Samara falls to the Bolsheviks. Figes1996: p584

14th May Soldiers of the Czech legion clash with some Magyars in Chelyabinsk. One Magyar is killed and the Czechs who are arrested are later freed by their comrades by force. Dotsenko: p26

25th May Trotsky issues an order by telegram to Soviets from Perm to Omsk to disarm the Czech Legion. Dotsenko: pp26-5

26th May The West Siberian Commisariat gives orders to its activists to underake an uprising against the Bolsheviks. Dotsenko: p28 & p146 Novonikolaevsk occupied by Czech and Russian troops while the Czechs take Mariinsk and Kansk. Dotsenko: p28

28th May The Tomsk Soviet abandons the city and sails off by river heading for Tiumen. Dotsenko: p28

7th June Omsk is abandoned by the Bolsheviks who depart by steamship. Dotsenko: p29

11th Aug The Siberian Government sets up the right wing dominated Administrative Council which allows the more left wing members of the Government to be marginalized. Petroff2000: p86

7th Sept The Siberian Government decrees that Administrive Council should act as a government until the Siberian government itself had a quorum. Dotsenko: p39

10th Sept Vologodsky asks Krutovsky to come back from the far East to take up his position. Krutovsky persuades two other members of the government, Novoselov and Shatilov, to return with him from the far East to Omsk. This will give the government a quorum and thus end the powers acquired by the Administrive Committee. Dotsenko: pp45-6

21st Sept Krutovsky, Novoselov and Shatilov, ministers of the Siberian Government, are arrested by a supporter of Mikhailov, the finance Minister, when on their arrival in Omsk. They are told to resign their posts. Krutovsky and Shatilov agree. Novoselov, refuses. He turns up later that day, hacked to death. Dotsenko: pp46-7

1918 22nd Sept Siberian Oblast Duma dismisses Mikhailov and is itself dispersed by Mikhailov

24th Sept The Directory is set up,Dotsenko: p149 a five person council of SRs and liberals which during its existance in Omsk fails to exercise real power. Figes1996: p585


Bolsheviks versus the Whites Nov 1918-Summer 1920
Jan Mensheviks legalised and Vsegda Vpered (banned since May 1918) granted a permit to publish.Brovkin, p29 Era of relative freedom begins in Bolshevik controlled Russia

1919 25 Feb The Cheka closes down Vsegda Vpered.Brovkin, p39 This marks a return to despotic rule by Bolsheviks.

13th June Denikin's forces swelled by large numbers of Cossacks break through the Bolsheviks and capture Kharkov. Figes1996: pp660-1

13th June Wrangel's Caucasian army along with British tanks captures Tsaritsyn (future Stalingrad). Figes1996: p661

3rd Jul Denikin issues a directive outlining a three pronged attack on Moscow: Wrangel from Tsaritsyn via Saratov, Sidorin via Voronezh and Mai-Maevsky leading the volunteer army via Orel. Wrangel denounces it as suicidal overeach. Figes1996: pp662-3

20th Sep Mai-Maevsky captures Kursk. Figes1996: p663

1-5th Oct Pogrom of White Cossacks against the Jews of Kiev. Figes1996: p678

10th Oct Yudenich, with forces till then holed up in Estonia mount an attack directed against Petrograd. Figes1996: p673

14th Oct Mai-Maevsky captures Orel. Figes1996: p663

20th Oct Yudenich's reach the Pulovo Heights just outside Petrograd. Figes1996: p673

21st Oct Start of the Bolshevik counter offensive against Yudenich with newly arrived troops from the south. Figes1996: p674

24th Oct White Cossacks abandon Voronezh with Red cavalry hot on their heels. Figes1996: p670

1920 27th Mar 50,000 Whites evacuated from Novorossiisk to the Crimea - large numbers are left behind. Figes1996: p679

25 Apr Poland invades Russia.

6th May Polish troops enter Kiev. Figes1996: p698

18th November After a coup has been organized against the Directory for his benfit Kolchak agreees to become "Supreme Ruler". Figes1996: pp586-7

24th Dec Bolshevik defese of Perm colapses with many of the defenders surendering to Kolchak's Whites. Figes1996: p653

March Major advances of Kolchak's forces. Figes1996: p653

28th Apr Bolshevik counter offensive under Frunze is launched against Kolchak. Figes1996: p653

26th July Kolchak's forces abandon Chelyabinsk. Dotsenko: p151

15th-20th Oct In battles over the Tobol and Ishim the Siberian Army for the last time offers serious resistance to the Bolsheviks. Dotsenko: p106 and p151

10th Nov Kolchak's forces abandon Omsk. Dotsenko: p151

23rd Dec SR-Menshevik "Political Committee" launch insurrection against Kolchak's commander, Sychev, in Irkutsk. Fleming: p184

15th Jan Kolchak handed over to the Political Committee in Irkutsk. Fleming: p197

20th Jan SR-Menshevik in Irkutsk hands over power to the Bolshevik RevKom. Fleming: p195

7th Feb Kolchak executed. Fleming: p215

The Green Revolt summer 1920 - summer 1921
20th Oct Bolshevik offensive against Wrangel launched. Figes1996: p719

14th The evacuation of Wrangel's forces from the Crimea completed. Figes1996: p719

1921 Feb Peasant unrest sweeps Russia. The Cheka lists 118 uprisings during the month. Key reason - the defeat of Whites means the Bolsheviks no longer have a greater evil to keep the populace in line. Read1996: p266

1921 Feb Forced Grain requesitioning ended - a concession to the peasantry that leads to the New Economic Policy Read1996: p272

22nd Feb Many Petrograd factories hold protest meetings with calls for free Elections to the Soviets and for the Constituent Assembly to be convened. Figes1996: p759

28th Feb The crew of the Petropavlovsk mutinies demanding free elections to the Soviets and free speech for all left-wing parties. Figes1996: p761

3rd Mar Five man Revolutionary committee elected in Kronstadt. Figes1996: p762

7th Mar Bolshevik assault on Kronstadt begins. Figes1996: p763

17th Mar Kronstadt falls. Many of the rebels will be executed later without trial.Figes1996: p767

1920 mid Aug The villages of Khitrova and Kamenka (in Tambov) drive out Bolshevik food collection brigades. There success in driving off militia attempting punishment attacks lead A. S. Antonov to join the rebellion with his 500 supporters. Read1996: p267

1921 6th May Tuhkachevsky takes command of Bolshevik forsces numbering 50,000 against the Tambov rebellion. Read1996: p271

1921 3rd June Tuhkachevsky has succesfully broken up the forces of the Tambov rebellion. Read1996: p271

1922 24th A. S. Antonov leader of the rebellion is cornered with his brother and shot. Read1996: p266

  • Figes1996: Orlando Figes: A People's Tragedy: The Russian Revolution, 1891-1924, 1996.
  • Dotsenko: The struggle for a democracy in Siberia, 1917-1920 : eyewitness account of a contemporary, Dotsenko, Paul, 1983
  • Read1996: From Tsar to Soviets: The Russian People and Their Revolution, 1917-21, by Christopher Read, 1996
  • Fleming: The Fate of Admiral Kolchak, by Peter Fleming, 2001 (originally published 1963)
  • Petroff2000: Remembering a Forgotten War, by Serg Petroff, 2000
  • Brovkin: Behind the Front Lines of the Civil WarBy Vladimir N. Brovkin