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Full-text Search for "Russian Civil War"

Russian Civil War definitions

Britannica Concise

Conflict between the newly formed Bolshevik government and its Red Army against the anti-Bolshevik forces in Russia. The unfavorable Treaty of Brest-Litovsk concluded with Germany caused the anti-Lenin socialists to break with the Bolsheviks and join the right-wing Whites and their volunteer army under A. Denikin. In an attempt to create another front in World War I, the Allies gave limited support to the Whites. The Moscow government responded to the growing anti-Bolshevik movement by expelling Menshevik and Social Revolutionary deputies from the government, and began a campaign of "Red terror" that gave increased powers to the secret police (Cheka) to arrest and execute suspects. While the Bolsheviks maintained control over the heart of the country, anti-Bolsheviks gained power in the Ukraine and Omsk, where A. Kolchak and other dissident groups joined together to fight the Red Army. Confused by the struggles between communists, Russian Whites, and Ukrainian nationalists, the Allies withdrew their support by 1919. After early military successes against the Red Army, the White forces under Kolchak were defeated by early 1920. Other White troops under N. Yudenich failed to take St. Petersburg. The last White stronghold in the Crimea under P. Wrangel, Denikin's successor, was defeated in November 1920, ending the Russian Civil War.

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