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The Russian Revolution in International Context, Part III.

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1 The Russian Revolution in International Context, Part III

2 How World War I changed the map of Europe http://www.the-map-as- http://www.the-map-as-

3 The Soviet-Polish war of 1919-1921: nationalism vs. export of revolution

4 Poland’s independence is recognized by the Soviet Government in 1918 At that time, Poland is occupied by German and Austro- Hungarian forces After World War I, Poland becomes fully independent under a nationalist government Western powers decide to use Poland as the key force against Russia

5 The issue: what lands should be included in the new Poland? Western powers: territories inhabited by ethnic Poles Poland: restoration of the Polish borders of 1772 (incorporating Ukrainian, Belarusian and Lithuanian lands) Poland’s calculation: Russia is wracked by Civil War, the West is on Poland’s side – a Greater Poland is possible!

6 Poland’s shifting borders, 1918-1922



9 Key battleground: disputed territories of Ukraine and Belarus Ukraine is in a civil war, split between Ukrainian Soviets, Ukrainian nationalists and the Greens; actions of White forces a major factor In 1919, Poland interferes in these struggles militarily against supporters of the Soviets Summer 1920 – full-fledged war between the Red Army and the Polish Army

10 Polish cavalry attack

11 52}52}. Polish Government information document prepared for Polish Army officers, March 1920: “The Head of State and the Government of Poland are seeking unconditional weakening of Russia… At the present time, the Polish Government intends to support the Ukrainian national movement in order to create an independent Ukrainian state and thereby substantially weaken Russia which would lose its richest territory in terms of grain and mineral resources. The key goal in creating an independent Ukraine is to build a barrier between Poland and Russia and to assure the transfer of Ukraine under Polish influence which would enable Poland’s economic and political expansion.”* *Михутина И.В. Некоторые проблемы истории польско-советской войны 1919—1920 гг. // Версаль и новая Восточная Европа. M., 1996, С. 165

12 “Locked within its 16 th century borders, cut off from the Black and Baltic Seas, deprived of its lands and mineral resources of the South and Southeast, Russia might well become a second-rate power incapable of presenting serious danger to Poland’s restored independence. Meanwhile, Poland as the biggest and strongest of the new states, might easily secure for itself a sphere of influence spreading from Finland to the Caucasus.” Jozef Pilsudski, Provisional Commander of the Second Polish Republic

13 Pilsudski in Minsk, Belarus

14 Polish war propaganda poster: “Kill the Bolshevik!”

15 Soviet war propaganda poster: “A French-trained pig wants to restore the 1772 borders”

16 Soviet war propaganda poster: “How the Lords’ adventure will end”

17 To the West! Soviet Communist Party daily Pravda, May 9, 1920 To the West, workers and peasants! Fight against the bourgeoisie and landowners, For the world revolution, For freedom of all peoples! Soldiers of workers’ revolution! Look westwards. It is in the West that the fate of the world revolution is decided. We will march over the corpse of White Poland to light the world fire. On our bayonets we will bring happiness and peace To the workers of the world. To the West! To decisive battles, to thunderous victories!

18 From statement of the 2nd Congress of the Comintern, summer 1920: “Brothers in the Red Army, know: your war against Polish lords is the most just war history has ever known. You are fighting not only for the interests of Soviet Russia, but also for the interests of the entire working humanity, for the Communist International. The Red Army today is one of the main forces of world history. Time is coming when an International Red Army will be created.” The idea is to establish a Soviet government in Poland and move on to Germany to help German Communists

19 Julian Marchlewski, Polish- Russian Communist, head of Provisional Revolutionary Committee, set up by the Soviets to replace the Pilsudski government in Poland

20 Mikhail Tukhachevsky, commander of Red Army forces in Poland in 1920, a Polish aristocrat by origin, advocate of spreading revolution by military force

21 Iosif Stalin as member of the Military Council of the Western Front, 1920: skeptical about export of revolution to Poland and Germany

22 “Hey, Poles, to bayonets!” Polish war propaganda poster

23 Poles defeating Soviet forces near Warsaw, a Polish painting

24 Polish cavalry attacks Red Army forces

25 80,000 Soviet soldiers were taken prisoner in the Soviet- Polish war; 16-20,000 of them died in captivity


27 "Poland’s one third of population consisted of non-Poles, many of whom felt bitterly alienated from a state that had forcibly incorporated them into itself…The Polish government felt it had little reason to negotiate terms of autonomy with minorities upon which it had already imposed its rule.“ Roshwald, Aviel (2001). Ethnic Nationalism and the Fall of Empires. Central Europe, the Middle East and Russia. 1914-1923. Routledge (UK)

28 The Civil War’s final stage (1920-22): The Far Eastern Republic

29 The costs of the Russian Civil War Population losses – 13-16 mln. people (about 10% of the population), including:  2 mln. killed in battles  At least 1.3 mln. victims of Red and White Terror  2 mln. who emigrated from Russia  the rest – victims of hunger and disease Industrial output fell by 7-fold compared with 1913 Agricultural output fell by 40% National income fell by almost 3-fold

30 State Emblem of the Russian Empire, 1890s

31 The first state emblem of Soviet Russia: “Workers of all lands, unite!”

32 What about “world revolution”? Other attempted socialist revolutions in Europe in the wake of World War I:  Germany  Hungary  Estonia  Bulgaria  Finland  Italy All failed

33 Meanwhile, in Asia The Russian revolution is viewed by Asian nationalists as a welcome rebellion against Western colonialism and imperialism Soviet Russia proclaims its support of their struggles Russian Communism becomes a natural ally of national liberation movements in the Global South

34 Afghanistan, 1919

35 February 1919: Amanullah Khan becomes King (Amir) of Afghanistan He declares Afghanistan’s full independence Britain ignores it March 1919: The Soviet Government grants Afghanistan recognition as a fully independent state (the first foreign government to do so), offers military aid Britain invades Afghanistan Soviet Russia and Afghanistan help each other repel British interventions Results: Pro-Soviet forces win in Central Asia Britain withdraws from Afghanistan, recognizes its independence (1921)

36 April 1919: At an assembly of all AfKing Amanullah proclaims Afghanistan’s full independence

37 Afghan tribal militia in the War of Independence

38 British Handley Page bombers were deployed to attack Afghanistan

39 Mongolian Communist leader Sukhe-Bator

40 Lenin advising Sukhe-Bator (a Soviet painting)

41 Sun Yatsen, first President of the Republic of China

42 Mao Zedong, founder of the Chinese Communist Party

43 Mahatma Gandhi

44 Eric Hobsbawm, The Age of Extremes, A History of the World, 1914-1991, Ch.2:  The Russian Revolution was perceived by the world as the start of global revolution to create an alternative to capitalism  A socialist alternative was expected - and hoped for - by large numbers of people  For the 20 th century, the Russian Revolution was therefore an event of major global importance, like the French Revolution of 1789 was for the 19 th century  Thus, global politics of the period between 1917 and 1991 can be viewed as struggle of forces of the old order against social revolution – a struggle in which the Soviet Union was seen as the revolution’s main base.

45 Dialectics of war and revolution World War I and the Russian Revolution triggered off a Global Civil War At issue: crisis and transformation of the global system A long series of intense political struggles within states and between states. Main groups of actors:  political forces seeking revolutionary changes, oriented towards socialism (the Global Left),  forces aiming to destroy the Global Left and save capitalism through abolishing liberal democracy (the Global Right), and  forces seeking to save capitalism through social and political reforms which would undercut the Global Left (the Global Centre)

46 The Global Left:  The Soviet Union, regarded as the base of “world revolution”  A network of communist parties organized as the Comintern  National liberation movements in the Global South, seeking the overthrow of Western empires – and regarding the USSR as a key ally

47 Death to World Imperialism poster, by D. Moor, 1920

48 Internationalism vs. nationalism Internationalism arises from globalization Development of class ties across state borders International capital International working class The rise of global society Liberal internationalism Revolutionary internationalism

49 Nationalism Another product of globalization  Opposition to foreign domination and control  Creation of nation-states Exists in various forms – from left to right Becomes a major element in the ideology of various political movements and forces Can be defensive - or offensive Can liberate – or enslave A major revolutionary force in world politics

50 The Global Right Various right-wing forces, shattered by World War I and the Russian Revolution After 1917 - on the defensive, trying to adapt to the new situation  Conservatives adrift The rise of Radical Right – fascism  Combining nationalist, militarist, socialist and antidemocratic ideas The new word: “totalitarianism” (Mussolini) Fascism gives the Right the energy to go on the offensive But until the 1930s, the offensives are of regional, not global, significance

51 Mussolini addresses a Fascist Party crowd, 1934: http://www.yout v=OOv- Ncs7vQk

52 The Global Center Liberals, social democrats, labour and other social movements struggling for democratization and social reforms -  The Center-Left, a bridge between the Global Left and the Global Center Reform-minded factions of Western ruling classes seeking to stabilize and consolidate the global capitalist system within the framework of liberal democracy The main project:  Reforming capitalism to save it Main international force – the United States, especially since the Presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt

53 The Soviet Union (Russia-5) was a product of the Global Civil War Russia’s own fate as a state, success or failure of its socialist experiment depended critically on the course of the Global Civil War Thus, it was committed to “world revolution” And it tried to control the various revolutionary processes  To help revolutionaries succeed  To make sure they helped - or at least did not hurt - the Soviet state But it was never able to control world revolutionary forces to any major degree – the scale and energy of the Global Civil War was way beyond the capacity of any state

54 Soviet foreign policy was always a complex balancing act guided by combinations of 3 main priorities New, arising from the Global Civil War  Participation in the struggles of the Global Left  Peaceful coexistence with capitalist countries Traditional, continuing the practices of historical Russia  Classical geopolitics - pursuit of security and influence via the agency of a strong state engaging in various relationships with other states, seeking balances of power

55 The 1920s Relative stabilization of capitalism worldwide NEP means a shift from revolution to reform, a revival of capitalism in Russia, a compromise between communism and capitalism, a relaxation of dictatorial rule “Socialism in one country” becomes the goal; success of the Soviet model would be the best help to the world revolution Primacy of internal tasks over foreign policy Primacy of Soviet state interests over plans of foreign revolutionaries Deep splits within the leadership and in the ranks of the Communist Party: has the revolution been betrayed?

56 The rise of Stalin

57 Stalin during the Civil War, 1919

58 Stalin visiting ailing Lenin (1922)

59 Stalin in his early years as Communist Party General Secretary

60 Views of revolution, state-building and governance Stalin as Lenin’s disciple Stalin as anti-Lenin

61 The empire restored: the rise of the Soviet Union

62 Formation of the Soviet Union – 1922 Most territories of Russian Empire are reintegrated - on a different base Revolutionary annexation of non-Russian lands: Ukraine, Belarus, the Caucasus, Central Asia Suppression of nationalists; use of the Red Army; actions of pro-Soviet groups The ambivalence of Soviet federalism: was it a mere façade for a unitary state?

63 The Soviet economic miracle 1921-26: Industrial output grew by 3 times Agricultural output doubled 1921-28: Average annual growth of national income -18% The economy was restored to its pre-World War I level – on a different basis


65 The Communist International (Comintern): 1919-1943  The international association of left-wing parties built on the Soviet Bolshevik model  Moscow as the Comintern’s control centre  Fundamental problem: how to reconcile activities of foreign revolutionaries with the interests of the Soviet state

66 Moscow’s use of the Comintern as a tool of Soviet foreign policy  The Soviet state fostered subversive forces in other states  The key role of the Soviet security and intelligence services in the activities of the Comintern  Created tensions in relations between the Soviet Union and other states

67 The Comintern as a tool of “world revolution”  Inevitable differences and splits in the ranks  Ideological and organizational confusion  Pluralism of views or enforced orthodoxy?  Not a single successful revolution  Partial responsibility, due to policy blunders, for the rise of Nazism in Germany  Impact on Soviet domestic politics The tragedy of true believers

68 Soviet Machiavellianism Using conflicts between potential adversaries; building balances of power; pragmatic maneuvering in world affairs, readiness to use any means available to achieve foreign policy goals Rapallo (1922) and the Soviet-German axis  A separate deal between 2 “rogue states”  Mutual interests  Mutual rearmament  What about German Communists? The China policy  Support of Chinese nationalism against Japan and the West  Support of Chinese Communists, trying to influence their activities

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