A Tale of Two Museums

Back in June, my students and I had the good fortune to receive a guided tour of the Russian State Duma. The highlight for many of the students was a meeting with hockey legend (and Duma deputy) Vladislav Tretyak, but far more of our time was spent participating rather unexpectedly in an opening ceremony for a new institution – the Soviet Lifestyle Museum.

soviet life
Display case for Soviet Lifestyle Museum

After we had a short time to view various display cases with some of the exhibits, the ceremonies for the Soviet Lifestyle Museum began with a pair of patriotic Soviet-era songs sung by Rinat Ibragimov, whom I’d never heard of but who is apparently quite well known. The audience lapped it up and sang along happily. You don’t need to speak any Russian to make sense of the appeals to ‘Rossiya, my motherland’.

Following the musical introduction, we had the inevitable speeches. ‘We’re not being nostalgic’, we were told, ‘But we were young then. We were happy. This was our life. It deserves to be preserved.’ It sounded pretty nostalgic to me.

It’s a common among critics of the ‘Putin regime’ to complain that it encourages Soviet nostalgia, has failed to properly denounce communist rule and disassociate itself from it, and so in the process has facilitated the continuation of authoritarian attitudes and systems. No doubt, events like this will play into that narrative. But it’s the not the whole picture. If I understood the speeches correctly, the Soviet Lifestyle Museum was not a state initiative but began as a school project in which a bunch of kids started collecting everyday Soviet items. As they gathered more and more, the collection eventually got so large that people decided to turn it into a museum. Soviet nostalgia, if that’s what you want to call it, has popular roots. It’s not a matter of the state forcing it on people.

In any case, the state and its leaders are busy promoting other aspects of history, as can be seen by a presidential visit to another new museum this week – the Museum of the Russian Emigration. In 1995, with assistance from the famous dissident author Alexander Solzhenitsyn, a Russian Emigration Library opened in Moscow. This subsequently turned into the Alexander Solzhenitsyn House of the Russian Emigration. It contains books, newspapers, and archival documents connected to the hundreds of thousands of Russians who fled their country after the 1917 Revolution and also in the period after the second world war. I did some work there a few years ago while researching my book on Grand Duke Nikolai Nikolaevich.

In 2015, Vladimir Putin announced plans to build a new Museum of the Russian Emigration attached to the Alexander Solzhenitsyn House. The museum was completed a couple of months ago, and yesterday Putin paid it a visit, accompanied by the mayor of Moscow and other luminaries, including Solzhenitsyn’s wife. The president gave a little speech, saying:

The Russian emigration has always been inextricably linked spiritually with the Motherland, Russia. I believe this is what makes Russian emigration special, since even being far from the Motherland, it has made and is now making a significant contribution to Russia’s spiritual life. We must be aware of this, keep this in mind and use it in our everyday work. … Thank you very much for preserving this historical memory, for us to remember it, especially, younger people, and for promoting the very best that was written by Alexander Solzhenitsyn, especially among young people.

solzhenitsyn
Vladimir Putin and Natalya Solzhenitsyna at the Museum of the Russian Emigration, passing by what looks like a White officer’s cap.

So there you have it. The State Duma hosts the opening of the Soviet Lifestyle Museum, while the President visits the decidedly non-Soviet, one might even say anti-Soviet, Alexander Solzhenitsyn Museum of the Russian Emigration. Putin has form in this regard. After all, he also attended the unveiling of the monument to victims of communism (the Wall of Grief) in Moscow as well as the opening of the Boris Yeltsin Museum in Ekaterinburg. In other words, when it comes to historical memory, rather than impose ideological unity, the ‘Putin regime’ instead oversees a decided ideological pluralism.

Judging from the examples above, the state’s own preferences seem to lie more in the anti-Soviet direction, while the popular preference seems to point in the other. Thus, we get state support for museums celebrating the Whites and Yeltsin, while the Soviet stuff arises rather more from below and only later gets adopted by the state. But however it happens, at the end of the day, the Imperial and the Soviet, the Red and the White, the communist and the anti-communist all get recognition. You celebrate the Soviets’ victory in the Second World War, but you also acknowledge as Russian those who fought against the Soviets in the Civil War. You praise Yeltsin as the founder of capitalist Russia, but also enjoy a sort of nostalgic frisson in viewing a display of Soviet consumer goods. And you hope that somehow it all will eventually come together in a coherent whole. Whether it will, I cannot say, but for now it seems to be working.

84 thoughts on “A Tale of Two Museums”

  1. “Judging from the examples above, the state’s own preferences seem to lie more in the anti-Soviet direction, while the popular preference seems to point in the other. Thus, we get state support for museums celebrating the Whites and Yeltsin, while the Soviet stuff arises rather more from below and only later gets adopted by the state.”

    *****

    There’re other examples to consider, like Leningrad having its name changed back to St. Petersburg via a referendum, as well as some other name changes of municipalities from the Soviet to pre-Soviet variant. BTW, such has been evident in Kiev regime controlled Ukraine, with the local population in at least one town preferring the pre-Soviet name over the respective sovok and svido preferences See:

    https://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-35353840

    There doesn’t seem to be any popular move to ditch the pre-Soviet Russian tri-color and two headed eagle.

    On the matter of non-sovok Russian patriots:

    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/sikorskys-engineers/

    BTW, I know my share of White Russians who’re more positive about Putin than Yeltsin. I say that as a follow-up to this excerpt from the above piece:

    “Thus, we get state support for museums celebrating the Whites and Yeltsin, while the Soviet stuff arises rather more from below and only later gets adopted by the state. But however it happens, at the end of the day, the Imperial and the Soviet, the Red and the White, the communist and the anti-communist all get recognition. You celebrate the Soviets’ victory in the Second World War, but you also acknowledge as Russian those who fought against the Soviets in the Civil War. You praise Yeltsin as the founder of capitalist Russia, but also enjoy a sort of nostalgic frisson in viewing a display of Soviet consumer goods. And you hope that somehow it all will eventually come together in a coherent whole. Whether it will, I cannot say, but for now it seems to be working.”

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    1. Also note that the rebuilt Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Moscow, included donations from the public, involving around some 1 million people, according to what’s reported online.

      Stalin destroyed the original structure in the 1930s, with a planned “Palace of the Soviets” to take its place.

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  2. Professor, I am glad you were allowed to experience this slice of Russian reality, and I think you get it exactly right in this case. Wherein the Putin government are promoting the anti-Soviet “heroes” such as Solzhenitsyn and the emigres, etc. But groundswell from other elements of society sees the past a different way, and wishes to return to the Soviet past, or at least celebrate it.

    You have 2 different and mutually exclusive sides here among the Russian people: the pro-Soviet and the anti-Soviet. Opinion polls show that at least half of Russian society are on the “pro-Soviet” side, and their political opinions should be respected. And it’s not just old people, many youth are also coming over to this side.

    Anyhow, this confirms my own personal view that Putin is a sort of “Napoleonic” figure in Russian history. He is a counter-revolutionary in every sense, as was Napoleon. And yet, also like Napoleon, he is not vicious and does not try to impose his counter-revolutionary views on society as a whole. Therefore, those who celebrate the Communist past are allowed to express their nostalgia as well, and that is a good thing.

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    1. “You have 2 different and mutually exclusive sides here among the Russian people: the pro-Soviet and the anti-Soviet.”

      Of course there are 2 sides, there always are. What’s interesting (to me) is their composition. The working stiff segment + the losers from former nomenklatura vs intelligentsia + professionals + entrepreneurial segment? Does it sound about right?

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      1. “Does it sound about right?”

        First of all – how do you define “professionals”, so that they constitute a separate category from either “intelligentsia” and “working stiffs”.

        Second – nah, the division is not as clear cut “class based” as you present. There are a lot of intersections. There are enough members of intelligentsia (who, I remind everyone, are still of “budzhetniki” variety even to this day) who express pro-Soviet views. Yes, this also includes such category of “budzhetniks” as the military people. Even some capitalists are pro-Soviet. I’m not talking about ridiculous examples like Pavel “Candidate From the People” Grudinin, and his strawberry kibbutz kolkhoz, more some small-scale entrepreneurs like these guys.

        Third – most people in Russia re still apolitical. What they don’t like, though, is when someone (especially – outsiders) throw shit at their history.

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      2. Interesting. ‘Professional’ could be defined as someone with ‘university education’ (western term).

        Indeed, a recent acquaintance of mine, about 50yo, who clearly is a professional (physicist by education, currently an IT professional), seemed extremely pro-Soviet. From our occasional conversations I got the impression that it’s the influence of his father, Soviet military officer.

        But I don’t know how typical this is.

        So, are you saying there are no clear patterns at all?

        Or, perhaps, it’s the “social background” (“социальное происхождение”) again? If so, it would be noteworthy, no?

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      3. “Interesting. ‘Professional’ could be defined as someone with ‘university education’ (western term). “

        Then what is “intelligentsia”? 😉

        Teachers, doctors, (civil) engineers, members of Academia, journos, programmers, kreakls, these “intellectual proletarians”, all of them are members of intelligentsia. Why inventing a new category if the old one us enough?

        “But I don’t know how typical this is.”

        Failry typical. See various polls about Russian attituteds toward USSR and “Soviet” concepts.

        “Or, perhaps, it’s the “social background” (“социальное происхождение”) again? If so, it would be noteworthy, no?”

        That’s a work for professional social scientists/sociologists to find how these factors correlate. I’d say it has less to do with someone’s past (i.e. backgound), as with the current/present way of deriving one’s income.

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      4. Ah yes, I guess I’m trying to apply western taxonomy to a non-western structure.

        By ‘intelligentsia’ I meant the western category of ‘intellectuals’, but of course in Russia it’s different: computer programmer is intelligentsia.

        Tsk.

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  3. The soviet museum is a good example of civil society expressing themselves. This grassroots initiative will more likely survive.

    Indeed the soviet period- raising the level of education and health for all citizens enable someone with Putins family background to rise in life.

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      1. Evidence suggesting differently that include the reasoned opinion that Russia would’ve been better off without the after effects of the Bolshevik coup. .

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      2. Nothing that happened in the Soviet era like universal education, and the provision of a basic, modern, urban life was ‘inevitable.’ Indeed we see such things are not ‘inevitable’ in a country as rich as the United States. These things are policy choices and their provision was a policy choice of the Soviet government. So no, these things would not have happened without the Soviet Union.

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      3. “Universal” doesn’t necessarily mean on the overall better. There’s no conclusive proof that the USSR served the betterment of Russia best. There’s simply no way of knowing for sure – leaving this matter open for debate.

        Russia was advancing prior to WW I.

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      4. Russia was advancing yes, but there is very little evidence that a lot of the development that took place and the advances in social and – even if in only a very restricted sense – political rights that the peoples of the Soviet Union experienced would have occurred without the USSR. Industrialisation was rapid, but only from a pitifully small base. While Witte especially should be lauded the transformative effects of Witte were far less than those of the First Five Year Plan. Second, the Bolsheviks always had education and high culture as a priority. Unlike the Tsarists, in the view of the Bolsheviks, these things were for everybody, not just for those who could afford them. Even in during the Civil War the Bolsheviks made literacy a priority, opened universities in Russia to women for the first time, and made tuition free. Nothing in the Tsarist past or our contemporary present suggests that such things just ‘happen’, they are policy choices.
        Especially after Stalin died, it would also be erroneous to say that all that was developed was a military industrial complex. Even before Stalin died, running potable water and electricity had become basic facts of Soviet existence whereas they had not been in the Tsarist period. After Stalin died there were marked improvements in the food supply, per capita calorie consumption, the quality of housing and the range of consumer goods. Most people in the world, including the Chinese themselves, would welcome a Soviet standard of development.

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      5. “There’s no conclusive proof that the USSR served the betterment of Russia best.”

        There is. It’s called history. Oh, and statistical data. You can only provide personal alt-hist fantasies, i.e. something that subjective idealist (i.e. an idiot) like you immerses zirselv instead of objective reality.

        But, hey! How about some comparison? Let’s compare interwar USSR with other countries, which “enjoyed” similarly underdeveloped capitalism with lots of feudal throwbacks, BUT which were among the, ha-ha, “winners” of the Great War and remained deeply integrated into the world capitalist system. Now, Michael, go and check out such things as rate of literacy, number of institutions of the higher education, number of the heavy industry installations for such countries as:

        A) 2nd Polish Republic.
        B) Romania.
        C) Yugoslavia.

        And then compare them to the USSR. Oh, and while you are at it – check out the amount of the foreign debt accumulated by both the Imperial Government of Russia and by the Provisional Government. Because, barring the Bolshevik Revolution, Russia would have to pay up – to the disastrous consequences for the overall development for decades to come.

        Avekro, you are such an anachronism, finely preserved in your small meshpokeh of the West based rutless nationalists!

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      6. You aren’t taking much (if any) into consideration what the world was like in 1900 when compared to 1930.

        The bottom line is that prior to WW I, Russia was advancing and with a education system that produced the likes of Sikorsky and Lodygin. It’s quite far fetched to assume that Russia wouldn’t have continued advancing without the Bolsheviks. There’re reasons why the Soviet Union had a relatively short lifespan – much having to do with its own fault lines.

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      7. Mikhail

        Actually I did. I gave justifications in my previous answers on this matter. You can read those again if you wish. But there is something that YOU are not considering about the world in 1930 as opposed to 1900. In 1930 the Soviet Union existed. In large part welfare capitalism came about due to the presence of Soviet Socialism. When Soviet Socialism vanished welfare capitalism – including provision of universal education – began being rolled back. There were absolutely no guarantees that without the Soviet Union Russia would have been economically or socially developed. The very fact of the Russian Revolution altered the economic and social history of the 20th century in many more ways that many, including clearly you, would like to remember. A lot of the things we still take for granted – but should not -are only here because of it.

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      8. No. As an example, the social security concept was initiated before the USSR. There’s still no conclusive proof that “Soviet advances” would’ve occurred regardless of whether the USSR was created.

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      9. Thank you for clarifying.

        Of course you do realise that this was enacted not due to beneficence from above but pressure from below, especially Socialist pressure, that BIsmarck saw the need to both repress heavily and grant minor concessions to? Similarly the British welfare state’s first manifestations came into being during a time of increasing pressure from below and Britain’s Labour movement that eventually became the Labour Party?

        Furthermore the effect of the Soviet Union’s on the third world’s economic trajectory after 1945 is unmistakable. From Brazil to Thailand countries adopted economic plans that aimed for rapid growth and development to take away the allure of Communism. When the Soviet Union fell, all those things went away and have yet to return.

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      10. Altruistic or otherwise, good governance considers the best interests of the people. Not everything the Soviets did was so altruistic.

        Having a limited lifespan, the USSR is no more for reasons that included its own shortcomings.

        Further up this thread, I note a nuanced overview seeking to mesh the best aspects of Russian history, whether from the Soviet and pre-Soviet periods.

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      11. Part of that nuance is recognising what the Soviet Union did and how it changed Russia for the better.
        You operate under the assumption that good governance just ‘happens.’ It does not. It is the exception in human history, rather than the rule, as our own contemporary reality painfully highlights. Indeed many rulers in the past who practiced good governance are despised because good governance usually means inconveniencing elites. The Soviet Union definitely inconvenienced its elites.

        As Christopher Reed, Anatole Lieven and David Kotz point out what collapsed the Soviet Union was not a collapsing economy but its own elites. As Lieven puts it in his book ‘Chechnya Tombstone of Russian Power’ – Communist Party elites realised if they converted their political power into economic and political power ‘they could not just live like western workers, they could live like billionaires.’ Kotz in his book with Fred Weir goes into more extensive detail on the same point and at the end of his book ‘The Making and Breaking of the Soviet system’ so does Christopher Reed.

        This is also not some ‘lefty’ thing – as if that would somehow make it wrong – others have noted it: https://foreignpolicy.com/2011/06/20/everything-you-think-you-know-about-the-collapse-of-the-soviet-union-is-wrong/

        Good government is not some inevitability. It is a policy choice. The Soviet Union made the choice to be a good government by providing universal and free education to its people and a basic, modern, urban life to its people. None of that was or is inevitable.

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      12. The belief that that Russia wouldn’t have advanced without the USSR hasn’t been proven. On the contrary, Russia was advancing prior to the Bolshevik coup and was doing so as an already recognized world power.

        When WW I occurred and how that war was fought primarily led to the Bolsheviks coming into power. That’s arguably more believable than the notion that Russia wouldn’t have advanced without the USSR.

        I doubt that Anatol Lieven (who you bring up) would be in general disagreement with my comments at this thread.

        Yeah, North Korea’s Stalinist structure has really shined socioeconomically over South Korea.

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      13. Russia advanced under Nicholas I and there were many important cultural developments under him, but the kind of advancement under him does not compare to the advances that took place elsewhere or later in Russian history.
        You implied that the things the Soviet Union did to develop the country were some kind of inevitability. I have argued none of it was inevitable. That it happened was due to the Soviet Union.
        Finally comparing a racist, fascist state to the USSR is more than a little silly. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cleanest_Race
        And I might add that South Korea developed under the highly controlling, centralized military dictatorship, not under any kind of free market capitalism.

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    1. You again incorrectly project your limits to moi. My mishpokhe are all over, including different parts of the former USSR.

      Like “political science” (“political studies” being the better term) varying aspects of history are open to reasoned and legitimate interpretations. These situations shouldn’t be confused with precise formulas in the hard sciences.

      You leave out numerous particulars that are inconvenient to your somewhat romantic sovokism.The USSR’s lifespan was a relatively short one – a chief reason for this having to do with its shortcomings. On another point you raise: over the course of time, foreign debt has been waived or restructured in a more payable way.

      Russia was in the process of a noticeable socioeconomic improvement BEFORE the Bolshes took advantage of the misfortune resulting from WW I.

      Following the Bolshevik coup, the mass exodus of productive people like Sikorsky and Lodygin didn’t benefit Russia. That and the matter of having a more incentive and humane driven society, serve as offsets to the aforementioned (by you) Soviet socioeconomic advances between two world wars.

      It’d be interesting to get Putin’s reply to this exchange – this not likely happening aside.

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      1. “You again incorrectly project your limits to moi. My mishpokhe are all over, including different parts of the former USSR.”

        From whence do they come? Wilayat Hinzir?

        “Like “political science” (“political studies” being the better term) varying aspects of history are open to reasoned and legitimate interpretations. These situations shouldn’t be confused with precise formulas in the hard sciences.”

        Avero, what’s your speciality in science? I’m asking, because I have serious doubts that you grasp what is such a thing as “scientific method”. Instead, you try tried and tested fallacy (should I repost the list again and start checking boxes when you resort to them?) of “oh, you know – the humanities are not precise”. Fuck you! Either show how and when, or shut up.

        “You leave out numerous particulars that are inconvenient to your somewhat romantic sovokism.”

        Sheer projecture. I did nothing of the sort.

        The USSR’s lifespan was a relatively short one

        Still longer than:

        A) Empire of Charlemagne.
        B) Napoleonic Empire
        C) Alexander of Macedon’s Empire
        D) Great Moravia’s lifespan

        Etc, etc, etc.

        “On another point you raise: over the course of time, foreign debt has been waived or restructured in a more payable way.”

        Jolly good! First, show how and when to what degree it had been done in other countries. Next – prove without any lingering doubt, that in Russia’s case it would be the same, and not, you know, as it would normally be. Go ahead! Numbers and figures, % of GDP, etc. You are a scientists, aren’t you?

        “Russia was in the process of a noticeable socioeconomic improvement BEFORE the Bolshes took advantage of the misfortune resulting from WW I.”

        Russia’s Empire Economic “miracle” was paid up by ENORMOUS amount of foreign subsidies and credits. Key industrial spheres were owned by the foreign capital. Russian Empire had become an object of the world international financial capital. Local capitalists had no hope of competing with them fair and square.

        “Misfortune” of the Great War affected all participants. Meaning – the “winners” would have to recoup their loses by all means necessary, meaning – going full rapey-repo-men on Russia. Which they did – see foreign Intervention in Russia, which was dictated by securing their own property.

        You also conveniently ignore that the Provisional Government disandvanteged Russia by keeping it in War, and gather even more credits. You also ignore the fact, that Entente’s assistance to various White movements had been very conditional, and amongst the conditions forced on them were both recognition of new breakaway states AND recognition of the old regimes financial obligations.

        “Following the Bolshevik coup, the mass exodus of productive people like Sikorsky and Lodygin didn’t benefit Russia.”

        Numbers, please. Prove without doubt that there was a “mass exodus of productive people”. Just because some of them emigrated and made a name for themselves means nothing. Most of the people remained where they were.

        “That and the matter of having a more incentive and humane driven society, serve as offsets to the aforementioned (by you) Soviet socioeconomic advances between two world wars.”

        Meaningless bullshit. WHAT?!

        “It’d be interesting to get Putin’s reply to this exchange – this not likely happening aside.”

        Go and ask him. Yeah, Averko – go and ask him! C’mon!

        Meanwhile, I’m still waiting for you to answer my question. Are you up to the task, ragul’?

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      2. BTW, the foreign intervention stuff you spout about the Russian Civil War is rehashed BS.

        There was foreign intervention on the side of the Bolshes, ranging from German support, to some Western leftist propagandist spinning for the Bolshes, as well as other particulars, including Pilsudski’s then secret dealing with the Bolshes.

        The “foreign intervention” didn’t amount to much of the actual fighting in what was was very much a civil war. Likewise, the amount of aid given to the Whites was limited when compared to what some suggest. Contrary to what you say, the Whites exhibited a steadfast opposition to some of the independence proposals that were out there.

        Related to these points:

        https://www.eurasiareview.com/08042016-fuzzy-history-how-poland-saved-the-world-from-russia-analysis/

        https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2017/03/22/reexamining-russias-past/

        The USSR didn’t last longer than the Riurik governed Rus or the Russian Empire period under the Romanovs.

        It’s mighty rich of you to ask for certain specifics, given your broad generalizations lacking specifics.

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      3. “The mad sovok

        It never ceases to amaze me, how the people so quick to resort sycophantic flattery, never bother to keep the pretense of civility the second their scheme is up, allowing the whole wide world to see their true, assholish, butthurt self.

        “strokes again with a long winded, convoluted screed, which fails to substantively refute anything that I said.”

        You, Averko made a claim. The burden of proof is on you. So, it is you who (AGAIN) resorted to hysterical demagoguery and zero arguments. Key word here “again”. Doing the same thing over and over again (in you case – making baseless statements) and expecting a different result (in your case – that people will start treating your seriously and just agree with everything you say) is a definition of madness. You are the mad one here.

        “There was foreign intervention on the side of the Bolshes, ranging from German support, to some Western leftist propagandist spinning for the Bolshes, as well as other particulars, including Pilsudski’s then secret dealing with the Bolshes.”

        Do you even know the meaning of the word “foreign military intervention”, dumbass? Entente powers illegally occupied parts of Russia and funneled support to the White movements AND new nationalist governments. Foreign intervention contributed to the disintegration of Russia. You also either out of stupidity or because you are shifty a-hole totally ignore the Czechoslovakian revolt – the most visible aspect of the foreign intervention in Russia, which resulted in, yes, much of the actual fighting.

        “The USSR didn’t last longer than the Riurik governed Rus”

        :))))))))))))))))))))))))

        Rurik governed “Rus” (actually – a small part of future Rus) from 862 till 879. You are that dumb, aren’t you, Michael?

        “It’s mighty rich of you to ask for certain specifics, given your broad generalizations lacking specifics.”

        Слив засчитан.

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      4. Actually, the record here reveals that you’re a crude simpleton. On this score, I’m simply returning your rude behavior.

        You’re quite dumb for misunderstanding the Riurik line doesn’t simply refer to that one chap whose dates you give.

        I provided links to articles using primary and secondary source material backing up my comments on the Russian Civil War. You came back with zilch.

        Your cherry picked inaccurate aspects on the Czech Legion ignore the fact that en masse they simply wanted out of Russia with some of their leaders looking for them to be neutral in the Russian Civil War. They were generally favorable to the WW I non-Bolshevik Russia because the latter recruited them to oppose the Central Powers. The Czech Legion and Bolsheviks first came in contact with each other when WW I was still being fought. The Bolshes were essentially carrying on like German agents.

        The Czech Legion’s casualty figure in Russia has been put at several thousand. Hyping them in the way that you do doesn’t refute my core points.

        You’re noticeably non-committal on then secret agreement between the Reds and Pilsudski led Poles, that saw the former agree to give away territory which the Whites weren’t willing to do. Yet, you at this thread portray the Whites as being more appeasing.

        Your overall knowledge is limited to the area underneath the rock you inhabit.

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      5. I would argue Mikhail your point on foreign intervention and the idea that the Bolsheviks were German agents is erroneous. The Bolsheviks, essentially, got train tickets from the Germans and that is about it. Such foreign support as there was for the Bolsheviks is but a trickle compared to the flood their enemies had. From January 1918 onward the German Army was an outright opponent of the Bolsheviks and rather than give everything away Trotsky tried to stall, indeed was instructed to stall. They signed the treaty because they recognised they had no choice. Whenever the Bolsheviks could they took back territory they had no intention of giving away. The whites meanwhile had extensive access to foreign troops, money and weapons and foreign armies fought pitched battles on their behalf against the Reds.
        It is also erroneous to argue that Poland ‘saved’ Europe from anything. The first Polish Republic was nothing if not an opportunistic land grabber itself. In 1919 it invaded territory claimed by the Soviets and engaged the Red Army, only to be thrown back. What was called the 1920 invasion of Poland was far more a strategic counterattack and in any case the leading commander in that, Tukhachevsky, was himself in part ethnically Polish. Only when it looked as though their land grab was about to backfire did the Poles cry ‘Russian invasion!’ Fortunately for them Stalin disobeyed orders. However to argue the Poles were righteous or fighting a defensive war is erroneous and not really supported by the evidence.

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      6. Where did I say that Poland saved the world from Russia and/or Communism? On the contrary, I state otherwise, inclusive of some fact based points which you appear to maybe not know:

        https://www.eurasiareview.com/08042016-fuzzy-history-how-poland-saved-the-world-from-russia-analysis/

        BTW, Denikin was half Polish, along with having been born in the Polish part of the Russian Empire.

        Beyond reasonable doubt, German support for the Bolsheviks was more than just transporting Lenin from Zurich to Petrograd.

        https://www.jstor.org/stable/2625787?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

        http://www.reformation.org/wall-st-bolshevik-ch3.html

        https://www.dw.com/en/how-germany-got-the-russian-revolution-off-the-ground/a-41195312

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      7. Seeing that Tukhachevsky was brought up at this thread:

        https://wikileaks.org/gifiles/docs/13/1319241_russo-polish-relations-ukraine-and-russia-s-image-.html

        Excerpt –

        Polish leader Jozef Pilsudski’s military and political maneuvers in 1919
        (referenced in Braithwaite’s article) were essentially a Machiavellian
        land grab. The Russian Whites (Volunteer Army) queried Pilsudski about an alliance against the Reds (Bolsheviks). The White Russian leadership favored the recognition of Polish independence, based on land where Poles were the most populous group. This contrasted with Pilsudski’s view, which contributed to his refusal of the Whites’ proposal.

        On this matter, Red commander Mikhail Tukhachevsky made the following observation: ‘If only the Polish government had succeeded in coming to an agreement with Denikin before his defeat. Denikin’s offensive on Moscow, upheld by a Polish offensive from the west, could have had a much worse ending for us; and it is even difficult to guess its final results. The complex combination of capitalistic and nationalistic interests did not allow this coalition to be formed, as the Red Army was able to face its foes one by one, which considerably lightened its task.’ The preceding is cited on page 322 of Dimitriy Lehovich’s ‘White Against Red: The Life and Times of General Anton Denikin,’ (W.W. Norton & Company, New York, 1974) with reference to page 114 of a 1964 released Ministertsva Oborony (Defense Ministry) volume one book ‘Izbrannye Proizvedennia’ (Chosen Works), which was published in Moscow by Voennoe Izdatelvstvo (Army
        Publishing House).

        Bolshevik leader Karl Radek said that Pilsudski ‘shamefully treated
        Denikin and the Entente.’ Radek’s comment is cited on page 208 of George Brinkley’s ‘The Volunteer Army and Allied Intervention in South Russia, 1917-1921,’ (University of Notre Dame Press, 1966) with reference to page 86 of Radek’s 1923 book ‘Vneshniaia Politika Sovetskoi Rossi,’ (Foreign Policy of Soviet Russia) published in Moscow by Gosizdat (State Publishing House). In his book, Brinkley notes that Pilsudski was not obligated to support the Whites.

        Tukhachevsky and Radek are referring to a period (in 1919) during the
        Russian Civil War, when the Reds and Poles agreed to a then secret truce in their conflict. Radek’s mention of the Entente refers to the World War I Allied side, which included the Whites. (The non-Russians of that Entente were not so involved in the Russian Civil War, as some have suggested. Concerning outside involvement with the warring Russian Civil War factions, the Bolsheviks received support in varying forms from some Western based sources.)”

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      8. Two points.
        It may serve you to mention Bismarck but you have to consider him in context of a) the German unification, b) his ban on socialist activities, c) his culture war.
        mind you, it feels unlikely Bismarck vs the Kaiser would ever have started WWI.

        And now I forget point II. Maybe I’ll recall it later.

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    2. The Cold war era ROK wasn’t as brutal and as centralizing as the DPRK – the latter more resembling the USSR (especially under Stalin) than the former.

      You’re the one who at this thread said that the USSR served as a role model for development elsewhere.

      Heck, Nazi Germany in the early 1930s was a role model for advancement to some other countries.

      You’ve yet to prove that Russia wouldn’t have advanced without the USSR, while at the same time acknowledging that Russia was in fact advancing prior to the USSR. Literacy rates and healthcare improvements occurred in other European and non-European countries without a Soviet Marxist-Leninist economy. No proof that Russia needed such as well. Never minding the shortcomings of the USSR, which tend to get downplayed among Soviet nostalgic circles.

      Hence, Russia’s readopted pre-Soviet tri-color flag and two headed eagle once again becoming official, along with ditching the name Leningrad via a referendum.

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      1. Heck, Nazi Germany in the early 1930s was a role model for advancement to some other countries.

        If I may cite Max Liebermann,:
        “Ich kann gar nicht soviel fressen, wie ich kotzen möchte.” (1933)

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      2. Averko, besides being shitty liar and incompetent “academician”, you are also moving the goalposts. Your original claim was that even without the Bolsheviks Russia would have achieved the same results re: levels of education, industrial development and combat readiness. To support your claim of this “what if” you only point out that “Russian Empire was developing prior to the Great War” and “other European countries were developing in interwar period without Reds in power”. Do you understand that your claim is fallacious?

        ONCE. AGAIN. YOU. DUMBASS. Provide evidence that without communists coming to power in 1917 and their centralized efforts to develop the country Russia would have achieved the same results if trusted to the “invisible hand of the market” ™ capitalism? Can you or not?

        Now, some facts about “rapid economic development” of the Россiю которую онѣ потерѣли:

        – Russian’s Empire share in industrial output of the “pentarchy” of the most developed great power in 1913 was 4-5%.

        – By 1917 in Russia there were 70 260 km of railroads. For comparison, in USA by 1890 there were 263 227 km of railroads. More so, the majority of railways (including a significant part of Transsib) in Empire were single-track ones and were extended to double-track railways only by the USSR. Another interesting point was the use of low-quality railroad ties, due to which the railways had to be re-laid. Improvements in these categories – rebuilding of the tracks using better quality railway ties and upgrading them to double-track – were not included in the statistics of the construction of railways in the USSR, which is the reason for the statistical incident about the allegedly larger mile of roads built in Russian Empire.

        – Cast iron production in RE (the main indicator of industrial power at that time) in absolute terms was 9 times less than in the United States, and in terms of per capita – 15 times

        – By the time of Revolutions of 1917, there were only 1500 tractors in Russia (2000 in the USA at the same period) of which only 11% were locally produced.

        – The growth of RE’s economy was based on foreign investments and credits, most often French and German, for whom the Russian Empire was literally sold out. Foreigners owned basic industries, such as: the oil industry, metallurgy, shipbuilding. 90% of the enterprises were in foreign ownership, so that the Great Russian Empire was a natural banana republic, except with the Czar instead of El Presidente.

        – Foreign debt to France alone by 1912 totaled to 2 billion franks. For loans, Russia every 6 years gave back an amount equal to the military contribution of France after the defeat of 1871. To repay old loans, Czarists government (as per the Holy Writ of the Liberalism) took new ones. Rince and repeat.

        – Russian Empire could not provide itself with the most technically advanced warships, having to buy them (along with a plethora of different types of mil hardware), for which it, SURPRISE-SURPRISE, had to take new credits. Russia was also depended on foreign import for airplane engines.

        – In terms of mortality Russian Empire was twice ahead of Germany. In most cases, Russian babies died from diarrhea (intestinal infection, death from dehydration). The average life expectancy of a man (reminded – nearly 85% of population was peasantry) in central Russia was 29 years; in the same period, for example, in would become the Ukraine it was 33, in Belarus – 37. Only 40% of the Central Russian inhabitants lived to forty.

        Etc, etc, etc.

        Now add to this several levels of fucked-upedness caused by the Great War and its aftermath, facts, that per Wilson’s Doctrine (and Entente’s “allies” hypocrisy) several (if not all) ethnic peripheries of the Russian Empire would be separated from it, even greater amount of foreign debt and explain to us all, you, dumbass Averko, how would non-Bolshevik Russia accomplish everything to the level of the Soviet Union?

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      3. You once again flop in substantiating that Russia wouldn’t have advanced without the USSR. In line with your personal diatribes under a moniker. How heroic!

        Countries can suddenly take off at any moment. Russia was in fact advancing before the USSR. Look at how China dramatically grew – BTW happening after becoming more of a capitalist economy.

        You continuously downplay the otherwise noticeable USSR shortcomings. A matter explaining why the USSR isn’t being replicated in contemporary Russia.

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      4. >Gets told that Russia’s “advancement” was fueled by racking up the debt
        >Gets told that virtually all of “advanced” objects of industry were owned by foreigners.
        >Responds with:

        “Countries can suddenly take off at any moment. Russia was in fact advancing before the USSR”

        […]
        [Before that-1]
        […]

        “Russia was advancing prior to WW I.”

        […]
        [Before that-2]
        […]

        “The bottom line is that prior to WW I, Russia was advancing”

        […]
        [Before that-3]
        […]

        “Russia was advancing prior to the Bolshevik coup and was doing so as an already recognized world power”

        You are a hopeless flooderast, Averko.

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      5. As an addendum, admitting there were advances in 19th Century Russia is not at all contradictory to holding the position that these were grudging advances, partial, and often easily reversed, and that the Revolution brought about development that otherwise would not have happened. There is no guarantee universal education or guaranteeing a basic modern urban life would have happened had the Revolution not occurred. ‘One the one hand, on the other hand’ Mikhail.

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      6. WW I greatly enhanced the ability for the Reds to seize power. With some others concurring, Max Hastings contends that had WW I occurred two years later, the outcome on the eastern front would’ve arguably been favorable to Russia, thereby likely negating the Bolshevik ascendancy.

        Belittling pre-Soviet Russian advances has been a top heavy aspect that relates to the misinformed belief that Russia wouldn’t have advanced without the USSR and that the Russian Civil War foreign intervention was mostly, if not exclusively against the Reds and in support of the Whites – leaving out the numerous instances to the contrary.

        Wity tyhe Bolsheviks very much out of the picture, Russia was changing politically and socioeconomically prior to WW I.

        These comments have yet to be substantively countered beyond a reasonable doubt.

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  4. This is definitely a museum (Soviet lifestyle) I will want to visit when I go back to Moscow. The Soviet Union was, for many Russians, a better place than their current reality. Only when Soviet standards of living are fully recovered for everybody can Russia truly begin to look beyond the Soviet period.

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  5. Great debate, overall. Lyt and Dewitt clearly the winners.

    But, on the other hand, we’re talking about Averko. Whose vision of history is: “Denikin should have won, and then everything would have been super-duper!”

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    1. Among twisted sovoks like you, they’re “winners”. Dewitt exhibits a noticeable lack of knowledge on the subject (like you) as detailed in my reply to him, which includes supporting links.

      As of this posting, that reply has yet to appear. (It’s in awaiting moderation.)

      This has bee a “great debate”, in terms of debunking some leftist misinformation on the Russian Civil War. This particular matter shows that Richard Pipes wasn’t always off base:

      https://www.eurasiareview.com/25062018-remembering-richard-pipes-oped/

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      1. Actually I did read your links but while they do carry certain ‘headlines’ their implications and conclusions are often incomplete.
        For example, the Deutschewelle article covers about the same ground as Catherine Merridale in ‘Lenin on the Train.’ But all that clandestine help for the Bolsheviks is extremely minor compared to the tangible material weight the Germans threw against the Bolsheviks after November 1917, the fact that the Bolsheviks had no intention of giving away any territory, or all other kinds of foreign support the Whites received far outweighing anything the Reds every got. As Christopher Reed, Evan Mawdsley and others point out the Bolsheviks had to make due almost entirely with the rump of Russia they controlled in 1918/1919 as they fought a desperate struggle for survival.
        Again I have read your links, I have read Figes and I have read Pipes and the massive material, military and financial support given by the major world powers to the enemies of the Reds and often their direct conflict with the Reds far outweighs the foreign support to the Bolsheviks at any time. Receiving a little money or a shipment here and there from abroad is as nothing as having the USA, the UK, France, Germany, Japan on your side and giving you shipments and money, and sometimes weapons as the Whites did. To compare Bolshevik support from abroad as being as appreciable or important as it was for the Whites is, at best, a stretch. And I would argue it is not even that. The volumes and relative importance in the overall resources are not comparable.
        Furthermore to argue that it was the Bolsheviks who were causing the collapse of the Russian war effort is to give them a credit they don’t deserve. Russia in 1917 was like Germany in the Autumn of 1918. As Catherine Merridale documents in ‘Lenin on the Train’ police reports in St Petersburg document the prevailing mood as being one of ‘Peace! Peace at any cost!’ The Bolsheviks under Lenin certainly expertly took advantage of this but there were wider popular currents that they managed to ride and other political actors did not in 1917.
        Finally https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish%E2%80%93Soviet_War it is again not correct to suggest that the Polish invasion of Russia was not a land grab. And while the Poles and Reds may have found it expedient to not fight each other for brief periods the mutual hostility was long evident given the nature of Pilsudski’s government and Lenin’s government.

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      2. The pieces I provided are far more complete than what you’ve offered in disagreement. You were the one here who said that German aid to the Bolshes was pretty much the transport of Lenin from Zurich to Petrograd.

        One of the links I provided is to a book detailing the incorrectness of your claim with a fact based accounting. Another link is to a NYT op-ed by an academic on the subject who notes likewise. The nature of a NYT op-ed limits key specifics. Make no mistake about it they’re there.

        You incorrectly suggested that I was glorying Pilsudski led Poland after I posted a link to the contrary. I posted that link again with a note on that point. You say you read it while not providing a detailed rebuttal. The then secret agreement between the Reds and Pilsudski was designed to offset White gains at a key point during the Russian Civil War, when the Reds were in retreat. Tukhachevsky and perhaps to an extent Radek are on record for saying that action on the part of Pilsudski had arguably changed the outcome of the Russian Civil War.

        There’s no need for me to get circular over the evidence provided which shows that the Russian Civil War wasn’t the simplistically presented image of Bolsheviks fighting against a worldwide supported White opposition – given that a considerable amount of foreign support was given to the Reds in one form or another, with the support for the Whites being (in reality) limited to what some say.

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      3. Mikhail,

        I read your sources and they are not that convincing. The 2 million marks referenced in the DW article for example did not all go to the Bolsheviks. You will also have to explain how some positive left wing press and some minor donations compare with the economic and military might of most of the great world powers behind various White factions being at all equivalent. The NYT article is interesting but is mostly about the politics of today. To the extent it does discuss German support for Lenin it does not situate it in much context. The context absent in the article includes continuing allied support for the provisional government using vastly greater amounts of money than the small change the Germans were giving to Lenin, and Lenin’s own mistrust and contempt for the Germans. Plus it omits that he never had any intention of giving away Tsarist territory as part of a new revolutionary Russia. Indeed his actions in the Civil War also strongly suggest he was against Ukrainian independence as Bolshevik aligned Ukrainian Communists fought the Rada.
        I also gather from your response that you do not seem to have much of a notion of what the sources I am referring to argue. So let’s focus on Catherine Merridale and ‘Lenin on the Train.’ As she makes clear Lenin actually tried everything and everyone to get out of Switzerland and back to Russia, including asking the Americans for help. The Germans however gave him the quickest and best offer and he took it. As she documents in the book the ‘Sealed Train’ was mostly true and an agreement between Lenin and the Germans. But again this is pretty much getting a train ticket and is as nothing compared to the financial and military support provided by the world’s great powers. Once again how is some positive left leaning press and a few fundraisers equivalent at all to the fiscal and military might of the UK, USA, France, and Japan?
        Finally Pilsudski’s decision was one of many factors that caused the Whites to fail in 1919, to credit his actions with saving the Revolution is to give him too much credit.

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      4. On that last point, Tukhachevsky differs from you. A quiote from him has been provided.

        There’s plenty of other source material (primary and otherwise) detailing the extent of German aid to the Bolshes, which show it to be considerably more than just transportation from Zurich to Petrograd..

        That the USSR had a relative short life and the Whites now get respect in Russia serve as further evidence that the Reds weren’t virtuous in the manner which some suggest.

        The hyped mythology of a world in staunch opposition to the Reds with substantial support to the Whites has been factually debunked.

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      5. Simply because Tukhachevsky said it does not make it true or the complete picture. To be sure it is a piece of evidence to be considered carefully and with respect but the Bolsheviks were under pressure not just from the West, but South, East and North – they were surrounded.
        And yes 2 million marks spread over Social Revolutionaries, various ethnonationalists and the Bolsheviks is considerably less material support than the military and financial backing the Whites received. Yes, none of the interventions on behalf of the Whites were ‘full blooded’ but equally they were far more substantial than anything the Reds received.
        And I won’t apologise for the affinity I feel for the cause of the Reds and their fight. While one has to weigh the facts ‘one the one hand … on the other hand’ and interrogate sources carefully, like one has to do when reading, say, ‘The State and Revolution’ by Lenin, ultimately in times of conflict especially ideological one has to pick a side. If I had been in Russia, I would have chosen the Reds.

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      6. The Russian Civil War era Red commander Tukhachevsky gave a coherent appraisal on what a Polish-White alliance likely meant against the Reds at a time when the latter were very much on the ropes.

        Instead, the then secret agreement between the Reds and Poles greatly enhanced the position of the Reds.

        How is it that you know better, given that you were apparently unaware of this Russian Civil War aspect prior to my bringing it up? You seem to be brought up on a ideologically driven POV.

        In contrast, I had the sovok influenced perspective force fed on me, only to see the flaws behind that view, care of the scholarly studies conducted over the decades which factually rebuke the former.

        As for who to support in that war, post-Soviet Russia’s embrace of the Whites includes some high profile comments from Putin.

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      7. I was aware of it. As I said though, the West was just one front.
        Furthermore you discounted what I said about Tukhachevsky so perhaps putting in comparative perspective will help. What Guderian, Manstein and Halder say about what happened on the Russian front should not be taken as Gospel. As highly important and, like Tukhachevsky, competent officers their remarks and writings should be taken very seriously, but just because ‘they’ said it doesn’t mean their perspective is enough when writing history – even if one was considering a German-centric perspective – to determine what was happening, what else was important, what was being done, and full context. In November 1941 for example, Guderian had his very particular focus. Similarly Tukhachevsky had his. Both were very important commanders and their perspectives must be considered, but that doesn’t mean that because they say something it is the full story.
        But once again 2 million marks spread over a bunch of disparate groups, not just the Bolsheviks, and basically a train ticket does not equate to the financial and military assistance the Allies gave the Provisional government and subsequently the Whites.

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      8. Once again in your comments about Russia’s prospective development without the Revolution you dodge the points I made on governance, on the limits of advances under the Tsars.

        But that is by the by, a lot of historians do that. They just don’t like the Soviet Union and don’t want to give it credit for anything. I don’t like that, but that is a part of life and there is nothing I can do about that.

        What I can do is take issue with you ignoring my point about North Korea. Namely, its actual ideology is a lot more like a variant of fascism. I linked to a book that actually does demonstrate this. But if you like here is a lecture delivered by Professor Myers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qPf-zZ4eKQ
        The South Korean military dictatorship also had very centralized control over the economy and was very repressive. The penalty for breaking foreign exchange controls under General Park was execution. True, it was not as repressive as North Korea. Then again, the USSR was not anywhere near as repressive as North Korea. So while one can COMPARE North Korea and the USSR, what emerges from an objective comparison is the contrasts not the similarities. The USSR after Stalin died was a lot freer and more open and it never reverted back to anything near resembling the personality cult, repression and Terror of the Stalin era.

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      9. If anything, you’ve done most of the dodging here.

        Tukhachevsky is spot on. He saw what the situation was like at the time of the then secret Red-Pilsudski agreement, that saw the Reds agree to give more land away to Pilsudski than what the Whites were prepared to do in exchange for Poland not supporting the Whites.

        At the time of this occurrence, the military position of the Reds wasn’t good. There were no talking head TV shows back then. I’m sure the analytical insight at the time didn’t favor the Bolshes.

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  6. I think the Putin administration is good at seeing a genuine groundswell of public sentiment and riding it – the best example of this is the Бессмертный Полк (Immortal Regiment) which started as a grass-roots campaign but got taken over by the government. It’s officially supported, but there’s no doubt in my mind that the people who come out to join the march in May are there by choice.
    It’s a very Putin trick – the all-Russian National Front exists to take grass-roots organisation and turn them into something like the Committees of People’s Control – they keep an eye on the bureaucracy and channel major problems up to the Presidential Administration (acting like the Central Committee). So it both defuses and harnesses civil society at the same time, although as we have just seen, it is also willing to clamp down on civil society from time to time.

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    1. “So it both defuses and harnesses civil society at the same time, although as we have just seen, it is also willing to clamp down on civil society from time to time.”

      Examples of it, please. Are you referring to the detaining of the people participating in the unsactioned protests this Saturday over absolutely legitimate refusal to registry phoney candidate to the upcoming Moscow city council elections? Also, how do you define the “civil society”?

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  7. American Michael Averko made a bold claim, that the level of education and health for all citizens (which “enabled someone with Putin’s family background to rise in life”) would have happened even without the October Revolution and the Bolsheviks. So far, you failed to prove your point, instead vomiting a torrent of shameless self-promotion via links to crappy articles. He also regularly craps himself (as with “Rurik ruled Rus”), and then conveniently cries “I obviously meant other thing!”. Meaning – he is a sore looser, that just can’t admit to be wrong, instead lashing out at the audience.

    You, Michael, consistently fail to answer direct questions, while constantly moving the goalsposts and, in general, resort to as much logical fallacies as possible. Along the way, you make even more outlandish claims, which you, naturally, fail to support with facts and evidence.

    One issue have to be addressed though. Not in the hopes of correcting the self-engrossed hysterical demagogue Michael, but to show others the level of BS zhe is spouting.

    “I provided links to articles using primary and secondary source material backing up my comments on the Russian Civil War.”

    Okay then! Let’s read dem articles, which ”prove” your point,wthile whitewashing the Entente conduct in the Russian Civil war. First one deals with the Poland in the later period of the Russian Civil war. Second one discusses the February Revolution and engages in “Forgive Us, Liege” ™ naïve monarchism. None of them offers any substance to support your claims on the foreign military intervention being “too small to be significant” in the Russian Civil war. OTOH, just by linking your articles you hope to get even a slight increase in views of your boring shyte. Not to give you even this amount of benefits, I suggest everyone goes to your articles via “ DoNotLink” apps or online services.

    For the counter argument, let’s see some facts and evidence, shall we? Check out “Documents on British Foreign Policy” series I, vol III, pp. 369-70. Here you will find the infamous “Convention between France and England on the subject of activity in Southern Russia”, signed on 23 Dec 1917 – more than 2 month before Brest-Litovsk. This agreement divided the southern part of the former Russian Empire into “zones of influence” (of occupation, as it turned out). France was assigned Bessarabia (Moldavia), the Ukraine and the Crimea. The British zone was to be the Cossack Territories in Kuban’ and Don, and the Caucasus area (Armenia, Georgia and Kurdistan) .Which nicely corresponded to the economic interests of the Entente capitalists, who owned property there.

    The convention also mentions general Alekseyev’s (then – based in Novocherkassk), the first leader of the White revolt along with Kornilov, proposition to France to create a new army to fight against the “enemy”. France agreed – and already gave him 100 million franks.

    Even before this “diplomatic fig leaf”, to somehow provide the necessary legal framework for the de-facto illegal intrusion in other (nominally – still allied) country’s internal affairs, British high command since early December 1917 adopted the policy to support literally anyone who’d go against the Bolsheviks. Before Alexeyev, there was ataman Kaledin (of all the people), whom the Brits decided to prop up on 14 Dec 1917 with 10 mln pounds with the explicit purpose of creating a 2000 strong taskforce.

    To quote “The British Intervention in South Russia 1918-1920” by Lauri Kopisto:

    “Britain played a leading role in this intervention and had a significant effect on the course of the war. Without this intervention on the White side, the superiority of numbers in manpower and weaponry of the Bolsheviks would have quickly overwhelmed their opponents.”
    …The British military mission arrived in South Russia in late 1918, and started to provide General Denikin’s White army with ample supplies. General Denikin would have not been able to build his army of more than 200,000 men or to make his operation against Moscow without the British materiel. The British mission also organized the training and equipping of the Russian troops with British weapons. This made the material aid much more effective. Many of the British instructors took part in fighting the Bolsheviks despite the orders of their government.
    …In South Russia the Whites were defeated not because of the lack of British aid, but rather in spite of it.
    …Kolchak’s army was totally dependent on British arms and munitions which started to flow to Vladivostok soon after the Armistice, as there were no armament plants in Siberia… Denikin’s situation was equally problematic. In the beginning of 1919 both Volunteer and Don Armies had run out of meagre supplies mainly captured from the Bolsheviks.”

    Which is of course true. All 3 Russian mention factories – in Izhevsk, Tula and Sestroretsk – had been in the Red held territory. Without external supplies, the Whites could not fight the war. The author then provides an exhaustive account on what, where and how much received the Whites from the Entente (mostly – Britain). Denikin’s Moscow offensive had been supported (courtesy of one Winston Churchill) by supplying it with 500 artillery pieces, 12 tanks, 1.6 million artillery shells, 160 million bullets and 250 000 uniform kits. Boris Savinkov (terrorist №2 of the Russian Empire, who, after organizing the White revolt in Yaroslavl, found his way to the South) wrote in his memoirs about so full of himself Churchill, pointing with his hand at the map, showing the current disposition of Denikin’s forces and saying “This is my army”. Savinkov was understandably pissed off, but had to keep his mouth shut, by reminding himself that “even now [White Army’s] volunteers lack boots” and how they indeed totally depend on Entente. Even then – this assistance was not for free. In 4 Nov 1919 British government reminded Denikin that not only he had been supplied in debt, but that from now on he’d have to pay in hard cash (preferably – in gold) for future supplies.

    Was the Entente military intervention “small scale”? Hardly:

    – In Russia’s North, according to the British General Staff, in December 1918 there were 23,516 foreign soldiers and 7,156 “White Guardians”. Six months later, their total number reached 53 thousand. The maximum number of foreign interventionists among them was close to 44 thousand (ref. – Голдин В.И. Интервенция и антибольшевистское движение на Русском Севере. 1918-1920. М., 1993.)

    – In Siberia and the Far East in 1920 there were 175 000 Japanese (yes, if someone forgot – Japan was a member of Entente), 55 000 Czech legionaries, 20,000 American, 6,000 Chinese, 4,000 Canadian, 1,600 British, 1,500 Italian, 1,100 French, 12,000 Polish, Romanian and Serbian troopers (ref. – Крушанов А.И. Гражданская война в Сибири и на Дальнем Востоке. 1918-1920 гг. Владивосток, 1984)

    – In the south of Russia, the Entente concentrated about 50 thousand of its own troops. In Odessa alone, there were 12 000 French soldiers and as many Greeks, 2000 Serbs, 4 000 Polish legionaries (ref. – Рабинович С.Е. История Гражданской войны. М.: Соцэкгиз, 1935).

    For comparison – the number of all white armies (i.e. the ones serving to Denikin, Yudenich, Kolchak etc) never went beyond the line of 300 thousand.

    But that was in the future. As of late January 1918 (note – still more than a month to the conclusion of the Brest-Litovsk talks) anti-Bolshevik “resistance” amounted to about 1000 irreconcilable officers from Aleyev/Kornilov’s remnants, 5-7 000 Cossacks and enlisted men (in horrible shape and suffering from divided loyalties), plus maybe 10-15 000 of the anti-Bolshevik “underground” movement in Russia’s proper. At first, it all looked like the repetition of the situation in post-Revolutionary France – not a Civil War, but a series of revolts with a particular serious one concentrated in one far off province (Vendee/Don). Ergo – the urgent need for the foreign military intervention.

    It was the foreign military intervention, that helped to crank up the violence to the Civil War level and prolonged the (futile) resistance to the Bolsheviks, thus exacerbating the deathtoll and destruction in Russia. E.g. – the illustrious career of William Edmund Ironside, 1st Baron Ironside. Under his command in 1918 there was an international force consisting of about 20 000 British, 5-6000 American, 4000 French, c. 2000 Italian soldiers, plus Polish volunteer Legion and some Chinese. During his half-year rule, the intervention forces secured major industrial sites of Russia’s North, which produce (along with lumber and other raw materials) had been illegally looted from the country. He “commandeered” for the British needs the enormous amounts of the military supplies, that were stockpiled in the northern ports. He was one of the organizers of the proper White terror against the civilian population, he organized several concentration camps where served British officers. After the Allied forces finally vacated Russia’s north in late 1919, local Whites crumbled against Red advance in mere days (which shows exactly the importance of the intervention forces). For his service Ironside was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath, and promoted to substantive Major-General.

    And why not? He, naturally, was not a Russophile, ready to lend a hand to fellow officers, who’d fought the common enemy during the Great War – for him and others the British Empire had been uber alles (as demonstrated by his intrigues in Iran in 1920-21). Winston Churchill was extreamly blunt regarding the real arrangement vis-à-vis the Whites in his “The World Crisis”, Volume 4, Ch 12, where he says it out loud – the British were not fighting for the anti-Bolshevik Russians, it was the other way round. The Whites were fighting for “our cause”, writes Churchill.

    Similar situation developed in Russia’s Far East. Vladivostok was spared the Great War, and the maritime area around didn’t suffer from German underwater warfare. This all translated in Vladivostok playing host to about 180 000 t. of military supplies (not only ammo and weapons) to which the Bolshevik government was the one and rightful claimant. Even if not using them, simply by selling this lot would have provided the new government with enormous amount of cash, thus strengthening it significantly. Naturally, Entente could not allow this to happen. In June 1918 the Entente “suggested” for Japan to land its forces in Vladivostok “to safeguard the military supplies”. They promptly agreed, and soon were followed by 10 000 American expeditionary/occupational forces, more interested in “balancing” the Japan. Together, they secured a “safe space” for the revolting Czech legionaries (formally under French command), who had been raping, murdering and looting their way through Siberia.

    These are the facts, so inconvenient to the rootless nationalist and spreader of bald faced lies one disforic American Michael Averko.

    Like

    1. Your long winded BS flops again.

      Obviously Riurik ruled Rus can and does (from a correct standpoint) refer to the Riurik line of monarchs who ruled Rus. I never said differently. So much for your flop attempt at gotcha.

      I’m not into editorialized history that negates facts. The foreign presence on former Russian Empire territory started as WW I was still being fought. Among other sources, George Brinkley’s detailed book concurs:

      https://www.bing.com/search?q=%20The%20Volunteer%20Army%20and%20the%20Allied%20Intervention%20in%20South%20Russia%2C%201917-1921%3A%20A%20Study%20in%20the%20Politics%20and%20Diplomacy%20of%20the%20Russian%20Civil%20War%20by%20George%20A.%20Brinkley&pc=cosp&ptag=G6C999N2118A12CF88F5C3&form=CONBNT&conlogo=CT3210127

      WW I and not so much fighting the Reds was the issue on that matter. Following WW I, Russian was in a civil war. The major powers had some foreign nationals and interests in Russia that were potentially jeopardized. Hence, the matter of a safeguard was at play.

      The actual amount of foreign fighting in the Russian Civil War against the Reds relative to that entire war shows that the foreign intervention mantra (as spun by the likes of you) is exaggerated.

      If Churchill had his way, the Brits would’ve been actively involved (as in fighting on a large scale) in the Russian Civil War. This didn’t happen on account of Lloyd George having the upper hand. George saw the Bolshes as weakening Russia, thereby serving British imperial interests.

      So much for your churlish personal diatribes, which are indicative of your own shortcomings.

      Like

      1. […]
        […]
        […]
        […]

        https://im0-tub-ru.yandex.net/i?id=5d3db7170c00bdd868a94ab3f269e85d-srl&n=13&exp=1

        […]

        How can an army wage a modern era industrial scale war, without:

        a) Weapons.
        b) Ammo.
        c) Medical supplies.
        d) Artillery.
        e) Shells.
        f) Uniforms
        e) Boots.

        What in the phrase “White armies were totally dependant on foreign help” you don’t understand, moron? Wait, maybe you are dumb, that you actually don’t know that in the War, even the Civil War, actual fighting is not everything… If you are clinically deranged, why you didn’t say so in the beginning? You won’t get a hug or a candy, but it would save much time instead of trying to engage with you!

        Like

      2. More empty calories innuendo from you. In WW I, Russia successfully fought well against Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire.

        The matter of Russia attacking Germany early in that war was a mistake for sure. That error has been used as a basis for explaining why Stalin was reluctant to offend Nazi Germany – regarding the latter’s attack on the USSR and Stalin playing down his Intel of the impending Nazi attack.

        As for WW I, by 1917, the armaments situation improved for Russia. The morale just wasn’t there, in part c/o bolshevik activity – explaining why some (not you) in Russia consider Lenin and his supporters as traitors.

        The likes of Sikorsky and Lodygin show that Russia was advancing without the USSR.

        Like

      3. How can an army wage a modern era industrial scale war, without:

        a) Weapons.
        b) Ammo.
        c) Medical supplies.
        d) Artillery.
        e) Shells.
        f) Uniforms
        e) Boots.

        What in the phrase “White armies were totally dependant on foreign help” you don’t understand, moron?

        Like

      4. Take 3

        […]

        How can an army wage a modern era industrial scale war, without:

        a) Weapons.
        b) Ammo.
        c) Medical supplies.
        d) Artillery.
        e) Shells.
        f) Uniforms
        e) Boots.

        What in the phrase “White armies were totally dependant on foreign help” you don’t understand, дебила кусок?

        Like

      5. “Because they weren’t. “

        I just provided you with the above linked research, which cites primary sources (including the ones from Entente countries), that enumerates amount of materiel assistance to the White cause. It also points out that in the territories held by the White armies there were NO developed military industry, that would allow them to operate independently.

        If you could disprove with the fact and evidence two theses that:

        1) The White armies were NOT self-sustaining for waging industrial scale war.

        2) The White armies depended on Entente for waging the industrial scale war.

        Go and disprove it, чучундрик.

        Like

    2. Editorialized non-academic presented BS, in line with your skewed views. Brings to mind the Mueller Report, using WaPo op-ed news reporting that supposedly proves Russian meddling.

      British support was considerably limited as well as other aid to the Whites – something detailed in Brinkley’s book, in line with what Lloyd George said:

      https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2017/03/22/reexamining-russias-past/

      Excerpt –

      “In his memoirs, Alexander Kerensky quotes British Prime Minister David Lloyd George’s basis for Britain’s non-support to the Russian Civil War era Whites. Kerensky references this excerpt from Lloyd George’s September 17, 1919 House of Commons speech:

      ‘Denikin and Kolchak are fighting for two main objects. The first is the destruction of Bolshevism and the restoration of good government in Russia. Upon that, they could get complete unanimity among all the forces, but the second is that they are fighting for a reunited Russia. Well, it is not for me to say whether that this is a policy which suits the British Empire. There was a very great statesman…Lord Beaconsfield, who regarded a great, gigantic, colossal, growing Russia rolling onwards towards Persia and the borders of Afghanistan and India as the greatest menace the British Empire could be confronted with’.”

      .

      Like

      1. If you could disprove with the fact and evidence two theses that:

        1) The White armies were NOT self-sustaining for waging industrial scale war.

        2) The White armies depended on Entente for waging the industrial scale war.

        Go and disprove it, долбоящер.

        Meanwhile, according to:
        – Maj.-Gen. Sir H.C. Holman’s Final Report of the Military Mission, South Russia. WO 33/971, PRO.;
        – ‘Resume of work by the RAOC with the British Military Mission in South Russia’, by Lt-Col. Symons, Symons’ Papers, PLA.
        – “Некоторая переписка по вопросам снабжения армии в Крыму с мая по октябрь 1920 г.”, Kusonskii Collection, Box 2 file 2, HIA

        Entente (mainly Brits) supplied to Denikin (April 1919 – March 1920) with:
        – 551 artillery guns (+1 561 144 shells), 250 Howitzers (+340 806 shells), 106 mortars (+16,142 bombs);
        – 56 “Mark V” Heavy tanks (+20 000 shells)

        Also – 18 “Whippet” Light tanks and 6 Rolls Royce armoured cars;

        – 402 lorries, 227 touring cars, 279 motorcycles.
        – 196 RE8 and DH9 reconnaissance bombers;

        – 1,913 Vickers heavy machine guns. 4,264 Lewis light machine guns;
        – 198,015 7.62, SMLE, Ross rifles (+500 mln bullets). 1,257 Webley revolvers (+154,480 bullets);
        – 70,524 bayonets, 13,094 cavalry swords, 2,500 cavalry lances;

        – 520,000 complete sets of British uniforms, 662,408 boots, 103,378 steel helmets.
        – 12 general hospitals for 500 beds, 25 field hospitals, 174 ambulances, 800,000 field dressings.

        Like

      2. Take 4

        […]

        I) How can an army wage a modern era industrial scale war, without:

        a) Weapons.
        b) Ammo.
        c) Medical supplies.
        d) Artillery.
        e) Shells.
        f) Uniforms
        e) Boots.

        II) What in the phrase “White armies were totally dependant on foreign help” you don’t understand, д.б?

        III) If you could disprove with the fact and evidence two theses that:

        1) The White armies were NOT self-sustaining for waging industrial scale war.

        2) The White armies depended on Entente for waging the industrial scale war.

        Go and disprove it, увечный.

        Like

  8. The bottom line is that there was no large scale intervention on their behalf. Hence, that then secret Red-Pilsudski alliance for the purpose of weakening White gains when the Reds were on the run. The Whites were beating them with sling shots?

    It’s not like the Reds were mass producing their own arms. Tank warfare in the Russian Civil War didn’t play a key role.

    Some counter sovok:

    http://gen.lib.rus.ec/book/index.php?md5=C0939AEB66CE787D8558988BA99F8B00

    From the above link –

    HISTORY’S GREATEST HEIST: THE LOOTING OF RUSSIA BY THE BOLSHEVIKS SEAN MCMEEKIN YALE UNIVERSITY PRESS, 2009 HARDCOVER, $38.00, 308 PAGES, PHOTOGRAPHS, ABBREVIATIONS, NOTES, BIBLIOGRAPHY, INDEX Russia had been one of the greatest success stories of the capitalist world in the decade leading up to World War I. War and wartime inflation undermined the government’s legitimacy, however, and led to power falling into the hands of increasingly radical elements, ending up with Lenin. The Bolshevik takeover led to the near paralysis of the Russian economy. In the midst of the world’s largest forest, the Bolsheviks were soon running out of paper to print their decrees, propaganda, and currency. What did they have to sell to buy imported weapons to help them stay in power? In a powerful and surprising new book, HISTORY’S GREATEST HEIST: THE LOOTING OF RUSSIA BY THE BOLSHEVIKS, author Sean McMeekin makes a powerful and surprising argument that Lenin and his followers imposed a policy of looting the national treasures that Russia had amassed over the centuries. Those treasures consisted of gold, silver, and precious jewelry on a massive scale. This didn’t prove as immediately successful as the Bolshevik braintrust had hoped. For example, “inventory shrinkage” proved a problem. When Lenin and Trotsky called for mobs to sack the local landowners, bourgeois households, and churches and send the loot to Moscow, the amount received wasn’t as lucrative as expected. Rather a large percentage seemed to stick to the fingers of local Bolshevik operatives. The author shows in this formidably documented, morally impassioned book that the Bolsheviks could have never survived their first years in power without the cooperation of Western governments, industrialists, and financiers. That’s because their first act on seizing power was to deliberately destroy Russia’s economy, leaving the regime wholly dependent on foreign financing. Beyond dialectical materialism, the Bolsheviks didn’t have the slightest idea how a modern economy or financial system worked. This was made even worse, when on December 27, 1917, they abolished private banks and repudiated government bonds which effectively destroyed the system for investors to invest and the workers to work. If the principal function of most governments is to cultivate law and public order, then the opposite happened under the Bolsheviks-eradicate all existing laws and institutions and encourage class war. With the nation’s economy now wrecked and its banking system abolished, the Bolsheviks had nothing to encourage foreign buyers to invest. Accordingly, they acted less like a government than like a gang of thieves. They couldn’t for instance open the safe-deposit boxes in most Russian banks and so they decreed that all owners of the boxes were to turn over their keys-that is, to help the government rob them. What they did manage to confiscate-from banks, churches, and private owners, most notably the Romanovs-they proceeded to fence surreptitiously and at a huge discount. McMeekin’s book bristles with the names of the Soviets who went to Switzerland with suitcases full of cash and jewels. Lenin found Stockholm banker Olof Aschberg, who would purchase Russian gold ingots at a huge discount in Estonia and then ship it across the Baltic to the Swedish Royal Mint. They then worked overtime melting down the Russian ingots (stamped with the Tsarist Russian seal) that were subsequently sold in London and New York. Aschberg would then sell the Bolsheviks the weapons they needed for their civil war and subsequent war against their peasantry. And while the Allied powers officially banned such sales, they effectively looked the other way when they saw how much money could be made. On the political front, then British Prime Minister Lloyd George, tired of blockading the Baltic, had legitimized Soviet trade representatives in order to get orders for British factories. The British signed a trade agreement with the Soviets in 1921 and the German Foreign Office, which had done so much to put Lenin in charge of Russia, signed one at Rapallo in 1922. HISTORY’S GREATEST HEIST: THE LOOTING OF RUSSIA BY THE BOLSHEVIKS is filled with vivid images of theft and spoliation, of warehouses full of loot, and millions of rubles. But the real value of this book is that it shows just how well the West lived up to Lenin’s cynical statement-“Comrades, don’t panic, when things get very tough for us, we will give the bourgeoisie a rope, and the bourgeoisie will hang itself.” Lt. Colonel Robert A. Lynn, Florida Guard Orlando, Florida

    Like

    1. Take 5

      […]
      […]
      […]

      Quotes, numbers evidence!

      I) How can an army wage a modern era industrial scale war, without:

      a) Weapons.
      b) Ammo.
      c) Medical supplies.
      d) Artillery.
      e) Shells.
      f) Uniforms
      e) Boots.

      II) What in the phrase “White armies were totally dependant on foreign help” you don’t understand, земноводное?

      III) If you could disprove with the fact and evidence two theses that:

      1) The White armies were NOT self-sustaining for waging industrial scale war.

      2) The White armies depended on Entente for waging the industrial scale war.

      Go and disprove it, калич. Nothing in your nesewest diatribe proves me wrong. Disagree? Follow your own example, read the book and give us some evidence.

      Like

    1. Take 5

      […]
      […]
      […]

      Quotes, numbers evidence!

      I) How can an army wage a modern era industrial scale war, without:

      a) Weapons.
      b) Ammo.
      c) Medical supplies.
      d) Artillery.
      e) Shells.
      f) Uniforms
      e) Boots.

      II) What in the phrase “White armies were totally dependant on foreign help” you don’t understand, лупито?

      III) If you could disprove with the fact and evidence two theses that:

      1) The White armies were NOT self-sustaining for waging industrial scale war.

      2) The White armies depended on Entente for waging the industrial scale war.

      Go and disprove it, пiдрахуйник. Nothing in your nesewest diatribe proves me wrong. Disagree? Follow your own example, read the book and give us some evidence.

      Like

      1. History as reported within a level of objective reasoning contradicts your inaccurate sovok take for the previously described reasons. Cut and paste ally you want.

        Like

      2. Take 7

        […]
        […]
        “History as reported within a level of objective reasoning contradicts your inaccurate sovok take”
        […]
        […]

        Quotes, numbers evidence!

        I) How can an army wage a modern era industrial scale war, without:

        a) Weapons.
        b) Ammo.
        c) Medical supplies.
        d) Artillery.
        e) Shells.
        f) Uniforms
        e) Boots.

        II) What in the phrase “White armies were totally dependant on foreign help” you don’t understand, гiднюк?

        III) If you could disprove with the fact and evidence two theses that:

        1) The White armies were NOT self-sustaining for waging industrial scale war.

        2) The White armies depended on Entente for waging the industrial scale war.

        Go and disprove it, стрыпыздик. Nothing in your nesewest diatribe proves me wrong. Disagree? Follow your own example, read the book and give us some evidence.

        Like

      3. Once again Rainman, why did Russia in WW I do so well against A-H and the OE? Why were the Whites on the offensive in 1919 in a way which led the Bolshes to conclude a then secret deal with Pilsudski to have the latter not support the Whites, in exchange for the Reds agreeing to let Poland have more land than what the Whites were willing to accept?

        You’ve failed to disprove my core points at this thread.

        Like

      4. Take 8

        […]
        […]
        >Gots literally told with exact numbers how the Entente supplied virtually all possible military supplies to the Whites in 1919
        >Averko failes to prove that the White were self-sustainable with quotes, numbers and evidence
        >Averko continues to be an ass-clown
        […]
        […]

        Quotes, numbers evidence!

        I) How can an army wage a modern era industrial scale war, without:

        a) Weapons.
        b) Ammo.
        c) Medical supplies.
        d) Artillery.
        e) Shells.
        f) Uniforms
        e) Boots.

        II) What in the phrase “White armies were totally dependant on foreign help” you don’t understand, гiмнойид?

        III) If you could disprove with the fact and evidence two theses that:

        1) The White armies were NOT self-sustaining for waging industrial scale war.

        2) The White armies depended on Entente for waging the industrial scale war.

        Go and disprove it, жбагаляка. Nothing in your nesewest diatribe proves me wrong. Disagree? Follow your own example, read the book and give us some evidence.

        Like

  9. Also – Mr. Robinson, Professor – sir! Will you side with your fellow American (albeit from the rebellious colonies) Michael Averko and conclude, that I’m wrong here, that, therefore. in 1919 the White Movement was

    1) Either totally self-sustaining in all necessary venues of the war material needed for waging a successful industrail scale war and WERE NOT dependent on the Entente supplies of said materiel…

    OR

    2) They discovered a magic(k)al, mystical way to produce all bullets with the Force of the Anti-Bolshevik Will, or could go forth without boots, bullets, food, medicine etc. LITERALLY FOR MONTHS,while simultaniously sustaning not only an offenssive across a large frontline, but also to have find enough bullets to shot the uppity peasants in the newly reconquered territorues.. All in the name of… uh, what exactly?

    Please, weigh in, Professor. Surely, Michael Averko rabidly awaits your approval.

    Like

    1. Lyt’s updated version of the Bolshes seeking the kind of support they received during the Russian Civil War.

      BTW, the host has been Canadian based, where ice hockey is a big thing. That sport has a third man in the fight penalty. Perhaps he’s observing that rule.

      In any event, arguing with someone like jraortjens is more your speed.

      Like

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