Feeble Constitution - A Red-and-Green Russia 1917 Timeline

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Salvador79, Jan 8, 2019.

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  1. Threadmarks: One: Lvov Resigns (April 1917)

    Salvador79 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2015
    Hello everyone,

    this is my first timeline in the After 1900 section, and I'm still somewhat insecure about it all. I have a lot of ideas for this timeline, but this is part of history where, even though I have spent the last months reading up, others are way more knowledgeable than me, and there have been a number of good Russian Revolution timelines on this site. Therefore, I am reaching out to you and asking everyone for help: I'll gladly receive and consider your advice and feedback.
    In fact, this timeline has not only been inspired by @Hnau's old TL A Lenin-Less World, it is even building on another, currently ongoing timeline's PoD, and diverges from it mere weeks after that timeline's PoD from OTL: I am, therefore, indebted to @GiantMonkeyMan 's exciting project of Saving Soviet Democracy. For this timeline, I am borrrowing his primary PoD of a much fuller train of Russian revolutionaries travelling with V. I. Lenin to Finland Station, bringing many more prominent and illustrious left-wing revolutionary personalities into the game earlier.

    This TL departs from @GiantMonkeyMan 's with the following events which unfolded in the evening and night from the 20th to the 21st of Russia's old April of 1917, that is, from the 3rd to the 4th of May 1917 in the calendar we are more comfortable with. Like the next couple of updates, they will be pieces from ATL newspapers from different countries.

    So, here goes a public announcement on the front pages of: Delo Naroda; Rabotschaja Gazeta, Novaya Zhisn and Trud on April 22nd (May 5th) 1917:

    [​IMG]

    Lvov resigns!

    We print the declaration and appeal to all Russians adopted by the Petrograd Workers’ and Soldiers’ Soviet last night in reaction to the collective demission of the provisional government:

    We, the working people and defenders of the revolution and our Motherland, have received the demission of the provisional government and acknowledged it with deep sorrow and serious concern. Now we must face our common challenges with courage and determination!

    Last night, our delegates conferred with Prince Lvov’s cabinet with the goal to achieve the utmost clarity that the sacrifices we continue to bring in the great war have the sole purpose of defending our revolution, that is, ourselves, our sisters and brothers, parents and children, and the democratic republic we strive to build together, and that both Lvov and [foreign minister] Milyukov commit themselves before the eyes and ears of the peoples of Russia and of our worldwide allies to this purely defensive endeavor, and to the relentless struggle for a peace without annexations or indemnities. With this most modest demand the provisional government was not willing to comply. When our delegates remained firm in conveying your, our brave people’s, exigencies, Lvov and all his ministers, with the exception of Alexander Kerensky, have resigned.

    Since last night, we have not been able to establish communications with the large factions of the Duma, and no new proposals have come forth in response to our calls. In light of these developments, and to prevent our motherland from stumbling onwards without a government, we have resolved, by 903 votes against 72, to accept the self-dissolution of the provisional government, and to make all preparations required for holding immediate elections to an All-Russian Constituent Assembly on the dates and in the manner laid out by the Duma’s law for municipal and provincial elections of April 15th, to be concluded no later than June 15th. Until then, and to secure the defense, provision, organization and order of our motherland and all its peoples, five committees have been established by democratic vote. We appeal to all citizens, to all soldiers, workers and farmers, to anyone working in the administration of our towns, uezds, volosts, and oblasts, to their Dumas and Zemstvos, to support our effort in protecting and upholding our common lives, and our effort to organize free, fair, secret, universal, and direct elections for all men and women from all of Russia’s peoples.

    The Military Committee [1] has elected Pavel Lazimir as their speaker and he has called upon the central command and we call upon all soldiers to hold their positions in the defense of the motherland and to counsel with the military committee about the further course of action. The military committee calls on all regional soviets to form regional military committees in order to guard the people’s safety, and to build up a mighty and united force of the people’s self-defense.

    The Committee of Industry, Labour, and Transportation [2] has elected Matvei Skobelev as their speaker. With the committee, we ensure to all workers in every corner of Russia the sacrosanctity of the limitation of the workday to eight hours and not a minute more, and we call upon all workers and their factory councils to counsel with the committee of industry, labour and transporation and to uphold the production of all the goods required to feed and clothe and protect our entire people.

    The Committee of Agriculture and Supply [3] has elected Panteleimon Vikhliaev as their speaker. The committee has immediately begun all necessary preparations for thorough and just agrarian reform, and with the committee we call to the farthest reaches of our republic to join in our coordinated effort to restore every obshchina and to ensure the daily bread to every man, woman and child.

    The Committee of Communications and Territorial Organization [4] has elected Irakli Tsereteli as their speaker, and with the committee we call on all defenders of the revolution to put their differences aside and stand together in saving our motherland and the republic we will buld in it, whose free people must now rise and take their fate into their own hands.

    For the General Committee of the Soviet of the Workers and Soldiers of Petrograd:
    Alexander Fyodorovich Kerensky, Fyodor Dan, Viktor Chernov, Mikhail Liber


    [1] In further updates abbreviated as Voykom

    [2] In further updates abbreviated as Transtrudkom

    [3] In further updates abbreviated as Selposkom

    [4] In further updates abbreviated as Svyazkom
     
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  2. GiantMonkeyMan Dirty Red

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    Thanks for your kind words in your introduction and I'm glad I've inspired something interesting!

    So the April Days leads to the fall of the Provisional Government and out of the ashes will stumble a Constituent Assembly... Likely, it will be SR dominated. Interested to see where you take it. And with the CA, comes all sots of interesting questions which were being put aside until the vague promises of the CA elections - the national question for a start. I look forward to more.
     
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  3. Salvador79 Well-Known Member

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    Mar 18, 2015
    Yeah, I guess the colour allusion in the thread's title is not quite so subtle :)

    I am so glad to have you on board! Yes, the national question(s) are going to haunt the CA not only from its opening meeting, but already throughout the electoral process and the weeks of an even greater power vaccum than before. I am curious what you (and others) will think of my answers - although Update Two, on which I'm currently writing, isn't going to offer any of these yet..
     
  4. Threadmarks: Two: Chernov Elected (June/July 1917)

    Salvador79 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2015
    London (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland): The Times, July 6th, 1917, p.1:

    RUSHING THE HANDS OF TIME · RADICALS ELECT CHERNOV AS NEW RUSSIAN LEADER

    PETROGRAD, Russia · from our correspondent John Postlethwaite, who enjoyed the privilege of exclusive access to this historical moment ·
    In the Taurid Palace, Russia’s Constituant Assembly gathered for its inaugural meeting on Wednesday. The electoral process, which should have been the first free and fair one under a universal franchise, had been overshadowed by electoral irregularities, intimidations, and all manner of fraudulences (our newspaper reported). The first parliamentary session is not likely to dispel growing anxieties in reasonable circles both within the beleaguered empire and among its allies. Mirroring the atmosphere of growing radicalisation on the streets, the assembly has elevated Victor Chernov, a populist from the radical left, to the highest position of power in the emerging republic. The chairman of the Party of Socialist Revolutionaries, a party which openly engaged in terrorism as a political means on several occasions, now bears the unfamiliar title of “Supreme Comissioner”. But the election of a man who has only ever criticised Russia’s engagement in the great war as the supreme commander of the world’s largest army was not even the most worrying development of the evening.

    An observer could have been forgiven for gaining the false impression that the solemn halls once designed for Catherine the Great had instilled a sense of duty in the 808 men and women representing Russia’s manifold nations and tribes, when they elected the popular and dignified icon of the revolution, 73-year old Yekaterina K. Breshko-Breshkovskaya, with overwhelming majority as speaker of the assembly, and then proceeded to unanimously consent to the proposal of adapting Russia’s time-keeping to the calendar used by most other civilized nations.

    Soon, though, division and strife prevailed. Pavel Milyukov, the leader of the liberal Kadet Party, whose disappointing electoral results surprised many, reiterated his accusations of electoral fraud: thousands of newly conscripted army recruits who had already voted in their home districts voted again in their military units; country houses of moderate candidates assaulted by mobs who, encouraged by extreme socialists, proceeded to divvy up the rightful owners’ property and then mocked their misery by declaring their squatted homes into village polling stations; self-proclaimed authorities of rural districts compiling ballots with Estonian versions of the candidates’ names in Latin letters only; and many more such occurrences. [1] His appeal for a parliamentary inquiry into these irregularities was shouted down by a furious radical majority.

    This radical majority is far from coherent, though. Populists and Marxists, agrarian reformers and labour unionists, advocates of so-called “revolutionary defensism” and those who espouse outright defeatism, all appear to detest each other, and to seek triumph over their next of ideological kin more than that over the German, Danubian, and Ottoman aggressors. Legal procedure provided more bones of contention, e.g. concerning the status of the occupied Polish and Lithuanian territories, whose population had not been able to participate in the elections, a circumstance which the Kadets and smaller moderate groups sought to acknowledge by declaring a number of seats corresponding to the missing electoral participants vacant. From the left, this proposal, which would have served to raise the threshold for a candidate’s election, making a broader national consensus inevitable, was vehemently rejected. The national awakenings of the countless nations and tribes of the vast empire, from Cossacks to Mahommedans, further complicate the matter – Chernov, for example, was not even voted into office by the Ukrainian delegates of his own party because in their eyes he did not offer sufficient commitment to the causes of national autonomy and increased defensive measures, and instead he relied on the support of Finnish, Georgian and Armenian social democrats for whose tastes he represented at least a better choice than their own candidate, Julius Martov, who is even more pacifistic and derides national sentiments as bourgeois illusions. Personal ambition only contributes to this state of confusion: Alexander Kerensky and Victor Chernov, two men who share a great degree of political goals and convictions, nonetheless candidated as rivals instead of joining their forces. Kerensky established his own “United Popular Socialist and Labour” faction of only 39 delegates after tumultuous scenes revolving around allegations of a freemasonic conspiracy which degenerated into undignified fisticuffs. And even farther out on the left fringe, the Bolshevik leader Vladimir Ilych Lenin, whom many suspect to be a German agent, denounced all other factions as lackeys of “imperialist capital interests”, indulging in what he labels “revolutionary defeatism” and unnerving the plenary with his rambling addresses to the “international proletariat” which he exhorted to rise up and “shake off their yoke”, alluding that the chaos and destructions of the past few weeks represented, in the eyes of his party, good omens for the coming overturning of all social structures.

    It was only in the small hours, when the lights in Starov’s splendid chandeliers competed against the pale dark blue of the “white night”, that Chernov was able to obtain his majority, courting, among others, even the utmost leftist fringes of the political spectrum. In the last round of speeches before his election, a number of experienced statesmen from previous state dumas spoke out with increasing anxiety and warned the assembly against a political course which prolongs and even condones the anarchic situation which grips the country, undermines property rights, and weakens the threatened empire’s ability to stave off the aggressors – but to no avail.

    Reliable sources in Russia’s leading social and military circles have confided their acute worries to us and warned us against the consequences of a crisis of leadership in these critical moments, pointing towards the current politically motivated replacements of some of the most capable military officers from Stavka. [2] It remains to be hoped that our own government sees the writing on the wall and steps up mobilisation and equipment efforts so as to ensure the necessary reinforcement of our positions against the possibility of a redoubled German onslaught made possible by a no longer purely theoretical withdrawal of Russia.


    [1] Such things are almost inevitable, and IOTL the Kadets used warnings against such developments as an excuse for endlessly postponing the elections for a constituent assembly.

    [2] This alludes to conspiratorial plans by leading anti-republican and anti-socialist officers having been unveiled by soldiers loyal to provisional Soviet rule and to the revolution, which forced commander-in-chief Mikhail Alexeyev to arrest Anton Denikin, the conspiratorial web’s spider sitting right below him at Stavka, but then contributed to Alexeyev’s own demission. Voykom replaced Alexeyev with Alexey Brusilov in early June.


    I am aware that such a significant leap over months of revolutionary developments and the lopsided presentation from the limited perspective of a conservative British newspaper is bound to leave open quite a few questions. I shall be happy to deliver additional information on your request.
     
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  5. General Ripper Banned

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    Interesting start.
     
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  6. Salvador79 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2015
    Thank you, i'm glad you like it! Anything (missing?) you're particularly interested in?
     
  7. General Ripper Banned

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    Further updates?
     
  8. Salvador79 Well-Known Member

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    Mar 18, 2015
    ;) Sure. Next one's likely ready by Friday and situated towards late July / early August.
     
  9. Hnau free radical

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    Phoenix, Arizona
    Great work so far! It's clear you've put a lot of effort into the writing and it shows. Glad to see another person so invested in proving out how Russian history wasn't predetermined to remain permanently under the power of despots.
     
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  10. Salvador79 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2015
    Thanks for your kind words! I am sorry for the slow rhythm, I have to put in that extra effort since I am not a native speaker. Glad the result is acceptable.

    Yes, I wholeheartedly agree that there is no need to view Russia as being determined to stumble from tyranny to tyranny.
     
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  11. Threadmarks: Three: Chernov rejects German peace terms (late July 1917)

    Salvador79 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2015
    Petrograd: Rech, July 29th, p.1:

    GERMAN DEMANDS REJECTED!

    by Iosif Gessen [1]

    Yesterday, sanity and courage finally prevailed as the Constituent Assembly rejected the insulting German “offer” for an armistice with on overwhelming majority of 664 delegates over only 97 dissenters. Hours before, Supreme Commissioner Victor Chernov himself had recommended to our parliamentarians the rejection of the conditions presented by the Germans in the commission in which he himself had taken a leading role. The German negotiators had demanded the recognition of the puppet kingdoms they are currently propping up in Poland and Lithuania, the cessation of all Russian property in these lands, our acquiescence to the utmost German control over these countries, their governments, their economy and their military, a withdrawal of our troops from the unoccupied parts of the governorates of Riga, Courland, Vilno, Minsk, Zhitomyr, Podolia and Bessarabia, and additional “reparatory” payments. Confronted with such an outrageous “offer”, even Chernov, who had approached the German Empire against better advice from experienced statesmen and military experts and the diplomatic corps with his starry-eyed conception of a “peace without annexations or indemnities”, finally saw the situation for what it was.

    While the KD rejected the German demands unanimously, a group within his own SR [2] around radical Natanson joined the Bolshevik opposition in its cowardly cries for immediate peace, regardless of the cost for our motherland. It is unclear if this means Natanson has embraced Lenin’s deluded notion of demobilizing our organized army and converting the entire civilian population into guerilla fighters until, in some uncertain future, Germany’s proletariat shall rise up against its triumphant emperor and his military might, or if he considers the terms dictated by Berlin acceptable indeed.

    Facing such internal opposition, Chernov remained surprisingly firm. Now that he has apparently returned to reason, we are, desperately, reaching out to him once again. Given the rifts which are breaking up in our society, this may well be the last chance to come together and join our forces. The KD offer their continued support, and our willingness to join a national coalition to save our motherland. To make this possible, we empathically appeal to the supreme commissioner to refuse to sign the dangerous and divisive Land Reform Act, and we appeal to the more moderate and reasonable among his followers to put an end to the lawlessness which presently terrorizes the countryside, and to postpone the question of agrarian reform until the great war is concluded.

    Chernov has committed a dangerous mistake in approaching the Germans – now our enemy is certain to suspect weakness on our side, and he will attack again, with all the might he has assembled along the Western and Northern fronts, striking against the heart of Russia. To fend him off, all those who are brave enough and care for our young republic must stand together, instead of robbing, threatening and defaming each other. The KD is willing to wholeheartedly support the current commission’s attempts to organize our defense. To this end, it cannot be stressed enough how important it is not to alienate those whom we must trust to lead our defensive efforts.

    The skills which our experienced statesmen could bring to the joint patriotic effort are direly needed to avoid dangerous gaffes like the one committed by Chernov in the speech in which he rejected the German plans for Poland and Lithuania – which he was right to do –, but then promised to uphold the position that “the Polish and Lithuanian nations will determine their political future themselves, in a truly and authentically democratic process”, without clarifying that, with this process, he meant our common endeavor of drafting a constitution which determines cultural and territorial autonomies, yet leaves the union and integrity of our common republic inviolable. Through his omission, he has undoubtedly and unnecessarily stoked the fires of separatism not only in Poland, but also in Lithuania, where local elites had, only weeks ago, communicated rather clearly to the German military command that their desire to pride themselves with a nation state of their own is not so big as to accept it being a puppet on Berlin’s economic and military strings, and other separatist movements are likely to follow suit. To avoid such blunders, it is high time to establish separate Commissioners for Foreign Affairs and for National and Religious Minorities, and to draw effectively on the experiences of the men in our country’s diplomatic service – our chairman, Pavel Milyukov, being the ideal candidate to achieve just that.

    It is not too late yet for the responsible, patriotic democrats to close their ranks and prepare for the enemy’s onslaught, but there is not another hour to be lost, either.


    [1] IOTL and ITTL chief editor of the Kadet's newspaper and a leading member of the Constitutional Democratic Party.

    [2] To be read: “esery”
     
  12. Salvador79 Well-Known Member

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    Things are beginning to diverge on a larger scale. Comments are very welcome so I know what you think is or should be happening...
     
  13. Dathi THorfinnsson Daði Þorfinnsson

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    Syracuse, Haudenosaunee, Vinland
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  14. Salvador79 Well-Known Member

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  15. Hnau free radical

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    Aha! My understanding of the party is that the SRs were ambivalent towards Polish independence, as long as it was decided after the war of liberation and by a democratic vote. Many SRs and Russians really didn't want to lose much else other than Congress Poland if even that was necessary to bring down the German war effort, but I think there was a strong inclination among the Russian people to support a union of autonomous nations and republics if it was possible. I can see how, in your excellent writing, this being a Kadet newspaper, they may have emphasized this point.

    Of course, my read of the party activity in 1917 in the SRs is that there was a hard leftward turn as the Bolsheviks gained in popularity before their seizure of power. The Russians wanted the war to end, full stop. Friends, fathers, and brothers had died by the hundreds of thousands and the people were starving while the land went untilled and the military took what it wanted. That feeling may have been muted in your timeline's great summer of hope.

    I'm interested to see what Pavel Milyukov actually succeeds to implement! Having Lenin in the sidelines always makes me nervous though.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2019
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  16. Salvador79 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, treating "Lithuania" - whatever that may be - the same way as Poland is not likely to be popular with most Russians at this point. It certainly was a slip, a gaffe, as Gessen put it. And the KD have moved to the right, just as IOTL, what with there being no representation whatsoever of opinions to their right in the CA otherwise, and leftist parties now actually implementing some of the reforms they had talked about but never seriously wanted because it hurt their electorate's economic interests.

    ITTL, Lenin's and the Bolsheviks' position are significantly less attractive because, from their Slogan of "Land, peace and bread", the SR government is tackling "land" and has arguably done its best to bring about "peace" by commencing negotiations with the CP and only breaking them off when it turned out that German demands were utterly unacceptable. Yes, Russia's (mostly peasant) population is tired of the war, just like any other country's, but in comparison to OTL, they see Land reform empowering them actually begin to happen if Chernov doesn't fall back towards the centre-right (what Gessen calls for), and they know now that they're not dying for some imperial scheme, but to protect their families' new-won livelihoods from German tyranny.

    Lenin, being the clever guy that he was, will certainly adapt to this change of situation. From his April slogan, "peace" is still up in the air, while "bread"... well, we'll hear more about that in two updates' time.

    Pavel Milyukov can only achieve anything if Chernov decides to form a coalition. For Chernov, this means risking to lose the support of the (much broader than OTL because of their role in the May interregnum period) peasant soviets, who could turn to the Bolsheviks. Chernov's primary reason for including the KD would be to prevent a coup or conspiracy from among anti-socialist circles in the military and the upper bureaucratic echelons.
     
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  17. Karelian Well-Known Member

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    Interesting situation, the internal divisions within the PSR will soon come to play here.
     
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  18. Salvador79 Well-Known Member

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    Mar 18, 2015
    True. This TL's internal divisions within the SRs are beginning to diverge, too, though. While Mark Natanson from the Left wing voting with the Bolsheviks against rejecting the German demands sounds somewhat familiar, left-wing dissent against Chernov is much weaker than OTL's rift between SRs and Left SRS because the Left SRs protested against participating in a coalition government that didn't even begin land reform, didn't seek CA elections, had started a military offensive and spectacularly failed, all of that in an atmosphere which swung towards the Bolsheviks, who were even armed after Kornilov's coup.
    ITTL, we have - by July 29th - a socialist-only government which has brought a far-reaching Land reform law through the CA, and which has sought peace (but was faced with terms not too dissimilar from those which famously caused Left SR Maria Spiridonova to break the alliance with the Bolsheviks because she thought them unacceptable - OK, the terms are not as harsh as Brest-Litowsk, but not acceptable, either). Also, I haven't dwelled much on what happened in May (the soviet interregnum) and what these violent events in the countryside really are to which Rech and the Times alluded to. Both have a lot to do with tTL's rural powerbase of the SR. Like IOTL, there have been peasant squattings and outbursts against large landowners, but ittl, rural SRs are not really holding them back (as the bourgeois newspapers also complain) because they're not in any alliance with the bourgeois parties, rather, they're trying to organize and lead them (and have succeeded in many places). These SR grassroots are very Leftist in some meanings of the word, but not necessarily pursuing the same agenda as OTL's Left SRs.
    If Chernov does what Gessen suggests, he antagonises this much more powerful party Base. If he doesn't, though, there's another risk...
    And of course the division between Russian and Ukrainian SRs still applies. Chernov's gaffe is going to cause quite a dynamic of its own.
     
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  19. Threadmarks: Four: Riga Falls to Germans (August 1917)

    Salvador79 Well-Known Member

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    Sundsvall (Kingdom of Sweden), Dagbladet Nya Samhället, August 21st, 1917, p.1:

    RIGA FALLS TO GERMANS

    by Mauritz Västberg [1]

    The latest German offensive in the Baltic has met with its first major success. Over the course of the past three days, the Eighth German Army, which had crossed the Daugava shortly before after massive artillery barrage [2], has stormed Riga, once Latvia’s proudest city, but long since transformed into a ghost town by the war, and is securing its bridgehead which controls the mouth of Latvia’s most important river.

    The decisive disadvantage of the Russian defenders has been their internal divisions. Whereas desertions had long been primarily a problem among simple peasant conscripts, the Russian Twelfth Army – much like their equivalents elsewhere – is now, after the beginning of the apparently unsuccessful coup ten days ago [3], being plagued with desertions by high-ranking officers. Their supreme commander, Radko Dimitriev, who had pulled his strings at Stavka for more than a month in order to avoid the strengthening of his forces by the staunchly republican and left-leaning Latvian Riflemen regiments [4], deserted his soldiers in the midst of the defensive organisations, followed by a number of right-wing officers. The Twelfth Army had to restructure itself under Dmitri Parski’s command while in full retreat.

    What we are witnessing in Latvia – and elsewhere in Russia, too – is the terrible outcome of the betrayal which Russia’s aristocratic, violently anti-socialist officer class is committing not just against the government which was democratically elected to direct their military endeavours, but also against the entire country which they have sworn to serve and which they so loudly proclaim to love and protect against separatists [5] and unpatriotic internationalists. The amount of Russia’s present military catastrophe is, first and foremost, to be blamed on the former empire’s military gentry, as has been the case throughout the past three years. But now, the tsarist officer class is no longer just running the world’s biggest military force into the ground through incompetent leadership and ill-fated maneuvres which were at least undertaken in good faith – now they are consciously sabotaging the defense of their motherland, aiding the agenda of the German enemy they proclaim to hate so fervently. It appears as if the elites of the old order, confronted with the realization that they cannot stop the revolution of the toiling masses, are now bent on taking down as much of the new order with them as they can. Their calls to Russian patriotism are falsehoods, as everyone must realize now at last. They are sacrificing Russia and thinking about nobody but themselves.

    In the interest of workers worldwide, and of a fair and lasting democratic peace, we can only hope that Germany’s strong-willed proletariat will ultimately realize that they are not fighting for their own interests, and draw the necessary conclusions, while Russia’s awakening agricultural and industrial workers are putting their differences [6] aside in order to defeat both the treacherous enemy within and the insatiable oppressor who stomps across their fields and hoists his flag atop their factories.



    [1] This is a Social-Democratic newspaper from Northern Sweden.

    [2] (Durch-)Bruchmüller is leaving his imprint just like IOTL. In fact, the whole battle goes on fairly similar to OTL, only two weeks earlier – and without being preceded by a failed Kerensky offensive.

    [3] I wouldn’t put it that way. This is much broader than OTL's Kornilov coup. This coup has failed to control Petrograd and take out the CA-backed government and overall hasn’t managed to stop the revolution in its tracks, but it also hasn’t ended, as the following descriptions reveal. Rather, these were the opening salvoes in TTL’s Russian Civil War…. Well, not quite yet, the resistance isn't as massive as the "White" forces were IOTL, either. To give a very short sketch of what has happened in the ten days since the coup commenced: a conspiracy of military leaders has attempted to usurp military control from the CA, and they had/have quite a number of people both within the former tsarist administrative apparatus and among the economic elites on their side. But Lavr Kornilov ultimately messes things up in Petrograd himself, the bulk of the military units which he attempts to utilize for his plan turn against him in defense of the republic, and they manage to disperse (and kill some of) the forces unwaveringly loyal to the former commander of Petrograd. For now, the centre of revolutionary political power is safe. Radko Dimitriev has moved too slow and doesn’t have much to contribute after his demise from the retreating Twelfth Army’s leadership, while Mikhail Drozdovsky, the leader of the conspirators on the South-Western front, had the carpet pulled from under him by forces loyal to the CA under the command of Pyotr Baluyev. The only place where anti-CA forces have managed to prevail is along the Don, where Alexey Kaledin had had ample time to lay the groundwork for such a move among the region’s military-social Cossack elites. But the conflict is certainly not over yet.

    4] This is no longer similar to OTL: here, the Latvian Rifles are not in full insubordination and supporting the Bolsheviks; instead, they were instrumental in upholding intermediary soviet rule in Latvia in May and have since been supporting the Social-Democracy of the Latvian Territory’s alliance with the SRs in the CA, they have supported Chernov’s peace offer, but the German answer has convinced a majority among them, including Andrejs Auzāns and Jukums Vācietis, that there is no alternative to defending their Latvian home country alongside the rest of Russia’s army.

    [5] Avowed opposition against Chernov’s vague stance towards far-reaching national autonomies was one rallying cry of the junta which attempted to overthrow him. What is probably far more important is that Chernov and the central committee of the SRs decided to carry on with the land distribution scheme, which is taking away many an officer’s country estates.

    [6] More on those soon.
     
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  20. Salvador79 Well-Known Member

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    Mar 18, 2015
    The next update (probably ready by Monday evening) is going to be
    what Lenin said in the Constituent Assembly instead of writing this OTL letter.
     
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