Military Revolutionary Committee

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Facsimile of the Petrograd Military Revolutionary Committee proclamation of the disbanding of the Russian Provisional Government

The Military Revolutionary Committee also known as the Milrevcom (Russian: Военно-революционный комитет, Bоенревком, ВРК) was the name for military organs created by Bolsheviks Party organizations under the soviets during preparation and carrying out the armed revolt of October Revolution (October 1917 - March 1918).[1] The committees were powerful directing body of revolt, installing and securing the Soviet power. They executed a role of provisional extraordinary organs of Proletariat power.

The most notable ones were those of the Petrograd Soviet, the Moscow Soviet, and at Stavka. The Petrograd Military Revolutionary Committee was created on 29 October [O.S. 16 October] 1917.[2]

Creation[edit]

The idea for organization of the armed revolt battle center belongs to Lenin.[1] In his letter "Marxism and Revolt" directed to the Central Committee of RSDLP(b) in September of 1917, he putting on the agenda the task of preparing an armed uprising wrote:

[1]

The decision of Central Committee of RSDLP(b) of October 23 and 29, 1917 on enhanced preparation for the armed revolt hastened the creation of uprising bodies at central and local levels. The MRC were elected from representatives of the Bolsheviks' party, soviets, factory or soldier committees, Bolshevik Military Organizations (Voyenka), Red Guards, and others.[1] The committees were of various levels such as gubernial, city, county, district, volost; while in the Army were frontlines, army, corps, division, and regimental. On occasions the functions of the Military Revolutionary Committee were performed by revolutionary committees. The military revolutionary committees were not uniform in terms of their social and party composition, however most of them were predominantly represented by bolsheviks.

The first headquarters of armed uprising became the Petrograd Military Revolutionary Committee that was created by the Petrograd Soviet on October 25, 1917.[1] Prior to a victorious moment of the uprising in Petrograd, there were over 40 Military Revolutionary Committees in the country the main activity of which was military and technical preparations for the forthcoming revolt.

List of military revolutionary committees[edit]

During the "Triumphant advance of Soviet power" there was a mass establishment of MRCs. Many MRCs appeared on initiative of the arrived delegates of the 2nd All-Russian Congress of Soviets. Big squad of commissars, emissaries, agitators was sent to various country's regions by the Petrograd MRC on direction of the Central Committee of RSDLP(b).[1] The Bolshevik's party composed the committees of experienced organizers.

Creation date Name Head (composition) Notes
October 29 Petrograd MRC Pavel Lazimir (Andrei Bubnov, Moisei Uritsky, Yakov Sverdlov, Felix Dzerzhinsky, Joseph Stalin)
October 31 12th Army MRC Ya. Cherin (Karl Gailis,[3] Janis Krumins[4]) until November 8, 1917 existed illegally in Cēsis
November 4 Estland MRC I.Rabchinsky[5] (Jaan Anvelt, Viktor Kingissepp)
Pskov MRC Vasili Panyushkin Northern Front (from November 8, 1917)
November 7 Moscow MRC
Voronezh revkom A.Moiseyev
November 8 Ryazan MRC A.Syromyatnikov
November 9 Minsk MRC Aleksandr Myasnikyan (Moisei Kalmanovich, Vilhelms Vilis Knoriņš, Kārlis Landers) Western Front and Northwestern Region (later)
Samara MRC Valerian Kuybyshev
Tula revkom Grigory Kaminsky
November 10 Tom MRC Aleksei Belenets[6]
November 11 Kiev MRC Leonid Pyatakov[7] (Andriy Ivanov, Volodymyr Zatonsky, Oleksandr Horvits[8]) recreated as Kiev revkom on January 28, 1918
Smolensk revkom S.Ioffe
November 21 Dagestan MRC Ullubi Buinaksky
November 27 Orenburg MRC Samuil Tsvilling
December 1 Southwestern Front MRC G.Razzhivin (Vasili Kikvidze)
December 15 Romanian Front MRC Pyotr Baranov (Aleksandr Krusser, Vladimir Yudovsky)
December 20 Barnaul MRC Matvei Tsaplin)
December 23 Kharkov MRC Comrade Artyom (Valery Mezhlauk, Moisei Rukhimovich)
 ??? Yekaterinoslav MRC Nikolay Krestinsky
 ??? Vinnitsa MRC Nikolai Tarnogrodsky[9]
 ??? Odessa MRC Vladimir Yudovsky
 ??? Shuya MRC Mikhail Frunze
 ??? Simferopol MRC Jānis Miller
December 29 Sevastopol revkom Jānis Daumanis
January Astrakhan revkom Mina Aristov[10]
January 10 Caucasus Army MRC Grigory Korganov (Boris Sheboldayev)
January 23 Don MRC Fyodor Podtyolkov (Mikhail Krivoshlykov)[11]
January 30 Kuban - Black Sea MRC Yan Poluyan
March 2 Semirechye MRC Pavel Vinogradov

Influence[edit]

In the weeks following the October insurrection, military revolutionary committees based on the MRC of Petrograd were set up throughout the other soviets and helped cement Bolshevik control. These other MRCs were formed by locals but agents from the Petrograd MRC were often in positions to give advice or direction. By the end of October 1917, representatives from the Petrograd MRC were on assignments in at least forty-four cities as well as 113 military units throughout Russia, Turkestan, and the Caucasus.[12]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Resis, Albert (July 1977). Lenin on Freedom of the Press. Russian Review, Vol. 36, No. 3, pp. 274–296.
  • Rigby, T.H. (Jan. 1974). The First Proletarian Government. British Journal of Political Science, Vol. 4, No. 1, pp. 37–51.
  • Utechin, S.V. (Oct. 1958). Bolsheviks and Their Allies after 1917: The Ideological Pattern. Soviet Studies, Vol. 10, No. 2, pp. 113–135.
  • Lenin, V. Marxism and Revolt. Full collection of articles (Марксизм и восстание, Полн. собр. соч.). Ed. 5. Vol. 34
  • Questionnaires of councils of the Central Industrial district (October 1917 - January 1918). "Historical Archives". 1960