Provisional All-Russian Government
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|Provisional All-Russian Government|
|Временное Всероссийское правительство|
|Supreme Ruler||Alexander Kolchak|
|Historical era||Russian Civil War|
|•||Established||3 November 1918|
|•||Disestablished||14 January 1920|
The Provisional All-Russian Government (PA-RG) was a short-lived government (1918-1920) centred in Omsk during the Russian Civil War of 1917-1922. It formed from the Komuch (mainly Socialist-Revolutionary Party (SR) and Constitutional Democratic Party (Kadet) members based in Samara) and from the Provisional Siberian Government, which consisted mainly of regional politicians and rightist officers and was based at Omsk. The two régimes had previously failed to work effectively together, with rivalry leading to a customs war and to numerous border disputes.
A State Conference took place at Ufa between 8 and 23 September 1918, which resulted in the establishment of this last attempt at a unified anti-Bolshevik government. It encompassed 170 delegates, including some from other regions. A compromise resulted: the Komuch gained recognition for the SR-dominated All-Russian Constituent Assembly (elected in November 1917) as the eventual basis of power, but they also lost their claim to be the legal All-Russian government. In its place a five-man Directory was set up as the embodiment of the new government:
- Nikolai Avksentiev (SR Party)
- Vladimir Zenzinov (SR Party)
- Pyotr Vasilyevich Vologodsky, a regional politician (SR Party) and head of the Omsk Provisional Siberian Government
- General V. G. Boldyrev
- the left Kadet Vladimir Aleksandrovich Vinogradov
A Council of Ministers carried out the day-to-day administration of the government. A majority of the Council of Ministers (10 out of 14) had served formerly as members of the Provisional Siberian Government.
Viktor Chernov, founder of the Socialist-Revolutionary Party (SR), criticised the PA-RG vehemently. He denounced the Ufa settlement as unsatisfactory and saw "counter-revolutionary" elements involved in the new government. He advocated that the SR Party should rally the population behind the Constituent Assembly and organise the People's Army as an independent force. This antagonised the right, who identified the PA-RG with the Provisional Government of Alexander Kerensky
This political crisis was resolved by the overthrow of the Provisional All-Russian Government on 17 November 1918. A Cossack detachment arrested Avksentiev and Zenzinov. Next morning Vologodsky called for a PA-RG Council of Ministers. The Directory was dissolved and its former Minister of War, Admiral Kolchak, became Supreme Ruler.
The Supreme Ruler issued the following manifesto to the population:
The Provisional All-Russian Government has come to an end. The Council of Ministers, having all the power in its hands, has invested me, Admiral Alexander Kolchak, with this power. I have accepted this responsibility in the exceptionally difficult circumstances of civil war and complete disorganisation of the country, and I now make it known that I shall follow neither the reactionary path nor the deadly path of party strife. My chief aims are the organisation of a fighting force, the overthrow of Bolshevism, and the establishment of law and order, so that the Russian people may be able to choose a form of government in accordance with its desire and to realise the high ideas of liberty and freedom. I call upon you, citizens, to unite and to sacrifice your all, if necessary, in the struggle with Bolshevism.
The SR leaders in Russia denounced Kolchak and called for him to be killed. Their activities resulted in a small revolt in Omsk on December 22, 1918; Cossack troops and the Czech Legion swiftly suppressed this opposition, summarily executing almost 500 rebels. The SRs opened negotiations with the Bolsheviks and in January 1919 the remnants of the Komuch's People's Army joined the Red Army.
- Evan Mawdsley, The Russian Civil War (2008). Edinburgh, Birlinn, pp. 143–8.