Russian Civil War Fragmentation - New States
- The Republic of Poland was formed in part from Russian and in part from German and Austrian territory. While no exact figures were immediately available at present as to the area or population of Poland, an estimate by Polish authorities put the total area at 135,000 square miles and a population of 36,000,000. To the former territory of Russian Poland must be added those territories ethnographically Polish. This would include a large part of Upper Silesia, East Prussia, Galicia, Posen, and perhaps a part of Lithuania.
- Still further north, the people of the area long known as Finland declared themselves in December, 1917, an independent republic, with a population of about 3,500,000 and an area of 125,000 square miles, extending northward to within a short distance of the Arctic Ocean. Finland remained a Republic, notwithstanding the fact that the German Government had demanded that it should elect as its king one of those many princelings who are aspiring to occupy thrones. To this request the Finnish Landtag made no reply; in fact, the Finns who were so eager to seek the help of Germany were regretting their action, inasmuch as they were suffering from that German greed which had manifested itself in every place. The country had been stripped of food.
- Immediately west of the Republic of White Russia and extending to the Baltic another new republic was established in April, 1918, under the title of the Republic of Lithuania, with an area of approximately 90,000 square miles and a population estimated at about 10,000,000. The Republic of Lithuania was proclaimed at Riga, November 30, 1918, but the nationalistic aspirations of the Latvians, distinct ethnically from the Lithuanians, resulted in the establishment of a separate state, Latvia. Lithuania, as claimed by the Lithuanians, consists of the provinces of Kovno, Vilna, Grodno, Minsk, and parts of Moghilev and Vitebsk. But the Poles have not abandoned claims to certain areas of this region in Grodno, Vilna, and Minsk.
- Northwest of Lithuania the Lettish people occupying the peninsula lying between the Gulf of Riga and the Baltic established the Republic of Letvia (also written Latvia), with an area of about 9,000 square miles and a population of approximately 1,500,000. By another accoun, the Latvian Republic was about 24,400 square miles in area and contained about 2,500,000 inhabitants, including Courland and the southern part of Livonia. The boundaries were based largely on ethnographic lines. The capital is at Riga, an important port.
- The independence of the Esthonian Republic was proclaimed in November, 1917, the new state to include Esthonia, Livonia, and Courland. The territory immediately north of Livonia declared itself in April 1918, as the independent Republic of Esthonia. It fronted not only upon the Baltic, but on the Gulf of Finland, the entrance to the harbor of Petrograd. Its area is stated at about 7,300 square miles and its population at 1,750,000, though another account reported the area of the republic to be about 15,000 square miles and the population about 1,250,000. Its independence from Russia was guaranteed in the peace treaty between Russia and Germany, but it was stipulated therein that the new republic should be policed by German troops. These troops remained in the Baltic region, according to provisions in the Treaty with Germany, but contrary to the later demand for evacuation by the Peace Commission. In the summer and fall of 1919 these German forces began an unsuccessful campaign against the Baltic people, and were finally forced to withdraw. The frontiers of Esthonia, since the establishment of the Republic of Latvia in Courland and Southern Livonia, follow ethnographic lines and include the important city of Reval.
- The Republic of Ukrainia was one of the largest and earliest of the groups establishing themselves as independent governments, occupying the southwestern section of Russia and fronting upon the Black Sea, with Odessa as its principal port. It declared its independence on November 21,, 1917, under the title of the "Ukrainian Peoples Republic," but its boundaries were somewhat in dispute, especially with the neighboring Republic of Poland. The new state made peace with Germany February 9, 1918. The original government was overthrown and replaced by one that was supported by the Germans, who purposed to put to their own uses as much of the natural resources of the region as possible. With the defeat of Germany, this government was replaced by a regime instituted by a faction hostile to the radical govern"ment in Great Russia. The republic was recognized by the Peace Commission in March, 1919.The boundaries were undefined. The Ukrainian Republic had, so far as can be determined, an area of about 215,000 square miles and a population of approximately 30,000,000. It had a large part of the area known as the "Black Soil District", the richest agricultural region of the old European Russia, and its agricultural and mineral possibilities were important. The new Republic has became the battleground of the struggle between the Bolsheviki and the supporters of a united Russia under a conservative government. By January, 1920, the entire region was under the control of the Bolsheviks except in the West, where the Poles had established their forces.
- Immediately north of the Ukrainian Republic was a group of people known as the White Russians, who established themselves in May, 1919, as the Republic of White Russia, with an area estimated at 140,000 square miles and a population of approximately 5,000,000.
- The Turkestan area, east of the Caspian, consisting of about 400,000 square miles and with a population of 6,500,000, was in January, 1918, established as an independent government under military control in Turkestan Tashkent. On July 26, 1918, a national congress declared Turkestan an independent republic, but later it was largely overrun by the Russian radical forces. Its territory includes the provinces of Turkestan, Ferghana, Samarcand, SyrDaria, and Semiryechensk, the Steppe province Turgai, and the former Russian dependencies Bokhara and Khiva. The area is about 698,000 square miles and the population approximately 9,287,000.
- The Tartar-Bashkir Republic, north of the Caspian was established in October, 1918, its area being estimated at 175,000 square miles and its population at 9,000,000; the government is under military control.
- The Republic of Georgia, at the extreme eastern end of the Black Sea, with an area of 40,000 square miles and a population of 2,500,000, was declared an independent State in January, 1918. Although the Georgians would prefer autonomy within a federated Russian republic to complete independence, they would prefer the latter to union with Turkey, either with autonomy or without it.
- The Tatars in the east set up an independent government under the name of Azerbaijan.
- The Armenians in Transcaucasia at the same time uniting with the Armenians of Northeast Turkey to form a republic.
- Immediately north of Lithuania the little Republic of Courland, with an area of 10,000 square miles and a population of 800,000, was declared an independent Government in April, 1918.
- Next north of Courland and fronting upon the Gulf of Riga, a part of the Baltic, the Republic of Livonia was declared in April. 1918, with an area of about 17,000 square miles and a population of approximately 1,600,000.
- Further east on the Arctic frontage the greater part of the former Russian province of Archangel was established under the title of the Republic of North Russia, with Nicholas Tchaikovsky as its head, and its existence as a separate government recognized by certain of the powers, especially Great Britain. Its area is estimated at 275,000 square miles and its population at about 400,000. The government of Northern Russia, bordering on the Murmansk Coast, embraced six of the Northern provinces of Russia. It was formed on perfectly legitimate lines, as laid down by the Bolsheviki themselves, and its first achievement was the expulsion from Archangel and the districts surrounding it of the Bolsheviki, of whose tyranny it had sad experience. This was done with the help of the British and French who had landed at Kola for the defence of the munitions and stores which had been accumulated for the help of Russia in the war against Germany. It was by way of the Northern Government of Russia and the Eastern Government of Siberia, through Kola and Vladivostok, that the help which at last this the US and Japan have resolved to give to Russia, found its way into that country. The Government of the region of Northern Russia, not recognizing the peace treaty of Brest, has set as its aim the expulsion of the Germans out of the boundaries of Russia and the creation anew of a great and indivisible Russia. Owing to the initiative of the League of Regeneration of Russia, composed of representatives of all political parties, except the extreme ones, the Government of the region of Northern Russia was formed by delegates of the Northern Provinces to the Constituent Assembly and by representatives of the Zemstvos and towns of the region.
- A part of the Archangel province was set up as an independent government under the title of the Murman region. The population of both North Russia and the Murman region is composed largely of Lapps, Finns and Samoyedes. The Murman region which had been organized under an independent regional council fell to the Bolsheviks in February, 1920.
- Immediately south of the White Sea and on the eastern border of Finland the Republic of Eastern Karelia was established in May, 1919, and authorized to create a Constituent Assembly to determine whether the area shall form an alliance with Finland or Russia. The area of this republic is about 68,000 square miles and the population approximately 250,000.
- The Tauride Republic, including the Crimean Peninsula, with an area of approximately 23,000 square miles and a population of 1,800,000, declared itself independent of Russia in March, 1918;
- The old Russian government of Ciscaucasia, comprising the provinces of Kuban, Terek, and Stavropal, proclaimed its independence on April 22, 1918. In November, 1918, Kuban was formed into a separate republic. In the east and southeast, the Lesghians proclaimed an independent republic, known as Daghestan.
- The Kuban Republic, just east of the Sea of Azov, with an area of 36,000 square miles and a population of 3,000,000, declared itself independent in November, 1919;
- The Terek Republic, at the southeast of Kuban and extending north across to the Caspian Sea, with an area of 28,000 square miles and a population of 1,300,000, declared itself independent in September, 1918;
- In the east and southeast of Ciscaucasia, the Lesghians proclaimed an independent republic, known as Daghestan.
- South of the Caucasus, the so-called Independent State of Transcaucasia stemmed from the Trebizond Conference, in March, 1918, where Turkey - undoubtedly acting as Germany's vassal - demanded recognition of the Brest-Litovsk treaty and the establishment of Transcaucasia as an independent State. The people of Transcaucasia had no choice in the matter at all. There were no Russian bayonets to protect them against Turkey. the government of Transcaucasia proclaimed independence from the central Bolshevik government in the fall of 1917. The centralized government did not remain long in control, however, the Georgians, in May, 1918, proclaiming a separate republic. The Tatars in the east also set up an independent government under the name of Azerbaijan, the Armenians in Transcaucasia at the same time uniting with the Armenians of Northeast Turkey to form a republic.
- The Don Republic, lying at the northeast of the Sea of Azov and fronting upon that sea, with an area of 63,000 square miles and a population of 4,000,000, declared itself independent in January, 1918. The Hetman, Denikine, invaded Ukrainia and at first was successful against the Bolsheviki of Great Russia. The Don Cossacks drove out the Bolsheviki from the regions they occupied. But in December, 1919, and January, 1920, Denikin suffered a series of reverses and was driven back in utter rout to his own country.
- An independent Tauride Republic was established in the Taurida, March, 1918, which eventually fell to the Bolsheviks.
- Passing across the Urals into Siberia, the independent Republic of Siberia was proclaimed in December, 1917 with its capital at Tomsk, and a Siberian Duma of 30 members was opened. The republican form of government, however, was replaced in November, 1918, by a dictatorship. It was decided for the time being to concentrate all power in the hands of a single individual, Admiral Kolchak, who, with the financial support of the Allied and Associated Powers, for some time fought the government in Great Russia without final success. In December, 1919, and January, 1920, the American and Czecho-Slovak forces were withdrawn from Siberia. The area of Siberia, not including Yakutsk, is 3,301,629 square miles and the population 10,045,300. No statement was made as to the actual area claimed by the Republic of Siberia, though presumably it would include a large part of the area of Siberia, stated at 4,832,000 square miles, and a population of 10,378,000.
- At the extreme northeast of the Siberian area, a separate government, designated as the Yakutsk Republic, was established in May, 1918, with a military government, and an area estimated at about 1,000,000 square miles and a population of 400,000. By another account, Yakutsk had an area of 1,530,253 square miles and a population of 332,600.
- A new government, that of Eastern Siberia, was established at Vladivostok; and another government at Omsk in Western Siberia. The group in Vladivostok, known under the title of "The Siberian Temporary Government," was closely united and, in fact, did not differ in any way from the authorities established in Omsk, which seemed to be but a part of the same Government. The United Siberian Government stated that it was elected on the 26th of January, 1918, by the members of a regional Siberian Duma - representative assembly. The point where this Government temporarily transferred its center is Vladivostok, the other members of it remaining at Omsk. A message from those at Omsk stated that owing to combined efforts of the Czechoslavs and the military organizations of the Siberian Government itself, the following cities had been liberated from the Bolsheviki: Marlinsk, Novo Nicolaievsk, Tomsk, Narime, Tobolsk, Barnaoul, Carcaralinsk, Atchinski, and Krasnoiarsk.
- In Eastern Siberia in addition to the government just mentioned, General Horvath operated with his army.
- General Seminoff was in command of yet another army which at one time was reported to have been decisively defeated and even disbanded, but it still made its appearance from time to time.
- The Arctic frontage of Russia lying immediately east of the northern part of Finland was established as a military district by the Allied Powers on July 7, 1918, with a military government, and had an area of approximately 35,000 square miles and a population estimated at about 100,000. The Allied forces had been invited to land by the Sovereign Government of Northern Russia.
- Bessarabia, formerly part of the Russian Empire, was predominatingly Roumanian in population. Union of this region with Roumania was voted by the Bessarabian Council. The area and population of Roumania was almost doubled by acquisitions, the area reaching 104,000 square miles and the population about 14,000,000.
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