Central Executive Committee of Siberian Soviets

Central Executive Committee of Siberian Soviets

 

(Tsentrosibir’), in 1917 and 1918, the supreme soviet body in Siberia between all-Siberian congresses of soviets.

The original members of Tsentrosibir’ were elected at the First Congress of Siberian Soviets of Workers’, Soldiers’, and Peasants’ Deputies, held Oct. 16–23 (Oct. 29–Nov. 5), 1917, in Irkutsk. The committee at first consisted of a small group of workers, who were mainly Bolsheviks and Left Socialist Revolutionaries; the chairman was B. Z. Shumiatskii, a Bolshevik. Because Tsentrosibir’ lacked an administrative apparatus, it implemented its measures with the aid of the soviets of Irkutsk and other Eastern Siberian cities.

In November 1917, Tsentrosibir’ officially assumed power and prepared for the convocation of the Second Congress of Siberian Soviets. The congress, held Feb. 16–26, 1918, elected the new Tsentrosibir’ membership; of the 46 members and candidate members chosen, 25 were Bolsheviks, and 11 were Left Socialist Revolutionaries. Several additional members were subsequently co-opted into Tsentrosibir’, including the Bolshevik N. N. lakovlev, who became its chairman in March 1918. Under the committee numerous commissariats were created—including commissariats for military affairs, governmental administration, supplies and foodstuffs, labor and industry, foreign affairs, finance, and education; the committee also established the Siberian Extraordinary Commission.

Between plenums of Tsentrosibir’ its Presidium was the supreme body. Tsentrosibir’ carried out the directives and instructions of V. I. Lenin, the party’s Central Committee, and the Council of People’s Commissars of the RSFSR. In so doing, the committee made a major contribution toward eliminating the old machinery of state, creating the new soviet government, organizing the armed forces, combating economic dislocation, and helping to restore the Siberian economy. Tsentrosibir’ procured large quantities of foodstuffs and sent them to Central Russia; the shipments included approximately 10 million poods (1 pood = 16.38 kg) of grain and hundreds of thousands of poods of meat. The committee headed the struggle against domestic and foreign counterrevolution; it organized the Transbaikal Front, which, under the command of S. G. Lazo, routed the bands of the esaul (cossack captain) G. M. Semenov (seeSEMENOV REVOLT).

As a result of the mutiny of the Czechoslovak Corps in May 1918, the alignment of forces in Siberia shifted in favor of the counterrevolution. On July 11, the troops of Tsentrosibir’ abandoned Irkutsk; they retreated to Verkhneudinsk (now Ulan-Ude) and then to Chita. After the fall of Chita, a conference of party, soviet, and military workers met on August 28 in the stanitsa (large cossack village) of Urul’ga. The conference, under the chairmanship of N. A. Gavrilov, decided to abolish Tsentrosibir’ and adopt underground and partisan forms of struggle.

REFERENCES

Riabikov, V. V. Tsentrosibir’. Novosibirsk, 1949.
Riabikov, V. V. Irkutskstolitsa revoliutsionnoi Sibiri. Irkutsk, 1957.
Agalakov, V. T. Podvig Tsentrosibiri. Irkutsk, 1968.

V. T. AGALAKOV

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