Don Soviet Republic

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Don Soviet Republic


proclaimed on Mar. 23, 1918, by a decree of the military revolutionary committee on the territory of Don Oblast after its liberation from the counterrevolutionary troops of A. M. Kaledin.

The main reason for the creation of Soviet autonomy for Don Oblast was the need to rally the forces of the toiling cossacks against the threat of German intervention and rising kulak rebellions. The First Congress of the Soviets of Workers’ and Cossacks’ Deputies of the Don Republic, which was held on Apr. 9-14, 1918, in Rostov-on-Don, declared itself the supreme authority of the Don Soviet Republic. It elected a republic central executive committee and a republic council of people’s commissars. F. G. Podtelkov was elected the chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars of the Don Soviet Republic, M. V. Krivoshlykov was chosen people’s commissar for administrative affairs, and V. S. Kovalev became the chairman of the Central Executive Committee. The Extraordinary Defense Staff was founded, and its work was supervised by the Extraordinary Commissar for the Southern Region and the Plenipotentiary of the Central Committee of the party, G. K. Ordzhonikidze. Decrees of the national Council of People’s Commissars on worker control and the nationalization of enterprises were carried out in the republic.

The activities of the Soviet Don government were carried out at a time when counterrevolutionary revolts were increasing and German interventionists were invading the territory of Don Oblast. After the capture of Rostov-on-Don (May 8, 1918) by the German interventionists and the White Cossacks, the Don Soviet Republic essentially ceased to exist. Moving to Tsaritsyn and later to the stanitsa (large cossack village) of Velikokniazheskaia, the government continued to function until the end of June. On Sept. 30, 1918, the Presidium of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee decreed that the Don Soviet government was to be considered abolished.


Ordzhonikidze, G. K. Stat’i i rechi, vol. 1. Moscow, 1956.
Bor’ba za vlast’ Sovetov na Donu, 1917-1920. (Collection of documents.) Rostov-on-Don, 1957.
Khmelevskii, K. A. Krakh krasnovshchiny i nemetskoi interventsii na Donu (aprel’ 1918-mart 1919 goda). Rostov-on-Don, 1965.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.