Polittsentr

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Polittsentr

 

(Political Center), a Socialist Revolutionary (SR) and Menshevik organization created during the period when the Kolchak regime was in power in Irkutsk. The Polittsentr was founded on Nov. 12, 1919, at the All-Siberian Conference of Zemstvos and Cities, chaired by the SR F. F. Feodorovich.

After the Red Army took Omsk in November 1919 and the Kolchak government fled to Irkutsk, the Polittsentr planned a coup under the aegis of the Constituent Assembly. Its leaders established contact with the military missions of the French, British, Japanese, and American interventionists, which were located in Irkutsk, and with the command of the Czechoslovak Corps. Under the direction of the Polittsentr, a revolt broke out at the station of Cheremkhovo on December 19. On the night of December 24, under the direction of the Irkutsk Committee of the RCP(B), a revolt broke out in Irkutsk. After bitter fighting, the workers and partisans occupied the city.

Making use of the revolt in its own interests, the Polittsentr published a manifesto on Jan. 6, 1920, in which it declared its assumption of power. Admiral A. V. Kolchak and his supporters were declared enemies of the people, and local authority was transferred to the municipal dumas and the zemstvos. On January 10 and 11 the Polittsentr tried to hold elections to the Provisional Siberian Council of Popular Administration, to which it planned to turn over all power. The membership of the council, which was created on January 12, included eight representatives from the Polittsentr and representatives from the zemstvos and cooperatives. On January 15 the command of the White Czechs turned over Kolchak and his prime minister, V. N. Pepeliaev, to the Polittsentr. Seeking to contain the offensive by Soviet troops and to strengthen SR and Menshevik power in the region, the Polittsentr entered into negotiations with the Revolutionary Military Council of the Fifth Red Army concerning the creation of a buffer state in Pribaikal’e. However, the Irkutsk Committee of the RCP(B) had already formed the Headquarters of Workers’ and Peasants’ Combat Detachments (druzhiny) during the December revolt in Irkutsk, and the revolutionary forces were augmented by approaching detachments of partisans. The influence of the Polittsentr declined rapidly. On Jan. 20, 1920, the Irkutsk Military Revolutionary Committee was created. Under the chairmanship of the Bolshevik A. A. Shiriamov, the committee took power in the city, and on January 23 the Polittsentr was disbanded.

REFERENCES

Poslednie dni kolchakovshchiny: Sb. dokumentov. Moscow-Leningrad, 1926.
Vendrikh, G. A. Dekabr’sko-ianvarskie boi 1919–1920 v Irkutske. Irkutsk, 1957.
Istoriia Sibiri s drevneishikh vremen do nashikh dnei, vol. 4. Leningrad, 1968.

S. N. SEMANOV

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.