Transcaspian Provisional Government

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Transcaspian Provisional “Government,”


a White Guard government of Socialist Revolutionaries (SR’s) and Mensheviks established by a counterrevolutionary uprising in Ashkhabad on July 11–12, 1918, and led by the SR F. A. Funtikov.

The government adopted the name Provisional Executive Committee of Transcaspia. It was supported by the British military mission in Meshed, Iran, and by an American consular mission in Tashkent. In the summer of 1918, British troops began the occupation of Transcaspia. On Aug. 19, 1918, the Transcaspian Provisional “Government” signed an agreement with the representative of the British government, General W. Malleson, as a consequence of which Transcaspia was subject to the power of the Anglo-American interventionists. The interventionists and SR’s pursued a policy of mass terror in Transcaspia. On July 22 in Merv the people’s commissar of labor of the Turkestan Republic, P. G. Poltoratskii, was shot, along with many Red Guards who had been sent to put down the anti-Soviet rebellion. Near the railroad station Annau, nine Ashkhabad commissars were shot. It was by collusion between the British command and the Transcaspian Provisional “Government” that the 26 Baku commissars, headed by S. G. Shaumian, were brutally assassinated on Sept. 20, 1918. The interventionists plundered the region, shipping out petroleum, cotton, and astrakhan wool. In January 1918 the chief of the British military mission, General Malleson, dispersed the provisional “government” and established a military dictatorship, setting up the so-called “committee of public safety.” Between April and June 1919 the British troops evacuated Turkmenia while under attack by the Red Army and partisan detachments and withdrew into Iran. In May 1919, Red Army units liberated Bairam-Ali, Merv, and Kushka, and, in July, Ashkhabad. On Feb. 6, 1920, they entered Krasnovodsk. The remnants of the White Guard forces fled to Iran and Afghanistan.


Inostrannaia voennaia interventsiia i grazhdanskaia voina v Srednei Azii i Kazakhstane: Dokumenty i materialy, vols. 1–2. Alma-Ata, 1963–64.


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