Staunton, July 3 – At a time when Vladimir Putin has been dismissing senior officers involved with the Ukrainian debacle, the Russia Seven portal has recalled Stalin’s moves to get rid of officers from the Red Army who began their careers in the tsarist military or even fought at some point for the anti-Bolshevik White armies.
Because Stalin’s policies of collectivization and forced industrialization at the end of the 1920s and beginning of the 1930s generated so much popular anger, the Kremlin leader moved quickly to blame “bourgeois” elements for all problems and then to move to remove them from the scene, the portal says (russian7.ru/post/operaciya-vesna-kak-ogpu-predotvrat/).
His attacks on industrialists and agrarian specialists are well known, but those against the officer corps of the Red Army are much less widely remembered. Under the code name “Case Spring,” Stalin’s secret police moved against the latter first in 1929 and then in waves throughout 1930 and 1931.
These senior officers were accused of being part of mythical anti-Soviet organizations and of links to the White movement abroad, but it was clear from the beginning that no one really took these accusations seriously. Not only were many of these officers later released to fight in World War II, but almost all of them were rehabilitated after 1953.
Unfortunately, the Case Spring arrests apparently did have one serious consequence. It appears that among those arrested under these charges came the information that Stalin later used to conduct the Tukhachevsky affair in which the Kremlin dictator decimated the top ranks of the Soviet armed forces just before Hitler’s attack.