Saturday, January 28, 2023

What Russians Still Call a Civil War in Their Own Country was in Fact an International War Against Russia, Katasonov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Jan. 24 – Even today, Valentin Katasonov says, Russians still treat the Russian Civil War and foreign intervention as if they were two related but independent phenomena. But the war of the West against Russia in Ukraine should lead them to recognize that at the dawn of Soviet power, the Bolsheviks were defending Russia against foreign powers not other Russians.

            “The so-called Civil War,” the Moscow commentator continues, “was not initiated inside Russia; it was provoked from the outside by both former Russian allies in the Entente and countries of the Tripartite Union” (

            What this means, Katasonov argues, is that the Bolsheviks did not so much establish “a dictatorship of the proletariat” in Soviet Russia but rather “introduced martial law in order to protect the Fatherland. It was, in short, the military mobilization of the people” against the foreign enemies of Russia.

            Some in the West openly admitted that the West used the White Movement rather than the other way around. Winston Churchill, for example, in his memoir The World Crisis, bluntly said that “it woud be a mistake to think that we fought for the Russians opposed to Bolsheviks. Instead, the Russian White Guards fought for our goals.”

            What was important in the first years of Soviet power, Katasonov says, is that Western support for the White movement ultimately worked against the Whites because “it helped the Bolsheviks consolidate the population so that they would fight the threat of being enslaved by the West.

            What is important now, he continues is to that Russians see that what is happening in Ukraine is not some civil war among Slavs but rather yet another case when the West is exploiting conflicts and using one or another side against Russia. Those who don’t understand that  are intentionally or not working for those who threaten the country.

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