ZHANSITOV O.A. Change of Power in Kabarda During the Revolutionary Upheaval of 1917–1918

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2022.1.11

Osman A. Zhansitov

Candidate of Sciences (History), Associate Professor, Senior Researcher,

Department of Contemporary History, Institute for Humanitarian Research, Branch of the Federal Scientific Center “Kabardino-Balkarian Scientific Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences”,

Pushkina St, 18, 360051 Nalchik, Russian Federation

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Abstract. Introduction. The article deals with the change of power in Kabarda in the context of the region’s involvement in the all-Russian revolutionary process. An unbiased analysis of the event canvas, reinforced by a new texture, made it possible to reconstruct two key plots of political transformations in Kabarda: the transition from the previous “tsarist” administration to the new “February” one in March – April 1917, and the proclamation of Soviet power in March 1918.

Materials and methods. Sources of “revolutionary” origin published in censored form in Soviet times, including both official documents and a memoir narrative, do not reflect an integral objective picture of the transfer of power in Kabarda. The one-sided, ideologically mediated interpretation of the events was overcome by the verification of the existing corpus of published sources, the appeal to the original texts and the comparison of the latter with the archival materials that have become available from the “counter-revolutionary camp”.

Analysis. The fall of the monarchy and the formation of the Provisional Government structures (regional and district civil executive committees) was supported and accepted by the overwhelming majority of the population of Kabarda and Terek region as a whole, which predetermined the conflict-free nature of the change of power. At the same time, the overthrow of the Provisional Government by the Bolsheviks in October 1917 divided the region into opposing camps – supporters and opponents of the country’s new political course. The current confrontational situation affected the nature of the transition to power of the Soviets in Kabarda.

Results. The national “bourgeois” elite took leading positions in the administrative structures of the “February” administration in Kabarda not as a result of the seizure of power, as it was claimed in Soviet studies, but in the course of democratic election procedures. The real picture of the proclamation of Soviet power was also significantly different from the well-established interpretations, according to which, as a result of an operation brilliantly planned by the Bolsheviks, the “counter-revolutionary” leadership of Kabarda was overthrown and the military formations under its control were disarmed. In reality, everything turned out to be less pretentious: realizing the futility of further retention of power in the conditions of the transfer of Terek region under the control of the Bolsheviks and the collapse of the structures of the “February” administration in the region, the local bourgeois elite decided to transfer their powers to the Soviets, which was consolidated through the corresponding formal procedures at the people’s forum held in March 1918.

Key words: revolution, Kabarda, Soviet power, Bolsheviks, change of power, Provisional Government, Terek region.

Citation. Zhansitov O.A. Change of Power in Kabarda During the Revolutionary Upheaval of 1917–1918. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4. Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2022, vol. 27, no. 1, pp. 129-138. (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2022.1.11.

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Change of Power in Kabarda During the Revolutionary Upheaval of 1917–1918 by Zhansitov O.A. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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