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Russian Army Overruns Georgia – 1921

A little flashback in time, courtesy of the archives of the New York Times:

 

And some more strikingly similar details, courtesy of Wikipedia:

Red Army invasion of Georgia

The Red Army invasion of Georgia also known as the Soviet-Georgian War (February 15 – March 17, 1921) was a military campaign by the Soviet Russian (RSFSR) Red Army against the Democratic Republic of Georgia (DRG) aimed at overthrowing the local Social-Democratic (Menshevik) government and installing the Bolshevik regime in the country. The conflict was a result of expansionist policy by the Soviets, who aimed at control of the same territories which had been part of Imperial Russia until the turbulent events of World War I, as well as the revolutionary efforts of mostly Russia-based Georgian Bolshevik elite, who did not enjoy sufficient support in their native country to seize power without foreign intervention.

Independence of the DRG [Georgia] had been recognized by Russia in the May 7, 1920 treaty and the invasion of Georgia was not universally agreed upon in Moscow. It was largely engineered by two influential Georgia-born Soviet officials – Joseph Stalin and Grigoriy (Sergo) Ordzhonikidze, who obtained, on February 14, 1921, a consent of the Soviet leader, Vladimir Lenin, to advance into Georgia on the pretext of supporting the “peasants and workers rebellion” in the country. The Soviet forces took the Georgian capital Tbilisi (then known as Tiflis to most non-Georgian speakers) after heavy fighting and declared the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic on February 25, 1921. The rest of the country was overrun within three weeks, but it was not until September 1924 that the Soviet rule was firmly established…

The tactics used by the Soviets to gain control of Georgia were similar to those applied in Azerbaijan and Armenia in 1920, i.e., to send in the Red Army while encouraging local Bolsheviks to stage unrest. However, this policy was rather difficult to implement in Georgia, where the Communist party did not enjoy popular support and remained an isolated political force.

On the night of 11 to 12 February 1921, with the instigation of Ordzhonikidze, the Bolsheviks attacked local Georgian military posts in the ethnic Armenian district of Lorri and the nearby village of Shulaveri, near the Armenian and Azerbaijani borders. The Armenia-based Red Army units quickly came to an aid of the insurrection, though without Moscow’s formal approval. When the Georgian government protested to the Soviet envoy in Tbilisi, Aron Sheinman, about the incidents, he denied any Russian involvement and declared that any disturbances which might be taking place must be a spontaneous revolt by the Armenian communists. Meanwhile, the Bolsheviks had already set up a Georgian Revolutionary Committee (Georgian Revkom) in Shulaveri, a body that would soon acquire the functions of a rival government. Chaired by a Georgian Bolshevik Filipp Makharadze, the Revkom formally applied to Moscow for help.

Disturbances erupted also in the town of Dusheti and among Ossetians in northeast Georgia who resented the Georgian government’s refusal to grant them autonomy. Georgian forces managed to contain the disorders in some areas, but the preparations for a Soviet intervention were already being set in train. When the Georgian army moved to Lorri to crush the revolt, Lenin finally gave in to the repeated requests of Stalin and Ordzhonikidze to allow the Red Army to invade Georgia, on the pretext of aiding a staged uprising, and establish Bolshevik power

The more things change, the more they remain the same.

At least as far as the Soviet Union Russia is concerned.

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, August 10th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

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