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Brief History Of Russia Essay

1027 words - 4 pages

Historically Russia has largely depended on the abundant resources of the Ukrainian Republic. Throughout the early years of Communism rule the economic policies instituted were opposed by the independent minded Ukrainian people. Their attempts to sabotage and undermine socialist authority failed as the Russians suppressed them through deliberate starvation. The Ukraine was forced to submit to socialism as they experienced two massive man-made famines within a decade under the iron fist of Communism.With thorough planning, complete organization, and massive support from the down trodden people, the Bolsheviks easily overthrew the Russian Tsar in 1917. They immediately took steps to sustain the doctrine that they had preached during the upheaval. The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk helped the Russians save face by making legitimate peace with the Central Powers, thus ending their part in World War I. However, as the first year under Bolshevik control began, Russia was once again experiencing warfare; a civil war between the Red Bolshevik army and those who opposed them, the Whites. Although the Red Army had the immense support of Russians, there was a great nationalistic fervor growing in the Western regions where many non-Russian minorities sought to gain independence. Ukrainian nationalism was of particular interest to the Bolshevik regime.Russia had relinquished control of the Ukraine to the Germans in the peace making process. The Germans had then begun assisting other Western provinces to attain independence from Russia during the Civil War. This western region was a major source of Russia's natural resources and was tremendously rich in agriculture. The Ukraine is often referred as the "Bread Basket" of Russia. The Bolsheviks realized that they must maintain control of the Western Provinces in order to reach the economic goals of the socialist movement. As World War I came to an end in 1918, the Germans retreated and the Ukraine was unoccupied for a time. Soon after the different factions begin to compete for control, the Red Army rushed in to tame the anarchy, and the Communists took complete control of the Ukraine by 1920.Along with other Western provinces, the Ukrainians resisted Bolshevik rule by reducing there agricultural output to a level that was necessary to sustain only themselves. A two year drought intensified the agricultural shortages in the Southern Ukraine from 1921-1922. The Civil War continued, and the devastating economic policy of War Communism overwhelmed the Volga basin, northern Caucasus and the northern shore of the Black Sea (Krawchenko, 147). The famine that ensued spread into to central Russia. The Northern Ukraine was not affected by the drought and yielded harvests that could have sustained the entire Ukrainian republic, coupled with the supplement of grain reserves from previous years (Ukrainian Weekly). The Ukraine would not have experienced the epidemics and hard ships of 1922-1923 if their resources were not at the...

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