Eastern Front of the Russian Civil War

Eastern Front
Part of the Russian Civil War
DateMay 1918 – June 1923
LocationVolga, Ural, Siberia, Far East, Mongolia
Result Decisive Red Army victory; collapse of Kolchak's army.

White Movement : Russian Government
Russia Priamur Government(1921-1922)
Mongolia (May–August 1921)
Allied Powers
 United States
 United Kingdom

France France
Czechoslovakia Czechoslovakia
Poland Poland

Republic of China (1912–49) China

Green Ukraine


Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic Russian SFSR
Far Eastern Republic

Mongolian communists
Commanders and leaders

Alexander Kolchak 
Grigory Semyonov
Alexander Dutov 
Vladimir Kappel
Mikhail Diterikhs
Anatoly Pepelyayev

Mikhail Korobeinikov

Yuri Hlushko-Mova

Bogd Khan

Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic Leon Trotsky
Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic Mikhail Tukhachevsky
Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic Mikhail Frunze
Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic Vasily Blyukher
Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic Mikhail Muravyov
Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic Aleksandr Samoilov
Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic Fyodor Raskolnikov
Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic Mikhail Velikanov
Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic Ivan Strod

Damdin Sükhbaatar

Ural Army - 25,000
Siberian Army - 80,000
Orenburg Independent Army - 50,000
Western Army of White Movement - 51,000
Czechoslovakia Czech Legion - 42,000
Russia People Army of Komuch - ~10,000
Bandits 50,000
Others ~ 100,000

White Total:
~ 400,000

Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic 5 Field Armies of about 12,000-50,000 men each

~ 600,000
Casualties and losses
250,000-400,000 150,000-300,000

The Russian Civil War spread to the east in May 1918, with a series of revolts along the route of the Trans-Siberian Railway, on the part of the Czechoslovak Legion and officers of the Russian Army. Provisional anti-Bolshevik local governments were formed in many parts of Siberia and other eastern regions during that summer. The Red Army mounted a counter-offensive in the autumn, and in 1919 defeated the White commander Aleksandr Kolchak in Siberia. Smaller-scale conflicts in the region went on until 1923.

Revolt of the Czechoslovak Legion

In May 1918, soldiers of the Czechoslovak Legion revolted against the Bolsheviks in Chelyabinsk. The revolt was triggered by Trotsky's order to local Bolshevik commanders to disarm the Czechs (in violation of previous agreements) following a confrontation between the Czechs travelling Eastwards and a train full of Austro-Hungarian former POW's travelling Westwards. The dispute arising because the Czechs had been fighting against the Austro-Hungarians within whose Empire the Czech lands were, tensions were exacerbated because several Czech regiments of the Austro-Hungarian army had gone over to the Russians in the early years of World War I and these former Austro-Hungarian regiments formed the core of the Czech Legion. The Legion was trying to evacuate to the Western Front to continue the fight against the Central powers, but after the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk in March, the Bolsheviks no longer supported this move.[1] The revolt quickly spread across Siberia, because the Czechoslovaks used the Trans-Siberian Railway to move their troops east quickly and because they were supported by local uprisings instigated by Russian army officers. When the uprising reached Yekaterinburg, the former Tsar and his family who were being held there by the Bolsheviks were executed to prevent their release by the Whites. By the end of August, Vladivostok was in Czechoslovak hands.[2]

Provisional White governments

In the power vacuum left by the departure of the Bolsheviks multiple White Movement governments were established, most importantly KOMUCH at Samara and the Provisional Siberian Government. KOMUCH quickly ordered a general mobilisation, but its troops were small and badly trained. The Czechoslovaks allied with KOMUCH and advanced to the west, taking Kazan, where they captured the tsar's gold reserves which had been moved east for safekeeping.[3]

In Petrograd, Lenin had called upon factory workers to be dispatched to the Eastern Front.


  1. Bullock 2008, p. 44-46.
  2. Bullock 2008, p. 46.
  3. Bullock 2008, p. 46-48.


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