Deserters from the Red Army during the Civil War: to the History of the Guslitsky Region in 1920

Posadsky A.V. Deserters from the Red Army during the Civil War: to the History of the Guslitsky Region in 1920 // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2023. V.8. №2. P. 36-45.

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2023-8-2-36-45


Based on the local historical data, the article aims at proving the importance of a wide range of factors in the analysis of the events of the Civil War in Russia. The author shows both the potential of local research for significant generalizations and the dangers of such extrapolation. In the studies of the Russian Civil War, cultural and historical features of certain regions are often ignored, although they were crucial for the new revolutionary life. The proposed issues are connected with a common phenomenon of that period — the peasants’ mass desertion and evasion from service in the Red Army. The article is based on the official correspondence of the Internal Service Troops of Soviet Russia. The events of the era of war communism strongly affected the cultural-historical micro-region with a rich history — the Guslitsy Old Believers. The author identifies at least three information layers in the presented description and concludes that during the Civil War, horizontal and vertical social relationships developed under the influence of both factors of internal confrontation and cultural-historical characteristics of the region. Thus, the research should focus on such features to reconstruct with a high degree of reliability both the situation of the Civil War and the social history of war communism.


Local history, Russia, Civil War, Moscow Province, old believers, Guslitsy Region, Soviet power, desertion.

About the author

Posadsky Anton V., DSc (History), Professor, Povolzhsky Institute of Management — a branch of the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. Moskovskaya St., 164. Saratov, 410012.
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Read 226 times Last modified on Aug 29 2023

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