Posadsky A.V. The small civil war: The events in the Penza Province at the end of 1921–the first half of 1922 // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2017. V.2. №4. P. 148-159.

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2017-2-4-148-159


This publication is a commented historical document from the fund of the special units’ headquarters. This document summarizes the events of several months (at the end of 1921 — the first half of 1922) in the Penza Province, which were determined by a sharp surge of banditry in a number of this province districts. The document describes in detail, with comments and notes, the stages of the struggle against banditry and its results favorable for the Soviet government. The comments assess the situation in 1921, and reconstruct the history of peasant uprisings in the Penza Province in 1918–1920 that expanded up to the half of its counties. The document reveals the motives of a relatively large group of peasants for participation in the bandit movement. The question is whether there were political motives or social hatred considerations in this movement criminal in form. The document describes the features of all types of peasant armed movements, such as the cluster of villages supporting the active core of rebels or bandits; and the ability of gangs to dissipate and restore strength for fight, etc. The author of the document shows that this active bandit movement was not described in detail in the reports of the State Political Directorate despite its dynamic development through a number of stages. The author emphasizes that the participation of some local peasants in the fight against banditry only strengthened the gangs, which indicates a significant potential for hostility within the rural society. The author of the document was a student of the Military Academy, and the document was probably his study assignment, which determines the historical value of this documentary essay on the history of special units of the Penza Province.


history of the peasantry, Civil War, the Penza Province, banditry, special units

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. 410012, Saratov, Moskovskaya St., 164.
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.       


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