Timkin Yu. N. “Peasant journey to the Communist Party and back”: Volost peasant organizations of the RCP (Bolsheviks) in 1918–1920 (based on the archival materials of the Vyatka Province) // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2022. V.7. №2. P. 47-67.

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2022-7-2-47-67


The article considers the development and work of the volost peasant cells of the RCP (b) in 1918–1920 through the relationship between the state and the people. The article is based on the archival materials from the Central State Archive of the Kirov Region and the State Archive of the Social and Political History of the Udmurt Republic, and on the historical-genetic and historical-institutional approaches. The author also analyzed materials from the funds of the Vyatka Gubkom and the Vyatka, Glazov, Kotelnich, Malmyzh, Nolin, Orlov, Soviet, Urzhum and Yaran regional committees of the RCP (b), Provincial Commission on the Party History, Vyatka Province Executive Committee of the Soviets of Workers’, Peasants’ and Red Army Deputies, Yaransk Regional Committees of the Workers’, Peasants’ and Red Army Deputies Councils, Vyatka Regional Statistical Committee, and the personal fund of Vasily Georgievich Plenkov. The author examines the development and crisis of the volost peasant cells of the RCP (b) in the Vyatka Province in 1918–1920 in order to identify the features of the Vyatka peasantry in the early 20th century and peasants’ expectations from the new power; of the interaction between the Soviet power and peasants; of the crisis of volost cells and their transformation into power structures consisting of the employees of the Soviet volost institutions. The study revealed that on the eve of the 1917 Revolution, the Vyatka village community still existed though middle peasants prevailed. Peasants expected from the new government to solve primarily social-economic tasks: the lack of land, construction of road infrastructure, and social development. Bolsheviks only partially satisfied the peasants’ demands, which led to the strongest peasants’ dissatisfaction under the forced food policy and other political measures, and, thus, determined the crisis of volost cells in 1919–1920. The author argues that in the village dominated by communist peasants who wanted to develop their economy on the market basis, there was hardly any ground for the voluntary acceptance of communist ideas. Volost peasant cells were created as associations supporting the new government, but eventually either disintegrated or turned into the ‘party of power’.


Vyatka Province, middle peasants, community, volost organizations of the RCP (b), war communism, crisis.

About the author

Timkin Yuri N., PhD (History), Associate Professor, Department of Theory and History of State and Law, Vyatka State University. 610000 Kirov, Moskovskaya St., 36.
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


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