Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Orthodox Church Saved Russia from Both Reds and Whites

In represents the latest effort of Russian nationalist activists close to the Moscow Patriarchate to promote the role of Orthodoxy in Russia, a new book on the Russian Civil War argues that the Church saved Russians from the catastrophes that would have been visited on them by any final victory of either the Reds or the Whites.

The book, “The Civil War in Russia: An Encyclopedia of a Catastrophe” (in Russian; Moscow: Sibirsky Tsiryul’nik, 2010, compiled by Dmitry Volodikhin), argues, according to a review by Pavel Svyatenkov, that “the official historiography” of that long-ago conflict is completely wrong (

That historiography, Svyatenkov writes, views the Civil War “through the prism of the conflict of the Reds and the Whites,” with the battle presented as one between “the central Bolshevik government in Moscow” and “numerous ‘separatists’ – the White generals Kolchak, Denikin, Yudenich and Wrangel.”

Consequently, “from the point of view of Soviet historiography as it was established under Stalin, the Bolsheviks behaved as ‘Ivan Kalitas,’ as ingatherers of the Russian lands that had fallen away.” And “therefore, the cult of empire in the post-Soviet period is not accidental – its roots are in the propaganda model of Stalinist times.”

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