The ethnic matrix of the Civil War in the North Caucasus

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Abstract


In post-Soviet years, the North Caucasus gained the reputation of a politically unstable, conflict-generating region, with specific problems rooted in the distant past. To better understand the essence of today’s problems, it is necessary to study the complex vicissitudes of North Caucasus regional history at crucial moments. The article aims to clarify the role of the ethnic factor at the early stage of the Civil War in the North Caucasus (1917-1918). It traces the dynamics of interethnic confrontation in the very complicated poly-ethnic and multi-confessional region and the impact of this dynamics on the struggle between the opposing political forces. How did the Bolsheviks and their opponents use the ethnic factor for their own interests? Understanding the impact of ethnic identities on the conflict is of broader relevance; it is through an ethnic matrix that unresolved social problems turn into irreconcilable interethnic contradictions. This case study from the revolutionary era is based on hitherto unstudied archival material from the Russian State Archive of Social and Political History.


About the authors

Lyudmila S Gatagova

The Institute of Russian History of the Russian Academy of Sciences

Author for correspondence.
Email: iriran@mail.ru
19 Dm. Ul`ianov St., Moscow, 117292, Russia

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References

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