The Union of Regeneration : the anti-Bolshevik underground in revolutionary Russia, 1917-1919
The Union of Regeneration has been chosen as the main focal point of this thesis, a study of underground political organisations in revolutionary Russia who came about as a result of fragmentation of Russia's major political parties in 1917 and sought to oppose the Bolshevik takeover of power. The thesis traces the origins of the underground in the political turmoil of 1917 before detailing how each group was formed, and how a number of plans were made, most of which hinged on the extensive involvement of Allied interventionist forces, to form an anti-Bolshevik and anti-German front in the wake of the signature of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. The efforts of the Union of Regeneration, the National Centre, and other groups such as the Union for the Defence of the Fatherland and Freedom are presented as a series of failures which took place mostly in 1918. By examining the reasons for each of these failures, this thesis hopes to focus not on external factors, such as the lack of Allied intervention to assist the underground groups or the machinations of reactionary forces against them, in order to reveal the fundamental failings of the underground movement as a whole. The underground lacked any organisational discipline or coherence, its ranks were easily entered on a loose, `personal' basis and there was little unity of purpose between its members, save the removal of Soviet power. Consequently, plans made were too vague, agreements were too easily broken, and alliances were too easily ruptured. This thesis, then, hopes to demonstrate that although when considered together the anti-Bolshevik underground constituted a genuine potential threat to the Bolshevik regime, that it failed to act as one contributed greatly to it being easily marginalised by the extremes of left and right.