Archive for ‘Revolution and civil war’

March 5, 2011


The slang word “radish” (“rediska” in russian) appeared in 1920-s. Komsomol activist were calling “radish” people who previously worked for the czar government or served in the czar army. They meant: red on the outside, white on the inside.

Later the word migrated to the criminal slang and got a more general meaning – someone unworthy of trust. Most Russians learned this meaning from the movie “Gentlemen of Fortune”.

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February 27, 2011

Civil War in Russia: the basics.

The Russian Civil War (1918-1922) occured on the remains of the Russian Empire and fundamentally changed Russian history. More than fifteen countries got involbed in this great battle between the Reds and the Whites.

There were more than two factions in this war, of course, but the main struggle went between the Worker-Peasant Red Army  led by Bolsheviks and the military forces of the White Movement, as the loosely-allied anti-Bolshevik forces got called. Therefore we say that the war was mainly between the Reds and the Whites.


Reds, ruthless and violent, were saving Russia from the ravishing aristocrats and overindulgent bourgeois. There was no time for indecision. Lenin saw an oppurtunity to grab the power and he seized it. He spilled a lot of blood in the process.

Ordinary members of the party were simple labormen and yestrerday peasants. They were tired of the war and they would follow anybody promising some radical changes. So they followed the Bolsheviks that promised them salvation from the war and equal distribution of land.

Reds were fighting for a future country of equal rights and what was even more important – equal opportunities. Their motto was: “A nobody will become somebody!”





Whites were saving Russia from the terror of Bolshevik dictatorship, from the rule of barbarious uneducated scum.

Officers and soldiers of the Russian Empire they were desperate to keep their Motherland a modern European country. If they could not save monarchy they would proclaim a very much accepted republic.

Their weakness was in their diversity. The only thing they had in common was their hatered towards the Bolsheviks. Other then that, there was no single leader and no common policies.








UPDATE: Posters are translated – check mouseover. If you still can not read it, the poster on the left is a Bolshevik poster “Did you volunteer?” by Moor (Orlov) D.S. 1920.  The one on the right is one of the few Whites’ posters “For united Russia!”, artist unknown, 1919.

February 24, 2011

“The Elusive Avengers”, inspirational movie.

Here is a music video from the movie “Elusive Avengers”. A bit of inspiration to use for your game about Russian Civil War.

You can also watch the full movie with english subs. I highly recommend it.

Also read me this Sunday – I will write about the major factions in the Civil War.

February 21, 2011

19th February 1861, serfdom got abolished in the Russian Empire.

A painting of dancing peasants.

19th February, 1861: In the course of a major agrarian reform the serfs* got freed. They got little plots of land, most meadows and forests were left in the hands of the ruling class. Some say the abolishment was late, badly thought-out and set grounds for the  Revolution in Russia.

Abraham Lincoln will set the slaves of Rebel states free in 1863.

* The term ‘serf’ means the unfree (some say enslaved) peasants in the Russian Empire. Russian term is ‘krepostnoi krestyanin’. Or ‘krepostnoy‘ for short.