Committee of Members of the Constituent Assembly


Committee of Members of the Constituent Assembly
Members of the Constituent Assemly - Ivan Brushvit, Prokopiy Klimushkin, Boris Fortunatov, V.K.Volsky (chairman) and Ivan Nesterov

The Committee of Members of the Constituent Assembly (Russian: Комитет членов Учредительного собрания (Комуч), Komitet chlenov Uchreditelnogo sobraniya, abbreviated Komuch), a Democratic counterrevolutionary government in Russia during the Russian Civil War, formed in Samara on June 8, 1918 after the Czech Legion had occupied the city.

Komuch proclaimed itself the highest authority in Russia, temporarily acting on behalf of the Constituent Assembly on the territory, occupied by the interventionists and the Whites, until the convocation of the new composition of the Assembly. Initially, Komuch consisted of five Socialist Revolutionaries (SRs) (V.K.Volsky - chairman, Ivan Brushvit, Prokopiy Klimushkin, Boris Fortunatov, Ivan Nesterov) - members of the Constituent Assembly, which had been dissolved by the Bolsheviks. Two other members, N. Shmelev and V. Abramov, are named in a declaration which the Komuch issued reinstating freedoms and setting forth fundamental principles. [1]

Subsequently, the Committee grew in size owing to the members of the Constituent Assembly (mainly SRs), who had come to Samara. Thus, by the end of September, Komuch numbered 96 members.

Komuch's executive body was the Council of Department Heads under the lead of Yevgeny Rogovsky. Having seized power with the help of the Czech Legion, Komuch announced "reinstatement" of democratic freedoms: they formally established an 8-hour working day, permitted worker's conferences and congresses of peasants, kept plant and factory committees (fabzavkomy, or fabrichno-zavodskiye komitety) and trade unions. Komuch abrogated the Soviet decrees, returned all the plants, factories and banks to their former owners, declared freedom of private enterprise and reinstated zemstva, city dumas and other establishments. Paying lip service to socialization of land, Komuch, in fact, provided landowners with an opportunity to take away their confiscated lands from the peasants and, also, harvest the winter crops of 1917. Komuch sent punitive expeditions to the rural areas of Russia in order to protect the property of landowners and kulaks, recruit and later mobilize people for the so-called People's Army.

Owing to the military support from interventionists and kulaks and Red Army's weakness, Komuch's power spread into the provinces of Samara, Simbirsk, Kazan, Ufa and Saratov in June-August 1918. However, by the early November, the peasants became convinced of Komuch's counterrevolutionary nature and grew wary of it, organizing occasional resistance. In September, People Army of Komuch sustained a number of defeats from the Red Army and left a major part of Komuch's territories.

The Komuch participated with the Provisional Siberian Government in the State Conference held in Ufa held between 8–23 September. Some of the 170 delegates also represented other smaller regions. The Komuch suffered two significant defeats while the conference was in progress, losing Kazan on 10 September and Simbirsk two days later. The conference established the short-lived Provisional All-Russian Government (PA-RG).[2]

After Admiral Aleksandr Kolchak's coup, the Directory and other establishments were dissolved by General Vladimir Kappel in November 1918.

References

  1. ^ The Russian Revolution 1917-1921 by Ronald I. Kowalski, p.116
  2. ^ The Russian Civil War by Evan Mawdsley (2008) Edinburgh, Birlinn pp. 143-8

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