Revolutionary committee

Revolutionary Committee

Revolutionary committee

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Revolutionary committees or revkoms () were Bolshevik-led organizations in Soviet Russia and in areas of its activities established to serve as provisional governments and temporary Soviet administrations in territories under the control of the Red Army in 1918-1920, during the Russian Civil War and foreign military intervention. The forms of their work were inherited from Military Revolutionary Committees of the Russian Revolution of 1917. The name was borrowed from the history of the French Revolution, where comités révolutionnaires were created, the superior ones being Committee of Public Safety and Committee of General Security.

Revolutionary committees were often created in an anticipation of the advances of the Red Army. In some cases they were created in places remote from the intended place of action as it was in the case, e.g., the Provisional Polish Revolutionary Committee. In other cases they were created underground from local populations under the guidance of Bolsheviks, which subsequently organized an insurgency and then invited the Red Army for help, as it was, e.g., in the case of the Azerbaijani Revkom, which seized power in Baku when English troops were evacuated and then asked Moscow for help.

Some of revkoms were successful, while others were not.

There were different levels of revkoms, according to the administrative divisions: republican, inherited from the Russian Empire (guberniya, uyezd, volost), and at the grassroots level rural revkoms.

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