|Vremenoye Pravitel’stvo Velikorosii/Government of All Russias|
Head of State
Josef Stalin (1924-1946), Lavrenti Beria (1946-1947), Semyon Ignatiev (1947-1948), Andrey Vlasov (1948-1949), Genrikh Lyushkov (1949-1980), Mikhail Gorbachev (from 1980)
Head of Government
Vyacheslav Molotov (1930-1946), Semyon Ignatiev (1946-1947), Mikhail Ryumin (1947-1948), Konstantin Rodzaevsky (1948-1949), Anastasy Vonsyatsky (1949-1955), Klim Voroshilov (1955-1966), Semyon Timoshenko (1966-1968), Georgy Zhukov (1968-1974), Yegor Ligachev (from 1974)
The Russian Empire replaced in 1917 by the Bolshevik Regime, which eventually became known as the USSR.
As late as November 1940, the USSR had been negotiating with Germany and Japan over a combined attack on the British Empire, dividing the Eurasian continent into three power blocs: German in Eurafrika, Japanese in East Asia and Soviet from the Arctic to the Indian Oceans.
However in December 1940, the German government secretly issued Directive 21, to prepare for the invasion of Russia. In May 1941, Germany secured an end to the conflict with Great Britain, and simultaneously guaranteed the support of Japan in a war with Russia (the price for this was to stifle Japan's demands on the British Empire in East Asia).
The war with Germany had the character of a war of extermination (Vernichtungskrieg) against the peoples of Russia. Claiming harshness was a prerequisite of future colonial rule in the region, the German Fuehrer Adolf Hitler asserted that 'in the East, toughness is softness for the future'.
This changed slightly with the change of government in Germany in July 1944. In November 1944 the Prague Declaration committed Germany (and Japan) to the maintenance of some form of Russian state, free of Bolshevik and Jewish influence. In March 1946 the NKVD Chief Lavrenti Beria had the Soviet leader Stalin killed and assumed power himself. He created a Government of National Salvation, the first non-Bolshevik government on Russian soil since 1922.
The Government of National Salvation replaced the State Defence Committee (established 1941) as the executive leadership of former Soviet territory still under Russian control. The Government was mainly made up of members of Beria's faction of the NKVD, many of them Georgians, especially Mingrelians like himself or other West Georgians.
The overthrow of Stalin was therefore occassionally referred to as the 'Mingrelian Coup' as well as the 'Beria Coup', much as the attempted 'Himmler Putsch' in Germany was sometimes known as the 'Mischlinge Putsch', due to the supposed ethnicity of some of its most prominant members. Important West Georgians or Mingrelians in the Beria administration included Candide Charkviani, Mikhail Baramiya and Pyotr Sharia.
Beria ordered immediate negotiations to begin with Japan, Germany and the other Axis powers. The Beria government still controlled a good portion of the USSR. Much of European Russia was already conquered, and Axis forces under Erwin Rommel had made good progress against the 'soft underbelly' of the southern Soviet Republics, invading Central Asia and the Caucuses from Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan and, eventually (from 1945) British India. However the Japanese controlled very little beyond the Pacific coastline and some strategically unimportant territories they had attached to their puppet states of Mongolia, Manchuria, Tuva and East Turkistan.
Ultimately his determination to negotiate with the Axis as an equal power, though a defeated one, was useless. The Axis insisted on an unconditional surrender, including the full dissolution of the Communist Party and the institutions of the Soviet State. Beria pressed for a separate peace with Japan via Richard Sorge, a German Soviet spy captured by the Japanese in 1944, while continuing the war against the Germans and their allies in the West. The Beria government held out until Germany began the bombing of Central Asian cities with their new 'Atomic' weapons ('Atomwaffen', combining the research of the 'Uranprojekt' with Wernher von Braun's 'Vergeltungswaffen') in December 1946.
Beria was in turn ousted in 1947 and replaced by a collective leadership around the Russian-Ukrainian NKVD leader Semyon Ignatyev and his Russian subordinate Mikhail Ryumin. An offer of unconditional surrender was made in early 1947 by Beria's subordinate Semyon Ignatyev. The 'Atomic' bombing of Central Asia continued until the government established by Beria dissolved itself.
Many of the surviving members of the Stalin and Beria governments were brought to Germany to face trial. The administration of Russia then fell to the occupying powers: primarily Germany and Japan, but also smaller Axis powers (especially Finland and Romania). Elements of the Government of National Salvation, primarily belonging to the Red Army, continued to exercise some power in the parts of the Russian Far East controlled by Japan.
Japan and Germany soon fell into disagreement as to how to administer the former Soviet territory under their control. Rather than establishing a puppet Russian state as a buffer between the European and Japanese spheres, Germany had begun to place Russian territory as far east as the Ob River under civilian administration as a Reichskommissariat. Konstantin Rodzaevsky was installed as Leader of the Russian People, though without any real power, and without a defined territorial authority. Similar political units, not remotely resembling actual states, were established for the other nationalities of Russia, similar to the homelands proposed by the Nationalist regime of South Africa.
Japan meanwhile recognised the Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia under General Andrey Vlasov as the legitimate government-in-waiting of Russia. In the Japanese sector the Committee was already taking over the responsibilities of the defunct Soviet state. In the German sector, the puppet Russian self-administration which nominally controlled the territory was a phantasm.
In October 1949 the establishment of an nominally independent Russian state on Japanese-occupied territory signaled the end of Japanese-German cooperation.
The Russian Provisional Government established by the Japanese at Irkutsk was made up of a motley group of Whites, a few Russian Fascists, Soviet Red Army defectors and various Siberian separatists.
The territory of the former Soviet Union under German control remained divided into Reichskommissariaten administered by German civil servants as colonies. Each Reichskommissariat contained Heimatstaaten (native states) or Selbstverwaltungen (self-administrations) in which the subject peoples of the Reich were allowed varying amounts of control over their own affairs.
The Heimatstaaten were both politically and economically dependent on Germany and generally starved of resources. Many of those containing formerly thriving urban centres soon reverted to the kind of mass subsistence agriculture practised before the Bolshevik Revolution. The degree of autonomy allowed to each Heimatstaat or Selbstverwaltung depended on Berlin's view of the level of racial and civilisational development of the subject people. For example, the people of Georgia, generally regarded as Aryans of Western civilisation were allowed substantial autonomy, assuming greater authority over some areas of governance in 1966, 1967 and 1976, while the Kalmyks, of Mongol ethnicity and existing in a state described as Oriental barbarism were progressively stripped of the autonomy they had won during the war, and were ultimately expelled en masse to the Japanese sector (ultimately settling in Mongolia). Between these two extremes lay the peoples of the Caucasus, the Turkic peoples of Central Asia, the Slavs of Russia proper, Ukrainians, Tajiks and others.
The populations of the Heimatstaaten were also forced to compete for land and resources. This was especially true from the 1950s, when the administration of Konstantin Rodzaevsky began encouraging Russians to settle on land historically allocated to the Turkic peoples by the old Soviet regime (the territory of the Kirghiz/Kazakh ASSR), but allocated to Muscovy by the Germans. There were also clashes elsewhere in Central Asia between Tajiks and Turks, and between other groups of Germany's subject peoples in the Caucasus, in the Ural-Volga region and in the former Ukraine.
Though the Russian state centred on Irkutsk was only nominally independent of Japan, the standard of living was generally far superior. The Irkutsk government also had its own army and some independent institutions, including universities teaching in local languages.
Figures within the Irkutsk government include former Whites, disgraced old Bolsheviks, Soviet defectors and others. Former Red Army officers, though originally out of favour with the Japanese occupiers, eventually became dominant. Though ideologically out of step with the designs of the Japanese, Red Army commanders could exercise power on the ground in a way that Whites and others, long-exiled from Russia, could not. The most significant figures of this type were Zhukov and Voroshilov, who had been stripped of their commands by Beria and his ally Georgy Malenkov in 1946, and fully broke with the Government of National Salvation after the Ignatyev coup in 1947.
Subdivisions of the Russian StateEdit
The Russian State is a federation under the protection of Japan and a full member of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. It was ruled by Genrikh Lyushkov (an NKVD defector to Japan) as President, with Anastasy Vonsyatsky (founder and leader of the All-Russian National Revolutionary Toilers and Workers-Peasants Organisation, a pro-Japanese split from the Russian Fascist Party, 1949-1955), Klim Voroshilov (Red Army general, 1955-1966), Semyon Timoshenko (Red Army general, 1966-1968), Georgy Zhukov (Red Army general, 1968-1974) and Yegor Ligachev (former Siberian Premier, from 1974) serving as Prime Minister. Lyushkov was replaced in 1980 by Mikhail Gorbachev, a longtime ally of Prime Minister Ligachev.
- Eskimo Republic: Population: c.100,000. Capital: Provideniya. Led by Otto Kuusinen, an old Bolshevik of Finnish origin, until 1964, then by Abe Okpik, of Candian Eskimo origin, from 1964 to 1979 and by Lena Pedersen, of Greenlandic Eskimo origin, from 1979.
- Sakha Turkish Republic: Population: c.1,000,000. Capital: Yakutsk. Led by Richard Sorge, a German officer of Soviet Intelligence, until 1965, and subsequently by Lev Gumilev, a Russian academic and Georgiy Basharin, a native scholar and academic.
- Birobidzhan Republic: Population: c.1,000,000. Capital: Birobidzhan. Led by Dr Abraham Kaufman, a medical doctor formerly based in China, until 1970, and subsequently two Red Army veterans, General A. Bielski and Lev Toitman.
- Green Ukrainian Republic of the Far East: Population c.2,000,000. Capital: Progress. Established roughly in the territory of the former Zeleny Klyn, minus the coastal territories annexed by Japan (including Urajio, the former Vladivostok). Led by Grigory Semyonov, a veteran of the White Movement and Ataman of the Baikal Cossack Host, until 1965 and then by a succession of old Bolsheviks: Rodion Malinovsky (a Red Army General of Ukrainian and Karaite origin, 1965-1967), Andrei Grechko (a Ukrainian Red Army General, 1967-1976) and Konstantin Chernenko (a Ukrainian academic, 1976-1982). Chernenko retired due to ill health in 1982 and was replaced by a Slovak (raised in Soviet Central Asia), Alexander Dubcek.
- Republic of Autonomous Siberia: Population: c.30,000,000. Capital: Irkutsk. Led by Boris Shteifon, a White Movement veteran, until 1950 and by Pyotr Nikiforov (an Irkutsk native) to 1957 and Anastas Mikoyan (of Armenian origin) to 1970, both old Bolsheviks. Yegor Ligachev, another Siberian native, assumed the Premiership from 1970 to 1974, when he became Prime Minister of the All-Russia State. Thereafter Alexander Yakovlev, a Ligachev ally, served as Premier.
The remaining areas of the former USSR and its allies Tuva and Mongolia which surrendered to Japan were annexed directly to Japan or attached to the newly formed East Turkistan State and to expanded Tuvan and Mongolian states. Small territories in the Russian Far East were also attached to Manchuria and to the Kingdom of Korea, a constituent state of the Empire of Japan.