The military successes of the Red Army in the fall of 1918 on the Eastern Front coincided with the victory of the bourgeois-democratic revolution in Germany on November 9, 1918. The overthrow of the Hohenzollern dynasty made it possible by decree of the Central Executive Committee. from November 13 to annul the Brest-Litovsk peace and begin the liberation of the territories occupied by Germany.
On November 17, 1918, the RVS of the Special Group of Forces of the Kursk sector headed by V. A. Antonov-Ovseenko was formed, and on November 28, 1918 the Temporary Worker-Peasant Government of Ukraine, headed by G. L. Pyatakov. From the very beginning, the created organs of Soviet power were opposed to the bourgeois nationalist government of the Ukrainian Directory of V. K. Vinnichenko, formed on November 14 and also speaking against Germany and the pro-German Ukrainian regime of P. P. Skoropadsky.
After the resignation of the last December 14, 1918. Directory troops under the command of S. V. Petlura (who was in prison when the Germans) occupied Kiev. The Directory regime received immediate support from the Entente, which in the autumn of 1918, after the end of the First World War, increased the scale of the intervention. On November 23, 1918, the Allied troops landed in Novorossiysk, on November 26 in Sevastopol, on November 27 in Odessa, on January 31, 1919 they occupied Kherson, and on February 2, Nikolaev.
By the end of January, the total number of interventionists in the Black Sea region, including the Caucasus, was about 130 thousand soldiers. A new stage of intervention and the emerging alliance between the troops of the Entente and the Directorate led to the intensification of the military actions of the Red Army in the winter of 1918/1919.
The offensive of the Soviet troops was conducted in two directions: Kharkov to Kiev. On the night of January 1, 1919, the Bolshevik uprising began in Kharkov, and on January 3 Soviet units entered the city. Kharkov became the capital of the Ukrainian Soviet government headed by X. G. Rakovsky. On January 19, Poltava fell, and on January 26, Yekaterinoslav.
The transfer to the side of the Soviet troops on February 2 of the units of the Petliura (formerly Skoropadsky) ataman N. A. Grigorieva finally opened the front to incoming troops. The offensive on the Kiev direction was no less successful, where Chernihiv was liberated on January 12, and Konotop and Bakhmach on January 21. On the morning of February 5 Kiev became Soviet again. Petlyura Directory fled to Vinnitsa.
At the same time, the Soviet government spread to other territories previously controlled by Germany; Pskov was liberated on November 25. On November 29, units of the Red Army took Narva, where the Estonian Soviet Republic was proclaimed. In December, Soviet troops (including the LaTysh divisions) conducted military operations in Latvia. In the city of Valk, a Soviet government was formed, headed by P. I. Stuchka, who moved to the Bolshevik-occupied Riga on 3 January. Only Libava was held by the English invaders. In parallel with Latvia, the Soviet troops of the Western Front in November took control of a large part of Belarus, and on November 10 - Minsk. The further offensive of the Western Front led to the capture of January 6, 1919 Vklno.
Thus, by mid-January 1919, Belarus and almost all of the Baltic states were under the control of the Soviet authorities. Along with control over Ukraine and the revolution in Germany, this opened up brilliant political, military, and economic prospects for the continued success of the Soviet government and the world proletarian revolution. The headquarters of the future revolution was to become the Comintern (Communist International), established in March 1919 in Moscow and uniting the revolutionary parties of a communist orientation (Chairman G. E. Zinoviev).
In early spring, the Red Army launched an offensive in the south of Ukraine against the troops of the interventionists and White Guards. On March 10, 1919, the Soviet units of P. E. Dybenko and Ataman N. A. Grigoriev dispersed Kherson. Before the retreat, the interventionists drove about 2 thousand inhabitants into a wooden warehouse, which was bombarded with incendiary projectiles. The terrorists of the interventionists only increased the support of those coming from the local population.
On March 14, Soviet troops occupied Nikolaev, where a workers ’uprising had occurred the day before. On April 6, 1919, units of the Red Army together with the partisans entered Odessa, and on April 29 into Sevastopol. The self-reliance of the Entente failed. In total, during the onset of the Soviet troops liberated the territory of more than 800 thousand square meters. km with a population of 35 million people.
The campaign of the RKKA to the Hungarian Soviet Republic formed on March 21, 1919 (Chairman Sh. Garbai, Commissar for Foreign Affairs Bela Kun) became the key one. However, owing to the metezh of parts of the ataman Grigoriev, who were destined to act in Hungary (the military forces of the rebels were 20 thousand people, over 50 guns, 700 machine guns, 6 armored trains), in May 1919 the campaign was disrupted. The insurgents' slogans, “The Power to the Soviets of the People of Ukraine without Communists,” “Ukraine for Ukra-Ints”, “Free Trade in Bread,” and “Liquidation of Prodrozvrastki” initially met with certain support among the Ukrainian prosperous peasantry, as well as the middle peasants.
This was facilitated by excesses in the national policy, which took the form of "Russification". However, the uprising, which soon adopted a clearly pronounced nationalist, anti-Soviet character (in Elizavetgrad alone, 1526 people were killed on May 15-17, mainly Jewish), did not meet with support in the cities, as well as from other atamans of not so radical views, primarily N I. Makhno. The Soviet units of A. Ya. Parkhomenko and K. Ye. Voroshilov localized the insurgency, and on July 27, on the orders of Makhno, the ataman Grigoriev himself was killed.
The bet on the world revolution was not justified in other areas. After the defeat of the German revolution, the initial success in the Baltics could not be developed in the western direction. The Red Army alone had to conduct combat operations simultaneously on six fronts, with a total length of over 8 thousand kilometers. Under these conditions, the spring-summer campaign of 1919 was to be the turning point of the civil war. Having lasted until the first bread of the new harvest, the Soviet authorities could count on success, the narrowing of the controlled territories would mean gradual agonization of the regime. Understanding this fact to the limit exacerbated the forms of the civil war, the most bloody in 1919