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The Russian Civil War

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Why did the Bolsheviks win the Russian Civil War?

Fresh from seizing control of Russia from the hands of the Provisional Government, the Bolsheviks' next step was to safeguard their fragile grip on the reigns of power.

Lenin negotiated peace with Germany and therefore an end to Russia's role in World War I. He could not, however, avoid a civil war in Russia. The Bolsheviks were made to fight for control of the country.

The Russian Civil War raged from 1918 until the start of 1921. During this time, the Bolsheviks faced massive opposition to their rule in the form of the White Armies, led by former officers of the Tsarist state, and also from intervention by the forces of foreign countries. The Bolsheviks were surrounded, often outnumbered by their opponents, and had no experienced military commanders. At times, their situation seemed hopeless.

Yet, by the start of 1921, the Bolsheviks had defeated their enemies and gained a complete victory. The establishment of Communism in Russia went ahead unchallenged.

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