Features Of Soviet Construction In Chechnya In 1920–1930


The article studies the features of Soviet construction works in Chechnya in 1920–1930. Soviet construction is a multifaceted process of forming a political system of a new formation, designed to ensure effective functioning of the management mechanism within the state. The beginning of practical implementation of this complex task was laid by the October 1917 revolution, as a result of which Soviet regime was declared. The struggle for its approval resulted in a large-scale civil war. After its end, the triumphators – the leaders of the proletarian revolution – hastily started the widespread formation of the new political system. In Chechnya, as in many other regions of Russia, this was implemented gradually. This was a difficult issue since the revolutionary system of public administration had to be formed under special conditions. Firstly, it happened post-war, and secondly, on the territory of one of the most underdeveloped outskirts of the former tsarist Russia. The Bolshevik leaders directed their commissars to take into account the totality of factors arising from these circumstances. Overcoming all difficulties, they formed the political system of Soviet Chechnya. Elections to local Soviets were held in Chechnya n the summer of 1924, which lead to a transition from emergency to elected authorities. Another politically significant event of this period was the annexation of Grozny and Sunzhensky District to the Chechen Autonomous Region. Such processes of Soviet construction testified to gradual strengthening of local Soviet bodies and broad involvement of citizens in their activities.

Keywords: North Caucasus, Chechnya, civil war, political system, Soviet construction, USSR


A systematic analysis of the multifaceted processes of Soviet construction in Chechnya is of great scientific and practical importance. Firstly, it makes it possible to recreate a more complete and objective picture of the complex political life of Chechen society. Secondly, it gives the opportunity to reconstruct government policy and methods of its implementation on Sovietization of the national outskirts, in particular mountainous regions. Thirdly, it makes it possible to trace the milestones of Chechen establishment, its involvement in the public administration system.

Problem Statement

The history of the formation and development of the Soviet political system in Chechnya is a complex and multifaceted problem in all respects, including the scientific one. It reflects the process of formation of the political and legal hierarchy of an ethnos. Therefore, its scientific research should take place at the intersection of related sciences: jurisprudence, political science, ethnology, and others. Without such an analysis, which is necessary within the framework of a detailed study of this topic, it is unlikely that it will be possible to formulate the desired answers.

Research Questions

The subject of the research is the political system of the Soviet Union in Chechnya, stages and features of its formation in the chronological framework of the 20–30s of the 20th century.

The article discusses:

1. the main tasks of the Soviet government to create an effectively working party-Soviet apparatus in Chechnya and the results of their solution;

2. analysis of the central and local authorities policy to strengthen the Soviet power in Chechnya.

Purpose of the Study

The aim of this work is to study the process of formation and transformation of the Soviet political system in Chechnya in 1920–1930s.

Research Methods

The methodological basis of the study was an organic combination of retrospective and logical approaches to the problem under consideration. The authors followed the principles of historical science: scientific approach, objectivity and historicism, which provide for the study of any phenomenon and historical event in specific historical conditions and connections. These conditions and connections require relying on facts; unswervingly follow the logic of systematic analysis of facts, chronologically sequential consideration of events, and their objective assessment.


In the spring of 1920, Bolsheviks were able to mobilize their resources, including local ones, and defeat the counter-revolutionary forces of the South of Russia. However, the socio-political situation in the region remained extremely difficult, so it was necessary to urgently create an optimal mechanism of state administration or the mechanism of power, as a key link or the basis of the future political system of the new society.

As early as October 24, 1919, by decree of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee, the Revolutionary Committees were established. The Decree stated that “when the possibility of a transition to the normal structure of local authorities is created, by a decree of the central government in the areas liberated from the enemy, elections to the Soviets or to the Congresses of Soviets are appointed, the Executive Committees of which, upon their election, the Revolutionary Committees transfer all their powers, property and business". The main tasks of the revolutionary committees were the widespread support of the revolutionary order, the provision of the necessary assistance to the local population in the restoration of the economy, the creation of conditions for the formation of local authorities on the basis of a broad public expression (Bugaev, 2019).

On March 31, 1920, the Revolutionary Military Council of the Caucasian Front "for the restoration of Soviet power in the North Caucasus" established the North Caucasian Revolutionary Committee (Kuban, Black Sea region, Stavropol province, Terek region and Dagestan.) Consisting of Ordzhonikidze – chairman, Kirov and Poluyan – deputies, Mdivani, Stopani, Narimanov, Seid-Gabiev – members. On the same day, the new Revolutionary Committee, with its first order “in order to re-create party communist organizations in the North Caucasus” established a Party Bureau consisting of: chairman, member of the Russian Communist Party (RCP) Smilga, I.T., members Kirov and Mdivani (Bugaev, 2019). However, at the beginning of April 1920, on the basis of the decision of the CC RCPb Plenum of April 8, 1920, the Caucasian Bureau of the RCP was established to guide all party work and control the implementation of the directives of RCP and the Soviet government in the Caucasus. At the same time, the Tersk Regional Revolutionary Committee was created under the chairmanship of a member of the Revolutionary Military Council of the Caucasian Front V.M. Kvirkelia, in which Tashtemir Eldarkhanov was included as a representative of Chechnya (Bugaev, 2019). Thus, the central Soviet power gradually brought its representation closer to the direct "subordinate" places.

The issues of the formation of local authorities were discussed by the delegates of the congress of Chechen people, which opened in Grozny on April 3, 1920. S. Kirov, speaking before the delegates, highly appreciated the contribution of Chechens to the defeat of counter-revolutionary forces. During the congress, the Revolutionary Committee of Chechnya of five members was created, consisting exclusively of Chechens. The Committee was headed by Tashtemir Eldarkhanov. The new authority was “entrusted with the establishment of a firm revolutionary order ...” in Chechnya (Bugaev, 2019; Elbuzdukaeva, 2011). His leadership was tasked with "submitting a project and materials on the land issue within a week." Despite the difficulties of an objective nature, the lack of personnel capable of leading the revolutionary transformations, 35 local revolutionary committees were formed in the Chechen Region under the leadership of the new government in the shortest possible time. A separate section under Organizing Bureau of the Grozny Region of the RCP (Bugaev, 2019) was involved in resolving issues of local party building.

Party building was launched at the same time. On May 25, 1920, at a meeting of the Politburo of the RCP, in which V. Lenin, I. Stalin, L. Trotsky and other leaders of the Soviet state took part, the key issues were "On the leadership of party work in the North Caucasus" and "On the organization of Soviet power in the North Caucasus." It was decided to create a Bureau of the Central Committee in the North Caucasus, “retaining the name of the Caucasian Regional Committee for the time being (History of Chechnya from ancient times to the present day, 2008). It included the following members: Beloborodov, Ordzhonikidze, Kirov, Mdivani, Arakhelashvili, Narymanov, Nazaretyan. At the same time, it was noted that the new bureau "should direct the work of those communist party organizations that are part of the RCP." Smilga, Kirov, Vladimirsky and Milyutin were instructed to prepare proposals on the organization of Soviet power in the North Caucasus and submit them to the next meeting of the Politburo. On June 18, 1920, the issue of the North Caucasus was considered at a meeting of the Politburo. As a result, it was decided to dissolve the North Caucasian Revolutionary Committee. The overall leadership of Soviet construction and economic life was entrusted to the Trudarmii of the North Caucasus. Kuban and Stavropol provinces, Tersk, Dagestan and Don regions were assigned to her department (Bugaev, 2019).

On September 14, 1920, at a meeting of the Politburo of the RCP, in which Lenin, Stalin, Krestinsky, Bukharin and other leaders of the state took part, Stalin and Frumkin presented a report on the mood of the Caucasian highlanders. The resolution, adopted as a result of a detailed discussion of this extremely complex issue, confirmed “the resolution of the Central Committee on the allotment of land to the Chechens at the expense of the Cossack villages”. Along with that, it was recognized that “it is necessary to carry out the most decisive measures for the free activity of highlanders and the creation of correct relations between them and the rest of Russian population on the basis of full administrative autonomy. The detailed "definition of these measures" was planned to be discussed in a broader format – at the plenum of the Central Committee. At the same time, the participants in the Politburo meeting recognized the necessity of “the trip of comrade Stalin to the Caucasus for a guiding definition in all details ... of the policy in Caucasus in general, the highlanders in particular." At the same time, he was endowed with the powers of the Extraordinary Plenipotentiary of the RSFSR (Bugaev, 2019).

On September 18, 1920, a plenum of the Terek regional party committee was held, presenting the question of the political situation in the Terek region and work among the highlanders. Its participants identified the task of strengthening political work as a priority, which was obligatory to be carried out taking into account local characteristics. At the same time, it was prescribed to especially bear in mind that “the elements of tribal life, patriarchal way of life, abundance of religious prejudices, absence of the proletariat do not give grounds for carrying out ... a communist program” (History of Chechnya from ancient times to the present day, 2008). Thus, local Bolsheviks once again draw attention to the special conditions (of an objective nature) that must be taken into account when solving the problems of involving the mountain masses in Soviet construction.

However, even at the first congress of the peoples of the East, which took place in early September 1920 in Baku, the delegates noted with concern that style and methods of working party and Soviet officials, especially those sent to national regions from the Center, did not correspond to local specific realities. Complex conflicts between representatives of the central government and local population arose inevitably because of that (Bugaev, 2019). Taking into account these and other factors that seriously complicated the process of Sovietization of the former national outskirts (the eastern ones), the Politburo of the RCP on October 14, 1920 recognized “the need for autonomy in appropriate forms for those eastern nationalities that do not yet have autonomous institutions ... " (History of Chechnya from ancient times to the present day, 2008, p. 90). Thus, national question was one of the main directions of the internal policy of the young Soviet regime, and the central government initiated the process of the formation of national statehood on the principles of autonomy (Khlynina, 2005; Tufanov, 2018). From that moment on, there were some changes in the tactics of the Soviet political system formation in the regions of compact residence of the mountain population, including Chechnya.

In November 1920, were promulgated the declarations on the formation of the Dagestan ASSR and the Mountain ASSR. At the corresponding congresses, on behalf of the Soviet government, they were promulgated by the The People's Commissariat of Nationalities, lead by Stalin. On January 20, 1921, the Presidium of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee adopted decrees on the formation of the Dagestan ASSR and the Mountain ASSR (Kazharov, 2018; Kokorkhoeva, 2016).

From that moment until the fall of 1922, Chechnya had the status of an administrative district within this multinational republic. On November 30, 1922, Chechnya seceded from the Mountain ASSR. The All-Russian Central Executive Committee issued a decree on the formation of the Chechen Autonomous Region (Bugaev, 2019; Krinko, 2014). The functions of the district governing bodies were performed either by revolutionary committees or by executive committees. Their rotation took place depending on the socio-political situation in the region. This happened until the 1st Congress of Soviets, which took place in Grozny on July 29, 1924. In subsequent years, the Soviets and the organs of the dictatorship of the proletariat formed the basis of the political system of Chechnya (Alkhastova, 2016).

At that time, the transition to elected bodies, namely, the Soviets, was carried out in Chechnya without a deep analysis of the real situation and its comprehensive assessment. It seems to us that the population of Chechnya itself was not sufficiently prepared for such a transformation. Therefore, the composition of the regional executive committee formed at the first congress of the Soviets of Chechnya was able to retain its new role for only a little more than a year. On September 27, 1925, a meeting (7th) of the plenum of the Chechen Regional Central Executive Committee was held (Alkhastova, 2016; Elbuzdukaeva, 2011). Not all members of the Board took part in its work. Tashtemir Eldarkhanov, Abas Gaisumov, Zaurbek Sheripov were absent. The agenda consisted of two issues: 1. Revision of the composition of the Presidium of the ChechCEC. 2. Current affairs. The discussion of the key issue began with a speech by M. Eneev, secretary of the RCP Chechen organizing bureau. He noted: The Soviet government has shown unlimited confidence in the leadership of the Executive Committee of T. Eldarkhanov, Z. Sheripov and others hoping that they will lead Chechnya along the path of economic and political development, but the trust of Chechen working people and the Soviet government has not been justified. Relying in Soviet measures on the reactionary kulak and spiritual element, they did not pay attention to the poor revolutionary part of the population. There was no Soviet power on the ground, which made it possible for the counter-revolutionary element to develop organizational work among the population. Proceeding from this, the leadership of the Executive Committee is unable to further lead and lead Chechnya along the path of Soviet construction (as cited in Alkhastova, 2016).

From the very beginning, Eneev, M. clearly indicated why the plenum was assembled. Therefore, further speeches corresponded to the given vector. The speakers almost unanimously supported their party leader. Following the discussion of the issues on the agenda, the Executive Committee adopted the following resolution: a) note that the completed operation to seize the bandit element revealed a clear lack of firm and skillful leadership of the Soviet apparatus in the center and in the localities, and therefore consider the main task of the CEC to take urgent measures to strengthen and improve the Soviet apparatus in the region, raising the authority of the rural and regional authorities; b) consider it necessary to revise the composition of the CEC Presidium for the fastest implementation of these events. T. Eldarkhanov shall be relieved of his duties as chairman of the ChechCEC and recalled from Chechnya by CEC. Gaisumov, A. and Sheripov, Z. should be deprived of their rank as members of the Central Executive Committee, taking into account their activities over the entire period, aimed at undermining the foundations of the soviet power and their connection with the counter-revolutionary element in the region; c) create two Presidiums: a large one of 13 and a small one of 5 members. The plenum participants approved Arsanukayev, D. as the new chairman of the Chechen regional executive committee. Soon there was a change in the party leadership of the region. Eshba, E.A. was appointed the new secretary of the Chechorgburo (Alkhastova, 2016).

Thus, in the course of a little over a year (summer 1924 – autumn 1925), not only the mechanism of power changed in Chechnya, but also the composition of its leadership. In the subsequent period, qualitative transformations took place, mainly due to the unification from the end of 1928 to the beginning of 1929 of the Chechen Autonomous Region, the city of Grozny and the Sunzhensky Autonomous Region (Cossack) into a single Chechen Autonomous Region (Elbuzdukaeva, 2011).

In January 1934, the All-Russian Central Executive Committee united two autonomous regions of two closely related peoples: Chechen and Ingush. Thus, the Chechen-Ingush Autonomous Region was created, which was later transformed into the Chechen-Ingush Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic in accordance with the new Constitution of the USSR, adopted on December 5, 1936, (Bugaev, 2019).

Thus, the process of formation and strengthening of the Soviet political system of Checheno-Ingush ASSR was completed.


Based on this study, a number of scientifically substantiated conclusions have been formulated, which are the following: firstly, the analysis made it possible to characterize the complex nature of the process of Soviet construction in Chechnya in the 1920s and 1930s. of the 20th century; secondly, the study, prepared on the fundamental principles of scientific approach, objectivity and truthfulness, contributes to an objective scientific study of the history of the Chechen people, the national and federal policy of the Soviet state in Chechnya in the 1920s and 1930s; thirdly, despite individual mistakes and omissions, central and local bodies of Soviet Union pursued a well-thought-out national and federal policy that contributed to the consolidation of Soviet power in Chechnya; fourthly, the granting of the indigenous peoples of the North Caucasus, including the Chechen one, the right to create their own national autonomies, became a triumph of the Bolsheviks' national policy, which played a positive role in consolidating the revolutionary power in the national outskirts; fifthly, one of the most important tasks of Soviet construction in the North Caucasus in the 1920s and 1930s was the creation of an efficiently working party-Soviet apparatus. The party leadership saw the guarantee of this efficiency in ensuring the principle of the class approach in the formation of its personnel and in the prevention of socially alien elements (kulaks, Muslim clergy, etc.).


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Bugaev, A. M., Alkhastova, Z. M., Matyeva, A. R., Sugaipova, A. M., & Sugaipova, R. A. (2021). Features Of Soviet Construction In Chechnya In 1920–1930. In D. K. Bataev, S. A. Gapurov, A. D. Osmaev, V. K. Akaev, L. M. Idigova, M. R. Ovhadov, A. R. Salgiriev, & M. M. Betilmerzaeva (Eds.), Knowledge, Man and Civilization, vol 107. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 267-273). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2021.05.36