The Russian Soviet Republic

By Edward Alsworth Ross | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXI
THE ATTACK FROM THE SOUTH: WRA NGEL

FOR more than two years now every anti-Bolshevik leader who appeared in Russia had been hailed by the foreign advocates of intervention as the long awaited savior of Russia to whom the masses, oppressed by the proletarian government, would joyfully rally. Detailed accounts of his victories appeared in the newspapers of the Allied countries until the sudden falling of a curtain of silence revealed to the initiated that his star had set. When one of these leaders had disappeared, the same policy was followed by the Allied press in respect to the next one until his disappearance. These unheralded and inconspicuous vanishings of the White generals greatly mystified the reading public until they caught on to the game of the newspapers.

In every case the new leader was declared to have profited by the errors of his predecessors, and it was prophesied that he would surely overcome the Bolsheviks. Now, although this farce of acclaiming with extreme enthusiasm each new leader, predicting his inevitable success, and recording belatedly his downfall had been played without change for twenty-eight months, the same thing began all over again in the case of General Wrangel.

When Wrangel took over the command of the débris of the Volunteer Army, foreign observers supposed that the anti- Bolshevik offensive in South Russia was ended. On April 14, 1920, Lord Curzon addressed a note to Tchicherin requesting him to grant amnesty to Wrangel's men, who were "no longer capable of any serious offensive northward." Tchicherin in reply expressed his willingness to open negotiations

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