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Food appropriation in the Tambov Governorate in 1920 on the example of Borisogbesk County: comrade A.I. Penkov’s case

Annotation

The topic of the food policy of the authorities during the Civil War in Russia, in the context of the continuous attraction by researchers of new documents and memoirs, continues to remain relevant today. The Antonov’s uprising in the Tambov Governorate, as part of the Civil War, also does not cease to be a controversial topic among researchers. Already 100 years have passed since these events, but among historians there is still no consensus on a number of issues, one of which is the causes of peasant unrest in the governorates of Central Russia. The importance of this study is due to the involvement of new information on Bolshevik’s food policy, the relationship between the authorities and the population and within the Soviet employees of the Tam-bov Governorate themselves. In the early 1920, the food issue remained the main one in the policy of the Bolsheviks. Abuse by food detachments in the southern districts and drought in the Tambov Governorate in 1920 contributed significantly to conflicts between the peasantry and the central government. We focus on the Borisoglebsk food agent A.I. Penkov’s story, who witnessed the abuses of the local district authorities in relation to the peasants and was even able to send a telegram to the capital addressed to V.I. Lenin. We also describe in detail the conflict between A.I. Penkov and the district authorities, as well as the subsequent arrest of A.I. Penkov due to the wide publicity of the activities of local food detachments. We reveal that the food issue and con-flicts between local food detachments, district party members and the rural population in the southern districts of the governorate are quite acute. Events of this kind cannot be ignored as one of the possible reasons for the peasant uprising of 1920–1921.

Keywords

Tambov Governorate, Borisoglebsk County, food appropriation, punitive policy, peasantry, village, county, Antonov’s uprising, agriculture, civil war, Bolsheviks, Soviet power

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DOI

10.20310/1810-0201-2022-27-1-221-231

UDC

94(47).084.3

Pages

221-231

References

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Received

2021-05-18

Section of issue

National history

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