The Second Russian Civil War was a conflict that broke out in May 2020 in Russia, later spreading into the rest of Eastern Europe and Central Asia, between the Russian Communists and Russian Monarchists. Tensions rose extremely following the 2020 State Duma elections, in which the United Russia party legitimately got the majority of the seats, but the elections were rigged by the Communist Party, as a government official informed them of the result before the tallies were announced.
The rigging was obvious, and mass protests occurred throughout the Moscow Oblast and other parts of the country. In April, the Communists then committed a coup against the current president, elected back in 2018. They declared the Russian Federation as the Russian Socialist Republic (RSR). The protests intensified, with parts of the police and military joining them. At the same time, the leader of the Monarchist Party, Viktor Kutuzov, declared the party as the new White Movement, with the southern city of Volgograd as the capital.
Soon, most administrative areas in the Southern and North Caucasian Federal Districts declared themselves part of the Whites, along with large portions of the Far Eastern, Siberian, Ural, and Volga Federal Districts. Most of the Central and Northwestern Federal Districts remained loyal to the Republic.
In 2018, Vladimir Putin stepped down and did not run in the presidential elections after his third term. The United Russia party candidate, a protege of Putin, barely won the election, with 53% of the vote. The Communist Party, A Just Russia, Liberal Democratic Party, and the People's Party were not happy with the results; especially the Communist Party, which was then led by an ambitious former Soviet Navy officer named Roman Andropov. The Communists vowed to take the majority in the State Duma elections that were coming up in 2020. In 2019, the United States collapsed, making Russia and China the top superpowers. The Communists wished to strengthen ties with the Chinese, who also felt the same.
Finally, in April 2020, the State Duma elections began. After much campaigning, it was expected that another party would replace United Russia as the majority in the lower house. However, an informant told Andropov that United Russia had won again. Outraged, he and the Communist Party rigged the vote, making it that they had won by taking 64%. The public, in disbelief, staged mass protests in the following several days as tensions rose. The Interior Ministry deployed police units throughout Moscow to quell the riots.
Formation of the White Movement
As police crackdowns occurred, more protests rose across the country. The Communists, fearing an overthrow, committed a coup against the president. Andropov used his new power to create the Russian Socialist Republic, which caused many police and military to join the protestors. Finally, in the southern city of Volgograd, Monarchist Party leader Viktor Kuznetsov announced the formation of the White Movement, to take back Russia from the communists. Thousands announced their support, and many Russian Armed Forces personnel defected to them. Much of the Southern, Volga, Siberian, and Far Eastern Federal Districts declared loyalty, about three-fifths of the country.
The Communists kept their capital of Moscow, and banned the Monarchist Party, initially ignoring the White formation. However, as many defected to the White Movement, the Republic was forced to recognize them and declared war. Only having about 900,000 personnel, the Communists drafted thousands, raising their military to 2.3 million. Meanwhile, the Monarchists received thousands of volunteers, making their White Army at 1.4 million. Andropov, the Premier of the Socialist Republic, ordered all units to engage the White Army.
The world was in a crisis at the time, due to the global financial crisis, Tel Aviv War, the Sino-Japanese War, the Second American Revolution, and other conflicts, so the response was slow. The United Nations refused to recognize either side. Individual countries showed support to different sides, though, as the UN was greatly weakened with the fall of the US. Ukraine, fearing a Communist takeover and genocide, backed the White a Movement, while Belarus, Kazakhstan, and China supported the Socialist Republic and recognized it. All of them sent personnel to fight for their supported side.
The Communists had to reorganize their military, as did the Whites. However, the White Army armed and trained faster, and began the offensive. In early July, 26,000 troops under General Kazimir Samsonov left the White city of Saratov and marched to Kazan, the Volga Federal District capital and a Communist loyalist. It was defended by 17,000 Communists soldiers under General Alexander Kozhin. They overran the nearby cities on their way, which were neutral but then became part of White Russia. The Communists frantically fortified the city in a vain attempt to hold off the advancing White Army.
During the first hours of the Battle of Kazan, communist defenders held out. However, as T-90 tanks and Su-27 fighters began advancing with the White Army infantry, the Communists began to pull back. By midday, the Communists only had 4,000 troops left, spread out through the city, at the cost of 6,500 White soldiers, leaving 19,500. General Kozhin and 1,200 soldiers prepared for a final stand at the Kazan Federal University. As the remaining 2,800 Communist soldiers were killed in last stands, Kozhin broadcasted to the Politburo in Moscow of their fight. In the afternoon of that day, June 11, Moscow lost contact with Kozhin. He led a final charge before dying.
The Battle of Kazan became the first major battle in the war, giving the White Army their first victory. The Communist defenders fought valiantly, but all were killed or went missing. Less than a third of the White troops were lost. The victory was propagandized by the White Movement. Historians later decided it was the lack of preparedness on part of the Communists and their lack of equipment, having only 45 T-80 tanks compared to the 65 T-90 tanks and the 35 Su-27 fighters of the White Army.
The Communist government was angry at their loss at Kazan, and immediately retaliated by initiating an offensive from the southern city of Voronezh, under General Nikita Miroslav. Departing from the city with 55,000 troops, Miroslav successfully secured the cities on the way to Volgograd, such as Borisoglebsk and Liski. About 40,000 White Army troops, under General Vladimir Zelin, and 25,000 Ukrainian soldiers (as Ukraine allied with the Whites following Kazan) led by General Yakiv Kyrylo, were sent on a counterattack.
Meeting up at the town of Mikhaylovka, the two armies engaged each other. Though the White Army had the numerical advantage, they did not have any air support other than 20 Mi-24 Hinds, while the Communists had 50 Su-34 fighter-bombers. At the Battle of Mikhaylovka, the Communist troops used their Air Force to their advantage, but were held up by the enemy Mi-24s. Intense street fighting broke out, and the White forces were pushed back out of the town. They retreated and regrouped at Frolovo. General Zelin died during the attack and was replaced by General Vassily Suvorov.
By early July 2020, the Russian Socialist Republic controlled most of central and northwestern Russia, with parts of Siberia and the Far East. However, most of southern, Siberian, and Far Eastern Russia were under the White Movement's control. Both sides were not organized well enough to launch full offensives for most of summer 2020, especially the White Movement.
However, by mid July, Igor Markin, the Speaker of the Imperial Council of the Whites, contacted all senior officials and officers of the White Army and put together an organized formation. The Southern Front, as the war in southern Russia and the Volga region came to be known, was defended by the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th Armies, totaling to 965,000 men. The Far Eastern Front, as the theatre of war in Siberia and the Far East became known, was defended by the 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th Armies, totaling to 854,000 troops.
The Communists organized in a similar fashion. Chairman Sergei Voronov organized the 1st and 2nd Army Corps, fighting on the Southern Front, and the 3rd and 4th Army Corps, which fought on the Eastern. The 1st and 2nd Army Corps totaled 1.3 million men, while the 3rd and 4th had 1.5 million troops. General Nikita Miroslav had overall command of the 1st and 2nd Corps, while General Kirill Makarov was initially given command of the 3rd and 4th. Makarov went on to defect to the White Army later on.
The Chinese offered to send troops to attack the White holdings in the Far East, while Kazakhstan and Belarus sent in troops to aid General Miroslav's armies.
Following the successful Battle of Mikhaylovka, Miroslav led his forces south to Frolovo, where General Suvorov's troops, now the 2nd and 3rd Armies, and General Kyrylo's 1st Ukrainian Army, regrouped. There, they clashed, with the White armies losing again and fleeing further south. Viktor Kuznetsov grew worried as they got closer to Volgograd, and ordered Suvorov to stop them.