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Don Soviet Republic

The Don Soviet Republic (Russian: Донская советская республика, romanizedDonskaya Sovetskaya Respublika) was a short-lived Soviet republic of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic that existed from March to May 1918.

Don Soviet Republic

  • Донская
  • советская республика
Flag of Don Soviet Republic
Map of the territory claimed by Don Soviet Republic.
Map of the territory claimed by Don Soviet Republic.
StatusRepublic within Russian SFSR
Common languagesRussian
GovernmentRepublics of the Soviet Union
Chairman of the Sovnarkom 
LegislatureSoviet council
Historical eraWorld War I
• Established
23 March 1918
• Liberated by Don Cossacks
8 May 1918 1918
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Don Host Oblast
Don Republic
Today part of

Claiming the territory of the Don Host Oblast, the republic was proclaimed in March 1918 after the retreat of the White Army from the area. In May, after the revolt of the Don Cossacks and the German advance into the region as a result of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, the republic was overthrown and its leaders fled. The Don Cossacks' Don Republic took over the territory of the Don Soviet Republic.


The Don Soviet Republic was proclaimed on 23 March 1918 with its capital at Rostov-on-Don, claiming the territory of the Don Host Oblast and part of Yekaterinoslav Governorate, after the Volunteer Army and Alexey Kaledin's Don Cossack forces retreated from the area. Between 9 and 14 April, a regional congress of soviets elected a Central Executive Committee (CEC) of 26 Bolsheviks and 24 Left Socialist Revolutionaries for the republic. The CEC in turn formed a Council of People's Commissars (Sovnarkom), which was led by Red Cossack Fyodor Podtyolkov. An Extraordinary Staff led by Sergo Ordzhonikidze was also established to organize the defense of the republic.[1]

The Don Soviet Republic began to lose support as a result of its food requisitions and executions of suspected "counterrevolutionaries". In April, a general revolt of the Don Cossacks began, and from 1 May German troops also entered its territory, as a result of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. Don Cossacks led by Pyotr Krasnov took Rostov-on-Don, which was then occupied by German troops, on 6 May. The leaders of the republic fled to Tsaritsyn, but Podtyolkov was captured and executed by the Don Cossacks. The Don Republic then took control of the territory of the Don Soviet Republic.[1] The Don Soviet Republic, however, was not officially abolished by the Soviet government until September as its leaders had remained at Tsaritsyn.[2]



  1. ^ a b Smele 2015, p. 337.
  2. ^ Holquist 2002, p. 171.


  • Holquist, Peter (2002). Making War, Forging Revolution: Russia's Continuum of Crisis, 1914-1921. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. ISBN 9780674009073.
  • Smele, Jonathan D. (2015). Historical Dictionary of the Russian Civil Wars, 1916-1926. London: Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 9781442252813.

Coordinates: 49°59′N 36°13′E / 49.983°N 36.217°E / 49.983; 36.217