Internal Strife in the Kremlin
02 December, 2010
Internal Strife in the Kremlin

As it was revealed later, there played out a serious bickering for power in the Kremlin. Stalin decided to put together a bunch of his supporters against Trotsky. At some point, he even managed to curry the favors of Kamenev and Zinoviev.
GJ – In 1922, when the Bolsheviks went real for building the Soviet Union – a new unified state, within which, in addition to Soviet Russia, several other communist-occupied republics would stand united under one Soviet flag, Georgia

among them, it turned out that the Bolshevik members of the Georgian government were against impairing the independence of Georgia. This contradicted the Stalinist plan of building the unified Soviet state. How far the confrontation between the former fellow-fighters had gone at that time?
SM – As I said, the Kremlin had baptized that group of Georgian Bolsheviks as Nationalist-Uklonists (deviated ones). Stalin declared a full-time war against the group. The position of the group turned out to be feeble enough to have lost the political battle, so Stalin had victory over them. Stalin wrote without even a vestige of hesitation that Georgia could in no way be an independent state because thanks to its wealth (railway, oil-piping and natural resources) it would soon and easily acquire a dominant position among the neighboring countries, and would become the most powerful nation among the states of the South Caucasus. And that was impossible to admit. Georgia was supposed to be made a member of the Soviet Union along with Armenia and Azerbaijan, and it was not to be given an opportunity to use its resources and geopolitical assets independently. Those assets had to be allocated among other South Caucasus republics. Speaking more generally, Georgia’s wealth had to be distributed all over the entire Bolshevik Russian Empire.
GJ – This was a Stalinist position, wasn’t it? 
SM – Yes, it was and an idea, clearly expressed by him, but as it became evident later, a very serious struggle for power was rampant in the Kremlin itself. For example, the Bolshevik revolutionary Mamya Orakhelashvili found himself in the camp, ideologically opposed to Stalin. He was not the all-Union Politburo member (only Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin and Dzerzhinsky were initially the Politburo members, formed in 1919), but he held the post of the deputy to the Chairman (Lenin) of Council of People’s Commissars (ministers) i.e. the first vice-premier of Russia. Having on mind that the Government had no less a clout and authority than the Communist Party itself in the country in Lenin’s life-time and minimum a year after his death, the post of the first deputy Chairman of the government was not a minor position. This inevitably meant that Mamya Orakhelashvili was not the member of the Stalinist grouping. 
GJ – Although it is well known a fact that he was Stalin’s old and close friend and fellow-revolutionary . . .
SM – Same would be true about Abel Enukidze who was the secretary of the Central Committee of Russia’s Communist Party, and later, the Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist party of the Soviet Union.
GJ – Was he also Stalin’s good friend? 
SM – Yes, he was! He used to be one of the most active members of the terrorist group, organized by Stalin. We might need to have a closer look at the situation. Inclusive the year of 1934, the Kremlin security service was provided by the so called military school students operated by the Central Executive Committee. The school was under the control of two persons – Russia’s War Minister and Secretary of the Central Executive Committee. Russia had several war ministers in a row in the years before 1934, like Trotsky, Kamenev, Frunze, Voroshilov, but the Central Executive Committee had only one and irreplaceable secretary, and that was Abel Enukidze. There is one more interesting nuance which definitely is worth mentioning: the newly created USSR initially had four chairmen, that is to say, four presidents.
GJ – You mean, simultaneously?
SM – Yes, simultaneously! From Russia, from the Caucasus, from the Ukraine and Belarus!
GJ – Did they enjoy equal rights?
SM – Actually, yes! The Central Executive Committee, which was the main state power body, had only one secretary, and that man was Abel Enukidze. He was not exactly a typical party worker. He was not even the Communist Party Central Committee member (he was only its alternate member), saying nothing about his not being a member of the Politburo, but he held a very important position in the country’s executive body. The Georgian Bolsheviks, and not only the Bolsheviks, but the nation’s intellectuals and aristocracy, mostly those who had known him since their youth, were friendly with both Orakhelashvili and Enukidze. Orakhelashvili was married to princess Mikeladze, and he himself had a noble background, being an educated person and a man of a strong personality. Abel Enukidze was once a very popular young man, handsome and an admired lad in the female world, which we can hardly say about Stalin.  
GJ – But Stalin used to be a womanizer too, didn’t he?
SM – Yes, but he was certainly never as much accepted. Mamya Orakhelashvili, Abel Enukidze, Aleksandreh Svanidze (Stalin’s brother-in-law), Aleksandreh Gegechkori, Philipeh Makharadze and Mikha Tskhakaya used to be far more popular in Georgia than Stalin. Among the Georgian Bolsheviks there had emerged some great individuals with a fair enough sense of ambition. Stalin could not even get close to them in terms of popularity and recognizability. This is why it became clear from the very beginning that the Stalinist unitary policy would never get a solid standing in Georgia.
GJ – We can’t probably say that Stalin was not popular in the Bolshevik circles. His Bolshevik past was recognized and taken into account, wasn’t it? 
SM – This would be true in terms of the situation inside the political elite, mostly after the 1917 revolution. In Russia, the most popular figures were Trotsky, Zinoviev and Kamenev. The majority of the Georgian Bolsheviks concentrated their efforts and attention on Trotsky. He was even more popular than Lenin himself around the world. Trotsky was the main financial supporter and organizer of the October (1917) coup d’?tat. He created the red Army.
GJ – He was the son a very rich Jewish family, wasn’t he?
SM – He had a very powerful circle of relatives in the West. Zinoviev was his brother-in-law (his sister’s husband). This all said, it should probably be explained what that part of Russian history has to do with Georgia.
GJ – Exactly!
SM – Starting from 1922, when Stalin became the First Secretary of the Communist Party, both overt and covert war between Stalin and Trotsky.
GJ – On the other hand, there had never been warm and friendly relationship between the two. 
SM – Stalin made up his mind to put together a bunch of his fellow-thinkers against Trotsky. At some point he even managed to pull Kamenev and Zinoviev on his side.

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