The system of government under the Tsar.

Also a person belonging to an organisation of the Tsar, or supporting the Tsar. Commonly used as a term of denouncement in post-Revolution Russia.

Many Tsarist officers fought with the Whites in the Russian Civil War against the Bolshevik Red Army. Figureheads for the Tsarist forces were Generals Anton Denikin and Nikolai Yudenich.

White forces also comprised Cossacks of the Don region and supporters of other political groups previously represented in the Provisional Government (for example, the Mensheviks, the Kadets and the Social Revolutionaries, among others). Limited numbers of French and British troops fought alongside the White Russians, although western European involvement in the Civil War mainly took the form of materiél. This aid was motivated by a desire for revenge against the Bolsheviks, who had taken Russia out of the First World War, as well as the indignation caused by Bolshevik refusal to pay Tsarist debts.

The disparate White groups often failed to work together effectively as they operated under separate military commands, led by men with wildly differing personal and political ambitions. As well as the Bolsheviks’ propaganda, brutal recruitment methods and control of central government and transport nodes, it was this lack of co-ordination that ultimately counted against the Tsarist armies, and the Whites in general.

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