December 11-17: White forces capture Rostov

After six days of fighting, the Volunteer Army commanded by the counterrevolutionary General Kaledin defeats the local Red Guard companies and occupies Rostov, a major industrial center in southern Russia. Meanwhile, conflict continues to rage in the Bolshevik leadership over the question of the Constituent Assembly.

Vladivostok, December 11 (November 28, O.S.): Japanese army occupies key strategic port

Japanese Forces in Vladivostok, 1918

It is reported abroad on December 11 that Japanese forces have occupied the central rail terminal at Vladivostok, a key industrial port and the eastern endpoint of the Trans-Siberian Railway. “The importance of this action at this juncture cannot be overestimated,” the New York Times gloats on December 11. “It means that the vast quantities of supplies assembled at Vladivostok for use by the Russian Provisional Government will not fall into the hands of the Bolsheviki, who have been casting eager eyes towards these for use in the civil war that has been precipitated throughout Russia by the action of the Bolsheviks Government in seeking to negotiate a separate peace with the Central Powers.”

The spoils of Vladivostok include railroad cars, stockpiles of ammunition, and locomotives shipped from the US, under Russian credit purchases, for use in the Great War. The New York Times welcomes the actions of the Japanese army, insisting that the captured materials should at all costs be kept out of the hands of the Bolsheviks, who could then use them against the White forces that are being supported by France, Britain, and the United States.

During the Russian Civil War, Vladivostok will serve as a headquarters for imperialist and counterrevolutionary intrigues and campaigns, including the Siberian Expedition, against the Soviet Government.

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