ALBUM– View my Priamur Rural Province album
Region: Russian Area
Group: Russian Far East
Classification: Revolutionary Government
Prior Regime: Priamur Provisional Government under Merkulov
1920, April 6 – Far Eastern Republic formed
1920, July 15 – Japan recognized the FER
1921, May 16 – Japanese backed coop took over Vladivostok and the Priamur Regional Government was established led by the Merkulov Brothers
1922, June 8 – The Merkulov brothers were disposed by General Mikhail Diterikhs who established the Priamur Rural Province
1922, Oct 25 – Japan withdrew and the Red army retook Vladivostok
1922, Nov 19 – Far Eastern Republic ended and absorbed by the RSFSR.
Following Regime: Far Eastern Republic
Scott Catalogue: (Siberia) #
Pick Catalogue: (Russia. East Siberia) s1226-1227
In March of 1917, the mighty Russian Empire fell when the people of Russia, fed up by chronic food shortages and massive casualties caused by WWI, revolted and forced Tsar Nicholas from the throne. A few months later, in Sept. 1917, the Bolsheviks led by Vladimir Lenin assumed control and formed the beginnings of the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic (RSFSR).
As the Bolsheviks (aka the Red Army) were busy fighting the whites in the western and southern part of Russia in 1918 and 1919, to the east, the vast area of Siberia declared itself an independent republic in June of 1918, and by November 1918 the various factions loyal to the “white movement” merged and formed the Provisional All-Russian government in Siberia, under Supreme Leader Adm. Aleksandr Kolchak. As the Red Army consolidated power in the west, they turned their might on Siberia and eastward. On 14 Nov. 1919, Bolshevik forces attacked and captured Omsk. Kolchak lost control of his government and was forced to abandon the city and the gold; eventually being captured by the Bolsheviks and executed on Feb. 7, 1920.
The Japanese, taking advantage of the chaos in civil war Russia, occupied Vladivostok and north along the coast of Siberia, including Sakhalin Island. To avoid direct conflict with the Japanese, the RSFSR, on April 6th, 1920, created the Far Eastern Republic (FER), essentially as a buffer zone between Russia and Japan. The FER, while officially independent, was in reality controlled by the Russians. The FER composed most of the Trans Baikal region, with Verkho-Udinsk (today Ulan-Ude) as its capital and was officially recognized by Japan 3 months later in July of 1920. The FER continued to expand its borders eastward as the Red Army defeated its opposition in the region, and moved its capital to Chita in October, 1920. In Dec, 1920 Priamur and the Maritime regions (which included Vladivostok) were also added to the Republic.
Things didn’t continue smoothly however, as a Japanese backed coop formed by the white movement assumed control of Vladivostok on May 26th, 1921. The rebels formed a government, essentially under Japanese protection, lead by Spiridon Dionisovich Merkulov, and his brother Nikolai Merkulov, who was a successful businessman. Both were active participants in the white movement. The new “government” was declared to be the Provisional Priamur Government. The movement expanded north to Khabarovsk and Spassk. In June, 1922 the Japanese announced their plans to withdraw forces out of Russian territory. This caused a general panic in the region and Mikhail Diterikhs, one of Kolchak’s former Generals, disposed the Merkulov brothers and took control. General Diterikhs renamed the government the Priamur Rural Province (as he believed in the reinstating the Tsarist Empire) and worked to unite and organize the last vestiges of anti-Bolshevik forces in the far east. Diterikhs also tried in vain to convince the Japanese to stay. When the Japanese completed their withdrawal in Oct, 1922, Diterikhs’ forces were quickly overrun by the far superior Russian Red army.
With the Japanese army gone, the need for a buffer state disappeared, and on Nov. 19th, 1922, the Far Eastern Republic was dissolved and folded into the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic. According to most historians, this ended the Russian Civil War.
When General Diterikhs took over, his regimen overprinted 23 different Russian Imperial stamps, 2 stamps from Kolchak’s Siberia and the four Far Eastern Republic Vladivostok Arms issues. The overprints were in an oval shape and red “Priamurski Zemski Krai,” or Priamur Rural Province. Additionally Diterikhs issued 5 different surcharge values. The overprint is in a rectangular frame on stamps of 1k to 10k and 1r; on the other values the frame is omitted. The overprint is larger on the 1 ruble than on the smaller stamps.
The stamps were used until the Bolshevik army took Vladivostok and Diterikh’s forces were defeated in October, 1922.
In 1921, the Priamur Provisional Government issued two banknotes in gold kopeks: 1 kopek and 5 kopeks.