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An Invitation To The Aquarium: Sergei Witte And The Origins Of Russia’s War With Japan

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Chapter Summary

The Russo-Japanese War was the first significant outburst in Russo-Japanese rivalry that started during the construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway and Chinese Eastern Railway and continued during the Japanese intervention into the Siberian civil war (1918-22). This chapter puts Siberia's place in the Russo-Japanese War into the broader framework of Russo-Japanese geopolitics in Northeast Asia between the 1890s and 1920s. Although the tsarist government used its propaganda machine, patriotism did not take root in the Siberian frontier society. The establishment of the Far Eastern Republic in 1920 which was formally independent from the Soviet government in Moscow, created a new situation. In cooperation with the section of Korean Communists of the Russian Far East, the Bolshevik agitators of the Far Eastern Republic began also with their infiltration of the Japanese occupation institutions and with psychological warfare among Japanese soldiers who became increasingly war weary.

Keywords: Bolshevik agitators; Far Eastern Republic; Russo-Japanese rivalry; Russo-Japanese War; Siberian frontier; Soviet government



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