Center for the Study of the
Russian Civil War to Open in Omsk

by Paul Gilbert

The Center for the Study of the History of the Russian Civil War will be located in the former mansion of the merchant Batyushkina,
situated on the banks of the Irtysh River in Omsk. The mansion was used as the residence of Admiral Alexander Kolchak in 1918-1919.

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Admiral Alexander Kolchak

The Center for the Study of the History of the Russian Civil War is to open in city of Omsk. The museum, the first of its kind in Russia, will be located in the former mansion of the merchant Batyushkina, situated on the banks of the Irtysh River. The mansion was used as the residence of Admiral Alexander Kolchak in 1918-1919.

Shortly after the 1917 revolution, anti-Bolshevik forces seized control of Omsk. The following year, the city was proclaimed the capital of Russia. The Provisional Government of Russia was established here, headed by Kolchak, who also served as the supreme commander of the Russian White Army.

An extensive renovation and restoration of the building, which is classified as an historical and cultural monument in Omsk, is now complete. According to a decision made by the Regional Government, the Center will become a branch of the Historical Archives of the Omsk Region. Considered to be one of the richest depositories in the country, the archives stores documents, photos, books, newspapers, magazines and other artifacts dating from the Russian Civil War period. The center will offer electronic terminals, reading rooms, which will provide researchers, scientists and students access to previously inaccessible documents of central and regional archives, museum collections of Russia.

Researchers recently found the first such material, including a message from the Archbishop of Omsk and Pavlodar Sylvester to Kolchak on the measures being taken to assist the clergy in the struggle against the Bolsheviks, as well as lists of the issue of gold stock, and documents from the Kolchak investigation regarding the deaths of Nicholas II and his family.

In addition to research rooms, reading rooms and conference halls in the new Center for Study of the History of the Civil War, and a memorial room to Admiral Kolchak. Painstaking efforts have been taken to preserve the historical interiors of the mansion.

According to the governor of the Omsk region, Leonid Polezhayev, the establishment of such a center in the Siberian city, is not only needed, but dictated by the history. The tragic events of those years helped prepare Omsk, for a short time as the capital of White Russia, the seat of its government and a safe place to store the empires gold reserves, which were calculated for white military aid to foreign countries.

Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia
9 June, 2011