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« Tuna 3 / 2020

Intervention of Encirclement. Estonia’s Role in the Military Plans of the ROVS Based on Documents from the Bakhmeteff Archive

The Russian All-Military Union (Russian: Русский Обще-Воинский Союз, abbreviated РОВС, ROVS) was an organisation of veterans of White Russian movements. The ROVS provided social support to veterans and organised the commemoration of different events from the past of White Russian movements. However, the organisation’s main goal was to prepare veterans for intervention in the USSR. The intervention was to be conducted as soon as possible by supporting forces of the Western Allies. Veterans dreamed of returning home, but the strength of the ROVS decreased substantially every year. Yet ROVS HQ was permanently planning military operations. The ROVS considered Estonia to be a bridgehead for the intervention since it was a state bordering on the USSR. An intervention plan was prepared by Lieutenant-General Arkady Valuyev in 1929. According to this plan, a group of former members of the Russian Imperial Guard was to attack the USSR from Estonian territory near Narva. At the same time, Russian military émigrés in Estonia were split due to various contradictions, as were their comrades throughout the world.