Mezhraiontsy or Mezhraionka , usually translated as the interdistrictites (from the Russian "mezh-", i.e. "inter-", and "raion
A raion is a type of administrative unit of several post-Soviet countries. The term, which is from French rayon 'honeycomb, department,' describes both a type of a subnational entity and a division of a city, and is commonly translated in English as "district"...

", i.e. "district"), officially RSDRP (Internationalists), was a small Petrograd-based group within the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party, which existed between 1913 and 1917. It merged with the Bolsheviks during the Russian Revolution of 1917
Russian Revolution of 1917
The Russian Revolution is the collective term for a series of revolutions in Russia in 1917, which destroyed the Tsarist autocracy and led to the creation of the Soviet Union. The Tsar was deposed and replaced by a provisional government in the first revolution of February 1917...



Russian social democrats had been split into numerous factions along political and ethnic lines since at least 1903 when the original divisions between the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks arose. After the defeat of the first Russian Revolution
Russian Revolution of 1905
The 1905 Russian Revolution was a wave of mass political and social unrest that spread through vast areas of the Russian Empire. Some of it was directed against the government, while some was undirected. It included worker strikes, peasant unrest, and military mutinies...

 in 1905, both the Bolshevik and the Menshevik factions split into smaller factions. In January 1912, the dominant Bolshevik faction led by Vladimir Lenin
Vladimir Lenin
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin was a Russian Marxist revolutionary and communist politician who led the October Revolution of 1917. As leader of the Bolsheviks, he headed the Soviet state during its initial years , as it fought to establish control of Russia in the Russian Civil War and worked to create a...

 held a meeting in Prague
Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. Situated in the north-west of the country on the Vltava river, the city is home to about 1.3 million people, while its metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of over 2.3 million...

, expelled Mensheviks from the party. In response, the Mensheviks, including Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky , born Lev Davidovich Bronshtein, was a Russian Marxist revolutionary and theorist, Soviet politician, and the founder and first leader of the Red Army....

's followers, the Jewish Bund and other ethnic social democratic groups held a meeting in Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

 in August 1912 in which called Lenin's action illegal and formed their own leadership of the RSDRP, the so-called August Bloc. To distinguish between competing RSDRPs, the Bolshevik one was called RSDRP(b) and the Menshevik one RSDRP(m).

As a result of these developments, by late 1912 there were 2 separate social democratic organizations in St. Petersburg, the capital of the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

. The Bolsheviks had their "St. Petersburg Committee of the RSDRP (bolsheviks)" and the "August Bloc" supporters had their "Initiative Group of the RSDRP". Some St. Petersburg social democrats were unhappy with this split and created an alternative organization that would, they hoped, eventually unite all fragments of revolutionary social democracy in Russia. The only exception that they made was for those Mensheviks who were concentrating on legal forms of oppositionist activity at the expense of revolutionary activities.

Formation of the Mezhraionka

The Mezhraiontsy group was founded in November 1913 by three Bolsheviks (Konstantin Yurenev
Konstantin Yurenev
Konstantin Konstantinovich Yurenev , also known as Konstantin Konstantinovich Krotovsky , was a Soviet politician and diplomat....

, A. M. Novosyolov and E. M. Adamovich) and one Menshevik, N. M. Yegorov. Yurenev was the informal leader of the organization until May 1917 except for one year between February 1915 and February 1916, which he spent in jail on charges of subversive activities.

The members of the Inter-District Organisation occupied a centrist position between Bolsheviks and Mensheviks.

Growth during the war

At the outbreak of World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 in July-August 1914 (and subsequent change of St. Petersburg's name to "Petrograd"), the faction lines within the RSDRP were drastically redrawn over the issue of support for the war. Those who supported the war were called "Defensists" and those who were opposed to it were called "Defeatists". Most members of the Mezhraionka, as well as Lenin and some Mensheviks, adopted an anti-war position and by late 1915 the organization had 60-80 members. Due to growing popular disillusionment with the war, by the time the February Revolution
February Revolution
The February Revolution of 1917 was the first of two revolutions in Russia in 1917. Centered around the then capital Petrograd in March . Its immediate result was the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II, the end of the Romanov dynasty, and the end of the Russian Empire...

 of 1917 broke out, the organization had 400-500 members.

1917 Revolution

Mezhraionka members were active in Petrograd during the revolution, seizing a printing plant and publishing the first leaflet calling for an armed uprising on February 27 O.S.. After the formation of the Petrograd Soviet
Petrograd Soviet
The Petrograd Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies , usually called the Petrograd Soviet , was the soviet in Petrograd , Russia, established in March 1917 after the February Revolution as the representative body of the city's workers.The Petrograd Soviet became important during the Russian...

 later that night, the Mezhraionka was given one seat in its Presidium versus two seats allocated to each nationwide socialist party like the Bolsheviks, Mensheviks and Socialist Revolutionary Party.

Although the Mezhraionka's original goal was to unite all Bolsheviks and Mensheviks in one party, the divisions over Russia's participation in the war proved too deep. On April 12, 1917, the Mezhraionka refused to participate in a Menshevik-sponsored unification conference because it would be dominated by the Defensist wing of the Mensheviks. From that point on, their positions began to converge with the Bolshevik positions, which were becoming more radical after Lenin's return from abroad.

Merge with the Bolsheviks

With the return of many anti-war social democratic emigres from European exile in April-June 1917, the Mezhraionka was a natural place for them to join. A number of prominent social democrats like Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky , born Lev Davidovich Bronshtein, was a Russian Marxist revolutionary and theorist, Soviet politician, and the founder and first leader of the Red Army....

, Adolf Joffe, Anatoly Lunacharsky, Moisei Uritsky
Moisei Uritsky
Moisei Solomonovich Uritsky was a Bolshevik revolutionary leader in Russia.He was born in the city of Cherkasy, Kiev Governorate, to a Jewish family. His father, a merchant, died when Moisei was little and his mother raised her son by herself.Moisei studied law at the University of Kiev...

, David Riazanov
David Riazanov
David Riazanov , born David Borisovich Goldendakh , was a political revolutionary, Marxist theoretician, and archivist. Riazanov is best remembered as the founder of the Marx-Engels Institute and editor of the first large-scale effort to publish the collected works of these two founders of the...

, V. Volodarsky
V. Volodarsky
V. Volodarsky was a Marxist revolutionary and early Soviet politician. He was assassinated in 1918.-Early years:Moisei Markovich Goldstein V. Volodarsky was a Marxist revolutionary and early Soviet politician. He was assassinated in 1918.-Early years:Moisei Markovich Goldstein V. Volodarsky was...

, Lev Karakhan
Lev Karakhan
Lev Mikhailovich Karakhan Armenian Կարախանյան Լեւոն Միքայելի, Russian Лев Михайлович Карахан was an ethnic Armenian-born Russian revolutionary and a Soviet diplomat...

, Dmitry Manuilsky
Dmitry Manuilsky
Dmitriy Manuilsky, or Dmytro Zakharovych Manuilsky was an important Bolshevik. He was the son of an Orthodox priest from a Ukrainian village. After secondary school he enrolled in the University of St...

, and Sergey Ezhov (Tsederbaum) joined it at that time. At the elections to the Petrograd district councils in May-June 1917, the IDO and Bolsheviks formed a bloc.

The Mezhraionka (membership about 4,000) merged with the Bolsheviks at the 6th Congress of the RSDRP
6th Congress of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (bolsheviks)
The 6th Congress of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party was held during 26 July - 3 August in Petrograd, Russia....

 in late July-early August 1917 in which both the groups formed a party that was formally independent of the Mensheviks. Many of its former members played an important role during the October Revolution
October Revolution
The October Revolution , also known as the Great October Socialist Revolution , Red October, the October Uprising or the Bolshevik Revolution, was a political revolution and a part of the Russian Revolution of 1917...

 later in the year and the subsequent Russian Civil War
Russian Civil War
The Russian Civil War was a multi-party war that occurred within the former Russian Empire after the Russian provisional government collapsed to the Soviets, under the domination of the Bolshevik party. Soviet forces first assumed power in Petrograd The Russian Civil War (1917–1923) was a...


The IDO published a journal of its own, Vperyod. One number was put out illegally in 1915, and publication was resumed in 1917, when it came out legally from June to August as the organ of the St. Petersburg Inter-District Committee of the United Social-Democrats (Internationalists). Eight issues were put out. After the Sixth Congress of the Party the editorial board was changed, and No. 9 of the journal appeared as the organ of the Central Committee of the RSDLP(b). Publication was discontinued in September 1917 by decision of the Central Committee.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.