The Rocky Road to the Formation of the Korean Department of the Eastern Section of the Communist International (1919 – first half of the 1920s)

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Scientific article

УДК 94(47)+327+94(519)+94(571.6)

DOI 10.28995/2073-0101-2021-3-803-815

Tatiana A. Ornatskaya

Far Eastern Federal University, Vladivostok, Russian Federation

The Rocky Road to the Formation of the Korean Department of the Eastern Section of the Communist International (1919 – first half of the 1920s)


The article highlights the process of formation of the Korean Department of the Eastern section of the ICCA under the conditions of existence of the buffer state — the Far Eastern Republic. It was to strive for geopolitical compromise in face of the Civil War and the Allied Intervention. The paper discusses conditions for establishment and reasons for further expansion of the Korean section. On the basis of documents from central and regional archives that are being thus introduced into the first scientific use, the contradictions of the national section formation are shown, the positions of the warring parties and the role of Soviet Russia representatives in the settlement of conflicts are highlighted. The conclusion is made about further directions of work with Korean communists. The past provides an opportunity to take a critical look at the events of a century ago, while the opening of the Comintern archives allows the open press to saturate its content with new data. The main body of unpublished documents on the activities of the Communist International is contained in the fond 495 of the Russian State Archive of Socio-Political History, however, information on some aspects may be found in other federal and regional archives. It is no secret that foreign communists played their role in the foreign policy of Soviet Russia, and their help was big. However, the process of bringing them to work in the interests of the RSFSR has not yet been fully studied. Expediency, cost, and consequences of their work may be arguable, but only one conclusion is allowed: this page of national history should not be forgotten, it has to find its researchers. Recently, the study of the activities of departments and sections of the Communist international has not been popular among researchers either. The notions of ideological work have fallen by the wayside, pushed away by the Soviet past of the Comintern departments and sections. However, in our view, some aspects of the activities of divisions and sections of the Comintern remain relevant.


Historical sources, Civil War in Russia, Comintern, Union of Communists, internationalism, solidarity, Far East, Korea.

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About the authors

Ornatskaya Tatiana Alexandrovna, PhD in History, Far Eastern Federal University, department of history, doctoral candidate, Vladivostok, Russian Federation, +7-924-205-91-52, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Submitted 16.06.2020, published (for citation):

ORNATSKAYA, T. A. Trudnyi put' stanovleniya koreiskogo otdela Vostochnoi sektsii Kommunisticheskogo internatsionala. 1919-i – pervaya polovina 1920-kh gg. [The Rocky Road to the Formation of the Korean Department of the Eastern Section of the Communist International (1919 – first half of the 1920s). In Russ.]. IN: Vestnik arhivista / Herald of an Archivist, 2021, no. 3, pp. 803-815. doi 10.28995/2073-0101-2021-3-803-815

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