1919 saw Anton Denikin lead the southern White forces in a push to reach Moscow itself. While significant progress was made, the Red Army – aided by Nestor Makhno’s Black Army – eventually managed to push back. By late 1919, Denikin’s army had fled to the Black Sea, and an air of desperation amongst White-sympathetic citizens and fighters alike grew as the enemy came closer to the coast.
Petr Struve, a prominent liberal Russian politician who supported the White movement, telegrammed the British Conservative MP Sir Samuel Hoare calling on him to persuade the British government to provide assistance to the Whites in the region. Hoare, whose archive (known as the Templewood papers) has provided other exhibits in the Revolution exhibition, had served as head of MI6 in Russia in 1916 and had a keen interest in Russian affairs. At the time of sending the telegram, Struve was based in Paris, where he was a representative of Denikin’s anti-Bolshevik government.
caption by Katie McElvanney