Railway Workers Kill Tashkent Cheka Chief

July 13 1918, Kizyl Arvat [Serdar]–Although they were quickly losing control of the situation further north, the Bolsheviks still nominally had control of Russia’s possessions in Central Asia.  However, as was the case throughout the Civil War, control of the railways was key, and the Bolsheviks had annoyed the railway workers in modern-day Turkmenistan.  Vladimir Frolov, the head of the Cheka in Tashkent (in modern-day Uzbekistan) declared martial law in the area in July and had several leaders of the railway workers in Ashgabat shot.  While returning to Tashkent, Frolov was confronted and killed by railway workers in Kizyl Arvat [Serdar] on July 13.  The next-day, an SR-led committee seized power in Ashgabat, and the other major cities of Turkmenistan followed within a week.  Knowing they could soon expect reprisal from Bolshevik forces based in Tashkent, the new government in Ashgabat appealed to the small British military mission across the Persian border in Mashhad for aid.  The British were reluctant to get involved, but were worried that the chaos in the area might allow the Turks or Germans to get a foothold in the area should they reach and cross the Caspian.

Today in 1917: Chancellor Bethmann Forced Out by Hindenburg & Ludendorff

Today in 1916: Greek Royal Palace Burns Down; King Narrowly Escapes
Today in 1915: Germans Launch Assault Towards Narew River in Poland
Today in 1914: Wiesner Report on Assassination Finds Extensive Serbian Black Hand Involvement; No Evidence of Serbian Government Involvement

Sources include: C.H. Ellis, The Transcaspian Episode.