The government of the Soviet Republic after the conclusion of an armistice with the Quadruple union had an opportunity to concentrate all its forces on the fight against opponents of the new authority. The organizer of the struggle against Bolshevism on the Don was the representative of ancient Cossack origins the ataman of the Don Cossack army general A.M. Kaledin (1861-1918).
With the consent of the Committee of Rescue of the Homeland and the Revolution, founded by the representatives of all political parties (except for Bolsheviks and Cadets), on the night of the 14th to the 15th of November Cossacks and Junkers arrested some members of the Orenburg council, preparing the revolt. November 25, 1917 Sovnarkom of the Soviet Russia declared all areas on the Ural and the Don where " the counterrevolutionary parties would be revealed ", in a state of siege, and generals Kaledin, Kornilov and colonel Dutov ranked as the enemies of the nation.
On the 8th of December the chairman of SNК V.I.Lenin assigned the direction of the ' operations against Kaledin's armies and their accomplices " to the narkom (People's commissar) of military affairs the second lieutenant V.A.Antonov-Ovseenko, who formed the field staff of the South Russian front for the struggle with counterrevolution. The Cossacks - front-line soldiers tired of war refused from the armed struggle. On the 10th-11th of January 1918 the congress of the front Cossacks was convoked in Kamenskaya stanitsa, which declared the deposition of the Army government and the formation of the Don Cossack VRК (the Military-Revolutionary Committee).
General Kaledin, aiming to avoid fortuitous losses, resigned from the post of the army ataman on the 29th of January and shot himself the same day. The Soviet detachments, operating along railways, occupied Taganrog on January 28, Rostov - on February 23 and Novocherkassk - 25. The rests of the Cossack armies (1,5 thousand men) escaped to Salskye steppes. The Voluntary army (about 4 thousand men) led by general Kornilov set out to Kuban (the 1st Kuban, or the Ice campaign). March 23 the Don regional VRK proclaimed the formation of the Don Soviet Republic as a part of the RSFSR, with the second ensign F.G.Podtelkov at the head of the government.
The joint shifting detachment of revolutionary soldiers and Baltic man-of-war's men headed by the warrant officer S.D.Pavlov, the Red Guard's detachments from Samara, Yekaterinburg, Perm, Ufa and other cities were directed for the struggle against the Orenburg Cossacks. January 18, 1918 they occupied Orenburg. The rests of Dutov's armies retreated to Verhneuralsk.The 1st Polish corps of legionaries of nobleman general Y.R.Dovbor-Musnitsky set out against the Soviet authority in Byelorussia. The supreme Commander-in-Chief Krylenko declared him without the law and the enemy of the revolution. In the first half of February, 1918 Latvian rifle detachments, squadrons of revolutionary man-of-war's men and Red Guards under command of I.I.Vatsetis (Vatsietis) and I.P.Pavlunovsky defeated legionaries, throwing them back to Bobruisk and Slutsk.
The government of the Soviet Russia intensified its work in Ukraine where at the end of October, 1917 the authority in Kiev passed to Ukrainian Central Rada. November 7 it proclaimed the Ukrainian National Republic (UNR) a federal part of the Russian Republic. However, the head of UNR - V.K.Vinnichenko (the member of the Ukrainian Social Democratic Working Party) and members of his government didn't acknowledge the government of RSR. The latter according to the contract of an armistice with the Quadruple union of December 4 declared the acknowledgement of the Ukrainian National Republic, its right to be separated from Russia or to conclude the contract of federal or similar to that mutual relations between them.
Despite that, the Ist All-Ukranian congress of Soviets hastily called by Bolsheviks in Kharkov on December, 11-12 declared Central Rada without the law and proclaimed Ukraine the republic of Soviets of working, soldier's and country deputies. The formation of the Soviet republic in parallel to existing in Ukraine resulted in the growth of tension. Simultaneously in the government of UNR the interparty disagreements appeared, which resulted in V.K.Vinnichenko's resignation.
Sovnarkom of RSFSR (the name of the Russian Soviet Republic since January 1918), aiming to distribute the Soviet authority to all Ukraine, on January 3, 1918 accused Central Rada of disorganization of front, disarmament of Russian armies, with support of general Kaledin.Sovnarkom demanded to stop such actions within 48 hours, and in case of neglect of these requirements considered Rada in a condition of open war against the Soviet authority in Russia and in Ukraine. Central Rada rejected the presented ultimatum, having proclaimed Ukraine the independent state on the 9th of January. In response, the Soviet armies under command of the left socialist-revolutionary M.A.Muravyev started the approach and on January 26 occupied Kiev.
Complex conditions existed in Transcaucasia, where on the 5th of December the Transcaucasian commissariat and the command of the Caucasian front concluded the Ardzirzhan armistice with Turkey. However, the struggle for the authority at the front between the Regional council and the Revolutionary-military committee of the Caucasian army resulted in January 1918 in armed conflicts of the confronting parties. The situation was also aggravated by the decision of SNК of the Russian Soviet Republic from December, 29, 1917 about the support of the right of the Armenian people, living on territory of Turkish Armenia, for free self-determination down to full independence. The government of Turkey, having taken the advantage of shifting Russian armies to the rear of the Caucasian front, in February, 1918, entered the armies on the territory of Turkish Armenia, having stepped to the borders in 1914.
In the beginning of January, 1918 the armed conflicts between armies of the Moldavian National Republic and the parts of the Romanian front, which were under the influence of Bolsheviks, took place. Romania, which armies on January, 13 marched into Kishinev, interfered with the conflict. The same day SNК of RSFSR took the decision of the breakup of diplomatic relations with Romania.