Red Army – the official name of the armed forces of Soviet Russia, later Soviet Union. It was founded in February 1918; it fought in the civil war and the war with Poland. Until 1924 it was commanded by Leon Trotsky. It had then a record number of 5.5 million soldiers. After Trotsky was removed, for a year the commander was Mikhail Frunze, and since 1925 until 1940 - Kliment Voroshilov, Stalin's confident. Due to his incompetence most of the responsibilities he ceded to his deputy, Mikhail Tukhachevsky. In the 30s the Red Army was considered the strongest in Europe. The industry in Soviet Union was subordinated to the needs of the military; therefore, the army had a modern and of good quality equipment. These achievements were marred by Stalin, who in 1937 began the great purge in the army. After the faked processes Tukhachevsky was murdered, 40 thousand soldiers were deprived of life, including nearly all the officers of higher ranks. The condition of the army was terrible, as shown by the war with Finland in the winter of 1939/1940 and by the beginning of the war with Germany in 1941. The credit for winning World War II is assigned to a large-scale mobilization of the society and good equipment. In 1946 the Soviet troops were renamed into the Soviet Army. Since the end of the war until the early 90's the Soviet Army garrisons stationed in the countries of sub-Soviet Union, including Poland. From 1955 the armies of these countries belonged to the Warsaw Pact, politically dependent on the Soviet army. The Soviet Army repeatedly intervened in other countries: in Hungary in 1956, Czechoslovakia in 1968 and Afghanistan in 1979. In 1991, following the political changes and reorganization, the Russian Army was founded.
The term was created within the framework of the project Zapisywanie świata żydowskiego w Polsce [recording the Jewish environment in Poland], whose author is Anka Grupińska, a well-known Polish journalist and writer, specializing in the modern history of the Polish Jews. The project, initiated in 2006 by the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, consists in recording interviews with Polish Jews from all generations.