On active service during World War I as a colonel. Joined the Red Army, 1918. Fought against the anti-communist Cossacks, Krasnov and Kaledin, during the Civil War.
Commander of Red forces in West Finland, 1918. Deputy Commanderin-chief of the unsuccessful Red forces during the Finnish Civil War, 1918. In charge of organizing the Red Army in Petrograd in spring 1918.
Commander of the Caspian and Caucasian fronts, 1919. Professor at the Military Academy, 1922.