A revolution without heroes
Unlike the events of October 1917 in Petrograd, the February overthrow of the Romanov dynasty looks like a revolution without heroes, an uprising without leaders, historical an act that happened as if by itself.
The personal contribution of the nominal leaders to the February victory of the opposition — the chairman of the executive committee of the Petrograd Council, N.S. Chkheidze and the chairman of the Provisional Committee of the State Duma, MV Rodzianko must be recognized as insignificant, as well as their political weight in subsequent events. The future semi-dictator "Alexander IV" and the idol of the liberal public A.F. In those days, Kerensky was only a prominent member of the "Trudovik" faction. We will not find leaders on the left flank of opponents of autocracy: on January 27, the entire top of the Central Military Industrial Committee Working Group, which will form the core of the leadership of the Petrograd Soviet, was arrested by the Tsarist secret police. 26 February 100 activists are also under arrest. The leaders of the Social Democracy could not participate in the preparation of the uprising and influence its course.
Later, when the rebellious military began to arrive at the Tavrichesky Palace, and the inactivity of the deputies began to look inadequate, a proposal was made to establish an Interim Committee, which, by its own definition, “found itself forced to take over the restoration of state and public order ...”.
But even after the formation of two revolutionary government bodies - the Petrograd Soviet and the Provisional Committee - the first days of their existence, they rather played the role of symbols of the “liberation movement”, rather than real control centers of the insurgent masses, even within the capital.
The impression from a visit to the Tauride Palace of one of his contemporaries is characteristic: "I went to the sanctuary of the revolution, to the heroes, and found some frightened pygmies ...".
And at this decisive moment, not a cabinet theorist, not a Duma intriguer, not a fiery orator and tribunes, whom revolutionary ferment generated in abundance, but a practical person who, without swinging, undertook the organization of concrete work to ensure the success of the uprising, appeared on the foreground of Russian history. This man’s name was Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Bagels.
The main way
The life path of our hero (or antihero) for the time being seems straightforward, like a railway track. The comparison is no coincidence. Alexander Bublikov was born in 1875 year in the family of an official of the Ministry of Railways and from a young age went in parental footsteps. He graduated from the St. Petersburg Institute of Railway Engineers and began to quickly move up the career ladder, in particular, served as chief surveyor on the Moscow-Kazan-Yekaterinburg road. In 1905 – 1914, he published a number of papers on the problems of increasing the efficiency of the industry, was a member of the interdepartmental Commission for the development of a plan for the development of the Russian railway network. Talent engineer Bublikov combined with entrepreneurial spirit. He was the director of the Society of the Central Caucasus Railway, headed the board of the Society of the Achinsko - Minusinsk railway.
Bublikov led AchMindor thanks to his close ties with the Russian-Asian Bank, which dominated the company's share capital. The engineer briefed himself with the owner of the bank, Alexei Putilov, other influential representatives of the bourgeoisie; became one of the prominent figures of its All-Russian commercial and industrial organization. After the First Russian Revolution in this environment, the idea of creating its own political party, which later became known as Progressive, arose, to which Bublikov naturally joined.
A novice politician decided to run for office in the IV State Duma from the Perm province. He began his election campaign with a wide gesture. At a meeting of the Yekaterinburg Duma 16 in August 1912, Mr Obukhov, the mayor, said that an engineer Bublikov donated one hundred thousand rubles to the establishment of a laboratory for the study of minerals at the Yekaterinburg Mining Institute. Appreciating the generous gift, the City Council unanimously supported the proposal of the mayor to elect A. A. Bublikov. honorary citizen of Yekaterinburg.
It is not surprising that an energetic engineer-entrepreneur won the election and entered the cohort of people's choices among the 48 members of the Progressive faction. Simultaneously with the commencement of the work of the IV Duma in November 1912, a constituent congress of the Progressive Party took place in St. Petersburg, which advocated a constitutional monarchy, elective bicameral representation, the redistribution of rights and powers in favor of domestic entrepreneurs.
“Bublikov belonged, of course, to the Russian intelligentsia, you cannot escape from its origin, but, in fact, it was deeply different from its main type,” argues Alexander Solzhenitsyn in Red Wheel. - The main type of Russian intellectual has drowned in morality, in reasoning, what is good, what is bad, is able to weep and sacrifice - but the economy is shy, and it’s completely incapable of governing the state. And Bublikov clearly felt the power of control in himself, but the railways were too narrow for him, and all of Russia in general was not given. ”
MP takes the ministry
Bublikov was clearly skeptical about the organizational skills of his colleagues in parliament, their readiness for decisive action, which was once again convinced 27 February 1917 of the year. All day Bublikov unsuccessfully convinced the chairman of the Duma and the head of the Provisional Committee Rodzianko, Kerensky, Chkheidze and other "leaders" of the revolution to take control of the government without delay, which, in addition to managing the railway communication, had its own telegraph office. network. However, his proposal did not meet with support. All this time, according to Bublikov’s testimony, the deputies "spoke without rest, before losing their votes, and no one thought that we should start to act."
It was only in the morning of 28 that, in response to his repeated appeal, Rodzianko agreed. Bublikov immediately suggested that the Chairman of the Duma sign an appeal to the railway workers that he had prepared. “It is characteristic that in the appeal of this word“ the old power fell, ”which it began, Rodzianko replaced with the words:“ the old power was powerless, ”recalled Bublikov,“ they did not believe that the revolution had already taken place at that time, and There is no return to the past. "
Bublikov received the mandate of the Commissioner of the Provisional Committee of the State Duma in the Ministry of Railways, becoming the first owner of this status - after a day the commissioners were appointed to other departments.
The newly commissioned commissar got two trucks with soldiers at his disposal, joined another truck on the way, and with a car at the head of this procession set off “to power”.
Bublikov has already formed a kind of team: along with him, his longtime lawyer friend Sedelnikov and railway engineer Perlov arrived at the ministry. Obviously, even from the Duma, Bublikov sent a telegram to a prominent railway specialist, Professor Yury Lomonosov, instructing to arrive at the Ministry of Railways immediately.
According to Lomonosov in his memoirs, the message caught him at home and was very surprised: with the fact that the ministry was commanded by Bublikov and the latter urged him to cooperate. Very cool relations developed between them after State Councilor Lomonosov spoke out in 1908 against the project for the construction of a railway linking Donbass and Volyn proposed by Bublis. But the railway commissioner was clear that now he needed Lomonosov - both as an expert in the industry and as a high-ranking official of the ministry. In addition, he was obviously aware of Lomonosov’s social democratic views, and therefore could count on his unconditional support in helping the revolution.
"The country is waiting for your achievement!"
Arriving at the Ministry of Railways, Bublikov arrested the minister of Voinovsky-Krieger, putting the guard at the door of his office, and reassigned his deputies and the office of the department. The first thing he ordered was to spread an appeal to the railway workers. On 13: February 50 28, the telegraph sent the following text throughout the entire Russian Empire:
“The whole network. All commanders. Military On behalf of the Committee of the State Duma of this day, the Ministry of Railways took over and declare the following order of the Chairman of the State Duma: ““ Railway workers! The old government, which created devastation in all areas of state life, proved to be powerless. The State Duma Committee took over the creation of a new government. I appeal to you on behalf of the Fatherland - the salvation of the Motherland now depends on you. Movement of trains must be maintained continuously with renewed vigor. The country expects more from you than the fulfillment of duty - awaits the feat! The movement of trains must be carried out continuously with double energy. The weakness and insufficiency of technology on the Russian network should be covered by your whole-hearted energy, love for the Motherland and the consciousness of your role of transport for war and home improvement. Chairman of the State Duma Rodzianko ". A member of your family, I firmly believe that you will be able to answer this call and justify our homeland’s hope for you. All employees must remain at his post. Deputy of the State Duma of Bublik ”.
“This telegram on March days played a decisive role,” wrote Lomonosov in his memoirs, “by the morning of March 1, i.e. two days before Nikolai’s abdication, all of Russia, or at least that part of it that lies no further than 10 – 15 versts from the railways, learned that a revolution had occurred in Petrograd. From the military front to Vladivostok, from Murmansk to the Persian border at each station, this telegram came out. There was no doubt. The old power has fallen - the new was born. After that, the renunciation of Nicholas and Michael seemed to be a secondary formality. ”
If the last statement seems to be an exaggeration, then on the whole it is worth agreeing with Lomonosov’s assessment. The news of the fall of the tsarist government made a turn in the minds of the average man in the street, inspired the opponents of the monarchy and demoralized its supporters.
“The second thing was to find out where the Tsar was,” recalls Bublikov. It turned out that by five o'clock in the morning of February 28, the imperial trains had left Headquarters to cross the route Mogilyov - Tsarskoye Selo, but they were not destined to reach their destination. In 03: 45 1 in March, the lettered compositions stopped in Malaya Vishera, where it was reported that Nicholas Station and the nearest stations on the way to Petrograd were captured by the rebels.
Upon learning of the stop, Bublikov requested instructions from Rodzianko, but while the Duma members were deliberating on what to do, the imperial train - letter A - started moving from Vishera and returned to Bologoye at 9 in the morning to get to Tsarskoe Selo via other lines. Meanwhile, Bublikov sent an order to all station chiefs to immediately report all military trains heading to Petrograd and not to release them from the stations without the appropriate permission of the Interim Committee, and also banned the movement of military trains no closer than 250 versts from Petrograd.
“As I was later transferred to the faces of the Tsar's retinue, as soon as the Tsar learned that I was in command on the network, and the station of the Nikolaev Railway was occupied by some unknown lieutenant Grekov, he somehow immediately surrendered,” recalls Bublikov. Although our character is not alien to narcissism, in this case his information about the autocrat's reaction is not unreasonable. This can be judged by the memories of the Grand Duke Andrei Vladimirovich, which shows the scene of the conversation around noon 1 in March between the commander of His Majesty’s own railway regiment, Major General S.A. Zabel and the emperor, who for a long time was misled by optimistic reports of restoring order in the capital.
“- ... Sire, you are being deceived,” he told the King. - Here is the telegram. See, it is marked: "Petrograd. Commandant of the Nikolaevsky railway station. Lieutenant of the Greeks." You can see that it is prescribed to detain at Art. Vishera train "Liter A" and then send to Petrograd, and not to Tsarskoe Selo.
The sovereign jumped up.
- What is it? Revolt?! Lieutenant Grekov commanded Petrograd ?!
- Your Majesty, in Petrograd 60 000 troops led by officers went over to the side of the Provisional Government. Your Majesty declared deposed. Rodzianko announced to all of Russia the entry into force of a new order. You can not go forward. All railways are controlled by MP Bublikov.
In utter amazement, confusion and anger, the Sovereign exclaimed:
“But why didn't they tell me anything about it before?” Why speak only now when it's over?
But after a minute, he said with calm hopelessness:
- Well, thank God. I will go to Livadia. If the people demand, I will deny myself and go to my garden in Livadia. I love flowers so much.
Zabel spread his hands and got out of the car. ”
The phrase about idyll in the Livadia gardens in the mouth of the emperor, in our opinion, sounds doubtful, but the news that an unknown deputy with a curious surname is controlled by an unknown deputy and a restrained Nicholas II could control the movements of the autocrat.
"Wall of Bublikov"
It cannot be said that Bublikov and his associates in those days succeeded in all their plans. So, they unsuccessfully tried to prevent the royal train from moving from Bologoye to Pskov. On 8 in the morning of March 1, the following telegram was received at Bottom Station: Favor to immediately send two freight trains in the direction of Bologoye, take them off and make it virtually impossible for any trains to go. For non-fulfillment or insufficiently urgent fulfillment of this prescription, you will be responsible for treason against the fatherland. Commissar of the State Duma of Bublik ”.
However, the royal train at 3 o'clock in the afternoon arrived safely at the Bottom station and proceeded further to Pskov. Failure led the emissaries of the new government into such rage that Lomonosov instructed the revolver on the employee who showed insubordination. However, there was no time to give vent to emotions: among other things, the leadership of the Ministry of Railways was required to ensure the success of an important political mission: Rodzianko's visit to the king. The departure time and destination changed several times until the Duma leader abandoned this idea at all.
In the afternoon of March 1, Nikolay was sent a telegram from Petrograd: “Tell His Majesty that the chairman of the State Duma cannot come to the changed circumstances. Bagels. " “And the heart fell again,” reconstructs the reaction of Emperor Solzhenitsyn. “These changed circumstances could have many meanings, but all are ominous. It could change: or to the fact that Rodzianko was more dumb. Or for the worse rebellion, so that Rodzianko could no longer manage him. And all the same mysterious, never heard, but all the strong Bublikov, like a wall on all roads ... ".
The Bublikov Wall, to a certain extent, prevented the advancement of troops under the command of Adjutant General N.I. to Petrograd. Ivanova, designed to restore order in the capital. This possibility, according to the almost unanimous conclusion of his contemporaries, was real.
Lomonosov believed that "if the entire Petrograd garrison goes to the side of the people, it doesn’t mean anything - the Wild Division will come with artillery, and there will not be a wet place from the whole uprising." He is literally echoed by Bublikov: “It was enough for one disciplined division to put an insurrection in the root”.
Perhaps, thus, revolutionaries from the Ministry of Railways exaggerate their role in the prevention of danger? But now the former professor of the Nikolaev Military Academy, Major-General D.V. Filatyev, testifies that "it was easy to suppress the rebellion ... with the help of one cavalry division, quickly transferred from under Pskov."
At the disposal of Adjutant General Ivanov was not a division, but only a battalion of George Knights, which by the evening of March 1 was stationed at Vyritsa station. At night, Ivanov received a telegram from the emperor instructing him not to take any measures, including special orders. However, in the morning of March 2, the general with his echelon headed for Aleksandrovskaya station near Tsarskoye Selo, where the Tarutinsky regiment allocated at his disposal was located — perhaps the general believed that such movements were within his competence.
However, Ivanov was able to advance to Peter only 9 kilometers. At Susanino station, the corps were driven to a standstill, and the general was handed a telegram from Bublikov: “By order of the Provisional Committee of the State Duma, I warn you that you are bringing this heavy responsibility. I advise you not to move from Vyritsa, because, according to my information, your regiment will be fired by artillery fire by the people’s forces. ” Bublikov didn’t limit himself to this misinformation. “Your persistent desire to go further puts an insurmountable obstacle to fulfill the desire of His Majesty to immediately follow Tsarskoye Selo,” the commissar improvised, “convincingly ask Susanino to stay or return to Vyritsa.” To Ivanov did not move further to Petrograd, the arrows were spoiled on the lines.
These measures were superfluous. It was in Susanino that Ivanov received a dispatch from the emperor, which canceled the previous directions on the movement to Petrograd. In the afternoon of March 2, the king, under the direct pressure of the generals, abdicated the throne in favor of his son under the regency of Grand Duke Michael. Even without knowing about this decision, representatives of the Duma A.I. went to Pskov, where the headquarters of the northern front and the emperor were located, left. Guchkov and V.V. Shulgin, as the front commander Ruzsky reported in the afternoon.
It should be noted here that Bublikov’s control over the Ministry of Railways allowed not only to regulate railway traffic and transmit dispatches. Dozens of eyes monitored the movements of the trains and immediately notified the ministry by telegraph, where, in turn, they shared the news with the Tauride Palace, in which they knew, for example, that the king got out of the car for a walk along the platform and with whom he was talking.
Thanks to this, the headquarters of the revolution had a complete picture of what was happening, while the emperor was in the information blockade. When Guchkov and Shulgin left for Pskov, the telegraph report on the progress of their mission began to resemble modern online broadcasting, which literally recorded every step of the participants in a historic event.
Really nobody tried to resist the "railway dictatorship" Bublikov? February 28 Chief of Staff of the Supreme Commander M.V. Alekseev ordered that he take over the management of all railways through his friend V.N. Kislyakova. This post was established a few weeks before the start of the revolution. Major-General Kislyakov was appointed to this post on the proposal of the acting head of the camp Vasily Gurko, who is called one of the leaders of the Masonic "Military Lodge" and the like-minded leader of the Octobrists Guchkov - an indefatigable intriguer who hated the emperor.
According to a contemporary of events, Major General Kislyakov, being a supporter of the revolution, addressed a personal report to Alekseev and persuaded him to cancel the order. And early in the morning, 1 March, in his telegram to Adjutant-General Ivanov, certifies Bavliku top-notch with a “new minister of ways” interested in organizing the work of transport - thereby, in fact, recognizing his prerogatives. Quarter General-General of the AS Headquarters Lukomsky in his negotiations with his colleague expresses the opinion that the commissar telegram is "not terrible, for it calls for order." As the historian G.M. Katkov, leaving the railways under Bublik's control, headquarters deprived itself of the most important instrument of power, which could well have been used by him in solving the political crisis, which later gave rise to charges of Alekseev of double-dealing and direct conspiracy.
Representatives of the Duma arrived at the royal train at 21: 45, and at 23: 40. 2 in March, Nikolay handed Guchkov and Shulgin an act of abdication not only for himself, but also for Cesarevich Alexei. It would seem that in these events Bubliku got a supporting technical role, but even here he managed to be in the foreground. The fact is that after returning to Petrograd early in the morning, Guchkov hurried to share his joy with the workers of the North-Western railway workshops. However, the toast proclaimed by the orator in honor of the “emperor Mikhail” aroused the indignation of those gathered who wished to arrest Guchkov, and to destroy the “harmful” act. At the scene was a trusted person Bublikov, who was not taken aback. “The very act, on the sly, from the back porch was taken by my subordinates from the station to my ministry, and I kept it in my office,” the commissioner said, not sparing personal pronouns.
Soon the original act, which, surrounded by Bublikov, was dubbed “the missing certificate”, went to the Duma, and the MPS printing house began printing it as a separate leaflet. Bublikov did not fail to take advantage of the opportunity and sent the text of the renunciation by telegraph.
In the essay by Mikhail Bulgakov “Kiev-city” there are such lines:
“Legendary times broke off, and suddenly, and terribly, history began. I can definitely indicate the moment of its appearance: it was at 10 hour. in the morning of March 2, 1917, when a telegram arrived in Kiev, signed with two mysterious words: Deputy Bublikov. Not a single person, I vouch for this, did not know what these mysterious 15 letters meant, but I know one thing: they gave Kiev the signal for the beginning ... ”.
March 3 was formed by the Provisional Government, in which the post of Minister of Railways received a cadet N.V. Nekrasov. Such a turn of events clearly disappointed Bublikov, who believed that he would get the ministerial portfolio. One of the early versions of the future composition of the government looked like this: "Regent - Mikhail Alexandrovich, Supreme Commander - Nikolai Nikolayevich, Prime Minister - Guchkov, Minister of Railways - Bublikov, foreign affairs - Milyukov, trade and industry - Shingarev, sea - Grigorovich, the military man — Polivanov, the commander in Petrograd — General-Ad. Ivanov. " But it was too "right" version of the cabinet, which included representatives of the Romanov dynasty and former royal ministers, who clearly could not arrange the "partners" from the Petrograd Soviet.
Annoyed, Bublikov refused to offer Nekrasov to become his deputy and stayed at the Ministry of Railways, pending the delivery of cases, when he was again entrusted with an important mission. 7 March he was summoned to the government. On that day, the question of the arrest of the royal family was decided here. The Provisional Government decided: “1) recognize the renounced emperor Nicholas II and his spouse as imprisoned and deliver the renounced emperor to Tsarskoye Selo. 2) instruct General Mikhail Vasilyevich Alekseev to provide outfit for the protection of the renounced emperor at the disposal of the members of the State Duma sent to Mogilyov: A.A. Bublikov, V.M. Vershinina, S.F. Gribunina, S.A. Kalinin.
The next day, Bublikov and his colleagues went to Headquarters, where Nicholas II was. The deputy himself did not communicate with the former emperor: Alekseev announced the decision of the Provisional Government to Nikolai. In Mogilyov, the biggest - and the most painful - impression on Bublikov was made by how diligently the courtiers renounced the former owner and tried to curry favor with the new ones. (The servants puzzled the deputy with a question: should the milk of the deposed monarch still need to be given milk). Nicholas departed for Tsarskoe Selo in the same train with the Duma emissaries and a convoy assigned by General Alekseev. The emperor invited fellow travelers to dinner, but they declined the invitation.
After returning to Petrograd, Bublikov disappears from big politics, in which he spent no more than ten days. But the circumstances of this rapid “going into power” are still the subject of debate by historians and commentators. Some of them believe that the commissar of Alexander Bublikov is part of an extensive conspiracy aimed at overthrowing the monarchy. According to the author of the book "Masons in power" Viktor Brachev, Bublikov was only a performer. “The real organizers of the chase, or more correctly, the blocking of the royal train and its treacherous direction to Pskov - directly into the hands of the conspirator N.V. Ruzsky - was N.V. Nekrasov.
However, the thesis of the “treacherous direction” of the imperial train to the Pskov “trap” contradicts the facts: all the instructions of the Ministry of Railways were aimed at preventing the literary composition from moving in the direction of Bottom - Pskov. And most importantly: it is unclear at what geographical point the sovereign of 1 - 2 of March 1917 of the year was to be in order for events to evolve according to a different scenario.
Moreover, of the entire Russian army, only two generals, the Lutheran and the Muslim, FA, decided to support the emperor. Keller and Khan Huseyn Nakhichevan, the commanders of the corps stationed respectively in Moldova and Volyn.
Without waiting for October
Attempts to explain the actions of Bublikov by the instructions of a powerful secret organization stemmed from the desire of a certain circle of researchers to somehow justify the inglorious demise of the monarchy and the helplessness of the monarch, as well as the intention to retroactively establish the relationship between the conspiracy (or a combination of conspiracies) against Nikolai and the insurgency in Petrograd. In reality, the numerous contenders for the saviors of Russia, the February events clearly took by surprise.
It is possible to negatively relate to the activities of the same Bublikov and Lomosonov, but their example makes one think about the question: why these undoubtedly energetic, knowledgeable, self-sufficient people turned out to be on the side of the revolution, and why we don’t see any equivalent figure on the side of the Romanov dynasty. However, Bublikov was no less critical of the new revolutionary government. He ironically called the Provisional Government “Seminary of Public Administration”, the participants of which “had, first of all, to learn because they knew, in essence, one thing - to speak and criticize someone else’s work”. Subsequently, in his book, published in the spring of 1918 in New York, he accused the Provisional Government of incompetence and populism, blaming him for the worst crisis that hit the economy and the country.
The last time Bublikov reminded himself of himself as a politician was in August 1917 of the year, vividly speaking at the All-Russian State Meeting in Moscow.
After the failure of the Kornilov revolt, Alexander Alexandrovich, clearly, clearly presented what events were expecting Russia in the near future, and safely left abroad in September.
For a time, the former Commissioner Bublik lived in France. In 1920, at the Paris meeting of former members of the State Duma, he was elected to the interim executive committee abroad; in 1921, Alexander Alexandrovich participated in the congress of the Russian National Association in Paris. Collaborated with the Paris newspaper "Common Business". Later, Bublik moved to the United States.
- Maxim Zarezin
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