Military Review

Woman in steel armor

Leafing through the pages of newspapers and magazines from the times of the civil war, which had turned yellow from time, accidentally stumbled upon a brief note on a woman commander who had died in battle. She commanded an armored train "Power to the Soviets." Died in 23 of the year as a hero, at a combat position, driving an armored train in battle. And her name was Lyudmila Georgievna Mokievskaya-Zubok.

Woman in steel armor

Illegal noble origin

Lyudmila Mokievskaya-Zubok (hereinafter referred to as Mokievskaya) was born in December 1895 of the year in Chernigov. Her mother, Glafira Georgievna Mokievskaya - Zubok, came from an old but impoverished noble family. Unfortunately, the date of birth of the girl has not yet been established. It rarely happened with noble children. Most likely, this was the result of her birth not in an official church marriage. In this regard, even Lyudmila was baptized far from his home - in Odessa. In the metrics of Odessa Cathedral in January 1896, it is written: "... the illegitimate daughter of the noblewoman Mokiyev-Zubok was baptized." Father in the metric was not specified, so the middle name is taken by the name of his grandfather.

However, her biological father is known - it was quite popular publicist and professional revolutionary Bykhovsky Naum Yakovlevich. By education he was a medical assistant, came from the townspeople, but for himself chose a revolutionary way of life. So by birth, Ludmila’s patronymic was Naumovna, but she always indicated her patronymic, accepted at baptism - Georgievna. Hence the confusion in the middle names in some publications about her. However, as with her nationality: the mother is Ukrainian, the father is Jewish, but she herself considered Russian and indicated this in the questionnaires.

On the eve of the birth of his daughter, Bykhovsky was convicted for participating in a group of the People of the People in St. Petersburg and sent into exile in Siberia. Later held a prominent position in the leadership of the Socialist Revolutionary Party. However, he did not maintain any contact with her daughter. And in February 1938, he was shot by the sentence of the Military Collegium of the USSR Supreme Court. But all this was later.

With revolution and rebellion in the blood

From the moment of birth, his daughter found herself in an unenviable part of being illegitimate. In those years, this meant that an atmosphere of hostility and alienation formed around the mother and daughter. The local estate society condemned them and avoided any contact. The proud noblewoman-mother and the growing up daughter answered the same to their ill-wishers.

In addition to the revolutionary father, the closest circle influenced the formation of the personality and character of Ludmila. Among her relatives were other representatives of the revolutionary views. For example, her great-uncle, who was convicted in 1876 for his actions against the tsarist government. He and his wife were serving a sentence in exile in Siberia. And everyone in the Mokievsky family knew about this.

According to the memoirs of E.I. Gutman, who knew the Mokievsky family across Chernigov, lived a mother with her daughter closed. All free time almost always spent together. The young lady dressed was always modest. Perhaps there was no extra money for fashionable outfits.
Since childhood, Lyudmila was inquisitive, she read a lot and grew beyond her years of intelligence. However, it was not accepted to the state gymnasium and, again, because of the illegal birth. Therefore, she studied at a private women's school in Chernigov. She studied diligently and was considered one of the best students.

However, she constantly felt around her the atmosphere of social coldness, and, at times, and just alienation. As a teenager, when a “significant other” person appeared in the lives of most people, she relied only on her most loyal and close friend — her mother. They were inseparable. Perhaps such a difficult stage of socialization of a teenage girl left its mark. therefore, already in the gymnasium years, she showed the spirit of rebellion against the authorities and the estate society. Thus, during a visit to Chernigov by Nicholas II with his family and retinue in September 1911, Luda showed boldness in behavior. When building the gymnasium girls for the solemn meeting of the tsar on Cathedral Square, she fastened with pins the bows and dresses of some of her classmates. At their movement a confusing situation was created. The attacker was immediately identified and sent to the premises of the gymnasium for investigation. The next day, Lyudmila was expelled from the gymnasium for inappropriate behavior. Only the efforts of the mother and the former excellent study allowed her to return to the classroom and successfully complete the gymnasium.

There was a question - what to do next. Stay in Chernigov? At that time it was a small town with 35-th thousand population, although relatively well-equipped. The total number of students in Chernigov was approximately 6,2 thousand people. More than 700 shops and stores worked in the city. It was where to get a profession - there were 3 vocational schools, 2 trade schools, medical assistant school, as well as the religious school and theological seminary. Later a teacher’s institute was created, which, however, gave only an incomplete higher pedagogical education. In other words, there was no reason to expect higher education in their hometown.

There was another inconvenience. This ancient city stood apart from the main roads and highways. It was not so easy to get to Chernigov. The city did not have a normal railway gauge, but was connected by a narrow-gauge railway from the Kruty station of the Moscow-Kiev-Voronezh railway located in 75 versts. The narrow gauge railway ended near the Desna River in 4 versts from the city. A ticket to Kiev was expensive. For example, in a comfortable 1 class carriage, it cost as much as 7 rubles. In those days it was a lot of money.
For the convenience of passengers in the city, a city railway station was built on Shosseinaya Street, where they sold tickets and accepted baggage items. By the arrival of the train near the station, cab drivers were going to the passengers' services.
It was possible to choose other modes of transport. For example, horse-drawn stagecoach, which went to Gomel and Kozelets. However, such trips on bad roads were a serious challenge for passengers.
More comfortable and cheaper was considered the way on the boat down the Desna to Kiev. You could get there in the 1 class cabin for only 3 rubles. The ship pier was located in the city on Podvalnaya Street. However, such a route along the waterways was possible only from spring to autumn.

At the family council with her mother they decided that Lyudmila would go to get a higher education in St. Petersburg. So in 1912, she became a student in the natural history department of the pedagogical faculty of the Moscow Psychoneurological Institute. It also became interested in socialist theories, began to attend the student revolutionary circle. This hobby has affected its further fate.

However, in the 1916 year, being already on the 4 course, she dropped out and returned to Chernigov due to a serious maternal illness. After her death, nothing more connected the young lady of the capital with the formerly native provincial Chernigov. So with a living father, who did not even try to help her daughter in such a difficult period of her life, she actually became an orphan. Without hesitation, the girl again went to Petrograd and plunged into revolutionary work. Since college, she did not have a relationship with the police. Periodically had to hide, lead a semi-legal lifestyle. It was an alarming time, so she didn’t even remember about continuing her studies. Later Lyudmila joined the party - the Union of Socialist Revolutionaries - maximalists.

The October coup 1917, the revolutionary girl, was enthusiastic. Entered the Petrograd Red Guard under the male name - Leonid Mokievsky. And already as a Red Guard with a rifle in his hands guarded Smolny.
This is how her first "reincarnation" into a man. Let us remember this fact, because in a surprising way this situation will again and again be repeated in its future.

In the struggle for a new life

Immediately it should be noted that in Soviet times, especially 1920-ies, they wrote a lot about Lyudmila as an ardent revolutionary and heroine — a Bolshevik woman who fought on the fronts of the civil war. They praised her as the first and only known female commander of an armored train. They remembered her in those years and in her homeland, Ukraine. It seems to be all right. So it should be. but история uses only reliable facts and accurate description of past events. Without emotions, political and ideological preferences, intentional or accidental distortions, inaccuracies and invented episodes. As they say, nothing personal - just the facts. Although, of course, the subjective factor affects in one way or another when you have to carry out a kind of historical reconstruction of the life and fate of the person who is handsome to you, the hero, who gave his life for our present well-being.

The life of Lyudmila, as we already understood, has not been easy since her birth. In her childhood and adolescence she felt social injustice and undeserved public censure. The search for justice in her student years led her to the path of the revolutionary struggle. It would seem that everything could not be better fit into the Soviet ideological cliché of the fate of a fiery revolutionary who became the Bolshevik commissar and commander of the red armored train.

But here the descriptions of those distant events begin to diverge significantly from the real historical facts, documentary evidence and memories of participants or eyewitnesses. Let's try together to understand this heroic and humanly difficult fate of a young woman who voluntarily chose for herself a dangerous way of serving the Fatherland in the war years.

The title of this section of the article seems to have a double meaning. We are talking about the struggle Mokievsky for a new life in the early years of Soviet power. And at the same time, recreating the real image of Lyudmila, there is a unique opportunity to take a fresh look at her life and destiny. To keep in the memory of the descendants the life she has lived is what it really was, cleansing it of all the superficial and inconsistent with the historical truth.

It should be borne in mind that some events and facts from the life of Mokievskaya after a century ago are difficult, and in some cases it is hardly possible, both to confirm and to refute. For example, for obvious reasons, Soviet historians have argued that she met the October 1917 coup in the ranks of the Bolshevik Party. True, the encyclopedia "Civil War and Military Intervention in the USSR", published in the 1983 year, is devoted to her only 15 short lines. It is indicated that she is from the family of a revolutionary populist and that she has been a member of the Communist Party since 1917. However, none of these statements is true. As we already know, the revolutionary Bykhovsky had no family, although he was the biological father of Lyudmila. At the time of the birth of his daughter, both he and Mokievskaya’s mother were only 20 years old. And as contemporaries who knew her mother, Glafira Georgievna, noted, she was far from politics and did not share any revolutionary views.

The second inaccuracy regarding Lyudmila’s partisanship is more like a deliberate distortion of facts for political and ideological reasons. In fact, Soviet historians could not directly write that the heroine of the civil war was a member of the maximalist Socialist Revolutionary Party.

The historian S. Romadin, who has been studying the history of Russian armored trains for many years, refers to his photocopy of the Mokievskaya archived questionnaire from 18 November 1918 stored in the archive. Filled with her own hand and with an indication of belonging to the party of maximalist Socialist Revolutionaries.

Nowadays, few know such a party that existed in Russia in the early twentieth century. In 1906, she broke away from the SR party. Thus arose an independent party - the Union of Socialist-Maximalists. They filled the empty political niche between the anarchists and the Social Revolutionaries. The main part of the party members was formed from workers, students and students. However, by 1912, the activity of the party has plummeted. The rebirth of the party began in February 1917 of the year.

What attracted Mokievsky, who decided to join this party, is now difficult to determine. Perhaps she was fascinated by the idea of ​​creating a Labor Republic or confidence in the possibility of the rapid establishment of socialism in Russia. However, already in 1919, the transition of the maximalist Socialist Revolutionaries to the position of the ruling Bolshevik Party began. And by the end of 1920, this party actually dissolved into the Bolshevik ranks and ceased its independent existence. Whether Lyudmila Mokievskaya’s party affiliation changed after November 1918 has not been established until now.

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  1. Olgovich
    Olgovich 19 May 2018 06: 07
    came from an old but impoverished Ukrainian noble family.

    There were no "Ukrainian" noble "clans.
    1. svp67
      svp67 19 May 2018 07: 18
      Quote: Olgovich
      There were no "Ukrainian" noble "clans.

      And Ukrainian Chernigov, what existed then? At best, it was a MALORIAN city
      1. Olgovich
        Olgovich 19 May 2018 09: 17
        Quote: svp67
        And Ukrainian Chernigov, what existed then?

        What I’m talking about hi
  2. nivander
    nivander 19 May 2018 08: 34
    and the Soviet era was the story "Morning of Bloody Dew" by L. Wlodavec - and it describes a woman commissar of an armored train from the Chernigov noble family - who died along with an armored train on the Polish Front in the summer of 1920
  3. bubalik
    bubalik 19 May 2018 16: 26
    From the moment of birth, his daughter found herself in an unenviable part of being illegitimate. In those years, this meant that an atmosphere of hostility and alienation formed around the mother and daughter. The local estate society condemned them and avoided any contact. The proud noblewoman-mother and the growing up daughter answered the same to their ill-wishers.

    ,,, well, the proud mother of a noblewoman herself chose her own way ,,,

    The highest approved opinion of the State Council of February 6 1850. "On the explanations and corrections of the laws on the validity and legality of marriages and on children born from these marriages", which provides a detailed explanation of who is considered illegitimate.

    According to this document, children are declared illegal:

    Those born out of wedlock, even if their parents later entered into a formal marriage;
    Born out of adultery;
    Born after the death of the husband of the mother or after the divorce after more than 306 days;
    Born in marriage, which was later declared illegal and invalid;
    Born in marriage, divorced on the basis of the proven inability of the husband to marital "cohabitation."

    However, it was not accepted to the state gymnasium and, again, because of the illegal birth. Therefore, she studied at a private women's school in Chernigov.

    ,,, the rules of admission to public and private schools were the same, the illegitimate were taken there and there, there were no restrictions. Illegally born children of any urban class were, by their estate status, just bourgeois - that is, they could learn anywhere. ,,, and they were not that poor, if they were trained in a private gymnasium ,,,
    1. Monarchist
      Monarchist 20 May 2018 13: 48
      The bagel, probably, played a role here, that the then Chernigov was a “big village”: everyone knew who Mokievskaya was, and she seemed not to be the most respected, otherwise they would say: “poor thing, she was not lucky. What to do all the males **** ",, so that the" pebbles "of the tongue do not scratch. Although also not very fit: "a private gymnasium is also in Chernigov, and not in a parallel dimension. We can now only guess
      1. bubalik
        bubalik 20 May 2018 14: 22
        Monarchist (Labinsky Glory) Today, 14: 48 New
        The bagel probably played a role here ,,,

        ,, maybe so only I am not a bagel hi laughing
  4. Monarchist
    Monarchist 20 May 2018 14: 14
    "the heroine of the civil war was in the party of the Socialist-Revolutionary Maximalists", and, after all, among the Socialist-Revolutionaries there were real IDEAL revolutionaries. The famous "mother Maria" Kuzmina-Karavaev for example. As a child, I heard from the old man how the people spoke of the parties: “Socialist-Revolutionaries - the party of Heroes”, Mensheviks: “good ablokats or dohtor”, anarchists “drunkards and loafers”, Bolsheviks “gang ** Dovov and Katarjan”. Probably, the people did not hear about other parties, but, after all, there was still the Bund-Apfelbaum party, the Bronstein and others, I don’t like the subjects