Battle on the largest lake in Belarus. H. 1

Naroch is the largest lake (80 sq. Km) of Belarus, located in the Myadel district of the Minsk region.

Lake Naroch. Picture taken by the author in July 2018.

District of the Naroch operation 5 — 17 in March 1916 (unsuccessful attempt of the Russian 2 army to break through the German positions). We wrote about the significance of the Naroch operation for the Russian and French fronts in the 1916 campaign and its features (see Was the "failure" Naroch operation 16 of the year?; TVD Second Patriotic. 1916 year. Part of 1; Difficult school of positional warfare; Break through the wall without breaking a head. H. 3). Now take a closer look at the course of events of this important operation of the First World War.

After the summer retreat of 1915 and the liquidation of the Sventsian breakthrough (in the course of the Vilna operation - we will write about it in detail in the very near future) Russian-German front 1915 stabilized by the beginning of October. One of its sections passed along the lakes Myadziol, Naroch and Vishnevskoye - Russian positions passed along their eastern shores, German positions along their western shores. On the night of 18. 09.1915 d. 26 th Infantry Regiment Mogilev (8 officers and 359 soldiers) 7 Infantry Division 5 th Army Corps, crossing the river. Naroch (flows out of the lake of the same name to the south, falling into the river Vilia), went to the Germans in the rear and seized 16 guns. Having strengthened, parts of this corps occupied positions west of the source of the r. Naroch up to spring 1916. At the end of September 1915, weakened by a long retreat, formations of the Western Front tried in various sectors to go on the offensive in order to delay the noted transfer of German troops to other fronts.

Battle on the largest lake in Belarus. H. 1

Photo: Malyshev G. Naroch echo of Verdun. Minsk, 2006.

By the beginning of 1916, on the Western Front, Russian troops possessed a serious superiority over the enemy, created as early as the autumn of 1915, to cover the shortest paths to Petrograd and Moscow. In the band of this front was in reserve up to 10 cases, including 4 - in reserve Betting (while the other fronts had in reserve on the 3 case). But the fact of the loss of a dense railway network, located in the border regions occupied by the enemy, reduced the possibility of maneuvering these reserves for the troops of the Western Front.

The idea of ​​a major offensive in the area of ​​Lake. Naroch was born by the Russian command under the influence of two factors. First, taking into account the analysis of the unsuccessful attacks of the Western Front in September 1915 and the South-Western Front in December 1915. Secondly, influenced by the decisions of the inter-allied conference of the Entente representatives in Chantilly (France), which took place on January 28 and 1916. resolved: 1) to seek a military solution in the main theater of operations; 2) to seek solutions in the form of coordinated attacks, which should have been carried out at the closest possible time between themselves - so that the enemy did not have time to transfer troops from one theater of operations to another; 3) launch a general offensive no later than March 1916 g .; 4) each power, when an enemy attacks on it, must restrain the latter on its own with its own forces - but the Allies give it the greatest possible support.

The commander-in-chief of the armies of the Western Front, General of Infantry AE Evert 04. 01. 1916 wrote to the Chief of Staff of the Supreme Commander General of Infantry, M. V. Alekseev, that it is desirable to launch an offensive before the beginning of spring — when rivers, lakes and swamps are ice-bound. 13. 01. He informed Alekseev that the intelligence data and polls of prisoners indicate the absence of new German units against both the Northern and Western and South-Western fronts - which, due to the withdrawal of a significant part of the German troops from the Balkans, indicates a high probability of the Germans conducting the nearest perspective offensive action on the French front. Allow the Germans to defeat the allies in parts can not in any case. And it is necessary to launch a vigorous offensive as soon as the German offensive against the French is determined. It is likely that the Germans specifically delayed the preparation of the offensive in France on the 1-2 of the month - so that a mudslide began on the Russian front, making serious operations impossible for 6-8 weeks and longer. A Russian winter offensive violated these calculations.

A. E. Evert asked to increase the supply of troops to his front, pointing to the lack of rifles, lack of ammunition and lack of heavy artillery. However, the Headquarters in the person of M. V. Alekseev did not undertake early measures in order to have time to organize an attack before the end of winter. They delayed the training of incomplete rifles and the expected arrival of heavy artillery brigades from the Moscow military district 2.

A. E. Evert.

M. V. Alekseev.

Meanwhile, 08. 02. 1916 German troops launched an offensive near Verdun, which led the French and the British to postpone the transition to the general agreed offensive until 1 July.

11. 02. 1916 in the Russian General Headquarters held a meeting, attended by the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, Emperor Nicholas II, his chief of staff M. V. Alekseev, quarter-general-master of the Headquarters M. V. Pustovoitenko, all three commanders-in-chief of the fronts (A. Kuropatkin, A. E. Evert, N. I. Ivanov), three chiefs of front staffs (M. D. Bonch-Bruyevich, M. F. Kvetsinsky, V. N. Klembovsky), Minister of War A. A. Polivanov, former commander-in-chief of the Northern Front, P A. Plehve, Chief Field Officer D.S. Shuvaev, Chief of the Naval Staff at Headquarters, Vice Admiral A.I. Rus n. The meeting opened the report of Alekseev, who stated that after the replenishment of the Russian army, he was stronger than the enemy, and therefore a partial offensive of the Western Front by four corps on Vilkomir and pushing the Germans from their positions was possible. The four corps must act as a fist-assault group, abundantly equipped with artillery and having a well-organized rear. The beginning of the operation is the end of February. The other participants in the meeting did not express their intentions on the merits, but N. I. Ivanov and A. E. Evert discussed how many buildings they could be divided into a strike group. It was decided to transfer this question for approval to the chiefs of staff of the fronts (the directive on the Stakes from 14. 02. 1916 from the South-Western Front to the Western transferred the Guards Detachment, the 24-th Army and the 4-Cavalry Corps, and also prepared the transfer of another corps; One corps and two divisions were transferred from the West to the North. At the meeting, questions were raised about the lack of heavy artillery, shells for the latter and 40 million rifle cartridges on the Western Front, and also about the direction from the South-Western Front to the North 39000 Japanese rifles and 16 million cartridges.

14. 02. Evert informed the commander of the 2 Army General of Infantry, V. V. Smirnov, about the upcoming task of attacking and smashing the enemy, then developing an attack on Sventsyan. Reported reinforcement of the army 27-m and 35-m army corps, heavy artillery units and ordered to prepare for the attack by the end of February. The commander was also informed about the concentration in the 2 army of the 24 and 3 of the Caucasian army corps, which are in the reserve of the Western Front.

V.V. Smirnov.

18. 02. 1916 of the Stavka decided to double the number of troops involved in the attack, and deliver the blow to the left flank of the Northern and right flank of the Western Fronts. The command of the latter, in order to ensure interaction with a neighbor, decided to conduct attacks in the marshy area of ​​the Pastavy station (the volost center of the Vilna province) - Lake Myadziol, Naroch, Vishnevskoe, with success developing an attack on Wilkomir. In the case of the cancellation of attacks of the Northern Front, Evert believed to strike from Molodechno - where the terrain is more convenient for an offensive.

19. 02. 1916. M.V. Alekseev acquainted with the letter of the commander-in-chief of the French troops, General J. Joffre, to the representative of the French command in the Russian headquarters, General P. Poe.

Joffre wrote that the attack on Verdun was probably the beginning of a decisive effort by the Germans, which they could develop only if troops were moved from other fronts. Pointing out that the 2 divisions (1-I and 3-I Guards), apparently taken from the Russian front, he asked the Allies to put strong pressure on the enemy - to prevent him from withdrawing any troops from the front. Referring to the decrees in Chantilly, Joffre requested that the Russian army quickly begin preparations for the offensive envisaged by this meeting. He pointed to the need for thorough and comprehensive preparation of such an offensive and the use of large forces and material means.

22. 02. Alekseev told Geoffrey that the Russian army would not expect full supply with rifles and 10. 03. perform an attack on the front Dvinsk (now Daugavpils) - p. Vilia, and that for this is a wide transfer of troops.

On the night of 27. 02. units of the 40 Infantry Regiment of the Kolyvansky Regiment under the command of Captain M. P. Shchepetilnikov with a total number of 600 soldiers at 24 machine guns on the ice of Lake Naroch went to the Germans in the rear, captured the 9 officers and 163 soldier, destroyed the 14 guns of four batteries. Under fire, they retreated, moving on the boards - because the cracks in the ice were found.

27. 02. V. V. Smirnov became ill with 1916, and the duties of the commander of the 2 army were temporarily assigned to the commander of the X NUMX army of Infantry General A. F. Ragoz. 4. 28. 02 Mr. Alekseev ordered Kuropatkin and Evert to finish preparations for the attack on March 1916. In turn, A. E. Evert 5. 29. he gave directive to all five armies of the Western Front: 02, concentrating the main forces on the flanks, advancing on the front of Sventsyan-Mihalishki-Gervyaty, 2, holding the enemy on the right flank, advancing on Vidzy and further on Davgeliški, 1, to be ready for the attack on the line Vilno-Delyatichi, supporting the right flank of the 10, and the 2-I and 3-I armies must prepare for the movement to Baranavichy.

A. F. Ragoza.

From mid-December 1915 to early March 1916, the Russian 2 Army enlarged from 4 army corps to 8 army and Cavalry 1, the number of battalions from 129 to 553, squadrons from 58 to 133, and the number of battalions from the NNXX, 178 to 372, and the number of battalions increased from 9N to 24, 2 to 605, and the number of battalions increased from 9N to 282, 12 squadrons from 10 to 30, and the number of battalions increased from 9N to 15, 35 squadrons from 40 to XNUMX. thousand to XNUMX thousand people. From the last to XNUMX thousand did not have rifles. In the XNUMX offensive, the XNUMX light and XNUMX heavy weapons, XNUMX airplanes supported the XNUMX army. In addition, in XNUMX-XNUMX km from the front line, the XNUMX and XNUMX army corps were in the front reserve for success. Army headquarters in Budslau in XNUMX km from the front.

Ragoze directly running 10 packages right away would be difficult. Therefore, to coordinate offensive actions, Evert united the 2 army units into three groups: cavalry general M. M. Pleshkov (northern) as part of the 1, 27 and 1 Siberian Army and 7 cavalry corps; General of infantry L. O. Sirelius (central) as part of the 34 and 4 of the Siberian Army Corps; General of Infantry P.S. Baluev (southern) as part of the 5, 36 and 3 of the Siberian army corps with the Ural Cossack Division. Such an improvised management structure will become one of the reasons for the unsuccessful course of the operation, since the commanders of the groups did not know the subordinate troops, did not have headquarters and means of communication, and were located at a distance of 30 km from the front. In addition, only 5 (achieved the greatest success in the operation), 36 and 4 of the Siberian Corps operated at Lake Naroch as early as 1915, while the rest of the formations recently arrived in the area of ​​attack and were not familiar with the terrain. 1-4 March, Russian artillery led the shooting.

M.M. Pleshkov.

P.S. Baluev.

March 2 Ragoza set the following tasks for the 2 Army: defeating the enemy in front of his army, advancing on Sventsyan, Mihalishki, Gervyaty. The group of General Pleshkov, breaking through enemy positions on the 20-km front of Medzina, Duki, must advance in the direction of Lyntuna (while directing part of the forces to strike the enemy’s flank, located in front of General Cirelius). The Cirelius group should have attacked the enemy in the Czernyaty, Lotva sector (15 km plus lakes), chained him to his front. After the development of the success of neighboring groups - to move on Lyntuny. General Baluev’s group, breaking through the enemy’s positions at the front, Lake Naroch - Lake Vishnevskoe (22 km) and, securing itself to the left, develop an offensive in the direction of Lake Bolshaya Shvaksht - Lyntuny.

03. 03. 1916. Nikolai II issued the directive No. 1290 to the troops. She envisaged delivering a vigorous strike against the German troops operating against the Northern and right-flank armies of the Western Front. The overall objective of the operation is to reach the line Mitava - Bausk - Vilkomir - Vilna - Delyatichi. The immediate goal - to gain a foothold on the line p. Lauze - Lake Sauken - Oknosty - Novo-Aleksandrovsk - Dukshty - Davgelishki - Sventsyany - Mihalishki - Gervyaty. The northern front directs the main attack from the Yakobshtadt region to Ponevezh, and the Western front (the troops of the 2 army) - to Sventsyan - Vilkomir. In addition, the forces of the 12 Army advance from the Northern Front in front of Pulkarn and Ikskyl in the direction of Bausk - Schoenberg, and the Western Front (in accordance with the development of operations on the main line) strikes Vilna. The strike must be decisive, energetic, with the mutual assistance of the fronts and armies. The left-flank armies of the Western Front and the South-Western Front bind the enemy, and when the latter is weakened, they are decisively attacking. The beginning of the offensive - March 5 (Northern Front - March March 6). It was prescribed to use the cavalry extensively - by introducing it into a breakthrough (a raid on Muravevo-Shavli was especially desirable).

Thus, the Russian command expected to drop enemy troops by 130 km. 03. 03. Pleshkov, Sirelius and Baluev gave appropriate orders to the troops of their groups.

The German positions were strengthened from the autumn of 1915 and had several lines of trenches, making up a strip of field fortifications up to the depth of 1,5-2 km. In the trenches through 10 meters there were closed traverses, concrete firing points, shelters and observation posts. Barbed wire - in front of the 1 line of trenches in the 1-2 strip - were covered with slingshots.

Elements of the German fortifications at the lake. Naroch. Picture taken by the author in July 2018.

By the end of 02. 1916 against the troops of the Russian 2 Army held the following units of the German 10 Army: Bavarian and 3 Cavalry, 42, 115 and 31 I, 75 I, 9 I cavalry division, 9-I landver brigade, 10-I landver division - just up to 60 battalions and 73 squadrons or to 53 thous. fighters. All but the first two and the last were part of Lt. Gen. O. von Gutier’s 21 Army Corps with headquarters in Kobylniki. The number of German artillery was estimated at 360 light and 72 heavy guns. In the nearest reserves (up to 20 km from the front), the Germans had 86-i and 119-i infantry, 80-i reserve divisions, 170-i landver brigade, all 30 thousand fighters with 216 guns.

Malyshev G. Decree. cit.

O. von Gutier.

The Germans, captured before the Russian offensive, believed that its main attack would be from Dvinsk (100 km north of Lake Naroch). According to the memoirs of the chief of staff of the German Eastern Front commander E. Ludendorff, he considered the most likely Russian offensive from Smorgon (40 km south of Lake Naroch) on Vilna. The actual sites of the 2 Army’s attacks were unexpected for the German command, as was the scope of the Russian command’s offensive plans. The Germans assessed the Russian attack area as extensive and well chosen, finding that if the Russians had been successful, they would have opened their way to Kovno and would have had the opportunity to throw the Germans back to the Baltic Sea.

By the lake Naroch, Russian intelligence recorded the withdrawal of German transports to the rear, clearing the Germans of the second trench line of snow, the construction of additional wire barriers and laying of land mines. In the offensive group 2-th Army acted as follows:

Pleshkov laid the attack on the 22 Infantry Division of the 1 Army Corps and the 1 Siberian Rifle Division of the 1 Siberian Army Corps.

In 8. 15. 05. 03. 1916 Russian began artillery training, rated by Russian soldiers as the strongest since the beginning of the war. General E. von Ludendorff also pointed to the "force of artillery combat unprecedented for the Eastern Front." Eyewitnesses recalled that "it was shooting, which the Russians had never fought before, fire to destroy all living things."

The Germans responded with rare fire, the Russians observed the withdrawal of individual soldiers and enemy groups to the rear. The Russian intelligence officers, advancing into the 10 watch, were met with a rare rifle fire. Assuming that only sentries were left in the German trenches, the commander of the 22 Infantry Division, Lieutenant General M. I. Shishkin, sent reconnaissance at noon. Their offensive in 12. 15. Germans met with strong machine-gun fire. It turned out that the enemy was hiding and waiting for the attack. The fire of the Russian (here mostly light) artillery turned out to be of no effect - the barriers, dugouts and machine-gun nests were not broken. In 12. 25. The 22 Infantry Division headquarters received an erroneous message on the phone that the 1 Siberian Corps had launched an offensive. Not wanting to lag behind, the commander of the 22 Infantry Division ordered his units to start at 12. 35. offensive. Under the cross artillery and machine-gun fire (especially from the forest wedge between the Vileits and Mikulishki), three Russian regiments swiftly reached the German wire barriers. Their cutting was slow, the advancing suffered heavy losses (up to 60%). Then the reserve of the division is the 85 Infantry Regiment of Vyborg in 14. 15. received an order with the support of two mortar batteries to seize the forest wedge. But the attack of the 1 and 2 battalions was not successful, after which the regiment commander asked to postpone the task until night. K 17. 15. 22-I Infantry Division retreated to its original position. Her casualties for the day are 49 officers and 5547 soldiers. Some battalions lost all officers.

M.I. Shishkin.

To the right, the 1 Brigade of the 59 Infantry Division acted, which attacked the 12 hours. In 13. 50. she overcame the wire obstacles and occupied a part of the forest edge in the area of ​​Medzina, Anton and cleft no. 8. In 21 hours the Germans tried to counterattack, but were repelled. The brigade lost an 1 officer and 89 soldiers.

1-I Siberian division went on the attack is also not according to plan, but heard the sounds of battle from the neighbors. Their division commander, Lieutenant-General F. A. Podgursky, did not support it, despite the fact that artillery training was not complete and that its results were insufficient. Then the 6 th Siberian rifle regiment of the 2 Siberian rifle division advanced on the offensive. T. o. The attack, started by the misunderstanding of the 22 Infantry Division, turned into a general attack by the Pleshkov group on the Medzina-Duki front.

F. A. Podgursky.

All the heavy artillery of the group (116 guns) and all the light artillery (144 weapon) 1-th Siberian and 27-Army Corps was deployed to 2-km section Wolotzky, Telyak Rusakov and fire partially routed the German barrage before 1-th Siberian division. Part of her shooters, attacking Svileli, broke into the enemy's trenches, while others lingered on the unbroken obstacles. Suddenly, they all came under crossfire from neighboring German areas, especially from the Lapinsky Forest. 2-3 km breakthrough band was shot through by the enemy. 1 th and 3 th Siberian regiments could not hold the captured trenches and moved to their original position by 19 hours. 1-i Siberian division lost 19 officers and 1882 soldiers, 2-i Siberian - 14 officers and 1324 soldiers.

The ending should ...
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  1. +5
    4 September 2018 06: 02
    Earth keeps a memory of everything.
    1. +3
      4 September 2018 23: 47
      Dmitry, want to relax with relatives - welcome to Naroch! drinks was there in 2014. A bunch of sanatoriums with treatment, prices are moderate compared to our Karelian Isthmus. what
      Lake, forest. You can fish, grill kebabs, ride bicycles. Polite Good Doctors (very beautiful girls!) will persuade you come to the procedure! love All amenities are provided, in the evening you will fall asleep to the loud croaking of frogs. Yes Yes, there, to the west of the resort village, I first saw a wind farm, and was amazed at the size, Dmitry! fellow
      My friends, shortcomings - where without them ... hi In Myadel in a bookstore, I managed to buy the only book on a historical theme - "The Mystery of the Nesvizh Castle", about the mysterious family estate of the Radziwills. There were no others! request but .. it was four years ago, I think, corrected the situation! Yes
      Second: all the surrounding attractions are made up of Catholic churches and monasteries. Yes, class, but no museums! hi
      To the good: the inhabitants of Belarus are very sensitive to the memory of soldiers-internationalists.

      this BMD stands in Madela directly opposite the main beach. And there are many similar monuments! soldier
      well, and an overwhelming plus - kind people, calm atmosphere, good rest! And .. not far from Russia, for motorists the most! good drinks
      To the author - Alexey Vladimirovich, thanks for the topic, and a photo separately. good Did you go on vacation? Here I did not consider bunkers there, I repent! recourse
  2. +6
    4 September 2018 08: 54
    Fighting places
    Thank you!
  3. BAI
    4 September 2018 09: 32
    Guides note:
    1. An unprecedented number of mosquitoes.
    2. About the barbed wire of the times of WWI, fishermen still tear the net. How she ended up at the bottom of the reservoirs is not specified.

    The author, obviously, will tell about the use of chemical weapons in the following parts.
    1. +6
      4 September 2018 17: 18
      Quote: BAI
      How she ended up at the bottom of the reservoirs is not specified.

      Duc, put on ice in winter, and in the spring went to the bottom. If near the coast - as an anti-landing barrage, our flotilla was small there.
  4. +5
    4 September 2018 17: 16
    Was there last summer, beautiful. A quick glance at the battlefields. It’s a pity I could not read the latest book about these battles, but I’m sure that Alexey is filling this gap with his series of articles. I look forward to continuing!
  5. 0
    5 September 2018 19: 35
    after 1.5 years of war - the comparison of the USSR and RI - the course of 1 and 2 MB was very different.
    paid for everything with blood
    for all got the result
    1. 0
      9 September 2018 19: 09
      Losses of Germans in WWII in Belarus-100 thousand killed
      In the Second World War-150 thousand killed.
      The difference is not impressive.
      1. 0
        9 September 2018 19: 58
        and ... Nick 2 signs the surrender of the German forces in Podstam ..
        1. 0
          9 September 2018 21: 15
          Adolf Joffe signs a contract with the owners in Brest-Litovsk.
          But let's compare the figures of 100 thousand during the occupation of two modern regions of Belarus, and 150 thousand with all the heroic achievements and partisans of Belarus, who allegedly killed half a million invaders.
          1. 0
            10 September 2018 07: 43

            compare the speeds of aircraft, cars, tanks, food, all equipment
            and answer yourself - as with the same heads of command, the Germans marched to Paris and Moscow
            1. 0
              10 September 2018 14: 48
              Because the Wehrmacht infantry walked, like the Napoleonic army on foot. The speed of the column is determined by the speed of its slowest member.
              1. 0
                10 September 2018 16: 56
                I wrote to you many times - you are right in everything
    2. 0
      18 October 2018 21: 41
      Well about striking ..
      Here is the GKO Commission Report No. M-715 of 11.04.1944/2.5/XNUMX (the war has been going on for XNUMX years):
      "... Starting from October 12, 1943 to April 1, 1944, the Western Front, under the command of General of the Army Sokolovsky, conducted in the Orsha and Vitebsk directions eleven operations...
      All these operations ended unsuccessfully., and the front set by the Headquarters did not solve the problems. In none of these operations was the enemy’s defenses broken, at least to its tactical depth ...
      In these inconclusive operations, from October 12, 1943 to April 1, 1944, only in the areas of active operations the front suffered casualties - 62 people, wounded - 326 people, and total killed and wounded - 281 745 people. ...
      Unsuccessful actions of the Western Front over the past six months, heavy losses and large expenditures of ammunition оThey are explained not by the presence of a strong enemy and insurmountable defense before the front, but by the extremely unsatisfactory leadership of the front command. During all operations, the Western Front has always had a significant superiority in manpower and equipment over the enemy, which makes it possible to undoubtedly count on success. "
      Or GKO Decree No. 5689ss of 20.04.1944/XNUMX/XNUMX
      "... The 2nd Baltic Front, under the command of General of the Army M. Popov, spent six months of its existence from October 12, 1943 to April 12, 1944. 14 army and front-line operations....
      All operations carried out during these six months, despite the superiority of forces over the enemy and the expenditure of a large number of ammunition on them, did not produce significant results and the 2nd Baltic Front did not fulfill the tasks assigned to it by the Headquarters of the Supreme High Command. "
      1. 0
        19 October 2018 08: 33
        AND IT WAS
        now go outside and stand in the mud in clean shoes - failure

        and then they paid for everything with blood
        how did you occupy the right bank of the Dnieper? all - always "showered with corpses"? or was there happiness, success?
        how do you punish sidewalk janitors? - Will they quickly remove the dirt? - I will not continue ...
        the dirt will remain and will be removed as far as strength and attention, not to your next passage

        and fought
  6. +2
    5 September 2018 19: 41
    On purpose, a beautiful place, one problem is not to swim in it. All locals and visitors bathe on Lake White, clear water a few kilometers from Naroch. The problem with water cannot be solved for a long time, because all the sewage from sanatoriums is seriously discharged into the lake without serious treatment, because of this, such a little filthy goat lives in the water, which bites the whole body when bathing.
    I know the places of fights well, I traveled with my friends for many kilometers, many German cemeteries, two years ago I personally accidentally found fifteen German graves in the forest, but they opened, it looked strange, it looked like a tombstone, only numbers and a German cross were found on it. Until now, locals find it so scary to write here ...

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