Boris Viktorovich Savinkov fought against the monarchy and the Bolsheviks. His methods were not distinguished by humanity. As the main weapons to achieve the goal, Boris Viktorovich used the tactics of terrorist acts. He was preparing an attempt on Lenin, seeing in him the main enemy of Russia. But the plans of one of the leaders of the Socialist Revolutionary Party did not come true. The struggle to life ended in defeat.
Against the current
Boris Viktorovich was born in the family of a revolutionary in 1879 year. His father frankly did not like the current government and criticized it in every way. Viktor Mikhailovich worked in the judiciary in Warsaw. Boris's mother, Sophia Alexandrovna (nee Yaroshenko), was born in Poland. She, by the way, was the sister of the famous artist Nikolai Aleksandrovich Yaroshenko.
Boris Viktorovich's childhood passed in Warsaw. He first studied at the local grammar school of Higher Education, and then entered the St. Petersburg University. But he could not finish it because of participation in the riots provoked by students. Savinkov was not simply expelled, he was forbidden to enter any other educational institution located in Russia.
The first time Boris Viktorovich was arrested in 1897 in Warsaw precisely for his revolutionary activities. When he was free, Savinkov joined the groups of the Social Democratic movement - “Socialist” and “Workers' Banner”. Soon he was again arrested with the same wording, but was released after a short time. And in 1899, Boris Viktorovich married Vera Glebovna Uspenskaya, the daughter of the writer Gleb Ivanovich. Actively published in the newspaper "Working Thought", and then moved to Germany to continue their studies.
In 1901, Savinkov was among the propagandists of the St. Petersburg Union of Struggle for the Emancipation of the Working Class. Naturally, such an activity could not end with anything good. Boris Viktorovich was once again arrested for revolutionary activities. But now, given the "chronic disease", he was sent into exile in Vologda. His family also settled there. At the new location, Savinkov was appointed secretary to advising attorneys at the Vologda district court.
Being in exile, Boris Viktorovich did not think to give up his political views. And soon he published an article titled "The Petersburg Labor Movement and the Practical Tasks of the Social Democrats." This creation was warmly received by like-minded people. Moreover, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin himself noted the abilities of the young revolutionary. But by this time Savinkov understood that his opportunities in social democracy were practically exhausted. Just thinking with a clever look about what is better and what is right, he could not. From the theory, Boris Viktorovich wanted to go on to practice, and the social democratic framework did not allow him to take this important step. Therefore, Savinkov, after long reflection, came to the conclusion that his place was among the Left Social Revolutionaries. This choice was also influenced by acquaintance with the leader of this trend, Viktor Mikhailovich Chernov. It Chernov could, as they say, untie the hands of a revolutionary, giving him freedom. In addition, Boris Viktorovich seduced and beckoned the main cult of the Left SRs. After all, they were at the forefront of the heroic deed and sacrifice in order to achieve the goal. All this was valued much higher than its own "I." In general, the Left SRs promised Savinkov a real altar of the revolutionary struggle, which should be sprinkled with his own blood. And for Boris Viktorovich this played a key role in choosing the “shore”. The second is authorized terror. Savinkov and the Left Social Revolutionaries were, as they say, made for each other.
So, once Boris Viktorovich realized that he could no longer calmly go with the flow and be content with the fate of the exile. And in 1903, he managed to escape from the provincial capital of Vologda. Having overcome many obstacles, he left his native country and soon found himself in Geneva. Here Savinkov met another leader of the movement of the Left Social Revolutionaries, Mikhail Rafailovich Gotz. And then he officially joined the Socialist-Revolutionaries themselves and their combat organization.
The first combat mission was not long in coming. The following year, Boris Viktorovich received an order to eliminate Interior Minister Vyacheslav Konstantinovich Plehve. And Savinkov was precisely the head of the operation. And its founder was the head of the Yevno Azef Military Organization. Azef also determined the composition of the group of liquidators. In addition to Savinkov, they included: Dora Brilliant, Egor Sozonov, bomb maker Maximilian Schweitzer, as well as several other people from, if I may say so, “technical support”. Azef decided that it would be more convenient and safer to blow up the carriage along with the minister during his movement from Petersburg to Tsarskoye Selo.
A group of liquidators arrived in St. Petersburg. Each acted in accordance with the approved instructions. And for a long time, people from the support of the operation watched Plehve’s movements during the day, and also studied the routes of his weekly trips to Tsarskoye Selo for reports to Nikolay II. They disguised themselves as cab drivers, newspaper sellers and ordinary passersby. When the data were collected in sufficient quantities, they approved the date of the operation “Trekking on Plehva” - March 18th. On this day, Savinkov placed people with bombs at key points on the Plehve route. In fact, the minister did not have a chance to rescue, but the human factor played a role. One of the bomb throwers - Abram Borishansky - was frightened. He considered that he had attracted the attention of the law enforcement officers, so he left his point without permission. The attempt failed.
Since the operation failed quietly and unnoticed, Azef ordered to repeat the attempt on the twenty-fourth day of the same month. The main shot was entrusted to Alexey Pokotilov, and the same Borishansky became the insurer. After the failure, he came to confess and begged himself a second chance. He needed to rehabilitate himself in the eyes of party members.
But this time the operation was not crowned with success. On the twenty-fourth of the year, for unknown reasons, the Pleve carriage changed the route and traveled another road. But Azef did not abandon the idea. Therefore, the third attempt was scheduled for April 1. The main artist decided not to change. On the night before the assassination attempt, Pokotilov was in the Severnaya Hotel. It is not known what happened there, but the bomb worked in the hands of Alexei. Esser died. What happened, of course, was interested in the police. An investigation has begun. And all the members of the group had to urgently leave St. Petersburg and take refuge in Switzerland. Azef decided that with the removal of Plehve it is worth waiting a bit. And then he took up the personnel purge of the composition of the Combat Organization. Many were expelled, and Savinkov was reprimanded for the failure of the operation. After that, Azef turned to the Central Committee of the party with a request to replenish both the ranks of the fighters and increase funding for his organization.
After waiting until the passions subside, the militants returned to their intended goal. Another date for the liquidation of Plehve, the fifteenth of July (twenty-eighth, according to the Gregorian calendar), also appeared. This time, Yegor Sozonov was chosen as the main tinker, and Borishansky acted as an insurer. It was Boryshansky who first met the carriage and missed it, and, following Sozonov, threw the bomb. In case of his miss, there were two more militants nearby - Kalyaev and Sikorsky. But their participation was not required, Yegor Sergeevich did not miss. The Minister of the Interior died on the spot. Severely injured Sozonov himself. Militants immediately disappeared, leaving his party member. Here, at the crime scene, he was arrested. In December, 1910, Sozonov committed suicide in a prison prison in Zarentau.
Boris Viktorovich, like all the other liquidators, managed to escape from the crime scene. In the evening of the same day, he went to meet with Azef in Moscow. And soon again found himself abroad.
The war continues
One sacrifice, even if it was as weighty as Plehve, was, of course, not enough for the Left Social Revolutionaries. And Savinkov began preparing a new terrorist attack. The choice fell on the Moscow Governor-General of Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich (was the fifth son of Alexander II). Militants acted on the established scheme. And the main thrower was Ivan Platonovich Kalyaev. And on February seventeenth he threw a bomb into Sergey Aleksandrovich’s carriage. The Grand Duke died on the spot. Due to a powerful explosion, his body was torn apart. It was then that a cynical joke was born: “At last, the Grand Duke had to think about it!”
The murderer was arrested and soon sentenced to be hanged. The sentence was carried out in the Shlisselburg fortress. As for Savinkov, he, after completing the task, returned to Geneva. He was required to recruit new people willing to sacrifice themselves in order to achieve the "great goal."
In addition to the attacks on Plehve and Sergey Alexandrovich, the militants of the Combat Organization staged an assassination attempt on Interior Minister Ivan Nikolaevich Durnovo, priest George Gapon and Admiral Fyodor Vasilyevich Dubasov.
Gapon, on suspicion of being in connection with the police, was strangled and several people were hanged on a tree. Among them was the engineer Peter Rutenberg. He rented a cottage in Ozerki, near St. Petersburg, and invited the priest there. True, the leaders of the Left Social Revolutionaries themselves did not take responsibility for the murder of the priest. They presented his death as a personal initiative of Rutenberg and his accomplices.
But the attack on Dubasova occurred on April 23, 1906. Boris Vnorovsky was chosen as the main thrower. But, despite the hit of a projectile, the admiral managed to survive. An explosion crushed his foot. The coachman Fedor Vasilyevich was also injured. But his adjutant - Count Konovnitsyn - died. Boris planned to make an attempt on the sovereign. He even managed to find a performer, but he failed to implement the “project”. The fact is that Savinkov was arrested in Sevastopol. In this city, he was preparing an attempt on the admiral Chukhnin. But the police managed to find out about it. Boris Viktorovich was put in jail, and soon he was sentenced to death. Dying so early, in spite of the cult of sacrifice, Savinkov was not going to. Later, he wrote about it in the novel “Pale Horse”: “But somehow I could not believe in death. Death seemed unnecessary and therefore impossible. There was not even joy, calm pride that I was dying for the cause. I did not want to live, but I did not want to die either. ”
Savinkov then, of course, did not die. He managed to escape from prison and hide in Romania. After his escape, Boris Viktorovich wrote:
“On the night of July 16, according to the resolution of the militant organization of the Socialist Revolutionary Party and with the assistance of the freely determined 57 Lithuanian regiment, V.M.
Sevastopol, 16 July 1906. ”.
Sevastopol, 16 July 1906. ”.
Another interesting fact: the police called Boris Viktorovich “Theatrical”. The fact is that he continually changed documents. That Savinkov was a Pole Adolf Tomashkevich, then a Frenchman Leon Rode, then a lieutenant Subotin. The list of his masks can be continued.
In Romania, Boris Viktorovich, of course, did not linger. From there, he moved first to Hungary, then to Basel, Switzerland. But even here he did not stay long, soon Savinkov found himself in German Heidelberg. Roaming around Europe in the winter of 1906, he ended up in Paris, where he met Merezhkovsky and Gippius. These people played a big role in the life of an action movie, becoming its literary teachers and even patrons. And the pseudonym V.Ropshin was given to him by Gippius. With regard to creativity, Savinkov in 1909 year wrote "Memoirs of a terrorist" and "Pale horse." And the novel “What Was Not There” appeared later - in 1914. Curiously, the members of the same party did not approve of the fascination with literature and periodically demanded that he be expelled from the Left SRs.
At the end of 1908, all of the Left SRs and the Combat Organization shook news that Azef himself was a double agent. Boris Viktorovich to the last did not believe in it either. He tried to defend Yevno Fishelevich at the "court of honor", which the Social Revolutionaries organized in Paris. But the success of this attempt was not crowned. After the removal of Azef Savinkov, he became the new leader of the Combat Organization. The organization could not achieve anything sensible (from the point of view of an action movie). Savinkov did not pull the role of leader. And in 1911, the Combat Organization was abolished. And Boris Viktorovich moved to France, where he resumed literary activity. In the same country, he met the First World War.
In those bloody years Savinkov became a war correspondent. And he sent his reports from Paris to Russian publications. In such as: "Stock statements", "Day" and "Speech". But to the poet, artist and critic Maximilian Alexandrovich Voloshin, Savinkov wrote that he had a hard time without political activity, as if his “wings were broken”. And in 1916, Boris Viktorovich published the book "In France during the war."
Fighting the new government
The February revolution was a complete surprise to all the Russian revolutionaries who were abroad at that time. I was stunned by this fact and Boris Viktorovich. Therefore, he hastily said goodbye to his family and returned to his homeland.
He arrived in Petrograd in April 1917. And he soon found out that many people he knew were part of the Provisional Government. There were also Social Revolutionaries. For example, Kerensky, Chernov, Avksentiev. Naturally, a man like Savinkov came to court. And Boris Viktorovich was in the whirlpool of events. After a meek time, he had already gained solid political weight and could influence the head of the Provisional Government - Kerensky. Then Savinkov was appointed Commissioner of the Southwestern Front. And since he believed that it was impossible to stop the war with Germany, he tried to convey this to the soldiers. But his attempts to inspire them to the military business ended in failure. Strong ferments began in the army, discipline fell, soldiers refused to obey orders, and openly declared their desire to stop the bloodshed, which seemed senseless, from their point of view. Everyone understood that the country was quickly plunging into chaos. Understood it and Savinkov. He was confident that only a strong, strong power capable of taking responsibility and making unpopular decisions could save the situation. The same opinion was shared by General Lavr Georgievich Kornilov.
Naturally, they got close. Under the patronage of Savinkov, Kornilov received the post of Supreme Commander. And Boris Viktorovich himself took the position of the manager of the Military Ministry. When the news of the appointment appeared, the British Ambassador Buchanan made an ironic entry in his diary: "... We came to a curious position in this country when we welcome the appointment of a terrorist, in the hope that his energy and willpower can still save the army."
But, as in the case of the Combat Organization, Savinkov, having received a high post, failed. It is clear that he alone could not change anything, but the fact remains. The situation in the army every day became worse. The same applies to the country as a whole.
The situation demanded an immediate tough decision. And Boris Viktorovich seemed to find the only way to salvation - the arrest of all the leaders of the Bolshevik movement (he considered them the main culprits in all troubles) and the return of the death penalty in the rear (they had already resorted to capital punishment). But Kerensky did not listen to Savinkov, deciding that such measures were excessively tough. Hearing the answer, Boris Viktorovich resigned. True, Kerensky did not accept his resignation. He did not want to lose one of his main allies, so he identified him as the military governor of Petrograd.
In late August, an event occurred which, for Savinkov, turned into a tragedy. General Kornilov decided to establish a military dictatorship in the country. This move frightened the Provisional Government. And Kerensky, together with his closest circle, began to search for possible allies of Lavr Georgievich. Under the “distribution”, of course, Savinkov fell. His friendship with Kornilov was no secret to anyone. Boris Viktorovich was accused of aiding the general. All attempts to prove his innocence were unsuccessful.
Even Kerensky did not believe him, considering Savinkov one of the leaders of the conspiracy. Therefore, Boris Viktorovich was removed from his post as governor of Petrograd, and his activities were placed under the control of the party. In response, Savinkov refused to the post of Minister of War. Soon he was expelled from the ranks of the Social Revolutionaries.
But Savinkov didn’t have to worry for long because of the unfair decision of Kerensky - the Bolsheviks hated by him seized power. A new phase of his endless struggle has begun. He took part in the failed campaign to Petrograd, then fled to the south, wanting to join the government of the Don Republic. But here he was accepted hostilely, the terrorist and revolutionary past had an effect. Therefore, soon, Viktor Viktorovich “surfaced” in Moscow and organized the “Union for the Defense of the Motherland and Freedom” (SZRS). In this "Union" he accepted all those who were dissatisfied with the new government. Thus, monarchists, Plekhanov’s social democrats, the Mensheviks, the Social Revolutionaries and other “late” ones became his allies. All of them were ready to impose on the Bolsheviks the struggle and challenge the "throne". And in the "Union" included many former royal officers. And the main assistants Savinkov were General Rychkov and Colonel Perkhurov.
In fact, the "Union" was an underground army of militants who, with the help of terror, decided to fight the Bolsheviks. And the main goals for the elimination were, of course, Lenin and Trotsky.
But the struggle, as the maintenance of the viability of the "Union" demanded enormous costs. And Savinkov found three sources of income. The first "sympathizer" was the chairman of the Czech National Committee Masaryk. The second is General Alekseev, one of the leaders of the Volunteer Army. The rest of the necessary funds were allocated by the French Embassy. It seemed that the "Union" had very real chances of achieving the goals set, but May 1918 of the year was terrifying for Boris Viktorovich. Despite all his efforts to preserve the NWRS in secret from the KGB, the underground was, as they say, revealed. Many supporters of Savinkov were arrested and shot. He himself miraculously escaped execution by hiding in the house of the spring enemy of the Bolsheviks Alexander Arkadyevich Derental.
And the Bolsheviks captured Yaroslavl, Murom and Rybinsk, which had previously been occupied by the Union's fighters. After this failure Savinkov with great difficulty managed to get to Kazan using false documents. In this city there was a Committee of the Constituent Assembly, which consisted, by and large, of the Socialist-Revolutionaries. Therefore, Boris Viktorovich decided to abolish the "Union". But relations with former "colleagues" were not easy, he was still accused of participating in the Kornilov conspiracy. But Savinkov somehow resigned himself to this, he was discouraged by something else. He looked at the Socialist-Revolutionaries and understood that they were doomed to defeat, since the leaders of the Constituent Assembly Committee could not inspire the common people to fight the Bolsheviks. Out of despair, Savinkov joined the detachment of Colonel Kappel, and began to serve as an ordinary private.
The situation was getting worse. But Boris Viktorovich was not going to give up. Together with the spouses Derenthal, he moved to France. Here Savinkov tried himself as a representative of the Kolchak government. And when the admiral's army was crushed, he took up the provision of armament for the White Guards. Savinkov also took part in the discussion of the Treaty of Versailles. As best he could, he tried to defend the interests of Russia, since he still continued to believe in victory over the Bolsheviks.
But gradually the position of Boris Viktorovich became increasingly shaky and humiliating. Despite meeting with European leaders, he felt like a beast. Churchill and Lloyd George, in fact, in plain text said that the whole white movement was the “dog” of the Entente. And just because the British did not intend to feed her. In return for funding, they demanded the territory of Russia, those that were rich in oil.
Fragile hope in 1920 gave Jozef Pilsudski. He proposed to Boris Viktorovich to create in Poland a Russian political committee, as well as armed formations. Savinkov agreed. He managed to recruit about two and a half thousand soldiers (remnants of the armies of Denikin and Yudenich) and form a detachment of them. This detachment made a campaign against Mozyr, but again instead of winning Savinkov was content with a bitter defeat. And then he realized that with the white movement their roads parted.
Soon the “Scientific Union for the Defense of the Motherland and Freedom” (NSSP) appeared. The one who entered into it took the oath: “I swear and promise, without sparing my strength, nor my life, to spread the idea of the NESA everywhere: to inspire the disgruntled and rebellious Soviet authorities, to unite them in revolutionary communities, to destroy the Soviet government and to destroy the support of the communists , acting, where it is possible, openly, with a weapon in hand, where it is impossible - secretly, by cunning and slyness ”.
As for the official program of the "Scientific Union", it included the following points: the struggle against the Soviet government, the Bolsheviks, the monarchists, the landowners, for democracy, freedom of speech, press, assembly, small private property, the transfer of land to the property of peasants, the right to self-determination of peoples formerly part of the Russian Empire.
But this movement soon removed itself. Time played against Savinkov. And he understood that, so his attempts to change the course stories become chaotic and poorly thought out. Boris Viktorovich clutched at every opportunity, not already trying to analyze its prospects. So, for example, it was with the organization in the territory of Soviet Russia of the “green movement”, in which the peasant were the main striking force. Savinkov wrote to Derenthal: “Our mother Russia is truly mysterious. The worse, the better. The language of the mind is not available to her. She understands or remembers only whip or revolver. In this language, we now only speak with her, losing the last signs of rotten, but intelligent Russian intellectuals. ”
The guerrilla war began. The superiority was on the side of the Bolsheviks, and Savinkov was sorely lacking money. And in order to finance combat operations, he “merged” to Western “partners” various valuable information about the Soviets received from his agents. In the end, the Bolsheviks are fed up with these “cat and mice”. They demanded the expulsion of Savinkov and all his supporters from Poland. And soon Boris Viktorovich had to look for a refuge again. He once again returned to Paris and settled with Derentaley.
And again he was not going to stop the fight against the Bolsheviks. But now his opposition turned into a farce. The rulers of European countries gradually began to establish contact with Soviet Russia, and Savinkov turned into a crazy fanatic in their eyes. Accordingly, there could be no talk of any material assistance. But Mussolini gave Boris Viktorovich his book with a deed of gift instead of money. Trying to somehow fix the situation, Savinkov decided to kill the head of the Soviet delegation at the Genoa Conference of Chicherin. But here he was defeated. In fact, it was already the end. The mental state of Boris Viktorovich sharply deteriorated. He became depressed from the realization of the futility of further struggle. Then the situation became quite pitiable for him, since in the West he was considered a problem. Savinkov was completely confused, feeling himself mortally wounded by a beast.