The conflict between the command of the Russian army and the occupation authorities finally clarified that the Western powers no longer intend to support the Whites in the struggle against the Bolsheviks. The prospects for the anti-Bolshevik struggle were also foggy. In order to find a way out of the impasse in early April 1921, a mission headed by the chief of staff of the Russian army Pavel Shatilov left for the Balkan Peninsula. The general had to negotiate with the heads of the Balkan states in order to find refuge for the army. During the negotiations there were two main conditions. First, the military organization was supposed to survive. Secondly, to ensure the existence of the army, it was proposed to use it for mass public or private works. The command of the Russian army placed the greatest hopes on the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (KAHC) and Bulgaria, King Alexander and Tsar Boris. In addition, General Kusonsky conducted negotiations in Greece, General Leontiev in Czechoslovakia, and von Lampe in Hungary.
April 6 Shatilov arrived in Belgrade, in Bulgaria, General Vyazmitinov was to study the situation. The position of Bulgaria, and this was a country that was part of the camp of the vanquished in the First World War, was largely dependent on the opinion of Belgrade. Politicians Lviv, Khripunov, generals Bogaevsky and Naumenko, who arrived with Shatilov in the Serbian capital, began to process public opinion so that the Serbs favorably perceive the proposals of the command of the Russian army. 10 - 16 On April, the delegation was received by the President of the Assembly, the head of government Pasic, the Minister of War Iovanovich and King Alexander. Negotiations generally ended successfully. The Kingdom agreed to take command of the army, 5-7 thousand Russian in the border guards and 5 thousand for community service. The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes agreed to accept other Russian contingents, but on the condition of self-sufficiency.
It must be said that the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (since 1929, the Kingdom of Yugoslavia) was a rare exception in the general sea of negative or indifferent attitude to Russian émigrés. By the beginning of 1921, the Kingdom had already accepted approximately 70 of thousands of Russian emigrants. Serbia had strong traditional ties with Russia and the Russians treated them well here. Russia and Serbia were bound by a common religion, proximity to languages and cultural traditions. King Alexander was educated in the Russian Empire, in the Page Corps, his sisters Militsa and Anastasia were married to the Grand Dukes Nikolai Nikolayevich and Peter Nikolayevich. Unlike other countries, in the Kingdom all Russian diplomas of education and academic degrees are valid. It is necessary to take into account the practical interests of the Kingdom: it was a young state that needed thousands of qualified specialists. Russian scientists, doctors, teachers, engineers, agronomists, and military specialists were very useful to the Kingdom. In addition, the Government of the Kingdom took into account another important factor - the military. The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes was formed following the results of the First World War, when two winning states joined together - Serbia and Montenegro, and a number of areas were attached to them, which they withdrew from the defeated Austria-Hungary and Bulgaria. Therefore, the country had a number of border disputes with its neighbors, which could lead to conflicts. In addition, all key posts in the country were occupied by the Serbs, which did not suit the Croats, Slovenes and other nationalities, who found themselves in the position of "losers". Now the king and the government could expect that in the event of a conflict with neighbors or separatists, thousands of Russian soldiers would support the power. The mere presence of thousands of Russian professional military was a deterrent.
17 April, the Russian mission left for Sofia. Here the Bulgarian Tsar Boris, the chief of staff of the army and the minister of public works, received the Russians. In addition, the Russians were supported by the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and the pro-Russian French ambassador. In general, the Bulgarian government was ready to accept several thousand Russians, who were going to be used for the construction and repair of highways. At the same time, the Bulgarians were ready to accept some military contingent, but he had to live at his own expense. However, in Bulgaria the rights of the king were limited by the constitution, and the final decision depended on the leader of the agricultural party, the head of the government of Stamboli. Because of his illness, negotiations were delayed.
Negotiations with the Bulgarians had to be interrupted. Wrangel urgently called Shatilova to Constantinople. 7 April, the Soviet government promised an amnesty to all soldiers, Cossacks, peasants mobilized into the army of Wrangel, and minor officials. The French government used this appeal as a pretext to get rid of Wrangel’s army. The amnesty allowed to remove all the obligations of France towards Russian refugees, because now they were not threatened. On April 18, the French government issued a note in which Wrangel was accused of creating a Russian government and army, which was contrary to international law and dangerous for peace and tranquility in Constantinople and its surroundings, where the occupational administration is in charge of order. In addition, it was reported that no loans are provided to meet the needs of the Russian army. The French authorities “liberated” the Russians who were evacuated from the Crimea from the influence of General Wrangel. Refugees were given complete freedom: they could return to Russia, or find a place for themselves in other countries, particularly in Brazil. It was declared that the army no longer existed and Wrangel’s headquarters no longer had the right to dispose of the Russians who were stationed in various camps. France declared itself free from any obligations in respect of refugees, their supply.
However, the army of Wrangel continued to exist. People kept the old structures and continued to obey their superiors. The headquarters of the army was forced to speed up negotiations on the evacuation of the army to the Balkan Peninsula, search for money for relocation, arrangement, maintenance of people, until they find a place to work. In Paris, the Russian army was supported by the former commander of the Northern army, General Miller, who retained some ties since the time of the First World War when he was a representative of the Stavka in Belgium and Italy. Shatilah was sent to the French capital, who, with the mediation of Miller, met with the French commander-in-chief, Weygand. Shatilov set forth requests to postpone the stopping of supplies, to instruct the occupying authorities of Constantinople not to exert pressure on the army and not to impede the evacuation of troops to the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, and Bulgaria. Weygan promised to assist. The army was not removed from the allowance, although it reduced the payouts once again.
The issue of financing the White Army was partially resolved. General Miller was also able to get 600 thousand dollars for the Wrangel army from the Russian ambassador in Washington, who had at his disposal the means of the tsarist and Provisional governments, and the Kolchak government. One million francs was received from the Russian agent in Tokyo, he was transferred to the turn of the Zemsko-urban union. It was also decided to sell the unclaimed values of the Petrograd Loan Fund.
Negotiations with Bulgaria, which Vyazmitinov continued after leaving Shatilova, were successfully completed. The Bulgarian government was ready to accept the White Guards. The Bulgarians set two conditions for the Russians to be organized by the teams with their commanders and that the high command vouch for their trustworthiness. The arrival of the troops was facilitated by the fact that the Bulgarian army was greatly reduced, after the defeat in World War I, there were empty barracks and surplus uniforms. The agreement with Bulgaria was very important for the command of the white army, the cost of living in Bulgaria was even cheaper than in Serbia.
In July, Gallipoli was happy celebrations. On July 12, the cadets were made officers, and on July 16 a monument to the dead Russian soldiers and the common graves of Russian prisoners of war of past wars was solemnly unveiled. By order of Kutepov, each soldier laid a stone weighing at least 10 kg in place of the monument, as a result a mound of thousands of stones was formed (it must be said that this corresponded to the ancient Russian traditions, from the time of the Scythian state). The mound was crowned with a marble cross, which had an inscription in Russian, French, Greek and Turkish: “The first building of the Russian army to its fellow soldiers, in the struggle for the honor of the Motherland, found an eternal shelter in a foreign land in 1920-1921 and 1845-1855 and the memory of their ancestors, the Cossacks, who died in Turkish captivity. " These celebrations were a kind of farewell to Gallipoli.
General Kutepov at the monument to Russian soldiers in Gallipoli.
Soon began the transfer of troops to the Balkans. Several hired steamers began transporting military units. In August, Barbovich's cavalrymen (about 1921 thousand people) and the first echelon of infantry left 4. The cavalrymen were intended for service in the frontier guard of the Kingdom, and the technical regiment in 1,5, thousands of people, was sent to build railways and highways. 3 ths. Detachment of Kuban and Dontsev general Fostikov was also sent to construction work. 4,5-thousand A team of Dontsov Guselshchikov was sent to work in Bulgaria. 8,3, a thousand group of troops from the 1 Corps under Vitkovsky command, was deployed at the expense of the army. The second echelon was supposed to send three cadet corps, schools, hospitals, military families.
True, the occupying authorities and the transport of troops put a spoke in the wheel. Thus, the condition for a free landing on the ships was the disarmament of the Russian army. Brewing new conflict. Then Shatilov invented a trick. He ordered to hand over the faulty weapon, and the serviceable cargo on the ships secretly. It is clear that the French officers soon discovered the deception, but did not make a noise, since the formalities were followed. When the first two steamboats arrived in Thessaloniki with 5 thousand Russian soldiers who were to go by train to Serbia, General Sharpi, referring to the fact that no more than 3 thousand people were supposed to arrive, ordered not to let the “extra” ashore . However, the Russians resolutely disembarked and proceeded to the railway stations, the Greeks wisely did not interfere with the Russians.
By the fall in Gallipoli, there were still about 10 thousand Russian military. True, it was easier for them to survive the second winter. People already had the experience of the first difficult wintering, prepared dugouts, procured fuel. In addition, it was possible to use things already left people. Positively influenced the spirit of the people and the lack of uncertainty about their future. It remains only to wait for their turn to move. In November, the remnants of the infantry division headquarters, the Markovsky and Kornilovsky regiments, military schools, officer schools and hospitals were taken from Turkey to Bulgaria. 8 December 1921, through Thessaloniki, to the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes left the Nikolaev Cavalry School, part of the Technical Regiment, and a mobile unit of the Red Cross. In mid-December, the headquarters of the corps headed by Kutepov and his last parts left for Bulgaria.
It should be noted that the Soviet government carried out systematic work on the return of emigrants to Russia and some whites returned to their homeland. Their fate was different, some were repressed (immediately or later, after several years of peaceful life), others lived in peace. Thus, on the anniversary of the seizure of the Crimean Peninsula and in honor of the four-year anniversary of the October Revolution, the All-Russian Central Executive Committee of the RSFSR declared a full amnesty to the participants of the White movement. Among those who received her was the brilliant white General Yakov Slashchev. He enjoyed great prestige in the troops, was distinguished by fearlessness, but came into conflict with Wrangel, sharply criticizing a number of command actions. In Constantinople, Slashchev led a hectic life. In December, he and his supporters accepted the proposal of the Soviet government and returned to Russia, stating that he was forced to leave "in order to fight the policies of the West, which is selling Russia." Arriving in Soviet Russia, Slashchev made a number of statements, calling on all Russian soldiers and officers to recognize the Soviet government and return to their homeland. Slashchev from 1922, was a teacher tactics school commanders "Shot". His brilliant lectures have always attracted attention. Slashchev 11 January 1929 of the year killed Lazar Kolenberg. He was declared insane, it was believed that the murder was caused by repression against Jews and everyone suspected of sympathizing with the revolutionary movement in the city of Nikolaev, among the victims was Kolenberg's brother.
26 February 1922 of the year with the last echelon went to Serbia Wrangell. Before leaving, the general, despite the prohibition of the occupation authorities, visited Gallipoli and addressed the remaining troops. The general expressed his gratitude to the soldiers for their feat: “Thank you for your service, dedication, strength and steadfastness. Thank you and kowtow. The command approved the mark “In commemoration of the stay of the Russian army in military camps in a foreign land” - black makeshift crosses with the inscriptions “Gallipoli”, “Lemnos”, “Bizerte”, etc. Due to lack of funds, officer training was temporarily left in Gallipoli cavalry regiment, part of the technical battalion, they were consolidated into the "Russian Army Detachment in Gallipoli" under the command of Major General Z. A. Martynov. During 1922, the remnants of the army were shipped in small batches to Hungary. The last Russian warriors left Gallipoli in May 1923. They arrived in Serbia.