Military Review

Lessons from Russian terror

One hundred and forty-seven years ago - on April 4 of the year 1866 in Russia, the first terrorist act was committed. The attacks continue to be an integral part of the modern social and political life of our country, which makes it extremely important to seriously study and understand this complex phenomenon.

Terrorism as a special form of political violence has a long history and is to some extent a constant companion of mankind.

At the same time, the thesis of the Islamic terrorist threat has migrated from the pages of some foreign publications to domestic media. The idea of ​​the Muslim world as a hotbed of terrorism, fanaticism and national extremism is being vigorously introduced into the public consciousness of the inhabitants of Western countries, and now even the Russians. Given the relative objectivity of such an approach to the modern international situation, it is still completely absurd to consider terrorism as a specific Muslim phenomenon.


Concerning the time of the emergence of terrorism, the opinions of specialists are seriously different, which makes this problem one of the most complex and controversial in modern science. This is partly due to the sometimes unreasonable linking of the most diverse historical facts of the past with terrorist practices. Thus, some authors attribute any political assassination to terrorism, thereby pushing its birth back to the times of Antiquity. For example, some of the researchers believe that the earliest terrorist organization was the sect of sikarii (daggers), which operated in the 1st century AD in ancient Judea and exterminated its compatriots and co-religionists who collaborated with the Roman occupation authorities. Sicarii were extremist-minded nationalists. They led the movement of social protest and set up the lower classes of society against the upper strata. As weapons The members of the organization used the short sword, Siku, which gave the name to the group. In the actions of the Sikarii today there is a combination of religious fanaticism and terrorism: in martyrdom they saw something bringing joy and believed that after the overthrow of the hated regime, the Lord would appear to his people and deliver them from suffering and suffering.

Lessons from Russian terrorOther researchers are looking for the origins of terrorism in the Middle Ages, referring it to the “specific Islamic tradition of Khashashin of the 11th – 12th centuries.” Still others consider this phenomenon a product of the New Age. Most Western historians are counting the "era of terrorism" from the era of the French Revolution 1789 – 1794, when terror acted as a repressive mode of existence of a state in a revolution as a complete, undivided political and legal power, justified by exceptional circumstances. A close historical connection between terror and revolution on the example of the French Revolution is also seen by Russian researchers Mikhail Odessky and Dmitry Feldman. Neumark attributes the origin of terrorism to the era of post-Napoleonic Restoration, and Pipes and Khoros specifically link the origins of terrorism with the times of the creation of the Russian organization Narodnaya Volya. Fredlander and Iviansky attribute the emergence of terrorism to the last third of the XIX - early XX century.

We turn to domestic experience. At the beginning of the 19th century 60, circles and groups began to appear in Russia, not only claiming terrorism as a possible method of political struggle, but also using it for the first time in confrontation with the tsarist autocracy.

Mortus Ishutin

A special place in the history of Russian terrorism is occupied by the so-called Ishutins. In September, 1863, an honorary citizen of Serdobsk in the Penza province, Nikolai Ishutin set up a circle in Moscow that first belonged to the “Earth and will” and later became a secret revolutionary society. Together with Ishutin, the group consisted mainly of his comrades and countrymen in the Penza province, who formed the core of the organization: Yermolov, Strandin, Yurasov, Zagibalov, Karakozov, Motkov, and then Vladimir Nikolaev and Shaganov. Some of them studied at Moscow University, others were excluded from it for participating in student unrest or failure to pay tuition fees, others have already graduated from the university. After the self-destruction of “Earth and Will”, the group began its independent activity and united for the time being the scattered circles of the Moscow underground. At the same time in St. Petersburg a similar organization was formed around the scientist-folklorist Ivan Khudyakov.

From the beginning of 1865, the Ishutin group began to turn into a large revolutionary society. An attempt was made to create a structure of a large, possibly all-Russian scale: a close relationship was established with the Khudyakov group, Polish revolutionaries, and also with provincial circles in the Volga region - Saratov and Nizhny Novgorod, in the Kaluga province and with political emigration. Has undergone significant changes and tactics Ishutintsev. At first, propaganda prevailed in their activities. However, the society then set itself the goal of not only "spreading socialist doctrine, destroying the beginnings of social morality, swaying the foundations of religion, but also, through revolution, overthrow the existing order in the state." Soon after deciding that the road to revolution was long, some members of society began to lean toward more decisive actions, in particular the tactics of revolutionary terrorism ("systematic suicide"). For this purpose, in the 1865, Ishutin was first established a steering center - "Organization", and then a strictly conspiratorial group with the self-titled name "Hell", whose members called themselves Mortuses, that is, suicide bombers.

My friend - Russian peasant

Soon the first terrorist act took place - 4 on April 1866, a member of the Ishutintsev circle, Dmitry Karakozov, attempted to assassinate Alexander II. It is known that it turned out to be unsuccessful: the craftsman Osip Komissarov, who was next to the terrorist, hit the pistol and took the shot away from the king, who was not injured. Despite this, it was precisely the aforementioned event that allowed the contemporary American terror researcher Anna Geifman to quite rightly say that “since April 1866 of the year commemorated by the sudden rumble of Dmitry Karakozov, who unsuccessfully attempted to kill Alexander II ... half a century of Russian history was painted in the bloody terrorism.

In the context of the problem under consideration, it is curious to note that Karakozov was carrying out the preparation of the act of terrorism, apparently, all alone. He did not find a decisive support for his circle mates and went to the village, and in the spring of 1866, having appeared in Moscow, he again declared Ishutin about the intention of a regicide. The Ishutins tried to prevent the attempt, but their actions were unsuccessful. At the end of March, secretly from his fellow mates, but not without the participation of Khudyakov, Karakozov left for St. Petersburg and in a few days made his famous attempt.

Alexander II was the object of the first act of terrorism in national history. In this connection, the question is of interest: why did the emperor become the object of the attack, and not someone from the highest dignitaries of the state or other officials, for example, from the repressive apparatus? According to Karakozov himself, it is necessary to kill the emperor, since if there is royal power, it is pointless to talk about social reforms. He called the king the main culprit in the plight of the common people. In the proclamation “Friends of the Workers!” He wrote by hand, it says: “It is sad, hard for me that my beloved people are dying. I will succeed in my intention - I will die with the thought that my death has benefited my dear friend, the Russian peasant. But it will not succeed, yet I still believe that there will be people who follow my path. I failed - they succeed. For them, my death will be an example and inspire them. ”

These views were shared by many of his contemporaries. Thus, Peter Kropotkin noted that “during the 1862 – 1866 period of time, the policy of Alexander II took a strongly reactionary bias. The king surrounded himself with his reactionaries and made them his closest advisers. The reforms that made up the glory of the first years of his reign were mutilated and trimmed by a series of provisional rules and ministerial circulars. In the camp of the feudal wait for the patrimonial court and the return of serfdom in a modified form. Nobody hoped that the main reform — the liberation of the peasants — would stand up from the blows directed against it from the Winter Palace. All of this should have led Karakozov and his friends to the conviction that even the little that was done ran the risk of Alexander II remaining on the throne, that Russia was threatened with a return to all the horrors of Nicholas. ”

The hunt for the Tsar Liberator

Who was the first Russian revolutionary terrorist who raised his hand on the first person of a huge state? Dmitry Karakozov was born in 1840, a native of an impoverished noble family, the son of a poor landowner in the Serdobsky district of the Saratov province. Childhood and youthful years of Karakozov were held in the Volga region, he graduated from the Penza men's gymnasium, where he studied with his cousin Nikolai Ishutin. The fundamentals of the worldview of one and the other were formed, apparently, precisely during the years of study in Penza under the influence of opposition-minded teachers Zakharov, with whom they lived in an apartment, and father Vladimir Ulyanov-Lenin, who also then lived in this house. In 1862, in the main city of the Penza province, a circle was formed of students from the gymnasium and the nobility institute. A year after graduating from the gymnasium, Karakozov entered the law faculty of Kazan University, but was soon expelled for participating in student unrest. Recovering a year later, he soon moved to study at Moscow University. Having interrupted by penny lessons, Karakoz endured a great need and in 1865-m was again dismissed after non-payment of tuition fees. The one who attacked the tsar was a closed and silent man, unobtrusive and inactive in the “Organization”. He suffered from severe stomach sickness due to malnutrition and, according to some authors, believing imminent death near him, he decided to sacrifice himself for the sake of regicide. After his arrest and in the course of the investigation, he suffered a great deal of suffering caused by torture and provocation. At the time of the terrorist act, he was not full 26 years. At trial, Karakozov gave lengthy testimony, acknowledging the attempted murder of the king and belonging to a secret society. In his defense, he indicated that he had committed these actions "due to the extremely painful mood of the spirit." The court rejected this explanation, without having taken care to appoint a forensic psychiatric examination. 31 August 1866, the Supreme Criminal Court sentenced Karakozov to death. Three days later he was hanged on the Smolensk field on the edge of Vasilyevsky Island in St. Petersburg. A similar verdict was passed on Ishutin, but death was replaced by life penal servitude.

Generic unity

Today’s studies of those events suggest that a revolutionary fanatic with an unstable psyche is more likely to commit an act of individual terror than a well-planned and prepared terrorist act, as indicated by its results. At the same time, Dmitry Karakozov, having shot at Alexander II and having committed the first terrorist act, opened up a whole period of “hunting revolutionaries for the Tsar Liberator”. The era of terrorism has begun in Russia. The consequences of this event were heavy for society. Karakozov shot changed the government course. After the attempt on the tsar, the authorities turned to repressive actions. 13 May 1866, Alexander II ordered to restore order in the country by his rescript. The radical movement began to recede.

Modern terrorism, according to a number of specialists, retains its generic unity and sometimes has common fundamental ideological substantiations, motives and military techniques with the historical forms of this phenomenon. In this regard, it seems fair that knowledge of its history, ideology and practice in the past may become one of the conditions for the development of an effective state policy to counter terrorism.
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  1. omsbon
    omsbon 28 May 2013 09: 54 New
    In my opinion, only the following can be effective measures to combat terrorism:
    a) measures aimed at preventing terrorist attacks;
    b) the inevitability of retaliation;
    c) ideological work to debunk the goals, objectives and methods of terrorism;
    d) the prohibition of non-traditional religions (Wahhabism, etc.)
    1. vkusniikorj
      vkusniikorj 28 May 2013 12: 04 New
      maybe just talk to the people?
      not blah blah blah, but. specifically. because "there was time and prices were reduced." on TV where "their" people ask questions about the dog, and not a word about corruption and vorovstvo.potom people still try to get through to the authorities, and it is not their fault that the authorities hear nothing except dynamite !!
  2. RussianRu
    RussianRu 28 May 2013 12: 37 New
    There is no need to equate terrorism with some kind of opposition. The leaders of the terrorists don't care what power is, who is in power. For them, their activity is pure commerce, they fulfill the orders of those who pay. But the perpetrators-terrorists are deceived "cannon fodder". So it makes no sense to negotiate with them. Terrorism is fundamentally indestructible, but to reduce the territory. acts can be done by calculating and punishing the customer. But this is not feasible because of the "double standards" of some shitty countries.
  3. Gorinich
    Gorinich 28 May 2013 13: 38 New
    Terror and terrorism are the words of the same root, but they have different concepts. And usually one grows out of another.
  4. smershspy
    smershspy 28 May 2013 13: 50 New
    Gentlemen! I once wrote an article "Terrorism is a threat to the modern world"! Terrorism is politics! That says it all! Smart people will understand. I have the honor!
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    2. The comment was deleted.
  5. knn54
    knn54 28 May 2013 14: 43 New
    Alexander 2 was preparing reforms. To know, dissatisfied with this (including the reform of 1861), they simply removed the emperor with the hands of the so-called Narodnaya Voltsev. After the murder, the terrorists finished for a MONTH. Before the murder, they could not (or did not) do anything for several years .
    BO (essentially “petrels of terrorism”) appeared in the Jewish LEGAL (SICK - Socialist Jewish Workers' Party; “Poalei Zion”; SS - “Zionist-Socialist”) parties, as “necessary self-defense” against the threat of pogroms. The Socialist-Revolutionaries (Gershuni ... Abram Gotz, Dora Brilliant, L. Zilberberg, Azef high-ranking members of the Combat Organization) and the Poles, Latvians, Lithuanians and other representatives of national minorities seeking to destroy the "prison of nations" whom they considered Russia showed the most. Huge funds and weapons were received from abroad. Trials of Reilly and Savinkov showed that the Anglo-Saxons stood behind the Socialist-Revolutionaries.
    Now it is precisely national minorities that are increasingly adopting terrorist methods of fighting the state. And the weaker the state becomes, the more impudently the foreigners behave. That is, crime in the country is developed as much as the state itself allows it. And by and large, the increase in crime is a sign of degradation of power ...
    PS How many attacks were during the USSR?
  6. Svyatoslav72
    Svyatoslav72 28 May 2013 15: 24 New
    Terrorism - fear / horror (lat.) - this is the effect and condition obtained after an aggressive impact. Terrorism is not averse to the "weak" to achieve: political; national; racial; economic interests or indulgences. Terrorism is used by the "strong" to maintain order and limit potential threats. Terrorism is one of the policy methods, a tool to achieve the goal of destabilization and weakening. Terrorism has: perpetrators; financiers; organizers; followers and customers. Terrorism is like: state; racial; ethnic; religious; economic and household. Globally, it is expressed by fascism, in everyday life - by sexual chauvenism or sadism.
  7. RPD
    RPD 28 May 2013 16: 30 New
    "Modern terrorism, in the opinion of a number of specialists, retains its generic unity and sometimes has common fundamental ideological grounds, motives and fighting techniques with the historical forms of this phenomenon."
    bullshit, look at the objects of attacks of those terrorists and modern terrorists and feel the difference
    1. family tree
      family tree 28 May 2013 19: 49 New
      Quote: RPD

      Into the tunic! Former terrorism was more targeted and aimed specifically at opponents, accidental victims were taken as an annoying inevitability, modern terrorism is sharpened to increase the number of victims in a terrorist attack, sometimes regardless of their political views and religion, and is directed against a country or a number of countries. There is nothing in common with the former terrorism, neither in means nor in goals. This is what distinguishes the so-called "Muslim" terrorism most of all.
  8. smershspy
    smershspy 28 May 2013 17: 43 New
    Quote: Svyatoslav72
    Terrorism - fear / horror (lat.) - this is the effect and condition obtained after an aggressive impact. Terrorism is not averse to the "weak" to achieve: political; national; racial; economic interests or indulgences. Terrorism is used by the "strong" to maintain order and limit potential threats. Terrorism is one of the policy methods, a tool to achieve the goal of destabilization and weakening. Terrorism has: perpetrators; financiers; organizers; followers and customers. Terrorism is like: state; racial; ethnic; religious; economic and household. Globally, it is expressed by fascism, in everyday life - by sexual chauvenism or sadism.

    Lord! That's right! Honor me!