“The 66 year is coming to me, the age is big. A lot has been lived and a lot has been experienced” - these words begin the memoirs of one of the heads of the department of internal affairs in the last years of the Russian Empire, the real state councilor Konstantin Dmitrievich Kafafov.
A lawyer by training (graduated from St. Petersburg University with a degree of candidate), Kafafov rose to the top of the public service from lower positions. October 3 1888 as a collegiate secretary, he was appointed to the office of the Senate Department, and by 1892 reached the appointment of secretary to the rank of titular adviser. The following 25 years worked in the judiciary, in prosecutorial oversight, judge, member of the judicial chambers. In 1912, a new phase of his career has begun, involving service in the Ministry of the Interior. 2 April, he was appointed vice director of the Police Department. He didn’t have any experience in the political wanted list, and he was entrusted with purely bureaucratic functions, mainly as vice-director, he was responsible for the departments related to legislative activity, and as a member of the council of the minister represented the Ministry in various interdepartmental commissions and meetings. The most serious work was done by them in the Workers Insurance Council.
In the days of the February 1917 revolution, Mr. Kafafov, like many of the highest ranks of the tsarist administration, was arrested. 4 March The Provisional Government established the High Commission of Inquiry to investigate the illegal actions of former ministers, chief executives and other senior officials, renamed a few days later the Emergency Investigation Commission. On May 24, the Commission issued a resolution which stated that "taking into account Kafafov's age, his marital status and painful condition", as well as "by the very nature of the act", his continued detention seems excessively strict. The imprisonment in the solitary confinement cell of the Peter and Paul Fortress was replaced with house arrest, and from May 31 it came down to a written undertaking not to leave Petrograd.
24 August Kafafov applied for permission to travel to Tiflis and was released. For three years he lived in Tiflis, in Baku, in the Crimea, and in November 1920 emigrated to Turkey, then moved to Serbia, where he died in 1931.
In June, 1929, Mr. Kafafov, completed his memoirs, the pages of which, devoted to his stay in the former Russian Transcaucasus, are listed below with slight abbreviations.
... I will not describe the collapse of the Russian state. Much has been written about this, both by those who contributed in every possible way to this destruction, and by bystanders.
My story is humble.
I spent the summer after being liberated from the [Peter and Paul] Fortress in Petrograd, since I was obliged by subscription not to leave the place of residence anywhere. In the fall, I filed a petition with the Emergency Commission of Inquiry for permission to move to the Caucasus, to Tiflis. After intensified requests, at last, permission was given to me, and a subscription was withdrawn from me that I pledge to come to Petrograd at the first request of the Emergency Investigation Commission. 11 September 1917. I went to the Caucasus with my family.
We arrived in Tiflis 17 September. Autumn this year was unusually good. But the revolution was strongly reflected in the life of the city. There was no bread. Instead of bread, one had to eat some pulp of bran and straw. Even corn, which is usually quite a lot in the Caucasus, was not enough this year. The high cost of other products grew by leaps and bounds, and to top it all, the most unceremonious looting began in the city. Robbed in the afternoon on the street. They meet, for example, robbers on the street a well-dressed lady, silently escort her to the apartment and, approaching her porch, unexpectedly offer her to undress - they remove everything of value from her, not excluding shoes and silk stockings, then they ring the bell entrance and quickly hiding with the loot, and the unfortunate victim is surprisingly the servants or loved ones who opened the door, is home almost not completely nude. Not only women, but also men and even children were subjected to such a robbery. In addition, the usual robbery of apartments has become frequent. Hooliganism has become extremely frequent. There was continuous firing on the streets. The authorities could not cope with this.
However, the authorities, in essence, were not. After the February Revolution, a coalition government of Transcaucasia was formed in Tiflis from representatives of Georgia, Armenia and Baku Tatars. The coalition authority, however, was not strong, as it did not have cohesive unity and solidarity. In general, in the Caucasus it was very difficult to reconcile the interests of the Caucasian Tatars and Armenians, it was not easy to reconcile the interests of the Georgians with the Armenians. Between the Armenians and the Tatars the enmity was constant. This enmity led to the distant past relations between the Turks and Armenians, who periodically fought with brutal beatings of Armenians in Turkey. Georgians' hostility towards Armenians was explained by the seizure of all trade and city property in the Caucasus by Armenians. In addition, the Georgians, as the most cohesive element and the most revolutionary, tried to dominate the coalition, but this desire was met with opposition from both Armenians and the Tatars.
Meanwhile, the revolutionary movement in Russia became more and more deep. Shortly after my arrival in Tiflis (at the end of October 1917), information was received from Moscow about the seizure of power there by the Bolsheviks. Began a complete collapse of the army. The rebellious gangs of soldiers pulled from the front home indiscriminately, noisy armed crowd, threatening the safety of the cities lying in the way. Communication with the central Russian government has ceased. At this time, taking advantage of the state of things, the Georgians decided to realize their long-cherished dream - to declare their independence. Yesterday’s representatives of the Georgian people in the State Duma, and during the revolution - on the Council of Workers 'and Soldiers' Deputies, Cheidze, Chkhenkeli and Gegechkori, convinced internationalists - Social Democrats, Mensheviks, suddenly turned homely into ardent nationalists of patriots. It was urgently convened a Constituent Assembly. The independence of Georgia was proclaimed, the basic laws were worked out - and Georgia became an independent socialist republic.
It is necessary to recognize that Georgians turned out to be experienced and sophisticated businessmen in revolutionary work. Paying tribute to the demands of the revolution, they managed, however, to direct all these demands in a sense desirable for their leaders. So, for example, on the model of Central Russia and they formed a council of workers and soldiers' deputies, although there are actually few workers in Georgia, and there are almost no factory workers, since there are only 2-3 tobacco factories there, and their soldiers at first did not It was. Nevertheless - the infection is stronger than logic - and such advice was formed. But the leaders of the Georgian independent movement were also able to seize this revolutionary institution into their own hands. In essence, members of the council of workers and soldiers' deputies, members of the Constituent Assembly and, finally, members of parliament — if they were not the same persons — then in any case were like-minded people who not only interfered with each other, but, on the contrary, mutually supporting each other.
Of the Georgians, the Imerethins were the most energetic and militant workers. Georgians are divided into several tribes: Kartalin, living in the lower reaches mainly in the Tiflis province, Imeretin, Minghrelians and Abkhazians living in the Kutaisi province. Of these, Kartalin residents are the most peaceful civilians in Georgia. Imeretians and generally inhabitants of mountainous areas are distinguished by a hotter temperament. In peacetime, the Imeretians mainly engaged in sedentary crafts, which was prompted by both the paucity of their nature and the innate entrepreneurial nature of character. The best cooks and servants in both the Transcaucasus and the North Caucasus were mainly from the Imeretians. When the socialist teachings and the revolutionary movement began to penetrate into the Transcaucasus, the Imeretians were the most susceptible followers. They seized the revolutionary and independent movement in Georgia. The fundamentals of the language of all Georgians are common, but each tribe has its own characteristics, its own pronunciation and its own turn of speech. They understand each other relatively freely. Almost all surnames in Kartalinia end in “shvili” - Mgaloblishvili, Hoshiashvili and others. “Shvili” Translated means “son”, in Imeretin the surnames end in “dze” - Chkheidze, Dumbadze, Jamarjidze and others. also means son. Thus, surnames seem to come from a representative of a clan, but, moreover, there are many surnames in Imereti, the origin of which can be explained, probably, by the fact that their founders came to the Caucasus in long past times from the west, for example: Orbeliani, Zhordania and so on. As we know, almost all peoples passed from the East from east to west. There is no doubt that some of them settled in the Caucasus, retaining their type and some of the old customs. Especially it can be observed in the mountains, in the mountain villages.
In 1911 in the summer, with several persons from the Moscow judicial department, I went on foot along the Military-Ossetian road, which runs from the tract of St. Nicholas (near Vladikavkaz) to Kutaisi. I will not describe the enchanting beauty of nature in the Caucasus Mountains, the majestic picture of the Tsei glacier at an altitude of 9 thousand feet, and the rarely picturesque valley of the Rion River. I will only indicate that we were amazed by the amazing variety of types and customs in different places, not far from each other. So, along with the usual types of mountaineers, mostly dark brunettes and brunettes, we in one aul had to meet a rare beauty a girl of 16-ti, a light blonde with a heavenly color and blue eyes. And in this village, almost all women were blondes. In a sakla with the parents of this girl, we were treated to a drink, which was an ordinary home-made beer. To our question, where did they get this drink from, they replied that in their aul everyone since time immemorial brewed it. It is possible that a small part of the German tribes that passed through the Caucasus settled in this aul.
In general, the Caucasus, despite its relatively small territory, is replete with ethnic groups. It is inhabited by Russians, Georgians, Imeretians, Abkhaz, Minghrelians, Svans, Tatars, Lezgins, Ossetians, Ingushs, Kabardians, etc., live in the mountains. The vast majority of Georgians are Orthodox, although there are Georgians who are Roman Catholics, but there are few of them. Mountain tribes predominantly profess Islam. On the whole, Georgians are not religious. As soon as Georgia was proclaimed an independent socialist republic, naturally, not only freedom of religion and equality of all religions was immediately declared, but it was also allowed to be a non-religious state, and therefore civil burial was allowed without the participation of the clergy. Despite the fact that civilian funerals were only allowed and the funerals for the rites of their religion were not forbidden, civilian funerals were relatively often used. However, they made a heavy impression on believers and caused open protests. So, when the son of the head of state died at that time, his extremely solemn funeral was organized with the participation of the clergy, and the rumor was spread among the people that the clergy were invited at the insistence of women close to the deceased. However, even among most religious-minded people, religion had a mostly external, ritual character, with a large admixture of superstition, rather than internal, ideological, which is generally observed among the peoples of the East - among the Greeks, Armenians, etc. This is why a number of phenomena are often of a physical nature. , following the declaration of independence, greatly influenced the Georgians and caused them to rise religiously.
First of all, they were frightened by an unprecedented hail that had severely damaged vineyards and orchards in a number of localities - the only source of livelihood for local residents. Then the ardent imagination was struck by a series of catastrophic earthquakes that ended with the death of the whole city of Gori. The people began to see the wrath of God in this and decided to appease him with prayers. In some villages closest to the city of Gori, the Sunday bazaars were even canceled, as they began to say that God was not happy with the market on Sundays. Appeared, as always happens in such cases, soothsayers who frightened the people. The Georgian government, which listened to the popular mood, made concessions. Representatives of the authorities began to appear in churches at solemn public worship services and even approached to be attached to the cross and the hand of the clergymen. Thanks to this mood, the anti-religious movement has somewhat subsided, and churches that are still completely empty have gradually begun to fill with people.
Even before the proclamation of independence, the Georgians declared the autocephaly of their church. Georgians have long sought this autocephaly. As far as I remember, for the first time conversations about this began under Emperor Alexander III and resumed under Emperor Nicholas II. But these conversations did not lead to anything, since our Governing Synod found that there could not be two independent Orthodox churches in the same state, on condition that the Orthodox religion was dominant in the country. However, the Georgians did not want to reconcile with this: considering their church to be older, they found it unjust to submit to the younger Russian church.
Georgians, as mentioned above, are not very religious at all, especially their intelligentsia, so the Georgians' desire for autocephaly could rather be explained by political considerations, by the desire to achieve some kind of autonomy, at least in the field of the church, than by religious motives. After the revolution, when the question of the complete separation of Georgia from Russia arose, the question of the autocephaly of the Georgian church again naturally came to the fore. Therefore, the Georgians and rushed to the implementation of this project.
In the old Mtskheta Cathedral, the autocephalous Georgian church was declared with great solemnity and was consecrated Catholicos by Bishop Kirion, the former Bishop of Orel and Savsky in 1905. Kirion took the title of Catholicos "All Georgia"; this imitation of the title of the Russian patriarch, “All Russia,” sounded somewhat comical, for all Georgia consisted at that time of only two provinces, Tiflis and Kutaisi; Batumi region passed to the Georgians only in 1920 year.
Immediately after the declaration of independence of Georgia, the local government was also constructed. A permanent parliament was elected, ministries were formed, and the old Social-Democrat Noah Jordania, formerly a minor employee of Nobel’s oilman in Baku, became head of the government. Nightgowns with ribbons instead of a tie were removed, and members of the new government donned starch collars, put on business cards, and covered their Social-Democratic heads with bourgeois cylinders. Special dandy was the most talented of them, Gegechkori, who took the post of Minister of Foreign Affairs. Among the first of his diplomatic steps was stripping in front of the Germans. The new diplomat turned out to be a bad politician and believed in the invincibility of the Germans, being obviously a big fan of the German armored fist at heart. However, information about the relations of some Georgian groups with the Germans was already known in 1914, at the beginning of the war. But these rumors were then ignored because representatives of the Georgian nobility close to the court, and behind them all Georgians were considered selflessly loyal to the throne.
Georgian ministers were both smarter and more experienced than the ministers of the Provisional Government. They did not disperse all administration and police officers, as the Ministers of the Provisional Government did. On the contrary, all the Georgians who served in these institutions remained, and some even received more responsible posts. But the severity and energy of the socialist minister of internal affairs, manifested in his struggle against the enemies of independent Georgia and the order therein, could have been envied by Plehve himself. Arrests, expulsions fell from the socialist horn of plenty, regardless of any principles and problems of freedom that these social democrats had so recently shouted from the tribune of the Russian State Duma.
The first regular concern of the Georgian government was the need to promptly and painlessly float Russian soldiers who returned from the front without permission from Georgia. This responsibility was mainly assigned to the former member of the Petrograd Council of Workers 'and Soldiers' Deputies Chkheidze, he met the troops, made speeches, urged the soldiers to return home as soon as possible to their expectant families, and in any case pointed them to the r. Chickens Davidovskaya mountain, saying that there is a huge number of guns there and in the case of resistance in one moment all the cars with soldiers will be "turned into dust."
As you know, Tiflis is located in a depression along both banks of the Kura River. On the left bank, the terrain is less elevated than on the right. The main branch of the Transcaucasian railway, connecting Baku with Batum, passes through the highest place of the left bank. The right bank of the Kura is considerably higher than the left and ends at a rather high mountain towering above the city - this mountain is called Davidovskaya - according to the church of Sts. David, built in the middle of the mountain near a small key, beating out of the mountain. According to legend, there was no time here, when even the whole mountain was covered with forest, there lived a hermit St. David. Here, in the fence of the church, buried the immortal author of "Woe from Wit" Griboedov. It was on this mountain that the Georgians, in order to intimidate the soldiers returning from the front, built a seemingly formidable battery of 2 guns taken from the Russians.
With sweet speeches and cannon threats, the Georgian authorities managed to smuggle the troops returning from the front outside of Georgia. Not less successful were the diplomatic attempts of the Georgian diplomat. In the first half of 1918, I don’t remember a month now, a small train of German troops with guns and music unexpectedly arrived in Tiflis. And the amazing thing. In the morning the Germans arrived, at noon one German soldier without guns with one cleaver was put on the main streets, and full order was immediately restored in the city; from that day it was possible to return home in the dead of night without any fear of attack. So strong was the authority of the Germans in the east. The Germans behaved tactfully in Tiflis. They established full order in the city. Their headquarters is located in one of the houses on Golovinsky Avenue. Every day, information about the course of the war was posted near the doors of the headquarters. In the evenings, music played on Golovinsky Avenue; but the days of the Germans were already numbered. Georgian diplomats made a mistake.
After the September breakthrough of the Solunsky 1918 front, the position of the Germans became difficult: their front still held, but they felt an impending catastrophe. The Allied forces, united under the general command of Marshal Foch, were preparing for a decisive blow. In view of all this, the Germans quickly collapse and leave Tiflis. The Georgians, willy-nilly, had to change their orientation and turn to the British.
Soon the British came. Their arrival was not as solemn as the appearance of the Germans. Apparently, among the Georgians, they did not use such charm. And the British themselves treated the Georgians coldly and haughtily. The British did not interfere in the internal affairs of the Georgians and, as always and everywhere, set themselves the goal of extracting more benefits from their arrival in the Caucasus. They began to export oil from Baku and manganese from Georgia.
As soon as Georgia declared its independence, Armenians and Baku Tatars followed its example. On the territory of Erivan and part of the Elizavetpol province, inhabited by Armenians, the Armenian Republic was formed, and on the territory of Baku and other parts of the Elizavetpol province, inhabited by Tatars, the Azerbaijan Republic. Until this time, Azerbaijan was called the part of Persian territory adjoining Russia. Baku and its environs, before the Russians conquered them, constituted a special khanate, which was ruled by Baki Khans, who were vassals of the Persian shahs. On the shores of the Caspian Sea, above the present city, stood the castle of Bakikhanov. Khanate was poor, the inhabitants were engaged in cattle breeding and fishing.
They didn’t have a clue about oil then, and the gases that got out of the ground in places helped to create a religious cult of fire-worshipers who, thanks to these gases, maintained eternal fire in their temples. After the adoption of Islam by the Persians, this religion gradually began to spread among Baku and other Caucasian Tatars and Highlanders. Rod Bakikhanov stopped. Baku and Elizavetpol gubernias have long since entered not only within the borders of the Russian state, but little by little began to become attached to Russian culture. Representatives of the local population in most cases were already pupils of Russian educational institutions. They didn’t dream of independence, which, moreover, they never had. But life is more fantastic than the richest human fantasy. And now the Baku Tatars unexpectedly had the opportunity to organize their own oil republic, and they decided for greater importance to invent their ancestors - in the person of an independent Azerbaijan that had allegedly existed on their territory once. Of all the latter-day republics, the Azerbaijan Republic was richer than all, thanks to its oil sources. Then came the Georgian, which had manganese mines and coal. The Armenian turned out to be the poorest - she didn’t even have a single decent city. For its main city, Erivan, is a rather seedy provincial provincial town, which cannot be compared even with Baku, not only now with Tiflis. All three republics, especially at first, lived solely on the basis of the remaining Russian legacy in the form of various warehouses of food, clothing and weapons. They unceremoniously divided all this property among themselves, and the lion’s share of the whole went to the Georgians, because almost all the large warehouses were located in Tiflis and its surroundings.
Neither the factory, nor the factory, nor the agricultural industry was developed in any way either in Georgia or in Armenia. Before the newly-minted state formations, there was an urgent need to clarify means of subsistence. The financial authorities of the new republics were the first to seek these funds. First of all, they attack or print their own banknotes. The Transcaucasian bonds, issued by the triune government of the Transcaucasus, were soon replaced by booms - Georgian, Armenian and Azerbaijani. These coupons were issued, of course, without observing the emission rules and without at least providing some of their gold cash. They only indicated that they were provided with all state property of the country, but what was the value of these properties, the authorities themselves were hardly aware of. The authorities seemed to care more about the external beauty of the bonds, flaunting each other fancy emblems of their state power on their credit signs than their real credit worthiness. Strangely enough, but on the Transcaucasian Stock Exchange - their quotes did not go further - Georgian bonds stood higher than the rest, followed by Azeri bonds and the last were Armenian.
One of the socialist activities of the Georgian government was the nationalization of natural wealth. In Tiflis itself there were hot sulfur springs, which were used by their owners, private individuals, by arranging public baths over these sources. These baths were named after their owners. So, there were baths: Iraklievskaya, which once belonged to Irakli, the Georgian prince, and later passed on to his heirs; Sumbatovskaya, which belonged to the princes Sumbatov; Orbelianovskaya, owned by the princes Jambakuri-Orbelianovs, Bebutovskaya, owned by the princes Bebutov; Mirzoyevskaya, who belonged to the rich in the Caucasus at one time, Mirzoyev, and others. The local population willingly visited these baths, and their profitability grew as the population of the city grew. In 1913, in Tiflis city self-government, the question was raised about buying up all these baths from private owners and, in view of their healing properties, about the device of a health resort at their location. Even negotiations began with the owners, but the war prevented the implementation of this intention. The Georgian socialist government solved the issue more simply, it simply took away these bathhouses with all the buildings and land belonging to them from private owners - as the natural wealth of the earth’s interior. The very same nationalization was also made easy. Over time, the number of owners of individual baths has increased significantly. In view of this, for the convenience of their management, these baths were usually rented by the general meeting of their owners. The Georgian government invited tenants and announced to them that, pending further special orders, it would leave these baths in their lease and now charge them with the rent to the treasury, due to the nationalization of the baths. Then it notified the owners, promising to pay them the cost of the buildings. However, until his collapse, they did not pay anything.
Left without owners and their constant monitoring of cleanliness and order in the baths and not confident in the future, the tenants directed all their forces to the greatest possible exploitation of the property entrusted to them, without paying any attention to the condition of this property. As a result, after a few months the baths were extremely neglected and polluted.
Manganese mines were also nationalized. Experienced socialists did not go further than the release of the bonds and the nationalization of the earth’s interior, but the bad financiers did not go, and there was nowhere to go. In the Caucasus, there was a saying that "Georgians are cheerful because they eat lobio (beans) and drink wine." Indeed, they know how to drink in Georgia, and they have good wine for those who are used to it. And lobio they eat a lot and love it, they even bake it in a special bread made from corn. But between ordinary fun and state-building distance of a huge size. From wine and lobio you can be cheerful and fill your own stomach, but it is difficult to fill the state treasury.
As I mentioned earlier, the Armenians had a particularly difficult situation. Surrounded on the one hand by the hostile Tatars, on the other hand by the Georgians, who are also not entirely friendly towards them, they were suffocating in their small territory. Earlier, under the tsarist government, Armenians seized almost all trade in the Caucasus, not excluding the oil industry in Baku. Not only all the large-scale trade, but almost all the houses in Tiflis belonged to them, and they were accustomed to consider Tiflis to be theirs, when the revolution broke out and turned everything upside down, and they had to close in Erivan gubernia, where the only consolation for them was the Echmiadzin monastery in which the head of their church lived - the Catholicos of all Armenians. But for practical Armenians this consolation was weak. They wanted something more real, and they embarked on an adventure.
Without a declaration of war, unexpectedly, the Armenians moved their forces towards Tiflis, apparently, with a sudden blow, thinking to seize the city and settle in it. However, their deed caused a storm of indignation among the Georgians, who pulled their regular army to Tiflis; in addition, armed people began to flock to Tiflis from everywhere and [on time] no longer than two days the Georgians managed to set up an army of several thousand against the Armenians. The thunder of guns was already heard on the outskirts of the city. The war, without any major results, however, lasted for several days. The Georgians delayed the advancement of the Armenians and began to go on the offensive. But all this bothered the British, and they sent a small military unit to stand between the warring parties and offered the latter their mediation, which, to the mutual pleasure of the parties, soon led to a peace agreement.
I left Tiflis [to Baku] at the end of November 1918. There were a lot of people on the train: our compartment was packed, six people sat on four-seater sofas. As soon as we crossed the Georgian border, bestial persons armed to the teeth began to appear in the cars; they opened the doors of the compartment, examined the passengers and silently left the car. It turned out that these were Tatars from the surrounding villages, who were looking for Armenians on the train. Shortly before this, there were pogroms, first Armenians smashed Tatars, and then Tatars of Armenians. Passions did not have time to lie down. The train told that the day before the Tatars had taken two Armenians from the train and killed them at the station.
The next morning we arrived in Baku. I was immediately struck by the difference between Baku and Tiflis. Baku from the outside remained the same as it was before the revolution. Russian speech, Russian people, Russian troops, detachment of General Bicherahov. The residents of Baku after the seizure of power in Russia by the Bolsheviks had to go through a lot. First of all, shortly after the Bolshevik coup in Russia, the Bolshevik uprising broke out in Baku. With the help of the workers, the local Armenian and Russian Bolsheviks managed to seize power in their hands. Immediately all privately owned oil fields were nationalized. At that time, the Armenians organized a cruel pogrom of Muslims, several buildings were destroyed and destroyed by fire, and many people were killed and maimed.
Bolshevism did not last long in Baku. Almost simultaneously with the arrival of the Germans in Tiflis, the Turks arrived in Baku. They quickly eliminated Bolshevism and restored order in the city, but the Turks did not stay in Baku for long. After the breakthrough of the Solun front, the Turks, like the Germans, left the Caucasus. After their departure, a pogrom of Armenians soon broke out, organized by the Turks, its cruelty not inferior to the Armenian pogrom. In the middle of 1918, General Bicherahov arrived in Baku from the Persian front with his detachment. Due to the presence of Russian troops in the city quickly restored order. By this time, the authorities in the newly formed republic had managed to finally construct. The head of the government was sworn attorney Khan Khoisky. A parliament was formed, which included several Russian members. Then a coalition Council of Ministers was drawn up with two Russian ministers - a former member of the council under the governor of the Caucasus from the Ministry of Finance, I.N. Protasyev as Minister of Finance and local merchant Lizgar as Minister of Trade and Industry.
Bicherahov's squad in the spring of 1919 went to Denikin. The British came to replace him from Baku. The British treated Baku people quite favorably. They advised them to expand the coalition and give the ministry two or one portfolio to the Armenians. This council was formally adopted, although it was practically not implemented, the mutual hostility between Armenians and Tatars was too great, especially after the recent mutual pogroms. After the arrival of the British, the Baku People grew stronger and the newly appeared Azerbaijan Republic gradually began to unfold. A significant part of the employees in the Azerbaijani state institutions consisted of Russians. The relations of local authorities and the population towards them were the most benevolent, and there is no reason to compare these relations with the relations of Georgians and Armenians. It is interesting to note the fact that in the Republic of Azerbaijan all the paperwork and all official correspondence were conducted in Russian, which, by the way, was also an international language in relations between all three Transcaucasian republics. Only in the Parliament spoke Turkish, and even then not all. It is rather difficult to establish precisely the legal nature of the Transcaucasian republics, since they did not have time to crystallize and were still in the organizational and revolutionary period.
By design, the Georgian republic, with a parliament, with a responsible ministry, fully responded to the principles of democracy by the people. As for the Republic of Azerbaijan, it was rather mixed. The ministers here were also appointed by non-members of parliament, moreover, the principle of a responsible ministry was not clearly carried out, because in their work they reported more to the head of government than to parliament. Some of the ministers, such as Russian ministers, did not go to parliament at all, but on the other hand, the parliament was not only a legislative body, but also a governing and supervisory body and quite vigorously discussed all issues of life and government, although sometimes long overdue.
The Armenian Republic was a cross between the Azerbaijan and the Georgian Republics. In all three republics there was no title of president of the republic, and his duties were performed by the head of government. So the head in Georgia was Noah Jordania, in Azerbaijan - Khan Khoyski, and in Armenia, if memory serves me, Khatisov. The peculiarity of the Republic of Azerbaijan was its army, organized by the full general of the Russian service Mokhmandarov, a knight of two officers Georgiev. This army was built, armed and uniformed in the Russian style. General Mokhmandarov himself walked all the time in a Russian military uniform, with two George, and wore buttons on his uniform with eagles. Almost the entire officer corps consisted of former Russian officers, as a result of which the team, at least at first, was conducted in Russian. Nobody was surprised at this and no one protested against it. And Mokhmandarov himself even spoke in Russian in parliament.
In this respect, the Tatars were very different from the Georgians. In Georgia, from the very first days of the declaration of independence in all institutions, not only correspondence, but also conversations began to be conducted in Georgian. The army was also organized into a special, Georgian, or rather, Western European model, although it was all outfitted and armed with Russian uniforms and Russian weapons. The entire officer corps of the Georgian army was filled with Georgians serving in the Russian army. In general, there were very few Russians in the Georgian service, which is why the majority of Russians moved to Baku. The question of nationality did not constrain Russians in Azerbaijan either, since they did not consider this question, at least with respect to Russians, there. The Russians, in spite of their citizenship, could hold any posts, up to and including the minister. Although the law on citizenship was adopted by the Parliament, in practice it was hardly used until the end of the days of the Republic of Azerbaijan. While the Georgians managed to enforce their law on citizenship. According to this law, by the way, all persons residing within Georgia from a certain time period (until Georgia declared independence) automatically became Georgian subjects. At the same time, persons who did not want to transfer to Georgian citizenship were obliged to declare this within a certain period.
Of all the Caucasian nationalities, the Georgians were the most loved ones in Russia — of all the Caucasian nationalities, after the revolution, the Georgians became the worst to treat the Russians. And, oddly enough, the Tatars - the Muslims were the most grateful to Russia for what she did for them. At the same time, many Tatars sincerely declared that they were not happy with their independence, did not believe in it, that they lived immeasurably better under the Russian authorities than they did with their independence. Many large Baku figures have repeatedly spoken about this to me personally. It was not only intelligent people who thought this way, the common people thought so.
I personally witnessed the next scene. Somehow on the way I went to a little lane in a little shop to buy matches. Almost simultaneously with me, a Russian officer unfamiliar to me entered the bench, who, after removing his uniform cap with a Russian cockade, put it on the counter. Suddenly, the shop owner, a middle-aged Tatar, grabbed this cap and began to kiss the Russian cockade. Then, with tears in his eyes, he addressed us with a bitter reproach in broken Russian: "Why did you kill Tsar Nicholas, oh, how well we lived with him, everything was, it was true, there was money, there was bread, soldiers of our children they took, but now there is no truth, there is no money, there is no bread, they take children as soldiers; yesterday’s conductor of the horseman’s minister today, what he understands. Oh, why did you kill the Tsar ... "We, embarrassed and touched, hurried out of the shop - What could we answer him? As I was leaving, I noticed tears in the officer’s eyes. So the simple Tatar people valued the former Russian national power.
In the Baku parliament, as in any orthodox parliament, political parties immediately formed. Of these, the larger and influential was the party called “Musavat”. The most intelligent representatives of Azerbaijan belonged to this party. The head of the government Khan Khoysky, the majority of ministers and such prominent local figures as the sworn attorney Ali Mardan bey Tonpchibashev, who left for Paris as a delegate of the republic to protect her interests, former comrade of the minister of trade and industry Ali bei Aliyev, Ali bek Makinsky , famous oilman Asadulaev and others. Despite the fact that intelligent people entered this party, no one, however, could distinctly detail the program of his party to me: all were usually limited to explaining that the program was approximately the same as the Russian Cadet party.
The next largest party was called "Ihtiat", it was considered a more conservative party and was mainly a supporter of pan-Islamism. This party consisted of the most chauvinistic elements. Finally, the third party called itself the party of independent socialists; it consisted mainly of younger people who were rather superficially familiar with socialist doctrines and who more admired their membership of the socialist party than they understood the essence of socialism. One of these party members, to my question, what is the essence of their party program, answered with pride to me that they are socialist internationalists, and moreover independent, because they do not depend on anyone: neither on II, nor on III International.
Russian members of parliament made up the Russian group without a specific program. Organized work in parliament, of course, still could not get better. Most members of parliament belonged to the Musavat party, which mainly led this work.
In Baku, I got a job as a legal adviser on freelance employment at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, headed by the Russian Minister Lizgar. The work mainly consisted in drawing up contracts for the sale of oil and the purchase of various goods. In the summer of 1919, I moved my family to Baku. Got settled, but not for long. In the fall, my eldest son, 19 years old, became an invasive pleurisy. On the advice of the doctors, I moved my family back to Tiflis, and I myself returned to Baku. Soon the British left Baku, and Azerbaijan was left to itself. The departure of the British, however, did not cause any changes.
1920 has come the year. Suddenly in the middle of March, in the old style, I received a telegram from my wife that my son is very bad. I went to Tiflis, but my son was no longer alive. Having buried my son, I decided to stay for a while in Tiflis, especially as Easter was approaching. After Easter, I finally decided to return to Baku. As usual, I went to the city station to buy a train ticket. There were no tickets against any waiting, so I decided to take him at the station. Having packed my things, I went to the cemetery at the grave of my son. The cemetery was located near our apartment in the courtyard of the Church of St. John the Divine. After spending some time at the grave of my son, I returned home and sent my younger son for a cab driver. At the grave of my son, I felt some kind of hunch, I conveyed this to my wife, explaining that I really did not want to go to Baku. My wife began to ask me to stay and let go of the driver, who was brought by her son. I sighed with relief, lay down on the bed and fell asleep as if I had been killed. Early in the morning in Tiflis information was obtained about the occupation of Baku by the Bolsheviks. The whole train in which I was supposed to travel was taken aback by them.
I purposely described in detail my gathering in Baku to indicate how the coherence of a number of circumstances, seemingly accidental for the first time, saved my life, since, undoubtedly, had I fallen into the hands of the Bolsheviks, I would have been killed. They shot down a number of people in Baku, including Lizgar, although he had long since left the post of minister of trade and industry and lived as a simple philistine. I brought this case without comment, but without any exaggeration, let everyone interpret it as far as their understanding. A few days later I was walking somehow in Tiflis along Golovinsky Avenue. Suddenly, I felt that someone was touching me on the shoulder. I looked around. Near me, smiling, stood the former Georgian ambassador to the Republic of Azerbaijan, the doctor ... (I forgot his last name). He knew me because I had to ask him for a visa to Tiflis more than once. "Happy is your god that you were not in Baku, even I ran away forcibly," he said laughing. “Well, what about my position here?” I asked him. "Here you can be calm, we are a country of law and culture."
However, in this country of law and culture, a diplomatic representative of the Bolsheviks soon appeared. Obviously, the Bolsheviks believed that the turn of the Georgians had not yet arrived. Busy with the war with Poland and Wrangel, they were afraid of complications in the event of serious Georgian resistance, why the issue of occupying Georgia was postponed and even agreed to recognize Georgia’s independence and enter into diplomatic relations with it. The agreement took place and was signed in Moscow, soon after that a diplomatic representative of the Bolsheviks appeared in Tiflis, who on the very first day of his arrival delivered a fiery speech from the balcony of his apartment. The first speech of his success was not, but the preparation of Bolshevism in Georgia began.
Baku was occupied by the Bolsheviks without resistance. At night, the Bolshevik armored train approached the city and the city was busy, and the Baku workers in the oil fields, already earlier promoted, supported the Bolsheviks. It is said that all this happened so unexpectedly that some ministers were arrested in the theater.
Whether this was so or not, I can not say. It’s indisputable that the 25-thousandth army of the republic with a fighting general led no resistance, despite its extremely favorable strategic position, since the road along which the Bolsheviks attacked went along the narrow coastal strip of the Caspian Sea, which, according to the military, it was extremely easy to defend with relatively small forces. However, the army, which had neither past nor present, proved to be incapable of any resistance. But the awareness of the authorities was below criticism. Sleepy with the caressing noise of the oil fountains, they did not hear or feel the oncoming thunderstorm that swallowed them in an instant. However, evil tongues said that General Makhmandarov allegedly asked the government about how long he could offer resistance to the Bolshevik army in the event of an offensive, replied: "Not more than two hours." I think, however, that this rumor is incorrect and thought up afterwards, since General Makhmandarov, although he knew the value of his army, could not answer that way, because he did not differ in his wit at all.
As is their custom, the Bolsheviks, having captured Baku, showed their usual cruelty in the form of a whole series of executions and excesses. Then the oil sources were nationalized again. All institutions were rebuilt in the Bolshevik manner; all wealthy individuals were robbed. In short, the Bolshevik obscurantism began. The poor Tatars, risking their lives, in women's attire, having thrown all their possessions, fled, cursing the servants of Shaitan (in Tatar - the devil). It was clear to me that the occupation of Georgia by the Bolsheviks was only a matter of time. Considering this and taking into account the success of Wrangel in the Crimea, I decided to go to the Crimea.
At the end of May 1920 I left Tiflis for Batum in order to get to Crimea from there by sea. I arrived in Batum on the eve of the departure of the British and their transfer of the Batumi region to the Georgians. The city was decorated with the Georgian flag. A mass of people gathered in Batumi from all over Georgia for this celebration. Troops passed along the streets in orderly rows, first English, with happy faces of people returning home. Behind them, Georgian troops solemnly entered the city, announcing the air with the sounds of music and the roar of guns. The public enthusiastically met their troops.
Just the next day after this celebration, a ship was scheduled to sail to the Crimea with the Russians under the auspices of the French. Early in the morning I hired a porter and, instructing him to carry things from the hotel, he went ahead, not to mention where to go. This precaution was not superfluous, as the Georgian authorities, under the pressure of the Bolshevik representation, were not very sympathetic to the departure of the Russians to the Crimea for the recruitment of Wrangel personnel. And on the eve of our sailing, a number of Russians in Batum were searched. Approaching the pier, I saw that it was guarded by several French soldiers who were checking the passes. On the boat I was met by a Russian officer who knew me from St. Petersburg. He happily greeted me: it turned out that he was in charge of registering the departing Russians, and right there on my list he noted my name.
Somehow I immediately felt happy when I boarded the ship. Russian speech, Russian people. And again for a while somewhere there, in the recesses of the heart, hope shone. On this steamer, under the protection of the French flag, we felt completely safe. Indeed, we saw from the deck how some Georgian policemen approached the pier, but the French quickly and without ceremony dismissed them. Already at noon, when the ship was filled with people, we slowly pushed off from the pier and went out to the open sea.
The weather was wonderful. The sea was completely calm. God, what is waiting for us ... Did our trials end, or is it just a minute respite ... Such thoughts roamed almost everyone, and it was felt without words ... I settled down for the night on the deck. What a night it was. From the depths of the sea on the horizon, as if after bathing, a huge, chubby, all brilliant, silver moon was rising, smiling cheerfully and congratulating us precisely on our return to our homeland. I looked at the sky, studded with stars, and so good, it was good at heart. Many years have passed since then, but I never experienced such sensations again. For a long, long time on the boat no one could fall asleep. The night enchanted everyone. It was only by morning that snores began to be heard here and there, and I dozed off. The next day, towards the evening, the coast of Crimea appeared in the distance.
Journal "Questions stories", 2005, No. 7, 8