Military Review

Rebellion or provocation?

In the twenties of August 1917, Russia was on the verge of a military coup. Commander-in-Chief General L.G. Kornilov sets in motion the troops, enlisting the support of the head of government A.F. Kerenskaya, who agrees to martial law. The general does not have any special program; he considers it necessary, first of all, to restore order in the army and in the rear. At the same time, Kornilov is supported by big business, leaders of the national liberal - Cadet and Octobrist - parties, leaders of influential military organizations - the Union of Army Officers and fleet, etc. But the attempted military coup suffers an insulting rapid failure, on August 26 (September 8) Kerensky suddenly characterizes the previously agreed actions of the commander-in-chief as a “rebellion”. Very soon, the commander-in-chief will be behind bars, and Kerensky will concentrate huge powers in his hands, practically single-handedly managing the country through the Directory created by him in the amount of five close associates. At the same time, there is a strengthening of the Bolsheviks, who spoke out against Kerensky against Kornilov on the basis of tactical considerations. These considerations were, as practice has shown, perfectly true, and the Bolsheviks tore off, perhaps, their biggest prize, having received weapon - by order of the government.

In Soviet historiography, the opinion was firmly established that world imperialism, first of all, in the person of the Entente, opposed the Bolsheviks in every way and was ready for anything, even a military coup. (Hence the support of Kornilov and other "reactionary" generals.) However, the facts seriously correct this statement, everything was much more complicated. There have been cases to be when the Entente directly played up the Bolsheviks.

Here is what historian V.I. writes. Startsev: “In the conditions of growing political tension, the Bolsheviks decided to hold a demonstration of workers and soldiers on Saturday 10 June ... On the same days, part of the officer corps, dissatisfied with the soldier's liberty, which the government clearly connived, decided to create their own organizations. Headed the movement "Military League", it also included the "Anti-Bolshevik League", "Union for the Defense of the Motherland and Order", and the total 14 unions and organizations. All of them were extremely small, but had machine guns and were eager to teach Petrograd soldiers and workers a lesson. In the evening of June 9, the Presidium of the Congress of Soviets received ... from the British Ambassador J. Buchanan secret information about the intention of the officers of the anti-Bolshevik organizations to shoot her. Without revealing the source of information, the presidium of the congress firmly demanded a ban on the demonstration of the Bolsheviks. ("The Revolutionary 1917") Thus, the Bolsheviks and left-wing radicals avoided a terrible defeat that could turn history countries in the other direction.

Of course, the “Antantians” did all this not because of some kind of love for Bolshevism, whose final assertion they did not want. Moreover, they also took measures to provide limited support to the anti-Bolshevik forces, which then held positions of national liberals. In this regard, the vigorous activity of the English intelligence officer and writer S. Maugham on the eve of the October Revolution, which “in less than three months of its stay in Russia ... managed to organize a counter-Bolshevik plot involving the leaders of the Czechoslovak corps, prominent generals of Russia and right-wing Social Revolutionaries led by well-known terrorist B. Savinkov ... However, the great intelligence officer was in time trouble. “Time was running out. Rumors of the growing activity of the Bolsheviks grew. Kerensky rushed back and forth like a frightened chicken. " Obviously, information about the secret activities of British subjects became known to the Bolsheviks ... Later, Maugham learned that his name was among those whom the Bolsheviks had to arrest after coming to power, and therefore immediately after the assault by the Red Guard groups of the Wintry props and was evacuated by the British special services from Petrograd. " (Y. Emelyanov. "Stalin. The path to power")

Rebellion or provocation?

Support for anti-Bolshevik forces was very limited. As is obvious, Western democracies did not at all want to rely on Russian national liberals. The latter wanted to see Russia as a strong capitalist state, albeit in something following the “oldest democracies”, but on the whole being a full-fledged member of the “world club”. (In some respects, this echoes the hopes of some of our "power" elites.) However, the Western democracies themselves did not at all want the emergence of a rival power, which could “beat” in the future themselves. He staked on the transformation of Russia into a semi-colonial country, torn by constant contradictions. By the way, what is significant is that in the summer of 1917, JV Stalin warned about these plans on the pages of the Working Way, directly pointing to the Kornilov speech: “It is known that the servants of armored vehicles who accompanied the“ wild division ”to St. Petersburg consisted of foreigners. It is known that some representatives of the embassies in the Stavka not only knew about the Kornilov conspiracy, but also helped Kornilov prepare it. It is known that the agent “Times” and the imperialist clique in London, the adventurer Aladin, who came from England directly to the Moscow meeting and then “proceeded” to the Headquarters, was the soul and the first violin of the Kornilov uprising. It is known that a certain prominent representative of the most prominent embassy in Russia back in June definitely connected himself with the counterrevolutionary intrigues of the Kaledins and others, reinforcing his connections with them with impressive subsidies from the cash register of his patrons. It is known that the Times and Temps did not hide their displeasure on the occasion of the failure of the Kornilov uprising, scolding and punishing the revolutionary Committees and Soviets. It is known that the commissars of the Provisional Government at the front were forced to make a certain warning to certain foreigners behaving in Russia as Europeans in Central Africa. ” ("Foreigners and the Kornilov Conspiracy")

The “future father of nations” himself and the creator of the national-communist reformation established contacts between the Bolshevik leadership and certain army circles (the head of the General Staff intelligence department N. M. Potapov and others) who categorically deny liberalism in any of its manifestations, both in Kornilov and Keren And, by the way, Kerensky himself strongly endorsed the plan of General A.I. Dukhonin, who proposed to create a kind of “Russian people's army” - wage (“voluntary”) education, led by British and American instructors In essence, this would mean the establishment in Russia of an external administration of the colonial type.

Kerensky, apparently, was a completely pro-Western politician, alien even to national liberal illusions. It is not by chance that he was the general secretary of the Masonic organization "The Great East of the Peoples of Russia" (VVNR). Masonic lodges acted as the most powerful channels of influence of the Western democracies, and it was unlikely that a person could be appointed to such a responsible post, in whose loyalty there could be at least some even the smallest doubts.

At the same time, it should be noted that the VVNR lodge itself, which was distinguished from other lodges by its clearly expressed politicization, for some reason was out of sight of the Russian special services. Here is what Alexander Fedorovich himself writes: “I received the proposal to join the Freemasons in 1912, immediately after my election to the Fourth Duma. After serious reflection, I came to the conclusion that my own goals coincide with the goals of society, and accepted this proposal. It should be emphasized that the society into which I joined was not an ordinary Masonic organization. First of all, it was unusual that society broke off all ties with foreign organizations and allowed women into its ranks. Further, a complex ritual and Masonic system of degrees were eliminated; only indispensable internal discipline was maintained, guaranteeing the high moral qualities of the members and their ability to keep secrets. There were no written reports, no lists of members of the box were compiled. This maintenance of secrecy did not lead to leakage of information about the goals and structure of society. Studying the circulars of the Police Department at the Hoover Institution, I did not find in them any information about the existence of our society, even in those two circulars that concern me personally. ” ("Russia at a historic turning point")
It turns out that the Russian secret police, with all its powerful intelligence, as they say, “did not catch mice,” more precisely, did not catch some fat mice, which were forbidden to touch by some powerful forces.

In the period from February to October 1917, Kerensky acts as a kind of central figure controlling and connecting the most diverse forces. So, as part of the first, Cadet-Octobrist, strictly liberal Provisional Government, he was the only “left” minister (he would be the only Russian politician to participate in all other governments). It seems that Kerensky was appointed a kind of "looking" for the national liberal ministers - no matter how they did it. And at the same time Kerensky is a member of the Petrograd Soviet of Workers 'and Soldiers' Deputies - that is, our hero participates in two branches of the then diarchy at once. This is really a strong figure, enjoying the most powerful support.

And so, this figure resolutely rises to the defense of Lenin and the Bolsheviks, who in every way attack the Provisional Government itself. Thus, even during the period of the first Provisional Government, Cadet Minister P. N. Milyukov raised the question of Lenin’s foreign sponsorship and ran into categorical rejection of Kerensky, who demanded not to dare to slander the "glorious Russian revolution." Further more. On July 3-4, the Bolsheviks organized a mass demonstration in Petrograd with the participation of armed groups. It was suppressed by the troops, and a number of left-wing radicals (L. D. Trotsky, L. B. Kamenev, Yu. M. Steklov, and others) were behind bars (Lenin left the capital and fled to Spill). The disarmament of the Bolsheviks began, their newspapers were forbidden to distribute at the front. It would seem that they took very decisively for Leninists, but this was not the case. “... On the night of 7 (20) in July, Kerensky takes very strange steps: he cancels the arrests of Trotsky and Steklov (Nakhamkes),” writes historian N. V. Starikov. - The headquarters of the Petrograd district is protesting, but already arrested Steklov is released. Trotsky still remains behind bars. After these events, new “amazing” Kerensky steps follow. First, the newspaper closes, which prints off dirt on Lenin, and then 10 (23) in July, Aleksandr Fedorovich takes the right to arrest the Bolsheviks from the military. The justice authorities no longer arrest anyone. In addition, Kerensky officially orders the commander of the district, General Polovtsev, to stop disarming the Bolsheviks! ”(“ Who killed the Russian Empire? ”)

"Patriotic" conspiracy likes to portray the events of 1917 of the year and subsequent "troubled" years as one continuous triumph of the "world behind the scenes" and, in general, various anti-Russian forces. Thus, she unwittingly (and, maybe, sometimes voluntarily?) Makes a very sickly PR all these “backstage”, portraying them omnipotent, non-declining, always and everything counting on many steps forward. In parallel, the Russian people themselves are portrayed as a kind of suffering force, which suffers constant defeat, being a puppet involved in the games of various external forces. Thus, the Russian is driven into the idea of ​​their fatal besubjectivity. Such an interpretation of the Russian revolution is much worse than the official Soviet one. She, of course, also distorted reality and even stunned everything that happened. But this interpretation, at least, inspired some pride in the Russians for the great accomplishment that happened in Russia - “ten days that shook the world”.

In fact, as noted above, everything was much more complicated. Western democracies really staked on strengthening the Bolsheviks, considering them as some kind of radical force capable of supporting Russia in a state of instability. Ideally, there would be the preservation of civil war for many years (as in 1920-1940-s in China). Then it would be possible to get unimaginably colossal super profits. It is significant that in January 1919, the Entente proposed white and red to hold peace talks on the Princes' Islands in the Sea of ​​Marmara, which should have been completed by preserving the status quo - that is, the state-political fragmentation of Russia. White was strongly disagree with this, which indicates their definite independence from the West.

In 1917, the Western democracies were not at all worried that the Bolsheviks would withdraw Russia from the war. It was their promise that the Westerners considered demagogy necessary to attract the masses. They knew very well that among the Bolsheviks there are many of their own agents of influence (such as Trotsky’s mason, who had strong ties with the British and Americans), and simply adventurers, who can easily be ignited by the slogan of “revolutionary war against German imperialism”. Indeed, during the peace talks in Brest, most of the members of the Central Committee came out for this very war. It would seem that everything was on the "ointment", but then Lenin, who did not want to be a puppet in the hands of Western plutocrats, broke the great Western game. He announced to the majority of the members of the Central Committee that if they did not agree to the signing of a peace treaty with the Germans, he would come out of this collegial and directly appeal to the masses. Thus, by the way, Ilyich became like Ivan the Terrible, who left the capital, retired to Alexander settlement and turned to the "little fingers" of people, putting anger on the boyars. In Ilyich, without any doubt, the Russian tsarist-folk archetype was awakened, which did not allow Russia to be drawn into a bloody foreign policy adventure.

It is clear that the West was not afraid of the defeat of the Bolsheviks. In this case, a semi-colonial dictatorship would be established in the country, which would stand on the bayonets of the "Russian People's Army". In this situation, the Bolsheviks themselves would not disappear anywhere, but they would continue to be a radical force destabilizing the situation. Again, there would also be a long civil war in the country. Apparently, the Entente saw in Kerensky the leader of the anti-Bolshevik forces, who would put them under the full control of Western governments. And at first everything went well, even after the October Revolution. Monarchist PN Krasnov, who did not in the least sympathize with the Provisional Government, but nevertheless preferred it to the Bolsheviks, “signed” for Kerensky. He marched to Petrograd, which failed under rather interesting circumstances. Krasnov was stopped by the soldiers of the 106 division caused by Lenin's telegram from Helsingfors. This, as they would say now, “spetsnaz”, the unit took an active part in the storming of the Zimny, and was commanded by military intelligence officer M. S. Svechnikov (for more details see -krasno-korichnevyij-front-2013-01-14-153848 /). “The appearance of his fighters decided the outcome of the case,” writes I. A. Damaskin. “Krasnov later recalled that he was shocked when he saw through officer’s binoculars shoulder straps on the shoulders of Bolshevik commanders.” ("Leaders and Intelligence")

The brain centers of the western plutocracies have seriously miscalculated. At first, Lenin broke their game, which, against the will of the majority of the Central Committee, insisted on the conclusion of the Peace of Brest. And, thereby, saved his party from the need to wage a bloody war against Kaiser Germany. It is clear that the former army (or rather, what was left of it) would not have fought, however, throwing tens of thousands of party enthusiasts (especially from the young) to the front seemed quite possible. Then the Bolsheviks could no longer so effectively resist the whites in the coming fierce clashes. But even whites could hardly have finally distributed Bolshevism - therefore, the most likely was the same version of a protracted civil war. And so Lenin retained the necessary resource for victory.

The second time, the game of plutocracies was broken by the whites, who refused to sign a peace treaty with the Reds and thus preserve the fragmentation of Russia and the civil confrontation itself. The Russian element stubbornly did not want to fit into the Western matrix, and with its wide spill it eroded all the frameworks invented by the ingenious Western strategists. As a result, the West lost, having missed Russia for several decades. Before the revolution, the Russian economy was under the strong control of Western capital — English, French, German, and Belgian. And this is not at all the “fabrications of Soviet historians” - it suffices to read the loyal monarchist, nationalist press, the political writings of the extreme right to make sure that there is a fatal economic dependence on the West. After October, the western capital of Russia actually lost. No, there was, of course, the NEP, with its limited concessions, but these are already remnants of the former luxury. And then, with the beginning of the Stalinist industrialization, these remains were gone. No, Western businessmen are well warmed up on equipment supplies to the USSR, however, it was no longer about the expansion of capital. Western elites have played too much into Russian politics, which at some stage went out of their control. Not really, of course, the pro-Western lobby has always existed in the USSR. But this is a topic for a separate study.

It is quite symbolic that the Kornilov revolt occurred in August (albeit in a new style in September), as was the notorious speech of the Emergency Committee. And here you can find some intersections, indicating a possible provocation. Here, for example, the statement of the former Prime Minister of the USSR, a member of the State Emergency Committee V. S. Pavlov: "In addition, Gorbachev, inspiring the putsch, pursued personal goals related to his desire to retain power." According to him, “Gorbachev decided to use our dedication to the cause and his country, the people, in order to crack down on Yeltsin with our hands, pushing us towards bloodshed. Then, as the President of the USSR, deal with the perpetrators of this bloodshed, that is, with us. As a result, the country is in disarray, section and lawlessness, he is on the throne, and everyone who could resist, in the next world or in prison. ” But the opinion of the leader of the opposite camp - B. N. Yeltsin, who noted the "puppet character" of the conspiracy. According to him, “the main thing was happening behind the scenes of events” and “the real military junta will not behave this way.”

Indeed, the behavior of the conspirators was rather strange, and all this smacks of provocation. Be that as it may, the outcome is well known - a “criminal-bourgeois” revolution took place in the country, ending in the collapse of the USSR and neoliberal “reforms.” The history pendulum swung back.
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  1. svp67
    svp67 29 August 2013 09: 37
    Rebellion or provocation?
    judging by the known facts it was "POSTAVA", as a result of which the October Revolution took place ...
  2. Eustace
    Eustace 29 August 2013 12: 33
    The country was plundered and ruined until 1926. After the victory of “Ivanovich” over “Davidovich”, this disgrace stopped. By the way, Stalin's coming to power was not in the plans of the "world behind the scenes".
    Therefore, we can safely assume that this was the first failure of the "Jewish families" in the 20th century.
  3. Chicot 1
    Chicot 1 29 August 2013 12: 46
    This is not a "rebellion" and not a "provocation". And certainly not a "setup". It was precisely a "performance", an attempt to rectify the situation that had developed at that time ...
    Its disadvantage was that this speech was essentially a "speech against", without any idea and program "what then?" and "how next?" This, in fact, predetermined his failure ...
  4. Sour
    Sour 29 August 2013 16: 26
    If someone has not read the memoirs of A.I. Denikin, I advise you to read it. He wrote that Kornilov had many supporters who supported him. in words, and very few who are real, in practicewas ready to join him.
    The result is an interesting picture. Kornilov positioned himself as a Russian patriot, but relied mainly on parts from Dagestanis, Ingush and Turkmens.
    The main drawback of Kornilov’s speech was not the lack of a program, but the lack of organization. Kornilov could not gather all his supporters into a single fist. And his opponents could.
    1. creak
      creak 29 August 2013 17: 15
      I would like to clarify ... Kornilov relied not only on the Turkmen from the Akhal-Teke tribe, who formed the Tekinsky regiment and carried the guard of the Headquarters. Dagestanis, Ingush and Chechens served in the so-called. A native horse division formed in 1914 and which had different commanders, but not Kornilov at all. And the most reliable part, on which Kornilov relied and which he was afraid to take care of, was the Kornilovsk strike regiment, formed in May 1917. Subsequently, this regiment formed the nucleus of the Volunteer Army. In addition, on the initiative of Kornilov, other Russian shock units were formed at the front ... So he still relied on the Russians.
      1. Sour
        Sour 29 August 2013 21: 24
        Let's order.
        1) I didn’t say anywherethat the Indigenous Cavalry Division was commanded by Kornilov. There is no need to refute what has not been said. But in the "campaign against Petrograd" this division took an active part. The most active.
        2) The Kornilovsky regiment did not take any part in the performance of August 1917. You do not know the story at all. Or distort the facts, at your discretion. The regiment was in its place of deployment, in Mogilev, and from there did not move anywhere and a meter. By the way, when the smell was fried, the regiment did not lift a finger to save Stavka (located in Mogilev) from defeat by the Bolsheviks. Kornilov and his associates were arrested with complete non-resistance of this regiment.
        3) "Strike units" also did not take part in Kornilov's speech. They were almost all at the front. Only the 3rd Cavalry Corps and the native cd were directly involved. Moreover, the Cossack units of the 3rd corps actually abandoned at the last moment from the attack on Petrograd.
  5. Marek Rozny
    Marek Rozny 29 August 2013 16: 36
    Informative and interestingly written. Thanks to the author.
  6. Marek Rozny
    Marek Rozny 29 August 2013 16: 37
    Informative and interestingly written. Thanks to the author.
  7. Vadim2013
    Vadim2013 29 August 2013 19: 00
    True, the article says that the situation of Russia in 1917 was difficult. V.I. Ulyanov (Lenin) at that time was able, skillfully maneuvering, with the help of his party and allied parties to seize power in Russia.
  8. Sour
    Sour 29 August 2013 21: 46
    Quote: Vadim2013
    seize power in Russia.

    He did not capture, but created and established power. You cannot capture what is not. After February 1917, there was no power in Russia. Even the criminals were all released and the police disbanded. And in the army, a soldier (represented by committees) was placed over an officer. This is no longer a power, and not even a parody of it. When a soldier commands an officer and the police and prisons are absent, this is no longer power.
    1. Vadim2013
      Vadim2013 30 August 2013 11: 58
      There was the power of the interim government, headed by A.F. Kerensky. Detachments of soldiers, sailors, workers led by the military-industrial complex seized the most important objects in the capital: bridges, telephone exchanges, telegraphs, etc., blocked the Winter Palace. Then they arrested the interim government. It was a military seizure of power in the capital.
  9. Vadim2013
    Vadim2013 31 August 2013 10: 51
    I want to add. Almost no one wanted to defend the power of the provisional government, headed by A.F. Kerensky, it completely compromised itself after the suppression of the military coup General L.G. Kornilov.
    Almost no one wanted to defend the power of the Communists in the USSR in 1991, since the CPSU completely compromised itself after the GKChP.