In the year 1918, by the decree of the Bolsheviks who came to power, the name of Skobelev was forgotten for decades. Today, his memory, though returning, is very slow, clearly disproportionate to the merits of this remarkable commander and patriot of the Russian state. For example, for several years there has been no means for establishing a monument to the White General, cast in bronze for a long time. Why this happens, "NVO" says the chairman of the international Skobelevsky Committee, twice Hero of the Soviet Union, cosmonaut, Major General Retired Alexei Leonov.
Skobelevskaya street in a shooting place
- Alexey Arkhipovich, first say a few words about the Skobelev Committee - what kind of organization is it, when was it created, what are its goals and objectives?
- The organization is public, it was recreated in 1995 year within the framework of the International Society "Slavs". The committee was established in 1904, the sister of Mikhail Dmitrievich, Nadezhda, and her husband, Beloselskaya-Belozerskaya. She managed to do a lot to preserve the memory of her outstanding brother. She opened a disabled house in the village of Spassky (now Zaborovo), in the south of the Ryazan Region, - this was very desirable during life, but Skobelev himself did not have time. She initiated that the city of New Margilan in the former Kokand Khanate, which was founded not without the participation of Mikhail Dmitrievich, was renamed Skobelev (since 1924, by the decision of Soviet power, it is called Fergana). In the same pre-revolutionary years of the 16 Division, which the White General commanded in the Balkans, was given the name Skobelevskaya. It is worth mentioning that the then Skobelev Committee took an active part in raising funds for a monument in Moscow to the hero of the Eastern hikes, Pleven and Shipka. And the majestic monument was installed on Tverskaya Square, soon also renamed Skobelevskaya. It is known that the royal family took an active part in the work of the committee and made its donations. Alas, in 1918, at the initiative of Lenin, this significant sculptural complex, which had an undoubted cultural value from all points of view, was vandalized destroyed.
Now the task of our committee is to organize the Skobelev readings, they are regularly held in different cities of Russia. In the 1995 year, in the days of the celebration of the 900 anniversary of Ryazan, we managed to open the bust of Skobelev. A year later, in Moscow, in the Yuzhnoye Butovo district, a memorial plaque was installed on one of the houses of the street, which was given his name, and in 2003, the metro station of the same name appeared here. However, my attitude to this is extremely negative. For some reason, the street is called Skobelevskaya, and not General Mikhail Skobelev, and the metro is also called accordingly.
- It is really difficult to imagine Zhukovskaya, Rokossovskaya or Konevskaya street.
- Exactly. All the more so, not far from Skobelevskaya Street - Admiral Ushakov Boulevard, Admiral Lazarev Street, Admiral Rudnev Street. Why did they treat Skobelev so dismissively - it is completely incomprehensible. Moreover, how is his name (as, probably, the names of the other outstanding personalities I have listed) related to the South Butovo? Especially if you know that the NKVD firing range and tens of thousands of innocent people were here, the Yezhov-Beria office destroyed in these places. Terrible disrespect!
When I sought to have one of the streets named after Skobelev, I suggested renaming one of those in the Taganka district, where the streets were literally teeming with Bolshevik names. Why was it possible in the past decade to rename Malaya Kommunisticheskaya to Stanislavsky Street, and Big Communist to Alexander Solzhenitsyn Street, and, say, Marxist Street to General Skobelev Street - not? What are the criteria for the approach? But such a renaming would be fair: Skobelev repeatedly suffered posthumously from the Bolsheviks - all six monuments erected in different parts of the former Russian Empire were demolished, they renamed all the squares and streets named after him, twice Red Army men and Chekists looted his estate, mocked his corpses and his mother.
In April 2007, after twelve years of efforts, the Skobelev Committee opened a memorial plaque to Mikhail Dmitrievich on the facade of the Commandant's House of the Peter and Paul Fortress in St. Petersburg. This is very important because Skobelev was born here, here he spent his early childhood, here, it seems, he inherited from his grandfather, the hero of the 1812 war, General Ivan Nikitich Skobelev, military talent, love and unprecedented respect for the soldiers.
In May of this year, a delegation of the committee headed by my deputy Vladle Gusarov visited Paris cemetery Neuy-sur-Seine, where she laid flowers on the grave of the founder of the Skobelev committee and the founder of the Society for medical assistance to wives, widows, children and orphans of the Russian-Japanese war, Princess Nadezhda Dmitrievny Beloselskaya-Belozerskaya, who died in 1920 year. We managed to find her grave as a result of many years of searching. The burial was neglected, brought him in order.
Several times I spoke with the director Nikita Mikhalkov about making a film about Skobelev. His worthy image was partially captured in the cinema only once - in 1954, in the film “Heroes of Shipka”, now forgotten. He seduced Nikita Sergeyevich with the fact that for the film version the personality of the White General - Ak-Pasha is very colorful, bright, the image can be revealed with numerous examples from his biography, which are so impressive that you don’t have to invent anything. He even sweetened the creator of “The Siberian Barber” and two “Burnt by the Sun” with the fact that the director himself resembles Skobelev and could play it successfully. But, as I understand, not interested.
We also worked with the administrations of the Ryazan Region and its Novoderevensky district, in which the Skobelev estate was located in 1800 for the area to be renamed Skobelevsky. Unsuccessfully. Not so long ago, the district was renamed Aleksandro-Nevsky - for its "capital", the village of the same name.
We are fighting with the Moscow authorities to install the board on the house number 3 on Teatralnom Drive. Here in 1882 there was a hotel "Dussot", in one of the rooms of which Mikhail Dmitrievich died. A few years ago, under the mayor of Yuri Luzhkov, an answer was sent to my appeal, wild in nature, its almost literal meaning: General Skobelev spent most of his life on campaigns (and all of them were listed), and in Moscow he was only passing and stayed at the hotel, where he died. Therefore, they say, to establish a memorial plaque impractical. Later, I received already favorable answers, but their meaning is that you have to go through the circles of bureaucratic hell in order to get final permission.
SYADI WITH CAPS TO COLLECT 52 MILLION
- With the monument the same situation?
- It was the main task of the Skobelev Committee in recent years. At first, everything seemed to work out. Our initiative was treated appropriately, a positive decision was made. At first, they wanted to restore the monument, destroyed in 1918, by the Bolsheviks - in this they all had complete unanimity. But when they began to look for design documents, they found little, maybe a quarter of what was required. And from photographs ... they, as a rule, are made from vantage points, but it is necessary that all angles should be. This is also not. Therefore, it was decided to make a new sculpture. As it should be, they announced a competition. It was presented with a half dozen options. By secret ballot the project of Alexander Rukavishnikov was chosen. He is known for his monuments to Vladimir Vysotsky at the Vagankovo Cemetery, Yuri Nikulin on Tsvetnoy Boulevard, Alexander II in front of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. They gave an order to prepare a full-size sample of clay and gypsum, as is usually done, before such a deadline.
Everything was done, the commission approved, allowed the casting. Cast. The installation was supposed to take place first in the 2009 year, but then experienced the effects of the financial crisis, moved to 2011. They also identified a place in Ilyinsky Square, along the Kitaigorodsky Passage, in the area of Old Square, approximately in the middle between the monument to Cyril and Methodius and the monument-chapel to the grenadiers who fell in the battle of Plevna. However, this did not happen. Not under Luzhkov (there were some promises), nor with the mayor who replaced him, whom I fail to make it through. Maybe he would have resolved the issue positively, but “access to the body” was closed by his officials.
I am writing a letter to the president - all the more so since he came up with an initiative about the need to restore the names of famous regiments in the Russian Armed Forces, such as Preobrazhensky and Semenovsky, and these names were immediately assigned to two parts. Sent a reply! There, it seems, my letter was not read at all: after all, we have already passed all the stages to the installation of the monument. Okay, I am writing to the Minister of Culture Vladimir Medinsky. The answer is similar. Already on emotion, I again appeal to the president and the minister: keep your conscience, even read what I wrote to you earlier! And send my previous letters and answers to them. Recently I had a chance to speak on the Kultura TV channel in a program devoted to the White General, - he has already addressed the powers that be from the TV screen.
- Did the monuments to any other figures during these eight years appear in the capital when you fought with the installation of the monument to Skobelev?
- The fact of the matter is that yes - and not one! Monuments were posed to the poets Osip Mandelstam (in 2010), Joseph Brodsky (in 2011; by the way, Brodsky, born and lived in Leningrad, had only been to Moscow once before his emigre life), singer Muslim Magomayev (2011) , cellist Mstislav Rostropovich (in 2012), even earlier, in 2006, a monument to Abai was erected. I have nothing against these bright personalities in their own way, but why is Skobelev deprived?
In August, 2013, on the area of three stations, was opened a magnificent complex “To the Creators of Russian Railways” with a representative, full-length, figure of the first Minister of Communications of the Russian Empire, engineer General Pavel Petrovich Melnikov in the center. He was a senior contemporary of Skobelev. But are these two individuals comparable? By and large, Melnikov was the minister of a single Moscow-Petersburg railway, one of the authors of whose project he was. Who knows this now, remember, except for narrow specialists?
Skobelev, whom, I recall, all Russia idolized, at one time more than anyone, brought to his homeland both fame and benefits, and authority in the world. “Equal to Suvorov”, he joined a number of Central Asian khanates, than he protected the entire southern “underbelly” of the country from the raids of gangster nomads. And he did it with minimal blood, acting, as he himself put it, "firmly, but with a heart." Having conquered Turkmenistan, he prevented the British from entering Turkestan. Driving the Turks from Bulgaria, he almost took Istanbul (the Western powers intervened, they did not). Then Bismarck said: “One Skobelev is worth several divisions!” Mikhail Dmitriyevich’s infinite concern for the welfare of the soldiers and officers subordinated to him is well known - isn’t this an example for current commanders? Some of his political views remain relevant to this day.
And also Moscow, Russia, in 2011, presented Skobelev's horse composition in 4 meters in Bulgaria's 90 centimeters. As far as I know, Gazprom has participated here.
- Do you see any background in all this?
In Bulgaria, Skobelev is still a national hero.
The picture of Nikolai Dmitriev-Orenburg “The Last Fight under the Plevna 28 of November 1877 of the Year”. 1889.
Militaryhistorical Museum of Artillery, Engineering and Signal Corps, St. Petersburg
Militaryhistorical Museum of Artillery, Engineering and Signal Corps, St. Petersburg
- Yes, how to tell you. Strange, of course. But, on the other hand, they gave me to understand that Moscow has no money for the installation of such a statue (4,9 m) in Ilyinsky Square. And 52 requires a million rubles, as calculated in the city hall. However, the author of the sculpture, Alexander Rukavishnikov, argues that there is an opportunity to significantly reduce this amount, for the Moscow government can personally conclude an agreement with him, and not through intermediaries, then the installation would cost a maximum of 35 million rubles. The Skobelev Committee has neither 52, nor 35 millions, we are not a foundation.
You know, sometimes the hands already fall. Here, I think to myself, I will dress in full dress with epaulets of the general, two stars of the Hero and with all orders, I will sit with a hat opposite the Moscow Council, at the monument to Yury Dolgoruky (in his place once stood the Skobelev monument), and I will call out: "Good people , Moscow is impoverished, help raise funds for a monument to the great Russian general, you need nothing at all - some 52 million! ”
“Where is the Bronze White General now made?”
- In the workshop of the sculptor Rukavishnikov in Solnechnogorsk near Moscow. For years the cast figure has been standing in the open, waiting for its worthy hour, when it — I still very much believe in it — will be installed in a decent “place under the sun” in Moscow.
- According to the logic of things, a similar monument should be in St. Petersburg.
- There is such an initiative. Memorial plaque on the wall of the Peter and Paul Fortress, of course, is not enough. In the northern capital, we have a branch of the Skobelev Committee, headed by Dmitry Konstantinovich Ilkovsky. He came up with the idea to establish a monument to General Skobelev on Lenin Square, near the Finland Station. To some it may seem like a trick, PR, but the main thing for us is that such a monument in the city on the Neva should also appear. The place, of course, may be different, but similar, precisely worthy of the significant personality of Mikhail Dmitrievich. Because Skobelevsky Prospect, which exists in St. Petersburg since 1886 of the year (it is even surprising that the Bolsheviks did not rename it!), Is located not far from the Udelnaya metro station, it’s far from the center, which, we believe, is completely inappropriate for so that it was there that installed the monument to "Suvorov equal".
DECENTLY ON RYAZAN, SMALL IN MOSCOW AND PETER
- However, Alexey Arkhipovich, everything is not so bad. For the first time, celebrations were held on the occasion of the 170 anniversary of Skobelev. The Ryazan region was especially notable in this. You attended them, tell us what happened.
- Indeed, this event was noted at a very high level in Ryazan and the region, with the participation of guests from Bulgaria, where Mikhail Dmitrievich was honored as the savior of the fatherland, and from Belarus, where he commanded the army corps for several years, was an honorary citizen of Minsk. It was especially solemn in the village of Zaborovo (formerly Spassky), where the Skobelev estate, which became a memorial complex, was partially restored. Unfortunately, only the local press mainly talked about this. It is a pity, however, that the events were not held at the level of the head of the region (only Vice Governor Sergey Filimonov was present), and there were no high-ranking officials from the RF Ministry of Defense. Which, in my opinion, indicates an underestimation of Skobelev’s personality. This two-day celebration of the White General in the Ryazan region took place as part of the international scientific-practical conference “M.D. Skobelev: history and modernity. "
In Moscow and St. Petersburg, events dedicated to the 170 anniversary of Skobelev were modest. In the capital, a gathering commemorating the White General and a memorial service was held in Ilyinsky Square near the monument to the Heroes of Pleven. The event was attended by representatives of the Foundation of war veterans and participants of armed conflicts, the Military Historical Society under the President of the Russian Federation. By the way, I would like to take this opportunity to thank, through the "NVO", the Commander-in-Chief of the Ground Forces, Colonel-General Vladimir Chirkin, who ordered the military band and a division of the guard of honor to this celebration. The military with a banner passed in front of the monument to the grenadiers fallen under the Plevna. From the Ministry of Defense to the chapel was laid a wreath of flowers.
Well, in St. Petersburg, September 29, flowers were traditionally laid at the memorial plaque on the Commandant’s House in the Peter and Paul Fortress, in which the future general was born.
- The Defense Ministry could help the Skobelev Committee in restoring the memory of the White General?
- The name of Skobelev could be assigned to some objects of the army infrastructure - a military higher educational institution, a cadet corps. Or now the CSTO Academy is being created - one could think about assigning the name of Mikhail Dmitrievich to her too. But without assigning his name, much could be done. For example, in military schools could study in detail the biography of the commander. But this is not. Here Skobelev is in oblivion - even at the level of the Academy of the General Staff. Some time ago, the Skobelev Committee held an event at this school. The leadership did not even bother to invite the officers and generals who study there, only a small audience of “accidentally caught” persons gathered. Of these, few people knew about Skobelev. Then, however, several generals and division commanders approached.
They were surprised, for example, by the fact that Skobelev knew about a dozen languages, and the most diverse ones. As in his native French, he spoke well in German and English. And in battle campaigns he tolerably studied Bulgarian, Serbian, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Uzbek, Turkmen, and partly Turkish. He led the campaign and began it not only from studying the whole situation and calculating the necessary forces for decisive success, but also a full understanding of the traditions and customs of those peoples inhabiting the territory on which they were to act. For this it was necessary and knowledge of the language. I ask students of the Academy of the General Staff: how many languages do you know? Joking: perfectly perky and Russian with a dictionary. Sad It is unlikely that now something has changed for the better. Language is never too late to learn. I myself began to learn English in 40 for years, and in 42 of the year, already using it, I managed the most complicated technique.
- Why, in your opinion, do the military have such an attitude towards Skobelev? They study the military legacy, outstanding military achievements, for example, Dragomirov, Brusilov, Zhukov (with maybe different attitudes towards them as individuals), and Skobelev, if not completely forgotten, is clearly not studied in the proper amount.
- There are many reasons, not only 70-year-old oblivion to "Suvorov equal" after 1918 year. This is partly a social issue. Perhaps our military implicitly manifests jealousy of Skobelev's outstanding successes (many were jealous of him even during the life of the general, whispering to Alexander II and Alexander III who replaced him about the “Bonapartist manners” of Skobelev). He didn’t have 39 when he died, but by that time in the military field he had already done such great things - God forbid everyone! Of course, now there are no wars (and thank God!) For which one could distinguish oneself. But this is absolutely not the point. And in the essence of things, in the essence of the approaches to the study of military affairs, the embodiment of the experience and ideas of the great commander. And in our army, alas, still as in the kings of peas.
I AM CONVINCED THAT HE WAS POISONED
- Skobelevsky Committee and you personally initiate verification of the version that the commander's death was caused by poisoning.
- I studied various aspects of the circumstances of his death and I am convinced that Mikhail Dmitrievich was poisoned. It is hard to believe that a young, 38, bursting with health, was a general who passed sands and salt marshes of the Central Asian deserts and snow Shipka, "conspired" from bullets, suddenly, without a word, taking a sip of wine, died in a hotel room. His so incredible death stunned all of Russia then. And at the Skobelev conference in Ryazan in September of this year, I again raised this issue. Moreover, today there are very large opportunities to determine whether there was a poisoning. The fact that 51-year-old Napoleon died from the effects of poison was found out almost every year after 200.
- What will it give? And how to determine who is the poisoner, who ordered the murder?
- It will give historical justice: an outstanding person, a true patriot of Russia, who brought her many benefits, was meanly killed in the prime of life, strength, creative energy. But whoever did this — the tsarist secret police at the behest of the authorities or the German spies at the instigation of Bismarck — is not so important.
Let history not have a subjunctive mood, but we must remember that in the years following the death of Mikhail Dmitrievich, especially during the failures that had persecuted our army and navy during the 1904 – 1905 Russian-Japanese war, many exclaimed: “Oh, if Skobelev would be alive today! ”His disciple and associate in the Balkans and in the Akhal-Teke campaign, General Alexei Kuropatkin, who commanded the imperial troops in the Far East, was not only not up to the mark, but thoughtlessly toppled a battle after a battle. When he, who commanded the Manchurian army at first, Nicholas II, appointed commander-in-chief of all Far Eastern forces, the already-aged General of Infantry Mikhail Ivanovich Dragomirov, who himself had rejected such a “flattering” offer, having learned about the appointment of Kuropatkin, quipped: “And who will be Skobelev is there? ”Kuropatkin was a good executive officer of the headquarters of the White General, but to be a commander - you must have a special gift. However, he himself objectively assessed his capabilities - in response to the assignment he sent a telegram to the king: “Only poverty in people made Your Majesty choose me.”
The shortage of personalities like Skobelev was still felt, and it was not for nothing that the people's funds were collected during these years, and in 1912 a magnificent monument was erected to him in Moscow.
Skobelev was Russian unique, the brightest phenomenon. He is undoubtedly in the first not even the top ten, but in the top five outstanding people of Russia. Let me remind you once again - “Equal to Suvorov,” as his contemporaries evaluated the White General.