95 years ago, the Sverdlov directive on the genocide of the Cossacks was issued. Although initially in the winter 1918 - 1919. many believed that the days of the Bolsheviks were numbered. The World War ended, the armies of the Entente were freed. Her squadron entered the Black and Baltic Seas, the French landed in Odessa and Sevastopol, the British in Baku and Batumi. Representatives of the Entente promised to Denikin and Krasnov that troops would soon arrive to them, weaponoutfit But ... in fact, none of this followed.
Western governments did not intend to save Russia. Lloyd George openly stated in the English Parliament: “The expediency of assisting Admiral Kolchak and General Denikin is all the more debatable because they are fighting for a united Russia. It’s not for me to indicate whether this slogan is in line with the policy of Great Britain. ” No, it seemed more appropriate to fan the civil war and dismember our country. Entente powers flirted with the Ukrainian, Polish, Baltic, Caucasian nationalists. And the intervention was limited to port cities. Deep into Russia, the British and French contingents did not move.
The Soviet leadership was able to freely concentrate its forces against the White Guards. The situation is especially alarming on the Don. The departure of the Germans from Ukraine opened Cossack lands from the west. The front line increased by 600 km. The Don army covered the four red armies with a total number of 124 thousand bayonets and sabers from various sides. The Cossacks had 38 thousand in formation. Now they had to stretch the front, plug holes. The winter was harsh, the blizzards were filled with shallow trenches. Typhus was added, the Cossacks mowed worse than bullets and shells. They held out their last strength. Most of them fought already with 1914 of the year. They are very tired. Over and over again reflected the Soviet offensive. But the Bolsheviks reformed and threw new divisions at the Don, and there was no one to change the Cossacks.
Looming disaster. Ataman Krasnov turned to Denikin, sent an embassy to Romania - to the headquarters of the Entente, asked for help. Troops of volunteers arrived from Denikin, but small ones — the Reds also launched an offensive in the North Caucasus. General Poult came from the British to Don, captains Fuke and Bertello from the French. Krasnov prayed to send weapons and military contingents. Not even to the front - but to place them in the rear cities, to cover the Don from the Donbass side.
Poole, who previously commanded the expeditionary corps in Arkhangelsk and understood Russian affairs, agreed that emergency assistance was required. He sent an order to the British brigade located there in Batumi to urgently relocate to the Don. Wired to London, asking to expedite the sending of transports with weapons. And he went to England to personally bother about the support of the Don. In turn, Fuke and Bertello promised that French troops from Odessa would march on Kharkov, distract the Reds.
However, Pull in London was removed from his post. He was told frankly that England needed the friends of England, not Russia. The Batumi brigade did not even have time to sink into the ships, the order was canceled. In the meantime Krasnov persuaded the Cossacks to hold out a little more. Encouraged fast help. When a group of French and English officers arrived in Taganrog - just out of curiosity, the ataman invited them to be guests, drove through the villages: here, they say, allies are already here! At banquets, drunken foreigners were not shy about promises. Cossacks believed, inspired.
But ... instead of helping up on the Don, the French captain Fuke came again with “extraordinary powers” from the commander-in-chief, Franchet d'Esprey, and suddenly began to make demands that the Cossack Army recognize France’s “supreme power” militarily, politically, administratively and internally. . To the ataman, from now on, acted only “with the knowledge of Captain Fuke.” Krasnov and the Don government were stunned. Like this? Recognize the power of France over themselves and submit to some kind of captain? They answered that they could not accept such requirements. However, no help from the French even smelled.
And the Cossacks were cold, lousy and died in positions. Rumors spread — deception ... treason ... Krasnov was no longer believed. At first, he convinced that the Germans would help, take under the auspices, then painted how the British with the French would protect. It turned out - a lie. Bolsheviks took advantage. Their agitators instilled: “We do not touch yours, and you do not touch us. Go home. You are on your own, we are on our own. ” They explained: “The Red Guard used to be outraged by Don, but now everything is completely different. Now the Red Army has discipline in it. ”
At Christmas, on the northern section of the 28 of the Upper Don, Kazan and Migulinsky regiments threw the front and went home. Meet the holiday. And on the feast itself, Trotsky’s agents appeared in the villages with bundles of “Nikolaev” money, vodka was exposed with buckets (printing machines were put at the disposal of the Bolsheviks at the Mint, but in the “white” territories tsarist money was quoted highly, considered “real”). Only Veshenskaya to treat the villagers 15 thousand rubles were lent. Razuzhlyavshis, the Cossacks at the gatherings recognized Soviet power. Following this, in the neighboring Khopersky district, the regiments began to leave positions. Here, from the side of the Reds, the corps of the Cossack Mironov acted. He was “his” for the Donors, many with weapons went over to him. There was a gap in the front where the Soviet troops moved. Cossacks met them with bread and salt ...
However, instead of the long-awaited reconciliation, a nightmare struck. All data suggests that he prepared in advance. Back in October, the People's Commissar for Military and Maritime Affairs, 1918, Trotsky created special bodies, Revvoentribunaly. They did not have any legal proceedings, even simplified ones. It was punitive detachments, personally subordinate to Trotsky. They focused on Don in advance. But they were waiting for the right moment when the Cossacks would open the front. Otherwise, would they have allowed the Bolsheviks to their lands?
Now it has become “possible.” Cossack red commander Mironov Trotsky suddenly transferred to the Western Front, to Belarus. In order not to interfere. And the Cossack regiments, who had gone over to the side of the Reds, were driven into echelons and sent to the Urals. In mid-January, a meeting of the leaders of the political leaders of the fronts was held in Moscow. Sverdlov spent it. Obviously, just at this meeting the details of the upcoming action were clarified. And on January 24, 1919 was issued a circular directive of the Organizing Bureau of the Central Committee signed by Sverdlov. It indicated:
“Recent events on various fronts and in the Cossack regions, our advancements into the depths of the Cossack troops force us to give instructions to party workers about the nature of their work in these areas. It is necessary, taking into account the experience of the civil war with the Cossacks, to recognize as the only right the most relentless struggle with all the leaders of the Cossacks by means of their total extermination.
1. To conduct mass terror against the rich Cossacks, exterminating them without exception, to conduct a merciless mass terror to all Cossacks in general, who took any direct or indirect part in the struggle against Soviet power. It is necessary to apply all measures to the average Cossacks, which give a guarantee against any attempts on his part to new demonstrations against the Soviet power.
2. To confiscate bread and force all surplus to be poured into the indicated points, this applies both to bread and to all other agricultural products ... ”It was also prescribed to“ carry out ... in a hurry order the actual measures for the mass relocation of the poor to Cossack lands ”.
We emphasize several features. There was no Organizing Bureau of the Central Committee at that time! This was the second name of the Secretariat, personnel and clerical body under the Central Committee. Solve political issues he had no right. But the directive of the Secretariat (that is, Sverdlov) was issued on behalf of the entire Central Committee! It said: “The Central Committee decides ...”! Even from the point of view of Bolshevik “legality,” the document was more than doubtful. However, the campaign was already prepared, the directive gave it a start.
The Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Republic, Vatsetis, wrote about Cossacks: “This is a kind of zoological environment, and nothing more. The hundred million Russian proletariat, even from the point of view of morality, does not here have the right to any generosity. The cleansing flame must pass through the whole Don, and all of them bring fear and almost religious horror. The old Cossacks should be burned in the flames of a social revolution ... Let their last remnants, like evangelical pigs, be thrown into the Black Sea ... ”Trotsky coined the term“ to arrange Carthage ”for the Cossacks.
A member of the Donrevkoma Reinhold reported to Lenin: “We challenged the Cossacks, starting their mass extermination. This was called raskazachivaniem; with this we hoped to improve the Don, to make it, if not Soviet, then submissive and obedient to the Soviet power ... Undoubtedly, our principled view of the Cossacks, as an element alien to communism and the Soviet idea, is correct. The Cossacks, at least a huge part of them, will have to be destroyed sooner or later, simply physically destroyed ... ”
The very word "Cossack", wearing the traditional form was forbidden. For violation - shooting. The villages were renamed in the parish, farms - in the village. Part of the Don lands was divided into the Voronezh and Saratov provinces, subject to settlement by the peasants. At the head of the villages were commissioners, usually from “foreigners” - Jews, Germans, Hungarians. Cossacks seized any weapon, they imposed a large contribution. They took food and livestock, essentially condemning people to starvation.
Immediately rolled and reprisals. Terror to the Cossacks who participated in the fight against the Soviet government? And who did not accept if there was a general mobilization on the Don from 19 to 52 years? If someone disappeared or retreated with the whites, they executed the family. “Remove” gendarmes? They grabbed the old people who served with the king in 1905. Somewhere, they began to liberate land for immigrant peasants. Cossacks drove into the winter steppe. To ruin.
Mikhail Alexandrovich Sholokhov spoke eloquently about what was happening on the Don in his novel. In 1931, he wrote to Gorky: “Not exaggerating colors, I painted the harsh reality that preceded the uprising, and deliberately missed the facts that served as the direct cause of the uprising, for example, extrajudicial execution in Migulinsk 62 of old Cossacks or shootings in Kazan and Shumilino, where the number of people shot in 6 days have reached over 400 people. ”
Eyewitnesses said: “Death sentences fell in batches. Executions were often carried out during the day in front of the entire village of 30 - 40 people immediately, and those convicted with mockery, whooping and shouting led to the place of execution. On the spot of execution the convicts were stripped naked, and all this was in front of the inhabitants. Women who covered their nakedness with their hands were bullied and forbidden to do it. ” “Lawless requisitions and confiscations need to be kept in the hundreds of thousands. The population moaned from violence and abuse. There is no farm and village, which would not consider their victims of the Red Terror to be tens and hundreds. Don was numb with horror ... ”
In Uryupinskaya executed by 60 - 80 people per day. In the Veshensky Cathedral a shameful "wedding" of an 80-year-old priest with a mare was staged. In Bokovsky, the commissar killed those who drew his attention to him for the sake of entertainment. In Morozovsky, Commissioner Boguslavsky also killed people himself. Later 50 found buried corpses in his yard, and 150 - men, women, children - behind the village. Many of them were slaughtered, bore traces of torture, rape. Yakir took direct part in the massacres, contained his own punitive detachment of 530 Chinese (destroyed 8 thousand. People) Another political worker, Rosalia Zalkind (Zemlyachka), who was present at the executions, became famous for sadism.
But it was difficult to kill all the Cossacks, and other measures were envisaged along with the executions. A member of the RVS, Sokolnikov (Brilliant), demanded that the Cossacks be sent to hard labor and ordered “to start building and equipping concentration camps immediately”. His colleague, Syrtsov, telegraphed to Veshenskaya: “Prepare step-by-step points for sending you to forced labor in Voronezh gubernia, Pavlovsk and other places of the entire male population from the age from 18 to 55 inclusively ... Shoot five for each escaped.”
But if the genocide on the Don is less known to us through the pages of the “Quiet Don”, then we must take into account - it was carried out in all the Cossack regions. On the Terek, a massacre was staged even earlier, in October-November, 1918 was incited by the "revolutionary" highlanders to cut the Cossacks. A friend of Sverdlov, Shaya Goloshchekin, sold out in the Urals. Subsequently, the ombudsman from Moscow, Ruzheinikov, who arrived in Uralsk specifically to correct the “excesses”, released thousands of Cossacks as innocently arrested from prisons. And how many are not released, considered arrested legally? And how much was already lying in the ground? After all, they didn’t keep long in prisons, the conveyors of death operated uninterruptedly. The genocide fell on the Orenburg and Astrakhan Cossacks. Even on the Cossack units who fought on the side of the Reds! When Denikin defeated the 2 Soviet army in winter battles, the only combat-ready unit that retreated in order was Kochubey's Kuban brigade. In Astrakhan, it was disarmed under the pretext of “anarchy,” many were arrested. Kochubey wanted to shoot, he fled to the steppe and died.
From the point of view of ordinary logic (even the logic of “class struggle”), the campaign of genocide was irrational. Just as irrational as regicide, as the extermination of the Russian intelligentsia in the meat grinder of the “red terror” in the autumn of 1918. After all, it was not about suppressing resistance, not about punishing opponents! On the contrary, the massacre fell upon those Cossacks who had already recognized the Soviet power. They could provide logistical support for the red units fighting against Denikin and Kolchak. And one of the Cossacks was ready to fight on the side of the Reds ... For what reason and for what reason was it decided to exterminate them? Some hacks, trying to explain this, even came up with a legend - they say, the young Yasha Sverdlov in 1905 was caught by the Cossacks and wanted to hang, so Sverdlov and harbored hatred for them. Although such a case has never happened. And in fact, the mere hatred of Yakov Mikhailovich would not be enough. The genocide was organized by his many associates and assistants.
No, the background was deeper. For projects to build a "bright future," the Cossacks seemed inappropriate material. They strictly and carefully kept the tradition. They at one time formed Russia, and the belt of the Cossack Troops at the borders seemed to fasten our state. But, according to Sverdlov and Trotsky, the Russian people were supposed to be impersonal and fool. Turn into wordless slaves in the agricultural "communes" and "labor armies." Yes, and Russia itself should be put on the kindling in the flames of the “world revolution”. Cossacks in such schemes did not fit. It would inevitably be a stumbling block in the path of these plans.
On top of that, the Cossacks traditionally called and recognized themselves as “Christ soldiers”. Called not by mobilization, but by the Lord himself. A Cossack is a warrior always, regardless of whether he is on the real, in the reserve or on the civilian. His service is from birth to death. Service to the Fatherland. Even those Cossacks, who took the side of the Reds, invented a special "Cossack Bolshevism" for themselves. They hoped to save their habitual way of life (except for the redistribution of the earth), they did not renounce Belief in God. In general, wherever you look, they turned out to be enemies not only for Lev Davidovich and Yakov Mikhailovich, but also for their foreign masters. For the circles of the international financial and political "backstage", organized and supported the destruction of Russia. It was this goal that united the heterogeneous parts of the operation - the killing of the king, the rout of the Church, the destruction of the national Russian culture. It is this logic that the extermination of the Cossacks fully corresponded. Complementary destructive processes.
But in this case, the authors miscalculated. They drove the crazed intelligentsia into slaughterhouses like sheep. The spontaneous mutiny of the peasants and the hunger riots of the workers were quite easily suppressed. But the Cossacks were born and experienced warriors. Familiar to the spike, able to quickly organize. Their patience was only enough for a month, until they realized that they actually intend to lime at the root. The fire took up at once in several places. In the village of Yelanskaya, when 20 punishers captured another batch of victims, the Krasnoyarsk farm was set up. The Cossack Atlanov assembled a 15 man with two rifles - they went to fight off those arrested with swords and whips. In Kazan, when 25 tribunals with a machine gun to carry out “Carthage” arrived at one of the farmsteads, they also revolted. Gone chain reaction. The centurion Yegorov raised 2 thousand people in the Cossack outrage ...
As propaganda materials, the insurgents distributed the same Sverdlovsk genocide directive and a telegram of Kolevaev, a member of the Revolutionary Military Council of the Southern Front, in fulfillment of the directive, found by the commissioners killed. The insurgency spread rapidly, sweeping the stanitsa of Kazan, Elan, Veshenskaya, Migulinskaya, Shumilinskaya, Meshkovskaya, Ust-Khoperskaya, Karginskaya, Bokovskaya. Cossacks independently formed hundreds and regiments, chose commanders. They advanced the slogan: “For the Soviet power, but against the commune, executions and robberies”. The rebels did not have weapons, ammunition - almost all surrendered. But they took out their grandfather's checkers, forged the pikes and rushed to the attacks with cold weapons. Poured canister and bullets from tin dishes, from lead sieve winnowing. For several captured cannons, glasses of oak shells were turned on a lathe. And they persecuted, smashed executioners.
At the same time, the Ural Cossacks rebelled. Of course, not agreeing with Donskoy. But the same laws acted, they led to the same result. The Orenburg Cossacks also rose. Terek rose, actively supported Denikin. As a result, the campaign of genocide caused only harm to Soviet power. Victories on all fronts broke. Instead of finishing the White Guards, the troops turned around against the rebel Cossacks. Kolchak, Denikin recovered from the defeats and went on the offensive ... However, the international backstage behind Sverdlov and Trotsky, too, arranged this turn. Instead of ending the civil war in Russia, its new round began to unwind. New seas of blood poured. Great power fell into chaos and could not threaten Western competitors. On the contrary, it turned into a tasty prey.