In matters of security, V.I. Lenin took the example of the Russian emperors
In 1918, Lenin uttered the famous words: "A revolution is only worth something if it can defend itself." But how did the leader of the revolution solve this question for himself? Of course, he was guarded, and next to him, of course, there were people who understood the words about protection by no means abstract. But what was called the protection of the leader of the world proletariat differed significantly from what was invested in this concept when it just left history Russian emperor.
Cheka - OGPU: 1917-1924
A hair's breadth from death
New times demanded new solutions. At the hard junction of the ideological, economic and social contradictions of revolutionary Russia at the beginning of the last century, professional continuity was resolutely rejected in favor of a truly proletarian origin. The whole ideology of the new government was expressed in two lines of its anthem: "We will destroy the whole world of violence to the ground, and then we will build our new world, whoever is nothing will become everything." The state security system did not escape this fate either. The old one was destroyed to the ground, and the new one was only to be built.
But the reality of professional terror forced to consider the issues of ensuring the personal security of the leadership of the young republic very quickly, soberly and effectively.
After Lenin arrived in Petrograd in 1917, the comrades appointed by the party from among the most loyal asset that was tested by underground work were responsible for his life. All their professionalism kept only on the revolutionary consciousness and understanding of the situation. It would not be entirely correct to say that these people were guarding the leader of the proletariat, without having the slightest idea how to do it. Their experience accumulated literally daily. The one who understood this difficult process, remained in protection, who was not capable of it - went to other work areas assigned by the party.
After placing the headquarters of the revolution at the Smolny Institute for the security of virtually the entire state, occupying a small room number 57, Vladimir Dmitrievich Bonch-Bruyevich answered. He was in charge of all lists, admissions, cars, weapons, secrecy, finances and personnel. He was in March 1918 of the year preparing and providing a special operation to move the government to Moscow.
Vladimir Lenin and Vladimir Bonch-Bruevich. Photo: wikimedia.org
The sailor Pavel Malkov became the commandant of the Smolny, who had to focus on the housekeeping in the building — heating, food, repairs, etc. He was also responsible for providing security. The detachment formed by Malkov consisted of 60 – 70 Red Guards and sailors, only they guarded the building, but not Lenin.
Looking ahead, we note that the duties of Pavel Dmitrievich was very remarkable. Subsequently, for officers of the 9 Directorate of the KGB of the USSR, who will be entrusted with solving such tasks in the personal security groups, the same position - “commandant” will be provided.
In addition to the posts, the soldiers of the detachment Malkov also had to guard the arrested, who were then kept in the premises of Smolny. In general, this unprofessional security concern was more than enough. There were not enough hands, but when Pavel Malkov turned to Felix Edmundovich Dzerzhinsky with a request to allocate additional people to protect the building, only seven sailors were added to him ...
As for Lenin himself, the closest person to him, “by default” responsible for the life of the leader, at least for his timely and safe movement, was Stepan Kazimirovich Gil (1888 – 1966). Previously, he was the driver of the Autobase of the Provisional Government, the heiress of His own Imperial Majesty's garage. From this garage, by November 1917, the revolution headquarters got 58 cars (43 cars, 7 trucks, 6 ambulances, 1 tanks and 1 workshop). In November-December of the same year, 18 machines were requisitioned.
There were far fewer drivers in Petrograd at that time than astronauts are now, they were perceived as gods, even though they "served the king." Therefore, the ability to drive and repair self-propelled mechanisms turned out to be enough to get into, if not the most important, but the orbit of the protection of the first persons of the nascent Land of Soviets.
These are the two most important features for us at that time: first, the alarming, dangerous situation of the revolutionary city and, second, the abilities of those who were entrusted with the protection of the first power corridors of the young Republic of Soviets.
And the attitude of the leader of the world proletariat itself to its own security was rather ambiguous. On October 27 1917, Lenin personally wrote “The duties of the sentry under the chairman of the SNK”. The instruction read:
“1. Do not miss anyone except the people's commissioners (if the messenger does not know them in person, then he must demand tickets, that is, identification from them).
2. From all others to demand that they write down on paper their name and, in a nutshell, the purpose of the visit. The messenger must give this note to the chairman and not let anyone into the room without his permission.
3. When there is no one in the room, keep the door ajar to hear phone calls and invite any of the secretaries to the phone.
4. When there is someone in the chair's room, keep the door always closed. ”
In the book N.I. Zubov "They guarded Lenin" is also mentioned that October 28 Lenin, along with V.D. Bonch-Bruevich personally inspected the part of the building where the Council of People's Commissars was located. Vladimir Ilyich proposed a fundamental improvement in the protection of Smolny. In particular, two machine guns stood at the windows of the Secretariat of the Council of People's Commissars (in front of the door to the study of VI Lenin). At the entrance to the office of Ilyich the Red Guards were on duty 24 hours a day. (See: N. Zubov. They guarded Lenin. M., 1981, p. 67 – 68.)
Later, by decree of the Revolutionary Military Committee, the first personnel special unit was formed from several regiments of Latvian riflemen. But it had nothing to do with personal protection. Like the guard of commandant Malkov, the Latvian riflemen did not guard Lenin, but the corridors of Smolny, and were not security specialists either.
And did the leader himself seriously think about his safety? Stepan Gil recalled: “The life of Vladimir Ilyich several times a day was in mortal danger. This danger was aggravated by the fact that Vladimir Ilyich categorically refused any kind of protection. When carrying himself, he never carried a weapon (except for a tiny browning, from which he never shot) and asked me not to arm myself either. One day, when I saw a revolver in my holster on my belt, he gently, but quite decisively said: “Why do you need this thing, Comrade Gil? Take it away! ”However, I continued to carry the revolver with me, although I carefully kept it from Vladimir Ilyich.”
Pavel Malkov also told afterwards: “In general, right up to the unfortunate assassination attempt of Kaplan, Ilyich went everywhere and traveled alone, categorically opposed to being escorted by the guards” ...
What explains this attitude of Lenin to questions of his personal safety?
The leaders of the young are not yet countries, but the republics simply did not have a clue about what personal security means. None of them has ever been a protected person. The experience of underground work naturally affected the worldview of revolutionaries who achieved their goals. They are invincible, invulnerable, they are smarter, more honest and more correct than all and everything in the world, they despise danger for the sake of common good, general happiness and, of course, the next world revolution.
Private security? And what is it? This tsar-satrap was afraid of the wrath of the people, and therefore kept his “secret service”. And the true fighters for the happiness of the people whom to fear? The experience of the French revolutionary colleague Marat, stabbed with a knife in his own bathroom by a young girl “from the very people” Charlotte Korde, was not taken into account in the background of the daily revolutionary work in hand. Or maybe the Bolsheviks simply did not finish reading the history of the Great French Revolution beyond taking power and initial reforms, going straight to Marx ...
There has not yet been a case that would have opened the eyes of not only the leader of the world proletariat, but also fellow party members to the harsh reality. That is, shooting specifically at the target.
In matters of security, V.I. Lenin took the example of the Russian emperors
Cheka - OGPU: 1917-1924
The birth of the Cheka
But to protect Lenin already then was from whom. And not only the leader himself, but also his cars. The first car of Lenin was a luxurious French Turcat-Mery 28 1915 year of release. In December, 1917, this car was boldly stolen ... right from the yard of Smolny, taking advantage of the fact that the driver had gone to drink tea. The best security officers started looking for a car and after a few days found it on the Finnish border in the fire station garage. Thought on the Social Revolutionaries. Only, as it turned out, another “contra” hijacked the car - smugglers. That is, there was no attempt on the life of the leader. From the point of view of his comrades at Smolny, this was a "flagrant episode of the theft of revolutionary property."
Of course, the theft of Lenin's car was a drop in a sea of other disturbing events. The general unrest and the declared white terror forced the Bolsheviks 20 of December 1917 of the year to create the All-Russian Emergency Commission, which the party entrusted Felix Dzerzhinsky to head. It was an emergency not only in terms of the situation, but also in terms of authority. And then a special security group was created within the framework of the Cheka under the leadership of Abram Yakovlevich Belenky (from 1919 to 1924, Lenin’s security chief). They carried out general security functions, the functions of surveillance, fought against banditry and speculation.
To say that in Petrograd the life of the leader of the revolution was disturbing was to say nothing. Shot everywhere. Here is what the archives say about this: “... January 1 1918, returning after the performance of V.I. Lenin in the Mikhailovsky Manege in front of soldiers leaving for the German front, Lenin's car on the road to Smolny was fired upon. The driver Gorokhovik maneuvers was able to avoid the tragic consequences. "
The car and the driver were already different. When the Turcat-Mery 28 was returned, Lenin refused to sit in it and moved to another French limousine, the Delaunay Belleville 45, from the same imperial garage. Ilyich was accompanied by his sister Maria Ulyanova and the Swiss social democrat Platten. It is possible that he saved Lenin’s life by bending his head to the seat, while he himself was wounded in the arm. The car body was all riddled with bullets. Subsequently, the emigrant Prince Shakhovskoy from abroad claimed that it was he who organized the attack.
In the same January, an appointment with V.D. Bonch-Bruyevich is confessed by a certain soldier Spiridonov and reports that he is participating in the conspiracy of the Union of St. George Cavaliers and was given the task of liquidating Lenin. On the night of January 22, a freshly organized Cheka arrested all the conspirators.
In March, 1918, Lenin and his comrades-in-arms, with guards and fleets, moved from Petrograd to the Moscow Kremlin. By analogy with Smolny, the Office of the Moscow Kremlin commandant was created, headed by the same Pavel Malkov. The administration was not subordinate to protection, but to the military department as a sector of the Moscow military district.
24 in May 1918, courses of the Cheka were organized, and all applicants to them had to give a subscription that they would serve in the Cheka for at least six months. In connection with the formation of courses, the initial approach to the use of the work experience of the royal specialists was revised. One of these officers was the former commander of a separate gendarme corps, General V.F. Dzhunkovsky (1865 – 1938), whom Dzerzhinsky himself invited to speak. Subsequently, Dzhunkovsky participated in the well-known operation "Trust". With his participation in the 1932, the Regulations on the passport regime were also developed. And one more interesting detail: after the resignation of the former general of gendarmes, the Soviet government paid him a pension of 3270 rubles a month ...
Speech V. Lenin on Red Square. Photo: wikimedia.org
Less than six months after the government moved to Moscow, the revolutionary consciousness in relation to personal security has seriously changed. On the morning of August 30 in Petrograd, Moses Uritzky, chairman of the Petrograd Cheka, was assassinated. On the same day, Lenin arrived at the Michelson factory, where Fanny Kaplan shot him from a distance of several meters.
After this, the Central Executive Committee, at that time the highest organ of the Soviet government, announces the Red Terror, and the 5 of September 1918 of the year the government (Council of People's Commissars) signs the corresponding decree. Issues of personal protection are raised to the state level.
In September 1918 of the year, an operational group of Lenin's secret guard was formed from the operational division of the Cheka, which included up to 20 people. Dzerzhinsky personally selected the fighters in this group, its first curator from the Cheka was Latvian Jacob Christoforovich Peters (shot 25 on April 1938 of the year, rehabilitated on 3 of March 1956 of the year), who conducted the case of Fanny Kaplan. The first head of the group was R.M. Gabalin.
One of the fighters of the unit, Petr Ptashinsky, recalled the beginning of his security service in Gorki: “At first, we didn’t really understand how to behave. To protect in our understanding meant not to allow anyone outside the estate. Therefore, each of us sought to be close to V.I. Lenin. And loomed before his eyes without the need. Obviously, this led to the fact that we more often than it needed to come across him during his walks around the estate. ”
Excessive zeal for the protection caused discontent of Lenin, who once said: “The revolution needs every soldier, and here 20 healthy guys are idle around my person.” He even reproached Jacob Peters that his every step was controlled. But Peters and Dzerzhinsky referred to the decision of the Central Committee.
Post No. 27
In December 1918, a regiment of Latvian riflemen was sent to the front. Instead of them, the cadets of the 1-s of Moscow machine-gun courses, who were headed by L.G., began to guard the Kremlin. Alexandrov.
“The cadets guarded both the gates, the walls, and the territory of the entire Kremlin,” recalls one of the cadets, Mikhail Zotov. “But the guardhouse for the protection of the government building, and especially the apartment of Lenin, was the most honorable and responsible matter.”
The cadets carried guard duty in three shifts. Stood for two hours. On the second floor, by the stairs, the security officer was also sitting (we were guarded, M. Zotov joked). The guard was on the ground floor, the attire was going upstairs. The most common violation of the Kremlin cadets was to take the elevator to the second floor: the elevator was then a wonder for everyone, and the young village boys, of course, wanted to ride it. They were strongly punished for this, but those who wanted to ride less did not get ...
The cadets were raised in alarm only once - in the fall of 1922, when a group of Social Revolutionaries attempted to penetrate the territory of the Kremlin. Mikhail, as part of the machine-gun crew, took up defense at the gates, but the KGB took that group on the way, not allowing it to reach the Kremlin.
Ilyich cadets loved, can not be said about their immediate boss - Leo Trotsky. “Then we did not know that he was an enemy of the people, but Trotsky already showed his enemy’s face,” Mikhail Zotov recalled.
He especially remembered two characteristic episodes. The first - at one of the meetings, during Trotsky's speech, a cadet from the back row looked at him through binoculars. Trotsky noticed this ... for half an hour the whole hall stood at attention and listened to the angry speech of the people's commissar for defense affairs.
Another case is divorced, when Lev Davydovich passed by the guard in charge. He walked back and forth several times (the fighters performed a left-right alignment), hemmed contemptuously and went on.
Lev Trotsky was guarded by military units entrusted to him as a narco-military minor; he did not have his own security group in the full sense of the word. Perhaps this fact infringed upon his exaggerated self-esteem and forced him to recoup his cadets ...
Be that as it may, the approach to ensuring the personal security of the country's leaders has already begun to take on systemic forms.
In matters of security, V.I. Lenin took the example of the Russian emperors
1917 – 1924, VChK - OGPU
Who is the boss in Moscow
At the same time, the leader himself was still very careless. In 1919, the famous gang of Jacob Koshelkov attacked his car outside the Sokolniki District Council building.
In the evening of January 6, Lenin, accompanied by M.I. Ulyanova, with driver Gil and security guard I.V. Chabanov, went to Sokolniki. Here's how Stepan Gil told about everything that happened during the interrogation:
“Three armed men jumped out on the road and shouted:“ Stop! ” I decided not to stop and slip between the bandits; but that they were robbers, I had no doubt. But Vladimir Ilyich knocked on the window:
- Comrade Gil, it is worth stopping and finding out what they need. Is this a patrol?
And behind them they run and shout: "Stop! We will shoot!"
“Well, you see,” said Ilyich. - Need to stop.
I slowed down. After a moment, the doors opened, and we heard a formidable order:
- Come out!
One of the bandits, a huge one, taller than anyone else, grabbed Ilyich by the sleeve and dragged him out of the cab. As it turned out later, it was their leader Wallet. Ivan Chabanov, who served as Lenin’s guard, was also pulled out of the car.
I look at Ilyich. He stands holding a pass in his hands, and on his side are two thugs, and both, aiming at his head, say:
- Do not move!
- What are you doing? - said Ilyich. - I am Lenin. Here are my documents.
As he said this, my heart sank. All, I think, Vladimir Ilyich died. But because of the noise of a working motor, the ringleader of the bandits did not hear the name - and that saved us.
“Damn with you that you are Levin,” he snapped. - And I Purse, the owner of the city at night.
With these words, he grabbed a pass from Ilyich’s hands, and then, jerking his coat lapels, reached into his inside pocket and took out other documents, including the Red Army book, written in the name of Lenin, Browning and the wallet.
The victims of the raid went to the district council, where at first they did not want to let them go without documents, but they still missed them. According to the memoirs of the guard Ivan Chabanov, Lenin summoned the chairman of the council and explained that they had taken away the car. “He replied that the car was not taken away from us, why was it taken from you?” Tov. Lenin replied: "They know you, but they don’t know me, so the car was taken away from me." Is it possible to imagine such a dialogue and in general a similar situation in our times ?! The head of state, two steps away from the state body, becomes the victim of a gangster attack, and to all the others the representative of the authority he heads will not recognize him!
In the meantime, the robbers examined the documents they had obtained, realized who had just been in their hands, and decided to return to take Lenin hostage (according to another version, to kill him). But there was no one else at the scene of the robbery, and the gangsters simply threw the car on the embankment of the Moskva River, where the KGB found it that evening.
A few days after the attack, Koshelkov in Moscow imposed special security measures. Within the Ring Railway, the military authorities, the Cheka and the police received an order to shoot the robbers captured at the crime scene without a court. A special strike group was organized by the Moscow Emergency Commission headed by Fedor Yakovlevich Martynov, Head of the Special Group on Combating Banditry, and Alexander Maximovich Trepalov, Head of the Moscow Criminal Investigation Department. The leader’s personal guard was headed by Abram Yakovlevich Belenky. In July, Purses and one of his accomplices were ambushed by Bozhedomka, in the ensuing shootout Yashka was killed. Fyodor Martynov described this episode colorfully in his memoirs:
“A purse from a carbine Purses was mortally wounded ... But already lying, half-blind from the blood, mechanically continued to press the trigger and shoot at the sky. We approached him, and one of the officers shouted: "Purses, come on! You can be listed as dead!"
September 25 of the same year 1919, there was another attempt on the life of Lenin. Anarchist Sobolev threw a powerful bomb into the window of the Moscow Committee of the RCP (B), where Ilyich was scheduled to speak. The explosion killed 12 people, among the 55 injured was Nikolai Bukharin. The leader of the revolution himself was not injured, as he was detained in the Moscow Soviet ...
There is a twist of fate in the fact that the man who devoted his life to the struggle against tsarism treated protection just like some of the Russian tsars. Apparently, like him, he was close to the idea of the indissoluble unity of the sovereign and the people, even if understood somewhat differently - outside the religious context. Be that as it may, historical experience shows: in times of social upheaval, the first person has no right not to care about his safety and not to comply with its requirements. Otherwise, even the most trained, organized, and dedicated bodyguards may be powerless.
Between Lenin and Stalin
At the end of May 1922 in Lenin on the basis of sclerosis of the cerebral vessels had the first serious attack of the disease - speech was lost, the movement of the right limbs weakened, almost complete loss of memory was observed. To admit that someone could contemplate the leader of the world proletariat in such a state, from the leadership of the party, would be universal stupidity. Lenin is sent to Gorki for "rest." The regime of isolation from everything that could interfere with the healing process should have been guarded.
Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin. Photo: etoretro.ru
On the recommendation of Belenky, in the 1922 year, a security group V.I. Lenin from about 20 people. The group's leader was Petr Petrovich Pacaln, who enjoyed the special trust and sympathy of the leader. The group included Sergey Nikolaevich Alikin, Semen Petrovich Sokolov, Makariy Yakovlevich Pidyura, Franz Ivanovich Baltrushaitis, Georgy Petrovich Ivanov, Timofey Isidorovich Kazak, Alexander Grigorievich Borisov, Konstantin Nazarovich Strunets and others. Later, an officer of the security unit V.I. Lenina I.V. Pisan (1879 – 1938) held various economic and administrative positions in Gorki. As in the case of Pavel Malkov, here we again see the prototype of the post of the modern commandant.
Work on the construction and protection of the young state continued. Reactionary extremists improved their plans and methods to combat this process. The Organizing Bureau of the Central Committee of the Party decided to strengthen Lenin’s security. This is how the first generation of security officers, who were guarding state leaders, appeared. The words "bodyguard" no one knew. The term "personal security" will appear much later. With their dedicated work, it was the security officers who protected Lenin who laid the foundation stone for the Russian school of protection, having established and reliably provided universal and round-the-clock support of the leader of the world proletariat and his comrades.
Dzerzhinsky personally supervised this unit, giving instructions to the head of Abram Belenky. In January, 1920, by the time the OGPU was created, there were only 20 people in its Special Branch. After Lenin's death in January 1924, his security group was disbanded, many of its staff were demobilized from the OGPU.
At that time, none of the country's leaders officially had their own security group. And this is quite a bright fact in the history of the formation of the great school of personal protection in Russia. During this period, none of them was killed. The former secretary general of the Central Committee of the RCP (b), Joseph Stalin, in fact, composed the “anti-Trotsky troika”, together with Zinoviev and Kamenev, actually solved the issue of state leadership. That is, there was no one to guard, as Lenin had earlier guarded. In order to give the order to create his personal protection, neither Stalin, nor Zinoviev, nor Kamenev had the authority. De jure, they were equal.
Felix Dzerzhinsky played a prominent role in further events - not just a revolutionary ally, but, more importantly, like-minded Joseph Stalin. Their views on the development paths, methods of managing the state and, most importantly, the methods and techniques of confronting both internal and external threats to its integrity, undoubtedly, coincided.
It is noteworthy that on July 20 of the year 1926, speaking at the plenum of the Central Committee, Dzerzhinsky openly and unequivocally accused Kamenev that "he does not work, but is engaged in politicking." The same evening, Iron Felix died. The question of whether the charge Dzerzhinsky contributed to the arrest of Kamenev and the advancement of Stalin to the heights of state power, we will leave to the discretion of historians. But from the point of view of the KGB science for Kamenev it was a sentence ...
We will talk about how the personal protection system came back to life and how the state ensured the personal safety of Joseph Stalin in the next article of the series.