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V.M. Purishkevich's activity on the eve of the revolution and in the years of civil war

evgeny ShEHANIN


The noun of V.M. Purishkevich, leader of "Black Hundreds" and the head right in the Russian parliament, became common in days of the first Russian revolution. Both the leader of revolution V.I. Lenin, and his most prominent opponent, according to Lenin, "the clever leader of the Russian bourgeoisie", P.N. Milyukov very negatively spoke of the deputy from Bessarabia. Along with P.A. Krushevan, A.N. Krupensky, L.K. Kasso, P.V. Si-nadino he entered a cohort of the figures who forced to exorcise the public about "the moldavian period" of the Russian history. Already therefore V.M. Purishkevich's role in the Russian monarchic movement demands scientific research.

Vladimir Mitrofanovich Purishkevich was born in 1870 in family of the landowner of the Akkermansky County. Graduated from historical and philological faculty of the Novorossiysk university in Odessa. Working in office of the district leader of the nobility in Akkerman, achieved public trust and it was elected the honourable magistrate, the honourable trustee of a gymnasium. In 1897-1900 V.M. Purishkevich held a post of the chairman of a district territorial justice. In 1900 he moved to St. Petersburg and in 1904 became the official for special instructions at the Minister of Internal Affairs V.K. Plehve. It was the sign of high trust. But the minister was the same year killed by terrorists Social Revolutionaries, and Purishkevich in the Ministry of Internal Affairs did not take root. In 1906 he left service, came back to Bessarabia and was elected in II State Dumu1.

In the Duma Purishkevich rejected any attempts of restriction of autocracy, supported not only orthodox church, but also for restriction of activity of priests of other faiths. In the social plan he made foggy demands of a unification of the tsar with the people and disposals of the people of "blood-suckers" which were meant as Jews, Poles, Japanese, the international capital and even royal ministers. He tried to direct discussion of social and economic problems to the course interethnic razborok2.

Purishkevich often showed contempt for parliamentary "talking shop". The principles of democracy approved in Russia which he hated allowed it to discredit systematically the idea

"national representation". It was noticed also by Purish-kevich's antagonist from extremely left camp L.D. Trotsky: "What is concealed in himself by V.M. Purishkevich? Or, maybe, the question should be raised differently: what those shortcomings of the mechanism of democracy which allow it, to Purishkevich to be the leader, a political figure... We say about democracy because it is undoubted that without invasion of people on the sacred territory of policy it should V.M. Purishkevich is unknown to drag the days in steppes of Bessarabia" 3.

V.M. Purishkevich treated revolution as the antistate, antinational, anti-Russian phenomenon and took part in formation of the main organization of the Russian state and guarding ("chernosotenny") movement - the Union of the Russian people. He did not avoid daily political and organizational work, had the gift of the speaker, access to the Duma tribune and held a post of the vice-chairman of the Union. However for a while. In 1907 M. Purishkevich entered the conflict with the leader of SRN professor A.I. Dubrovin, was displaced from a post of companion chairman of the Union and forced to leave the organization. But did not reconcile. In February, 1908 Purishkevich and his supporters created the new "chernosotenny" organization - the Union of the Russian people of a name of the archangel Mikhail. Purishkevich was known in the country, and in native Bessarabia is even popular, and it helped it to achieve election also in III and IV Duma.

In the years of world war the leader right in word and deed supported the government. On own means he equipped the sanitary train and took out on it wounded from the front to the back. But fall of 1916 the ruin increasing in the country forced Purishkevich to occupy more critical, than before, a position in relation to the monarchy. On November 19, 1916 he delivered in the State Duma the "historical" speech full of criticism to the government. The right circles in the majority from it turned away, having recognized as the traitor to the monarchic principle; others understood, but also did not support. But Purishkevich intended to save the monarchy. In the night of December 17, 1916 he took part in murder of G.E. Rasputin, the "evil genius" of royal family hated nearly by all Russia. He was not punished, moreover, for short time V.M. Purishkevich became nearly "the national hero".

But Rasputin's murder did not save Russia from revolution. On the contrary it served as its first shot, and it is deeply symbolical that his person who was devoutly protecting an old regime made. The February revolution of 1917 put an end to existence of the monarchy and, naturally, the monarchic Union of the archangel Mikhail. And still after the revolution Purishkevich was nearly only right figure who kept in political arena. The neprimiri-

wash with a position in relation to the Bolshevism and criticism of Provisional government, liberalism in general it began to return to itself(himself) arrangement of conservative forces of Russian obshchestva4.

After October, 1917 M. Purishkevich resolutely opposed the Soviet power. He was arrested by Bolsheviks as the member of the counterrevolutionary monarchic organization. In March, 1918 the light sentence - socially useful works was pronounced to it, and by May 1 the leader right in general was amnestied. Obviously expecting to continue political struggle, he said: "I remained the same whom was, needless to say, without having changed not a jot". In September, after attempt at V.I. Lenin, Bolsheviks developed red terror, and already this phrase could cost to Purishkevich life, but he in due time left on the South of Russia where the Volunteer army was formed, and took part in the White movement.

Data on the last period of his political life are poor, and a number of the moments of its biography of times of civil war is unknown at all. In fact, the unique for today work which is specially devoted to political activity of Purishkevich in 19181920 is the small essay of V. of Bardadyma5. From brought it and other historians of data follows that the former leader of the Union of the archangel Mikhail kept will to fight, the authority among right and ability to political action. He tried to oppose to Bolsheviks what was not available for white generals, - the positive political program and a state and political core - the All-Russian national-state party.

VNGP was created at the initiative of Purishkevich in 1919 in the areas controlled by white army of A.I. Denikin in the south of Russia. The main council of the party was in Yalta, its "departments" (regional orga-nizatsim) were available also in Rostov-on-Don, Odessa, Kislovodsk, Novorossiysk, Ekaterinodare, Harkove6. V.M. Purishkevich became the chairman of the party, naturally. He managed to collect under its banners "color" of pre-revolutionary fraction of the right and Russian nationalists in the Duma and government circles. The Main Council of the party included N.N. Fermor (companion (deputy) chairman), V.V. Kasatkin (secretary), L.M. Savelov (managing affairs), A.I. Aseev. The party leadership included also famous poet monarchist S.S. Bekhteev (son of the member of right-wing group of the State Council, the eminent person of the Joint nobility S.S. Bekhteev), the count D.M. Grabbe, the former member of fraction of nationalists and moderate-right in III and IV State Dumas, the member of the All-Russian National Club (ARNC) and Council of the All-Russian national Union N.N. Ladomirsky, A.I. Mosolov (in the past the figure of right-wing group of the State Council and the member of council of monarchic congresses),

Ya.N. Ofrosimov (the former member of the State Council who was earlier cooperating with Purishkevich in the All-Russian Filaretovsky society of national education), the brother Vladimir Mitrofanovich M.M. Purishkevich, in the past the participant of the Russian Meeting and also figures of the right camp V.S. Myasoyedov, M.M. Rayevsky, N.I. of Yurlov7 famous at that time.

Nicholas II compromised Romanov' dynasty even in opinion of monarchists. In VNGP the issue of the choice of the tsar from other branch of Ryurik dynasty, for example, from the family of counts Sheremetev was discussed. By the way, the representative of this sort was included into the management partii8. However, around a question of future candidate for monarchs in VNGP, it seems, the uniform position was not. Purishkevich for a role of the dictator designed to bring order to the country before declaration of the lawful monarch offered after all the representative of House of Romanovs - the grand duke Nikolay Nikolaevich on which as the leader of VNGP wrote, "will rest pure hopes of the best part of the Russian society". "The Bolshevist power in Russia if we wish rescue of Russia, - Purishkevich noted in 1919, - it has to be replaced with the power of the ruthless Russian dictator which duty will be to find and to cruelly punish the main responsible who turned the people into an animal then only the Russian Tsar-autocrat" 9 has to be the successor of this power.

In the middle of civil war, in the conditions of disintegration of the Russian state V.M. Purishkevich supported restoration of "uniform and indivisible" Russia. This slogan became the main program requirement white, provided them support of a part of patriotic forces. But even former "Black-Hundreder" did not consider it expedient to keep in structure of orthodox Russia Catholic Poland violently. The restored Russian state, proclaimed VNGP, has to include all territory of the Russian Empire, except for Poland.

V.M. Purishkevich's commitment to the orthodox autocratic monarchy was less realistic. "Only as the Monarchy and the Monarchy Autocratic can and there will be the United, indivisible, independent Orthodox Russia", - such words were traced on the leaf stylized under a roll which was held in hand in one of photos of 1919 by the leader of VNGP. As for the party program, it was stated in the brochure by M.M. Purishkevich "The republic or the Monarchy?", published in Rostov-on-Don in 1919. Main Council of VNGP. The introductory article written by V.M. Purishkevich had program character, defining a position of party on such fundamental question as character and a form of statehood of Russia upon termination of civil war. Declaring commitment of the monarchy, V.M. Purishkevich was not a supporter samoder-any more

zhaviya. At the monarchy revived in Russia, he believed, the two-chamber representative assembly will be created, and one third of the upper house will be appointed by supreme authority. VNGP declared also expansion of local government which lowest unit thought the church parish uniting "for the economic purposes of all citizens without distinction of religion, and on questions church - only Orthodox Christians", permission of an agrarian question in the spirit of extermination of community and creation of small property at the expense of all lands, except privately owned, the ban on promotion of socialism. Also it was proclaimed that "national education has to have character church and state, the initiative of individuals at control from church and the state is only in exceptional cases allowed" 10.

Opposing policy of half measures, proclaiming uncompromising struggle with the Bolshevism, recognizing "the hardness of this power and a strong-willed impulse of its conductors", V.M. Purishkevich determined by a main goal of the Soviet power "corruption of Christian people of the world for the benefit of Judaism" 11. Anti-Semitism was svoystven to all anti-Soviet nationalist movements, especially in Poland, in Ukraine and on Don therefore Purishkevich can be suspected of the aspiration to milk a political environment. But in Russia, - namely it was necessary to be guided by its public in race for power in the state, - anti-Semitic views were shared more likely by political extremists, but not most of the population. After Purishkevich's performances in Kislovodsk and Kharkiv with public lectures on the Jewish participation in revolution the department of promotion of Volunteer army noted in the reports that these performances took place "at huge gathering of people" and made "tremendous success". But, denikinsky propagandists, "in view of that circumstance that continued [...] Purishkevich made success, mainly, among the intellectuals, it is possible [...] to claim that the party will not have its success among the people as the last too sensitively reacts to everything, reminding the right monarchism" 12. Thus, use of slogans of anti-Semitism even white was represented by a political mistake.

It is unlikely unity of anti-Bolshevist forces was promoted also by Purishkevich's appeals to political irreconcilability. In times when white attacked Moscow and denikinets especially needed support of all anti-Bolshevist forces, he said that "any flirting with socialists and cadets of all colors is doomed to a total failure: they will increase only that enormous sea of sacred blood of the Russian troops which fell in civil war for the idea of the United Russia", drawing from this a conclusion that "only the Monarchy can save

Russia; [...] only at cash of Throne are provided for Russia as its State unity [...] and political power and influence on the course of historical events among powers of the world in the future years" 13.

In it Purishkevich was right. Accurate statement by Bolsheviks of a question of future power ("the Power - to Councils!") got a bigger response in the people, than the promise made white to call the Constituent assembly after overthrow of the Soviet power. The Purishkevi-cha party flayed also actions of the management of Volunteer army, considering that heads of the White movement fight only against consequences (i.e. the Bolshevism), but not with the reasons - easing of orthodox belief and monarchic feeling in the people, the liberalism which paved the way for coming to power of Bolsheviks. An exit from developed situations seemed to the leader of VNGP in "elimination from the power of all political gawks - destroyers of Russia" (i.e. liberals - in particular "bludoyazychny cadets" and also the socialists who adjoined the White movement) and assistance to psychological shift of a people at large by establishment of "strong-willed dictatorship", the subsequent restoration autocratic monarkhii14 to the right.

Openly having proclaimed the monarchic and national patriotic principles, criticizing the white governments, VNGP, naturally, appeared in opposition to "nepredreshenchesky" policy which was pursued by A.V. Kolchak, A.I. Denikin and other leaders of the White movement. The opposition on the right too was opposition. Therefore the administration of the general A.I. Denikin interfered with work of monarchists, and opportunities to duplicate the views at Purishkevich was a little. VNGP incapable to be developed in powerful political structure, got a pejorative nickname of "party of health-resort visitors" from the opponents. The magazine of the Russian monarchic national and state thought "Toll" was designed to become a loud-hailer of VNGP. Its first number appeared in Rostov-on-Don only in December, 1919. The magazine opened the symbolical poem by Purishkevich "Prayer" in which a refrain the following words repeated: "My God, pardon us in vague days, / My God, return the tsar to us!". In a number of articles which are mainly written by the leader of VNGP (including under the pseudonym "V. Charsky"), the magazine also declared a position of new party on the main political affairs. Besides, Purishkevich ruthlessly fell upon the Informative agency and Bureau of promotion of the Volunteer army ("Osvag") because of "a lack of the Russian surnames" and disproportionately big share evreev15. However it did not happen to become the influential national and monarchic edition of "Toll" - the first issue of the magazine was also the last.

Fall of 1919 denikinsky troops were broken, their retreat to ports of the Black Sea began. V.M. Purishkevich and his adherents should have been evacuated. But life of the politician broke suddenly. In January, 1920 he got sick with a typhus and died. With his death stopped the existence and VNGP.

Unlike most of pre-revolutionary leaders of the right forces, in days of revolution and civil war V.M. Purishkevich did not stop political struggle. However its attempt to formulate the ideology designed to rally state and guarding forces, was insolvent because did not propose the acceptable solution of the main social problems of Russia of that time - working and country. In essence he ignored and an ethnic question. But it is necessary to recognize that in political arena V.M. Purishke-vich steadily acted from the Russian state and patriotic positions.


1. S. Sulyak. Moldova//the International historical magazine "Rusin" [Chisinau] is proud of them. 2006. N ° 3 (5). Page 134.
2. History of the Dnestr Moldavian Republic. T. 1 / Under the editorship of Babi-lunga N.V., Bomeshko, B.G Tiraspol, 2000. Page 462.
3. There . Page 462-463.
4. Ivanov.A. Russian monarchy. M, 2003. Page 34.
5. S. Sulyak. Decree. soch. Page 138. See also: Bardady V.V.M. Purishkevich in Kuban. Strokes to a political portrait//V. Bardady. Kuban portraits. Krasnodar, 1999.
6. Ya.A. Butakov. The Russian nationalists and the White movement in the south of Russia in 1919//the New historical bulletin. 2002. N2 (7). Page 18; [Stepanov S.A.] V.M. Purishkevich//the Political history of Russia in parties and persons. M, 1993. Page 340.
7. M. Purishkevich Monarkhiya or Republic? Edition of the Main Council of the All-Russian National and State Party. Rostov-on-Don, 1919. Page 19.
8. Ya.A. Butakov. Decree. soch. Page 18.
9. Toll. Magazine of the Russian Monarchic National and State thought. Rostov-on-Don. 1919. N 1. Page 2, 23.
10. ButakovYa.A. Decree. soch. Page 18.
11. Purishkevich Century. (Introduction)//Purishkevich M. Respublika or Monarchy. p. without number.
12. ButakovYaa. Decree. soch. Page 18. The author refers on: GARF. T. 446. Op. 2. 69.
13. V. Purishkevich. (Introduction)//M. Purishkevich. Decree. soch. P. without number; Toll. Page 1.
14. Toll. Page 1-2, 24.
15. In the same place. Page 3-5.
Mary Taylor
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