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Implementation of policy of red terror in relation to orthodox clergy and believing in counties of the Kursk province in 1918-1919.

seriya History. Political science. Economy. Computer science. 2010. No. 7 (78). Release 14

UDC 94(471.084.3





P.Yu. Subbotin

The principles of article included the empirical material characterizing formation of extraordinary bodies and implementation of policy of red terror in counties of the Kursk province. For the first time the testimonies of participants and eyewitnesses of events introduced for scientific use open repressive measures concerning clergy and believers, churches, monasteries and spiritual educational institutions. New materials about arrest and death of the Belgorod bishop Nicodemus (Kononov) and the decent archpriest Porfiriya (Amfiteatrov) are presented in article.

The history of civil war in Russia retains steady public and scientific interest that is connected with reconsideration of the Soviet heritage and introduction to a scientific turn of the new historical sources earlier inaccessible for researchers. Red terror as the system of repressive measures of the state against the population - an integral part of civil opposition in Russia, and terror concerning clergy and believers - one of the most tragic pages in the history of the Russian Church. In this regard in article an attempt to characterize forms and methods of policy of red terror in relation to clergy and believers in the territory of the district centers of the Kursk province is made.

It is a little researches devoted to a church and historical perspective of the period of civil war in the territory of the Kursk province. From our point of view, it is necessary to refer scientific works of S.N. of Emelyanova1 to the most considerable. However, they are more devoted to processes in the provincial center of the region. At the same time, due to the need of input in a scientific turn of the new data found in the central and regional archives, the author of this article focuses the main attention on the district cities of the Kursk province, such as Belgorod, Grayvoron, Korocha, Oboyan, Stary Oskol, Tim and Shchigry. As the most considerable on the scope and cruelty of an event occurred in the city of Belgorod, it is taken as the most typical example at material statement.

One of features of implementation of policy of red terror on places can consider the fact that power methods were applied to the civilian population as public authorities represented by executive committees of local councils of working and soldier's deputies (executive committees) of all levels, and special bodies represented by the extraordinary commissions on fight against a counterrevolution and sabotage (ChK). The Soviet power consciously authorized not only creation of such structures, but also power methods in their activity that in the absence of appropriate control led to especially cruel forms of terror, up to legal lawlessness. Often the fate of believers and clergy directly depended on personal

1 S.N. Yemelyanov. Power and church. Evolution of the public religious policy and institutes of church management in provinces of the Central Black Earth. 1917-1922. Kursk, 2001; S.N. Yemelyanov. Attempts of modernization of bodies of church management of Russian Orthodox Church in the conditions of the religious policy of state authorities in the years of Civil war (1917-1920): complex and historical analysis. Kursk, 2002.

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preference of local authorities. In this regard as the most odious example the Belgorod administration of district executive committee and ChK can be presented.

In the territory of Belgorod and nearby places fully red terror was developed from December, 1918 to June, 1919. To the introduction of parts of the Red Army to Belgorod, members of presidium of the Belgorod uispolkom L.A. of Meranvil2 and P.P. Sokolov cabled in VTsIK about readiness after the occupation of the city to organize revolutionary-military committee as a part of ten people and the extraordinary commission as a part of six chelovek3. Thus, the Belgorod ChK on the value was equated to voyenrevky, having become the second power body in Belgorod and county. At occupation of Belgorod on December 7, 1918 (according to articles) parts of the Red Army the main imperious functions concentrated in hands of revolutionary-military committee under the leadership of L.A. Meranvil. Retaliatory functions were distributed between district ChK, district militia and commandant's office - district ChK was headed by M.A. Vasilyev, and district militia and city commandant's office - V.A. Saenko and S.A. Saenko sootvetstvenno4.

With arrival of Bolsheviks in Belgorod "confiscation" of property of the running citizens and a number of institutions began. In practice confiscation developed into robberies since often the requisitioned property turned into private use of confiscating. Two houses Machurinykh, the apartment of the countess Dorrer were subjected to plunder of the house of prosperous citizens Boldyrev, Bocharov, Vasilyev, Golev, Kotlyarov, Kudryavtsev, Kurbatov, Odintsovo, women's diocesan school, spiritual school, seminary, etc. 5 under the guise of search of weapon at the citizens who remained in the city the search in households with the subsequent withdrawal of all securities and things was conducted. Besides, "consolidation" of a number of town houses and apartments was made - premises were engaged in families of Bolsheviks while at best left to owners one room. Cash desks, cases and safes of educational institutions, shops and churches were opened and devastated. The archpriest of the Belgorod Uspensko-Mikhaylovsky church of the island of Mikhail (Svechnikov) demonstrated: "The property of Diocesan school, Dukhovnago of school and seminary almost everything is plundered, the building is devastated, and the orphans who were brought up on kazennyya means were deprived of any contents" 6. Holy Trinity Monastery was exposed to plunder several times. At first the group of Red Army men led by Bychkov imposed on the deputy of the monastery contribution of 500 rub, then the group led by Tsybanenko took out from monastery of property for the sum about 200,000 rub, in several days the group led by Shelikhov carried away bank papers for 6,000 rub and valuable liturgical objects - a gold cope about Saint Nicholas's icons, a gold breast cross and gold altar cross. In the Belgorod female monastery Rozh-destvo-Bogoroditskom 151,400 rub were confiscated, 5,000 poods of oak boards and in monastic to the log are in the country cut down 3 tithes front lesa7. Besides, during stay of Bolsheviks in the city they regularly withdrew all monetary donations of believers from so-called candle and strongboxes of city churches and monasteries.

Proceeding from ideological fixations of Bolshevik party on uncompromising struggle with church, on places the implementation of these provisions developed into growth of violence unprecedented before and anti-church promotion, up to direct

2 Meranvil de Saint-Claire Leonid Aleksandrovich is a native of Belgorod, the lawyer, the active participant of revolutionary events, the chairman of the Belgorod revolutionary-military committee, then district executive committee. The Menshevik internationalist, since December, 1918 the Bolshevik. Since 1921 worked in Moscow. Repressed and shot in 1938
3 Center of documentation of the contemporary history of the Belgorod region. T. 2080. Op. 2. 11. (B-1a).
4 State archive of the Russian Federation (HECTARE of the Russian Federation). F. R-470. Op. 2. 168. L. 25.
5 HECTARE of the Russian Federation. F. R-470. Op. 2. 168. L. 74.
6 In the same place. The spelling of the document is hereinafter kept.
7 In the same place. L. 32-35.

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mockery and mockeries at clergy and believers. If in provincial Kursk on meetings the propagandists directly urged "to cut" clergy, then on the Belgorod meetings it was said that churches need to be destroyed or turned into theaters, clergy - to destroy, and to earth St. Ioasaf's relics. The commissioner Kostyukov said that he gave to two dogs the nicknames "Priest" and "Bishop". At the railway station of Belgorod and in public places of the city, posters with rough attacks in the address dukhovenstva8 were hung out. With Monashestvuyushchiye of monastery were involved in the dirtiest and unpaid work: "Rainy weather and fierce cold did not save our monks from hard work on cleaning of drifts, streets, cleaning of rest rooms, digging in the winter in an icy cold in the field of trenches, etc. hard work. At work watched the guard's monks from Bolsheviks, and all the time mocked" 9. Sending monashestvuyushchy for public works was organized by the chairman of district ChK M.A. Vasilyev and was obligatory for all. "Releases any cannot be. If who from mentioned in the list is a patient, then you have to replace those healthier. You will be immediately arrested for non-execution of the above", - he told the deputy monastyrya10.

Besides robberies and antireligious performances terror and concerning the clergy was developed. In Belgorod priesthood and monashestvuyushchy held special position - the city was the center of a set of churches, men's and female monasteries, spiritual school and women's diocesan school, the place of a pilgrimage to relics of the prelate Ioasaf (Gorlenko) glorified in 1911 in the Community of Saints. Here the ancient episcopal department which suffragan bishop since 1913 was preosvyashchenny Nicodemus (Kononov), and decent since 1915 - the archpriest of the Belgorod Uspensko-Nikolayevsky cathedral of the island of Porfiry (Amphitheaters) was located.

The bishop Nicodemus regularly, both to, and after arrival of Bolsheviks, said accusatory sermons against violence and robbery, than irritated already hostile revolutionaries. The deputy of Holy Trinity Monastery of the island of Mitrofan (Hudoshin) remembered: "To Bolsheviks contents of sermons of Ep. Nicodemus was not pleasant and more than once they threatened the Bishop that will take the most drastic measures in respect of him if he mentions Bolsheviks in the sermons and to criticize their actions" 11. Condemned in the sermons the violence and robberies started by the new power and priors of the Belgorod churches, including the island of Porfiry (Amphitheaters), the lake. Yakov (Timofeev) and others. Being afraid of moral influence of priests on flock, Bolsheviks sought to control contents of sermons. In this regard they in every possible way encouraged any negative information on priests. Cases of denunciations of clergy, including false and unchecked became more frequent. So, the island of Dimitry (Sofronov) asked the aged woman disturbing a church service a foreign talk: whether "is not present at you, the grandmother, great sins?", on what that answered in the negative and left. It turned out later that whether two of her sons were Bolsheviks and a question of the priest she understood as "is not present at you, the grandmother, Bolsheviks?". As a result of the island of Dimitry it was arrested, beaten by a lash, spent three months in prison and only on the eve of arrival of denikinets it was released from under strazhi12. The priest of one of churches of the Belgorod County of the island of Vasily (Firsov) was forced to run from prosecution of Bolsheviks. He lodged in Belgorod where he on a denunciation in "not sympathy" for the Soviet power was arrested and imprisoned for three months.

8 HECTARE of the Russian Federation. F. R-470. Op. 2. 168. L. 74.
9 In the same place. L. 32-35.
10 In the same place. L. 32-35.
11 In the same place. L. 32-35.
12 In the same place. L. 14-15.

For half a year of secondary stay of Bolsheviks in Belgorode13 at different times in various occasions except already mentioned the bishop Nicodemus and the island of Porfiriya, the island of Yakova, the island of Dimitriya and the island of Vasiliya were arrested: prior of the Belgorod monastery of the island of Mitrofan, treasurer of the monastery of the island of Daniil, sacristan of the monastery of the lake. Neofit, decent monastery of the lake. Serafim, priest of page. Old Ancient settlement of the lake Nikolay (Popov), priest of the village of Pristeni of the lake Mikhail (Kowalewski), priest of the Belgorod convent of the island of Nikolay (Vasyutin), former religious teacher of spiritual school of the lake Vladimir (Limarov), psalm readers of cemeterial Nikolaev church Dmitry Vakhnin and Peter and Paul church Nicanor Ukolov14. At approach of volunteer army of Denikin the Belgorod priests of the island of Petr (Zion), the island of Vasily (Solodovnikov), celibate priests Serafim (Kretov), Lavrenti (Greek) 15 and Dorofei (Zumkov) hostage were taken and sent to Kursk. Is later than the island of Petr, the island of Vasily and the celibate priest Serafim were shot in Kursk among other Belgorod zalozhnikov16.

Terror was carried out not only in Belgorod. In the settlement Tomarovke Belgorodskogo of the county the island Alexander (Solntsev), in the village of Myasoyedovo - the archpriest Konstantin (Nichkevich), in the village of Kryukovo - the island Vladimir (Kasyanov) was killed. In the Grayvoronsky County were killed the archpriest Theodore (Andrievsky) and the island of Vitaly (Krutikov), and contribution is imposed on all priests of the Butovo volost. In the Korochansky County the decent archpriest Ioann (Avdiyev) of the 7th district 17 is killed. In the same Korochansky County from fall of 1918 to spring of 1919 priests of villages of the Fishing line, At-unit, Radkovki Cold and a row drugikh18 were inclusive arrested. From Stary Oskol, islands Vasily (Ivanov) and the deacon Georgi of Obolenskiy19 were taken hostage. In the Shchigrovsky County of priests imprisoned for announcement of the message of the patriarch Tikhon, letting out them for repayment from 500 to 1,000 rubles. Were arrested and sent to prison of the island of Rodionov from page. Red, the island of Maltsev from the village of Gremyachki, the island of Myachin from the village of Bogoroditsky. The Shchigrovsky archpriest of the lake Ioann (Vasilyev) was arrested four times and together with the deacon Chernyaevym was sent to cleaning of streets. As the hostage from the village of Nikolaevka of the same county the island Arbuzov20 was taken. In Oboyani the archpriest of cathedral church Chetverikov avoided execution as managed skrytsya21. Terror concerned not only priests, but also ordinary believers. In the village of Podgorodishche of the Timsky County the volost descent rejected the requirement of the authorities to turn property of church into national property then 18 people were arrested (including the priest). All arrested were beaten and brought to the volost center where they were subjected to mockeries and sneers. After that the churchwarden, the psalm reader and three peasants acting on a descent were brought in the field for church and in the afternoon publicly rasstrelyany22.

For only several months (fall of 1918 - summer of 1919) according to incomplete data in the territory of the Kursk province about 20 were killed svyashchennosluzhiteley23. At the same time the greatest popularity was gained by the punishment fact over the Belgorod bishop Nicodemus (Kononov) and also the chief of the Belgorod female gymnasium Maria Dmitriyevna Kiyanovskaya (the wife of the religious teacher of a men's gymnasium

13 During offensive of troops of the general A.I. Denikin at Moscow in the summer of 1919. The volunteer army freed on June 11 New Oskol, on June 24 Belgorod, on August 7 Grayvoron, on August 19 Oboyan and on September 20 - Kursk. At the end of November - the beginning of December these territories were occupied again with the Red Army.
14 HECTARE of the Russian Federation. F. R-470. Op. 2. 168. NN. 74-75.
15 Possible reading of a surname - Vick.
16 HECTARE of the Russian Federation. F. R-470. Op. 2. 170. L. 113.
17 In the same place. L. 21, 114.
18 HECTARE of the Russian Federation. T. A-353. Op. 2. 699. L. 152.
19 HECTARE of the Russian Federation. F. R-470. Op. 2. 170. L. 114.
20 HECTARE of the Russian Federation. F. R-470. Op. 2. 183. NN. 20-28.
21 HECTARE of the Russian Federation. F. R-470. Op. 2. 182. NN. 33-40.
22 HECTARE of the Russian Federation. F. R-470. Op. 2. 185. L. 24.
23 In the same place. L. 25.

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the island of Vasiliya) and the archpriest of the Belgorod Uspensko-Nikolayevsky cathedral of the island of Porfiriyem (Amfiteatrovym) in December, 1918 - January, 1919

Now in historical and church and local history literature there are several versions of execution of the Belgorod bishop Nicodemus (Kononov) and researchers did not come to a consensus on separate episodes of his death. The author of article on the basis of the studied archival documents considers it necessary to include a number of specifications in the existing versions.

On December 25, 1918 24 according to articles at one o'clock in the afternoon in monastery the Belgorod commandant S.A. Saenko arrested ep. Nicodemus. At four o'clock the same day he brought it back, has dinner together with it and left. In the evening of the lord served a night service and at the end of a church service said a sermon where once again criticized Bolsheviks. S.A. Saenko who was present incognito at a church service sent in ponomarnyu two soldiers who reported to the sacristan of the monastery celibate priest Neofit the requirement to the bishop to leave an altar and to be for interrogation in ChK25. The bishop obeyed and was taken away by the same soldiers. To 9 o'clock in the morning of the following (on December 26 according to articles) day he was brought by the warden Volik and the secretary of ChK Shapiro to the arestny house where he was chambered. By this time news about arrest of the bishop became known to believers. At convent where that morning the lord had to serve, the people began to gather. Believers hoped that if they ask for the bishop "whole world", then it will be released. Teachers of a female gymnasium convinced the chief Maria Dmitriyevna Kiyanovskaya to act as "the representative from the people" with an appeal for pardon of the bishop. Kiyanovskaya and a part of believers went to the building of a revkom, other, considerably most part of the audience, moved to arestny domu26. Having seen before the building of a revkom of protesters, the chairman of executive committee L.A. Meranvil and S.A. Saenko called soldiers and did not leave to people before their arrival. Soldiers of profit, the building was surrounded, aimed machine guns at crowd. There were Meranvil and Saenko. Kiyanovskaya asked to release the bishop, but not only did not listen to her, but also accused of counterrevolutionary moods. According to eyewitnesses, Saenko shouted: "Obvious criminal! You stand up for the bourgeois!" 27. In crowd there were agents of ChK who arrested Kiyanovskaya, the priest of Church of the Transfiguration of the lake of Vladimir (Limarev) and some other persons.

On other end of the city the crowd of inhabitants in several hundreds of people approached the arestny house, demanding to release the bishop. The warden Volik was and, shooting with a revolver, tried to disperse crowd. People refused to disperse and insisted on release of the bishop. Then Volik caused several dozen armed soldiers and, continuing to shoot in the air, dispersed crowd with their help. Having dispersed protesters, Bolsheviks continued arrests of priests and monashestvuyushchy. According to the indication of Meranvil in monastery S.A. Saenko and V.A. Saenko were. Having accused monks of provoking of national nervousness, the commandant ordered to the chief of militia to arrest the prior of the island of Mitrofana, the treasurer of the island of Daniila, the decent lake. Serafim and sacristan of the lake. Neofit then that took them to commandant's office. There they were met again by S.A. Saenko with words: "Through you priests yes of monks all revolution was gone, I all of you will cut or I will do some shooting" 28. At 5 o'clock ve-

24 Statement of a number of authors that ep. Nicodemus was arrested on the night of January 1, 1918 contradicts chronology of events - the lord was arrested after liberation of Belgorod from German-gaydamatskikh troops and the trip to Kiev that happened in 1918. Thus, date of death ep. Nicodemus should be read out night from 26 for December 27th, 1918 on old style that on new style - night with 7 for January 8th (second day of a holiday of Christmas) 1919
25 The Belgorod ChK occupied the angular building byvsh. Samoylova (Kogan's pharmacy and officer club) at the intersection Old and Moscow and the emperor Nikolay of streets. Now on this place there is a building of regional statistical bureau and the public telephone booth.
26 The Arestny house - the prison of pre-trial detention, was located in Belgorod near city territorial hospital.
27 HECTARE of the Russian Federation. F. R-470. Op. 2. 168. L. 14-15.
28 In the same place. L. 30-31.

the cher to commandant's office was given also the island of Porfiry (Amphitheaters). Maria Dmitriyevna Kiyanovskaya was brought to the fire yard where S.A. Saenko personally shot her. The corpse of the teacher is divided and robbed, having selected all jewelry and personal belongings. To 9 o'clock in the evening to the arestny house there arrived the secretary of ChK Shapiro with the warden Volik and escorted by took away ep. Nicodemus in ChK. To change appearance of the bishop, took away a monastic attire and an episcopal cross from him, cut to him a beard, changed clothes for a long-skirted light soldier's overcoat and a student's peak-cap. In this look he was brought at night in tyurmu29 where V.A. Saenko, M.A. Vasilyev and S. Nabokov three volleys shot the lord near prison kitchen and in the same place dug. Thus, by the morning on December 27th, 1918 (according to articles) the bishop Nicodemus and Maria Kiyanovskaya were shot, and the management of the monastery and the decent island of Porfiry - are arrested.

Arrest of the Belgorod decent archpriest of Uspensko-Nikolayevsky cathedral of the island of Porfiriya (Amfiteatrova) was caused not so much by disorders of inhabitants (in connection with arrest ep. Nicodemus), how many personal position of the priest. In the sermons he openly blamed policy of violence and robberies, causing the increasing irritation of Bolsheviks in the address. Immediate for arrest the counteraction of the island of Porfiriya of realization in Belgorod caused the Soviet decree about disestablishment and schools from church. In December, 1918 the chairman of district executive committee L.A. Meranvil brought together teacher's personnel of the city and declared abolition of teaching in educational institutions of the Law God's. The attendee at a meeting of the island of Porfiry made the speech and asked Meranvil on what basis the orthodox religion became suddenly persecuted why in educational institutions the Scripture is replaced with dances, and on the city posters where in the most rough paints are exposed "the tsar, the priest and a fist" are hanged out. Meranvil answered that "on such questions the answer is given at a wall" 30.

In several days the arrest of the archpriest which at first contained in the building of district ChK followed, and then it was transferred to the arestny house. There he was visited by the secretary of ChK Shapiro and threatened with execution. The priest began to pray strongly, confessed at the lake of Yakov (Timofeev) concluded in the same camera and began to expect an execution quietly. The only thing that disturbed the archpriest, by his recognition, so is the fate of his family which is left without supporter. In the evening of the island of Porfiry on the sleigh it was taken away in prison accompanied by the Bolshevik sailor. There it was given on a household yard of prison, forced to undress and put at edge of previously prepared hole. According to documents while island of Porfiry undressed, the sailor asked it the question "Do You Believe in God?" then, having broken out in abusive abuse, he kicked the archpriest. The firing squad under command of the sailor consisted of the soldiers who came together with it and a prison guard. The employee of prison who was present at execution remembered subsequently: "The priest, standing facing shooting at him, strongly prayed to God and it was continuously christened. The priest was wounded by the first volley, but did not fall. Continuing to stand, he did not cease to pray. After the second volley, the priest moaned, screamed "My God" and again crossed. The third volley followed, and behind it the fourth after which the priest reeled and with groan fell down in a hole" 31.

Being afraid of new surge in disorders among believers, the Belgorod Bolsheviks tried to hide from them execution ep. Nicodemus and island of Porfiriya. To inhabitants it was declared that the bishop and the priest are taken away to Kharkiv. Only after one and a half months the telegram from Belgorod where it was reported was published in the Kharkiv newspaper "Izvestiya Vremennogo Raboche-krestyanskogo Pravitelstva Ukrainy I Harkovskogo Soveta Rabochikh Deputatov" for No. 54 of February 26, 1919: "Local bottoms in gla-

29 The building of old Belgorod prison occupies the city pre-trial detention center now.
30 HECTARE of the Russian Federation. F. R-470. Op. 2. 168. L. 43.
31 In the same place. L. 8-10.

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ve with the bishop Nicodemus led among peasants malicious propaganda against the Soviet power. Convicted of chernosotenny propaganda, the bishop Nicodemus and one of priests by order of Revolutionary-military Committee were shot" 32. At the end of February, 1919 a body ep. Nicodemus by order of the Belgorod commissioner of internal affairs F.Ya. Slavgorodsky it was postponed and buried in a common grave from North side of a fencing of the city cemetery. The hill over this grave all spring and summer was decorated by inhabitants with flowers. After the introduction in the summer of 1919. Volunteer army to Belgorod the grave was opened. Remains ep. Nicodemus were solemnly reburied from North side of Holy Trinity Cathedral men's monastyrya33.

The analysis of the material presented in article allows to draw the following conclusions. The policy of bodies of the Soviet local authorities was formed by the leaders of the Soviet republic. However, in the absence of control of actions of direct performers on places, this policy rolled down in legal lawlessness and got especially cruel forms. Establishment of the Soviet power in counties of the Kursk province was marked by the beginning of mass requisitions, arrests, captures of hostages and executions. In total in the territory of the Kursk province about 20 believing priests who are the most respected among were killed. The Belgorod bishop Nicodemus (Kononov) and the archpriest of the island of Porfiry (Amphitheaters) became the most famous victims of terror. Basic rejection and condemnation of the policy of robbery and violence pursued by Bolsheviks by them became a reason for their arrest and execution. Considering big moral authority of priests among the population, Bolsheviks applied to them all forms of terror, having frightened thereby the others.


Belgorod State University


The author gives periodization of red terror in the city of Belgorod of Kursk province. The basic state structures which were carrying out terror, as well as the main forms and methods of intimidation of the civil population are analyzed. Repressive measures concerning clergy and believers, churches, monasteries and spiritual educational institutions are described. New materials on arrest and execution of the Belgorod bishop Nikodim (Kononov) of and district archpriest Porfiriy (Amfiteatrov) are presented.


32 Popovsky propaganda / / News of the provisional Workers' and Peasants' government of Ukraine and Kharkiv Council of Working deputies. 1919. February 26. No. 54.
33 A.N. Krupenkov. Belgorod necropolis//Rise. 2003. No. 2.
Donna Williams
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