Monument to the victims of the Maykop massacre
After the Maykop massacre in September 1918, oddly enough, General Viktor Leonidovich Pokrovsky not only did not lose his rank and position, but also went up the career ladder. At the beginning of 1919, Pokrovsky, who was already called the gallows behind his back, became the commander of the 1st Kuban Corps, which is a compound of the Armed Forces of the South of Russia. At the same time, the fact of discrediting the White movement by Pokrovsky was already clear to everyone. Later, in numerous memoirs, this will be explained by some amazing lack of will and condescension of Denikin towards senior officers. But, one way or another, Pokrovsky continued his bloody path.
Pokrovsky in the memoirs of colleagues and accomplices
The White Guards who migrated abroad, including Pokrovsky’s former friends, left enough memoirs to complete the portrait of the Maikop executioner. So, Baron Pyotr Wrangel, who also left considerable “glory” for himself, wrote about the order that Pokrovsky started in Yekaterinodar after the Maikop massacre:
“In the military hotel of Yekaterinodar, the most reckless revelry took place quite often. At about 11-12 in the evening a band of drunken officers appeared, the songbooks of the local guards division were introduced into the common hall, and a revelry was going on in front of the public. All these outrages were carried out in front of the headquarters of the commander-in-chief, the whole city knew about them, and at the same time nothing was done to stop this debauchery. “
And do not think that the Maykop massacre became something out of the ordinary in the behavior of Pokrovsky. It is not for nothing that many authors attribute the authorship of the phrases “The sight of the hanged man revives the landscape” and “The view of the gallows improves appetite.” Back in July 1918, when Viktor Leonidovich took Yeisk and the local bourgeoisie greeted him with “bread and salt”, the first thing in the city center in the city garden was a gallows. When even the officers began to criticize such a decision, Pokrovsky answered them: “The gallows has its meaning – everyone will subside.” The gallows was supplemented by the widespread whipping of the population. So, the Cossacks of Pokrovsky whipped the teacher of the village Dolzhanskaya for “an evil tongue”, and at the same time the midwife from the village of Kamyshevatskaya. Pokrovsky installed exactly the same gallows in Anapa at the end of August 1918.
Andrey G. Shkuro
And here is what Pokrovsky’s direct friend Andrei Grigorievich Shkuro, Lieutenant General, who joined the Nazis and received the title of SS Gruppenfuehrer, recalled:
“Where Pokrovsky’s headquarters stood, there were always many who were shot and hanged without trial, on one suspicion of sympathy for the Bolsheviks.”
Pokrovsky’s “glory” spread instantly throughout the Kuban region and the Black Sea province, which did not prevent him from continuing his bloody terror. Nikolai Vladimirovich Voronovich, an officer, a participant in the Russo-Japanese and World War I, the commander of the “green” detachment, who never had warm feelings for the Bolsheviks, described his impressions of Pokrovsky’s atrocities:
“A peasant from the village of Izmailovka, Volchenko, who came running to Sochi, recounted even more nightmarish scenes that played out before his eyes during the occupation of Maikop by the detachment of General Pokrovsky. Pokrovsky ordered the execution of all members of the local council and other prisoners who did not have time to escape from Maikop. To intimidate the population, the execution was public. At first it was supposed to hang all those sentenced to death, but then it turned out that there were not enough gallows. Then the Cossacks, who were feasting all night and pretty drunk, turned to the general with a request to allow them to chop off the heads of the convicts. The general allowed … Very few were finished off right away, most of those executed after the first blow jumped up with gaping wounds on their heads, they were again thrown down on the chopping block and the second time they began to finish chopping … Volchenko, a young, 25-year-old guy, became completely gray from what he had experienced in Maikop … “
The cruelty and criminality of Pokrovsky’s actions left their mark on the memories of the former White Guards already in exile, which is remarkable. Even against the background of a global catastrophe for the White movement, the tyranny and bloodiness of Pokrovsky gave him a special place. Here is what Lieutenant General, World War I hero and career officer Yevgeny Isaakovich Dostovalov wrote in his “Sketches”:
“The path of such generals as Wrangel, Kutepov, Pokrovsky, Shkuro, Postovsky, Slashchev, Drozdovsky, Turkul, Manstein (meaning the“ one-armed devil ”Vladimir Vladimirovich Manstein), and many others was strewn with those who were hanged and shot without any reason or trial. They were followed by many others, lesser ranks, but no less bloodthirsty … However, it is generally recognized in the army that General Pokrovsky, who was killed in Bulgaria, was distinguished by the greatest bloodthirstiness and cruelty. “
Resignation and death of Pokrovsky
Despite his reputation, Viktor Leonidovich was dismissed only at the beginning of 1920. At the same time, the primary reason for the resignation was not mass executions without trial or investigation, but the complete decomposition of the troops under the command of Pokrovsky. At the same time, Pokrovsky himself continued to be indignant at the fact that the available military forces in his hands were simply not enough to solve the assigned tasks. As if the regular drinking and extravagance of himself were irrelevant.
Pyotr Semyonovich Makhrov
Here, for example, what Lieutenant General Pyotr Semyonovich Makhrov recalled in his book “In the White Army of General Denikin. Notes of the Chief of Staff of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the South of Russia “:
“The headquarters of Pokrovsky rather resembled the camp of a robber chieftain: no law, arbitrariness and orgy of his drunken and ignorant“ entourage ”were an everyday occurrence. The nominal chief of staff, General Siegel, played no role. The general on duty, General Petrov, served only as executor of Pokrovsky’s will, including executions without trial. “
The recollections of the aforementioned Shkuro, who personally participated in Pokrovsky’s drinking bouts, sound even more ironic:
“I arranged an honorable meeting for the general. In front of the built shelves, we had a drink with Pokrovsky; our Cossacks fraternized; the villages rejoiced. “
As a result, in 1920, Pokrovsky was out of work and arrived in Yalta, where he fully showed his adventurism and tyranny. In Yalta, he demanded the complete subordination of the local authorities to his own person, carried out “mobilization”, which consisted in the detention of all men who came across on the street, who did not even know how to hold a rifle. Naturally, this “army” quickly collapsed and fled. But Pokrovsky continued to hope for a high position in the army. Victor’s hopes collapsed only after the election of Wrangel as the commander of the Armed Forces of Yugoslavia, and then the Russian army. The baron considered Pokrovsky an adventurer and an intriguer, so he openly disdained him.
Finally, Pokrovsky, who was not constrained in funds, who became the object of close attention of counterintelligence for his habit of traveling with suitcases of gold and precious stones, migrated abroad. For two whole years, this bloody adventurer wandered across Europe, until he settled in Bulgaria, planning to create a terrorist organization from Russian migrants to carry out actions against the Bolsheviks in Russia. And he succeeded, but only partially.
Victor Leonidovich Pokrovsky
The very first operation to secretly transfer a group of anti-Bolsheviks to raise an uprising in the Kuban ended with an arrest in the port of Varna. Pokrovsky managed to escape. Realizing that the new Pokrovsky’s gang would not be able to arrange terror in the Kuban, they began to hunt for activists of the so-called “returnees” movement, that is, those who dreamed of returning to the Soviet homeland. 25-year-old Alexander Ageev was killed. After this crime, the local authorities were forced to start an investigation and put Pokrovsky on the wanted list.
The general decided to flee to Yugoslavia, but in the town of Kyustendil (now near the border with Macedonia), the police attacked him because of an anonymous denunciation. During the detention, Pokrovsky resisted and died from a bayonet blow to the chest. This is how the life of a bloody general, a power-hungry and executioner of thousands of innocent people ended.
Clean up history for the sake of politics
Unfortunately, the political situation in our country affects history more seriously than facts and eyewitness accounts. Since the 90s of the last century, the trend for an exceptionally complimentary mention of both the White movement and its participants has only been gaining momentum. It came to fantastic cynicism: in 1997, the monarchist organization “For Faith and Fatherland!” filed a request for the rehabilitation of generals who collaborated with Germany during World War II and were executed in the USSR. Among these “generals” were such types as Krasnov, Shkuro and Domanov.
Monument in Maykop
But in order to wash away the blood, history itself must be consigned to oblivion. Therefore, on various resources of very peculiar “neo-Beloguards”, from which they reek of the crunch of a French roll and a spray of champagne, the biography of most of the leaders of the White movement has been purged to the point of indecency. So, in the biography of Pokrovsky on most of these sites there is not even a mention of the Maikop massacre and the decomposition of the troops entrusted to him. This looks especially piquant against the background of what the leaders of the White Guards themselves wrote about their former colleagues in their memoirs.
But the memory of the Maikop massacre is still alive. Until now, in Maikop there is a monument to the victims of the Maikop massacre – the Bolsheviks executed by Pokrovsky. In fact, this is a monument to all the victims of that tragedy, and, alas, it is the only one.