Aleksandr Semenovich Rakov
Rakov, Aleksandr Semenovich
Born Nov. 23 (Dec. 5), 1885, in the khutor (farmstead) of Novoe Kuznetsovo, now in Sychevka Raion, Smolensk Oblast; died May 29, 1919, in the village of Vyra, now in Gatchina Raion, Leningrad Oblast; buried in Mars Field in Leningrad. Participant in the October Socialist devolution of 1917 and in the Civil War of 1918–20. Member of the Communist Party from April 1917. Son of a peasant.
In 1912–13, Rakov was prominent in the trade union movement in Moscow and St. Petersburg and was chairman of the trade union of caterers. He was a member of the labor commission of the Bolshevik faction in the Fourth State Duma in 1913. He was arrested in April 1914 and exiled to his place of birth. Rakov was drafted into the army in World War I and worked as a feldsher. After the February Revolution of 1917 he was a member of the Vyborg soviet and a deputy to the Petrograd soviet. He became a member and later chairman of the army committee of the 42nd Corps.
As commander of the Vyborg garrison in early 1918, Rakov fought against the Finnish White Guards. He served as military commissar of Spasskii District of Petrograd in 1918–19 and as military commissar of the Petrograd Detached Rifle Brigade from February 1919. While fighting the White Guards, who were advancing on Petrograd, Rakov was surrounded by Whites in the regimental staff headquarters building. After putting up a heroic defense and being unwilling to surrender, Rakov shot himself.