Boris Savinkov


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Savinkov, Boris Viktorovich

 

(pen name V Rop shin). Born Jan. 19(31), 1879, in Kharkov; died May 7, 1925, in Moscow. Russian political figure and writer. One of the leaders of the Socialist Revolutionary (SR) Party.

Savinkov joined the SR Party in 1903 and was a leader of the party’s “fighting organization” until 1906. He took part in the assassination of the minister of internal affairs V. K. Plehve and the Moscow governor-general Grand Prince Sergei Aleksan-drovich. In 1906, Savinkov was arrested and sentenced to be executed, but he managed to escape. In 1907 he left the SR Party over differences with the leadership. His novella The Pale Horse, which expressed his disenchantment with the terrorist struggle, was published in 1909. He emigrated in 1911. His novel What Never Happened, which was devoted to the events of the Revolution of 1905–07 and the disintegration of the SR Party, was published in 1914. During World War I, Savinkov volunteered for the French Army.

After the bourgeois-democratic revolution that took place in February 1917, Savinkov returned to Russia. He was commissar of the Provisional Government attached to General Staff Headquarters and then commissar of the Southwestern Front and deputy minister of war. He maintained contact with L. G. Kornilov and M. V. Alekseev and was a member of the reactionary Soviet of the Union of Cossack Hosts. After the October Revolution of 1917, Savinkov participated in the Keren-sky-Krasnov Rebellion of 1917 and joined the anti-Soviet Citizens’ Council formed in the Don region by General Alekseev. He also took part in the creation of the Volunteer Army. In February and March 1918 he established in Moscow the underground counterrevolutionary Union for the Defense of the Motherland and Freedom. Abroad in 1919, Savinkov carried on negotiations with the Entente governments concerning aid to the White forces. During the Soviet-Polish War of 1920 he was chairman of the Russian Political Committee in Warsaw and trained anti-Soviet military detachments, including those led by S. N. Bulak-Balakhovich. From 1921 to 1923, Savinkov directed a campaign of espionage and sabotage against the USSR. In 1923 his novella The Black Horse, which dealt with the hopelessness of the White movement, was published in Paris.

Savinkov was arrested on Aug. 16, 1924, after crossing the Soviet border illegally. At his trial he repented his crimes and acknowledged the failure of efforts to overthrow the Soviet regime. On Aug. 29, 1924, he was sentenced to be shot, but the sentence was commuted to a term of imprisonment for ten years. In prison, Savinkov was able to continue his literary work. He wrote letters to various leaders of the White emigration calling for a cessation of the struggle against the Soviet state. He later committed suicide.

V. I. Ardamatskii’s novel Retribution (1972) and the film Failure (1969) deal with Savinkov’s anti-Soviet activity.

WORKS

V tiur’me. [Preface by A. V. Lunacharskii.] Moscow, 1925.
Vospominaniia terrorista, 3rd ed. [Preface by F. Kon. Kharkov, 1928.]
Posmertnye stat’i i pis’ma. Moscow, 1926.

REFERENCES

Boris Savinkov pered Voennoi kollegiei Verkhovnogo suda SSSR. Moscow, 1924.
Shomaro, A. “Boloto ropshinskikh perezhivanii.” Nauka i religiia, 1966, no. 4.
Korovin, V. V., and E. P. Rusanov. “Delo Borisa Savinkova.” Istoriia SSSR, 1967, no. 6.
Anashkin, G. Z. “Boris Savinkov pered Verkhovnym sudom Sovets-kogo gosudarstva.” Sovetskoe gosudarstvo i pravo, 1973, no. 6.
Golinkov, D. L. Krushenie antisovetskogo podpol’ia ν SSSR (1917–25), Moscow, 1975. Pages 664–74.

D. L. G OLINKOV

References in periodicals archive ?
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Litvin has devoted his energy to the publication of previously inaccessible documents, largely from the archives of the Federal Security Service (FSB), including files on Boris Savinkov, Fanny Kaplan, Evgeniia Ginzburg, and, most recently, the diary of the historian S.
Let's discuss your collection of documents about Boris Savinkov.
Boris Savinkov na Lubianke: Dokumenty (Moscow: ROSSPEN, 2001).
Christine Le Quellec explores Cendrars's appropriation of the anarchist Franz Blazek's Die Philosophie Golgothas (1906), while Oxana Khlopina investigates Cendrars's familiarity with the literature of Russian terrorism, in particular that of Boris Savinkov, who appears in Moravagine under his pseudonym Ropschine.
Directed by Karen Shakhnazarov Screenplay by Alexander Borodyansky, Shakhnazarov, based on the novel "Pale Horse" by Boris Savinkov.
Based on a novel by notorious pre-Revolutionary Russian terrorist Boris Savinkov, Karen Shakhnazarov's costumer "Rider Named Death" instead of using its hot-button issues as a present-day hook, sticks with a 19th century mindset which it accompanies with elegant turn-of-the-century decors.
Quisiera disponer de un par de dias, por ejemplo, para beberme todas las hojas impresas que me han obsequiado Alberto Gironella y su hijo Emiliano: las Memorias de un terrorista de Boris Savinkov, traducidas al castellano y prologadas por Andres Nin, en su primera edicion bajo los auspicios de editorial Cenit, fechada en 1931; o los textos incluidos en El via crucis del consul, donde se reunen las ilustraciones para Bajo el volcan, de Lowry (Circulo de lectores, 1992) del pintor que corcholateo a Emiliano Zapata para disgusto del oficialismo echeverrista: o Duendecitos y coplas de Jose Bergamin (Cruz del Sur, 1963); o Sol y sombra genera y El circo de los ojos.