Union for the Defense of the Motherland and Freedom

Union for the Defense of the Motherland and Freedom


a military counterrevolutionary organization that was formed in Moscow in March 1918.

The Union for the Defense of the Motherland and Freedom was headed by B. V. Savinkov, and the chief of staff was Colonel A. P. Perkhurov. Its objective was the overthrow of Soviet power and the establishment of a military dictatorship. The union, which had a membership of approximately 5,000, had branches in Kazan, Yaroslavl, Murom, and other cities. It was supported financially by government circles in the Allied countries (mainly France). The arrest of several of the union’s members in May 1918 foiled planned actions in Moscow and Kazan. However, Savinkov and his closest aides succeeded in hiding themselves, and in July 1918 they organized armed demonstrations in Yaroslavl, Rybinsk, Murom, and Elat’ma. The union’s activities ceased after these demonstrations were suppressed.

In January 1921, Savinkov reestablished the union at a conference of White émigrés in Warsaw. The union was renamed The People’s Union for the Defense of the Motherland and Freedom. This organization, which was supported by the intelligence agencies of gentry Poland and the Allied countries, sent armed detachments and spies from Poland into Soviet territory between 1921 and 1923 to form insurgent detachments, to conduct pogroms, and to murder Soviet citizens. The organization’s main forces in the USSR were routed in early 1924 by the All-Russian Extraordinary Commission.


“‘Soiuz zashchity Rodiny i Svobody’ i Iaroslavskii miatezh 1918.” Proletarskaia revoliutsiia, 1923, no. 10.
Korovin, V. V., and E. P. Rusanov. “Delo Bprisa Savinkova.” Istoriia SSSR, 1967, no. 6, pp. 143–55.
Golinkov, D. L. Krakh vrazheskogopodpol’ia. Moscow, 1971. Pages 99–108, 266–74, 357–64.


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