Grigorii Semenov

Semenov, Grigorii Mikhailovich


Born Sept. 13 (25), 1890, in the village of Kuranzha, Durulgievskaia Stanitsa, Transbaikal (now Chita) Oblast; died Aug. 30, 1946. A counterrevolutionary leader in Transbaikalia in 1917–20. Lieutenant general (1919).

Semenov graduated from the Orenburg Military School in 1911 and served in World War I as a esaul. In July 1917 the Provisional Government appointed him commissar in Transbaikal Oblast in charge of forming counterrevolutionary volunteer units. After the October Revolution of 1917, he raised a revolt against the Soviet government in November-December, but he was defeated and fled to Manchuria. When the Czechoslovak Corps revolted in August 1918, Semenov succeeded in gaining a foothold in Transbaikalia and establishing a bloody regime there called the Semenovshchina. The so-called Provisional Siberian Government appointed Semenov commander of a detached corps with headquarters in Chita. At first Admiral A. V. Kolchak did not recognize Semenov’s authority, but later he became reconciled to him on the request of the interventionists, and he appointed him commander of the forces of the Chita Military District. In early 1919, Semenov, supported by the Japanese interventionists, declared himself ataman of the Transbaikal Cossack Host. When the White Guard troops were defeated, Kolchak turned the power in the Far East over to Semenov.

In November 1920, units of the People’s Revolutionary Army and the partisans drove Semenov’s gangs out of Transbaikalia. Semenov retreated to Primor’e and tried to continue the fight against Soviet power but was forced to emigrate in September 1921. He then lived in Korea, Japan, and North China. Semenov was connected with the Japanese intelligence service and, as the leader of the White émigrés of the Far East, directed their anti-Soviet activity. In September 1945 he was captured by Soviet troops in Manchuria and hanged by a sentence of the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court of the USSR.


References in periodicals archive ?
In this, too, Ungern took an energetic part, first under the leadership of another conservative junior officer, the Trans-Baikal Cossack Grigorii Semenov (later styled Ataman Semenov) but ultimately, after Semenov's defeat, at the head of his own desperate, doomed, apocalyptic movement.