Krasnov, Petr Nikolaevich

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Krasnov, Petr Nikolaevich


Born Sept. 10 (22), 1869; died Jan. 17, 1947. A leader of the Russian counterrevolution; lieutenant general (1917). Born in St. Petersburg; son of a cossack general.

Krasnov graduated from the Pavel Military School (1888) and served in the Life Guards Ataman Regiment. During World War I he commanded a cossack brigade and division and from August to October 1917, the III Cavalry Corps. During the October Revolution he was appointed by A. F. Kerensky as commander of the troops sent from the front to Petrograd to suppress the revolution, but he was routed and taken prisoner. He was released by Soviet authorities on a pledge that he would not continue the fight against the revolution. He fled to the Don and in May 1918 was elected ataman of the Don Host. Relying on Germany’s aid, he created a Cossack Army, which in May-June 1918 ended Soviet power on the Don. In the second half of 1918 he pushed in the direction of Povorino, Kamyshin, and Tsaritsyn, but he was routed.

After Germany’s defeat in World War I he turned toward the Entente, and in January 1919 he was forced to recognize the leadership of General A. I. Denikin. On Feb. 19, 1919, because of conflicts with the command of the Volunteer Army, he re-signed and went to Germany, where he continued anti-Soviet activities. During World War II he actively cooperated with the Hitlerites and helped them in forming cossack units from White émigrés and traitors. He was captured by Soviet troops and, by sentence of the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court of the USSR, was hanged.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.