Nikolai Dukhonin

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Dukhonin, Nikolai Nikolaevich

 

Born Dec. 1 (13), 1876; died Nov. 20 (Dec. 3), 1917, in Mogilev. Russian military figure, lieutenant general (1917). From advorianstvo (noble or gentry) family of Smolensk Province.

Dukhonin graduated from the Aleksandr Military Academy in 1896 and from the Academy of the General Staff in 1902. A regimental commander in World War I, Dukhonin became deputy quartermaster general of the Southwestern Front headquarters in December 1915 and quartermaster general of the same headquarters in June 1916. He was chief of staff of the Southwestern Front from June to August 1917 and chief of staff of the Western Front from August to September 1917. On Sept. 10 (23), 1917, he was appointed chief of staff to A. F. Kerensky, the supreme commander in chief. After the October Revolution and Kerensky’s flight, Dukhonin became acting supreme commander in chief on November 3 (16). Relying on counterrevolutionary elements of the headquarters, Dukhonin took part in attempts to create a counterrevolutionary government headed by the Socialist Revolutionary V. M. Chernov. He refused to carry out the Nov. 7 (20), 1917, order of the Council of People’s Commissars to immediately open peace negotiations with the Austro-German command; he was relieved of his post on November 9 (22) and arrested on November 20 (December 3). Dukhonin was killed at a railroad station by a crowd of soldiers and sailors who were enraged by the news that he had released Generals L. G. Kornilov and A. I. Denikin and other leaders of the Kornilov mutiny from a prison in Bykhov.