Stepin, Aleksandr Karlovich
Stepin’, Aleksandr Karlovich
(Artūrs Stepins). Born May 12 (24), 1886, in Aizkraukle, in what is now Ogre Raion, Latvian SSR; died Feb. 29, 1920; buried in the city of Kamensk-Shakhtinskii, Rostov Oblast. Soviet military commander. Member of the Communist Party from 1919.
Stepin’, the son of poor Latvian peasants, was a farmhand and later became a railroad worker. During the Revolution of 1905–07 he took part in strikes and a peasant uprising in Latvia. In 1907 he was called up for military service in the 3rd Grenadier Pērnava Regiment. Reenlisting in the army after the required term, he graduated from a subensigns’ school in 1912. During World War I he was awarded three Crosses of St. George and attained the rank of first lieutenant.
After the February Revolution of 1917, soldiers elected Stepin’ regimental commander. After the October Revolution of 1917 he remained with the reserve forces of the Moscow Military District. In September 1918 he commanded troops in the Balashov-Kamyshin sector against the White Cossacks, and from January to July 1919 he commanded the 14th Rifle Division on the Southern Front; the All-Russian Central Executive Committee awarded his division the Honorary Banner of the Revolution for successful military service. From July 1919 to February 1920, Stepin’ commanded the Ninth Army against the troops of General Denikin.
Stepin’ was awarded the Order of the Red Banner. He died of typhus.