Yaroslavl Revolt of 1918

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Yaroslavl Revolt of 1918


an armed uprising by White Guards in Yaroslavl from July 6 to 21, 1918. The revolt was part of a plan to stage anti-Soviet uprisings in such cities as Moscow, Rybinsk, Murom, and Vladimir in order to create a unified front with the interventionist forces in the north and with the White Czechs in the Middle Volga Region; the ultimate goal was to advance against Moscow and overthrow Soviet power.

Preparations for the revolt were made by the Union for the Defense of the Motherland and Freedom. Direct leadership of the revolt was provided by an underground group of officers, headed by Colonel A. P. Perkhurov, that was sent to Yaroslavl from Moscow by B. V. Savinkov.

The revolt was begun at 2 A.M. on July 6 by a group of conspirators numbering more than 100. The rebel leaders (former officers) enlisted the support of an armored battalion. The insurgents were subsequently joined by members of the intelligentsia, a group of monks from a local monastery, and a number of Mensheviks and right-wing Socialist Revolutionaries. The rebels seized the central part of the city and such key points as the arsenal, post office, telegraph office, and bank. Martial law was declared in the city and Yaroslavl Province. On July 13 the decrees of Soviet power were declared null and void, and the institutions, such as the land committees, that had been established by the bourgeois Provisional Government were abolished. At the same time, the state institutions that had existed before the February Revolution of 1917 were restored; these included the police, the courts, and the office of volostnoi starshina (administrator of a small rural district). Officers and bourgeois youth studying in Gymnasiums and universities were mobilized, but attempts to gain the support of the local workers and peasants failed.

A White reign of terror began in the city. More than 200 Communists and employees of soviet institutions were arrested, and many of them were brutally killed, including S. M. Nakhimson, the chairman of the provincial executive committee. The rest were placed on a “death barge” in the middle of the Volga; of the 200 persons on board, 109 survived.

The city was surrounded by the local Red Army regiment and by workers’ detachments; in addition, detachments from such cities as Tver’, Kineshma, Ivanovo-Voznesensk, and Kostroma came to the aid of the Soviet forces. The revolutionary military committee, headed by Ia. D. Lentsman, provided general leadership in suppressing the revolt. Many city buildings were destroyed during the armed clashes, and hundreds of peaceful residents of Yaroslavl perished.

By July 21 some of the rebels, including such leaders as Perkhurov and General V. I. Karpov, had fled the city; the remaining rebels surrendered.


Shestnadtsat’ dnei: Malerialy po istorii laroslavskogo belogvardeiskogo miatezha (6–21 iiulia 1918 g.). Yaroslavl, 1924.
Boris Savinkov pered Voennoi kollegiei Verkhovnogo Suda SSSR. Moscow, 1924.
Golinkov, D. L. Krushenie antisovetskogo podpol’ia v SSSR (1917–1925 gg.). Moscow, 1975.


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