The next release of the historical series “Russia on Blood” is dedicated to the events of 1905. The Russian-Japanese war, the actions of terrorists, strikes of workers, fighting in the streets and riots in the army - a new series of documentary project is devoted to mistakes in foreign and domestic policy, which became the prerequisites for the tragic finale of the Russian monarchy.
In the history of Russia there are events that are written briefly in textbooks, teachers are reluctant to tell, rarely remembered on television. One of such "silent" periods is the Russo-Japanese war of 1904-1905 - short-lived and crushing for national vanity. According to the results of the Portsmouth Peace Treaty, the Russian Empire ceded to Japan a part of its own lands - the south of Sakhalin, as well as part of the South Manchurian Railway and its rental rights to the Liaodong Peninsula.
In spite of the fact that the Russian troops outnumbered the Japanese almost by half, the losses of the party were comparable - more than 32 thousand Russian killed (about 16 thousand more died from wounds and diseases), 47 thousand Japanese. The shameful conditions of the peace treaty, the unjustified sacrifices, and the very need to fight is not known why - all these factors set the population against the king. It is no coincidence that the first Russian revolution began against the background of the Russian-Japanese war.
After a bloody Sunday, when, on January 22, 1905, in St. Petersburg, from 130 to 200 participants of a peaceful march were shot, according to various estimates, the reputation of Nicholas II in the eyes of the workers and peasants was severely undermined. With the beginning of the war with the Japanese, there is a renaissance of terrorist acts, similar to those that were committed by the young People, who destroyed in 1881 Emperor Alexander II.
Now the real hunt for high-ranking officials has begun, and the people are indifferent to this, or with approval. On July 28, 1904, Interior Minister Vyacheslav Plehve died - a student Yegor Sozonov threw a bomb into his carriage. In February 1905, a similar death overtook the son of Alexander II, Moscow Governor-General Sergei Alexandrovich - a revolutionary Ivan Kalyaev became his executioner.
And Sozonov, and Kalyaev, and many other young terrorists were members of the “Combat Organization of the Socialist Revolutionary Party”. But this group was only one of many, albeit the most productive of all. Thus, in the fall of 1905, a young Bolshevik Iosif Dzhugashvili organized a military squadron in Tiflis. In the future, he will become the winner in World War II, the head of the Soviet state, Joseph Stalin.
But at the moment he was a violent revolutionary Koba, ill not only for his great idea, but also for his personal place in the sun. Many young people of those times could not imagine any other way to success, except participation in the revolutionary struggle. Koba's fighters robbed postal carriages, thus supplementing the party ticket office.
On the other hand, the Black Hundred movement is being created - reactionary-minded thugs, whose activities were tacitly encouraged by the Ministry of the Interior. They organized pogroms on the streets in the name of the monarchy, terrified the Jews and drove around the gateways in glasses with passers-by, since they looked like liberals. Should I add that this kind of "support" rendered the king a disservice.
The last to question his emperor were the military. On June 14, 1905, an uprising of seamen took place on the battleship Prince Potemkin-Tavrichesky. Directed by Sergei Eisenstein quite accurately recreated the events of that fateful day in his film: the team refused to eat meat with worms. At the general assembly, the commander decided to punish the rioters, followed by an open armed clash.
Six officers died. The battleship went to Romania, which agreed to accept the rioters on the rights of military deserters, which freed them from deportation to Russia, but at the same time local authorities prohibited supplying Potemkin with coal and provisions. It is worth noting that this event has hit hard the international prestige of the Russian empire - of all countries, only Bulgaria was ready to give sailors in case they entered its waters.
After many failures in foreign and domestic policy, Nicholas II made a difficult decision for himself. On October 17, 1905, the Supreme Manifesto on the improvement of the state order saw the light of the day: “To give the people the unshakable foundations of civil liberty conscience, words, assembly, and unions. " In fact, it was a constitution that was 24 years late. However, the workers, numerous parties of the time, understood that Nicholas II was taking this step rather unwillingly. Later, Lenin assessed the manifesto of October 17 as a temporary balance of power: the proletariat and the peasantry with their teeth pulled out the constitution, but were not able to knock down tsarism, and the emperor, in turn, understood that he could not rule the country with the old means.
Not only simple workers, but also large industrialists were aggressively disposed towards the tsar. So, the factory of Nikolay Schmidt began to equip revolutionaries with Mauser. In December 1905, when the workers' strike in Moscow developed into a full-fledged uprising, it was Schmidt who organized the most prepared armed squad. As a result, government troops razed the Schmidt factory to the ground with artillery fire.
And although by December 19 the rebellion was suppressed, for the king it was another “Pyrrhic victory”. The troops acted too brutally - the martial courts issued 2,000 death sentences - which did not reduce, but rather exacerbated the hatred of the ruling regime. Secondly, after the December events in Moscow, Nicholas II again had to make political concessions - to expand people's participation in the elections, to allow the bourgeoisie to the State Duma, to reduce the working day at the factories. And these concessions were pulled out again.
The shameful outcome of the war with Japan, the inability of the authorities to conduct a dialogue with society, the tsar’s departure from domestic political problems — all these factors led to the fact that Nicholas II actually remained almost supportive. 12 years remained until the tragic end, when the red terror put an end to the Russian monarchy forever, eliminating it physically.
Author: Oleg Berkovich.