A. Kuznetsov: Despite the fact that the attempt on Alexander II was made on March 1, 1881, the Narodnaya Volya sentenced him back in August 1779. Before the March events, several more attempts were made to deprive the autocrat of life, which he happily avoided.
Andrei Zhelyabov, arrested two days before the assassination, was the ideological, rational and all other inspirer, the organizer of the killing of the Tsar Liberator. Sophia Perovskaya, his beloved and faithful follower, took the lead in preparing and bringing the project to the end. But at the last moment it turned out that the plan, which had been carried out for a long time, - the digging under Malaya Sadovaya Street, the place where Alexander II traveled quite often, does not work. March 1, the emperor changed his route: drove to his sister for breakfast at the Mikhailovsky Palace and then followed along the quay of the Catherine Canal.
Seeing that the king’s plans had changed, Perovskaya ordered a signal signal to the “throwers”, who were also envisaged in the plan of Zhelyabov, to change the position. The first bomb under the horses of the emperor's carriage was thrown by the 19-year-old Nikolai Rysakov. The projectile did not cause the autocrat serious damage: he left the dilapidated carriage, leaned toward the mortally wounded boy-peddler, who was lying on the pavement. And here there was a very famous, though not documented episode documented. When one of the officers of the convoy jumped up to Alexander, he exclaimed: “Your Majesty, are you alive ?! Thank God! ”, Rysakov allegedly grimly joked:“ Thank God? ”And at that moment Ignatius Grinevitsky threw the second bomb, which turned out to be deadly for him and for the emperor.
Mortally wounded emperor Alexander II. A source: ru.wikipedia.org
S. Buntman: I propose to present this G8, which will later be called “First Martovists”.
A. Kuznetsov: In general, the social composition of this G8 represents a practically complete picture of Russian society. As if they were specially selected ... Formally, two peasants are Zhelyabov and Mikhailov, and the first is from peasants to intellectuals, and the second is from peasants to workers. Rysakov - from the burghers. Gelfman - from a wealthy Jewish family.
S. Buntman: Of foreigners.
A. Kuznetsov: Perovskaya is a highly noble Russian nobility. Kibalchich - from the spiritual. Grinevitsky also from foreigners.
S. Buntman: And a foreigner, and a nobleman.
A. Kuznetsov: Yes. Here is a selection.
So, two - Rysakov and Grinevitsky - arrested. Plus Zhelyabov, who immediately stated that he had a direct relationship to this case.
On the night of March 1 and 2, Zhelyabov was confronted with Rysakov, where he testified: “My personal participation was not physical only because of the arrest; moral participation is complete. ” And then he wrote a rather interesting statement: “If the new sovereign, having received the scepter from the hands of the revolution, intends to hold out against the regicides of the old system, if Rysakova intends to execute,” it would be a blatant injustice to save the life of Alexander II and did not accept participation only by stupid chance. I demand that I take part in the matter on March 1 and, if necessary, I will make exposures that incriminate me. Please give a go to my application. Andrei Zhelyabov.
S. Buntman: Why did he do it?
A. Kuznetsov: It is perfectly clear that his plan is to turn the trial of the Narodniks into a tribune with which, if possible, to set forth political views, the programs of the party, and so on.
Kibalchich, Perovskaya and Zhelyabov on the process of the "Case of March 1st." Figure Konstantin Makovsky. Source: wikipedia.org
What's next? And then, as the investigators put it, Nikolay Rysakov began to sing. Actually, the fact that the police very quickly managed to grab all the main participants in this attempt - thanks to him. Rysakov, still a young man, turned out to be a morally unstable man. Realizing that he was seriously threatened by the gallows, and hoping that he was a minor, Nikolai decided to cooperate with the investigation.
Thanks to him, the police vividly entered the safe house where the spouses Nikolay Sablin and Gesya Gelfman sat. When the apartment was seized, Sablin committed suicide, and the pregnant Gelfman was arrested. It all happened on March 2. On March 3, Timofey Mikhailov, one of the reserve “throwers” on the Catherine Channel, was ambushed.
At the same time, the government was in a hurry all the time, trying to organize the process as quickly as possible. The preliminary investigation is under pressure: faster, faster, faster. And now the investigation is ready to submit the materials to the court, but on March 10 they take Perovskaya. New interrogations, new materials begin ... And again everything is ready - on the 17th they detain Kibalchich.
S. Buntman: Again, all over again.
A. Kuznetsov: Yes. That is, the preliminary investigation was resumed twice. However, after the arrest of the last participants of the assassination attempt in a fairly short time, it was completed. March 26 began the trial. The case was considered in the Special Presence of the Governing Senate, which consisted of 9 people. The first-present was a hereditary lawyer Edward Yakovlevich Fuchs. It was he who set the tone for the process, determined its format. Fuchs was not like a prosecutor, he was not annoyed with all sorts of patriotic, accusatory filipikami. For example, when Zhelyabov, who constantly tried to use the court as a tribune for the presentation of party views, Edward Yakovlevich responded: “This is where you enter the wrong path, to which I indicated to you. You have the right to explain your participation in the crime of March 1, and you strive to enter into an explanation of the relationship to this crime of the party. Do not forget that you actually do not represent for special presence the person authorized to speak for the party, and this party for special presence when discussing the question of your guilt seems non-existent. I must limit your protection to the limits specified for this in the law, that is, the limits of your actual and moral participation in this event, and only yours. In view of the fact that the procuratorial authority described the party, you have the right to explain to the court that your attitude to certain issues was different from the attitude of the party indicated by the accusation. ”
Execution of First Martovists A source: ru.wikipedia.org
Returning to the issue of procedural rules. All defendants were defenders. (Zhelyabov refused to protect, saying that he would defend himself). Sofya Perovskaya was defended by an experienced lawyer Yevgeny Kedrin. Rysakova - the famous Alexey Mikhailovich Unkovsky. Avgust Antonovich Gerke was the defender of Gelfman, and Vladimir Nikolaevich Gerard - Kibalchich.
The trial of the terrorists lasted three days. Then, on the night of March 29, the judicial presence pronounced the verdict. It was officially announced on March 30th. The day was given for filing appeals, but none of the defendants did this.
State Prosecutor Nikolai Valerianovich Muravyov concluded his speech at the trial in the following way: “There can be no place for them among the world of God. Deniers of faith, fighters of world-wide destruction and universal wild beckoning, opponents of morality, merciless corrupters of youth, everywhere they carry their terrible sermon of rebellion and blood, marking their hideous trail with murders. Then they have nowhere to go: on March 1st, they overfilled the measure of evil deeds. Our homeland has suffered enough because of them, which they have stained with precious royal blood - and in your person Russia will make its own trial over them. May the killing of the greatest monarch be the last act of their earthly criminal field. ”
The sentence to all six said - the death penalty by hanging. Gelfman, because of her pregnancy, was delayed until the birth of the child, and then replaced by eternal penal servitude, but she soon died from blood poisoning.
On April 3, 1881, Zhelyabov, Perovskaya, Kibalchich, Mikhailov and Rysakov were hanged on the parade ground of the Semenov regiment. Of all the above, Timofey Mikhailov was unlucky. If in the case when the Decembrists were executed, the rope broke off once for two people, then it happened twice to him.