“Not animosity, but a common tragedy” – where he met the descendants of the heroes of the legendary confrontation of the Civil war

They are in the temple and pray. The grandson of a white General and grandson of the commander of the red light the candles from each other – what a strange echo of events almost a century ago… At the Transfiguration Cathedral of Yakutsk is made of lithium for all the victims and innocent victims during the Civil war. As the descendants of two of the fiercest opponents managed to find each other, says the nun Eugenia (Senchukova).

Anatoly Pepelyaev Ivan strod

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…All in a row lying
Not razvesti the boundary.
Look: soldier.
Where is my property?

White was — became red:
Blood stained.
Was red — white became:
Death whitewashed.

Marina Tsvetaeva. From the cycle “Swan mill”, December 1920

Say, the twentieth century historically the First world war. For Russia this is especially true. Not the revolution of 1905 – like revolution took place in other countries in the past; not “Bloody Sunday” with disappointment in a monarchy it was a tragic set of circumstances, mistake, provocation; that the war, demanding heroism, but not having a coherent and understandable for the impoverished people of the goals was the reason for the further tragic events in Russia. There was a mass desertion, intensified discontent with the authorities in the cities started to have shortages. As political parties began to enjoy the moment.

Particularly successful in the promotion of the Bolsheviks. The slogan “Down with the war!” sounded louder, but was not and could not be heard – the Empire is mired in the great war (which was called and is still called in Europe the First world). The fact was, the calculation of Lenin and other leaders: unhappy people will rise in revolt and it will end the revolution.

Which is what happened. First – in February 1917, then the October. The state system collapsed. It would seem that it is time to heal post-war wounds, to start a new life full of equality and consent. But it never did. The government collapsed, and contradictions have not gone away: in the end, the poor plundered the rich, the rich hated and feared the poor. Riots happened before – still, Dostoevsky’s father was murdered by angry peasants. But in the period of anarchy rebellion – not a rebellion, and redistribution of wealth and power.

To adequately see the depth of the confrontation of the Civil war, it should be clearly understood: the parties in this conflict were a great many. Not the last role played in the near future, joined in large part to red anarchists – they gained a certain popularity among the people, that speaks volumes: people are disappointed not only Royal power, but in the idea of the state as a whole. Anarchist education was held on some, even a short period: the free territory of Nestor Makhno in the huliaipole Ukrainian lasted more than six months, until he was defeated by Denikin.

Anarchist was Ivan strode, in the future red army commander. The story of his confrontation with the white General Anatoly Pepelyaev in Yakutia in winter – spring 1923 is described in detail in the book by Leonid Yuzefovich “the Winter road”. The confrontation was heroic on both sides: “Ice siege in Amga”, call him later.

Ivan strode to the center of the image

The civil war in Yakutia in General is extremely important page, largely heroic for its participants, although of course terrible. Hostilities continued here longer than in other regions, where the main conflicts ended in 1922 with the creation of the new state.

In Yakutsk just beyond the fence of the Transfiguration Cathedral is a unique monument – the eternal flame dedicated to the Civil war. The gray fence embossed numbers: 1918 – 1923. In almost every district there are monuments and memorials to this terrible period, one or the other battle. In some places it’s incredible, the memory of those who fought on both sides.

Among the natives were the supporters of the old regime and the revolutionaries. No wonder, Yakutia was a place of exile for political prisoners, who could lead almost freely in these parts of the propaganda work. On the other hand, the Yakuts and the more Northern Nations – people are traditional, largeandI’m part of the population still lives in villages. This is why the armed clashes were particularly violent.

The more important event that took place in Yakutsk on 28 August 2018.

They are in the temple and pray

For a start, will move to Moscow. Scholar-Amateur Tatiana sibgatullina, successful business woman, aching story, discovers that very close, in Bauman deadlock lived a Civil war hero Ivan strode. In 1937, he suffered the fate of many romantic revolutionaries – accused of creating anti-state terrorist organization, he was shot.

Tatiana, with the support of residents seeking to establish a memorial plaque on the building and begins searching the house of the enemy strode – Anatoly Pepelyaev. She goes to his grandson, Igor Pepelyaev, living in Tashkent, learns the details of the last period of life of the General and going to Voronezh – that’s where he lived (and there even corresponded with the Harbin family) after his release in 1936, the last year before the new arrest and execution in August 1938, and charged with creating a counterrevolutionary organization.

It is surprising that the white guard hero lived to this time – he should have been shot back in 1924. Then he wrote a petition for pardon to Mikhail Kalinin, the former de facto head of state.

The trial over the participants of the Siberian volunteer brigade. Chita. January 1924. On the first row in the middle — A. Pepelyaev. Photo: State archive of the Transbaikal territory

Kalinin pardoned replaced the penalty of prison. The Stalinist regime had mercy on anyone.

So the Great Terror reconciling two former enemies. Death reconciled. Death in General all brings.

And ought to reconcile the life that happened. In Yakutsk gathered the descendants of Pepelyaev and strode: Olga Rusina Novodarovka from the USA, the granddaughter of the red commander, and Yan Sergeevich from Moscow – great-grandson; Victor Lavrovich, the grandson of the white General, and Igor, grandson – from Tashkent. More Pepelyaeva left.

Arrived and Tatiana sibgatullina.

They are my adoptive family, the warmth she says about the descendants of their heroes. And they totally agree with her.

Came to local scientists and historians – in Yakutia carefully preserve the history of not only professionals but also Amateurs. Was attended by representatives of the Yakut branch of the Imperial Orthodox Palestinian society – they became the initiators of this meeting.

Lithium funeral with the participation of descendants of both commanders in Yakutsk, photo: the nun Eugenia (Senchukova)

They are in the temple and pray. Pepelyaeva grandson and great-grandson of strode light candles from each other – what a strange echo of events almost a century ago when their ancestors were captured and participated in the flames of Civil war! Words of funeral prayers. At the Transfiguration Cathedral is made of lithium for all the victims and innocent victims during the Civil war.

“Innocent victims” was added by accident. After the service will be long thoughtful meeting, when one of the guests, historian Vladimir Pesterev, pain will say: “We, the Yakuts, simple peasants who tried to keep neutrality. But what may be neutrality? The Reds came: give horses, feed us! Give horses nurses, feed the Reds, who resisted would be shot. Red left – the white man came. As red allowed?! Take the rest, too, shoot”.

“How can there be enmity. We have a common tragedy”

“In a fratricidal war no right and wrong, no winners and losers,” – said in a sermon after the service, the rector of the Cathedral hieromonk Nikandr (Gorbatyuk). Grandchildren military gather at one table and in one voice claim that their ancestors wanted the good of the country – and agree each with the other.

– Grandfather respected his enemy, – says Olga Rusina. – Our family has preserved this memory.

– Grandfather understood that strode has its own truth, – said Victor Pepeliaev.

The story is paradoxical. Affected both families, but Victor Lavrovich, not only the grandson of the General, but the son of the repressed (Laurel A. born in Harbin in 1921, and convicted in 1947), suddenly recognized:

– Personally, I the Soviet government not to blame – she didn’t hurt me, education provided…


Victor Lavrovich and Igor Pepelyaev

Stockholm syndrome? Or a rare case of forgiveness of enemies?

‘Tell me,’ suddenly there was a memorial table, now, looking into each other’s eyes, you feel the hostility?

A brief silence, and in silence we hear the words of Olga Novomyrivka:

– Yes that you, what hatred. So many decades have passed.

And she echoed Igor:

– How can there be enmity. We have a common tragedy. There were no winners.

…And never went brother against brother…

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