Articles about Kobrin: Interesting articles

Suvorov vs Kosciusko

The forgotten facts from history of revolt of 1794 in Belarus.
In September, 2009 in Switzerland widely celebrated the 210th anniversary of the well-known transition of army of Alexander Suvorov through the Alps. In the far highland several monuments, including a grandiose memorial cross on the pass Saint Gothard are established to the Russian commander at once. Fall – a memorable time and for the Suvorov epic in Belarus. These months there took place final battles of revolt under Tadeush Kosciusko's leadership 215 years ago. Alexander Vasilyevich Suvorov became the main character which achieved a change during military operations in favor of the Russian troops. As a result the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth ceased to exist, and the earth of Belarus were a part of the Russian Empire.

Who more mother of history is valuable?
Recently in nationalist circles it is accepted to demonize excessively a figure of the outstanding Russian commander. What only epithets in its address you will not hear! It both "the bloody butcher", and "the suppressor of freedom", it "brought a serfdom to Belarus".

The campaign launched by some "representatives of the public" in 2007 against construction in Kobrin of an Orthodox church which the local church community devoted A.V. Suvorov's memories became peak of anti-Suvorov hysteria (in a different way also you will not tell). Then Ales Pashkevich, Vladimir Orlov, Oleg Trusov with companions literally defamed a name of the commander. There were even leaflets in which it was approved as if Suvorov soldiers got the Belarusian children on peaks and bayonets and so went on the cities and villages. In the press it is possible to meet also statements that Suvorov's troops passed across Belarus bloody march, reserving the wood from gallows. Representatives of opposition counted how many in Belarus of the streets, monuments, collective farms and state farms called in honor of A.V. Suvorov. Naturally, all urge to rename them. Constantly requirements and about change of the name of the Minsk Suvorov Military School sound.

With Tadeush Kosciusko history a bit different. Prior to the beginning of the 90th years of the XX century very few people on the globe doubted the Polish origin of Kosciusko. But at the same time even in Soviet period was not secret that the outstanding Polish military leader in Belarus was born. Wrote about it in textbooks of history, scientific publications. Since 1994 when 200-year anniversary of revolt under its management was celebrated, statements even more often sound that Tadeush Kosciusko actually the Belarusian also battled for freedom of our country. Began to appear Kosciusko Street, to be established monuments, in his honor let out even a commemorative stamp.

The Belarusian poet Leonid Dayneko devoted to this subject the poem with the eloquent name "Patriotic Test":

Vyznachy (not a treba quorum)
Hto yosts you і your people –
Patryyot for you Suvor ў
Tsi Kastsyushka patryyot?

So give after the poet and we will aggravate a question and we will try to understand who is more valuable to Belarus: Suvorov or Kosciusko?

Popular uprising. But what people?
Even supporters of the concept of a litvinizm hardly can find arguments to prove that T. Kosciusko and his associates defended idea of independence of Grand Duchy of Lithuania. And still such attempts are made. At the same time several arguments are usually used.

First, an origin of the chief of revolt from an old Belarusian shlyakhetsky family of Kostyushek-Sekhnovitsky. Secondly, its birthplace – the estate Merechevshchina, near Kosovo (now Ivatsevichsky district).

Thirdly, the text of the address of T. Kosciusko "To citizens to the Lithuanian and serial commissions" of June 2, 1794. In it the chief of revolt wrote: "Lithuania! Nice for fight and civic consciousness, long unhappy through own sons of change, I promise to become among you with gratitude for your trust to me if military circumstances … allow me who I am is how not Litvin, your fellow countryman, you the electee?" [1, page 73]. On this basis some publicists draw a conclusion that it was talked of fight for independence of Belarus identified with Lithuania.

But the theory about T. Kosciusko's "belorusskost" does not maintain criticism. To regret it sounds, by the end of the 18th century Belarus did not act not only as the independent state, but even in principle as the subject of the political relations. After the Lublin union of 1569 there was a prompt polonization of shlyakhetsky estate and considerable part of citizens INCL. In 1696 old Belarusian was forbidden.

Polonization did not avoid also Kosciusko's family. The Tadeush trained in piarsky board where teaching was held in Latin and Polish languages, and Knightly school in Warsaw was the perfect Pole on the consciousness. In the same address of June 2 he mentions VKL only as about the small homeland, is a little discharged: "Lithuania! Fellow countrymen and my compatriots! On yours I was born to the earth and in a fuse just for my Fatherland the special love to those among whom took life root responds in me" [1, page 73]. The address was no more than propaganda leaflet urged to stir up activity of insurgents in the territory INCL. By the way, the similar address "To citizens of the former Grand Duchy of Lithuania" in April, 1919 was made by other Polish "chief" – Yu. Pilsudsky. This mister also, happened, called himself litviny as was born in Vilenshchina. For Belarusians this "litvinsky nostalgia" of next Polish "chief" terminated in closing of national schools and newspapers, arrests of leaders of liberation movement and a massive polonization. One of main goals of insurgents of T. Kosciusko was recovery of the Constitution of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth on May 3, 1791 which actually liquidated even an illusive autonomy of VKL, having turned it into one of provinces of the Polish state. Exclusively Polish people are mentioned in the constitution, and the name "Poland" is repeatedly provided as a synonym of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth [2]. About any independence of VKL and furthermore Belarus could not be and speeches. Even nobody thought of it! As soon as in the main rate of T. Kosciusko suspected Vilno of a certain illusive separatism as right there, on June 4, 1794, discharged I. Yasinsky from the commander-in-chief post in Lithuania, and the Highest Lithuanian Rada was dismissed, having replaced it with the Central deputation of VKL which is completely subordinated to Warsaw. All povetovy serial commissions were approved in the Polish capital. And notorious separatism of Ya. Yasinsky was shown more likely in extreme revolutionary radicalism, like the French yakobinstvo, in willfulness and non-compliance with orders of the chief of revolt, that is T. Kosciusko. Ya. Yasinsky whom someone hurries to write down nearly in the first the "Belarusian" revolutionaries was Pole not only on consciousness, but also by origin: he was born in the Poznan voivodeship in a family Polish shlyakhtichy.

All documents of insurgents in VKL were formed only in Polish, they are literally impregnated with ideas "polskosti". So, in the charge which is taken out to the last great hetman of VKL Sh. M. Kosakovsky it was said that it applied "violence with disgust for all rights Polish" [1, with. 58]. Heads of revolt in the Merechsky voivodeship of VKL (now it is the territory of the Republic of Lithuania) wrote: "Remember that the inhabitant called on this sacred business is so obliged to act as the respectable Pole, the defender of glory, a liberty, integrity and independence" [3, with. 95–96]. T. Kosciusko did not call into question the Polish nature of revolt. On March 25, 1794 in the famous versatile person about the beginning of revolt he appealed to "all voyevodsky generals, top military commanders of the republic Polish" [4, with. 11].

That there were no illusions concerning what would expect Belarus in case of a revolt victory, it is necessary to give also such fact. One of heads of insurgents in VKL M. K. Oginsky, the author of the known polonaise, in October, 1811 submitted to the Russian emperor Alexander I the letter with the draft of the decree on the new organization of the western provinces of the empire. According to this document it was supposed to restore Grand Duchy of Lithuania. However, as envisioned by M. K. Oginsky, official language in this state had to become Polish. In one more note addressed to the Russian emperor of December 1, 1811, and also during private audience with Alexander I at the end of January, 1812 M. K. Oginsky specified that restoration of VKL will become the first step to revival of the Polish state and the Constitution on May 3, 1791. At the same time he suggested the emperor to accept a title of the Polish king and to conclude the Russian-Polish union [5, page 94-95].

So whoever suggested to make Oginsky's polonaise the Belarusian anthem now Michal Kleofas precisely knew a name of the Fatherland to which so penetrating said goodbye in the work. And the name is not Belarus at all. VKL for insurgents of 1794, as well as for all numerous shlyakhta of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, was represented by the extensive province of the uniform Polish state. Yes, with the regional differences, with the rich historical past, but only part of Poland, same, as, say, Mazoviya, too once independent principality.

Fight for souls and minds
The elite of the Polish society quite well imagined moods in bottoms and furthermore among the Belarusian peasants. The king Stanislav Augustus Ponyatovsky on Four-year diet in the speech of November 6, 1788 warned members of diet that "during war with Moscow we can have from the hlop the angriest enemy" [6, page 152]. The same concerned also the orthodox population. All the 18th century the Polish authorities pursued orthodox inhabitants, accusing them of sympathies for Russia. The Belarusian metropolitan Georgy Konissky suffered persecution. The deputy of the Kiev metropolitan in Slutsk bishop Victor Sadkovsky in 1789 was flung on false charge in prison and held without any sentence three long years there until it was released by the Russian troops. The situation did not change also during the revolt. However, some Orthodox Christians, even priests adjoined risen. But it is rather the an exception confirming the rule.

During revolt of 1794 in the territory of Belarus about 30 thousand people of whom the majority was made by a shlyakhta, only a third – peasants took part in it. The Belarusian historian V.P. Emelyanchik treating with obvious sympathy for T. Kosciusko's insurgents was forced to recognize: "Attempts of part of the management of revolt to close it only on the questions "polskost", and also adverse conditions for the cardinal solution of "a country question" did not conduct to its victory. From here and relative passivity of the Belarusian peasantry" [1, page 154].

Actually Belarusian peasants making the vast majority of the population so were not passive. In sources numerous cases of active resistance which locals showed to insurgent groups are noted. The Russian general V. H. Derfelden wrote on May 25, 1794 the count Saltykov that he observes among peasants "commitment more to us, than to Poles" [6, page 163]. The foreman L.L. Bennigsen informed from Smorgoni to the command on mass actions of the Belarusian peasants against risen shlyakhtichy. According to him, residents of many villages, being sure, "that they will remain under protection of Russia", specified those places, "where guns and different military ammunition in the earth it was buried which I also received, somehow: in peaks, sabers, guns, guns, bayonets considerable number" [6, page 164.] . The major general B. D. Knorring, one of the Russian military leaders directing revolt suppression remembered: "… After publication of my versatile persons peasants who were already armed and remained at rest, attacked the vooruzhitel and leaders and not able from this are taken to escape were them and are brought to us" [7, page 94]. As appears from reports of the same general, insurgents were forced to leave vicinities of Slonim not so much owing to actions of the Russian troops how many because of full hostility from local population.

In August, 1794 in defense by the Russian troops of fortress of Dinaburg active part was taken by 170 local Belarusian peasants. And it is not surprising as the insurgents under the leadership of M. K. Oginsky besieging fortress burned the country yards, extorted money from locals, threatening with an utter ruin. So, from the landowner Ziberkh's peasants whose manor settled down in vicinities Dinaburga, insurgents received 50 chervonets as contribution, moreover 45 more rubles in the form of requisitions, withdrew 7 landowner and 5 country horses. All this was followed by mass beatings of locals [7, page 87-88]. Similar actions were usual practice. After one of the "guerrilla" actions M. K. Oginsky came back with a wagon train from 200 country carts.

The researcher A. Benzeruk fairly states: "Revolt events once again showed that for Belarusians 1794 gained lines of civil war as our compatriots battled on both sides of barricades" [8, with. 199].

And in A.V. Suvorov's troops our fellow countrymen were at war. The Belarusian egersky case consisting of several battalions was one of the most glorified connections of its army. Voiny-belorustsy (so they were called in the Russian army) differed in daring and fearlessness.

Not only the Russian officers, but also Polish insurgenta testify to a wide circulation of anti-insurgent moods in Belarus. The colonel I. Dzyalinsky showed subsequently: "According to its, Krautner, nervousness meant as if that peasants wanted to rebel against the Russian troops. But Dzyalinsky esteems these his news absolutely false, knowing the known attachment of peasants to troops Russian" [7, page 30].

M. K. Oginsky, having rushed on the territory which departed to the Russian Empire after the second section got beaten because of hostility of locals. On his own memoirs, he had to refuse storm of Minsk as the Russian governor Neplyuev involved in defense of the city "a large number of the armed peasants that to expose them for the first attack" [9, s. 324]. Even in Vishnevo and Shchorsakh where the count Hreptovich carried out reforms, peasants refused to give recruits and actively opposed kostyushkovets. The captain I. Goyzhevsky sadly stated: in "Vishnev by means of execution I choose infantrymen … But people of a vzbuntovana Moscow also do not want to be obedient … Also and in Smotovshchizna and Shchorsakh hlopa rebelled and do not want to give recruits" [6, with. 163].

By the way, usually modern pseudo-scientific publicists accuse A.V. Suvorov's troops that "they brought on the bayonets a recruitment". But recruitments were entered by insurgents of T. Kosciusko. If they counted only on volunteers, then revolt would die away, without having begun. However and with a set of recruits the situation was not in the best way. Various sectors of society showed indifference on the relation if not to ideas, then to participation in revolt. Documents of that time are overflowed with complaints, threats of various insurgent representatives called by passivity of inhabitants, their unwillingness to battle against the Russian troops. Reports of such contents came to the insurgent center in Vilno: "Lyud runs away from Vilno continuously so except women (who have panic souls, and therefore it is reasonable that leave) it captured a great number of the suitable for the weapon and armed men" [3, page 95]. Ya. Garain authorized insurgents wrote the Brest commission that he makes "a violent set" of recruits [7, page 108]. After defeat in fight at Perebranovichi in May, 1794 from the Russian troops "the Polish shlyakhtich without special resistance indicated the place of storage of the weapon (guns, peaks, guns) and declared that they will remain under the auspices of Russia forever" [6, page 161].

The leader of revolt was forced to state a failure of a set of recruits in the Belarusian lands. On September 12, 1794 he wrote: "From the intended 500 recruits for my wagon train from the Brest-Lithuanian voivodeship it is delivered only 372, the others – ran on the road" [6, page 163]. At the beginning of August, 1794 in the 3rd regiment of the Lithuanian vanguard of insurgent group of the major general P. Grabovsky even revolt after which suppression five death sentences which however are not carried out [10] were pronounced broke out. Peasants refused to go to army of insurgents, and the shlyakhta constantly complained that farmers come off the earth [3, page 19-21, 37-38].

The recruitments entered by kostyushkovets were really excessive for Lithuania and the western Belarus as here in 1793 the strongest hunger which happened owing to a long drought took place. Summer did not urodit, hay was not at all [11, with. 32]. Nearly the only proof of a certain similarity of broad national support of insurgents in the territory of Belarus are often quoted certificates of the Russian military leader N. V. Repnin: "Not against army here war, but against public revolt of all shlyakhetstvo and common people, all obviously or secretly armed whom respectively, it is impossible to banish before itself and they will always remain in a back of army, giving themselves for quiet inhabitants" [8, with. 193]. However in principle it is necessary to treat these estimates of the Russian general with a considerable share of scepticism. As, by the way, contemporaries also arrived. Nikolay Vasilyevich Repnin, was, to put it mildly, an overcautious person. He literally attacked St. Petersburg the panic reports based on unconfirmed rumors and conjectures. After revolt suppression N. V. Repnin opposed the settlement of the former king Stanislav Augustus in Grodno, claiming that at the overthrown monarch there is well armed guard from 300–400 people. In the city the kept dark plot for the purpose of Ponyatovsky's release seemed to it. Repnin suggested to transfer the former king far away, for example, to Riga. Any of these fears as it appeared, was not true. Here what assessment to Repnin is given by one of the most authoritative researchers of that era M. de Poule: "Though the prince Repnin gained during wars with Turks popularity not only the fighting general, but also the excellent commander, however one glance on its actions in Lithuania, from the first of April, 1794 suffices to be convinced of insufficiency of its abilities of a military leader: sluggish and careful it was everywhere, continually, and besides excessively" [11, page 27]. However, even N. V. Repnin recognized over time that the local population nevertheless is ready rather prorossiysk, than propolsk. It has also such statement which for some reason is practically not quoted recently: "Peasants more on our party, than rebels" [6, page 163].

It is necessary to reject also any speculation concerning a serfdom, as if "brought on Suvorov bayonets". The serfdom (prygon) was finally approved in VKL under the Statute of 1588, on half a century earlier, than in Russia.

And the serfdom in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was not easier, than in the Russian Empire, being burdened by full willfulness of a shlyakhta and magnates, additional operation from tenants. However, in the "Polonetsky station wagon" published on May 7, 1794 T. Kosciusko proclaimed that "the identity of each peasant is free", for peasants the law of succession of use of the earth admitted. However it did not mean cancellation of a serfdom. The peasant could leave the sir on condition of performance of all duties and payment of debts that was almost impracticable requirement. Only participants of revolt were exempted from corvee, the others have to were "diligently days of corvee which remained, to leave, to the administration to be obedient" [12, page 11, 12]. Besides, in a number of places of a shlyakht, participating in revolt, frankly sabotaged execution of the versatile person. Contemporaries wrote about it: "Shlyakhta in large part declares: let the Russian, the Prussian or the Austrian operate us, but we will not exempt hlop from citizenship" [6, page 161].

In literature it is possible to meet constant mentions of a large number of the country souls granted in Belarus to the Russian officers and officials. These facts are given as the evidence of enslaving of the Belarusian peasantry. But the Russian landowners were allocated with lands with peasants, not so free. Before they belonged to the Russian treasury at which disposal were after confiscation of lands at the Polish landowners who refused to swear on fidelity to the Russian empress. For June 1, 1773 on the Mogilev and Pskov provinces thus the state treasury was carried over by 95 097 country souls [13, page 42-43]. Lands and estates, by the way, allocated far not only natives of Russia. So, on December 3, 1795 the reskript Catherine II enjoined Lithuanian to return the general to the governor manors to all relatives of the former Polish king, and also some other eminent persons of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth including to the former hetman Lithuanian Michal Kazimir Oginsky.

Not only weapon force
At once it is necessary to make a reservation: certainly, war is war. Always and at all times during military operations the civilian population perishes, there are war crimes. Even in a peace time the military personnel makes offenses, there is enough work for special military prosecutor's offices and vessels. What already to tell about military hard times in the 18th century when there were no Geneva and Hague conventions ordering rules of war. Therefore at an assessment of actions of these or those troops installations and orders which were given by military leaders act as the major criterion. The same N. V. Repnin ordered to the officers first of all to seek to preserve peasants. Requisitions of the food and fodder were recommended to be done mainly at a shlyakhta. Peasants who voluntarily left insurgent groups were recommended to be rewarded surely money and to release [1, page 132]. Suvorov in well-known "To science learned to win" against soldiers: "Do not offend the inhabitant, he gives to drink to us, feeds. Soldier not the robber" [14, page 17].

All this completely kept within a framework of the concept of the policy pursued by the imperial authorities in Belarus and Lithuania. Its bases were formulated in well-known "Order" of Ekaterina ІІ to the Pskov and Mogilev governors about management in the lands attached from Poland of May 28, 1772. All actions of the new power, according to the great empress, had to bring to that, "that not only these provinces to us were conquered by weapon force, but that you (governors. – V.G.) heart of the people living in it kind, decent, right judgment, indulgent, mild and philanthropic management of the Russian Empire was appropriated that they had the reason to read the rejection from the anarchical republic Polish for the first step to their prosperity" [13, page 26-28]. This document provided freedom of worship. It is known that the award of Jesuits forbidden during this period across all Europe continued to work quietly only in one country – the Russian Empire. The court and punishment were managed under local laws and in local language. Tortures were everywhere cancelled. The population of the former lands of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth attached to the Russian Empire according to the second section of 1793 was exempted from taxes for two years [15, page 419-420].

Naturally, the moratorium on the death penalty imposed in the Russian Empire in 1744 also extended to the Belarusian lands. It was broken only in exceptional cases: after V. Ya. Mirovich's plot in 1764 and during suppression of the Pugachev's rebellion. Revolt of 1794 such exception did not become. Regardless of their rank and a nationality, did not execute the captivated insurgents. A.V. Suvorov often at all released prisoners as it occurred from 6000 Polish soldiers who are released by him after capture of Warsaw.

Also T. Kosciusko was not executed. After the short conclusion in the Peter and Paul Fortress where it used considerable freedom, the former leader of revolt was released by the emperor Paul I who awarded him 12 thousand rubles, a sable fur coat and a cap, fur boots and table silver. At the same time T. Kosciusko brought a faithful oath to the Russian autocrat and constrained it, without having opposed then up in arms Russia.

Other head of revolt M. K. Oginsky, that author of a polonaise, not only returned after short emigration to the Russian Empire, but even became her senator at the emperor Alexander I. At last, whether it is possible to imagine that "brutal invaders" considered complaints of inhabitants of "the occupied territory", including the former opponents, on damage of property during military operations? Moreover, collected an amount of damage from the commander of own troops? What invaders and what occupation is are?! And quite so also occurred later all a two-three of years after the end of revolt of T. Kosciusko.

In June, 1797 former Lithuanian underframes of columns Vortsel submitted to the Russian authorities the application on compensation to it damage for the wood and potash destroyed as a result of actions of troops under A.V. Suvorov's command. In spite of the fact that the commander had no relation to this case, was sequestrated his Kobrin manor for compensation to Vortsel of damage of 5628 chervonets or 28 000 paper rubles. In half a year after this case the former Polish major Vyganovsky submitted the similar application on collecting from Suvorov of 36 000 rubles allegedly for a manor arson during Krupchitsky fight. The Russian authorities made careful investigation of this incident. The great commander was in indignation: "I am not a zazhigatel and not the robber. War or peace?" In despair it was ready even to begin sale of jewelry, speaking at the same time: "In accident – diamonds. I deserved them. God gave, God also will take and again can give". However investigation came to a conclusion that Vyganovsky's claims are proved by nothing, and as a result of military operations in his manor which did not cost the declared claim sum, only one shabby shed suffered [16, page 422-423].

When there were first "enemies of the people"?
And here the Polish insurgents were not so peaceful at all. Actually in 1794 in the territory captured by revolt revolutionary terror was entered. Already the principle opening the road to broad application of violence was stated in the most "Act of revolt of the people of Grand Duchy of Lithuania": "who not with us, that our enemy" [1, page 49]. The great hetman of VKL Sh. M. Kosakovsky, the supporter of a rupture of the union with Poland and the conclusions of the union with the Russian Empire became one of the first victims of terror. It was hung up on the Market square in Vilno. During commission of execution the indicative speech was made by Ya. Yasinsky: "Sirs! There will be here a business which is forbidden to be discussed and whether it will be pleasant to which of you or not, everyone is obliged to be silent and who will give the vote, urgently on this gallows will be hung up" [1, page 59]. Ya. Yasinsky tried to obtain also further broad application of "retaliations" in relation to the political opponents. Also the brother of the great hetman Yu.K. Kosakovsky, the inflyantsky bishop was hung up [17, page 133].

Soon "gallows for enemies of the people" (this their official name) appeared also in other cities and places which appeared in the power of insurgents. In the resolution of the Grodno serial commission on this occasion it was told: "… in the market of Grodno the gallows with an inscription on one party – "Death is delivered to traitors of the Fatherland", and on another – "Fear, the traitor", recognizing in that installed death tool an honest and kind way of thinking and love to the fatherland during the real revolt from bondage of our Fatherland" [7, page 56-57]. That the love to the Fatherland in citizens did not die away, insurgents founded repressive bodies for the organization and carrying out terror. Deputation of public safety became the main thing from them. Also Criminal court which was urged to punish "traitors of the Fatherland, to its revolt opposite, council or plot some menacing, and those who to the Fatherland are already guilty" [1, page 53] was established. At the same time all affairs understood within 24 hours. The measure of punishment was only one – hanging.

The insurgent authorities entered censorship, freedom of speech was also limited, "that nobody thoughtless and quick-tempered speeches incited, inflamed the people and excited it to some actions breaking public tranquility" [7, page 55-56]. Departments of safety had to monitor observance of "public tranquility" all to a tezha.

Insurgents performed the real punitive operations. In the Oshmyansky povet certain shlyakhtich T. Gorodensky at once after a revolt victory in Vilno organized group with which he went to revenge the neighbors who refused to adjoin revolt. Having shed a lot of blood, T. Gorodensky ran in Vilno [18, page 767].

Captured Russian soldiers were exposed to rough handlings. In Warsaw the Russian garrison was cut almost completely out by risen. At the same time killed the unarmed soldiers who were taking communion in church being a number of women and small children [19, page 503]. These are the facts supported by the documents, historical sources, attestations of eyewitnesses.

And here cock-and-bull stories about what A.V. Suvorov ordered "to shoot inhabitants Kobrin and Malorita, to banish them through a system" as it is written sometimes, are confirmed with nothing. You will not find either footnotes, or the list of sources in publications of this sort – they simply do not exist.

The only episode which is really confirmed with sources is destruction by Cossacks from the A.V case. Suvorova of the remains of group of K. Serakovsky in the Krupchitsky monastery of Carmelites. Then in the transient cabin about four hundred insurgents died. And it is unclear who it was. One write about kosiner, others about riders under K. Rushchits's command. Anyway, this was not about any destruction of civilians. The armed people who refused to give up came to the monastery. Itself A.V. Suvorov wrote about those events: "Run up at battle in the woods which do not give up also are not, perestrelivat until now the huntsman and other infantry as that in bogs which did not sink in them" [20, page 160, 162]. War is war: on it play not at spillikins.

Widely raspropagandirovanny "fact of atrocities" of Suvorov troops is storm of the Warsaw suburb Prague. In this article we will not stop in detail on this drama episode as it has not a direct bearing on Belarus. Especially as about it there is a large number of various publications, both the accusing A. V. Suvorov and his soldiers and justifying their actions. One of the best lately article "Historical Formation of Myths" of E.V. Babenko, director of the Kobrin military and historical museum of name A.V. Suvorova [21]. That to the victims among civilians, let everyone for himself will answer the following question. Whether there can be safe civilians during storm of fortress in which there are about 17 thousand people of garrison, more than 100 tools moreover inhabitants who took the weapon in hand? And all this took place in Prague turned into the first-class fortress by recognition of Poles [22, s. 357]. And who is guilty of death of civilians: storming or the heads of defense who left on a front line of simple inhabitants? Nevertheless, as if who pictured "Suvorov atrocities", the most part and the population, and houses of Prague escaped. The fact that after battle in this suburb some divisions of the Russian troops were placed on a billeting demonstrates to it at least. Released also the most part of prisoners. Here such here "fanatic slaughter"!

Not number, but ability
You will read some publications – and you wonder! Brilliantly educated officers, carriers of progressive ideas, "relying on national support", suddenly got beaten by "backward Moscow savages". How it can be? The explanation is simple – overwhelming, simply unprecedented superiority in strength of the Russian troops. As always, crushed weight, filled up with corpses.

We will give Krupchitsky battle as an example on September 17, 1794 – the largest fighting collision during revolt in the territory of Belarus. With A.V. Suvorov's troops everything is clear – according to exact data together with the reinforcements received on the way to Kobrin, they totaled about 11 thousand people. The confusion arises with a number of troops of an insurgent division of K. Serakovsky. Itself A.V. Suvorov wrote about 16 thousand people with 28 tools. The famous Russian historian A.F. Petrushevsky estimates K. Serakovsky's group in 13 thousand [16, page 276]. The Polish historian S. Herbst writes already about about 5 thousand troops of K. Serakovsky [10]. The Belarusian historian V.P. Emelyanchik wrote to monographs "Palanez for a Kas_ner ¸" about 10 thousand the person 28 tools [1, page 113]. In the article about this battle in "Entsyklapedy_ VKL" he writes it is flowed already more round that "about 20 thousand people" on both sides participated [23]. But in the same A.P edition. Gritskevich claims that Suvorov's case more than twice surpassed strengths of insurgents [24, page 416]. A. Benzeruk writes that under Krupchitsami K. Serakovsky had only 4 thousand people, that is 13 squadrons and 5 battalions, and also 26 tools, and Suvorov surpassed his forces three times [8, page 194]. Who knows, can somewhere still unknown artist-painter of battle-pieces already drew a large-scale diorama on which infinite Suvorov hordes press a small handful of fighters of K. Serakovsky?

Actually any not that overwhelming, and even in number the Russian troops in that war had no significant or relative superiority. By the time of the beginning of the armed performance the Russian troops in the territory of VKL consisted of two groups: the general N. D. Arsenyev in Vilno and the general P. D. Tsitsianov in Grodno, Novogrudke and Slonim. Total number of the Russian troops made about 11 thousand people, that is there were VKL equal armies. At the same time Russians had superiority in artillery, and the Lithuanian forces – in a cavalry [25, s. 131, 136, 139].

The Polish historian K. Bartoshevich counted that in the Russian army in Corona and Lithuania there were only 45 thousand people, in Suvorov's case by the time of storm of Prague – 15 thousand. It determines the number of army of Kosciusko in 64–70 thousand people [22, s. 328–329]. However, there was still allied Russia a 50-thousand Prussian army operating in Velikopolshe. However there was the next "strange war" that is proved as extremely unsuccessful and passive actions of Prussians near Warsaw, and the fact that Kosciusko kept group, rather small on number, in Velikopolshe.

The Russian troops won a victory in full accordance with the military doctrine A.V. Suvorova: not number, but ability. It was reached thanks to the genius of the greatest commander, and also military skill of his pupils, generation of the "Ekaterina's eagles" who passed school of Ochakovo and Fokshan, Rymnika and Izmail. Magnificent fighting qualities of the Russian troops were tested then on fields of Italy and in the Swiss mountains in fights with the armed force of new type – the French revolutionary army. And test it was passed successfully.

Not separately, but together
Many of the examples given in this publication are taken from works of supporters of the theory about Kosciusko's "belorusskost" and "the bloody executioner" Suvorov. Their authors simply could not ignore documentary sources. However, drawing conclusions, for some reason "forgot" the whole layers of historic facts. As a result such chain of the "forgotten" facts also leads to distortion and falsification of history. And it is not accident, but conscious activity for the purpose of change of national identity of the Belarusian people, his historical memory at all.

We deal with the next attempt to pull out artificially Belarusians from an area of an east Slavic civilization, and for this purpose to blacken, make hostile all Russian heroes and to artificially "belorusizirovat" heroes Polish, having established synonymic connection between the concepts "Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth" and "Belarusian power". Naturally, an ultimate goal – creation of "cultural and historical" basis for cardinal change inside - and a foreign policy of the Belarusian state. Opened this tendency and the proofs were shown in the article "Choice of the Nation" the pages "Belaruskay dumki" by the domestic historian Ya.I. Treshchenok [26, page 68-75].

A.V. Suvorov wrote: "I forgot myself when business went about advantage of the Fatherland" [27, with. 76]. For certain under these words both T. Kosciusko, and many of his associates would subscribe. In this article the purpose to blacken insurgents of 1794 was not set at all. In the majority it were sincere, unselfish and honest people, selfless patriots, but not Belarus, and that country which they considered as the Homeland – Poland. After long years of anarchy, national and religious intolerance the Polish people wakened and up in arms rose in defense of the Fatherland. In this sense its fight was fair. Exactly during this period there was a formation of the new Polish nation. Unfortunately, formation it went due to eradication of ethnic identity of the other people living in the territory of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, first of all Belarusians, Ukrainians and Lithuanians. Revival of the Polish state in 1918 and history of oppression of ethnic minorities at the time of the II Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth it was convincingly proved.

Attempts to push off in the Belarusian history Suvorov and Kosciusko's images are extremely counterproductive. Attentive studying of the program of revolt of 1794 shows that its success would lead to an absolute polonization of Belarus and disappearance of the Belarusian people as independent ethnos. The victory of Suvorov troops changed such logic of events. The acute fight of two great national ideas – Russian and Polish which point of impact was our earth and brought in the middle of the 19th century to origin of independent Belarusian idea. Therefore ugly and ungratefully to oplevyvat memory of the late great commander, real military genius, the true Christian who incorporated all best lines of the Russian character. Who knows, maybe, there will pass time, and we will be able to put a candle before an icon of the new orthodox Saint soldier Alexander? The Church canonized the contemporary Suvorov of the admiral Fedor Ushakov recently.

But also Kosciusko – a figure symbolical and sign for our history. Even its birth and formation as persons symbolizes the tragedy of the Belarusian shlyakhta, opolyachenny, lost communication with the national roots, forgotten customs, language and belief of the ancestors. But we have the right to be proud of the fact that on our earth the great son and the hero of the Polish people was born.

T. Kosciusko died in Switzerland, that country where this year celebrated anniversary of the Alpine campaign of A.V. Suvorov. The small European state treats two outstanding historical characters with respect: to both Russian, and Pole. Their memory is equally esteemed and is properly immortalized. Is it time also for us, to Belarusians to cease to push together these two great people, disturbing them eternal rest, and to begin to treat them as to symbols of our difficult and inconsistent history. Especially as in the field of battle two military leaders never met, and here the places in Belarus connected with their names (Kobrin and Merechevshchina), are so close …

Vadim GIGIN, candidate of historical sciences editor-in-chief of the Belarusky Thought magazine.

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It is published in the Belarusky Thought magazine. No. 10 2009


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