Articles about Kobrin: As a part of the Russian Empire

To freedom, revolution towards

The beginning of new century, appear, did not promise special changes in Kobrin's life. Here did not gather, as well as earlier, to build the large enterprises or to multiply number of schools for the people. But the imperial administration attached to the city a certain military significance, having turned it into large mobilization point. During the Russian-Japanese war of 1904 — 1905 in Kobrin a significant amount of parts which then went to Manchuria was formed. And soon sad messages began to come from the East. But even more bloody massacre at Palace Square in St. Petersburg shook on January 9, 1905 kobrinchan. And here on city streets the first protests appeared. Revolution began.

Local authorities hoped for the help of the military divisions billeted in Kobrin. But only police officers participated in "establishing order", among soldiers fermentation was observed. In barracks there were leaflets extending RSDRP. Special activity was shown by recruits of advanced ages which were placed in a manor "Province". On July 21, 1905 they an amicable system went to the city where at this time gathered on the Market square many citizens and neighboring peasants who arrived earlier to the bargaining. Protesters filled all city center, spoke about war alien to the people, about criminal intents of autocracy, chanted: "Down with the tsar!". The police unsuccessfully tried to disperse the audience, it was given amicable repulse, having put to flight. Meanwhile here retaliatory forces were already directed, to a billeting there arrived right government troops.

On October 17, 1905, when there was an imperial manifesto, Kobrin was captured by demonstrations again. In response to the promise of illusive freedoms people left with red flags and slogans: "Down with autocracy!". On Ratnenskaya Street protesters went to "Province", hoping for support of recruits. But here they were already waited by the Cossacks who used lashes and checkers.

Even in the summer of 1905 at Kobrin station the office of the All-Russian railway union led by the committee elected by local workers was formed. K. A. Kondratyev (chairman), E. M. Skarkovsky, I. O. Grishko, E. K. Gaaz and N. Bogatko were a part of committee. Railroad workers organized a fighting team which armed with the iron peaks made here in a workshop. Komitetchiki held meetings on which political demands were made, established active relation with other strike committees. And in October, 1905 they amicably joined in the all-Russian strike of railroad workers. The strike on the Polesia railroad soon was supported by post and cable employees of Kobrin, then the teacher of city schools and rural schools. Also many small enterprises of the city striked.

On December 12, 1905, when in far Moscow fights on Krasnaya Presnya were developed, the disturbing telegram departed from Grodno to the vilensky governor general: "... because of a strike of the Polesia railroad workers the Kobrin County is cut absolutely off in sense of means of communication". It meant that chasteners cannot reach the rebellious city and urgent measures are required. In two days "The provision on the strengthened protection" for a period of one year was applied to the county. Having received a full freedom of action for suppression of all dissidents, the police authorities of Kobrin led by the district police officer Lukin zealously got down to business. Soon the rough handling with participants of the meeting which gathered in a cinematograph (a corner of present International and October streets) followed.

Almost all year, since the spring, the Kobrin sky was lit with glows of the near and far fires in the evenings. These are peasants let out "a red squeak" — burned down manors of landowners. In 1905 — 1906 in the county there were about two hundred open performances, some of them developed into armed conflicts. In the village of Molodovo the striking seasonal workers of smolokurenny plant of the landowner Skirmunt were come to the rescue by about three hundred peasants. They tried to release ten arrested whom gendarmes were going to escort to the city. But the landowner caused a dragoon squadron. Peasants bravely beat off from pressing with checkers the dragoon, but were forced to recede.

Special fame was gained by events in the Ilovsky volost where residents of several villages conducted fierce fight against the landowner Shemet and his gayduka. At the head of villagers there were K. Rachko and M. Nichiporuk who developed the action plan. Having armed with shot-guns, a pitchfork and self-made peaks, having taken several large bottles of kerosene which rose went towards a manor. But the landowner already managed to cause a company of soldiers, performance was suppressed, some instigators are seized.

Data on affairs in Kobrin district reached the tsar who enjoined: "... The royal decree given to the ruling senate of November 25 of this year, period of validity of the Provision on the strengthened protection entered in Pruzhansky and Kobrin Counties is prolonged till December 8th, 1908". Arrest at the beginning of January, 1906 of committee of Kobrin office of the union of railroad workers was result of unlimited retaliatory powers. The Polesia road of one of the last finished strike. Also organizers of a strike of teachers underwent arrest. RSDRP Program copies were withdrawn from some of them.

Events of 1905 in the territory of the Kobrin County give the grounds to assume that here some group or the organization of party worked. Unfortunately, documentary confirmations of it did not remain, it is necessary to lean on indirect demonstrations. For example, on the fact that in near Brest there was a RSDRP strong organization which had even the underground printing house. It is quite possible that were connected by K. Rachko from Ilovsk with it, rural teachers E. Hvedosyuk from Kiselevtsev and A. Kalinovsky from Lipnik. All of them studied at Vilensky university, one of the centers of revolutionary movement. Also the fact that since 1906 K. Rachko began to edify in the village of Zakrosnitsa is rather interesting. His name meets on pages of the Pravda newspaper of those far years. On August 14, 1913 the Bolshevist "Northern Truth" (one of legal names of the newspaper) placed article of the teacher about a distress of peasants of the Zakrosnitsky volost of the Kobrin County.

In August, 1914 world imperialistic war began. Did not manage to be erased from memory of the victim of the Russian-Japanese war as again messages on the killed and wounded began to arrive. And in a year when imperial command decided to hand over the Brest fortress without fight, it became clear that Kobrin kayzerovsky troops occupy. On Moscow Warsaw highway on the East mixed up with the receding parts thousands of refugees stretched. Nearby on country roads drove herds. People left native places, without knowing whether they will return soon.

On August 22, 1915 almost empty and deserted city was entered by the German troops. Robberies began, the fires during which malls in the market burned down, the building of the station broke out and it is a lot of houses. The front, having removed in east direction on more than one hundred versts, stopped beyond Baranovichi.

War sharply increased revolutionary activity of masses. In February, 1917 the autocracy was overthrown. The Bolshevik party under the leadership of V. I. Lenin headed for a socialist revolution. Many of Kobrin refugees witnessed how events of February by October developed, some participated in them. Victory of October revolution. The decree on peace and the offer of the Soviet government to stop war gave to them hope for fast return home.

In March, 1918 the world was signed with Germany — unfair, but extremely necessary for the Soviet republic. The German troops remained in the occupied territories. Among peace conditions one especially excited refugees: they were allowed to return to native places. But coming back now were people with other outlook, they adjoined to life-giving ideas of Great October. The first socialist transformations in Russia made indelible impression on them. Here they as if came to be in the past again — the same landowners, fists, dealers and manufacturers.

Came back not only from the East, but also from the West, from the German captivity. Among the former Nikolaev soldiers I. Zhavoronok and M. Shimansky returned to the Ilovsky volost of the Kobrin County. And in the volost Shemet's landowner to whom invaders patronized still flourished. The residents of Ilovsk and the neighboring villages long ago suffering from the landowner stretched to the come-back villagers. It was decided to create guerrilla group. The lark and Shimansky established relations with the RCP underground organization which arose in Kobrin in September, 1918//. R E were its part V. D. Mickiewicz (secretary). Bartenbaum, G. Pantel, D. Levchuk. Underground workers managed to deliver in the Detkovichsky wood where there were guerrillas, the weapon and ammunition, illegal literature. The first operation was soon performed — Shemet's manor is crushed. The landowner tried to run, but neither he, nor his servants-gayduki avoided punishment. However next day there arrived chasteners. They managed to capture several guerrillas — M. Shimansky, D. Sokolyuk and M. Ovdeyuk. National avengers were shot by Germans. These are the first fighters for the Soviet power who fell on the Kobrin earth.

The guerrilla group under I. Zhavoronk's command transferred the base to the district of the village of Smolyarnya and continued fight. The Kobrin organization extended at the expense of new underground workers: N. Qureshi, P. Qureshi, F. Kachangko, S. Kulesh and others. Underground cells in the next villages began to be created. In Novoselkakh Sakharuki's brothers created guerrilla group.

In February, 1919 the Kobrin underground decided to release the hostages pining in prison. Attack was prepared by D. Levchuk and G. Pantel. But these plans were not fated to be carried out. On February 10, 1919 the German invaders were replaced by Pilsudsky's legionaries. Garrison in the city protection of prison increased, amplified, arrests began. Towards the village of Smolyarnya retaliatory expedition went. City underground workers did not manage to warn guerrillas, and those appeared in an environment. Seventeen people died, only several managed to leave. Among broken there was also Ivan Zhavoronok. Escaping from pilsudchik, he crossed the border of the Soviet Russia and took part in civil war subsequently. The underground organization of the city managed to avoid a failure.

The reactionary bourgeois and landowner government of Poland, without wishing to go for peace talks with the Soviet state, continued to occupy new territories. In the spring of 1920 the Polish troops reached Berezina. Through Kobrin towards Pinsk often there were trains with troops and arms, and back — with bread and cattle. Underground workers decided to put this highway out of action. V. D. Mickiewicz working at station charged to Stanislav Kulesh, the switchman, to arrange trains wreck. Having chosen a right moment, S. Kulesh directed hard loaded structure going at full speed from the pinsky party to the military echelon leaving Kobrin. All way was filled up with cars. On the front where approach prepared, tools, cars and pontoons did not get, and grain and cattle remained on the place. The underground worker - the switchman safely got out of the city under an assumed name (the passport it was provided in advance). This diversion startled police and counterintelligence, under arrest almost all railroad workers got, but due to the lack of proofs soon let out them. Dexterously conceived operation managed without loss.

In June, 1920 counterattack of Red Army began, and Kobrin was released on July 30. Retreat of the opponent was covered by an armored train. Its machine gun fire mowed a platoon of shooters-Red Army men at the village Polyatichi. On their mass grave ever since fresh flowers always lie, and the obelisk is established today.

On July 31, 1920 in the city there was a district revolutionary-military committee — the first body of the Soviet power on the Kobrin earth. Pavel Efremovich Horoshilov, the commander of one of the red parts freeing the city of Kobrin became its chairman. P.E. Horoshilov is a professional soldier, subsequently participated in the Great Patriotic War which he finished in the major general's rank. Also E. Bartenbaum, Kulev and the teacher V. Karlitsky (secretary) were a part of VRK. Revk took place in the building of the former treasury on Bank (nowadays Komsomol) square where now there is a music school. In the first order of July 31, 1920 revky declared that all completeness of the power in the city and the county passes to interim revolutionary-military committee. It corresponded to the Situation of October 24, 1919 signed by V. I. Lenin according to whom such committees were created for time preceding elections to local councils. For now departments of VRK were engaged in all affairs of the city: military, labor, social security, national education and health care, food, land.

P.E. Horoshilov is the first chairman of Kobrin VRK

In the very first days of activity of VRK the district and city militia which was headed by F. I. Fedosyuk, the former underground worker was organized. Communist underground workers held also other important posts in the city. N. Kuresha and P. Kuresha became military commandants, P. I. Fedosyuk directed work of district office of a gubchek which part were E. Horoshilov — the first chairman also D. Levchuk and Kobrin VRK G. Pantel. The communists who passed severe school of illegal fight were reliable conductors in life of all actions of party.

The main place among them was taken by the help to the Red Army continuing to step on the West. On August 9, 1920 revky obliged all labor population of the city to perform a task on re-equipment of a narrow railway strip in wide from Kobrin to Gorodts and further on Drogichin. In bright, dynamic and, maybe, naive, at a present look, lines of the order all pathos of those fiery, reformative years was reflected: "... The red Soldier of the front needs the correct and regular supply, it is necessary to alleviate his suffering which he transfers owing to lack of train service. Workers and Red Kobrin's peasants need to contact the head — the Soviet republic. At railway station of Red Kobrin the roar and whistle of the engine has to be heard..."

This strategically important work the station-master V. D. Mickiewicz — that directed that he in the years of occupation organized diversion here. Soon from Pinsk there arrived the first train with military equipment. However in western the napravleniishiroky track was not managed to be finished further Zhabinki's station.

VRK carried out preparation of the food, mainly organizing harvesting in manors of the landowners running for Bug. Prodotdet the food and fodder committee distributed to two addresses: Red Army and poor population, especially refugees. All private mills, bakeries and other enterprises worked under control of a revkom.

In the first days of the Soviet power the appeal in Red Army was declared. Many of not persons liable for call-up went volunteers, helped with wagon trains. Active fight against counterrevolution, gangsterism was conducted. Actions for normalization of living conditions of the population were realized. There were first national libraries, reading rooms and clubs. Workers of education had many cases: it was necessary to organize work of school on new bases, to capture training the maximum number of children and teenagers. Still big tasks stood before zemotdely in connection with redistribution of lands and grounds in the county among the worker of the peasantry. But, unfortunately, all this did not manage to be carried out.

In the middle of August disturbing rumors about failures on the Western front, about retreat of Red Army began to reach the city. At the end of August, 1920 Kobrin revky said goodbye to the vigorous chairman P. E. Horoshilov who was urgently recalled on the front. VRK continued hard work in the city and the county, but every day approach of a military thunder-storm was more and more clearly felt. On September 13 the Red Army left Kobrin. Revk moved to Drogichin and for the present carried out the functions in unoccupied territories of the county. However soon it was necessary to be evacuated to Gomel. Here on October 17, 1920 the Kobrin revolutionary-military committee, the first body of the Soviet power in the city, was abolished.