Events in Petrograd from February 23 to March 2, 1917 through the Eyes of E. A. Fedorova, Student of the Bestuzhev Courses

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УДК 93/94

Katin-Yartsev Mikhail Yu.

OOO "Restavrator-M", Moscow, Russian Federation

Minachin Victor V.

OOO "Restavrator-M", Moscow, Russian Federation

Fedorova Tatiana G.

Moscow, Russian Federation

Events in Petrograd from February 23 to March 2, 1917 through the Eyes of E. A. Fedorova, Student of the Bestuzhev Courses

Abstract

The article studies a document from the personal archive of one of the authors. It is a private letter written on March 8, 1917, which describes events in Petrograd, capital of the Russian Empire, from February 23 to March 3, 1917. Its author was a 22-уear-old girl, student of the Bestuzhev Courses, daughter of Colonel Alexander Fedorov, military engineer, at the time serving in Vladivostok. While in Petrograd, she stayed with her relatives, who lived on Znamenskaya street. Their house was not far from a complex of barracks and regimental buildings housing regiments that were among the first to join the insurrection in February 1917. Formation of the insurgent regiments at the corner of Kirochnaya and Znamenskaya streets could be seen from the windows. One of Elena Fedorova's uncles, Eduard Bronislavovich Woinowsky-Krieger, in January-February 1917 served as Minister of Railways in the last government of the Russian Empire. The article compares information from the letter with three other sources in order to reconstruct the events of his last night in office. The letter also describes some of the events in the Tauride Palace in early March 1917, which were witnessed by the author herself. The letter reports opinions on the happenings voiced by the family and those around. The author offers an opinion on the strike causes (scarcity of bread in the city), describes peaceable demeanor of the Cossacks summoned to subject of the rebels, names regiments and battalions that joined insurgent people. Her information is confirmed by other sources and scholarship. By February 28 only “4 guards companies, 5 squadrons and sotnyas, and 2 batteries” remained under control of the commander-in-chief of the Petrograd Military District, while other units, composed of reservists, either defected to the rebels or rode on the fence. The author thinks that their defection was prompted by a provocation of the authorities, who attired police in the guards uniform. This information demands further study. In whole, the letter of March 8, 1917 is a valuable personal provenance document on the history of the February Revolution.

Keywords

Personal provenance sources, February revolution of 1917, provocation, private correspondence, letter, personal collection, Eduard Woinowsky-Krieger.

References

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Poslednie dni imperatorskoi vlasti. Po neizdannym documentam sostavil Aleksandr Blok. [A telegram from S.S. Khabalov to N.I. Ivanov dated February 28, 1917. The last days of the imperial power. Compiled by Alexander Blok from unpublished documents. In Russ.]. Petrograd, Alkonost publ., 1921, 168 p.

CHAPKEVICH, E.I. Russkaya gvardiya v Fevral'skoi revolyutsii [Russian Guard in the February Revolution. In Russ.]. IN: Voprosy istorii, 2002, no. 9, pp. 3-16.

About authors

Katin-Yartsev Mikhail Yurievich, PhD in History, OOO "Restavrator-M", senior historian and archivist, Moscow, Russian Federation, +7-916-613-91-04, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Minachin Victor Vasilievich, PhD in Physics and Mathematics, OOO "Restavrator-M", Deputy Director, Moscow, Russian Federation, +7-903-724-67-40, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Fedorova Tatyana Georgievna, Moscow, Russian Federation, +7-926-246-28-64, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it 3—16.

Submitted 22.01.2017, published:

KATIN-YARTSEV, M. YU., MINAKHIN, V. V., FEDOROVA, T. G. Sobytiya v Petrograde 23 fevralya — 2 marta 1917 g. glazami E. A. Fedorovoi, kursistki Sankt-Peterburgskikh vysshikh zhenskikh (Bestuzhevskikh) kursov [Events in Petrograd from February 23 to March 2, 1917 through the eyes of E. A. Fedorova, student of the Bestuzhev Courses. In Russ.]. Vestnik arhivista – Herald of an Archivist, 2017, no. 3, pp. 210-226.

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