General Ruzsky Nikolai Vladimirovich: biography and death

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General Ruzsky Nikolai Vladimirovich: biography and death
General Ruzsky Nikolai Vladimirovich: biography and death

According to a huge number of historiographers, it was this man who played a decisive role in the overthrow of the autocracy in Russia. General Ruzsky, being a convinced monarchist, was one of the first to suggest that Tsar Nicholas II abdicate the throne, instead of supporting and helping the tsar stay on the throne. The sovereign was counting on the help of his general, but he simply betrayed him.

In military affairs, Ruzsky (general of infantry) has established himself as a talented commander, so the Bolsheviks who came to power wanted him to continue commanding the army, but already on their side. But he refused such an offer, as a result of which he was subjected to brutal reprisals.

Who is General Ruzsky? A traitor to the tsar or a defender of the Fatherland, for whom fate has prepared a difficult choice? Let's take a closer look at this issue.

Years of childhood and youth

Nikolai Vladimirovich Ruzsky - a native of the Kaluga province, was born on March 6, 1854.


A number of sources indicate that the future general was a distant relative of the poet Lermontov, who wrote the well-known poem "Mtsyri". ATconfirming this, they cite data according to which one of the ancestors of Mikhail Yuryevich, who in the 18th century was the governor of the city of Ruza near Moscow, became the father of a child born out of wedlock. Soon this offspring received a surname in honor of the city in which Lermontov was in charge.

But it is unlikely that General Ruzsky attached serious importance to the theoretical fact of kinship with a famous poet. Then he would have fully received a classical upbringing, the rules of which were the same for all children from noble families, but Nikolai lost his father early. After that, employees of the capital's council of trustees began to interfere in his life, but this circumstance did not particularly bother the future general. Already in his youth, Nikolai dreamed of a military career.

Years of study

To start moving towards his dream, Ruzsky becomes a student of the first military gymnasium, which is located in the city on the Neva.


After some time, he was already a cadet of the second Konstantinovsky military school, whose graduates became infantry officers. It is noteworthy that at the end of the 19th century, military universities in Russia began to put into practice the reforms initiated by Tsar Alexander II and the historian Dmitry Milyutin. That is why General Ruzsky, whose photo is in many textbooks on the art of warfare, as well as in this article, received a quality education that corresponds to the realities of the time.

The beginning of a military career

After graduating from college, the young man entered the Life Guards Grenadierregiment as an officer. A few years later, the Russian-Turkish war began, and the future General Ruzsky showed himself on the battlefield only on the positive side. In gratitude for his courage and courage, Ruzsky received the Order of St. Anna, IV degree. At the end of hostilities, the officer decided to improve his skills and was trained at the Nikolaev Academy of the General Staff. His teachers were eminent V. Sukhomlinov and A. Kuropatkin. Then the officer applied the acquired knowledge in practice, alternately changing the headquarters of the military districts. Nikolai Vladimirovich has become a real expert in logistics and operational work.


The next milestone in his career was the service in the Kiev military district as a quartermaster general. After some time, Ruzsky will receive the rank of major general and head the headquarters himself.

Russo-Japanese War

At the beginning of the 20th century, Russia was involved in a military conflict with Japan. General Ruzsky, whose biography is of great interest to historians, will lead the headquarters of the second Manchurian army. He will show his best qualities as a military commander by competently organizing the defense of the troops entrusted to him on the Shahe River. But sometimes success was accompanied by failure. In particular, we are talking about the offensive operation near Sandepa, which was failed due to the indecisive actions of the commander in chief.

Further service

After the war, Ruzsky was entrusted with the command of the 21st army corps. At the end of the 19th century, Nikolai Vladimirovich was already in the status of an infantry general, in parallelbeing a member of the Military Council. He will provide practical assistance in the development of reforms in the army. General Ruzsky is a co-author of a number of instructions and charters. The officers highly appreciated his contribution to the creation of the Field Manual of 1912. After this work, Nikolai Vladimirovich returned to serve in the Kyiv military district, where he served as assistant commander of the troops until the outbreak of the First World War.


After the war broke out between the Entente and the political alliance, which included Germany and Austria-Hungary, the Russian command sent Ruzsky to fight on the Southwestern Front, entrusting him to command the 3rd Army.


The Battle of Galicia turned out to be strategic in this direction of the theater of operations, in which Nikolai Vladimirovich, united with the troops of General Brusilov, helped to push the enemy back from the territory of Bukovina and Eastern Galicia. But the task was also set to capture Lvov and Galich. Already at the end of the summer of 1914, General Ruzsky Nikolai Vladimirovich was significantly closer to its implementation: the enemy was retreating, despite attempts to stop the Russian army near the Gnila Lipa and Golden Linden rivers. Ultimately, Lvov was captured, after which Brusilov praised the actions of his colleague in arms. He described Ruzsky as a bold, courageous and intelligent military commander. But on the territory of the conquered Galicia, another quality of the military leader also appeared. There he demonstrated outright anti-Semitism. Why did the general begin to exterminate the ancient people in GaliciaRuza? A Jew, in his opinion, is first and foremost a spy whose actions harm the interests of the Russian people, so this nation must atone for its atrocities with blood.

New task

Nikolai Vladimirovich was promoted for success in military operations, and soon he was entrusted with the command of the North-Western Front, whose troops were defeated in East Prussia. The situation was characterized by the fact that the German army was prepared much better than the Austro-Hungarian one, so an experienced commander was required to normalize the situation, for the role of which General Ruzsky was ideally suited. He managed to hold back the onslaught of the enemy in the battles on the middle Vistula and near the Polish Lodz. Moreover, the enemy was not only stopped in the implementation of his plans, but also pushed back.

Then the German command decides to strengthen its positions in the North-West direction to repulse the Russian general. As a result of bloody battles, the enemy still managed to conquer the city of Augustow, but attempts to subjugate the Polish capital failed.


In the confrontation that unleashed near the city of Prasnysh, Nikolai Vladimirovich managed to correctly build defense tactics, as a result of which the enemy again ended up on the territory of East Prussia. General Ruzsky was about to attack the enemy and smash the German troops to smithereens. But the Russian military leaders make a different decision: to concentrate the main forces on the fight against the Austro-Hungarians, and the North-Western Front was to serve as a German containment shield.offensive.


Disappointed by such an illogical strategy of military operations, the morally and physically tired commander handed over command of the front to another general and went on vacation to recuperate. Some time later, Nikolai Vladimirovich already commanded an army unit that provided the defense of Petrograd. Then, after the “dismemberment” of the North-Western Front into the Northern and Western Fronts, the general will become the head of the first one.

But even when the autocrat Nicholas II is directly in charge of the military operation, he will not give up defensive tactics, which will ultimately disappoint Ruzsky and he will go on vacation again under a formal pretext.


After resting for about six months, the holder of the Order of St. Anne, IV degree, will again take command of the Northern Front. He still hoped that the Russian command would launch an active offensive and deal a serious blow to the Germans. But the combat effectiveness of the army suddenly began to melt before our eyes: the soldiers were tired of the incomprehensible war and wanted to quickly return to their families. When, during the attacking operations on the territory of the B altic countries, the soldiers rebelled and refused to go on the offensive, Nikolai Vladimirovich had to moralize the spirit of the recalcitrant under the threat of a tribunal.


However, these efforts ultimately failed to change the course of the operation, and the offensive plan failed. A short time later, the war itself ended.

Attitude towards power

Historians are still debating why the generalRuzsky betrayed the king? In the winter of 1917, he enthusiastically supported the initiative of the State Duma deputies to stop the "weak-willed" and "ineffective" policy of the current government in the person of the Russian monarch. Nikolai Vladimirovich, who unshakably defended the autocratic system, was critical of the policy pursued by the tsar. Recently, in fact, he did not rule, having transferred a significant part of the sovereign's affairs to the muzhik Grigory Rasputin, who became a kind of "gray eminence" in the era of the reign of Nicholas II. He also saw the growing discontent of the masses, concerned about the state of affairs both within the empire and outside it. The general wanted Russia to be ruled by a new autocrat, more enterprising, ready for the transformations that were long overdue in the system of public administration. Perhaps this is partly why General Ruzsky betrayed the Tsar.

Proposal to remove the crown

On the first day of the spring of 1917, the autocrat arrived from the Dno station to Pskov, where the headquarters of the Northern Front was located. But no one met the monarch when his blue train with golden eagles arrived at the platform. Only after some time did Nikolai Vladimirovich appear, who proceeded to the carriage where the tsar was. The very next day, Ruzsky suggested that the emperor voluntarily resign from the powers of the monarch. Some time later, the general familiarized Nicholas II with a document that contained the answers of military personnel and sailors to the only question: “Who is for or against the abdication of Romanov from the throne”? Almost everyone chose the first option, with the exception of GeneralKolchak, who took a neutral position. Already at midnight, the sovereign handed over to Nikolai Vladimirovich and representatives of the State Duma manifestos, in which he transferred the royal powers to his brother Mikhail. Contemporaries today have the right to say that, perhaps, General Ruzsky is a traitor, but whether this is actually so is a debatable question.


When Nikolai Vladimirovich realized that the autocratic system had finally collapsed in Russia, he submitted his resignation, which was eventually granted. To restore he alth, the general goes to the Caucasus. Power in the country passed to the Provisional Government, and in the summer of 1917 Ruzsky took part in a meeting of the senior command staff of the Armed Forces, which was also attended by representatives of the new government.


The general demanded that the members of the government restore order in the country, eliminating the anarchy that dominated the army and the country. Alexander Kerensky then severely criticized Ruzsky for trying to turn back history and restore the monarchy.

The coming to power of the Bolsheviks

When the power in the country passed to the "leftists", the military leader indignantly accepted this news. Where was General Ruzsky at that moment? Pyatigorsk became his last refuge. Soon this city was occupied by the "Reds", who arrested the experienced commander of the Russian army. The Bolsheviks knew about his valiant merits, so they offered Nikolai Vladimirovich to fight on their side. But he refused, for which he was executed at the Pyatigorsk cemetery.General Ruzsky, who died on October 19, 1918, never recognized the victory of the left under the name "Great October Socialist Revolution", positioning it as a "large-scale robbery." One way or another, but the eminent commander made a significant contribution to the coup d'état and was able to partially ensure the victory of the "leftists", who ultimately thanked him by taking his life.

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