December 12 in Russian history


ExecutedToday.com writes today about the execution of Ivan Sulyma, a Cossack commander, in Warsaw:

It was 12 December Old Style and 22 December New Style, and it goes slightly against my habit of using only New Style, but, of course, I just couldn't miss the chance to quote Jason's blog again.

Sulyma was a partisan of the militant unregistered Cossacks, fresh from war against the Ottomans. He returned to find that Poland had thrown up a fortress controlling the Dnieper, with an eye both to checking Cossack provocations against the now-peacable Turks, and to controlling internal Cossack disturbances.

Sulyma sacked the fortress, slaughtering its 200 inhabitants, but the disturbance was quickly put down and loyal registered Cossacks handed over the rebel. By the late 1630’s, Poland had imposed a peace of arms on the region … but hardly a secure one.

Read on.


(29 November Old Style)

Vladimir Mitrofanovich Purishkevich, a Russian ultra-right politician, one of the founders of nationalist, semi-fascist organizations like Union of the Russian People, The Black Hundreds and Union of Archangel Michael, wrote in his diary:

I was busy all morning today: first, we went with my wife to the Alexandrovsky market to buy dumbbells and chains…

Doesn't seem to be an everyday business for a member of the State Duma, does it? Some days earlier, on November 19, he said in his speech in Duma:

The tsar's ministers who have been turned into marionettes, marionettes whose threads have been taken firmly in hand by Rasputin and the Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna—the evil genius of Russia and the tsaritsa … who has remained a German on the Russian throne and alien to the country and its people.

By this time, Purishkevich, prince Yusupov and Grand Knyaz Dimitri Pavlovich had already agreed to assassinate Rasputin. The chains and dumbbells were to be tied to the legs of Rasputin's body before drowning the corpse in an ice-hole.


On 12 December, the talks between the representatives of the Russian government and the Chechen separatists were planned. However, on 11 December, the army and the police forces entered Chechnya and "to establish constitutional order in Chechnya and to preserve the territorial integrity of Russia."

When I started this blog, in February, I posted a translation of an article by Timur Aliyev, the editor-in-chief of Chechen Society. He recalls the first days of the war, the gradual, surreal transition from relative peace to the state of war. I still think this article is one of the most important articles I posted here since then. In February, though, this blog had only a few readers and you have, most probably, missed Timur's recollections. If so, please, read it: War in Chechnya: the beginning.

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