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Alexander Kutepov

Alexander Kutepov

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Alexander Pavlovich Kutepov (Александр Павлович Кутепов in Russian
Russian language
Russian is a Slavic language used primarily in Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. It is an unofficial but widely spoken language in Ukraine, Moldova, Latvia, Turkmenistan and Estonia and, to a lesser extent, the other countries that were once constituent republics...

) (28 September 1882 Cherepovets
Cherepovets
Cherepovets is the largest city in Vologda Oblast, Russia, located on the bank of the Rybinsk Reservoir of the Sheksna River, a tributary of the Volga River. Population: 311,869 ; It is served by Cherepovets Airport.-Location:...

 — 1930) was a leader of the anti-communist Volunteer Army
Volunteer Army
The Volunteer Army was an anti-Bolshevik army in South Russia during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1920....

 during the Russian Civil War
Russian Civil War
The Russian Civil War was a multi-party war that occurred within the former Russian Empire after the Russian provisional government collapsed to the Soviets, under the domination of the Bolshevik party. Soviet forces first assumed power in Petrograd The Russian Civil War (1917–1923) was a...

.

Kutepov graduated from Junker
Junker
A Junker was a member of the landed nobility of Prussia and eastern Germany. These families were mostly part of the German Uradel and carried on the colonization and Christianization of the northeastern European territories during the medieval Ostsiedlung. The abbreviation of Junker is Jkr...

 Infantry School in St.Petersburg in 1904. As a young infantry
Infantry
Infantrymen are soldiers who are specifically trained for the role of fighting on foot to engage the enemy face to face and have historically borne the brunt of the casualties of combat in wars. As the oldest branch of combat arms, they are the backbone of armies...

 officer he fought in the Russo-Japanese War
Russo-Japanese War
The Russo-Japanese War was "the first great war of the 20th century." It grew out of rival imperial ambitions of the Russian Empire and Japanese Empire over Manchuria and Korea...

, where he was wounded in action and decorated for valor. In 1906 he was transferred to the Preobrazhensky Regiment
Preobrazhensky regiment
The Preobrazhensky Regiment was one of the oldest and elite regiments of the Russian army. Along with the Semenovsky regiment also served as a gendarmie unit for the state Secret Chancellery in the 18th century, headed by the Prince Fyodor Romodanovsky.It was formed by Peter the Great in the late...

, an elite guards regiment
Regiment
A regiment is a major tactical military unit, composed of variable numbers of batteries, squadrons or battalions, commanded by a colonel or lieutenant colonel...

. During World War I he received several decorations for bravery and was again severely wounded in action. During the course of the war he rose from company
Company (military unit)
A company is a military unit, typically consisting of 80–225 soldiers and usually commanded by a Captain, Major or Commandant. Most companies are formed of three to five platoons although the exact number may vary by country, unit type, and structure...

, to battalion
Battalion
A battalion is a military unit of around 300–1,200 soldiers usually consisting of between two and seven companies and typically commanded by either a Lieutenant Colonel or a Colonel...

, to commander of the Preobrazhensky Regiment. As such he became the last commander of this historic regiment.

After the October Revolution
October Revolution
The October Revolution , also known as the Great October Socialist Revolution , Red October, the October Uprising or the Bolshevik Revolution, was a political revolution and a part of the Russian Revolution of 1917...

, Kutepov joined the anti-Bolshevik
Bolshevik
The Bolsheviks, originally also Bolshevists , derived from bol'shinstvo, "majority") were a faction of the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party which split apart from the Menshevik faction at the Second Party Congress in 1903....

 Volunteer Army
Volunteer Army
The Volunteer Army was an anti-Bolshevik army in South Russia during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1920....

 (part of the White Movement
White movement
The White movement and its military arm the White Army - known as the White Guard or the Whites - was a loose confederation of Anti-Communist forces.The movement comprised one of the politico-military Russian forces who fought...

) at the very outset of the Russian Civil War
Russian Civil War
The Russian Civil War was a multi-party war that occurred within the former Russian Empire after the Russian provisional government collapsed to the Soviets, under the domination of the Bolshevik party. Soviet forces first assumed power in Petrograd The Russian Civil War (1917–1923) was a...

. At the start of the Ice March
Ice March
The Ice March , also called the First Kuban Campaign , a military withdrawal lasting from February to May 1918, was one of the defining moments in the Russian Civil War of 1917 to 1921...

 in early 1918, Kutepov was a company commander of an officer's regiment. (Note: in the beginning of the Russian Civil War the small Volunteer Army had a surplus of officers, which meant that many of them had to serve as common soldiers. These formations soon became the crack units of the White Army.) After the death in battle of Colonel Nezhentsev, Kutepov took over the command of the Kornilov
Lavr Kornilov
Lavr Georgiyevich Kornilov was a military intelligence officer, explorer, and general in the Imperial Russian Army during World War I and the ensuing Russian Civil War...

 Shock Regiment, and after the death of the commander of the 1st Infantry Division
Division (military)
A division is a large military unit or formation usually consisting of between 10,000 and 20,000 soldiers. In most armies, a division is composed of several regiments or brigades, and in turn several divisions typically make up a corps...

 he became its commander. When the Whites captured Novorossiysk
Novorossiysk
Novorossiysk is a city in Krasnodar Krai, Russia. It is the country's main port on the Black Sea and the leading Russian port for importing grain. It is one of the few cities honored with the title of the Hero City. Population: -History:...

 in August 1918, Kutepov was appointed Governor General of the Black Sea
Black Sea
The Black Sea is bounded by Europe, Anatolia and the Caucasus and is ultimately connected to the Atlantic Ocean via the Mediterranean and the Aegean seas and various straits. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Sea of Marmara, and the strait of the Dardanelles connects that sea to the Aegean...

 region. Starting in January 1919, a thirty-six year old Lieutenant General
Lieutenant General
Lieutenant General is a military rank used in many countries. The rank traces its origins to the Middle Ages where the title of Lieutenant General was held by the second in command on the battlefield, who was normally subordinate to a Captain General....

 Kutepov became the commander of the I Army Corps
Corps
A corps is either a large formation, or an administrative grouping of troops within an armed force with a common function such as Artillery or Signals representing an arm of service...

 of the White Army. Throughout his career Kutepov had a reputation for being a decisive, direct, and no-nonsense military leader. During the chaotic times of the Russian Civil War, order was usually rapidly restored after Kutepov's arrival. He accomplished this, however, by means of the swift and ruthless application of the death penalty on suspected looters and pogrom perpetrators.

After the White Army's final defeat in the Crimea
Crimea
Crimea , or the Autonomous Republic of Crimea , is a sub-national unit, an autonomous republic, of Ukraine. It is located on the northern coast of the Black Sea, occupying a peninsula of the same name...

, Kutepov and the remnants of his corps evacuated to Gallipoli
Gallipoli
The Gallipoli peninsula is located in Turkish Thrace , the European part of Turkey, with the Aegean Sea to the west and the Dardanelles straits to the east. Gallipoli derives its name from the Greek "Καλλίπολις" , meaning "Beautiful City"...

 in November 1920. Despite very unfavorable and demoralizing circumstances, the troops in Gallipoli regained their morale and kept their military coherence thanks to Kutepov's leadership. In the beginning of the Gallipoli period Kutepov was disliked by many of the troops because of his disciplinary measures, but by the end he was warmly regarded by most of them. When the Gallipoli camp was disbanded, Kutepov moved to Bulgaria
Bulgaria
Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

 in late 1921. Two years later he was expelled from the country during the upheavals of the Aleksandar Stamboliyski
Aleksandar Stamboliyski
Aleksandar Stamboliyski was the prime minister of Bulgaria from 1919 until 1923. Stamboliyski was a member of the Agrarian Union, an agrarian peasant movement which was not allied to the monarchy, and edited their newspaper...

 era. Kutepov and his wife settled in Paris. After General Wrangel
Pyotr Nikolayevich Wrangel
Baron Pyotr Nikolayevich Wrangel or Vrangel was an officer in the Imperial Russian army and later commanding general of the anti-Bolshevik White Army in Southern Russia in the later stages of the Russian Civil War.-Life:Wrangel was born in Mukuliai, Kovno Governorate in the Russian Empire...

's death in 1928, he became the leader of the Russian All-Military Union
Russian All-Military Union
The Russian All-Military Union was founded by White Army General Pyotr Wrangel in the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes on September 1, 1924...

 and continued its anti-Soviet activities.

On January 26, 1930, Kutepov was kidnapped in Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

 by OGPU agents. According to Pavel Sudoplatov
Pavel Sudoplatov
Lieutenant General Pavel Anatolyevich Sudoplatov was a member of the intelligence services of the Soviet Union who rose to the rank of lieutenant general...

,
"This job in 1930 was done by Yakov Serebryansky, assisted by his wife and an agent in the French police. Dressed in French police uniforms, they stopped Kutepov on the street on the pretext of questioning him and put him in a car. Kutepov resisted the kidnapping, and during the struggle, he had a heart attack and died, Serebryansky told me. They buried Kutepov near the home of one of our agents near the outskirts of Paris."


Kutepov was believed by French police of having been smuggled to the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

. Former White Army general Nikolai Skoblin
Nikolai Skoblin
Nikolai Skoblin was a general in the counterrevolutionary White Russian army, a member of the expatriate Russian All-Military Union , a Soviet double agent, and husband to the gypsy folk-singer Nadezhda Plevitskaya ....

, an Inner Line
Inner Line
The Inner Line was a secret intelligence and counter-intelligence organization of the Russian All-Military Union , leading Russian White emigre organization....

 member, was suspected of being an accomplice in his kidnapping. Walter Laqueur
Walter Laqueur
Walter Zeev Laqueur is an American historian and political commentator. He was born in Breslau, Germany , to a Jewish family. In 1938, Laqueur left Germany for the British Mandate of Palestine. His parents, who were unable to leave, became victims of the Holocaust...

 alleges that, "Skoblin had nothing to do with this affair, because he was recruited only after Kutyopov's disappearance." KGB
KGB
The KGB was the commonly used acronym for the . It was the national security agency of the Soviet Union from 1954 until 1991, and was the premier internal security, intelligence, and secret police organization during that time.The State Security Agency of the Republic of Belarus currently uses the...

 General Pavel Sudoplatov
Pavel Sudoplatov
Lieutenant General Pavel Anatolyevich Sudoplatov was a member of the intelligence services of the Soviet Union who rose to the rank of lieutenant general...

confirms this allegation in his own memoirs.

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