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Revolt of general L.G.Kornilov
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Revolt of general L.G.Kornilov

Revolt of general L.G.Kornilov and national crisis.
General L.G.Kornilov, being the supporter of tough course, together with B.V.Savinkov and M.M.Filonenko, commissioners of the Provisional Government under the Headquarters, developed a special note (report) for the government. In the note he required restoration of full discipline, prohibition of meetings in army, spread of the death penalty onto rear, creation of concentration camp for disobedient armed forces, declaration of martial law at railways, most of plants and mines.

But Kerensky, not rejecting as a whole the basic theses of this document, considered, that their realization would cause disorders, which would even more aggravate position of the government.The press learnt about disagreement between Kerensky and Kornilov. Mensheviks, social revolutionaries and Bolsheviks started campaign for displacement of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief. Monarchists, Constitutional Democrats and Octoberists, on their part, supported him.

State conference was held on August 12 in Moscow. About 2,5 thousand people, including 488 deputies of the State Duma took part at the conference.
Kerensky, speaking at the conference, called for unity and reconciliation of all public and political forces, threatening by "iron and blood" to crush all attempts of opposition to the government. General L.G.Kornilov warned, that if drastic measures at the battle-front were not taken, the armed forces would get into a very difficult position in the nearest future.

General A.M.Kaledin, P.N.Milyukov, V.V.Shulgin proposed to liquidate Soviets, public organizations in army, to carry out war till final victory. N.S.Chkheidze on behalf of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee offered the program of recovery of the country, which combined a complex of measures of state control in economy with preservation of bases of capitalist production.

After the State conference A.F.Kerensky, aware of obvious consolidation of right-wing forces, which supported general Kornilov, informed him about his consent in kind with contents of his report and entrusted him with preparation of necessary bills. The agreement on detaching of Petrograd and its suburbs from limits of Petrograd command, which was subordinated to the Headquarters, was achieved through the mediation of Savinkov. On August 19 the German forces defeated the 12th army of Northern front and seized Riga city the following day, this implied the threat of advance to Petrograd. The situation strengthened accusations of the Headquarters and Kornilov in "treachery" and "terrorizing' of the Provisional Government", with the purpose, as "Novosti" newspaper wrote, to force the Government to take measures "against revolutionary democracy". At the same time nearly all armed forces showed sharp criticism of the Government and firm support of Kornilov.

Bolsheviks adopted the decision on the armed revolt at the VI congress (July 26 - August, 3). It was planned not later than September - October. Savinkov at a meeting with Kornilov declared, that a serious actions by Bolsheviks was expected on August 28-29 in Petrograd. Therefore he asked to give the order to bring up forces to Petrograd. On August 26 Savinkov tried to convince Kerensky to sign the bill prepared on the basis of Kornilov's offers, and the latter - to obey the Government.
Supreme Commander-in-Chief informed B.V.Savinkov, that the asked for regiment would have concentrated in suburbs of Petrograd by August 28, and asked to declare martial law in the city on August 29.

V.N.Lvov, the former chief-public prosecutor of Synod, mediating between the head of the Government and the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, conveyed Kornilovs' request to A.F.Kerensky in the following way: to declare martial law in Petrograd, to transfer all authority to Supreme Commander-in-Chief, to retire all ministers. In response Kerensky stopped any further negotiations, and in the morning on August 27 sent a telegram to the Headquarters with instruction for Kornilov to hand over his post to general A.S.Lukomsky and arrive to Petrograd. Kornilov did not obey. In the morning on August 28 Kornilov broadcasted by the radio his address in which he accused the Provisional Government of actions "in complete concordance with plans of the German General Staff" and urged all Russian people "to rescue the dying Native land", swore, that he would 'defeat enemies" and call election to the Constituent Assembly.

When the Provisional Government learned about all this, it declared the general a rebel. Army committees of the Western front blocked the Headquarters, and the Southwest front arrested supreme military officials. Central Committee of Russian Social-Democratic party of workers (Bolsheviks) urged workers and soldiers of Petrograd to protect revolution. In the way of regiment's movement different barriers were built. On September 1 the Provisional Government arrested Kornilov. A.F.Kerensky was appointed Supreme Commander-in-Chief, simultaneously he headed Council of five (Directory), to which the Provisional Government handed over authority. On September 1 Russia was proclaimed the Russian Republic.

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