Lavr Kornilov

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Lavr Georgyvevich Kornilov was born in Oskemen in 1870. Kornilov attended the Artillery College in St. Petersburg and upon his graduation, received a commission in the Russian army in 1892. Kornilov served in the Russo-Japanese war in 1904 and also served in WWI and became an Austrian prisoner of war in 1915 but escaped back to Russia in 1916 The Head of the Provisional Government in Russia and Minister of War, Aleksandr Fyodorovich Kerensky, recognizing Kornilov’s achievements and dedication to the Russian army, appointed him as the commander-in-chief in February of 1917. As commander-in-chief, Kornilov dedicated himself to building the Russian army’s morale and also wanted to take measures to ensure that the country did not become too anarchic. Kornilov’s plans were subsequently turned down by Kerensky because the Minister of War believed that the additional powers Kornilov was asking for would surely precede a military dictatorship. Kerensky later discharged Kornilov from his position. In March of 1917, Kornilov lead a counterrevolutionary effort against Kerensky in reaction to Kerensky’s rejection of his plans. Kerensky, unsure of how much support he could count on from his other generals, pleaded for help from the Bolshevik’s Red Guards among others. Kornilov’s coup ended in failure a few days later when he was captured, arrested, and imprisoned. During this time, the Bolsheviks gained power. Kornilov escaped soon after the November Bolshevik Revolution with the help of Cossack units and joined another Russian general, Mikhail Vassilievich Alexeyev, in the Don River region on December 19, 1917. Alexeyev and Kornilov worked together to build a volunteer army to fight the Bolshvik forces but the two generals could not agree with each other. A while after the anti-Bolshevik army removed Kerensky from power, Kornilov was killed in action by Communist forces.

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