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Kornilov Affair

Sept. 9-14, 1917


In August of 1917 the Kornilov affair continued to sully the reputation of the provisional government. After the fall of the Tsar, the defense minister (something like the secretary of defense or pentagon director in American terms) stated that he would continue to work with the provisional government with all allegiance. Kornilov was a general who was placed as head of a major army on the Western front, and he was nominated specifically by the defense minister. But in September (August), General Kornilov was, rather then fighting on the Western front, riding East towards the capitol with some of his armed men. This is a difficult and hazy affair in history, but much seems to indicate that he may have been attempting a coup in order to place himself as a "strong man," dictator of Russia. He was, however, stopped from entering the capitol and was deposed. Thought no coup attempt ever actually happened, this affair became one of many causes to the eventual downfall of the Provisional government and the rise of the Petrograd Soviet. The Kornilov affair was used by the Petrograd Soviet (which was excellent at manipulating people through propaganda) to make the provisional government look "dishonest" and weak.

Back to "End of Imperial Russia" Chronology


Dates: During the revolution, the Russian society was using an alternate, Eastern Calendar that puts the ending of the year before the ending on the Western Calendar. This is why the "February" days occurred (on the Western Calendar) March 8-15. In these articles, the modern (Western) dates will be used first, and the older, Eastern Calendar will be denoted second.

Capital City: The Russian Capitol, traditionally Moscow since the ending of the Mongol occupation, was moved to St. Petersburg by Tsar Peter "the Great". It remained the capital until after the Russian Revolution, when the Soviet regime moved the capital back to Moscow. The original name of St. Petersburg was a German style name (burg=city) which was Russianized during World War One to Petrograd, (grad=city) and after Lenin's death it was again changed to Leningrad. Recently, the name has again been changed to the original name, St. Petersburg.



Bunyan, James and H. H. Fisher. bolshevik revolution (Stanford University, California. Stanford University Press, 1934)

Grey, Ian. The First Fifty Years. (New York, New York. Coward-McCann, Inc., 1967)

Hosking, Geoffrey A. The First Socialist Society: (Cambridge; Harvard University Press, 1992)

Matthews, Roy T. and F. DeWitt Platt. The Western Humanities, Third Edition. (Mountain View, CA. Mayfield Publishing Co., 1997)

McNeal, Robert H. The Bolshevik Tradition. (Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1975)

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