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Gavril Ilyich Myasnikov (Russian: Гаврии́л Ильи́ч Мяснико́в; February 25, 1889, Chistopol, Kazan Governorate – November 16, 1945, Moscow), also transliterated as Gavriil Il'ich Miasnikov, was a Russian metalworker from the Urals, who participated in the Revolution of 1905 and became a Bolshevik underground activist in 1906. Tsarist police arrested him and he spent over seven years at hard labor in Siberia. In 1917, Myasnikov was active in factory committees, the soviet, and the Bolshevik party in his hometown of Motovilikha and in Perm.
Gabriel Myasnikov is known as the execution initiator and murderer of the Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich of Russia (1918).
Myasnikov was a Left Communist in 1918, opposed to the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. He was dissatisfied with elements of Party policy toward workers, but he did not support the Workers Opposition in 1920-21. Myasnikov disagreed with the Workers' Opposition's call for unions to manage the economy. Instead, in a 1921 manifesto, Myasnikov called for “producers’ soviets” to administer industry and for freedom of the press for all workers. Leaders of the Workers Opposition Alexander Shlyapnikov and Sergei Medvedev feared that Myasnikov's proposals would give too much power to peasants. Despite their disagreements, however, they supported Myasnikov's right to voice criticisms of Party policy. Along with former members of the Workers' Opposition, Myasnikov signed the "Letter of the Twenty-Two" to the Comintern in 1922, protesting the Russian Communist Party leaders' suppression of dissent among proletarian members of the Communist Party.
In February 1922, Myasnikov was expelled from the Russian Communist Party. In 1923, he formed an opposition faction called “Workers Group of the Russian Communist Party” that opposed NEP. The group included some former members of the Workers' Opposition. Party leaders arrested Myasnikov in May 1923, but then released him and attempted to isolate him from his support base by assigning him to a trade mission in Germany in 1923. There Myasnikov formed ties to the Communist Workers' Party of Germany, a group at odds with the Russian Communist Party. These groups helped him publish the Manifesto of the Workers Group, without permission from the Russian Communist Party. Workers' Group was suppressed and later in 1923 Myasnikov was persuaded to return to Russia, where he was arrested and imprisoned.
In 1927, his sentence was changed to internal exile in Yerevan, Armenia. In 1928, he fled the USSR for Iran. He was arrested in Iran and then deported to Turkey. In 1930, he immigrated to France, where he worked in factories until 1945. In 1945, the Soviet secret police returned Myasnikov to the USSR, where he was executed.
He was rehabilitated on December 25th, 2001.
- Avrich, Paul. "Bolshevik Opposition to Lenin: G. T. Miasnikov and the Workers' Group." Russian Review, vol. 43 (1984): 1-29.
- Miasnikov, G. "Filosofiia ubiistva, ili pochemu i kak ia ubil Mikhaila Romanova." Minuvshee, 18 (1995): 7-191.
- Alikina, Nadezhda Alekseevna. Don Kikhot proletarskoi revoliutsii. Perm: Izdatel'stvo Pushka, 2006.
- Michel Olivier, Le Groupe ouvrier du Parti communiste russe(1922-1937)- G. Miasnikov, Paris, décembre 2009 .