Dmitry Ivanovich Popov

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Dmitry Ivanovich Popov
Dmitry Ivanovich Popov.jpg
Dmitry Ivanovich Popov with the sailor uniform
Native name
Дмитрий Иванович Попов
Kononova, Moscow Governorate, Russian Empire
DiedMay 1921
Moscow, Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic
Allegiance Imperial Russian Navy (1914-1917)

Left SR (1917-1919)
Red Guards (1918)
Red Army (1919)

Revolutionary Insurrectionary Army of Ukraine (1919-1921)
Years of service1914-1921
Battles/warsOctober Revolution

Russian Civil War

Dmitry Ivanovich Popov (Russian: Дмитрий Иванович Попов; 1892–1921) was a Left SR and anarchist revolutionary of Russia, the leader of the Left SR uprising.

Later he was a member of the staff of the Revolutionary Insurrectionary Army of Ukraine commanded by Batko Makhno.

The name was also used in the book Rainbow Six by Tom Clancy.


Dmitry Popov was born to a peasant family, in the village of Kononovo in the Province of Moscow. After leaving school at the age of 14, he started work in the factories of Moscow. In 1914 he was called up for active service in the Baltic Fleet. In 1917, he became a member of the Left Socialist Revolutionary Party and joined the October Revolution in Petrograd, after which he became a member of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee. In late 1917 - early 1918 he formed the Red-Soviet Finnish detachment in Helsinki, which in March 1918 was transferred to the disposal of the Moscow Soviet by order of the Revolutionary Military Council, and then transferred to the Cheka on April 8, 1918. Popov was appointed chief of staff of the Combat detachment at the Cheka.

Left SR uprising[edit]

In June 1918, the Left Socialist-Revolutionary Party began preparations for an armed uprising against the Soviet government led by the Bolshevik Party. The detachment at the All-Russian Extraordinary Commission, commanded by Popov, was put on alert. On June 30, Popov demanded that the unit be provided with a food allowance, indicating its number to be 1,000, while in reality there were only 600. On July 2, he urgently requested sanitary stretchers, sponges and a number of medical supplies in large quantities, apparently anticipating the possibility of combat "operations".

The staff of the Cheka was also changed. Even the more radical Social Revolutionaries were not allowed into Popov’s headquarters. All Bolshevik elements were removed from the detachment. Most of the Finnish Red Army soldiers, who previously formed the basis of the detachment, went to the Czechoslovak front; Popov drove out many of those remaining. The detachment was joined by a group of Black Sea sailors, as well as formerly disarmed anarchists. 2-3 days before the uprising, Popov kept his detachment in full combat readiness, unnerving everyone with the "data" of their intelligence that the German counter-revolutionaries were going to disarm the detachment and arrest Popov himself. On the night of Friday to Saturday, Popov sounded the alarm that an attack was being prepared that night. On the eve of the rising, Popov personally led anti-Soviet agitation in the detachment and went on to play an active role in the rebellion.

After the assassination of the German ambassador Wilhelm von Mirbach and his escape from the embassy, the wounded Socialist Revolutionary Yakov Blumkin took refuge at the headquarters of the Popov detachment in the Pokrovsky barracks. At the very beginning of the uprising, the head of the All-Russian Extraordinary Commission Felix Dzerzhinsky, who arrived at the headquarters to clarify the circumstances of the assassination, was arrested at Popov’s headquarters. Dzerzhinsky was replaced with Martin Latsis, however, the latter only managed to give a small number of orders, before he was also arrested in the very premises of the All-Russian Extraordinary Commission. In addition, fighters of the Popov detachment arrested members of the Bolshevik party in Moscow. The sailors from the detachment occupied the printing house in Vagankovsky Lane, the post office and telegraph.

Popov ordered his detachment to occupy the vast area of Moscow between Kursky station and Slavyanskaya Square. The Bolsheviks decided to bring their artillery to the closest possible shooting distance and crush the rebels with artillery fire. After the hopelessness of further resistance became apparent at the headquarters of the rebels, Yuriy Sablin and Popov led the retreat from Moscow.

After the suppression of the rebellion, Dmitry Popov was forced into hiding and treated for paralysis. On November 27, 1918, at an open court session of the Revolutionary Tribunal at the All-Russian Central Executive Committee, Popov was declared “an enemy of the working people and an outlaw,” and sentenced to be shot, in the event that he was caught.

The Ukrainian revolution[edit]

In December 1918 he went to Kharkov, where the Left Socialist Revolutionaries worked on organizing a rebel movement against the Directorate of Ukraine. In early 1919, under the name Kormilitsyn, he served as an assistant commander of the 11th Ukrainian Soviet Regiment. Being recognized near Bakhmut and not wanting to be subjected to possible persecution, he went to Kharkov, and from there to the Left SR congress in Kiev. After the capture of the city by the whites at the end of August 1919, he left for Yekaterinoslav. In the fall of 1919, he formed a rebel detachment with which he joined the Revolutionary Insurrectionary Army of Ukraine. From January to March 1920, while suffering from typhus, he hid from persecution in one of the villages in the Huliaipole area. Towards the end of March 1920, Popov led agitation among the population and engaged in cultural and educational work. It was then that he declared himself to be an anarcho-communist. At the end of May 1920 he was elected a member of the Council of Revolutionary Rebels of Ukraine (Makhnovists), from June 1920 - Secretary of the Council. On September 29–30, 1920, on behalf of the Council of Revolutionary Insurgents of Ukraine, he telegraphed negotiations with representatives of the Soviet authorities in Ukraine on the cessation of hostilities and the conclusion of an agreement for a joint struggle against Pyotr Wrangel. On October 10, 1920, he signed the conditions for a preliminary military-political agreement between the government of the Ukrainian SSR and the Revolutionary Insurrectionary Army of Ukraine. But as a representative of the Makhnovists on the Southern Front, he acted defiantly, openly opposing the Soviet government. Nestor Makhno, who wrote to him in a letter, caused extremely sharp discontent with his behavior: “... the work of the political and military representation entrusted to you is extremely responsible, and you, in Kharkov, should give it all the time, trying to bring the maximum benefits to our movement from all its sides: military, political and cultural-educational. It is completely unacceptable to hear a second time about your negligent attitude to the case assigned to you by the army. I hope that the following messages about your work will be different, more encouraging for all of us. Remember the rule - it’s time, fun hour. ”

On the night of November 26, 1920, together with other representatives of the Revolutionary Insurrectionary Army of Ukraine, Dmitry Ivanovich Popov was arrested in Kharkov and, in accordance with the order of Dzerzhinsky, was sent to Moscow and shot by the Cheka.[1]


  1. ^ Archive of the Cheka / Resp. Ed. V. Vinogradov, A. Litvin, V. Khristoforov. M .: Kuchkovo field, 2007. S. 698–699.

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