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Chronicles of the revolution. A female death squad was sent into the front lines of the First World War from Isaakievskiy Cathedral


Today Germany suggested a peace treaty, but it was rejected by France, England and the United States. The First World War is still raging on. We are now showing our regular “chronicles of the revolution” segment


1917 is still shocking. The war could've been over, there is information that even pope Benedict XV was involved in the negotiations. But the diplomats have not managed to achieve peace. Artem Sharipov reports from Petrograd about how Russia reacts to the world news

Artem Sharipov, reporter: “Here, by Isaakievskiy Cathedral, a female death squad has been created. It was called the war team of Mariya Bochkareva. The word “death” in the official name is scary, and it's literally called the “team of death”. This was the idea of the interim government, women were sent onto the frontlines – and now we received news that the battalion was destroyed by Krevo”

From 170 women, 100 will no longer be fighting in the war. Part of them is dead, part of them is heavily wounded. Mariya Bochkareva, also known as “Yashka”, suffered too. This picture was made a few days before the attack, possibly the last one depicting the “death squad”

Vasiliy Zakrzhevskiy, colonel of the Russian Army: “Bochakreva’s squad acted heroically on the battlefield. Always on the first lines, serving as well as male soldiers. When Germans attacked, all of them embarked on a counterattack, they were serving as an example of courage, bravery and calmness, improving the soldiers’ morale”

However, the attempt to boost the soldiers’ morale failed entirely. The men never left the trenches. They were not encouraged. But now, as the war was entering a repetitive stage, this problem has to be resolved somehow. It is because of the low morale, the June’s counterattack failed, and lead to the mutiny among the Bolsheviks. Not all however think that. This is the exchange of opinions between the chairman of the interim government Alexander Kerenskiy and the commander of the southwestern front Anton Denikin.

Anton Denikin, commander of the south-western front: “Among the factors which led to the downfall were the commissars and committees. Touching was the scene at the 29th division, sparking enthusiasm - the acceptance of the red banner by the commander of the infantry division. These men swore that they would die for their motherland. But the very same regiment, on the very first day of the counter attack, not even having reach our trenches, cowardly turned around and left to a place 10 km from the battlefield”

Alexander Kerenskiy, chairman of the interim government: “No, those are bad news from the battlefield. I have a communiqué from the Mlynovskiy regiment, which is standing by the Manauw. The officer says that the regiment could not withhold the attack by General Botmer, because soldiers refused to fulfill the orders on the command, having being asked to do that by the Bolsheviks. Me and Brusilov investigated, and it turns out that this regiment was destroyed by artillery fire”

The army was not made to fight neither by women, neither by Kerenskiy, who personally went to see those regimens and produce inspiring speeches. It was only one hope left – Lavr Kornilov. He was officially placed as the head in command of the Russian army. And the general implemented the death penalty on the frontlines. The matter was aimed at stopping the retreat of the army. Our army went beyond the Brody-Zbarazh-Zbruch line. In just several days we lost around 60,000 soldiers, and 12,000 deserters were arrested by Volochisk in just one attempt