On March 20, 1915, the Russian Army Headquarters announced the execution of Sergei A. Myasoedov, a gendarme officer, for espionage only days after his arrest and hasty conviction by military court. The event was a major scandal in the press and is significant for a number of reasons. First, it occurred in the midst of a series of Russian losses on the German section of the front, losses that marked the beginning of what would become known as the Russian Great Retreat that led Russia out of all the Polish provinces and parts of what are now Lithuania, Latvia, Belarus, and Ukraine. Myasoedov, who had plenty of enemies in the army command, security services, and elsewhere, was likely set up as a convenient scapegoat for the extensive Russian losses at the front. After his execution, a wave of arrests targeted anyone who had been associated with him.
If the execution was meant to calm public opinion, it probably had the opposite effect. A series of raids, arrests, and deportations led by the unofficial head of the domestic military counterintelligence service, Mikhail Dmitriyevich Bonch Bruyevich, and especially the hysterical accusations of spying that the Army Chief of Staff Nikolai Yanushkevich leveled against Jews, Germans, and foreigners in the front zones added to what became a wave of popular spy mania that became a constant and important feature of domestic politics for the rest of the war.
Only two months after the arrest of Myasoedov, Moscow erupted into one of the largest riots in Russian history—directed against Germans and foreigners. The scandal also undermined the position of the minister of war, Vladimir A. Sukhomlinov, who had been a close associate of Myasoedov. In fact, the entire episode may also have been part of political intrigues to try to undermine Sukhomlinov, who was forced to resign in June 1915 under a cloud of rumors of his own treasonous acts. Perhaps most importantly, the scandal lent credence to rumors of treason among members of the Russian elite. Such rumors continued to grow through the rest of the war, and came to center on the empress Alexandra, Rasputin, and various individuals with German names in the Russian court, government, and army command. These rumors did a great deal to undermine respect for the monarchy and contributed to the idea that the monarchy stood in the way of an effective war effort—in short, that it would be a patriotic act to overthrow the monarchy.
See also: february revolution; october revolution
Katkov, George. (1967). Russia, 1917: The February Revolution. London: Longman.
"Myasoedov Affair." Encyclopedia of Russian History. . Encyclopedia.com. (March 25, 2019). https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/myasoedov-affair
"Myasoedov Affair." Encyclopedia of Russian History. . Retrieved March 25, 2019 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/myasoedov-affair
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.