Report of the Minister of Justice on the Tiflis Social Democratic Organization ‐ 1903

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Report of the Minister of Justice on the Tiflis Social Democratic Organization ‐ 1903

Asource: RGIA. F. 1405. Op. 521 D. 455.L. 482‐486.

Archive: RGIA. F. 1405. Op. 521 D. 455.L. 482‐486.

Approved July 9, 1903

At the beginning of 1902, anti‐government appeals began to circulate among the employees of the Transcaucasian railways in a significant number of copies.

The resulting formal inquiry established that in October 1901 a secret community was formed in Tiflis, which, having appropriated the name ʺTiflis Circle of the Social Democratic Workersʹ Party,ʺ set its immediate task to incite discontent in the working class with the existing state and economic system. types of achieving political freedom. The organization was headed by the ʺCentral Committeeʺ, whose members, having entered into relations with the artisans, invited the latter to gatherings, where they introduced them to the works of underground literature and conducted socialist conversations, convincing those present to unite into unions and enter into an open struggle with the capitalists and the government by arranging strikes and street demonstrations. Besides,

Prominent positions in the community were held by:

1)                   Vasily Zakharov Tsabadze (30 years old, from a peasant, Orthodox, married, graduated from a vocational school course, counting official of the control of the Transcaucasian Railways),

2)                   Georgy Artemiev Karadzhev (39 years old, tradesman, of ArmenianGregorian origin, married, has 2 children, graduated from the University of Geneva, correspondent of the Tiflis Commercial Bank),

3)                   Zakhary Iosifov Chobrishvili (35 years old, tradesman, Orthodox, single, literate, machinist),

4)                   Georgy Ivanov Chkheidze (25 years old, peasant, Orthodox, married, has 2 children, literate, painter),

5)                   Callistrat Gigoev Gogua (27 years old, peasant, Orthodox, single, graduated from the course of a technical railway school, has no specific occupations),

6)                   Joseph Vissarionov Dzhugashvili (23 years old, peasant, Orthodox, single, did not graduate from the seminary course, does not have certain occupations),

7)                   Arakel Grigoriev Okuashvili (37 years old, tradesman, ArmenianGregorian confession, married, has 3 children, literate, machinist),

8)                   Mikhail Zosimov Gureshidze (21 years old, peasant, Orthodox, single, graduated from a vocational school, turner), Polikarp Nikolaevich Macharadze (24 years old, peasant, Orthodox, single, literate, painter),

10)               Severian Moiseev Dzhugeli (24 years old, son of a priest, Orthodox, married, has a daughter, did not complete the course of the seminary, clerk),

11)               Yason Efimov Megrelidze (27 years old, son of a priest, Orthodox, single, did not finish the course of theological seminary, clerk) .‐ L. 482 rev. ‐ 483

The aforementioned persons, joining the ʺcentral committeeʺ, of which Tsabadze was elected chairman, formed several workersʹ circles, made anti‐government speeches at the craftsmenʹs visits, convincing listeners not only to improve their financial situation, but also to strive to overthrow the autocratic power, and also disseminated a large number of illegal publications. Along with this, Tsabadze and Karadzhev were the ʺcontrollersʺ of the above ʺcash deskʺ, and Chodrishvili and Chkheidze were in charge of its operations. The same Karadzhev and

Chkheidze prepared criminal appeals and supplied the artisans with them, in addition, Karadzhev was an intermediary in the relations of the ʺcommitteeʺ with underground organizations from other cities, Gogua led the meetings of ʺadvancedʺ workers, Dzhugashvili was sent, for propaganda purposes, to the city of Batum, Chodrishvili and Okuashvili provided the apartment they occupied for the ʺcommitteeʺ meeting and kept the printing accessories purchased by the circle, such as: a metal board, a frame and a steel printing roller; Macharadze was in charge of the secret library and took part in the affairs of the ʺcash deskʺ; as for Gureshidze, Dzhugeli and Megrelidze, they vigorously disseminated community publications.

A search in Karadzhevʹs belongings found 6 works in French that were not allowed to circulate; in addition to the above items, Chodrishviliʹs memorable book was taken, with his own handwritten notes on the number of banned publications produced and distributed by the ʺcommitteeʺ, 8 sheets with information on the movement of community funds , 2 issues of the underground newspaper ʺIskraʺ and 3 poems of criminal content, a revolutionary brochure and a poem were taken from Gureshidzeʹs property, while Macharadze had a report from the ʺcash deskʺ. (L. 483v. ‐ 484)

During interrogation, the accused rejected the fairness of the facts ascertained in relation to their circumstances.

The closest collaborators of the aforementioned agitators were:

12)    Yakov Averyanov Kochetkov (23 years old, tradesman, Orthodox, married, has a son, literate, worker),

13)    Georgy Zakharov Lelashvili (20 years old, tradesman, Orthodox, single, literate, locksmith),

14)    Leonty Alekseev Zolotarev (22 years old, peasant, Orthodox, single, graduated from the city school, locksmith),

15)    Nikolay Stepanov Erikov (33 years old, tradesman, Catholic, single, literate, locksmith),

16)    Anna Yakovleva Krasnova (28 years old, daughter of a priest, Orthodox, unmarried, completed the course of the diocesan womenʹs school, passed the test for the title of midwife),

17)    Hovhannes Gevorkov Unanov, aka Unanyants (34 years old peasant, Armenian‐Gregorian faith, married, literate, locksmith),

18)    Kirill Alekseev Kakhetelidze (33 years old, son of a deacon,

Orthodox, single, illiterate, locksmith),

19)    Vladimir Iosifov Iashvili (28 years old, nobleman, Orthodox, single, did not complete the course of the teachersʹ seminary, clerk),

20)    Georgy Gavrilov Arabelidze (22 years old, peasant, Orthodox, single, graduated from a medical assistant school, served as a supervisor of a city shelter for the mentally ill in Tiflis),

21)    Vaclav Ivanov Pulavsky (28 years old, tradesman, Catholic, married, has a son, literate, painter).

Of these, Kochetkov, Lelashvili, Zolotarev, Erikov and Krasnova, being at the head of separate circles, organized conspiratorial meetings at which they explained to artisans the essence of socialist doctrines, read illegal works and discussed ways of fighting the capitalists and the government. The same Kochetkov, Erikov and Zolotarev distributed forbidden works to artisans, Unanov, Kakhetelidze and Iashvili collected monetary contributions for the needs of agitation, Arabelidze had a warehouse of underground literature, Pulavsky, in conversations with his comrades, promoted anti‐government ideas and supplied his acquaintances with revolutionary publications, Iashvili conceded for ʺbusinessʺ meetings of the leaders of the organization with each other and with the workers, and also had a close relationship with the secret ʺcash deskʺ. (L. 484 rev.)

Among the things of Iashvili, a report on the movement of the money of the ʺcircleʺ, written by him in his own hand, was found, and a copy of this document, reproduced by Iashvili, ended up with

Chodrishvili; in Lelashviliʹs apartment, about 12 appeals in Russian, Georgian and Armenian, issued by the ʺcommittee,ʺ and 5 pounds of typographic type were selected.

The named persons did not plead guilty to the criminal acts attributed to them.

Community members also included:

22)               Kosma Dianozov Dolidze (19 years old, peasant, Orthodox, single, literate, locksmith),

23)               Irakli Dmitriev Tsuladze (30 years old, peasant, Orthodox, single, illiterate, turner),

24)               Alexey Petrov Zakomolkin (21 years old, tradesman, Orthodox, single, graduated from the city school course, turner),

25)               Georgy Antonov Ninua, aka Ninuashvili (27 years old, peasant, Orthodox, single, literate, foundry worker), who, participating in workersʹ gatherings, got acquainted with the works of the underground press and entered into discussion of issues related to agitation.

During interrogation, the listed accused denied being involved in the anti‐government movement.

Finally, the investigation involved:

26)               Luarsab Georgiev Janelidze (28 years old, peasant, Orthodox, single, illiterate, locksmith),

27)               Solomon Sakvarelov Dolidze (21 years old, peasant, Orthodox, single, literate, boiler operator),

28)               Davil Mikhailov Kapanadze (29 years old, tradesman, Orthodox, single, graduated from a vocational school course, clerk),

29)               Dmitry Grigoriev Bilanov, aka Bilanoshvili (38 years old, nobleman, Orthodox, single, graduated from the cadet corps, managing a private estate), who kept a small number of prohibited works.

Janelidze, Solomon, Dolidze, Kapanadze, and Bilanov provided evasive explanations.

Gogua, Chodrishvili and Okuashvili have been kept under guard since February 16, and Dzhugashvili since July 8, 1902.

In pre‐trial detention there were: Karadzhev ‐ more than 1 year and 2 months, Tsabadze and Severian Dzhugeli ‐ more than 7 months, Megrelidze ‐ about 6 months, Chkheidze and Gureshidze ‐ more than 5 months, Kochetkov ‐ 5 months, Arabelidze ‐ 5 months, Tsuladze and Kapanadze ‐ over 4 months, Iashvili, Anna Krasnova and Macharadze ‐ over 4 months, Erikov ‐ 4 months, Ninua, Unanov and Kakhetelidze ‐ over 3 months, Bilanov ‐ 3 months and Lelashvili ‐ 3 weeks.

As a consequence, I agree with the opinion of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, I would consider authorizing this inquiry by an administrative procedure in order to:

Deport under the public surveillance of the police for three years: a) to Eastern Siberia Vasily Tsabadze, Georgy Karadzhev, Zakharia Chodrishvili, Georgy Chkheidze, Kallistrat Gogua, Joseph Dzhugashvili, Arakel Okuashvili, Mikhail Gureshidze, Polikarp and Yan Dzharadze v. Arkhangelsk province of Yakov Kochetkov, Georgy Lelashvili, Leonty Zolotarev, Nikolai Yerikov, Ovanes Unanov, he is Unanyants, Kirill Kakhetelidze, Vladimir Iashvili, Georgy Arabelidze and Vaclav Pulavsky, c) to the Vologda province Anna Krasnovsky.

Subordinate Kosma Dolidze and Irakli Tsuladze to public surveillance in the places of residence for three years, Alexey Zakomolkin for two years, and Giorgi Ninua, aka Ninuashvili for one year.

Put Luarsab Janelidze and Solomon Dolidze under police arrest for one month.

To charge David Kapanadze and Dmitry Bilanov, aka Bilanoshvili, with preliminary detention in this case.

To carry out such proposals, I most fully ask your highest imperial majestyʹs permission.

State Secretary Muravyov.