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Why was the first secretary of the Sverdlovsk regional party committee, Ivan Kabakov, shot in 1937?
Why was the first secretary of the Sverdlovsk regional party committee, Ivan Kabakov, shot in 1937?

The statement by the head of the Archives Department of the Sverdlovsk Region, Alexander Kapustin, in an interview with Oblgazeta about the repressions in the 1930s, that most of the convicts received their punishment deservedly. And for the most part this concerned not ordinary people, but middle and top managers, and aroused indignation among a part of the public.

As an example, Kapustin cited the case of Ivan Kabakov, the first secretary of the Sverdlovsk regional party committee in 1934-1937, who was shot not for political reasons, but for the corrupt activities of the first secretary of the Sverdlovsk regional party committee. The main argument of the opponents: Kabakov was rehabilitated! So who was he really? Let's try to figure it out with the help of the book published last year by the candidate of historical sciences, senior researcher at the Institute of History and Archeology of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences Andrey Sushkov "The Empire of Comrade Kabakov."

Leader of the Ural Bolsheviks

A native of the Nizhny Novgorod province, Ivan Kabakov, having only a parish school behind him, arrived in the Urals after a number of serious party posts in 1928 as chairman of the Ural Regional Executive Committee, a year later he became the first secretary of the regional committee. When the huge Ural region was downsized, he became the first secretary of the Sverdlovsk regional committee and immediately began to establish his own rules.

It was the time of industrialization, metallurgical and machine-building plants were built in the Urals, old enterprises were modernized. We must pay tribute, Kabakov often went to construction sites and factories, made fiery speeches. Many were surprised that he skillfully operated with numbers and facts, but a whole staff of instructors worked to compose his speeches. The main leitmotif of the speeches is that everything is fine, we are moving forward by leaps and bounds. The same victorious reports went upstairs, to the Kremlin and to Staraya Square. And how was it really?

With incredible efforts, the built factories could not reach their design capacity in any way, there was a lot of rejects, the unique equipment bought for gold rubles was quickly broken. A striking example is the construction of the Nizhniy Tagil Metallurgical Plant, which began in 1931 and lasted six years. During this time, the design assignments were changed four times, which means that all the documentation had to be changed every time, as a result of drawings and projects it was canceled for 12 million rubles, and equipment was written off for scrap for 900 thousand. Hundreds of tons of scrap were regularly produced by Uralmashplant. At the copper electrolyte plant in Verkhnyaya Pyshma, scrap reached 60 percent of all production. At the Verkh-Isetsk plant, steel was rolled at a low temperature, which accelerated the process and produced the number of shock workers and foremost workers. In Nadezhdinsk (Serov), a newly built fireclay brick workshop burned down.

The construction of plants: chemical engineering, Nizhniy Tagil metallurgical, Revdinsky copper-smelting, aluminum in Kamensk-Uralsky was frozen due to illiterate leadership, dispersal of funds and mismanagement.

The situation was no better in agriculture. People's Commissar of Agriculture who came to Sverdlovsk Yakov Yakovlevadvised Kabakov to use cows in spring plowing work. There was little sense from this, moreover, milk production dropped and blood appeared in the milk.

Why did all this happen? From the flourishing nepotism - not specialists were appointed to serious positions, but their own people. But this did not bother the party leaders: there were more important concerns.

As soon as Kabakov appeared in the Urals, they immediately began to call him "the leader of the Ural Bolsheviks", and three years later, on the initiative of sycophants, a wave of naming his name to enterprises and institutions: Nadezhdinsky, Verkh-Isetsky metallurgical plants, a pedagogical institute, a construction college, a school of aviation pilots, high school and kindergarten. The city of Nadezhdinsk became Kabakovsky.

Wines flowed like water accompanied by delicacies

In order to provide the party and Soviet nomenclature with improved working conditions, rest and treatment, economic and medical administrations were created in the Sverdlovsk Regional Executive Committee. Similar structures have appeared in all cities and districts of the region. Funding came from the regional budget, for example, for 1933 4.5 million rubles were allocated, 5, 6 million were spent. The average salary in the region was then 150 rubles.

This money was used to buy delicacies, wines, fashionable clothes, cuts of expensive fabric, gramophones, cameras, watches, radios and were given to the top leadership free of charge or at ridiculous prices. Banquets and picnics were arranged. Free vouchers to the sanatorium were given out. Even the rent of the responsible employees came from these funds. Money was given out and just like that, for pocket money, for several hundred, or even thousands of rubles. At the expense of the budget, luxurious apartment renovations were carried out. Here is a list of products in a standard grocery package for the holidays and just like that: 1.5 kg of sausages, ham, sausages, three cans of canned food, butter, sugar, a kilogram of sweets, several bottles of wine, 10 packs of cigarettes. Naturally, balyk, ham, liqueur, biscuits were added to the parcels to the first persons and to Kabakov. Parcels were delivered to apartments at night for conspiracy. Where did the products come from? They were removed from the workers' supply departments (OPCs), trade and public catering enterprises. And for other banquets they simply did not pay.

The economic administration was in charge of 12 elite houses, the Second House of Soviets, canteens of the regional and city committee, rest houses in Shartash and Istok, Baltym forest dachas. Suppliers traveled all over the country in search of elite furniture for apartments and dachas of the nomenklatura, spending a lot of money on it. There were rest houses, their own sewing studio, shoemaker, garage and even a photo studio. All services, rest and meals are free. And the country and the region were starving at that time, people ate rats, dogs and dead cattle.

But the appetites of the elite grew. And then all the enterprises of Sverdlovsk and the region were levied with tribute. Their directors transferred money to special accounts and for this they received sanatorium vouchers from the medical department. They understood that they would be overreach - they would put their party membership card on the table, and this automatically meant dismissal from a leading position. They will sew the label of a Trotskyist and goodbye to the position of bread. In the Ural Regional Committee, and then in the Sverdlovsk Regional Executive Committee, which was led by a protege and associate of Kabakov Vasily Golovin, there was a "black box office" from which money was issued for revelry and treatment. Doesn't it look like anything? Yes, this is, in fact, a thieves' common fund.

In the Sverdlovsk city party committee, for example, a list of 84 enterprises was compiled, which were supposed to transfer money to the "party" cashier. Some of them paid off with their own resources - building materials, products. And the economic management managed to resell them with a substantial mark-up to other organizations. In general, money flowed like a river, flowing in rivulets into the pockets of the nomenklatura. It is clear that in order to find these funds, the directors had to dodge, which led to abuses already at this level.

In Nizhny Tagil, the head of the industrial and transport department of the city committee was responsible for the "black cash" Ivan Khrisanov. In 1936, he collected 20,350 rubles, of which 1,524 were issued to the first secretary of the city committee Shalve Okudzhave, 2 900 - to the second secretary Paltsev etc. Only 10 thousand, the rest Khrisanov appropriated to himself. The story with the leather coat is noteworthy.Khrisanov persuaded the head of the Zolotoprodsnab trade base to give out a leather coat to Okudzhava for an urgent trip to Moscow, for which the cashier paid 624 rubles from the money collected from the factories.

Three palaces on the island

And yet I had to hide, although it was impossible to hide the chic lifestyle. This is most likely why Kabakov for the construction of his dacha in 1933 chose a rather remote place at that time - Lake Shitovskoe, in the common parlance of Shita, which is beyond Verkhnyaya Pyshma. And not on the shore, but on the Repnom island. They built two summer cottages, and according to some reports three, at an accelerated pace without allocated funds for building materials, at the expense of financing for the construction of housing, kindergartens and schools. How the building materials were delivered there is a mystery, probably over the ice. And the builders of the Uralmashzavod at that time lived in dugouts, dreaming of moving at least to the barracks, although their condition, as a rule, was terrible - dirt, parasites, broken windows.

The dachas were built according to the type of luxurious noble estates in the Greek-Italian style. Kabakov's house was three-story, with carved balconies and terraces, stucco molding, a turret and a weather vane. Furniture and dishes were brought from Leningrad. Of course, the dachas were equipped with heating, running water and sewerage. Luxurious bathrooms are finished with tiles, floors - carpeted parquet. The windows are stained-glass, the chimney is lined with tiles. To illuminate the dachas and other buildings, an autonomous electric generator was installed, and the dachas themselves were powered through an underwater sea cable. There was a billiard room and a rooftop recreation area. A wide concrete staircase led to the lake, a fragment of which has survived to this day - the only thing left of the Kabakov dachas. An asphalt road 13 kilometers long has been laid to Shitam, it still exists. It was built by prisoners and women from the surrounding villages - the men were mobilized for logging. On the shore of the lake, a garage for two cars, a large residential building for service personnel and a pier, from which guests were brought to their dachas by motorboat, were rebuilt.

Alleys were set up around the dachas and the whole island became a landscape gardening area, there were marble tables, plaster figures, gazebos, and even a fountain was equipped. In the second house lived the closest colleague, the chairman of the regional executive committee Vasily Golovin. Their former dachas in Baltym stood side by side. Of course, both accommodation and meals for vacationers are funded by the state.

Party control has not lost this battle

You can't hide an awl in a sack, and many knew about the riotous life of the party-Soviet nomenklatura. Party Control Commission under the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party of Bolsheviks in the Sverdlovsk Region, headed by Leonid Paparde in 1934 she exposed numerous manifestations of corruption and took vigorous measures. By the decision of the commissioner and the party control board of August 26, 1934, the chairman of the Sverdlovsk city medical commission, the head of the supply commission Petersburg, director of the Chusovsky rest house Sannikova expelled from the party with criminal prosecution for squandering public funds and other abuses. Director of Sverdpischetorg Saplina also expelled from the party, it was decided to bring him to criminal responsibility. There were eight defendants in total. They were tried, but no one mysteriously received the real terms.

Another case, in which the employees of the regional executive committee appeared, also reached the court. Seven people were sentenced to three years and six months of corrective labor, and in the actions of the main person involved - the head of the economic department Leonid Kapuller - the court did not find anything illegal at all. They condemned, in fact, ordinary performers, the main figures remained on the sidelines. But Paparde's efforts were not in vain - panic arose in the camp of embezzlers, documents were urgently cleaned up, at least some kind of legal basis was brought in retroactively for what had already been done.

These are just two examples of many similar ones.The outrageousness of the nomenklatura could have been stopped by the NKVD officers. But the heads of the security department also had summer cottages in Baltym, and they often walked noisily together. Letters with complaints about the arbitrariness of local officials came in sacks to the Uralsky Rabochy newspaper. But the deputy editor in the newspaper was Kabakov's wife Vinogradov, and through this filter only the most innocuous messages passed onto the newspaper pages. Only Pravda sometimes sharply criticized the Sverdlovsk party leadership.

And yet the signals reached Moscow. Stalin more than once called Kabakov and demanded to restore order in the region. He nodded obediently, but everything remained the same, and the leader's patience ran out. In May 1937, after another summons, Kabakov was arrested. Second secretary of the regional party committee Pshenitsyn having learned about the arrest, he shot himself. For several months after that, the organs of the NKVD repressed almost the entire composition of the regional party committee and the regional executive committee, the entire administrative corps of the city and district levels. The NKVD car, having received the command "Fas!", Knew no mercy, and many accomplices could even envy Pshenitsyn - he passed away easily and painlessly.

Kabakov was tried and shot in October 1937. It is clear that the party could not at that time publicly admit the corrupt activities of the party and Soviet apparatus, so the Military Collegium of the USSR Supreme Court found him guilty of being one of the leaders of the anti-Soviet terrorist organization of the Right, he carried out sabotage and sabotage work to undermine the national economy Sverdlovsk region and directed the preparation of terrorist acts against the leaders of the Soviet government and the All-Union Communist Party of Bolsheviks, that is, in crimes under Articles 58-7, 58-8 and 58-11 of the USSR Criminal Code.

All those arrested were to take their place in one of 200 divisions, 15 rebel organizations and 56 groups of the mythical “Ural rebel headquarters” disclosed by the Chekists - an organ of the bloc of rightists, Trotskyists, Socialist-Revolutionaries, clergymen and agents of the ROVS.

Who was nothing …

How could this have happened? Yesterday he was a faithful Leninist, but turned out to be a vulgar embezzler?

“This behavior was largely due to the social experience of the leading officials of power structures and economic organizations,” notes Andrei Sushkov in his book. - Born in the late 19th and early 20th centuries into poor workers and peasant families, they witnessed the property stratification of society and experienced the social injustice that reigned everywhere. In late imperial Russia, high-ranking government officials, entrepreneurs, and large landowners were the masters of life. The Revolution and the Civil War turned the established way of life upside down. Now they, the recent poor people, participants in revolutionary events and heroes of the Civil War, by right of the victors have become masters, have gained access to various benefits. Like the former gentlemen, they acquired a servant, provided themselves with good housing and rich furnishings, their tables were decorated with delicacies and wines."

But in the "Internationale" it is said: "Who was nothing, he will become everything." And until the last days of its existence, the CPSU had its own residential houses, sanatoriums and rest homes, hospitals and rations. But the scope was not the same …


All the facts stated in the book by Andrey Sushkov "The Empire of Comrade Kabakov" are taken from documents stored in the Center for Documentation of Public Organizations of the Sverdlovsk Region, the archive of the administrative bodies of the Sverdlovsk Region, and the Russian State Archives. Citations are supplied, as is customary in scientific monographs, with references to sources.

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