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Police seize Admiral Kolchak firearms almost century after he tried to halt Bolsheviks

By Olga Gertcyk
13 December 2016

Cache of White Army weapons used in Russian Civil War seized by police who destroyed 'dangerous' grenades and ammunition.

'In just a few months, he had collected a whole arsenal of weapons of the Civil War period and had even planned to arrange an historical museum in his apartment.' Picture: Press-service of Interior Ministry

A 53 year old man in Kemerovo region had used a metal detector to find the Kolchak era weaponry from battlefields and arms stashes. He then dug out the military finds before taking the historic finds home, a mistake which could cost him four years in jail.

The man kept the cache - including a Cossack sabre, an American Berdan rifle, French grenades, a revolver, artillery shells, and other ammunition - in his apartment in Berezovsky district. 

'In just a few months, he had collected a whole arsenal of weapons of the Civil War period and had even planned to arrange an historical museum in his apartment,' said a statement from the Interior Ministry. 

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A 53 year old man in Kemerovo region had used a metal detector to find the Kolchak era weaponry from battlefields and arms stashes. Pictures: Press-service of Interior Ministry

'However, he had been storing all his finds in his apartment illegally and with gross violations - directly on the floor, shelves, and tables. The detained man explained to the police that he was keen on excavations and had found, in his opinion, places of battles of Kolchak's army.'

Police 'took out the ammunition and grenades to a field and destroyed them. 

'The other weapons were confiscated and sent for examination.'

Ironically, had the collector handed over the grenades and ammunition to police immediately, he would have qualified for a financial reward - 50,000 roubles ($825) on the grenades alone. His collection included some 600 bullets. 

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Police 'took out the ammunition and grenades to a field and destroyed them.' Pictures: The Siberian Times, Press-service of Interior Ministry

The man was filmed telling police he had been digging the military artifacts for four years. 

Police officer: Please, tell us what you have?

Man: Well, here is what I have. The man was not named. 

Admiral Alexander Kolchak - with support from Western countries - used his stronghold in Siberia to seek to reverse the Bolshevik Revolution. In this role, the former tsarist commander and polar explorer was known as the Supreme Ruler of Russia.

Admiral Kolchak

Admiral Alexander Kolchak - with support from Western countries - used his stronghold in Siberia to seek to reverse the Bolshevik Revolution. Picture: The Siberian Times

His supporters included those who wanted to restore the Russian monarchy. However, he was forced by the Red counterattack to retreat eastward, and was eventually captured and put on trial by the revolutionary communists in Irkutsk. 

He was brought before a firing squad on 7 February 1920. According to eyewitnesses, Kolchak was entirely calm and unafraid, 'like an Englishman'.

The Admiral asked the commander of the firing squad, 'Would you be so good as to get a message sent to my wife in Paris to say that I bless my son?' The commander responded: 'I'll see what can be done, if I don't forget.'

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