Rosgvardiya remembers soldiers who died heroically while performing a combat mission
On March 4, 1929, the tradition of eternal enlistment in the lists of military units heroically killed in the performance of a combat mission of servicemen was resumed in the domestic law enforcement forces.
On this day, the platoon commander of this regiment, Vladimir Dominikovich Reut, as well as Red Army soldiers Nikolai Isaevich Ivanenkov and Alexander Vasilyevich Potanin, who fell in battle with a gang in the Yakut village of Nelkan, were permanently enrolled in the lists of the 2nd Far Eastern Cavalry Regiment of the OGPU.
The honor given to these servicemen became a reward for the feat accomplished back in December 1927, when, as a result of a special military operation and thanks to the desperate courage of the commanders and Red Army soldiers of the regiment, it was possible to neutralize a group of well-armed bandits who had terrorized the inhabitants of this remote corner of Yakutia for many years.
How dangerous and numerous the gang was, led by the former White Guard colonel Popov, can be judged by the research of the historian of the Russian law enforcement forces, retired Colonel G.N. Sysoev: robbers attacked steamships, mines and hunting trading posts with furs, brutally killed people and burned houses. Therefore, an expeditionary detachment headed by an experienced commander of the cavalry division of the 2nd Far Eastern Cavalry Regiment T.Ya. Vasin was sent to Yakutia from Khabarovsk to eliminate them.
First by rail to Vladivostok, then on the border patrol ship "Vorovsky" to Ayan Bay, and at the end – three hundred kilometers of the hike, including overcoming the Dzhurgdzhur ridge – that's how a whole month and a half a detachment of Chekist soldiers got to Nelkan.
This walking march in sixty-degree frost will later be called "ice" for a reason. There was also no sudden attack on the bandits' lair: the criminals were notified by their observers about the approach of the detachment and gave the chekists who attacked at dawn a stubborn two-hour battle.
One of the groups of cavalrymen of the OGPU troops under the command of the Reut platoon managed to break through to the staff hut and throw hand grenades through the windows. This predetermined the outcome of the battle, however, the platoon commander and two of his fighters operating in the front ranks – Ivanenkov and Potanin – were struck by enemy fire.
Four participants of the special operation, including the commander of the detachment T.Y. Vasin, were soon awarded the highest military awards at that time – the Orders of the Red Banner. The defeat of the powerful and brutal gang of Popov meant the establishment of Soviet power even in the most remote and inaccessible areas of the USSR.
Thus, the vast gold mining region, which played an important role in replenishing the USSR's gold reserves, was liberated from the rampaging robbers. With their lives, the servicemen of the 2nd Far Eastern Cavalry Regiment unwittingly paid for the truly precious tanks, planes and cars purchased for this gold during the Great Patriotic War and sent to the front. And in memory of their feat, accomplished back in 1927, in the urban-type settlement of Nelkan in the Oymyakon district of the Yakut ASSR, a sculptural composition depicting three Chekist soldiers was once installed.
In the historical chronicle of the Rosgvardiya, which unites more than two centuries of history of the Russian law enforcement forces, the names of the fighters of the legendary armored squad of the VTSIK – Johann Yulievich Bush, Jan Pukke and Karl Ivanovich Yanson, who died heroically, as reported, on the fronts of the Civil War and enlisted in the lists of their unit on January 1, 1921, also remain memorable.
And although, from a formal point of view, the armored squad members were not yet part of the law enforcement forces at the time of their exploits, the force of the long-standing order obliging "to add the dead to the squad list and read their names at the morning check-up" has not been lost by Rosgvardiya today.
In modern law enforcement forces, the history of the armored squad of the Central Executive Committee of the RSFSR is continued today by a separate Order of Zhukov, Lenin and the October Revolution, the Red Banner Operational Division named after F.E. Dzerzhinsky of the troops of the National Guard of the Russian Federation, stationed in the city of Balashikha near Moscow.
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