A Hero of the Russian Revolution
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A HERO OF THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION.
As to those who fought in the insurgent bands and those who were most compromised as members of the strike committee, their lives were saved by a courageous engine-driver, Ukhtomsky. At the last moment, when the insurrection was crushed and it seemed already impossible to pierce the ring of troops which held all the outlet from Moscow, Ukhtomsky offered to take the most compromised insurgents and strikers on a train and to break through the iron ring. This he did most successfully under a hail of bullets from the machine guns. He was arrested later on quite accidentally, having come to a railway station while a Semenovsk detachment was there. The officer looked through the portraits supplied to the troops by the spies, and at once recognized him. “You are the engine-driver Ukhtomsky,” said he; “you will be shot.” “So I thought,” calmly replied the prisoner, and before dying he narrated the following: “When all roads leading out of Moscow were occupied by the troops, I undertook to take the insurgents and our strike committee men in a train through your ring. You had already placed machine guns in the orchards—menacing the line. In this dangerous—quite open—space on the railway curve I developed a speed of sixty miles per hour. I myself drove the engine. The pressure in the boiler I brought up to fifteen atmospheres—the very limit for the holier. The danger was not from machine guns, but from the boiler bursting. I went not only with open draught doors, but also with an accelerated speed of the syphon. And as we ran at this speed along the curve the machine guns began to rattle. Still, the real danger lay in our speed, in the possibility of being thrown off the metals down the embankment. However, I regulated the steam with an experienced hand, feeling that I had on my responsibility the lives of those whom you tracked. You wounded six men, but nobody was killed. All are now safe and far away. You will not have them.” He quietly spoke before his death to the soldiers and won their sympathies. He stood upright and calmly looked on them. When the first volley was fired the three workers with whom he was shot fell dead, but not one single bullet had been fired at Ukhtomsky. None of the soldiers would kill him. The officer ordered a second volley to be fired—and then he fell on the snow with a terrible expression of agony in his eyes. The captain discharged a revolver at his head.
“A Hero of the Russian Revolution”. Mother Earth. 1, no 6 (August 1906): 7-8.