Activities of the gendarmerie police of the Russian Empire on the railways of the Grand Duchy of Finland during the First World War

Cover Page

Cite item

Full text / tables, figures


The article analyzes the historical experience of organizing official activities of the gendarmerie police department of the Finnish Railways during the First World War. The study highlights the specifics of the Grand Duchy of Finland as national outskirts which largely influenced the work of the railway police of the Russian Empire in wartime. Based on the analysis of the body of archival documents, there are determined the main measures implemented by gendarmes to ensure the stable functioning of the railways of the Grand Duchy of Finland, to prevent damage and destruction of infrastructure facilities. Particular attention is paid to the prevention of subversive and espionage activities. There are shown the features of conducting counterintelligence activities by railway gendarmes at border stations and in the hinterlands of Finland. Some of the enemy's approaches to training and sending people to the Russian Empire in order to obtain military information are revealed. The consideration of the factors of the political situation in the Grand Duchy of Finland and the variety of tasks performed by railway gendarmes in wartime made it possible to conclude that their activities on the railroads of the national outskirts were of great strategic importance.

About the authors

Petr A. Kolpakov

RUDN University

Author for correspondence.
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1600-9937

PhD in Hist., Senior lecturer of the Department of Russian History

6, Miklukho-Maklaya St., Moscow, 117198, Russia

Rafael A. Arslanov

RUDN University

ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3488-7917

Dr. Habil. Hist., Professor of the Russian History Department

6, Miklukho-Maklaya St., Moscow, 117198, Russia


  1. Aksenenko, N.E., Lyapidus, B.M., and Misharin, A.S. Zheleznye dorogi Rossii: ot reformy k reforme [Railways of Russia: from reform to reform]. Moscow: Transport Publ., 2001 (in Russian).
  2. Bakhturina, A.Y. Okrainy Rossiiskoi imperii: gosudarstvennoe upravlenie i natsional'naya politika v gody Pervoi Mirovoi voiny (1914-1917 gg.) [The Outskirts of the Russian Empire: Public administration and national policy during the First World War (1914-1917)]. Moscow: ROSSPEN Publ., 2004 (in Russian).
  3. Borodkin, M.M. Iz noveishei istorii Finlyandii: vremia upravleniia N.I. Bobrikova [From the modern history of Finland: the time of N.I. Bobrikov's Administration]. St. Petersburg: Tovarishchestvo R. Golike i A. Vil'borg Publ., 1905 (in Russian).
  4. Jussila, O. Khentilya, S., and Nevakivi, Yu. Politicheskaia istoriia Finliandii 1809-2009 [Political History of Finland 1809-2009]. Moscow: Ves' mir Publ., 2010 (in Russian).
  5. Kuzmitsky, V.V. “Istoricheskii opyt deiatel'nosti transportnoi politsii v XIX veke. Istoriia Vostochno-Sibirskoi transportnoi politsii [Historical experience of the transport police in the XIX century. History of the East Siberian Transport Police].” In Deyatel'nost' pravookhranitel'nykh organov v sovremennykh usloviyakh: Materialy Mezhdunarodnoi nauchno-prakticheskoi konferentsii [The activity of law enforcement agencies in modern conditions: Materials of the International Scientific and Practical Conference], 310-324. Irkutsk: Vostochno-Sibirskii institut Ministerstva vnutrennikh del Rossiiskoi Federatsii Publ., 2012 (in Russian).
  6. Litvinov, V.P. “Zheleznodorozhnaia politsiia v tsarskoi Rossii: Tashkentskoe napravlenie (pravovoi aspekt) [Railway police in Tsarist Russia: Tashkent direction (legal aspect)].” Vestnik of the Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic University, no. 4(2016): 8-11 (in Russian).
  7. Lyalina, M.A. Ocherki istorii Finliandii ot drevneishikh vremen do nachala XX stoletiia SPb.: Komissioner voenno-uchebnykh zavedenii [Essays on the history of Finland from ancient times to the beginning of the XX century]. St. Petersburg: Komissioner voenno-uchebnykh zavedenii Publ., 1908 (in Russian).
  8. Mainander, H. Istoriia Finliandii. Linii, struktury, perelomnye momenty [History of Finland. Lines, structures, turning points]. Moscow: Ves' mir Publ., 2008 (in Russian).
  9. Mamleeva, D.R., Morin, A.V. “On the issue of improving the activities of the transport police of Russia in the conditions of modernization in the second half of the XIX century.” Evraziiskii yuridicheskii zhurnal, no. 9 (2017): 109-110 (in Russian).
  10. Mamleeva, D.R. “Osnovnye napravleniia deiatel'nosti sluzhby politsii na transporte v sfere protivodeistviia prestupnosti (istoriko-pravovoi aspekt) [The main activities of the police service on transport in the field of combating crime (historical and legal aspect)].” Biznes v zakone, no. 4 (2008): 236-238 (in Russian).
  11. Nikonov, K.O. “Historical experience of the formation of the gendarmerie police department of the Chinese-Eastern Railway at the beginning of the XX century.” Klio, no. 6 (2020): 84-90 (in Russian).
  12. Pravilova, E.A. Den'gi i vlast' v politike Rossii na natsional'nykh okrainakh. 1801-1917 [Money and power in Russian politics on the national outskirts. 1801-1917]. Moscow: Novoe izdatel'stvo Publ., 2006 (in Russian).
  13. Ryzhova, Yu. Zhandarmskie politseiskie upravleniia zheleznykh dorog v sisteme obespecheniia transportnoi bezopasnosti Rossiiskoi imperii [Gendarmerie police departments of railways in the system of ensuring transport security of the Russian Empire]. Moscow: Prospekt Publ., 2020 (in Russian).
  14. Wolfov, A. Istoriia zheleznykh dorog Rossiiskoi imperii [History of railways of the Russian Empire]. Moscow: RIPOL klassik Publ., 2016 (in Russian).
  15. Zolotarev, V.A., ed. Evropa i Rossiia v ogne Pervoi mirovoi voiny. K 100-letiiu nachala voiny [Europe and Russia in the fire of the First World War. To the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the war]. Moscow: INES, RUBIN Publ., 2014 (in Russian).

Copyright (c) 2023 Kolpakov P.A., Arslanov R.A.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

This website uses cookies

You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website.

About Cookies