Who's Who - Nikolai Maklakov

Nikolai Maklakov (1871-1918) served as Russian Minister of the Interior from 1913-15 until his dismissal following pressure from the Duma in the wake of continual military defeats on the Eastern Front.

It is usual to describe Maklakov as an ardent monarchist - which indeed he was.  Just as notably however he was a staunch opponent of any form of political or constitutional reform and, as Minister of the Interior from 1913, constantly fought against government attempts to reach out to the hostile Duma in compromise.

While the elderly Ivan Goremykin remained Prime Minister (then in his 70s) Maklakov was successful in stalling attempts at reform.  He was also instrumental in engineering the Tsar's dismissal of competent Foreign Minister Sergei Sazonov when the latter attempted to negotiate Russian recognition of a united independent Poland.

Nevertheless with the Tsar's administration coming under increased pressure from the Duma, particularly in the wake of the army's latest military setback at Gorlice-Tarnow, several right-wing figures were offered as sacrificial lambs: Maklakov was among them.

Dismissed from junior office with the February Revolution of 1917, Maklakov was shot by the Bolsheviks following the October Revolution.

A "listening post" was an advanced post, usually in no-man's land, where soldiers tried to find out information about the enemy.

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