Clergy and Monastics Deacon Andrei Psarev Politics

A Clergyman of the Russian Church Abroad and Victim of Guerilla Warfare

The Chinese take over control over the Chinese Eastern Railway headquarter in 1929 as shown in the Russian 2013 Mini Series Vseo Nachalos’ v Khrabine (All Has Begun in Harbin).

Priest Modest Gorbunov was killed in Manchuria on this day in 1929.

From 1897 to 1902, the Russian Empire built the Manchuria Chinese Eastern Railway (CER). The small village of Harbin turned into a Russian city in China, the “capital” of the CER. In 1929, the Manchurian Kuomintang leader Zhang Xueliang attempted to move from fifty-fifty control of the CER by Chinese and Soviet authorities to a Chinese-only operation. To regain control, Stalin ordered a cross-border incursion into China. This intervention was a test for the Red Army, which had been reformed since the end of the Russian Civil War.

Since the end of the Civil War in the Asian part of Russia in 1922, many ranks of disbanded Cossack units had settled in Inner Mongolia on the border with Russia. In the following years, many more refugees, primarily peasants, moved across the border from the USSR.

Many White Russians continued to be engaged in the struggle against the Bolshevik regime, enlisting in the Chinese army and sometimes even crossing over into Soviet territory. To retaliate, the Soviets instituted a regime of terror against the Russian population of Inner Mongolia. In the hamlet of Tenekhe (Тэнэхэ), the male population, including teenagers, was mowed down with a machine gun. Women and children often were forcibly repatriated.

There was a number of the Russian priests killed in Serbia during World War II. Here, in Manchuria, their brother, Fr. Modest, a Russian Church Abroad clergyman who ministered to the Cossacks in the town of Verkh-Kul, was killed along with his sons.



Sergei Balmasov, “Mify I realii chekistskogo unichtozheniia Trekhrech’ia” [Myths and Reality of the Destruction of Inner Mongolia by the Chekists].

Svetlana Beloglazova, “K istorii voporsa o sobytiakh 1929 goda v Trekhrech’e.” [Materials on the History of the Events of 1929 in Inner Mongolia]. Trudy IIAE DVO RAN 27 (2000) [Transactions of the Institute of History, Archaeology and Ethnology of the Peoples of the Far East, Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladivostok, Russia.]

Синодик Синодальный // Архиерейский Синод РПЦЗ : [официальный сайт]. URL: [Commemoration Book of the Russian Church Abroad].

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