Question to Kolchak. Where did the gold reserves of the Russian Empire go?
By the beginning of the 20th century, Russia's gold reserves were one of the largest in the world.
In 1918, the supreme ruler of Russia, Alexander Kolchak, became the keeper of 490 tons of gold bars.
Ural Gold Rush
In the 18th century, gold was mined in Russia mainly in the traditional way - in specialized mines. However, reports of finding loose gold more and more often began to reach, which can be recorded in documents of that era: “In 1745 May 21, in the local Office of the Main Plants of the Board, the mentioned schismatic Markov ... saw light stones similar to crystal between the Stanovskaya and Pyshminskaya villages above) ... With these, he found a slab like a crochet, on which the mark on one side in the nostril is like gold. ”
People constantly found nuggets or golden sand in the Urals. In the meantime, the “bumps” still destroyed the old kurgans in search of gold in the old manner.Soon the need for this disappeared - at the beginning of the 19th century a real gold rush began in Russia, and even gold-bearing mines stopped their work - why are they needed when the gold is literally under your feet?
By the middle of the 19th century, half of the world's gold was mined in the country - the scale increased many times over. The gold reserves of the Russian Empire also grew - by the First World War it amounted to 1,311 tons of gold, or 1 billion 695 million rubles, and was one of the largest in the world.
Melting gold reserves
The war greatly reduced the gold reserves of Russia. 75 million rubles were sent to England to guarantee the payment of military loans. Another 562 million were transported to Canada, then part of the British Empire. Thus, by the time the Bolsheviks seized power and banks, the country's gold reserves amounted to 1 billion 100 million rubles.
However, the Bolsheviks did not get all the money - some of them were prudently evacuated in 1915 from Petrograd to Kazan and other cities in the rear. Thus, only in Kazan was concentrated half of the total gold reserves.
The Bolsheviks tried to take it out, but managed to take only 100 boxes - in August 1918, the whites and their Czechoslovak allies seized Kazan.Since a month later, in November 1918, Admiral Kolchak was proclaimed the Supreme Ruler of Russia, the gold remaining in Kazan became known as the “Kolchak's gold.” Whites seized 650 million rubles, which was about 490 tons of pure gold in bars and coins: “Trophies are incalculable, Russia’s gold reserves of 650 million are captured.”
The captured gold was partially transported on ships to Samara, the capital of the anti-Bolshevik Committee of the Constituent Assembly members. From Samara, gold moved to Ufa, and then to Omsk, where it was placed at the direct disposal of the Kolchak government.
In 1919, gold was loaded into wagons and sent along the Trans-Siberian Railway, which at that time was controlled by Czech corps, which lost trust in the admiral. When the train with gold arrived at the station Nizhneudinsk, representatives of the Entente forced Admiral Kolchas to renounce the rights of the Supreme Ruler and give the gold reserves to the Czechoslovak formations. Kolchak was handed over to the Social Revolutionaries, and they gave him to the Bolshevik authorities, who immediately shot the admiral. Czech corps returned to the Soviets 409 million rubles in exchange for communication to let them out of the country.
But what happened to the remaining 236 million?
Where is the gold?
According to one version, the same ill-fated Czechoslovak Corps was the thief of the missing millions. When the Czechs guarded the train with gold going from Omsk to Irkutsk, they took advantage of their position and stole money.
In confirmation of this, they usually give rise to the fact immediately after the corps returns to the homeland of the largest Legiabank, a bank founded by Czech legionnaires. However, evidence of this is not, moreover, the missing gold could not be enough for the foundation of this institution.
Former deputy. Minister of Finance in the government of Kolchak Novitsky accused the Czechs of stealing 63 million rubles, and some German opposition claimed that the Czechs stole 36 million - all these figures have no source in real historical documents.
Another argument against the Czechs was the fact that Czechoslovakia helped the Russian émigrés after the Civil War — enormous sums were allocated for support, which, according to conspiratorologists, were previously stolen from Kolchak's gold. However, according to the most modest calculations, the amount of subsidies exceeded even the notorious 63 million.
According to another version, Kolchak's gold was hidden by order of the admiral himself. Among the possible places of the treasure is called the gateway Maryina Griva in the Ob-Yenisei Canal, since five hundred White Guards were found next to it.
Another place of the alleged location of the gold of Kolchak is the Sikhote-Alin mountain, in the caves of which gold bars were allegedly found. There are reports that part of the gold was flooded in the Irtysh, while others believe that the Czech corps pushed part of the cars with gold into Baikal so that they would not go red. In 2013, archaeologist Alexei Tivanenko reported that he managed to find Kolchak's gold, descending to the bottom of the Baiscal bathyscaphe: “We found 4 ingots between the rubble. All this lies between the stones, between the sleepers. "
One way or another, according to rumors and legends, the gold of the white admiral was constantly looking for both private troops and Stalin's search teams from the 1920s. And the search continues to this day.
The most plausible version of the missing gold was advanced by the Russian historian Oleg Budnitsky. The notorious 236 million rubles, according to his hypothesis, settled in foreign banks on account of payment for weapons and ammunition.
The scientist processed many archives located in Stanford, New York and Leeds, and calculated that the Kolchak government sent abroad, to British, French and American banks, about 195 million gold rubles. White was given loans in exchange for gold, and gold was deposited to buy weapons from the Americans on credit.
Financiers of the White movement also actively bought dollars to stabilize the financial situation. The remaining money, 43 million rubles, was seized by ataman Semenov in a train heading from Omsk to Vladivostok, and gold was spent on maintaining the troops, including trying to attract the Mongols to their side. Thus, all the allegedly missing Kolchak capital went to cover military expenses and loans in foreign banks.