THE OCCUPATION OF MANCHURIA. SOME RUSSIAN ATROCITIES.
Of tho seizuro of Manchufia by Russia, Mr. Lynch, in hiw much-read book on the Far Ea*t, writes: — It was in May of 1900 that the serious trouble began which ended in the military conquest by the Russians and tho military occupation which has continued over since. On tho 21st July, tho Tsar appointed General Grodckor Commander-iu-Ch:ef, and seven days nf torward* the Chineao wero beat en at Blaxovestschensk. Five divisions then entered Manchuria from different directions and mado for Kharbin. General Bukharoflf pushed up along tho right bank of the Sungur't towards it. General Linovich started from Port Arthur, captured Niuchwang, then Mukden, and &o reached Kharbin from tho south. Ger»~ oral Rennenkampf took Aigun by assault after a desperate fight of nearly nine hours, after which his Siberian soldiers slaughtered an immense number of the inhabitant, burned the city and marched from there to Tsitikar. General Chichagov, in command o! Lite oaulem division, landed in Possict Bay, marched to Ninqut, and met with but insignificant opposition. General Orloff inarched from the west, and after defeating a force of over four thousand Chinese, marched on Khtular, which he took with little trouble on the 30th July. In tho Kilgan Mountains he had some stiff lighting, and then pushed on, marching his men continuously for eleven cor&cculiva days at the rate of twenty miles a day, until ho joined Kcnnenkinnpf at Teitoikar on the Ist September. Tho campaign was short, sharp, and deci«ivo, and wns attended by much oeverily on tho part of the Russians. The itka of the Commaudcr-in- Chief was to strike terror into tho inhabitants, and his generals did so with a vengeance. On capturiug a town, when tho peacable inhabitants weie made prisoners, a cer tain number of them, varying froni one in ten to onu in a hundred, wero put to death. Wo tiro never likely to get tho true history of this campaign, but some lurid glimpses of il that we havo got give nil idea of its horrors. Mrs. Archibald Little, for instanco, in The Times says : " You aw, when Gribsky U-legmphed from Blagovcstachoiwk asking what was to be done, tho Governor of Khabarowka tolographed bade: 'In war, burn and destroy. 1 . . . They just took all the Chineso and forced them inlo the rivor on boats that could not carry thorn, and when the women threw their children on shoro and begged that they at leaat mi^ht bo «\vcd, tho CoM>ack» ciiijflit the babies on* their bayonets and cut thorn to pieces. . . . Then there i» a. photograph Ukcu by tho request of the Governor of Aigun as the Cossacks left it, utterly destroyed, only tho great strong chimnoyg standing upright, not one inhabitant loft in it, a city of many thousands, I was told. Thon (hero were photographs of the Chinese city of Sahnliue, exactly opposite Utagovwflsdu'iisk, as it was before the massacre ; the fluent house of tho richest inovchwit (since dead), the curved roofe of tho ornate temple, etc, and then, most striking of aH, of tho religious service of thanksgiving hfild there after tho massacre. ' Not because of the maasacre,' Baid the photographer, ' but bocause it had ceased to bo Salialino aaid become a Russian outpost.' It had certainly ceased to be Sahuliue. People there still declaro the river wn.s choked with the multitudo of Chinese people — unoffending, peacable inhabitant^-— suddenly thrown into it, and there was another photograph of tho ruins of what had bcon Sahaline, with a party of ladies ovor from til&govcsiachensk in the foreground enjoying the prospect, and the ruins still smoking behind thenr. In the photograph* of tho religious sorvice there was a great Russian cross hi tho oentro, and an altar, and sevoral popes round it, Gonoral Gribericy at tho head of his stuff on one side and all tho dignitaries on the othor, all solemnly returning thanks to Almighty God that they had utterly blotted out a city o£ 5000 or 6000 inhabitants, who no one on tho sj)Ot even alleges had raised a finger against tho Russians, but who lind till that time been chiefly engaged in driving their carts, carrying their burdens, and serving in their shops or houses. Man, woman, and child, they had been given over to slaughter, and, to judge by appearances, tho same had been the case with every Chinese settlement all along the right, or Chinese wide, of the Amur River." In the spring of 1896, writes John F. Frascr, in his "Real Siberia," there was in BlagovoMschonak a Chineso population of from eight to nine thousand people Seven of the largest stores uf the town belonged to Chineso merchants; there wero smaller dealers, and a great croud of labourers. Whon the siege of the Pekin Legations bogan, Blagovestschonsk, liko tho rest of the world, Imagined all the Europeans in Pekin had been massacred. They themselves were far from help, and on the other sido of the river drums began to beat and banners waved, nnd then bullets came dropping into tho Blagovostsehensk streets. The only Russian troops in tho town were some sixty Ccwsack soldiers — not a large force if the placo wore attacked. Tho Chineso in Blagovefttschensk, however, remained in their homes, absolutely quiet. Fear, however, ivas in tho heart of the Governor, lie issued an order that all Chinese must pass ovor to Mftnchurian territory before twenty -four hours.' "Yes," replied the Chinese, "wo will go ; but how aro wo to get across the river if we have no ljoats?" Tho twenty-fo\ir houra passed. " Why have you not gone across t«he rivorV" demanded the Governor. "We have not boats. Give us boat«'and we will go," urged the Chinese. Tho only answor was flint the Coosnckji, with fixed bayonets, surrounded a hundred Chinamon. " Now march I" said they, a«d they marched, weeping, pleading, round tho buck of the town, along the dusty country road, till they came to tha very spot where I sat solitary, smoking my pipe on this Sunday morning. °' Got across tho river!" was the order. Tho Cossacks mado a. half-circle round the Chinese, who wero like a flock of distraught sheep. "Across the river you get! 1 ' and Hie bayonot points pressed the Chinese into tho water, up to their waists, further still up to their necks, and thon further still. When they were all drowned, buck marched tho Cowuvck.4 to the town foi another batch of Chinamen. These, too, were driven to the aaino place, where tho «me futo awaited them. Biickwurds and forwards came and went tha Cossacks. At the end of two days there was nob a single CWnauiau in l!lnßovost#oLea»k, Thu au/^nri-
ties nilinit that 4500 were drowned. Probably theie were more. For days thero floated down the Amur, past the full stretch of tho town, a sorry, silent procession of dead. Now and then, liko a tanfflo of weeds, .bodies massed against the wharves, and between moored vessels and the fihore. Men wore employed with long poles to push tho corpses into the stream ngain. Then the Chinese on the Muuchurian »ido bogan to pester Blagovest.«chcnsk with rifles. A' few windows wore broken, bub not a single persou w«« injured, though I beliove official accounts stato forty wero killed. Pieaeutly troops begun to nrrive from Russia and Western Siberia. There was iiwtantly an expedition into Manchuria, whereupon the Chinese scattered like the wina. But thoir towns and villages und farmsteads and crops for fifty miles round, including tho great Chinepo city of Aigun, were laid waste l>y firo. Tho drowning of these poor dofencolesa Chinamen has fixed a brand on Blagoveatschenek' never to be forgotten. The people don't liko to talk about it. They know it was a barbarous act, and they are aehamed. Those, howover, who »poko to us freely and openly, were stirred with indignation. The man who gave tho fiendish order was still governor of the town, and no one can understand why tho Tsar, ono of the most humane of men, has not banished the offender, to show reprobation of an act which has placed indelible stain on a young and flourishing city.
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THE OCCUPATION OF MANCHURIA. SOME RUSSIAN ATROCITIES., Evening Post, Volume LXVIII, Issue 45, 22 August 1904
THE OCCUPATION OF MANCHURIA. SOME RUSSIAN ATROCITIES. Evening Post, Volume LXVIII, Issue 45, 22 August 1904
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