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Vasily Ivanovich Chapayev or Chapaev (February 9, 1887 – September 5, 1919) was a celebrated Russian soldier and Red Army commander during the Russian Civil War.

February 9th - R4YWI will be active from the Museum of V.I. Chapaev in Cheboksary.

During World War I, he fought as a non-commissioned officer and was awarded the Cross of St. George three times. In September 1917, he joined the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (Bolsheviks). In December was elected commander of the 138 Infantry Regiment by a vote of the regiment's soldiers. He later commanded the 2nd Nikolaev Division and the 25th Rifle Division.

On September 5, 1919, the divisional headquarters near Lbishchensk (now renamed Chapayev in his honour) were ambushed by White Army forces. According to official sources, Chapayev tried to escape by swimming across the Ural River, but was never again seen alive. His body was never recovered, but the town where he died was later renamed Chapaev, and a museum was established in 1927.

After the Soviet Union had been established, Chapayev was immortalized as a hero of the Bolshevik Revolution in a popular book by Dmitri Furmanov and a 1934 movie. The famous German actor and singer Ernst Busch also recorded the song Tschapajews Tod, which talks about his death in the Ural. In later years Chapayev became a recurring character in numerous Russian jokes. More recently, he became one of the central characters in the novel Chapayev and Void by modern Russian writer Viktor Pelevin.

6324612 Last modified: 2015-07-16 00:30:14, 1867 bytes

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