Kornilov, Lavr Georgyevich [key], 1870–1918, Russian general, anti-Bolshevik commander during the civil war (1918–20). He fought in the Russo-Japanese War, and in World War I he was captured (1915) by the Austrians and escaped (1916). After the February Revolution of 1917, he was made commander in chief by Kerensky and proceeded to restore discipline among the troops. Conservative elements rallied to Kornilov, who hoped to reconstruct the provisional government on more conservative lines. In Sept., 1917 (Aug., 1917, O.S.), he sent troops to Petrograd to carry out these plans. Kerensky—who feared that Kornilov planned to establish a military dictatorship—dismissed Kornilov and, upon Kornilov's refusal to accept dismissal, arrested him and his assistants, including Denikin. Shortly after the October Revolution of 1917, Kornilov escaped from Petrograd and joined M. V. Alekseyev in S Russia. Their volunteer army was greatly weakened by the virtual defection of the Don Cossacks early in 1918; under Kornilov's leadership the army fell back to the Kuban region. He was killed while attacking Ekaterinodar (now Krasnodar) and was succeeded by Denikin as anti-Bolshevik commander in the south.
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