The publication was prepared based on the materials of the book by E. Lobanov. Benders. History pages. 1408-1812.Bender, Printer. 2003
The most authoritative biographers of M.I. Kutuzov, the main attention is paid to his merits in the war with Napoleon. If it comes to his military activities in Moldova, then Kutuzov’s participation in the battles of the Ryaba Mogila, the Larga and Cahul rivers, in the assault on Izmail, in the battles at Badadag and Machin, near Ruschuk and Slobodzeya is most detailed. There is little or no mention of the Benders, or just one, insignificant line.
But it was here, near Bendery, that the formation, development and improvement of military leadership talent took place, the subtleties of military art were comprehended, and finally the manhood of the future Field Marshal, Prince of Smolensky, the savior of Russia in the war of 1812.
Before the first assault on the Bendery fortress by the Russian troops of Pyotr Panin in 1770, M.I. Kutuzov managed to serve as a company commander of the Astrakhan Infantry Regiment, adjutant of the Revel Governor-General in the troops stationed in Poland. At the same time, he especially showed his abilities in artillery and engineering. At the same time, among other officers, he stood out for his deep knowledge of the state structure and legislation of Russia. Therefore, he was involved in participation in the high state "Commission for the drafting of a new code", i.e. code of laws of the Russian Empire. But, no matter how prestigious it was, the soul of M.I. Kutuzova was torn on the battlefield.
At his personal insistence, Second Major M.I. Kutuzov at the very beginning of 1770 was assigned to the 1st Army of the legendary Pyotr Rumyantsev. Occupying low staff positions, Kutuzov managed to immediately participate in the battles that followed one after another near the Ryaba Mogila, at Larga and Cahul. These three tangible blows demoralized and exhausted the forces of the Tatar-Turkish army, and it was clear that this army would take a long time to recover and would not soon be ready for a new confrontation. Those. it was clear that the military campaign of 1770 for the 1st army of P. A. Rumyantsev was over, many officers were sent on vacation.
Such a situation developed on the Danube, but on the Dniester their brothers-in-arms continued the hitherto unprecedented large-scale siege of the Ottoman Bendery fortress, by the forces of the 2nd army of P.I. Panin, slowly and stubbornly approaching its walls along the trenches and underground galleries. The officers in Rumyantsev's army found inaction a burden, and many wished to test themselves in such a tempting assault on the fortress, to show valor and courage, thereby earning military prestige and worthy rewards. Rumyantsev was showered with petitions from officers for a temporary transfer to the army near Bendery. And soon the young Kutuzov, who had received the rank of prime minister the day before, found himself at the walls of the Bendery fortress.
His knowledge of engineering and artillery was immediately in demand, as due to combat losses there was an acute shortage of engineers. During the formation of assault columns, even colonels and generals assigned to the reserve asked to be entrusted with at least a company or battalion under command assigned to the first echelon. Panin had, first of all, to respect the officers who arrived from the army of Rumyantsev, M.I. Kutuzov was entrusted with the command of a detachment of grenadiers. “Among those appointed were Prime Major Kutuzov, Colonel Miloradovich and others”.
Together with his grenadiers, Kutuzov took cover in the trench of the 2nd parallel, waiting for the explosion of the main central mine, which served as the beginning of the assault on the fortress. After that, Kutuzov, together with his grenadiers, rushed forward, descended into the ditch, climbed the rampart and directly participated in street battles inside the fortress. After the defenders began to throw down their weapons, the prime minister's grenadiers helped bring children, women and the elderly out of the fire and smoke, escorting them to the army camp of the Russian troops. The victors put out the fires, completely cleared the fortress, dismantled the rubble, celebrated a memorial service for their dead, counted the rich trophies and set about restoring the damaged fortifications. Most of the officers from Rumyantsev's army left for their regiments, and M.I. Kutuzov at the request of P.I. Panina remained in Bendery until the beginning of 1771, helping the engineers. Only after the completion of priority restoration work did he return to Rumyantsev's army, located in Wallachia. Upon arrival, he was appointed chief quartermaster of the corps, whose functions included studying the terrain, organizing the location and movement of troops, building temporary fortifications, etc. Taking into account the difference in the assault on the Bendery fortress, M.I. Kutuzov was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel.
The following year, from the Danube theater of military operations, M.I. Kutuzov was transferred to the Crimea. In July 1774, during the reflection of the Turkish amphibious assault near the village of Shumy, near Alushta, M.I. Kutuzov was seriously wounded in the head. It happened when the parties signed a peace treaty in the village of Kyuchuk-Kaynardzha.
Within two years, by the personal order of Catherine II at the public expense of M.I. Kutuzov was treated by the best doctors in Prussia, Austria, England and Holland. He could have resigned, but he could not imagine himself without military service.
Upon returning to his homeland, he continued to serve in the Crimea, participating in the protection of the coast of the peninsula. Here fate brought him to A.V. Suvorov, under whose leadership he served for 6 years, mastering the basic provisions of the "science of winning". According to Suvorov in 1777, M.I. Kutuzov became a colonel, and in 1782 a foreman. Soon, G.A. drew the attention of Kutuzov, who at that time commanded the Mariupol Light Horse Regiment. Potemkin, endowed with great powers by the Empress, entrusted him with the formation of the Bug Chasseur Corps, assigning the rank of major general. The Bug corps was formed at the expense of the Arnaut regiment under the command of Skarzhinsky, who was from the troops of the sovereign of Moldavia during the war of 1768-1774. transferred to the Russian army. After the end of the war, he settled on the right bank of the river. Bug, having received the name Bugsky.
According to Potemkin's plan, it was this regiment that was to form the basis of the new Bug Chasseur Corps, and then the Bug Cossack Army. M.I. Kutuzov energetically took up the task entrusted to him, organizing a careful selection of Cossacks from Ukraine, Russia and Moldova. After the formation of the corps began, intensive training and exercises began. If in the infantry the chasseur regiments by that time were mostly worked out and tested in battles, then in the light cavalry the introduction of chasseurs was an absolutely new thing. “Commanding the corps and teaching rangers, Kutuzov developed new tactical methods of struggle for them and outlined them in a special instruction” .
With the beginning of the Russian-Turkish war of 1787-1791. The Bug Corps was entrusted with the protection of the border along the Southern Bug, and in the summer of 1788 he took part in the siege of the Turkish fortress Ochakov. During one of the sorties of the garrison of the fortress, Kutuzov, together with his rangers, rushed to cut across the Turks, and then a bullet fired by a Janissary wounded the corps commander and again in the head. In an unconscious state, he was dragged from the battlefield. Fortunately, this time the treatment did not take so long and in the company of 1789 M.I. Kutuzov again led his corps when the Southern Army G.A. Potemkina was preparing for a campaign in Moldova.
Before the start of the movement of troops, the commander-in-chief instructed M.I. Kutuzov to carry out deep reconnaissance along the left bank of the Dniester in the entire space from the estuary to Dubossary. For the duration of this task, he was subordinated to the regiment of the Don Cossacks and the regiment of the troops of the Faithful Cossacks, under the command of the marching ataman Zakhary Chepega. Soon this regiment will become the basis of the newly formed Black Sea Cossack army. Convinced of the high proficiency of the Cossacks of this regiment, Kutuzov instructed them to survey the most dangerous area - the area of \u200b\u200bthe Bendery fortress.
Chepega first decided to check the situation on the road from Ochakov to Bendery, for May 31, 1789, he detached a hundred horsemen led by regimental captain Neyakim. Two days later, the detachment returned safely without meeting the enemy. In mid-June, for reconnaissance, the Don Cossack regiment of Ataman Isaev, the Bug regiment of Skarzhinsky and a thousand Chepega Cossacks came out to conduct reconnaissance.
After traveling in various directions, on June 18, the Chepega detachment went to the village of Sukleya , where the Cossacks began to ask local residents about the enemy, about the fortress and about the crossing of the Dniester. “... Moldovan Dmitry Baragen was a guide for Russian Cossacks when they passed through the village of Suklea. He led the Cossacks to the Turkish picket, which was located near Parkan".
From Sukleya they went to the village of Ternovka, where, among other information, the inhabitants reported that near the fortress on the left bank of the river, a detachment of Turks, numbering about 400 people, had been building additional earthen fortifications to cover the crossing for several days.
It would seem that the task was completed successfully, the information was collected - you can return to Kutuzov, but the Cossacks decided to probe the enemy forces, and the ataman gave the command. From Ternovka, a thousand horsemen rode at a trot, then set off at a gallop. The attack was so swift and unexpected that the Turks at the bend of the river were immediately crushed, some were chopped, and the rest rushed into the Dniester. However, the Bendery seraskir  quickly assessed the situation, from the height of the fortress wall, he determined the forces of the attackers and began to transport detachment after detachment of Turkish troops to the left bank. The Cossacks, carried away by the battle, entered into new and new battles with the enemy, the battle continued for five long hours. M.I. Kutuzov, learning about this, immediately sent reinforcements to the Cossacks. The Turks at first showed timidity and indecision, but as their number increased, the onslaught became more meaningful and organized. Only when Zakhary Chepega was wounded did he give the command to withdraw, but the enemy continued to pursue the Cossacks. It is not known how this reconnaissance raid would have ended if the Don Cossacks of Ataman Isaev and the Bug Cossacks of Skarzhinsky had not arrived in time to help. Together they turned the Turks back and drove almost to the Dniester, increasing their losses.
The next day, Chepega wrote to the head of the Cossack flotilla A.A. Golovaty: “On this day, on the 18th, with the Don and Bug Cossacks, we opened Bendery, the Turks killed up to 100 people, two Ochakov banners and 12 Turks were taken prisoner, 3 of our all Chernomorians were wounded, and 1 was killed to death, horses killed - 6, wounded - 3. Yes, and I got it, a bullet pierced my right shoulder through and it is unlikely that I will recover soon - it is very difficult for me ”.
Chepega in this letter reported mainly on the actions of the Black Sea people, but here is another evidence of the general results of this first short battle with the enemy near Bender in the summer of 1789: “In 1789, Kutuzov commanded on behalf of Prince. Potemkin by a detachment operating between the Dniester and the Bug, moreover, he made a bold search for Bendery and defeated a significant enemy detachment, putting more than 200 on the spot and capturing 70 people; moreover, two banners were taken”.
The Commander-in-Chief expressed satisfaction with the skillful actions of M.I.'s subordinates. Kutuzov. Using intelligence data, in July 1789 he moved the main forces of the Southern Army to Bendery, they included the Bug Jaeger Corps of Major General Kutuzov, who on September 13 was among the first to enter the battle near Causeni  against the joint forces of the Turks and Budzhak Tatars.
After the capture of Kaushany, at the direction of Potemkin, Kutuzov organized a reconnaissance search in the area of the Bendery fortress. Several Moldovan volunteers, who knew the area well, also joined the small detachment of rangers. Moving along the country roads to Bendery, on the way they met two Turkish posts, which they easily swept away, while they managed to capture several Janissaries, including the Bunchu Pasha. Finally, they came to a low, oblong ancient mound (Suvorov's mound), from where a huge lowland with lakes and floodplains, the beds of the rivers Botna and Dniester, was presented to the eye. Also, from this hill, the Bendery fortress was opened - the main goal of the campaign of the entire army.
For several days, the main forces of the army rested in the capital of the Budzhak horde, and then the Bug corps went on a campaign to Akkerman, where the garrison of the fortress dutifully laid down their arms on September 30. Having accepted the surrender and leaving a small combat-ready garrison, Kutuzov's corps turned towards Bendery.
According to the first, initial disposition, the Bug Corps of Major General Kutuzov was located on the southern ridge of the heights. The right flank rested against the “Suvorov mound” and the road to Kaushany, and the left opposite the center of the village of Giska, from where it was only 7 miles to the fortress. They looked back, so that help would not come to the besieged, and forward, so that some forces from the fortress would not break through in their area. Two days before the planned assault, the corps went down, taking up positions on the outskirts of the village. Everyone was impatiently waiting for the signal to attack, but ... the garrison of the fortress, frightened by the forces of the Russian army, without waiting for the expiration of the ultimatum, on November 4, 1789, voluntarily surrendered to the mercy of the winner.
Potemkin's actions to take the Turkish fortresses showed that an attempt to resist would cost the garrison very dearly (after the capture of Ochakov, for 3 days he was placed at the disposal of soldiers who did not restrain their fury against the defenders of the fortress). On the contrary, in the event of surrender without a fight (as in Akkerman), the garrison will not experience significant harassment and will be able to evacuate. This, obviously, was taken into account by those besieged in the Bender fortress.
On this day, His Serene Highness Prince G.A. Potemkin-Tavrichesky was presented with the cherished keys to the fortress, whose tent was located on Borisov Hill northwest of the fortress at the same distance from the Byk River and from the fortress, between the roads to Kalfa and Gura-Bikului. In accordance with the promises of Potemkin, the entire Muslim population of the city was released with the possibility of selling houses, property and livestock. 4,000 carts and food were allocated from the Russian convoy to go to Turkish possessions. The Russian army got more than three hundred guns with ammunition, 12 thousand pounds of gunpowder, 22 thousand pounds of crackers, 24 thousand quarters of flour and much more as trophies.
19 years have passed since the young prime minister M.I. Kutuzov with a detachment of grenadiers stormed the fortifications of this fortress. Now he examined with great interest the defensive structures of both the upper and lower fortresses, not revealing any striking changes. Then the fortress was significantly destroyed, but by that time it had been completely rebuilt, the previously burned out settlements were settled, several capacious Janissary barracks were built in the south, the lower part of the fortress was somewhat shrunk.
After the magnificent and noisy festivities, the commander-in-chief appointed M.I. Kutuzov responsible for the section from Akkerman to Bendery. At the same time, he was instructed: "... to go to Akkerman and, having received a command there, keep due caution to the enemy's side, also making notes on the sea."
In this regard, the fortress of Izmail on the Danube posed a serious threat, Turkish garrisons flocked from Bender and Akkerman, who were given freedom. From Ackerman, Kutuzov repeatedly visited Bendery on business, staying there for several days. The general carried out the assigned task from the end of 1789 until the middle of the next, and then was sent near Izmail, which from November 18, 1790 was blocked by the rowing flotilla of O.M. Ribasa from the Danube, and since November 21, surrounded by land.
Order A.V. Suvorov as commander-in-chief for the assault on Izmail was signed precisely in Bendery. Potemkin wrote to Suvorov: “... There are many raznochinnye and generals there, and some kind of indecisive diet always comes out of that. Ribas will benefit you all both in terms of enterprise and diligence. You will be satisfied with Kutuzov; look at everything and arrange, praying to God, undertake; there are also weaknesses, if only they would walk together…”.
In this publication, we will not dwell on the participation of M.I. Kutuzov in the assault on Izmail, we only note that he led the 6th assault column that attacked the area of the New Fortress of Izmail from the east, from the side of the Kiliya Gates, which included 3 battalions of the Bug Chasseurs Regiment. From Potemkin's letter to the Empress: “... The brave Major General and Cavalier Golenishchev-Kutuzov, with his courage, set an example for his subordinates and fought with the enemy, but his large number prevented for the first moment the troops of Your Imperial Majesty from spreading along the shaft and for this he called on the Kherson regiment, which was in reserve, leaving two hundred people with cannons on the counterscarp. With the arrival of the reserve, the enemy was not only repulsed, but the noble part was also beaten, a firm foot in this story was set, and the troops stretched victory along the curtain to other bastions.
For the skillful leadership of the column and personal courage M.I. Kutuzov was appointed commandant of the defeated Ishmael, and the commander-in-chief introduced him to the rank of lieutenant general and the Order of St. George, 3rd degree. At the end of the military campaign, Kutuzov on June 28, 1791 took part in a major battle near the city of Machin, where, with the forces attached to him, he completely defeated the right flank of the enemy, for which he was awarded the Order of St. George 2nd degree.
A.V. Suvorov, G.A. Potemkin and other military leaders have repeatedly noted Kutuzov's interest in diplomatic activity. During various negotiations with representatives of the enemy, he showed imperturbable calm, restraint, showing a deep knowledge of the subject of discussion. For this reason, soon after the conclusion of the peace treaty in Iasi, Lieutenant General Kutuzov was appointed Ambassador Extraordinary to Turkey. The embassy went to the capital of Turkey through Dubossary. For three months they traveled across the territory of Moldova and Wallachia, collecting additional information from various sources, including the Bendery fortress.
In general, the embassy, headed by M.I. Kutuzov, proved to be quite successful: “... he resolved a number of important issues in favor of Russia and significantly improved relations with Turkey” and “Loved the reformer Sultan Selim III, upset the rapprochement between Istanbul and Paris, promoted the development of trade, successfully exchanged prisoners ".
Upon returning from Turkey, M.I. Kutuzov in 1794 was appointed director of the Land Gentry Corps, a year later he led the Russian troops in Finland, where in 1798 he was promoted to general of infantry. Then Kutuzov was appointed governor of Lithuania, and from 1801 governor of St. Petersburg.
After the defeat of the Russian troops at Austerlitz on November 20, 1805, where all the blame for the loss by the emperor was placed on Kutuzov, he was excommunicated from the troops and appointed governor-general of Kyiv.
In the beginning of the Russian-Turkish war of 1806-1812. Kutuzov held various positions in the Moldavian army, which was first led by Field Marshal A.A. Prozorovsky, then P.I. Bagration, and then N.M. Kamensky.
On November 24, 1806, the corps of the Russian army under the command of Baron K. Meyendorff occupied the Bendery fortress without a fight.
By 1811, the war with Turkey came to a standstill and Napoleon began energetic actions to march on Russia, and then the emperor remembered the diplomatic abilities of M.I. Kutuzov and in March appointed him commander of the Moldavian army instead of Kamensky.
Thanks to the crushing victories by the Russian army near the town of Ruschuk and near the village of Slobodzeya, the war was actually won, and the enemy sued for peace. Kutuzov, while in Bucharest, actively entered into negotiations and applied all his diplomatic skills to achieve the maximum benefit for Russia. According to the fourth article, the Port ceded to Russia the eastern part of the Moldavian principality - the territory of the Prut-Dniester interfluve, which later became known as Bessarabia. The rest of the principality remained under Turkish rule (future Romania). The border between Russia and Porto was established along the Prut River. The Bendery fortress, like the whole of eastern Moldavia, fell under the permanent protectorate of the Russian Empire. And, most importantly, at that time, Turkey guaranteed its non-participation in the war on the side of Napoleon, which made it possible to transfer the Russian Danube army to the western borders of the empire.
In memory of the exploits of Mikhail Illarionovich Kutuzov-Golenishchev, a bust of this commander was erected in the Bendery fortress at the Pantheon of Russian Glory.
Also in the capital of Transnistria - Tiraspol, on Borodino Square, on the site of the demolished Tiraspol fortress, a bust of M.I. Kutuzov.
- A. Petrov. The war of Russia with Turkey and the Polish confederates from 1769-1774 - St. Petersburg, 1886 - v.2, p.324
- Soviet encyclopedia. -M: Military Publishing House of the USSR Ministry of Defense, 1977.- T.4, p.544
- Sukleia - now a suburb of Tiraspol
- Parkany is a village opposite the Bendery fortress, on the left bank of the river. Dniester
- Semenova I.V. Russian-Moldovan military commonwealth (1787-1791). - Chisinau, 1968. - p. 93
- Ternovka is a village between Tiraspol and Bender on the river. Dniester
- The crossing in the area of the Bendery fortress on the Dniester River was a pontoon in the form of a boardwalk for boats. It was well protected by fortress artillery and left-bank fortifications.
- Serasker (seraskir) - Ottoman commander of the troops
- Collection of military-historical materials N.F. Dubrovin - No. 213. - issue. VI
- Novorossia and Crimea.// Russia. A complete geographical description of our Fatherland. / Under the general guidance of P.P. Semenov-Tyan-Shansky.-SPB., 1910. - T. XIV, p. 633
- Causeni - during the Turkish rule, the summer residence of the Tatar khans Budzhak horde. Located 25 km. on the hills south of Bender
- In the Ottoman army, a military commander equal to a brigadier in the Russian army
- The mound (mountain) of Suvorov is located on the southern outskirts of Bendery, part of the Roman Troyan Wall. K A.V. Suvorov has nothing to do
- Akkerman - the ancient Greek city-polis of Tyra, then the Moldavian fortress of Belgorod, then the Turkish Ak-Kerman. Now the city of Belgorod-Dnestrovsky, Odessa region, is located at the confluence of the Dniester River into the Black Sea
- Giska - southern suburb of Bendery
- Gordin R. A strange person. - Chisinau, 1997. - p.140
- TsGVIA, f. VUA, 2378, l.l.226v.-227
- Sergeev A.S. Fire and sword are ready for destruction…// Military history magazine. – 1990.- №12 – p.11
- Soviet military encyclopedia.-M: Military Publishing House of the USSR Ministry of Defense, 1977. - v.4, p. 545
- Sheremet V. Kutuzov's morocco portfolio. / Motherland. - 1998. - No. 5-6. – p.78