The Last Noble Gendarme

How the Tsar's Last Head of Security and Intelligence Tried to Avert the Russian Revolution

By Vladimir G. Marinich

Subjects: History, Russian Studies, European History, European Studies, Memoir
Hardcover : 9781438485997, 252 pages, November 2021
Paperback : 9781438486000, 252 pages, July 2022

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Table of contents

List of Illustrations

1. Beginnings

2. Warsaw, Nizhni Novgorod, and Sevastopol

3. As Petrograd's Chief of Security

4. And Then, There Was the "Mad Monk"

5. The Opportunists

6. 1916, Leading to the End

7. Turmoil and Arrest

8. Sofia Springs into Action

9. Incarceration

10. Release, Fright, and Flight

11. 1919 in Odessa

12. Loss

13. Constantinople

14. Farewell to Constantinople

15. The General's Last Assignment

16. Toward the End

17. Conclusion

Appendix A: Globachev's Service Record and Biographical Outline

Appendix B: How the Okhrana Was Run

Appendix C: Ministerial Leapfrog

Appendix D: Annotated List of Names

Appendix E: Glossary of Terms


Gripping account of the life of the Russian Tsar’s last chief of security and intelligence.


The Last Noble Gendarme is the first biography of Major General Konstantin Ivanovich Globachev and his wife, Sofia. Tsar Nicholas II's last chief of security, Globachev was an eyewitness to the seething turmoil in the capital of the Russian Empire. Beginning in 1915 he tried to avert the unrest that grew into a revolution replete with mayhem and violence by cautioning his senior government officials about the growing crisis through meetings and written reports. The incompetence and corruption of his superiors caused Globachev's warnings of an impending disaster to be often disregarded, misunderstood, and sometimes rejected flat out. The warnings of Globachev's security and intelligence agency going unheeded helped lead imperial Russia to its cataclysmic destruction—perhaps a metaphor for our times. Following the revolution, Globachev was detained by the new government, but released and forced to flee with his family after the Bolsheviks gained power. Globachev and his family survived the revolution, the subsequent civil war and exile in Turkey. The final chapter of their dramatic adventure was their immigration to the United States, where they became citizens. Now, through their complete biographies, we get to know them as individuals who lived through the most tempestuous and dangerous of times.

Vladimir G. Marinich is Professor Emeritus of History at Howard Community College in Columbia, Maryland. He is the translator of The Truth of the Russian Revolution: The Memoirs of the Tsar's Chief of Security and His Wife, by Konstantin Ivanovich Globachev and Sofia Nikolaevna Globacheva, also published by SUNY Press.