Anna Cherepanova: biography, activities and interesting facts


The revolution and the civil war that followed it revealed deep layers of cruelty and meanness in people, hiding far inside. For several years, many peaceful peasants turned into merciless murderers and executioners. Among the numerous atamans and ringleaders of the gangs who robbed at that time, Anna Cherepanova deserved especially notorious fame. She gathered around her desperate thugs, who for four years terrified the residents of the Irkutsk region, directly participated in torture and executions, and then disappeared without a trace for half a century.

Good hostess

Almost nothing is known about Anna Cherepanova’s early biography, it is impossible to say with certainty when she was born, in what environment she grew up. More information can be found about her husband Andrian Cherepanov. He was a wealthy merchant who owned the quay and floated cargo along the Lena River. He lived Andrian in the village Kartuhay, in the Irkutsk region. At a respectable age, he remained a widower and decided to find himself a new mistress.


Anna Chemyakina was 25 years younger than Andrian; she was distinguished by good health and a stately figure. In addition, she was a merchant's daughter, so Cherepanov did not hesitate for long and took her as his wife.

Anna Prokopievna became an excellent merchant wife, she managed to manage household chores, took an active part in the management of the pier, and a happy husband could only thank fate for such a spouse. In addition, she was not afraid to go alone with the ships on the Lena, well versed in the trade and becoming a full-fledged partner of Andrian.

The new owner of the dock differed in her severe disposition, she personally could whip off the whip of guilty workers, expelled people from work without a salary for the slightest offense, so everyone was afraid of her like a fire.

The end of the idyll

It would have lived with Andrian and Anna and expanded the economy, but in 1917 the Great Russian Revolution broke out, and after it the Civil War began. Cherepanov was dispossessed, and all property was taken away, and it was not without trouble in Anna's family. All property was requisitioned, and her brothers were shot.

Severe Siberian could not tolerate such an insult and decided to devote his life to revenge. From now on, all the Bolsheviks became for Anna Cherepanova her worst enemies. In 1918, Anna and Andrian made a group of dashing people, offended by the authorities, and went into the taiga to raid the surrounding villages - the Upper Lena, Petrovo, Kachug, Kelora.


The composition of the gang was very heterogeneous - dispossessed peasants, officers who fled from the local prison. However, all these people, without the slightest controversy, submitted to the chieftain Anna Cherepanova. Andrian was considered a formal leader, but all power belonged to his wife.

She planned and organized the operations, personally participated in the raids, personally chopped the enemies' heads with a sword.

The mistress of the forest, Anna Cherepanova

In the troubled times of the first years of the Civil War, complete anarchy reigned in the country, the Bolsheviks hardly controlled the situation on the far outskirts of the state. Soon the Cherepanov gang practically seized power in the district. The thugs dropped the Verkhorensky Council and killed all the activists of the new system.


One of the most successful actions was the seizure and further extermination of the Red Army detachment on the Kuchug highway. Chief of the Siberian Cheka Ivan Postolovsky was found among the prisoners. He was tortured for a long time and cruelly tortured, then hanged, loudly claiming his rights to the local district.

This and other cruel executions give historians a clear idea of ​​how Anna Cherepanova became a bloody chieftain. Accordingly, the real deeds of the gang were overgrown with legends and fables, in which Anna seemed to be a real ghoul, which feeds on the blood of its victims.

Politics of terror

Determined and harsh ataman established severe discipline in his squad. Each of them was engaged in his own business and she did not need to repeat orders two times, because everyone knew that in anger, Anna Cherepanova would not spare either someone else or her own.

Methods of intimidation practiced very different. The favorite execution was to drag the prisoner, tied to the horse's tail, and then chop down what was left of the man with swords.

In 1920, the Red Army men again came to the Upper Lena, but Anna Cherepanova did not calm down. She again raised a rebellion against the Bolsheviks and went into the taiga by completing her gang with an aspiring White Guards from Kappel's defeated army.

Anna Cherepanova, the undead chieftain, was a serious threat and a dangerous thorn in the Soviet rear. Repeatedly detachments of the ChON (special purpose units) combed the taiga in search of elusive robbers, but all was unsuccessful. These people knew the neighborhood perfectly well, used the services of informers in villages and uluses, and very often turned themselves from victims into hunters.


This happened with the division of the red commander Murashin. Several times he was on the verge of completely encircling and destroying the taiga mojaheds, however, as a result, he was destroyed along with his fighters.

Elusive Anna

As the Soviet regime strengthened, the ring around Cherepanova and her gangsters shrank more and more. The bold and brutal atamansha tired of everything, catching and destroying the gang became a matter of honor for local activists. However, she was unusually lucky and was saved in the most hopeless situations.

Once, the local Cheka received information that Anna Cherepanova would come back to Kartukhay's native village to visit her relatives. An ambush was arranged, and when she appeared, they began to chase after her. However, the terrible woman seemed to have collapsed under the ground, having managed to inexplicably manage to break through the dense barrier of the environment. As it turned out, she hid in a swamp and spent several hours breathing through a straw.


Another great chance to destroy the criminal missed lone hunter Chonovets. From a distance, he spotted the chieftain standing at the edge of the forest, and shot her. The bullet hit the hip, accomplices arrived, and hastily carried their witch deep into the forest.

The last days of the gang

Pulling the bullet in the leg, Anna Cherepanova became even fiercer. She introduced new tactics - the bandits disguised themselves in the form of the Red Army men and, entering the villages, gathered all the local activists in the square. Immediate execution followed. Thus, with a single blow, they destroyed all the Bolsheviks and the villagers who sympathized with them.

The Cherepanovtsy carried out a policy of terror, intimidating and horrifying everyone with atrocities, they tortured, killed, and deliberately tortured people. On November 7, Anna made a foray into the village of Zagsheskino, where she personally hacked down three disarmed communists with a saber and wrote a wish on the front door to do a good job in hell.


In 1922, the gang broke up, although separate raids and attacks on individual activists were repeated for two whole years. Soon, these cases also ceased, and Cherepanova and her husband completely disappeared into the vast taiga expanses.

Terminate the statute of limitations

For many years, state security workers were looking for a bloody chieftain, but all was unsuccessful. Found it quite by accident, after almost fifty years. She was recognized in Krasnoyarsk by a resident of Prilenie who came to the regional center for business. Half a century ago, he witnessed how Cherepanova personally hacked to death his parents, and he always remembered her face.

Having changed her last name and becoming Korepanova, she hid in distant northern villages for many years and then moved to Krasnoyarsk before the start of the war. Her husband died at the age of seventy in 1936. Unfortunately, the deserved punishment did not overtake the killer and the executioner. The statute of limitations for her crimes had long been released, and Anna Cherepanova was released. She died in old age.

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