Joined the Bolshevik Party, 1914. As a high school student, sent to Siberia for revolutionary propaganda, 1915. Returned after the February Revolution 1917.
Bolshevik activist. At the end of 1917, joined a Red detachment. Took part in the storming of the Winter Palace. Organized a regiment of Red Cossacks, 1918.
Became famous during the Civil War as the commander of the Red Cossacks Corps. Director of the Cavalry School in Leningrad, 1924-1925. Sent to China, 1925-1926.
Military attache in Afghanistan and Japan, 1927-1930. Deputy commander of the Leningrad military district, 1935.