The Colonel could not disobey regulations and enlist a woman in the army, but a telegram was sent to the Czar himself, and in a short time an answer was received from the Czar's official headquarters, announcing that Maria Botchkareva was entitled to become a soldier in the Russian army. So Maria put on her uniform and was nicknamed "Yashka," a name that soon was known throughout her regiment.
Not since the time of Molly Pitcher has there been a woman soldier so famous in her own country as a Russian girl named Maria Botchkareva, who fought beside the men in the Russian army in the World War and afterward became the commander of a battalion of women soldiers, who called themselves the "Battalion of Death."
Maria Botchkareva, who is still living, was born in 1889, the daughter of a Russian fisherman, who was originally a serf. He was too poor to buy a wagon to market his fish, and was compelled to sell them at less than the market price to traveling pedlers. Her mother did manual labor for twelve hours a day to earn five cents.