Mezhyhirya as the center of uprising against Bolsheviks


soviet history

Leaders of the uprising. gazeta.ua photo

Nowadays Mezhyhirya is famous as a residence of our ex-president Yanukovych but not many people know that in 1919 it was the centre of the uprising against Bolsheviks. Three leaders of this rebellion Struk, Gonchar, Zeleny took power around Kyiv and swore to chuck out Communist- Commissioners from Ukraine

How did it happen that Bolsheviks had taken power in Ukraine? After Russian empire was collapsed the Ukrainians got chance to create their own state. On May 7th, 1917 Ukrainians created the Central Council of Ukraine members of wish represented different Ukrainian social groups such as militarists, workers, students and scientists. Famous historian Myhailo Grushevsky was chosen as a president of the Central Council.

November 7 Bolsheviks took power in Russia. Their concept of general equality got popularity among workers and peasants. Meanwhile, the Ukrainians declared the Ukrainian National Republic.

In January 1918 huge Bolshevik’s army attacked a newborn Ukrainian state and the Central Council was dismissed. Many workers in Kyiv supported Bolsheviks and for example, the workers of Arsenal factory rebelled against the Central Council. The leaders of Ukrainian National Republic asked the German government for the help against Bolsheviks. The Germans helped Ukrainian politicians to take Kyiv back but they showed themselves not from the best side. They took away Ukrainian corn and goods that why the greater part of Ukrainian population did not like them.

People were disappointed with weak Central Council, therefore, agricultural Council chose Pavlo Scoropatsky as a hetman of Ukraine. He came from ancient Cossack family and represented interests of rich families. Pavlo Scoropatsky did not support any socialist idea. Pro-socialist members of former Central Council united into revolution committee the Directorate.  It was headed by Petlura and Vinnichenko.

That time Germans found themselves in the red as their allies left them. The German army from eastern Europe was called back and the Germans concentrated on their own problems. The Directorate was able to take power in Ukraine but just for a while. Early 1919 Bolsheviks seized Kiev again. Partly Mihail Bulgakov wrote about this revolutionary time in  “Belaya Gvardiya”.

Thus the main problem of Ukrainian state was disorientation and deconsolidation of the national political forces.

Coming to power Bolsheviks started Red terror policy. They repressed everybody who rose against Soviet power. Like the Germans, they took corn from Ukrainian peasants and supplied Russia with it.


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 In Mezhyhirya peasants created protest camp and when Commissars came to Mezhyhirya local people met them in trenches with cannons. They took away Red police attacks successfully and moved to Kiev. As witnesses said they took a tram, went to Khreschatyk and set the Ukrainian flag on the City Governmental building. Bolsheviks called all regional police to help to hold power in Kiev. The revolution was crushed due to disorganization of protestors. 31 persons were killed for taking part in the revolution. Bolsheviks were afraid of such rising in Kiev, therefore, they made their capital in Kharkiv instead of Kyiv.