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Today in Labour History

25 September 1919
Revolutionary Insurrectionary Army of the Ukraine, 1919
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Black Army of the Ukraine

The Russian Revolution of 1917 led to a fresh upsurge in the anarchist movement in the Ukraine. Nestor Makhno, who had been the leader of a Robin Hood kind of band in 1907, became a figure of authority. The Makhnovists advocated the redistribution of land owned by the gentry and kulaks among the peasants. Ukrainian and Crimean peasants and workers formed the Revolutionary Insurrectionary Army of the Ukraine under the command of Nestor Makhno during the Russian Civil War. This anarchist or 'Black Army' was organized on conventional lines. It fought the volunteer White Army in the major Battle of Peregonovka on 25 September 1919.

Read more? Aleksandr Shubin, 'The Makhnovist Movement and the National Question in the Ukraine, 1917-1921' in: Anarchism and Syndicalism in the Colonial and Postcolonial World, 1870-1940 (Leiden 2010)

More info: Anarchism and Syndicalism in the Colonial and Postcolonial World (IISH Publication)