Decossackization

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De-cossackization was Lenin's Bolsheviks policy of the systematic elimination of the Cossacks as social groups [1]

History

That was the first example when Soviet leaders decided to "eliminate, exterminate, and deport the population of a whole territory" [1] The policy was established by a secret resolution of Bol'shevik Party on January 24 1919. In mid-March of 1919, Cheka forces executed more than 8,000 Cossacks. In response to this, a revolt began in the large settlement ("stanitsa") of Veshenskaya on 11 March 1919. The Cossacks claimed to be for free elections but against Communists and collective farming. Don Cossacks created an army of 30,000 well-armed men. [1]

Bolshevik military forces came back in February 1920. Don region was required to make a grain contribution amounted the total annual production of the area [1]. Almost all Cossacks joined Green Army or other rebel forces. Together with Baron Wrangel troops, they forced Red Army out of the region in August 1920.

After retaking of the Crimea by Red Army, the Cossacks became victims of the Red Terror. Special commissions in charge of decossackization condemned more than 6,000 people to death in October 1920 alone [1]. The families and often the neighbors of suspected rebels were taken as hostages and sent to concentration camps. According to Martin Latsis who led Ukrainian Cheka,
"Gathered together in a camp near Maikop, the hostages, women, children and old men survive in the most appalling conditions, in the cold and the mud of October... They are dying like flies. The women will do anything to escape death. The soldiers guarding the camp take advantage of this and treat them as prostitutes." [1]


The Pyatigorsk Cheka organized a "day of Red Terror" to execute 300 people in one day. They ordered local Communist Party organizations to draw up execution lists. According to one of chekists, "this rather unsatisfactory method led to a great deal of private settling of old scores... In Kislovodsk, for lack of a better idea, it was decided to kill people who were in the hospital" [1]. Many Cossack towns were burned to the ground, and all survivors deported on the orders by Sergo Ordzhonikidze who was head of the Revolutionary Committee of the Northern Caucasus [1].

Between 300,000 and 500,000 people were killed or deported in 1919-1920 out of a population of 3 million in the Don and Kuban regions, as a result of decossackization, according to conservative estimates [1]. Soviet historian Dmitri Volkogonov asserted that "Almost a third of the Cossack population was exterminated on Lenin’s orders."[2]

Opinions

  • "The suppression of the Don Cossack revolt in the spring and summer of 1919 took the form of genocide. One historian has estimated that approximately 70 percent of the Don Cossacks were physically eliminated."- Utopia in Power: The History of the Soviet Union from 1917 to the Present by Mikhail Heller & Aleksandr Nekrich, pg 87
  • ''“The policy of "de-Cossackization" begun in 1920 corresponds largely to our definition of genocide: a population group firmly established in a particular territory, the Cossacks as such were exterminated, the men shot, the women, children and the elderly deported, and the villages razed or handed over to new, non-Cossack occupants. Lenin compared the Cossacks to the Vendée during the French Revolution and gladly subjected them to a program of what Gracchus Babeuf, the "inventor" of modern Communism, characterized in 1795 as "populicide."[1]
  • "However, it must be said in Denikin's defense that he was responding to what can only be called a war of genocide against the Cossacks. The Bolsheviks had made it clear that their aim in the northern Don was to unleash ‘mass terror against the rich Cossacks by exterminating them to the last man' and transferring their land to the Russian peasants. During this campaign of 'decossackization', in the early months of 1919, some 12,000 Cossacks, many of them old men, were executed as "counter-revolutionaries' by tribunals of the invading Red Army." - A People's Tragedy: The Russian Revolution: 1891-1924 by Orlando Figes, pg 660
  • "Sometimes a whole ethnic group was declared White and genocide took place. Iona Iakir, a famous Red Army general, had 50 percent of the male Don Cossacks exterminated, and used artillery, flamethrowers, and machine guns on women and children. Red Cossacks declared their non-Russian neighbors White and massacred Circassian villagers and Kalmyk cattle-herders. In Moscow, under Dzerzhinsky's command, indiscriminate mass murder took place. "Counterrevolutionaries" were executed by list; in 1919 all Moscow's Boy Scouts and in 1920 all members of the lawn tennis club were shot." - Stalin and His Hangmen: The Tyrant and Those Who Killed for Him by Donald Rayfield, pg 83

Notes

1. ^ Nicolas Werth, Karel Bartošek, Jean-Louis Panné, Jean-Louis Margolin, Andrzej Paczkowski, Stéphane Courtois, The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression, Harvard University Press, 1999, hardcover, 858 pages, ISBN 0-674-07608-7
2. ^ Autopsy of an Empire: The Seven Leaders Who Built the Soviet Regime by Dmitri Volkogonov, pg 74 ISBN 0684871122

External Links

Soviet order to exterminate Cossacks is unearthed University of York Communications Office, 21 January 2003


The Cossacks (Russian: Каза́ки, Kazaki; Ukrainian:
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A Cossack host or Cossack voisko (Казачье войско, kazachye voysko, sometimes incorrectly translated as Cossack Army
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Don Cossacks (Russian: Донские Казаки) were Cossacks who settled along the middle and lower Don River, Russia.
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The Ural Cossack Host was a cossack host formed from the Ural Cossacks -- those cossacks settled by the Ural River. Their alternative name, Yaik Cossacks, comes from the old name of the river.
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Terek Cossack Host (Russian: Терское казачье войско
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Kuban Cossacks (Russian: Кубанские кaзаки, Kubanskiye Kаzaki) are Cossacks who live in the Kuban region of Russia.
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The Orenburg Cossack Host (Russian: Оренбургское казачье войско
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Astrakhan Cossack Host (Астраханское казачье войско
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Siberian Cossacks were Cossacks who settled in the Siberian region of Russia since the end of the 16th century. In 1808, Alexander I created the Siberian Cossack Host.
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Baikal Cossacks were cossacks of the Transbaikal Cossack Host (Russian: Забайка́льское каза́чье
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The Amur Cossack Host (Амурское казачье войско
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Semirechye Cossask Host (Russian: Семиреченское казачье войско
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Ussuri Cossack Host (Russian: Уссури́йское каза́чье во́йско) was a Cossack Host in Imperial Russia, located in
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Azov Cossack Host was a Cossack host created in 1828 of Trans-Danubian Sich Cossacks (Задунайская Сечь) returned under the Russian patronage during the Russo-Turkish War, 1828-1829
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Black Sea Cossack Host (Черноморское казачье войско) was a Cossack host created in 1787 in Southern Ukraine from former
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The Buh Cossack Host (Ukrainian: Бузьке козацьке військо) (Russian:
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Caucasus Line Cossack Host (Кавказское линейное казачье войско) was a Cossack host
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The Albazinians (Russian: албазинцы, Chinese: 阿尔巴津人) are approximately 250 modern descendants of about fifty Russian Cossacks from Albazin on the Amur River that were resettled by the Kangxi
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The Danubian Sich (Danube Sich, Trans-Danube Sich, Zadunays'ka Sich) was a fortified settlement (sich) of Zaporozhian Cossacks who fled in the territory of the Ottoman Empire after their home Zaporizhian Sich was overwhelmed by the Russian army in
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Hetmanate (1649–1775) was a Cossack state in the central and north-eastern Ukraine. In 1654 it became a suzerainty of the Tsardom of Russia. As a result of the Treaty of Pereyaslav (Pereyaslavs'ka Rada) of 1654 and the Treaty of Andrusovo (Andrusiv
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Nekrasov Cossacks, Nekrasovite Cossacks, Nekrasovites, Nekrasovtsy (Russian: Некрасовцы,
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Persian Cossack Brigade was an elite military unit in the armed forces of Persia (Iran) during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The military historian John Keegan describes the Brigade as being the ancestor of the modern Iranian Army.
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Cossacks in Turkey refers to descendants of a group of Don Cossacks who had lived in the territory of the Republic of Turkey until they migrated in 1962.

A group of Don Cossacks took part in the Bulavin Rebellion in opposition to reforms of Peter the Great.
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Zaporozhian Host (Ukrainian: Запорізька Січ, Russian:
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The history of the Cossacks spans several centuries.

Early history

The origins of the first Cossacks are uncertain. The traditional historiography dates the emergence of Cossacks to the 14-15th centuries.
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Russian conquest of Siberia took place in the 16th century, when the Siberian Khanate had become a loose political structure of vassalages which were becoming undermined by the activities of Russian explorers who, though numerically outnumbered, coerced the various family-based
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Ancient times:
  • Cucuteni-Trypillian culture
  • Yamna culture
  • Catacomb culture
  • Cimmeria
  • Taurica
  • Scythia
  • Sarmatia
  • Zarubintsy culture
  • Cherniakhov culture
  • Hunnic Empire
Medieval era:
  • Early East Slavs

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The Treaty of Hadiach (Polish: ugoda hadziacka) was a treaty signed on September 16, 1658, in Hadiach (Hadziacz, Hadiacz, Гадяч) between representatives of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (represented by S. Bieniewski and K.
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The Bulavin Rebellion, also called the Astrakhan Rebellion (Russian: Булавинское восстание), is the name given to a violent civil uprising in
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Pugachev's Rebellion (or the Cossack Rebellion) was the largest peasant revolt in Russia's history.

As the Russian monarchy contributed to the degradation of the serfs, peasant anger ran high.
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