VENKOV A.V. The Don Cossacks at the Polish Front in 1919


Andrey V. Venkov

Doctor of Sciences (History), Professor, Head of Cossacks Laboratory,

Southern Scientific Center of Russian Academy of Sciences,

Prosp. Chekhova, 41, 344006 Rostov-on-Don, Russian Federation

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Abstract. During the civil war in the Don region in early 1919, a considerable part of the Cossacks of the white Don army lost faith in the regime of General Krasnov and went home. But they found themselves on the territory affected by the policy of “decossackization”. When the white troops began the offensive again, the Bolsheviks decided to mobilize these Cossacks, before the whites would mobilize them. The mobilization was covered by the authority of F. K. Mironov, a very famous red Cossack, former Cossack officer, who commanded the Soviet Belarusian-Lithuanian army. More than 5 thousand people were mobilized. The part of mobilized Cossacks was sent to the Belarusian-Lithuanian army, where they created two Cossack regiments. However, F. K. Mironov got a new appointment by that time. The Cossacks remaining in the ranks of the Belarusian-Lithuanian army, were in unusual and difficult conditions. During the fighting they were in Jewish settlements. When the Poles began their offensive, the most efficient part of the mobilized Cossacks gathered in the 1st regiment, went over to the Polish side. The 2nd Cossack regiment was disarmed by the Soviet command and sent to Saransk available to F. K. Mironov. The Don corps, generated by F. K. Mironov in Saransk from another part of the mobilized Cossacks, rebelled in August 1919. Experience has shown that during the development of red Cossack units Bolsheviks had to rely on a few volunteers and defectors. Forcibly mobilized Cossacks were unreliable and turned to the enemy.

Key words: Cossacks, Poles, F. K. Mironov, mobilization, Belarusian-Lithuanian army.

Citation. Venkov A.V. The Don Cossacks at the Polish Front in 1919. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Serija 4, Istorija. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnoshenija [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2017, vol. 22, no. 6, pp. 99-109. (in Russian). DOI:

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The Don Cossacks at the Polish Front in 1919 by Venkov A.V. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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