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Nestor Makhno in the Russian Civil War by Michael Malet

By Michael Malet

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Additional resources for Nestor Makhno in the Russian Civil War

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Relative Peace, 1917-18 7 following a Soviet meeting. Being fifty miles nearer the Don, Makhno saw the danger of standing by and doing nothing. On 29 December/ll January, the first armed forces of Hulyai Pole in the Civil War, 800 of them, set off for Olexandrivske with Makhno in command. Three days later the Red Guard in the city under Bohdanov rose, and Soviet power was restored. The Cossack echelons refused to be disarmed and halfheartedly tried to push through: finding opposition, they agreed to hand over their weapons.

A delegation went off to Katerynoslav on 15 December, and a draft treaty of cooperation was worked out: the Makhnovists would get arms, uniforms, and food, while the Petliurists would have unhindered right of mobilisation in the insurgent area. A wagon of bullets and half a wagon of rifles were sent, and some explosives also. On the other side, the mobilisation was at least partly effective, for the Makhnovists engaged in propaganda directed at the conscripts on their way by train to Katerynoslav.

A rough plan of attack was drawn up for the following day. m. on 26 December. An empty train without a driver was sent across the Dnieper bridge, followed by an armoured train containing Bolshevik and insurgent troops. This ruse took the enemy unawares. The armoured train approached the station, soldiers poured out and seized it. These troops remained there as reinforcements pressed forwards into the town. Despite the fact that one of the Nationalist artillery commanders came over soon afterwards under a previous arrangement, the fighting was bitter.

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