Red terror and the liquidation of the Kiev club of Russian nationalists (the spring and summer of 1919): Facts and versions

T. V. Kalchenko, A. A. Chemakin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

The Kiev Club of Russian Nationalists (KCRN) was the leading conservative organisation in the South-Western region of the Russian Empire. The shooting of the current and former members of the Club by the Kiev Cheka in the spring and summer of 1919 is a well-known episode of the Civil War. However, unfortunately, it has not been studied thoroughly enough yet. It all usually comes to V.V. Shulgin's report, which states that the Kiev Cheka obtained the 1911 list of the Club members and shot everyone who had not been able to escape immediately. This provoked the talks that the Jews from Cheka shot Russians in the alphabetical order, with Trotsky considered the main person responsible for the bloodbath. While reading memoirs and materials from The State Archive of the Russian Federation and The Central State Archive of Public Organisations of Ukraine, the authors managed to recreate the course of events and study carefully the records of interrogation. It has been revealed that Trotsky was not involved directly in what happened and the shootings was based not on the Club member list for 1911, but on that for 1913. Though the Jews and the Ukrainian Left Socialists-Revolutionaries played an important role in the Cheka, there are no direct proofs that the KCRN was liquidated due to the "national" reasons. The main reasons for the repressions against the Club of Russian Nationalists was that the Bolsheviks considered it a "bourgeois", "imperialist" and "counter-revolutionary organisation", so the KCRN could hardly avoid its fate. However, some chekists might have been driven by "national" revenge feelings as much as by Bolshevism ideology and desire to rob the prisoners.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)198-218
Number of pages21
JournalRusin
Volume51
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2018

Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Anthropology
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory

Keywords

  • A.I. Savenko
  • Cheka
  • Kiev club of Russian Nationalists
  • L.D. Trotsky
  • N.V. Krainsky
  • Red Terror
  • Russian Civil War
  • V.V. Shulgin
  • Yu.A. Yavorsky

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