The death of the Kuban army

The death of the Kuban army

A. I. Denikin on the day of his resignation from the post of commander in chief of the Armed forces of the South of Russia


Smoot. 1920 year. The armed forces of southern Russia have fallen. The core of the white forces was evacuated by the sea to the Crimea. But throughout the Caucasus, the wreckage of the Denikin army and various autonomous and “green” formations were agonized.

The retreat of the Kuban


Troops that could not get to transports in Novorossiysk moved along the coastal road to Gelendzhik and Tuapse. However, at the very first clash with the "greens", who were stationed in Kabardinskaya, they did not dare to engage in battle, rallied, and fled. Some of them were able to pick up the ships and taken to the Crimea, others went into the mountains and themselves became "green" bandits or switched to the side of the Reds.

Parts of the Kuban army concentrated in the area of ​​Maykop and Belorechenskaya. She was pushed to the mountains. The Reds pursued the Kuban with small forces, apparently believing that the remnants of the Kuban army would disperse. Retreating, the Kuban troops continued to grow numerically. True, the combat power of the army did not increase. The 4th Don Corps joined the Kuban, cut off from its army in the Yekaterinodar region. Deserters and rear units poured in. In total, up to 30 thousand people gathered. Not counting refugees. Sea carts with property and cattle. All this mass was sent to Tuapse. Only in the vanguard and rearguard did we manage to arrange more or less combat-ready units. However, there was not even a general guide. The Kuban chieftain Bukretov, the government and the Rada announced a break with Denikin and complete independence. They were inclined to a truce with the Bolsheviks. Most of the commanders considered themselves to be part of the All-Union Socialist League and were against an agreement with the Reds. Most ordinary Cossacks simply fled without "politics."

As was usual at that time, there were many ideas. Most military commanders and officers wanted to get to the coast, embark on ships and evacuate to Crimea. The Kuban government hoped to sit out in a closed area of ​​the coast, block the passes and the coastal road, and restore order in the army. To conclude an alliance with Georgia and the Black Sea Republic. And then go on a counterattack, recapture the Kuban. Others dreamed of escaping to Georgia, hoping that they would be welcomed there hospitably.

The flow of many thousands moved on Tuapse. Towards the Kuban through mountain passes in the direction of Maykop was moving part of the Black Sea Red Army (about 3 thousand people). And at the village of Khadyzhenskaya, opponents unexpectedly met for each other. The Black Sea army, the former "green", did not leave their habits. Therefore, they walked along enemy territory. Which led to skirmishes with local Cossacks. And then the Kuban army appeared. It completely decomposed and almost completely lost its combat readiness. But the Black Sea army consisted of deserters, defectors and "green" rebels. Finding large masses of the enemy, she hastily retreated to the passes. From there, she was easily shot down. On March 20, 1920, the Black Sea Army fled to Tuapse, then north to Gelendzhik. Fearing that the Kuban would follow and crush, the "red-green" fled further north, towards Novorossiysk, to join the 9th Soviet army.

Kuban settled between Tuapse and Sochi. The situation was extremely difficult. There were no supplies of provisions and fodder for such a mass of people, horses and cattle. The main task was the search for food and fodder in coastal villages. Hopes for the help of the “green” Black Sea Republic did not materialize. The "green" democrats had even weaker forces, and could not help in the fight against the red ones. True, the Kuban and the Black Sea concluded an agreement. Kuban promised not to interfere in the internal life of the "republic", recognized the local "government", stopped the movement in Sochi. The Kuban people asked for help with food and pledged to protect the Black Sea Republic from the Red Army. However, it was not possible to improve the food situation. The narrow coastal strip at that time was very poor bread, it was imported. The grain sown by local peasants was barely enough for their own needs. Winter has just ended, respectively, and all stocks were running out. And the war stopped deliveries from the former white regions of southern Russia. From Crimea (also not rich in food) we did not manage to establish a supply.

The death of the army


March 31, 1920, the Soviet troops, pursuing the Kuban and lagging behind them, forced the passes and reached Tuapse. The Kuban people were not able to put their troops in order, to restore discipline. Kuban units left the city without a fight and fled south. The agreement with the Black Sea fell. Avant-garde commander General Agoev was ordered to occupy Sochi. The 60th mass of refugees did not care about the agreements concluded by the Kuban government with the Black Sea Republic. The functionaries of the Black Sea Republic, its militia and part of the population fled to the mountains, taking away the available goods and provisions.

By April 3, 1920, the entire coast down to Georgia was flooded with Kuban refugees. The Kuban government, Parliament and the chieftain are located in Sochi. Here the Kuban got a little respite. The fact was that the 34th Infantry Division of the 10th Soviet Army, which was pursuing the Kuban Army, was drained of blood as a result of a long march and typhoid epidemic, only about 3 thousand people remained in it. There were really many Kuban people. The Reds stopped in Tuapse and went on the defensive, putting a screen on the river. Chukhuk.

True, an almost month-long pause did not save the Kuban army. It was not possible to restore its combat effectiveness. Actually, they didn’t try. Political squabbles and disagreements continued. The leaders of the Black Sea Republic no longer desired any agreements. The Kuban government tried to conclude an alliance with the Georgians, but negotiations with Georgia remained inconclusive. The military command tried to establish contact with Wrangel (on April 4, Denikin handed over the post of Commander-in-Chief of the All-Union Socialist Liberation Union to Wrangel). The troops and refugees were busy seeking food. All coastal villages were completely devastated. Attempts to obtain provisions in the mountain villages ended unsuccessfully. Local peasants blocked mountain paths and trails with blockages and small militia units with machine guns. Cattle and horses were dying from a nonsense. Then came real hunger. People ate already dead animals, bark and slaughtered horses. The typhoid epidemic continued, and cholera was added to it.

In Crimea, they doubted: what to do with the Kuban and Donets remaining on the Caucasian coast? To Crimea, information reached about the complete decomposition of the Kuban, about skirmishes and throwings. Ataman and Rada announced a complete break with the volunteers. General Pisarev, who led the army, asked for export to the Crimea. However, the Headquarters and the Don command doubted the need for such a step. The High Command wanted to transfer only those who did not abandon weapon and ready to fight. Don commanders were even more cautious, and offered to refrain from evacuating the 4th Corps to the Crimea. Like, the Cossacks have completely decomposed and will only increase the turmoil on the peninsula. Don units already evacuated to Crimea created problems. On the other hand, the Don command has not yet discounted such an option - to return the Cossacks from Crimea to the Caucasus coast and, together with the Kubans, go on the offensive, freeing the Kuban and Don. And in case of failure of the offensive, retreat to Georgia.

In addition, the position of the Crimea in March and April 1920 was uncertain. The possibility of its long-term defense and supply was called into question. Many believed that the Bolsheviks were about to transfer forces from the North Caucasus and break through the defenses. Crimea is a "trap". Therefore, they will soon have to evacuate themselves. As a result, transports for the evacuation of the Don-Kuban buildings were not sent on time. In addition, as before, there was not enough coal for ships.

Meanwhile, the 34th Infantry Division in Tuapse was reinforced by the 50th Division. They were now part of the 9th Soviet Army. The size of the Soviet group was brought up to 9 thousand soldiers. On April 30, 1920, the Reds went on the offensive again in order to finish off the enemy. Kuban could not resist and fled. The government and the Rada again asked for help from Georgia, the command from the Crimea. The Georgian government refused to let the Kuban pass, for fear of provoking a war with Soviet Russia. Then Ataman Bukretov and General Morozov began negotiations with the Reds on surrender. The chieftain himself and members of the Kuban Rada fled to Georgia, and then to Constantinople. Most of the Kuban army laid down its arms and surrendered (about 25 thousand people). Part of the troops, led by General Pisarev (12 thousand people), rolled back from Sochi to Gagram and was put on ships sent by Wrangel. Subsequently, the Kuban Corps was formed from the exported Cossacks.

Then, in a few days, the “green” Black Sea Republic fell. Her leaders were arrested, some fled to Georgia. With the "green" rebels quickly sorted out. They were not allowed to lodge as under the government of Denikin. The families of the bandits who had gone to the mountains were exiled, their property was confiscated. The former chaos was a thing of the past. The new Soviet (Russian) statehood was approaching.


The commander of the group of troops of the Kuban army Pyotr Konstantinovich Pisarev

The death of the North Caucasus and Astrakhan groups


Terek Cossacks and the troops of the North Caucasus group of General Erdeli were cut off from the main forces of Denikin and retreated to Vladikavkaz. From there, white units and refugees (a total of about 12 thousand people) moved to Georgia on the Georgian Military Road. March 24, 1920 the Red Army occupied Vladikavkaz. In Georgia, the white units were disarmed and placed in camps in the Poti region, in a swampy, malarial area. Erdeli later departed for Crimea.

Following the whites, local autonomous "governments" fell. The White South was a buffer that covered various "governments" of the North and South Caucasus. As soon as the VSYUR fell, the illusoryness and nonviability of all Caucasian state formations immediately became apparent. During the movement of the 11th Soviet Army, the North Caucasus Emirate (on the territory of Dagestan and Chechnya) Uzun-Hadji fell. His 70th army fell apart. Part of the troops from the Communists and former Red Army led by Gikalo and the “left-wing Islamists” who joined them went over to the side of the Red Army. Others, immediately tired of the "holy war", fled home. The troops remaining loyal to the imam could not resist the Reds, they were pushed into the mountains. The seriously ill Uzun-Haji himself died on March 30, 1920, according to another version, he was killed by rivals or agents of the Bolsheviks. Soon came the turn of Georgia and Azerbaijan.

On the Caspian coast, the white detachment of General Dratsenko, who had previously fought in the Astrakhan direction, was retreating. The Astrakhan group was retreating under pressure from the 11th Soviet Army. Highlanders also intensified. The White Guards retreated to Petrovsk (Makhachkala), where the white Caspian was based flotilla, March 29, loaded onto ships and headed to Baku. Here, General Drazenko and Rear Fleet Commander Rear Admiral Sergeyev entered into an agreement with the Azerbaijani government: the whites were allowed into Georgia, and they surrendered all weapons to Azerbaijan. The military flotilla assumed the task of defending the Azerbaijani coast. However, the Azerbaijani authorities, as soon as Sergeyev left for Batum to get in touch with Stavka from there, and the ships began to enter the port, annulled the agreement. They demanded an unconditional surrender.

The Caspian flotilla refused to give up. Captain 1st Rank Bush led the ships to Persia, in Anzeli. The White Guards sought refuge from the British, who were located there. The British previously supported whites in the region. However, the British, whose government course had already changed, interned the White Guards.

Thus, the Armed Forces of the South of Russia fell. Their remnants in the North Caucasus were eliminated and captured. A small portion fled abroad. Part joined the Red Army. On the small Crimean peninsula, all that was left of the All-Union Union of South-Easterners gathered. Denikin brought the remnants of his forces into three corps: Crimean, Volunteer and Donskoy, Consolidated cavalry division and Consolidated Kuban brigade. The Crimean corps was still covering the isthmuses, the rest of the troops were located in the reserve for rest and recovery.
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  1. kjhg 20 March 2020 05: 28 New
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    I don’t understand why all these historical events are transmitted on behalf of the white movement, exposing the whites as ours? Served as if we should sympathize with them, empathize. Why is this done? It is clear that the supporters of the bourgeoisie in 1991 defeated the supporters of socialism, but why do they want to give me offspring of those who are now building alcohol centers and rob people for heroes? If we want a historical reconciliation of conditionally white, and conditionally red, then the presentation of historical events should be different, neutral. And on that, and on the other hand were OUR.
    1. Pessimist22 20 March 2020 05: 57 New
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      Yeah, the death, the defeat of the White-Bourgeois army by workers and peasants.
      1. kjhg 20 March 2020 06: 08 New
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        Quote: Pessimist22
        Yeah, the death, the defeat of the White-Bourgeois army by workers and peasants.

        Why bother? It is no secret that the Red Army mainly consisted of workers and peasants. But there were also former officers and soldiers of the army of the Russian Empire. Is that some news for you?
        Once again I ask my question. Why are the events of the civil war served with obvious sympathy for the bourgeois White Guard movement, which consisted of and supported those who had spread rot and scoffed at the vast majority of my people for hundreds of years, actually keeping them at the level of pets, livestock, for the sake of their well-being and pleasures, doing everything possible, so that, God forbid, they receive at least some human rights? Am I supposed to sympathize with them and hate my great-grandfathers, who had to conquer universal human rights with their arms in their hands for my grandfather, father and me??
        1. Alex_1973 20 March 2020 08: 24 New
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          So sympathizing with white is now in trend. Precisely for the way we now live and fought in their time whites. For the bourgeoisie, the kulaks and the opportunity to trade the Motherland, which we now fully see.
          So the whitening of whites and the blackening of reds is a trend of the modern powers that be. They are afraid that sooner or later, the people will remember that it is he who is the master of the Russian land, and not the Rotenbergs, Millers, Abramovichs, Chubais, Sechins and similar leeches. That’s how they please them, but they can, frankly speaking, badly, that in the economy, in politics, in agitation. Therefore, we have what we have. And while they are in power, they will continue to trade in Russia, because they simply can’t do anything else.
          1. ser56 4 June 2020 21: 05 New
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            Quote: Alex_1973
            the opportunity to trade the homeland,

            1) Are you talking about the Brest Peace? Or about the concessions of the 1920s? Or the sale of treasures of the Hermitage? Or about the independence of the Baltic states or Finland? Areas transferred to Turkey? About funds for the Comintern? hi
            2) the funny thing is that you are illiterate - the proletarians have no Fatherland ... request
        2. ser56 4 June 2020 20: 59 New
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          Quote: kjhg
          actually keeping them at the level of pets, livestock, for the sake of their well-being and pleasure

          Are you talking about the Bolsheviks? Very accurate request
          1. kjhg 4 June 2020 23: 21 New
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            Quote: ser56
            Quote: kjhg
            actually keeping them at the level of pets, livestock, for the sake of their well-being and pleasure

            Are you talking about the Bolsheviks? Very accurate request

            How good it is when the dogs of the regime so implicitly impersonate
            1. ser56 5 June 2020 13: 20 New
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              Quote: kjhg
              How good it is when the dogs of the regime so implicitly impersonate

              and it's all? something you are small ... bully all harbor hope to knock where necessary on occasion? You are sorry, the first to go under the rink .... request
    2. Paul Siebert 20 March 2020 07: 58 New
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      And on that, and on the other hand were OUR.

      Yes, Shooter! I support.
      And I consider it was the Civil War in Russia - the most tragic event of the twentieth century.
      Fifteen million dead. In a fight with each other ...
      The heart will not rest, will never accept it.
    3. Looking for 20 March 2020 16: 47 New
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      it's just that all these articles are written by pro-Western grant-eaters. And about the so-called "reconciliation" is a utopia .. nonsense.
    4. ser56 4 June 2020 21: 02 New
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      Quote: kjhg
      exposing whites - ours?

      Well, if your reds are your problem! Let me remind you that it was the Reds who plunged the country into the Civil War ... remember - "we will turn the imperialist into civilian"? Then they committed red terror at the level of state policy! Concluded the obscene Brest peace, etc. hi
  2. pivnik 20 March 2020 07: 39 New
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    as a teacher told us on the history of the CPSU in the institute, 40% of the military personnel were on the side of the white movement, 30% for the Reds - the others went back and forth and simply "stayed, fled ..." and since civil war is always a tragedy, but ours (red ) won ...
    1. bober1982 20 March 2020 07: 50 New
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      Quote: pivnik
      the rest back and forth and just "sat out, fled ...

      It was not possible to sit back, to escape all the more, their fate was decided. Respect for those who took one side - white or red.
      1. pivnik 20 March 2020 08: 01 New
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        Fate is fate, but the choice is always yours ... everyone made their choice ...
        1. ser56 5 June 2020 13: 21 New
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          Quote: pivnik
          . each made his choice ...

          this is when they called you, and the family is held hostage?
    2. Alex_1973 20 March 2020 08: 26 New
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      pivnik (pivnik)
      as a teacher told us on the history of the CPSU in the institute, 40% of the military personnel were on the side of the white movement, 30% for the Reds - the others went back and forth and simply "stayed, fled ..." and since civil war is always a tragedy, but ours (red ) won ...
      Your teacher was wrong, for the Reds there were a bit more of the former tsarist officer corps, from 45 to 50 percent.
      1. pivnik 20 March 2020 09: 09 New
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        I will not argue, but he wrote a dissertation on this topic, incl. I think it was more tasteful ... he himself was from a family of staff officers + had access to the archives ...
        this is the period of the USSR, when the participation of the tsarist officers in the Red Army was mostly hushed up ...
        1. Looking for 20 March 2020 16: 50 New
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          from the family of any professional officers, Soviet or tsarist.?
          1. pivnik 30 March 2020 13: 49 New
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            as far as I remember, his father served in military intelligence, his grandfather was also a military man, but I can’t say whether he was a tsarist or only a Soviet officer ...
      2. Sneaky Urus 24 March 2020 11: 14 New
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        but you can’t eat on the numbers, of course. But I can. wink
        According to the calculations of the Soviet historian Kavtvradze, the Reds served 30%, the White 40%, dodged 30% (Military specialists in the service of the Republic of Soviets 1917-1920). Apparently, a teacher on the history of the CPSU relied on Kavtvradze. According to Andrei Ganin, 130 thousand served in the White, about 30 thousand in the national armies, and about 100 thousand in the Reds.
        So, your 50% can be safely thrown into the furnace.
  3. Moskovit 20 March 2020 08: 13 New
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    What if this situation happens now? Who will OUR officer follow?
    1. bober1982 20 March 2020 08: 21 New
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      Will go for legitimate authority, the prestige of the Army and the officer corps is higher than ever.
      This is not 1991 - the spat army was, everyone was not up to the Union, then they looked at what was happening indifferently.
      1. Varyag_0711 20 March 2020 08: 32 New
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        And what kind of power is legal? Anti-people like now? Are you sure that the officers will stand up for her? I'm somehow not quite sure. Although, the current government has done a lot to cajole the security forces, there is no arguing. But now the same security officials have families, there are parents who receive a beggarly pension. Do they want to stand up for such power? Here, as they say, another grandmother said in two.
        1. bober1982 20 March 2020 08: 37 New
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          Quote: Varyag_0711
          Are you sure that the officers will stand up for her?

          Yes, absolutely sure.
          The Army will not follow any scoundrels, as it was in 1917. and 1991, when the army was corrupted and broken, why they managed to crush the Empire and the Soviet Union, now this will not work.
          1. Alexander Suvorov 20 March 2020 08: 44 New
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            bober1982 (vladimir)
            Now this will not work.
            Well, yes, well, yes, only here is a paradox, but Nicholas the Bloody and the bear-labeled thought the same way. But it turned out how it happened, so I wouldn’t have sworn in your place.
            1. bober1982 20 March 2020 09: 05 New
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              Alexander, no need to dream, fantasizing is a sinful occupation.
          2. fk7777777 20 March 2020 10: 15 New
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            The General Staff first betrayed, therefore, the collapse in the army. Stalin at the beginning of the Second World War, immediately the General Staff shook for a week or less, it was possible to decide further.
            1. 210ox 21 March 2020 10: 24 New
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              Lord .. Russian language you should learn ..
          3. 210ox 21 March 2020 10: 22 New
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            The army, in general, must defend the country. Here, most likely, the question of another system-Rosguard These will certainly fulfill any order of the oligarchic regime.
            1. Alexey RA 25 March 2020 13: 19 New
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              Quote: 210ox
              The army, in general, must defend the country. Here, most likely, the question of another system-Rosguard These will certainly fulfill any order of the oligarchic regime.

              In the same way as before, they carried out any orders of the communist government. For do not call them “Vovans”, they will always be “Vovans” —VV Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation, VV MVD of the USSR, VV NKVD of the USSR, etc.
    2. fk7777777 20 March 2020 10: 17 New
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      A solid homosexual in the army, and, well, homosexual heroes brought up by the authorities whom they will follow, probably for a party member.
    3. Looking for 20 March 2020 16: 51 New
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      for those who pay more. no matter how cynical it sounds.
  4. rocket757 20 March 2020 08: 22 New
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    You can’t argue against the rebellious PEOPLE.
    1. bober1982 20 March 2020 08: 24 New
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      Quote: rocket757
      You can’t argue against the rebellious PEOPLE.

      It’s cowardly, just that - they buy toilet paper, people shredded it (heroes - not us), what a rebellion.
      1. rocket757 20 March 2020 08: 35 New
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        What is this for? What is this for?
    2. Alexey RA 25 March 2020 13: 25 New
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      Quote: rocket757
      You can’t argue against the rebellious PEOPLE.

      That's just too many have arrogated to themselves the right to speak on behalf of the people and act, hiding behind his name.
      These also considered themselves rebellious people:
      1. rocket757 25 March 2020 13: 33 New
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        Quote: Alexey RA
        That's just too many have arrogated to themselves the right to speak on behalf of the people

        So it was, is and will be.
  5. fk7777777 20 March 2020 10: 11 New
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    I personally don’t give a damn about these cattle who destroyed our Motherland, I don’t have to write odes to smoked candomas, and in general for such a mischief to the Nazis (liberalism is fascism), it’s necessary to solder the deadlines. Especially to such state criminals as Denikin. At the first opportunity, he began to tear, and destroy the country, just to grab a piece of himself.
    1. Foul skeptic 20 March 2020 10: 18 New
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      You have such a confusion in your head. This view of things is partly a catalyst for revolutions and civil wars (any).
  6. Looking for 20 March 2020 16: 36 New
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    Once again, the truth is confirmed, it is important not who you are. But it is important for what you are fighting.
  7. Sergey Oreshin April 21 2020 15: 05 New
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    The article must be put bold minus. Stupidly copied Wikipedia, there are no links to any more or less decent sources. It seems that the author did not read any works on the battles in the North Caucasus in March-April of 1920 and stupidly copied from the Internet, without even checking the accuracy of the information provided.
    Some of the most noticeable bloopers.
    1. Major General Nikolai Apollonovich Morozov, the last commander of the Kuban Army, is not mentioned at all. Details of the last battles of the Kuban and their surrender are well laid out in F.I. Eliseeva - "The Last Fights in the Kuban. Capitulation of the Kuban Army." From Soviet authors - A.I. Kozlov, his monograph on the Civil War in the Black Sea province. But it seems that the author did not even leaf through them.
    2. The movement of "greens" in the Black Sea province is generally set out unclear how. At the same A.I. Kozlova is not badly shown the struggle of the Black Sea rebels against the whites, including their battles with the Kuban army in March-April of the 20th. For balancing - the memoirs of the commander of the Peasant Army of the Black Sea, captain N.V. Voronovich "Between two fires. Notes of green", the struggle of the "greens" against the whites and against the reds is described in great detail.
    3. It is generally not said that most of the Terek and Dagestan regions were cleared of Denikinists by the red partisans BEFORE the approach of the regular forces of the Red Army. In particular, in March the 20th partisans took Nalchik, Nazran, Grozny, Vladikavkaz, Derbent, Temir-Khan-Shur.
    4. Generally stubborn battles on the approaches to Port Petrovsk at the end of March 20th were not covered.
    5. Statements about “70 thousand troops at Uzun-Haji” will be left to the author’s conscience. It can be seen that the author did not read either Soviet or post-Soviet studies on the Uzun-Haji movement, and even more so did not work with sources. The maximum number of his troops never exceeded 5-10 thousand people, of which about a third were the red partisans N. Gikalo and H. Ortskhanov, who only nominally recognized the emir’s power and completely left his subordination in early March. In general, by the beginning of the 20th, Uzun, according to the White Guard intelligence, had no more than 2-3 thousand people and they were tightly locked in the mountains. The Reds, by the way, having occupied Grozny, tried to come to an agreement with him, promising to recognize him as the spiritual head of the Muslims of the North Caucasus in exchange for the renunciation of secular power. Uzun refused, but in the midst of negotiations died of typhus. Sheikh Dervish-Muhammad Inkhoevsky became his successor, but he was defeated and eventually fled to Dagestan. However, in the spring of the 20th, the reds control over Mountain Chechnya was very nominal