Tuesday, December 08, 2009

A Monument a Day #6 - Ukrainian Civil War Dead (1919)

Ukrainian Civil War Dead
The bodies of 19 people in charge of food procurement for the Soviet Army were buried here in 1919.

This monument and burial site is somewhat obscure, but very interesting. It is located in Glory Park, but stands alone among some trees. The plaque doesn't give much detail as to what happened to these 19 people so I turned to a university historian, our friend Kolya, for information. The war from 1917 to 1921 is referred to as the Ukrainian Civil War, the Ukrainian War for Independence, and also as the Russian Civil War.

In 1917 during the First World War, the Russian Bolsheviks revolted against the Russian Tsar effectively creating what would be known as the Soviet Union. Ukraine saw this as an opportunity to break away from Imperialist Russia and declared their independence. This began a complicated series of events and struggles for power. To make a long story short, Ukraine was ultimately absorbed into the Soviet Union. You can read about the war in more detail by clicking HERE.

So as I understand it, the 19 people buried at this site were in charge of procuring food for the Red Army soldiers who were fighting against an independent Ukraine to bring Ukraine under control of the Soviet Union. These food procurement people weren't exactly going out and buying food from local vendors, but taking what they needed from the Ukrainian population. I can't imagine that these people were very popular. I don't think it's surprising that they ended up in a mass grave.

This memorial grave marker is located at: 49°48'8.36"N 30° 7'5.83"E

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