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News

A Raven Cry was Heard over the Don

24.01.2019

The 24 of January, 1919, is a black date in the history of the Cossacks. Today it is the 100th anniversary of publication of the Directive of the Organizing Bureau of the Workers’ Communist Party Central Committee about decossackization. The world history does not remember similar ferocious “initiatives” adopted on a state level.

Every year Cossacks of all the 11 Cossack troops of Russia mark this date as the beginning of real genocide of their ancestors. The losses were simply irreparable.

All the events that took place in the Upper Don region were well described in the epic novel “And Quiet Flows the Don” by M.A.Sholokhov.

It was 1919. A gathering. At the gathering Shtockman said to the Cossacks:”…Among you there are all sorts of rumors, ridiculous rumors about all-round executions…

–You say, there are no executions? Then, where did you take the seven to? – a cry went from the back rows”.

According to the novel, that gathering took place on March 4, 1919, that is, the secret Directive had already been signed and performed for more than a month. The unaware villagers “were holding mass meetings” while the “circular” items had come into force: “To execute mass terror against the rich Cossacks…”, “To confiscate bread…”, “To carry out a complete disarmament shooting everyone possessing weapon after disarmament deadline”.

Those and other points went as if in development of the main postulate indicated in the introductory part of the document: “The Soviet Power… recognizes as the only true the most merciless war against all the Cossack leaders through their total extermination”.

The Directive was to be executed through the authorities of the army political departments “with maximum hardness”, “steadily”, as any compromises, any halfness is unacceptable”.

As F.K.Mironov, the Red Army division commander, a Cossack of Stanitsa Ust-Medveditskaya, said, “the Don got numb with horror”. Such rejection of a different way of life by the central authorities could lead to nothing but great blood. Mironov, a would-be commander of the 2nd horse army, addressed directly to the leaders of the revolution: “The Soviet Power agents…instead of words of love brought to the Don… revenge, fires and devastation. How to justify this outraged behavior of the villains in Stanitsa Vyoshenskaya… It was this behavior that caused the overall uprising in the Don region…”

But no one wanted to listen to him.

A hundred years have passed, but Cossacks remember how the black raven, a symbol of the merciless war, circled over the Don…

 

Alexey Kochetov