The history of the struggle of Ukrainians for their independence is full of tragic and heroic pages. And on January 29, we will remember one of them. Namely, the day of memory of the Heroes of Krut. People who, in a heroic confrontation with the enemy's forces, which many times outnumbered them, were able to resist and give only the recently created state of the Ukrainian People's Republic the necessary time to organize a decent defense. And Guide Online will now tell you about these events in more detail.
History of the Heroes of Krut Memorial Day
So, 1917. The Russian Empire has already collapsed, it was replaced by the "Soviet government", which hastily tried to collect the territories that have already separated and are separating. And she most actively took up, of course, Ukraine. Then - the Ukrainian People's Republic, the Ukrainian People's Republic, which was initially going to be an autonomous unit within what Russia was supposed to turn into. But no, no autonomy. And on December 21, war was declared, the reason for which was found very quickly.
Initially, a puppet state of the USSR with the capital in Kharkiv was created on the territory of eastern Ukraine. Completely under the control of the USSR, of course. And this state, as part of the struggle for the reunification of Ukraine, declared war on the Ukrainian People's Republic. And the Bolsheviks, of course, came to the aid of their allies. He said, this is not a war of aggression, but a civil war. And here we help the reunification of nations and fight against nationalists. DOESN'T REMEMBER ANYTHING?
The problem was that the UNR had an army, but it was scattered over a large area, and there were no allies or recognition from other states. As there was no time to get them. And the Bolsheviks, on the contrary, had all this in place, as well as effective offensive tactics - a large number of manpower, along the railways, with the active involvement of local collaborators. Again, nothing reminiscent?
UNR understood all this very well, so they tried to strengthen the most vulnerable point in advance - a railway junction near the city of Bakhmach, Chernihiv region. However, it had to be strengthened by yesterday's high school students and volunteer students from St. Volodymyr University (now named after Shevchenko). And the Kruty station was chosen as the place of the decisive clash.
Battle near Kruty
So that you understand. When the battle near Kruty took place, the ranks of the UNR army numbered from 300 to 600 people. As already mentioned, mostly yesterday's students and high school students, i.e. people without special military experience. They were opposed by battle-tested Red Guards and Baltic sailors totaling up to 7,000 people.
The battle lasted several hours. Despite the superiority in numbers, the Bolsheviks neither managed to break through the defense of the UNR fighters, nor even to surround their positions. Having lost about 300 people killed and an unknown number captured and wounded, they retreated. On the Ukrainian side, there were also losses, but much smaller - about 70-100 people.
Realizing that the fighters could not withstand a second attack, the UNR command ordered to retreat, destroying the bridge and railway tracks behind them. This was supposed to finally slow down the enemy's offensive. However, a detachment of 30 people under the command of centurion Omelchenko got lost in the dark and went to Krut, where the Bolsheviks had already managed to enter.
And since the Russians did not observe the rules and customs of war even in those distant years, 30 captured UNR fighters were shot. In addition, local residents were even forbidden to bury their bodies.
The offensive was stopped, the Ukrainian People's Republic had an opportunity to gather dispersed forces and receive first recognition from European states, and then military aid. And in 1918, the Russians were forced to sign the Berestey Peace. That did not prevent them from attacking again in 1919, getting repulsed again, retreating again and only then, taking advantage of the conflict of the Ukrainian People's Republic with Poland and the army of the White Guard General Denikin, finally capturing the entire territory of Ukraine.
However, without the feat of the soldiers who stopped the enemy offensive near Kruty, even this would not have been possible. Therefore, on March 19, 1918, the remains of the fallen defenders were ceremoniously buried at the Askold Grave. It is this event that should be considered the starting point for the day of memory of the Heroes of Krut.
And then came the times of the USSR, when everything that reminded even a little that Ukrainians are a free and independent people was silenced and distorted. The same was the case with the battle near Kruty. But the truth cannot be hidden, no matter how much the oppressors want it. And after the natural collapse of the USSR, the memories of the participants of those events and other important documents began to surface actively.
And since 2003, the Day of Remembrance of Heroes of Krut began to be celebrated at the state level on January 29. Although he received full official recognition only on May 16, 2013. Since then, it has been celebrated annually. Most often - with thematic open lectures, exhibitions, museum expositions and a visit to the memorial to the Day of Remembrance of the Heroes of Krut, which was opened in 2006 right next to the place of those events.
The day of memory of the Heroes of Krut has two important meanings. The first is the direct commemoration of the feat of our ancestors, because the struggle of Ukrainians for their independence continues. And let the memory of how 300 people were able to stop the advance of the enemy army inspire the modern defenders of Ukraine to do the same remarkable deeds.
And the second is a reminder to ordinary citizens that Ukraine has been actively trying to throw off the yoke imposed on it by its eastern neighbor for almost its entire history. After all, the best way to resist propaganda is to know what actually happened and is happening.