Black Flag #2...

The Revolutionary Insurrectionary Army of Ukraine (known as The Black Army or Makhnovchina) was led by the legendary Anarchist Nestor Makhno (1888-1934). Active during the turbulent years 1918-1921, the army consisted largely of peasants and workers and numbered between 15,000 and 110,000.
Discipline was democratically imposed, commanders were elected and recallable and rules were approved by soldier committees.
Initially armed with equipment abandoned by the retreating German and Austro Hungarian armies, the Black Army won victories against German, Austrian and Ukrainian Nationalist forces and predominantly Czech units of the White Army.
In the areas that they liberated the Makhnovists abolished capitalism and the state, helping to organize village assemblies and councils. Land and factories were expropriated and put under peasant and worker control by means of self-governing committees.
Captured officers were summarily executed but the proletarian rank and file soldiers were at liberty to either return home or join the Makhnovchina.
An independent Ukraine, regardless of political colour, was not on the agenda of the Bolsheviks, who determined to crush both the Makhnovists and the Ukrainian nationalist movement.
In August 1921 the Red Army of the Southern Front, under the command of Mikhail Frunze, finally defeated Makhno, who spent the rest of his life in exile.
The message on these banners is (approximately)- death to landowners and enemies of the workers- Liberty or Death.


  1. Recommend any good books about Makhno Walker?

  2. Lot of his writings here: http://www.nestormakhno.info/english/index.htm
    Not sure about a book.
    There was a Russian TV serial about him-http://www.nestormakhno.info/english/index.htm-

  3. This one looks promising:http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1902593685/sr=8-1-catcorr/qid=1265215926/ref=olp_product_details?ie=UTF8&me=&qid=1265215926&sr=8-1-catcorr&seller=

  4. Cheers Walker, now to find a cheap copy of that last one on eBay (preferably 2nd hand though that may be hard as its new out).

  5. i'll look at the above-mentioned site when time permits, sounds like an "interesting period". my history studies finished at the outbreak of ww1 ( academically, not physically, i just look that old).

  6. Ok folks- in a couple of days I'll be posting a scan of My Visit To The Kremlin by Makhno (translated!)


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