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Video: What really was Nestor Makhno - one of the odious heroes of the Civil War
2023 Author: Richard Flannagan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-08-25 02:21
In the memory of the people, the life of a dashing chieftain Nestor Makhno, an iconic figure of the early 20th century, was embodied in a whole cycle of mystical legends, in which it is already very difficult to distinguish truth from fiction. Going down in history as a military leader during the Civil War, he was the banner of the anarchists and a symbol of the people's love for freedom. Fascinating details from the life of Nestor Ivanovich, who was deliberately demonized by the Soviet regime, and popular rumor raised him to the rank of a national hero further in the review.
Legendary pages of the life of the great chieftain
Since ancient times, the Zaporozhye land has been famous for its brave warriors and freedom fighters. A striking example is the extraordinary personality of Batka Makhno, a native of the Zaporozhye village of Gulyaypole, overgrown with myths, in which world-class politicians, historians, and adventure lovers have not lost interest.
Nestor Ivanovich Makhno, from birth Mikhnenko (1888-1934) went down in history as a politician, commander of the revolutionary 50-thousand insurgent Ukrainian army during the civil war, as well as the leader of the peasant movement of 1918-1921, an anarchist, a great strategist and tactician guerrilla warfare.
However, it should be noted that Nestor Ivanovich entered the official history of the country of the Soviet period as a negative character. Because the authorities could not allow the anarchist to become a national hero, who first of all preached complete freedom from state structures, officials and managers, and also fought for the idea of concentrating all power in the hands of the peasants themselves. And the Bolsheviks, being radical centrists, of course, could not allow such bold ideas to rage. Therefore, Makhno was branded as a bandit.
And so it all began …
Strange things around Nestor began to happen almost from his very birth. So, during the ceremony of his baptism in the ancestral village of Gulyaypole, a cassock flashed on the priest in the local church. Father immediately predicted: "This little child, it will pass through the earth with fire …" and added to himself, "he baptized a robber, which the world had never seen." So it happened later. And as a child, a boy could walk barefoot on burning coals, and when he grew up, they talked, with a glance at the offender, he could release fireballs that burned bloody ulcers on his body.
Nestor Makhno was the fifth son of a poor peasant family. Soon, the children were orphaned, left without a father. By the way, their further fate turned out to be unenviable. Nestor's older brothers all perished in critical years for the country. The eldest was killed in the First World War in 1915, the second brother was killed by the haidamaks of Hetman Skoropadsky, the third - the Whites, the fourth - the Reds.
Nestor himself graduated from the Gulyaypole two-year primary school. From an early age he had the opportunity to work in seasonal agricultural work for landowners and wealthy peasants. From 1903 he worked as an auxiliary worker in a paint shop, in a merchant's shop, and later at M. Kerner's iron foundry in Gulyaypole. He tried himself in the theatrical field, which was very useful to him in the future. Later, prisons became its universities, starting with Aleksandrovskaya and Yekaterinoslavskaya and ending with Moscow's "Butyrka".
In 1906, an 18-year-old young man fell under the influence of the "Peasant Group of Anarcho-Communists" (another name is the "Union of Free Farmers"), which operated in Gulyaypole. After becoming a member, he began to participate in terrorist acts and "expropriations" of the rich. For the first time, Nestor was arrested for illegal possession of weapons, the second - on charges of attempted murder of Gulyaypole guards, the third - for the murder of an official of the military administration. For this crime, the restless anarchist was sentenced to death by hanging. Nestor was saved by falsification, namely the falsification of the date of birth in the metric. (Born in 1888 was changed to 1889). The execution was replaced by life-long hard labor. Thus, our hero ended up in Butyrka prison in 1911.
It was there that he first crossed paths with representatives of the revolutionary camp: Socialist-Revolutionaries, Bolsheviks, anarchists. There he met with his friend and colleague Peter Arshinov, a famous anarchist. And there Nestor began to drink fiction and political literature.
Makhno was short, completely non-athletic, and besides, he was disabled: one lung was removed from him. In memory of the tsarist prisons, Nestor "got" incurable tuberculosis. Nevertheless, despite the lack of food, Makhno was in good physical shape. It was said that wounds healed on him like on a dog. And the bullets bypassed him.
For all his skills, the leader of the anarchists had outstanding artistic abilities. He could phenomenally change his appearance, depending on the circumstances: Eyewitness accounts of such "performances" served as a legend that the chieftain can
Many who knew the chieftain recalled that his gaze was sometimes terrifying. Looking sideways, he made even his closest companions tremble before him, who fearlessly cut off the heads of enemies in battles and who themselves barely remained alive, emerging from bloody battles and ambushes. It was also said that Nestor could, with his speeches, and he was an excellent speaker, introduce his fighters into such a state of euphoria, which resembled strong alcoholic intoxication, and draw out any secret from the prisoners. Of course, Makhno possessed a unique parapsychological gift of influencing the psyche of people. As evidenced by many eyewitness accounts.
It was believed that he possessed the mystical knowledge of the Cossacks, which undoubtedly fueled the great interest of both comrades-in-arms and enemies in his person. Nestor Makhno was credited with the ability to compact his biofield, using which the chieftain changed the trajectory of the bullets, preventing them from reaching the target. Bringing himself into a state of incredible emotional stress, he subconsciously forced his body to fight for survival, creating an invisible energy shield around him.
Often it happened to the ataman to take his soldiers out of the encirclement, sending pillow-cases over the eyes of the Red Army men. He did the same, crossing the border with his detachment under machine-gun fire. And how can we not draw an analogy with the legendary Zaporozhye Cossacks-kharacterniki, who possessed such incredible abilities.
Among the detachments of the Makhnovists, there was talk about the invulnerability of their leader. It was not for nothing that he never hid behind the backs of his fighters in battle, and always attacked in the forefront. During the years of the war, many horses were killed on the battlefields under it, while the chieftain himself remained alive.
However, the barrage of bullets was sometimes so incredible that after bloody battles the chieftain did not always manage to remain unharmed. During the years of the civil war, he was seriously wounded twelve times, and this, not counting minor scratches, abrasions and marks from stray bullets. By the way, until the end of the war, the entire body of the dashing commander was lined with many scars. However, after being wounded, Makhno, applying his secret knowledge, quickly recovered his strength, and after a day he was confidently in the saddle again.
And when, at the end of the summer of 1921, in one of his last battles, a bullet hit Nestor Ivanovich below the back of his head and left his right cheek, the Bolshevik press immediately, for the fifth time, hastily announced the death of the odious chieftain. But Frunze, taught by bitter experience, did not believe such luck, he ordered to carefully check the information received. And not in vain - Batko Makhno survived this time too.
By the way, Makhno fought during civil times both against the White Guards and against the Reds, defending his idea of anarchism and democracy. Finding himself in the spring of 1918 between two opposing forces - the Russian Bolsheviks - on the one hand and the Russian White Guards - on the other, the Ukrainian chieftain took the side of the former when German and Austrian troops entered Ukrainian soil. Makhno united with the Bolsheviks and fought against the interventionists until the fall of 1918.
Subsequently, three times he entered into an agreement with the Reds, who did not miss an opportunity to break the agreement and stab him in the back. At various times, detachments of the Red Army, supervised by Frunze, Parkhomenko, Budyonny, fought with the Makhnovists. Dzerzhinsky himself was preparing seven assassination attempts on the dashing chieftain. But, alas, the anarchist always came out dry, leaving the Chekists with a nose.
Possessing incredible magnetism, the chieftain also charmed women, although there were not so many of them in his life. Undoubtedly, the violent military activity affected. Nevertheless, the dashing chieftain was enough for his personal life. V next review you will be able to learn more about the combat friends, wives and mistresses of the chieftain, as well as about the last years of his life in Paris.
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