Bozhenko, Vasilii Nazarovich
Born 1871; died Aug. 21, 1919. Hero of the Civil War in the Ukraine. Member of the CPSU from 1917.
Bozhenko was born into a peasant family in the village of Berezhinka, Kherson Province. He was arrested in 1904 in Odessa, where he was working as a carpenter, for distributing leaflets of the RSDLP. Bozhenko was a sergeant major during the Russo-Japanese War. In 1907 he was sentenced to three years in prison for revolutionary activity. From 1915 to 1917 he worked in mechanical shops in Kiev. After the February revolution, Bozhenko became a member of the Kiev Soviet, and from October 1917 he was in command of a Red Guard detachment. He participated in battles against the troops of the Central Ukrainian Rada (a legislative body created by reactionaries) from January to March 1918, and also against the German interventionists. In 1918 he took part in organizing partisan detachments in the Ukraine and subsequently commanded the Tarashchansk regiment (later a brigade) of the First Soviet Ukrainian Division (which later became the 44th Infantry Division). Bozhenko distinguished himself in battles against the interventionists as well as against the Petliura forces. He died of illness and is buried in Zhitomir.