Kotovskii, Grigorii Ivanovich
Born June 12 (24), 1881, in the town of Gancheshty, now the city of Kotovsk, Moldavian SSR; died Aug. 6, 1925. Hero of the Civil War. Member of the CPSU from April 1920. Son of a plant mechanic.
Upon graduating from an agricultural school, Kotovskii worked as an assistant manager and manager of an estate. He was arrested in 1902 and 1903 for defending farmhands. In 1905 he was drafted into the army, but he fled and in November 1905 organized a detachment of insurgent Moldavian peasants. After frequent arrests and escapes, in 1907 he was sentenced to 12 years at hard labor; in 1910 he was sent to Nerchinsk, from which he escaped in 1913. Beginning in early 1915 he again headed an armed detachment of peasants in Bessarabia. In 1916 he was sentenced to death, which was commuted to a life sentence of forced labor. In May 1917 he was paroled and sent to the army on the Rumanian Front; he was a member of the regimental committee of the 136th Taganrog Infantry Regiment.
In November 1917 he joined the Left Socialist Revolutionaries; he was elected a member of the committee of the Sixth Army. He then worked in Kishinev in the front department of Rumcherod (Executive Committee of the soviets of Working People’s and Peasants’ Deputies of Soldiers and Sailors of the Rumanian Front, Black Sea Fleet, and Odessa Military District). From January to March 1918 he commanded the Tiraspol’ Detachment, and from July 1919 he was a brigade commander in the 45th Rifle Division. While in the group of I. E. lakir, he led a heroic drive from the Dnestr to Zhitomir. In November 1919, as a member of the 45th Division, he participated in the defense of Petrograd. Beginning in January 1920 he commanded a cavalry brigade in the south, in the Ukraine, and on the Soviet-Polish front. In December 1920 he was made chief of the 17th Cavalry Division. In 1921 he commanded cavalry units during the liquidation of the Makhno and Anotonov movements and the followers of Petliura. In September 1921 he became chief of the 9th Cavalry Division, and from October 1922 he was commander of the II Cavalry Corps. He was awarded three Orders of the Red Banner and an Honorary Revolutionary Weapon. He was buried in Birzul (now Kotovsk, Odessa Oblast).