Kiev Operation of 1920

Kiev Operation of 1920


an offensive operation by the Soviet Southwestern Front (commanded by A. I. Egorov and members of the Revolutionary Military Council J. V. Stalin and R. I. Berzin) against the Polish armies of the Ukrainian Front (commanded by General A. Listowski) between May 26 and June 16 during the Civil War of 1918–20.

On Apr. 25, 1920, the forces of bourgeois-landowner Poland began offensive operations in the Ukraine. On May 6 they took Kiev and reached the line of Belaia Tserkov’-Lipovets-Gaisin-Iampol’. There they were stopped by Soviet troops. The plan of the command of the Southwestern Front was to send deep strikes by the First Horse Cavalry Army and the Twelfth Army on converging axes to envelop and wipe out the enemy’s Kiev grouping—that is, the Polish Third and Second armies under the overall command of General E. Rydz-Śmigły—and then the Sixth Army of General W. Iwaszkiewicz.

The main strike was delivered by the First Horse Cavalry Army (commanded by S. M. Budennyi) on the Samgorodok-Kazatin-Zhitomir axis. The First Horse Cavalry Army broke through the enemy front on June 5, captured Berdichev and Zhitomir on June 7, reached the rear of the Polish Third Army, and broke the enemy grouping into two parts. On June 8 the Fastov Group (commanded by I. E. Iakir) and G. I. Kotovskii’s cavalry brigade, which was part of the Twelfth Army, occupied Belaia Tserkov’. On June 10 they took Fastov and Skvira. By this time other units of the Twelfth Army (commanded by S. A. Mezheninov), cooperating with the Dnieper Flotilla, had crossed the Dnieper and on June 11 cut off the Kiev-Korosten’ railroad line in the Borodianka and Irsha region. The main forces of the Polish Third Army were routed; during the fighting of June 12–14 part of its troops broke out toward Korosten’. On June 12, Soviet troops entered Kiev. On the left flank of the front the Fourteenth Army (commanded by I. P. Uborevich), attempting to ensure the overall success of the Kiev operation, attacked the enemy’s Sixth Army and on June 13 liberated Gaisin. The Kiev operation, in which the Polish interventionists suffered a major defeat, was the beginning of their being driven from Soviet soil.


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