Sidor Kovpak

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Kovpak, Sidor Artem’evich


Born May 13 (25), 1887, in the village of Kotel’va, now in Poltava Oblast; died Dec. 11, 1967, in Kiev. Soviet statesman and public figure; one of the organizers of the partisan movement; twice Hero of the Soviet Union (May 18, 1942, and Jan. 4, 1944); major general (1943). Member of the CPSU from 1919. Son of a poor peasant.

Kovpak took part in the Civil War of 1918–20; he fought the German invaders in the Ukraine as head of a partisan detachment, together with A. la. Parkhomenko’s detachments; he also fought Denikin’s troops. He participated in battles on the Eastern Front as part of Chapaev’s 25th Division and on the Southern Front against the troops of Wrangel. Kovpak was military commissar in a number of cities in Ekaterinoslav Province from 1921 to 1926 and the chairman of the Putivl’ city executive committee of Sumy Oblast from 1937 to 1941.

During the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45, Kovpak was the commander of a Putivl’ partisan detachment, then of the large partisan unit of Sumy Oblast, and a member of the underground Central Committee of the Communist Party (Bolshevik) of the Ukraine. In 1941–42, Kovpak’s unit carried out raids in the rear of the enemy in Sumy, Kursk, Orel, and Briansk oblasts; in 1942–43, they carried out a raid from the Briansk forests to the Right-bank Ukraine through Gomel’, Pinsk, Volyn’, Rovno, Zhitomir, and Kiev oblasts; and in 1943 they raided the Carpathians. Kovpak’s Sumy partisan unit covered a distance of more than 10,000 km in fighting at the rear of the fascist German troops and crushed enemy garrisons in 39 populated areas. Kovpak’s raids played an important role in the development of the partisan movement against the fascist German occupying forces. The Sumy unit was renamed the Kovpak 1st Ukrainian Partisan Division in January 1944. Kovpak became deputy chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Ukrainian SSR in 1947 and a member of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Ukrainian SSR in April 1967. He was a deputy to the Supreme Soviet of the USSR at the second through seventh convocations. Kovpak was awarded four Orders of Lenin, the Order of the Red Banner, the Order of Suvorov First class, the Order of Bogdan Khmel’nitskii First class, orders from the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic and the Polish People’s Republic, and various medals.


Iz dnevnika partizanskikh pokhodov. Moscow, 1964.


“S. A. Kovpak: Dvichi heroi Radians’koho Soiuzu.” In Heroi partyzans’koi borot’by na Ukraini, book 1. Kiev, 1948.
Starozhilov, M. V. Partyzans’kez’ednannia S. A. Kovpaka. L’vov, 1966.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.