Tripole Campaign of 1919
Tripol’e Campaign of 1919
(also Tripol’e Tragedy), one of the heroic episodes in the struggle for Soviet power in the Ukraine during the Civil War of 1918–20.
In the spring of 1919, in the region south of Kiev along the right bank of the Dnieper River, many kulak and nationalist bands were active. A large band under the ataman (chieftain) Zelenyi (real name, Danilo Terpillo) seized the villages of Tripol’e and Obukhov as well as the surrounding area and posed a threat to Kiev. In late June 1919, the 1st Shuliavka Workers’ Detachment, the International Battalion, and the 2nd Guard Regiment, which included a detachment of approximately 100 Kievan Komsomol members, set out from Kiev in order to put an end to the band. The entire force numbered more than 1,500 men.
After persistent fighting, the Soviet troops drove the band from Obukhov and seized Tripol’e. The guard regiment suffered serious losses, however, and had to be returned to Kiev for reinforcements. Having a numerical advantage, the band surrounded Tripol’e and recaptured the village in early July. In spite of a heroic resistance, the Soviet troops were forced to retreat to the Dnieper. Only a few managed to swim across the river. The nationalists dealt brutally with the wounded and captive soldiers; the Communists and Komsomol members were treated especially cruelly.
On July 25, 1919, the band was defeated by the combined efforts of Soviet troops and the Dnieper Naval Flotilla.
In memory of the heroes of the Tripol’e Campaign, an obelisk, 24 meters tall, was built in 1938 on a bank of the Dnieper, on the site where the men perished; the monument was designed by I. la. Bialer and sculptured by E. I. Belostotskii, G. L. Pivova-rov, and E. M. Fridman. During the occupation of the Ukraine by the fascist Germans, the aggressors destroyed the monument. In 1956 a new obelisk was erected on the same site; also designed by Bialer, the red granite monument is 26 meters tall and features a five-pointed star encircled by a wreath.
REFERENCESTripol’skaia tragediia: Sb. Kherson, 1923.
V kol’tse frontov: Molodezh’ v gody grazhdanskoi voiny: Sb. dokumentov. [Moscow] 1963.
Istoriko-revoliutsionnyepamiatniki SSSR. Moscow, 1972.
Panipud’las’ka, V. F. “Trypil’s’kyi pokhid v Chervni-Lypni 1919 r.” Ukrains’kyi istorichnyi zhurnal, 1964, no. 3.
Istoriia Lenins’koi Komunistychnoi Spilky Molodi Ukrainy, 2nd ed. Kiev, 1971.
A. N. SEREDA