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Free Cossacks

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Title: Free Cossacks  
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Subject: Battle of Kruty, Ukrainian–Soviet War, Red Cossacks, Counter-insurgency, Military history of Ukraine
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Free Cossacks

Free Cossacks
1st Congress of Free Cossacks (Chyhyryn, October 1917)
Active 1917 - 1918
Country Ukraine
Allegiance Ukraine
Branch Free Cossacks
Type Corps, territorial army
Role infantry, law enforcement
Size ~3,000 (18 May 1917)
60,000 (at the 1st Congress of Free Cossacks)
Semen Hryzlo
Part of a series on
Cossack hosts
Other groups
Cossack terms
Nykodym Smoktiy (left) and Semen Hryzlo (right)

Free Cossacks (National Guard of Ukraine or the Internal Troops of Ukraine.

The primary purpose of those militia formations was to provide security and civil order for the local population. The consolidation process of various smaller units started sometime in April near the town of Zvenyhorodka, Kiev Governorate during the local assembly of the Free Cossacks which created the Zvenyhorodka Kosh (battalion). The assembly elected Semen Hryzlo the Kosh Otaman, who became the otaman of Kalnyboloto Kurin (company). Under this title, he was delegated to the 2nd All-Ukrainian Military Congress in Kiev in June 1917.

Hryzlo was also one of the organizers of the 1st All-Ukrainian Congress of the Free Cossacks that took place on October 3, 1917 in the former Cossack capital of Chyhyryn. The congress elected the Hetman of All Ukraine, who became General Pavlo Skoropadskyi. Hryzlo was elected as the General Yesaul.

The Free Cossacks units distinguished themselves during the Ukrainian-Soviet War (particularly from December 1917 to April 1918) and were disbanded around May and June 1918. In January-April of 1918 the Ukrainian government tried to create the Free Registered Cossack Troops for county security, but after the April coup-d'etat led by Pavlo Skoropadsky all Free Cossacks formations were officially dissolved.

Further reading

  • Kozub, I. An age and a destiny: memoirs. Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, TAKSON Publishing House. Kyiv-Toronto-Edmonton, 1996. ISBN 1895571170

External links

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