White Cossacks in the Balkans.
The White Cossacks in the Balkans are servicemen of the Cossack troops and members of their families who, during the Civil War in Russia and after it, were stationed in the countries of the Balkan Peninsula.
Emigration and resettlement in the Balkans.
The situation before the mass resettlement.
The evacuation of whites from the Crimea was the last and most mass exodus of the population from the South of Russia. She completed the almost two-year organized process of emigration from Russia of a significant number of people. During the three large waves of resettlement, a Russian group of emigrants in the Balkans formed, a significant part of which was the Cossacks. This process began in April 1919 after the defeat and retreat of the French intervention forces, which, together with the anti-Bolshevik Russian armies, fought against the Bolsheviks during the Civil War. The second wave of emigrants appeared in the Balkans less than a year later, during January-March 1920, after the defeat of the Armed Forces of the South of Russia under the command of AI Denikin. The third wave of migration followed the defeat of the Russian army by Baron PN Wrangel and the evacuation of the Crimean ports in November 1920. All other movements of refugees in the Balkans were only internal migrations. However, even after that time, small groups of Russian emigrants found themselves in the Balkan countries, but can no longer be attributed to organized mass waves.
It should be noted that even before the spring of 1919, citizens of Russia lived on the territory of the Balkan Peninsula. They include:
Servicemen of the Russian Imperial Army. Among them there were many Cossacks. Former diplomats of the Russian Empire. It was on their shoulders that the burden of protecting the interests of refugees before the governments of the Balkan countries lay. Russian soldiers who fought on the Salonika and Romanian fronts. Individual refugees who left Russia after the events of October 1917.
The exact number of representatives of all four groups is unknown. Most of them after the Civil War returned to their homeland, part of them moved to other European countries. In 1918, there were about 4000-5000 people on the territory of the Kingdom of the SSC. However, later, only a small part of them remained in the kingdom, so there is no need to talk about the formation of a full-fledged Russian diaspora in this country. There were several reasons for this. Firstly, many former prisoners of war returned to Russia after the end of the First World War. Secondly, after the revolution and the Civil War, those who decided to emigrate from Russia preferred to settle in the more stable, rich and economically developed countries of Europe and the United States. Formed in December 1918, the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes did not have a high standard of living, and emigrants left it in search of a better life in Western Europe and North America.
The first wave of immigrants.
Mass resettlement from Russia began even before the evacuation of Wrangel's army. The first large group of refugees, numbering from 15 to 20 thousand people, left Russia during the evacuation of Odessa in April 1919. The reason for this was the failure of the French intervention in the south, which began on December 19, 1918 . Civil and military persons who did not want to stay in Odessa, the French command evacuated in three directions: to Novorossiysk to Denikin, to the port of Konstanz (Romania) and to Constantinople. Several thousand people arrived in Constantinople. Part of those sent to the Balkans in the autumn of 1919 moved to the Kingdom of SXC and Bulgaria (1600 and 1000 people respectively). According to the Serbian researcher Miroslav Jovanovic, this group of immigrants was characterized by a high migration movement. In the early 1920s only a few hundred of them remained in the Balkans .
The second wave of immigrants.
February 7, 1920 began the evacuation of the volunteer army Denikin. Its units were evacuated both from Novorossiysk and from other cities, including Odessa. In January 1920, the governments of the Kingdom of SSC and Bulgaria agreed to host refugees from the south of Russia. On January 24, the Belgrade government decided to accept 8,000 refugees. On 9 February, a similar decision was taken by the Bulgarian authorities. The Kingdom of the SCC established a special State Committee, and in Bulgaria a Russian-Bulgarian cultural-charitable committee was created, headed by Metropolitan Stephen.
The transfer of people began immediately after the adoption of political decisions. In January, 25,000 people were evacuated to Bulgaria via the port of Varna, including the students of the Don Cadet Corps. The first groups from this resettlement wave appeared in Yugoslavia at the end of January. They were transferred across the Greek port of Thessaloniki, and then by trains through the Gevgeli.
Also, refugees were sent to Constantinople and to the islands of the Mediterranean - Lemnos, Cyprus, Princes Islands. A group of 6,000 refugees was deployed in the British military camps in Egypt.
The next stage in the rescue of Denikin's army was the evacuation of Novorossiysk on March 26-27, 1920. As in the previous two months, refugees were evacuated in the same directions: to Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Constantinople, some people were placed on the islands of the Mediterranean and in Egypt. At the same time, most of the troops were sent to the Crimea to replenish Wrangel's forces. From this wave until the summer of 1920, from 7,000 to 8,000 people crossed into Yugoslavia.
Evacuation of the Crimea.
The next and in many respects the final wave of resettlement was the evacuation of Wrangel's army from the Crimea. In November 1920, 126 ships concentrated on the Bosporus, on which there were about 100,000 military officers and 50,000 civilians, including 20,000 women and 7,000 children. More than 6 thousand wounded were evacuated from the Crimea.
According to the agreement of the Commander-in-Chief with the High Commissioner of France in the South of Russia, Count de Martel, all persons evacuated from the Crimea came under the protection of the French Republic. In return, the French government pledged Russian tonnage. Of the evacuated about sixty thousand were the ranks of the Russian army, which were identified in special camps with the preservation of the military organization and with the abandonment and preservation of part of the weapons.
On arriving in Constantinople, Baron Wrangel set himself the following tasks: to provide all the people who left the Crimea with blood and food, to provide them with medical assistance, to preserve the combat capability of the Russian army and, in the future, to transfer it to friendly Slavic countries.
The main military contingent was identified in four camps: in Gallipoli under the command of the general from Infantry Kutepov, in Chatalji under the command of Lieutenant-General Abramov, on the island of Lemnos under the command of Lieutenant-General Fostikov and in Bezert under the command of Vice Admiral Kedrov, where the Russian a squadron and a naval cadet corps.
White Cossacks in Yugoslavia.
The number of Cossacks in the Kingdom of the SSC is estimated at about 5,000, of which about 3,500 were from the Kuban .
In May 1921, the crossing of the Cossacks from Gallipoli to Bulgaria and Serbia began. In the first echelon, through Thessaloniki and the Serbian frontier post of Gevgeli, on July 1, 1921, sappers of the Don and Kuban corps arrived (together with the regiment of the First Army Corps, only 4,000 fighters). They were ranked among the staff of the Ministry of Construction and directed to the construction of strategic roads: Vranje-Boselegrad (later this road became known as the "Russian way"); Gostivar-Debar, Kosovska-Mitrovica-Rashka, Shtip-Kochane. Since 1926, the Cossack echelon has received work in the mines of pyrite in the vicinity of the city of Donji Milanovac, at the Klenovik mine near the town of Pozharevac, then worked on the construction sites of the railways of Kraljevo-Raska and Mala-Krsna Topchider. The Don Cossacks built railways in Bihac, Bosanska-Krupa, and later, along with the Kuban railways, the Ormod-Lutomer-Ptuj railway (in Slovenia).
In the second transport on July 9, 1921 the main parts of the Kuban Cossack Division arrived, the General Staff and the Guards Division, general. Wrangel (consisted of 80 Guardsmen - Don Cossacks and one squadron of Kuban and Terek). The Zaporozhye Cossack squadron at the 3rd regiment of the Kuban division laid the Nis-Knyazhevats railway, the squads of the Kuban guardsmen collected trophies on the ranges of the First World War battles near the town of Bitol and served for a time as part of the country's border troops. After the completion of the construction of the railway in Slovenia, the Guards Division of the Kuban (about 250 Cossacks) in 1924 moved to a permanent residence in the northern regions of the country in the cities of the Baranja and Slavonia regions. In the new place, the settlers joined the baron Victor Gutman at the sugar factory of the Branino-Brdo manor near the town of Beli Manastir, to logging in Belishche and to the famous state estate "Lingerie".
On December 8, 1921, the Nikolayev Cavalry School, part of the Technical Regiment, which had been reorganized into a battalion, and a mobile Red Cross detachment left Serbia to go to Serbia via Thessaloniki. And on December 15, the last echelon was loaded aboard the Ak-Deniz steamboat, with which the corps commander and staff went to Bulgaria. In Gallipoli, awaiting the dispatch to Serbia and Hungary, there remained part of the Technical Battalion and the Officer-Training Cavalry Regiment consolidated into the "Order of the Russian Army in Gallipoli" under the command of Major-General ZA Martynov.
The period of the Russian Army's stay in Gallipoli ended on May 6, 1923, the departure of the "last Gallipoli" from the detachment of General Martynov to Serbia, where they became road workers in the city of Kraljevo.
In 1921, Cossacks in the Kingdom of the SSC began to create associations (associations), which received the name of villages and farms. In them the Cossack population living in one or in nearby settlements was united. In the new villages, it was easier for the Cossacks to preserve culture and traditions together; relying on mutual assistance, having their employment bureaus, the Cossacks solved material problems faster. Common forces defended their interests. Older societies took care of the sick, the elderly and children. In each village there were schools, courses, craft workshops. The Cossacks studied together, celebrated together religious and military holidays.
As a rule, the Cossacks kept together: for example, in Vojvodina there were about 30 settlements - villages, farms, kurens. In neighboring regions the Cossacks carried border service, but mainly engaged in handicrafts, agriculture, horse breeding, often arranged competitions and dzhigitovki. In Yugoslavia, books on the history of the Cossacks were published, and Cossack newspapers were published.
In the fall of 1921, the former Don Ataman General P.N. Krasnov turned to Cossacks-refugees with the call to organize villages and farms with names corresponding to the place of residence. The Cossacks reacted quite vividly to this proposal, feeling that the revival of their usual administrative organization would facilitate the struggle for existence. Don Ataman General A.P. Bogayevsky, seeing in Krasnov his rival, at first did not support this idea. But, seeing that the Cossacks, first of all in the Kingdom of the SSC, began amicably renaming their colonies to the villages and villages, and also to choose the hamlet and stanitsa atamans, in December 1921 he gave this legal basis to his order. In order to strengthen his position as the "first among equals" army atamans, he allowed to take in the Don farms and villages of the Kuban, Tertz and Astrakhans.
The headquarters of the Russian Army, General PN. Wrangel and the command of the Cossack units made great efforts to organize military cells in the villages and villages, so that the Cossacks would not lose contact with the units.
Since, however, the Cossacks continued to move actively from place to place in search of earnings, the dispersion of the Cossack units, unlike the regular ones, went on increasing. In this situation, Bogaevsky prioritized the organization of strict accounting for the Cossacks by the stanitsa atamans. Thus, he tried to keep in his subordination at least a semblance of a military force consisting of Cossacks who left their units but united in purely Cossack organizations.
A few hundred Kalmyks from the Don steppes also arrived with the Cossacks to the Kingdom of the SSC. They were sent to mines in the city of Sen, where they built the road, later the majority moved to Mali-Mokri-Lug (the then suburb of Belgrade), other groups left for the Banat village Tsrepaya and for the town of Parachin, where they went to the cloth factory. The chairman of the Kalmyk colony in Serbia was Colonel Abush Alexeyev (1883-1948). In 1929, this ethnic community built its own Buddhist temple, the only one in Europe, and in emigration retained its monolith. In 1942, almost all the Belgrade Kalmyks moved to the Banat village of Debelyach, and from there, in September 1944, they were evacuated by rail to the west.
The 1920s are characterized by the migrations of Russian refugees from the Kingdom of SXC into the industrialized countries of Europe, primarily to France and Belgium. The most numerous and famous migration of Cossacks followed in May 1929 in Peru. Several hundred Cossacks, mostly Kuban, left under the leadership of Major-General Ivan Diomidovich Pavlichenko. From Novi Sad he took his group of Cossack Dzhigits, together with a brass band and dancers .
White Cossacks in other countries.
The Don government in exile on September 10-11, 1922 in Sofia, held a meeting of the stanitsa atamans, with the aim of developing measures to prevent the return of the Cossacks to their homeland. Among other things, the meeting decided to open a canteens network for the Cossacks. Arriving from Paris for the congress, the Don writer Kharlamov was invited to edit the newspaper "Cossack dumas".
In Bulgaria, by the end of the 1920s, there were no more than 10 stanitsas. One of the most numerous was Kaledinskaya in Anhialo (ataman - Colonel MI Karavaev), formed in 1921, where 130 people lived. Ten years later, only 20 people remained in it, and 30 left for Soviet Russia. Another example of the decrease in the number of Cossacks in the country can serve as the Burgas Cossack village, formed in 1922. If at the time of formation about 200 people lived in it, by the end of the 1920s it also numbered no more than 20 people, and half of the original members returned home.
The social life of Cossack villages and hamlets in Bulgaria consisted of helping the needy and disabled, as well as in carrying out military and traditional Cossack festivals.
Among the Cossacks in Bulgaria, cultural life was also greatly developed. The Sophia general cossack village consisted, in turn, of the hamlets: student, disabled, Don, Terek and Kuban, numbering about 180 Cossacks in its ranks. The cultural and educational life of the village was one of the priorities. The Cossacks of the Sophia village regularly organized lectures, meetings, meetings, concerts. They passed in libraries specially designed for this purpose-reading rooms. Those interested could get interested in their literature. In Bulgaria, several Kuban schools and colleges, in which the children of Cossacks and emigrants from Russia were trained, also restored their work. Later, in connection with the requirements of the Bulgarian side for the unification of educational programs, they were transformed into agricultural schools. In Bulgaria, in view of the absence of government subsidies from Serbia and taking into account the large number of children of school age, the army units at their own expense maintained a gymnasium for 150 children (mostly orphans) and a boarding school for 60 children in Varna.
In Greece, the Piraeus village was established by the Cossacks. They did not consolidate in a certain place, and learning the language, crafts and organizing their own business, many Cossacks dispersed throughout the country . Those who remained in Piraeus united under the leadership of M.A. Golubova in the Cossack group, which by the end of the 1920s began to increase, but could not take shape in the village. Many Cossacks, first of all officers, were able to find work in demanded and qualified specialties: engineers, mechanics, draftsmen, surveyors, doctors. Ordinary Cossacks engaged mainly in trade, and also served as instructors in riding in the Greek army .
^ Jovanovic M. Russian emigration in the Balkans: 1920-1940. - Moscow: Library-Fund "Russian Abroad"; Russian way. - 2005, from 86 ^ Jovanovic M. Russian emigration in the Balkans: 1920-1940. - Moscow: Library-Fund "Russian Abroad"; Russian way. - 2005, from 87 ^ Davatz V. Kh., Lvov NN Russian army in a foreign land. Belgrade, 1923. P. 111 ^ Korolevich P. The history of the migration of Cossacks to the Republic of Peru. Novi Sad, 1930 ^ 1 2 Karpenko S.V. Cossack villages in emigration (1921 - 30-ies.)
Karpov ND Crimea - Gallipoli - Balkans. - 1st. - Moscow: Russian way, 1998. - 168 - with 3000 copies . - ISBN 5-85887-124-0.
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