On January 29, 1918, shortly after the proclamation of the independence of the Ukrainian People’s Republic, Ukrainian students and high school students, together with UPR soldiers, united and stopped the advance of the Moscow-Bolshevik horde on Kyiv for a few days. Today, 103 years later, we commemorate and honor their feat.
The Battle of Kruty is one of the many battles in Russia's eternal "crusade" against Ukraine. But Kruty occupies an extremely important place in the space and time of existence of the Ukrainian people.
"A field covered with snow, and four hundred young men hastily dug a trench, without headquarters, without an armored train, having only three rounds of ammunition each. It blackened from afar: the Bolsheviks began to attack in columns from there. 13 000 bastards of the hell against 400 unarmed younkers. The commander addressed the youth: "Comrades, it is our destiny not return to Ukraine, let us all serve the Motherland, let us all lie down for her." Everyone oathed. They fought for three days, and died on the black field of death.
Years, decades, centuries will pass - the memory of young heroes will be forever. It will shine not only for Ukrainians - for all God-chosen people who lay down their lives for the sake of an idea, for the sake of their brother. "
(G. Starytska-Chernyakhivska "In memory of young heroes murdered near Kruty", Nova Rada newspaper, March 24, 1918).
27 students and high school students who defended the station were taken prisoners. Retreating at dusk, the students got lost and came straight to the Kruty station, already occupied by the Red Army. Shortly afterward, two more Ukrainian ensigns covering the retreat of their units fell into Soviet hands, . Red Commander Yegor Popov, enraged by the heavy losses from Soviet troops (about 300 men), ordered the liquidation of the prisoners. According to eyewitnesses, 27 students and two ensigns were tortured and then shot. After the shooting, local residents were forbidden to bury the bodies of the dead for some time. Later, they were buried at Askold's grave in Kyiv. Pavlo Tychyna, then an ardent patriot of Independent Ukraine, and later a communist and chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of the USSR, wrote his famous poem about this tragic episode.
Analyzing the events of century ago, we recall the wise words of Vyacheslav Chornovil, which do not lose relevance: "Perhaps for the Ukrainian patriots Hrushevsky, Vynnychenko, the events in Kruty for the first time revealed the terrible
truth about communism and socialism. Perhaps then the Ukrainian Social Democrats, Socialist-Revolutionaries, monarchists, and independents realized, at least for a moment, what the internecine conflicts and flirtations with communism would mean for Ukraine and for themselves. This is a lesson, my dears, and to us, today, it is a rebuke to our Democrats - divided, unyielding, settled on party farms and hamlets. This is a warning to those who now do not see the threat of revenge, but instead, direct their fighting ardor against recent like-minded people. "
That time the young defenders of the Ukrainian People's Republic, without hesitation, gave their lives for the freedom and independence of their native land. Now, more than a century later, thousands of new heroes continue to fight for Ukraine against Moscow's enslavement.
Eternal glory to each of them.
Glory to Ukraine!