The Kuban region, situated east of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, has been inhabitated without interruption since the Paleolithic Period. In the 9th century, colonies were established there by the proto-Ukrainian Siverianians, who moved along the Donets River to the lower Don River, and from there to the shores of the Sea of Azov, the Taman Peninsula, and up the Kuban River. After Prince Sviatoslav I Ihorevych's defeat of the Khazars, the Tmutorokan principality of Kyivan Rus' was established in Taman. It was under the control of the Chernihiv princes. In the 12th century, the Cumans cut Kuban off from the rest of Ukraine and ended Rus' control over Tmutorokan. In the first half of the 13th century, Kuban was conquered by the Mongols. After the disintegration of the Golden Horde in the 15th century, the Nogay Tatars settled on the Kuban steppes and allied themselves with the Crimean Khanate. In 1774, the Turks relinquished control over the Crimean Khanate, and thus over northern Kuban, and in 1783 northern Kuban was incorporated into the Russian Empire. In order to secure control over the new territory, Empress Catherine II gave the remaining Zaporozhian Cossacks, who had been reorganized as the Black Sea Cossacks, the lands between the Kuban River and the Yeia River. Totaling some 30,000 sq km, these lands constituted about one-third of the territory of the future Kuban Cossack Host. The colonization began in 1792. The Zaporozhian Cossack administrative system and social order were reconstituted and the Cossacks were granted extensive autonomy. A major reorganization of the territory occurred in 1860 when the Kuban Cossack Host was created. In 1865 the population of the entire Kuban was 557,000, of which 90.1 percent were Cossacks or Caucasian mountain peoples. The population began to grow significantly after 1868, when non-Cossacks were first permitted to acquire land. On the eve of the Revolution of 1917, Cossacks composed 49 percent of Kuban’s population and the Caucasian mountain peoples 7 percent. But from the beginning of the colonization of Kuban by Black Sea Cossacks, the tsarist government systematically restricted Cossack autonomy and the traditional Zaporozhian way of life and worked to Russify the Cossacks. After the Revolution of 1917, four tendencies manifested themselves in Kuban political life: (1) a pro-Russian movement, with adherents mainly among the Russian and Russified non-Cossack intelligentsia; (2) the strongest movement, supported by the majority of the Cossack intelligentsia, hoped simply to preserve the Kuban Cossack Host; (3) an autonomist trend favored ties to a federated Russian republic but with considerable political autonomy for the Cossacks; and (4) a pro-Ukrainian faction aimed to join Kuban to Ukraine. The latter three trends contributed to the proclamation in 1918 of the Kuban People's Republic... Learn more about the history of Ukrainians in the Kuban region by visiting the following entries:


KUBAN. A historical-geographical region in northwestern Caucasia. Kuban is the southernmost Ukrainian ethnographic territory, separated from the rest of Ukraine by the Sea of Azov and the Russian Don region. Until the end of the 18th century, ties between Kuban and the rest of Ukraine were weak because of the great distances separating the two. Kuban emerged as a political and administrative unit in 1860 after the unification of the territories of the Black Sea Cossacks with the eastern regions of Kuban to create Kuban oblast. The new territory was mostly inhabited by the Kuban Cossack Host. Most of the territory of Kuban was claimed after the First World War by the Kuban People's Republic, but in 1920 the region was incorporated by the Bolsheviks into the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic as Kuban-Black Sea oblast. In the 1920s, Kuban benefited from the policy of indigenization, and schools and public life were Ukrainized. (In 1926 47.1 percent of Kuban's population were Ukrainians.) By 1930-1, most schools in Ukrainian districts offered instruction in Ukrainian and most areas with a Ukrainian population had their own newspapers. However, in 1929 the collectivization of agriculture began, bringing great suffering and hardship. The resulting terror saw as many as 200,000 people deported from Kuban and the resulting famine claimed tens of thousands more lives. In 1934, the teaching of Ukrainian was abolished and all Ukrainian-language newspapers were closed down. Since then, the Ukrainian population of Kuban has not been granted any national or cultural rights and has been exposed to constant official Russification...



BLACK SEA COSSACKS. A military formation organized by the Russian government out of the former Zaporozhian Cossacks. After the destruction of the Zaporozhian Sich in 1775, some of the Cossacks migrated to Turkish territory and founded the Danubian Sich, but most of the Cossacks remained in the Zaporizhia and were registered as treasury peasants. In the 1780s the Russian General Grigorii Potemkin tried to re-establish Cossack units on a voluntary basis and to use them for the defense of southern Ukraine against the Turkish threat. With the outbreak of war with Turkey (1787-91) the Russian government began to organize a new Zaporozhian Cossack army. In 1788 they were renamed the Black Sea Cossack Host. However, a the end of the war the Russian government did not want the Cossack host to be settled close to the center of Ukraine, so in 1792 it resettled the Black Sea Cossacks in the Kuban region. By 1795 about 25,000 Cossacks had settled there. In the first half of the 19th century new settlers, consisting of former Cossacks from the Chernihiv, Poltava, and Kharkiv regions and of Ukrainian peasants escaping from social oppression in Ukraine, enlarged the host. The administrative organization of the Black Sea Host was based on the Zaporozhian system. There were 40 kurins, 38 of which were named after kurins that formerly existed within the Zaporozhian Sich. In the 1840s the kurins of the Black Sea Host were renamed stanytsias. The headquarters of the host was located in Katerynodar (now known as Krasnodar) which was built in 1794. In 1860 the Black Sea Host was amalgamated with the western part of the Frontier Army (six brigades) and was renamed the Kuban Cossack Host...

Black Sea Cossacks


KUBAN COSSACK HOST. The only formation of Ukrainian Cossacks that existed until the final days of tsarist rule, and one of the 12 Cossack armies in the Russian Empire. The Kuban Cossack Host was created in 1860 out of the Black Sea Cossacks, the remnants of the Zaporozhian Cossacks, and the six western units of the Frontier Army. Numbering 400,000 people in 1860, by 1912 the total number had grown to 1,392,000 (including both Cossacks and their families). While the Black Sea Cossacks had originally enjoyed considerable autonomy and were permitted to retain Zaporozhian traditions and practices, these rights were increasingly restricted in the early 19th century. Military training for the Cossacks was very demanding. It included three years of basic training in the stanytsias, four years of active service in the various regiments, four years in the reserve units, four years in secondary reserve units, and five years in the general reserve corps, when the Cossacks could be mobilized in an emergency. Compared to other Cossack armies, the Kuban host mobilized many units. In 1860 it mustered 22 cavalry regiments, 3 cavalry squadrons, 13 scout (plastun) battalions, and 5 artillery batteries. During the First World War the Kuban Cossacks fought on various fronts. After the Revolution of 1917, most eventually joined the Volunteer Army under General Anton Denikin, but their support waned as disenchantment grew with Denikin's plans to restore a 'single, undivided' tsarist Russia and with his mistreatment of the Kuban population...

Kuban Cossack Host


STANYTSIA (Russian: stanitsa). An administrative-territorial entity in Cossack territories within the Russian Empire (the Kuban region, Don region, and Terek region) from the 18th century until 1920. A stanytsia consisted of several Cossack villages and khutory (homesteads). Settlements which had fewer than 60 households were governed by khutir administrations. Except for persons of non-Cossack status (inohorodni), all the inhabitants were members of the stanytsia community, which was governed by an assembly of householders. The assembly distributed the Cossack lands and obligations, and it managed the community storehouses and schools. It elected the stanytsia administration (an otaman, deputies, and a treasurer) and the stanytsia court. The stanytsia court ruled on petty criminal and civil suits. Non-Cossack residents paid a fee per sazhen for their home plot and for the use of farmland, pasture, and forest. After 1929 the term stanytsia was used in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics to refer to a rural settlement on former Cossack territories. It was governed by a stanytsia soviet of workers' and peasants' deputies...



KUBAN PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC. The name of the state formed on 16 February 1918 that existed in several forms until the Bolshevik consolidation of power in Kuban in May 1920. It was established as a sovereign state on the territory of the former Kuban oblast of the Russian Empire by a proclamation of the Kuban Legislative Council. On 4 December 1918, a new constitution, adopted in an extraordinary session of the Kuban Territorial Council, changed the name of the republic to Kuban Krai. The constitution also contained a declaration stating that the krai would be independent until order was restored in Russia and it could join a future Russian Federated Republic. The Kuban Territorial Council was the state's constituent assembly and the Kuban Legislative Council was the legislative organ. In 1918 the Kuban Legislative Council was elected for a one-year term only, from members of the Kuban Territorial Council, but later its authority was extended. The chief executive officer was the Chief Otaman, who was elected for a four-year term by the Territorial Council but was responsible to the Legislative Council. He was the commander in chief of the armed forces and the head of government. According to some reports, on 20 January 1918 the Kuban Legislative Council issued a resolution about the incorporation, on federative principles, of the future Kuban People's Republic into the Ukrainian National Republic, but because of the Russian offensive, this resolution was not enacted...

Kuban People's Republic


KRASNODAR. City (2018 pop 899,541) in the Kuban region and capital of Krasnodar krai (Russian Federation), located on the Kuban River. It was founded in 1794 as Katerynodar and assumed its present name in 1920. The city was settled by former Zaporozhian Cossacks and was the main center of the Black Sea Cossacks and then the Kuban Cossack Host (from 1860). At the end of the 19th century it became an important trade and transport center, through which much of the agricultural produce of Kuban passed. There was also some local industry, mainly food processing, located there. In 1897 the population was 66,000. The capital of the Kuban People's Republic in 1918-20, it was an important center of Ukrainian life in the early 20th century. Under Soviet rule the machine building (lathes, compressors, electronic-testing equipment), chemicals, petroleum-processing, food-processing, and textile industries were developed. Krasnodar is also home to Kuban State University (from 1920 to 1970 the Kuban Pedagogical Institute), several other institutions of higher education, and historical-regional and art museums...


The preparation, editing, and display of the IEU entries about the history of Ukrainians in the Kuban region were made possible by the financial support of the FRANKO FOUNDATION of Toronto, ON, Canada.

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