Shchors, Mykola

Shchors, Mykola [Щорс, Микола; Ščors], b 25 May 1895 in Snovsk, Horodnia county, Chernihiv gubernia, d 30 August 1919 in Biloshytsia, Ovruch county, Volhynia gubernia. Bolshevik military leader. He graduated from military schools in Kyiv (1914) and Vilnius and served as a captain in the Russian imperial army. From 1918 he commanded Bolshevik military units, including the Bohun Regiment, the 2nd Brigade, the 1st Ukrainian Soviet Division, and the 44th Riflemen’s Division, that fought the Army of the Ukrainian National Republic in 1919. He died in battle against the Seventh Brigade of the Ukrainian Galician Army near Korosten. Shchors became a cult hero in the Ukrainian SSR and the USSR, and on Joseph Stalin’s orders he was proclaimed the ‘Ukrainian Chapaev.’ Monuments to him were erected, and a museum in his honor was opened. He was the subject of a novel by Semen Skliarenko, a film by Oleksander Dovzhenko, and an opera by Borys Liatoshynsky. In the late 1980s, Soviet historiographers began to re-examine his history in a more objective light (Arkhivy Ukraïny, 1985, no. 5; Kyïv, 1988, no. 11; Literaturna Ukraïna, 1989, no. 33).

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 4 (1993).]

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