Zaporozhian Corps

Zaporozhian Corps. One of the regular formations of the Army of the Ukrainian National Republic in 1918–20. It varied in strength, from 3,000 to 15,000, and structure, from a detachment to a brigade, division, corps, and group.

At first the unit was known as the Separate Zaporozhian Detachment, which was formed on 9 February 1918 out of several small military entities. It consisted of two infantry and one cavalry battalion, an artillery company, and support units and was commanded by Brig Gen K. Prisovsky. The detachment took part in the first phase of the Ukrainian-Soviet War, 1917–21.

In March–April 1918 it was expanded into a brigade and a separate division, both under Brig Gen Oleksander Natiiv. The division consisted of four infantry regiments (under Cols Oleksander Zahrodsky, Petro Bolbochan, Oleksander Shapoval, Volodymyr Sikevych) as well as cavalry (Col Vsevolod Petriv), engineering (Col O. Kozma), artillery (Col O. Parfeniv), mobile artillery (Col Oleksa Almazov), armored-car (Capt O. Boldyriv), and aviation (Col M. Baraniv) regiments. With the support of German troops it cleared Left-Bank Ukraine, the Donets Basin, and the Crimea of the Red Army, and then in June–November 1919 guarded the Ukrainian-Russian border. In the revolt against the Hetman government the division threw its support behind the Directory of the Ukrainian National Republic.

In November–December 1918 the division was reorganized into a two-division corps under the command of Petro Bolbochan, who was also the commander of the anti-Bolshevik front in Left-Bank Ukraine. The division commanders were Oleksander Zahrodsky and V. Osmolovsky. After intense fighting against Soviet forces the corps was cut off from the UNR Army in April 1919 and had to cross Romanian territory to reach Galicia and Volhynia. En route all its supplies were confiscated by the Romanians. After Omelian Volokh’s brief command, Col I. Dubovy conducted the retreat through Romania. In May 1919 the corps was restructured into the Zaporozhian Group, under Capt Volodymyr Salsky’s, then Gen Mykhailo Omelianovych-Pavlenko’s, command. It consisted of the Sixth Division (under Zahrodsky), the Seventh Division (Osmolovsky), and the Eighth Division (Col H. Bazylevsky).

Modified for partisan warfare, the group took part in the First Winter Campaign (1919–20). After the campaign it was redesignated the First Zaporozhian Rifle Division and placed under the command of Brig Gen Andrii Huly-Hulenko (replaced later by Brig Gen H. Bazylevsky). The chief of staff was Col M. Stefaniv. Its subordinate units included three infantry brigades (commanded by I. Dubovy, I. Lytvynenko, and I. Trotsky), an artillery brigade (Col S. Loshchenko), the Black Zaporozhian cavalry regiment (Col P. Diachenko), a technical batallion (Col M. Herasymiv), an officer school (Col Rymarenko-Lymarenko), and a reserve brigade (Col V. Osmolovsky). The division took part in all the battles of the UNR Army before it crossed the Zbruch River into Western Ukraine under Polish rule on 21 November 1920.

Petriv, V. Spomyny z chasiv ukraïns'koï revoliutsiï (1917–1921) (Lviv 1927–31)
Monkevych, B. Spomyny z 1918 r. (Lviv 1928)
Stefaniv, Z. Ukraïns'ki zbroini syly 1917–1921, 2 vols (Kolomyia 1934, 1935)

Zenon Stefaniv

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]

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