The battle of Kruty – 104 years

There are many myths and legends surrounding the battle of Kruty. Ukrainian researchers are still debating the number of participants in the armed conflict, their motivation, the course of the battle and even its date. We bring to your attention 5 common myths about the battle of Kruty, which are duplicated in the media from year to year. Let’s understand!

Myth 1. The Central Rada sent to Kruty 14-17-year-old young volunteers of the Student Tent, who never held a weapon in their hands and were doomed to death.

Refutation: Cadets of the 1st Bohdan Khmelnytsky Ukrainian Military School, who by January 1918 already had combat experience, took part in the battle near Kruty. They were assisted by the Death Hut, which was formed from soldiers who had returned from the fronts of the First World War. Soldiers of the Free Cossacks from Hlukhiv were also present. These formations became the main fighting force near Kruty, which was joined by students and high school students from Kyiv.

Myth 2. 300 people held the defense near Kruty

Rebuttal: This myth was born during the burial of the fallen, where one of those present gave a speech in which he compared the Krutyans with 300 Spartans, and Kruty proclaimed the Ukrainian Thermopylae. In fact, there were about 600 participants in the battle on the Ukrainian side.

Myth 3. The battle of Kruty took place on January 29, 1918

Rebuttal: On January 29, 1918, the Bolsheviks captured the Plyska station near Kruty. Without expecting further resistance, the Bolsheviks reported on the capture and Kruty station, the battle for which took place the next day – January 30. Thus, the date known today was taken from the victorious reports of Mikhail Muravyov.

Myth 4. The essence of the battle near Kruty is that the Bolsheviks shot 30 Ukrainian young men

Rebuttal: During the retreat, Ukrainian forces noticed that there was a shortage of four students (a company of up to 30 students). It was these soldiers who came across the Bolsheviks. The latter killed 27 or 28 Ukrainians. The battle did not end with this execution, but it became his most famous page. The Ukrainian army suffered other losses during this resistance to the Bolsheviks – from 70 to 100 people.

Myth 5. The battle of Kruty was a defeat, because it killed many of our soldiers

Rebuttal: The defenders of Kruty, being in the minority (approximately 600 soldiers of the UPR army against 4,800 Bolsheviks) successfully defended themselves and were forced to retreat in an organized manner, mostly due to lack of ammunition. The Ukrainians managed to dismantle the railway line, thus delaying the movement of the aggressor for four days. During the battle in the ranks of the Ukrainian unit, according to various sources, killed 70 to 100 soldiers, while the losses of the Bolsheviks, according to one report, reached 300 people killed. Instead of demanding to detain the Bolsheviks for one day, Ukrainian troops were able to detain them for four days, thus overfulfilling the task and gaining time for important talks in Brest.

The Battle of Kruty was decisive for the signing of the Brest Peace Treaty between the delegations of the Ukrainian People’s Republic and the countries of the Fourth Union. As a result, Germany and Austria-Hungary recognized the existence of the Ukrainian People’s Republic as a state and helped liberate Ukrainian lands from Bolshevik occupation.

More information at the link:

Materials of the Ukrainian Institute of National Memory — https://bit.ly/3GbY7Iz

Materials by Andriy Rebryk for The Day newspaper — https://bit.ly/3ITk7df

A selection of materials of “Historical Truth” — https://bit.ly/3KWb2Sq

Issue “Stories without Myths” — https://bit.ly/35DSzu5

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