The Makhnovist rebellion against Whites and Reds in the Russian Civil War is well known to anarchists. This small book deals with the unknown anarchist partisans in the Kuzbas (Kuznetsk Basin) of south-western Siberia. Originally an anarchist peasant revolt against the White forces of Admiral Kolchak, their independent attitude is summed up by Grigori Rogov’s address to Kutznetsk’s “Revolutionary Committee”: “Even though I’m here, that doesn’t mean I’m your servant. I’ve been mercilessly slaughtering the enemies of the toilers, and I will continue to slaughter them. I will also struggle against Lenin and Trotsky… Any kind of government is a burden for the workers… Let’s extend the Revolution, let’s not let it be stifled; we’ll set the world on fire under the black banner of anarchy!” (p13)
The anarchist and peasant partisans played an important part in Kolchak’s defeat but inevitably came into conflict with the new Bolshevik rulers.
Recording a vivid (and bloody) fragment of unknown anarchist history Siberian Makhnovshchina is recommended to anyone interested in Russian anarchist history, a worthy companion to Black Cat Press’s Atamansha : The Story of Maria Nikiforova – the Anarchist Joan of Arc by Malcolm Archibald and Kontrrazvedka : the story of the Makhnovist Intelligence Service by Vyacheslav Azarov
Siberian Makhnovshchina : Siberian Anarchists in the Russian Civil War (1918-1924) by Igor Podshivalov, translated by Malcolm Archibald. ISBN 9781926878089 $5.95 http://www.blackcatpress.ca/