Cossack Modernity: Nation Building in the Kuban 1917-1920

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Cossack Modernity: Nation Building in the Kuban 1917-1920

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1 Abstract Cossack Modernity: Nation Building in Kuban, 1917 - 1920 by Ja-Jeong Koo Doctor of Philosophy in History University of California, Berkeley Professor Yuri Slezkine, Chair

This dissertation explores "Kazach'ia samostiinost'", the nation building and federalism of the Kuban' Cossacks from 1917 to 1920. It explores the growing tension between the particularism of the Cossack caste and the increasingly universalistic setting of modern Russia, a setting that reduced Russian Cossackdom to an isolated anachronism. The Cossacks' attempt to escape the outmoded soslovie identity and their search for a "modern" alternative marked the beginning of samostiinost'. When the new "soslovieblind" civic order of the 1917 Revolution threatened the survival of the Cossack caste, the response of the Kuban' Cossacks was "universalistically particularistic": the promotion and practice of estate particularism in the name of universalism. This oxymoronic move to universalistic particularism featured two problematic claims that set Kuban' samostiinost' on the path to separatism: the ethnocentric selffashioning of Cossackhood and the state-bound claim of self-determination by the Kuban' province. When the Kuban' Cossacks launched the "People's Republic of Kuban'" in early 1918, their justification of Kuban' separatism was not a soslovie-bound Cossackhood, but a "sos/ov/e-blind" representation of civic unity. This duality was

2 furthered in 1918 and 1919, as the Cossacks combined ethnic self-fashioning with the idea of civic community, thereby wrapping the Cossack identity in a new nationalistic mantle. The result was the emergence of an allegedly universalistic nation-state practicing the particularistic exclusion of the non-Cossack population. It was a Cossack state proclaiming a non-Cossack civic statehood. It realized separatism while decrying it. The paradox of Kuban' samostiinost' culminated in its alliance with the Russian Whites. By associating itself with the Cossack oxymoron, the White Movement itself became a paradox. As an alliance of two antitheses, the separatist Kuban' and the "One and Invisible Russia," the South Russian White movement was doomed.

Table of Contents





Part I - Cossacks in Crisis: To Be Or Not To Be? The Kuban' Cossack voisko on the Eve of the Russian Revolution A. Kuban' Cossacks as a soslovie


B. Inogorodnie Question in Kuban'


C. The Land Question: "To Be or Not To Be"


D. F. A. Shcherbina, A Cossack Narodnik


Part II - The Genesis of Kazach 'ia samostiinost" A. The Revolution Comes to Kuban'


B. Schism


C. Toward "Universalistic Particularism": From "Voisko" to "Krai"


D. Bolshevik October in Kuban'


E. Toward Civil War


Part III - "An Independent Kuban'" in "One and Indivisible Russia" A. Beginning of the "Cossack Vendee"


B. Samostiinyi Kuban' in One and Indivisible Russia


C. Samostiinost' in action


D. South-Russian "Union" vs. South-Russian "Regime"


E. "Cossack Oxymoron" vs. "White Paradox"






For my daughter, Jihye and my wife, Osun

iii Introduction

This dissertation explores one of the most peculiar phenomena in modern Russian history: Cossack separatism in the Russian civil war, a phenomenon that has been better known as "kazach'ia samostiinost'}" Although this study uses the term samostiinost' as a key word to conceptualize the Cossack experiment, one should note that this was not a title of the Cossacks' own choice. In fact, it was a name given by those who wanted to decry the legitimacy of the Cossack experiment, a view, quite ironically, that was even influential among the Cossack "samostiinikr themselves. As will be shown in detail below, the Cossacks did not simply resent being called as samostiiniki. Rather, let alone actively denying the title, some of these samostiiniki actually presented themselves as staunch opponents of samostiinost', even criticizing other Cossacks for being samostiiniki. This self-denial of samostiinost'

by samostiiniki themselves is strongly

suggestive of the problematic complexity of the phenomenon and of the controversial implication made by the usage of the term. To begin with, samostiinost' is not a Russian word; it is a Russified borrowing of a Ukrainian word, "samostiinist', " which literally means "independence." Although the Russian language already has an equivalent term, the Russian "samostoiatel'nost" and the Ukrainian "samostiinist"' do not indicate the same thing; "samostiinist"' was borrowed and Russified to "samostiinost"' for a particular purpose and specific usage. As implied by its Ukrainian origin, samostiinost'


Following the styles of source materials, all dates in this study are given according to the Julian (Old Style) calendar.

iv was only used to designate the Ukrainian claim of political independence. Thus, "samostiiniki," the pursuers of the idea of "samostiinost'" meant, "the advocates of separatism ... [and] supporters of outright independence for [the] Ukraine...." 2 What was more remarkable with this particular usage was that the Russification already assumed a normative judgment representing the official view of the imperial government on the Ukrainian question. According to this view, the Ukrainians did not constitute a distinct ethnic group; rather, as "Little Russians," who were sharing the Kievan past with their East Slavic brothers, the "Great Russians," they were an inseparable part of the Russian nation. As long as the Ukrainians were "inseparable," no claim of Ukrainian "separatism" could be established. The normative connotation in the usage of the term was also shared and even furthered by the Russian Whites during the Russian civil war. While they had been known as staunch opponents to any claim of separatism by borderland minorities, their objection, for example, to Finnish nationalism, in no way meant the denial of the ethnic substance of the Finnish national cause, despite their strong insistence that Finland should remain as part of "One and Indivisible Russia." For the Russian Whites, the Finish question and the Ukrainian question were not identical. The former was a matter of separatism, while the latter was an issue of samostiinost'. Thus, while indicating the particular claim of independent Ukrainian statehood, its usage already implied a strong disapproval of Ukrainian nationalism, even denying the very ethic substance of the Ukrainians. Indeed, a ^samostiiniK'' could not be a separatist. He was a "traitor," a term that Denikin, the


Kataryna Wolczuk, The Moulding of Ukraine (Budapest: Central European University Press, 2001), 35


supreme commander of the Volunteer Army later used in his order of military action against "Cossack samostiiniki. " This normative view on the Ukrainian "samostiinist™ explains a great deal regarding why the Russian Whites called the Cossacks' claim of their own statehood "Kazach'ia samostiinost'," rather than more straightforwardly calling it "Kazachii separatizm (Cossack separatism)." Indeed, it is particularly noteworthy that, save for the Ukrainians, the Cossacks were the only group that the Whites had ever called "samostiiniki." After all, samostiinost' was an even more fitting term for the Cossacks than for the Ukrainians, due to the soslovie-bornid status of the former. In Imperial Russia, Russian Cossackdom existed as a privileged martial caste with a clearly defined role and a mission as a military servitor of the autocracy. Until the last moment of the imperial regime, the official status of Russian Cossackdom as a soslovie did not change. As long as the Cossacks were seen through the traditional voisko-bound prism, the Cossacks were even more "inseparable" than the Ukrainians; their claim of statehood did not deserve the title of separatism. Among all Cossack voiska to have been blamed for samostiinost', one voisko was particularly qualified for the title. Firstly, the majority of its Cossack population were the descendents of Zaporozh'e Sech, and thus, ethnic Ukrainians. This unique composition made this voisko the only Cossack host that had a sizable population of Ukrainian speakers. Secondly, their voisko history was typical of a Cossack soslovie, as its Cossack residents had been transplanted and resettled in the Northern Caucasus by governmental fiat. Even their voisko itself was an artificial creation by the government. 3

See this dissertation, 302

vi It would be scarcely hard to guess who these Cossacks were. They were the Kuban' Cossacks. Indeed, during the Russian civil war, the Kuban' Cossacks would prove t hemselves to be the most prominent samostiiniki. Their experiment of Cossack statehood during the war would become the most notable stronghold of Cossack separatism, despite their brand of separatism's inability to fit the conventional definition, due to the problematic implication of samostiinost' and more importantly, to the ironic nature of their experiment. This dissertation will argue that, although what they built was a Cossack state, they denied the distinctly Cossack nature of their statehood. It will also demonstrate that although they attempted to build a republic, they denied the very title of republic. Although their republic was supposed to feature a soslovie-blind civic unity, it practiced and promoted a soslovie-bound exclusion in the name of universalism. Indeed, while denying the title of samostiinost', the Kuban' Cossacks practiced and implemented samostiinost'. This study will show that this denial of samostiinost' by samostiiniki was the very quintessence of Kuban' samostiinost'. This investigation is an attempt to tell this remarkable story, the story of an oxymoron, "universalistic particularism."

1 Part I. Cossacks in Crisis: To Be Or Not To Be? - The Kuban' Cossack voisko on the Eve of the Russian Revolution

A. Kuban' Cossacks as a soslovie

Among all eleven Cossack voiska in imperial Russia, the Kuban' Cossack voisko was a relatively recent administrative creation made by merging two separate Cossack groups with different historical and linguistic backgrounds into one large voisko: the chernomortsy, the Black-Sea Cossacks who spoke a dialect of Ukrainian, and the lineitsy, the Russian speaking Cossacks who came from the Don to the Northern Caucasus. Officially, it was created by the order of the Commander-in-Chief of the Caucasian Army on October 13 1860, who promulgated a merger of the Black-Sea Cossack voisko (Chernomorskoe kazach'e voisko) with six Cossack regiments on the western part of the Caucasian Line Cossack voisko (Kavkazskoe lineinoe kazach'e voisko); at the same time, this order also established a Terek voisko from the other five regiments on its eastern half of the Caucasian Line voisko} From this administrative merger, the second largest Cossack host in the Empire suddenly appeared on the frontier of the northern Caucasus. Indeed, from the beginning,


A. N. Malukalo, Kubanskoe kazach 'e voisko v 1860 - 1914 gg. (Krasnodar: Kuban'kino, 2003), 36; Robert H. McNeal, Tsar and Cossack, 1855 - 1914 (Hong-Kong: Macmillan, 1987), 15; Stanislav A. Ausky, Kozdci (Prague: Academia, 1999), Kazaki: osoboe soslovie, translated by Irina Belicheva from Czech to Russian (Moscow: Olma-Press; St. Petersburg: Izdatel'skii Dom "Neva," 2002), 44 (page citations are to the Russian edition); A. K. Baskhanov, M. K. Baskhanov, and N. D. Egorov. Lineitsy: ocherki po istorii stanitsy Labinskoi i Labinskogo otdela Kubanskoi oblasti (Nicosia, 1996), 25; GARF, f. r-5827, op. l,d. 38,1. 5ob

2 among eleven Cossack voiska of the empire, the Kuban' voisko was the only other Cossack host truly matching the prestigious vse-velikoe (greatest) Don, which was the largest, the most representative, and the most well-known Cossack host not only in its sheer size of population and territory but also in its degree of contribution in service to the Russian empire. Before the outbreak of the First World War, the territory of the Kuban' oblast' covered 82,758 square versta (about 94,900 square kilometers or 23,449,730 acres) with over 3.1 million in population including both Cossack and nonCossack residents.3 Kuban' oblast' consisted of seven otdely: Batalpashinskii, Eiskii, Ekaterinodarskii, Tamanskii, Kavkazskii, Maikovskii, and Labinskii. In 1914, the Cossack population in Kuban' reached 1.3 million, a considerable portion of the approximately 4 million Cossacks in the empire, a number slightly surpassed only by the 1.4 million of Don, the largest voisko.5 The share of Kuban' in contribution to the military service of the Tsarist army was, corresponding to its size, substantial. When the First World War broke out, the Kuban' voisko alone was ready to provide 11 active-duty Cossack cavalry regiments, the second largest contribution exceeded only by the Don, which contributed 17


The empire had 9 Cossack hosts with the creation of the Kuban' Cossack voisko. In 1867 and 1889, Semirechenskoe voisko and Ussuriskoe voisko came into being, thus totaling 11 Cossack hosts. 3 B. M. Gorodetskii, "Ocherki po Kubanovegeniiu: 1. Raspredelenie naseleniia Kubanskoi oblasti po territorii, ego soslovnyi i etnograficheskii sostav," Kubanskaia shkola, No. 2 (Ekaterinodar, 1915), 102; Otchet nachal 'nika Kubanskogo oblasti i nakaznogo atamana Kubanskogo kazach 'ego voiska o sostoianii oblasti za 1914 god (Ekaterinodar: Tipografiia Kubanskogo oblastnogo pravleniia, 1915), 5; RGV1A, f. 330, op. 61, d. 1630,1. 4 4 Ibid. Except for Kuban' and Don, the contributions of other voiska were relatively small. Orenburg voisko followed Kuban' with 6 regiments. Terek and Zabaikal'skoe voisko gave 4 regiments. Siberian voisko provided 3. Small voiska like Astrakhan, Semirechenskoe, and Amurskoe were able to provide only one regiment (ibid.). 5 McNeal, Tsar and Cossack, 21

3 regiments. In addition to this cavalry, unlike other voiska, Kuban' was the only host offering a sizable Cossack infantry historically known as Kubanskii plastun,7 which, as of 1914, accounted for 18 plastun battalions consisting of a total of 14,800 Cossack infantrymen. In all, approximately sixty thousand Kuban' Cossacks were serving in the Imperial Army on all fronts in the spring of 1915.8 After the mobilization of reserve Cossacks on their second and third tours of duty, the number of active duty Kuban' Cossacks increased to about 100,000 in the middle of 1916.9 Overall, during the First World War, the Kuban Cossack voisko alone provided 37 cavalry regiments, 24 plastun battalions, one cavalry division, one plastun division, 51 sotnia (companies), and 6 artillery batteries, which accounted for about 12% of the Cossack population in Kuban'.10 And yet, what made the Kuban' a true parallel to its prestigious Cossack neighbor, the Tikhii Don (Quiet Don), was not simply its sheer size and contribution to the service; rather, it was the distinctive tradition of freedom and the legacy of a once glorious past, to which this relatively recent Cossack voisko claimed historical succession. The chernomortsy, who formed the core of the Cossack majority in Kuban', were descendents of Zaporozhian Cossacks. They were not native to Kuban'. They had been deported in 1792 from their native land in Ukraine to the Northern Caucasus after the final liquidation of Zaporozh'e Sech'm Ml5 by Catherine the Great, who wanted to 6

Ausky, Kozdci, 100 For the historiography of the Kubanskii plastun, see V. N. Ratushniak, "Iz istoricheskogo proshlogo Kubanskikh plastunov," in Iz dorevoliutsionnogo proshlogo Kubanskogo Kazachestva: Sbornik nauchnykh trudov, edited by M. E. Shulepova (Krasnodar: Sovetskaia Kuban', 1993). 8 RGVIA, f. 2007, op. 1, d. 72,1. 6. 9 Ibid., 1. 69 10 V. N. Ratushniak, ed., Ocherki istorii Kubani s drevneishikh vremenpo 1920 g. (Krasnodar: Sovetskaia Kuban', 1996), 471 7


tame these troublesome Cossacks and to employ them in stabilizing the Caucasus against the gortsy (mountaineers) as well as in fighting against Ottoman Turkey over the hegemony of the Caucasus.11 In the Caucasus, they settled in the North-Western region of the Kuban' oblast', a vast plain area suitable for agriculture adjacent to the Black Sea, from which their new group name, chernomortsy, literally meaning "People of the Black Sea," was derived. In spite of the deportation, and allowed to establish and maintain their own Cossack host, the Black-Sea Cossack voisko, they inherited much of the historical memory of their ancestors, the Zaporozh 'e Sech', famous as bellicose and "freedom-loving" rebels against the Russian autocracy. They kept this legacy in the soslovie setting. Although the merger of 1860 added a considerable number of Russianspeaking lineitsy to the Kuban' voisko, it was the Black-Sea Cossacks who dominated this newly created voisko; they did so by their numerical superiority as well as by their distinctive Zaporozhian tradition.12 The lineitsy were a Russian-speaking Cossack minority in Kuban'. They were not native to the northern Caucasus either, as most of them came from the Don to the "Old Line (staraia liniiay near the Kuban' river in 1794.13 In addition, in order to reinforce these Don Cossack settlements in the staraia liniia, where these dontsy initially settled, in 1825 the government also transplanted Khoper Cossacks (khopertsy), " N. I. Bondar', "Kubanskoe kazachestvo, etnosotsialogicheskii aspekt," in Kubanskoe kazachestvo: istoriia, etnografiia, fol 'klor, edited by Bondar' (Moscow, 1995), 10 - 11; F. A. Shcherbina, "Kratkii istoricheskii ocherk Kubanskogo kazach'ego voiska," in Kubanskoe kazach'e voisko, 1696 - 1888 g., edited by E. D. Felitsyn (Voronezh: Tifografiia V. I. Isaeva, 1888), 58 - 59. For a comprehensive detail of this deportation, see F. A. Shcherbina, Istoriia Kubanskogo kazach'ego voiska, 2 Vols. (Ekaterinodar, 1910-1913), Vol. 1,466-557 12 As of 1897, the Ukrainian speaking Black-Sea Cossacks constituted approximately 57 percent of the entire Cossack population of the Kuban' oblast' (McNeal, Tsar and Cossack, 16). 13 Baskhanov, Lineitsy, 19; GARF, f. r-5827, op. 1, d. 38,11. 4, 4ob; Shcherbina, "Kratkii istoricheskii ocherk," 164. For detailed description of this resettlement of Don Cossacks to Kuban', see Shcherbina, Istoriia, Vol. 1, 655 - 670;


a Cossack sub-group from the Khoper region in Don, whose origin dated back to the Bulavin rebellion in the early 18th century, thereby adding four stanitsy to this nascent Cossack colony.14 In addition, as late as 1841, a "New Line (novaia liniiay, between the River Kuban' and the river Laba began to be colonized by lineitsy from the Old Line and by some new settlers from Russia and Ukraine.15 It was these two "Lines" that formed the core of the Caucasian Line Voisko. Indeed, like the chernomortsy, the lineitsy were also mobilized and transplanted to the Caucasus by the government which wanted to protect and stabilize the new border "liniia (line)" of the empire in the Caucasus through a Cossack presence, especially against the troublesome native gortsy, who were mostly Muslim mountaineers. It was from this background that the name of lineitsy, which literally means "front-line settlers," originated. Unlike chernomortsy, who had built their own voisko in Zaporozh 'e and were permitted to have one after the transplantation, lineitsy did not have their own voisko until they were organized into Kavkazskoe lineinoe voisko as late as 1832. Instead, they were stationed there as "polki (regiments)," directly subject to the control of the Commander-in-chief of the Caucasian front of the Imperial army.16 For this reason lineitsy developed a less coherent group identity as a Cossack group than that of the chernomortsy.

Baskhanov, Lineitsy, 2 0 - 2 1 ; Shcherbina, Istoriia, Vol. 2, 412 - 4 1 3 . Khopertsy were the oldest Cossacks in the entire Caucasus. They had already settled in the Stavropol region even before moving to Kuban'. In the Northern Caucasus, the presence of Cossacks dated back as early as the sixteenth century. Scattered Cossack settlements, which are known for Greben Cossacks, existed along the Terek river as a very loose Cossack community, until finally they became incorporated into estate-based military fabric of the Russian empire in the early eighteenth century. For more detail of the formation of early Cossack settlements in the Caucasus, see Tomas M. Barrett, At the Edge of Empire, the Terek Cossacks and the North Caucasus Frontier, 1700 - 1860 (Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 1999), 1 3 - 2 4 15 GARF, f. r-5827, op. 1, d. 38,11. 5, 5ob; Shcherbina, "Kratkii istoricheskii ocherk," 166- 167 16 Shcherbina, "Kratkii istoricheskii ocherk," 163; Voiskovaia Rada Kubanskogo Voiska zasedala v g. Ekaterinodare 1-17 Dekabria 1906 goda (Ekaterinodar: Tipografiia "Osnova," 1907), 11 (hereafter cited in text as Voiskovaia Rada)

6 There was another important factor in the formation of Cossackdom in the Kuban' region. In the process of relocating those new Cossack settlements, the imperial government also incorporated not only Cossacks from other hosts but also a considerable number of non-Cossack immigrants from central Russia and Ukraine, including state peasants, runaway serfs and demobilized soldiers, into the existing Black-Sea voisko and Caucasian Line voiskoxl

This measure was supported and put in

effect by the government regulations of 1799 and 1827 which purported to increase the number of Cossacks by entitling non-Cossack peasants, in particular fugitive serfs temporarily residing in Kuban', to become Cossacks.18 According to F. A. Shcherbina, some 50,000 state peasants and Ukrainian Cossacks moved to Kuban' from Ukraine, mostly from the Poltava and Chernigov province, between 1809 and 1811. Again, between 1845 and 1850, the Russian government sponsored the re-settlement of 15,500 peasants and Cossacks to Kuban' from Kharkhov gubernia as well as from the two above provinces.19 Although not openly encouraged by the authorities, the influx of runaway peasants also continued, and these peasants and Cossacks from other hosts became another important source in the formation of the new Cossackdom in the BlackSea region, though too few statistical data are available to quantify their exact number. Similar relatively large scale Cossackization also occurred in the "Old Line" (staraia liniia), where the first groups of the lineitsy Cossacks mainly settled. Here also 17

Shcherbina, Istoriia, Vol. 2, 39 - 40, 186; Barrett, At the Edge, 42 - 43 I. la. Kutsenko, Kubanskoe Kazachestvo (Krasnodarskoe knizhnoe izdatel'stvo: Krasnodar, 1990), 23; Shcherbina, Istoriia, Vol. 2, 65. Two regulations were "O prichislenii v voisko Chernomorskoe kazakov i brodiag iz pol'skikh, malorossiiskikh i byvshego Zaporozh'ia liugei i o nabliudenii za sim voiskovomu atamanu in 1799 and "O liudiakh, nakhodiashchikhsia v Chernomorskom kazach'em voiske s davnego vremeni, k sosloviiu odnogo ne prinadlezhashchikh" in 1827. 19 Shcherbina, "Kratkii istoricheskii ocherk," 66. 20 Bondar', "Kubanskoe kazachestvo," 11 18

7 many runaway peasants of mostly great-Russian origin and demobilized Russian soldiers had already settled,21 and most of them had acquired the status of Cossack soslovie in 1833 with the formation of the Caucasian Line voisko. What was remarkable in this Cossackization drive in the making of the Caucasian Line voisko was that the government transformed several of the peasant villages in their entirety into Cossack stanitsy, which move led to the automatic enlistment of several thousands of nonCossack state peasants to the military caste.22 Again, in 1848, it added four additional peasant villages into Cossack stanitsy, transforming those peasants into Cossacks by just one administrative fiat. Although smaller than before in size, even as late as the early sixties, the government enlisted into Cossack soslovie several groups of non-Cossack immigrants of various other sosloviia, the majority of whom came from state peasantry, and who volunteered in the state sponsored colonization of the still less populated and less developed mountain area of the Kuban', the so-called Zakuban'e, which had just been cleared from the threats of the native Muslim mountaineers.24 The original governmental plan was to resettle only Cossacks in this sub-colony, but because of their resistance to resettlement, the initial project to Cossackize this area was bogged down to at most a half success. While looking for an alternative, the government found more docile and voluntary settlers among non-Cossack peasants who started to move to


Voiskovaia Rada, 11; Shcherbina, "Kratkii istoricheskii ocherk," 164 - 165 GAKK, f. 670, op. 1, d. 17,11. 156 - 160; GARF, f. r-5827, op. 1, d. 38,1. 5ob; Shcherbina, Istoriia, Vol. 2, 186, 415; Shcherbina, "Kratkii istoricheskii ocherk," 164 - 165. Thirteen peasant villages were transformed to Cossack stanitsy in 1833. 23 Ibid. 24 I. V. Bentkovskii, "Zaselenie zapadnykh predgorii glavnogo kavkazskogo khrebta," Kubanskii sbornik, Vol. 1 (Ekaterinodar, 1883), 1 4 - 1 6 22

8 Kuban' with petitions to become Cossacks, mostly from several gubernii in central Russia including Ekaterinoslav, Voronezh, and Kursk. This enlistment of non-Cossack settlers in Zakuban'e to Cossack estatehood continued until 1865 when the authorities put a restriction and a halt on this practice,25 a measure which obviously resulted from the abolition of serfdom and its expected outcome: influx of newly emancipated and land-hungry peasants for Kuban'. After this change, peasant entry into the Cossack estate became increasingly restricted, although officially it was neither blocked nor closed.

While peasant entry

into the Cossack estate remained negligible until the end of Cossackdom as an institution, their influx to Kuban' not only continued, but even increased, resulting in the appearance of a substantial non-Cossack peasant population in the Cossack lands in South Russia including Kuban', who would come to be known as inogorodnie. In the early twentieth century, like elsewhere in the empire, Cossackdom in Kuban' became an isolated and exclusive military soslovie, entry to which became de facto blocked for other estates. What was remarkable in this transformation of the Cossacks to a closed military caste was that it took place at a time when the traditional role of Cossacks, or to put it in another way, their supposed role as border sentinels on the frontier, was about to change. This change was the main theme with regard to Cossackdom in the Miliutin reforms in


Malukalo, Kubanskoe kazach 'e voisko, 140 Ibid, 141 - 142. In Kuban', the majority of newly enlisted Cossacks at this period were women who acquired Cossack status through marriage with Cossack males. For instance, in 1908, the number of these newly enlisted Cossacks was 4,618, which accounted for only 0.4% of the entire Cossack population; among them, 2,804 non Cossack women who became Cossacks by marriage. In 1909, 5,015 new Cossacks included 3,219 women who married Cossacks (ibid). Kutsenko, Kubanskoe Kazachestvo, 60 - 61.


9 the 1860s. More specifically, when it came to Kuban', this change resulted from the end of the Russian adventures in the Caucasus, which reached their denouement in 1867 by a final Russian victory and conquest of the region. After the successful establishment of Russian hegemony in the Caucasus, the northern Caucasus was no longer a "frontier." Thus, at least in the northern Caucasus, the Cossacks' traditional mission as border sentinels, the very reason for which the Cossacks were mobilized and moved to this Russian "Wild West" in the Caucasus, was also completed. Therefore, it was a natural development that this change of situation invoked some doubts about their further use among some high ranking government officials in Petersburg, as shown in a quite radical remark on Cossacks by one of the officials: "I cannot help admitting that the active role of the kazachestvo already does not seem to be likely to be indispensable.... [I]n their service to Russia, the role and mission of the Cossacks in the Northern Caucasus [has] ended...."

If the role of Cossacks ended, what would their raison

d 'etre in the future become? Furthermore, Cossacks' traditional role as irregular cavalry specializing in border patrol and partisan warfare began to dwindle with the advent of modern warfare. Through a series of military reforms aiming at modernizing the imperial Army, which had been launched with the ambitious Miliutin reforms in the 1860s, the government attempted to modernize Cossack forces by "regularizing" them with an aim of incorporating them into the regular army. Cossack cavalry units began to be reorganized according to the standard formation of the regulars, in some cases, becoming a part of them; more importantly, the scope of the regular army code was broadened so as to be 28

RGIA, f. 866, op. 1, d. 46,11. 6, 6ob, 7ob, 8, as cited in Malukalo, Kubanskoe kazach'e voisko, 87

10 implemented among active duty Cossacks.29 This "regularization" of Cossack cavalry was a constant trend in the military reforms of Cossacks in the late imperial period, especially motivated by the rise of the German Empire in Central Europe and spurred by the expansion of nationwide railway networks into South Russia in the sixties, by which, when in need, quick transportation and deployment of mobilized reserve Cossack units from South Russia to the European front were made possible.30 As an illustration of this trend, in 1879, the "Main Administration of Irregular Forces (Glavnoe upravlenie irreguliarnykh voisky as the main institution of Ministry of War in charge of the Cossacks' military affairs was renamed to the "Main Administration of Cossack Forces {Glavnoe upravlenie kazach'ikh voisk),31 under which new institution, the Cossacks, whose role and mission in the Caucasus had ended, were assigned a new mission by their way of life as horsemen; as an expectedly well-prepared reservoir of cavalry manpower, Cossacks became integrated into the regular army. However, the efficacy of this reform proved doubtful in reality. In a series of battles in which the Cossack units engaged before the First World War, including the Polish rebellion in 1863, the Russo-Turkish War in 1877 - 1878, and, finally, the RussoJapanese War in 1904 - 1905, the battle performance of the Cossacks did not meet the expectations of the authorities.32 By the end of the nineteenth century, the prevailing view on Cossack units among leading military circles was that Cossack cavalry was a

McNeal, Tsar and Cossack, 49 - 50 Ibid.,35-36 31 Polnoe sobranie zakonov Rossiiskoi Imperii, (St. Petersburg, 1649-1913), S. 2, No. 60046; McNeal, Tsar and Cossack , 23 32 Ausky, Kozdci, 59; Malukalo, Kubanskoe kazach 'e voisko, 103 - 104 30

11 second class army at best, "with no combat value [shown] at all."

A more seriously

negative evaluation of Cossacks came after the Russo-Japanese War. Indeed, "... [after the war] a verdict on Cossacks as a military force was [finally] given: the conditions of the modern war did not allow the existence of Cossack units unless they change."34 Whether or not this view might be considered warranted, the regularization drive itself demonstrated the irony of Russian Cossackdom, the intrinsic contradiction in the very raison d'etre of Cossackdom in supposedly "modern" Russia; indeed, in terms of their very military utility, if Cossack units had little difference from other "regular" forces, for what reason was this exclusive and costly military caste to be maintained? Another role of Cossacks in late imperial Russia, which was gaining more importance in the actual service of active duty Cossacks, was its mission as a security force. The image of Cossacks as mounted police against demonstrators and protestors in the streets remains popular and influential even today, but it is an exaggeration promoted by Soviet scholarship that one should not accept at face value. As Robert McNeal pointed out, the Ministry of War invariably tried to limit this practice as much as possible, putting more emphasis on enhancing Cossacks' purely military use.


addition, suppression of demonstrators, protestors and strikers was an unpopular job that Cossacks usually did perfunctorily, because they themselves disliked it, some of them even resenting it. However, to view the Cossacks' primary role as "gendarmerie" of the old regime against the revolutionary wave, as a bulwark of the old order, is certainly not without warrant, as it explains a great deal about the apparently

33 34 35

Ausky, Kozdci, 59 Malukalo, Kubcmskoe kazach 'e voisko, 104 McNeal, Tsar and Cossack, 57 - 58

12 contradictory policies instituted by the government toward Cossacks. This is salient especially when considering a sequence of measures of the government that were occasioned by two different approaches to the Cossack question. On the one hand, there was the "universalist" approach, which sought "a gradual fusion (sliianie) of Cossacks with non-Cossacks"

and in the long run, pursued complete dismantling of the

Cossack estates. This view prevailed in the sixties and seventies, that is, in the so-called "Great Reform period." On the other hand, there was the "particularist" approach to the Cossack question. This view, which, needless to say, most Cossacks strongly supported, was to keep Cossack particularism by reinforcing the exclusive soslovnost' (estatehood) of this military caste. Overall, it was the latter view that guided and shaped the government policies in the period of the "reaction" after the late eighties until the end of the imperial regime in 1917. This generalization, shared by most of the contemporary scholarship on the history of Cossacks, might seem to be quite a simplified observation; given the extreme diversity of all eleven Cossack voiska scattered throughout the vast territory of the empire, these two approaches respectively worked on each voisko differently, and with different considerations, and against different backgrounds. Yet, when it comes to the three voiska that constituted the lynchpin of Russian Cossackdom in South Russia, among them in particular the Kuban' Cossack voisko, these two mutually-exclusive approaches were more saliently identifiable. What, then, did these two approaches mean to Cossackdom and how did they work in particular on Kuban' Cossacks? The creation of the Kuban' voisko itself marked the beginning of the universalist 36

Ausky, Kozdci, 43

13 approach of the reform period, because the Kuban' oblast', which was established in February 1860,

was created a scant few months before the birth of the Kuban'

Cossack voisko; like elsewhere in the empire, the "oblast'" was the administrative unit for local governance, which was supposedly universalistic by definition, concerning both the Cossack and the non-Cossack population together. Territorially the oblast' almost coincided with the voisko.™ After 1865, the head (nachal'mk) of the oblast' became simultaneously the appointed (nakaznoi) ataman.39 Therefore, Kuban' oblast' almost equals Kuban' voisko and vice versa. At this initial stage, the Cossack particularism in voisko seemed to go along with the civic universalism of oblast' harmoniously, because, at least ostensibly, the introduction of the oblast' system did not change the status quo in the voisko, the Cossack monopoly of Kuban'. The purpose of the government was evident; as shown in a report to the War Ministry in 1868, the government proposed to put the Cossack caste under the umbrella of the united system of governance in the empire, while at the same time keeping the military function of Cossackdom intact.

Thus was the oblast' system introduced, while the voisko

administration remained. After being incorporated into the civic administration of the empire, the Cossacks still remained an exclusive caste. Yet, their exclusive particularism became occasioned by universalism. In other words, they were allowed to be "particularistic" 37

Polnoe sobranie zakonov Rossiiskoi Imperii, S. 2, No. 35421 Malukalo, Kubanskoe kazach'e voisko, 7. Some regions in Stavropol gubemiia adjacent to Kuban' were a part of Kuban' voisko, but did not belong to Kuban' oblast'. Also, between 1888 and 1896, the Chernomorskii (Black Sea) okrug was a part of the Kuban' oblast', before it was again separated to become Chernomorskaia gubemiia in 1896. After the civil war, the Soviet authorities annexed Kuban' oblast' with Chernomorskaia gubemiia, a measure obviously to weaken Cossacks' influence. From this annexation, new Krasnodarskii krai was created; this arrangement has continued until today. 39 Polnoe sobranie zakonov Rossiiskoi Imperii, S. 2, No. 46652, 47585 40 Malukalo, Kubanskoe kazach 'e voisko, 46 38

14 only within the universalistic frame of oblast', rather than to be particularistic per se as they had been before. Even the particularistic approach adopted by the government after the end of the Great Reform period did not change this contradictory status between the Cossacks' intrinsic particularism as an estate and the civic universalism of supposedly modern Russia, because it could not rescind all the changes made by universalism. Rather, by strengthening the exclusivity of this martial caste, it simply deepened the gulf between Cossacks and non-Cossacks, and expanded the contradiction between voisko and oblast'. With the introduction of the universalistic reform, unlike the prereform period when the military hierarchy did not diverge from the administration of the Cossack land, Kuban' Cossacks now faced an administrative dualism. On the one hand, in terms of military affairs Cossacks were under the military hierarchy of voisko, which was controlled by the Ministry of War. On the other hand, in terms of civilian sectors of administration, Cossacks became "citizens" under the civic system of oblast', who were subject to the Ministry of Internal Affairs. As long as Cossacks remained the absolute majority in the Kuban' population, this dualism did not seem to cause any tangible problem, and Cossacks might be able to live "particularistically" as Cossack citizens even within this dualism. However, it was not long before the universalism began to crack the Cossack monopoly with a potentially catastrophic outcome for the future of Cossack particularism. The time of crisis began with the coming of other "citizens" of the empire who were not Cossacks, who would be known as inogorodnie.

15 B. Inogorodnie Question in Kuban'

Inogorodnie was an administrative term coined by the authorities to designate the population of non-Cossack soslovie, who moved to Cossack lands and established permanent or temporary residence there.41 Its initial usage as an official term to designate newly arrived non-Cossack settlers from other provinces such as runaway serfs, dated back to the 1830s.42 Literally speaking, inogorodnie designated a group of people from other (inoi) cities (goroda); ordinary Cossacks also called them postoronnie, which means "strangers" or "outsiders,"43 an interesting term, the assumption under which was that only Cossacks are "native." This presumed "nonnativeness" was central to Cossacks' understanding of inogorodnie. In 1872, the government introduced a new term, nevoiskovye, which meant people who did not belong to Cossack soslovie. But, inogorodnie as a term did not disappear from circulation; rather it enjoyed more popular usage among Cossacks as well as inogorodnie themselves even until the twentieth century,44 probably, at least for Cossacks, owing to its connoted assumption of the "nonnativeness" of non-Cossacks. Strictly speaking in terms of legality, some of the inogorodnie were not considered "native" to Kuban'. In this case, even if they established a permanent residence in Kuban', or if they were even born to Kuban', they were considered to be


L. M. Mel'nikov, "Inogorodnie v Kubanskoi oblasti," Kubanskii sbornik, Vol. 6 (Ekaterinodar, 1900), 73; G. Pokrovskii, Denikinshchina: Godpolitiki i ekonomiki na Kubani (Berlin: Izdatel'stvo Z. I. Grazhebina, 1923), 11 42 A. Kolomenskii, "Inogorodnee naselenie Kubanskogo Kraia," Mestnoe Samoupravelenie na Severnom Kavkaze, No. 16 - 17 (Ekaterinodar, 1919), 21 43 Idid; Pokrovskii, Denikinshchina, 11 44 Mel'nikov, "Inogorodnie," 77

16 still residents of their "original place of domicile" for registration purposes, somewhere in central Russia or Ukraine where they or their parents had lived before departing for South Russia. Thus, most of them still nominally maintained a "passport relationship" with their original hometown, because their internal passports were supposed to be issued by the local administration of the original abode, not by that of their actual and current residence in Kuban' .45 In most cases, the term inogorodnie was very broadly used. While the originally intended and initial usage of this term, particularly after the emancipation, was "newcomers," as time went on, most Cossacks used this term to simply mean anyone who was not a Cossack and thus who was not "native," thereby including very broad strata of population, from some small number of indigenous non-Cossack artisans, who had moved earlier and had resided in Kuban' before 1861, to even moderately rich small landowners whose demographic proportion among the non-Cossack population was miniscule.46 More broadly speaking, all people of any non-Cossack soslovie such as non-Cossack clergy, merchants, low-rank officials, and even some nobles, could be included in this category.47 Quite interestingly, some pre-revolutionary statistical sources and early Soviet historians tended to count even the gortsy population as inogorodnie, who clearly were


Pokrovskii, Denikinshchina, 11; Mel'nikov, "Kak byt' s inogorodnimi v kazach'ikh oblastiiakh," Na Kavkaze, No. 4 (Ekaterinodar, 1909), 404 46 Mel'nikov, 1900, "Inogorodnie," 73 - 74. Mel'nikov used the term inogorodnie almost as a synonym of Non-Cossack Russian or Ukrainian peasants. On the contrary, one of the recent historians, S. A. Ausky narrowly defined inogorodnie by differentiating them from native peasants. This view makes sense in Don, where considerable "native" peasants lived in its northern parts, but it is not applicable in Kuban', where the absolute majority of peasants were migrant settlers or their descendents. See Ausky, Kozdci, 45. Instead, in this dissertation I will follow the contemporary Cossacks' own definition of inogorodnie, which was used to mean non-Cossack Russian or Ukrainian peasants living in Cossack villages. 47 Gorodetskii, "Raspredelenie," 110

17 not "newcomers" in any sense but real natives in the Caucasus,48 who had lived in the Caucasus long before any Russians, let alone Cossacks, came. In this case, inogorodnie meant the "people of nevoiskovoe soslovie" in general, which means anyone who did not belong to Cossack estate, thus by definition encompassing both migrant settlers and native mountaineers. This statistical inclusion of native gortsy, which clearly was related to the regulation in April 1872 that introduced the new term, nevoiskovye, replacing inogorodnie, might appear just to serve administrative convenience. However, this statistical categorization of the population based on soslovie reflected an interesting hidden assumption of the authorities on the boundary between "being Cossack" and "being non-Cossack," an assumption that the natsional 'nost' (nationality) mattered less than soslovnost' (estatehood). Indeed, the authorities presumed more affinity between ethnically Slavic inogorodnie and non-Russian gortsy than between Cossacks and inogorodnie, both of whom were ethnically Russian or Ukrainian. This is a noteworthy assumption, because, according to the observation of Gorodetskii, "the non-Cossack Russian population in Kuban' did not differ from Cossacks at all in terms of way of life... except for [some aspects in] Cossacks' social and family life due to the peculiarities of their military service.49 Later, albeit under a different motivation, some early Soviet historians before the "rehabilitation" of Cossacks also preferred to define inogorodnie in the same way. It was because it helped them to justify the causes of inogorodnie who most decisively contributed to the victory of the Soviet Regime in the 48

For example, see G. Ladokha, Ocherki grazhdcmskoi bor 'by na Kubani (Krasnodar: Burevestnik, 1923), 4. According to him, the inogorodnie had already outnumbered Cossacks as early as in 1888, allegedly accounting for 53.2% of the population of the Kuban'. This number seems to be an obvious overestimation by including gortsy. 49 Gorodetskii, "Ocherki po Kubanovegeniiu: 2. Byt i kul'tura naseleniia Kubanskoi oblasti," Kubanskaia shkola, No. 4 (Ekaterinodar, 1915), 234

18 civil war in Kuban'. Exaggerating the demographic importance of inogorodnie and at the same time underestimating that of Cossacks gave more legitimacy to the Soviets and their inogorodnie supporters of Bolshevism. It is difficult to clearly define this mixed group of people in terms of class or occupation or legality, but it goes without saying that the overwhelming majority of the inogorodnie were peasant migrants or their descendents from Russia and Ukraine. It was their allegedly inherent "nonnativeness" as migrants that shaped the Cossacks' view on these postoronnie (strangers). It was for this reason that in Kuban' the term inogorodnie was used by ordinary Cossacks interchangeably to usually mean "peasants" and vice versa, although the term was initially supposed to indicate only "newcomers from other cities" and should not include any "native" peasants.50 With regard to non-Cossack peasants as opposed to inogorodnie, their presence in Kuban' was not a recent phenomenon, as their settlement in Kuban' dated back to a much earlier period. Since the building of Cossack settlements in the Kuban' region in the late eighteenth century, the influx of peasants including the fugitive serfs from central Russia and Ukraine never stopped, and the authorities by no means actively halted their movement because of an ever-increasing need for labor in this still very sparsely populated Cossack colony. As was shown briefly above, many of these peasants even became Cossacks, while others were also allowed to live together with Cossacks, working in various occupations as artisans, merchants, and unskilled workers, 50

After 1917, the Kuban' samostiiniki attempted to redefine the term by dividing inogorodnie into two groups according to length of residence. One is a group of korennyi (native) inogorodnie, who resided in Kuban' over some specific length of time, thus being supposedly eligible for newly created Kuban' citizenship. The other was a group of those who are not "native," who were to paraphrase in terminology from present days, "illegal immigrants." Only the first group of inogorodnie, the Cossacks, and gortsy could be "native" residents, according to samostiiniki.

19 although their presence was neither legally nor officially recognized by the authorities. At this stage, their number remained demographically minimal, at least for statistical purposes; so their presence was not a concern. In the 1850s, according to some estimations, the number of the inogorodnie in the Black-Sea Cossack voisko was just about five thousand; even if seasonal workers were counted, the number was presumed to be at less than 15,000. Overall, the percentage of non-Cossack population before the merger was 2.2% in the Caucasian Line voisko and 1.5% in the Black-Sea voisko respectively.

Although this number seems to underestimate the actual number of non-

Cossack peasants, in particular due to the considerable number of seasonal migrants, it is evident the Kuban' voisko was an overwhelmingly Cossack province. However, this Cossack dominance was doomed not to last after the Emancipation in 1861. The Emancipation in 1861 was what changed the demographic topography of Kuban' most decisively. Indeed, the peasants who had just gained the freedom of movement and residence by Emancipation began to storm into the fertile but relatively sparsely populated South Russia from the congested areas of Central Russia where landhunger was prevalent. Soon, Kuban' became one of the centers that attracted many seasonal workers from Russia and Ukraine. What was remarkable in this mass movement was the fact that it was the Russian government itself that actually opened the door to Kuban' for inogorodnie, through implementing a series of administrative measures and legislations, although the authorities neither officially nor openly promoted nor intended to do this. In a new law in 1862,


for example, to encourage

Ratushniak, Ocherki, 220 - 221 The law was Polozhenie o zaselenii predgorii zapadnoi chast' Kavkazskogo khrebta Kubanskimi kazakami i drugimi pereselentsami iz Rossii. 52

20 colonization of the still less populated Zakuban'e, an unpopular area among Kuban' Cossacks who already settled in the relatively well-developed plains areas, the government provided several incentives to the non-Cossack population of other sosloviia in order to entice them to the new colony; one of these measures was to promise to give land to voluntary settlers of a non-Cossack soslovie, and more importantly, to formally allow them to establish private ownership of the given land. Needless to say, there was a restriction set on this potentially radical measure, which might disrupt traditional communal ownership among Cossacks, so that only new settlers in Zakuban'e were qualified for this incentive. Although this benefit was purported to target some retired officers and demobilized soldiers as well as their families, its beneficiaries included some peasants who volunteered for the migration and were also eligible for incentive.53 Indeed, the law of 1862 marked a very important beginning of "universalism in practice" during the Great Reform in the Kuban' oblast.' For the first time, the presence and settlement of non-Cossack population in Kuban' was recognized officially through the legislation of the government. For the first time in Kuban', the government officially allowed the people of other estates to acquire presumably Cossack lands, which should have been reserved for Cossacks' communal ownership in principle, and that gave them the chance to possess it as a private property.54 The most decisive measure that expedited the influx of the inogorodnie to Cossack voiska including Kuban' was implemented through a law on April 1868, which 53

Mel'nikov, "Inogorodnie," 75 - 76; Shcherbina, Zemel'naia obshchina Kubanskikh kazakov (Ekaterinodar, 1891), 45 54 Mel'nikov, "Inogorodnie," 76; L. P. Rasskazov, ed., Kuban'i kazachestvo (Rostov-na-donu, 2003), 74

21 practically legalized their presence in the land of Cossacks.55 Indeed, the universalism of the Great Reform culminated in the legislation of 1868, since this measure was implemented in the same vein as the Emancipation. This law gave any people of nonCossack soslovie who were Russian subjects (podannyi) rights to acquire immovable properties including houses and buildings of all kinds but excluding the ownership of land, even without the permission of the authorities and even without the agreement of the stanitsa assembly. By this measure, people of non-Cossack soslovie received a freedom to settle in any Cossack province, which had been officially closed to them. In return for permission to settle, inogorodnie were required to pay a fixed amount of "land use fee per sazhen (posazhennaia plata)" for the ground plot where their houses or buildings were built. The actual amount of this fee was to be set by military council of the Ministry of War; the law set a provision that it should not exceed 5 kopeek per year. The law of 1868 also stipulated that inogorodnie should be guaranteed their access to the common pasture of stanitsa with payment of the applicable land use fee.56 By another law in 1870, a logical follow-up supplementing the zakon of 1868, inogorodnie residing and owning a property in Cossack villages even obtained the right to participate in the stanitsa skhod, the Cossack village assembly, a symbol of grass-roots Cossack democracy, although the law stipulated that their participation in skhod should be limited only to discussing and deliberating the inogorodnie related issues in the assembly.57 It was these two laws, most notably the law of 1868, that to borrow an expression in a governmental report regarding the inogorodnie question, "opened free 55

This law was promulgated on April 29, 1868, as ukaz o raszreshenii litsam nevoiskogo sosloviia selit 'sia i priobretat' nedvizhimuiy sobstvennost' na kazach 'ikh zemliakh. 56 RGIVA, f. 400, op. 25, d. 14104,1. 1; Mel'nikov, "Inogorodnie," 79 57 Ibid.; Mel'nikov, "Kak byt' s inogorodnimi," 424; Malukalo, Kubanskoe kazach'e voisko, 67 - 68

22 access" to Cossack lands for the non-Cossack population.58 These two laws were very significant moves, which were clearly prompted by the universalism of the Great Reform; it was these laws that most substantially contributed to the emergence of the inogorodnie question. The natural corollary of these laws was that the government recognized the presence of inogorodnie in Cossack hosts as de facto accomplished. However, from the beginning, these laws were self-contradictory, because while de facto legalizing their "presence in oblast'" the laws did not legalize their "residence in voisko." The law of 1868 gave inogorodnie settlers the right to acquire and build houses and buildings, but this did not mean that it legalized their settlement. The majority of these settlers were still residents of their hometowns for registration purposes. More importantly, the law of 1868 blocked any claim by non-Cossacks for lands even if they built houses on the grounds. It clearly stated that lands still belonged to Cossacks, because in Cossack provinces, lands were supposed to be only reserved for Cossacks. However, the government had already broken this principle in 1862, even if through allegedly temporary and local measures. Those volunteer migrants to the mountain areas received lands and established private ownerships of them.59 The consequence of these laws was enormous in all Cossack voiska in South Russia and the Northern Caucasus. In particular, what happened in Kuban' was a demographic explosion of non-Cossack population, not simply by birth but by massive immigration. The number of inogorodnie began to grow rapidly. Before the law of 58

RGIVA, f. 400, op. 25, d. 14104,1. 195ob Ratushniak, Agrarnye otnosheniia na Severnom Kavkaze v kontse XIX'— nachaleXXvv. (Krasnodar: Izdatel'stvo Kubanskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta, 1982), 6


23 1868, the estimated number of inogorodnie in Kuban' oblast' was just about 25,000, but in 1873 it reached about 256,000, more than a tenfold increase in just five years.60 At this stage Cossacks were still the absolute majority. However, in the next twenty years, the demography of the Kuban' oblast' quickly changed. In 1894, the number of inogorodnie reached 610,188, an alarming growth, considering that the number of Cossacks at the same year were 724,394. In 1897, the number of inogorodnie was 704,378 while Cossacks remained relatively constant at 784,616, just a modest increase, compared to the fast growth of the inogorodnie population. Overall, in just twenty years, the Cossack population in Kuban' increased only one and half a times, while the number of inogorodnie grew six and a half times.61 In the early twentieth century when the Cossacks began to experience a massive population increase as well, the inogorodnie population still grew even faster than the Cossacks. In 1913, the inogorodnie in Kuban' already outnumbered the native Cossack population with 1,384,300 inogorodnie vs. 1,267,603 Cossacks.62 In 1914, the gap between Cossacks and non-Cossacks grew even bigger to 1,339,430 Cossacks vs. 1,646,901 inogorodnie,

the growth of whom appeared to be a result of increased

mobility mainly due to the outbreak of World War I. By 1917, the number of inogorodnie came to completely overwhelm the number of Cossacks, constituting about


Mel'nikov, "Inogorodnie," 77 Ibid, S3 62 This number is cited from the official report by the Kuban' Ataman to the General Staff of the War Ministry on Jan. 14, 1914, in RGVIA, f. 400, op. 25, d. 14104,1. 423. However, this report seems to underestimate the actual number of inogorodnie, probably due to ambiguity of their legal status, and also partially due to the presence of a great number of seasonal workers among them. 63 Kolomenskii, "Inogorodnee naselenie," 22. The number of gortsy as of 1914 was 136,574. 61

24 57% of the population,64 or according to another estimation, reaching even up to 64%,65 a number clearly counting all non-Cossack Russian subjects who came to Kuban' during the World War. Thus, the population of the Kuban tripled from 1875 to 1899 and increased by 57% from 1900 to 1917, this stunning population growth was made possible only by the sizable immigration of inogorodnie peasants.66 Of course, the inogorodnie question was not a problem localized only to Kuban', because the universalism of the Great Reform had far-reaching effects on all Cossack hosts of the empire. In all three Cossack provinces in South Russia and Northern Caucasus, the deluge of peasant immigrants swiftly transformed the demography of South Russia and the Northern Caucasus. Already in 1901, indeed, the number of inogorodnie in three Cossack voiska in South Russia and the Northern Caucasus surpassed that of Cossacks with 3,632,174 inogorodnie vs. 3,144,747 Cossacks.67 In Don, the number of inogorodnie increased from 320,000 in 1860 to 1,783,000 in 1910, from 34% of the population in 1860 to 56% in 1910.

In the Terek Cossack voisko,

there also was a rapid growth of inogorodnie peasants from approximately 5000 in 1860 to about more than 100,000 in the early twentieth century.69 However, in these two voiska neighboring Kuban', the inogorodnie question left a relatively less acute impact and resulted in less serious repercussions than in Kuban'. In Don, besides the


I. Gol'dentul, Zemel'nye otnosheniia na Kubani (Krasnodar: Burevestnik, 1924), 19 A. V. Iushko, Razvitiezemel'nykh otnosheniiv Kubanskoi Oblasti izemel'naiaprogramma kazach'ei partii s tochki zreniiapartii Sotsialistov-Revoliutsionerov (Ekaterinodar: Tipografiia I. N. Ditsmana, 1917), 4 66 Ratushniak, Ocherki istorii Kubani (Krasnodar: Kubanskii gosudarstvennyi universitet, 1996), 394 67 Mel'nikov, "Kak byt' s inogorodnimi," 405 68 McNeal, Tsar and Cossack, 14 69 S. A. Khubulova, "Kazach'e zemlevladenie i sotsial'noe napriazhenie v gorskikh raionakh Severnogo Kavkaza v nachale XX veka," in Kazachestvo: proshloe i nastoiashchee, sbornik nauchnykh trudov, edited by M. M. Zagorul'ko (Volgograd: Isd. Volgogradskoro universiteta, 2000), 215 65

25 inogorodnie who came as peasant immigrants, much of the non-Cossack population were simply added from the administrative annexation of an enclave of Ekaterinoslav guberniia, including two big cities irrelevant to Cossacks, Rostov-na-Donu and Taranrog, to the Don oblasf in 1887.

Thus, in Don, the inogorodnie question to some

degree might appear as a localized issue, although it would still be an acute problem, especially relevantly involving the northern part of the voisko and its cities, where the considerable portion of non-Cossack population had resided before their province became a part of Don oblast'.71 Due to the presence of two large cities in its northern part, the Don voisko also had a sizable working class among its non-Cossack population. In the Terek Cossack voisko, a different situation made the inogorodnie question less noticeable and less volatile. In Terek, Russians themselves, including both Cossacks and inogorodnie, were a relative minority among the majority of non-Russian population, gortsy, who accounted for 54% of the entire population of the Terek oblasf 79

as of 1914. At this time, the Cossacks constituted only 19.6%.

Needless to say, the

issue of natsional 'nost' between Russian and non-Russian population mattered more than soslovnost' between Cossacks and non-Cossacks; it was the nationality question that surfaced as a more acute issue in Terek than in other Cossack hosts like Don and Kuban'. Unlike its neighbor hosts, the Kuban' had only a small non-Cossack population at the time of its creation. In addition, the Kuban' inogorodnie were overwhelmingly 70

McNeal, Tsar and Cossack, 110-114 L. 1. Futorianskii, "Chislennosf, natsional'nyi i religiozhyi sostav kazachestva Rossii v 1897 -1917 gg." in Problemy istorii kazachestva: sbornik nauchnykh trudov, edited by A. V. Shestakova (Volgograd: Izdatel'stvo Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta, 1995), 119 72 Otchet nachal 'nika Terskoi oblast 'za 1914 god (Vladikavkaz, 1915), 36, as cited in Khubulova, 213. 71

26 peasant immigrants of Russian or Ukrainian descent. Unlike other voiska, the absolute majority of them settled in the countryside and lived in stanitsa together with Cossacks.73 As early as in 1874, inogorodnie constituted almost one fifth of the stanitsa residents, while they accounted for only 14% of the entire population of Kuban' oblast' including the city population.74 After about two decades, inogorodnie constituted 37% of the entire population; however, in the countryside, the demographic proportion of inogorodnie rose up to 47% of the stanitsa population as of 1897,75 which fact indicated that almost a half of the population of supposedly "Cossack" stanitsa were not Cossacks by the end of the nineteenth century. In 1914, the absolute majority of Kuban' inogorodnie, about 85.4% of them, were living in the countryside.76 Naturally, it goes without saying that Kuban' had more potential for conflicts abetted by overlapping interests and antagonism over the land between Cossacks and non-Cossacks than had any other Cossack host, because of the face-to-face relationship throughout the entire Kuban' voisko. Why, then, did the government not prohibit this rush of inogorodnie from the beginning? Why did the Cossacks not attempt to stop this mass immigration of nonCossack population, which would apparently threaten their monopoly on land in the long run, in its initial stage? Obviously, at the early stages, the government would not prohibit the immigration of inogorodnie; it was they themselves who promoted it by legalizing their presence. In addition, at least in the sixties and in the early seventies, the presence of inogorodnie faced few objections even from the voisko authorities and most 73 74 75 76

Malukalo, Kubanskoe kazach 'e voisko, 145 Mel'nikov, "Inogorodnie," 83 Ibid. Kolomenskii, "Inogorodnee naselenie," 22

27 rank and file Cossacks themselves. Although the universalism of the Great Reform should be a partial answer to explain the government's decision to open Cossack lands to non-Cossacks, there was another practical reason: the need of labor.77 Until the mid nineteenth century, Kuban' belonged to one of the most sparsely populated provinces in the empire, while unlike Siberia it had a mild climate and superior soils extremely favorable to agriculture. However, as shown in the colonization of Zakuban'e, it was impossible to colonize this vast region awaiting human development, abundant in natural resources like wood and oil and ideally fit for grain cultivation thanks to its fertile soil, with only Cossacks. This seemed to be why "some Cossacks even welcomed the law [of 1868]" , which gave inogorodnie a right to obtain residential property in Cossack stanitsa, and why "[most] Cossack population accepted it as a truly beneficial measure [for themselves]."79 According to Mel'nikov, some legal limitations and financial burden on inogorodnie such as posazhennaia plata stipulated in the law of 1868 remained virtually dead letters in these early days, because they were not pursued actively by the stanitsa authorities.80 However, this apparently contradictory policy of the government and ostensibly near-sighted response by the Cossacks and the voisko authorities were, in a sense, rational reactions under the universalism of the Great Reform, in terms of economic development of this border province in the northern Caucasus, in particular due to a fundamental change in the economic structure of Kuban' Cossackdom in the second half of the nineteenth century: the spread of grain cultivation among Cossacks. The 77 78 79 80

Ladokha, Ocherki, 22 Mel'nikov, "Inogorodnie," 110 RGVIA, f. 400, op. 25, d. 14104,1. 25 Mel'nikov, "Inogorodnie," 110

28 influx of inogorodnie was a phenomenon that closely involved the spread of agriculture among Kuban' Cossacks, whose primary economic activity had been stock raising on common pastures as late as the eighties.81 As agriculture began to spread as a primary economic activity among Cossacks after the eighties, common pastures of the yurt in each stanitsa were swiftly transformed to arable lands to cultivate grain. Under the strongly egalitarian tradition of Cossacks, this process also introduced a peasant practice traditionally unfamiliar among Cossacks: periodic repartitioning of the stanitsa yurt lands among Cossack households, which were traditionally reserved and used as common pastures, into an individual parcel for each adult male Cossack, pai (a parcel of land assigned to an adult Cossack male by stanitsa commune). While some Cossacks became cultivators of their own pai, others preferred a different and easier way to make use of their pai, which, in most cases, meant a simple lease of their allotted plots. Lease of a pai was a very easy option for some Cossack households, adult males of which were absent due to the long-term military service that every adult male Cossack was required to fulfill. As the number of the inogorodnie grew in Cossack stanitsy, the leasing of a pai to them became a more and more widespread practice among Cossack households. Furthermore, in terms of economic efficiency and productivity, leasing lands to inogorodnie was a more productive way to use lands owing to Cossacks' backwardness as grain cultivators. Indeed, the spread of agriculture in Kuban' after the seventies did not mean that Cossacks became able and successful farmers. Their lack of zeal for the pursuit of profit, mainly owing to a

81 82

Malukalo, Kubanskoe kazach'e voisko, 139; Mel'nikov, "Inogorodnie," 84 - 86 Ibid, 99

29 strongly corporatist collectivism, and their newly adopted practice of periodic repartitioning of land, prevented any effectively planned use of the Cossack pai. Due to the repartitioning of each pai, Cossacks did not expect that they would keep their parcels after the next repartition, so they had no interest in improving the quality of their lands.83 Needless to say, Cossacks' long-term military service was also a serious impediment for their becoming consistent and able farmers. Yet, after the late 1870s, in Kuban', grain cultivation, which required much labor but promised more profits, began to replace traditional stock raising that had been less dependent on labor. In 1873, the area of land allocated for grain cultivation was just 803,327 desiatina, but after 20 years, it rose to 1,996,640 desiatina, a significant increase which illustrates the rapid growth of agriculture in Kuban'.84 In this expansion of grain cultivation in Kuban', it was inogorodnie who played a major role as agricultural workers hired by Cossacks, and more importantly, as tenants who leased arable lands from Cossacks, either an individual pai or a parcel of the Cossack yurt of a stanitsa (reserve lands). The rent they paid for the lease became a very convenient source of income for Cossacks.85 Both central voisko authorities and local stanitsa communes in the country began to put their resources on lease to inogorodnie on a large scale, mostly natural resources like salt farms, forests, fishing grounds, and newly found oil fields (in


M. I. Lukomets, "Ekonomicheskie problemy kazachestva v tvorchestve F. A. Shcherbiny," in Nauchno-tvorcheskoe nasledie Fedora Andreevicha Shcherbiny i sovremennost': sbornik materialov mezhregional'noi nauchno-praticheskoi konferentsii, edited by S. N. Iakaev (Krasnodar: Izdatel'stvo IMSIT, 2004), 292 84 Mel'nikov, "Inogorodnie," 86; Gol'dentul, Zemel'nye otnosheniia,\l 85 A. I. Shershenko, Pravovoe i economicheskoepolozhenie inogorodnikh na Sevemom Kavkaze v s khoziaistvennym razvitiem kraia (Ekaterinodar, 1906), Vol. 1, 44

30 Maikovskii otdel), as well as arable lands. Earnings and profits through this large scale and widespread lease of these natural resources poured into the revenue of the voisko and stanitsa, which were used to cover the expanding costs of social services for Cossacks in medicine, public health, various subsidies to needy Cossack households, and in particular, for the expansion of education.86 In fact, the land use fee the inogorodnie paid to the stanitsa authorities became one of the primary sources of the revenue for Cossack stanitsa and voisko authorities.87 Thus, the inogorodnie became a growingly indispensable element, without which the running of the Cossack voisko economy could not be maintained. By the early twentieth century, Kuban' became one of the main agricultural centers of the empire and one of its main sources for grain exports, but this growth would have been impossible without the presence of the inogorodnie. Indeed, even the Cossacks themselves were obliged to reluctantly acknowledge the contribution of the inogorodnie; to borrow the euphemistic expression of a contemporary Cossack author, "the development of agricultural culture in Kuban' oblast' is in a considerable degree related to the inogorodnie."** Besides in agriculture, the role of the inogorodnie also expanded in every sector of economic activity in Kuban', especially in the countryside. In stanitsy, virtually all artisans were inogorodnie. They also dominated petty commerce and trade in stanitsy, while trade and commerce in cities were in the hands of Armenian merchants. This dominance of inogorodnie merchants in Kuban' had its own cause. Unlike in Don, Cossack merchants

Mel'nikov, "Inogorodnie," 94 - 95 Shershenko, Pravovoe i economicheskoe polozhenie, Vol. 1, 46 - 4 7 Ibid, 39

31 as a distinct group disappeared from Kuban'.89 As of 1898, the Cossacks were only 775 among all 11,497 registered merchants; the majority of these merchants were inogorodnie, who engaged in grain trade and petit commerce.

Indeed, according to a

special report of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, which was supposedly prepared to cope with the "threat" of inogorodnie, it was inogorodnie who galvanized the stagnant Cossack economy, since only with the arrival of inogorodnie "... among the Cossack population appeared people of industry and commerce, and [they] gave every Cossack a possibility to gain profits from his property, thereby helping improve his well-being."91 From the beginning, inogorodnie peasants did not remain a homogeneous group. Accordingly, as their economic power grew, like their fellow ex-serfs and former state peasants in central Russia during the post-emancipation period, the inogorodnie population also experienced their own socio-economic stratification. Generally speaking, they were divided to three subgroups. First, to borrow words of a contemporary Cossack observer, the law of 1868 created "a special class of residents [from inogorodnie] in Cossack stanitsa ... who had osedlost' (residential property and other buildings)."

If they truly deserved to be called "special," it was because of their

ambiguous status as non-Cossack residents, which was especially visible in the dualistic property relation by the law of 1868, separating land and buildings. The law allowed them to settle in Cossack villages, and bestowed a right to use the ground plot even on a hereditary basis. Thus, by law, inogorodnie were allowed to establish virtually private


Mel'nikov, "Inogorodnie," 92 Ibid., 93. Evidently, this number did not include a large number of inogorodnie peddlers, who virtually monopolized commerce in the countryside. 91 RGVIA, f. 400, op. 25, d. 14104,1. 25 92 Gorodetskii, "Raspredelenie," 107 90

32 ownership of osedlost'. In this respect, it seemed that they did not differ from their fellow peasants in central Russia and elsewhere during the post-emancipation period. However, the usad'ba, the ground areas where buildings were built and gardens attached to the buildings, were not theirs, because all lands in Cossack provinces, by definition, should belong to Cossacks' collective ownership, whether it belonged to an individual pai or stanitsayurt or reserved lands of the voisko. These inogorodnie had to pay a posazhennaia plata for the usage of these lands plus rent for the arables they leased, although the law stated that inogorodnie could hold the ground lands on a hereditary basis. Thus, in actuality, "a special class of residents" was a euphemism by the Cossack observer to depict their strange and contradictory residential status in economic and legal terms. This "special class of rural residents" constituted the largest group among Kuban' inogorodnie. According to a statistical datum which counted the gortsy population as part of the category of inogorodnie, they constituted 45.4% of the entire nevoiskovoi (non-Cossack) population as of 1913.93 Not all inogorodnie who settled in Cossack villages were to acquire or build houses and other buildings. Besides seasonal workers, who usually established temporary residence in Kuban', some peasant settlers preferred not to acquire their own residential property because of the inherent restrictions on the ownership of land, and most importantly, because of the burden of the posazhennaia plata. Instead, these inogorodnie rented residential property from Cossacks or fellow inogorodnie who had osedlost', and lived as tenants. They were called "inogorodnie who did not have osedlost"'; they were the second largest group following the first group with 31.2% as 93

Ibid, 108

33 of 1913.94 In addition, statistically speaking, there existed another group, officially called "native (korennye)" inogorodnie. Some of them were gortsy, because for statistical purposes these native mountaineers were counted as part of the inogorodnie, or more exactly speaking, as part of nevoiskovie people.95 However, these korennye (native) inogorodnie also included a group of ethnic Russians, whose origins dated back to the colonization of Zakuban'e in the sixties. Unlike the other two groups, most of them were "legal" residents who were allowed to live in Kuban' by the government; this "legality" was a compensation for their volunteering in the government sponsored colonization of the mountain areas, unlike the hesitant Cossacks who refused or perfunctorily agreed to resettle. As a result, these non-Cossacks had been given full rights to live in Kuban', and thus were counted as "native" inogorodnie, by the authorities at least. Permitted to acquire land as well as houses in the new colony where all lands had belonged to state property, they established their own villages {khutor) separate from nearby Cossack stanitsy. Some of them formed agricultural associations; others, who preferred individual household farming, built their own farmsteads. According to a statistical datum, as of 1917, the number of agricultural associations of peasants was 469 with 183,373 desiatina land.96 Soon, these inogorodnie were transformed into peasants of property, who privately owned land as well as the residential properties, without concern for the Cossacks' claim for their lands. Although they originated in the colonization of 94 95 96

ibid. Ibid, 107 Kolomenskii, "Inogorodnee naselenie," 26 - 27

34 Zakuban'e, these native inogorodnie were scattered throughout the entire Kuban' oblast', and their number steadily increased due to the incessant influx of these legal migrants, who settled in the state owned or privately purchased lands. Especially, the Peasant Land Bank, a branch of which appeared in 1903 in Ekaterinodar, played a pivotal role in the increase of this legal group of inogorodnie by financially supporting their settlements.97 It was these inogorodnie, who were peasants more active economically and more motivated by market-orientation, who mostly contributed to the development of capitalism in Kuban'.98 As their number steadily increased, the large estates of the nobility, though their proportion in Kuban' had been always tiny, almost disappeared in early twentieth century Kuban'. Instead, middle class peasant farming became the dominant form in the non-Cossack sector of agriculture in Kuban'.99 Thus, these korennye inogorodnie radically differed from the two other groups. Indeed, they might not qualify for definition as inogorodnie, since they did not fit the conventional image of underprivileged peasants who sat on the border between half legal presence and half illegal residence. However, these legally "native" inogorodnie were still "not native" by Cossack standards. In their case, their "non-nativeness" stemmed from a different reason: the private ownership of lands, which Cossacks viewed as a potential but possibly dangerous threat to the Cossack practice of collective ownership and communal usage of lands. Overall, these propertied inogorodnie accounted for 23.4% of the non-Cossack population in Kuban'.100 Considering that this statistical datum included the gortsy, the actual demographic portion would seem to be 97

Ratushniak, Ocherki istorii kubani, 394 Ibid., 395 - 3 9 6 99 Ratushniak, Agrarnye otnosheniia, 45 - 46 100 Gorodetskii, "Raspredelenie," 108 98

35 smaller. Thus, another source estimated their number as approximately 220,000, 15% of inogorodnie,'

a number apparently excluding the gortsy.

Although a numerical minority, Cossacks took their presence very seriously, as it symbolized the very antithesis of the Cossacks' egalitarian way of life, and "it could be a threat to the obshchina (land commune) system of voisko economy." I02 A contemporary Cossack author, L. Tmutarakanskii, related the emergence of private property in Cossack provinces to the presence of these inogorodnie, who were "parasitic on Cossacks' well-being."103 Notably, this group included wealthy landowners even richer than supposedly "well-off' Cossacks; Gorodetskii dubbed them "kulakiinogorodnie." In spite of this difference within the inogorodnie population, the stratification did not surface visibly in Kuban', the reason being that it was the soslovie identity that dominated socio-political relations in Kuban'. The inogorodnie identity was a negative one, because what shaped their common identity among this mass of various socioeconomic backgrounds was not "who they were," but "who they were not" or "to whom they did not belong." What mattered was, in other words, their non-Cossack estatehood, which gave them commonality. As long as they did not belong to the Cossack soslovie, despite their expanding role and growing importance in the economy of Kuban' and despite their increasing demographic proportion, they were second class citizens and would remain as such. Besides economic disadvantages such as the land use tax and the various restrictions on ownership of land, more importantly, the inogorodnie were 101 102 103 104

Kolomenskii, "Inogorodnee naselenie," 26 Ratushniak, Agrarnye otnosheniia, 5 Ibid.,8 Gorodetskii, "Byt i kul'tura," 234

36 excluded from any political activities. Until 1917, Kuban' inogorodnie were not allowed to have their own institutions in the stanitsa comparable to the Cossacks' to represent their interests and to count on when disputes with Cossack neighbors took place.105 Thus, inogorodnie could neither claim nor expect any level of legal or administrative protection against arbitrary measures instituted by the Cossack authorities, which would appear during the period of the Reaction after the eighties, the period when the "particularist" approach on Cossacks eventually prevailed. The most volatile issue between the inogorodnie and the Cossacks was the land use fee. Indeed, posazhennaia plata became a symbol of the second-class citizenship status of inogorodnie. Although the amount differed from place to place, it was a considerable financial burden for inogorodnie, especially those who had osedlost'. As of 1889, in the case of Ekaterinodar otdel', its amount was set to be 5 kopeek per sazhen a year,106 which corresponded to the maximum amount allowed by the law of 1868; when converted per desiatina, it amounted to 120 rubles per desiatina}


In the

contemporary standard, this was a very substantial financial burden, too heavy to be paid by even rich peasants, thereby taking in most cases the largest share of the income that an inogorodnie peasant family gained. Most notably, according to the estimation of Mel'nikov, this amount was many times higher than any redemption fee in central Russia, which many emancipated ex-serfs were supposed to pay. Unlike these peasants, who could claim actual ownership of the lands after full payment, inogorodnie could not expect the transfer of the ownership. What they were given was just a right to use the 105 106 107

Kutsenko, Kubanskoe Kazachestvo, 90. Mel'nikov, "Inogorodnie," 76 Mel'nikov, "Kak byt' s inogorodnimi," 420

37 land.108 In addition, posazhennaia plata became the highly preferred method for the authorities to "press" the inogorodnie, thereby applying a brake on their rapid increase. It was expected to perform two functions, as a source of revenue for the stanitisa community on the one hand and as a method to limit their settlements in Cossack stanitsy on the other. Thus, although originally intended as a usage fee for the leased lands, now this fee became a de facto tax (nalog). As the stanitsa authorities began to implement this new "tax" more thoroughly, it primarily hit the inogorodnie who had received an usad'ba duing the "good" earlier days. When they could not make the payment on time, the next step waiting for them was the confiscation of their 109

property. What made the situation worse for inogorodnie was the new law of May 1883, which revised the old law of 1868. The government, alerted by repeated appeals of the voisko authorities in Kuban' and in Terek regarding the alarmingly rapid increase of inogorodnie peasants, added some important revisions to the existing law, a change intended to restrain the influx of non-Cossack population. Although the overall frame of the 1868 law technically remained unchanged and was still effective, because the presence of inogorodnie themselves was still legal, according to this revision, now inogorodnie were only allowed to acquire immovable property when the stanitsa community agreed with it.110 This meant that even if an individual Cossack household agreed to sell its house to inogorodnie, the transaction could not be completed unless the stanitsa commune finally approved it. This approval, needless to say, was becoming 108 109 110

Mel'nikov, "Inogorodnie," 112-113; Ladokha, Ocherki, 21 Mel'nikov, "Inogorodnie," 112-113 Ibid.,\\\

38 increasingly difficult for new inogorodnie settlers to obtain." 1 In a new official instruction to local stanitsa sent by the voisko authorities, which was obviously prompted by the law of 1883, the stanitsa assembly and administration were strongly advised to pay extreme caution to allowing non-Cossacks to settle in Cossack villages and to give more priority to fellow Cossack villagers than non-Cossacks in leasing allotted pai. In addition, the instruction even required that any Cossacks who sold their residential property to inogorodnie be deprived of a right to acquire a new home in the same stanitsa.u In retrospect, the law of 1883, at least in Kuban' and Terek, marked the beginning of the particularist turn on the Cossack question, but this particularist approach was still in the frame of universalism. This belated anti-inogorodnie measure neither cut down on the influx of inogorodnie nor slowed it down nor stopped it, as the continued increase of the non-Cossack population shows. The law of 1883 made it very difficult for inogorodnie to settle down in Cossack villages, but it did not purport to stop it completely, although as an extreme alternative, an idea of drastically limiting their right to settle or even obviating completely their right to settle in Cossack regions, was never given up, especially by the Ministry of War, which had more concern in the interests of Cossacks than did the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The Ministry of War paid close attention to the ongoing inogorodnie question, because it was afraid that the influx of non-Cossacks might result in a deterioration of Cossacks' boevoi dukh (morale) due to the expected conflicts of interests and thus might weaken Cossacks' byt (way of life).

111 112

Ibid., 112 Ibid, 111-112

39 In 1895, as the demographic balance between the Cossacks and non-Cossacks began to decisively shift in favor of the latter, this option and its implementability was discussed and considered quite seriously by the Ministry of War,113 but it was not realized. However, the idea itself was not given up, as the inogorodnie question began to draw the attention of the authorities in St. Petersburg as one of the most acute issues in the early twentieth century. In 1904, the Ministry of War proposed to impose more serious restrictions on inogorodnie, mainly including some drastic measures such as requiring permission of the voisko authorities upon acquisition of property by inogorodnie, doubling the maximum land use fee from 5 kopeek to 10 kopeek, expanding the range of lands subject to the land use fees, limiting the access of inogorodnie to the common pastures of Cossack stanitsa, putting more restrictions on the use by inogorodnie of their property, etc.

Although this plan was approved in the interdepartmental council in

which all relevant parties took part, and with a few revisions was submitted to the State Council for final review, this proposal was not adopted. The officially stated reason was "its incongruity with the pending reforms" [in the 1905 revolution].115 However, this ostensible and vague excuse represented a fundamental difference in approach between the Ministry of War and other ministries, especially the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Justice, and the Ministry of Finance, which viewed the inogorodnie question from the angle of universalism. Although they recognized the urgent need of the anti-inogorodnie measures, these ministries were highly skeptical of 113 1,4 115

RGVIA, f. l,op. 2,d. 154,1. 101 RGVIA, f. 400, op. 25, d. 14104,11. lob., 2, 2ob Ibid, I 4, 395ob

40 the actual implementability of the War Ministry proposal. Although all ministries eventually agreed to the proposal, their opinions expressed during the debates on the inogorodnie question deserve some attention due to their universalist views. For example, in a report to the War Minister, in the zemskii otdel, the Ministry of Internal Affairs pointed out, despite the law in 1883, which had made it very hard for inogorodnie to settle, their number did not decrease and that their influx did not stop." In addition, the same report insisted that all inogorodnie had an inalienable right of tenants as an emphyteuta (lessee), a natural right in Roman law that all tenants were supposed to enjoy when they took actual care of the lands in return for paying rent for the usage of the lands. Although the Cossacks were the actual "legal owners of the lands," the report continued, "our legislature has always protected the emphyteutic institute, trying to defend the interests of emphyteuta (tenants) from any infringements 1 17

by legal owners."

The report did not suggest an objection to the new proposal itself;

however, by comparing the relation between the Cossacks and inogorodnie to that between dominus emphyteuseos (landlord) and emphyteuta (tenant) in Roman law, the report implied that the lands of Cossacks appear to be emphyteuticarius, on which, by definition in the tradition of Roman law, the tenants are assumed to have inalienable legal rights as well. The natural corollary of this argument was clear: the governmental organs should provide the same legal protection to inogorodnie as to Cossacks in terms of the disputes regarding lands. The opinion of the Ministry of Justice was more straightforward in expressing universalism, although it also did not oppose the overall 116 117

RGVIA, f. 400, op. 25, d. 14104,11. 25, 25ob Ibid, \. 26

41 plan itself. According to their opinion, "the task of legislature and government is ... to guarantee the possibility of well-being for all the population ... regardless of affiliation to soslovie... ,"118 This view was also shared by the Ministry of Finance.119 As a result, no legislation on the inogorodnie question was realized; without the backing of more comprehensive and drastic measures on the question, the immediate efficacy of the particularist turn by the law of 1883 proved limited; needless to say, it did not solve the inogorodnie question. Rather, it simply amplified the potential tension between inogorodnie and Cossacks by creating new opportunities for tension. In the long run, the result was aggravation of the existing antagonism already rapidly growing between inogorodnie and Cossacks, which was based on the relationship of conflicting and overlapping interests over land between "haves" and "have nots" or ostensibly between "landlords" and "tenants." As some early Soviet historians insisted, this relationship resembled a class relation. Certainly, as a group, Kuban' inogorodnie were an unprivileged "class" most saliently in economic terms due to the Cossack monopoly on lands in Kuban', which remained solid despite rapid demographic change. The starkest contrast between Cossacks and non-Cossacks was in the disparity in the number of livestock. As of 1913, Cossacks had 2,460,716 head of livestock, while inogorodnie raised only 693,325.120 With regard to lands, in 1899, 79% of all agricultural lands in Kuban' belonged to the Cossack estate, whether in the form of voisko reserve land or of stanitsa yurt. Overall, 77% of these lands were assigned for the use of Cossack stanitsy. In the meantime, 118 119 120

RGVIA, f. 400, op. 25, d. 14104,1. 396 Ibid,\.4\6ob Ibid., 11. 423 - 4 2 4

42 inogorodnie had only a limited share, at best 13% of all the land, which consisted of 633,000 desiatina belonging to the agricultural association of non-Cossack peasants (approximately 7%) and 514,000 desiatina (6%) that the native inogorodnie privately owned.121 As of 1902, inogorodnie peasants leased 223,636 desiatina of Cossack pai from Cossack households, 392,530 desiatina from the communal reserve lands of stanitsa, 16,678 desiatina from voisko reserve lands, and 59,000 desiatina from state owned lands. The amount of the land leased by inogorodnie reached 632,844 desiatina, the absolute majority of which were Cossack lands. These data show that almost 90% of all lands owned by Kuban' Cossacks were put on lease to inogorodnie.

The clear

implication of the data is that inogorodnie were an unprivileged group, the majority of whom lived as tenants or agricultural workers. Thus, to some degree, the overall relationship between Cossacks and inogorodnie was a class based one between the "haves" and "have-nots." The "have-nots" were a large number of rural proletarians, the majority of whom, deprived of the means of production, the land, were subject to various legal and economic discriminations. What was peculiar in this picture was that the "haves" were not landlords in the conventional sense, because Cossacks did not own lands individually. In this sense, the universalist view of the Ministry of Internal Affairs was only partially right. Even if the inogorodnie could be emphyteuta in legal terms, their counterparts, the Cossacks, did not fit the legal definition of dominus emphyteuseos. The lands belonged to the


Malukalo, Kubanskoe kazach'e voisko, 159 - 160. Cossacks had 680,500 desiatina among all the 862,500 total desiatina in Kuban' oblast' {ibid.). 122 Ratushniak, Agrarnye otnosheniia, 57; Ratushbiak, Set's kokhoz iaistvennoe proizvodstvo Severnogo Kavkaza v kontseXIX- nachaleXX veka (Rostov-na-donu: Izdatel'stvo Rostovskogo universiteta, 1989), 54

43 collective ownership of Kuban' Cossackdom as a whole. More than half of the leased lands came from the communal reserves of Cossack stanitsy, and in this case, the landlord was the Cossack stanitsa commune, not an individual Cossack. Some inogorodnie leased lands from Cossack households individually, but at least in principle, the Cossacks could not claim any individual ownership on their pai that they rented out to inogorodnie. In addition, the "tenants" were not necessarily only inogorodnie, although the inogorodnie indubitably constituted the majority of tenants. Cossacks also could become tenants, when a Cossack leased a parcel from his fellow Cossack's household. After all, in renting out any surplus pai, giving preference to Cossacks over inogorodnie was a practice always recommended by the voisko authorities. Nevertheless, even if a Cossack was a tenant, he was still eligible for his own pai. Renting another pai from fellow Cossacks in reality meant adding another to his own. Thus, there existed a fundamental difference between the Cossack tenants and the inogorodnie tenants; they each belonged to a different social stratum respectively, even if both could be tenants in purely economic terms. In this sense, in Kuban', "class" as a socio-economic parameter was a heavily soslovie-bomid denominator. Thus, what appeared in Cossack provinces, especially in early twentieth century Kuban', was a very peculiar situation that did not exist in the non-Cossack provinces of the Russian empire: an overlapping juxtaposition of class and estate, a modernity-bound relation based on a premodernity-bound demarcation bordering on the identity of soslovie. Indeed, the inogorodnie question was an obverse illustration of the peculiar situation of Kuban Cossackdom as a premodern soslovie in supposedly modern Russia, manifesting the unsolvable impasse of a particularistic caste in a universalistic setting.

44 While the Great Reform situated the Cossacks under universalism, the subsequent particularistic turn made them a more exclusive and closed caste without annulling that universalism. In the early twentieth century, when the identity of soslovie, losing its definitive power, became almost meaningless among most of the population, what happened in Kuban' was the opposite of this typical process of modernization: the strengthening of this outlived caste identity. In the overarching frame of universalism in modern Russia in the early twentieth century, the Kuban' Cossacks became more particularistic. The Kuban' Cossack "voisko" remained intact as before while the majority of the population in Kuban' "oblast"' became non-Cossacks. It was this disparity between particularistic voisko and universalistic oblast' that steered the Cossacks into a dead end with the aggravating inogorodnie question. As a result of this oxymoronic situation occasioned by the "particularistic universalism" of the empire, one thing became clear: Kuban' Cossackdom in the early twentieth century became an anachronism in its truest sense.

C. The Land Question: "To Be or Not To Be"

In 1912, Golos kazachestva, a Novocherkassk based conservative Cossack journal declared, "the present day Don faces a question of the greatest significance; the existence of the Don as a voisko, [its] byt' Hi ne byt' (being or not being) depends on

45 [finding] a right solution to this question." Indeed, if there was a question truly involving Cossacks' ability "to be or not to be" in the contemporary Cossack public, it could be nothing other than one issue: the land shortage, which appeared to be rampant in most Cossack hosts of the empire in the early twentieth century. The land shortage was a constant trend invoking an increasing sense of crisis among Cossacks with two noticeable changes in the Cossack practice of agriculture: the decrease in size of average pai and the reduction of land tenure in the periodic repartitioning.124 Considering the rapid increase of the population, these changes were an inevitable outcome and a common phenomenon involving almost all Cossack hosts of the empire. Among them, it was in the three Southern Cossack hosts, where the majority of the Cossack population in the empire was concentrated, that the degree and severity of the land shortage appeared to be most notably serious.


these three southern hosts, again, it was in the Kuban' Cossack voisko that this question was truly recognized as an issue of "being or not being," because it was experiencing the worst land shortage. Of course, Kuban' was not the only case. In the early twentieth century, no Cossack voisko in South Russia met the norm of 30 desiatina per pai per adult male Cossack, an amount set by the government, which was expected to be enough to cover the costs of military service by supposedly engendering, at least in ideal, "self123

Golos Kazachestva, No. 17, (Novocherkassk, 1912), 204 Lukomets, "Ekonomicheskie problemy," 292 125 Inhabiting the three southern Cossack hosts was 70.3% of all the Cossacks in the empire, while territorially they constituted 36.6% of the entire Cossack territory of the empire. The demographic share of Don Cossacks was 34%, while its territory was only 22%. In Kuban', the disparity was even bigger. Kuban' Cossacks accounted for 31%, while its territory was only 13%. For more detail, see V. P. Trut, Kazachii izlom: Kazachestvo Iugo-Vostoka Rossiiv nachaleXXveka i vperiodrevoliutsii 1917goda (Rostov-na-donu: Gefest, 1997), 34. 124

46 supporting" Cossacks.126 In 1912, the average pai in the Terek voisko was slightly more than half of the norm, 15.6 desiatina; in Don, it was 14.2 desiatina. When compared to these neighbors, the situation of Kuban' was more grave, in fact, the worst among all Cossack hosts of the empire. In the same year, the average pai in Kuban' was only 9.7 desiatina}21 This relatively meager amount was furthermore shrinking quite rapidly. In 1917, the average pai in Kuban' was estimated to be just 7.7 desiatina.

Also, in

Kuban' the regional difference in average pai was much greater; in 1914, the average amount varied from 14.35 desiatina in Maikov otdel to 7.81 desiatina in Kavkazskii otdel}29 When it came to the "good land (udobnaia zemlia)" which designated the quality land favorable for agriculture, land shortage became more visible. The average parcel of "good land" in Kuban' was 7.6 - 7.7 desiatina, while in Don and Terek, it was 10.4-11 desiatina and 12.3 desiatina, respectively.130 Seen purely in economic and legal terms, however, whether this situation really deserved to be considered a "crisis" threatening Cossacks' survival itself is still a pending issue in contemporary public opinion as well as in present day scholarship, as the land shortage problem could be claimed only in a relative sense. For example, to follow a view expressed in a report by the authorities of Ekaterinodar otdel, the situation was not serious enough to be called "crisis"; according to the report, there was no sign of clearly indicating deterioration of the Cossacks' well-being, despite the continuing decrease of the average pai. Rather, the main concern of the report was the

126 127 128 129 130

Ausky, Kozdci, 66 Ibid; Trut, Kazachii izlom, 37 Lukomets, "Ekonomicheskie problemy," 292 Malukalo, Kubanskoe kazach'e voisko, 162 Trut, Kazachii izlom, 37

47 backwardness of Cossack agriculture and Cossacks' lack of initiative for agricultural improvement.131 Most of the underprivileged inogorodnie who were living together with Cossacks in stanitsa would also never agree to the Cossacks' claim of crisis. By any economic standard, as explained above, the Cossacks were much richer than the majority of the inogorodnie, let alone the other peasants in the non-Cossack provinces of the empire, whose average parcel per person was not more than just 3.1 desiatina in 1912. Even the "meager" average pai of the Kuban' Cossacks, which was "per adult male Cossack," was bigger than the average amount of lands "per peasant household," which was no more than 8.7 desiatinaP2 In addition, Cossacks enjoyed an important estate privilege, which considerably relieved Cossacks' financial burden: tax exemption. This privilege was a benefit the ordinary peasants had never been granted. Throughout their history as a soslovie, Cossacks had always been exempted from any kind of taxation and dues, including obrok (money dues) and barshchina (labor dues), and most importantly, poll tax.133 In a society such as imperial Russia where tax exemption was a recognized symbol marking the favored among the unfavored, this benefit was a key feature constituting an integral part of Cossacks' privileged identity.134 Furthermore, Cossacks enjoyed monopolized ownership on the land of each voisko. Their inalienable historical right to land, and their holistic ownership of the property were guaranteed and re-confirmed repeatedly by several charters of Tsars in return for their services. With these estate privileges, even 131 132 133

GAKK, f. 449, op. 5, d. 216,11. 74, 74ob Malukalo, Kubanskoe kazach'e voisko, 161 McNeal, Tsar and Cossack, 1

48 when the land shortage problem became rampant, Cossacks were still a rich and privileged caste whose economic situation was in much better shape than any other comparable peasant groups. What, then, was the crisis? If there was a crisis, it mainly concerned not so much a purely economic as a socio-political situation. Indeed, if this situation had come about earlier, the land shortage itself would have not constituted a problem, as there was always an apparently simple solution to it: the emigration of Cossacks from the relatively over-congested southern hosts to the still less populated hosts of the Far East and the Siberia.135 However, the situation involved a more serious and wider sociopolitical complication in twentieth century Kuban', which did not allow Cossacks to find an easy solution: the problematization of the socio-economic viability of the Cossack system. In this sense, the land shortage was not the primary cause of crisis. Rather, it was one of its symptoms. The real crisis was in the socio-economic context in which Cossacks came to recognize the land shortage as a cardinal crisis involving their existence, due to the inherent inadaptability of Cossacks to the market economy and capitalism that were rapidly infiltrating the Cossack stanitsy in Kuban'. In other words, the real issue behind the land shortage crisis was their intrinsic incompatibility with modernization. Again, the paradox of particularistic universalism in the Kuban' voisko became more clearly identifiable in the growing claim of the land-shortage crisis despite increasing signs of economic abundance. After 1907, the Kuban oblast' became the 135

Resettlement of some Kuban' Cossacks to the Far East took place in the late nineteenth century and the early twentieth century, but its demographic influence was miniscule (Malukalo, Kubanskoe kazach'e voisko, 123).

49 largest grain producer among all Cossack provinces of the empire, even surpassing the territorially larger Don host.

In fact, in the early twentieth century, Kuban' was one

of the agricultural centers of the empire. Only when the Kuban' oblast' became richer and more developed in economic terms was the most prominent issue in the Kuban' voisko the land shortage crisis. The reason being, to cite McNeal, "it was the nonCossack





"that benefited




The disparity between the Kuban' oblast' and Kuban' voisko grew

bigger as Kuban' became more and more "modern." There is no doubt that Cossacks' incompatibility with economic modernization stemmed mainly from their traditional way of life, one based on their collectivist usage of land, which became an integral part of Cossack identity in early twentieth-century Kuban'. The egalitarian collectivism of Cossacks took shape through equal usage of and equal access to land as communal property. The control of communal land was the cardinal function of Cossack stanitsa communes, which regulated equal distribution of the land in the form of pai. To support this practice, the government set the 30 desiatina norm in allotting pai; by setting this norm, the government institutionalized Cossack egalitarianism for the optimal use of their service with minimal maintenance costs of this military caste. This system of supposedly allowing "self-supporting" Cossacks, without resorting to state resources, was what the pai system was originally meant to be in the institutionalization of the Cossacks to the soslovie. It is notable that this principle remained effective until the last day of Cossackdom in spite of its ever-increasing

McNeal, Tsar and Cossack, 191 Ibid, 193

50 impracticability in reality during the late imperial period. Thus, the pai system represented the contradictory convergence of two antipodal ideal types of Cossacks, free Cossacks and servitors; pai worked as a material guarantee of their servitorhood, while being recognized among the Cossacks as an incarnation of egalitarian democratism in their economic byt (way of life). The Cossack village commune as a symbol of the grass-roots democracy of Cossacks was also the very basis of their servitor estatehood. In early twentieth century Kuban', this age-old system still functioned as a norm. According to this system, every adult male Cossack became eligible for a pai when he turned 17 years old. With the allotment of a pai, each Cossack should begin preparation for his military service. At the same time, at least in principle, he was exempt from any communal obligations so that he could be materially ready before he reached the age of 21. The income from the allotted parcels for each Cossack household was to be enough to cover all the costs incurred by the preparation for service, which included purchases of uniforms, equipment and most importantly, horses. If the Cossack could not meet this material requirement for any reason, it was the stanitsa commune that took the responsibility with the obligation to help his preparation for service through various forms of financial support.

Much of this support, needless to say,

came not only from the stanitsa resources but also from the voisko capital, which became more and more dependent on various governmental subsidies from the Ministry of War. The ultimate result of the land shortage question, thus, was the increase of the maintenance costs of Cossackdom as an institution, which thereby led to the gradual 138

GAKK, f. 449, op, 5 d. 189,1. 70; Shcherbina, Zemel'naia obshchina, 52

51 augmentation of the burden on the government. Already in the late nineteenth century, and more visibly in the early twentieth century, it was obvious that Cossackdom was becoming a very costly institution, in which "the state had to play an ever greater role in financing...." An irony was that "being Cossacks" became more costly for Cossacks themselves as well. Especially, the costs of preparation for military service grew remarkably after the Miliutin Reform aiming at regularizing the service of Cossacks. The new regulations140 regarding the military obligations of Cossacks, which were for the first time introduced to the Don Cossack host in 1874, and subsequently to Kuban' and Terek in 1882,141 aimed at maximizing the Cossacks' military use as a combat force. To guarantee the Cossacks' readiness for service, the government imposed polices advocating more discipline and more efficiency into the Cossacks' military regimen. The new regulations focused on strengthening the preparatory period before active-duty, which had been nominal before the introduction of these regulations. Ostensibly, the new law shortened the total service period of Cossacks from the previous 30 years to 20 years consisting of three tours of duty: a three year tour of preparatory duty, a twelve year active duty service, and a five year tour of reserve duty.142 However, the new regulation also required a more intensive and systematic preparation for service, and more organized and disciplined field training and drills, both of which naturally led to


McNeal, Tsar and Cossack, 155 In Don, it was "Ustav o voinskoi povinnosti Donskogo kazach'ego voiska" in 1874; in Kuban' and Terek, it was "polozheniia o voinskoi povinnosti i voennoi sluzhbe Kubanskogo i Terskogo voisk" in 1882. 141 Rasskazov, Kuban'ikazachestvo, 103 - 105; Trut, Kazachii izlom, 33 142 Ibid.; Shane O'Rouke, Warriors and Peasants, the Don Cossacks in Late Imperial Russia (New York: St. Martin's, 2000), 83 - 84 140

52 the increase of maintenance costs of equipment, uniforms, and horses. The increase of costs was so enormous that, according to O'Rourke, "these changes pushed the Cossack system remorselessly into debt and towards bankruptcy...."143 To alleviate this situation, in 1900, the appointed Ataman of the Kuban' voisko petitioned to the government a shortening of the service period, especially asking for a shortening of the economically unbearable preparatory tour. As a result, in 1905, the period was indeed shortened to one year from the original three years; the total years of service were reduced to 18 years.144 However, this reduction did not alleviate the Cossacks' financial difficulty. In early twentieth- century Kuban', the entire cost, including purchase and maintenance of equipment and horses, to be Cossack horseman approached almost 300 rubles; even Cossack infantryman, who existed only in Kuban', according to Zaporozhian tradition and who had no need to buy a horse, spent 120 rubles on average.145 By the contemporary standard, these amounts were an unbearable burden for supposedly "selfsupporting" Cossack households. Thus, an interesting situation appeared. Despite the self-arming tradition of Cossacks, the input of state resources to Cossackdom to allow the military caste system to function was constantly increasing. In spite of the state subsides, however, the financial difficulty of Cossacks did not diminish. This irony indicated that the Cossack system had become outdated and, more importantly, was not economically viable. In short, it needed outright repair. In Kuban', this issue of viability was particularly acute due to its ever-growing land shortage problem, as well as to the most formidable 143

Ibid., 84 Rasskazov, Kuban' i kazachestvo, 108 - 109 145 L. B. Makedonov, Vgorakh Kubanskogo Kraia (Voronezh, 1908), 157, as cited in Rasskazov, Kuban' i kazachestvo, 108 144

53 economic challenge from the more market-oriented inogorodnie. It became obvious that if the Cossacks did not change, they would not survive in the new setting. The next question, almost unanimously shared by Cossacks themselves and by the relevant governmental circles, was how and what to change, or at least how to re-galvanize their economic viability enough to survive in the new modern setting. This was not a simple task due to the different and rapidly changing environment, with which Cossacks became increasingly unfamiliar. One possible solution to make Cossacks more economically viable was to bring about a fundamental change in land use practice, a change from collectivist communal agriculture to individual household farming, a transition which would result in the weakening of the Cossack obshchina, and in the long run would inevitably lead to the disappearance of the stanitsa commune.146 Similar measures were already put in force on a large scale in central Russia by the Stolypin Reform. For the supporters of the individual farmstead over the collective, the Cossack obshchina was a primary impediment to the development of Cossack economy, in the same way as the peasant land commune was an obstacle to the economy elsewhere.147 Against this background, in 1911, the Cossack version of the "Wager on the Strong" policy was considered a radical alternative; to stimulate the stagnant Cossack economy and to "modernize" this anachronism. The plan garnered immediate attention as a hot issue of debate in the State Duma, although the Ministry of War expressed strong skepticism toward the feasibility of the plan. Expectedly, the Duma plan featured the same underlying purpose that the

Trut, Kazachii izlom, 41 Malukalo, Kubanskoe kazach 'e voisko, 174

54 original Stolypin Reform had: the gradual demolition of the Cossack land commune and the introduction of private property replacing collective ownership.148 The motive behind it came from the purely political consideration of re-galvanizing the decaying anachronism on which the old regime was becoming so heavily dependent for its survival against the growing revolutionary disturbances. Needless to say, this proposal faced solid objections from Cossacks who identified this measure as a prelude to "the destruction of the entirety of Cossackdom itself."

When the government asked for Cossacks' own view to assess the actual

implementability of the plan, not only the voisko authorities but also rank and file Cossacks echoed vociferous protests through coordinated voices in rallies and meetings. In Kuban', the objections resonated almost unanimously from the meetings of otdel atamans to stanitsa assemblies of rank and file Cossacks. The rationale of the protest was simple and self-evident: the incongruity of the plan with the Cossacks' traditional way of life, as illustrated in many resolutions in the stanitsa and khutor assemblies. One of them at stanitsa Iasenskaia, Eiskii otdel in Kuban' Cossack voisko read, "in the Cossack hosts communal land usage corresponds to the Cossacks' social and economic way of life."150 Another resolution by a stanitsa assembly in Vatalpashinskii otdel, warned what would happen if this plan were to be put in force: the lands of Cossacks would be moved swiftly into the hands of non-Cossacks due to sale of lands by impoverished Cossacks.151 Indeed, the same tone of disapproval of the reform and support for communal order echoed in the resolutions of the meetings of otdel atamans 148 149 150 151

Ibid.; Trut, Kazachii izlom, 41 GAKK, f. 449, op. 5 d. 189,1. 12 GAKK, f. 449, op. 5, d. 216,1. 26 GAKK, f. 449, op. 5 d. 189,11. 7, 7ob

55 and of the stanitsa assemblies with the warnings of allegedly predictable outcomes of the plan: economic stratification of Cossacks which would result in the appearance of "Cossack proletariats," irrevocable damage to Cossack egalitarianism and Cossack unity, and the inevitable breakdown of the military capability of Cossacks, among other things.152 Whatever justification for disapproval of the Duma proposal the Cossacks might raise, there was a commonality in all these reactions among Kuban' Cossacks. The commonality was an operational assumption of "what Cossacks should be," based on the presumed incompatibility of private property with the Cossacks' way of life on the one hand, and more importantly, based on identification of the current pai system as intrinsically native to the communalist tradition of Cossackdom on the other. Thus, the pai system, which was originally institutionalized by the state as a material guarantee of the military service of Cossacks, and the practice of periodic repartitioning of land, which was a relatively new practice brought only since the spread of agriculture, now obtained a new and essential meaning. It became a symbol of Cossack egalitarianism as an indispensible element of Cossacks' byt (way of life). Here, the convergence of two mutually exclusive ways of "being Cossacks," the servitor identity on the one hand and free warrior on the other, culminated in this contradiction in support for the Cossack obshchina system against the supposedly alien individual household farming system based on private property. Indeed, considering the strong opposition from Cossacks, it goes without saying


GAKK, f. 449, op. 5 d. 189,11. 3, 3ob, 4, 6, 7, 7ob, 8, 8ob, 12, 23,23ob; ibid., d. 216,11. 24, 26, 26ob, 27, 34, 34ob

56 that this "Cossack variant of the Stolypin Reform"153 could not be implemented in Cossack provinces, especially not in Kuban'. As a result, after a two year discussion, in 1913, the military council in the Ministry of War officially and finally abrogated this plan as "impossible to carry out and undesirable."154 Apparently, the government accepted the Cossacks' own view on what Cossacks should be. Instead of the Duma plan, most Cossacks opted for maintaining their current communal land usage with other options to supplement the disadvantages of collectivist agriculture. In particular they preferred longer tenure of pai and downsizing of Cossack obshchina propped up by various socio-economic incentives such as long-term credit to Cossack farmsteads and educational and professional support for the enhancement of Cossack agriculture as a solution to re-galvanize the stagnant Cossack economy.155 A smaller obshchina based on settlements of smaller size was expected to give more initiatives to individual Cossack households with less pressure from the Cossack commune; a longer term of pai was expected to give Cossacks more motivation to care for their own parcel, and thus to guarantee more market-oriented productivity. This option was what most of the resolutions in Cossack stanitsa and otdel assemblies in Kuban' commonly favored as an alternative.156 However, there was no mention of how this longer tenure of pai could be achieved as the land shortage question grew more and more serious. Thus, changing their land usage system was not recognized simply as an economic question for Cossacks; rather, it meant a fundamental change in the way Cossacks historically were supposed to have been. Accordingly, although the history of 153 154 155 156

Trut, Kazachii izlom, 41 Ibid., 43; GAKK, f. 449, op. 5 d. 189,1. 26; RGV1A, f. 1, op. 1, d. 77869,11. 41, 42 GAKK, f. 449, op. 5 d. 216,1. 73ob; RGVIA, f. 29, op. 3, d. 2214,1. 39; Trut, Kazachii izlom, 43 GAKK, f. 449, op. 5 d. 216,11. 34, 34ob; ibid., d. 189,11. 3. 3ob

57 agriculture in Kuban' was very recent, and, although in most cases, the Cossacks were not even those who actually cultivated their own land, commune-based collectivist agriculture swiftly intermingled with Cossacks' traditional obshchina system, as if Cossack agriculture had been an intrinsic practice of Cossacks' way of life. In other words, without their commune-based agriculture, the Cossacks felt they could not remain Cossacks as they had been and as they were supposed to be. For this reason, in early twentieth-century Kuban', any attempt to change the contemporary communalist order was recognized as a challenge to the Cossacks' way of life, or more relevantly, as a challenge to Cossack tradition and Cossack identity. Instead of seeking a fundamental solution, the Cossacks' reaction to the land shortage crisis, or more broadly speaking, the Cossacks' response to the new modern environment of capitalism and market economy was to be "more particularistic." A remarkable move of Kuban' Cossacks toward being "more particularistic" had already been observable by 1906. Indeed, in terms of the evolution of Cossack particularism in Kuban', at least for Kuban' samostiiniki, the year 1906 marked a historical turning point for the Kuban' Cossack voisko. In that year, to cope with the land shortage crisis rampant in the poor mountain region of the Kuban' Cossack voisko, the government decided to deploy voisko reserve lands to alleviate the land shortage and to increase average pai. Although this reserve was technically the property of the entirety of Kuban' Cossackdom, individual Cossack stanitsy had not had direct control of these lands for immediate use. Distribution of reserve lands was a very complex process, because their parcel size and quality varied depending on region, much like the regional disparity in the existing average size and quality of each. Furthermore, owing

58 to Cossacks' egalitarian tradition, which had invariably required maximal equality in land holdings, distribution of the reserve lands could not be carried out without readjustment of the existing communal land demarcation through exchange and reallotment. Partly in consideration of this complexity and partly due to the severity of land shortage, the government made an important decision: to let Cossacks rely on their own initiative in assigning the reserve lands. The immediate result of this decision was a convocation of a popular rally in 1906 as a "consultative assembly" consisting of exclusively Cossacks to discuss the re-distribution of reserve lands based on the agreement of Cossack delegates.157 Allowing a popular rally for whatever purposes, let alone of Cossacks, was quite an unusual step considering that the Tsarist government had never permitted any form of expression of organized voluntarism among Cossacks when it came to voisko; for example, in the case of the Kuban' Cossacks, they had not been allowed to convene any sort of rally or anything similar on the voisko level since the deportation of Black-Sea Cossacks to Kuban' in 1792.158 Aside from the consideration of the severity of the land question, Cossacks' decisive role in suppressing the 1905 revolution might have been a motivation for the government's decision regarding the two big Cossack hosts in South Russia, Don and Kuban'. Indeed, once a popular assembly convened in Ekaterinodar in 1906 for the Kuban' Cossacks, the vse-velikoe (great) Don voisko followed this precedent, demanding their own assembly to solve their land question, a demand which


Voiskovaia Rada, 1 - 5; McNeal, Tsar and Cossack, 208 - 209 Shcherbina, "Fakty kazach'ei ideologii i tvorchestva," in Kazachestvo: mysli sovremennikov o proshlom, nastoiashchem i budushchem kazachestva (Paris: izdanie kazach'iago soiuza, 1928), reprinted with introduction by V. N. Korolev (Rostov-na-Donu: Rostovskoe Knizhnoe izdatel'stvo, 1992), 301 (page citations are to the reprint edition) 158

59 the government could not deny. The assembly of Don Cossacks, which would be known as "Krug," was convened in Novocherkassk in 1909.159 In both cases, Don and Kuban', if the motive of the government's decision was to alleviate the Cossacks' growing discontent in their role as the regime's gendarmerie, the reward pleased the Cossacks extremely. As intended by the government, the purpose and function of the Cossack rally in Kuban' was modest and very limited: to coordinate and negotiate the distribution and readjustment of land, and to achieve agreement based on the supposed unanimity of relevant Cossack otdely. Because the rally was supposed to be a consultative body, any agreement achieved by Cossacks was also subject to final approval of the military council, whose official announcement would render it effective.160 However, the modest scope of the rally did not prevent the Kuban' Cossacks from adopting a very meaningful historic title for it: "Rada," a name forgotten and forbidden for a long time in Kuban' since the late eighteenth century, although there was nothing similar in this new institution to the old genuine Rada, a Cossack assembly that had perished with the fall of the Zaporozh'e Sech'. More surprisingly, the government permitted this potentially bold move, even though it was in fact merely a consultative assembly. This self-proclaimed "voisko Rada" was convened in Ekaterinodar on December 1st, 1906, with 506 representatives from all Cossack villages in the Kuban' voisko.i6i In terms of its composition, this Rada was a popular and democratic organ. Each stanitsa sent two delegates through a universal election in which all Cossack male adults from 159

Voiskovoi Krug na Donu 8-20 Dekabria 1909 goda (Rostov na Donu: Tipografiia, "Donskaia Rech," 1910), 4 160 Voiskovaia Rada, 23 161 Voiskovaia Rada, 1

60 the age of 21 participated.162 Within the Rada, these representatives formed four "subRady" representing the unofficial geo-historical division of the Kuban' voisko: Cheraomoriia (Black-Sea Region), Staraia Liniia (Old Line), Novaia Liniia (New Line), Zakuban'e (most recently colonized poor mountain area).

Quite interestingly, in thus

forming a representative body of the regional interests within the Rada, Cossacks did not choose the otdel, the official administrative unit set by the government. Instead, they chose their own geo-historical formation for representation based on the territorial boundary corresponding to the linguistic and cultural divisions of the host, which the Kuban' Cossack voisko had kept since its genesis in the mid nineteenth century. It was these four sub-rady that as negotiation bodies set the agenda of the Rada and led its discussion to agreement. The opening ceremony on the first day of the voisko Rada session was a festive moment for the participating delegates and the large crowd who gathered at the cathedral square of Ekaterinodar to observe the event.164 Behind this facade of ceremony, however, from this first day of its session, there were two conflicting perspectives regarding how to define and interpret this Cossack assembly. Firstly, there was an official view that considered this event strictly a one-time rally to solve the land question in the Kuban' Cossack voisko. In the opening ceremonial speech, N. I. Mikhailov, the appointed {nakaznyi) Ataman of the Kuban' voisko at that time, who was himself an Ural Cossack, made this point clear by emphasizing the limitations of the Rada's scope set by the government. According to him, the task of the 162 163 164

Voiskovaia Rada, 1 Shcherbina, "Fakty," 303 Voiskovaia Rada, 3

61 Rada was "to solve the land question amicably, which the Ataman would be happy to see."165 The Ataman also secretly warned F. A. Shcherbina, the chairman of this rally, that the assembly should discuss only questions regarding Cossack lands and "nothing more." Otherwise, by the personal order of Tsar Nicolas II, he was instructed "to dissolve the Rada immediately."166 This warning, demonstrating the concerns of the government about the potential danger of allowing Cossacks to express their voluntarism as a form of a popular rally even if in a limited form, did not remain an empty threat. The dissolution of the Rada could actually have taken place, because the Cossacks did not confine their discussions strictly to the land question as required; indeed, in an atmosphere in which the memory of the Cossacks' problematic role in the 1905 revolution was still vividly alive, some delegates raised subtle issues in the session. For example, when a delegate expressed unveiled sympathy with Cossack soldiers in the Urupskii regiment who had been arrested and deported for refusing to fire on civilians at a revolutionary disturbance in 1905, there arose an angry wave of protest against the anti-democratic measures of the Tsarist government among the Rada representatives. When the anger developed to the point of raising a proposal to organize and dispatch a special Kuban' delegation to St. Petersburg to demand the release of these Cossack soldiers, Shcherbina was immediately summoned to the office of the Ataman. When the assistant Ataman, M. P. Babich, who would become the next appointed Ataman following Mikhailov, met 165

Voiskovaia Rada, 4 — 5 Shcherbina, "Fakty," 303. It should be noted that Ataman Mikhailov was actually quite sympathetic to the Cossacks' cause, the reason probably being that he was a Cossack himself by birth, even if he belonged to Cossack nobility. It was not common that the government appoint a native Cossack general to the post of Ataman. According to Shcherbina, it was Mikhailov who decisively worked with the government and Tsar to allow the convocation of the Rada to appease the Cossacks {ibid., 302). 166

62 Shcherbina, he bluntly gave the chairman an ultimatum: "[Does the Rada] want to be closed?" Facing the real possibility of the premature and sudden end of the Rada and the subsequent arrest of its members, upon returning, Shcherbina immediately persuaded the Cossack delegates to go no further with this issue. The second interpretation of the assembly, as demonstrated in this episode, was one in which Shcherbina and his Rada colleagues viewed this rally from a totally different angle than the official. In a short speech during the opening ceremony, he reminded the Cossack audience that "... for [more than] a hundred years ... [Cossacks] have been deprived of their own elected ataman, have been subject to the [imperial] administration, and the voisko Rada has been abolished,"

although he did not

explicitly refer to who had abolished their voisko Rada and who had deprived them of their elected ataman, at least according to the official record. However, by invoking the bygone heritage of a Cossack heyday, he implicitly linked the current rally to their once glorious past, regardless of its actual permitted task, insinuating that Cossacks also counted among the oppressed. When he celebrated the opening of the Cossack Rada and when the crowd answered him with a shout of joy, it was obvious that Shcherbina and the Cossack audience identified this rally as a revival of their age-old Cossack institution. More importantly, it was this imaginative identification with the old historical legacy that "universalistically" packaged the essentially particularistic task of the Rada. According to this view, the mission of the Rada was not simply to discuss some agrarian questions; rather it concerned a more fundamental agenda involving the

/6W., 3 0 6 - 3 0 7 Voiskovaia Rada, 3

63 direction of Cossack particularism in its evolution. To follow Shcherbina, thus, the mission of the 1906 Rada was two-fold: first, to assist the impoverished Cossack villages in Zakuban'e by giving more arable land through concession of other Cossack regions, and second, to create "one collective whole" in terms of land usage from four sub-voiska in Kuban' by obliterating existing regional disparity.169 If the first mission was to demonstrate and prove the Cossack fraternity, the second one purported to realize the Cossack brotherhood in the shape of voisko, thereby giving an organic unity to the Kuban' Cossack voisko. Expectedly, during the Rada session that lasted for 16 days, Cossack delegates without much difficulty reached an agreement on the distribution of voisko reserve land and re-adjustment of the existing land allotments allowing maximal equality and homogeneity among all relevant regions. The stanitsy in the Black-Sea region and the two "Lines" received some extra lands and natural resources from the voisko reserve land; some of this reserve, mostly non-arables such as forests, were assigned from the reserve land located in Zakuban'e, which had relatively abundant forest resources. In return for receiving these land resources, the stanitsy in the Black-Sea region and the "Lines" conceded a considerable amount of arable lands to the impoverished stanitsy in the mountain areas. The stanitsy in Zakuban'e also received some portions of voisko reserve lands in their own region.

Overall, the poor and the most land-hungry

stanitsy in Zakuban'e received some 32,000 desiatina from the Black-Sea region and 20,000 desiatina from the Linia)lx 169 170 1

Indeed, the unity achieved by the Rada agreement

Shcherbina, "Fakty," 303 Voiskovaia Rada, 18 - 22 Malukalo, Kubanskoe kazach 'e voisko, 162

64 and the Cossack brotherhood expressed by the Rada representatives was remarkable. As some Cossacks had expressed in their wishes during the early stages of the session, the lands were evenly distributed to "immediate competence of Cossack obshchina and working population."172 In retrospect, however, the significance of the 1906 Rada was not simply in finding an economic solution to the land question. Rather, its real importance was the way in which the Cossacks approached the land question, the way in which they attempted to find a solution to it, the significance they attached to what the Rada had achieved in its sixteen-day session, and the corollary they developed in terms of the evolution of Cossack particularism. Indeed, in its self-appraisal of the work of the Rada, the decision of the voisko Rada was praised as an "historical act... which represents the people's will and the collective reason of the representatives of the working people." All the Rada delegates were "representatives of the narod (people)" who "watched over the interests of working people."174 When the Cossacks petitioned to transform the Rada from a provisional institution to a permanent one, this petition was not intended to establish a particularistic institution per se, even if the organ was to consist of exclusively Cossacks, but was intended to be a new modern organ for local selfgovernment, which was to be universalistic by definition.


When the Cossack

delegates expressed their outright sympathy with the Cossack insurgents from Urupskii regiment, who refused to fire on the real "working people" in the streets, the assumption was that the Cossacks were on the side of the working people because they were 172 173 174 175

Voiskovaia Rada, 9 Ibid, 23 Ibid, 24 Ibid, 26, 29

65 working people themselves. In this way, the Cossack participants in the Rada situated their rally, in essence and in actuality an event of estate particularism, under the universalistic claim of people's democracy, local self-government and popular justice, elevating it as an institutional incarnation of the popular will of Cossacks, who presented themselves as "working people" as well. This self-presentation as "working people" went together with the obliteration from their agenda of resolutions pertaining to the most familiar expression for Cossacks and non-Cossacks: the soslovie. How, then, did the Cossack representatives define the group identity of Kuban' Cossackdom, or more exactly speaking, who were the Kuban' Cossacks to be? These questions framed Cossacks' self-refashioning as an attempt to escape from the soslovie identity. Further, the official chronicle of the 1906 Rada read,

"The land of some regions became allotments of other regions. All Cossack territory was considered as common voisko property, and voisko reserve lands [were considered] as a common voisko fund to suit the need of all Cossack villages and all the Cossack population."176

Indeed, the Rada handled the land question exactly the way the stanitsa assembly did, Cossack villagers partitioning and distributing their communal land among themselves. In the handling of voisko reserve land, the holistic concept of the stanitsa yurt, which gave stanitsa an organic unity as a land based agricultural community, now infiltrated the entire Kuban' voisko. Cossack delegates in the Rada considered the entire voisko land as an expansion of yurt, the communal land of a

Ibid., 24

66 Cossack stanitsa. In this sense, one natural extension of this holistic approach was that the 1906 Rada was itself a communal assembly as an expansion of the village assembly of a Cossack stanitsa. Similarly, another corollary is that the Kuban' voisko itself was an expanded obshchina, the membership of which supposedly included the entire Kuban' Cossackdom by definition. Cossacks projected the organic unity which the individual Cossack stanitsa had preserved, regardless of the vicissitude of the relationship between state and Cossackdom, and regardless of the resulting institutionalization of Cossacks as a voisko soslovie, in the scope of the entire Kuban' voisko. From here, the subsequent stage of the evolution of Cossack particularism in Kuban' was not difficult to expect: from the "one collective whole" based on the presumable homogeneity in land system achieved by the 1906 Rada, to create an organic whole based upon common Cossack brotherhood and common Cossack identity. This move was a remarkable leap in Kuban', because, mainly due to its relatively recent bureaucratic origin, in Kuban', unlike stanitsa, the voisko had always been regarded as an administrative unit as opposed to an organic historical formation. By this move, whether the Cossack delegates in the Rada recognized it or not, the Rada delegates made the first step to Kazach 'ia samostiinost', because it meant building an organic Cossack community on the soslovie reality in Kuban'. Contrary to the wishes of the Cossacks, the authorities did not allow Rada to transform itself to a permanent organ, even in a limited form. However, once regalvanized, the myth of Cossack freedom did not wither away; the name of the Rada remained strongly alive in Cossacks' memory. That approximately a decade later the new representative organ of Cossack particularism in Kuban', which would appear in

67 1917, took the name Rada with the claim of universalism was hardly surprising. The Rada in 1917, which would play the cardinal role in building Cossack modernity in Kuban', was a direct successor to the 1906 Rada, as opposed to a revival of the old historic pre-modern assembly of Zaporozh 'e Sech'. In this sense, the convocation of the 1906 Rada was a crucial moment in the institutionalization of Cossack particularism, asserting "Cossack distinctiveness" grounded on presumed continuity with Cossack tradition of the past but envisioned as a universalistic claim on the self-fashioning of Cossacks as an organic unity in the future. Yet, if one asks if the achievement of the Rada really served its original and official purpose in finding a solution to the rampant land shortage problem, the answer will be only a conditional "yes." Even if the use of the reserve land alleviated the land pressure for some brief period, especially in Zakuban'e, it did so only temporarily, resulting in, at best, an increase of only 1 - 2 desiatina per average pai}11


the voisko reserve lands were not unlimited, while the Cossack population was increasing rapidly; after all, by the definition of the voisko reserve, these newlydistributed lands originally had already belonged to the Cossacks' own group property, even if the ordinary Cossacks' access to them for immediate use had been restricted. More importantly, use of the voisko reserve land seriously weakened the voisko's longterm financial capacity and seriously depleted the resources of the voisko, which were indispensable to the support of local stanitsy when needed.


Indeed, after the Rada

P. P. Matiushchenko, "Kazachii vopros v agrarnoi politike tsarizma," in Problemy istorii kazachestva, 271; Ratushniak, Ocherki istorii Kubani, 398 ' 78 For example, in 1901, in order to augment the voisko revenue, the authorities planned to put more land from the voisko reserve on lease; however, this plan did not come to fruiton due to the 1906 Rada. For more detail, see RGV1A, f. 330, op. 61, d. 357,1. Mob or Otchet nachal'nika Kubanskogo oblasti i

68 agreement in 1906, the amount of reserve land markedly shrank from 1,044,630 desiatina in 1906 only to 227,199 desiatina in 1910.179

Furthermore, those new

acquisitions did not contribute to the improvement of Cossack agriculture. Cossacks did not cultivate this extra land themselves, because in most cases, these new acquisitions were located distantly from their residences; for this reason, they chose the most convenient and most popular method of Cossack agriculture, simple lease of these lands to inogorodnie.iS0 Thus, ironically, another result of the agreement by the 1906 Rada was an increase in the economic dependence of Cossacks on inogorodnie. This irony, however, did not mean that the Rada had not provided any "fundamental" solution to the land shortage crisis that Cossacks had been suffering. Rather, the Rada tried to find its solution in a radically different way, or, more exactly speaking, one might say that the Cossacks in the Rada were seeking a "permanent" solution to their crisis. Certainly, especially when considered in purely economic terms, the viability of Kuban' Cossackdom was still in crisis. What was remarkable in the 1906 Rada was, however, that the assembly worked on the very principles which were considered to be responsible for their economic backwardness, and which accounted for their native incompatibility with the modern market economy and capitalism. In actuality, the Rada went even further by strengthening the supposedly negative principles of communalist land order, thereby challenging the views of most of the contemporary observers (and the modern scholarship on Cossackdom) that Russian Cossackdom was not economically viable anymore and that this "anachronism" would nakaznogo atamana Kubanskogo kazach 'ego voiska o sostoianii oblasti za 1906 god (Ekaterinodar: Tipografiia Kubanskogo oblastnogo pravleniia, 1907), 28 179 McNeal, Tsar and Cossack, 209 180 Malukalo, Kubanskoe kazach 'e voisko, 163

69 not survive rapidly changing new modern environments. According to this view, the best and easiest solution for the government would be simply to abolish this martial estate and to convert the Cossacks into peasants, an essentially universalistic approach. However, in early twentieth century Russia, adopting this approach was not possible for the government and was not acceptable for Cossacks. Let alone the heavy and evergrowing reliance of the Imperial regime on Cossacks in its struggle against the ghost of the revolution, there was another issue with this anachronism, which began to reject the idea that it had ever become an anachronism. To quote from O'Rouke,

"All three [Maskakovets, Grekov, and Robert McNeal] believed that [the] Cossack system had become an anachronism by this point and [that] the only solution to the problem was to abolish the Cossacks as a caste, transforming them into peasants. However ... it was no more feasible to abolish the Cossacks by a stroke of the bureaucrat's pen than it was to abolish the Finns or the Latvians. Cossack identity amounted to more than a peculiar means of paying for military service. They had a historical memory, institutions and powerful sense of collective identity that gave them an existence in their own right...."181

Indeed, the gloomy prospect and the reality of worsening economic viability did not mean the erosion of Cossack identity. Rather, as shown in the 1906 Rada, Kuban' Cossacks' reaction was a universalistic re-crystallization of the particularistic Cossack identity through identification of Cossacks' byt with modern and democratic attributes. Thus, when it came to the identity question, what was happening in prerevolutionary Kuban' indicated that its Cossack inhabitants were proceeding in the direction opposite their anachronistic status in socio-economic terms, a move framed in contradiction by the disparity between their particularistic presence and universalistic vision. By reacting ' 8I O' Rouke, "Warrior," 101

70 to the oxymoronic setting of particularistic universalism put forth by the imperial government, the Kuban' Cossacks chose to become an oxymoron themselves: to become more particularistic in essence but under the cover of a universalistic claim, turning the environment of particularistic universalism upside down. However, this evolution to "universalistic particularism" needed one more step to perfection: to "universalize" the features of their Cossackhood which had evolved from estate particularism, those outdated features which allowed Cossacks to qualify for the definition of an anachronism in the presumably modern setting of Russia. Only in this way, could they deny their anachronistic status. To do so, they needed to give an organic unity to Kuban' Cossack voisko. To achieve the unity, Cossacks were in need of what all imagined communities had in common: a construction of history. To construct a history of the voisko, Kuban' Cossacks already had its own historian, whose name was F. A. Shcherbina, the chairman of the 1906 Rada, who would explore the history of Kuban' through his Cossackized vision of Russian populism. As the Russian populists in the late nineteenth century saw the direct path to modernity in the supposedly backward land commune of the Russian peasantry, this Cossack narodnik (populist) in the early twentieth century saw a radiant future of the Kuban' Cossackdom in the perceivably anachronistic and backward Cossack obchshina. The beginning of Kazach'ia samostiinost' in Kuban' was an oxymoronic reaction of an oxymoronic martial caste to an oxymoronic setting.

71 D. F. A. Shcherbina, A Cossack Narodnik

At first glance, the term, "Cossack narodnik" seems self-contradictory, a supposedly "reactionary" Cossack and an expectedly "revolutionary" narodnik. The Cossacks had always been notorious for their scorn and disdain for the ordinary Russian muzhik (peasant), as shown in their typical attitude toward the inogoronie whose majority were muzhiki peasants. Certainly, the classical Russian populist thinkers must never have imagined the possibility of relating their supposedly progressive ideas to a privileged and anachronistic caste such as the Cossacks, the very gendarmerie of the regime who used to be mobilized to suppress the muzhik's rural disturbances as well as those of the urban workers. However, it was the very baptism by Russian narodnichestvo that most contributed to the "universalization" of the decaying Cossack particularism in Kuban' by providing an ideological warrant for Cossacks' adaptation to the modern setting. Indeed, the theoretical warrant of Kazach'ia samostiinost'

as a universalistic

particularism was born from contradictory synthesis by Shcherbina of two currents of ideas that were supposed to be mutually irreconcilable or even antipodal to each other: estate particularism of Cossacks and Russian populism. In order to understand this oxymoronic fusion, there is no more vivid example than the life of F. A. Shcherbina and the evolution of this Cossack historian from a young narodnik to a mature Cossack samostiinik. Although this study does not purport to be biographical research, it is indispensable to review briefly the early career of Shcherbina as a narodnik and to trace how populist thought influenced his life-long project of universalizing Cossack

72 particularism. Born in 1849 to an orthodox Cossack clergy family at Eiskii otdel in the Kuban' oblast,

the young Shcherbina chose to follow his father's path and started his higher

education in 1866 by entering Kavkazskii Theological Seminary in Stavropol. His initial choice of a career in the clergy, however, would not come to fruition owing to his close involvement with revolutionary movements, especially with that of Russian populism. While studying in Stavropol, the young Shcherbina met a group of populist intellectuals who had been exiled to this local border city for their anti-government activities. This group of deportees included a famous populist, G. A. Lopatin, who, as one of the first generation of Russian narodnichestvo, would be mainly remembered for being the first translator of Das Kapital into Russian. When Shcherbina met this legend of the populist movement, it did not take long for the young Cossack student to become one of the most active participants in the local kruzhok that Lopatin had organized. It was this encounter with Russian populism that entirely changed the future career of a once promising clerical student, and that motivated the young Kuban' Cossack to initiate his life-long pursuit for a pastoral utopia based on peasant obshchina, and later grounded on the Cossack one. In 1869, thus, armed with an enthusiastic belief in the role of obshchina he had learned from Lopatin, he decided to give up his clerical career, and dropped out of the seminary. Instead, at the age of just 20, he started his first journey to narod (people) by establishing an agricultural artel (cooperative) in a local Cossack stanitsa with some of his close populist friends; 182

V. A. Tsvetkov, "Fedor Shcherbina: khronika biografii," in Nauchno-tvorcheskoe nasledie, 138 S. N. Iakaev, Fedor Andreevich Shcherbina (Krasnodar: Izdatel'stvo IMSIT, 2004), 1 4 - 1 5 ; B. A. Trekhbratov, "Zhizn' i sud'ba Fedora Andreevicha Shcherbiny," in Nauchno-tvorcheskoe nasledie, 12 — 13 183

73 however, as other v narod participants elsewhere in Russia found, this naive adventure by these young Cossack idealists was doomed to experience the same failure. After this episodic misfortune, the early life of Shcherbina followed the typical path of contemporary Russian narodniki. In 1872, he entered into the PetrovskiiRazumovskii Academy of Agriculture in Moscow to study Agronomy under a voisko fellowship.185 At that time, in the Moscow region, the Academy was one of the centers of the movement of "khozhdenie (going) v narod" together with Moscow University; it goes without saying that his study in the Academy strengthened his populist leaning. After just one year of study, he was expelled from school because of his connection with student disturbances.186 After being expelled from the Academy, Shcherbina moved to South Russia and continued his study in Novo-Rossiiskii University at Odessa. Even the expulsion from school in Moscow did not suppress the growing enthusiasm of this young Cossack narodnik toward true narod. While staying in Odessa, it seems that Shcherbina turned his attention to the nascent working class. Here, in a populist student group which mostly consisted of followers of P. Lavrov, Shcherbina resumed his revolutionary activity as a young propagandist to disseminate the credo of Russian populism among Odessa workers, an activity which culminated in his becoming one of the members of South Russian Union of Workers, "a [real] workers' organization that for the first time appeared in Russia,"187 or to follow the official 188

Soviet historiography, "the first organization of proletariat in Russia." 184 185 186 ,87 188

Ibid., 1 5 - 1 7 ; Iakaev, Shcherbina, 15 - 16 Ibid, 1 6 - 1 7 Ibid.,M-IS Trekhbratov, "Zhizn' i sud'ba," 20 - 21 B. S. Intenberg, Iiuzhnorossiiskii soiuz rabochikh: Vozniknovenie i deiatel'nost' (Moscow: MysP,

74 Shcherbina's continuing involvement with anti-government activities obliged him to leave his new school again, finally making him subject to arrest by police. When the local police began to arrest the members of the Union in 1876, Shcherbina was among those arrested; even worse, the name of Shcherbina was on the list of the suspects for the scandalous murder of a local okhrana agent in the region.189 Although he managed to prove himself innocent in the end,190 because of his persistent participation in anti-government activities he was considered a politically dangerous individual by the authorities; finally he was deported into Volgodskii guberniia and was only allowed to return to Kuban' in 1880, after an exile of three years.191 Up until this point, his early life seems not so different from other young contemporary Russian radicals. However, after being deported, Shcherbina apparently severed the ties to his past as a revolutionary, and instead chose an academic career, unlike his old comrades, most of whom became real revolutionaries, even accepting terrorism.

More importantly, it seems that it was around this time that his populism

started to diverge from the main currents of Russian populism. While the influence of Russian Populism on Shcherbina never disappeared and he kept life-long loyalty to the value of obshchina, against his Cossack background his populism evolved into a sphere entirely different from the original ideas that populism intended: justification of the raison d'etre of his own soslovie. Indeed, the Cossacks were the only soslovie in postreform Russia which could maintain the obshchina system legally and officially, even if 1974), 39, 129, as cited in Trekhbratov, "Zhizn' i sud'ba," 22 Trekhbratov, "Zhizn' i sud'ba," 29 - 31 190 \akae\, Shcherbina, 1 9 - 2 0 191 G. V. Gubarev and A. I. Skrylov, Kazachii slovar 'spravochnik, 3 Vols. (San Anselmo, California, 1969), Vol. 3, 311 - 312; Trekhbratov, "Zhizn' i sud'ba," 31 189

75 it was allowed for different reasons. To the eyes of this young Cossack narodnik, Russian Cossackdom must have been the ideal model of which the populist thinkers had dreamt. The Cossacks' obshchina was comparatively well-maintained, kept relatively free of contamination by the idea of private property, and its land usage was egalitarian, and at least in principle, controlled by the Cossacks themselves. The combination of his native Cossack background and his baptism in Russian populism proved to be strong enough to motivate his extremely prolific writing, when it was directed not toward radicalism but toward academia. After 1884, Shcherbina worked as a statistician for Voronezh zemstvo under close surveillance by the authorities.193 Probably due to the restriction put on him under surveillance, while working as an assistant statistician for the committee of statistics of the Voronezh guberniia, Shcherbina devoted most of his time to studying the socioeconomic aspects of the local peasant life by which to prove his populist credo empirically, an analysis of peasant economy with a focus on the viability of obshchina.m

In Voronezh, thus, a new stage of Shcherbina's career began. His first

book, giving him immediate academic recognition, Peasant Economy of the Voronezh Region?95 was published in 1885. In the same year, he wrote such articles as "Essay on South-Russian Cooperatives and Communal Cooperative Form" and "Land Commune of the Sol'vychegovsk Region." Soon, two other works, Peasant Economy in the Ostrogozhsk uezd in 1887 and History of Voronezh Zemstvo in 1889 followed.196 In


Iakaev, Shcherbina, 23; Tsvetkov, "Zhizn' i sud'ba," 142 Ibid, 44-45 195 Shcherbina, Voronezhskoe krest'iianskoe khoziaistvo: Krest'ianskie biudzhety, vliianie urozhaev i khlebnykh tsen na krest'ianskoe khoziaistvo (Voronezh, 1885) 196 Iakaev, Shcherbina, 23 - 24 194

76 these articles and books, although he received very little professional training for historical and economic studies, he demonstrated that he was an extremely prolific writer equipped with originality and insight based on expertise in statistics and deep knowledge of the peasant economy. Accordingly, it did not take long until Shcherbina's works began to draw serious attention from the academy, enough to earn a solid reputation quickly enough to open the door to academic success. Indeed, this ex-populist scholar was given more than a few academic awards for his achievements: a gold medal from Imperial Academy of Geography in 1887, a fellowship from Kharkov State University in 1889, an award for academic excellence from the Imperial Academy of Science in 1891, which appointed him a member of the Academy. Around the turn of the century, he established himself firmly as one of the most distinguished scholars with irrefutable expertise in peasant economy and rural land communes.197 Given this background, how did Shcherbina begin to develop his vision of the Cossack question, and how did his general concern about the question of Russian peasants turn into one specific to the Cossacks? First, the starting point of his unique vision of Cossack history was framed by a heuristic exploration into Cossack obshchina through the analytic prism of Russian populism, in search for typological similarities between the peasant land commune and the Cossack one. From the beginning, however, this exploration was doomed to be a self-contradictory quest. One the one hand, Shcherbina, like the contemporary populists, idealized the land commune of Russian peasants with its supposedly central role in Russia's transition to the socialist Utopia 197

Gubarev, Kazachii slovar', Vol. 3, 312; Iakaev, Shcherbina, 23 - 24

77 which would enable Russia to bypass the painstaking path of capitalism in Western Europe, and which would qualify Russia for its claim of exceptionalism in her transition to modernity. In 1881, indeed, he declared, "... development to Capitalism is not possible at all in Russia."198 He believed that the primitive accumulation of capital, the genesis of capitalism, could not happen in Russia because the specific condition of Russia impedes its development.199 "We, [Russians], have a different economic system (stroi), different social conditions (usloviia) and relations (otnosheniia)."200 On the other hand, when Shcherbina applied his learning from populism to the analysis of the Cossack question, the result created a new oxymoron. It was because Shcherbina suggested that the peasant land commune could be a universalistic justification of Cossackdom by its hypothetical similarity to or by an alleged process of convergence with the Cossack one. Thus, in Land Commune of Kuban' Cossacks (Zemel 'naia obshchina Kubanskikh kazakov),

a work in which his Cossakized vision

of Russian populism was applied and tested empirically, while exploring the peculiar historical path of Kuban' Cossack voisko, Shcherbina acknowledged the regional and historical disparity of each component of the contemporary Kuban' voisko in the practice of land usage. However, in the transition of the main economic activity of Cossacks from stock raising to grain cultivation, a process which brought with it some peasant practices unfamiliar to Cossacks such as periodic repartitioning of land, Shcherbina identified an allegedly important phenomenon taking place in the land usage of Cossack stanitsy: a gradual convergence of Cossack obshchina to the peasant one. 198 199 200 201

Shcherbina, "Zadachi russkoi obshestvennoi mysli," Russkaia mysl', No. 3 (Moscow, 1881), 35 - 36 Ibid., 36 Ibid., 35 Shcherbina, Zemel 'naia obshchina Kubanskikh kazakov, (Ekaterinodar, 1891)

78 With this finding, Shcherbina proceeded to the ontological comparison that purported to analogize Cossacks' native institution to the peasant land commune. With this comparison, Shcherbina situated the ongoing transformation of the contemporary Cossack obshchina in Kuban' within the evolutionary frame of developmentalism predicted by populist thinkers. According to the credo of Russian populism, this developmentalistic frame was particular only to Russia, an exceptional condition due to the presence of the peasant land commune. However, when Shcherbina attempted to Cossackize the peasant obshchina for his Cossack brethren, his comparison assumed the opposite. Needless to say, this ontological comparison by Shcherbina was an intentionally premeditated one for a single purpose: rationalization ofthe particularistic Cossack obshchina by converging it with the peasant model abstracted from the ideals of Russian populism. By this convergence, he claimed,

"... the land commune of Kuban' Cossacks entered into its own development with similar complications that had accompanied the growth of the Russian [peasant] land commune in general. ... [I]n Kuban', [Cossack] land communes only recently began to form the type of the communal land usage of repartitioning [which had been] dominant in Russia. One should note that nowadays [this change] began with the strong and visible lift of the economic life of Cossacks. ... the growth of the land commune of Kuban' Cossacks went together with the growth of their economic life."202

In short, "the path that the Cossack land commune recently completed was [the same path] that the peasant obshchina had already completed in many places in Russia."203 This path was "a historical course of the development of communalist land

202 203

Shcherbina, Zemel 'naia obshchina, 204 Ibid, 206

79 [usage] form."204 The connotation of this argument was that Cossack obshchina followed the same historical pattern all other collectivist communities experienced, and more importantly, that it would evolve in the same way. By this correlation, indeed, Cossack obshchina, the economic basis of Cossack particularism received a "universalist" baptism. It seems clear that Shcherbina did not immediately detect the immanent contradiction in his Cossack populism. In addition to this contradiction, Shcherbina's analogy between the peasant land commune and the Cossack one was itself misleading. It was true that with the spread of grain cultivation, the practice of Cossack obshchina approached the peasant one, at least in appearance. And yet, this resemblance concealed some fundamental differences blurring reality in Shcherbina's thought. Let alone the fact that the Cossack obshchina evolved from an entirely different historical contingency and background, radically dissimilar from that of the peasant one,205 the Cossack obshchina was in essence a privileged estate organ of Cossacks, who were, in most cases, not cultivators of their own land but collective landlords. Another important difference was that the peasant land commune had never enjoyed the wide range of privileges and the leeway that Cossack obshchiny were allowed to exercise as a form of samoupravlenie (self-government) at the stanitsa level. This fundamental difference did not prevent Shcherbina from viewing the 204

Ibid, 207 Even after agriculture became the main economic activity of Cossacks, the way Cossack obshchina handled their land preserved some features of non-Slavic nomadic societies. For example, yurt, a term which was used to designate communal property land of Cossack stanitsa, clearly came from MongolTurkish origin with the legacy of the nomadic concepts viewing the land as common pastures for stockbreeding rather than arables for grain cultivation. This concept was an important remnant recalling Cossacks' early history, which had featured close interactions with their nomadic neighbors. For more detailed discussion of the nomadic tradition of Cossack societies, see O'Rouke, Warrior, 63 - 64. 205

80 Cossack obshchina in the "universalistic" model of the peasant land commune. When it came to the growing claim of crisis in the Cossack economy and efforts to find a solution to it, Shcherbina's argument indicated only one direction for Kuban' Cossacks. In searching for the solution to the land shortage crisis, Cossacks should not give up their communalist land usage. They should not only keep their communal order, but even strengthen it. In other words, to achieve universalism in their economic way of life, Cossacks should become more particularistic. Given in this context, it is hardly surprising that Shcherbina strongly rejected the prevailing view that the communalist land usage based on the obshchina and the practice of periodic repartitioning had been an obstacle to the development of Cossack economy. On the contrary, he declared that "the Cossacks' well-being improved" with the agriculture-based communalist land usage.

This assertion was, to follow Shcherbina, also warranted by Cossacks' way of

life and their supposed love of egalitarian order because,

"the land commune of Kuban' Cossacks took shape in such a form that history indicated Cossacks, in such a form that logically resulted from Cossacks' natural aspiration to ... egalitarian and just land usage, and finally in a such a form that the universal economic requirement of cultural progress stipulated."207

This universalistic vision of Cossack particularism by Shcherbina took fullfledged shape in his formulation of "Cossack ideology." If Shcherbina tried to universalize Cossack communalism by extrapolating the Populist credo to the Cossack institution, he attempted to complete his proposed thesis of universality by intrapolating 206 207

Shcherbina, Zemel 'naia obshchina, 205 Ibid.,207

81 a unifying theme of the raison d'etre of Cossackdom from their distinctive socioeconomic way of life. If the former was an attempt to universalize the Cossack institution by "similarity," the latter marked an effort to universalize Cossack identity by "difference." Then, what difference made Cossacks distinctive? An opportunity to answer this question came when Shcherbina was appointed as the head of the "Expedition for Investigation of Steppe Provinces" in 1896. This academic expedition, which was arranged by the Ministry of Agriculture, provided him with a decisive chance to develop his thesis of Cossack distinctiveness in a more detailed way. With an opportunity to extensively travel in the non-European territory of the Russian empire, he visited several Cossack voiska in Ural and in Siberia. In Siberia, the Ural, and the Orenburg hosts, Shcherbina located some remarkable common ground which the three Eastern voiska and three Cossack hosts in South Russia (Don, Kuban', and Terek) including his native voisko, shared with one another, and commonalities which were preserved intact for some length of time despite their geographical diversity, environmental dissimilarity, and the differences of their historical origins. He dubbed these commonalities, the "Cossack ideology."209 Indeed, according to Shcherbina, it was these commonalities that made Cossacks truly distinctive from surrounding non-Cossacks. After traveling to the Siberian voisko, he wrote. "With this anthropological conformity [of Siberian Cossacks with life in Kirghiz], the Cossack ideology in terms of the Cossacks' discharge of service, the features of their system and [self-] administration, land usage, and the defense of their 208

Shcherbina, Kazachestvo: mysli sovremennikov o proshlom, nastoiashchem i budushchem kazachestva (Paris: izdanie kazach'iago soiuza, 1928), 2 9 2 - 2 9 3 ; Trekhbratov, "Zhizn' i sud'ba," 48; Iakaev, Shcherbina, 45 209 Shcherbina, Kazachestvo, 294

82 own interests on the principle of Cossacks' rights, the idea of community with [other] Cossack hosts, etc, were totally different from those of the Kirghiz people, like a difference between the sun and the earth."210 What, then, did he mean by Cossack ideology? By the term ideology he meant a unifying principle for the Cossacks' traditional common ways of life: obshchina, samoupravlenie, their particular land usage, among other things. Indeed, according to Shcherbina, it was this unifying principle of all Cossacks which had made the Siberian voisko qualify for "something whole (neshto tsel'noe), organized by uniformity of life and by Cossack ideology,"211 notwithstanding its distant and isolated location among non-Cossack neighbors. He identified the same manifestation of Cossack ideology in the Ural and the Orenburg hosts,

which made

this Cossack people true kazaki as well. Indeed, in other words, it was this ideology that constituted the essence of their distinct Cossack identity, and which made them different from their other neighbors who lived a very similar way of life to the Cossacks in food, clothing, and housing. Most importantly, he noticed that there was a remarkable awakening of the self-consciousness of this Cossack ideology among the new generation of young Cossacks, and felt this same new atmosphere in himself. "... [T]his new idea and this new tone [of Cossack ideology] were felt entirely as a completely natural phenomenon and, in a sense, as an absolutely evolutionary development, but at that time, they were considered by the authorities ... as a revolutionary and criminal


2,1 212

Ibid., 296 Ibid., 296 - 2 9 8

83 one, about which it was strictly prohibited not only to speak but also even to think." According to Shcherbina, the message of this new Cossack ideology was simple but strong: "I am a Cossack, you are a Cossack, and so 'we' are Cossacks. They, those who are not Cossacks, are aliens (chuzhoi)."


Thus, despite some similarities with the

neighboring Kirghiz people which even made it hard to tell who were Cossacks and who were Kirghiz in terms of clothing and appearance, Kirghiz were different from Cossacks: they were "aliens" to their Siberian Cossack neighbors.215 Here, it is particularly noteworthy that he defined his own linkage with his Cossack brethren of several Siberian hosts in terms of a new modern conception: "an ideology." The Cossacks who were living in non-European Russia eastward from the Ural Mountains were not ethnically homogeneous: during the rapid expansion of the Russian Empire to Siberia through the preceding two hundred years, the Cossack detachments that had been dispatched from Russia proper and from South Russia, settled on the new borders and grew up in a short time enough to organize new voiska, through which process the Cossacks came to absorb various local native tribes whose origins were Turkish, Mongolian, and even Chinese through intermarriage and annexation, as they had experienced similarly with the Caucasian native tribes in the Southern borders of the empire.216 How was this new creation of Cossack voiska made possible? The answer to this question involves the Cossacks' legal status as a military


Ibid, 297 Ibid, 293 215 Ibid. 216 Many borderland minorities were absorbed into Cossack soslovie by the Ministry of War, and this incorporation of non-Russian population was more feasible in the newly-born minor-sized Cossack voiska on the Eastern borders. In 1869, for an example, in the Semirechenskoe voisko, a thousand Chinese were incorporated into the Cossack soslovie (McNeal, Tsar and Cossack, 9 - 1 1 ) . 214

84 caste in the soslovie system of pre-modern Imperial Russia, which enabled the government to create new hosts at its convenience. What actually defined the Cossacks' identity up to this point, among Cossacks themselves as well as among their nonCossack neighbors, was their legal existence as an estate similar to the soslovie of peasants, merchants, and the landed nobility. However, for Shcherbina, what made Cossacks and what defined their identity was not soslovie; it was an ideology intrinsically native to Cossacks, based on their way of life and their ancient institution which had remained unchanged despite the age-old Cossack Diaspora. With the introduction of the new modern concept of Cossack ideology, Shcherbina took a revolutionary step to transform Cossacks' self-identity from an anachronistic premodern estate to a modern one: this change was, indeed, the first prelude to the idea of Cossack distinctiveness and of the Cossack identity as a modern concept. How, then, did Cossack ideology represent itself on each individual voisko, especially on Kuban'? When it came to his writings on the history of his own native host, at first glance, it might seem a bit difficult to easily identify his "unifying principle," mainly due to the background of his work, which seriously limited his historical incursions into the past of his own voisko. It should be noted that his first work on the history of Kuban' Cossacks, "A Short Historical Survey of Kuban' Cossack Host, (Kratkii istoricheskii ocherk Kubanskogo kazach 'ego voiska)" was published as a present to Nicolas II, who, at that time, had visited, as an heir to the Crown, Ekaterinodar with Alexander III.217 More importantly, even his overarching twovolume project, History of Kuban' Cossack Host (Istoriia Kubanskogo kazach'ego 217

Iakaev, Shcherbina, 3 8 - 4 0

85 voiska), the most important and the most recognized work among Shcherbina's writings, was written as an official history of Kuban' host by the request of the appointed Ataman, under the patronage of the voisko authorities with financial support of the Ministry of War for publication.218 Naturally, there was a tacitly enforced restriction in describing the history of Kuban' Cossacks as it had been, which obliged Shcherbina to be highly selective in choosing historical moments of the ancestors of Kuban' Cossacks. To take an example, despite the voluminous coverage encompassing nearly all historical traces of Kuban' Cossacks, Shcherbina was almost silent about one of the most important events for the majority of Kuban' Cossacks: the violent and sudden end of Zaporozh 'e Sech' by the invading Russian Army; in addition, most Cossack rebellions, which constituted an important page of Cossack history, were omitted or only intermittently and vaguely mentioned. Instead, as evidently shown in Shcherbina's report on his plan of writing and his outline to Ministry of War,219 the main theme of his History was the servitorhood of Kuban' Cossackdom, with a primary focus given to its role as an agent executing the will of Russian state, more specifically speaking, as a colonizer representing the imperial power against the non-Russian native mountaineers in the Caucasian border, in which Cossacks appeared always triumphant.

This was an

authorized official history in which he did not dare to deviate from the official myth in the voisko charters that "the Tsar granted the Cossacks special privileges and lands, and 218

For more detailed information of the background against which Shcherbina's History came to be written under the official support from the government, see V. K. Chumachenko, "Istoriia Kubanskogo kazach'ego voiska F. A. Shcherbiny: ot zamysla k voploshcheniiu knigovedcheskii aspekt," in Nauchnotvorcheskoe nasledie 219 The outline of Shcherbina's plan of writing is available in Chumachenko, "Istoriia," 232 220 Ibid., 235

86 the Cossacks gave the majesty devoted service," although he had lamented the demise of the Cossacks' traditional freedom and autonomy.221 After all, at least in Kuban', this big picture heavily representing the official governmental view on Cossacks based on the special relationship of Tsar and Cossack, was neither distortion nor exaggeration in reality, because it was the government itself that gave birth to the Kuban' voisko, thus giving it its "form." Nevertheless, Shcherbina's History was a remarkable contribution in that he tried to fill the "form" with the "contents" of Cossack ideology. Among other things, the most significant contribution he made in his History was that he presented the history of Kuban' Cossacks as that of an organic whole. Of course, his History was not first in the historiography of Kuban' Cossackdom. Before him, several authors wrote histories of their Cossack ancestors, especially that of Zaporozhian Cossacks222; however, their works were not organically relevant to the contemporary Kuban' host. They wrote only about components of Kuban', not about Kuban' as a whole. From these works, Shcherbina's History differed substantially in one aspect: it was the first and the only book ever published to cover the entire history of Kuban', by organically amalgamating its various components constituting the contemporary Kuban' Cossackdom to one voisko with a focus on the process of the convergence of each component to a common Cossackhood. In this sense, the History was a heroic chronology that was intentionally designed to demonstrate how the two main elements of the Kubantsy, the Black-Sea Cossacks and linetsy, formed their voisko, developed 221

Shcherbina, Istoriia, Vol. 2, 653 - 654. For example, see D. I. Evarnitskii, Istoriia zaporozhskikh kazakov (Moscow, 1900) and see I. D. Popko, Chernomorskie kazaki v ikh grazhdanskom i voennom bytu ocherki kraia, obshchestva, vooruzhennoi sily i sluzhby (St. Petersburg, 1858). 222

87 their economy, and how they carved their own distinct cultures through interactions and struggles with the native tribes in the northern Caucasus. By the organic unity expressed in History, Shcherbina gave his construction a holistic identity. The very real view of Shcherbina on the history of Kuban', probably what he wanted to show but could not express straightforwardly at the time of writing of History, was expressed a decade and a half later during his emigration after the civil war. To cite him again, "Kuban' Cossacks and the people of the past who had joined to Kuban' Cossacks so firmly [and so] organically merged and coalesced with Kuban' that she became their rodina (motherland) as something whole ... ."223 In any case, due to the constraint of its bearing official history, Shcherbina's construction of Kuban' history was not straightforward in describing Cossack ideology. Instead, his untainted views of the Cossack ideology were more clearly expressed in a series of articles under the title, Caucasian Letters (Kavkazskiie pis'ma), which he contributed to Iuzhnye zapiski, a journal issuing in Odessa during 1904 - 1905, just before he began the writing of his History. His view in the Letters merits special attention in that it showed the hidden thoughts he could not explicitly project onto the writing of his History. How, then, did he formulate his Cossack ideology for the sake of his own native voisko, and for the sake of the entire Russian Cossackdom? First, Shcherbina admitted that the Cossacks, including the Kuban' Cossacks had ethnically diverse origins. Indeed, "the very composition of Cossackdom, its diversity and its heterogeneity serves as indicator of the difference [which had been existing] in


Shcherbina, "Kuban' v proshlom i nastoiashem," in Kuban': Sbornik statei o Kubani i kubantsakh, edited by Shcherbina (Prague, 1927), 28

88 terms of the way of life and economic character, in the life of Cossackdom...."224 However, he also noted that they came to form a unitary group which came to share "its own distinct economic uklad," to shape "its own distinct tradition," and to carve "its own distinct culture."225 Within the same context, secondly, on the one hand, he understood the genesis of the Cossacks and their pre-history as a scientifically evolutionary phenomenon of a "nation-building (narodnoe tvorchestvo) 22e in which the various groups developed common features and institutions like the obshchina, selfgovernment, democracy, autonomy, among other things, thus creating a new homogenous socio-cultural dimension. On the other hand, the incorporation of Cossacks into a soslovie, for him, symbolized a painful process in which the central Moscovite power gradually devoured the traditional Cossack freedom, and ruined the Cossacks' precious democratic order by "obliterating the inner contents of the Cossack form like Cossack obshchina, principle of election, and ... self-government."227 Indeed, by this move, the Moscovite power "fundamentally undermined Cossackdom,"228 and "this deCossackization marked the last page of Cossack history." Thirdly, therefore, in the case of the Kuban', its history after the fall of Zaporozh'e Sech' in 1775, especially after the forceful deportation of Zaporozhian Cossacks into the Black Sea region was a compulsory subjugation of Cossacks to the Imperial government, by which they lost their freedom as an independent group. For


Shcherbina, "Kavkazskaia zhizn' i nuzhdy: Pis'mo vtoroe," Iuzhnye zapiski, No. 9 (Odessa, 1904), 50 Ibid., 50 - 51; L. M. Galutvo, "F. A. Shcherbina o sud'bakh kazachestva," in Problemy istorii kazachestva, 44 226 Galutvo, "F. A. Shcherbina," 44 227 Shcherbina, "Kavkazskiia pis'ma: Pis'mo shestoe," Iuzhnye zapiski, No. 48 (Odessa, 1904), 53 228 Ibid. 229 Ibid. 225

89 Shcherbina, however, the reaction of Kuban' Cossacks was exceptional and special. Although the Kuban' voisko was formed as a Cossack colony by state initiative, its Cossack inhabitants resisted this process of subjugation by several rebellions and protests against the colonizing missions put forth by the government.230 This resistance, for Shcherbina, although it had happened only sporadically in reality, symbolized "something important and essential," a phenomenon demonstrating "Cossacks' awareness of the indispensability of... the autonomy of their province and inviolability of the obshchina based self-government in stanitsa.,,2M By this reformulation of Cossack history, indeed, Shcherbina took one more important step toward the thesis of Cossack distinctiveness, a move that constituted a much more direct and "revolutionary" step toward Kazachaia samostiinost'. It was revolutionary because his argument potentially had a substantial explosiveness considering the prevailing sense of crisis among the Kuban' Cossacks, who observed the steady corrosion from the bottom of their socio-economic basis. In other words, in Kuban' and all other Southern voiska, there appeared a new socio-economic setting that would make Shcherbina's argument appear much more persuasive. Needless to say, Shcherbina recognized that there were two threatening sources of crisis. One was the rapid demographic change by the increase of non-Cossack population, inogorodnie232; the other was the incursion of private property, which "infringed on Cossacks' vital interests."

It was these two phenomena that signified the culmination of the intrusion

of state power into Cossackdom. 230 231 232 233

Ibid., 54 - 55 Ibid., 56 Shcherbina, "Kavkazskiia pis'ma: Pis'mo desiatoe," Iuzhnye zapiski, No. 9 (Odessa, 1905), 63 - 64 Shcherbina, "Kavkazskiia pis'ma: Pis'mo sed'moe," Iuzhnye zapiski, No. 52 (Odessa, 1904), 71

90 Shcherbina hardly ascribed the current crisis of the Kuban' to inogorodnie directly. Presumably, this attitude might be an understandable and natural response if one considers the young Shcherbina's populist career. Later, during the period of the experimentation of Kuban' statehood during the civil war, his native sympathy with the plight of these non-Cossack peasants even developed to a bold and idealistic proposal, which was unthinkable and unacceptable to most of the Kuban' samostiiniki: to transform all inogorodnie to Cossacks.234 Instead, it was the Imperial government's role in this question and its direct influences on the future of the Cossack obshchina, the lynchpin of Cossackness in his idea, that drew his attention most strongly, because he linked the issue of inogorodnie to the question of private property and the gradual loss of the Cossacks' samoypravlenie, which he considered the most serious potential danger and at the same time the most fundamental reason that caused the weakening of the Cossacks' socio-economic base. What results did these intrusions into the Cossack hosts by the central government bring about? According to Shcherbina, the most negative outcome in the contemporary Kuban' was a noticeable retrogression of creativity in Cossacks' material culture (economy), which was engendered by the Russian government's intentional attempt "to arbitrarily re-design the material culture of the Cossacks." 35 As the very core of the Cossacks' material culture was the democratic order of the Cossack obshchina, the government's every effort to destroy it was primarily concentrated on this Cossack organ, and all its legislation to introduce and to strengthen private property

Vol 'naia Kuban', October 30th, 1918 Shcherbina, "Kuban' v proshlom i nastoiashem," 27

91 were aimed only at damaging the democratic basis of the Cossack obshchina.236 In addition, the Cossacks' overly heavy duty of military service was an inescapable burden which obstructed the smooth development of Cossack economy.237 Of course, Shcherbina's diagnosis on this issue proved only half true, because, in actuality, the government policies were not completely anti-Cossack. In reality, the situation was subtler and more complicated. He did not detect the fundamental ambivalence and inconsistency in the Government's policy toward Cossacks after 1861 to its end in 1917, a policy of "particularistic universalism." On the one hand, the Russian government, especially the Ministry of War, made a serious effort to preserve Cossacks' soslovnost' as a bulwark against revolutionary disturbances, strengthening its legal status and at the same time isolating it from other subjects of the Empire. On the other hand, Russian autocracy actively tried not only to implant capitalism on Russian soil but also to promote its development on a nationwide scale, from which was the introduction of private property and its proliferation a predictable and even inevitable result.238 Certainly, it was the sense of crisis of the Cossacks' very existence itself that guided Shcherbina's thoughts in this direction. If so, how should the Cossacks respond these crises? This central issue developed into the identity question, to which Shcherbina's ideas had already found well-prepared answers: a transformation of their identity from the pre-modern soslovie to the modern concept of nationality, which had its own solid base in way of life, economy, and culture. If Cossacks wanted to survive in 236 237 238

Ibid. Shcherbina, "Kavkazskiia pis'ma: Pis'mo tret'e," Iuzhnye zapiski, No. 20 (Odessa, 1904), 56 - 58. Matiushchenko, "Kazachii vopros," 263

92 the new socio-economic environment that challenged their socio-economic existence itself, they had to develop a new identity that could define them in a modern way. He thought that this new strategy of survival appeared to be a possible solution, because he had known his brethren in the Siberian borderlands had successfully preserved a distinct Cossack ideology for three centuries, isolated and surrounded by antagonistic native neighbors. It was this argument that paved the way for his ideas on Kazach'ia samostiinost', and also dictated his praxis of this vision in the Kuban voisko Rada and the second State Duma, in which he tried to project his vision of the Cossacks' past and present into the future through actions. In this vein, the convocation of the first Kuban voisko Rada in December, 1906, appeared to Shcherbina as a meaningful event, which he came to identify as the resurrection of the true Cossack identity as well as the possibility of the Cossacks' salvation. It also symbolized the revival of the freedom of the Zaporozh'e


Shcherbina looked back upon this evocative event in Kuban Cossack history with deep emotional excitement. "Frankly speaking, in the whole of my life as well as in my entire career, I have never experienced this exultation of my own vigor and have never seen the same event in any other place at that moment [as at the revival of Rada]."240 However, what actually impressed this Cossack historian most, was not so much the symbolic meaning of the resurrection of this age-old democratic organ as the prospects and expectations that the Rada presented for the future, which he observed as the organizer as well as the chairman of the entire event. The new Rada was an

Shcherbina, "Fakty," 301 Ibid, 303

93 important occasion in that it offered him a good test case to verify the Cossacks' potential capability of democratic samo-upravlenie on a much larger scale that had been preserved through the obshchina at the stanitsa level against the central government's intrusion to Cossacks' territory. From this experience he could confirm that Cossack democracy still had a well-working mechanism. In addition, the Rada provided a valuable chance to apply his historically proven principles of Cossack ideology to actual practice and to reorganize the Cossack's lands according to those ideological values essential to the Cossack obshchina system.241 Also, for Shcherbina, the Rada worked as a bridge to link him as a Cossack representative to the ordinary Cossack mass, because "those experiences [in the Kuban voisko Rada] made me familiarize myself with the important issues in the Cossacks' land order and in their way of life, and with the [Cossack mass's] perspective, which were existing between me and the Cossack mass."

Satisfied with the successful settlement of the land re-distribution and re-

allotment by the generous concession and harmonious agreement of Cossack representatives from four sub-voiska in Kuban' to help the impoverished stanitsy in the northern Kuban', he detected the latent possibility that this organ could develop into a new modern parliamentary institution to represent the Cossack mass, which signified nothing other than the genuine manifestation of Cossack ideology for him. It was for these reasons that Shcherbina was not hesitant to call the convening of Rada, "a revolutionary event."243 Secondly, the Rada signified a rallying point to unite all Cossacks by invoking 241 242 243

Ibid.,303 Ibid. Ibid.,302

94 strongly an appeal for Cossack brotherhood and justice. Through it, he witnessed himself the widespread spirits of fraternity among the Kuban' Cossack representatives: "We Cossacks are all brothers, and so we have to help each other. Aren't all of us Cossacks?"244 This picture of democratic Cossack fraternity during the Rada session, the solidarity with the Cossack soldiers in Urupskii regiment, also highly delighted Shcherbina, although, as a chairman of Rada, he stood in the unbearable position that forced him to curb the further development of the protest such as the passing of a serious anti-government resolution.

"The moral uplift [of Cossacks by the convening of Rada] was evident. Many Cossack delegates stood firmly for their brethren, those who did not want to use their service for the punishment or repression of peaceful residents, facing serious danger of their life subject to deportation or even death."245

Thus, from the picture which Shcherbina depicted with deep emotion in his memoir, one can infer without difficulty his blueprint of what the Cossack could be, and more exactly speaking, what they should be: what he wanted to see and what he wanted to find was nothing other than democratic and free Cossacks who had fraternity, were equipped with modern parliamentary system, and stood for the oppressed people, which was a preview of the very ideas of Kazach'ia samostiinost'. Here, contrary to public image and common preconception about Cossacks as a reactionary and feudalistic military caste, Shcherbina tried to reconstitute Cossacks' self-image as one of the oppressed people. Of course, as analyzed above, Cossacks were depicted as a distinct 244 245

lbid.,305 Ibid., 307

95 group, whose Cossack ideology constituted their distinctiveness enough to endow them with a separate ethnicity, and whose history demonstrated a past of one of the oppressed people who lost their freedom, democracy, and independence. More importantly, "Cossacks stood over non-Cossacks in terms of the making of the civil order." It is because "they had real democratism in their [native] order of self-government and economic structure."246 It was this "natural-born" tradition of democracy among Cossacks that would provide the Rada with its promising future. Shcherbina believed that democratism had already been embedded in the Cossacks' history, their way of life, and their institution: in two words, Cossack ideology. For Shcherbina, ultimately, the Rada symbolized the first step to the realization of Cossack democratism and the autonomy of Cossackdom. Was this a possible dream? Insofar as Kuban' was under the direct rule of the imperial government, the actual influence of Rada over Kuban' politics remained very limited, and its future was obscure. Its titular power was a natural result, taking into consideration the fact that its convocation had basically been permitted as a lip service to compensate Cossacks' loyal services during 1905 revolution and to please the Cossack intellectuals who were full of discontent with the Cossacks' notorious role in 1905. Although Shcherbina made efforts to turn Rada into a permanent organ, it was clear that the government, which had observed its every session with suspicion, had no intention to tolerate this attempt. As a result, the second Rada could convene only after the fall of the Tsarist Regime in February, 1917, but at this time as a full-fledged organ. Naturally, when he was elected as a Kuban' delegate in Duma, Shcherbina 246


96 turned his attention to another scene of activities, the second state Duma in 1907, which also arranged a new stage for him and his vision on a nationwide scale. He became the leader of the entire Cossack delegation to the Duma.247 The Cossack caucus under his leadership, including many prominent Cossack leaders from Don, Terek, Astrakhan, and all other voiska, was organized with the aim of representing the general interests of all Cossacks within the Russian empire. Under the strong influence of Shcherbina, it paid particular attention to obtaining complete Cossack autonomy in the sphere of local administration, and complete re-arrangement of the Cossack land usage system, including all-out confiscation of all private property in Cossack hosts. In addition, it drew up some plans to reclaim the command over Cossack armies from the Ministry of War as well as to reduce Cossacks' burden of military service through shortening the term of service.248 Quite disappointingly for its leader, Shcherbina, these ambitious plans could not come true, and it was the inner ideological schism within the Cossack group that prevented the Cossack delegates from reaching a common agreement on more specific issues, although all of the Cossack delegates shared the general cause itself. This failure might have been an unbearable situation for Shcherbina. Frustrated by this bitter experience, he lamented, "despite our commonality as Cossacks, we, Cossack intellectuals, did not have any common political unity; we did not have any political party only for Cossacks, equivalent to that of Social Democrats or Social Revolutionaries."249

247 248 249

Gubarev, Kazachii slovar', Vol. 3,313 Shcherbina, "Fakty," 309 - 311; Galutvo, "F. A. Shcherbina," 47 - 49 Shcherbina, "Fakty," 313

97 With discontinuation of the Rada by the pressure from government, the Cossack delegation's failure to form the united Cossack party in Duma must have made him feel keenly the necessity of choosing a much more radical direction or, more specifically, the necessity of fundamental change of the socio-political setting around Cossacks. This need for change was why he welcomed the February Revolution in 1917 with enthusiasm. Indeed, in the revolution, he saw a promising possibility for Cossacks. "With the beginning of the revolution, the Cossacks based themselves upon their democratic roots.... For Cossacks the Revolution was nothing other than what matched 9 SO

a natural evolution."

For him, this evolution meant a good opportunity for the

Cossack ideology to be realized, because the Cossacks were the only well-prepared people who could pull out democratic assets immanent in their history and everyday life. With these democratic traditions, with the Cossack ideology which all Cossacks shared throughout Russia, with the Cossacks' distinct way of life which had long distinguished them from non-Cossacks, and with their separate self-identity that had formed over a long period, everything seemed to be enough to make Cossacks a distinct group from other non-Cossack Russian subjects, one that had the right to pursue their own "statehood." In addition, the fall of the Imperial regime liberated them from their age-old duties as loyal servitors prescribed in the charters, signifying the end of the "myth of the Tsar and the Cossacks," and at the same time invoking another "myth of Free Cossacks." It was with these thoughts that Shcherbina became an enthusiastic supporter of

Ibid., 314

98 the so-called "third path"251 for the Kuban' Cossack host, the idea of Kazachaia samostiinost': the Cossack nation building movement and Cossack federalism. This new vision, in fact, might seem to be nothing more than a modernized version of the age-old myth of Cossack freedom. However, its new perspective included an essential difference from the old myth: adapting the Cossacks' existence as a separate and universalistic entity to the new modern setting, it updated its self-definition from that of a premodern soslovie to that of a modern and universalistic one: "ethnos." This refreshing of the Cossack identity was justified by the Cossacks' tradition of democracy and their common manifestation of Cossack ideology across distance and time. This justification, indeed, was the very meaningful contribution that Shcherbina made.


A. I. Kozlov, ed., Problemy istorii kazachestva: XVl-XXvv. (Rostov-na-Donu: Izdatel'stvo Rostovskogo universiteta, 1995), 124 - 125

99 Part II. The Genesis of Kazach'ia samostiinost"

A. The Revolution Comes to Kuban'

The news of the February Revolution came to Kuban' suddenly. The initial telegram regarding the political cataclysm in Petrograd arrived at the Ataman's office on February 28th.

However, the spread of the Revolution to Kuban' was slightly

delayed, because the appointed Ataman of Kuban' Cossack voisko, M. P. Babich and his aides did not immediately announce the news to the public.253 Nevertheless, it did not take even a few days for the news of the Revolution to be revealed and for it to spread to all the streets of Ekaterinodar and to the entire Kuban' oblast'. Finally, it was on March 3rd that the news was officially announced and confirmed. In a special session of City Duma of Ekaterinodar, the chairman of Duma cheerfully read the telegram from Mikhail Rodzianko informing of the abdication of the Tsar and the formation of Provisional Government in the capital. His announcement was welcomed by all participants in the hall with a thunder of unanimous applause and a storm of the joyful shout, "Ura!"254 As the news of the Revolution spread, this euphoric atmosphere quickly infiltrated every corner of the Kuban' oblast'. A marked sign of unity appeared among all sectors of the population across soslovie lines. When it came to the rank and file 252 253 254

Ratushniak, Ocherki, 495; Ladokha, Ocherki, 30 Ibid, 30 Ibid, 3\

100 majority of the Kuban' Cossacks, they were among those who welcomed the Revolution with enthusiasm and expectation, as vividly illustrated in the resolution of an assembly meeting of a local stanitsa in Ekaterinodarskii otdel. It read, "Cossacks ... from children to elders ... [are going to] join the new people's government, repeatedly shout our strongest "Ura," and wish ... success in the consolidation of the Russian people's i f f

achievements in their struggle with ... the old regime." And yet, the "Ura" of these Cossacks was not unconditional. While expressing full support to the new government, these rank and file Cossack villagers added an important collateral provision to their loyalty to the new civic order, by "requesting ... [the new] government not to infringe upon Cossackdom's fundamental rights...."256 From the beginning, Cossacks' first reaction to the Revolution showed signs of estate particularism. Although it would be an exaggeration to say that this response was typical, it certainly might serve as an indication of prevailing sentiments of all Cossacks toward the Revolution, epitomizing their oxymoronic status as an anachronistic caste between the new universalism of the Revolution and local estate particularism in the Caucasian border. However, this contradiction did not surface visibly in the initial stage of the Revolution, which allied Cossacks and non-Cossacks behind the facade of the euphoric unity. This sense of unity dominated the Kuban' oblast' for a few months after February. Upon the official confirmation of the news of the Revolution, on March 3rd, it was the City Duma of Ekaterinodar that instantly went into action to take over the GAKK, f. r-1259, op. 1, d. 70,1. 4

101 administrative power of the capital city and the entire Kuban' oblast', successfully negotiating its move with the head of the old order. Its first measure was to improvise a special commission to form a civic committee (grazhdanskii komitei) in Ekaterinodar. In the afternoon of the same day, this commission visited the Ataman's office to organize a new power organ. The Ataman yielded under the pressure from City Duma, entrusting the commission with full authority to form a new governing body.


March 9th, among the members of the civic committee, there appeared a new organ claiming full, although temporary, administrative authority on the entire territory of Kuban': the Provisional Executive Committee of Kuban' oblast' (Vremennyi Kubanskii oblastnoi ispol'nitel'nyi komitei).

On the same day, Ataman Babich announced his

resignation.259 With his resignation the old order in Kuban' officially crumbled. On March 17, the Provisional Government appointed K. L. Bardizh to the post of Commissar of Kuban'. 260 Bardizh was a Cossack kadet, who had enjoyed considerable popularity among Cossacks due to his service in the State Duma as a deputy of Kuban' oblast'. Presumably for the purpose of offsetting Bardizh's Cossack background, the Provisional Government also chose its second Commissar of Kuban' and Black-Sea Region from among local non-Cossack kadets, N. N. Nikolaev.261 This position was supposed to represent the Kuban' inogorodnie and the population of Chernomorskaia (Black-Sea) guberniia, but Nikolaev was later replaced by N. S. Dolgopolov, who was a Social Revolutionary by party affiliation and a physician by 257

Ladokha, Ocherki, 31 GAKK, f. r-1259, op. 1, d. 11 1. 26; ibid., d. 13,1. 16 259 GAKK, f. l,op. l,d. 158,1. 13 260 RGVIA, f. 400, op. 25, d. 14161,11. 11, 12, 15 261 A. M. Avramenko, et al., Istoriia KubaniXXvek: Ocherki (Krasnodar: Perspektivy obrazovaniia, 1998), 11 258

102 occupation. He also took the post as a representative of the inogorodnie population.262 As elsewhere in revolutionary Russia, there was another source of power claiming its own legitimacy in the name of Revolutionary democracy: the Soviet of Workers' Deputies. It was formed on March 4th in Ekaterinodar by a local socialist group, 63 one day after the Ekaterinodar Civic Committee came into being. This organ was one of the first post-February "Soviet" type organs to appear in the Northern Caucasus after the Revolution. Its base of support was the well-organized but very tiny working-class in Ekaterinodar, especially the metal-workers of Kubanol',264 one of the very few large plants in this predominantly agricultural province. Another source of its support was the mostly non-Cossack soldiers in the local garrison at Ekaterinodar. On the same day, the Ekaterinodar Soviet elected its executive committee, in which 6 moderate socialists, consisting of 4 Mensheviks and 2 Social Revolutionaries, took the leadership of the committee against 3 Bolsheviks.

On March 8th, the Soviet

absorbed another organ of Revolutionary democracy, "the Provisional Military Section of Cossacks' and Soldiers' Deputies," which the local garrison stationed in Ekaterinodar had organized. As a result of this merger, "the Soviet of Workers' Deputies" was renamed as "the Soviet of Workers', Soldiers' and Cossacks' Deputies."266 In the early days of March, the process of re-crystallization of the post-February power structure in Kuban' seemed to follow the path in Petrograd in terms of the


D. E. Skobtsov, Tri goda revoliutsii i grazhdanskoi voiny na Kubani, 2 Vols. (Paris, 1962 - 1971), Vol. 1, 26 - 27. Skobtsov, a Menshevik, was one of the leaders of the lineitsy group in Kuban' Rada. 263 GAKK, f. r-1547, op. 1, d. 153,1. 1 264 1. P. Osadchii, Oktiabr'na Kubani (Krasnodar: Krasnodarskoe Knizhnoe izdatel'stvo, 1977), 4 0 - 4 2 ; GAKK, f. r-411, op. 2, d. 216,1. 41 265 Ladokha, Ocherki, 32; GAKK, f. r-1547, op. 1, d. 153,11. 1, lob. 266 GAKK, f. r-1547, op. 1, d. 153,1. 2

103 appearance of two competing institutional claims of hegemony and legitimacy, a process ostensibly resulting in the establishment of "dvoevlastie (dual power)" representing bourgeois democracy on the one hand and Revolutionary socialism on the other. However, this Ekaterinodar variant of "dual power" did not evolve into the Bolshevik October. Unlike elsewhere in central Russia, the Soviet as an organ in Kuban' remained virtually inert throughout the year 1917. On a superficial level, its inertia, a common phenomenon in the three Cossack provinces in South Russia and the Northern Caucasus,267 can be explained by the fact that this supposedly revolutionary organ was dominated by moderate socialists, who were reluctant to take a leading role in taking power, and whose dominance lasted, unchallenged by the local Bolsheviks.268 In Kuban', the influence of Bolsheviks was extremely weak and their organization had been in bad shape even before the Revolution.269 However, unlike their colleagues in the Petrograd Soviet, local socialists owed their reluctance and inertia to the peculiar condition of the Cossack provinces in South Russia, a peculiarity occasioned by the disparity between the "sas/ov/e-blind" Revolution in ideal and its "sos/ov/e-bound" evolution in reality. This disparity was a direct result of the intrinsic discrepancy between the universalistic principle of the Revolution and the particularistic institutions of this Cossack province. By drawing its legitimacy from the February Revolution, the Provisional Executive Committee started as a universalistic organ, ostensibly representing the entire 267

Trut, Kazachii izlom, 77 Rasskazov, Kuban'i kazachestvo, 277; E. V. Shchetnev and P. I. Ostapenko, Zakonodatel'stvo Kubanskogo Kraia (Krasnodar: Tsentralinaia, 2000), 18 269 Ladokha, Ocherki, 32. In a post-war recollection, a local Bolshevik leader also acknowledged the relatively weak Bolshevik influence among the workers in Ekaterinodar, when compared with that of Mensheviks and Social Revolutionaries. (GAKK, f. r-411, op. 2, d. 216,1. 73) 268

104 population of Kuban' oblast', including not only Cossacks but also non-Cossack residents such as gortsy and inogorodnie. Accordingly, the Committee began as a '^as^ie-blind"

organ in its membership in terms of representation. Its first session on

March 9th included not only representatives of Cossacks but also those of inogorodnie, who participated in the meeting not so much as representatives of a soslovie but as representatives of a party. On March 14th, representatives from local army units participated in the Committee.270 Certainly, at this initial stage, the soslovie did not seem to function as a primary factor in determining political representation and alignment, at least in the initial composition of the Committee. In terms of party affiliation, the membership of the Committee encompassed the entire spectrum of political inclinations in Kuban', except for that of the Bolsheviks, from leading Social Revolutionaries such as N. P. Rozanov and N. S. Dolgopolov, People's Socialists such as F. A. Shcherbina, Mensheviks such as S. G. Turutin,271 to several leading Kadets such as K. L. Bardizh and A. I. Litovkin.272 Some of them, mostly Mensheviks and Social Revolutionaries, were also members of the executive committee of the Ekaterinodar Soviet of Workers' Deputies. In accordance with its supposedly universalistic mandate from the Revolution, the immediate task of the Committee was mainly twofold: firstly, to create a new temporary organ of power to fill the political vacuum following the crumbling of the Ancien Regime in Kuban', and secondly, to garner and organize popular support for the


GAKK, f. r-1259, op. 1, d. 15,1. 6 [Ivan L. Makarenko] Tragediia Kazachestva: Ocherk na temu: Kazachestvo i Rossiia, 4 Vols. (Prague and Paris, 1933 - 1938), Vol. 1, 29 272 GAKK, f. r-1259, op. 1, d. 11,1. 26. The entire list of the Committee members in the early March is available at ibid, 11. 32 - 35. 271

105 stabilization of the post-February civic system. However, there was also a third aim, to secure its institutional base in every corner of the Kuban' oblast', especially in Cossack stanitsy. In order to implement these imperatives, two significant decisions were made unanimously in the session on March 10th with subsequent approval by the Kuban' Commissar: first, to convene a popular congress (s'ezd) on April 9th, in which the representatives from supposedly all residents of Kuban' oblast', regardless of sex, nationality, and most importantly, soslovie, were supposed to participate, and second, to establish local civic committees in all "settlements (naselennye punkty)" of Kuban'.273 The proposed purpose of the oblast' Congress was, to discuss "...the questions of future organization [of administration] and self-government of Kuban' oblast'"274 term, "naselennye punkty"

Indeed, the

was carefully chosen to demonstrate the allegedly

"universalistic" character of the post-February order in Kuban', thereby encompassing non-Cossack villages as well as Cossack stanitsy in the representation for the building of a new self-government in Kuban' oblast'. The contemporary Provisional Committee was to be replaced by the new "permanent" Executive Committee, which the oblast' Congress was to elect.275 The local civic committees were to be elected by a "skhod (meeting)" of "all" village residents irrespective of soslovie, and were to serve as the supreme organ monopolizing all administrative power in each village.


All residents

of Kuban' oblast' were, thus, to participate in this grass-roots organ of local government as equal "citizens." The universalism of this new civic order went together with the spread of local 273 274 275 276

GAKK, f. r-1259, op. 1. d. 15,11. 3, 3ob GAKK, f. r-1547, op. 1, d. 121,1. 3 RGVIA, f. 400, op. 25, d. 14161,1. 30 GAKK, f. r-1259, op. 1, d. 15,11. 3, 3ob

106 civic committees into the Kuban' countryside. Indeed, the civic committee was one of the immediate scions of the Revolution, as a symbol of the soslovie-blind unity of civic universalism. As the Revolution spread to every corner of Kuban' oblast', local civic committees appeared virtually everywhere by early April. According to the official instruction of Commissar Bardizh, in each settlement of five thousand people or less having its own separate administration, a civic committee was to be established; each group of one thousand was to elect one member to the committee, thus totaling five •


members or less in all.

Again, there was no specific mention of soslovie in the

official instruction. This march of civic universalism into the Kuban' countryside, however, was only superficially successful in reality, the reason being that this supposedly "soslovieblind" local organ was organized in a very "soslovie-bound" way. While the official instruction from the Commissar clearly stated that the local civic committee should be 978

elected in "a common assembly of all eligible village residents,"

in most cases,

Cossacks and inogorodnie held their assemblies separately. It goes without saying that Cossack representatives were elected in exclusively Cossack assemblies; the •


inogorodnie did the same in their own meetings as well,

although there were a few

occasions that villagers of both sosloviia met together in a common assembly and 980

elected their committee members, regardless of soslovie. 277

Thus, from the beginning,

GAKK, f. l,op. 1, d. 695,1.28 Ibid 279 Specific cases of civic committee elections in the countryside are available at GAKK, f. r-1259, op. 1, d. 2,11. 15 - 6 1 ; GAKK, f. r-1259, op. 1, d. 6,11. 14, 19, 20, 23, 23ob, 24, 24ob, 52, 89; GAKK, f. r-1259, op. 1, d. 36,1. 325; GAKK, f. r-1259, op. 1, d. 6,1. 6; GAKK, f. r-1259, op. 1, d. 21,1. 18ob; GAKK, f. r1259, op. 1, d. 21,11. 19,28,36 280 GAKK, f. r-1259, op. 1, d. 34,1. 96; f. r-1259, op. 1, d. 36,1. 39ob; f. r-1259, op. 1, d. 36 1. 260 278

107 soslovie was an unstated but still salient factor in the formation of the allegedly universalistic civic committees in the Kuban' countryside. The new civic order in Kuban' was soslovie-bound from the beginning. In addition to this inherent contradiction from its inception, the real competence of civic committee appeared questionable, and its relationship with the old stanitsa administration was unclear, despite its mandate by the Provisional Executive Committee, whose resolution was also supported by the Provisional Government's telegrammed order to provincial commissars that volost' committee should take full charge of local administration.281 And yet, so long as the traditional power hierarchy of stanitsa administration remained effectively intact, some overlapping of authority between the old organ and new organ was inevitable. Although initially envisioned by the Provisional Executive Committee as a supreme organ purposefully monopolizing all administrative authority in local villages, the subsequent instruction by the Kuban' Commissar did not confirm the resolution of the Provisional Executive Committee; rather, it put serious limit on the activities of civic committees by recognizing the coexistence of stanitsa administration and civic committee as an established fact.282 Moreover, according to the instruction, the stanitsa ataman or starshina of khutor was to become automatically a member of the civic committee,

thereby ensuring that the

old stanitsa administration could exert considerable influence and control over the activities of the civic committee. The only full competence, even though highly ambiguously stated, allowed for the civic committee was control of public safety. The

281 282 283

RGVIA, f. 400, op. 25, d. 14161,1. 17 GAKK, f. 1, op. 1, d. 695,1. 29 Ibid, 1.28

108 instruction stated that the civic committee was to have full control of local police in villages

; however, this authority remained nominal in the stanitsa reality, because it

was the old stanitsa administration that had the actual power and recourses with which to pursue and to enforce it. In the Kuban' oblast' Congress, which took place in Ekaterinodar on April 9th, 285 this "sos/ov/'e-bound" dualism reached its apex of contradiction in the appearance of the "sos/ov/e-blind" unity.286 As elsewhere in contemporary Russia in the Revolution, the Congress was a festive moment of unity, a typical scene of Revolutionary democracy, to which all residents, regardless of soslovie, sent their representatives. Similarly to the election of the local civic committee, each settlement of five thousand people or less, chose and sent its delegate to the Congress.287 Not only the settlements of Cossacks and non-Cossacks but also front-line units from Kuban' oblast' elected and sent their own plenipotentiaries to this Congress to make their voices heard. In addition to these representatives, various interest groups, local cooperatives, trade unions, and even the Ekaterinodar Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies sent their own delegates to the Congress. Overall, almost a thousand plenipotentiaries and delegates including 759 representatives from most of the inogorodnie settlements and Cossack stanitsa assembled in Ekaterinodar by early TOO


the absolute majority of whom were rank and file Cossacks and peasants

elected in a stanitsa assembly or in a village meeting, although it was mostly local 284 285 286 287 288

GAKK, f. l,op. 1, d. 695,1. 30 Ladokha, Ocherki, 35 Almost complete protocols of the oblast' Congress are available at GAKK, f. r-1259, op. 1, d. 16. GAKK, f. r-1547, op. 1, d. 121,1. 3 GAKK, f. r-1259, op. 1, d. 18,1. 42

109 notables with party affiliation such as V. V. Skidan, A. P. Filimonov, and F. A. Shcherbina who played the leading role in this popular rally.289 The euphoria, which reigned undiminished among the participants, dominated the initial sessions of the Congress. According to Skobtsov, who was a Cossack Menshevik by party affiliation, but who participated in the Congress as the plenipotentiary of his native stanitsa, the opening address of Commissar Bardizh on the first day of the Congress in Mon Plaisir, a downtown theater in Ekaterinodar,290 was so frequently thwarted by unstoppable applause and continuous shouts of "Ura" that he could not continue. The Congress devoted much of its first sessions simply to celebrating and commemorating the February Revolution.291 In this hectic atmosphere, two old leading figures in the mutiny of the Urupskii Cossack regiment during the 1905 Revolution became heroes at the beginning of the Congress as symbols of revolutionary solidarity. D. S. Ivanenko, an old revolutionary who rendered civilian support to the Cossack mutineers in 1905, was elected chairman of the Congress. A. S. Kurganov, the Cossack who had led the insurgents, became one of two honorary chairmen.292 In addition, it was in this Congress that some of the future Kuban' Rada leaders, who were to soon distinguish themselves in the experiment of Kuban' statehood in the coming years, made their debut in the scene of politics. Also, it was them who led the Congress into the fray of a soslovie-bound confrontation between the Cossacks and inogorodnie. Thus, N. S. Riabovol, who would be known among his

9 0 1 2

Skobtsov, Trigoda, Vol. 1,27 GAKK, f. r-1259, op. 1, d. 15,1. 18 Skobtsov, Trigoda, Vol. 1, 28 The other was N. I. Morev, an inogorodnie agronomist.

110 Russian White "allies" as "the representative of Kuban' separartism" in Kuban',


S. Filimonov, a future leader of the Lineitsy group in the Rada, and A. Belousov, a Social Revolutionary who would head the inogorodnie faction within the future Krai Rada, were among the vice-chairmen of the Congress. The names of F. Fendrikov, another lineitsy leader, and Namitokov, a future radical samostiinik, were among those who were elected as secretaries.294 This mass of plenipotentiaries and delegates discussed various issues, such as the continuation of the war, the land question, and the socio-economic and legal discriminations the non-Cossack population had been suffering in this Cossack province. Overall, on only one issue did the Cossacks and inogorodnie rally together: continuing the war until achieving "an honorable peace."

With regards to various

other questions, they differed from each other. The result of this difference was the formation of a "sos/owe-bound" division between Cossacks and inogorodnie. In particular, it was the extreme inequality in the land holdings between Cossacks and inogorodnie that made this division more acute, although in the Congress inogorodnie leaders took a seemingly conciliatory attitude lest their demands of Cossacks' land provoke the Cossacks. In one of a series of the resolutions, they repeatedly declared that the Kuban' inogorodnie would not covet the Cossacks' landed property, and expressed an optimism that the Constituent Assembly would someday meet the needs of the inogorodnie "without infringing upon the interests of the working Cossacks."


K. N. Sokolov, Pravleniegenerala denikina (Sofia, 1921), reprinted in Beloe delo: Kuban'i dobrovol'cheskaia armiia (Moscow: Golos, 1992), 45 (page citations are to the reprint edition). 294 GARF, f. r-446, op. 2, d. 136,11. 1, lob 295 Skobtsov, Trigoda, Vol. 1,28 296 Gol'dentul, Zemel'nye otnosheniia, 38; Osadchii, Oktiabr', 57


Ill course, Cossacks did not seem to take this unwarranted promise seriously. It was selfevident that due to the "soslovie-bound" relationship between the haves and the havenots in Kuban', the land hunger of the peasants could not be satisfied "without infringing upon the interests" of the working "haves." The meager share of land owned by inogorodnie, which was estimated to be only five hundred thousand desiatina as of 1917, could be widened only by taking a large amount of land from Cossacks' property, which accounted for more than six million desiatina in the same year. In addition to the land question, the notorious "posazhennaia plata (land use fee)" surfaced as one of the most acute issues in the Congress. In one of the sessions, when an inogorodnie delegate in his speech brought up several sensitive questions such as the fee and various forms of discrimination in education, health care and social services, and especially when he enumerated the bitter realities of the non-Cossack peasants' sufferings as second-class citizens,2 8 some of the Cossack audience shouted. "It does not correspond to reality." The orator retorted. "I am indicating [only] facts...." 299 He ended his address with the demand of an immediate abolition of these practices and, especially, of the land use fee.300 The next orator, a Cossack, did not deny the injustices aroused by the fee. However, he insisted, the real question was neither the fee nor other forms of discrimination, but the fact that "inogorodnie are taking Cossacks' land..."

According to him, even if the posazhennaia plata was to

be abolished, there should be another proper alternative nalog (tax) to replace this

298 299 300 301

Gol'dentul, Zemel'nye otnosheniia, 28 - 29. GAKK, f. r-1259, op. 1, d. 16,11. 152, 153 Ibid., 1.153 Ibid.,\\. 154, 155 Ibid, I 156

112 fee.302 Among these pending issues that created the soslovie-bound "front" in the Congress, the most fundamental issue was how to organize "vlasf

(power)" in

Kuban'.303 There was no doubt that the new "vlast'" should be a democratic one based on popular representation through direct participation of people in self-government, but the question peculiar to the Southern Cossack provinces, especially in Kuban', was "whom" to represent through which organization. When it came to Cossacks, this question of representation in local self-government inevitably concerned their age-old but still unsolved dilemma between voisko and oblast', a complicated and deteriorating issue due to the ever-increasing non-Cossack population in the Kuban' "oblast'," whose presence came to threaten the Kuban' "voisko" with their rapidly growing numerical superiority. When the question of self-government was brought into the agenda, the inherent universalism of the Revolution made this threat a tangible and urgent issue. From the beginning, the formation of the Kuban' oblast' Executive Committee and its self-mandate as a builder of the new civic order, reminded Cossacks of their native dilemma. Thus, in a telegram addressed to the Ministry of War just before the opening of the oblast' Congress, the acting Ataman of Kuban' voisko at that time, Geneal Gadenko, expressed his apprehension by asking the Minister to clarify whether "the Executive Committee is supposed to be a permanent and the highest oblast' committee" or only to be a temporary organ "for the discussion of the questions regarding Cossacks' self-government in the future."304

302 303 304

GAKK, f. r-1259, op. 1, d. 16,1. 156 Skobtsov, Trigoda, Vol. 1,28 RGVIA, f. 400, op. 25, d. 14161,1. 23

113 In retrospect, two choices were awaiting Cossacks. If Kuban' was to be an oblast', the new civic order was to represent both Cossacks and non Cossacks together. In this case, it was certainly predictable that Cossacks' privileged monopoly of their landed property would be under pressure with the demands of inogorodnie. If Kuban' was to be a voisko, it was only Cossacks who would be able to claim exclusive representation in the building of the new order in the Cossack territories through Cossack assemblies and Cossack governments. Then, the claim of inogorodnie on the Cossacks' lands could be effectively staved off despite the numerical superiority of nonCossack population. Needless to say, the majority of the Cossacks opted for "voiskobound" self-government. Indeed, to use Skobtsov's expression, while viewing the Revolution as emancipation from the Tsarist yoke, the Cossacks were determined "not to lose their rights;" rather, they wanted "to renew and even to expand them."305 This particularistic vision was to get its momentum from Cossacks' attempt to obviate the contradictory duality between oblast' and voisko, by "particularizing" Kuban' in favor of voisko. During 1917, this attempt was to be marked by two steps. The first step was to abolish the appointed Ataman and to deny any attempt to control their "byt (way of life)" from the central government. This step was achieved by the February Revolution. The second step was to appropriate the administration of their territory only for Cossacks. This estate-bound "particularization" of self-government could be achieved by "restoring" the supposedly primordial Cossack autonomy to the allegedly full-fledged shape it had been before Cossacks' subjugation into the soslovie system. In the plans of self-government in three Southern Cossack voiska (Don, Kuban' 305

Skobtsov, Trigoda, Vol. 1,31

114 Terek), which were submitted to the Provisional Government by the summer of 1917, the proposed lynchpin of Cossack autonomy was the "revival" of three ancient Cossack institutions: 1) the voisko Krug (Don and Terek) or Rada (Kuban') as a representative organ, 2) the voisko government as an executive organ, 3) the voisko ataman who was elected by all Cossack representatives as the head of the voisko.306 The underlying principles of this demand were mass democracy and democratic representation based upon popular sovereignty which the post-February order dictated. Thus, purporting to be modern organs based upon modern principles, these institutions were essentially "new" creations rather than "revived" ones. Indeed, they had few affinities with the originals of the free warrior communities in the wild steppe on the frontier, except for their claim to become successors to the old organs. However, the claim of presumed historical continuity with the pre-modern institutions that had perished several centuries ago was to play a cardinal role in justifying Cossacks' privileged monopoly of their territory for the sake of implementing an essentially particularistic program. It was this contradictory feature of Cossack particularism that initially molded the experiment of Kazach'ia samostiinost' into a program of "universalistic particularism"; this move to "Cossack modernity" was not particularly noticeable in the early stage of the year 1917. Nevertheless, it was certainly predictable, as this move was the only option available if the Cossacks were to keep their particularistic status in the new setting of universalism the February Revolution had brought with it.307


RGVIA, f. 400, op. 25, d. 13687,1. 10; RGVIA, f. 400, op. 25, d. 13898,11. 2, 2ob, 3, 3ob. For the details of the plans of self-government in the three Southern Cossack voiska, which were submitted to the Ministry of War for review, see RGVIA, f. 366, op. 2, d. 28,11. 150 - 189ob (Kuban' and Terek) and RGVIA, f. 400, op. 25, d. 13688,11. 5 - 17 (Don) 307 It goes without saying that the contradictory duality between particularism and universalism is not an

115 In early March, the Provisional Government, in particular, the Ministry of War, seemed to be supportive of Cossacks' claim for the revival of their ancient institutions. Among many Kuban' Cossacks, this governmental support was taken as official endorsement of the "voisko-bound" status of Kuban' in the building of its new civic order. On March 11, the Ministry of War abolished all legal and administrative restrictions on the Cossack soslovie. By this measure, the old legal barrier to the convocation of the traditional Cossack assembly such as Rada and Krug was finally lifted.

Voisko administration and the system of oblast' head (nachal'snik) who

governed the Kuban' as appointed ataman, were abolished. On March 14, the new Minister of War, Guchkov, announced that the new Government would allow a very broad range of self-government for all Cossack voiska in the empire, emphatically promising immediate convocation of Cossack assemblies and election of voisko atamans. On March 23rd, he telegrammed that each Cossack voisko should prepare for its own plan of self-government, and commissioned the ex-(appointed) Ataman of Amur Cossack voisko, General Khogondokov, to review these plans from each voisko and to report them to the Government.309 To facilitate and to guide the review process of the plans, a specially mandated commission was instituted under General-Lieutenant Agapov in the Department of Cossack Affairs (Kazachii otdel): "the Interdepartmental Commission for the Review of the Reform Plans of the Administration of Cossack

exclusive feature of Kuban' samostiinost'. In fact, "universalistic particularism" is a common attribute of almost all modern nationalisms, since any attempt to wrap a particularistic identity in a universalistic mantle based upon an idea of civic community of citizens features similar duality and tension between "us" and "others." Thus, one might say that in modern Latvia, the ethnic Latvians are the "Cossacks," while the ethnic Russians are the "inogorodnie." 308 RGVIA, f. 366, op. 2, d. 28,1. 250 309 RGVIA, f. 366, op. 2, d. 28,1. 72; RGVIA, f. 1573, op. 1, d. 1,11. 7, 7ob

116 voiska.,,3X0 In this organ, representatives of all relevant ministries including the Ministry of War, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Justice, and the State Chancellery were to participate together with the representatives from each Cossack voisko. Certainly, the new Minister of War wanted to win over the Cossacks' support for Provisional Government. This "courting" by the Minister of War, however, was not to be accepted at face value, because it did not mean that the Government took the essentially particularistic approach in its handling of the Cossack question. Indeed, the term, samoupravlenie, in Guchkov's announcement, did not assume the full-fledged "restoration" of allegedly ancient voisko institutions. What was unclear in these promises to Cossacks by the government was the still questionable usage of the term, voisko. Obviously, in March the Minister of War used this term without much attention to the native difference between the oblast' and voisko, and more importantly, without clearly indicating how to reconcile the Cossack particularism with the new supposedly universalistic setting. Also, in his promises to the Cossacks, he did not mention anything about how to handle the "real" majority of the population in the "Cossack" Provinces, the inogorodnie in terms of the self-government of the voisko. More properly speaking, he might not have seen it as expedient to mention them, because, as later measures by the Government would demonstrate, his understanding of "voisko" clearly and radically differed from that of Cossacks themselves from the outset. After all, when the


Mezhduvedomstvennaia Komissiia dlia razsmotreniia proektov reformy upavleniia kazach 'imi voiskami v sootvetstivie s novymiformami gosudarstvenogo stroia. RGVIA, f. 366, op. 2, d. 28, 1. 83; RGVIA, f. 400, op. 25, d. 13893,1. 12 3n RGVIA, f. 366, op. 2 d. 28,1. 73ob; RGVIA, f. 400, op. 25, d. 13686,1. 25; RGVIA, f. 400, op. 25, d. 13893,11. 12, 12ob, 13,21

117 Provisional Government appointed and dispatched its commissar to Kuban', he was i n

supposed to represent the central power and govern the "Kuban' oblast',"

rather than

voisko, although this term continued to be used interchangeably with oblast' without any definition of either term. This ambiguity was soon to be clarified. The Interdepartmental Commission on the question of Cossacks' self-government, an organ endowed with full authority in handling this question, took an essentially universalistic view by attempting to make a clear demarcation between institutions of Cossack particularism and organs of new civic universalism. To cite the view of the Commission, the self-government of Cossack voiska only concerned "Cossacks' military service" and "the [vo/s^o-related] agrarian i n

economy {zemel'no-khozaistvennyi) questions."

This meant that the influence of

revived Cossack organs should be limited only to the issues relevant to the Cossack soslovie. It was to include the Cossack caste's land property, its voisko capital and relevant questions for the management of their estate assets. In the same vein, another report by the Commission to the Military Council of the Provisional Government argued that the Cossack organs of self-government should neither involve "the questions of municipal economy {zemskii-khozaistvennyiy and nor should concern civic administration, for which "[other] universal administrative organs should be formed based on all population living in Cossack provinces and territories."314 This essential distinction between "zemel'no-khozaistvennyF

and "zemskii-

khozaistvennyi" which the Commission attempted to draw, was an obvious indication 312 313 3,4

RGVIA, f. 400, op. 25, d. 14161,11. 11, 12, 15 RGVIA, f. 366, op. 2, d. 28,1. 74; GAKK, f. 1, op. 1, d. 158,1. 109 RGVIA, f. 366, op. 2, d. 28,1. 74; GAKK, f. 1, op. 1, d. 158,11. 109, 109ob

118 illustrating which direction the Provisional Government would take in its approach to the question of Cossack self-government. In local municipalities in Cossack provinces, the "universal administrative organ" above mentioned, was zemstvo,

a truly

universalistic and soslovie-blind organ. Indeed, the Provisional Government viewed the Cossack organs as natively soslovie-bound, and socio-economic institutions, rather than universalistic political bodies for general representation. The hidden motive of this view was not hard to detect: to contest Cossacks' potential claim of political autonomy anchored in the supposedly primordial tradition of Cossack independence, and to prevent the inevitable result of Cossack monopoly in local governance, automatic exclusion of non-Cossack population from representation and the administration of the province.316 Indubitably, although the Government neither attempted to abolish the Cossack caste completely nor had any intention to do so at least at this point, it did approach the Cossack question from the angle of universalism. In this view, Cossackdom was assumed to be incompatible with the Revolution and its new civic order. To survive in it, the Cossacks should become a part of it; the logical conclusion of this approach was "oblast '-bound" self-government. In Kuban', until mid-April, this oblast'-bound universalism seemed prevalent, while Cossack particularism seemed still to be dormant. In this atmosphere, on April 16, the Kuban' oblast' Congress adopted an outwardly universalistic program of the provisional self-government in the name of oblast' not voisko: "the Plan of Provisions


RGV1A, f. 366, op. 2, d. 28,1. 75 While reviewing the plan of self-government of Ural and Orenburg voisko, the Commission did not approve their plans for the reason being that their plans were to violate the interests of non-Cossack population. For more detail, see GAKK, f. 1, op. 1, d. 158,11. 109ob, 110. 316

119 regarding Provisional Self-government of Kuban' oblast'."

The original draft of this

Plan was prepared by N. S. Dolgopolov,318 who was a Social Revolutionary as an inogorodnie deputy to the Congress, was discussed and was passed by a specially improvised sub-committee on the question of self-government of Kuban' oblast', with a T1Q

few revisions for the submission to the plenary session. According to this Plan, it was two provisional power organs, supposedly soslovie-blind, that took charge of the administration of the oblast'. Firstly, there was the Kuban' oblast' Council as "the highest organ of power in [Kuban'] oblast'.


oblast' Council was a representative organ. Secondly, the Kuban' oblast' Executive Committee as "an exponent of [popular] will of [the entirety of] oblast' residents," was an executive organ.

The competence of the Kuban' oblast' Council included, first, to

issue local legislation and mandatory resolutions regarding the affairs of the Kuban' oblast', and second, to provide a definite line of guidance to the work of the Kuban' oblast' Executive Committee and to direct and control its work.322 It was the Kuban' Executive Committee that took up the task of decision making and implementation. In addition to its main body, the Committee consisted of several sub-committees, which handled several issues such as the preparation for the convening of the Constituent Assembly and the land question.

On the same day that the Plan of the self-

government was adopted, the Congress gave both new organs "full authority" in the Original Russian title is Proekt polozheniia o vremennom samoupravlenii Kubanskom oblasti. The original draft prepared and submitted by Dolgopolov is available at GAKK, f. r-1259, op. 1, d. 1, 11. 1, lob, 2, 2ob, 3; its final version, which was approved by the Congress is at GARF, f. r-446, op. 2, d. 136,11. 2, 2ob, 3, 3ob, 4, 4ob, 5, 5ob. 319 Skobtsov, Trigoda,Vo\. 1,30 320 GARF, f. r-446, op. 2, d. 136,1. 2 321 Ibid, I 5 322 Ibid., 1. 2ob 323 Ibid, 1. 6ob 318

120 name of the oblast' Congress.


They came into being with 149 deputies for the

Council325 and 34 members for the Committee.326 Still, despite their soslovie-blind mandate, a closer look at the actual composition of these two provisional power organs would reveal quite a different picture. The soslovie functioned as the most important parameter. Thus, both the oblast' Council and the Executive Committee were formed through a compromise based on the principle of the numerical parity between Cossacks and inogorodnie. The result was an election of the same number of deputies to the Council, 71 deputies from each soslovie, while the remaining 7 deputies came from gortsy, as shown in the table below.327

Table: Deputies by otdel and soslovie in Kuban' oblast' Council328 Batalpashin-










Eiskii skii





























C: Cossacks, I: Inogorodnie, G: Gortsy

Cossacks maintained overall numerical superiority by a slight margin in most of the otdely, except for Batalpashinskii otdel and Ekaterinodarskii otdel. Inogorodnie counterbalanced this inferiority by electing 22 deputies in Ekaterinodarskii otdel alone, where non-Cossack dwellers were the majority of the city's population. Here, more 324 325 326 327


ibid., Ibid, Ibid, Ibid, Ibid.

1.1 1. 3 1.6 I 3

121 notably, these 22 inogorodnie deputies included 14 representatives from several "public ipbshchestvennye) organizations," mostly radical ones born out of the Revolution, such as Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies, Peasant-Cossack Union, and Teachers' "59Q



Thus, the peculiarity of the Revolution in Kuban' was re-confirmed by the

soslovie-bound alignment of revolutionary organizations, which as immediate scions of the February Revolution allied with the cause of inogorodnie. In this setting, the "^o^/ov/e" as a political denominator overrode the parameter of "class"; it is hardly surprising that the Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies, as an institution of a classbound universalism, came to play only an auxiliary role in the soslovie-bound unfolding of the Revolution. This parity principle in the oblast' Council was also reflected in the newlyelected permanent body of the Kuban' oblast' Executive Committee. Unlike the provisional body which had emerged during the euphoric unity immediately after February, the soslovie was the paramount factor in the formation of the new one. Among 34 members of the Committee in total, Cossacks and inogorodnie sent 7 delegates each, while gortsy sent 4 representatives. As was the case of oblast' Council, the remaining 16 seats of the Committee were to be filled with representatives from "public organizations."330 Still, the parity principle was also applied to the composition of these additional 16 members, with 8 Cossacks vs. 8 non-Cossacks. 8 non-Cossacks consisted of 1 gortsy and 7 inogorodnie, which number included 4 members from the Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies, 1 from Teachers' Union, 1 from PeasantIbid, 11. 3,4

122 Cossack Union, and 1 member from the Union of Cooperatives. When it came to Cossacks, their share of 8 seats was delegated by a special Cossack organ, the name of which was "Rada."331 With regards to this organ, the eleventh provision of the Plan of self-government stated,

"Members of Kuban' oblast' Council who belong to the Cossack soslovie organize a special committee concerning the administration of the Kuban' Cossack voisko and its management of [voisko] capitals and other economical [properties] of Kuban' Cossack voisko."332

At a glance, these prosaic statements themselves did not seem to contain anything notable. It still defined Cossacks as "soslovie." However, after these statements, several "primechaniia (supplementary notes)," which gave the provisions a totally different tone and shape, followed. Thus, its first primechanie stated that this committee "can be called ... Kuban' Cossack voisko Rada"333 Second note stated that it could form its own executive organ, which "... can be named Kuban'Cossack voisko government."334 The third note added, "the chairman of the executive organ of the committee can be called Ataman of Kuban'Cossack voisko"335 Indeed, since the one-time rally in 1906, which had been convened to deal with the land shortage problem in Kuban', Cossacks' historical title "Rada," a symbol of the primordial Cossack democracy had re-appeared on the historical scene in the outwardly oblast'-bound and soslovie-blind Plan of agreement instated by the Congress. The

1 2 3

Ibid, \. 46b Ibid, I 4 Ibid, I 46b

123 modest scope and purpose of this Cossack organ as stated in the Plan, which limited its competence to the "administration of Kuban' Cossack voisko and its management of [voisko] capitals and other economic [properties],"336 seemed to fit the boundary of Cossack self-government, which was to be set by the Provisional Government in the very near future. Also, the Plan put a clearly stated limit on Cossack particularism by restricting the authority of the Ataman to "execute decisions made by the "[oblast'] Commissar and his executive organ."337 And yet, the meaning of voisko was not clearly defined, although a quick literal reading of the provision and notes might give an impression that the Rada was assumed to function strictly as an estate organ. So long as the meaning of voisko remained unclear, however, the "administration of voisko " did not necessarily mean that the authority of the Rada was limited to the management of socio-economic affairs of the Cossack caste. This ambiguity grew even more vague with the use of two problematic terms, which seemed to be inapplicable to public organizations, "government (praviteVstvoy and "elected Ataman." If the voisko organs were to be truly soslovie ones, the term "government" would not be clearly applicable to the Rada's executive body, as some members of the Interdepartmental Commission correctly pointed out in their repeated discussions with Cossack representatives from the three Southern voiska during the summer of 1917.338 While reviewing the plans of self-government submitted by three Southern Cossack voiska, several members of the Commission, mostly from the governmental departments, expressed strong objection to the Cossacks' practice of using the term, 336 337 338

Ibid, I 4 Ibid, 1. 4ob RGVIA, f. 366, op. 2, d. 28,11. 105, 105ob

124 "government." To cite their view, this term "... only applied to the central governmental administration," and the Cossack organ was not entitled to use it.

One of the reports

of the Commission to the Military Council also noted that, while the plans of selfgovernment by those voiska kept using this problematic term, these plans did not specify an "exactly defined relationship between organs of [Cossacks'] self-government and [the real] governmental organs."340 It seems that they suspected that this ambiguity might be intentional. Of course, Cossack representatives who were present in the meeting disputed the Commission's opinion by claiming that the "pravitel'stvo" had been a "historical term" in Don as well as in Kuban', arguing that it had been traditionally used among Cossack population to indicate "not only central state power but also their own local administration."341 At least in Kuban', the Plan of self-government adopted by the April Congress was made in the name of oblast', not a voisko. Seemingly, the Plan was a remarkable compromise achieved in the atmosphere of the revolutionary unity and solidarity; however, from the beginning, it was also evident that the Plan was just a modus vivendi that relegated every disputed issue to the disposal of the Constituent Assembly and postponed solving questions rather than directly answering them. Both Cossacks and inogorodnie hesitantly and only temporarily accepted the Plan. By trying to satisfy both, the Plan failed to satisfy either. When it came to inogorodnie, they achieved nothing in the way of rectifying their discrimination. The land use fee was not abolished, and no visible measure was taken to meet their land demands despite the conciliatory attitude 339 340 341

RGVIA, f. 366, op. 2, d. 28,1. 105ob Ibid, 1. 73 Ibid,\. 105ob

125 and tones of their leaders. More importantly, fearing that the oblast'-bound selfgovernment of Kuban' might strengthen the inogorodnie,s position and causes, some Cossack deputies resented that the Plan "outcasted Cossacks to the status of supplementary notes."342 It became clear that they would not remain satisfied with their auxiliary status, as the future unfolding of the situation would demonstrate. After the Congress ended, no Cossack deputies or representatives returned to their native stanitsa or their original units. Instead, these several hundred Cossack deputies held their own gathering in the same building where the oblast' Congress had been held. Although the official purpose of this meeting was to elect an additional 8 members of the Executive Committee, who were allocated to Cossacks by the Plan, "... the Cossacks did not want to limit themselves only to doing this task."343 Indeed, they went further in a different direction. This group of Cossacks immediately declared itself "Kuban' voisko Rada," electing its own presidium.344 During its entire session that lasted 5 days between April 17th and 22nd, the Rada took more decisive steps, especially by forming its own executive organ, "Kuban' Cossack voisko government."345 At the same time, it elected A. P. Filimonov as a head of this "government."3

Filimonov, who served as Ataman

of Labinskii otdel at that time, was known to the public for his role in the famous trial


Skobtsov, Trigoda, Vol. 1,31 Ibid, 32 344 Ibid; GAKK, f. r-6, op. 1, d. 19,1. 42 345 RGVIA, f. 400, op. 25, d. 14161,1. 83; GAKK, f. r-6, op. 1, d. 19,1. 42 346 RGVIA, f. 400, op. 25, d. 14161,1. 83; GAKK, f. r-6, op. 1, d. 19,1. 42; A. P. Filimonov, "Kubantsy" in Beloe delo (Berlin, 1925), reprinted in Beloe delo: ledianoi pokhod (Moscow: Golos, 1992), 116-117 (page citations are to the reprint edition). 343

126 of Maria Spiridonova as a public attorney for this Social Revolutionary terrorist.347 Despite the limits in the Plan on the self-government of the Kuban' oblast', which had been adopted just a few days earlier in the Congress, this self-proclaimed "government" did not remain within the boundaries of oblast'; it organized several committees handling all governmental issues from legal affairs to the land question and from the question of education to that of finance.348 The scope and roles of these committees almost corresponded to those of the real government. In particular, the Rada took an important step challenging the oblast'-bound self-government in the Congress by establishing a special commission purported to work out Cossacks' own plan of selfgovernment, an attempt to purportedly create a vo/s£o-bound one in Kuban'. This commission was a first move to "rescue" the Cossacks from "the status of supplementary notes."349 It took not even a few days for the ostensible unity in the Congress and the "soslovie-blhvi" agreement between Cossacks and inogorodnie to begin showing signs of fracture. One apparent irony of the Revolution in Kuban', was that the supposedly universalistic evolution of the Revolution was "particularized" when it reached its apex. Kazach'ia samostiinost' was in action but its beginning was as oxymoronic as Cossackdom itself.


Skobtsov, Tri goda, Vol. 1,24 For more detailed information on the composition of each committee, see GAKK., f. r-6, op. 1, d. 10, 1.22 349 Skobtsov, Tri goda, Vol. 1, 38 348

127 B. Schism

On May 10th, both the voisko government and the Kuban' oblast' Executive Committee entered into their first official session together.350 Technically, according to the Plan of Self-government, the Kuban' Executive Committee was supposed to be a higher organ to its Cossack counterpart, the voisko government; all members of the voisko government belonged to the Committee at the same time.351 On May 29, on the initiative of N. S. Dolgopolov, a Social Revolutionary leader, the Executive Committee re-confirmed its claim of being a supreme organ in Kuban'. It announced, "according to the decision of the oblast' Congress, ... the Committee is the [only] authorized exponent of the will and interests of the people of the Kuban' oblast' and [other] [sub]organs...."

Despite this solemn declaration, however, there were a few immediate

signs indicating that the Cossack institutions were not to remain as sub-organs of the Committee, and more importantly, presaging that the real power was quickly moving to Cossack hands. The first sign of the tendency toward the Cossack hegemony was the very location of the voisko government. It occupied half of the old Ataman's palace, where the office of the old head of the Kuban' oblast' (and voisko) and his administration had been quartered before the Revolution. Because it was Commissar Bardizh and his office of commissariat that took the other half of this palace, this building carried some symbolic significance in terms of potential claim to power, not only as a successor of 350

Skobtsov, Tri goda, Vol. 1, 34. In fact, the Cossacks had already begun their gathering a week before, on May 2nd. 351 GAKK, f. r-6, op. 1, d. 19,1. 42 352 GAKK, f. r-1259, op. 1, d. 18,1. Hob

128 the old authority but also a legitimate contender for power in the new order. Another symbolic illustration of the growing Cossack supremacy was a presentation on May 9th by the officials and employees of the old regime who had served in the oblast' administration. In this meeting, Filimonov delivered quite an impressive speech to those old servants of the oblast' administration.

It was a show of Cossack power that they

made this report to the heads of the voisko government, not to the leaders of the Kuban' oblast' Committee, the supposedly real supreme authority in Kuban'. This Cossack initiative in taking administrative power was made possible largely owing to the coordinated efforts of the voisko government and the Rada to take control of the old apparatus of oblast' administration and to win over its support to the Cossacks' side. Their aspiration to "restore" the bygone Cossack heritage of the old Cossack heyday was, needless to say, a strong motivation, which made them more organized, more determined and more prepared in their pursuit of power in the building of a new order. From the beginning, as a soslovie institution professedly representing Cossacks' narrow estate interests as opposed to those of the entire population, the voisko government enjoyed several organizational advantages over the Committee, such as relatively strong group cohesion of its Cossack supporters and a clearly defined agenda and program, purported to preserve Cossack estatehood intact in the new environment. Soon, Cossack organs emerged as rallying points for the Cossacks' cause. In contrast, it was the allegedly "soslovie-blind" mandate of the Executive Committee and its claim of universality that prevented the Committee from becoming a real authority. The opening sessions of the Committee became a battleground for 353

Skobtsov, Tri goda, Vol. 1, 34 - 35

129 hegemony between Cossacks and inogorodnie. The main problem that haunted this nascent and purportedly soslovie-blind organ was its composition representing the soslovie-based parity principle, which, although intended to achieve unity through balance of power and sharing of responsibility among Cossacks and non-Cossacks, prevented the Committee from taking any measures to solidify its position. Skobtsov's words, it became just a "talking-shop (govoril'nia)"


a pejorative

nickname due to its inability to achieve anything because of endless discussions. Accordingly as the "parity" did not work as had been expected, rather becoming a source of constant stalemate for any decision making on the growing soslovie-bound front within the Committee, the Committee was put in an increasingly disadvantageous position in the ongoing and mounting competition with its Cossack competitors. These Cossack organs differed from the Committee in that they were exerting real power rather than simply claiming it. Thus, just a few days after the new civic order was officially launched with the agreement of the April Congress, the clash between two contenders was already in full swing. As early as May 12th, just two days after the launch, the Executive Committee protested against the voisko government about several cases of its infringement on the Committee's authority. The immediate outcome of this soslovie-bound struggle in the supposedly soslovie-blind setting was not hard to predict. On the one hand, the Committee itself became increasingly soslovie-bound, mainly looking for its support among inogorodnie. In turn, all non-Cossack population, except for the gortsy who came to ally with the 354 355 356

Filimonov, "Kubantsy," 1 2 0 - 121; Skobtsov, Tri goda, Vol. 1, 36 Skobtsov, Tri goda, Vol. 1,36 GAKK, f. r-1259, op. 1, d. 29,11. 6, 7

130 Cossacks, looked to the Committee to voice their cause. On the other hand, the Cossacks began to retreat from the Committee and to become more and more entrenched in their own institutions. As a result, a situation, which began to emerge in Kuban' after the middle of May 1917 was, in fact, another instance of"dvoevlastie (dual power)" of two rival organs in pursuit of power. Obviously, the use of this familiar term calls for some caution in this case, because the Kuban' variant of dual power by no means resembled that of Petrograd, except for the duality itself. The peculiarity in this Cossack province was that its dvoevlastie was based on the demarcation of soslovie. Again, in this setting, the conventional class-bound socio-political alliance and party politics, which were in full swing in the other parts of the empire, played only a minor role. The parties and all the political organs such as the Soviet of Workers became increasingly soslovie-bound by aligning with the inogorodnie. By the middle of May, the same situation began to appear in every corner of the Kuban' oblast'. The rural population was divided along the lines of soslovie-bound schism similar to what was happening in Ekaterinodar. While Cossacks gathered behind their village assembly and stanitsa administration, the civic committees came to channel more and more exclusively the voices of the inogorodnie. As Cossacks came to increasingly perceive the civic committees as non-Cossack institutions, they began to identify any oblast'-bound civic organs related with civic committees under the authority of the Executive Committee as organs for inogorodnie, seeing with suspicion, for example, the oblast' Food Supply Committee, among others. Thus, to cite a report of a local food supply agent, most rank and file Cossacks in the stanitsy considered even this purely technical and supposedly apolitical organ as a creation by inogorodnie in

131 OCT

order to take the Cossacks' land. There was a remarkable irony in this rivalry for power and legitimacy. It was that both Cossacks and inogorodnie attempted to legitimize their claim within the scope of the Revolution, by aligning themselves with the causes of the Revolution. However, there was a stark difference between two groups in terms of how and what to legitimize. When it came to inogorodnie, this legitimization was not difficult, because their demand for the building of soslovie-blind self-government was natively universalistic and compatible with the oblast '-bound civic system of the post-February order. In addition to this, there was a notable tendency among inogorodnie to view the relationship between Cossacks and non-Cossacks as a class-bound one, which gave more authority to their causes. In this view, their struggle against Cossacks was meant neither simply to target Cossack land nor to demand equal treatment of inogorodnie citizens. Rather, it began to be presented as an impending struggle between two historical forces, a struggle between toiling rural proletariat and Cossack bourgeois exploiters.358 In this picture, Cossacks were not a simple anachronism; rather, their presence came to symbolize an even worse phenomenon. Being a privileged caste, they were reactionaries by nature, an obstacle to the Revolution. Any movement to support the survival of this anachronism was to become "Kontr-revoliutsiia (Counterrevolution)." The natural extension of this class-bound argument, which would be promoted by Bolsheviks after October, presaged only one direction in the rapidly growing soslovie-bound front: the termination of the 357

GAKK, f. r-1259, op. 1, d. 48,1. 24ob This view also prevailed in early Soviet historiography in the twenties. After the rehabilitation of Cossackdom, however, the Soviet Historians paid more attention on the inner stratification of Cossackdom, rather than blaming the entirety of Cossackdom for being "inherent" counterRevolutionaries. 358

132 Cossack soslovie?59 The soslovie-bound civil war was to be waged in the name of class, between the Haves and the Have-nots. Of course, the Kuban' Cossacks viewed things very differently, indeed, radically differently. One of their leaders, Ivan Makarenko, proudly declared in a session of the Committee. "We, Cossacks, stand closer to socialism than others. Our obshchina is more complete and richer than the Russian one."36 In a resolution by a local stanitsa assembly, the rank and file Cossack villagers proclaimed. "... as decedents of the glorious Don Cossacks and the Zaporozhian lytsari (knights), [we Cossacks] understand civic freedom better than anyone and the existence of Cossackdom is by no means inconsistent with the principle of democratism...."

Furthermore, a resolution of the

village assembly in stanitsa Andpiukovskaia even demanded "struggle against counterrevolution."

In this appeal of struggle against "reactionaries," Cossacks should play a

cardinal role. To do this, another demand of these Cossacks was a "re-organization of the Cossack self-administration [to encompass] as much as possible."363 Another resolution by another stanitsa furthered this image of Cossacks as protectors of the Revolution by invoking the bygone myth of free Cossacks. "Since the ancient times, Cossacks have loved protectors of people's rights. ... Cossacks are true democrats by their "dukh (spirit)" and "byt (way of life)."364 In the countless examples of the resolutions by the Cossack rank and file, the most commonly occurring theme 359

After schism, "down with Cossackdom" became a popular slogan among inogorodnie. Their growing animosity toward Cossacks alerted local stanitsa administration, as illustrated in a stanitsa ataman's report to voisko government at stanitsa Briukhovetskaia (GAKK, f. r-6, op. 1, d. 20,1. 1). 360 GAKK, f. r-1259, op. 1, d. 18,1. 26 361 GAKK, f. r-6, op. l,d.2,1.191 362 GAKK, f. r-6, op. 1, d. 13,1. 74 363 Ibid. 364 GAKK, f. r-6, op.l, d. 10,1. 49

133 was the Cossacks' native compatibility with the Revolution, their intrinsic consistency with the new order. By identifying the Cossacks' traditional "byt (way of life)" with the radiant future of socialism, democracy and egalitarianism, one of the most significant features of the kazach'ia samostiinost' emerged, the "universalistic" legitimatization of particularistic causes and claims. Indeed, it was this oxymoronic turn to the "universalistic particularism" that initially framed the Kuban' Cossacks' reaction to the new modern setting created by the Revolution. What was remarkable was that by this turn, this allegedly pre-modern and anachronistic military caste reacted in a very modern way to their encounter with the Revolution. Behind this move, there was a simple motive: an escape from the soslovie identity and self-denial of the traditional servitorhood. According to this mythical theme, Cossacks were not an anachronism. Rather, by their inherent way of life, they were intrinsically "modern." Thus, the lynchpin of the Cossack modernity in Kuban' was a change in Cossacks' own self-fashioning, an attempt to make the existence of the Cossackdom more consistent with the new modern environment. A noteworthy tendency among the Cossacks throughout 1917 after February was the disappearance of the term soslovie from Cossacks' self-definition. Although this term was still circulating in the official documents, a more organic, holistic and community-bound self-definition


Cossackdom began to replace the old soslovie identity. To take an example, the village assembly of stanitsa Andpiukovskaia defined Cossacks as a "land-based legal

134 community."365 This definition of Cossackdom was also repeated in a resolution of a group of Kuban' Cossack frontoviki who were participating in all-Russian Congress of Cossacks in Petrograd.366 Although these young Cossacks were very radical revolutionaries in every respect, when it came to the question of Cossack interests, these radicals became staunch particularists of estate privileges, especially demanding confiscation of the private propertied lands in Kuban' for the use of Cossacks, "for the sake of interests of the working people."

The underlying assumption of this claim

was that Cossacks were among "the working people." Of course, to remove soslovie from Cossacks' self-fashioning was just a passive response. The more active reaction was to place an organic definition on it. Thus, another resolution in stanitsa PrimorskoAkhatarskaia furthered. "Cossacks are a historically formed organization with some traditions and peculiarities in [their] way of life and rights...."

Facing an impending

civil war, the Cossack residents in stanitsa Akhtyrskaia defined their new identity thus, "we are born as Cossacks and we should die as Cossacks."369 In early 1918, Chernomorskaia (Black-Sea) Rada, a group of several thousand armed Cossacks, which Commissar Bardizh mobilized with an appeal to armed struggle against the alliance of Bolsheviks and inogorodnie, even went so far as an outright denial of the fact that the Cossacks had ever been soslovie or military caste.370 If the Cossacks were not a soslovie, who were they or who were they supposed to become? When Cossacks began to define themselves as "a historically formed 365 366 367


f. r-6, op.l, d. 13,1. 74 f. r-6, op. 1, d. 13,1. 132ob f. 1, op. 1, d. 67,1. 67; G A K K , f. 1, op. 1, d. 340,1. 62 f. r-6, op. 2, d. 19,1. 16 f. r-6, op. l,d. 54,1. 128

135 organization," this attempt at escape from soslovie status had only one exit, ethnos. By taking this exit, Cossack particularism in Kuban' reached its ultimate and most oxymoronic destination, the most decisive move toward the formation of a Cossack modernity. Certainly, this problematic term, "ethnos," which was to garner more popular and wider usage among emigre Cossacks after the civil war,

did not occur to

the Cossacks at this time. However, even if the Cossacks might have felt awkward with the use of this term at this point, they behaved, or more properly speaking, began to behave as if they were an ethnos. After all, as we already saw in the previous chapters, this new definition of the Cossacks was neither new nor unexpected. The idea of viewing Cossackdom as an organic and holistic community was already quite familiar among Kuban' Cossacks, as shown in the 1906 Rada. However, it was after 1917, the very time when it became obvious that their traditional and official identity was outdated, and when they were obliged to find a new alternative, that this ethno-centric view garnered sudden momentum and popularity. After denying the Cossack soslovie identity, thus, the Chernomorskaia Rada claimed that

"Cossackdom is ... a historically formed obshchina, which has presented a peculiar and distinctive agrarian, economic, and cultural way of life. It has a right of self-determination equal with other nationalities."372

Indeed, these armed Cossacks compared their estate community with that of

After the civil war, not only emigre Cossacks themselves but also the Soviet authorities promoted this ethno-centric Cossack identity. The idea of Cossacks as a distinct ethnos still remains strong. For more detail, see Peter Holquist, "From Estate to Ethnos: The Changing Nature of Cossack Identity in the 20th Century," in Russia at a Crossroads, edited by Nurit Schleifrnan (London: Frank Cass, 1998), 89 - 123. 372 GAKK, f. r-6, op. 1, d. 54,1. 128

136 ethnic minorities. If Finns, Armenians, and Georgians have a right to self-determination, Cossacks do as well. Although many features constituting the contemporary "Cossackness" historically originated from Cossacks' soslovie attributes, these peculiarities came to function as a universalistic basis of their raison d'etre in the postDeluge "modern" world. Of course, this ostensibly "universalistic" claim of Cossacks did not mean their acceptance of the new, soslovie-b\m& civic order at face value. Rather, universalistic particularism in Kuban' was highly selective in its contents. This contradiction was observable in the initial phase of kazach'ia samostiinost' in the middle of 1917, and surfaced more acutely and more visibly with the zemstvo question. In June and July, the confrontation over this issue finalized the break-up of the soslovieblind unity.373 Before moving to the zemstvo question, it should be noted that not every Cossack leader raised his voice against the zemstvo plan. More broadly speaking, it goes without saying that not all Cossacks supported estate particularism. There was a minority voice, a voice of noted importance, that supported the abolition of the Cossack soslovie, as a truly universalistic solution to the Cossack question. It might be hard to still call this minority Cossacks, because most of them tended to identify themselves as members of the revolutionary parties rather than as Cossacks. They were professional and pre-revolutionary party workers and some of them were radicalized frontoviki. They not only allied with inogorodnie but also led them. This group of "pro-mogoroc/w'e" Cossacks was highly visible due to their leading role in various new organs such as the Executive Committee and in the Ekaterinodar Soviet, notwithstanding their nominal 373

GAKK, f. r-1259, op. 1, d. 18 1. 43

137 membership in the Cossack caste. Among them were some prominent Bolsheviks such as I. Poluian and I. L. Sorokin (a Cossack frontovik),374

and some Social

Revolutionaries such as A. V. Iushko. Although not belonging to any party, M. L. Zakladnyi, a former mayor of the city of Armavir was one of the key leaders of the inogorodnie group in the confrontation with the people of his own soslovie?15 Even within the voisko government and Rada, the Cossacks did not speak in the same voice, although the absolute majority were staunch opponents of the zemstvo plan. First, there were very few moderates who wanted to avoid at all costs the all-out confrontation that the schism with inogorodnie would inevitably cause. Some of them even became active supporters of zemstvo, while arguing that this organ should not conflict with Cossack interests. Among them, the most prominent figure was V. V. Skidan, who was one of the most well-known Cossack revolutionaries in Kuban'.376 He 'inn

was the first chair of the Provisional Executive Committee in early March

and kept

this post after the permanent body of Executive Committee was elected in late April. Since he also co-chaired the first Cossack voisko Rada at the same time, his presence in the Committee symbolized the soslovie-blind unity in the early euphoric days. Besides Skidan, two Cossacks, A. F. Liakh and D. S. Filimonov, were supporters of zemstvo. This pro-zemstvo minority of moderates, however, was soon to lose their separate presence, with the growing rivalry of two competing parties within Rada: chernomortsy 374

According to I. Makarenko, this leading figure of pro-Bolshevik Cossack frontoviki group was also a member of Kuban' Rada, until he became the commander of the Bolshevik force in Kuban' ([Makarenko] Tragediia,Vo\. 1, 102) 375 Skobtsov, Tri goda, Vol. 1,41 376 GAKK, f. r-1259, op. 1, d. 17,1. 35ob; Skobtsov, Tri goda, Vol. 1, 36 377 GAKK, f. r-1259, op. 1, d. 15,1. 11 378 Skobtsov, Tri goda, Vol. 1,41

138 and lineitsy. The majority in the Rada stood against the plan of zemstvo. Also, this Rada majority represented the view of the rank and file Cossack majority in the Kuban' countryside who viewed the introduction of zemstvo as an omen of abolition of Cossackdom. Even though the Rada majority did not professedly support the break-up with non-Cossacks, their program and policy paved the way to the schism and accelerated the break-up. This group was to be dubbed as chernomortsy, because most of its leaders primarily represented the otdely of the Black-Sea region. However, as its leadership included some lineitsy as well, their group name, outwardly bearing marks of ethnic and linguistic division of the Kuban' voisko, was a bit misleading.379 What actually defined this faction and what made them most influential in the Rada was not simply their majority background. Rather, it was their program specifically geared to protect Cossacks' estate interests, which would be known as "Kazach 'ia programma (Cossack program)."

Later, especially after late 1918, they preferred to call

themselves "federalists,"381 because, while looking for an alternative to Bolshevik Moscow, these Cossacks developed an idea of a very loose federation of all "state entities" in the former territory of the Russian empire. With this federative plan in mind, these Cossacks became the most active supporters of the experiment of a separate Kuban' statehood. Full-fledged development towards federalism, however, did not 379

For instance, one of the core samostiiniki, Kulabukhov, who was to be hanged by the Volunteer Army in November, 1919 was a limits from stanitsa Novo-Pokrovskaia (Skobtsov, Tri goda, Vol. 1, 152). Another staunch samostiinik, F. K. Voropinov was also a lineets ([Makarenko] Tragediia, Vol. 1, 50) Although this ethnic-bound naming of two competing factions in the Rada, chernomortsy and lineitsy does not seem to be appropriate, this study will use these terms, because they were in circulation among Cossack themselves. 380 GARF, f. r-440, op. 1, d. 22,1. 3; GARF, f. r-446, op. 1, d. 20,1. 2 381 GAKK, f. r-6, op. 1, d. 225,1. 36

139 happen until 1918. In 1917, their basic position was more modest and limited in scope, the main focus of which was on the protection of Cossacks' estate interests against the challenge of inogorodnie, with the claim that, "Kuban' Cossack voisko is the real and incontestable owner of Kuban' and [therefore] we - the voisko Rada - are authorized to TOT

decide every question regarding the life in the oblast T

This assumed supremacy of

"voisko" over "oblast'" was the most extreme expression of this voMo-bound particularism, and was politically very explosive, because it denied political participation to the absolute majority of inogorodnie. It was this group that would play the most cardinal role in the state-bound evolution of Cossack particularism after October, 1917. The most prominent leaders of this camp in 1917 were several BlackSea Cossacks, such as the Makarenko brothers (Ivan and Petr Makarenko), N. S. Riabovol, Manzhula, and L. Bych. Also, this approach appealed to many radical Cossack frontoviki, who were led by Bardizh and Rogovets.383 Even if these Cossacks objected to zemstvo, they did so not because of zemstvo's alleged universalism, but because the particular conditions in the Kuban' oblast' dictated the "vse-soslovnyi (including all sosloviia)" zemstvo to be unacceptable to Cossacks. Therefore, if the exclusion of inogorodnie or only partial inclusion of some qualified inogorodnie were to be warranted so that the oblast '-bound self-government could be "Cossackized" and so that the Cossacks could live "particularistically" in the new civic order, there would be no reason for objecting to it. The supporters of this "voisko-bound" zemstvo included a few delegates primarily from the otdely in the Skobtsov, Trigoda, Vol. 1, 32

140 Liniia, such as Skobtsov, D. S. Filimonov, and Fendrikov. For this reason, this group was given the name of "lineitsy" but, again, there were a few Black-Sea Cossacks, mostly active supporters of zemstvo, who tended to align themselves with lineitsy, such as Skidan. Unlike chernomortsy, they did not want to override the boundary of oblast'. Rather than nullifying the Plan of Self-government adopted by the April oblast' Congress, they preferred to revise it in a way more suitable to Cossacks.384 Thus, if the chernomortsy tried to achieve the survival of the Kuban' Cossackdom through a claim of the native supremacy of voisko over oblast', the lineitsy wanted to achieve the same goal through the identification of voisko with oblast'. In the same vein, they objected to immediate and all-out schism with inogorodnie, although they were reticent about the details of how to achieve and to keep Cossack hegemony in the face of challenges by non-Cossacks. Whatever stances these Cossacks took with regard to the question of zemstvo, it should be noted that the difference between chernomortsy and lineitsy was not so large in 1917. Although this gap was soon to grow into a factional rivalry and to play a central part in the near future, especially after the summer of 1918, both parties pursued essentially the same goal in 1917: keeping Cossack monopoly of power and preserving Cossack privileges. The exclusion of the larger portion of the non-Cossack population from self-government of Cossack territory was never doubted by either party and was taken as a tacit sine quo non to keep Cossack hegemony. Indeed, when the time of confrontation with inogorodnie finally came in June, the Cossacks were united for their cause and finally opted for the schism.

141 The first sign of schism appeared with the resignation of Skidan from the post of the chair of the Committee.385 Bewildered and frustrated with the growing tension within the Committee between Cossacks and non-Cossacks, on May 19th, he announced his resignation.386 On June 2nd, he was succeeded by an inogorodnie lawyer and a social democrat (Menshevik), S. G. Turutin.

On June 6th, in a session of the

Committee, Turutin introduced "Fundamental Theses of the Reform of the Civic Administration in Don, Kuban' and Terek oblasti,"3*8 a plan prepared by the Provisional Government, which he had brought from his trip to Petersburg.


This plan

stipulated several basic principles in forming the new civic order in the Cossack provinces. Its main focus was the introduction of soslovie-blind zemstvo, purporting to obliterate the soslovie-bound distinction among the population.

The basic idea

behind these theses was simple and clear. This plan signified a truly universalistic answer to the Cossack question, by requiring that Cossacks become "ordinary citizens." As previously demonstrated, a similar attempt at making Cossacks "citizens" was proposed a half century before during the Great-Reform period. However, unlike the plan of five decades earlier, which had resulted in the oxymoronic status of the Cossack 385

GAKK, f. r-1259, op. 1, d. 18,1. 18ob GAKK, f. r-1259, op. 1, d. 18,1. 1; GAKK, f. r-1259, op. 1, d. 74,1. 168 387 GAKK, f. r-1259, op. 1, d. 18,1. 18ob 388 GAKK, f. r-1259, op. 1, d. 76,1. 95 389 GAKK, f. r-1259, op. 1 d. 29,11. 6, 7 390 GAKK, f. r-1259, op. 1, d. 76,11. 95 - 98. The plan consisted of seven theses: 1) all the population is incorporated into one municipal institution in terms of the local public economy. 2) this institution is established in oblast' and stanitsal volost' by universal, secret and equal election. 3) this organ is to include people of aW-sosloviia." Stanitsa administration is to be kept only for Cossacks' military service. 4) all tasks of local public economy in okrug {otdel) and oblast' are transferred to the competence of zemstvo," and "Cossack voisko capital that is not to be used to meet Cossacks military needs, is transferred to [the competence of] zemstvo as well. 5) voisko Ataman remains to be a military leader to whom the Cossacks are subjugated only in military affairs. 6) the administration of voisko and otdel retained military scope only. 7) election of Ataman is exclusively Cossacks' affair so that the plan of zemstvo does not concern this question. 386

142 soslovie through "particularistic universalism," the 1917 version purported to provide a purely universalistic solution once and for all. Of course, it did not mean an immediate end of the Cossack caste as a separate group; however, its group distinctiveness was to be obliterated, as the Cossacks were supposed to be deprived of their special estatebound protection. On a more practical level, what most seriously concerned and most infuriated Cossacks was the 4th thesis of the plan, which stipulated the automatic transfer of "non-military capital" of the voisko to the competence of zemstvo, the most critical point in the Cossacks' viewing "the introduction of zemstvo as an infringement on Cossacks' historical rights to their group property." In the Committee, the response of Cossacks was instant and fierce. Except for Skidan, on hearing the plan, all Cossack delegates present in the meeting became extremely agitated. In the hectic debate that followed, Cossacks strongly argued against the introduction of zemstvo. Some Cossacks even doubted the authenticity of the plan, asking suspiciously about the source of the original document.392 When the Cossack delegates openly declared that the introduction of zemstvo meant the final end of Cossacks as a group,

one thing became obvious: the facade of soslovie-blind unity

was finally broken; the so far unacknowledged front between Cossacks and inogorodnie now became an official and open one. In this extremely tense atmosphere, on June 29th, the long-awaited oblast' Council was convened with the 116 delegates from Cossacks, inogorodnie and

1 2 3

G A K K , f. r-1259, op. 1, d. 14,1. 4 G A K K , f. r-1259, op. 1, d. 29 11. 6, 7; G A K K , f. r-1259, op. 1, d. 17,11. 35, 35ob G A K K , f. r-1259, op. 1, d. 17,1. 35

143 gortsy.

The zemstvo question was the most critical issue, although the official

agenda did not state it,395 in an obvious effort to avoid the confrontation. However, now, the real front was set up. The first round of battle between the two camps was the election of the chairman of the oblast' Council. Candidates did run in the election, not in the name of parties, but on behalf of their soslovie. From the Cossacks came N. S. Riabovol, one of the Black-Sea Cossack leaders. His inogorodnie opponent was a Jewish socialist, N. la. Liberman, who was one of the leaders of the Soviet of Workers, Soldiers and Peasants.3 6 Primarily owing to the support from gortsy, Cossacks won the election by a very slight margin. In the ensuing election of vice-chairman, one of the very few pro-inogorodnie Cossacks, Zakladnyi was elected.397 The old parity principle, once again confirmed in the election, however, did not bring compromise. As inogorodnie delegates attacked the Cossacks' program for being "maliciously reactionary,"

the idea of sabotaging the Council and of creating their own became

more and more popular among Cossacks.399 Indeed, it did not take even a few days to realize this idea. To justify a split, the Cossacks needed to be the majority. For this, the most valuable support came from the gortsy. Thus, the once most formidable foe in Cossacks' conquest of the Northern Caucasus, ethnically non-Russian Muslims, suddenly became indispensible allies in the front against the ethnically "Slavic" inogorodnie, who spoke the same language and had the same faith as the Cossacks. The common ground of Cossacks and gortsy was their 394 395 396 397 398

GAKK, f. GAKK, f. GAKK, f. Skobtsov, Ibid. Ibid, 42

r-1259, op. 1, d. 18,11, 95, 99, 103 r-1259, op. 1, d. 17,1. 125 r-411, op. 2, d. 235,1. 62 Trigoda, Vol. 1,41

144 assumed nativeness to Kuban'. Although these "real" natives in Kuban' constituted only a small portion of the entire population of the Kuban' oblast', when they were counted with another group claimant to nativeness, Cossacks' soslovie-bound claim of primacy in Kuban' secured a broader base of support. On July 1st, an evening session of the Committee was scheduled to begin at 6:00 pm. However, no Cossack delegates nor even its chairman appeared by the appointed time. Instead, they separately held their own meeting. It was not until 8:45 pm that the Cossacks came to the meeting hall. Once there, they declared that the zemstvo was an infringement of Cossack property rights, and demanded an immediate stop to further discussion of the zemstvo question.

A few Cossack moderates who opposed the split,

mostly lineitsy such as Skobtsov and M. A. Tratsenko,401 attempted to mediate the situation, but their efforts failed.402 Two days later after the negotiation came to an end; on the night of July 3rd the schism became complete. Cossacks declared secession of their deputies from the Kuban' Executive Committee and oblast' Council. They announced the abolition of the Committee and the establishment of a new alternative organ, the voisko Council,403 a Cossack equivalent to the oblast' Council. One day after the announcement of the schism, Turutin sent an ultimatum to the Cossacks, as they did not show up at the scheduled session of the Committee, asking whether they still considered themselves members of the Committee.404 The Cossacks did not reply. Instead, the answer to the

400 401 402 403 404

GAKK, f. r-1259, op. 1, d. 18,11, 95, 99, 103 Both figures were former Mensheviks. Skobtsov, Trigoda, Vol. 1,44 GAKK, f. r-1259, op. l,d. 17,1. 129; GAKK, f. r-1259, op. 1, d. 18,11.28,29,34,35,40,41 GAKK, f. r-6, op. 1, d. 10,1. 16

145 ultimatum came from someone unexpected. Ironically, the final and the most decisive blow to the authority of the Executive Committee and oblast' Council, the organs of the soslovie-b\md order, came from the very person who was supposed to defend these organs. On July 9th, Commissar Bardizh, himself a Cossack, officially promulgated the abrogation of the oblast' Executive Committee and the transfer of its authority and functions to the voisko government. His announcement read, "as of July 4th, the oblast' Executive Committee does not exist anymore."405 On July 17th, he notified to the Provisional Government that this "coup" was de facto accomplished.406 Encouraged by this full support from Commissar, the Kuban' voisko government declared. "[Kuban'] voisko government is not [a public] organization. [It is a real] government."407 With this signal from the center, rank and file Cossacks in local stanitsy immediately reacted as if they had been awaiting it. As they followed the example of their leaders in Ekaterinodar, the soslovie-blind civic order began to crumble with a remarkable similarity in almost every corner of the Kuban' oblast'. As soon as the Cossacks heard the news, a stanitsa assembly was convened, passing a resolution of abrogation of local civic committees and expressing full support of the voisko government and its decision.408 Thus, the Cossacks in stanitsa Platnirovskaia declared, "... the action of the voisko government and Rada is right and corresponds to the needs and interests of Cossacks... [and] we promise our full support to the voisko government 405

GAKK, f. r-1259, op. 1, d. 67,1. 191ob Ibid.; GAKK, f. r-6, op. 1, d. 22,1. 2; GAKK, f. r-1259, op. 1, d. 55,1. 50 407 GAKK, f. r-6, op. 1, d. 2,1. 292 408 For the detailed cases of the abrogation of civic committees in Cossack villages, see GAKK, f. r-6, op. 1, d. 13,11. 22, 24, 29, 54, 140; GAKK, f. r-6, op. 1, d. 10,11. 25, 32, 32ob, 34, 34ob, 93, 105; GAKK, f. r6, op. 1, d. 10,11. 32, 32ob, 34, 34ob; GAKK, f. r-6, op. 1, d. 25,11. 6, 6ob, 7; GAKK, f. r-1259, op. 1, d. 20,1. 89; GAKK, f. r-1259, op. 1, d. 74,1. 184; GAKK, f. r-1259, op. 1, d. 67,1. 191 ob; GAKK, f. r-1259, op. 1, d. 55,11. 13, 39; GAKK, f. r-1259, op. 1, d. 47,11. 61, 79, 80; GAKK, f. 1, op. 1, d. 79,1. 68 406

146 for its work for the sake of Cossacks' welfare.... [We] do not need a civic committee... and transfer its full power to the competence of the [stanitsa] ataman and stanitsa assembly."409 Of course, the oblast' Executive Committee and local civic committees did not evaporate by simple announcement. Once the Cossacks seceded, these organs became official institutions of inogorodnie, for inogorodnie and by inogorodnie. In its telegrams to local civic committees, the Executive Committee still claimed supreme authority and denounced the Cossacks' move. It declared. "The ... Committee was created by alloblast' Congress... only another Congress similar to the April Congress can abolish it."410 Now, the Committee became "a revolutionary organ, whose purpose was to protect and to strengthen civic and economic rights of non-Cossack population in Kuban' oblast' as right exponents of their will and wishes." " The continued existence of the Committee was justified through the direct mandate from the Provisional Government as its solitary proxy in Kuban' for the purpose of realizing its direction to the specific local conditions.412 In an urgent report to the Provisional Government, Turutin warned that the majority of the population, which constituted 57 percent of all residents, were to be deprived of all political rights, and that this challenge to the authority of the Provisional Government was to create political instability in Kuban'.413 In the aul' Khatazhukaevskii, local Cossacks also passed a resolution calling for the abrogation of the civic committee. However, in this resolution, they used a very familiar

409 410 411 4,2 413


f. f. f. f. f.

r-6, op. 1, d 10,1. 105 r-1259, op. 1, d. 47,1. 80 r-1259, op. 1, d. 49,1. 371 r-1259, op. 1, d. 49,1. 371 r-1259, op. 1, d. 25,1. 14

147 term to depict the ongoing situation, "dvoe-vlastie," a dual power of Cossack organs and civic committees.414 By end of August, dual power became the official order of the Kuban'. Although it was the Cossacks that exercised the real power over most of the territory, mainly due to their control of administration in local stanitsy as well as in the center, inogorodnie enjoyed at least one advantage: their oblast '-bound, soslovie-blind universalism, the direct result of the schism. However, very soon, even this advantage was to face the Cossacks' challenge, a challenge of "universalistic particularism."

C. Toward "Universalistic Particularism": From "Voisko" to "Krai"

An irony of Cossack particularism was that the Cossacks attempted to justify their actions in the name of universalism. This irony was not a new-fangled one, as a half century ago the Cossacks had faced a similar dilemma between voisko and oblast' in the setting of "particularistic universalism." What was new in 1917 was that now the Cossacks came to encounter the new modern environment without any state patronage. Once the governmental protection had disappeared, becoming "universalistic" appeared an absolute imperative for justifying Cossacks' raison d'etre in the new setting; however, this task became increasingly complicated due to an impasse between voiskobound particularism and o Wast'-bound universalism. Between these two mutually exclusive alternatives, the Cossacks were forced to find a middle ground to legitimize 414

GAKK, f. r-6, op. 1, d. 13,1. 54

148 the existence of an anachronism in the setting that the Revolution had created. In the short run, this impasse seemed to be aggravated by the Cossacks' political opting for the break-up of the soslovie-blind civic order. By endorsing the schism, the Cossacks dissociated themselves once and for all from the oblast '-bound universalism. The discrepancy between Cossacks' particularistic being and their universalistic claim seemed to become larger, while another direct result of the schism was the inogorodnie' association with the oblast '-bound universalism. To fill this discrepancy, Cossacks needed to find another alternative to "universalize" their particularism, an alternative other than the oblast '-bound. What was particular in the Cossacks' reaction at this stage was that their denial of oblast '-bound universalism did not result in the automatic acceptance of the voiskobound particularism. Kuban' Cossacks reacted to their peculiar dilemma in a quite unexpected way; indeed, their choice resulted in neither of two known alternatives: the universalization of voisko or the particularization of oblast'. Instead, their choice was to be a "samostiinyF one by adopting a new territorial denominator, "krai." The new postschism, "universalistically particularistic" Kuban' was to become neither oblast' nor voisko. It was to become the new "Kuban' krai.,,4X5 At first glance, this new territorial marker, literally meaning "border region," did not have any special meaning. Krai was simply a value-free and purely geographical term. To begin with, the new marker was not actually new, because it had been in wide


After the end of civil war, "kraF survived the Bolshevik rule. It kept being used as an administrative territorial denominator of this Cossack province, while the name of "Kuban"' was removed from the official usage due to its "counterrevolutionary" ramifications during the Cossacks' experiment with Kuban' statehood. Of course, the contemporary "Krasnodarskii kraF does not have the "samostiinyr character of the old Kuban' krai.

149 circulation long before its official adoption by Kuban' sarnostiiniki; however, it was only after the convocation of the "krai" Rada in fall 1917 that the term, krai began to attain popularity. The old terms, oblast' and voisko, did not disappear from the local parlance among Cossacks or non-Cossacks. Rather, the two old terms continued to be used interchangeably with krai.416 To put it in a more accurate way, krai was superimposed over oblast' and voisko as opposed to completely replacing the old terms, but this superimposition involved the addition of a wholly new and different layer of political implications. Thus, on August 29, when the "voisko" government announced the long-awaited convocation of the Cossacks' popular rally, its supposed title was still "voisko Rada." 417 This "voisko Rada" was convened on September 24th in Ekaterinodar with more than six hundred participants.418 However, when this Cossack assembly finished its three-week session on October 14th, it was given a new official prefix, "krai Rada."419 In conjunction with this change, "the voisko government was abolished."420 Instead, a new Kuban' krai government was announced as a new executive body with its new head, L. Bych.421 The transition to "krai" did not appear to immediately bring about any


An interesting example of this mixed usage is found in the new krai-bound plan of self-government adopted by the September krai Rada. When the Plan stated the basic laws, the laws concerned "Kuban' krai." Thus, the Plan was named as "the Provisional Basic Laws regarding the Supreme Organs in Kuban' krai." When the Plan detailed territorial administration of the new Kuban' krai, it still used the old term, oblast', thus naming the title of the relevant clauses as "Regarding Administration of Kuban' oblast'." For more detail, see Obshchaia svodka razsmotrennykh Kubanskoi Kraevoi Radoi voprosov i priniatykh reshenii (Ekaterinodar, 1917), 3 - 7 417 Rasskazov, Kuban'ikazachestvo, 280 418 The complete list of the krai Rada delegates is available in Obshchaia svodka razsmotrennykh Kubanskoi Kraevoi Radoi voprosov i priniatykh reshenii (hereafter cited in text as Obshchaia svodka), 21 -27 419 Obshchaia svodka, 1; GAKK, f. r-411, op. 2, d. 298,1. 538 420 GAKK, f. r-6, op. 1, d. 22,1. 61 421 GAKK, f. r-6, op. 1, d. 22,1. 61

150 fundamental changes. The new "krai" Rada remained essentially the same Cossack organ after adopting the new title. The new "kraF government hardly changed from the old "voisko" government in terms of personnel, except for a few new faces such as its new premier. In addition, this move to krai coincided with the revival of the post of the voisko Ataman and his election in krai Rada.

Even if the transition to new Kuban'

krai did not indicate any essential change in Cossack particularism, it concerned a significant change at least in one respect: the way the Cossacks legitimized their particularism was altered fundamentally. The election of the voisko Ataman was one of the "particularistic" manifestations of the newly emerging "universalistic particularism." The Ataman election took place in the Winter Theater in Ekaterinodar on October 9th 1917, three days after the renaming to krai was announced in the new plan of Kuban' selfgovernment.423 With three candidates running, K. L. Bardizh, A. P. Filimonov, and Kiiashko, it was A. P. Filimonov who won the majority votes and was finally chosen as the "first" voisko Ataman of the Kuban' Cossacks.424 The election, which brought this historic moment with it, seemed to be a prosaic event, but what followed the next day was certainly not. The Rada elevated this seemingly vowA»-bound moment to a ritual marking the association of the new krai system with the ancient Cossack past. 422

Obshchaia svodka, 95 - 96 Ibid. 424 Ibid., 96; [Makarenko] Tragediia, Vol. 1, 53. A. P. Filimonov was the first elected Ataman in Kuban', because Kuban' Cossack voisko, as an administrative creation by the merger of two different voiska (the Black-Sea Cossack voisko and the Caucasian Line voisko), had never elected his Ataman on its own. All its Atamans during the imperial period, even including those of the two pre-merger voiska were directly appointed by the Autocracy. In case of lineitsy, they did not have their own voisko before the creation of the Caucasian Line voisko in 1832, so that they did not have the post of Ataman. As Filimonov himself recollected in one of his memoirs, the majority of these appointed Atamans were not even Cossacks. This obvious historical fact, however, did not deter the Cossacks from celebrating the "resurrection" of their political persona of one glorious Cossack independence, the elected Ataman of the Kuban' Cossacks. 423

151 In the hall of the Theater, the ancient Cossack rituals of the Zaporozhian atamanshchna were carefully re-enacted with the solemn sounds of Kuban' orchestra and the Kuban' Cossack choir.425 The climax of the ritual came when the provisional head of the government, I. Makarenko introduced the new voisko Ataman to the Rada delegates and audience. All Rada delegates and guests stood up to salute the new leader of Kuban' "krai" with the shouts of "Ura!," while the orchestra played the "March of the Khoper Cossacks."426 Then, the several hours of congratulatory addresses of guests from neighboring voiska and key figures in Kuban' Rada and government followed.427 However, the most impressive ceremony had not yet been performed. It was to be held in the Cathedral Square in Ekaterinodar. The Rada delegates and all guests moved to the Square, where the local Cossack units in Ekaterinodar garrison met them to hold a parade before their new supreme commander. In front of this audience in the Square, F. A. Shcherbina, in the capacity of the eldest delegate in the Rada, accompanied by the chair of the krai Rada, N. S. Riabovol and other stariki, staged a special ritual from the Cossacks' primordial past: conferment on the new Ataman of his "bulava," a ceremonial mace symbolizing Ataman's power as the supreme commander of the Kuban' Cossack "army (voisko):,42S In this ritualized scene, the image that the bulava rite purported to create was clearly the revival of an elected voisko Ataman. Indeed, the ritual was a visual announcement of the contemporary Kuban's alleged lineage with its Cossack heritage, especially with the historical figures of the Zaporozh 'e Sech', although Filimonov, as a 425 426

427 428

Skobtsov, Trigoda, Vol. 1, 57; Obshchaia svodka, 97 Obshchaia svodka, 97

Ibid.,97-\00 Ibid, 100

152 lineets from the Russian speaking Labinskii otdel, had no direct relationship with his alleged "ancestors." Thus, when the krai Rada discussed the revival of the head post of their krai, it was intended to demonstrate the continuity between the age-old Cossack tradition and its supposed resurrection in new Kuban'. However, this "resurrected" post of Ataman did not signify a simple restoration of the old Cossack institution. The expected function, role and responsibility of the new supreme commander of the Kuban' Cossacks hardly resembled those of the belligerent chieftains during the historic Cossack heyday of wild atamanshehina in the steppe of the Ukraine and Don.429 Rather, new voisko Ataman was a modern figure, who had more affinity with a "president" of a modern republic. The new head of Kuban' krai represented a new kind of power based on a new kind of community anchored in new modern principles: popular sovereignty and democracy. When the Cossacks attempted to affix this new meaning to this age-old symbol of Cossack particularism, the post of voisko Ataman obtained a new &ra/-bound meaning: an "elected representative (izbrannik) of narod (people)."430 In other words, his "particularistic" title represented a new purportedly universalistic territorial entity, "krai." An irony was that the first elected "voisko" Ataman of Kuban', for the first time since its administrative genesis in the mid-nineteenth century, was chosen exactly when the Cossacks attempted an escape from voisko-bound particularism, a paradox that the Cossacks did not detect at that time. The result of the re-enactment of the "particularistic past" aiming at creating a "universalistic present and future," was a

Filimonov, "Kubantsy," 131 Obshchaia svodka, 97

153 problematic convergence to a krai-bound system featuring a Kuban' "voisko" Ataman as the head of Kuban' "krai." After all, Rada itself was a product of a similar process of fusion between old voisko-bound forms and outwardly modern attributes, in terms of its self-positioning as a representative organ based upon the principle of popular sovereignty. In the meantime, Rada claimed to be a historic heir to the assembly of Zaporozh'e Sech'. The outcome was the emergence of an even more oxymoronic situation. In the name of "revival," the Cossacks created essentially new organs. In the name of civic universalism, the Cossacks institutionalized estate particularism. This fusion of ancient forms with ostensibly modern forms, but essentially particularistic in content, resulted in a new phenomenon: the emergence of "/craz'-bound" particularism. The moment of instating &ra/-bound particularism came with the Rada's adoption of a new plan of self-government in Kuban': "Provisional Basic Laws Regarding Supreme Organs in Kuban' Krai",431 which was passed on October 7th in the krai Rada.

This plan marked the first attempt to institutionalize the new krai-

bound project of universalistic particularism in practice. It featured four distinctively "/craz'-bound" institutions: voisko Ataman, krai government, krai Rada, and legislative Rada. While the first three were "universalistically" repackaged with the change to krai, the fourth one, legislative Rada was an entirely new creation of a krai-bound system. By taking the historic name of Rada, this organ still claimed a Cossack legacy. In reality, however, its function and role were unprecedented in Cossack history; indeed, among other krai-bound organs, it was to show itself as the most "universalistically 431

"Vremennye osnovnye polozheniia o vysshikh organakh v Kubanskom Krae." TsDNlKK, f. 1774-r, op. 2, d. 208,1. 2; Obshchaia svodka, 4; GAKK, f. 1, op. 1, d. 67,1. 86 432 TsDNIKK, f. 1774-r, op. 2, d. 208,1. 2; Obshchaia svodka, 4; GAKK, f. 1, op. 1, d. 67,1. 86

154 particularistic" organ. The Plan defined the role of legislative Rada as "the supreme law-making organ in Kuban' krai."433 At a glance, by creating two assemblies, the new krai-bound system seemed to adopt a bicameral system consisting of "big Rada" (krai Rada) and "small Rada" (legislative Rada). While this quasi-bicameralism also appeared in Don and Terek, the legislative Rada in Kuban' markedly differed from its equivalent ("malyi krug") in Don and Terek, in terms of its exceptionally strong power and centrality in Kuban' politics. With about a hundred delegates, its size was much smaller than krai Rada; however, its real power and importance far exceeded that of the bigger assembly, or indeed, that of any other of the krai organs. Besides the role as a lawmaker, the competence of the legislative Rada was impressively extensive. It included: "to review and confirm the budget plan of Kuban' krai," to elect the premier and the cabinet members of the krai government, to elect the controller, to elect the Kuban' representatives to the central government of Russia (in the future), and finally to discuss inquiries regarding the work of krai government.434 In fact, legislative Rada did not simply replace the role of krai Rada. Rather, by having such far-reaching competences, it was to position itself as the most influential organ, surpassing the general boundary of legislative institutions. More importantly, it was to become the most controversial one as well, for it was to grow into a stronghold of Kuban' samostiiniki. Two institutional factors directly contributed to the augmentation of the power of legislative Rada. First, in the /craz'-bound system, krai Rada was not supposed to

433 434

TsDNIKK, f. 1774-r, op. 2, d. 208,1. 2ob; Obshchaia svodka, 5; GAKK, f. 1, op. 1, d. 67,1. 86 TsDNIKK, f. 1774-r, op. 2, d. 208,1. 2ob; Obshchaia svodka, 5; GAKK, f. 1, op. 1, d. 67,1. 86ob

155 convene as a permanent organ; according to the Plan, it was to be convened only on special occasions by the krai government or by legislative Rada.435 In many cases, krai Rada simply would follow the agenda set by legislative Rada and just confirm the decisions already made by legislative Rada. Secondly, political clout of legislative Rada also increased at the expense of the power of the voisko Ataman, which was practically crippled in the new &ra/-bound Plan. Technically, the Kuban' voisko Ataman was the supreme head of the Kuban' krai; he was the supreme commander of the Kuban' Cossack army. Also, any legislation proposed by Rada required his ratification to be effective.436 This appearance of power and authority attached to the glorious title of voisko Ataman, however, proved deceptive, due to several limitations that shackled the Ataman's power. For example, while the Plan stipulated a right to veto among the numerous competences of Ataman, legislative Rada could practically nullify any instance of Ataman's veto at its own convenience. According to the Plan, even if Ataman exercised his veto over any piece of legislation made by the Rada, and returned it to the Rada, the Rada could re-confirm it, making the legislation effective immediately without revision.437 While legislative Rada was closely involved with the krai government mainly owing to its power to elect the premier and cabinet members, the actual function of voisko Ataman was limited to a symbolic role. Indeed, this picture of "strong Rada and weak Ataman" was one prominent characteristic of the fcraz-bound system in Kuban'. It was hardly surprising


TsDNIKK, f. 1774-r, op. 2, d. 208,1. 2ob; Obshchaia svodka, 5; GAKK, f. 1, op. 1, d. 67,1. 86ob TsDNIKK, f. 1774-r, op. 2, d. 208,11. 3, 3ob; Obshchaia svodka, 6 - 7 ; GAKK, f. 1, op. 1, d. 67,11. 87, 87ob 437 TsDNIKK, f. 1774-r, op. 2, d. 208,11. 3. 3ob; Obshchaia svodka, 6 - 7 ; GAKK, f. 1, op. 1, d. 67,11. 87, 87ob 436

156 that Kuban' Cossacks did not have such charismatic Atamans as Don Cossacks had. In Kuban', there appeared no such figures as Kaledin and Krasnov, who led the "vsevelikoe (great)" voisko Donskoe. In the years to come, this supremacy of legislative power was to leave serious political repercussions, because it provided an optimal setting for the idea of samostiinost' to grow in legislative Rada. The launching of ftraz'-bound particularism also concerned "non-voz's/to-bound" legitimization of the big assembly, krai Rada. Again, when the voisko Rada became a /craz'-bound organ, new krai Rada became universalistic and particularistic at the same time. Thus, from the commencement, the Kuban' krai Rada did not purport to be an exclusively Cossack institution, although in reality, the absolute majority of the Rada delegates were Cossacks who came from local stanitsy and Cossack frontoviki from frontline units.439 There were non-Cossack participants as well. First, there were gortsy, whose presence in krai Rada, although numerically few, was significant in providing krai Rada with an outwardly soslovie-blind appearance. Besides these loyal allies of the When the confrontation between the Russian Whites and their Kuban' Cossack "allies" began to develop in the second half of 1918, it was this unique situation in Kuban' that put the Russian Whites in a dilemma. Although Denikin finally managed to secure some support of the leaders of the lineitsy group in Kuban' government and, more importantly, the understanding of Ataman Filimonov, his attempt to handle the samostiiniki majority within Rada, with the help from the lineitsy, did not prevail, due to the almost independent power that the Rada enjoyed. This meant that despite growing agitation against the White Army within Rada, the "supreme commander of the Armed Forces in South Russia" did not have any direct means to enforce his will on these troublesome Cossack "democrats," except for "military means." 439 Radicalized by the Revolution, Cossack frontoviki were divided into two groups. One group, which was the extreme Left led by Sorokin, pursued a truly universalistic solution to the Cossack question: the abolition of the Cossack soslovie. Later, as they allied with the inogorodnie and thereby with the Bolsheviks, their group identity as "Cossacks" was to quickly lose importance. In contrast to this minority, the role of the majority group, which was led by Rogovets and V. K. Bardizh (son of K. L. Bardizh), needs some attention, as circumstantial evidence indicates some decisive contribution of these Cossackyro«Zov/&/ to the evolution of Cossack particularism from the voMo-bound to the new kraibound. While in many aspects, these Cossack radicals' demands did not differ from those of the Sorokin group, they differed in one question: their commitments to their own soslovie. Although they did not support the sos/ov/e-bound particularism, which meant an exclusion of inogorodnie, they also did not approve the oblast '-bound universalism neither. In the September Rada, these "particularistic" frontoviki had considerable numbers among the Rada delegates, accounting for more than one third. Their voices were likely to play some role for the emergence of the new krai-bound particularism.

157 Cossacks, however, there were other non-Cossack partakers, whose presence was not expected for some Cossack delegates but whose political importance far exceeded that of gortsy. Unlike gortsy, these non-Cossacks were not original members of the Rada, but they arrived at the krai Rada with an official invitation from the Cossack leadership, and were even offered full voting rights.4

Who were they? They were representatives

of inogorodnie. These delegates of inogorodnie population did not represent the non-Cossack population in their entirety. Rather, they represented only a small portion of them, the so-called "native (korennyey inogorodnie.442 In the newly adopted plan of selfgovernment of Kuban' krai, these inogorodnie were pronounced by Rada as fullyqualified residents of the new Kuban' krai.443 Those who appeared in the Rada mostly came from the agricultural cooperatives, one of the few non-Cossacks whose socioeconomic interests hardly collided with those of the Cossacks. And yet, they did not even dare to claim full representation, refusing the Cossacks' offer of conferment of full voting rights.444 Needless to say, their reluctance was not without reason: the landless majority of the non-Cossack peasants whose land hunger posed a serious threat to the Cossacks, did not have any opportunity to voice their predicaments in the newly proclaimed krai Rada. In consideration of this, on the rostrum of the Rada, these inogorodnie "guests" strongly urged the Cossack "hosts" to talk with "those who were 440

GAKK, f. 1, op. 1, d. 704,1. 16 A few stanitsa assemblies demanded in their resolutions that Cossack voisko Rada should represent the interests of inogorodnie as well. For example, see a resolution of village assembly of stanitsa Akhtyrskaia (GAKK, f. r-6, op. 1, d. 10,11. 60, 60ob) 442 GAKK, f. l,op. l,d. 704,1. 16 443 TsDNIKK, f. 1774-r, op. 2, d. 208,1. 2; GAKK, f. 1, op. 1, d. 704,1. 16; Obshchaia svodka, 4; GAKK, f. l,op. 1, d. 67,1. 86 444 Obshchaia svodka, 59 - 60; GAKK, f. r-1259, op. 1, d. 24,11. 191, 192 441

158 not invited" and, above all, to convene another oblast' congress in which all residents in Kuban' "oblast™ participated regardless of soslovie.445 In spite of their reluctance in taking any visible role, however, the presence of these "native" inogorodnie in the Cossack Rada, even with their very limited representation, definitely contributed to the new /craz'-bound pretension of universalism that Cossacks were attempting to establish. Indeed, to cite from Filimonov, "what is important was [the fact] that inogorodnie entered Rada."446 There could be no more vivid example of "universalistic particularism" than the presence of non-Cossack elements in the allegedly Cossack rally, who were assumed to be intrinsically antagonistic to the Cossack's causes. Their presence served as an example illustrating that new /craz'-bound power in Kuban' was not anticipated to be an exclusively Cossack one. Rather, it was supposed to represent "qualified residents," based on purportedly "soslovie-blmd" civic principles of Cossacks' own kind. Who, then, were these "qualified residents"? One of the key resolutions of krai Rada defined them as "those layers of population ... firmly cohesive and integrated, and which were accustomed to the organized and cohesive life...." 447 After this highly euphemistic and vague definition, an immediate and specific answer followed. "Cossacks and the native population of the Kuban' krai: inogorodnie communalists and Kuban' gortey."448 Another resolution by krai Rada added another layer of inogorodnie to the category of the "qualified residents," those peasants who had settled and bought the land via Peasant Land Bank. These inogorodnie had come to Kuban' as "legal" 445 446 447 448

Obshchaia svodka, 6 0 - 6 1 Ibid, 61 Ibid, 9 Ibid

159 immigrants and settled as registered residents.4 According to this new "Araz'-bound" definition, the assumed commonality shared by these non-Cossacks and Cossacks was their supposed "nativeness" to the soil of Kuban' krai. In the "Provisional Basic Laws Regarding Supreme Organs in Kuban' Krai", the Cossacks codified this ambiguous term of "nativeness" into a more clearly defined legal concept: "pravomochnost' (legal qualification)."450 With this codification, the Cossacks' particularistic causes and privileged status were universalistically reformulated and repackaged into an ostensibly "non-voisko^-bound project of selfgovernment in Kuban' krai, without suffering any loss of their estate privileges. Soon, in the near future when the time of the experiment of a separate Kuban' statehood came, this legal term was to evolve into a more clear-cut "samostiinyi" concept of civic identity: "grazhdanstvo (citizenship)." This Cossack variant of civic identity was valid only within the perimeter of Cossack particularism and was still supposed to function within the soslovie boundary. Even those native inogorodnie who were invited to and participated in the Rada questioned the outwardly ,so.s70vz'e-blind offer of the Cossacks to count them among the Kuban' "natives." While welcoming Cossacks' first move to talk with inogorodnie, the natives understood Cossacks' offer as nothing more than a measure of "transforming them into the Cossack soslovie.."451 When it came to the majority of the non-Cossack peasants, the new Araz-bound self-government meant an exclusion rather than inclusion. Although some resolutions of the krai Rada paid lip service to the notion that "other

449 450 451

GAKK, f. l,op. 1, d. 704,1. 16 TsDNIKK, f. 1774-r, op. 2, d. 208,1. 2; Obshchaia svodka, 4; GAKK, f. 1, op. 1, d. 67,1. 86 GAKK, f. l , o p . l , d . 704,1.16

160 layers of population should participate in the self-government of the Kuban' krai" sometime in the future,452 the resolution lacked clarity in mentioning when to include them, exactly whom to include and how to achieve the inclusion outside the boundary of the "nativeness." The argument was also circular. To begin with, krai Rada itself, according to the new Plan of self-government, was supposed to represent only "the will of the legally qualified population...."453 Practically every article of the Plan set this qualification as an absolute prerequisite for enjoying any political rights in the new &raz'-bound civic order. What was certain was that if the Plan were to be implemented as such, the absolute majority of the inogorodnie population except for some "natives" were to be disenfranchised in terms of civil rights and political participation. Although this new qualification neither openly specified the exclusion of inogorodnie from political participation nor obviously stated the Cossack monopoly of power, it is not hard to detect the self-contradictory purport of the krai-bound Plan: to achieve intended exclusion by pretended inclusion. As a primary motivation behind this "negative-action" policy toward nonCossack peasants, lay Cossacks' fear of the loss of their privilege, especially their traditional monopoly of their land in the face of the demands of inogorodnie. However, when it came to the land question, there was something more at stake than just preservation of their estate benefits. As already analyzed in detail in the preceding chapter, a holistic vision of the entire Kuban' voisko as a land-based "organic whole" had become increasingly widespread, in particular since the 1906 Rada. According to

452 453

Obshchaia svodka, 9 - 1 0 TsDNIKK, f. 1774-r, op. 2, d. 208,1. 2ob; Obshchaia svodka, 5; GAKK, f. 1, op. 1, d. 67,11. 86ob

161 this vision, the voisko itself was considered an expanded stanitsa obshchina, and the entire land of the Kuban' voisko was an expanded yurt. As an organic whole, the natural extension of this view was that the Cossacks' landed property should not be divisible. Thus, a strongly egalitarian agriculture based upon communalist land usage, although in fact the beginning of grain cultivation in Kuban' was relatively recent among Cossacks, and although the majority of the Cossacks were the collective landlord rather than the actual farmers, became an indispensible element of the theme of Cossack distinctiveness. In 1917, the new krai Rada, as a direct heir of the 1906 rally, furthered this organic vision. Thus, the September krai Rada resolution regarding the agrarian question consisted of simple but very strong statements reconfirming their group ownership of land anchored in the principles of organic communalism. The first clause of the resolution read, "all lands of Kuban' Cossack voisko ... as historical assets ... constituted the inalienable and inviolable property of Kuban' Cossack voisko,A54; the second was that "Kuban' Cossack voisko owns, utilize and control its own lands, forests, water, and mineral resources (nedra) independently...." 455 The most problematic and controversial claim came with the third clause: "all privately-owned lands ... state-owned lands,[and] the lands of monastery and church in Kuban' krai should be returned to the property of Kuban' Cossack voisko ... based on the principle of the confiscation of lands...." 456 It was this third resolution that would provoke serious backlash and protests among Kuban' landowners, who denounced "the Rada 454 455 456

Obshchaia svodka, 1 0 - 11; GAKK, f. 1, op. 1, d. 158,1. 138 Obshchaia svodka, 11; GAKK, f. 1, op. 1, d. 158,1. 138 Obshchaia svodka, 11; GAKK, f. 1, op. 1, d. 158,1. 138

162 resolution as illegal," and who saw little difference between the Cossacks' program and the Bolshevik one.457 Although the fourth clause stipulated an exception of the lands of peasants with small properties and the lands of agricultural cooperatives below a certain size from the application of the confiscation, the resolution did not specify the exact size to be eligible for the exception. According to the resolution, it was to be set by allRussian Constituent Assembly in the future.45 On the superficial level, in terms of its language and rhetoric, krai Rada's land program seemed to be in agreement with the overall consensus of Revolutionary Russia: confiscation of private lands, their confiscation and distribution among the working people. How the Kuban' differed from elsewhere in rural Russia was, however, the problematic claim of its Cossack inhabitants that they were also among "the working people," and its particularistic aim to deny their land to other categories of the working people in Cossack province. This contradiction was exposed in another resolution by krai Rada: the abolition of village land committees. This oblast '-bound organ, which had been created during the early days in every corner of the old empire by the Ministry of Agriculture to deal with the land question in the countryside in favor of the landless peasants,459 was proclaimed to be abolished due to its incompatibility with the new &raz'-bound system in Kuban'. Its expected role in Cossack provinces including Kuban', to coordinate the collision of interests over the land question between the Cossack landlords and inogorodnie tenants, clearly did not fit the "universalistically particularistic" frame of the newfcraz'-boundsystem. In fact, its abolition did not bring 457 458 459

GAKK, f. r-6, op. 1, d. 39,11. 30, 30ob Obshchaia svodka, 11; GAKK, f. 1, op. 1, d. 158,1.138 Obshchaia svodka, 11; GAKK, f. 1, op. 1, d. 158,1. 138; GAKK, f. r-10, op. 1, d. 4,1. 2

163 about any immediate change, because this organ had been already powerless since its inception in April by the order of V. Chernov, mainly due to the sabotage by the Cossacks; nevertheless, its abrogation had a symbolic significance showing that the Cossacks severed their tie with the last vestige of oblast' universalism once and for all. Their alternative to this oblast '-bound organ was the creation of their own krai organ, the "Land Bureau" attached to the Ministry of Agriculture of the krai government.460 When the Cossacks mentioned "returning of the land to the voiskci" in their land program, the underlying assumption of their demand was that the entire land of Kuban' was their historic property. Here, it is particularly noteworthy that they justified their claim of land monopoly in terms of "historical rights." By resorting to this metaphor, however, the Cossacks made their claim more self-contradictory. On the one hand, the "vo/s&o-bound" validity of their land monopoly, which had been propped up by the Imperial charters, technically evaporated with the collapse of the Tsardom. On the other hand, the Cossacks were still speaking about their "voisko." Due to this contradiction, finding a new £ra/-bound alternative to justify their land monopoly was to become a question of the utmost importance. In 1917, the krai Rada did not directly tackle this issue. It would become a job of another session of krai Rada in fall of 1918 to universalize their particularistic interests in terms of land question in the name of krai. In the land laws of 1918, all non-Cossack lands were not simply to be returned to the voisko; rather, they would be confiscated into the "krai (land) fund," a krai institution to manage and distribute the land among the eligible "natives" including Cossacks. In essence, the ostensibly universalistic land laws in 1918 would not differ with the 450

GAKK, f. 1, op. 1, d. 158,1. 138; Obshchaia svodka, 11

164 resolution of the September Rada in 1917. The difference was the newly added soslovieblind appearance of "krai fund." This fusion of universalistic forms and particularistic contents would culminate in the emergence of a peculiar phenomenon in Kuban' samostiinost': "Cossack socialism," an attempt to validate their land monopoly and communalist usage through the language of socialism and social justice. In fall 1917, this development to the full-fledged claim of krai-bound Cossack socialism was not yet initiated, although the language and rhetoric had marked signs. For the Cossacks in Rada, it seems that the justness of their causes seemed historically so self-evident that they did not even bother to add another facade to their claim of land monopoly for the time being. Certainly, the Cossacks in the September Rada tended to see themselves as one of the oppressed peoples rather than the privileged estate, a view consistently promoted by their claim of emancipation from the tsarist "yoke."461 It is a noteworthy irony that the monarchy had very few supporters among its allegedly loyal Cossack servitors, especially taking into consideration the old, almost mythical relationship between Tsar and his servitors; however, monarchism proved to be very unpopular among the Kuban' Cossacks. In fact, as shown in the above, since February they were enthusiastic about showing themselves as staunch antimonarchists.462 For them "a return to the old [order] was impossible."463 A Cossack delegate in Rada summarized these anti-monarchist sentiments: [in the building of a

Obshchaia svodka, 8 The first clause of a krai Rada resolution addressed to the population of Kuban' read, "for several hundred years, our motherland was under yoke of the Tsardom. [Due to Tsardom], it was impossible to create normal conditions in life in politics and economy... [but] ... at last the autocracy disgracefully collapsed." 463 Ibid, 8 462

165 new order] "Cossacks could not tolerate the monarchy."464 But, while this outright denial of the old order was not specific to the Cossacks, what was particular to Kuban' Cossacks' was the peculiarity of their own proposal of building the new order. As was shown already, this proposal was based upon the claims of their native compatibility with "...[the] slogans of the Revolution [such as] liberty, equality and fraternity...."


When armed with these claims, the Araz'-bound particularism came to mark an attempt at creating their own blueprint in the shaping of a "new" order, their own variant in the post-Deluge world. This blueprint constituted another feature

of krai-bound

particularism, namely "Cossack federalism," the most turbulently "samostiinyr idea within all the &ra/-bound plans. On September 29, 1917, krai Rada unanimously declared, "Russia ... should be a democratic federal republic."466 After passing this resolution, F. A. Shcherbina, the famous Cossack historian, proposed to telegram the declaration to all Cossack voiska, Ukraine and Finland, a proposal which was adopted unanimously by all Rada delegates present in the hall.467 While the idea of building a "federal Russia" was not itself an exclusively Cossack idea, what is interesting is increasingly ethno-centric selffashioning of the Cossacks. Behind the demand that the new Kuban' krai was supposed to take part in the new Russian federation as an autonomous component of it, there lay the assumption that the Cossacks were supposed to enjoy this right in the same way as the Finns, Ukrainians, Georgians and other nationalities did. Indeed, when the idea of federalism was proposed, Cossacks' demand was not a simple territorial self464 465 466

Ibid, 46 Ibid, 8 Ibid, 53

166 government of their province any more. It had begun to evolve into something qualitatively different: their own "right of self-determination" similar to the other ethnic minorities in the collapsed empire. Indeed, one of the turning points in Cossack particularism in Kuban' came with this shift from "self-government" to "self-determination," an important outcome of ongoing change from the voisko-bound to the krai-bound. As long as Cossacks' demand was limited to the self-government of their province, it mainly concerned the still voisko-bound scope of protecting the estate privileges of the Cossacks. And yet, once the Cossacks began to speak about "federation," their new krai-bound blueprint came to convey a totally different meaning: a latent claim of a state-bound status of their native krai. In retrospect, there was some possibility that it might have remained "latent" had the central authority that the Cossacks recognized as legitimate not collapsed. Although their relationship with the Provisional Government was not easy, at least the Cossacks did not deny the ultimate authority of the Government itself, however nominal its power was in reality. And yet, with the increasingly apparent symptoms of the impending demise of the Government in late October, the latent claim of krai-bound selfdetermination in Kuban' became an almost tangible possibility bearing a very significant corollary: "separatism." After the October Revolution, it was to become a reality. In September, Cossack federalism primarily targeted South Russia and the North Caucasus, not for the scope of the whole of Russia but for the solidarity of only the Cossacks themselves. With the efforts to organize Cossack power in their native "krai" the Cossacks' attempt to solidify their position resulted in a federative plan of building a

167 Cossack Union in South Russia and the Northern Caucasus, a plan which was proposed under a makeshift name of "South-East Union (iugo-vostochnyi soiuz)."

The overall

idea was not new; it had been popular as early as July among some leading figures in Southern Cossack voiska. To follow Denikin, the initiative was likely to come from Kuban'.469 It was the conference at Novocherkassk in July 1917, which was attended by most of the top-ranking officials and celebrities of three hosts in South Russia,47 that coined the term "South-East Union" and discussed seriously the idea on a public agenda. According to Filimonov, one of the participants, this conference reached the following agreements: 1) to create the South-East Union, 2) to establish a provisional special commission at Novocherkassk that would discuss and take charge of all administrative affairs as well as of practical works regarding the organization of the Union, 3) This commission should be composed of plenipotentiaries that would represent their own governments.471 For the time being, this plan was not immediately realized, since each Cossack government was busy in dealing with their own affairs. At that point, the Union was intended to be a very loose mter-voisko association to protect common Cossack interests. However, after September, the overall concept of Union began to fundamentally change. Rather than being a plan to create a political union of Cossack interests, it became a state-bound plan of regional Cossack federation, purportedly to 468

A. I. Denikin, Ocherki russkoi smuty, 5 Vols. (Berlin-Paris: Russkoe Natsional'noe Knigoizdatel'stvo, 1921 - 1925), Vol. 2 (reprinted in Moscow: Nauka, 1991), 181 (page citations are to the reprint edition); GAKK, f. r-1547, op. 1, d. 121,1. 17; GAKK, f. 1, op. 1, d. 158,1. 174 469 Denikin, Ocherki, Vol. 2, 182 470 Participants included Filimonov and K. L. Bardizh, Don Ataman Kaledin and M. P. Bogaevskii, the chair of the Don Krug from the Don host, Terek Ataman Karaulov and Tkachev (a minister of the Terek government) from the Terek host, and finally Prince Tundutovyi from Kalmyks, 471 Filimonov, "Kubantsy," 119 - 120; Pokrovskii, Denikinshchina, 1 8 - 1 9 .

168 create a Cossack federative state consisting of several Cossack "gosudarstvennye obrazovaniia (state entities)." In Kuban' it was after September with the emergence of the &raz'-bound particularism that the idea of a Cossack union gained real momentum; again it was in the Kuban' krai that the idea found its most dedicated supporters.472 Thus, when the September krai Rada declared "to immediately organize South-East Union...," 473 its resolution clearly indicated a state-bound turn to the building of a Cossack federation. The idea took a more practical shape in a conference which was held in Ekaterinodar between September 20 - 25 with the participation of representatives from several Cossack voiska including Don, Kuban', Terek, Orenburg and Astrakhan.474 In this conference, the Cossacks demanded that new Russia become a "federalist democratic republic,"475 in which the Cossackdom should have a right of "independent existence" among the peoples.476 As a first move to achieve this aim on the regional level, the conference declared the organization of the South-East Union.477 To realize this federative plan, another conference was organized in Vladikavkaz on October 20.

The result was an agreement of establishing South-East Union and of

forming its united "government" in Ekaterinodar.479 V. A. Kharlamov, a prominent Don


According to Filimonov, the most dedicated supporter of the plan in Kuban' was Ivan Makarenko (Filimonov, "Kubantsy," 118-119). 473 Obshchaia svodka, 83 474 GARF, f. r-1799, op. 1, d. 15,1. 11; GAKK, f. r-6, op. 2, d. 3,1. 1 475 According to the resolution, the new federative Russia should be reorganized based on the model of the United States of America (GARF, f. r-1799, op. 1, d. 15,1. 15; GAKK, f. r-6, op. 2, d. 3,1. 5). 476 GARF, f. r-1799, op. 1, d. 15,1. 16; GAKK, f. r-6, op. 2, d. 3,1. 6. When Ivan Makarenko, a Kuban' delegate reported this resolution in one of the sessions of the September krai Rada, his report was enthusiastically welcomed. An immediate reaction of Krai Rada was to unanimously rectify it. 477 GARF, f. r-1799, op. 1, d. 15,1. 16; GAKK, f. r-6, op. 2, d. 3,1. 6 478 GAKK, f. r-1547, op. 1, d. 121,1. 17; GAKK, f. 1, op. 1, d. 158,1. 174 479 GAKK, f. r-6, op. 2, d. 3,1. 40ob; GAKK, f. r-1547, op. 1, d. 121,1. 17; GAKK, f. 1, op. 1, d. 158,1. 174; GARF, f. r-7363, op. 1, d. 28,1. 5. Original text of the agreement on October 20, 1917 is available at GARF, f. r-7363, op. 1, d. 29,11. 1, lob

169 Cossack kadet, was chosen as the first head of this Union. In many aspects, the idea of Cossack union was an expanded plan of the kraibound particularism in Kuban', the influence of which was visible in terms of the tone, agenda, program, and purpose of the newly proposed federation. In fact, the very turn to Cossack federalism by the southern Cossack voiska corresponded to the early samostiinyi turn to £ra/-bound particularism by Kuban' Cossack voisko. There was another similarity. As the official title of the Union suggests, it did not purport to be a Cossack union. The provisionally proposed title of "South-East Union" was to include "free peoples in the mountain areas and the steppe" as well as three Cossack voiska in South Russia: Don, Kuban' and Terek. By clearly defining whom to represent, however, the Cossack federalism implicitly specified "whom to exclude." Needless to say, those to be excluded were inogorodnie. On the eve of the October Revolution, Kazach'ia samostiinost' in Kuban' reached one of the most decisive turning points with the emergence of its krai-bound project in Kuban' and Cossack federalism in South Russia. The combination of the increasingly ethno-centric self-fashioning of Cossack identity with the new krai-bound claim of universalism based upon the new territorial identity as well as the growing signs of the collapse of the central authority, resulted in a "samostiinyF blueprint on the national level as well as on the regional krai level. Its full-blown realization would


Denikin, Ocherki, Vol. 2, 182; GAKK, f. r-6, op. 2, d. 3,1. 40ob The answer of the inogorodnie to this krai-boxmA federalism was to make a counter-proposal of establishing their own union, an "inogorodnie soiuz" by uniting non-Cossack peasants in the three Cossack provinces. This proposal was adopted in the Congress of the Kuban' inogorodnie on November 7, 1917. Hardly surprisingly, if the Kuban' Cossacks were most enthusiastic in promoting Cossack federalism, it was the Kuban' inogorodnie who were most active in fighting Cossacks' causes. For more detail see GAKK, f. r-1259, op. 1, d. 14,1. 139.


170 follow the Bolshevik October. An irony was that at the very moment when the Cossacks hoped that their Cossack union would create "a bulwark of hope" for them,


krai-bound move to achieve it helped the unfolding of the situation that would prevent its immediate realization: civil war.

D. Bolshevik October in Kuban'

The news of the October Revolution arrived at Ekaterinodar by telegram on October 26th.483 The response of Ekaterinodar, upon hearing the news, was instant and determined. In a special telegram sent to other voiska on the same day, they denounced the Bolshevik coup and denied recognition of the new Soviet regime as a legitimate authority. Their resolution read, "Standing for the defense of the Revolution, [we will] in no way recognize the regime of the Bolshevik usurpers."

This swift anti-

Bolshevik announcement was followed by a belated declaration of allegiance to the regime felled by the Bolsheviks, pronouncing that the Cossacks would "... protect the Provisional Government with all means available in hand."4


This seemingly resolute response, of course, would turn out to be a hollow promise, since these Cossacks, whose relationship with the Provisional Government had been hardly friendly, had little reason to defend it. The Kuban' Cossacks did nothing to 482

Filimonov, "Kubantsy," 120 I. P. Osadchii Oktiabr', 128; Osadchii, Za vlast'trudovogo naroda: Istoriko-dokumental'nyi ocherk o bor 'be za vlast 'Sovetov na Kubani i Chernomor 'e, 1917 - 1920 gg. (Krasnodar: Krasnodarskoe Knizhnoe izdatel'stvo, 1987), 25 484 GAKK, f. M i l , op. 2, d. 208,1. 32 485 Ladokha, Ocherki, 55


171 save the fallen regime, nor were they in a position to do so. During the critical days between late October and early November in 1917, their primary concern was to solidify the nascent &ra/-bound order. In fact, in the name of the deceased regime of national authority, the Cossacks were attempting to justify the building of the regime of their own local authority. The political import and prospects of this regime, however, fundamentally changed in the new political landscape created by the October Revolution. It no longer concerned just a local scope of territorial self-government. By denying the new central regime of national authority, the Cossacks' demand naturally evolved into a state-bound claim of "self-determination" as krai. It should be noted that this evolution was neither originally intended nor purposefully pursued in the early stages of samostiinost'; as seen in the previous chapter, samostiinost' in Kuban' emerged as a "universalistically particularistic" reaction by the Cossack caste to protect their estate interests against the new environment of Revolutionary universal ism. However, once it proceeded on the state-bound path laid by the October Revolution, to survive the unfamiliar setting of class-bound Soviet universalism, there was only one political exit for the Cossacks: separation from Bolshevik Russia. This development to independent and separate Cossack statehood was for the first time confirmed by another pronouncement of the krai government and Rada, which came out following the October Revolution. It read, "until the restoration of the power of the Provisional Government ..., [Kuban' government] will take the realization of state power (gosudarstvennyi vlast') upon itself in Kuban' oblast \" 486 Indeed, the use of the term, "state power" was a marked leap from the soslovie-bound scope of 486

Ladokha, Ocherki, 55; [Makarenko] Tragediia, Vol. 1,42 - 4 3

172 traditional particularism, even if at this stage it was assumed to be only provisional until the restoration of legitimate authority. It was for the first time since February that this problematic term was used to define the mandate and perspective of the Cossack experiment. With this new self-mandate, Cossack particularism in Kuban' initiated a new stage of its existence, an independent Cossack republic. It was in line with this new vision of Kuban' Cossack statehood that the Cossacks officially launched their new krai regime and formed new leadership in the Rada and the government in early November. In the election of the legislative Rada presidium on November 2nd, the Rada once again chose N. S. Riabovol as its chairman, a chernomorets who had served as the first chair of the oblast' Congress, as well as on the voisko and krai Rada in the same post.487 Another member of the old voisko Rada leadership, P. M. Kaplin, ran for the chairman post against Riabovol as a lineitsy candidate488 but lost the election. Instead, he was chosen one of the two vice-chairmen, obviously by tacit agreement between lineitsy and chernomortsy. By extension of a similar agreement, the other post of vice-chairmanship was assigned to the third group, gortsy, whose share had been guaranteed in the krai order. They filled this post with Pasha-Bak-Sultanov, an old lawyer. A lineets, Liabtsev became the secretary.489 After the election of the legislative Rada presidium, the election of the new krai government cabinet followed on November 3rd, 4th and 5th.490 Unlike the legislative


GAKK, f. r-6, op. 1, d. 15,1. 69 P. M. Kaplin was a prominent kadet in Kuban', who worked on the Cossack side in the Kuban' Executive Committee, oblast' Congress, voisko Rada and voisko government. He did not belong to the Cossack soslovie, but was considered as one of the leaders of the lineitsy group in the Rada though personal relationship and association. 489 GAKK, f. r-6, op. 1, d. 15,1. 69 490 Ibid., 11. 74,75,76,78,79 488

173 Rada presidium, the leadership of which hardly changed between old voisko and larger krai Rada, the new krai government had a few new faces, whose contribution to the development ofsamostiinost' were to be more decisive than the old figures. These new names included L. L. Bych, the new premier of the krai government, N. M. Uspenskii, the new minister of war and future Kuban' Ataman succeeding Filimonov, and F. S. Sushkov, the new minister of education and future premier succeeding Bych leading the lineitsy cabinet in krai government in 1919. Among these new dramatis personae, the most prominent, and probably the most important figure in Kuban' samostiinost' was Bych.491 A native Cossack born to a Kuban' Cossack family in stanitsa Pavlovskaia in 1870, a graduate of Moscow University who had studied law,492 and a right-wing Menshevik belonging to the Plekhanov group, Bych was almost a generation older than most of his samostiiniki colleagues when he came back to Kuban' and assumed the premiership of the new government.493 Compared to other samostiiniki, he had already built a relatively distinguished career. After spending most of his youth days in revolutionary movements as did his contemporaries,494 he began his public career as a secretary in the Novorossiisk town council. After he moved to Baku, he emerged as one of the main figures among the local Menshevik circles, while being elected a city council member of the city. In 1912, he became the mayor of Baku and served at this post until he was appointed the chief plenipotentiary of food supply in the Caucasian

1 2 3 4

GAKK, f. r-6, op. 1, d. 15,1. 74; Skobtsov, Trigoda, Vol. 1, 58 Gubarev, Kazachii slovar', Vol. 1, 89 Skobtsov, Trigoda, Vol. 1, 58; GAKK, f. r-411, op. 2, d. 236,1. 41 Gubarev, Kazachii slovar', Vol. 1, 89

174 front by the Provisional Government.495 Although he returned to his native voisko and joined the samostiiniki group relatively late, his comparatively established career, which certainly stood beyond the provincial scope of most of the local samostiiniki not only in age and experience but also in name and career, was eagerly honored in the premier election. With the support of the Black-Sea Cossack majority to which he himself belonged, and especially with the assistance from Riabovol, he easily won the election against another fellow chernomorets, Ivan Makarenko. 4% Once he joined the experiment of Kuban' statehood, a new stage of this Cossack Menshevik's career as a samostiinik began, despite never having demonstrated any sign of support for Cossack particularism in his earlier career. While establishing himself as one of the central leaders of the chernomortsy majority, in the years to come, he was to emerge as one of the staunch Cossack federalists and ardent pursuer of the idea of Cossack federalism and the plan of an independent Kuban' statehood.497 In particular, in 1919, he was to become one of the "wanted and hated" samostiiniki among the Russian Whites, owing to the controversial Kuban' delegation sent to the Paris peace conference, for which Bych was the master planner as well as coordinator. In Paris, he himself would lead the Kuban' delegation, which aimed at obtaining international support and recognition of an independent Kuban' republic through joining the League of Nations.498


Skobtsov, Tri goda, Vol. 1,58; Gubarev, Kazachii slovar', Vol. 1, 89; Filimonov, "Kubantsy," 128 Skobtsov, Tri goda, Vol. 1, 58 497 Gubarev, Kazachii slovar', Vol. 1, 89 498 Vol'naia Kuban', August 1st, 1919; GARF, f. r-446, op. 2, d. 25,1. 6; Skobtsov, "Drama Kubani," Golos minuvshego na chuzhoistorone, Vol. 14, (Paris, 1926), reprinted in Beloe delo: Kuban'i dobrovol 'cheskaia armiia (Moscow: Golos, 1992), 304 (page citations are to the reprint edition). Due to the factional disagreement between the chernomortsy and lineitsy, the Kuban delegation to Paris consisted of two separate delegations. One was the Rada delegation, which was dominated by the BlackSea Cossack factions, and the other was the government delegation, which was sent by the lineitsy government led by Sushkov. By the agreement of both factions, Bych co-chaired both delegations. For 496

175 In the critical days around the Bolshevik October in 1917, this radiant future of "international recognition of Kuban' statehood" was still a remote dream. At this embryonic stage of Kuban' statehood, the separatist path that the new Cossack regime had just announced was not a distant ideal in abstract but a survival strategy in reality, as the nascent Cossack regime fell into a crisis from a new threat unleashed by the Bolshevik October: the disintegration of the Caucasian Front and the avalanche of returning soldiers.499 Although it is hard to say that the collapse of the front after late October was a phenomenon specific to Kuban' at all, it is hardly an exaggeration that its effects on this Cossack province were far greater and more acute than on most of the other provinces. The main reason was the proximity of this Cossack province to the Caucasian Front, not simply due to its geographical location but to its particular centrality to the Caucasian railway system. Ideally situated in the crossroads between South Russia and the Caucasus, the territory of Kuban' oblast' included many a railway junction connecting the Caucasian Front with Russia proper and with South Russia. Naturally, the most immediate and inevitable outcome of the Bolshevik October was the flood of the soldiers of the Caucasian Front to Kuban', departing for their home provinces en masse under prominently Bolshevik influence.500 On their way home, these soldiers would bring Bolshevism to Kuban' soil along with their guns and bayonets; it was they who would ignite the civil war against the Cossack "reactionaries" in Terek, Kuban' and Don along their march home.501 Among these pro-Bolshevik frontoviki, there was a particularly ominous threat, more detail, see GAKK, f. r-446, op. 2, d. 25,11. 6 - 12ob. 499 GAKK, f. r-411, op. 2, d. 216,1. 44 500 GAKK, f. r-10, op. 1, d. 1,11., 146, 179 501 GAKK, f. r-411, op. 2, d. 216,1. 44

176 since it exclusively targeted the Cossack regimes in South Russia and the Northern Caucasus. This menace came from the soldiers of the 39th infantry division, which consisted mostly of the Kuban' inogorodnie.

It goes without saying that these armed

young inogorodnie had been a concern of the Cossack government for quite some time, even before the Bolshevik October, owing to their strong anti-Cossack sentiments. Their scores to settle with the Cossacks, however, grew even bigger due to the launching of the krai system by the September Rada, the news of which infuriated these armed inogorodnie, who could not condone the exclusion of the majority inogorodnie from the governance of Kuban' "krai.'''' Thus, on October 22nd, when the news of the establishment of the new krai order for the first time reached these soldiers, the commander of the division secretly warned the krai government that the news caused such a great commotion among the inogorodnie frontoviki that some of them even demanded an instant armed march to Kuban'.503 Even if a march to Ekaterinodar did not seem imminent before October 25th, it did not remain a mere possibility anymore in early November, with increasing signs of disorder among these unruly soldiers. In late November, it began to develop into a menacing reality with an alarmingly rapid collapse of the entire front and the disintegration of the Army, a process vigorously promoted and used by the Bolshevik regime. The soldiers in the 39th infantry division were, indeed, to lay the track for the railway of Bolshevism through Kuban'.504 Alerted to this impending menace, the Cossacks were forced to change their


I. la. Kutsenko, Kubanskoe kazachestvo, (Krasnodar: Krasnodarskoe knizhnoe izd-vo, 1993), 176; GARF, f. r-446, op. 1, d. 25,1. 2; GAKK, f. r-6, op. 1, d. 20,1. 133; RGVIA, f. 2100, op. 1, d. 1149,1. 180 503 RGVIA, f. 2100, op. 1, d. 1149,1. 180; GAKK, f. r-6, op. 1, d. 20,1. 133 504 GARF, f. r-446, op. 1, d. 25,1. 2; Osadchii, Oktiabr', 151-153; Pokrovskii, Denikinshchina, 20; Ladokha, Ocherki, 65; Kutsenko, kazachestvo, 177; [Makarenko] Tragediia, Vol. 1, 57 - 58

177 inogorodnie policy. The solution to the crisis was obvious: compromise with the inogorodnie. Notably, compromise had been popular and had gained even more popularity within a layer of Cossacks who shared the same mentality of revolutionary radicalism with their non-Cossack colleagues, and whose voice had been growing since the September Rada.5


They were the Cossack frontoviki, a group of young Cossacks

who recently returned to Kuban' from the front. The later they came back to Kuban', the more eager to compromise with non-Cossacks they tended to be. The more returning Cossack frontoviki, the more pressure to Rada and krai government was felt. Their return and growing voice in the Rada caused considerable tension between "the fathers and the sons,"506 who "were not able to find a common language" amongst each other.507 This tension led to repeated confrontations, one of which in the Rada sessions in December was a dramatic scene of a heated debated between "the fathers" in the SOS

Rada leadership and their "sons," the Cossack frontoviki.


When the "fathers" finally

threatened resignation, according to Skobtsov and Filimonov, who themselves belonged to the "fathers," the confrontation paused in the repentance of the "prodigal sons."509 Then, an emotional moment came. Both "fathers" and "sons" embraced each other in tears and began to sing together, "You Kuban', you are my motherland (rodind).,,5X0 This song of a typically "samostiinyi" title, which had been sung by the Kuban' Cossack


[Makarenko] Tragediia, Vol. 1, 56 Chrezvychainaia Rada Kubanskogo Kraia Sozyva 28-go Oktiabria 1918 g: Stenograficheskii otchet plenarnykh zasedanii (Ekaterinodar: Offitsial'noe Izdanie Kantseliarii Cherzvychainoi Rady Kubanskogo Kraia, 1919), 141 507 Skobtsov, Trigoda,Vol 1,61 508 [Makarenko] Tragediia, Vol. 1, 56 509 Filimonov, "Kubantsy," 142; Skobtsov, Trigoda, Vol. 1, 61 5,0 Ibid. 506

178 units in the Caucasian Front during World War One511 would become the national anthem of the new Kuban' statehood in the years to come. This dramatic and emotional scene, needless to say, did not solve the ongoing crisis. Even if the initial radicalism of these "prodigal sons" was increasingly neutralized by their native loyalty to their own soslovie, they still neither wanted to dispute nor to fight their old non-Cossack comrades in trench, at least at this point. In late 1917, the majority of Cossack frontoviki returnees, whether they supported kraibound particularism or not, favored "the friendly relationship with inogorodnie."512 When the initial moment of civil war came in early 1918, these young Cossacks, even including those who supported Cossack particularism, would hesitate to take on arms against their inogorodnie comrades, until it became obvious that the short-lived Bolshevik rule of Kuban' in the first half of 1918 turned out to infringe upon the Cossacks' corporate interests, especially with regard to the land question. This hesitant attitude hindered the stabilization of the krai order. More ominously, the most recent returnees tended to be less sympathetic to the cause of Cossack particularism and more prone to Bolshevism; under Bolshevik agitation, some of them were even ready to take on arms against their own Cossack brethren and its government. In addition to the pressure from these Cossack frontoviki, some concession had already been achieved at the local level even before their leaders in Ekaterinodar signed the final agreement. One instance of this attempt at concession was a special joint meeting of the Cossack and inogorodnie representatives of Tamanskii otdel in early 5.1 5.2 513

Ibid. Ibid. Chrezvychainaia Rada Kubanskogo Kraia Sozyva 28-go Oktiabria 1918 g: Stenograficheskii otchet,


179 December. Indeed, this meeting, which was held at stanitsa Slavianskaia, was a vivid example of the Cossacks' changed attitude toward appeasement of the non-Cossack inhabitants. When the inogorodnie remonstrated the exclusion of non-native inogorodnie by the September krai Rada, demanding its annulment, the response of the Cossacks was remarkable. The Cossacks were ready to listen to this protest, and showed quite incredible sympathy to the demand of the non-Cossacks. They went as far as to acknowledge that the krai Rada resolution was "wrong {nepravil 'nyi) and needed to be repealed."514 The Cossacks even agreed to the necessity of reviving the land committee, which was abolished or was said to be abolished by the September krai Rada.515 Another joint resolution of the meeting was that all landed property belonging to the state, church, and private landlords, should be distributed among "working Cossacks" and inogorodnie.

However, this Cossack egalitarianism was not without

boundary. These "Good Cossack Samaritans" of Tamanskii otdel insisted that they should enjoy more priority in the land distribution than the non-Cossacks.517 Moreover, while insisting on this privilege, these Cossacks were entirely silent about the very fundamental cause of their non-Cossack neighbors' age-old discontent: the privileged land monopoly of the Cossack caste. Their "compromise", thus, did not mean that they were actually prepared for giving real concessions in the vital areas involving their material interests. As long as Cossackdom was determined to exist as a socio-economic entity, these vital concessions were impossible to grant; as seen in the preceding chapter, these privileges were now essential components of Cossackness. 514 515 516 5,7

GAKK, f. l,op. l,d. 158,1. 182 GAKK, f. 1, op. 1, d. 158,1. 182ob Ibid. Ibid.

180 This impracticability was, indeed, the concern of some of the "fathers" in the legislative Rada, who were still adhering to the old line against their prodigal sons' consistent pressure and demands toward rapprochement. Thus, in a meeting of the Rada on November 3rd, Riabovol, one of the most influential figures as chairman of the Rada, openly objected to the idea of rapprochement. The basis of his objection came from the consideration of the anticipated difficulty of the compromise, as opposed to the idea of rapprochement itself. According to him, "the talk with inogorodnie is impossible" since "we are [only] implementing the will of [krai] Rada" and "we cannot CIO

give [inogorodnie] anything [of] real [concessions] in [such] a short time...." In the long run, Riabovol's warning would prove right, because of the native incompatibility of the Cossacks' estatehood with the new Soviet rule. As long as the Cossacks wanted to preserve their estate privileges such as land monopoly and tax exemption, they had nothing to give their non-Cossack neighbors. Unlike Riabovol, however, other notables in the Rada and government now saw or began to see things very differently; they tended to consider the compromise in terms of political expediency relevant to equality in political and civil rights. It is noteworthy that now these notables came to include even those who had actively supported "inclusive exclusion", a very remarkable change of position for anyone who remembered what they had said and thought just a month before. Petr Makarenko, the younger brother of Ivan Makarenko, had been one of the staunch particularists, but, at this point, he became an active supporter of rapprochement; now he insisted that the Cossacks should find "a

GAKK, f. r-6, op. 1, d. 15,1. 71

181 common ground" with inogorodnie.5*9 To do this, the Cossacks should look for "healthy elements among the inogorodnie population."

By "healthy elements" he

obviously meant the non-Bolshevik faction among the inogorodnie leadership. The most active supporters of rapprochement came from the lineitsy moderates, who had been advocating the idea of cooperation with inogorodnie in political terms for some time. If their voice was that of a minority a few months before, however, in November it gained renewed momentum in the face of the new critical threat. Thus, according to D. S. Filimonov, one of the "moderates," "... it is indispensible to work out a [new] legislation to include [non-native] inogorodnie into the [krai] e~\ i


To cite from Skobtsov, "... we should look for a way to

compromise...."522 While this hasty search for a means of compromise testified to the gravity of the situation, one should keep in mind that the idea also reflected some tactical consideration to exploit a new opportunity unfolding in the inogorodnie camp. The opportunity was a growing political discord between pro-Bolsheviks and antiBolsheviks among inogorodnie leadership, another immediate effect of the October Revolution on Kuban'. In early November, when the Cossacks were busy realizing the new krai-hound mandate from the September krai Rada, the inogorodnie did not remain idle. They responded to the launching of the Cossacks' krai order by convening their own equivalent rally in Ekaterinodar. The "first inogorodnie Congress of Kuban' oblast"'

9 0 1

GAKK, f. r-6, op. 1, d. 15,1. 73 Ibid. Ibid., 1.72

182 between November 1 st and 13th523 was convened as a direct response to the launching of the krai-bound order. When the idea of this rally was initially proposed, discussed, and adopted in the session of the Kuban' Executive Committee on October 12,524 it was intended as an inogorodnie variant to match the September Rada. And yet, when this rally held its first session on November 1 in Ekaterinodar, the atmosphere around it had been fundamentally altered, needless to say, as a result of the political cataclysm in Petrograd. As the news of the October Revolution reached the Congress, it did not take long for the Congress to be divided into two factions along the ideological line set by the Bolshevik October. On the one hand, there was the left-wing faction of the Congress, which, consisting of the Bolsheviks, left-wing SRs (Social Revolutionaries) and some anarchists,

declared itself the "faction of the United Lefts."


their leaders in Petrograd, the position of this left-wing was the immediate recognition of the Soviet regime. Since the Bolshevik party was still extremely weak in Kuban', it was the left-wing SRs who led this faction in the Congress.527 On the other hand, there was the right-wing bloc, which had been the majority for some time. While the leftwing officially organized their faction within the Congress based upon party affiliation, the right-wing did not.

However, in terms of party affiliation, they consisted of

mostly kadets, Mensheviks and right-wing SRs. Like their comrades in Petrograd, these rightists did not recognize the new Soviet Regime, and still supported the Provisional Government and advocated the cause of the Constituent Assembly. 523 524 525 526 527 528

GAKK, f. r-1259, op. 1, d. 18,1. 110; Ladokha, Ocherki, 57 GAKK, f. r-411, op. 2, d. 232,1. 36 Ladokha, Ocherki, 59 GAKK, f. r-1259, op. 1, d. 67,1. 270 Ibid. Ladokha, Ocherki, 59

183 Of course, when the inogorodnie Congress began its first meeting on November 1 st, it was not the question of "Bolshevik October" in Petrograd but the question of the "Cossack September" in Ekaterinodar that was central. So long as its old foe held focus as a main issue of the Congress, all the participants of the rally echoed the same voice, completely denying the legitimacy of new &ra/-bound order as "illegal and antagonistic to ... the legal status declared by the Provisional Government ..., warranting the equality of the all citizens...." 529 In a series of other resolutions, the Congress unanimously demanded revival of the land committee, an immediate halt to the building of the Cossack regime and an establishment of an alternative legitimate organ of selfgovernment representing the entire population.

However, this anti-Cossack unity did

not last long, once the issue of how to react to the October Revolution was brought to the agenda. Exchange of heated debate and mutual denunciation between the proBolsheviks and anti-Bolsheviks followed. When a Bolshevik speaker praised the Bolshevik Revolution as the launching of "a [true] government ... of the working people," among the several hundred in the hall there were heard two voices: one of "down with [it]" and the other of "ura."531 When another speaker mentioned the name of the Provisional Government during his report about the situation in Petrograd, there was heard a shouting from the audience: "[there is] no such a government."532 This drastic remark was greeted with boos and hisses from other non-Bolshevik audience members in the Congress,533 for whom "such a government" still existed and

529 530 531 532

Ladokha, Ocherki, 62 GAKK, f. r-411, op. 2, d. 232,11. 4, 18, 19, 20 GAKK, f. r-411, op. 2, d. 235,1. 142 GAKK, f. r-411, op. 2, d. 232,1. 40

184 constituted the only legitimate authority. From this scene, one thing became apparent: an optimal condition for compromise between two old foes was now prepared, since both the Cossacks and the right-wing bloc of the Congress had at least one "common ground," which the Cossacks had been hastily and eagerly looking for: the cause of anti-Bolshevik struggle.534 It was against this background that, according to a report of a Cossack observer who was present in the Congress, the question of "whether to go with the Cossacks or not," finally appeared as an issue of utmost importance and urgency on the agenda of the Congress,

despite numerous anti-Cossack resolutions

adopted at the same time. Of course, the position of the left-wing faction did not change; they did not consider any possibility of compromise with "the [Cossack] bourgeois elements,"536 Encouraged by this favorable situation, the legislative Rada initiated its talks with the inogorodnie Congress.

The delegation of legislative Rada sent to the

Congress consisted of four Rada members: two lineitsy (Skobtsov, D. S. Filimonov), one Black-Sea Cossack (K. L. Bardizh) and one gorets (Sutan-Shakhim Girei).538 Although their speech and appeal for joint anti-Bolshevik struggle mostly encountered

There was another factor that considerably contributed to sudden rapprochement: the presence of some Cossack socialists, especially old Mensheviks in the krai government leadership, most of whom had been advocates of the compromise. As mentioned above, among those Cossack "socialists," two former Mensheviks in Rada, M. A. Tratsenko and Skobtsov had been known supporters of the rapprochement. Needless to say, they were more enthusiastic in using the "common ground." Let alone their presence in the krai government and Rada, the new premier himself was a quite well-known Menshevik of the old Plekhanov group and one of the most active supporters of the compromise ([Makarenko] Tragediia, v. 1, 56 - 57). It goes without saying that the prompt declaration of allegiance to the Provisional Government and espousal of the cause of the Constituent Assembly by the krai government and Rada, and more importantly, their strong anti-Bolshevik stance, impressed and appealed to the right-wing faction of the Congress. 535 GAKK, f. r-6, op. 1, d. 15,1. 71 536 GAKK, f. r-1259, op. 1, d. 67,1. 270 537 GAKK, f. r-6, op. 1, d. 25,1. 123 538 Skobtsov, Tri goda, Vol. 1,60

185 an angry response from the majority of the non-Cossack audience,

their mission

eventually proved successful; they succeeded in drawing a friendly response from the Congress leadership dominated by the right-wing, which organized a special delegation for contact with the Cossacks. The so-called "Contact Committee" was formed by five integral members from the presidium.540 With a return visit of a plenipotentiary from this "Contact Committee" to the session of the legislative Rada on November 5th, the Cossacks' proposal was finally honored.541 This visitor from the Congress was Doctor I. P. Pokrovskii, one of the Menshevik leaders and a figure of considerable significance in the inogorodnie camp with his long public career.542 In his speech on the rostrum of Rada, this prominent Menshevik guest declared, "the lesson of Petrograd compels us ... to find an ally and assistant from each other in the struggle against [the Bolshevik] anarchy for the [protection of] ideals of the Revolution. [We] inogorodnie hope that... both elements of krai could create a common solid power...."543 This notable statement from a figure who had been known as a staunch adversary to Cossack particularism met equally friendly responses from those who had been practitioners of the schism and planners of the "negative-action policy." His speech was instantly greeted by Kaplin, who, in the


GAKK, f. r-6, op. 1, d. 15,11. 71, 72 GAKK, f. r-411, op. 2, d. 232,1. 39 The Committee consisted of the following figures: Turutin, Morozov, Pokrovskii, Belousov, and Zimin (ibid). 541 GAKK, f. r-6, op. 1, d. 15,1. 79; GAKK, f. r-6, op. 1, d. 25,1. 124; GAKK, f. r-1547, op. 1, d. 144,1. 34 542 GAKK, f. r-1547, op. l,d. 124,1. 38. Before the Revolution he had been known for his service as a Kuban' delegate to the third State Duma representing the Kuban inogorodnie. After the February Revolution, as the chair of the Committee of the Union of Cities of the Northern Caucasus, he became one of the prominent leaders of the Kuban' inogorodnie. After the October Revolution, as a right-wing Menshevik, he did not give up his anti-Bolshevik stance and participated in the krai institution as a member of the united Rada representing the Kuban' inogorodnie (ibid). 543 GAKK, f. r-6, op. 1, d. 15,1. 79 540

186 capacity of the vice-chairman of the legislative Rada, expressed his appreciation to Pokrovskii's return visit. In the return speech, Kaplin also emphatically agreed to the "need for unity."544 After him, Bych, the new premier, expressed his regrets on the political discord and conflicts that had developed between the Cossacks and nonCossacks. Despite this reality, he added, "the moment to work out [a solution to] this problem is ripe."545 Makarenko was even more specific and outspoken than the premier. "We will reach an agreement with you [inogorodnie]. We will find a common ground, [and] a common platform ... ."546 To work out this "common ground and platform," and to establish "a working relationship between the Cossacks and the non-Cossacks,"547 and in consideration for the gravity of the situation, both sides agreed to immediately set up a special committee.

The first meeting of the so-called "conciliatory committee" was held on

November 7th in a friendly atmosphere.549 Both delegations consisted of soft-liners in each camp, who tended to be more eager and more ready to reach an agreement. The Cossack delegation was led by D. E. Skobtsov, a long-time supporter of the rapprochement with inogorodnie.550 The other three were two Black-Sea Cossacks and one gorets: K. L. Bardizh, Shimishchenko,551 and S. Sh. Girei.552 The delegation from the inogorodnie Congress, needless to say, came from the right-wing faction of the 544

Ibid, I. 80 Ibid. 546 Ibid. 547 GAKK, f. r-6, op. 1, d. 19,1. 68; GAKK, f. r-1547, op. 1, d. 144,1. 34; GAKK, f. r-6, op. 1, d. 25,1. 123 548 GAKK, f. r-6, op. 1, d. 25,1. 124; GAKK, f. r-1547, op. 1, d. 144,1. 34; GAKK, f. r-6, op. 1, d. 25,1. 123 549 GAKK, f. r-6, op. 2, d. 17,1. 16 550 Skobtsov, Trigoda, Vol. 1, 60 551 Identification of this figure is not clear. 552 GAKK, f. r-6, op. 2, d. 17,1. 16; GAKK, f. r-6, op. 1, d. 15,1. 86 545

187 Congress leadership: two Mensheviks (S. G. Turutin, and Pokrovskii), two right-wing SRs (Belousov, and Morozov).553 Both sides easily and eagerly agreed that the inogorodnie should be allowed equal rights with Cossacks; however, two issues were still at dispute: to cite from Girei's speech, first, "who among the residents [of the Kuban'] would be qualified for the participation in the administration of [Kuban'] oblast"'554; second, "which principles and which forms apply...."555 While the former was about how to set period of residence qualification to determine the eligibility of inogorodnie for full civil and political rights, the latter involved through which organs the inogorodnie should be represented. In the subsequent negotiation, the Cossack delegation surprised their table partners by two impressive concessions. The most important concession was their agreement of the creation of "new" organs of selfgovernment representing both Cossacks and inogorodnie "based on democratic principles."55 When it came to the issue of period of residence qualification, the Cossacks suggested only a one-year minimum residence requirement,

a remarkable

withdrawal from the principle of "inclusive exclusion" of the September krai Rada. In fact, this concession meant that almost the entire inogorodnie population including nonnatives, would be enfranchised. Although some inogorodnie delegates demanded a sixmonth minimum requirement, the Cossacks' proposal and their conciliatory attitude far exceeded the expectations of the inogorodnie. The one year requirement was adopted without much difficulty, as two inogorodnie delegates voted for the Cossacks' plan in

553 554 555 556 557

GAKK, f. r-6, op. 2, d. 17,1. 16 Ibid. Ibid. Ibid.; Skobtsov, Trigoda, Vol. 1, 61 GAKK, f. r-6, op. 2, d. 17,1. 16; Skobtsov, Trigoda, Vol. 1,61

188 the final balloting.558 If this agreement had been implemented as agreed, there is no doubt that it could have achieved what the post-February Revolutionary universalism had failed to realize: the establishment of a soslovie-blind and universalistic civic order representing both Cossacks and inogorodnie. But, for that very reason, the agreement met the objection of Rada.559 It turned out that the Cossack delegation led by Skobtsov had gone too far; they acted without sufficient mandate from their colleagues in Rada. Unlike the inogorodnie delegation, which had been granted plenary power for the negotiation by the Congress presidium, the Cossack delegation was not given such an authority by Rada, which, from the beginning, viewed the committee as a preliminary meeting "to collect information ... and to work out ... a common ground."5

Upon reporting this

provisional agreement, Skobtsov and his colleagues were criticized for giving too much concession, in particular for allowing the "one-year residency qualification."561 Of course, this pretext was nothing other than an ostensible reason. Perhaps, the real motive behind the Rada's objection was its delegation's critical blunder in the negotiation: their assent to the creation of "new" soslovie-blind organs of selfgovernment. Whatever names and forms these new institutions would bear, their creation meant only one thing: a return to the pre-schism oblast'-bound order, the revival of the Executive Committee and civic committees or their equivalents. Yet, Rada's objection did not lead to a halt of the negotiation. Rather, the Cossacks renewed the ongoing talk with a newly updated proposal. The new Rada plan, 558 559 560 561

GAKK, f. Skobtsov, GAKK, f. Skobtsov,

r-6, op. 2, d. 17,1. 16 Trigoda, Vol. 1, 61 r-6, op. 2, d. 17,1. 16 Trigoda, Vol 1,61

189 which revised the original proposal by the Skobtsov delegation, did not deny the basic premise of the ongoing negotiation, the equal rights of inogorodnie including the "nonnatives." It still featured several impressive concessions from the principle of the "inclusive exclusion." First, it stipulated "only" a three year residence requirement for inogorodnie in order to enjoy full voting rights. This requirement meant that all inogorodnie who had settled in Kuban' before January 1915 would be allowed to live as equal citizens with Cossacks.562 Secondly, it stipulated the establishment of a "joint committee" based upon the parity principle to work out a new plan of selfgovernment. By mentioning "parity principle" and "joint committee," it seems that the Cossacks emphasized their willingness to share the power with the non-Cossacks even including "non-natives." However, this willingness in rhetoric proved conditional in reality, as was obvious in comparison with the original agreement in the conciliatory committee. The difference was that while the original agreement in fact stipulated the revival of oblast '-bound, the new Rada proposal did not. In other words, the Rada one was, again, "&ra/-bound"; it proposed that the enfranchisement of inogorodnie be realized through "krar institutions, such as krai government and legislative Rada. As a first move to realize it, although assumed to be provisional until the convocation of the Constituent Assembly, the Rada plan stipulated that four representatives of the inogorodnie Congress were to participate in krai government and three inogorodnie in legislative Rada presidium.564 The same &raz'-bound principle was proposed to apply to 562 563 564

GAKK, f. r-1547, op. 1, d. 144,1. 34; GAKK, f. r-6, op. 1, d. 25,1. 124 GAKK, f. r-1547, op. 1, d. 144,1. 34; GAKK, f. r-6, op. 1, d. 25,1. 125 GAKK, f. r-1547, op. 1, d. 144,11. 34, 35; GAKK, f. r-6, op. 1, d. 25,1. 125

190 the Cossack stanitsy. Instead of creating genuinely soslovie-blind organs such as civic committees in the Kuban' countryside, the Rada plan proposed that the interests of nonCossack villagers should be represented within the Cossack stanitsa administration with two inogorodnie representatives' participation as ataman assistant and assistant clerk.565 It goes without saying that the new Rada proposal was not actually "new" in terms of technical detail. What the Rada offered was in fact a simple expansion of the old plan of the September krai Rada that purported to include "native" non-Cossacks. The difference was inclusion of "non-native" inogorodnie who met the qualification of three year residence. This time, due to the critical situation unfolding on the Caucasian Front, the Cossacks were very much in a position to give these concessions and were prepared to share the power even with those non-natives. On the other hand, their readiness was also the result of increasing pressure from some rank and file Cossacks, including those in stanitsa Novodoreviainskaia, who strongly called for cooperation with inogorodnie and attempted it on the village level.566 This call from the rank-andfiles came for the same reason as the one from their leaders in Ekaterinodar: the threat from the 39th division. However, what merits attention is that even this urgent call for rapprochement was still "&ra/-bound," as they demanded that the voice of inogorodnie be guaranteed to be heard "in the Cossack Rada."567 This meant that any attempt to achieve full-fledged universalism through the sharing of power with the non-Cossacks was proposed to be realized "particularisitically." According to this version of "universalism," the inogorodnie were supposed to speak, discuss, represent, argue and 565 566

GAKK, f. r-1547, op. 1, d. 144,1. 35; GAKK, f. r-6, op. 1, d. 25,1. 125 GAKK, f. r-1259, op. 1, d. 25,1. 15

191 protect their interests through the "krai organs," which were nominally soslovie-blind but essentially still soslovie-bound. The November inogorodnie Congress did not have time enough to respond to this "&ra/-bound" offer. Divided over the issue of whether to go with the Cossacks, the Congress ended its thirteen day session on November 13th without making any decision on the Rada proposal.568 The first response of the inogorodnie, thus, came from the new Kuban' oblast' Executive Committee, which was renewed by the Congress but was still dominated by the Mensheviks and right-wing Social-Revolutionaries. On its first session on November 14th, the Committee elected four preliminary members for their share of hrai government: S. G. Turutin, I. I. Byrdin, E. L. Popov, and F. S. Kurtsev.5 Soon, new negotiation was resumed in the conciliatory committee to work out their participation in new joint government. This initially favorable response did not automatically mean that the inogorodnie leadership fully accepted the Cossacks' offer. Any major agreements were beyond the competence of the Committee, which was in principle merely an executive organ. To get approval, or at least the appearance of it, they needed a popular approval in another inogorodnie Congress. Of course, the same popular endorsement in krai Rada was also required on the Cossack side. Thus, the Executive Committee and krai government decided to convene a new inogorodnie Congress and krai Rada in December. This time, these rallies were to be special occasions for both camps, as they agreed to hold a joint meeting of krai Rada and the Congress to discuss the negotiation.570 Krai Rada was 568 559 570

GAKK, f. r-6, op. 1, d. 25,1. 127; GAKK, f. r-1547, op. 1, d. 144,1. 35 GAKK, f. r-1259, op. l,d. 18,11. 110, HOob, 111; GAKK, f. r-731, op. l,d. 1,1.21 GAKK, f. r-731, op. 1, d. 1,1. 21; [Makarenko] Tragediia, Vol. 1, 57

192 convened on December 9th,571 while the inogorodnie Congress was held on December 12th.572 These two rallies began the joint session on December 13th in Winter Theater in Ekaterinodar, while holding the sessions of their own Rada and Congress at the same time.573 Soon, this joint rally declared itself as "the second a\\-oblast' Congress."574 The "second oblast' Congress," as a direct heir of the April Congress, signified the final attempt to build a soslovie-blind order. However, like its predecessor, the second was doomed to suffer a similar fate: schism, though this time, among the inogorodnie themselves, not between Cossacks and non-Cossacks. The inogorodnie Congress, as soon as it held its first meeting on December 12th, became the site of a duel between the anti-Bolsheviks and the pro-Bolsheviks. Although the Congress leadership, which was dominated by the right-wing, attempted to press the entire Congress to adopt an anti-Bolshevik stance, their attempt faced the solid and vociferous opposition of the left-wing,575 whose power was growing day by day, especially under the influence of the numerically increasing pro-Bolshevik frontoviki from the Caucasian Front. When the joint rally began on December 13th, the inogorodnie Congress entered without yielding to any united platform on the several pending issues.576 Now, the final stage for divorce was set up. Anti-Cossack and pro-Bolshevik agitation escalated in the joint assembly. On December 14th, their agitation was honored with the passing of a non-confidence vote 571

GARF, f. r-7363, op. 1, d. 37,1. 1; GARF, f. r-7363, op. 1, d. 28,1. 5; GAKK, f. 1, op. 1, d. 158,1. 137 GAKK, f. r-1259, op. 1, d. 29,1. 17; GAKK, f. r-1259, op. 1, d. 67,1. 260. The joint assembly was originally agreed to meet on December 12th, but it actually met one day later than scheduled, due to the conflicts between pro-Bolsheviks and anti-Bolsheviks in the inogorodnie Congress. 573 GAKK, f. 1, op. 1, d. 158,11. 136, 137; GAKK, f. 1, op. 1, d. 704,1. 23; Pokrovskii, Denikinshchina, 22 574 Ladokha, Ocherki, 67 575 GAKK, f. r-411, op. 2, d. 216,11. 86, 87 576 GAKK, f. r-411, op. 2, d. 235,1. 138 572

193 against the right-wing presidium of the inogorodnie Congress.577 Following the resignation of the right-wing, a new pro-Soviet presidium consisting of the Bolsheviks, anarchists, and the left-wing SRs replaced it.578 Of course, the first move attempted by this new presidium was to propose a new resolution to recognize new Soviet regime. This resolution, which was passed with quite a large margin of 251 pros against 157 cons,579 made the pro-Bolsheviks real "Bolsheviks (majority)," creating a very strange and awkward situation. While the purpose of the joint assembly was to negotiate a joint regime and to discuss a common anti-Bolshevik struggle, now the majority of its inogorodnie "kurennia (division)"

supported their new pro-Bolshevik presidium and

opposed the rapprochement with the Cossacks. In this chaotic situation, the Cossacks refused to recognize the new inogorodnie presidium, recognizing only the old CD •


With two presidia, the inogorodnie Congress was practically divided.

This awkward situation did not last long. The final moment of schism came, when the anti-Bolshevik majority of the joint assembly, which combined the right-wing inogorodnie, the Cossacks and gortsy, attempted to pass an anti-Soviet resolution. The pro-Bolsheviks vociferously protested it, and their new presidium, to cite from a recollection of a Bolshevik who was among them, "demonstratively walked out from the hall."582 After this dramatic departure, they did not return. Instead, they organized a 577

GAKK, f. r-411, op. 2, d. 216,11. 86, 91; GAKK, f. r-411, op. 2, d. 235,11. 139, 140 GAKK, f. r-411, op. 2, d. 216,1. 94 579 TsDNIKK, f. 1774-r, op. 2, d. 44,11. 1, 6, 11; GAKK, f. r-411, op. 2, d. 235,1. 140; G. T. Chuchumai, V. F. Latkin, Iia. I. Kutsenko, and L. N. Kornienko, eds. Bor 'baza Sovetskuiu vlast'na Kubani (Krasnodar: Krasnodarskoe knizhnoe izdatel'stvo, 1957), 133 580 The joint rally consisted of three "kurenia (sub-divisions):" Cossacks, inogorodnie, and gortsy; voting was done per "kurenia (GAKK, f. r-411, op. 2, d. 216,1. 90)." 581 GAKK, f. r-411, op. 2, d.216,1. 87 582 Ibid, 1. 88 578

194 COT

separate inogorodnie Congress in a theater of the same city, Mon Plaisir.

This pro-

Bolshevik Congress elected a Revolutionary Soviet of Peoples' Deputies of Kuban' Oblast', which was mandated to convene the first "Soviet Congress of Kuban' Oblast"' in Ekaterinodar on January 25, 1918. The original rally in the Winter Theater in Ekaterinodar continued the joint session with the Cossack Rada and the negotiation gained more momentum. One week later, on December 21st, the Cossacks and the right-wing inogorodnie reached a final agreement in the formation of a new "krai" government based upon the parity principle,585 an outcome that did not much deviate from the Rada's "&ra/-bound" proposal in November save for a few changes, including enforcement of a two-year residence requirement for the non-Cossack population for enfranchisement. When it came to the question of sharing of power, the new krai government was to be reorganized with 5 inogorodnie, 5 Cossacks and one gorets5S6; however, this parity principle did not apply to the posts of voisko Ataman and premier of cabinet. These two key positions would be held only by Cossacks.587 A new legislative Rada was formed with 46 Cossacks, 46 inogorodnie and 8 gortsy.$u

In the countryside, a joint stanitsa

assembly was to be organized in proportion to the population of each soslovie.5S9 When it came to the land question, the Cossacks made two major concessions: first, the re583

Ibid. About ten pro-Bolshevik Cossacks left krai Rada and participated in the left-wing inogorodnie Congress ([Makarenko] Tragediia, Vol. 1, 57). 584 Chuchumai, Bor 'ba, 1 5 - 16. Of course, the krai government did not allow the first Congress to convene in Ekaterinodar. Instead, the Bolsheviks convened it in Armavir on February 1 st (Chuchumai,

Bor'ba,\l). 585

GAKK, f. r-6, op. 1, d. 33,1. 81 [Makarenko] Tragediia, Vol. 1, 57; Ladokha, Ocherki, 67 587 Skobtsov, Trigoda, Vol. 1,63 588 GAKK, f. r-411,op. 2,d.216, 90; GAKK, f. r-6, op. l,d. 50,1. 11; RGVIA, f. 2100, op. l,d. 1163,1. 5 ; [Makarenko] Tragediia, Vol. 1, 57; Vol'naia Kuban', January 13, 1918 589 Ladokha, Ocherki, 67 586

195 establishment of the land committee, and second, the abolition of the posazhenaia plata (land use fee).590 However, these impressive concessions did not include the most important issue in the Cossack-inogorodnie relationship: Cossacks' collective land ownership, the most significant source of the discontent among their non-Cossack neighbors. Apparently, the eagerness to reach a compromise forced the right-wing inogorodnie and the Cossacks to be silent about this most burning issue. If the Cossacks had hoped that this compromise would bring the political stability they desperately needed, their calculation was mistaken; the desired stability was doomed not to be realized for that very reason. As the further development of the civil war in Kuban' would demonstrate, the majority of the inogorodnie population would rally with the Bolsheviks, who promised them the Cossacks' land and property, not the anti-Bolshevik right-wing, who had insisted upon compromise. In retrospect, the choice of these inogorodnie was right and wise. After the provisional victory over the Bolsheviks in summer 1918 by the united force of the Volunteer Army and Kuban' Cossacks, the practice of "inclusive exclusion" would be re-introduced; most concessions made in December 1917 would be quickly revoked by the Cossacks, and a new wave of repression and discrimination would rage over the non-native inogorodnie. More importantly, after the compromise and the schism, the inogorodnie Congress began to rapidly lose its centrality in the representation of the inogorodnie. Instead, new pro-Soviet organizations were formed in the port cities in the Black-Sea region such as Armavir and Novorossiisk, establishing their own local variants of the Soviet way.591

590 591

Ladokha, Ocherki, 67 GAKK, f. r-411, op. 2, d. 216,11. 1 4 - 1 5 ; Chuchumai, Bor'ba, 123, 127

196 However, even though the rapprochement was not to bring the intended stability, it contributed to Cossack particularism in another more significant way. The emergence of a non-vo/s&o-bound joint government filled the seemingly soslovie-blind "forms" of the new krai order with two genuinely universalistic contributions. First, it helped its practitioners claim full-fledged legitimacy in their pursuit of the newly pronounced path of samostiinost', separatism. It was not a simple coincidence that after the Cossacks succeeded in forming a parity government, the next measure of the legislative Rada, which now included not only the Cossack delegates but also inogorodnie representatives, was to finalize Kuban's formal separation from Bolshevik Russia, pronouncing the formation of an "Kubanskaia narodnaia respublika (People's Republic of Kuban')."

Second, the rapprochement universalistically legitimized the "Program

of Kuban' Cossacks and Gortsy,"593 an official announcement of policy and future agenda by krai Rada on December 20th, 1917. In many aspects, the Program was a simple re-confirmation of the "Provisional Basic Laws Regarding Supreme Organs in Kuban' Krai" in October. It included the same features of the "Basic Laws": federalism, in which the Cossacks dreamed of an independent Kuban' in a confederative Russia, and Cossack "socialism," in which the Cossacks demanded immediate abolition of private property and its confiscation while claiming Cossack immunity from confiscation.


While announcing this purportedly "socialist" "Program," the

December krai Rada immediately ratified the agreement of the rapprochement. Its next measure was to re-confirm its denial of the Soviet regime and its allegiance to the 592

GARF, f. r-5827, op. 1, d. 469,1. 4; GAKK, f. r-1542, op. 1, d. 108,1. 1; [Makarenko] Tragediia, Vol. 1,75,77 593 For full text of the "Program," see GARF, f. r-446, op. 2, d. 137,11. 1 - 4

197 Provisional Government and to the cause of the Constituent Assembly.595 Indeed, what the Cossacks achieved through rapprochement was more than simply the launching of a non-vo/s&o-bound joint government. It meant that the protection of Cossack interests through the complete independence of Kuban' krai would be pursued, not in the name of estate particularism, but for the sake of a local non-Bolshevik alternative based upon the will of the "entire" population. Thus, in December, the Cossack particularism in Kuban' entered its most "universalistic" stage. The built-in oxymoronic discrepancy between its voisko-bound essence and krai-bound claim grew larger than ever with the presence of the inogorodnie delegates in the essentially Cossack institutions. These right-wing inogorodnie, including some prominent Menshevik and SR leaders in Kuban' would even endure the most difficult period of Kuban' statehood alongside the Cossacks: the Ice March (ledianoi pokhod).596 When the Cossacks once again retreated into the practice of "inclusive exclusion" after summer 1918, their inogorodnie comrades in the Rada would remain with the Cossacks, maintaining a small but independent inogorodnie faction. These non-Cossack socialists would not be hesitant in criticizing Cossacks' repression of the non-Cossack population and would demand equal and just treatment toward non-Cossack peasants, and their voice would not be suppressed by the Cossacks. These anti-Cossacks would enjoy right of free speech and free association within the Cossack organs. One of these nonBolshevik socialists, N. S. Dolgopolov would even emerge as an active supporter of the "One and Indivisible Russia," but he would do so in his capacity as a delegate of the 595

GARF, f. r-7363, op. 1, d. 37,1. 1 GAKK, f. r-411, op. 2, d. 236,1. 5; [Makarenko] Tragediia, Vol. 1, 28 - 29. The two most prominent inogorodnie participants of the legendary march of the Russian Whites were N. S. Dolgopolov, a staunch anti-Cossack SR and Adamovich, a ring-wing Menshevik who was a mayor of Ekaterinodar. 596

198 Cossack institutions: krai Rada and legislative Rada. Certainly, though the presence of these inogorodnie was oxymoronic, they were an indispensible and integral element of &ra/-bound Cossack particularism. Indeed, this contradiction was the very essence of Kazach 'ia samostiinost'.

E. Toward Civil War

The new joint session of legislative Rada was convened on January 8th.597 Its first resolution was to unanimously re-confirm their anti-Bolshevik stance and the allegiance to the Constituent Assembly.598 On January 12th the Rada re-elected Bych as premier of the new parity government.599 Although forming a new cabinet was delayed due to a disagreement regarding cabinet members,600 the new parity government was officially launched on January 23rd, ' with a heavily and proudly democratic and "socialist" agenda to compete with the Bolshevism.

More than half of the Rada

members and cabinet ministers were alleged "socialists" belonging to either Mensheviks or right-wing SRs.603 In its pronouncement to the population in the name


Vol'naia Kuban', January 13th, 1918; [Makarenko] Tragediia, Vol. 1, 75 Vol'naia Kuban', January 13th, 1918 599 Vol'naia Kuban', January 14th, 1918 600 Skobtsov, Tri goda, Vol. 1, 68. Though the Cossacks initially recommended S. F. Manzhula, a BlackSea Cossack who was a close associate of Riabovol, as a candidate for the ministry of agriculture, inogorodnie objected to his appointment. An alternative candidate was Skobtsov, a Cossack Menshevik, whose appointment was agreed to by the inogorodnie on the condition that A. V Iushko was appointed as a vice minister. 601 The list of the new cabinet members available at Vol'naia Kuban', January 23rd, 1918, GAKK, f. r-6, op. 1, d. 55,1. 5 and GAKK, f. r-6, op. 2, d. 17,1. 12 602 GARF, f. r-5827, op. 1, d. 469,1. 4 603 Vol 'naia Kuban', January 24th, 1918 598

199 of the joint Rada on January 28th, the Cossacks were enthusiastic about embellishing their new krai regime with democratic and "socialist" slogans, expounding consolidation of the all achievements of the February Revolution, confiscation of all private lands and "struggle with the counter-revolution."604 The inogorodnie in the legislative Rada also cooperated in this effort by their Cossack fellows. In a declaration issued to the non-Cossack population in the name of the inogorodnie "fraktsiia (faction)," these right-wing inogorodnie claimed that the Bolsheviks were neither genuine socialists nor "friends of the narod (people)." According to them, the real socialist government was the joint regime in Kuban' krai.605 For the defense of [Kuban'] krai, in another resolution, the inogorodnie delegates urged the non-Cossack peasants "to take on [arms]" against the Soviet Regime.6 These belated agitations, of course, failed to make the non-Cossacks, let alone the Cossacks themselves, stand up for the allegedly "socialist" krai regime. Clearly, these efforts came out too late to save the Cossacks and the right-wing inogorodnie from the imminent catastrophe rapidly beginning to loom over Kuban' and the BlackSea since the middle of December. On December 17th, the pro-Bolshevik inogorodnie Congress, upon leaving the joint assembly, declared their readiness for armed struggle against the Cossack regime.607 If this pronouncement from the left-wing Congress seemed merely a verbal threat for some time, the menace coming from the avalanche of soldiers returning from the Caucasian Front was not. Indeed, to cite from a Kuban' Bolshevik's recollection, "the [October] Revolution came to Kuban' not in October 604 605 606 607

Vol 'naia Kuban ', January 30th, 1918 Vol'naia Kuban', February 1st, 1918 Vol'naia Kuban', February 13rd, 1918 Ladokha, Ocherki, 69

200 1917, but ... in early 1918... only when the [Caucasian] front collapsed and the Z"AQ

majority of its soldiers... came back...."™0 The "Second Krai Congress of the Caucasian Army" that was convened in Tiflis between December 10th and 25th, claimed their "right to take on arms against the counter-revolutionary bourgeois...."609 By "counter-revolutionary bourgeois," these frontoviki meant the Cossack governments in Don, Kuban' and Terek. As briefly mentioned above, several pro-Bolshevik "revolutionary committees," had appeared and taken power in major cities such as Tyaps, Novorossiisk, Gelendzhik and Armavir.610 It did not take long for these oceanfront cities to become a base of operation for the Bolsheviks' advance targeting the Cossack governments in the North. Among these Bolshevik cities, it was in Armavir, a capital of the Labinskii otdel that the "First Congress of Soviet of Kuban' Oblast"' was convened on February 1st.611 In this Congress, the launching of Soviet regime in Kuban' was officially pronounced for the first time. In late December and early January, the movement of returning frontoviki through Terek to Kuban' and Don reached full swing; the result was the rapid spread of Soviet Power to Cossack provinces including Kuban', in particular alongside the junctions of the trans-Caucasian railway. The first wave of these soldiers reached selo Filippovskoe in Kuban' on December 8th, and Tsarskii Dar on December 14th. In the second half of December, another wave tided over Kuban' and established Soviet power in several villages and stanitsy such as stanitsa Bzherdukhovskaia, stanitsa Riazanskaia,

608 609 6.0 6.1

GAKK, f. r-411, op. 2, d. 216,1. 44 [Makarenko] Tragediia, Vol. 1,31 Osadchii, Oktiabr', 117-123 Chuchumai, Bor'ba, 17

201 selo Perepravoe, and selo Unarokovo.612 A group of pro-Bolshevik frontoviki and local inogorodnie established a "Revcom (Revolutionary Committee)" in stanitsa Krymskaia. With joining of several prominent Bolshevik and left-wing SR leaders such as Zharov, Ian Poluian and F. la Volik from Ekaterinodar, the Krymskii Revcom was to emerge as one of the Bolshevik headquarters preparing for invasion of the Kuban' capital. The most decisive contribution to the spread of Soviet power to Kuban soil came from the guns and bayonets of the soldiers of the 39th infantry division, who also reached Kuban' territory in late December without losing its echelon. They moved along the left bank of the Kuban' river toward the Kuban' capital.614 On December 31th, they established a Military-Revolutionary Council at stanitsa Tikhoretskaia, where they began to accumulate a considerable number of armed forces and materials. They also established and maintained several Bolshevik footholds in stanitsa Kavkazskaia, Beloglinkaia, Peschanokopskaia and Gulkevich.615 Due to their proximity to the Kuban' capital, the presence of these Bolshevik footholds posed a direct threat to Ekaterinodar. In the middle of December, in a railway station on the trans-Caucasian line, one group of these frontoviki lynched Terek Ataman M. A. Karaulov,616 a warning demonstrating what would happen if the wave of these soldiers arrived at the Kuban' capital. In early January, Novorossiisk Soviet of Workers, Peasants and Soldiers showed their willingness to do the same by arresting 56 officers and Junkers in the city. In taking this action, they officially declared that they were in a state of hostilities with the 612

Osadchii, Oktiabr', 148; Osadchii, Za vlast', 43 - 44 Osadchii, Oktiabr', 148 - 149; GAKK, f. r-411, op. 2, d. 216,1. 47 614 Osadchii, Oktiabr', 153; Stenograficheskii otchet, 188 615 Kutsenko, 177; Osadchii, Oktiabr', 151 - 152; Osadchii, Za vlast', 4 7 - 4 8 ; Stenograficheskii otchet, 188 616 Trut, Kazachii izlom, 156; Sokolov, Pravlenie, 8 613

202 Cossack regime in Ekaterinodar.617 Indeed, the first direct attack on Ekaterinodar would come from the Novorossiisk Soviet in the middle of January with the coordination of the Krymskii Revcom.618 The position of the krai regime became increasingly precarious even in its own headquarters. In the Constituent Assembly election that was held in Ekaterinodar between late January and early February, it was not the Cossacks but the Bolsheviks who obtained the sweeping majority of the votes. While the Bolsheviks won 8,744 votes, the Cossacks, who ran the election as a Cossack-gortsy bloc, came in second with 6,687 votes.619 The relatively poor performance of the Cossacks at the very heart of Cossack particularism had undeniable symbolic significance and psychological effect, but it should not be accepted at face value as the majority of the city population were not Cossacks. In fact, the result had only a limited political influence, because the election was held after the main body of the Constituent Assembly in Petrograd had already been dissolved by the Bolsheviks. Furthermore, the outbreak of civil war stunted the election in most places of the Kuban' oblast', except for a few cities and stanitsy which were still under the firm control of the krai government.620 In these few cities, the voting rate was extremely low, and the Ekaterinodar election clearly shows the political cynicism prevailing among the majority of the city residents.621 Nevertheless, the Bolsheviks' sudden leap in the Ekaterinodar election had two important implications, even if it would be unreasonable to conclude that the election

617 618 619 620 621

Vol'naia Kuban', January 14th. 1918 Chuchumai, Bor'ba, 143 - 145 Vol 'naia Kuban', February 11 th, 1918 GAKK, f. r-411, op. 2, d. 216,1. 92; Vol'naia Kuban', February 11th, 1918 Vol 'naia Kuban', February 11 th, 1918

203 results represented the Kuban' oblast' in its entirety. First, the outcome of Ekaterinodar election represented the voices of the more politically motivated layers of the city's population; among them, even in the Cossack capital, the Bolsheviks found more supporters than the Cossacks. When the first moment of civil war came, while the majority of the population remained as simple observers, the presence and contribution of these active pro-Bolshevik supporters would be substantial. Second and more importantly, the real loser of the Ekaterinodar election was not the Cossacks, but their new "friends" in the joint regime, the bloc of right-wing Social-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks, whose share in the election turned out to be meager: only about 3,500 votes.

Unlike that of the Cossack-gortsy bloc, this poor

performance by the moderate socialists was a more striking result, especially taking into account their pre-October dominance in the city duma and in the inogorodnie oblast' Congress. In fact, this outcome amounted to a non-confidence vote by the inogorodnie of the city to the recent "compromise" with Cossacks by their right-wing leaders, a gloomy sign for the future of the nascent joint regime. A more ominous signal to the future of the krai regime came from the Cossacks themselves. In addition to the existing conflicts between "fathers and sons," there was a sign that even the "fathers" were increasingly susceptible to the influence of proBolshevik agitation in several Cossack stanitsy. One episode of increasing Bolshevik influence over the Cossacks involved a visit of a rank-and-file Cossack delegation from

Vol'naia Kuban', February 11th, 1918. Even the Bolsheviks' allies, the left-wing SRs received only 357 votes, probably owing to their identification with their anti-Bolshevik right-wing comrades (GAKK, f.r-411,op.2,d. 241,1.31).

204 a Cossack stanitsa to the Bolshevik camp in Armavir.

The purpose of this Cossack

delegation, the composition of which was a "strange mixture of the old and the younger generation of Cossacks"624 was to see "what the new Soviet regime was about," 25 especially in regards to the land question. The Bolshevik who met these Cossack visitors later sarcastically recollected, "the Cossack stariki ... asked a lot of questions. [They asked] ... 'how is the Soviet regime going to solve the land question? ... Will it take the Cossacks' pai from Cossacks?'626 Of course, the answer of the Bolsheviks to the second question was no: "We are never going to take the Cossack pai..."621

but his

reply did not answer the first question, the only solution of which in Cossack provinces was apparently to take the Cossack pai. And yet, after hearing the very answer they wanted to hear, "the Cossack delegation returned home with an impression that the new Soviet regime was not that bad... ,"628 Needless to say, this anecdote by no means meant that these Cossack rank-andfiles became sympathizers of the Soviet Regime. Rather, it only shows their opportunist positioning as third-party "observers" in the first stage of the civil war. Thus, while some Cossack stanitsy were sending their delegation to the Bolsheviks, a wave of telegrams from other stanitsy celebrating the launching of the new joint "government based upon the democratic principle" and promising "full confidence and assistance"629 to their government were still inundating Ekaterinodar in January and February. The

623 624 625 626 627 628 629

GAKK, f. r-411, op. 2, d. 216,1. 11 Ibid. Ibid. GAKK, f. r-411, op. 2, d. 216,1. 13 Ibid. Ibid. GAKK, f. r-6, op. 1, d. 51,1. 49

205 problem was that these telegrams of allegiance did not bring any substantial assistance to their alleged government in Ekaterinodar. Although the Cossack faction of the joint legislative Rada declared a mobilization of all Kuban' adult male Cossacks on January 18th,630 except for repeatedly expressing their verbal support to the government, the Cossack did not react to this call. Thus, the Cossacks in stanitsa Avinskaia who alerted krai government to the movement of Bolsheviks preparing to attack Ekaterinodar through their stanitsa, did not take any measures to halt them, except for seceding from the stanitsa Revcom that they had voluntarily established through the agreement with their inogorodnie neighbors. These Cossacks re-confirmed their allegiance to the krai government, their telegram to which ended with a promise that "they would always stay on the side of krai government...." However, they did not send what their government urgently needed, which was soldiers.631 As a result, at the critical moment in early 1918, what the samostiiniki painfully found was that their rank-and-files' basic position turned out to be a conditional neutrality in the impending civil war. The reason for this lukewarm attitude was not hard to identify. Even though there was no reason to deny their loyalty to the cause of Cossack particularism, since it was native to the Cossack identity as a soslovie, this particularistic loyalty was not yet actively "&ra/-bound" enough to motivate them to stand up for the defense of the krai regime in Ekaterinodar. Indeed, this gap between traditional particularistic identity and new £ra/-bound perspective accounted for the wavering attitude of the majority of the rank-and-files in the Kuban' stanitsy. It was the


GAKK, f. l,op. l,d. 282,1. 16 ' GAKK, f. r-6, op. 1, d. 54,11. 67, 67ob

206 same disparity that determined the ostensibly grandiose beginning of "Chernomorskaia (Black-Sea) Rada," a "gaidamak (free warrior)" movement to galvanize the Black-Sea Cossacks, but its meager and tragic end. Its very short history, which lasted only three days, was certainly revealing since it was an ephemeral microcosm showing the strengths and weaknesses of Cossack particularism, its limits and possibilities, simultaneously. Chernomorskaia









Briukhovetskaia by K. L. Bardizh under the auspice and blessing of the krai government.632 After rapprochement Bardizh was offered a post in the joint government but he declined to accept it. Instead, he came back to his native town, where his mission was to mobilize the Black-Sea Cossacks toward anti-Soviet struggle.633 The beginning of Chernomorskaia Rada was, indeed, quite impressive. The Black-Sea Cossacks seemed to immediately respond to the call of the former Kuban' commissar. In a remarkably short time, several thousand delegates from almost every corner of the Black-Sea Cossack region, except for the stanitsy in Liniia, most of which was already under the control of the Bolsheviks,634 more than 60 stanitsy according to the estimate of Makarenko, came to this rally. As shown in its title, it was a typically "samostiinyi" attempt by the combination of the "old and new." While its organizers appealed to the old warrior tradition of Zaporozhian Cossackdom, their actual purport was not a simple restoration of the old


[Makarenko] Tragediia, Vol. 1, 65; GAKK, f. r-6, op. 1, d. 54,1. 128; Skobtsov, Trigoda, Vol. 1,71; Stenograficheskii otchet, 190 633 Filimonov, "Kubantsy," 153; Stenograficheskii otchet, 114 634 Filimonov, "Kubantsy," 154 635 [Makarenko] Tragediia, Vol. 1, 65

207 Cossack myth of freedom but to develop the Rada into a "popular" movement as a political rallying point for the sake of new "Araz'-bound" causes. Thus, in spite of its self-identification with the bygone past of the Cossack heyday, the self-mandate of this movement was re-calibrated to the new modern environment in a "universalistically particularistic" way. This contradictory mixture dominated the tone of the declaration of the Rada, the first sentence of which started with very strongly krai-bound statement denying Cossacks' soslovie-bound status. It read, "the Kuban' Cossackdom should exist," since ... "they are neither a soslovie nor a military caste..."

Instead, they are

... "a historically formed community..., which has ... the equal right on the selfdetermination as other nationalities [do]." 637 This apparently ethnocentric selffashioning of Kuban' Cossackdom was followed by a declaration that, "Kuban' krai is a new state entity of the Russian republic."63 But, after these two clearly non-voiskobound statements denying Cossacks' estatehood, their declaration reached the most essential matter concerning their "estatehood": the land question. It continued, "[for the reason stated above]... Kuban' Cossackdom's right on land cannot be disputed historically and legally."

Therefore, "... it is not possible for the Kuban' Cossacks to

share their land with those elements who recently came to Kuban' and with the private land owners who were separated from Cossacks land...." From this intermingling of soslovie-bound interests with their krai-bound legitimization through the "right of self-determination," it is not difficult to understand

636 637 638 639 640

GAKK, f. r-6, op. 1, d. 54,1. 128 Ibid Ibid Ibid Ibid

208 why the message of krai-bound particularism, which seemed to have enjoyed quite popularity among Cossacks throughout 1917 and which attracted many Cossacks to stanitsa Briukhovetskaia, and more importantly, which would lead the Cossacks into the path of samostiinost' after the summer 1918, initially failed to mobilize their Cossack brethren into anti-Bolshevik struggle, at the very moment that it began to evolve into the stage of a separate Kuban' statehood: the very self-contradictory character of kraibound particularism, which pursued particularism "in the name of universalism," and practiced universalism "for the sake of particularism." Whatever universalistic rhetoric such as "a historically formed community" and "state organization" was used to emboss the Cossack experiment, samostiinost' remained "in essence" a particularistic program. This disparity meant that its appeal of Cossack statehood could be attractive only when Cossacks' particularistic interests were tangibly and palpably threatened. This contradiction set the limits of the samostiinost' in its inception, although it would prove the same incongruity that would rapidly galvanize the growth of &ra/-bound particularism after the middle of 1918. At least, in its nascent stage in early 1918, the separatist path indicated by their leaders was not comprehensible and its necessity was not strong enough to stimulate the Cossack rank-and-files to voluntarily shed their blood for the krai government. They would only after suffering the Bolshevik rule, and only through the experience of civil war; only then, would the Cossacks follow their leaders into the path of an independent Cossack republic. They would choose this path only after realizing that their castehood was essentially irreconcilable with the new Soviet order and that the &ra/-bound particularism was the only way to maintain their Cossackhood in the alien setting of the Soviet modernity.

209 Unfortunately for the Cossack leaders in Ekaterinodar, this "self-awakening" had not yet come in early 1918. At this moment what they found was that so long as the Bolsheviks had not yet made their position clear to the Cossacks, the rank-and-files saw no immediate motivation to fight against the Soviet regime. The impressive number of the armed Cossacks who gathered at stanitsa Briukhovetskaia were neither prepared for the civil war nor were determined to engage in anti-Bolshevik struggle. Thus, when these gaidamaki marched into Ekaterinodar to save their surrounded government, and for the first time encountered a small detachment of the Bolsheviks on February 17th on a road between Ekaterinodar and stanitsa Tihoretskaia, their adventure turned out to be a complete fiasco.641 Indeed, just one defeat was enough for these warriors to throw down their arms and to retreat home.642 The defeat of the Rada shook the krai government that had put so much hope in the movement. This bitter experience deeply frustrated Bardizh, who returned to Ekaterinodar after the defeat. After the evacuation of Ekaterinodar, while preparing to escape from the Bolsheviks, this figure, one of the first architects of krai-bound particularism, was arrested and executed together with his two sons by the Bolsheviks.643 Who crushed the gaidamaki of the Kuban' commissar was the Bolshevik detachment consisting of six to seven thousand men, which moved from Novorossiisk to the outskirts of Ekaterinodar on January 19th.644 Indeed, the day these Bolsheviks appeared near Ekaterinodar marked the official beginning of the hostilities in Kuban.' To fight these Bolsheviks, krai government hastily organized volunteers but had only 641 642 643 644

[Makarenko] Tragediia, Vol. 1, 65 GAKK, f. r-6, op. 1, d. 54,1. 128 GARF, f. r-5827, op. 1, d. 469,11. 7, 7ob GARF, f. r-446, op. 1, d. 25,1. 3ob

210 limited forces at its own disposal: two partisan detachments primarily consisting of Cossacks, officers and students, which were led by a Cossack starshina Galaev and captain Pokrovskii, a former aviator, who was not a Cossack.645 There were a few other forces, but their number was negligible.646 Despite its relatively small number, the forces of these volunteers were well-disciplined and well-led, unlike Bardizh's Cossack warriors in Chernomorskaia Rada. In the battles that followed on January 22nd and 24th near Enem, the Kuban' force succeeded in defeating the Bolshevik attackers.647 The Kuban' force was not without causalities; their loss included one of their commanders, Galaev, who was killed during the battle on January 22nd.648 Despite this victory, this battle only served as a prelude to more Bolshevik attacks. At least, however, the victory in late January gave the Cossacks some breathing space, since after this initial failure the Bolsheviks changed their tactics from a direct march to Ekaterinodar to a gradual approach to the Kuban' capital by grasping the railway points and junctions leading to the Kuban' capital.649 Of course, this respite was not to last long, especially after Antonov-Ovseenko, the supreme commander of the South Russian Theater, combined disorganized pro-Bolshevik forces and armed groups into "Southeast Red Army" under unitary leadership.650 In spite of continued success at repulsing several Bolshevik attacks on Ekaterinodar,


the krai government was losing control of

most of its territory, save for Ekaterinodar and its vicinities. It became obvious that the

645 646 647 648 649 650 651

GARF, f. r-446, op. 1, d. 25,1. 3ob; Filimonov, "Kubantsy," 143; GARF, f. r-7363, op. 1, d. 23,1. 1 GARF, f. r-7363, op. 1, d. 23,1. 2 Stenograficheskii otchet, 113 Filimonov, "Kubantsy," 143 GARF, f. r-446, op. 1, d. 25,11. 3, 3ob, 4 Osadchii, Za vlasf, 69 GAKK, f. r-411, op. 2, d. 216,11. 49, 50, 51

211 defense of Ekaterinodar was not tenable. A more serious and critical blow came with the collapse of the Don voisko government and the suicide of Don Ataman Kaledin on January 29th.652 The Bolshevik victory over their northwestern neighbor meant that in the entire region of South Russia and the Northern Caucasus, Ekaterinodar was to remain an island within the Bolshevik "ocean." It also meant a death sentence to the idea of the "South-East Union," which had been ambitiously launched in late October.653 Although the "united government" of the Union was established and nominally functioned in Ekaterinodar since the middle of November,


with the fall of the Don voisko government, the Union ceased to exist in

fact. In this helpless situation, the Cossacks had three options. The first and easiest option was a compromise with the Bolsheviks. Unsurprisingly, when this idea was presented by a few Rada delegates, it met strong objection from the Rada majority, who preferred continued struggle against the Bolsheviks at least until their rank-and-files, especially pro-Bolshevik Cossack frontoviki were to "waken up." To continue struggle, while some Rada delegates were considering a withdrawal toward the direction of Maikov for a partisan warfare in the mountain areas, others, mainly the officer group, suggested another alternative: a retreat toward the Don-Kuban' border.655 This plan was more rational and promising in particular in military terms, due to the presence of another anti-Bolshevik force that was marching to Kuban', the Volunteer Army. The


GARF, f. r-5827, op. 1, d. 469,1. 4 GAKK, f. r-1547, op. 1 d. 121,1. 17; GAKK, f. 1, d. 158,1. 174; GAKK, f. r-6, op. 1, d. 48,11. 28, 28ob; GAKK, f. 1, op. 1, d. 158,11. 175, 175ob; GAKK, f. r-6, op. 2, d. 3,1. 40ob 654 GAKK, f. r-6, op. 2, d. 3,1. 40ob 655 Filimonov, "Kubantsy," 156-157 653

212 Army, which had been just formed in Don by Kornilov and Alekseev, left Don voisko after the collapse of Don voisko government and started the famous "Ice March" toward Kuban'. Military expedience compelled the Cossacks to choose the alliance with the approaching Russian Whites. Awaiting the arrival of the Volunteer Army at Kuban' territory, the krai government and Rada decided on the evacuation of the Ekaterinodar on February 22nd.656 On February 28th, the krai government, legislative Rada and Kuban' army withdrew from the city and initiated their own variant of the "Ice March" toward the Don-Kuban' border to meet and merge with the Whites.657 Overall, five thousand people including civilians participated in this legendary march, which was to be known as the most heroic moment of the anti-Bolshevik White Movement in South Russia.

As briefly mentioned above, its participants included even some big-name

inogorodnie leaders, mostly Mensheviks and right-wing SRs who had been considered staunch opponents of Cossack particularism but were now participants in the krai regime, such as Adamovich, Dolgopolov, and Belousov.659 This inherent irony of &ra/-bound particularism was to take an even more convoluted shape, when the Cossacks entered into alliance with the Whites. On March 17th, the Kuban' Cossacks and the Volunteer Army met at stanitsa Kaluzhskaia. They

Filimonov, "Kubantsy," 156; Stenogrqficheskii otchet, 114 Filimonov, "Kubantsy," 156 658 [Makarenko] Tragediia, Vol. 1, 89; Stenogrqficheskii otchet, 146. The participants in the march included about two thousand unarmed civilians {ibid.). 659 GAKK, f. r-411, op. 2, d. 236,1. 5. Other leaders such as Turutin, Iushko and Mironov chose to remain in Ekaterinodar; among them, Iushko was killed by the Bolsheviks (GAKK, f. r-411, op. 2, d. 236, 1. 18). 657

213 immediately combined their forces and initiated joint operation.660 Indeed, this date marked the commencement of the South Russian White Movement in South Russia, the most successful and threatening competitor to the Bolshevik regime during the civil war, which would grow into the full-fledged "Armed Force of Southern Russia," having more than fifty-million population in the Ukraine, the Caucasus, and South Russia under its control in its heyday in the middle of 1919. After taking the Ukraine, its army was to advance to Moscow in the fall. Not surprisingly, Kuban' Cossacks were to become the most decisive contributor to this achievement. However, they were also to be responsible for the sudden collapse of the White Army in the coming winter. When the Russian Whites made their first marked step toward "one and indivisible Russia" through an alliance with the claimants of a "samostiinyi Kuban'" in the March 1918, their failure was foredoomed.

GARF, f. r-446, op. 1, d. 25,1. 5ob

214 Part III. "An Independent Kuban'" in "One and Indivisible Russia"

A. Beginning of the "Cossack Vendee"

The still influential image of the White Movement as reactionary stems from the heritage of a class-bound dichotomy in the Russian civil war. Needless to say, its origin was in the color association of civil-war politics, in which the name of the "White guards" invariably suggested "counter-revolution" against the "Reds," the alleged protectors of the achievements of the Revolution. While the prevalence of this labeling in the old Soviet historiography is hardly surprising, its influence was not limited to the claimants of the Red legitimacy. Even the mainstream narratives of the Russian civil war by non-Soviet scholarship, whether belonging to the school of the traditional Sovietologists or to that of the Revisionists, seem to have accepted this view without seriously questioning this identification of the Russian Whites with reactionaries. Although a few recent studies began to raise doubts about the established definition of "Whiteness,"661 even attempting to find its hidden "liberal" faces,662 the association of


Among all recent research dealing with the White Movement and the Cossacks, the most radical and problematic departure from the conventional view is Peter Holquist's recent book, Making War, Forging Revolution: Russia's Continuum of Crisis, 1914- 1921 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2002). In his research on the "continuum" of the World War and the Revolution in Russia, he radically redefined the "Whiteness," through a case study of Don Cossacks and their experiment with statehood. According to him, since the outbreak of the World War in 1914, the war and the ensuing crisis galvanized the emergence of a series of new state practices that involves mass mobilization, terror, propaganda, and food supply, a process common to both the Bolshevik and anti-Bolshevik camp. By this innovative linkage of the alleged "pre-modern" military caste with modern practices, he, in fact, obliterated the traditional class-bound dichotomy of the Reds vs. Whites, since both camps adopted similar strategies and methods to react to the continuum of challenges and demands occasioned by the World War and the Revolutionary upheaval.

215 the Whites with counter-revolution seems to remain as the dominant narrative. The old view seems most visible and remains unshaken in the case of the Volunteer Army.664 When it comes to the White Movement in Southern Russia, however, this historiographical practice assumes a notable irony; while labeling the For this view, see Anna Procyk, Russian Nationalism and Ukraine: The Nationality Policy of the Volunteer Army during the Civil War (Edmonton, Alberta: Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, 1995). In this study, the author challenges the conventional view that has minimized the role and the influence of Kadet liberals in the White Movement, instead arguing the opposite. According to her study, from the beginning, the Volunteer Army was under the heavy influence of the liberal nationalism of the Kadets and even until its demise "... fought under the banner of the Kadet program... {ibid., 170)." 663 Compared to its Bolshevik opponent, as a loser's story, the White Movement received only relatively minor academic attention in the civil war scholarship. Although in the majority of the survey accounts on the civil war the Russian Whites had never been ignored and always appeared as significant players competing with the Bolsheviks, devoted thematic attention to them has been surprisingly sparse, except for a few pioneering studies. When it came to the Whites in South Russia, the first serious study of the Volunteer Army appeared as late as 1966, with George A. Brinkley' s book, The Volunteer Army and Allied Intervention in South Russia, 1917'— 1921: a Study in the Politics and Diplomacy of the Russian Civil War (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1966). However, as the title of his book suggests, its focus is not the White Movement itself, but the international interplay of the Allied powers with the Volunteer Army and the White Movement. M. J. Carley's book, Revolution and Intervention: The French Government and the Russian Civil War, 1917 - 1919 (Kingston: McGill-Queens University Press, 1983), also took a similar approach and has similar limitations. So far, the most representative, comprehensive and authoritative study on the Volunteer Army is Peter Kenez's pioneering research on the Russian Whites and the civil war, which resulted in two remarkable monographs, Civil War in South Russia, 1918: The First Year of the Volunteer Army (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1971), and Civil War in South Russia, 1919-1920: The Defeat of the Whites (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1977). Even today, although more than thirty years have passed since their publication, Kenez' work remains the most influential study on this theme. Another noteworthy contribution retaining its academic value is William G. Rosenberg's book on the Kadet party during the civil war, Liberals in the Russian Revolution, the Constitutional Democratic Party, 1917 - 1921 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1974), which also covers significant portions of the White enterprise in South Russia, focusing upon its failure to implement the reformist program suggested by the Left-wing Kadets such as Astrov. Since these two major works in the seventies, there has been no significant progress made on this theme, until Procyk's new case study focusing on the nationality question in the White Movement, and Holquist's approach to the "continuum" and the new state practices. 664

There existed plentiful enough evidence to brand the Army as a reactionary movement and to associate it with the old regime. As routinely found in the typical narratives on the Russian civil war, the co-founders of the Army were two big-name figures of national prominence, who had built their careers serving under the Tsarist regime: they were General Mikhail Alekseev, the former Chief of Staff of the General Headquarters in the Imperial Army, and General Kornilov, probably the most well-known icon of the Russian counter-revolution, whose name has been invariably associated with the fallen regime in the class-bound dichotomy since his aborted coup against Kerensky in the summer of 1917. While it would be an exaggeration to call these two icons of the Russian Whites dedicated counter-revolutionaries, it is still undeniable that the Army's leadership had many figures of obvious right-wing sympathy, most of whom would not hesitate to show themselves as devoted "reactionaries." In addition to this marked continuity with old regime in terms of dramatis personae, another apparent factor is the Army's incompetent military administration excluding civic participation in the occupied territories through its governor-generals, whose harsh military rules not only made the Army extremely unpopular, but also furthered its reactionary image.

216 Volunteers as typical reactionaries, most traditional accounts of the Russian civil war did not attribute the failure of the Army to its alleged "Whiteness." Rather, they mostly agreed that what was primarily responsible for the wreckage of the White enterprise was not its pursuit and implementation of a reactionary program but the absence of a detailed and clear political agenda, whether it actually meant the restoration of the ancien regime as most traditional accounts conclude, or the building of a liberal democratic Russia as a recent study insists it.665 Thus, despite recent disputes among historians about the true character of the Volunteer Army, there remains at least one unchallenged commonality among the students of the Russian civil war: this political ambiguity was an intentional choice by the Army leaders, who wanted to secure a supposedly

"apolitical" stance to disassociate the Army from

any political

entanglement. They also seem to agree that this intended disassociation from politics involved the Amy's public self-positioning as a patriotic and nationalist movement, whose self-proclaimed mandate was to restore "One and Indivisible Russia" against "Balkanization of the Russian State."666 Although the Army's official policy purporting to be "above politics" made it extremely vulnerable to class-bound color association, the identification of the Whites with counter-revolution did not directly originate with

Procyk, Russian Nationalism, 63 Denikin, Ocherki, Vol. 2, 167. Indeed, the very title of Denikin's five-volume memoir is a very good indicator showing the White leaders' self-understanding of the mission of the White Movement. For them, the Russian Revolution symbolized the second "Time of Troubles," a crisis of national unity and integrity of Russia. Based upon this self-mandate by the Whites' supreme leader, Anna Procyk argues that the anti-Bolshevik struggle had actually never been the official raison d'etre of the Volunteer Army. According to Procyk, if the Army primarily targeted the Bolsheviks, it was because it regarded them as felons responsible for the ongoing "smuta (troubles)"of Russia, the disintegration of the old empire. While her further claim that the Whites had a liberal "heart" despite their ostensible conservative "face" requires more discussion and further verification, and the political variant of the future Russia that the Whites envisaged might have been a very conservative one, it should be noted that the Army had neither attempted to annul the achievements of the February Revolution at least in the official and public terms, nor was it in a position to do so as long as it purported to remain a competent anti-Bolshevik alternative. 666

217 the Whites themselves. Rather, in the majority of civil-war accounts, the real culprits who were presented to have made the White Movement truly reactionary were the partners they chose in the anti-Bolshevik struggle: the Cossacks. Indeed, only with Cossack participation was the White Movement to evolve into a full-fledged counterrevolution, the "Cossack Vendee." It goes without saying that the idea of a Cossack Vendee has undeniable historical validity. With the notorious role of the Cossacks as a security force against the revolutionary movement, the Cossacks symbolized all the negatives of the fallen autocracy. As a privileged estate that enjoyed many benefits under state patronage, they unquestionably had much to lose with the collapse of the old order. As a living anachronism, their incompatibility with the Revolution and their "insusceptibility to Bolshevik ideas"

seemed beyond question as a fait accompli, not only for the

retrospective accounts of civil-war historians, but also for the prospective outlook of the White generals, the very founders of the Volunteer Army. Given this unquestioned soslovie-bound incompatibility, for the White generals and right-wing intellectuals who were looking for a basis for their anti-Bolshevik crusade after the Bolshevik October, there could be no more ideal place than "... the Cossack territories in the southeastern part of European Russia."

For the same reason, there could be no more eligible

practitioners of the "White Ideology" than the Cossacks,669 for the traditional historians


GAKK, f. r-411, op. 2, d. 209,1. 16 Arkady Borman, "My Meetings with White Russian Generals," Russian Review, Vol. 27, No. 2 (April, 1968), 215 669 For an example of this view, see Peter Kenez, "The Ideology of the White Movement," Soviet Studies, Vol. 32, No. I (Jan., 1980), 5 8 - 8 3 . He even went as far as arguing that the Cossacks, whose estatebound survival was certainly doomed in the modern environment, were potential candidates for an antimodern ideology longing for anachronistic and nostalgic past: Fascism, {ibid., 81) According to this view, 668

218 who were in search of the tangible "origins" of the Russian counter-revolution. It was this convergence of views about the Cossack Vendee between the Russian Whites and civil-war scholarship that made the question of samostiinost' one of the most unexplored topics in civil war historiography. In the shade of a common stereotype, both civil-war historians and the civil-war participants failed to illuminate the very novelty of &raz-bound Cossack particularism. Neither saw the oxymoronic nature of Cossack particularism, although the true potential of Cossack counter-revolution originated not from the Cossacks' reactionary nature but from the very attempt to escape from their soslovie-bound and expectedly "counter-revolutionary" status, krai-bound particularism. Because










"counterrevolution," the White Movement in South Russia was doomed to face a paradoxical reality: the possible success of the Army would only promote one of the very phenomena that it was supposed to halt: samostiinost', Cossack separatism. By associating itself with the Cossack oxymoron, the White Movement itself became an oxymoron. This paradox began with the encounter of two antitheses, "samostiinyi Kuban'" and "One and Indivisible Russia," in March 1918 at stanitsa NovoDmitrievskaia. In the name of an "alliance," another civil war began.

it was not a simple coincidence that many former Cossack participants of the White Movement such as Don Cossack Krasnov and Kuban' Cossack Shkuro later voluntarily and earnestly served in Nazi Germany in World War II (ibid, 81), or that when the Germans advanced to South Russia and the northern Caucasus, they found many Cossack volunteers who were ready to serve the third Reich. Even if this claim of Cossack vulnerability to Fascism might seem to have gone too far, their susceptibility to counter-revolution did not, in particular for those who still saw the Cossacks through a "soslovie-bound" prism. For some detail on the Cossack collaboration with Nazi Germany during World War II, see Samuel J. Newland, Cossacks in the German Army 1941 - 1945 (London: Frank Cass Publishers, 1991).

219 * * *

In early March 1918, continuing sporadic, though bloody and bitter fighting against their Bolshevik pursuers, the Kuban' Cossacks and the Volunteers were desperately searching for each other. On March 11th, the Kuban' Cossacks reached stanitsa Kaluzhskaia, where they encountered strong Bolshevik forces. They succeeded in taking it only after fierce and costly combat, in which even some Rada delegates participated.670 On March 13th, the Volunteers reached auV Shendzhii and took the village, which was only 15 versts away from stanitsa Kaluzhskaia.

The next day was

to be remembered as a historic moment for the White Movement in South Russia. On March 14th, after identifying the nearby presence of the friendly forces for which they had been searching, the first contact was made by the visit of two Kuban' emissaries to the provisional headquarters of the Volunteer Army at aul Shendzhii. The visitors were captain Pokrovskii,672 the commander of Kuban' army and his assistant, Naumenko, the

1917 i 1918 gody na Kubani (Ekaterinodar: Izdanie Kubanskogo TsentraFnogo Soiuza uchrezhdenii melkogo kredita, 1919), 1 3 - 1 4 ; Stenograficheskii otchetplenamykh zasedanii (Ekaterinodar: Offitsialal'noe Izdanie Kantseliarii Cherzvychainoi Rady Kubanskogo Kraia, 1919), 147. The eldest combatant was a seventy year old historian, F. A. Shcherbina {ibid). 671 GARF, f. r-446, op. 1, d. 25,1. 5ob, Skobtsov, Trigoda, Vol. 1, 78; [Makarenko] Tragediia, Vol. 1, 97 672 It was Ataman Filimonov who played the major role in choosing Pokrovskii as the commander of the Kuban' army, although later in one of his recollections, he denied his role (Filimonov, "Kubantsy," 152 153). Bych and Riabovol did not seem to object to the appointment of Pokrovskii either. However, his appointment met very strong objections from other Kuban' leaders in the Rada and government, especially from the Black-Sea Cossack factions ([Makarenko] Tragediia, Vol. 1, 73 - 74). This figure, who had once served as an aviator in the Imperial Army, had only recently come to Kuban'. He was not a Cossack and did not have a notable career. In a series of initial battles in early 1918, however, Pokrovskii proved himself to be a very capable and determined commander by repelling the numerous attacks by Bolsheviks on Ekaterinodar. This performance and initial success considerably impressed Filimonov. In the long run, however, his appointment would turn out to be a critical mistake for his Cossack superiors. As a non-Cossack, he did not have any political attachment to the Cossack statehood. With a personal ambition of being a non-Cossack Kuban' Ataman, he would defect to the White camp and would support Denikin in the confrontation with Kuban' samostiiniki, even playing the most visible role in the military suppression of Rada in November 1919. And yet, at least in early 1918, he stood on the Cossack side as the official commander of Kuban' army.

220 chief of staff of the Kuban' army.673 The visit of the Kuban' commanders was welcomed by a group of generals who led the Volunteer Army. They included two prominent generals who had belonged to the highest ranks of the Imperial army: Generals Alekseev and Kornilov.674 After the exchange of customary greetings, Pokrovskii started the talk with a proposal to form a joint army with operational subordination of the Kuban' forces to the White command.

"We came here to combine forces, but we want to keep our

independence.... Rada wants to have its own army."

Although prior to sending

Pokrovskii, the Kuban' Ataman hurriedly promoted this former "captain" of the fill

Imperial army to a rank of "general" of Kuban' krai,

this sudden promotion hardly

impressed the White generals who "once had commanded 1.5 million solders of the Russian empire."678 "Captain, do you know your position? .... You should subordinate [your army] to us. One commandership, there is no more [need of] talk."


Kornilov Pokrovskii answered. "I can't decide [this question] without [the order of] Rada."680 The condescending attitude of the White generals toward the Kuban' emissaries did not prevent two armies from combining their forces and launching a joint army. Both parties needed each other, due to the military situation that required immediate joint action. "In the salvation of Kuban', there was salvation of the Volunteer Army, and 673 674 675 676 677 678 679 680

Filimonov, "Kubantsy," 166; [Makarenko] Tragediia, Vol. 1, 97 GAKK, f. r-411, op. 2, d. 216,1. 70; Denikin, Ocherki, Vol. 2, 272 Denikin, Ocherki, Vol. 2, 273 GAKK, f. r-411, op. 2, d. 216,1. 71 Skobtsov, Trigoda, Vol. 1, 79; [Makarenko] Tragediia, Vol. 1, 90 GAKK, f. r-411, op. 2, d. 216,1. 71 Ibid. Ibid.

221 also vice versa."

On March 15th, the Whites moved to stanitsa Kaluzhskaia to merge

their forces with the Kuban' Cossacks'.682 The first operation of the joint army was to take stanitsa Novo-Dmitrievskaia from Bolshevik hands,683 and it was here that the first official meeting between the Cossack leaders and the Whites generals was held. Indeed, this small Cossack village was to leave its name in the history of the civil war, with an agreement that launched the Cossack Vendee, which would be known as "NovoDmitnevskaia Agreement."

Although originally improvised as a provisional

compromise, this agreement was to turn out to be a permanent treaty; in the years to come, its interpretation would become a matter of serious dispute. The Cossack representatives who came to Novo-Dmitrievskaia were five leading figures of Kuban' government and Rada: Ataman Filimonov, Premier Bych, the chair of Rada Riabovol, and vice-chair of Rada S. Sh. Girei.

Those who met them

were five generals from the Army leadership: Kornilov, Alekseev, Romanovskii, Erdeli, and Denikin.

Once the meeting began, the Whites repeated the same demands that

they had made in the first encounter with Pokrovskii and Naumenko: first, complete incorporation of the Kuban' forces into the ranks of the Volunteer Army under the unitary command of the Army, and second, a complete subordination of Kuban'


Filimonov, "Kubantsy," 168 - 69 Filimonov, "Kubantsy," 166; Denikin, Ocherki, Vol. 2, 273 683 Denikin, Ocherki, Vol. 2, 273; [Makarenko] Tragediia, Vol. 1, 99; 1917 i 1918, 15 - 16 684 For the original text of the Agreement, see GARF, f. r-6959, op. 1, d. 65,1. 13, Denikin, Ocherki, Vol. 2, 279, Filimonov, 1993, 168 - 69 685 1917 i 1918 gody, 16; Denikin, Ocherki, Vol. 2, 278. The composition of the Kuban' delegation reflected the factional representation. Bych and Riabovol represented the Black-Sea Cossack majority, while Ataman Filimonov was a lineitsy's share. Girei was agorets, although the mountaineers supported Black-Sea Cossack faction. 686 Filimonov, "Kubantsy," 167; 1917 i 1918 gody, 16 682

222 government and Rada to the White leadership.687 The Cossacks also reacted with the same answer as Pokrovskii had presented at auV Shendzhii: an independent Kuban' Army. Considering the apparently superior and proven military commandership of the White generals, the Kuban' delegation did not object to the subjugation of their Cossack forces to the White generals. However, they hoped to do so only for provisional and operational purposes, so that they could keep their own army as a separate echelon independent from the Volunteers. In retrospect, the demands of the Kubantsy could have been neither threatening nor detrimental to the authority of the White leadership. A year later, indeed, the Don Cossacks would present the same demand and would succeed in preserving their own army in the "Armed Forces of Southern Russia (yooruzhennye sily iuga Rossii)." However, at Novo-Dmitrievskaia, the Whites did not budge at all, since what caused their obstinacy was not so much the Cossacks' demand of separate Kuban' army but their grounds for rationalizing their claim: Kuban' sovereignty (suverennost'), a principle, to cite from Denikin's sarcastic remarks, that the "constitution" of Kuban' dictated.689 Although the ostensible issue was the question of a separate Kuban' Army, thus, the talk was, in fact, a confrontation between two opposing principles, one which was bound to involve a deeper and more sensitive question at the political level: legitimacy. For the Volunteers, their legitimacy involved the raison d'etre of the White Movement, the Army's self-positioning as a patriotic and nationalistic movement, in 687 688 689

Filimonov, "Kubantsy," 167 Ibid., 167-168 Denikin, Ocherki, Vol. 2, 278

223 which the leaders of the Army looked on themselves as the highest authority, however temporary, aiming at the reestablishment of the "One and Indivisible Russia." As far as this self-mandate was concerned, the allegedly "apolitical" stance of the Army actually turned out to be a highly political and even volatile claim, because in most cases it meant "above other political groups or movements." It is well known that this stance hindered the Army from organizing a united anti-Bolshevik front with other potential anti-Bolshevik allies. In particular, when the Russian Whites encountered "national" claims of borderland minorities such as Poles, Finns, Georgians, and Armenians, the same principle was applied, denying any separatist claim infringing upon the territorial integrity of the former Russian empire. It is hardly surprising that Polish or Georgian nationalists saw the Volunteers with the same apprehensions and fears that the Mensheviks and Social Revolutionaries had. When this principle was for the first time tested in the Kuban'-White relationship, however, the question of the Whites' national self-mandate became a peculiar and more convoluted matter, owing to the fundamental disparity between their "vowAw-bound" view of the Cossacks and their Kuban' ally's own "£raz-bound" claim. One should be reminded that the Whites had never denied the Cossacks' privileged status in their territories nor were they in a position to do so, obviously, due to their absolute dependence upon the Cossacks. Rather, in the years to come, the Whites would show considerable tolerance and even sympathy toward the Cossacks' rights to autonomy and would allow a free hand in their internal affairs, such as the inogorodnie question and the land question. However, the problem was that their understanding of Cossack autonomy was still vowA»-bound; they saw Cossacks' demands only in terms of the rights of "self-government," not in terms of "self-

224 determination," as the new krai-bound status of Kuban' actually implied. What made the situation more complicated was another political corollary that the krai regime in Kuban' assumed after the Bolshevik October; at Novo-Dmitrievskaia, the Volunteers would find it even more menacing to their legitimacy. As we saw in the preceding chapters, the krai regime featured its own democratic krai government and democratically elected Cossack parliament, krai Rada. These essentially soslovie-bound organs did not purport to be exclusively Cossack institutions, since in principle it was supposed to represent the entire population "regardless of soslovie." After the collapse of the Provisional Government, this allegedly "democratic" and soslovie-b\md selffashioning of the Cossack regime gave the Cossacks a new layer of self-legitimacy, the ramifications of which went beyond the territorial boundary of the krai. In early 1918, the Cossacks believed that Kuban' was "the only place with a regime that could boast a title of a continuous[,] legitimate people's power."690 As the self-proclaimed sole heir to the Post-February order in the entirety of European Russia, their new krai order was, indeed, to cite from the sarcastic remarks by Denikin, claimed to be built upon "the most democratic constitution in the [entire] world of an independent state organism: Kuban'."691 In the Cossacks' minds, this self-assumed legitimacy of the krai order marked a strong contrast not only to the Bolshevik dictatorship of the proletariat but also to the "natsional 'naia diktatura (national dictatorship)"

of the Russian Whites.

Only in Kuban', there existed a truly democratic regime representing the entire population. Only in Kuban' there existed a government and a popular assembly 690

Skobtsov, Trigoda, Vol. 1, 70 Denikin, Ocherki, Vol. 2, 269 692 Denikin, "Natsional'naia diktatura i ee politika," Revoliutsiia i Grazhdanskaia Voina v Opisaniiakh Belogvardeitsev (Moscow: Otechestvo, 1991), 5, 1 8 - 1 9


225 democratically elected in a free and secret election. Only in Kuban', there existed a true successor to the Revolutionary legitimacy of the post-February order. Only in Kuban', the pending socialist reforms of the Provisional Government that were aborted by the Bolshevik October, were being implemented, or were claimed to have been implemented, or were even promised to be fulfilled. While encountering these claims in Novo-Dmitrievskaia, it is hardly surprising that Denikin saw considerable affinity between these Cossack samostiiniki and the Revolutionary democrats in Petrograd. Certainly, the demands and claims of Kuban samostiiniki at Novo-Dmitrievskaia "reminded [him] of the endless debate with the 'Revolutionary democracy' during the summer days in 1917."693 In fact, this Kuban' variant of "Revolutionary democracy" had another notable commonality with the original in Petrograd, to which the Whites came to pay particular and growing attention. Like the socialists in Petrograd in 1917, Kuban' samostiiniki were plagued with severe factional rivalry. As we saw, their political strife was not new; it dated back to the early stages of Kuban' particularism in July 1917, the moment that the question of the zemstvo and the schism with inogorodnie divided the Cossacks into two factions in voisko Rada and government: the lineitsy minority who objected to the all-out schism, and the chernomortsy majority who staged the split. As was shown before, the "universalistic" development of Cossack particularism in the latter half of 1917 was, in some aspects, the result of the compromises and interactions between these two competing groups trying to maintain particularistic interests of the Cossack caste in the name of universalism. While the original issue that had divided them in fact 693

Denikin, Ocherki, Vol. 2, 278

226 lost its importance after the rapprochement with inogorodnie in December 1917, the alliance with the Whites added a new spark to the existing factional rivalry. Despite the common commitment to "Araz'-bound" particularism, when it came to the actual status of Kuban' krai in "One and Indivisible Russia," the two factions developed and adopted increasingly different attitudes and approaches. This difference came to represent an ethnic division of Kuban' Cossackdom. The lineitsy moderates, the majority of whom represented the Russian-speaking otdely in Kuban', were more ready to accept the White authority and to cooperate with the Volunteers. Whether or not their friendlier attitude to the Army originated from their more "Russian" background, the lineitsy group did not directly oppose the Whites' slogan of "One and Indivisible Russia." In the years to come, when the Whites came to face growing challenges and pressure from the samostiiniki opposition within Rada, these expectedly "pro-Russian" Cossacks would be targeted by the Army leadership in order to exploit the factional rivalry and to break Cossack unity. Within this role, the lineitsy would also work as a buffer preventing the mounting tension between the chernomortsy and the White generals from developing into an all-out confrontation, which would certainly have led to a premature and catastrophic collapse of the White army in South Russia. Nevertheless,







unquestionable supporters of the White agenda of national dictatorship, since, although the lineitsy accused the chernomortsy of "pursuing samostiinost'," their accusation did not mean that they were opposed to the "universalistically particularistic" vision of samostiinost'. Rather, they were to emerge as equally ardent supporters of the krai-

227 bound status of Kuban' and the principle of krai democracy. Thus, in a secret talk with the Whites, who proposed to form an alliance against the samostiiniki within Rada and the krai government in late 1918, the lineitsy were not hesitant in showing their strong objection to the principle of the "national dictatorship" proposed by Denikin and his aids in Special Council.694 This resolute response from the expectedly "moderate and [pro-] Russian" faction among the Kubantsy astonished the Whites,


but it was hardly

a surprising response at all, considering their earnest commitment to the £raz-bound status of Kuban' province. Like the chernomortsy, these moderates considered the Whites' idea of "dictatorship" a potential threat to the Araz-bound status of Kuban' and to Cossack democracy,696 although the Whites saw a menace to their plan only in the chernomortsy. As far as they were concerned, these descendents of Zaporozh 'e Sech' were true samostiiniki for two reasons: their historical ties with the Ukraine and their seemingly more apparent pursuit of separatism. While this suspicion was not without grounds and was even shared by some of the lineitsy, an irony was that these "true Cossack separatists" had never acknowledged the fact that they pursued any samostiinost'. What was more remarkable was that this rejection of samostiinost' was not a purposeful pretension but came from a genuine conviction. While it is hardly surprising that the "pro-Russian" lineitsy denied this cursed title, the fact that even the chernomortsy genuinely thought that they were not pursuing 694

Skobtsov, Trigoda, Vol. 1, 163; Sokolov, Pravlenie, 38 - 39 Sokolov, Pravlenie, 39 696 Skobtsov, Trigoda, Vol. 1, 97. The lineitsy and the chernomortsy saw the source of danger in different spheres. If the latter were more concerned about the centralist tendency of the Army, the former were deeply alarmed, more deeply than the chernomortsy, with the obviously reactionary leanings of some leading figures of the Volunteers {ibid.). To directly cite from Skobtsov, "in the [Ice] March ... we saw their courage ... but when the issue became the question of everyday civic life ... we could not but realize how persistently ... the reactionary elements and figures were hiding ... in all governing organs of the Volunteer Army... {ibid., 167). 695

228 any kind of separatism might, indeed, seem implausible. However, this denial of samostiinost' by the samostiiniki, denial of separatism by separatists, was, in fact, the quintessence of samostiinost' and another oxymoronic example of "universalistic particularism." What was particular to the chernomortsy was that the resulting contradiction between "who they claimed to be" and "who they were" was more clearcut and more problematic, mainly due to their Ukrainian background. As briefly shown in one of the previous chapters, it should be noted that these Cossack separatists preferred calling themselves "federalist-republicans," with a controversial slogan, "the one Kuban' in the one and federative Russian republic."

While the idea of federalism

had never been the exclusive territory of the chernomortsy, as the lineitsy were also earnest supporters of a federative Russia,698 after the middle of 1918, there began to develop a marked difference between these two Cossack variants of federalism. In the short run, the difference concerned the details surrounding the actual status of the Kuban' krai under White rule. In the long run, it concerned the true nature of a federative Russia. For the chernomortsy, a federative Russia would be a very distant future. Even if the ultimate success of the anti-Bolshevik struggle were to restore the territorial unity of Russia, it was to be a very loose confederation consisting of several independent state entities such as Kuban', Don, the Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia, Poland, etc.699 In fact, the


GARF, f. r-446, op. 2, d. 27,1. 16 Deklaratsiia Kuban 'skogo Kraevogo Pravitel 'stva oglashchena v zasedanii Zakonodatel 'noi Rady predsedatelem Kraevogo Pravitel'stva 29go lanvariia (Ekaterinodar, 1919), 3. In December 1918, the lineitsy faction, with the support of the Volunteer Army, took the Kuban' government, forming a proArmy lineitsy cabinet. Its premier was Sushkov, one of the lineitsy leaders. 699 The first detailed and realistic blueprint of federation by the chernomortsy faction was presented in a session of special council of the krai government on October 19th 1918. The author of the plan was a 698

229 term "restoration" might be a rather misleading word, since the new federative Russia envisaged by the chernomortsy was a very radical departure from the old empire. One might call it "radical," because according to the chernomortsy's perspective, "Russia as a state does not exist [anymore]."700 Instead, what survived the Revolutionary deluge were fragments of the fallen empire, several regional "state entities," which were obliged to pursue "their own statehoods" for survival.701 Among all these state "organisms," Kuban' krai stood distinctively with its democratic institutions based upon unique Cossack attributes. Since October 1917, the Cossack residents in Kuban' were forced "to recognize Kuban' krai as a 'self-contained unit'" and to give krai organs "sovereign and supreme power."

While this development was neither originally

planned nor intentionally pursued by these alleged federalists, its upshot turned out to be quite problematic in the Cossack-White relations, since in fact it signified a path to full-fledged separatism, Kuban' krai as an "independent Cossack republic." This route, however, could not be branded as separatism in the chernomortsy's minds, as, again, "Russia did not exist" to them. By denying separatism in order to pursue separatism, and by rejecting samostiinost' in order to achieve samostiinost', the chernomortsy's federalism reached the most oxymoronic stage of its allegedly universalistic existence. As a pure contradiction, one might call their samostiinost' "non-separatist separatism." The lineitsy 's federalism did not evolve as far as that of the chernomortsy. First of all, they did not share the controversial claim declaring the "demise" of old Russia. gorets samostiinik, Namitokov. For more detail, see GAKK, f. r-6, op. 1, d. 296,11. 250, 250ob, 251, 25 lob 700 GARF, f. r-446, op. 2, d. 140,1. 3; Stenograficheskii otchet, 285. Original Russian text is "Rossiia, kak gosudarstvo, net." 701 GARF, f. r-446, op. 2, d. 140,1. 5; Stenograficheskii otchet, 287 702 GARF, f. r-446, op. 2, d. 140,1. 3ob; Stenograficheskii otchet, 285

230 While the lineitsy also envisaged the new federalist future of Russia, they decisively differed from their Ukrainian-speaking Cossack brethren, in that they insisted that Kuban' should remain as "krai," but not as a republic. For them, even after the Bolshevik October, "krai" remained the only "universalistically particularistic" alternative between two unacceptable extremes: oblast', a term reminding them of old imperial rule, and respublika (republic), a term apparently implying separatism.703 For them, the democratic and federal Russian republic was a near future and the very aim of the anti-Bolshevik struggle of Kuban' Cossacks, upon which the possibility of their survival ultimately depended.704 Accusing the chernomortsy of attempting separatism, the lineitsy always denied the title of samostiiniki for themselves; however, their "krai" had a strong implication of samostiinost' as well, although they failed to realize this contradiction until the last moment of the Kuban' experiment. On the one hand, the future status of the Kuban' krai of which they dreamed was not a simple territorial self-government. Rather, it clearly resembled "a state entity," similar to that which the Ukraine, Finland, and Georgia would demand in the future federation. On the other hand, their objection to separatism was not specific to Kuban' krai. While believing that all state entities which were formed out of the rubble of the old empire should remain as indivisible parts of a federative Russia, they insisted that the Cossack provinces in South Russia should participate in it with the same rights as those borderland states were supposed to enjoy. What was more, when it came to these rights, the lineitsy variant of samostiinost' was to 703

Skobtsov, Trigoda, Vol. 1, 164. In early 1920, the Kuban' government officially prohibited the use of the term, oblast' m the official documents (GAKK, f. r-6, op. 1, d. 312,1. 32) 7 Deklaratsiia, 1 - 2

231 turn out even more Cossack-centric and even more particularistic than that of the chernomortsy. Unlike the chernomortsy, who preferred a broader anti-Bolshevik alliance including other anti-Bolshevik non-Cossack states, the lineitsy dreamed of a permanent Cossack union consisting of the three Southern Cossack voiska, as the first step to rebuilding the federative Russia.

"As a real and permanent power, this union

of Cossack lands," a proclamation of the lineitsy cabinet in January 1919 read, "could and should become a center for uniting all other state entities and provinces in South Russia."

While decrying separatism, the objection of the lineitsy was, in fact,

assuming the very rationale of samostiinost' and attempting to implement it. While denying the term, "respublika," they were demanding a status equivalent to that of republic. While denying Kuban' samostiinost', they were actually proposing to expand it to include three Southern Cossack voiska. As a result, this obvious incongruity built into their "pro-Russian" stance, would make their federalism an even more marked oxymoron than that of the chernomortsy. One might dub them "anti-separatist separatists." If the Whites failed to detect this incongruity in the lineitsy program, it was, first, because their "vo/sAw-bound" perspective prevented them from discovering the note of "anti-separatist separatism" in it, and second, because the "non-separatist separatism" of the chernomortsy was much easier to identify due to their controversial plan of a Cossack "republic." In the Whites' view, the susceptibility of the chernomortsy to samostiinost', in addition to their problematic claim of the demise of Russia, also

Deklaratsiia, 3 Deklaratsiia, 3

232 involved their "ethnic" relevance to an independent Ukraine, whose presence, according to the Whites' view, could not be allowed under any circumstances in "One and Indivisible Russia." While the relationship of the chernomortsy with the idea of the independent Ukraine still remains in dispute, there is evidence that some of their leaders were known as unapologetic sympathizers with Ukrainian nationalism, although their attitude toward the Ukrainian-speaking portion of the Kuban' inogorodnie made this sympathy contradictory. Some Rada delegates such as Beskrovnyi were considered 707

obvious Ukrainophiles,

and a few of them were known for their close connection

with Simon Petliura, who had been deported to Kuban' during the pre-war period.708 What was more threatening to the Army was the new Ukrainian government's claim that Kuban' should become a part of the greater Ukraine, although it was disputed by the krai government itself.7

Whatever the truth was, it is not surprising that the

Whites saw this connection with considerable suspicion, and that they attributed the Kuban' samostiinost', a phenomenon entirely incomprehensible to the Whites' voisko710

bound view, to the chernomortsy's Ukrainian background.

After all, this suspicion

was not entirely wrong. Whether chernomortsy'' were Ukrainophiles or not, their Ukrainian legacy was an important portion of their Cossack identity, in the same way as the Zaporozhian legacy contributed to the emergence of the modern nationalism of the Ukraine. In the federative plan of the "non-separatist separatists," the independent 707

GARF, f. r-446, op. 2, d. 98,1. 102 Simon Petliura had a personal relationship with some Kuban' leaders. While he was deported to Kuban', he worked as one of the research assistants of F. A. Shcherbina, when this Cossack historian was writing his masterpiece, The History of the Kuban' Cossack voisko (V. K. Chumachenko, "Istoriia Kubanskogo kazach'ego voiska F. A. Shcherbiny: ot zamysla k voploshcheniiu knigovedcheskii aspekt," in Nauchno tvorcheskoe nasledie, 234). 709 Procyk, Russian Nationalism, 63 7,0 GARF, f. r-446, op. 2, d. 98,11. 102, 102ob, 103, 103ob; ibid, f. r-5827, op. 1, d. 38,11. 1, lob, 2, 2ob 708

233 Ukraine was envisaged to become one of the natural allies of Kuban' krai. In the years to come, the quarrel between chernomortsy and lineitsy would rapidly grow and would become the most important feature of Kuban' politics. However, unfortunately for the Whites, in March 1918 this dispute between the "antiseparatist separatists" and "non-separatist separatists" was not yet ripe; the lineitsy had not yet clearly presented their own allegedly "pro-Russian" voice, and the chernomortsy had not yet pronounced the "demise of the Russian state," nor the controversial blueprint of the independent Kuban' republic. Instead, the Cossacks appeared before the Whites at Novo-Dmitrievskaia with a common commitment to the &ra/-bound status of Kuban', a program which was adopted in the December krai Rada in 1917. This encounter between the claimants of "Kuban' sovereignty" and the protectors of "Russian national statehood," thus, resulted in a strange compromise featuring simultaneously ostensible clarity and an essential ambiguity: the Novo-Dmitrievskaia Agreement. The gist of the Novo-Dmitrievskaia Agreement, which was intended to be provisional but was to turn out to be permanent, was as follows. On the one hand, as the White generals consistently demanded, the Cossacks agreed to put their army under the White command with its complete reorganization and fusion with the Volunteers. In return for this concession, the Whites agreed to the creation of a separate Kuban' army in the future. Although the agreement officially did not mention the necessary details regarding "when" and "how," 711 Kornilov gave a personal guarantee that an independent Kuban' army under the Kuban' commander would be created after taking 711

GARF, f. r-6959, op. 1, d. 65, 13; Skobtsov, Trigoda, Vol. 1, 81; 1917 i 1918 gocfy, 16

234 Ekaterinodar back from the Bolsheviks.712 Rather than demanding direct subordination of the Cossacks to the White command, Kornilov, who was himself a Siberian Cossack, wanted the Cossacks to share the responsibility and the burden of the White enterprise with the Whites.713 On the other hand, by agreeing that the Cossack institutions would "continue their work.... helping the military measures of the Army Command,"714 the Army, although very reluctantly, recognized the Kuban' government and Rada as an 71 S

equal political partner.

And yet, the final agreement did not specify the exact

political status of the Kuban' krai, though it did not mention that of the White command either. As a result, except for the military matter, the Whites and the Cossacks in the guise of agreement achieved no agreement. This lack of clarity had contradictory consequences. In the short run, in military terms, the "Cossack Vendee" was to turn out to be an immediate success. In just a few months, the Volunteer Army would rapidly grow to a massive force through the mobilization of rank-and file Cossacks who were increasingly disenchanted with Bolshevik rule.

However, in the long run, the Cossack-White alliance bore the seeds

of failure even as it was signed. In political terms, it did not qualify for the term, 712

Skobtsov, Trigoda, Vol. 1, 81 Filimonov, "Kubantsy," 168. The premature and sudden death of Kornilov during the attack on Ekaterinodar in April 1918 made this matter more complicated, since Kornilov's successor, Denikin later would neither honor Kornilov's promise nor would appear to ever have had any intention do so. Certainly, Kornilov's Cossack background considerably appealed to the Kuban' leaders, helping them develop quite an amicable view of this icon of the White Movement. In particular, Bych and Riabovol came to develop special respect for this Cossack general, even planning to build a memorial park for Kornilov in Ekaterinodar. When the relationship with the White command increasingly deteriorated after summer 1918, many samostiiniki believed that if Kornilov had been alive, the situation would have been considerably different (Skobtsov, Trigoda, Vol. 1,81) 7.4 GARF, f. r-6959, op. 1, d. 65, 13; Denikin, Ocherki, Vol. 2, 279; 1917 i 1918 gody, 16 715 Denikin, Ocherki, Vol. 2, 279; Filimonov, "Kubantsy" 168 - 69; Sokolov, Pravlenie, 35; 1917 i 1918 gody, 16 716 According to the estimates of Sokolov, during the Ice March, the Cossacks constituted 70% of the White forces (Sokolov, Pravlenie, 44) 7.3

235 "alliance," since these two allies did not recognize their companion's claim of identity and status. While the Whites continued to behave as if all others revolved around them, implying a native superiority to the Cossacks' provincial regime, the Cossacks treated 717

the White generals as their equals.

Indeed, it did not take long before, as Skobtsov

recollected, "there [began to] develop a wall"718; "[there was] no mutual understanding. 71Q

It was a relationship of disapproval and sarcasm."

From the very beginning of the

Cossack Vendee, despite its remarkable initial military success, it was quite obvious that this strange cohabitation of two "antitheses" could not last for long. On August 2nd 1918, the united forces of the Kuban' Cossacks and the Volunteers recaptured Ekaterinodar, the capital of the Kuban krai, from Bolshevik hands.720 Until the end of August, the White army further succeeded in ousting the TJ1

Bolsheviks from almost every corner of Kuban' territory,

reestablishing Cossack rule

in Kuban'. Kuban' Rada and government re-entered Ekaterinodar on August 4th. Of course, their return was accompanied by their allies who presumed to be their "superiors."722 Through five-months of struggle in the barren steppe of South Russia, samostiinyi Kuban' finally succeeded in recovering its territory from the hands of the "proletariat dictatorship;" however, it would soon find that its capital was to become the headquarters of another dictatorship, "Natsional'naia diktatura."

7,7 718 719 720 721 722

Skobtsov, Trigoda, Vol. 1, 96 /&