Chapter 1: My Liberation

The February Revolution of 1917 opened the gates of all Russian prisons for political prisoners. There can be no doubt this was mainly brought about by armed workers and peasants taking to the streets, some in their blue smocks, others in grey military overcoats.

The Russian revolution in Ukraine (March 1917 - April 1918) - Nestor Makhno

Meeting of the Makhnovists

Ukrainian anarcho-communist revolutionary Nestor Makhno's history of the revolution in Ukraine and the role of the Makhnovist movement.


I dedicate this volume to the memory of my dead friends and comrades who struggled with me to organize revolutionary Ukrainian workers to bring about a free, anarchist communist society:

Makhnovists "beyond the rapids": The Zaporozhian Cossack influence

Sean Patterson on the relationship between the Russian revolution-era anarchist movement the Makhnovists and the Zaporozhian Cossacks.

Kontrrazvedka: The story of the Makhnovist intelligence service - Vyacheslav Azarov

Study of the Makhnovists' intelligence service during the Russian civil war, the Kontrrazvedka.

Nestor Makhno in the Russian civil war - Michael Malet

Early 1980s British perspective about Makhno and the Makhnovists, this is a sympathetic examination of their tactics and activity.

Civil War in Russia - David Footman

British historian's account of the Russian civil war and the Makhnovists.

Video footage of Nestor Makhno, 1919

Newsreel footage from 1919 of Nestor Makhno and his troops.

Makhno: the impressions of a French journalist - Stéphane Roger

Among the many enemies facing the Ukrainian anarchists in the Russian Civil War were the French armed forces sent to bolster the counter-revolution in Ukraine. A deserter from these forces describes his encounter with Nestor Makhno and his troops.

Always true to their own lying system of propaganda, the bourgeois and estate-owning Mennonites from the German colonies of Ukraine have for several months now carried on a deceitful campaign of slander with the goal of vilifying the reputation of Comrade Makhno.

Over the fresh grave of comrade N. Rogdaev - Nestor Makhno

Nestor Makhno's eulogy for the anarcho-communist revolutionary Nicolai Rogdaev is also a lament for the fate of Russian anarchism.

Over the Fresh Grave of Comrade N. Rogdaev

(from a report made to comrades on January 21 1933)

By Nestor Makhno

The Makhnovists and the Mennonites: war and peace in the Ukrainian Revolution

A Mennonite Selbstschutz unit photographed in the Ukraine, 1918

This is a story about massacres that occurred in Southern Ukraine between 26th October and 7th December, 1919. The victims, avowedly-pacifist German Mennonites, included several women and elderly people; in Eichenfeld, almost one third of the village population was killed, including a 65 year-old blind woman. All the massacres occurred in the vicinity of the Makhnovist army. And then, after six weeks, they stopped.

This is also the story of an émigré community whose members invented an anarchist bogeyman to justify having betrayed their pacifist principles. It’s about estate owners who earned 3000 times what they paid their labourers, landlords who conscripted soldiers to protect their wealth, and pacifists who fought for an army that killed tens of thousands of Jews.