Bondarets, Luca Nikiforovich (1892-1920)

A short biography of anarchist communist and Makhnovist Luca Bondarets

Submitted by Battlescarred on October 1, 2021

Luca Bondarets was born in the village of Novospassovka. His father was a stone mason. In 1910 he was one of those that joined the Anarchist Communist Group there. The Novospassovka group was to become one of the most important nuclei of the Makhnovist movement. Bondarets worked as a joiner and during the First World War served as a private in the Tsarist army.

Returning from the front in 1918, he took part in organising partisan detachments in the uprising against the Hetman Skoropadsky, who led the puppet government backed by the Germans and Austro-Hungarians. In November-December 1918 he acted as assistant commander of the Novospassovka regiment of 700 combatants which fought both Skoropadsky and the Whites.

In January 1919 he and his detachment joined the Makhnovist Revolutionary Insurgent Army. In March he became a battalion commander and then commander of the 8th Zadneprovsky regiment, serving in the Red Army in June 1919. In autumn and winter of that year he commanded an infantry regiment in the fight against the Denikinist armies.

In January 1920, he returned to Novospassovka, where he was engaged in underground activity in the rear of the Denikinists. On 8th May 1920, the Novospassovka anarchist communists rallied to the newly reformed Makhnovist forces and Bondarets was elected chief of the entire Makhnovist cavalry on the same day. On May 29th, he was a member of the Revolutionary Military Council (RVS) of the Makhnovists and head of the cultural and educational department.

That month he took part in fighting with the Reds as commander of the 1st Cavalry. On 25th June his detachments defeated the Reds at Dibrovka, capturing the entire 174th brigade of the Red Army. However he himself was killed in the fighting.

Nick Heath