Gavrish, Daniil (189?-after 1924)

A short biography of Makhnovist commander Daniil Gavrish

Submitted by Battlescarred on June 15, 2019

Daniil Gavrish was born in the village of Semikozovka, in the Starobelsky district of Kharkov province of the Ukraine, to a peasant family, in the late 19th century.

During the 1917 Revolution he joined a Red Guard detachment. He later left this and formed his own unit from the inhabitants of Semikozovka, and at a gathering of the unit was elected its chief.

In 1920, Daniel commanded a large Makhnovist rebel detachment in the Donbas and the Starobelsky district. At the start of 1921 there were over 500 combatants in his detachment. Many of the fighters in these Makhnovist detachments in the region were ex-Red Army men, like Gavrish, Saenko. Kamenyuk was the overall Makhnovist commander in the Seversky Donets region who coordinated the actions of Gavrish, Savonov, Terezov, Gold Tooth, Budanov, Zaitsev and Saenko.

On January 30th, 1921, Gavrish, together with other Makhnovist commanders- Nikita Saenko and Ivan Kolesnikov, captured the town of Belovodsk and killed 3 Soviet policemen, and looted the treasury. The Makhnovists then held an “explanatory” rally on the town’s market square.

In March 1921, the 1st Turkestan International Regiment of the Red Army attacked the Gavrish and Saenko detachments near Semikozovka. The latter suffered heavy losses, and Nikita Saenko shot himself rather than be captured. Danilo Gavrish took refuge with the remnants of the squad in the forest tracts of the Aleksinsky Kuta. This was followed by several more defeats of the Gavrish detachment..

In September, Vladimir Kravtsov, the deputy chairman of the Starobelsk Military Revolutionary Committee arrived in Belovodsk. He negotiated with Gavrish for his surrender . At the request of the Chekists Gavrish wrote an appeal to Makhnovists to surrender., many of whom did in Starobelsky district.

As a result, Gavrish was amnestied and even appointed deputy chief of olice in the area. In November 1924, the newspaper Red Ploughman reported that a gang of 14 people led by Gavrish had been arrested for carrying out 9 armed robberies. Gavrish was put on trial, and after serving his sentence, returned to Belovodsk, where he died suddenly.

Nick Heath


Savchenko, V. Atamanshchina.Гавриш,_Даниил