Protsenko, Vladimir Trofimovich (or Trifonovich) (1891-1921)

Makhnovist villages coming together to bury deceased partisans (1918).

A short biography of anarchist communist and Makhnovist Vladimir Protsenko.

Vladimir Protsenko was born on July 14th, 1891 into a miller’s family in the village of Novospasovka. He worked as an assistant locomotive driver and then as a fitter.

He was a member of the Novospasovka Anarchist Communist Group from 1910, which comprised 20 to 25 militants, other members including Trofim Vdovichenko, Viktor Belash, Anton Matrosenko, Vassily Kurilenko, Luca Bondarets, Filipp Goncharenko, Vladimir Protsenko and Martyn Fomenko. All of these would have key roles in the Makhnovist movement. Indeed the Novospasovka group and the Gulyai Polye Anarchist Communist Group, were important nuclei of the insurgent movement and supplied much of its cadre. Protsenko used the revolutionary pseudonym “Bida”.

In 1918 he took part in the uprising against the Austro-Hungarian and German occupying forces working with the puppet government of the nationalist Hetman Skoropadsky. Viktor Belash describes how Protsenko, firiing with a rifle from bushes in Novospasovka, killed a senior Austrian officer. Unfortunately, the ensuing repression resulted in the slaughter of Belash’s father and grandfather and his second cousin Petr on 1st June 1918.

Protsenko was an active participant in the Makhnovist movement from the end of 1918 and first served as a commander of a company of the 3rd Zadneprovsky Brigade, and at the end of 1919 as commandant of the 2nd Azov Corps. In 1920 he was apparently, according to Belash, secretary of the Operations Department of the Council of Revolutionary Insurgents. He continued partisan activity in the northern Taurida after Makhno crossed the border in 1921. At the end of that year he was captured and sent to Kharkov. There he was shot on December 29th, according to Belash, along with Martyn Fomenko (1) and another Novospasovka anarchist communist, Pavel Khokhotva.

(1) Martyn Fedororovich Fomenko (1893-1921), member of the Novospasovka group since 1910, took part in uprising against Skoropadsky and the Austro-Germans. According to unverified information, a regimental commander in the Makhnovist forces.

(2) Pavel Ivanovich Khokhotva (1895-1921) first investigated for revolutionary activities in 1912, an anarchistcommunist since 1916. Took part in both the Febuary and Octovber Revolutions in Petrograd, and then fought with the Don Cossacks. Joined the Makhnovists in autumn 1918. A member of the Military Revolutionary Council of the Makhnovists in 1919-1920. and represented the Makhnovists at the HWQ of the Red Army's Southern Front. He was arrested by the Bolsheviks in Kharkov in November 1920,. In June of the same year he escaped from the prison in Ryazan. in June 1921 he escaped from the Ryazan prison. In August 1921, he voluntarily made an appearance at the Bolshevik Politburo in Gulyai-POlye and was arrested by the Chekists.

Nick Heath

Posted By

Sep 10 2021 16:53


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Sep 11 2021 13:09

I've just added a bit more info on Fomenko and Khokhotva.

Red Marriott
Sep 11 2021 18:39

Any relation to the Protsenko here in what is apparently a prison pic from Kharkov?

Sep 12 2021 13:18

No, I'd already checked that and I can't find a connection.

Red Marriott
Sep 12 2021 22:48

Uh, ok.