16 January 2018, Tuesday, 12:48

Belarusians mark Day of Heroes (Video)


The Slutsk regiments of the Belarusian People's Republic and the Red Army clashed on November 27, 1920.

Belarusian patriots mark this day as Day of Heroes.

The termination of war between Soviet Russia and Poland gave an opportunity to resume the struggle for the independence of Belarus. Local government bodies were formed on the territories after the Polish troops withdrew, but the Bolsheviks didn't come yet. The Slutsk Rada (Council) was founded in November 1920. It declared the restoration of the Belarusian People's Republic and began to form military units consisting of local dwellers. The regiments were set up – the Slutak regiment led by Pavel Chaika (later repalced by Akhrem Haurylovich) and the Hrozava regiment under command of captain Luka Semianiuk. They were united into the Slutsk brigade under command of Anton Sokal-Kutylouski.

Battles between the squads, mostly consisting of peasants from the Slutsk district, and the Bolsheviks continued for a month. Belarusian parts of the army of General Stanislau Bulak-Balakhovich – the Bialystok battalion and the Smolensk regiment – joined the brigade. Guerrilla squads “Zialiony Dub” (Green Oak) also joined the brigade.

Belarusian troops resisted the Russian army and organised a counter-attack. The Slutsk brigade had a number of successful attacks near Kopyl and Tsimkavichy. The Omsk division of the Red Army fought against Belarusians. The Bolsheviks had to retreat on the 100-km front Kopyl – Tsimkavichy – Vyzna. In spite of support of local population the Belarusian squads didn't have enough arms and ammunition. Combat actions continued near the villages of Bystrytsy, Vasilchytsy, Varabeychytsy, Dashkova, Vasilishki, Liutovichy and Morach. The Slutsk brigade liberated a number of villages from the Bolsheviks.

It was the start of the active anti-Bolshevick resistance. More and more people joined the Belarusian troops.

The situation changed only after a decision to send additional units of the Red Army from central Russia consisting of Chinese and Buryats to the Belarusian front. The rebels had to retreat to western Belarus controlled by the Polish army.

The Slutsk Uprising became an example for other Belarusians. They continued guerrilla warfare against the Bolsheviks even after the Red Army occupied the territory of the Slutsk district.