Armed Forces of South Russia

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Armed Forces of South Russia
Вооружённые силы Юга России
Iug rossii.PNG
Most territory controlled by South Russian forces as of October 1919
Active 8 January 1919 – April 1920
Country South Russia
Allegiance Flag of Russia.svg GCAFSR
Size 85,000 (January 1919)
160,000 (July 1919)
270,000 (October 1919)
Commander-in-Chief Anton Denikin

The Armed Forces of South Russia or AFSR (Russian : Вооружённые силы Юга России, translit.  Vooruzhyonniye sily Yuga Rossii, VSYuR) were formed on 8 January 1919, it incorporated many of the smaller formations of the White Army in South of Russia (called "White South" in Soviet historiography), including the Volunteer Army (which was renamed the Caucasian Volunteer Army). Besides that, the AFSR included the Don Army, the Crimean-Azov Army, the Forces of Northern Caucasus and the Turkestan Army.

Russian language East Slavic language

Russian is an East Slavic language, which is official in the Russian Federation, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, as well as being widely used throughout Eastern Europe, the Baltic states, the Caucasus and Central Asia. It was the de facto language of the Soviet Union until its dissolution on 25 December 1991. Although, nowadays, nearly three decades after the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russian is used in official capacity or in public life in all the post-Soviet nation-states, as well as in Israel and Mongolia, the rise of state-specific varieties of this language tends to be strongly denied in Russia, in line with the Russian World ideology.

Romanization of Russian Romanization of the Russian alphabet

Romanization of Russian is the process of transliterating the Russian language from the Cyrillic script into the Latin script.

Volunteer Army volunteer military during the Russian Civil War

The Volunteer Army was a White Army active in South Russia during the Russian Civil War from 1917 to 1920. The Volunteer Army fought against Bolshevik forces in the Southern Front and the Ukrainian War of Independence. In 1919 it was made part of the Armed Forces of South Russia, becoming the largest force of the White movement until it was merged with the Army of Wrangel in March 1920.


In January 1919, it numbered 51,000 Infantry, 34,000 Cavalry, 204 Field guns, 682 machine guns and 6 armoured trains. By July 1919 it had grown to 104,000 Infantry, 56,000 Cavalry, 600 Field guns, 1,500 machine guns, 19 aircraft, 34 armoured trains, 1 Cruiser, 5 Destroyers, 4 Submarines and 20 Gunboats.[ citation needed ] By October, after heavy losses and the transfer of units to other armies, the armies' strength fell drastically.[ dubious ]

The Volunteer Army from its inception until January 23, 1919 carried the same name. Then after becoming a part of the Armed Forces of South Russia, from January 23, 1919, until May 22, 1919, it was renamed to Caucasus Volunteer Army. On May 22, it split into two formations: the Caucasus Army, and the Volunteer Army. The Caucasus Army disbanded on January 29, 1920 and was replaced by the short-lived Kuban Army. Troops of the Kuban Army ended up surrendering by April 18–20, 1920 to the Red Army. The Volunteer Army continued to exist from May 22, 1919 until March 26/27, 1920, when the remaining troops were evacuated from Novorossiysk to Crimea. Most then merged there with Wrangel's forces.

Red Army 1917–1946 ground and air warfare branch of the Soviet Unions military

The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army, frequently shortened to Red Army was the army and the air force of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, and, after 1922, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The army was established immediately after the 1917 October Revolution. The Bolsheviks raised an army to oppose the military confederations of their adversaries during the Russian Civil War. Beginning in February 1946, the Red Army, along with the Soviet Navy, embodied the main component of the Soviet Armed Forces; taking the official name of "Soviet Army", until its dissolution in December 1991.

Evacuation of Novorossiysk (1920)

The Evacuation of Novorossiysk or the Novorossiysk Catastrophe was the evacuation of the White Armed Forces of South Russia and refugees from Novorossiysk in March 1920, during the Russian Civil War, in which thousands of officers, soldiers and Cossacks of the White Army and civilians were left behind and killed by the Red Army and the Green Army. In total, some 33,000 people were executed.

Crimea peninsula in the Black Sea

Crimea is a peninsula on the northern coast of the Black Sea in Eastern Europe that is almost completely surrounded by both the Black Sea and the smaller Sea of Azov to the northeast. It is located south of the Ukrainian region of Kherson, to which it is connected by the Isthmus of Perekop, and west of the Russian region of Kuban, from which it is separated by the Strait of Kerch though linked by the Crimean Bridge. The Arabat Spit is located to the northeast, a narrow strip of land that separates a system of lagoons named Sivash from the Sea of Azov. Across the Black Sea to its west is Romania and to its south Turkey.

In early April 1920, Anton Denikin, commander-in-chief of the AFSR, delegated all authority to Pyotr Wrangel, who took command of the so-called "Russian Army", which included all units remaining from the AFSR after its defeat in the Northern Caucasus.

Anton Denikin Russian general

Anton Ivanovich Denikin was a Russian Lieutenant General in the Imperial Russian Army (1916) and afterwards a leading general of the White movement in the Russian Civil War.

Order of Battle of the AFSR, early 1919

Volunteer Army (known as Caucasian Volunteer Army from January 23 - May 22, 1919)
Commanders: Gen. Anton Denikin (April 1918 - April 1920)

Alexander Kutepov Russian politician and general

Alexander Pavlovich Kutepov was the leader of the anti-communist Volunteer Army during the Russian Civil War.

Andrei Shkuro Russian general

Andrei Grigoriyevich Shkuro was a Lieutenant General (1919) of the White Army.

Flag of Kuban People's Republic.svg Caucasus Army (split from Caucasian Volunteer Army on May 22, 1919)
Commanders: Lt. Gen. Pyotor Vrangel (May 21 - December 8, 1919)
Lt. Gen. Viktor Pokrovsky (December 9, 1919 - February 8, 1920)

Don White Army.svg Don Army (joined AFSR on 23 February 1919)
Commanders: Gen. Vladimir Sidorin (February 1919 and April 1920)

Turkestan Army

See also


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The Russian Civil War was a multi-party war in the former Russian Empire immediately after the two Russian Revolutions of 1917, as many factions vied to determine Russia's political future. The two largest combatant groups were the Red Army, fighting for the Bolshevik form of socialism led by Vladimir Lenin, and the loosely allied forces known as the White Army, which included diverse interests favoring political monarchism, economic capitalism and alternative forms of socialism, each with democratic and antidemocratic variants. In addition, rival militant socialists and nonideological Green armies fought against both the Bolsheviks and the Whites. Eight foreign nations intervened against the Red Army, notably the former Allied military forces from the World War and the pro-German armies. The Red Army eventually defeated the White Armed Forces of South Russia in Ukraine and the army led by Admiral Aleksandr Kolchak to the east in Siberia in 1919. The remains of the White forces commanded by Pyotr Nikolayevich Wrangel were beaten in Crimea and evacuated in late 1920. Lesser battles of the war continued on the periphery for two more years, and minor skirmishes with the remnants of the White forces in the Far East continued well into 1923. The war ended in 1923 in the sense that Bolshevik communist control of the newly formed Soviet Union was now assured, although armed national resistance in Central Asia was not completely crushed until 1934. There were an estimated 7,000,000–12,000,000 casualties during the war, mostly civilians. The Russian Civil War has been described by some as the greatest national catastrophe that Europe had yet seen.

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