Переселенці до Криму з Полтавщини. с. Зуя, 1928 р.
Переселенці до Криму з Полтавщини. с. Зуя, 1928 р.

Resettlement of Ukrainians to the Crimea in the 1950s


The forced relocation of the Ukrainian population from Ukraine, plundered by the Second World War, to the depopulated Crimea took place on a large scale long before its change of subordination. With this criminal action, Kremlin leaders pursued several important tasks for the Soviet empire. First of all, it was necessary to revive the abandoned agriculture and save the economy of the peninsula, which were in a catastrophic state after the eviction of the Crimean Tatars, Greeks, Bulgarians, Armenians and Germans. As already noted, the first wave of immigrants from the Russian hinterland did not cope with this task, and Crimea remained the most backward and problematic region of the RSFSR.

But no less important task for the Kremlin was the devastation and bleeding of the population of Ukraine itself, which in the western regions resisted the Bolshevik regime until the late 1950s. The authorities could not carry out the secret order of 1944 of Stalin’s satraps Lavrentiy Beria and the bloody marshal, an ardent Ukrainophobe Konstantin Zhukov, about the mass expulsion of Ukrainians from Ukraine because of the scale of the action and the possibility of military resistance in the Soviet army. Therefore, the Kremlin decided not to carry out ethnic cleansing of Ukrainians from Ukrainians in a not very loud and economically less expensive way – by migration policy. Cleansed of Crimean Tatars and other national minorities, Crimea proved to be a very attractive site. In addition to the Crimea, Ukrainians were voluntarily and forcibly relocated after the war to the most remote regions of Russia: Sakhalin region,Khabarovsk Krai, Jewish Autonomous Oblast, Primorsky Krai, Buryat-Mongolian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, Karelian-Finnish SSR and other regions.

At the same time in Ukraine not only in industrial regions (Donbass, Lugansk, Zaporozhye, Dnepropetrovsk, Nikolaev, Kherson, Odessa, Poltava, Kharkiv, Sumy, etc.), but also in cities and even villages of Western Ukraine, Bukovina and Transcarpathia en masse resettled the Russian population. This is how the ethnic, genetic and linguistic-cultural map of Ukraine changed. However, this is the topic of another conversation.

We will focus on the forced relocation of the Ukrainian population to the Crimea in the first postwar decade, that is, even when it was part of the RSFSR. Pursuant to the Resolution of the Union Government of December 5, 1949 № 5530, the Council of Ministers of the USSR servicefully adopted on December 29, 1949 its Resolution № 3893 “On Relocation to Collective Farms of the Crimean Region”.
This Resolution provided for the relocation of 1,000 Ukrainian families to the Crimea: 300 from the Drohobych region, 400 from the Zakarpattia region and 300 from the Chernivtsi region. In total, this is about 5,000 people. It is quite clear why these areas were chosen by the local servants of Moscow authorities for resettlement. Kyiv officials have been required by local officials to provide information twice a month and to provide full reports by the end of the year.
As early as the beginning of February 1950, the authorities of the Lviv region, formed of occupiers and Smershivtsi, reported that they had submitted applications for 195 families who had “agreed” to move to the Crimea. There were 833 people in this group, including 420 able-bodied people. In order to carry out the plan of “voluntary” migrants “lowered from above”, the regional council undertook to “catch” “volunteers” in two more mountain areas.

Immigrants to the Crimea from Chernihiv region (Pryluky, early twentieth century)
Immigrants to the Crimea from Chernihiv region
(Pryluky, early twentieth century)

In order to overfulfill Moscow’s plan to resettle Ukrainians in the Crimea in 1950, republican officials are involving several other oblasts in this action: Kamyanets-Podilsky (now Khmelnytsky), Vinnytsia, and Kyiv. In 1950, 200 families from 15 districts were to relocate from Kamianets-Podilskyi. The Kyiv region also had to relocate 200 families from 8 districts. But most of the peasants (300 families) in just one 1950 had to move to the Crimea Vinnytsia region. According to the report of the Office under the Council of Ministers of the USSR for Evacuation on July 1, 1950, the resettlement plan was implemented.

Thus, during the first half of 1950, 972 families were relocated to the Crimea, with a total number of 4,070 people. Another 28 families, which were not enough to fully implement the plan, local officials promised to relocate by the end of August.

Whether the relocation of Ukrainians to the Crimea was “voluntary” is quite eloquently testified by the letter of the secretary of the Sudak district committee of the CPSU (b) of the Crimean region M. Osadchykh to the first secretary of the Central Committee of the CP (b) U L. Melnikov. He complains to his party boss that of the 169 families who, according to resolutions of the USSR Council of Ministers of December 5, 1949 and the RSFSR Council of Ministers (it turns out that Ukrainians were relocated to the Crimea even without the consent of the Kholui Kyiv authorities), 83 families left Crimea. The fact that many communists were among the fugitives also attracts attention. They, of course, moved to the Crimea by order of the party. The fugitives did not even withdraw from the party and left the Crimea on their own. The party ideologue of the district flood demands to influence the local Vinnytsia party and executive authorities to return the fugitives. This fact indicatesthat migrants from Ukraine were in terrible conditions. They were often not provided with housing and settled in barns and livestock farms. Most farms had no water or electricity. Even non-residential buildings were not heated in winter.

Since 1951, the resettlement of the Ukrainian population to the Crimea has become more widespread and taking other forms. Only during the summer of 1951 were several government decrees issued on the resettlement of Ukrainians to the Crimea. At the request of the Council of Ministers of the USSR of June 1, 1951 № 1849 the Council of Ministers of the USSR Resolution № 1406 of June 13 adopted a resolution to relocate to the Crimea in 1952 another 1,000 families of Ukrainian collective farmers from Kamyanets-Podilsky, Zhytomyr, Kyiv, Sumy and Chernihiv regions . Moreover, for the first time in all the years of resettlement, the allied authorities set the task of relocating not only individual families, but also resettlement mainly by entire collective farms and brigades.

Faced with the problem of returning migrants to their native lands due to lack of housing, the authorities for the first time began to allocate funds for housing construction (for one family from 16 to 20 thousand rubles) and the provision of interest-free loans for construction work and arrangement in a new place in the Crimean collective farms. for a period of 10 years. And the state took over 40% of the loan.

Before relocating to the Crimea, local Ukrainian residents, including resettlers, formed construction crews that were engaged in the construction and arrangement of housing. This helped to consolidate the settlers in a new place. And the government began to provide not individual (family), but group (collective and brigade) responsibility for resettlement, government spending on it and for loans.
The decision of the executive committee of the Kyiv regional council of July 16, 1951 states that the Kaganovytsia, Rozvazhivsky, and Rzhyshchiv districts should relocate 200 families to the Crimea, mostly entire collective farms and brigades, which were small collective farms before the consolidation. Zealous regional officials are increasing the number of displaced families to 300 in order to serve Moscow and Kyiv.

In this resolution, for the first time, we meet the already defined district and collective farm that are to receive Ukrainian migrants.

Immigrants to the Crimea from Poltava region. with. Zuya, 1928
Immigrants to the Crimea from Poltava region. with. Zuya, 1928

An even more interesting document is the minutes of the general meeting of the collective farm. Dzerzhinsky in the village. Ryzhiv, Chudniv district, Zhytomyr region. In addition to all the village and district leadership, the general meeting with almost 90 percent turnout was attended by a representative of the Crimean collective farm. Kirov (Zuysky district). He played the role of agitator.

The protocol was prepared for reporting to the district, oblast and capital in compliance with clerical and bureaucratic requirements. There was an authoritative presidium consisting of the head of the collective farm and the head of the village council, the district administration, local labor veterans and an emissary-agitator from the Crimea.

As usual, according to the established protocol of such organized meetings, the first to speak was a veteran of the Ryzhiv collective farm movement, who had previously been thrown into the Crimea. In particular, he said: “Today there is a question at the meeting about the relocation of our collective farm to the Crimean region. … This collective farm has 4574 hectares of land, the collective farm has 60 hectares of orchards, 45 hectares of gardens, 45 hectares of tobacco and 800 hectares of pastures and meadows, the collective farm also sows and plants roses, sage and other valuable oilseeds, which give the collective farm big profits, everywhere collective farmers receive large sums of money for working days. The collective farm also has 450 hives, the land on the collective farm yields a large harvest. The collective farmers of this collective farm live culturally and prosperously. This collective farm has great prospects in the future, but in the absence of sufficient labor, the collective farm is unable to use the wealth it has.I urge all collective farmers to move to the Crimean region as one ”(quoted in the original language).

The representative of the Zuy farm did not remain in debt either: … The regional executive committee and the regional committee of the party, taking into account the merits of your collective farmers during the Great Patriotic War, recommended that our collective farm accept your small collective farm named after Dzerzhinsky in our family and today discussing the issue of resettlement, I think that all as one will approve this important decision of the Party and the Government to improve the welfare of the collective farm and collective farmers unanimously and upon arrival at our collective farm will help us use the wealth this time has not yet been used by our collective farm ”(spelling of the original is preserved).

The head of the local collective farm, the head of the village council, and, as usual, the leading milkmaid joined the approving propaganda action. She has also visited the Crimean farm. The agitation and party pressure proved so strong that out of the 146 collective farmers present, 96 voted for the resettlement and 50 against it.

It is eloquent enough that none of the collective farmers present at these destructive gatherings were interested in the fate of the village or the fate of the lands they were to leave. Apparently, such curiosity was very dangerous for everyone. After all, representatives of Enkavedist structures were present at the meeting and were not declared in the minutes. The meeting decided: “To approve the resolution of the Council of Ministers of the USSR on resettlement in the Crimean region and completely as part of the collective farm to move to the collective farm. Kirov of the Zuysky district of the Crimean region. To ask the executive committee of the Chudniv district council of workers ‘deputies to approve our decision and to file a petition before the executive committee of the Zhytomyr regional council of workers’ deputies to relocate the collective farm named after Dzerzhinsky to the Crimean region “(spelling of the original is preserved).

The settlers decided: to separate the construction team from the members of the collective farm. Dzerzhinsky consisting of 45 people.

In 1951 alone, almost 4,600 people were sent to the Crimean region from Vinnytsia and Sumy regions. In addition, in order to overfulfill the plan in 1952, an additional 69 families (275 people) were relocated from the Kyiv region, and 23 families (91 people) from the Zhytomyr region. So how many Ukrainian villages and collective farms had to be lost to carry out and overfulfill the Kremlin’s criminal orders?

And the instructions and orders from Moscow and Kyiv were really criminal. Even the German occupiers did not resort to such anti-human actions. After all, on the instructions of Moscow, the Kyiv Regional Council on December 5, 1951 made an idiotic decision to relocate the brigade of the collective farm. Petrovsky Rozvazhivsky district in the collective farm “Way of Communism” Belogorsky district. The executive power of Rozvazhiv district is tasked with providing organizational and practical guidance for the dismantling of both residential and outbuildings of the entire team and collective farmers, marking structures and transporting them to the railway station and loading them into wagons for further transportation to the Crimea. The party and Soviet authorities set another incredible task for defenseless, homeless people: “To bring cattle, young cattle and horses to the loading station by race,providing cattle all the way with fodder and care for dairy cows. ” Even in summer, such a task would be quite difficult to perform in a short time. But all this took place in the middle of a severe winter, and brigades with relocated property and cattle were ordered to be delivered no later than December 15. And on December 20 it was necessary to submit the report on performance of the task.

Resettlement to the Crimea from Western Ukraine (Stepove village, Pervomaisky district, early twentieth century)
Resettlement to the Crimea from Western Ukraine
(Stepove village, Pervomaisky district, early twentieth century)

The large-scale resettlement of Ukrainians to the Crimea and other regions of the RSFSR during 1949-1951 is evidenced by the certificate of the Department of Affairs of the Council of Ministers of the USSR during this time. 13,111 families or almost 52,000 people were relocated from Ukraine. In 1952 alone, as of November 1, almost 780 families from 16 collective farms and brigades had been relocated from Zhytomyr, Kamyanets-Podilsky, Kyiv, and Sumy oblasts.

In 1953, 600 families were relocated to collective and state farms of the Crimean region from the Chernihiv region alone, 800 to the collective farms of the Primorsky Krai and 400 to the Sakhalin region, ie more than 7,200 people; almost 800 families (more than 3,200 people) were sent to the Crimea. The rate of resettlement of Ukrainians to the Crimea has been growing every year. In 1953, the Crimean Cotton Trust refused to accept 124 migrant families from the Chernihiv region because cotton had ceased to be grown on the peninsula.

The impudent Crimean leadership, watching the avalanche of immigrants from Ukraine, began to dictate its terms. It refused to relocate 1,400 families from Transcarpathia to the Crimea. The chairman of the Crimean regional executive committee Dmytro Polyansky in his letter to the chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR Demyan Korotchenko notes that from 1950 to 1953 resettlement to the Crimea from Vinnytsia, Kyiv, Kamyanets-Podilsky and mainly from Sumy and Chernihiv regions took place mainly whole collective farms and crews.

It was this resettlement that proved to be the most effective and helped to relocate the settlers and reduce their return to their former homes. As the Transcarpathian authorities could not ensure the departure of migrants by collective farms and brigades, the leadership of the Crimean region refused to accept individual migrants.
Taking into account the request of the Crimean Regional Executive Committee, the Council of Ministers of the Ukrainian SSR decided to implement the resettlement plan at the expense of Vinnytsia (400 families), Chernihiv (500 families) and Sumy regions (500 families).

In 1954, about 1,200 families (almost 5,000 people) were planned to be relocated to the Crimea from Sumy and Chernihiv oblasts. Note that for 10 years (from 1944 to 1954) the colossal expenses of Ukrainians in resettlement to the Crimea, which was part of the RSFSR, were at the expense of Ukraine and the Ukrainian people. This was another intricate plan of the imperial Kremlin to destroy the nation’s gene pool, bleed and subdue the Ukrainian people.

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The project was implemented with the support of the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation

Petro Volvach

Author of cultural materials, full member of NTSh, member of NSPU, honored worker of science and technology of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, Crimean citizen with 60 years of experience, journalist of the newspaper "Crimean room". Publisher: «Publishing House “Ukrainian Culture» LLC

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