Military Wiki
Battle of Kiev
Part of Ukrainian-Soviet War (1917-1921)
DateFebruary 5–8, 1918
LocationKiev, Ukraine
Result Bolshevik victory
Roundel of Ukraine.svg Ukrainian Army
49a5a9466cdfd92429af7c65762853f4 (1).png Sich Riflemen
Free Cossacks
Red Army flag.svg Red Army
Red Army flag.svg Red Guards
Commanders and leaders
Mykhailo Kovenko Mikhail Muravyov
3 batteries
1 armored train
1 artillery battery
Casualties and losses
~500 killed and wounded 1,300+ killed and wounded

Battle of Kiev (1918) (Ukrainian language: Штурм Києва (1918) ) was a Bolshevik military operation of Petrograd and Moscow Red Guards formations directed to sack the capital of Ukraine. The operation led by Red Guards commander Mikhail Artemyevich Muravyov as part of the Soviet expeditionary force against Kaledin and the Central Council of Ukraine. The storming of Kiev took place during the ongoing peace negotiations at Brest-Litovsk (Treaty of Brest-Litovsk) on February 5–8, 1918 (January 23–26, old style). The operation resulted in occupation of the city by Bolsheviks troops and evacuation of the Ukrainian government to Zhytomyr.


The aim of the undeclared war of the Soviet Russia against Ukraine was to install the Soviet power. During winter of 1917/18 the revolutionary formations of Russia installed the Soviet power in guberniyas of Kharkiv, Katerynoslav and Poltava. Kiev was next. The general command directed onto Kiev was in hands of Mikhail Muravyov. On January 27, 1918 the government of Ukraine announced Kiev under a siege and appointed Mykhailo Kovenko as the military commandant of Kiev. With the nearing of the Soviet advancing forces the city's Bolsheviks instigated uprising at the Arsenal factory, which was exteinguished in seven days on February 4, 1918. The bolshevik protest in the city greatly eased the advancement of the Soviet forces drawing several of Ukrainian formations out of the adjacent provinces. The Kiev garrison was greatly demoralized by bolshevik propaganda and the Soviet advances across the territory of Ukraine. None of regiments were in full capacity and some either announced their neutrality or were eager to side with bolsheviks.

Order of battle

Muravyov Forces

List of formations

  • Red Guards of Bryansk 800 soldiers / Russians
  • Red Guards of Moscow (Moscow river neighborhood) 200 soldiers / Russians
  • Red Guards of Kharkiv 500 soldiers / Jews/ Russians
  • Donbas Red Guards of Dmitry Zhloba 300 soldiers / Russians/ Ukrainians/ Jews
  • Red Guards of Putilov Factory 60 soldiers / Jews/Russians/ Ukrainians
  • 1st Petrograd Red Guard formation 1,000 soldiers / Russians
  • Red Guards of Petrograd (Moscow district) 500 soldiers / Russians
  • Kharkiv Red Guards of Aleksandr Belenkovich 150 soldiers / Jews/ Russians/ Ukrainians
  • Red Cossacks of Vitaly Markovich Primakov 198 soldiers / Russians/ Ukrainians
  • Bryansk battery 92 soldiers / Russians
  • Armoured train of Moscow 100 soldiers / Russians
  • Red Guards formations of local settlements / Jews/ Russians
  • Underground workers of Arsenal (Cave monastery) / Russians/ Ukrainians

Composition by nationality: Russians - 88%; Jews - 7%; Ukrainians - 5%

Ukrainian Forces

  • City commandant Mykhailo Kovenko
    • Haidamaka Host of Sloboda Ukraine Symon Petliura—400 soldiers
      • 2nd Cadet School Battalion—110 "Black Haidamakas"
      • Free Cossacks formations
      • Artillery division—3 batteries
    • Sich Riflemen of Halych Battalion Yevhen Konovalets—500 soldiers
    • Doroshenko Regiment—200 soldiers
    • Remnants of Bohdaniv Regiment Oleksandr Shapoval

External links

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