Kruty. 105 years later

Kruty. 105 years later

On January 7, 1918, the Bolsheviks, who came to power in Russia, announced a general offensive against the Ukrainian People's Republic. In mid-January 1918, they took control of almost the entire Left Bank and advanced on Kyiv from two directions: Poltava (a detachment under the command of Mikhail Muravyov) and Chernihiv (the 1st Minsk Revolutionary Detachment). The Ukrainian command sent the most capable units to the Poltava direction, but Muravyov's main forces went to join the Minsk detachment. 

On January 28, the Bolsheviks seized the critical point of Ukrainian defence in the Chernihiv region, the Bakhmach station. 

Nothing would prevent the attack on Kyiv. Still, the next day, near the station Kruty, 450 juniors and 20 senior officers of the 1st Ukrainian Military Youth School named after Bohdan Khmelnytskyi, together with a hundred – 116-130 people – of the newly created volunteer Student Battalion of Sich Riflemen [Studentskyi Kurin Sichovykh Striltsiv], entered the battle and detained the Bolsheviks for four days. 

This allowed the Ukrainian government to sign the Brest-Litovsk Peace Treaty and secure international recognition of Ukrainian statehood. 

About 140 young men and officers were killed in the battle, and up to 150 were wounded, captured, tortured, and shot.

The history of the Kruty Heroes Military Institute of Telecommunications and Informatization, which trains officers of communications and cybersecurity troops for all branches of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and other components of the defence sector, is significant to the Kruty Heroes. It was within its walls that student volunteers underwent combat training and began defending their country alongside professional soldiers. 

"The first Ukrainian military youth school named after Bohdan Khmelnytskyi was established within the walls of our educational institution in 1917. In early January 1918, Kyiv students and first-year students underwent combat training at the school. Within a week, about 600 young men were trained. Then, on January 17, they went into battle near Kruty," says the deputy head of the institute for moral and psychological support and the head of the department of military and humanitarian disciplines.

In 2018, on the 100th anniversary of the battle, the President of Ukraine awarded the Military Institute the honorary name of the Kruty Heroes.


"These were young men – 15-17 years old – who realised that their land should be defended with words and arms. They fought bravely and courageously against an enemy three times as numerous as our personnel. This is the motivation, courage and patriotism we are now fostering in our cadets and future officers," says the institute's leadership.

Wars with Russia: history and present

Modern historians talk about 30 wars between Ukraine and Russia, starting with the time of Sviatoslav the Brave. The Brave always warned his enemy and sent messages: “Idu na Vy” [I am attacking You]. Russia attacked, both in 2014 and in 2022, unexpectedly and insidiously — at night. 

"Now every soldier is demonstrating courage and heroism, given our victories over the Russians and our historical heritage. We understand who we are fighting — they came to our land, and we are defending it to the last. 

They are not motivated - there are just a lot of them. The Ukrainian army has much more civilised management principles. The Russians came with an outdated post-Soviet system based solely on the use of power, which has never brought positive results. An officer must trust his subordinates, and the Russian army does not have this," the Military Institute's military personnel explain. 

The cadets and graduates continue to defend Ukraine in today's realities. 

Representatives of the educational institution talk about the key traits instilled in the Ukrainian military: competence, motivation, professionalism and creative thinking. A modern officer, they say, should base their work only on the principle of human-centeredness. 

Kruty 2022

On March 1, 2022, between the villages of Pamyatne and Khoroshe Ozero in the Chernihiv region, the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the Territorial Defence fought with the Russians.

"The Russian army suffered a stunning defeat here. According to community residents, almost 200 dead Russian soldiers and officers were collected throughout the district after the battle. Before the battle, the Russians had fired at the Kruty Heroes Memorial and took pictures against its backdrop," the Kruty territorial community reported.

It is one of the heroic pages in the military history of Ukraine, which continues now when today's youth leave warm classrooms and go to defend Ukraine. 

The price paid by the Ukrainian youth was not in vain: the memory of the Kruty boys fueled the national struggle in the following decades. However, the defeat of that time was temporary because today's independent Ukraine owes its existence to the heroic deeds of the Kruty Heroes.