Kiev Offensive (1920)
The 1920 Kiev Offensive (or Kiev Operation), sometimes considered to have started the Soviet-Polish War, was an attempt by the newly re-emerged Poland, led by Józef Piłsudski, to seize central and eastern Ukraine, torn in the warring among various factions, both domestic and foreign, from Soviet control.
The stated goal of the operation was to create a formally independent Ukraine, although much of the Ukrainian population were ambivalent as many viewed the Polish advance as a new occupation aimed at subordinating Ukraine under Polish rule, while others greeted the Polish and allied Ukrainian forces as liberators. With their loyalties divided, Ukrainians fought for both sides of the conflict.
A major military operation, this campaign was conducted from April to June 1920 by the Polish Army in alliance with the forces of the Ukrainian People's Republic under the exiled nationalist leader Symon Petliura, opposed by the Soviets who claimed those territories for the Ukrainian SSR and whose Red Army also included numerous Ukrainians in its ranks. Initially successful for the Polish army, which captured Kiev on May 7, 1920, the campaign was dramatically reversed. The ambivalence of the Ukrainian population prevented Piłsudski and Petliura from gaining the support they expected, and the allied Polish forces and Petlura's Ukrainians were forced to retreat under mounting pressure from a Red Army counteroffensive.
The government of the Ukrainian People's Republic, with mounting attacks on its territory since early 1919, had lost control over most of Ukraine, which was controlled by several disparate powers: Denikin's Whites, the Red Army and pro-Soviet formations, the Makhnovist Partisan Army claiming significant territory, the Kingdom of Romania in the southwest, Poland, and various bands lacking any political ideology. The city of Kiev had undergone numerous recent changes of government. The Ukrainian People's Republic was established in 1917; a Bolshevik uprising was suppressed in January 1918. The Red Army took it in February 1918, followed by the Army of the German Empire in March; Ukrainian forces retook the city in December. During February 1919 the Red Army regained control; in August it was taken first by Symon Petlura's men and then by Denikin's army. The Soviets regained control in December 1919.
At the time of the offensive, the forces of the exiled Ukrainian nationalist leader Petlura, who formally represented the Ukrainian People's Republic, controlled only a small sliver of land near the Polish border. Under these circumstances, Petlura saw no choice but to accept Piłsudski's offer to join the alliance with Poland despite many unresolved territorial conflicts between these two nations; on April 21, 1920 they signed the Treaty of Warsaw. In exchange for agreeing to a border along the Zbruch River, Petlura was promised military help in regaining the Soviet-controlled territories with Kiev, where he would again assume the authority of the Ukrainian People's Republic (UNR).
For the Petlura's acceptance of the Poland's territorial advances it obtained from defeating the West Ukrainian People's Republic (WUNR), a Ukrainian statehood attempt in Volhynia and Eastern part of Galicia, largely Ukrainian populated but with significant Polish minority, Petlura was promised military help in regaining the Soviet-controlled territories with Kiev, where he would again assume the authority of the Ukrainian People's Republic. The treaty was followed by a formal alliance signed by Petlura and Piłsudski on April 24. On the same day, Poland and UPR forces began the Kiev Operation, aimed at securing the Ukrainian territory for the Petlura's government thus creating a buffer for Poland that would separate it from Russia.
Following the formal restoration of Ukrainian independence, the Ukrainian state was then supposed to subordinate its military and economy to Warsaw through joining the Polish-led "Międzymorze" federation of East-Central European states, as Piłsudski wanted Ukraine to be a buffer between Poland and Russia rather than seeing Ukraine again dominated by Russia right at the Polish border. Separate provisions in the treaty guaranteed the rights of the Polish and Ukrainian minorities within both states and obliged each side not to conclude any international agreements against each other.
As the treaty legitimized the Polish control over the territory that the Ukrainians viewed as rightfully theirs, the alliance received a dire reception from many Ukrainian leaders, ranging from Mykhailo Hrushevsky former chairman of the Tsentralna Rada, to Yevhen Petrushevych, the leader of the West Ukrainian People's Republic that was forced into exile after Polish-Ukrainian War. However, such objections were brushed aside.
The initial expedition in which 65,000 Polish and 15,000 Ukrainian soldiers took part started on April 24, 1920. The military goal was to outflank the Soviet forces and destroy them in a single battle. After winning the battle in the South, the Polish General Staff planned a speedy withdrawal of the 3rd Army and strengthening of the northern front where Piłsudski expected the main battle with the Red Army to take place. The Polish southern flank was to be held by Polish-allied Ukrainian forces under a friendly government in Ukraine. On May 7, Polish and Ukrainian soldiers entered Kiev.
Pilsudski's forces were divided into three armies. Arranged from north to south, they were the 3rd, 2nd and 6th, with Petliura's forces attached to the 6th army. Facing them were the Soviet 12th and 14th armies led by Alexander Ilyich Yegorov. Pilsudski struck on April 25, and captured Zhytomyr the following day. Within a week, the Soviet 12th army was largely destroyed. In the south, the Polish 6th Army and Petliura's forces pushed the Soviet 14th army out of central Ukraine as they quickly marched eastward through Vinnytsia. The combined Polish-Ukrainian forces entered Kiev on May 7, encountering only token resistance. On May 9 the Polish troops celebrated the capture of Kiev with the victory parade on Kreschatyk, the city's main street. However as the parading troops were Piłsudski's Poles instead of Petlura's Ukrainians, the Kievans watched this demonstration of force with great ambivalence, which looked to them just like another occupation army. Following this parade, however, all Polish forces were withdrawn from the city and control was given to the Ukrainian 6th division under the control of Petlura's Ukrainian government.
On April 26, in his "Call to the People of Ukraine", Piłsudski assured that "the Polish army would only stay as long as necessary until a legal Ukrainian government took control over its own territory". Despite this, many Ukrainians were just as anti-Polish as anti-Bolshevik, and resented the Polish advance, which many viewed as just a new variety of occupation considering previous defeat in the Polish-Ukrainian War. Thus, Ukrainians also actively fought the Polish invasion in Ukrainian formations of the Red Army. The Soviet propaganda also had the effect of encouraging negative Ukrainian sentiment towards the Polish operation and Polish-Ukrainian history in general.
The success of the joint Polish-Ukrainian political campaign depended on the creation of a strong Ukrainian army capable of defeating the Soviets in Ukraine. While initially successful, the campaign ultimately failed. The local population was tired of hostilities after several years of war and the Ukrainian Army never exceeded two divisions largely due to the ambivalent attitude of Ukrainians towards the alliance. Petliura was only able to recruit 20,000–30,000 additional soldiers into his army, a number insufficient to hold back the Soviet forces.
However the Bolshevik army, although having suffered some defeats, avoided total destruction. The Polish offensive stopped at Kiev and only a small bridgehead was established on the eastern bank of the Dnieper.
The Polish-Ukrainian military thrust soon met the Red Army counterattack. On May 24, 1920 the Polish-Ukrainian forces encountered the highly respected First Cavalry Army of Semyon Budionny. Two days later, Budionny's cavalry, with two major units from the Russian 12th Army, began an assault on the Polish forces centered around Kiev. After a week of heavy fighting south of the city, the Russian assault was repulsed and the front line restored. On June 3, 1920 another Russian assault began north of the city.
Meanwhile, Polish military intelligence was aware of Russian preparations for a counteroffensive, and Polish commander-in-chief Józef Piłsudski ordered the commander of Polish forces on the Ukrainian Front, General Antoni Listowski, to prepare for a strategic withdrawal. From the perspective of staff maps in Warsaw, it was clear that the recently created Polish Army was too weak to withstand both the offensive in the southern, Ukrainian sector and the spring offensive being prepared by the Bolsheviks in Belarus and north of the Pripyat Marshes. However, the commander of the Polish 3rd Army in the vicinity of Kiev, General Edward Rydz-Śmigły, was seeking a way to repulse the upcoming Russian assault rather than withdraw, and even proposed to the General Staff regrouping all his forces at Kiev and defending there until relieved. His plan was turned down by Piłsudski, who knew that no relief force could be prepared any time soon. He repeated his order to withdraw the Polish 3rd and 6th Armies from the Kiev area.
Repeated attacks by the Budionny's 1st Cavalry Army eventually broke the Polish Ukrainian front on June 5 and on June 10 Polish armies were retreating along the entire front. On June 13 Kiev was evacuated and left to the Soviets.
As the withdrawal was started too late, the forces of Rydz found themselves in an extremely difficult situation. Russian Golikov's and Yakir's Groups, as well as the 1st Cavalry Army managed to capture several strategically important positions behind the Polish lines and the risk of the Polish armies being surrounded and defeated became high. However, mostly due to lack of reconnaissance, poor command and conflicts within the staff of the South-Western Front, the Polish-Ukrainian units managed to withdraw in order and relatively unscathed. Such an outcome of the operation was equally unexpected by both sides. Although the Poles withdrew to their initial positions, they remained tied down in Ukraine and lacked sufficient strength to support the Polish Northern Front and strengthen defenses at the Auta River during the decisive battle that was soon to take place there. On the other hand, the Bolshevik objectives were not accomplished either and the Russian forces had to remain in Ukraine and got tied down with heavy fighting for the area of the city of Lwów.
In the aftermath of the defeat in Ukraine, the Polish government of Leopold Skulski resigned on the June 9, and a political crisis gripped Polish government for most of June. Bolshevik and later Soviet propaganda used the Kiev Offensive to portray the Polish government as imperialist aggressors.
The mutual accusations by both parties of the conflict in violations of the basic rules of the war conduct were rampant and full of exaggerations. Norman Davies writes that "Polish and Soviet newspapers of that time competed in which could produce a more terrifying portrait of their opponent." Soviet propaganda claimed that Poles destroyed much of Kiev's infrastructure, including the passenger and cargo railway stations, and other purely civilian objects crucial for the city functioning, such as the electric power station, the city sewerage and water supply systems as well as monuments such as St. Volodymyr's Cathedral. The Poles denied that they committed any such acts of vandalism, claiming that the only deliberate damage they carried out during their evacuation was blowing up Kiev bridges across the Dnieper River, for strictly military reasons. The cathedral was not, in fact, destroyed. According to some Ukrainian sources, incidents of more controversial and not warranted by the military needs destruction in the city by the retreating Polish army have also occurred.
Accusations were made against the Soviet side as well. Richard Watt writes that the Soviet advance into Ukraine was characterized by mass killing of civilians and the burning of entire villages, especially by Budyonny's cossacks, designed to instill a sense of fear in the Ukrainian population. Norman Davies notes that on June 7 – two days after breaking Polish frontline – Budionny's 1st Army destroyed the bridges in Zhytomyr, wrecked the train station and burned various buildings; on the same day it burned a hospital in Berdychiv, with 600 patients and Red Cross nuns, and that such terror tactics were common for Budionny's Cossacks. According to The Black Book of Communism, in the pacification of Ukraine that began during the Soviet counteroffensive in 1920 and which would not end until 1922 the Soviets would take tens of thousands of Ukrainian lives.
Isaac Babel, a war correspondent embedded with the Red Army, in his diary wrote down first-hand accounts of atrocities committed by the Polish troops and their allies during their retreat (particularly notorious were the regiment of the Cossack defector Vadim Yakovlev who switched sides and became a Polish ally). The retreating Polish army instilled fear among the civilian population, especially the Jews who suffered from multiple pogroms committed by the Cossack troops. Babel also describes the murders of the Polish POWs by the Red Army troops and looting of the civilian population by Budyonny's Red Cossacks. Babel's writings became so known that Budionny himself protested against "defamation" of his troops.
Order of battle
The following is the Order of Battle of Polish and Bolshevik forces taking part in the struggles in Ukraine, as of April 25, 1920. It should be noted that the command structure of both sides changed during the operation. Also, the Russian forces were joined by Budennyi's 1st Cavalry Army in the latter part of the operation, while a large part of the Polish forces was withdrawn by then to Belarus.
Poland/Ukrainian People's Republic
|Polish Army||Unit||Polish name||Commander||Remarks|
|General Command of the Polish Army – Gen. Józef Piłsudski|
|5th Infantry||5 Dywizja Piechoty||Waclaw Jędrzejewski|
|12th Infantry||12 Dywizja Piechoty||Marian Żegota-Januszajtis|
|18th Infantry||18 Dywizja Piechoty||Franciszek Krajowski|
|13th Infantry||13 Dywizja Piechoty||Franciszek Paulik|
|15th Infantry||15 Dywizja Piechoty||Antoni Jasieński|
|6th Ukrainian||6 січова стрілецька дивізія||Marko Bezruchko|
|Assault Group – Józef Piłsudski|
|4th Infantry||4 Dywizja Piechoty||Leonard Skierski|
|Cavalry Division||Dywizja Jazdy||Jan Romer|
|Rybak Operational Group
|1st Mountain Bde||1 Brygada Górska||Stanisław Wróblewski|
|7th Cavalry Bde||VII Brygada Kawalerii||Aleksander Romanowicz|
|Rydz-Śmigły Operational Group
|1st Legions||1 Dywizja Piechoty Legionów||Edward Rydz-Śmigły|
|7th Infantry||7 Dywizja Piechoty||Eugeniusz Pogorzelski|
|3rd Cavalry Bde||III Brygada Kawalerii||Jerzy Sawicki|
Soviet Russia/Soviet Ukraine
|Red Army||Unit||Russian name||Commander||Remarks|
|South-Western Front – Gen. Alexander Ilyich Yegorov|
|7th Rifle Division||7. стрелковая дивизия|
|44th Rifle Division||44. стрелковая дивизия||transferred to the Fastov Group of Forces, May 1920|
|45th Rifle Division||45. стрелковая дивизия||transferred to the Fastov Group of Forces, May 1920|
|47th Rifle Division||47. стрелковая дивизия||(1st formation) merged into the 58th RD on May 3, 1920|
|58th Rifle Division||58. стрелковая дивизия|
|17th Cavalry Division||17. кавдивизия||dissolved in the middle of May 1920|
|25th Rifle Division||25. стрелковая дивизия||arrived at the end of May 1920|
|Bashkir Cavalry Brigade||Башкирская кавбригада||arrived at the end of May 1920|
|41st Rifle Division||41. стрелковая дивизия|
|47th Rifle Division||47. стрелковая дивизия||(2nd formation) formed on June 9, 1920|
|60th Rifle Division||60. стрелковая дивизия|
|1st Cavalry Army
early June 1920
|4th Cavalry Division||4. кавдивизия|
|6th Cavalry Division||6. кавдивизия|
|11th Cavalry Division||11. кавдивизия|
|14th Cavalry Division||14. кавдивизия|
|3rd Rifle Division||3. стрелковая дивизия|
|15th Rifle Division||15. стрелковая дивизия||arrived opposite Wrangel in May 1920|
|40th Rifle Division||40. стрелковая дивизия||arrived opposite Wrangel in June 1920|
|42nd Rifle Division||42. стрелковая дивизия||arrived opposite Wrangel in June 1920|
|46th Rifle Division||46. стрелковая дивизия|
|52nd Rifle Division||52. стрелковая дивизия|
|Latvian Rifle Division||Латышская стрелковая дивизия|
|1st Horse Corps||1. конкорпус||arrived opposite Wrangel in June 1920|
|2nd Cavalry Division||2. кавдивизия||arrived opposite Wrangel in May 1920|
|8th Cavalry Division||8. кавдивизия||transferred to the 14th Army, May 1920|
- ^ The outcome of the Polish and Bolshevik operations in Ukraine is sometimes disputed. Neither the Poles nor the Russians forced their opponent to fight a major battle or outflanked his forces and destroyed them, which was the main military goal of operations for both sides. However, the Kiev offensive was a severe blow to Józef Piłsudski's plans for a Międzymorze federation. As such, the operation may be viewed as a defeat for Piłsudski, as well as for Petliura.
- See, e.g. Russo-Polish War in Encyclopædia Britannica
[This war was a] military conflict between Soviet Russia and Poland, which sought to seize Ukraine […]Although there had been hostilities between the two countries during 1919, the conflict began when the Polish head of state Józef Pilsudski formed an alliance with the Ukrainian nationalist leader Symon Petlura (April 21, 1920) and their combined forces began to overrun Ukraine, occupying Kiev on May 7.
- "Although the [UNR] was unable to contribute real strength to the Polish offensive, it could offer a certain camouflage for the naked aggression involved. Warsaw had no difficulty in convincing the powerless Petliura to sign a treaty of alliance. In it he abandoned his claim of all territories [...] demanded by Pilsudski. In exchange the Poles recognized the sovereignty of the UNR on all territories which it claimed, including those within the Polish frontiers of 1772 – in other words, much of the area Poland demanded from Soviet Russia. Petlura also pledged not to conclude any international agreements against Poland and guaranteed full cultural rights to the Polish residents in Ukraine. Supplementary military and economic agreements subbordinate the Ukrainian army and economy to the control of Warsaw."
Richard K Debo, Survival and Consolidation: The Foreign Policy of Soviet Russia, 1918–1921, pp. 210–211, McGill-Queen's Press, 1992, ISBN 0-7735-0828-7.
- Tadeusz Machalski, then a captain, (the future military attache to Ankara) wrote in his diary: "Ukrainian people, who saw in their capital an alien general with the Polish army, instead of Petlura leading his own army, didn't view it as the act of liberation but as a variety of a new occupation. Therefore, the Ukrainians, instead of enthusiasm and joy, watched in gloomy silence and instead of rallying to arms to defend the freedom remained the passive spectators".
Oleksa Pidlutskyi, ibid
- "No less influential and popular than the concept of [national democrats] was the "federalist" program of Josef Pilsudski, a socialist and the most authoritative Polish political of the 20th century. The essence of that program was that after the ovethrowal of tsardom and the disintegration of the Russian empire, the large, strong and mighty Poland was to be created in Eastern Europe. It was the reincarnation of the Rzeczpospolita on "federative" principles. It was to include the Polish, Lithuanian, Belarusian and Ukrainian lands. The leading role, of course, was to be given to the Polish ethnic, political, economic and cultural element. Despite the program's failure to address the question on what to do if the people would not want to join the Rzeczpospolita, the socialists declared a voluntary entry into the future state."
Oleksandr Derhachov (editor), "Ukrainian Statehood in the Twentieth Century: Historical and Political Analysis", Chapter: "Ukraine in Polish concepts of the foreign policy", 1996, Kiev ISBN 966-543-040-8
- Davies, Norman (1996). Europe: A History. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 935. ISBN 0-19-820171-0.
- Peter Abbot."Ukrainian Armies 1914–55", Chapter "Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, 1917–21", Osprey, 2004, ISBN 1-84176-668-2
- "In practice, [Pilsudski] was engaged in a process of conquest that was bitterly resisted by Lithuanians and Ukrainians (except the latter's defeat by the Bolsheviks left them with no one else to turn but Pilsudski)."
Roshwald, Aviel (2001). http://books.google.com/books?id=qPyer6Pks0oC&pg=PA164&lpg=PA164&sig=O-9FXzZz2mDsX8Gm9U7QwcCYO2s
|chapterurl=missing title (help). Ethnic Nationalism and the Fall of Empires: Central Europe, the Middle East and Russia, 1914–1923. Routledge (UK). ISBN 0-415-24229-0.
- Institute of Contemporary Jewry; Jonathan Frankel, Peter Y. Medding, Universiṭah ha-ʻIvrit bi-Yerushalayim Makhon le-Yahadut zemanenu, Ezra Mendelsohn (1988). Studies in Contemporary Jewry: The Jews and the European Crisis, 1914–1921. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-505113-1. [page needed]
- Watt, Richard (1979). Bitter Glory: Poland and its Fate 1918–1939. New York: Simon and Schuster. p. 109. ISBN 0-671-22625-8.
- "The death was staring right into their eyes. And not only to the people – to the entire just born Ukrainian statehood. Therefore, the Supreme Ataman Petlura had no choice but to accept the alliance offered by Pilsudsky or he would have had capitulated to the Bolsheviks, as Volodymyr Vinnychenko or Mykhailo Hrushevsky have done at that time or in a year or two".
Oleksa Pidlutskyi, Postati XX stolittia, (Figures of the 20th century), Kiev, 2004, ISBN 966-8290-01-1, LCCN 2004-440333. Chapter "Józef Piłsudski: The Chief who Created Himself a State" reprinted in Zerkalo Nedeli (the Mirror Weekly), Kiev, February 3–9, 2001, in Russian and in Ukrainian.
- O. Halecki. A history of Poland. Dorset House Publishing Co Inc. 1992. p. 286.
- S. G. Payne. Civil War in Europe, 1905-1949. Cambridge University Press. 2011. p. 55.
- N. Davies. God's Playground, A History of Poland. Vol 2: 1795 to the Present. Oxford University Press. 2005. p. 379.
- "The newly found Polish state cared much more about the expansion of its borders to the east and south-east ("between the seas") that about helping the agonizing state of which Petlura was a de facto dictator. ("A Belated Idealist." Zerkalo Nedeli (Mirror Weekly), May 22–28, 2004. Available online :in Russian and in Ukrainian.)
Piłsudski is quoted to have said: "After the Polish independence we will see about Poland's size". (ibid)
- One month before his death Pilsudski told his aide: "My life is lost. I failed to create the free from the Russians Ukraine"
<(Russian)(Ukrainian) Oleksa Pidlutskyi, Postati XX stolittia, (Figures of the 20th century), Kiev, 2004, ISBN 966-8290-01-1, LCCN 2004-440333. Chapter "Józef Piłsudski: The Chief who Created Himself a State" reprinted in Zerkalo Nedeli (the Mirror Weekly), Kiev, February 3–9, 2001, in Russian and in Ukrainian.
- Kubijovic, V. (1963). Ukraine: A Concise Encyclopedia. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. p. 766.
- Prof. Ruslan Pyrig, "Mykhailo Hrushevsky and the Bolsheviks: the price of political compromise", Zerkalo Nedeli, September 30 – October 6, 2006, available online in Russian and in Ukrainian.
- Subtelny, Orest, Orest (2000). "Twentieth Century Ukraine: The Ukrainian Revolution: Petlura's alliance with Poland". Ukraine: A History. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. p. 375. ISBN 0-8020-8390-0.
- Kutrzeba, T. (1937). Wyprawa kijowska 1920 roku. Warsaw: Gebethner i Wolff.[page needed]
- (Polish), Włodzimierz Bączkowski, Włodzimierz Bączkowski – Czy prometeizm jest fikcją i fantazją?, Ośrodek Myśli Politycznej (quoting full text of "odezwa Józefa Piłsudskiego do mieszkańców Ukrainy"). Last Retrieved October 25, 2006.
- Ronald Grigor Suny, The Soviet Experiment: Russia, the USSR, and the Successor States, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-508105-6, Google Print, p.106
- THE REBIRTH OF POLAND. University of Kansas, lecture notes by professor Anna M. Cienciala, 2004. Last accessed on June 2, 2006.
- Edith Rogovin Frankel, Jonathan Frankel, Baruch Knei-Paz, Revolution in Russia: Reassessments of 1917, Cambridge University Press, 1992, ISBN 0-521-40585-8, Google Print, p.244
- Opaska, Janusz, $Off with th eagle!, Karta (46/2005)
- (Polish) Katarzyna Pisarska, UKRAIŃSKIE POLITYCZNE ZMAGANIA O NIEPODLEGŁOŚĆ W LATACH 1917 – 1920, The Polish Forum of Young Diplomats
- (Polish) Robert Potocki, Idea Restytucji Ukraińskiej Republiki Ludowej, Monografie Instytutu Europy Środkowo-Wschodniej, t. 1. Lublin, Instytut Europy Środkowo-Wschodniej, 1999.
- (Polish) Włodzimierz Bączkowski – Sprawa ukraińska, April 9, 2005, Ośrodek Myśli Politycznej
- Davies, White Eagle..., p.127 and p.160
- (Polish)Janusz Szczepański, KONTROWERSJE WOKÓŁ BITWY WARSZAWSKIEJ 1920 ROKU (Controversies surrounding the Battle of Warsaw in 1920). Mówią Wieki, online version.
- Davies, White Eagle..., Polish edition, p.243-244
- Кузьмин Н.Ф. (1958). Крушение последнего похода Антанты. Moscow. pp. 64–65.
Из истории гражданской войны. Т. 3. Moscow. 1961. pp. 266–269.
Пшибыльский А. (1931). Войны польского империализма 1918—1921. Russian translation from Polish. Moscow. pp. 152–153.
Likely original: Przybylski, Adam (1930). Wojna polska, 1918–1921. (in Polish). Warszawa: Wojskowy Instytut Naukowo-Wydawniczy. LCCN 55053688.
above sources cited by Мельтюхов, Михаил Иванович (Mikhail Meltyukhov) (2001). Советско-польские войны. Военно-политическое противостояние 1918—1939 гг. (Soviet-Polish Wars. Politico-Military standoff of 1918–1939). Moscow: Вече (Veche). ISBN 5-699-07637-9.
- "Fording the Dnipro. The past, present and future of Kyiv's bridges". The Ukrainian observer, issue 193.
- editor's note to "The War with Poland, Postal Telegram No.2886-a" from "The Military writings of Leon Trotsky", Volume 3: 1920
- Among the destroyed objects were the mansion of the General-Governor of Kiev at Institutskaya street (Druh, Olha; Dmytro Malakov (2004). Osobnyaki Kyieva. Kyi. p. 124. ISBN 966-7161-60-9.) and the monument to Taras Shevchenko recently elected on the former location of the monument to Olga of KievАлександр Анисимов, "Время возводить памятники…" (The time to erect monuments...), Кіевскій Телеграфъ, №33 (76), September 3–9, 2001
- ‘Having burst through the front, Budyonny's cavalry would devastate the enemies rear – burning, killing and looting as they went. These Red cavalrymen inspired an almost numbing sense of fear in their opponents [...] the very names Budyonny and Cossack terrified the Ukrainian population, and they moved into a state of neutrality or even hostility toward Petliura and the Poles..."’
from Richard Watt, 1979. Bitter Glory: Poland and its fate 1918–1939. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-671-22625-8
- Davies, White Eagle..., Polish edition, p.123-124
- Courtois, Stephane; Werth, Nicolas; Panne, Jean-Louis; Paczkowki, Andrzej; Bartosek, Karel; Margolin, Jean-Louis (1999). The Black Book of Communism. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-07608-7[page needed]
- Isaac Babel, 1920 Diary, Yale, 2002, ISBN 0-300-09313-6, ex. pp. 4, 7, 10, 26, 33, 84
- Babel, ibid
- Harold Henry Fisher (1971). Famine in Soviet Russia 1919 1923: The Operation of the American Relief Administration: The Operations of the American Relief Administration. Ayer Publishing. ISBN 978-0-8369-5650-4.[page needed]
- Lech Wyszczelski (1999). Kijów 1920. Warsaw: Bellona. ISBN 83-11-08963-9.
- Norman Davies (2003). White Eagle, Red Star: The Polish-Soviet War, 1919–20. London: Pimlico. ISBN 0-7126-0694-7.
- Józef Piłsudski (1937–1991). Pisma zbiorowe (Collected Works). Warsaw: Krajowa Agencja Wydawnicza (reprint). ISBN 83-03-03059-0.
- Mikhail Tukhachevski (1989). Lectures at Military Academy in Moscow, February 7–10, 1923 in: Pochód za Wisłę. Łódź: Wydawnictwo Łódzkie. ISBN 83-218-0777-1.
- Subtelny, Orest, Orest (1988). Ukraine: A History. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. ISBN 0-8020-8390-0.
- Janusz Cisek (1990). Sąsiedzi wobec wojny 1920 roku. Wybór dokumentów. (Neighbours Attitude Towards the War of 1920. A collection of documents, English summary). London: Polish Cultural Foundation Ltd. ISBN 0-85065-212-X.
- Isaac Babel (2002). Red Cavalry. New York: W.W. Norton & Company. ISBN 0-393-32423-0.
- Korzeniewski, Bogusław;, THE RAID ON KIEV IN POLISH PRESS PROPAGANDA, Humanistic Review (01/2006)
- (Russian)/(Ukrainian) "Figures of the 20th century. Józef Piłsudski: the Chief who Created a State for Himself," Zerkalo Nedeli (the Mirror Weekly), Feb. 3–9, 2001, available online in Russian and in Ukrainian.
- (Russian) "Dramas of Ukrainian-Polish Brotherhood" (documentary film), a review in Zerkalo Nedeli (Mirror Weekly), March 13–19, 1999, available online (in Russian).
- (Russian) Мельтюхов, Михаил Иванович (Mikhail Meltyukhov) (2001). Советско-польские войны. Военно-политическое противостояние 1918—1939 гг. (Soviet-Polish Wars. Politico-Military standoff of 1918–1939). Moscow: Вече (Veche). ISBN 5-699-07637-9..
- Kiev is in the Hands of the Polish Gentry! The Military writing of Leon Trotsky Volume 3: 1920 – The War with Poland
- Postal Telegram No. 2886-a The Military writing of Leon Trotsky Volume 3: 1920 – The War with Poland