The Sich Riflemen

Holodomor AvatarThe Sich Riflemen Halych-Bukovyna Kurin was one of the first regular military units of the Army of the Ukrainian People’s Republic organised by Yevhen Konovalets. The unit operated from 1917 to 1919 and was formed from Ukrainian soldiers of the Austro-Hungarian army, local population and former commanders of the Ukrainian Sich Riflemen in Austria-Hungary. The first kurin (administrative-military unit equivalent to a battalion) was formed in Kiev on 13 November 1917. Commanded by Col. Yevhen Konovalets with his chief of staff Andriy Melnyk, the Sich Rifles had up to 25,000 men at their peak, including artillery, cavalry, reconnaissance and machine gun units. The Sich Riflemen defended the government of the Ukraine Peoples Republic (UNR) against the Bolshevik insurrection in the capital and later against regular Red Army forces that advanced into Ukraine in 1918.

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