On this day — 24th January 1919 — the Bolsheviks launched «Расказачивания» or «Decossackization», a campaign which most Russian historians characterize as genocide of the Cossacks of the Russian Empire.
The policy was established by a secret resolution of the Bolshevik Party on 24th January, 1919, which ordered local branches to «carry out mass terror against wealthy Cossacks, exterminating all of them; carry out merciless mass terror against any and all Cossacks taking part in any way, directly or indirectly, in the struggle against Soviet power».
This was the first example of Bolshevik leaders deciding to «eliminate, exterminate, and deport the population of a whole territory”. In mid-March 1919 alone, Cheka forces executed more than 8,000 Cossacks. University of York Russian specialist Shane O’Rourke states that «ten thousand Cossacks were slaughtered systematically in a few weeks in January 1919» and that this «was one of the main factors which led to the disappearance of the Cossacks as a nation». The late Alexander Nikolaevich Yakovlev, head of the Presidential Committee for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Political Repression, notes that «hundreds of thousands of Cossacks were killed».Historian Robert Gellately claims that «the most reliable estimates indicate that between 300,000 and 500,000 were killed or deported in 1919–20» out of a population of around three million.
Memory Eternal! Вечная Память!