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28 February 2022


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Spent the last 12 months consuming all of THoR and Revolutions and now I'm completely caught up... Just as the pod gets to it's final stages... D'oh! Just dropping by to say you're an absolute legend, Mike!


1. The pronunciation of Wrangel rhymes with "spell" not "eel".

2. Mike somewhat exaggerates just how out of touch the Whites were with Ukrainians - at least on the point of acknowledging their ethnic identity.

There were two terms for Ukrainians in the Russian Empire. They were used interchangeably, including by Ukrainian nationalists, all the way up to the revolution. "Malorosi" was favored by the upper classes and was on the decline. "Ukrainian" was favored by the peasants and eventually won out.

The crux of the matter was that it wasn't yet a settled question in 1919 - it only became settled when the Soviet government finalized "Ukrainian" as the only official term in the 1920s.

So this isn't as straightforward as Germans telling Czech nationalists, "you're Germans, right?" It's more nuanced - the White leaders are speaking the language of their elite peers (and Russian nationalists), while the peasantry has moved on after forging a self-identity over the course of 19th century nationalism.

The term "Malorosi/Malorossy" gets translated into English as "Little Russians", but there is a loss of meaning in the translation that makes it sound more... belittling than it is. It isn't how you would say "little Russians" in either Russian or Ukrainian. It comes from the Byzantine Greeks dividing medieval Rus(sia) into "lesser" and "greater" halves for the purposes of church administration. The equivalent Greek-derived term for ethnic Russians ("Velykorosi/Velikorossy") also became obsolete in the 1920s.

Jacob Mercy

Transcript available here:



Is it not crazy that you’re releasing these episodes just as Russia is launching new offensives into Ukraine. The universe, am I right?


All my great-grandparents were shtetl Jews from the Pale of Settlement. The only one I have any memory of knowing was from Romanov, Volhynia (now Romaniv, or Dzerzhinsk from 1933-2003, Zhytomyr Oblast, Ukraine). She came to America in 1922; her husband-to-be, from the same town, had arrived the year earlier. I've been thinking about them a lot this last week. Thank you for this episode.

Aharon Manne

I'd like to add my thanks for including a comprehensive description of the Jewish experience in Ukraine during the Civil War. Jews tend to be invisible or very marginal in general histories of Europe, and your description of the Bund in earlier episodes and the pograms against the Jews in this episode avoid this tendency.
Meanwhile, in the ironies of history department, the Jew Volodymyr Zelensky is apparently going to take his place as a hero of the Ukraine right next to Bohdan Khmielnitzky. You can't make this stuff up.


Indeed, this is topical . Excellent work.


Oh yeah, the titles are excellent.

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