Darker green and Black flag

Green Army flag.

The Green Army (Зелёная армия), collectively called Green armies prior to their unification under the Russian provisional government, were organized peasant militias formed throughout the former Russian Empire. At first, they sided with neither the Bolsheviks nor the Whites, but in 1918, they were unified as one force, fighting as a subdivision of the Russian National Army. They fought throughout the Russian Civil War until it ended in 1921, at which point,the Green Army was completely integrated into the National Army, which became the armed force of the newly formed Russian Democratic Republic.


The Green movement was a popular reaction to Bolshevik activity in the countryside during the Civil War of 1917-1922. After the second revolution of 1917, the Bolshevik government instituted War Communism, sending officials through the peasant lands of central Russia to collect supplies that the state needed in order to sustain the military and to begin building a socialist economy. Common targets for official requisitioning included recruits for the Red Army, horses, and grain. Collectivization – which required relocation and novel farming techniques – angered peasants who were hardly predisposed to leave their home and adopt a new way of life when they were already struggling to survive. Requisitioning units and agricultural overseers often overstepped their official duties, plundering households indiscriminately and harming innocent villagers. The official policies were inflammatory, and their harsh implementation engendered widespread resentment to the Bolshevik regime. Bloody repression of any popular unrest further alienated the peasantry and, when Green armies begin to form, encouraged them to devote their lives to the anti-Communist reaction.



The Green movement was formed around 1918 throughout the countryside to counter Lenin's Red Army, which had been terrorizing the villages, looking for conscripts. The Green Armies were not trained and poorly armed, but had numbers, and managed to deal damage to the Red Army, especially in central and eastern Russia, where they were the most plentiful.


In January 1918, the Provisional All—Russian Government was formed following the Conference of Tsaritsyn, and all White volunteer forces were consolidated into the Russian National Army. The Green armies were not entirely represented during the conference, so some units kept fighting without aligning themselves with the new government. However, by May 1918, most Green Army formations were fighting alongside National Army units, and were considered to be special divisions of the National Army.


By order of General Anton Denikin of the National Army, the Green Army formations were dissolved, and it's men divided into different units.

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