Life in Kuban'

Oleksii Balabas formal military portrait

Oleksii Balabas in cavalry uniform, 1915.

Oleksii Balabas was born in 1890 in Slovians’ka, Kuban’, Russia, a descendent of the wave of Ukrainian emigration that followed the destruction of the Zaporizhian Sich.

He married Ievhenia Pobidonostseva and was conscripted into the Russian Army upon the outbreak of World War I. He fought with the Slovians’ka cavalry regiment, first as an ensign, and later rising to the rank of "osaul".

The Balabas Papers contain a number of interesting items from this period, including his bank account books and legal papers related to the purchase of real estate.

After the 1917 Revolution he joined the government of the anti-Bolshevik Kuban’ People’s Republic, associating closely with many of the top government leaders.