Kharkhardin, Ivan Vasilyevich (1899- after 1939)

Ivan Kharkhardin was born in the village of Ovsyannovka in the Orel region of Russia in 1899 into an upper middle class family. He became an anarchist communist in 1916 and took an active part in both the February and October Revolutions.. His sister Elizaveta (born 1901) also became an anarchist communist. During the Civil War he became known as an economist and historian. Close to the anarchist Apollon Karelin, he was a member of the secretariats of the All-Russian Federation of Anarchist Communists From 1918 to 1925, and of the Anarchist Black Cross (1918 to 1928).

A member of the All =-Russian Pulic Committee or he Commemoration of Kropotkin and of the Kropotkin Museum, he departed rom these in summer 1925 along with Atabekian, Pavlov and Sandomirsky in protest at non-anarchist influence. In the committee’s executive bureau. In the same year he took part in the Bakunin Committee set up by Borovoi and on 1st July 1926 the committee held a successful and crowded conference on Bakunin in the Polytechnic Museum in central Moscow, he himself delivering a speech on Proletariat and Peasantry in Bakunin’s World View.

He was a strong supporter of the Organisational Platform of the Libertarian Communists written by Arshinov, Makhno, Mett et al and published in 1926. He and Barmash, Borovoi, Khudolei and Rogdaev attempted to build a Platformist organisation in Russia.

In May 1929, he was arrested along with 11 other anarchists. He and Rogdaev, Khudolei, Andreev and Ghezzi were sentenced to 3 years in the camps, whilst the rest were sent into exile. He continued to participate in underground anarchist work in exile in Siberia and Kazakhstan. He was again arrested in 1939 and sentenced to 10 years in the prison camps and deprivation of political rights on March 19th of that year at Krasnoyarsk Territory court. After that we have no trace of him.

His partner was Olga Markelovna Gubanova-Ivanova. Born in 1903, in the Kursk province, she became an anarchist communist during the Civil War and soon established a relationship with Ivan. She was active in the anarchist movement in Orel and then Moscow. Like Ivan, she suffered constant persecution from 1929 onwards. She served 11 years in a political isolator and after an arrest on 11th June 1937 in Minusinsk at least nine years in the Siberian and Kazakhstan prison camps . After 1949 there is no trace of her.

Nick Heath


Goodwin, James. Confronting Dostoyevsky’s Demons: Anarchism and the Specter of Bakunin in Twentieth- Century Russia. (2010)

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Jul 11 2017 16:15


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