Talk:Elena Mikhnenko

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GA nomination[edit]

@Grnrchst, this article would be another candidate for the October Women in Green drive if its current length is as good as it gets on breadth czar 06:03, 27 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Aye, I don't know how much more I could find on Mikhnenko tbh. Honestly I didn't even consider this article when I mentioned Kuzmenko and Nikiforova for this drive, but if you think this would meet the criteria, then I have no problem with submitting it. Grnrchst (talk) 07:44, 27 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Sounds eligible to me. If you want, you could submit it for the "20 minute" review on the drive's page to get a second opinion. Even though it's shorter than your other articles, if it's as good as breadth gets, then it's good for GA. Only main objection I could see being raised is whether she's independently notable or only known for her relation to Makhno, which is a separate discussion from the GA criteria. czar 12:49, 27 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Elena Mikhnenko/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Mujinga (talk · contribs) 10:46, 8 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Hi Grnrchst, I'll take this one for review. Mujinga (talk) 10:46, 8 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Good Article review progress box
Criteria: 1a. prose () 1b. MoS () 2a. ref layout () 2b. cites WP:RS () 2c. no WP:OR () 2d. no WP:CV ()
3a. broadness () 3b. focus () 4. neutral () 5. stable () 6a. free or tagged images () 6b. pics relevant ()
Note: this represents where the article stands relative to the Good Article criteria. Criteria marked are unassessed


  • Earwig = fine
  • Spotchecks:
  • "In March 1934, her father finally succumbed to his tuberculosis, leaving his daughter with the final words "be healthy and happy, my daughter", before he died in his sleep" Darch p145 - all good
  • "The strain of life in exile caused the family to quickly fall apart, with Makhno and Kuzmenko frequently separating" - darch 137 - backed by source but could say more, eg mention it's golovanov's opinion, say Kuzmenko had affairs etc
  • I left the specifics out because I wanted to focus on Elena. I go into more detail on this in Kuzmenko's own article. Should I include it anyway? --Grnrchst (talk) 08:57, 9 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
i think it's good now! Mujinga (talk) 09:00, 10 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • "While surveilled by the authorities, she turned to manual labour in the city's canteens, factories and pig farms, but was often dismissed after her employers learnt that her father was Nestor Makhno. This fact also kept her single for most of her life, as men would often leave her upon discovering her father's identity" Skirda 409 - source says "under police surveillance, she was only able to survive by turning her hand to a range of exacting manual trades: canteen worker, factory worker, piggery employee, etc. from which she was often fired once the identity of her father was discovered, and this went on for many a long year [...] Many men had shown an interest in her but on learning whose daughter she was they had promptly made themselves scarce, sometimes properly, sometimes in a cruder or more craven fashion, thereby exposing their own true natures"- this is fine except i wonder if you could replace "turned" with another verb
  • "In 1968, Elena reluctantly accepted to be interviewed by the Russian historian Sergey Semanov [ru], who described her as "edgy, irritated and trusted no one." During the interview, Elena reportedly spoke Russian with a thick Parisian accent. She declared that she felt she had no homeland, neither in France nor the Soviet Union, but nevertheless asked Semanov to send her some French newspapers, which she was unable to get in Kazakhstan.[13]" skirda 409-410 - all good
  • "Elena would spend most of her early years with her mother, rarely ever seeing her father.[3]" Peters p91 source says "His wife and daughter opened a small grocery store in Vincennes. There were long periods when Makhno and his wife lived separate lives, and though Makhno loved his daughter, she was almost a stranger to him." Hmm I'm not sure if she rarely saw him or if they were unable to connect? Also could add the grocery store bit in. Btw on the previous page it says "The Polish government interned Makhno and his party. Besides his few followers, Makhno had with him his wife and daughter, born to him in Rumania." - so that's interesting Peters thinks she was born in Romania?
  • Added detail about the grocery store and rewritten detail about Elena's connection with her father. I think Peters made a mistake about her being born in Romania. We know that Makhno and Kuzmenko left Romania for Poland in April 1922 and that Elena was born in October 1922, so the timeline just wouldn't make sense for her having been born in Romania. --Grnrchst (talk) 08:57, 9 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree, just wanted to flag it up Mujinga (talk) 09:00, 10 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • sources used are reliable and well laid out, no original research
  • one last spotcheck - "The families of French anarchists often looked after the young Elena, giving her the Francised pet name of "Lucie". She thus grew up speaking the French language, eventually forgetting how to speak Russian and never even learning how to speak Ukrainian.[10]" all good






  • Not a pass/fail issue but alts would be cool in terms of accessibility
  • pix are releavnt and appropriately licensed


  • As previously discussed on talk, if all the sources out there have been consulted then it's ok, but i do feel on the available sources a bit more details can be drawn out
  • Anywhere specifically you think I could add more detail? --Grnrchst (talk) 09:14, 9 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You've done that now per queries elsewhere, nice one Mujinga (talk) 09:01, 10 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Also it would be good to contextualise who her parents were and why they ended up in Poland, because for the casual reader (eg me) you'd expect the article to begin in ukraine
  • I've added a wee paragraph of context. Let me know if anything needs changing. --Grnrchst (talk) 09:14, 9 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • i'd say you still need warsaw stated in the text as well as infobox and it would also help to contextualise where the prison is Mujinga (talk) 09:06, 10 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Since the darch coverage is passing, i wanted to check for notability, but the skirda is more comprehensive and added to the russian coverage eg novochag she does pass GNG - suggest adding in details from novochag and indeed Russian7 which says "She married a retired civil aviation pilot."
  • I'll have a look over those citations and get back to you. --Grnrchst (talk) 09:14, 9 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Mujinga: Ok, I've added in information from the Russian language citations. I'm glad I did this, especially because of the Nasha Gazeta source, which unearthed primary sources from the Soviet archives. -- Grnrchst (talk) 14:38, 9 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
yeah that was the final piece of the jigsaw! Mujinga (talk) 09:01, 10 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
but you don't think she married the pilot? Mujinga (talk) 09:05, 10 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I was unsure how to reconcile Skirda's "she was not yet married nor a mother but was living with a civil aviator" with Moiseeva and Syromyatnikov saying that she had married him. I've added in a detail that says some sources suggest she married him, although that might be a bit editorial of me. Let me know what you think. -- Grnrchst (talk) 10:45, 10 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
understood, i think that works or you could make a footnote for it Mujinga (talk) 11:55, 10 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  • is this a tranlsation from the ukrainian? no i see that was translated from here, nice
  • Elena Mikhnenko - how did she end up with the surname Mikhnenko? - ah, seems to be a version of Makhno from this source and Darch 167 footnote6 says its an abbreviatiokn of Makhno
  • It's the other way around actually, Makhno is the abbreviation of Mikhnenko. It seems that Makhno started using the name Mikhnenko again while in exile. We know Elena's birth records have her named as "Mikhnenko", rather than "Makhno".
  • sorry yes i wrote that wrong. is it worth mentioning in the article then? 09:03, 10 June 2023 (UTC)Mujinga (talk)
nice! Mujinga (talk) 11:55, 10 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • "born in Pawiak prison," - where? infobox says Warsaw, Second /Polish Republic so that would be good to add
  • The context paragraph should have made this clear now.
  • use of would? - there's five "would"s, not sure if they are all needed
  • "But following the" - no need for "but"
  • "But following the Nazi invasion of France, she was conscripted into forced labour and transferred to Berlin" any more on this? novochag gives a bit more detail
  • " she was then arrested by the Soviets " - Soviet police, soldiers??
  • Source says it was Soviet security forces, so I've clarified that. --Grnrchst (talk) 09:47, 9 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • "since they'd been together" - they had
  • "which she was unable to get in Kazakhstan" - maybe Soviet Kazakhstan?
  • as she feared they would "share the same fate as me" - what does that mean? does the source say more?
  • Source says:

    "I never wanted children. Bring more wretches into this world? So that they might share the same fate as me? When I was in France I knew nothing ofmy father's part in your history. When I found myself incarcerated in Kiev, one of my fellow prisoners, discovering whose daughter I was, asked me if he was the renowned bandit? I took offence at that and slapped her."

    How should I proceed? --Grnrchst (talk) 09:47, 9 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • i still don't know what exactly she means but the source does not elaborate so it's fine Mujinga (talk) 09:03, 10 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • "eventually enrolled at the city's Hydro-Melioration Institute" - which city and what's hydro-melioration? also source says she graduated
  • She's still in Jambyl and hydro-melioration appears to be a fancy word for soil water management, but I can't find any wikilinks to clarify this. --Grnrchst (talk) 09:47, 9 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • comment - wow she lived until 1993!
  • Aye, Skirda speculates about how she may have coped with the fall of the Soviet Union and rise of Kazakh nationalism, but as it was just speculation I didn't include it. --Grnrchst (talk) 09:47, 9 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • since it's quite a short article, i think you could add a bit more from for example skirda on why the family ended up in poland and whether she had freedom of movement in ukraine, for example novchag ends by saying "Three years earlier, she was rehabilitated. ", whereas skirda says "Lucie (Elena) Makhno died an untimely death in 1 993 at the age of 71, still confined to Dzhambula"
  • I've added the context paragraph about Poland. As for adding more detail, I'll have another pass over the sources and see what I can pull from the Russian language ones. --Grnrchst (talk) 09:47, 9 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • is there a reason to say she lived in Jambyl when Darch says she lived in Taraz, Jambyl Region?
  • The city of Jambyl was renamed to Taraz in 1997. As this was after Mikhnenko's death, I labelled it as Jambyl. --Grnrchst (talk) 09:47, 9 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • LEAD "Then exiled her to Kazakhstan, where she died." that's a bit too concise, prob better to say Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic or similar and definitely to make clear she died a LOT later in 1993
  • LEAD as above, soviet police/soldiers? saying "She was subsequently arrested by the Soviet Union" is a bit too concise
  • infobox - why is her nationality "French Ukrainian" when she was born in Poland?
  • She barely spent any of her life in Poland. All of her formative years were spent in France. But as she "reckoned that she had no homeland and could not bring herself to regard either France or Russia as such", I've removed the nationality from the infobox. --Grnrchst (talk) 09:47, 9 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Actually, documents from the Soviet security service have described her as "Ukrainian by nationality, without citizenship" and "stateless", so I've add that into the infobox. -- Grnrchst (talk) 14:40, 9 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
that works Mujinga (talk) 09:04, 10 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Paris is double linked
  • I made a couple of bot edits
  • in the lead (and body) " the Soviet state security" would read better to me as " the Soviet state security forces" or "Soviet state security", what do you think? also same thing with "conscripted into forced labour by Nazi Germany", I'd rather have "conscripted into forced labour under Nazi German forces" or "conscripted into forced labour by Nazi German soldiers" Mujinga (talk) 09:12, 10 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Removed the "the" from Soviet state security. But I can't find any evidence that she was impressed into forced labour by Nazi soldiers though. In fact, workers in France were generally conscripted by their own (nominal) civilian government. -- Grnrchst (talk) 10:38, 10 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    sorry i wasn't clear. what i meant was that i wasn't keen on "conscripted into forced labour by Nazi Germany", just like i didn't like "She was subsequently arrested by the Soviet Union", since it reads strangely to me for a person to be arrested or conscripted by a state. how about "conscripted into forced labour in Nazi Germany" or something more like the body which reads nicely as Following "the Nazi invasion of France, she was conscripted into forced labour"? Mujinga (talk) 11:54, 10 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Changed "by" to "in". -- Grnrchst (talk) 12:03, 10 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Nice article, thanks for writing it. I think it's not far off GA quality, just some fairly minor queries above. If you need more than a week to answer just let me know, cheers Mujinga (talk) 19:51, 8 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Ok, I think I've covered all your points here. Thanks for helping me work through this article! Let me know if there's anything else I can do. -- Grnrchst (talk) 14:41, 9 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Excellent work! Just a few final questions on: the pilot / Paris / lead / Mikhnenko Makhno Mujinga (talk) 09:14, 10 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Mujinga: Ok, I've responded to each of those. -- Grnrchst (talk) 10:46, 10 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think you forgot the Paris duplicate link and I'm still quibbling about "conscripted into forced labour by Nazi Germany" but I'm sure you can work them out satisfactorily and there's no need to hold up making this a GA. Thanks both for creating this article about an interesting woman and putting in the grind to improve it to GA status. Some stuff here would make a decent DYK hook! Hope to see you around at WiG (which reminds me to say you could add the WIG 2023 template to the talkpage if you wanted to for goal tracking purposes). Cheers! Mujinga (talk) 12:01, 10 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Short description[edit]

This is currently Wikipedia's only GA without a short description, but I'm struggling to sum up the subject's notability in a short phrase. Please can someone help? Certes (talk) 19:07, 10 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Certes: I added the short description "Ukrainian exile", as I think that captures her life well. She was born somewhere her parents were exiled and died somewhere she had been exiled, not feeling at home in any of the countries she lived in. If this isn't good enough, I understand and am open to suggestions. -- Grnrchst (talk) 21:58, 10 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you Grnrchst. I can't think of a better SD, but the beauty of Wikipedia is that anyone who can knows what to do. Certes (talk) 22:01, 10 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Did you know nomination[edit]

The following is an archived discussion of the DYK nomination of the article below. Please do not modify this page. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page (such as this nomination's talk page, the article's talk page or Wikipedia talk:Did you know), unless there is consensus to re-open the discussion at this page. No further edits should be made to this page.

The result was: promoted by Vaticidalprophet (talk) 17:21, 11 July 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Improved to Good Article status by Grnrchst (talk). Self-nominated at 22:35, 10 June 2023 (UTC). Post-promotion hook changes for this nom will be logged at Template talk:Did you know nominations/Elena Mikhnenko; consider watching this nomination, if it is successful, until the hook appears on the Main Page.Reply[reply]

General: Article is new enough and long enough
Policy: Article is sourced, neutral, and free of copyright problems
Hook: Hook has been verified by provided inline citation
QPQ: Done.
Overall: @Grnrchst: Good article. Onegreatjoke (talk) 00:23, 13 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Date of death discrepancy[edit]

Per Kommersant, her death date is listed as 16 January 1993, but Proza lists her death date (given via a news program) as 26 December 1992. Is there a way to reconcile this? Searching for each possible death year (1992 and 1993) yields search results. HapHaxion (talk / contribs) 01:11, 16 July 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks for finding more info on Mikhnenko's date of death. Interestingly Proza says that the news of her death was reported on 16 January 1993, while also giving the 26 December 1992 as her date of death. The sources in this article simply give her year of death, which they list as 1993. I'll have to look more into this. --Grnrchst (talk) 18:04, 16 July 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]