Kronstadt rebellion

The Kronstadt rebellion or Kronstadt mutiny (Russian: Кронштадтское восстание, tr. Kronshtadtskoye vosstaniye) was a major unsuccessful uprising against the Bolsheviks in March 1921, during the later years of the Russian Civil War. Led by Stepan Petrichenko[1] and consisting of Russian sailors, soldiers, and civilians, the rebellion was one of the reasons for Vladimir Lenin's and the Communist Party's decision to loosen its control of the Russian economy by implementing the New Economic Policy (NEP).[2][3]

The rebellion originated in Kronstadt, a naval fortress on Kotlin Island in the Gulf of Finland that served as the base of the Russian Baltic Fleet and as a guardpost for the approaches to Petrograd, 55 kilometres (34 mi) away. The rebellion was crushed by the Red Army after a 12-day military campaign, resulting in several thousand deaths.

According to Lenin, the crisis was the most critical the regime had yet faced, "undoubtedly more dangerous than Denikin, Yudenich, and Kolchak combined."[4]

Kronstadt rebellion
Part of the left-wing uprisings against the Bolsheviks and the Russian Civil War
Kronstadt attack

Red Army troops attack Kronstadt.
DateMarch 7–17, 1921
Location
60°00′45″N 29°44′01″E / 60.01250°N 29.73361°ECoordinates: 60°00′45″N 29°44′01″E / 60.01250°N 29.73361°E
Result Bolshevik victory
Uprising suppressed
Belligerents

Soviet Baltic Fleet sailors

Armed citizens of Kronstadt

 Russian SFSR

Commanders and leaders
Stepan Petrichenko Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic Mikhail Tukhachevsky
Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic Leon Trotsky
Strength
c. first 11,000, second assault: 17,961 c. first assault: 10,073, second assault: 25,000 to 30,000
Casualties and losses
~1,000 killed in battle and 1,200 to 2,168 executed Second assault: 527–1,412; a much higher number if the first assault is included.

Economic background

By 1921, the Bolsheviks were winning the Russian Civil War and foreign troops were beginning to withdraw, yet Bolshevik leaders continued to keep tight control of the economy through the policy of War Communism.[5] After years of economic crises caused by World War I and the Russian Civil War, the Bolshevik economy started to collapse.[5] Industrial output had fallen dramatically. It is estimated that the total output of mines and factories in 1921 was 20 percent of the pre-World War I level, with many crucial items suffering an even more drastic decline. Production of cotton, for example, had fallen to 5 percent and iron to 2 percent of the pre-war level, and this coincided with droughts in 1920 and 1921 and the Russian famine of 1921.[6] Discontent grew among the Russian populace, particularly the peasantry, who felt disadvantaged by Communist grain requisitioning (prodrazvyorstka, forced seizure of large portions of the peasants' grain crop used to feed urban dwellers). They resisted by refusing to till their land. In February 1921, more than 100 peasant uprisings took place. The workers in Petrograd were also involved in a series of strikes, caused by the reduction of bread rations by one third over a ten-day period.[6]

Petropavlovsk resolution

On February 26, delegates from the Kronstadt naval base visited Petrograd to investigate the situation. On February 28, in response to the delegates' report of heavy-handed Bolshevik repression of strikes in Petrograd, the crews of the battleships Petropavlovsk and Sevastopol held an emergency meeting, which approved a resolution raising 15 demands.[7]

  1. Immediate new elections to the Soviets; the present Soviets no longer express the wishes of the workers and peasants. The new elections should be held by secret ballot, and should be preceded by free electoral propaganda for all workers and peasants before the elections.
  2. Freedom of speech and of the press for workers and peasants, for the Anarchists, and for the Left Socialist parties.
  3. The right of assembly, and freedom for trade union and peasant associations.
  4. The organisation, at the latest on 10 March 1921, of a Conference of non-Party workers, soldiers and sailors of Petrograd, Kronstadt and the Petrograd District.
  5. The liberation of all political prisoners of the Socialist parties, and of all imprisoned workers and peasants, soldiers and sailors belonging to working class and peasant organisations.
  6. The election of a commission to look into the dossiers of all those detained in prisons and concentration camps.
  7. The abolition of all political sections in the armed forces; no political party should have privileges for the propagation of its ideas, or receive State subsidies to this end. In place of the political section, various cultural groups should be set up, deriving resources from the State.
  8. The immediate abolition of the militia detachments set up between towns and countryside.
  9. The equalisation of rations for all workers, except those engaged in dangerous or unhealthy jobs.
  10. The abolition of Party combat detachments in all military groups; the abolition of Party guards in factories and enterprises. If guards are required, they should be nominated, taking into account the views of the workers.
  11. The granting to the peasants of freedom of action on their own soil, and of the right to own cattle, provided they look after them themselves and do not employ hired labour.
  12. We request that all military units and officer trainee groups associate themselves with this resolution.
  13. We demand that the Press give proper publicity to this resolution.
  14. We demand the institution of mobile workers' control groups.
  15. We demand that handicraft production be authorised, provided it does not utilise wage labour.[8]

On March 1, a general meeting of the garrison was held, attended also by Mikhail Kalinin and Commissar of the Soviet Baltic Fleet Nikolai Kuzmin, who made speeches for the Government, threatening harsh repression if the requests were not withdrawn. The general meeting passed a resolution including the fifteen demands given above. On March 2, a conference of sailor, soldier and worker organization delegates, after hearing speeches by Kuzmin and Vasiliev, President of the Kronstadt Executive Committee, arrested these two and approved the formation of a Provisional Revolutionary Committee.[9]

The Government responded with an ultimatum the same day, which insinuated that the revolt had "undoubtedly been prepared by French counter-intelligence" and that the Petropavlovsk resolution was an "SR-Black Hundred" resolution. SR stood for Social Revolutionaries, a socialist party whose right wing had refused to support the Bolsheviks. The Black Hundreds were an ultranationalist paramilitary organization in late Tsarist Russia whose members had opposed any retreat from Tsarist autocracy. After the October Revolution, "Black Hundreds" became a term of abuse for real and imagined anti-communists.

Suppression of the revolt

Map of St. Petersburg (Einseitige Farbkarte).jpeg
1888 German map of Kronstadt Bay.

The Bolshevik government began its attack on Kronstadt on March 7.[10] Some 60,000 troops under command of Mikhail Tukhachevsky took part in the attack.[11] The workers of Petrograd were under martial law.[12] There was a hurry to gain control of the fortress before the thawing of the frozen bay, as it would have made it impregnable for the land army.[10]

On March 17, Bolshevik forces entered the city of Kronstadt after having suffered over 10,000 fatalities.[11] On March 19, the Bolshevik forces took full control of the city of Kronstadt after having suffered fatalities ranging from 527 to 1,412 (or much higher if the toll from the first assault is included). The day after the surrender of Kronstadt, the Bolsheviks celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Paris Commune.

Although there are no reliable figures for rebel battle losses, historians estimate that from 1,200–2,168 persons were executed after the revolt and a similar number were jailed, many in the Solovki prison camp.[11] Official Soviet figures claim approximately 1,000 rebels were killed, 2,000 wounded and from 2,300–6,528 captured, with 6,000–8,000 defecting to Finland, while the Red Army lost 527 killed and 3,285 wounded.[13] Later on, 1,050–1,272 prisoners were freed and 750–1,486 sentenced to five years' forced labour. More fortunate rebels were those who escaped to Finland, their large number causing the first big refugee problem for the newly independent state.[14]

The Soviet government later provided the refugees in Finland with amnesty; among those was Petrichenko, who lived in Finland and worked as a spy for the Soviet Gosudarstvennoye Politicheskoye Upravlenie (GPU).[14] He was arrested by the Finnish authorities in 1941 and was expelled to the Soviet Union in 1944. Some months after his return, he was arrested on espionage charges and sentenced to ten years in prison, and died at Vladimir prison in 1947.[15]

Although Red Army units suppressed the uprising, dissatisfaction with the state of affairs could not have been more forcefully expressed. Vladimir Lenin stated that Kronstadt "lit up reality like a lightning flash". Against this background of discontent, Lenin concluded that world revolution was not imminent; in the spring of 1921 he replaced War Communism with his New Economic Policy.

Charges of international and counter-revolutionary involvement

Claims that the Kronstadt uprising was instigated by foreign and counter-revolutionary forces extended beyond the March 2 government ultimatum. The anarchist Emma Goldman, who was in Petrograd at the time of the rebellion, described in a retrospective account from 1938 how "the news in the Paris Press about the Kronstadt uprising two weeks before it happened had been stressed in the [official press] campaign against the sailors as proof positive that they had been tools of the Imperialist gang and that rebellion had actually been hatched in Paris. It was too obvious that this yarn was used only to discredit the Kronstadters in the eyes of the workers."[16]

In 1970 the historian Paul Avrich published a comprehensive history of the rebellion including analysis of "evidence of the involvement of anti-Bolshevik émigré groups."[17] An appendix to Avrich's history included a document titled Memorandum on the Question of Organizing an Uprising in Kronstadt, the original of which was located in "the Russian Archive of Columbia University" (today called the Bakhmeteff Archive of Russian & East European Culture). Avrich says this memorandum was probably written between January and early February 1921 by an agent of an exile opposition group called the National Centre in Finland.[18] The "Memorandum" has become a touchstone in debates about the rebellion.

Those debates started at the time of the rebellion. Because Leon Trotsky was in charge of the Red Army forces that suppressed the uprising, with the backing of Lenin, the question of whether the suppression was justified became a point of contention on the revolutionary left, in debates between anarchists and Leninist Marxists about the character of the Soviet state and Leninist politics, and more particularly in debates between anarchists and Trotsky and his followers. It remains so to this day. On the pro-Leninist side of those debates, the memorandum published by Avrich is treated as a "smoking gun" showing foreign and counter-revolutionary conspiracy behind the rebellion, for example in an article from 1990 by a Trotskyist writer, Abbie Bakan. Bakan says "[t]he document includes remarkably detailed information about the resources, personnel, arms and plans of the Kronstadt rebellion. It also details plans regarding White army and French government support for the Kronstadt sailors' March rebellion."[19]

Bakan says the National Centre originated in 1918 as a self-described "underground organization formed in Russia for the struggle against the Bolsheviks." After being infiltrated by the Bolshevik Cheka secret police, the group suffered the arrest and execution of many of its central members, and was forced to reconstitute itself in exile.[20] Bakan links the National Centre to the White army General Wrangel, who had evacuated an army of seventy or eighty thousand troops to Turkey in late 1920.[21] However, Avrich says that the "Memorandum" probably was composed by a National Centre agent in Finland. Avrich reaches a different conclusion as to the meaning of the "Memorandum":

[R]eading the document quickly shows that Kronstadt was not a product of a White conspiracy but rather that the White "National Centre" aimed to try and use a spontaneous "uprising" it thought was likely to "erupt there in the coming spring" for its own ends. The report notes that "among the sailors, numerous and unmistakable signs of mass dissatisfaction with the existing order can be noticed." Indeed, the "Memorandum" states that "one must not forget that even if the French Command and the Russian anti-Bolshevik organisations do not take part in the preparation and direction of the uprising, a revolt in Kronstadt will take place all the same during the coming spring, but after a brief period of success it will be doomed to failure."[22]

Avrich rejects the idea that the "Memorandum" explains the revolt:

Nothing has come to light to show that the Secret Memorandum was ever put into practice or that any links had existed between the emigres and the sailors before the revolt. On the contrary, the rising bore the earmarks of spontaneity... there was little in the behaviour of the rebels to suggest any careful advance preparation. Had there been a prearranged plan, surely the sailors would have waited a few weeks longer for the ice to melt... The rebels, moreover, allowed Kalinin (a leading Communist) to return to Petrograd, though he would have made a valuable hostage. Further, no attempt was made to take the offensive... Significant too, is the large number of Communists who took part in the movement.(...)
The Sailors needed no outside encouragement to raise the banner of insurrection... Kronstadt was clearly ripe for a rebellion. What set it off was not the machination of emigre conspirators and foreign intelligence agents but the wave of peasant risings throughout the country and the labour disturbances in neighboring Petrograd. And as the revolt unfolded, it followed the pattern of earlier outbursts against the central government from 1905 through the Civil War." [23]

Moreover, whether the Memorandum played a part in the revolt can be seen from the reactions of the White "National Centre" to the uprising. Firstly, they failed to deliver aid to the rebels or to get French aid to them. Secondly, Professor Grimm, the chief agent of the National Centre in Helsingfors and General Wrangel's official representative in Finland, stated to a colleague after the revolt had been crushed that if a new outbreak should occur then their group must not be caught unaware again. Avrich also notes that the revolt "caught the emigres off balance" and that "nothing... had been done to implement the Secret Memorandum, and the warnings of the author were fully borne out." [24]

(A 2003 bibliography by a historian of the Russian Civil War characterizes Avrich's history as "the only full-length, scholarly, non-partisan account of the genesis, course and repression of the rebellion to have appeared in English.")[25]

Impact

In 1939, Isaac Don Levine introduced Whittaker Chambers to Walter Krivitsky in New York City. First, Krivitsky asked, "Is the Soviet Government a fascist government?" to which Chambers assented, "You are right, and Kronstadt was the turning point." Chambers explained:

From Kronstadt during the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, the sailors of the Baltic Fleet had steamed their cruisers to aid the Communists in capturing Petrograd. Their aid had been decisive.... They were the first Communists to realize their mistake and the first to try to correct it. When they saw that Communism meant terror and tyranny, they called for the overthrow of the Communist Government and for a time imperiled it. They were bloodily destroyed or sent into Siberian slavery by Communist troops led in person by the Commissar of War, Leon Trotsky, and by Marshal Tukhachevsky, one of whom was later assassinated, the other executed, by the regime they then saved. Krivitsky meant that by the decision to destroy the Kronstadt sailors, and by its cold-blooded action in doing so, Communism had made the choice that changed it from benevolent socialism to malignant fascism.[26]

The 1949 book The God That Failed contains Louis Fischer's definition of "Kronstadt" as the moment in which communists or fellow travelers decide not just to leave the Communist Party but to oppose it as anti-communists. Editor Richard Crossman said in the book's introduction: "The Kronstadt rebels called for Soviet power free from Bolshevik dominance" (p. x). After describing the actual Kronstadt rebellion, Fischer spent many pages applying the concept to subsequent former-communists—including himself: "What counts decisively is the 'Kronstadt'. Until its advent, one might waver emotionally or doubt intellectually or even reject the cause altogether in one's mind, and yet refuse to attack it. I had no 'Kronstadt' for many years." (p. 204).

See also

Naval mutinies:

Notes

  1. ^ Leonard F. Guttridge (1 August 2006). Mutiny: A History of Naval Insurrection. Naval Institute Press. p. 174. ISBN 978-1-59114-348-2.
  2. ^ Steve Phillips (2000). Lenin and the Russian Revolution. Heinemann. p. 56. ISBN 978-0-435-32719-4.
  3. ^ the new cambridge modern history. volume xii. CUP Archive. p. 448. GGKEY:Q5W2KNWHCQB.
  4. ^ Hosking, Geoffrey (2006). Rulers and Victims: The Russians in the Soviet Union. Harvard University Press. p. 91.
  5. ^ a b Morcombe, Smith. The Spirit Of Change: Russia in Revolution, 2010. p. 165.
  6. ^ a b "The Kronstadt Mutiny", Notes on Orlando Figes, A People's Tragedy (1996)" Archived 2010-11-01 at the Wayback Machine, John D Clare website
  7. ^ Kronstadt, 1921, Paul Avrich ISBN 0-691-08721-0, Princeton University Press
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-07-15. Retrieved 2006-08-05.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ "The Truth about Kronstadt: A Translation and Discussion of the Authors". www-personal.umich.edu. Archived from the original on 10 January 2017. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  10. ^ a b Figes, 763.
  11. ^ a b c Figes, 767.
  12. ^ Orlando Figes, A People's Tragedy: The Russian Revolution 1891-1924 (New York: Viking Press 1997), 760.
  13. ^ Pukhov, A. S. Kronshtadtskii miatezh v 1921 g. Leningrad, OGIZ-Molodaia Gvardiia.
  14. ^ a b Kronstadtin kapina 1921 ja sen perilliset Suomessa (Kronstadt Rebellion 1921 and Its Descendants in Finland) Archived 2007-09-28 at the Wayback Machine by Erkki Wessmann.
  15. ^ "Kapinallisen salaisuus" ("The Secret of a Rebel"), Suomen Kuvalehti, page 39, issue SK24 / 2007, 15.6.2007
  16. ^ "Trotsky Protests Too Much Archived 2013-10-05 at the Wayback Machine" by Emma Goldman
  17. ^ Jonathan Smele (2006). The Russian Revolution and Civil War 1917-1921: An Annotated Bibliography. Continuum. p. 336. ISBN 978-1-59114-348-2.
  18. ^ Paul Avrich. Kronstadt 1921. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-08721-0.
  19. ^ Abbie Bakan, "Kronstadt: A Tragic Necessity Archived 2006-02-04 at the Wayback Machine" Socialist Worker Review 136, November 1990
  20. ^ Robert Service. Spies and Commissars: The Early Years of the Russian Revolution. PublicAffairs. p. 51. ISBN 1-61039-140-3.
  21. ^ Bakan, op. cit.
  22. ^ quoted by Avrich, op. cit., pp. 235, 240, cited in What was the Kronstadt Rebellion? Archived 2005-08-30 at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^ Avrich, op. cit., pp. 111–12, cited in What was the Kronstadt Rebellion? Archived 2005-08-30 at the Wayback Machine
  24. ^ Avrich, op. sit., pp. 212, 123, cited in What was the Kronstadt Rebellion? Archived 2005-08-30 at the Wayback Machine
  25. ^ Smele, op. cit., p. 336
  26. ^ Chambers, Whittaker (1952). Witness. New York: Random House. pp. 459–460. LCCN 52005149. Archived from the original on 2012-12-05.

References

  • Kronstadt, 1917-1921: The Fate of a Soviet Democracy, Israel Getzler, Cambridge University Press 2002, ISBN 0-521-89442-5
  • Kronstadt, 1921, Paul Avrich, Princeton University Press, ISBN 0-691-08721-0
  • The Kronstadt Uprising of 1921, Lynne Thorndycraft, Left Bank Books, 1975 and 2012
  • The Russian Revolution and the Baltic Fleet: War and Politics, Evan Mawdsley, London, 1978
  • Sailors in Revolt: The Russian Baltic Fleet in 1917, Norman Saul, Kansas, 1978
  • A History of Russia, N.V. Riasanovsky, Oxford University Press (USA), ISBN 0-19-515394-4
  • The Russian Revolution, W.H. Chamberlin, Princeton University Press ISBN 0-691-00816-7
  • Lenin: A Biography, Robert Service, Pan ISBN 0-330-49139-3
  • Lenin, Tony Cliff, London, 4 vols., 1975–1979
  • Red Victory, W. Bruce Lincoln, New York, 1989
  • Kronstadt, V.I. Lenin and Leon Trotsky, Pathfinder Press, ISBN 0-87348-883-0
  • The Unknown Revolution, Voline, Free Life Editions, New York, 1974
  • Reaction and Revolution: The Russian Revolution 1894–1924, Michael Lynch
  • Kronstadtin kapina 1921 ja sen perilliset Suomessa (Kronstadt Rebellion 1921 and Its Descendants in Finland), Erkki Wessmann, Pilot Kustannus Oy, 2004, ISBN 952-464-213-1

External links

1921 Russian Supreme Soviet election

Elections to the 9th All-Russian Congress of Soviets were held in the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic in the spring of 1921 (not to be confused with the 10th Congress of the Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks)). They were the second elections in the history of the Soviet government, with the first such election in 1919, also to the All-Russian Congress of Soviets, not including one to the Petrograd Soviet in 1917, before the last stage of the Russian Revolution. There was some tension that year because of the revolt of sailors in the Kronstadt rebellion, actions of the Workers Opposition and monarchists, recent failure of a "communist uprising" in Germany (so called March Action), all while the fierce Russian Civil War continued unabated.As the Bolshevik's party, later called the Communist Party of the Soviet Union was reshaped by the elections, the Soviet government felt pressured to take action, so it attempted to welcome foreign investments with agreements of cooperation with Great Britain, Persia, and Afghanistan, nationalized of mosques in Crimea and began to implement the New Economic Policy or NEP. While the foreign policy efforts by the Soviet Union led to increased recognition internationally, other efforts faltered. The following year, the Soviet Union would be formed with the Treaty on the Creation of the USSR and the All-Russian Congress of Soviets would serve as the unicameral legislature for the whole Soviet state, a position it would occupy until 1938 when the Supreme Soviet of Russia would be created.

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Anarchist law

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Anti-authoritarianism

Anti-authoritarianism is opposition to authoritarianism, which is defined as "a form of social organisation characterised by submission to authority", "favoring complete obedience or subjection to authority as opposed to individual freedom" and to authoritarian government. Anti-authoritarians usually believe in full equality before the law and strong civil liberties. Sometimes the term is used interchangeably with anarchism, an ideology which entails opposing authority or hierarchical organization in the conduct of human relations, including the state system.

Baltic Fleet during the October Revolution and Russian Civil War

The Russian Baltic Fleet played an important role during the October Revolution and Russian Civil War. During the October Revolution the sailors of the Baltic Fleet (renamed "Naval Forces of the Baltic Sea" in March 1918) were among the most ardent supporters of Bolsheviks, and formed an elite among Red military forces. Some ships of the fleet took part in the Russian Civil War, notably by clashing with the British navy operating in the Baltic as part of intervention forces. Over the years, however, the relations of the Baltic Fleet sailors with the Bolshevik regime soured, and they eventually rebelled against the Soviet government in the Kronstadt rebellion in 1921, but were defeated, and the Fleet de facto ceased to exist as an active military unit.

Ban on factions in the Communist Party of the Soviet Union

In 1921, factions were banned in the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

Since 1920 Lenin had become concerned about oppositionist groups within the Communist Party. For example, the Democratic Centralists had been set up in March 1919 and by 1921 Alexander Shlyapnikov had set up the Workers' Opposition. Lenin regarded these as distractions within the party when unity was needed in order to neutralise the major crises of 1921, such as the famines, and Kronstadt Rebellion. As Lenin stated:"all members of the Russian Communist Party who are in the slightest degree suspicious or unreliable ... should be got rid of"

Kronstadt

Kronstadt (Russian: Кроншта́дт, translit. Kronštádt [krɐnˈʂtat]), also spelled Kronshtadt, Cronstadt or Kronštádt (from German: Krone for "crown" and Stadt for "city"; Estonian: Kroonlinn) is an early eighteenth-century foundation which became an important international centre of commerce whose trade role was eclipsed by the growth of its strategic significance in the ensuing centuries as the primary maritime defence outpost of the former Russian capital. It is now the port city in Kronshtadtsky District of the federal city of Saint Petersburg, Russia, located on Kotlin Island, 30 kilometers (19 mi) west of Saint Petersburg, near the head of the Gulf of Finland. It is linked to the former Russian capital by a combination levee-causeway-seagate, the St Petersburg Dam, part of the city's flood defences, which also acts as road access to Kotlin island from the mainland. In March 1921, the island city was the site of the Kronstadt rebellion.

The main base of the Russian Baltic Fleet was located in Kronstadt guarding the approaches to Saint Petersburg. The historic centre of the city and its fortifications are part of the World Heritage Site that is Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments.

Kronstadt has been a place of pilgrimage for Orthodox Christians for many years due to the memory of Saint John of Kronstadt.

Kronstadt, 1921

Kronstadt, 1921, is a history book by Paul Avrich about the 1921 Kronstadt rebellion against the Bolsheviks.

Kronstadt mutinies

This article is about the rebellions of Russian sailors in 1904 and 1917. For the rebellion of Russian sailors against the Bolshevik government in 1921, see Kronstadt rebellion.Two separate events at the Baltic fortress of Kronstadt on Kotlin Island are known as the Kronstadt mutinies. The first took place on 8 November 1904, and was part of the 1904–1907 wave of political and social unrest known as the 1905 Revolution. The second was the uprising of Russian sailors against their officers in March 1917, which sparked an abortive insurrection against the Russian Provisional Government.

After this Lenin decided to agree to the Bolsheviks going into a more defensive status of operations for a time.

Left-wing uprisings against the Bolsheviks

The left-wing uprisings against the Bolsheviks (AKA Third Russian Revolution) were a series of rebellions, uprisings, and revolts against the Bolsheviks by oppositional left-wing organizations and groups that started soon after the October Revolution, continued through the years of the Russian Civil War, and lasted into the first years of Bolshevik reign of the Soviet Union. They were led or supported by left-wing groups such as some factions of the Socialist Revolutionary Party, Left Socialist-Revolutionaries, Mensheviks, and anarchists. Generally, the uprisings began in 1918 because of the Bolshevik siege and cooptation of Soviet Democracy, the signing of the Treaty of Brest-Litvosk which many saw as giving huge concessions to the Central Powers, and opposition to Bolshevik socioeconomic policy. The Bolsheviks grew increasingly hard-line during the decisive and brutal years following the October Revolution, and would suppress any socialist opposition whilst also becoming increasingly hostile to inner-party opposition. These rebellions and insurrections occurred mostly during and after the Russian Civil War, until approximately 1924.

The Bolsheviks were being assaulted by forces from the reactionary wing of Romanov monarchists, reformist Social Democrats, former Imperial Army officers and soldiers in the anti-communist White Armies along with several foreign nations sending in interventionist forces, aid and supplies for the White Armies. Despite this, Vladimir Lenin regarded the left-wing opposition as the most threatening the Bolshevik regime faced. Lenin had for example, called the Kronstadt Rebellion one of the most dangerous situations the regime had faced "undoubtedly more dangerous than Denikin, Yudenich, and Kolchak combined." The authority the Bolsheviks commanded, such as the Cheka and other exertions of control and supremacy were primarily used against left-wing oppositionists rather than the reactionary counter-revolution.

List of films dealing with anarchism

This article is for films both fictional and non-fictional which focus on anarchism, anarchist movements and/or anarchist characters as a theme.

My Disillusionment in Russia

My Disillusionment in Russia is a book by Emma Goldman, published in 1923 by Doubleday, Page & Co. The book was based on a much longer manuscript entitled "My Two Years in Russia" which was an eyewitness account of events in Russia from 1920 to 1921 that ensued in the wake of the Russian Revolution of 1917 and which culminated in the Kronstadt rebellion. Long-concerned about developments with the Bolsheviks, Goldman described the rebellion as the "final wrench. I saw before me the Bolshevik State, formidable, crushing every constructive revolutionary effort, suppressing, debasing, and disintegrating everything".Much to Goldman's dismay, only upon receiving the first printed copies of the book did she become aware that (1) the publisher had changed the title; and (2) the last twelve chapters were entirely missing, including an Afterword which Goldman felt was "the most vital part" of the book. Sympathetic to the initial Russian Revolution, the (complete) book is nonetheless a strong and impassioned left critique of the Bolshevik Revolution as well as Vladimir Lenin's New Economic Policy—an "all-powerful, centralized Government with State Capitalism as its economic expression". The complete book is also critical of Marxian theory, which Goldman describes as "a cold, mechanistic, enslaving formula".After much back and forth with the publishers, the missing portions of Goldman's original manuscript were published in a second (American) volume My Further Disillusionment in Russia (also titled by the publisher) in 1924. In the preface to the second "volume" of the American edition, Goldman wryly observes that only two of the reviewers sensed the incompleteness of the original American version, one of whom was not a regular critic, but a librarian. A complete version of the complete manuscript was published in England with an introduction by Rebecca West, also with the title My Disillusionment in Russia (London: C. W. Daniel Company, 1925).[1]

Nikolai Kuzmin

Nikolai Nikolayevich Kuzmin (Russian: Николай Николаевич Кузьмин) (3 April 1883 – 8 February 1938) was a Soviet political and military leader. He was the political commissar of the Baltic Fleet during the time of the Russian Civil War.

Born in Saint Petersburg, Kuzmin graduated from St Petersburg University and joined the Bolsheviks in 1903. He participated in the 1905 revolution. In 1917 he was a member of the military organisation of the Central Committee of the Communist Party. He was also editor of two newspapers Soldatskaya Pravda («Солдатская правда») and Derevenskaya Bednota («Деревенская беднота»).

During the Civil War Kuzmin served as a Political Commissar on the South Western Front (1918–1919) and the Petrograd area from 1920. In 1920 he was appointed Political commissar of the Baltic Fleet and took part in suppressing the Kronstadt Rebellion. He was awarded the Order of the Red Banner.

In 1924 Kuzmin became chief assistant prosecutor in the Supreme Court of the USSR for military justice. He was critical of the abuse of power by the OOGPU and removed from his post. He was made Chief Political Officer of the Central Asian Military District in 1925 and in 1931-32 he was made Chief Political Officer of the Siberian Military District.

Kuzmin moved into civilian life in 1932 and became head of the Omsk branch of Sevmorput. He was arrested on 28 May 1937 as part of Stalin's Purges. Kuzmin refused to confess and pleaded not guilty at his trial. He was sentenced to death and shot on 8 February 1938. Kuzmin was posthumously rehabilitated in 1956.

Russian battleship Petropavlovsk (1911)

The Russian battleship Petropavlovsk (Russian: Петропавловск) was the third of the four Gangut-class dreadnoughts built before World War I for the Imperial Russian Navy, the first Russian class of dreadnoughts. She was named after the Russian victory over the British and the French in the Siege of Petropavlovsk in 1854. The ship was completed during the winter of 1914–1915, but was not ready for combat until mid-1915. Her role was to defend the mouth of the Gulf of Finland against the Germans, who never tried to enter, so she spent her time training and providing cover for minelaying operations. Her crew joined the general mutiny of the Baltic Fleet after the February Revolution of 1917 and she was the only dreadnought available to the Bolsheviks for several years after the October Revolution of 1917. She bombarded the mutinous garrison of Fort Krasnaya Gorka and supported Bolshevik light forces operating against British ships supporting the White Russians in the Gulf of Finland in 1918–19. Later, her crew joined the Kronstadt Rebellion of 1921 and she was renamed Marat after the rebellion was crushed.

Marat was reconstructed from 1928 to 1931 and represented the Soviet Union at the Coronation Naval Review at Spithead in 1937. Two years later, she bombarded a Finnish coastal artillery position during the Winter War once before the Gulf of Finland iced up. Shortly afterwards, her anti-aircraft armament was upgraded. When the Germans invaded on 22 June 1941 she was in Kronstadt and provided gunfire support to Soviet troops in September as the Germans approached Leningrad. Later that month she had her bow blown off and sank in shallow water after two hits by 1,000-kilogram (2,200 lb) bombs (dropped from a Ju 87 Stuka, piloted by Hans Ulrich Rudel) that detonated her forward magazine. She was refloated several months later and became a stationary battery, providing gunfire support during the Siege of Leningrad. Plans were made to reconstruct her after the war, using the bow of her sister Frunze, but they were not accepted and were formally cancelled in 1948. She was renamed Volkhov, after the nearby river, in 1950 and served as a stationary training ship until stricken in 1953 and broken up afterwards.

Russian monitor Perun

Perun (Russian: Перун) was an Uragan-class monitor built for the Imperial Russian Navy in the mid-1860s. The design was based on the American Passaic-class monitor, but was modified to suit Russian engines, guns and construction techniques. Spending her entire career with the Baltic Fleet, the ship was only active when the Gulf of Finland was not frozen, but very little is known about her service. Perun was struck from the Navy List in 1900 and became a pilot ship. Renamed Lotsiia (Pilot) in 1915, the ship was damaged during the Kronstadt rebellion of 1921 and laid up afterwards. She was run aground by a flood three years later and then her wreck was scrapped.

Stateless society

A stateless society is a society that is not governed by a state, or, especially in common American English, has no government. In stateless societies, there is little concentration of authority; most positions of authority that do exist are very limited in power and are generally not permanently held positions; and social bodies that resolve disputes through predefined rules tend to be small. Stateless societies are highly variable in economic organization and cultural practices.While stateless societies were the norm in human prehistory, few stateless societies exist today; almost the entire global population resides within the jurisdiction of a sovereign state. In some regions nominal state authorities may be very weak and wield little or no actual power. Over the course of history most stateless peoples have been integrated into the state-based societies around them.Some political philosophies, particularly anarchism, consider the state an unwelcome institution and stateless societies the ideal.

Stepan Maximovich Petrichenko

Stepan Maximovich Petrichenko (Russian: Степа́н Макси́мович Петриче́нко; 1892 – June 2, 1947) was a Russian revolutionary, an anarcho-syndicalist politician, the head of the Soviet Republic of Soldiers and Fortress-Builders of Nargen and in 1921, de facto leader of the Kronstadt Commune, and the leader of the revolutionary committee which led the Kronstadt rebellion of 1921.

Theaters of the Russian Civil War
Anarchist revolutions

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