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Russian SFSR. Kronshtadtskoye vosstaniye was an insurrection of the Soviet sailors, soldiers and civilians of the port city of Kronstadt against the Bolshevik government of the Russian SFSR.

It was the last major revolt against the Bolshevik regime on Russian territory during the Russian Civil War that ravaged the country. The revolt began on March 1, in the city's naval fortress, located on the island of Kotlin in the Gulf of Finland. For sixteen days, the rebels rose in opposition to the Soviet government they had helped to consolidate. Led by Stepan Petrichenko [1] , the rebels, including many Communists disappointed in the direction of the Bolshevik government, demanded a series of reforms, such as the election of new soviets, the inclusion of socialist parties and anarchist groups in the new soviets, and the end of the Bolshevik monopoly on power, economic freedom for peasants and workers, dissolution of the bureaucratic organs of government created during the civil war, and the restoration of civil rights for the working class.

Despite the influence of some opposition parties, the sailors did not support any in particular. Convinced of the popularity of the reforms they were fighting for which they partially tried to implement during the revolt , the Kronstadt seamen waited in vain for the support of the population in the rest of the country and rejected aid from emigrants.

Although the council of officers advocated a more offensive strategy, the rebels maintained a passive attitude as they waited for the government to take the first step in negotiations, which eventually isolated continental forces. The authorities, by contrast, took an uncompromising stance, presenting an ultimatum demanding unconditional surrender on March 5.

Once the surrender period expired, the Bolsheviks sent a series of military raids against the island, managing to suppress the revolt on March 18, causing the deaths of several thousands in the process. The rebels were considered revolutionary martyrs by their supporters and classified as "agents of the Entente and counterrevolution" by the authorities. The Bolshevik response to the revolt caused great controversy and was responsible for the disillusionment of several supporters of the regime established by the Bolsheviks, such as Emma Goldman.

But while the revolt was suppressed and the rebels' political demands were not met, it served to accelerate the implementation of the New Economic Policy NEP , which replaced " war communism ". According to Lenin, the crisis was the most critical the regime had yet faced, "undoubtedly more dangerous than Denikin , Yudenich , and Kolchak combined".

On October 12 the Soviet government signed an armistice with Poland and three weeks later the last great White General, Pyotr Nikolayevich Wrangel , abandoned the Crimea , [6] and in November the government had managed to disperse Nestor Makhno 's Black Army in southern Ukraine.

In February , government forces reconquered the Caucasus region with the seizure of Georgia. The government of Lenin , having given up hope of a world communist revolution, sought to consolidate power locally and normalize its relations with the Western powers, which ended their intervention in the Russian Civil War.

Foreign troops began to withdraw, yet Bolshevik leaders continued to keep tight control of the economy through the policy of War Communism. This crisis coincided with droughts in and , leading to the Russian famine of 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 , the Cheka reported peasant uprisings across Russia. 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. The revolt at the Kronstadt naval base began as a protest over the plight of the country. The arrival of winter and the maintenance [12] of " war communism " and various deprivations by Bolshevik authorities led to increased tensions in the countryside [13] as in the Tambov Uprising and in the cities, especially Moscow and Petrograd - where strikes and demonstrations took place [10] - in early The trigger for the protests [16] was a government announcement, given on January 22, , which reduced bread rations by one third for the inhabitants of all cities.

The workers demanded the end of "war communism" and a return to the freedom of labor. Government envoys could not alleviate the situation. On February 25, there were new demonstrations, once again initiated by Trubochny workers, and this time spread throughout the city, in part because of rumors about the occurrence of repression victims in the previous demonstration. A few anarchists and revolutionary socialists were also arrested. Bolshevik authoritarianism and the absence of freedoms or reforms reinforced the opposition and increased discontent among their own followers: in their eagerness and in their effort to secure Soviet power, the Bolsheviks actually caused the growth of their own opposition.

Since , anarchist ideas had a strong influence on Kronstadt. The composition of the naval base, however, had changed during the civil war. The Baltic fleet had been shrinking since the summer of , when it had eight warships, nine cruisers, more than fifty destroyers, about forty submarines, and hundreds of auxiliary vessels; in , only two warships, sixteen destroyers, six submarines, and a minesweeper fleet remained from the original fleet.

The organization of the fleet had changed dramatically since the central committee, the Tsentrobalt, which had taken control after the October Revolution, was progressively moving towards a centralized organization, a process that accelerated in January , with Trotsky's visit to Kronstadt following a disastrous naval attack on Tallinn.

By January Raskolnikov had lost real control [48] of fleet management because of his disputes with Zinoviev and held his position only formally. On the other hand, the morale of the troops was low: inactivity, shortage of supplies and ammunition, the impossibility of leaving the service and the administrative crisis contributed to discourage the sailors. News of the protests in Petrograd, coupled with disquieting rumors [16] of a harsh crackdown on these demonstrations by the authorities, increased tensions among fleet members.

The sailors decided to support the protesters of the capital by [54] passing a resolution with fifteen demands that would be sent to the government. Among the main demands demanded by the rebels were the holding of new free elections - as the constitution stipulated - for the Soviets, [30] the right to freedom of expression and total freedom of action and trade.

The following day, March 1, about fifteen thousand people [16] [60] attended a large assembly convened by the local Soviet [61] in Ancla square. Equal rations save for those who did the heavier work - rather than the Bolsheviks who enjoyed the best rations - economic freedom and freedom of organization for the workers and peasants, and political amnesty.

Although the rebels did not expect a military confrontation with the government, tensions in Kronstadt grew after the arrest and disappearance of a delegation sent by the naval base to Petrograd to investigate the situation of strikes and protests taking place in the city.

On March 2, the delegates of warships, military units, and unions met to prepare for reelection of the local Soviet. Two days later, the Committee's enlargement to fifteen members was approved. Part of the Kronstadt Bolsheviks hastily left the island; a group of them, led by the fortress commissioner, tried to crush the revolt, but, lacking support, eventually ran away.

In contrast, the Bolshevik authorities executed forty-five sailors in Oranienbaum and took relatives of the rebels hostage. The government accused opponents of being French-led counterrevolutionaries and claimed that the Kronstadt rebels were commanded by General Kozlovski, the former Tsarist officer then responsible for base artillery [70] [81] [60] - although it was in the hands of the Revolutionary Committee.

Lenin adopted the same strategy to accuse the rebels a few days later at the 10th Party Congress. Despite the intransigence of the government and the willingness of the authorities to crush the revolt by force, many communists advocated the reforms demanded by the sailors and preferred a negotiated resolution to end the conflict.

Critics of the government, including some communists, accused it of betraying the ideals of the revolution and implementing a violent, corrupt and bureaucratic regime. The authorities' accusations that the revolt was a counterrevolutionary plan were false. Kalinin, who could have been a valuable hostage for the rebels, was able to return to Petrograd without complications after the March 1 assembly.

Neither the rebels nor the government expected the Kronstadt protests to trigger a rebellion. Part of the troops sent by the government to suppress the revolt moved to the side of the rebels, knowing that they had eliminated the "commissarocracy" on the island. The rebel's claim to initiate a "third revolution" that resumed the ideals of and ended the Bolshevik government's mischief posed a great threat to the Bolshevik government, which could undermine popular support for the party and split it into a large group.

The various groups of emigres and opponents of the government were too divided to make a concerted effort to support the rebels. Despite attempts by anti-Bolsheviks to call on the Russian Red Cross to assist Kronstadt, no help came to the island during the two weeks of rebellion. Although there was a plan by the National Center to hold an uprising in Kronstadt in which the "kadetes" would take over the city to make it a new center of resistance against the Bolsheviks with the arrival of Wrangel troops on the island.

The rebels justified the uprising by stating that this was an attack on what they called the bolshevik "commissioner". According to them, the Bolsheviks had betrayed the principles of the October Revolution, making the Soviet government a bureaucratic autocracy [72] sustained by Cheka terror. Several leftist tendencies participated in the revolt. The Anarchist Rebels [] demanded, in addition to individual freedoms, the self-determination of workers.

The Bolsheviks fearfully saw the spontaneous movements of the masses, believing that the population could fall into the hands of reaction. The Bolsheviks had long criticized the populists, who in their opinion were reactionary and unrealistic for rejecting the idea of a centralized and industrialized state.

Influenced by various socialist and anarchist groups, but free from the control or initiatives of these groups, the rebels upheld several demands from all these groups in a vague and unclear program, which represented much more a popular protest against misery and oppression than it did a coherent government program.

During the uprising, the rebels changed the rationing system; delivering equal amounts of rations to all citizens except children and the sick who received special rations. On the afternoon of March 2, the delegates sent by Kronstadt crossed the frozen sea to Oranienbaum to disseminate the resolution adopted by the sailors in and around Petrograd.

After extensive interrogation, forty-five of them were shot. Despite this setback, [] the rebels continued to hold a passive stance and rejected the advice of the "military experts" - a euphemism used to designate the tsarist officers employed by the Soviets under the surveillance of the commissars - to attack various points of the continent rather than staying on the island. In the few places on the continent where the rebels got some support, the bolsheviks acted promptly to quell the revolts.

On March 4, at the assembly that approved the extension of the PRC and the delivery of weapons to citizens to maintain security in the city, so that soldiers and sailors could devote themselves to defending the island, as delegated that had managed to return from the mainland reported that the authorities had silenced the real character of the revolt and began to spread news of a supposed white uprising in the naval base.

At a tumultuous meeting of the Petrograd Soviet at which other organizations were invited, a resolution was passed demanding the end of the rebellion and the return of power to the local Kronstadt Soviet, despite resistance from the rebel representatives. At the request of some anarchists who wished to mediate between the parties and avoid armed conflict, the Petrograd Soviet proposed to send a bolshevik commission to Kronstadt to study the situation.

On March 7, the deadline for accepting Trotsky's hour ultimatum, which had already been extended one day, expired. At Kronstadt, the thirteen thousand-man garrison had been reinforced by the recruitment of two thousand civilians and the defense began to be reinforced. The Kronstadt rebels also had their difficulties: they did not have enough ammunition to fend off a prolonged siege, nor adequate winter clothing and shoes, and enough fuel.

Military operations against the island began on the morning of March 7 [98] [24] [93] with an artillery strike [93] from Sestroretsk and Lisy Nos on the north coast of the island; the bombing aimed to weaken the island's defenses to facilitate a further infantry attack. The prepared rebels defended against the government forces; some Red Army soldiers drowned in the ice holes blown up by explosions, others switched sides and joined the rebels or refused to continue the battle.

While the Bolsheviks were preparing larger and more efficient forces - which included cadet regiments, members of the Communist youth , Cheka forces, and especially loyal units on various fronts - a series of minor attacks against Kronstadt took place in the days following the first failed attack. The main task of these volunteers was to increase troop morale following the failure of March 8. On March 9, the rebels fought off another minor attack by government troops; on March 10, some planes bombed Kronstadt Fortress and at night, batteries located in the coastal region began firing at the island.

This was the last attempt to assault the island using small military forces, however air and artillery attacks on coastal regions were maintained. During the last military operations, the Bolsheviks had to suppress several revolts in Peterhof and Oranienbaum, but this did not prevent them from concentrating their forces for a final attack; the troops, many of them of peasant origin, also showed more excitement than in the early days of the attack, given the news - propagated by the party's 10th Congress delegates - of the end of peasantry grain confiscations and their replacement by a tax in kind.

On the same day as the arrival of the Red Cross representative in Kronstadt, Tukhachevsky was finalizing his preparations to attack the island with a large military contingent.

Tukhachevsky's plan consisted of a three-column attack preceded by intense bombing. Damage from the air bombings was sparse, but it served to demoralize the rebel forces. Protected by darkness and fog, soldiers from the northern concentrated forces began to advance against the numbered northern fortifications from Sestroretsk and Lisy Nos.

Although Lisy's forces reached Kronstadt, Sestroretsk's - formed by two companies - struggled to seize Totleben's fort on the north coast. Meanwhile, in the south, a large military force departed from Oranienbaum at dawn on March Brigade 79 lost half of its men during the failed attack. The heavy losses suffered by units in this sector increased even more on the streets of Kronstadt, where resistance was fierce; however, one of the detachments managed to free the communists arrested by the rebels.

The battle continued throughout the day and civilians, including women, contributed to the defense of the island. The sailors sabotaged part of the fortifications before abandoning them, but the battleship crews refused to take them off the island and were willing to surrender to the Soviets.

The day after the surrender of Kronstadt, the Bolsheviks celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Paris Commune. The exact number of casualties is unknown, although the Red Army is thought to have suffered much more casualties than the rebels. The Kronstadt Fortress fell on 18 March and the victims of the subsequent repression were not entitled to any trial.

Although there are no reliable figures for rebel battle losses, historians estimate that from 1,—2, persons were executed after the revolt and a similar number were jailed, many in the Solovki prison camp.


Category:Kronstadt rebellion

Russian SFSR. Kronshtadtskoye vosstaniye was an insurrection of the Soviet sailors, soldiers and civilians of the port city of Kronstadt against the Bolshevik government of the Russian SFSR. It was the last major revolt against the Bolshevik regime on Russian territory during the Russian Civil War that ravaged the country. The revolt began on March 1, in the city's naval fortress, located on the island of Kotlin in the Gulf of Finland. For sixteen days, the rebels rose in opposition to the Soviet government they had helped to consolidate.


La rebelión de Kronstadt

From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository. Subcategories This category has only the following subcategory. Media in category "Kronstadt rebellion" The following 24 files are in this category, out of 24 total. Kronstadt attack. Kronstadt 03 Kronstadt rebellion - communal grave - full.

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