Issue 12 of "Izvestiia of the Provisional Revolutionary Committee of Sailors, Soldiers and Workers of the town of Kronstadt". Includes lies printed in Pravda about the rebellion and a summary of operations. Translated by Scott Zenkatsu Parker and edited by Mary Huey. http://www-personal.umich.edu/~mhuey/
Monday, March 14th, 1921
The Revtroika of the Naval Hospital informs citizens that on March 14th at 8 P.M., in the hospital chapel
REQUIEM SERVICES WILL BE PERFORMED FOR THE FALLEN DEFENDERS OF THE APPROACHES TO KRONSTADT.
BODRY, President of the Revtroika of the Naval Hospital
SUMMARY OF OPERATIONS
from 24:00, March 12th until 24:00 March 13th
About 3 A.M. a party of the adversary tried to attack from the South, but was driven off by our fire.
From 3:30 A.M. there was calm.
About the 12th hour, an adversary flying machine flew over the town and threw out bombs.
From 12 A.M. until 9 P.M. the adversary carried an artillery fire on our batteries.
Krasnoflotskii fired several heavy rounds at the town, but thanks to the fire of our artillery, it was soon forced to cease fire.
Over the course of the entire day, the adversary's airplanes flew over Kotlin [the island on which Kronstadt is located] and threw bombs at the town. Thanks to the energetic work of our anti-aircraft batteries against the airplanes, substantial harm was not inflicted on the town.
PETRICHENKO, President of the Rev. Com.
SOLOVIANOV, Head of the Defense of the Kronstadt Fortress
TO LIVE WITH WOLVES IS TO BE LIKE A WOLF
It was reasonable to expect that at the great moment of the laborer's struggle for their violated rights, Lenin would not be a hypocrite, and would speak the truth. Somehow, in the opinion of the workers and peasants, the concept of Lenin on the one hand and Trotsky and Zinoviev on the other came to be different. If they didn't believe a single word from Zinoviev and Trotsky, faith in Lenin was still not lost.
On March 8th, the 10th Congress of the R.C.P. opened, and Lenin is repeating the usual Communist lies about rebel Kronstadt. He declared that the movement is occuring under the slogan of "free trade," and then added, "it was for Soviets, and against only the dictatorship of the Bolsheviks," not forgetting to implicate, "White generals and petty bourgeois anarchist elements."
We see that Lenin, speaking filth, has become confused, and lets slip the truth that at its root the movement is a struggle for Soviet power and against the party dictatorship. In his nervousness he declared, "this is a counterrevolution of a different type. It is extremely dangerous, no matter how insignificant their corrections in our policy seem at first glance."
And there is something to fear. The blow of the revolutionary people of Kronstadt is strong, and the ringleaders of the arrogant party feel that their autocracy has come to an end.
Lenin's unlimited nervousness slips through all through his speech on Kronstadt. The words "dangerous" and "danger" are repeated over and over. He says, "in order to end this petty bourgeois danger, incredibly dangerous to us since it doesn't unify the proletariat but divides it, we need maximum solidarity."
Yes, it has become necessary for the head Communist to tremble, and to call for "maximum solidarity," since not only the Communist dictatorship but also the party itself have shown signs of breaking.
Could Lenin have spoken the truth in general? Not so long ago at a discussion meeting about trade unions he said, "I am deathly fed up with this, and apart from my disease I would be glad to quit it all and run away wherever I could."
But his confederates do not allow him to run away. He is held as their prisoner, and must slander just like they do. And also, the party policy is such that its realization is prevented by Kronstadt, which is demanding not "free trade" but true Soviet power.
The Petrograd Pravda for March 11th prints a letter from Zinoviev to the non-party comrades. This unrestrained boor expresses his sorrow that there have come to be few worker-Communists in Petrograd factories, and that therefore, "it is necessary to the Communists, come of it what may, to draw honest non-party workingmen and women into Soviet work." That Communists have become few in the factories is understandable; everyone flees from the party of traitors. It is also understandable that the chekists want to shut the non-party workers' mouths with every kind of truth and untruth, by involving them in join work.
This provocateur writes, "Let's, in an organized way, arrive at a systematic method of drawing non-party comrades to work." But what honest worker will join that gang of thieves, commissars and chekists? The workers well understand that these new gendarmes need to choke their grumbling with any concessions, to lull them from their vigilance, in order to squeeze them still stronger afterwards with their iron tongs. The workers see how they are revenging themselves on their non-party comrades in Kronstadt.
"Recently," Zinoviev sobs on, "there was a major misunderstanding between us and the Baltic Factory. But if the Baltic Factory were to be first to carry out the given plan, and showed an example to the others, then many mistakes would be forgiven it."
Here again speaks the provocateur. Of course, in those days the Communists assured us in their broadcasts to the Kronstadt workers that all was well in Peter, and that the Baltic factory was working. Now, suddenly, there are "major misunderstandings," and invitations to show an example "to other factories." Unrest has begun in other factories too. So when was Zinoviev trying to deceive us, then or now?
In order to obtain the Baltic workers for their use, the Communists promise them all the blessings of the world. "We will assign the workers to the jobs most important at the current moment: produce, heating, control over Soviet institutions and the like. We will give non-party workers the opportunity, through their representatives, to take the most active part in the purchase abroad, for gold, of produce for the Peter workers, in order to make it through the difficult months. We will put the question of the struggle with bureaucratism in our institutions on a practical footing. We will scold and criticize each other, and come to a full and fundamental understanding.
This is how sweetly Zinoviev sings, lulling the workers, drawing their attention away from the sound of the bombardment directed against their Kronstadt brothers. Why have the Communists been silent up to now? Why haven't they done this during their almost four year rule?
Very simply, they couldn't do this before, and they can't do it now either. We know the value of their promises, and not just promises but agreements (a bunch of paper). No, the worker won't sell his freedom and his brothers' blood for all the gold in the world. Let Zinoviev give up this empty fancy of, "coming to an understanding." Now, when the Kronstadt brothers have risen to the defense of true freedom, the workers can give the Communists only one answer. "Get out of power as quickly as possible, you butchers and provocateurs, while it's still possible to run away, and don't fool yourselves with vain hopes.
MEETING OF THE PROVISIONAL REVOLUTIONARY COMMITTEE
At the March 13th meeting of the Prov. Rev. Com., the report of the General Meeting of Communists imprisoned in the Naval Investigative Prison was heard. It included a request to the Prov. Rev. Com. to allow Zosimov, former Commissar of the Battleship Brigade, to leave for Moscow to attend the meeting of the regular session of the V.Ts.I.K. [All-Russian Central Executive Committee], in order to illuminate the true lay of matters in Kronstadt.
After an exchange of opinions and a discussion from all sides, the Prov. Rev. Com. decided to consider Zosimov's trip to Moscow unnecessary, since the truth about the events happening in Kronstadt should be well known to the government of the R.S.F.S.R. and the V.Ts.I.K. from our broadcasts. Because of their fear of the people's masses, the Communists have not been publicizing these.
Also, Zosimov's release might be interpreted by the government of the R.S.F.S.R. as a sign of weakness by the Prov. Rev. Com., and of a desire to come to a compromise. There can't even be talk of this, in view of the strongly expressed desire of the laboring masses of Kronstadt to forever liberate Russia from the power of the Communists.
HOW THEY LIE
We print word for word a group of notices printed in the March 11th number of Petrogradskaia Pravda.
Internal War in Kronstadt
At 8 P.M., the Committee of Defense received the following report from Tukhachevsky, Commander of the Army, in Oranienbaum. "Heavy small arms and machine gun fire is heard from Kronstadt. In Oranienbaum, columns are seen making an attack from Kronstadt toward the Mine Casting Workshops, which are located somewhat northeast of fort Konstantin. The attack is apparently being made either against fort Konstantin or against independent units which have risen against the Kronstadt White Guards, and are fortified in the region of the Mine Casting Workshops.
Fire in Kronstadt
During our capture of one of the numbered forts, a strong fire was noticed in Kronstadt. The town was cloaked in thick smoke.
An Attack by Cadets
On March 8th, one of the cadet detachments made an attack on one of the forts located on Kronstadt's northern side. The cadets, first stuck to their knees in snow, then splashing through the water which covers the ice in places, moved forward daringly and decisively. The officers, commissars and Communists were in front. Fire from the forts could not stop the attackers, despite cruel machine gun and artillery fire from the neighboring forts.
The fort was taken so swiftly, and so unexpectedly for its defenders, that they abandoned the fort leaving completely loaded weapons and a half-cooked meal. During our control of three of the mutineers' forts, a great quantity of cannon-wadding, 40 cases of munitions and other military property was captured in one of them.
More on the Leaders and Inspirers of the Mutiny
One of the deserters who left Kronstadt on the night of March 7th reports on the attitude and carriage of the White Guard officers as follows. "Their attitude is highly "playful." It doesn't, of course, bother them that they have started a bloody affair. They dream of the blessings which will fall to their part in the event that they control Petrograd. OWe will take Petrograd. We'll get no less than half a pood [1 pood is equal to 16.38 kg.] of gold to a mug. If it doesn''t come off, we'll go to Finland. They'll take us in there with pleasure,' these lords declare."
They feel like they are lords of the situation, and in fact they are. They carry themselves with the 'free seamen' like in the old, tsarist times. "The present tone is one of command, completely unlike with the Communists," the sailors say on this account. The only thing lacking is the gold epaulets.
We bring to the attention of the lord White Guard officers that they will hardly be successful in running off to Finland, and instead of gold they will each receive a nice portion of lead.
And Krasnaia Gazeta reports, "two sailors arriving in Reval report that 150 Bolsheviks have been killed in Kronstadt.
ORANIENBAUM. A store of provisions was destroyed by successful strikes of our artillery.
ORANIENBAUM. The sailors on the ships are isolated from the shore, and suppressed by the White officership. Increasingly, notices of approaching aid, printed several times a day in different forms, are spread about the town."
Even better is the report of Makhovik.
The Union of Printers has received the following letter in response to gifts taken by working women, members of the union, to the comrade soldiers who are defending the Peter proletarians from the White Guard adventurers.
TO THE UNION OF PRINTERS
Universal thanks to you for the presence of your red units, who have already taken three forts. I send you greetings in all our names. Today was heated. I think that everything will be liquidated tomorrow.
Warm greetings to all unions.
DURMASHKIN, Secretary of the Politotdel of the Military District
This is how history is written. This is how the Communists think to hide the truth from the people with slander and deceit.
A LITTLE FARTHER
A little farther...
We are at the threshold.
Without stormy days
In bloody drunkeness
We move toward the goal--
The lighthouse is seen.
Manacles are off,
Armor is on
Ice is melted.
Roar of the storm
And banner of purple--
The people have risen.
From the gloom of the crypt,
Where we rotted blindly
Until these days
We went out to the light,
Set fire to the rocket--
The mutiny of fires.
A little farther...
We are at the threshold
Without stormy days
Passing the shoals
We move toward the goal
The lighthouse is seen.
THEY REFUTE THE SLANDER
The Helsingfors newspaper Hufvudstadsbladet reports:
"March 9th, a broadcast from Kronstadt was captured in Reval, saying that Kronstadt is not now in need of produce aid, and refuting the provocative rumors that it has turned to Finland for support."
WHY THE POPULACE HUNGERED
By direction of the Prov. Rev. Com., searches were carried out in the apartments of several commissars. Large reserves of produce were found in each of them. These were taken away, and given to the Produce Committee for distribution among the populace.
In this way, from the wife of commissar Ilyin (Shirokaia Street 19) were taken: 1 pood of meat, 1 pood of dried bread, 30 pounds of salt and 10 lb. of fish. The following was left her: 1 1/2 pood of flour, 4 poods of potatoes, 2 poods of liver, 15 pounds of meat and other produce. Items taken were: 12 pairs of new shoes, a jacket and a leather skirt. 2 jackets were left her.
From Dulin, Commissar of the Detachment of Special Purpose, the following were taken: 1 pood 9 lbs. of meat., 1 pood 28 lbs. of salt, 165 boxes of matches, 14 1/2 lbs. of loose tea, 1 pound of brick tea and 4 poods 33 lbs. of dried bread. Also taken were: buckwheat, oat flour, millet, wheat, wheat flour, soap, kerosine and even 1 pood 3 lbs. of nails.
Dulin was arrested.
Life was pretty good for the lord commissars.
The following donations have arrived for the warriors at the front: from E. Zavgorodin, a two day ration of bread and a pack of makhorka; from S. Ivanov, a stoker on the Sevastopol, a soldier''s overcoat; from O. Tsimmerman, a woman employee of the Rev. Com., cigarettes; from S. Putilin, one pair of boots; from A.L., clerk of the Port Chemical Laboratory, one pair of boots.
It is now three years that the populace of Soviet Russia has languished under the Communist yoke. These arrogant beasts' bloodthirsty leaders have pitilessly poured, and pour now, the blood of the laborers. The servitors of the Communist autocracy, hiding under the traitorous mask, "Power of the Laboring People," have deceived, and try to still deceive, the workers and peasants with their lying slanderous speeches. And besides that, the blood of deceived toilers pours on endless fronts.
Everyone knows how they take almost the last chicken from a soldier's family, but the fattened commissars, having fortified themselves with a solid ration, look out for themselves, and do their stinking business in the rear. They yell from their bloody scaffolds, "all land to the peasants, and the factories and plants to the workers." But at the same time, the Communists have built communal farms, occupying the best pieces of land, and put a still heavier and stronger land-owner on the neck of the most impoverished peasant.
The worker has become a night animal instead of a factory owner. He cannot work where he wants, and cannot refuse to work beyond his strength. Anyone who speaks a word of truth they shoot, leave in prison to rot, or torture in the Communist torture chambers.
Worker and peasant, languishing under the Bolshevik yoke, it is time for you to wake from your lethargy! Form true Soviets.
Look, with one blow, revolutionary Kronstadt has knocked down the stranglers of the will of the laboring people. Power has truly passed into the hands of the laborers.
When the rebellious proletariat demanded the liberation of its brothers who were languishing in the prisons, bloody Trotsky opened fire on Red Kronstadt. Having dressed deceived soldiers in white shrouds, he sent them with rifles in their hands to strangle our truth. But truth is not for Trotsky to strangle. All laboring Russia and all the world knows that we struggle for the laborers'' liberation from the despotic power of the usurper Communists.
All the world knows that Kronstadt can't bear to listen anymore to the moans of its repressed and ruined brothers. However Trotsky might try to strangle the free idea of Kronstadt, he will soon be forced to dress himself in the same white shroud in which he dressed the unfortunate soldiers whom he deceived and drove out with machine guns to die without glory on the ice at the approaches to Kronstadt.
We have decided to be victorious or to die under the ruins of glorious Kronstadt. May we be judged by the workers of the world. We stand firmly at our posts, and having raised the banner of liberty, we are certain of victory.
Long live the Soviets!
Damnation to the stranglers of liberty, the Communists!
APPEAL TO WORKERS, SOLDIERS AND SAILORS
On March 2nd, we, the people of Kronstadt, threw off the damned Communist yoke and raised the red flag of the Third Revolution of Laborers.
Soldiers, seamen and workers, revolutionary Kronstadt calls you. We know that they lead you into delusion and don't tell the truth about events here, where we are all ready to give our lives for the holy cause of liberating the worker and peasant. They try to convince you that white generals and priests are with us. In order to put an end to this once and for all, we bring to your attention that the Provisional Revolutionary Committee consists of the following fifteen members.
1. Petrichenko--a senior clerk on the battleship Petropavlovsk;
2. Yakovenko--a telephone operator at the Kronstadt Regional Communications Service;
3. Ososov--a machinist on the battleship Sevastopol;
4. Arkhipov--a machinist foreman;
5. Perepelkin--an electrician on the battleship Sevastopol;
6. Parushev--an electrician foreman on the battleship Petropavlosk;
7. Kupolov--a senior doctor's assistant;
8. Vershinin--a seaman/combatant on the battleship Sevastopol;
9. Tukin--an artisan in the Electro-Mechanical Factory;
10. Romanenko--a watchman in the repair docks;
11. Oreshin--Director of the Third Labor School;
12. Valk--an artisan in the Sawmill;
13. Pavlov--a worker in the Mine Workshops;
14. Boikov--Director of the Transport String at the Admin. of Construction of the Fortress;
15. Kilgast--an ocean navigator.
These are our generals: the Brusilovs, Kamenevs and the rest, and it is the gendarmes Trotsky and Zinoviev who hide the truth from you. Comrades, look about and see what they have done to you, what they are doing to your wives, brothers and children. Are you really going to suffer and perish under the yoke of the oppressors?
DOWN WITH COMMISSAROCRACY!
Capturing power, the Communist Party promised you all the blessings of the laboring masses. And what do we see in fact? Three years ago they told us, "When you want, you can recall your representatives. You can newly elect the Soviets." But when we, the people of Kronstadt, called for new elections to the Soviets, free of party pressure, Trotsky the newly appeared Trepov gave the order, "don't spare the bullets."
Soldiers, you see how valuable your lives are to the Communists. They send you across the ice barehanded to take Red Kronstadt, stronghold of the Laboring Revolution. They send you to take impregnable forts and ships, whose armor twelve inch shells can't pierce.
We called for a delegation of Petrograd toilers to be sent, so that you might learn what kind of generals are with us, and who commands us. But there is no such delegation. The Communists fear that a delegation would learn the truth and tell it to you. They tremble, feeling the earth shake under them.
But the hour has rung. Off dirty paws, stained with the blood of our brothers and fathers! The laborers' spirit of freedom is still strong. They won't let the vampire Communists enslave them again, sucking out the last drop of blood from the tortured proletariat.
Toiler, did you really overthrow tsarism and throw down Kerensky in order to put the Maliuta Skuratov oprichniks, with Fieldmarshal Trotsky in the lead, on your own neck?
No! A thousand times no!
The work hardened hand is heavy, and the base oppressors who have destroyed millions of toilers' lives to capture power will not withstand it.
Damnation to the hated Communist yoke!
Down with the party yoke!
Long live the power of workers and peasants!
Long live freely elected Soviets!
THE PROVISIONAL REVOLUTIONARY COMMITTEE OF KRONSTADT
Kronstadt, March 13th, 1921
Passed March 12th by the General Meeting of soldiers of the Transport String of the Naval Fortress of Kronstadt.
We, the soldiers of the Transport String of the Naval Fortress of Kronstadt, having listened with attention to the report of Comrade Perepelkin, member of the Prov. Rev. Com., about the current moment, find all the actions and measures taken by the Prov. Rev. Com. to be correct, and appropriate for the state of war.
We give our entire support to the defense of the interests of the laboring peasantry and workers, and detach 50 people from our crew to carry out combat service under the complete command of the Prov. Rev. Com. This will not sap the ability of the Transport String to do special urgent work. At the first call by the Prov. Rev. Com., we will all answer as one, and will be ready to go any time of day or night.
Long live the Revolutionary Committee of Kronstadt!
Long live the revolutionary seamen, soldiers and workers of Kronstadt!
Down with commissarocracy!
Down with the predatory beast Trotsky!
FEDOROV, President of the Assembly
MAIER, member A. IVANOV, Secretary
LEAVING THE PARTY
All those leaving the ranks of the R.C.P. are directed to turn in their party booklets and identifications to their electoral troikas. Those leaving the party in the future and giving declarations are directed to do so right now.
Declarations of departure from the R.C.P. arrive unceasingly at the editorial offices, but in view of their great quantity and the insufficiency of space, the editors are unable to publish them immediately, and will include them as possible in following editions of the newspaper.
In December of 1919, when Yudenich was approaching Petrograd, Sotnikov, former Aide to the Commissar of Construction of the Fortress, gathered all the comrades of fort Krasnoarmeiskii. After a lying speech, he ordered all the non-party comrades to choose one of two things, either the party or the left flank, where the 55 people executed by the butcher Razin in the Krasnogorsk events were buried. Under such a threat, I was forced to become a member of the R.C.P.
But as the saying goes, "you won't be nice by force." Even though I was counted on paper as being in the R.C.P., in spirit it wasn't so.
In 1920, I was thrown behind bars by the beast Sitnikov [sic] because I dared to ask the truth, why the Finns were bringing every possible kind of produce over the border to lord Gromov, the little Kronstadt tsar.
On leaving prison, I couldn't flee the party since everything was under surveillance. But at last there has come a free time, when the yoke of commissarocracy has fallen, and I may freely stand up in the ranks of free workers and peasants.
The Communists told us that they were put in power by the people, and that they stand for the people. But who really put them in power? They told us that it is necessary to endure, and to carry on through hunger and cold for the good of our past achievements. But just as soon as these "apostles" had returned to their homes, everything appeared there, except birds' milk.
Not so long ago they reminded us of the year 1905, when the hungry workers who went to ask Nikolai for bread were fed with lead. But look what they themselves gave the workers when they dared to ask for bread. They treat them to bullets, prisons and so on. It has become several times worse than under Nikolai.
After the October Revolution, all these "apostles" with the souls of traitors stripped everyone on the sidewalks of their fur coats, or stole produce down to the very crumbs if they found someone with it. But now look at these thieves. Each of them has several fur coats, all their hands are hung about with gold, and their suitcases are stuffed with toys from Nikolai's time, produce and so on.
And all the same such scoundrels yelled, and still yell, that they are struggling for the freedom which they are strangling with bullets and prisons.
And so comrades, I am quitting this bloody traitorous party, and joyfully entering into your free ranks.
Long live the free peasant and worker!
V. IAKOVLEV, sldr. of the Training Crew of the 4th Division
I make this declaration to the Provisional Revolutionary Committee and the citizens of the town of Kronstadt so that you would not consider me to be a sympathizer with the Communists. I have been on guard of the just, Civilian Court since the 1st Revolution, as the People's Judge who is elected independent of party membership. Due to the distortion of the fundamental declaration of the Republic Constitution by the Communist Party, in 1921 I was forced to secure "political reliability" and support in my struggle for the people's citizens' rights against the arbitrary rule of the chekists and other oprichniks, in order to have the strength to repulse the dominance of criminal Communists over individual private citizens who came for legal help.
Now, when this dominance threatens the entire people's mass with bloody horrors, and comes from the central Communist authorities, I am leaving the party. It has not justified my faith, and I want to be in the ranks of the first warriors of the 3rd Revolution.
ALLIK, People's Judge of the Third District of the Town of Kronstadt