Issue eight of "Izvestiia of the Provisional Revolutionary Committee of Sailors, Soldiers and Workers of the town of Kronstadt". Includes calls for Red Army soldiers to desert. Translated by Scott Zenkatsu Parker and edited by Mary Huey. http://www-personal.umich.edu/~mhuey/
Thursday, March 10th, 1921
A BOMB THROWN AT KRONSTADT IS A SIGNAL FOR UPRISING IN THE COMMUNIST CAMP
ORDER OF THE PROVISIONAL REVOLUTIONARY COMMITTEE
March 9th, 1921
In connection with the military situation, the populace of the town is directed to hang all windows with something thick at night, before striking the light.
KILGAST, for the President of the Prov. Rev. Com.
TUKIN, for the Secretary
OF THE COMMANDANT OF THE TOWN OF KRONSTADT
March 10th, 1921
I order all Communists resident in the town of Kronstadt to surrender to the Administration of the Commandant of the Town (Roshal Square) within two days from the publication of this order all weaponry in their possession, that is: revolvers, rifles, their ammunition, and also sabres, dirks and accumulator (electrical) lamps.
Those not carrying out this order will be considered to be acting against the authority of the Provisional Revolutionary Committee, and if weaponry is discovered in their possession, they will be liable to severe consequences.
ZEMSKOV, Provisional and Acting Commandant of the Town of Kronstadt
SUMMARY OF OPERATIONS
(March 9th, 1921)
Attempts by the adversary to attack from the North and South were repulsed, with large losses for the attackers.
There were no losses on our side.
CALM AND RESTRAINT
We didn't want blood. They started it, and the battle is on.
The sailors, soldiers and workers of Kronstadt, true to the laboring Revolution, are forging fortune for Soviet Russia. The chains of the three year Communist slavery are being broken with an iron hammer.
The Communist throne has begun to tremble, and in a blind rage they choke themselves in the blood of laborers. They shoot workers and peasants right and left. They jeer over and repress the rebels' defenseless families.
One more blow and the bloodthirsty Molloch, which has lulled the laboring people to sleep with sweet speeches, will be thrown down in ruins.
May the fraternal blood which waters the face of tormented Soviet Russia, wrung from the workers and peasants by the criminal Communists, be like cement; may it bind those who fight the hated yoke of the traitors into a unified host. At the moment of decisive combat with the hydra of the Bolshevik autocracy we must be composed.
Our call to battle has already been heard.
Reserves are already approaching. Before the Bolsheviks' eyes, our brothers the workers and peasants are extending us a helping hand in our battle with the maddened horde.
We must destroy the commissarocracy. With flaming hate in our heart and a sober head, holding back those who burst for battle and thereby preserving our living forces, we will strike the final blow decisive blow to the enemy.
We will carry to success the titanic battle with those who have betrayed the laboring people.
Calm and restraint.
FROM THE PROVISIONAL REVOLUTIONARY COMMITTEE
The Provisional Revolutionary Committee, not following the Communist example, left both them and their families at liberty. At the present time it has been established that in an attempt at provocation, wanting to sow panic among the populace, they have spread the most foolish rumors. They talk of Krasnaya Gorka surrendering, of Trotsky promising not to leave one stone of Kronstadt on another, and so on. All this makes the civilian populace worry needlessly.
If there are several reports that the Prov. Rev. Com. is not now making public, it is demanded by the military situation, since there are still not a few spy-Communists among the populace. Citizens! Everything possible is made public in Izvestiia. Do not believe whisperers' rumors. Try to restrain the culprits and hand them over to the Prov. Rev. Com.
The Prov. Rev. Com. warns that decisive measures, dictated by the circumstances of the military period, will be taken against those sowing lying rumors.
THE PROVISIONAL REVOLUTIONARY COMMITTEE
A BROADCAST TO THE WORKERS OF THE WORLD
The following broadcast was sent on March 8th:
To all... to all... to all...
Comrades, workers of the world! The Communists have declared our uprising for true Soviet power a mutiny. But it is not we who are the mutineers, but they.
The laboring masses have demanded free new elections to the stacked Soviets. But the Bolshevik authorities, with bloody Fieldmarshal Trostky at the head, have decided to repress the will of the laboring people whatever may come of it. They defend the party autocracy with executions of toilers and with violence against their families.
The Communists slander us, saying that our leaders are White Guard generals. They say that we have sold out to Finland, and that it has promised us support.
Before the world proletariat we swear that no kind of White Guard generals lead us, and that no kind of negotiations with Finland either about military or produce support have there been, and none can there be. We are supplied with military equipment and produce for the time necessary to overthrow the Communists.
If, however, our struggle were to be drawn out, it is possible that we would be forced to turn to external produce aid, for the good of our wounded heroes, children and the civilian populace.
The Communists mask their weakness with claims that they are giving us a period of grace. In actual fact, they cannot collect the forces necessary to strangle the Third Revolution of laborers.
It has been three days since they fired the first shot, and first spilled fraternal blood. Fighting for the rightful cause, we have accepted the challenge. The garrison and laboring populace of Kronstadt, having thrown off the shameful Communist yoke, have decided to fight to the end.
With comradely greetings,
THE PROVISIONAL REVOLUTIONARY COMMITTEE OF KRONSTADT
VOICE OF THE DECEIVED
For three and a half years a little bunch of usurpers have made a reality of their own thieving will. At last, the Kronstadt sons of laboring Russia, horrified by the Communist oppression, came on March 1st to decide the fate of the deceived and robbed Russian people. With a single voice, we of Kronstadt said to the Communist leaders, Kalinin and the rest, "enough of oppression, and enough of deception. Off the road! Let us breathe free and share our painful needs with all the workers, peasants, sailors and soldiers of the boundless Russian land."
They, traitors, are frightened of the deceived Russian laboring people coming to understand everything.
In 3 1/2 years of their reign they have still not drunk their fill of the innocent blood of toilers.
The executions of our brothers are still too few for them. They have taken to torturing defenseless women and children. And where are our representatives? Why can they not intercede for us, and liberate our brothers who are languishing in prisons?
No, deceivers, we have heard enough of your fancy speech. No one believes you any more. Don't try to scare us either. No one fears you.
The laboring people itself, and not generals, is leading the struggle against you, you blood-drinkers.
Long live the Russian proletariat, tortured, long-suffering all adversities, and now in rebellion to gain its rights!
Long live the Provisional Revolutionary Committee of the Town of Kronstadt, chosen by us, the laborers! Only it do we trust.
Off, hands stained with brotherly blood, stinking oppressors of Laboring Russia!
THE REVTROIKA OF THE ENGINEER WORKING BATTALION
TO SOLDIERS FIGHTING ON THE COMMUNIST SIDE
Comrades! March 7th, by order of Trotsky, butcher of worker-peasant Russia, fire was opened on Free Kronstadt from the batteries of Lisy Nos and Sestroretsk because Kronstadt no longer wants to dance to the piping of the Communist party, which has betrayed the laboring worker and peasant folk in order to gain power.
We did not want to spill fraternal blood, and we did not fire a single shot until they forced us to do so. We were forced to defend the rightful cause of the laboring people, and to fire. We were forced to fire at our own brothers, sent to a certain death by Communists, who feast on the people's bill.
And at that time their ringleaders, Trotsky, Zinoviev and the rest, were sitting on soft chairs in the warm, lit rooms of tsarist palaces, discussing how the quicker and better to cover rebel Kronstadt in blood. To your misfortune, a snowstorm arose and an impenetrable night approached. None the less, taking nothing into consideration, the Communist butchers pushed you across the ice. They drove you from behind with detachments of machine gun armed Communists.
Many of you perished that night, on the huge, icy expanse of the Gulf of Finland. At sunrise, when the snowstorm had quieted, only pathetic remnants reached us, hungry and exhausted, barely moving your feet, dressed in white shrouds.
By early morning, nearly a thousand of you had been gathered, and by afternoon a countless number. You paid dearly with your blood and suffering for this venture. And after your failure, Trotsky rolled off back to Petrograd, to once again drive new sufferers to the slaughter. Our worker-peasant blood is obtained for him cheaply enough.
And once again the regiments will set out, driven by well dressed and well fed Communists who hide behind your backs, farther from our rounds, in order to treat you to machine gun fire if you waver or if you don't want to give your body for the defense of these brigands. We don't treat the Communists like that. All the commissars, and even the butchers from the Cheka, we feed with the exact same rations which we eat ourselves.
We refused butter to Kuzmin, Commissar of Baltflot, when he declared that it's impossible to live without it; we give butter only to children and the sick. That is how matters stand in Kronstadt, and not like the Communist deceivers tell you: that White officers and Finnish White Guards have captured Kronstadt. No, Kronstadt is controlled only by seamen, soldiers and workers, who have given an oath to liberate you and all Russia from the power of those who have betrayed the laboring people.
Comrades, realize what you are doing and where you are going!
Look and see what awaits you, and what you are spilling your blood for!
The Communist administration has led Russia to unheard of destitution, hunger, cold and other disasters. Factories and plants have closed, and railroads are almost at a stop. The countryside has been stripped to the bone. There is neither bread, nor beast, nor tool to work the land.
There is no clothing, no shoes, no heat. Every day, hungry and cold workers, peasants and city folk move toward a certain death, having lost all hope for improvement in their lives.
And the traitorous Communist party brought you to this. For three and a half years they sang into your ears that there, there everything will be arranged and it will be good, but in fact they have pulled the wool over your eyes in the most base way, flayed the last bit from you and now are sending you to the slaughter. The Communists don't need you, but only power over you so that they can continue to oppress the people for their own pleasure.
So enough of bearing the oppressors and their power on our own necks. Rise up, all as one, and with the comradely blow of a bayonet, throw the base traitors into the grave. Join us, so that shoulder to shoulder we may attack the common enemy, for the liberation of Soviet Russia and of our brothers the peasants and workers from the pack of robbers with the blood-drinkers Trotsky and Zinoviev at its head.
To arms comrades!
As comrades, forward against the enemy!
Victory is ours!
THEY SHARE WITH BROTHERS
The struggle for Soviet power ties us ever closer together. Every person strives to somehow aid the common cause. The 1st Raikom of metalworkers has unanimously decided to hand over to the common kettle the entire horsemeat ration due them.
ELECTIONS TO THE REVTROIKA AND RAIKOM
The General Meeting of the 6th Regional Committee of the Union of Metalworkers of the Kronstadt Port Construction Unit, after reports on the events of the day by Comrades Kilgast and Perepelkin, passed the following resolution, "We trust you, we are with you. Go boldly forward on the holy path you have marked. We will not leave you, and if necessary, will die together with you for the good of our brothers, the laborers and workers."
Comrade Kostenko was elected as Raikom representative to the Troika. Comrade Boiarinov was elected President of the Regional Committee, Comrade Parychev Secretary and Comrade Kupriianov a member.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
I ask to correct a mistake which I noticed in yesterday's March 9th number of Kronshtadtskie Izvestiia, where it reports on my leaving the R.C.P. I was never in the party, and hate the supporters of the party of those who have deceived us with their lying slogans, under the mask of the laboring people.
Down with the Communist blood-drinkers!
Long live the Power of Laborers!
G. REBONE, seaman of the Company of Seaman-Specialists
THE COMMUNIST THRONE HAS BEGUN TO TREMBLE
LEAVING THE PARTY
All those leaving the ranks of the R.C.P. are directed to turn in their party booklets and identifications at 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.
MY COMRADE STUDENTS OF THE LABOR, MILITARY AND NAVAL SCHOOLS!
I have lived for almost thirty years with a deep love for the people. I have carried light and knowledge, as well as I was able, wherever it was awaited, and wherever needed for the present moment. The Revolution of 1917 increased my strengths by giving my work free range, and I continued to serve my ideal with great energy. The teachings of Communism, with its slogan, "All for the people," captured me with their purity and beauty. Thus, in February of 1920, I became a candidate member of the R.C.P. But with the "first shot" I was shaken by the thought that I might be considered a participant in spilling the blood of innocent victims. They have fired at a peaceful populace, at my deeply beloved children, of whom there are 6 or 7 thousand in Kronstadt. I came to feel that it is not within my strength to hold faith in, and profess to a party which has disgraced itself by a bestial act. Therefore, with this first shot I ceased to consider myself a candidate member of the R.C.P."
MARIIA NIKOLAEVNA SHATEL, teacher
March 8th, 1921
I request that you no longer consider me a member of the R.C.P., since I have become convinced that the Communists are oppressors. Like bloodthirsty animals they do not feel sorry for their kills, and hunger for the people's blood. I greet the Provisional Revolutionary Committee, which is leading the laboring people by a true and honest path.
SHISHELOVA, manual laborer of the Artillery Workshop
We, rank and file Communists of the Electrical Unit of the Third Region have seen that when the comrade Kronstadters proposed that delegates be sent from Petrograd, Trotsky sent an airplane filled with bombs. The Communists started throwing bombs out on women and children who are in no way guilty, and barely missed taking a boy of 13 years as their victim. Because of this, and because executions of honest workers are raging everywhere, we are constantly tortured by the actions and bestial works of Trotsky and his champions, and are leaving the Communist party in order to join all honest workers in the mutual struggle for liberation of the laborers from oppression. We ask that we be considered non-party comrades.
Anton Kovtun, Andrei Luts, Iuna, Starovevki, Otu, Smark, Eduard Pokrov, Stepan Galiantcheev, Georgii Egorov, Andrei Filippov, Ivan Nikolaev, Ivan Filippov, Nikolai Baksheev, Aleksei Bostalev, Filimonov, Petr Pavlov and one illegible signature
Declarations also arrived from:
25) F. Andreev, machinist of fort Konstantin, 26) M. Logunov, sldr. of the 4th Artillery Division, 27) also A. Sergeev, 28) V. Kondrashikhin, sldr. of the Fortress Communications Service, 29) L. Savkovsky, seaman of the Academic Mining Detachment, 30) also S. Yakovlev, 31) also V. Shutov, 32) also P. Semeniuk, 33) also P. Kanatov, 34) also S. Ageev, 35) also F. Zhuravsky, 36) also Lebedev, 37) also Lavrov, 38) also V. Golber, 39) also I. Karavaev, 40) also A. Malashenkov, 42) S. Artamonov, seaman of the Kronstadt Naval Prodbaza, 43) F. Shlakis, artisan of the Naval Artillery Laboratory, 44) M. Glukhov, seaman of the Worker-Escort Detachment.
75) A. Suslov, sailor of the steamship Izhor, 76) P. Ivanov, seaman of the Port Tugboats, 77) S. Artemov, sldr. of 5th Company of the infantry regiment, 78) I. Ilyin, artisan of the Naval Artillery Laboratory, 79) V. Shirmov, sldr. of the 13th Battery, 80) V. Prokopov, seaman, 81) P. Zimin, seaman of the Academic Mining Detachment, 82) A. Tarasov, sldr. of Battery No 4, 83) I. Morkin, sldr. of the 9th Battery of fort Totleben, of the 4th Artillery Division, 84) also Ia. Malevansky, 85) also V. Smirnov, 86) also V. Afanasiev, 87) also F. Litvinov, 88) also K. Deviatkin, 89) also P. Kuzmin, 90) also N. Loginov, 91) also A. Semionov, 92) also Shuagenkov, 93) V. Nekipelov, artisan of the Ust-Kanal Substation, 94) D. Spiridonov, seaman of the Academic Mining Detachment, 95) also V. Stepanov, 96) also A. Gorodinsky, 97) also V. Burmatov, 98) also N. Kulikov, 99) also I. Petushkovsky, 100) also B. Maksimovsky, 101) also M. Chernyshev, 102) also P. Zimin, 103) also N. Steniaev, 104) also G. Vikhorev, 105) also D. Moshensky, 106) also A. Saveliev, 107) also V. Spiridonov, 108) G. Zaitsev, member of the R.C.P., 109) P. Kolosov, artisan of the Steamship Plant, 110) V. Spiridonov, sldr. of the Second Artillery Division, 111) D. Sedlov, sldr. of the 7th Artillery Division, 112) I. Melnikov, seaman of the Mine Casting Workshop, 113) I. Vorobiov, cashier of the Town Finance Department, 114) N. Kuriashev, baker of the Army Bakery, 115) also T. Platonov, 116) M. Sysoev, militiaman, 117) also Breiner, 118) also I. Dmitriev, 119) M. Fomin, sldr. of the 3rd Artillery Division, 120) S. Rois, sldr. of the 4th Anti-Aircraft Battery of the Fortress Air Defense, 121) K. Borovikov, sldr., 122) A. Rusakov, seaman, 123) P. Kulikov, member of the R.C.P., 124) M. Trofinov, lithographer of the Administration of the Artillery Commander, 125) A. Maiorov, seaman, 126) V. Kappo, artisan of the Steamship Plant, 127) also A. Selivanov, 128) G. Iosifov, 129) Ia. Tiulin, candidate member of the R.C.P., 130) A. Vasiliev, sldr. 131) I. Chekulaev, artisan of fort Petr I.
Comrades, I ask that you accept me into your family, since I too am a peasant and village toiler. My family, like yours, was destroyed by the back-breaking and oppressive yoke of the R.C.P. Comrades, seeing all this filth, seeing that the R.C.P. has become bureaucratized and that all its declarations and decisions have stayed on paper and not been brought to life, I leave its ranks and give my support to the resolution which was passed at the General Town Meeting of March 1st, and for which I too voted.
Once more comrades, I ask you to accept me into your ranks and to use my work.
IUSHKOV, serviceman of the 3rd Division
We the undersigned, members of the R.C.P., declare that, finding the party's tactics to be fundamentally incorrect, and that it is completely bureaucratized and absolutely separated from the masses, we are leaving its ranks. Before all the laboring people, we brand those who remain in its ranks with the shame of criminals and murderers.
We the undersigned call on all honest members of the R.C.P. to give full support to the Provisional Revolutionary Committee as the single organ which expresses the will of the laboring people at the present time.
Follow us to honorable battle against the insane fanatics, and tell yourself, "Victory or death for the glory of the laborers."
M. Arkhipov, V. Trapezniakov, A. Rekhov, Shitov, Ia. Filippov, Ustinov, Alekseev, Rumiantsev, P. Filippov, I. Ovchinnikov, A. Kniaginin, K. Ilyin and I. Balashev, soldiers of the Air Defense of the Kronstadt Naval Fortress
Seeing clearly that the R.C.P. not only is not in agreement with the will of the entire laboring people, but that it is attempting to hold power for itself by all means in its command, up to and including threats and false reports from the center of power, I declare to the Revolutionary Committee that I consider myself to have left the ranks of the R.C.P. I will exert all my reason, strength and two years of battle experience in the last war for the good of the entire laboring people. I give my entire support to the resolution of the garrison of the town of Kronstadt.
I. SHAFRIN, seaman.
Today, 1/4 lb. of salted butter is issued from the meat stores by adult cards of letters A and B, for produce coupon No 4.
1/4 lb. of table butter is issued to children of all series: by series A for produce coupon No 7, by series B for produce coupon No 5, and by series C for produce coupon No 4.
1/2 lb. of sugar is issued from all stores by all adult and children's cards. To adults of letters A and B and to children of series C for bread coupon No 7, to children of series A for produce coupon No 8 and of series B for bread coupon No 7.
The Presidium of Gorprodkom directs Uchkoms and house representatives, on their personal responsibility, to take cards from those under arrest, since the latter receive produce at their place of imprisonment, and to present these to the Statistics sub-department no later than March 11th.
All orders and writs issued by Gorkommuna before March 7th are declared annulled.
Issues of produce declared by Gorkommuna until March 6th inclusive are considered ended, and unused coupons in citizens' possesion are annulled.
From March 9th the following are the following norms are established for the foddering of horses in the possession of Soviet institutions: 12 lbs. of oats in 24 hours and 4 lbs of hay in 24 hours. The Administration of Gorprodkom directs that these norms be followed.
AL. OKOLOTKOV, for the president of Gorprodkom