Marxists Internet Archive

Kronstadt Izvestia

1921


Translation: Scott Zenkatsu Parker
Transcription: Mary Huey
HTML-markup: Jonas Holmgren


NUMBER 5
Monday, March 7th, 1921


ALL POWER TO SOVIETS, AND NOT PARTIES


"DON'T SPARE THE BULLETS"

Fieldmarshal Trotsky is issuing threats against Free Kronstadt, risen up against the three year autocracy of Communist commissars. This newly appeared Trepov threatens the toilers who have thrown off the shameful yoke of the Communist Party's dictatorship with armed destruction. He threatens the murder of the peaceful populace of Kronstadt. He gives the order "don't spare the bullets."

But he will not have enough of them for the revolutionary sailors, soldiers and workers.

Naturally, he, dictator of a Russia raped by the Communists, does not care what becomes of the laboring masses, so long as power is in the hands of the R.C.P. He has the shamelessness to speak in the name of long-suffering Russia, and promise mercy. This is he, bloodthirsty Trotsky, Marshal of the Communist oprichnina, extinguisher of the spirit of freedom, spiller of rivers of blood for the autocracy of the R.C.P., who dares speak so to those who are strongly and boldly holding aloft the red banner of Kronstadt.

The Communists hope to renew their despotic rule at the price of the blood of toilers, and of the sufferings of their arrested families. They hope to force the sailors, soldiers and workers to again profer their neck so that the Communists may seat themselves the better. With this they hope to continue their stinking policies, which have plunged all Laboring Russia into the abyss of total destruction, hunger and cold. Enough! You will deceive the laborers no more! Your hopes are futile, Communists, and your threats powerless.

The ninth wave[1] of the Laborers' Revolution has arisen, and will wash the stinking slanderers and tyrants, with the defilement brought by their actions, from the face of Soviet Russia. We will not be needing your mercy, Lord Trotsky!


THEY CONTINUE TO SLANDER

The Communists have well mastered the old Jesuit tactic, "slander and slander, and with luck something will stick."

And they slander.

In powerless spite, pathetic and confused, they spread the most outlandish rumors about events in Kronstadt among the workers and soldiers of Petrograd. At work here, as radio messenger Rosta would have you believe, are the Entente, and French spies, and White Guards, and tsarist generals, and Mensheviks, and SR's, and the Estonian bourgeoisie, and Finnish bankers, and the Entente's counterintelligence. In a word, the entire world has taken up arms against the poor Communists. Moreover, they assure the Petrograd workers that "French agents and former tsarist officers sneaked into Kronstadt, and, using gold, corrupted elements lacking class consciousness."

Well imagine that! And we, the Kronstadters, didn't know a thing about it!

And just in case these "facts" didn't convince the Peter workers, Rosta reports such horrors. "By coincidence at the very moment when a new Republican government is coming into administration in America, and displaying a bent to enter into trade relations with Soviet Russia, the spread of provocative rumors and rigging of disorders in Kronstadt clearly works toward influencing the new American President, and preventing change in American policy relative to Russia. At the same time, the London Conference is conferring, and these provocative rumors must certainly act on the Turkish delegation, making it obedient to the Entente's demands."

This then is what the Communists, confused by an unexpected blow, agreed upon: French agents brought gold to Kronstadt, in order to influence the American President and the pliability of the Turkish delegation! This document of Communist idiocy is so comical, that we print it in full below. This will give the people of Kronstadt a few minutes of comedy.

And how can you relate the, "rigging of disorders in Kronstadt," on the one hand, and the nervousness which has driven the Communists to threaten the shoot the people of Kronstadt "like grouse?" Why so nervous, when all is calm in Kronstadt, and the only thing happening is "rigging of disorders?"


We print the following broadcast, which was received by our station.

(radio messenger Rosta)

The French newspaper Matin reported, from the words of its Helsingfors correspondent, that an uprising against Soviet power had begun in Kronstadt. On February 14th, there was report of a rebellion in the Baltic Fleet, and of the arrest of the commissars of the Baltic Fleet. The Soviet Government supposed, based on previous experience, that agents of French capitalists in league with former tsarist generals were preparing a mutiny in Kronstadt.

As has now become clear, French agents and former tsarist officers sneaked into Kronstadt, and, using gold, corrupted elements lacking class consciousness. The fantastic reports by counterintelligence, spreading legends three weeks ago about an uprising in Kronstadt, were simply ahead of events. Recently, White Guard leaflets have appeared in Kronstadt and Petrograd, and known French spies have been captured during the arrests. At the same time, the SR's began an increased agitation among the workers and sailors in Kronstadt and Petrograd, using the difficult situation with produce and heat.

On February 28th, a reactionary resolution was passed on the ship Petropavlovsk. However, by demand of the sailors it was reworked, and passed on the following day in a new edition. In this was included the demand for new elections to the Soviet. Our comrades did not object, and proposed to form a Commission of sailors' and workers' representatives at the House of Education, to decide the question finally. Elections began, but counterrevolutionary elements decided to ruin this Commission, and demanded before all else that it take place on the Petropavlovsk.

On March 2nd, open action against Soviet power was already occurring on the Petropavlovsk, with the participation of Mensheviks and SR's, who hid under the non-party banner. The official president of the mutineers' organization is the former clerk Petrichenko, and the secretary is Tukin, a sailor, but in fact everything is run by Captain Burkser, and General Kozlovsky is a prominent figure among the former tsarist officers. The tsarist officers Kostromitinov and Shimanovsky [sic] also appeared as leaders of the movement.

On March 2nd, the Soviet of Labor and Defense, decided to declare former general Kozlovsky and his co-conspirators outlawed, to declare the city of Petrograd and Petrograd province under martial law, and to hand over all power in the Petrograd consolidated region to the Defense Committee of the City of Petrograd.

The following day, demoralization began to show among the supporters of the mutinous organization on the Petropavlovsk. The organization's leaders, in order to raise the spirits of their supporters, announced that in the end it would be possible to leave for the Finnish shore. At the same time, the White Guard press spread lying reports, talking as if the Estonian bourgeoisie supported the insurgents.

On March 4th, at an expanded session of the Petrograd Soviet, Comrade Zinoviev gave a thorough report on the events in Kronstadt, after which the meeting unanimously passed an appeal to the workers, sailors and soldiers of Kronstadt. This exposed the dirty work of the spies sent by French counterintelligence, and of the Mensheviks and SR's who had worked on the events which were occurring.[2] The appeal notes that Soviet Power is able to differentiate unknowing, mistaken toilers from intentional counterrevolutionaries. In a military sense, Kronstadt does not present a danger to Petrograd, for the fort of Krasnaya Gorka has command over Kronstadt, and can crush it at any moment. The entire Krasnaya Gorka garrison curses the mutineers, and is bursting for battle.

There is complete calm in Petrograd, and even those small factories where gatherings with attacks on Soviet power by individuals occurred earlier, have recognized the provocation. They have understood what the agents of the Entente and counterrevolution are pushing them to do. An 8 thousand person meeting of Peter seamen unanimously passed a resolution supporting Soviet power, and the Petrograd garrison has not wavered for a moment. Demoralization grows among the sailors, and a meaningful number of the sailors have a dislike for General Kozlovsky and the officers. The number of those deserting to us grows.

Radiograms and newspapers received from abroad show that, simultaneous with the events in Kronstadt, the enemies of Soviet Russia are spreading the most fantastic fabrications abroad, saying that there are disorders in Russia. They say that the Soviet Government has supposedly fled to the Crimea, that Moscow supposedly is in the hands of the rebels, that blood pours in torrents through the streets of Petrograd, and so on.

The SR organization abroad has received from somewhere a huge quantity of tsarist banknotes, and is letting out rumors in order, among other reasons, to raise the rate for tsarist money, and dump it more profitably.

By coincidence at the very moment when a new Republican government is coming into administration in America, and displaying a bent to enter into trade relations with Soviet Russia, the spread of provocative rumors and rigging of disorders in Kronstadt clearly works toward influencing the new American President, and preventing change in American policy relative to Russia. At the same time, the London Conference is conferring, and these provocative rumors must certainly act on the Turkish delegation, making it obedient to the Entente's demands.

There is no doubt that the actions taking place on the Petropavlovsk are merely a component part of a grandiose plan of provocation. This plan, besides creating internal difficulties for Soviet Russia, is intended to shatter her international standing.

Before us in the case at hand is the provocation work of the world reaction of Entente stockbrokers, and of agents of Entente counterintelligence agencies working by their orders. In Russia itself, the main figures carrying out these policies are a tsarist general and former officers, whose activities are supported by Mensheviks and SR's.

No 373 radio station Novaia Golandiia


EXECUTIONS IN ORANIENBAUM

By order of Commissar of the Oranienbaum garrison Sergeev, the following have been executed: Kolesov, Commander of the Division of Red Naval Pilots, and President of the recently formed Oranienbaum Provisional Revolutionary Committee; Balabanov, Secretary of the Committee; Committee members Romanov, Vladimirov and others.

Damnation to the murderers, and eternal glory to the combatants for the true freedom of the people.


THE RAVENS ARE GATHERING

The Communist ravens, Trotsky, Dybenko, Gribov and others, have gathered in Krasnaya Gorka.


LATEST NEWS FROM PETROGRAD

—In Petrograd and Petrograd Province, a state of emergency/seige has been introduced. Movement in the streets is allowed only until 7 P.M.

—Mass arrests and executions of workers and seamen continue.

—The situation is very uneasy. All the laboring masses expect a revolution at any minute.

—There are continuous meetings of the Defense Committee.

—All theatrical entertainments and assemblies are forbidden.

—Passenger trains are stopped. Only military trains are moving.

—The Petrograd newspapers do not print our broadcasts.


KRONSTADT DEMANDS LIBERATION OF HOSTAGES

The following broadcast was sent to the Petrosoviet [Petrograd Soviet].

In the name of the Kronstadt garrison, the Provisional Revolutionary Committee of Kronstadt demands that all families of workers, soldiers and sailors imprisoned as hostages by the Petrosoviet be freed within 24 hours. The Kronstadt garrison states that Communists in Kronstadt enjoy complete freedom, and their families absolute inviolability. It does not wish to take an example from the Petrosoviet, since it considers that such methods, even if in desperate anger, are the most shameful and base whatever your beliefs. History has never seen such methods.

seaman PETRICHENKO, President of the Provisional Revolutionary Committee
KILGAST, Secretary


TROTSKY THREATENS DEFEAT

A curious order by Trotsky was broadcast by radio to the Kronstadt populace, and the garrison of the mutinied fronts.

"The Worker-Peasant Government has resolved to immediately return Kronstadt and the mutinous vessels to the command of the Soviet Republic. Therefore, I order all who have raised their hands against the Socialist Fatherland to immediately lay down their arms. Disarm those who resist, and give them into the hands of the Soviet authorities. Free the arrested commissars and other representatives of authority immediately. Only those surrendering unconditionally may count on the mercy of the Soviet Republic. Simultaneously, I am giving the order to prepare for the defeat of the mutiny, and the mutineers, by armed force. Responsibility for the distress which this has brought down on a peaceful populace lies wholly on the heads of the White Guard mutineers. The present warning is the last."

TROTSKY, President of the Revolutionary War Council of the Republic
KAMENEV, for the Chief Directorate


NEGOTIATIONS ON THE DISPATCH OF DELEGATES

The Prov. Rev. Com. received the following radiotelegram from Petrograd.

"Send a broadcast to Petrograd, is it possible to send from Petrograd several persons from the Soviet, non-party and party, to Kronstadt, to find out what is what."

That broadcast was immediately followed by this answer from the Prov. Rev. Com.

"Having received the broadcast from the Petrosoviet, 'is it possible to send from Petrograd several persons from the Soviet, non-party and party, to Kronstadt, to find out what is what,' we inform you that we do not trust the non-party status of your non-party delegates. We propose that representatives be chosen from factories, soldiers and sailors, from among the non-party, in the presence of our delegates.

"Above the number of non-party representatives chosen by the given method, you may add to the delegation up to fifteen percent Communards. It is desirable to receive an answer, with a declared time to send representatives of Kronstadt to Petrograd and representatives of Petrograd to Kronstadt, on March 6th at 18:00 hours. In event of the impossibility of giving an answer at the given time, we ask that you declare your time, and the cause of the delay.

"Means of transport must be supplied to the Kronstadt delegates."

PROV. REV. COM.


APPEAL OF THE "KRASNOARMEITSI" TO THE "KRASNOFLOTSI"

We the soldiers of fort Krasnoarmeets, turn to you, comrades of Krasnoflotskii. We inform you that in Kronstadt, and likewise in the forts and the Provisional Revolutionary Committee, we have not a single general. There is none of the gentry of which the proclamations thrown from airplanes speak so much and so loudly. We say to you that, as Kronstadt was a town of the workers and peasants, so it has remained. The generals are found in service to the Communists.

You say that we have become traitors for some kind of spies. That is a shameless lie. As we were defenders of the freedoms won by the Revolution, so we have remained. We appeal to you not to believe the lies which the bureaucrat Communists drone at you. If you want to learn the truth in this, send to us, to Kronstadt, your own delegation. It will learn the truth, and learn of all that is being done here. It will learn what kind of generals and Entente spies we have.

"The Crew of fort Krasnoarmeets"


RESOLUTIONS


The soldiers of fort Krasnoarmeets, having heard the report of a representative of the Prov. Rev. Com, Comrade Vershinin, on the current moment, resolved:

"We the soldiers of the above named fort, stand in entirety on guard for the Revolutionary Committee. We will stand, that is defend ourselves, to the final moment, for the Prov. Rev. Com. and for the workers and peasants.

We once again ask the Rev. Com. to widely distribute, by means of print and radiotelegram, our resolution passed at the general Garrison Meeting of Kronstadt, in order to avoid the futile bloodletting to which the Communists call us. This must be done so that the working masses of the town of Petrograd, and of other towns, may learn what is being done here, and what we are fighting for.

We send greetings to the Prov. Rev. Com., as the representatives elected from the broad masses of the entire working class. Standing on guard of the rights won by the laborers, we place ourselves and the fort under the Committee's full command."

DEMIDOV, President
SMIRNOV, Secretary

II

By the General Meeting of the crew of the 4th Division and the Training Crew.

Having heard the report of a representative of the 4th Division Crew, Karpov, and of a representative of the Revolutionary Committee, Eveltis, the following resolution was passed:

"In the current moment, when the fate of the country is being decided, we, having taken power into our own hands, have entrusted military leadership to the Revolutionary Committee. We declare to the entire garrison, and to the workers, that we are prepared to die for the freedom of the laboring people, and for liberation from the three-year Communist yoke and terror. We will die, but will not take a single step back. Long live Free Russia of the laboring people."

The resolution was passed unanimously by the Meeting.


WE ARE NOT TAKING REVENGE

The long oppression of the Communist dictatorship over the laborers has called forth the completely natural indignation of the masses. As a result of this, the boycott or removal from service of Communists' relatives has been adopted in several places. This must not be. We are not taking revenge, but defending our laboring interests. It is necessary to act with restraint, and to remove only those who strive through sabotage or slanderous agitation to interfere with restoration of the power and rights of the laborers.


ECONOMIZE ELECTRICITY

It has been noticed that some part of the populace is leaving the electricity on all night, or is not extinguishing the light upon departure from the room. Comrades, remember that we carry on a struggle for our laboring interests. It has become vital, to the degree of emergency, to conserve heating material, which is so necessary to us with the approaching opening of navigation. Conserve electrical energy.


LEAVING THE R.C.P.

Declarations of departure from the Communist Party continue to arrive at the Provisional Revolutionary Committee.


We the undersigned, servicemen in the Departmental Fines Company, entered the R.C.P. considering it to express the will of the laboring masses. In fact, however, it has shown itself to be a butcher of workers and peasants. The recent events in Peter have demonstrated this, pointing out the complete falsehood of the party leaders, who use all means to hold onto power. The broadcasts of the Moscow Soviet of People's Commissars serve as a shining example of this. We request henceforth that we not be considered members of the R.C.P. We wholly give our support to the resolution of the Garrison Meeting of Kronstadt of March 2nd [sic] of this year. We also ask other comrades recognizing their mistake not to be ashamed to admit it.

I. GUTMAN, I. EFIMOV, V. KUDRIAVTSEV, ANDREEV.

II

Being a candidate member of the R.C.P. from August of 1920, I have found no good in any of its aspirations. Seeing that the Communist Party has become separated from the masses, and does not express the people's will, I leave it. In this difficult time which we are suffering, I wish to work for the benefit of the entire laboring people.

P. ANANIEV, former candidate member of the R.C.P.

III

Also arrived the declarations of departure from the R.C.P. of 1) D. Pisarenko, soldier of the 4th Artillery Division, 2) N. Pusmo, worker in the Naval Artillery Laboratory, 3) O. Kuzmin, guard of the Kronstadt Port, 4) P. Lebedev, serviceman in the Produce Base, 5) N. Kartashev, member of the R.C.P. since 1918.


RESOLUTION

We, Communists of fort Rif, having discussed the current moment, and having heard the call of the Provisional Bureau of the R.C.P. in Kronstadt, have reached the following conclusion. For three whole years, great numbers of opportunists and careerists have poured into our party. As a result of this, bureaucratism and a criminal attitude toward the struggle with collapse have developed.

Our party has always placed before itself the work of struggling against all enemies of the proletariat and working class, and we now declare openly that we will also in the future, as honest sons of the people, defend the victories of the laborers. We will not allow a single secret or open White Guard to use the temporary, difficult situation of our Soviet Republic. At the first attempt to raise a hand against Soviet power we will be able to repulse to the counterrevolutionaries as necessary. We have already declared, and declare once again, that we are under the command of the Provisional Revolutionary Committee, which has given itself the goal of creating Soviets of the laboring and proletariat class.

Long live Soviet Power, the true defender of the rights of laborers!

(signature), President of the meeting of Communists of fort Rif
(signature), Secretary of the meeting


PRODUCE FROM GORKOMMUNA

For the period from March 8th through 14th inclusive, the land and naval garrison of the fortress will receive daily, in place of the previous bread ration: a half pound of bread, half a can of preserved meat and a quarter pound of meat.

The civilian populace will receive produce according to the following norms:

Letter A daily: one pound of oats, half a can of preserved meat, a quarter pound of meat and a one time additional half pound of sugar and quarter pound of vegetable oil.

Letter C daily: one pound of oats, half a can of preserved meat, a quarter pound of meat and a one time additional half pound of sugar and quarter pound of vegetable oil.

For children:

Series A daily: half a pound of wheat, barley or dried bread, half a can of preserved meat and a one time additional can of preserved milk, half pound of sugar and quarter pound of table butter.

Series B and C daily: half a pound of barley, wheat or dried bread, half a can of preserved meat, a quarter pound of meat and a one time additional half pound of sugar and quarter pound of table butter.


Today bread will be issued for one day, with the appropriate coupon being cut.

N. KAPUSTIN, member of the Rev. Com.


NOTICE

The Town Health Department brings to the attention of all doctors, doctors' assistants, and citizens, that under issuance of prescriptions for additional food, the following rules must be followed: in the prescription must be specified the first and family names of the patient, the exact diagnosis and the address.

First in order of fullfillment are prescriptions issued to children suffering from infectious diseases, and then from pulmonary and renal diseases, and then adults with infectious diseases.

Prescriptions are given to the selection commission at the Town Hospital from 10 to 12 A.M. daily. Return issue takes place on the following day from 11 to 12 A.M., with prescriptions not picked up in 3 days being considered annulled. All prescriptions issued before March 5th are also annulled.

The present rules were worked out in consultation with doctors, doctors' assistants, a representative of the Town Hospital and the Gorkommuna of the City Health Department. This consultation requests all comrade doctors and doctor's assistants to view the issuance of prescriptions with the highest degree of care, keeping in memory the produce difficulties being suffered by the Republic.

PLUME, Head of the City Health Department


FROM THE ADMINISTRATION DEPARTMENT OF KRONSOVDEP

1) The Administration Department instructs all Uchkoms to take measures to clean the footpaths of the town of snow, and also to bring the courtyards into order, involving the broad masses of the populace in the work. The Audit Commission is instructed to take active part in the completion of the works.

2) All Uchkoms having gathered passports from citizens are instructed to return such to the citizens into their own hands.


ANNOUNCEMENT

All military units, workers' associations and organizations may receive 'Izvestiia of the Provisional Revolutionary Committee' and pamphlets at Sevtsentropechat in accordance with the set norm.

 


Notes:

[1] By tradition, the ninth wave is the highest in a series (Akhmanova et al., p. 64).

[2] This appeal was printed by us in full, in No 4, of March 6th. (auth.)