Marxists Internet Archive

Kronstadt Izvestia

1921


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


NUMBER 13
Tuesday, March 15th, 1921


MANDATORY DECLARATION FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF ADMINISTRATION

In view of the approaching thaw, due to which water has formed on the streets, I direct all UCHKOMS to see to enlisting citizens to work on cleaning ice from the sidewalks, and also cleaning the drainage gratings in the middle of the street.

Cleaning is to take place March 15th, in the morning.

KASUKHIN, Assistant Director of the Department of Administration


SUMMARY OF OPERATIONS

from 24:00, March 13th through 12:00, March 14th

Over the course of the night, the adversary's parties tried to attack twice, but were repulsed by our fire. After 4 A.M., there was a calm on the front.

from 12:00 until 24:00

About 13:00 the adversary began artillery fire, to which our artillery gave an energetic response. Firing continued with pauses until 18:30, after which a calm set in.

The adversary's airplanes did not fly during the entire day.

PETRICHENKO, President of the Military Revolutionary Committee
SOLOVIANOV, Head of the Defense


THE TRADING HOUSE OF LENIN, TROTSKY AND CO.

The trading house of Lenin, Trotsky and Co. has done well. The criminal, autocratic policies of the ruling Communist Party have led Soviet Russia into the abyss of beggary and ruin.

Enough of this, it's time to rest. But apparently the toilers still haven't spilled enough blood and tears. This is a moment of historic battle, daringly raised by Revolutionary Kronstadt for the rights of the laboring people which have been desecrated and trampled by the Communists. And now the flock of ravens has flown together for its 10th Party Congress, and is reaching agreements on how to continue their Cain-like business even more slyly and effectively.

Their shamelessness is complete. They speak of concessions with complete calm. They have become used to it. Lenin even talks like this, "We have started to develop a beginning for concessions. The degree to which this will be successful doesn't depend on us, but we must achieve it." He further admits that the Bolsheviks have brought Soviet Russia to ruin, "for we cannot reconstruct the country without technology from abroad, to somewhat catch up with other countries in economic terms. The situation has required us to buy abroad not only machines, but also coal, which we have much of."

Lenin consoles us, "Such sacrifices will be necessary in the future also, in obtaining items of broad use, and for the collective farms."

Where is the economy made right, for the good of which the worker was turned into a slave in a bureaucratic factory and the laboring peasantry into hired hands on Soviet farms?!

But this is still not enough. Lenin, talking about agriculture, promises even more "blessings," under the further "ownership" of the Communists, as he himself puts it. "And if it is possible to sometimes reestablish large scale farming and industry, then it will only be by the path of placing new sacrifices on any producer, giving him nothing."

That is the kind of "blessing" which the head of the Bolsheviks promises to all who will continue to submissively carry the yoke of commissarocracy. The peasant was right who said at the Eighth Congress of Soviets, "everything's going all right, only... land's ours, but grain's yours; water's ours, but fish's yours; forest's ours, but the wood's yours."

But the toiler doesn't have to worry. Lenin promises, "to make a number of concessions to the smallholder, to give him known limits of a free economy." Like the old "kind" landowner, he intends to make a few petty concessions in order to squeeze even harder later with the tongs of party dictatorship. This is clearly visible from the phrase, "of course, you won't achieve it without compulsion, for the country is terribly impoverished and tired."

It's clear. You can take even the last shirt from the beggar.

The mission of peaceful construction Lenin understands to be, "with concessions at the top and taxes at the bottom."


WHAT THE COMMUNE GAVE

"Comrades, we will build a beautiful new life," the Communists said and wrote. "We will destroy the entire world of oppression, and build a bright Socialist heaven," they sang to the people.

But what in fact came of it? All the best houses and apartments are taken by departments and subdepartments, and their bureaucrats have set themselves up spaciously, comfortably and warmly. The number of available apartments was reduced, and workers live in the very same places where they lived before, just more run-down and more crowded.

The houses are reaching old age, and the stoves are almost ruined. Broken windows aren't fixed. Roofs are bursting and just about to begin leaking. Fences are strewn about. Waterpipes are half ruined. Toilets don't work. Apartments are flooded with refuse. Citizens see to their needs in strangers' courtyards. Stairways are unlit and filthy. Courtyards are like pigsties. Garbage cans and cesspools are overfilled. The streets are dirty; the sidewalks haven't been cleared and slippery. It's dangerous to walk.

In order to receive an apartment it is necessary to have pull in the housing department; otherwise, don't even think about it. Only the select have spacious and comfortable apartments.

The matter of food is even worse. Irresponsible and incapable workers have ruined hundreds of thousands of food items. They distribute nothing but frozen potatoes. Meat is rotten in spring and summer. They didn't used to give to swine what citizens have received from the builders of "heavenly" life.

Honest Soviet fish (herring) saved the day, but recently there isn't even that.

In order to receive these pathetic scraps it was necessary to serve hours at the fronts.

Soviet stores turned out to be worse than the factory stores of unpleasant memory, where the owner-manufacturers dumped every kind of trash, and the enslaved workers couldn't say a word.

In order to destroy home life, our rulers introduced communal cafeterias... And what came of it?

The food there was even worse! Produce was plundered, and the citizens were given the remains. Children's food was somewhat better. But what was given to the children was still not enough, and most important, there wasn't enough milk. In their time, the Communists took all the milk cattle from the laboring populace to their farms. Half they destroyed. Milk from the surviving cattle went first to administrators and employees, and only the scraps to the children.

But the worst of all was the clothing and shoe situation. People wore only what was stored away earlier. If anything came in for distribution, then it was very little. (Now, for example, one of the unions is issuing buttons, and they have to make it 1 1/2 buttons per person. Isn't it funny?) Shoes were especially bad. The path to heaven may be short, but all the same you won't get there without soles on your shoes.

There were, however, channels in which all that was needed flowed freely. People close to the Communist Party, and those with power, had everything. They had their own cafeteria, special rations, and a special orders table for their service, distributing blessings by the good will of a woman commissar.

But people knew that the "commune" sapped, and in the end destroyed, productive labor. Any inclination and interest to work fell away. Cobblers, tailors, water carriers and others who had earlier worked by handicraft, quit and went away, someone here and someone there. They became port guards and watchmen, joined the ranks of the departmental workers, and so on.

This is the heaven which the Bolsheviks took on themselves to build. In place of the former regime there arose a new regime of excess, vileness, "comradeship," selfishness, thievery and speculation. It is a horrible regime, where it's necessary to hold out your hand to the authorities for every little piece of bread and every button. It's a regime where you don't even own yourself, and there's no way to be your own master. It's a regime of slavery and humiliation.

This is the kind of hell we lived in for three years. But that was still just the blossoms, and we will rescue ourselves from the berries.


EVENTS IN PETROGRAD
Through March 12th

A state of siege has been declared. Guards on the bridges have been increased. Guard posts have been placed at busy crossings, controlling the movement of automobiles and horses. Movement is forbidden after 9 P.M. The theaters are closed.

≠—The mood of the workers is one of sympathy toward the people of Kronstadt. The workers are expectant. The electrical station and water supply work industriously. All other factories are either striking or "Italianing" [sit-down striking, after the form of Italian labor protestors].

≠—The mood of the army units is not favorable to the authorities. Therefore they aren't sent to the front, but are held in barracks and not issued weapons. Due to the danger of active interference by the sailors, a partial transfer has been begun to the Black Sea. To the front are sent exclusively cadets, and independent units quickly thrown together from members of regional and suburban soviets.

≠—Produce situation. The entire amount on hand in the Petrograd storehouses at the beginning of March amounted to 23,000 poods (a meaningful part being frozen meat). Of that, 22,000 poods have now been requisitioned for the needs of the Petrograd garrison; 1000 poods are left for high Soviet employees. There are no reserves for the populace. The steam grainmill Mordukha stands empty.

≠—Hostage arrests are being carried out in Petrograd and its surrounding areas. About 20,000 persons have been arrested by now. (The figure is not confirmed.)

≠—The March 4th session of the Petrosoviet. The Kronstadt events are the main issue of the day. Zinoviev calls for the presentation of two ultimatums: 1) to the people of Kronstadt, 2) to the striking Petrograd factories, and the Baltic in particular. (After a number of speakers testified, the second ultimatum was not presented.) By far the most conspicuous speech was that of Filippov. Its contents in short: "Having fought in the July and October days of 1917 for the dictatorship of the working class, we got a dictatorship of the ruling party." After Filippov's speech, time was limited to seven minutes, and about 20 speakers were deprived of speech. None the less, seaman Emelianov was able to read the Kronstadt resolution. The disorders among the Petrograd seaman and the unsucessful attack on [fort] Totleben were explained with factual reports.

≠—Wounded from the Kronstadt front are beginning to arrive in Petrograd. Many of them are self inflicted. For example, of 100 people wounded in Sestroretsk, 60 were self inflicted.

≠—On the 10th, more than 100 people from the Naval Academy refused to go to the front. They were sent to the tribunal [court].


A SMALL SATIRE

In the empire Eresefeser [RSFSR]
There once appeared a strange SR
(a spy also, and Menshevik)
Who spoke with tongue both spry and quick,
And a former priest (and general)
Who quickly built a fine scandal.
Very nicely lived the folk:
In the baths washed without soap,
Warmed in winter without wood,
And fattened up on fatless food.
Never rushing, in good measure,
Folks would eat their frozen taters,
And with tasty "Soviet ham"
Indulge themselves, just now and then.
For a pair of wooden soles,
Three whole years they worked their doles,
Though tied in knots like broken shoots,
They never did obtain the boots...
Life, that is, flowed beautifully,
Without grumbling, patiently.
But the terrible dream is broken,
Entire, the garrison has woken,
Holding meetings, shouting solutions,
Scribbling up resolutions.
Then arrived himself Kalinin,
Tongue as soft and slick as linen,
He sang to them like honeyed wine,
But success he didn't find.
Every heart was set aflame,
And the poor Communards, what a shame...
The few remaining "hearty souls,"
Were just like crabs upon the shoals,
And running heels were all that was seen,
Of those from the feared Cheka machine.
Fearing terrible retribution,
Flight's the commissar's solution,
But the politruk [head of the politotdel] didn't have the chance,
And now he sits without his pants,
Right there down in the old cell block,
With the Communists, a regular flock.
And they've even, scandal of all scandals,
Dressed themselves in plain bast sandals.
Gotten all upset and glum,
Trotsky sends an ultimatum,
"If this disorder you don't douse,
Then, like a bunch of foolish grouse,
A loyal host having gathered round,
I'll give the order to shoot you down."
But our boys, firm and plucky,
Select a Committee and revtroiki,
Shoulder to shoulder now they sit,
Before a fire they have lit...
So wait a bit, for the moment when,
The "mighty leaders" make their ends,
Like little bugs, on weapon pins.


HOW THEY LIE

Krasnaia Gazeta reports in the March 12th edition:

≠—Oranienbaum, 11th. There are confirmed reports that there is a rebellion by seamen in Kronstadt.

≠—Oranienbaum, 12th. Yesterday, individuals were noticed making their way across the ice from Kronstadt to the Finnish shore. It was also noticed that crossings were being made from Finland to Kronstadt. This all points to an undoubtable connection with Finland.

≠—Oranienbaum, 12th. Red pilots who were over Kronstadt yesterday report that there are almost no people to be seen in the streets. There are no guards or communications. Also, no communication with Finland is visible.

≠—Oranienbaum, 11th. Deserters from Kronstadt report that the sailors' mood is one of demoralization. Faith in the sailors by the mutiny leaders has fallen so low that they are no longer allowed to service the artillery. The artillery is serviced exclusively by officers, in whose hands actual power is located. The sailors have been removed from almost all positions.


Firing in Kronstadt

By reports received today, frequent small arms and machine gun fire is occurring in Kronstadt. This gives basis to think that there is an uprising in Kronstadt.


PAY ATTENTION TO THE FEEDING OF HORSES

The besieged condition of the town of Kronstadt forces our produce organs to widely use stores of buckwheat and millet husks and oat chaff for foraging horses. Feeding horses with substitutes can support the horse and protect the transport we need if they are used especially skillfully. Horses eat husks and chaff badly; they often sicken, and it is not rare for them to die. In order that this doesn't happen, and that the noted substitutes will be useful to us, the following is recommended:

1. Feeding horses with substitutes: begin using buckwheat and millet husks and oat chaff immediately, while stores of other forage are still not exhausted. Changing one feed for another in a horse's ration requires time. The horse must be continuously prepared and accustomed to the new feed.

2. Change the horse over to feeding on hulls and chaff by degrees, starting the daily ration with 1/2, and only after several days (usually two weeks) bringing it to the standard norm. The horse can't forget oats and take to hulls quickly, and will be hungry and nervous for a long time. Giving hulls immediately and in large quantity, without preparation, will necessarily bring a dangerous colic in the horse.

3. Do not give dry hulls and chaff. The horse eats them badly in such a form, and the dust which flies up irritates the horse's nose and throat and brings out a cough in the horse. Before giving the chaff and hulls to the horse, it is absolutely necessary to moisten them in water for 12-18 hours, or to steam them with boiling water. It is possible to use the method of ‘self-warming', or fermentation, of the hulls and chaff. That is done like this: Dig a pit of the size necessary, line it with boards, and divide it into 4 sections with a partition. This is done because the fermentation of the chaff usually takes 3 days, and therefore if there are 4 sections it is possible to have a self-fermenting fresh feed every day, readily eaten by horses. Before lining the pit, the hulls and chaff are usually moistened with not particularly cold water, and then are pressed thickly into the pit. A bit of hay dust quickens the fermentation process, and a small amount of salt improves the taste. The size of the pit is dependant on the daily demand for chaff; 1 cubic arshin [1 arshin is equal to .71 meters] gives around 100 pounds of self-fermented chaff.

4. It is necessary to shake the feed chaff and husks through a sifter to remove earth and small stones, for if these are added, the horse gets a sore mouth, eats it badly and often sickens.

5. Don't give the horse clay or moldy husks and chaff in its feed. When such substitutes are used in case of special need, it is absolutely necessary to add a small quantity of salt to the feed.

6. It is good to give chaff and husks in mixture with other feed, with added oats, hay dust, twigs and a small quantity of salt.

7. As possible, don't give the horse chaff and hulls on an empty stomach. Best of all in the morning is to give the horse a little hay, and only then chaff and husks.

8. Every 2-3 days, add some soda with wood charcoal to the chaff and husks. This will protect the horse from sickness.

9. When feeding the horse with substitutes, don't burden it with work. Don't keep it wet and in the wind. Increase the horse's supervision and care.

By following all the offered rules, you will meaningfully lighten the effect of feed substitutes on the horse, and help us to preserve it for our bright future, when economy and labor will develop without the threat of cannons, and without substitutes for the people's will and power.

The veterinary doctor


NEWS FROM PETROGRAD

In Petrograd, the entire militia has been placed on a barracks footing, and is carrying out increased work to protect the city, the electrical station, train stations, factories and other sites. As regards the militia women, they are carrying out guard duties protecting institutions and factories. Thus, on guard of the Putilovsky Factory there are now exclusively women on duty.

The trial court of the Petrograd Revolutionary Military Tribunal heard the matter of Mikhail Iakovlevich Bulanov, sldr. of "I" Battalion, who was accused of leaving his battalion without permission while it was moving into attack, and of spreading rumors which might have brought sedition and panic in the soldiers' ranks.

Bulanov refused to fight against his brother Kronstadters. The tribunal sentenced M. Ia. Bulanov, 20, to execution. The sentence was carried into fulfillment.


FRATERNAL AID

The following donations have arrived for the defenders of the approaches to Kronstadt: From I. Pervushin, 1/2 lb. of makhorka and 2 boxes of matches; from Comrade Arkhipov, a pair of boots; from Comrade Kiselnikov, 3 packs of cigarettes, 3 boxes of matches and 1 pair of Russian high boots.

From Onisimov, 1 pair of old boots, 1 pair of underwear, 2 tobacco pouches, 1/4 lb. of makhorka and 2 boxes of matches; from Tsiplenkov, 1 pair of green cloth trousers and 1/2 lb. of makhorka; from Ignatiev, 1 pair of boots, 3/8 lb. of makhorka and 2 boxes of matches; from Mikhailov, 1 pair of underwear, 1 seaman's duck blouse and 3/8 lb. of makhorka; from Bekker 1 pair of boots, 3/8 lb. of makhorka and 1 box of matches; from Yakushkin, 1/4 lb. of first quality tobacco; from Gurov, 1/4 lb. of makhorka; from Riumin, 1 pair of Russian uniform boots and 3/8 lb. of makhorka; from Grigoriev, 1 pair of boots; from Fadeev, 1/8 lb. of makhorka; from Bobyliev, 1 pair of trousers, 1 sailor's flannel blouse, 1 service cap, and 1/8 lb. of makhorka; from Veidekis, 1 pair of Russian boots and 1/4 lb. of tobacco; from Stogov, 1 pair of underwear, 1 1/2 lb. of cereals and 1 can of pickled cabbage; from Bomkov, 1 pair of old boots and 1 quilted skirt; from Komarov, 1/4 lb. of makhorka and 1 box of matches; from Okosov, 1/8 lb. of makhorka; from Scherbakov, 1/8 lb. of makhorka; from Kulgas, 1/8 lb. of makhorka; from Romanov, 1/4 lb. of makhorka and 1 box of matches.


APPORTIONMENT

For issue to the garrison units and town residents of the fortress of Kronstadt.

A. Bread issue to army units, the fleet and workers from March 15th through 21st inclusive.

1. 1/2 lb. of bread or 1/4 pound of biscuit a day. 2. 1/4 lb. of canned meat a day. 3. 3/8 pound of meat a day.

To the civilian populace:

To children of series A.

1. A 1 pound tin of canned milk through April 1st. 2. 2 lbs. of flour through April 1st. 3. 1 lb. of wildfowl through April 1st. 4. 3 eggs through April 1st.

To children of series B.

1. Half a pound of barley a day. 2. A quarter pound of wildfowl a day. 3. A quarter pound of meat a day. 4. A quarter pound of cheese through April first.

To children of series C.

1. A half pound of barley a day. 2. A half pound of meat a day. 3. 1 pound of caviar, one time.
To adults of letter B.

1. 1 pound of oats a day. 2. 3/8 lb. of meat a day. 3. One pound of caviar, with a quarter pound one time.

Besides this, to children of all series is additionally issued a quarter lb. of table butter, and a half pound of sugar, and to adults a quarter pound of salted butter, and a half pound of sugar.

PETRICHENKO, President of the Rev. Com.
SOLOVIANOV, Head of the Defense of the Fortress of Kronstadt


PRODUCE FROM GORPRODKOM

It is announced that bread for March 14th was issued from stores NoNo 1, 4, 25, 11, 12, 14, 19 and 31. Those who didn't receive any are directed to receive it today at those same stores.

For March 15th, a half pound of bread is issued by adult cards of letter A for bread coupon No 18.

≠—Today, 3 lbs. of oats are issued by adult B cards for bread coupon No 22, counted against the bread norm for March 15th, 16th and 17th.

≠—3 pounds of barley is issued by children's B and C cards, counted against the bread norm for the six days from March 15th through 20th: by B cards for bread coupon No 12, and C for bread coupon No 22.

Issue of the declared produce will take place for 4 days.

Issue of remaining produce counted against the bread norm will be announced specially.

Due to the new allotment, today is the last day for all old issues, announced before March 14th, with the exception of meat. The last day of meat issue is Wednesday, 3/16.

TUKIN, President of the Administration of Gorprodkom


NOTICES

≠—The Committee of the Union of Metal Workers notifies comrade workers that cigarette papers and "Baker" brand powder are issued to members from the union store.

≠—A purse with the documents of citizen Natalia Bunakova has been lost. Personal identification and a night pass are in it.

≠—The Administration of the Union of Workers in Education and Socialist Culture informs that there will be a General Meeting of members of the union at 4 P.M. on March 15th at the 3rd Labor School. Attendance is mandatory.

≠—Personal identification No 44 in the name of seaman M. Kreinin has been lost. Please consider it invalid.


ANNOUNCEMENT

All military units, worker's associations and institutions can receive 'Izvestiia of the Revolutionary Committee' and pamphlets at Sevtsentropechat, in accordance with the worked out norm.