The Final Assault on Kronstadt
Back in the day on March 17th, 1921 the Red Army began its final assault on the Kronstadt Rebellion. A naval base in the Gulf of Finland, Kronstadt had been a pivotal geographical center of rebellion in Russia in both 1905 and 1917. However, in 1921, it became a point of dissension with the new communist government. Following the end of the civil war, sailors in Kronstadt had become disaffected by the government’s policies including that of “war communism.” In response, a general meeting was called aboard the battleship Petropavlovsk on February 28th, 1921. It was there that a list of demands was drafted including free and fair re-elections of soviets by secret ballot, freedom of speech for workers, peasants, anarchist and left socialist parties, and the release of political prisoners from those same sectors. The Communist authorities characterized the situation in Kronstadt as instigated by bourgeois and foreign agents and Leon Trotsky ordered its violent suppression.
On the other hand, Alexander Berkman once wrote, “Kronstadt fell. But it fell victorious in its idealism.”