29/5/1917 The Socialist Republic of Kronstadt

The newly reconstituted Provisional Government is trying to enforce its authority across Russia. Today though it sees itself rejected close to its seat in Petrograd. The Kronstadt naval base declares itself a sovereign republic outside the jurisdiction of the Provisional Government.

The Kronstadt sailors were already among the more radical elements at the start of the revolution, attacking their officers and playing an important role in the overthrow of the Tsarist regime in Petrograd. Since then the sailors have joined the ranks of the Bolsheviks, Anarchists and the Socialist Revolutionaries. The sailors have declined to release those of their officers they have not killed, despite repeated attempts by Kerensky and others to secure their freedom.

Bolsheviks in Kronstadt play an important part in the base’s repudiation of Provisional Government authority. But in Petrograd Lenin is furious at the sailors’ declaration, seeing it as premature adventurism. While Lenin wants the Provisional Government overthrown, he does not want any move against it until the Bolsheviks are ready to seize power.

image source:

Kronstadt sailors (libcom.org: Top 10 texts about the 1917 Russian Revolution)

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