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Kronstadt rebellion

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The Kronstadt rebellion or Kronstadt mutiny was an insurrection organized by SRs, Mensheviks, anarchists, and White Guards with the support of foreign imperialists in the port city of Kronstadt against the Bolshevik government of the Russian SFSR. The revolt began on March 1, 1921, in the city's naval fortress, located on the island of Kotlin in the Gulf of Finland. Traditionally, Kronstadt served as the base of the Russian Baltic fleet and as defense for the approaches to Petrograd, located 55 kilometres (34 mi) from the island. For sixteen days, the rebels rose in opposition to the Soviet government they had helped to consolidate.

The rebellion was caused by the legitimate grievances of peasant sailors, in which White elements had a predominant role. Both the demands of the mutineers and their own newspaper show that they essentially reflected the petty-bourgeois grief of the small peasants. To quote from the latter's fourteenth issue:

The entire laboring peasantry was counted with the kulaks, declared an enemy of the people. The enterprising Communists occupied themselves with destruction, and took to setting up Soviet farms, the estates of a new land owner, the state. That is what the peasantry received under Bolshevik socialism instead of free labor with liberated land.[1]

The mutineers were against collective or state farming and against the requisitioning of grain. They wanted "freedom" for the peasantry to do as it wished with its land. This is why the mutiny gave impetus to the establishment of the NEP.[2]