Sergey Baimukhametov, publicist, historian
Until the very end of the twentieth century, few knew about this uprising. And this is amazing. Imagine that we would not know anything about a peasant uprising in areas, for example, from Voronezh to Moscow. And it was so. Beginning in the town of Ishim in Tyumen Oblast and in the village of Sokolovka in North Kazakhstan Oblast, the rebellion flared up from east to west across Western Siberia, Northern Kazakhstan and the Trans-Urals - along the six-hundred-kilometer (!) Railway lines Omsk - Petropavlovsk - Kurgan and Omsk - Tyumen.
And from south to north - one and a half thousand (!) Kilometers from Kokchetav to Salekhard.
Having robbed and ruined, bringing the peasants of Central Russia to the famine, the Bolshevik government took over Northern Kazakhstan and Siberia. On June 20, 1920, the Council of People's Commissars of the RSFSR issued a decree "On the seizure of grain surplus in Siberia." They simply took him - they sent armed detachments. It was called surplus appropriation. With the threat to burn down the house and shoot those who express dissatisfaction.
Here is the order of A. Bratkov, authorized by the Ishim district food committee:
“I order all the grain that is due according to the appropriation, within 60 hours from the moment of receiving this order, to take it to the dumping point in the mountains. Ishim... If any society does not fulfill this order within the above-mentioned period, I am armed with 200 people. infantry, 40 people. cavalry and four machine guns - I will take all the bread to a single grain from all citizens of society, I will not leave it to feed living souls, or feed cattle, or sow. Those citizens who will agitate against the delivery and export of grain, I will take all the property with armed force, the house will have bedrooms, and the citizen who was noticed in the above crime will be shot".
Even the authorities themselves protested against such methods. Melikhov, deputy chief of militia of the 5th district of the Ishim district, wrote in December 1920:
“Something incredible is happening, almost worse than what Kolchak and the guardsmen of Ivan the Terrible did ... In winter they shear sheep, take their last felt boots, mittens, cut fur coats, confiscate the peasant's cattle, take off schoolchildren's shoes... Why do we , the communists, said that we are the defenders of the working people?.. What will the dear comrades of the Red Army who are fighting for our bright future say when they hear from their relatives that they have taken away from them, confiscated horses, cows and everything else, left their family without bread and tortured with the cold?"
The head of the militia of the 3rd district of the Ishim district, Zhukov, warned on December 27, 1920:
“The authorized representatives of the food agencies ordered to take out all the grain, both the seed of the 21st year and the food. Citizens are terribly worried about such orders due to hunger. The mood of the area is very strong. The bread is exported to the grain... The consequences will be very serious, foreshadowing possible uprisings... A serious uprising is inevitable".
He was right. These guys are free people, not yet mutilated by the authorities to the point of complete apathy. They grabbed the pitchfork and sawn-off shotguns The uprising developed into a real peasant war.
The rebels took Ishim, Petropavlovsk, Tobolsk, Berezovo, Obdorsk (Salekhard), Surgut, Kokchetav, Karkaralinsk and other cities by storm, and threatened Kurgan and Yalutorovsk. The Tobolsk headquarters of the people's army wrote in an appeal to the inhabitants of Siberia: "We are seeking real Soviet power, not communist power, which until now has been under the guise of Soviet power".
According to some reports, the total number of rebels exceeded 100 thousand people - more than Wrangel's army.
By the decision of the Council of People's Commissars and the Sibrevkom, 4 divisions, a separate cavalry brigade, 2 separate cavalry regiments, 4 rifle regiments, 3 internal service regiments, 6 reserve battalions, 1 battalion of the All-Education courses, 1 battalion of the Vyatka infantry cadets, 1 battalion of the Tyumen school of the lower commander and a separate spare machine gun battalion.
On February 16, 1921, the rebels were driven out of Petropavlovsk. Kokchetav fell on March 5, Tobolsk on April 8, Obdorsk (Salekhard) on June 2.
An open front-line war, comparable in scale to the largest operations of the Civil War, is over. The partisan struggle continued for another year and a half.
I repeat: it was the largest uprising in the history of the USSR, which blazed from Omsk to Kurgan and from Kokchetav to Salekhard. However, few people know about him. It was impossible to hide the Tambov uprising and the Kronstadt rebellion. And that, the distant "Ishim-Peter and Paul mutiny", were completely silent.
The Kronstadt and Tambov uprisings could still be attributed to the politicization of the sailors and the influence of the Social Revolutionaries on the peasants. But how to explain that the Siberian peasants who recently fought against Kolchak have risen against the authorities ?! This means they have brought the people down with food appropriation. That means we need to change.
In March 1921, the X Congress of the RCP (b) canceled the surplus appropriation system and replaced it with a tax in kind. The NEP began.
At the old cemetery in the city of Ishim, on the grave of the Red Army soldiers, Chonovtsy (fighters from the ChON - special forces units), workers of the Soviet and party bodies killed by the rebels, there is a monument with the inscription: “Here are buried communists and Komsomol members - victims of the kulak-Socialist-Revolutionary (kulak means reach peasant - noted by the Ed.) rebellion of 1921".
And at the new cemetery there is another monument, erected in 2006, with the inscription: "Compatriots - victims of the tragic events of 1921".
In Soviet historiography, the surplus commissioners were portrayed as protectors for the good of the people, as earners of bread for the starving workers, and the rebels were portrayed as "kulaks" who were ready to burn bread, but not give it to the "workers". In general, a beast with a drekol.
Time has passed. The communist regime collapsed. And they began to write a different story. Where benevolent peasants with crosses and icons around their necks defended the primordial peasant values, primordial, popular morality and piety from the Christ-seller-commissars. The newspaper Izvestia, for example, once published portraits of the leaders of the white movement with the captions: "Russian general", "Russian admiral", and portraits of the Bolsheviks - just with the surname. As if they were aliens, they did not come out of the Russian chaos.
And they all fought. And the power of the communists, and the rebels against it. Oh, how they were fierce.
"Order of the Siberian Revolutionary Committee... Residents of villages and villages located on a ten-verst lane on both sides of the railway, are responsible with their lives (! - S. B.) and property for the integrity of the railway track and telegraph network..."
Nothing could be worse and meaner than that. The power, like a gangster, took civilians hostage. It turns out that a group of rebels swooped down, destroyed the tracks, cut off the connection, and then the Chekists, the Red Army soldiers come and shoot civilians for this?!
The red punishers were so violent that the authorities themselves almost begged them to restrain their bloody ardor. In a secret order dated February 26, 1921, the Tyumen Provincial Cheka recommends "to stop mass shootings and reckless reprisals against peasants in areas that have already been cleared of insurgents".
This means that in "areas that have already been cleared of the rebels" were carried out "mass executions and reckless reprisals" over the civilian population. The order of the Siberian Revolutionary Committee permitted and even commanded.
And now - about the actions of the rebels, about those who opposed the Bolsheviks, the food appropriation units. I will cite excerpts from documents that very few know. Perhaps only a few. Or maybe, in general, except for me, no one already knew. This happened in my homeland, in my hometown of Petropavlovsk, in my beloved villages, on my Ishim River, where my classmates and childhood friends set up a camp every year.
From eyewitness accounts - from the records kept in the funds of the North Kazakhstan Regional Museum:
"Comrade. Misyuta was hacked with an ax, sabers, stabbed with a bayonet, with severed fingers and a cut throat..."
“Both legs and one arm were cut off. Eyes gouged out. There are ten bayonet wounds on the chest".
“The rebels, having undressed comrade Dorskoy, began to slowly carry out the execution over him. They flogged my stomach, cut parts of the body, wrung my hands, smashed my head, and then, finding no place on the body for beatings, they took out and threw them into the field..."
"Killed: Razin, Yaronin (according to some sources - Yeronin - SB), Snitkov, Shashlanov, Grishchenko, Rosenberg, Filkenberg, Novitsky... Hands and feet twisted, eyes gouged out, stars and stripes are carved on the back..."
“They shouted: “Hey, you communists, you don’t need bread, sing “Internationale” and you will be full... They beat them with stakes, pitchforks and axes. They shouted: "Do not shoot, do not waste bullets on them..." And those who were not finished off were brought to Ishim and lowered into the hole..." (Alive! - noted by the author of the article)
"He insisted to kill the communard S. Vlasov, whom he laid naked on a log and beat him with a stake in the stomach, and also gouged out with his lance".
"They cut out a piece of infected meat from someone infected with syphilis and rubbed it under Zelinsky's skin".
Could there be any idea in the world - red, white, blue, green - that would justify this. There are no such ideas and cannot be. But that was it. And that's all of us, Lord...