History 18/01/20 “Republic Nargin”: how the Soviet sailors had created a “pirate state”

the Revolution in Russia gave rise to numerous local Soviet republics, whose names are often known only to specialists. In the winter of 1917-18 years on the island Nargen in the Baltic sea existed “independent state”, which historians call “one of the strangest revolutionary formations in Europe.”

the Rebel Nargin

Nargin (aka Estonian Naissaar) is an island located in the Western part of the Gulf of Finland, 9 kilometers from Tallinn. In 1913 the tsarist government placed a garrison here for the protection of the waters of the capital of the province of Estonia from a possible landing from the sea. Thanks to built fortifications, the island became known as the “land dreadnought”. In 1914, Naryn was visited by the Emperor Nicholas II, who laid the Foundation stone of the new port.

the Garrison of Nargana served Russia faithfully until until came to power, the Bolsheviks decided to give the Germans West of the country, including Estonia. There were rumors that the Russian fleet will be evacuated from the Baltic. This turn of events was extremely dissatisfied with the staff of the Fort, and several dozen sailors. The rebels, who considered the surrender of the island to the Germans “betrayal”, announced the leader – a senior clerk of the battleship “Petropavlovsk” Stepan Petrichenko. Beliefs this native of Ukraine was anarcho-syndicalist, or perhaps a SR. On the eve of the negotiations of the Brest peace 17 December 1917, sailors of the Baltic announced Nargin independent “Soviet Republic of sailors and builders.” Under the authority of the small garrison were 3 thousand islanders.

“Pirate” Republic of

Order the new “state” was, at first glance, very similar to what existed in “big” Russia. All the island ran SNK.

“the Council of people’s Commissars consisted of military Commissioner, Commissioner for home Affairs, Commissioner of labor, financial Commissioner and the Commissioner of health,” writes the Estonian historian kyllo ariakas.

However, instead of the scarlet of the flag the sailors hung a red-and-black flag of the anarchists. In addition, some of the pictures of the revolutionaries depicted with a banner on which there is a skull. Indeed, the owners of Nargana acted “in the best pirate tradition.” There is a version that the campaign against the world bourgeoisie, they began with the fact that he raped all the women indiscriminately, whether wives of Russian officers and the Estonian peasant. In addition, residents have imposed a “revolutionary tax”. In fact, this meant the expropriation of any property of the sailors. Was Margene and private “slaves” to perform for sailors of the black work had introduced him to the inmates of the city prison of the revel. They had to dig the earth and sand, to serve the narrow gauge railway, deal with snow removal. Illiteracy “commissioners” did not prevent them to outline a variety of initiatives, for example, issuing its own currency. But the plans of the rebels went awry.

the abolition of the Republic

Despite the fiery speeches about the “independence”, the government Nalgene lasted only as long as in Estonia remained the Red Army. When to replace the Soviet government on 26 February 1918 came the Kaiser’s troops, the garrison of Naissaar instead to defend the Republic, chose to evacuate from the island. The sailors boarded the battleship “Petropavlovsk” and sailed to Kronstadt.

However, several of his friends the rebels “forgot” – waking up after a party, those found that are in the hands of the Germans. The men did not blow up military installations, some of them mined. Local residents trapped by the sailors in the barracks, rescued by a Forester, who later received a commendation of the Republic of Estonia. 3 years after the evacuation of the sailor Stepan Petrichenko, including relying on the experience of “Free Nargana”, headed by Cuinsteadshe uprising, which ended in failure. The life of a revolutionary, after years of wandering in the Baltic States and Finland, too, ended ignominiously in 1947 he died in Stalin’s Gulag.

Timur Sagdiyev

© Russian Seven

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