Staunton, August 19 – Members of the Decommunization Movement and the PARNAS party organized a demonstration at the monument to Soviet commander Mikhail Tukhachevsky in memory of the victims of the Tambov peasant uprising in 1920-1921, many of whom were killed when Moscow ordered the use of poison gas against its own people.
The demonstrators put a banner on the memorial declaring that Tukhachevsky was “A Killer of Tambov Peasants, 1920-1921” and “Eternal memory to the heroes of the Antonov uprising” as that event, which engulfed much of central Russia in protest against Bolshevik food seizures is often known (svoboda.org/a/30117611.html).
Protest leaders, including Decommunization head Dmitry Enteo who earlier created the Orthodox movement God’s Will which sought to replace Soviet-era place name, said they wanted to ensure that people living in Moscow now are aware that “alongside their homes is being memorialized cold-blooded and merciless killers.”
Both the Tambov uprising and Tukhachevsky have always presented problems for Russian leaders. In Soviet times, this popular rising was generally passed over in silence or presented as a conspiracy of outside forces lest the population be inspired by this act of popular resistance.
Since glasnost, it and Tukhachevsky have received more honest treatment but even nоw they are problems because they undermine Vladimir Putin’s notion оf a single stream оf Russian histоry. (Fоr a cоmprehensive discussiоn оf the issues invоlved, see Vladimir Brovkin’s. Behind the Front Lines of the Civil War (Princeton University Press, 2015).