The Prosecutor’s Report

N. Trubin, Information From Prosecutor General of the USSR on Developments in Novocherkassk.

 

Translated by James von Geldern

Original Source: Pravda, June 3, 1991.

In 1962, the worsening food situation in the Soviet Union raised retail prices of some food products which caused massive protests. In June 1962 a strike broke out at the Novocherkassk Electric Locomotive Plant. On the eve of the events, the Central Radio and press announced increased retail prices for meat and dairy products in the country beginning June 1, 1962. It coincided with the activities of the administration of the Budennyi Novocherkassk Electric Locomotive Plant (NEVZ) to reduce its costs for the payment of workers. All this gave rise to a spontaneous strike on June 1, 1962 by workers of the plant, which resulted in the rally. <…>

On the morning of June 2 … thousands of people, including women and children, … headed in column toward the city of Novocherkassk to express their demands and demand the release of people arrested the day before in the area NEVZ and detained by the municipal police. On the morning of June 2, in order to prevent the movement of the column, Colonel Mikheev, commander of a tank unit of the Novocherkassk garrison, acting on the orders of Plievconcentrated 9-10 tanks and several armored personnel carriers on the bridge over the River Tuzla. Arriving at the bridge, people have ignored the demands of the commanders to stop the procession and moved on to the city. <…>

On the morning of June 2 in the building the city Party committee and city executive committee arrived Comrades Kirilenko, Kozlov, Mikoyan, Il’ichev, Polyansky, Shelepin, senior officials of the central authorities of the country … F.R. Kozlov reported to N.S. Khrushchev in Moscow about the situation and requested through the Minister of Defense of the USSR to provide guidance to General I.A. Pliev about using the military to curb riots in the city. On June 2 from Rostov-on-Don weapons and ammunition were brought up and issued to all personnel of the internal forces, and by 10 o’clock all above-mentioned troops were put on alert … A group of many thousands of people approached to a distance of 100-60 meters from the building of the executive committee. <…>

City Executive Committee Chairman Comard Zamula, and department head of the CC CPSU Comrade Stepakov … attempted to address the crowd with a microphone from the balcony with a call to stop further movement and return to their jobs. Sticks, stones, and threats from crowd reached Zamula, Stepakov and others standing on the balcony. The most aggressive group broke into the building and vandalized it. Glass windows and were smashed, furniture and telephone wiring was damaged, chandeliers and portraits were thrown on the floor.

Major-General Oleshko of the Novocherkassk garrison arrived at building of the executive committee with fifty interior ministry troops armed with semi-automatic guns, who, pushing people away from the building, passed along its front, and lined up facing them in two rows … Oleshko ordered the crowd from the balcony to stop the riots and disperse … The crowd did not react, there were various shouts, death threats, the square was in continuous noise … The soldiers with automatic weapons fired a warning salvo, and the people leaning and urging on the soldiers recoiled back … The was were heard shouting: “Don’t worry, they’re shooting blanks” – after which the people once again rushed toward the building of the city executive committee and the soldiers. There followed a second volley upwards and immediately isolated shots into the crowd, resulting in 10-15 people left lying on the square. After these shots came panic, people began to disperse, the crush began. <…>

At the same time … bellicose crowd gathered around the municipal police department and KGB officers. It pushed the soldiers of 505-th regiment of internal troops guarding the building and actively attempted to break into the police department through the broken windows and doors in order to release the detained citizens. The crowd shouted to seize the weapons … One of the thugs managed to wrest a machine gun from the hands of Private Repkin, and from the seized weapons, he tried to open fire on the soldiers. Azizov cut him off by firing off a burst and killing him. The burst killed four other persons from among the attackers, and other rioters were injured. More than 30 thugs who broke into the corridors and into the yard of the police were arrested and placed in prison. Soldiers and officers of the interior troops drove rioters out of the State Bank building, where they were able to penetrate for a short time …

As a result of the use of weapons in self-defense, internal troops and police killed 22 and injured 39 rioters on June 2o n the square and at the municipal police department. Another two people were killed on the evening of June 2 under mysterious circumstances. <…>

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