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This Happened

This Happened - March 18: Red Army Crushes Kronstadt Rebellion

The Kronstadt rebellion was a revolt by sailors and soldiers of the Kronstadt naval fortress in Russia on this day in 1921. They were protesting against the Bolshevik government and demanding greater political freedoms, the release of political prisoners, and an end to the forced requisition of grain from peasants.

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Why did Lenin suppress the Kronstadt rebellion?

The Bolshevik government under Vladimir Lenin saw the Kronstadt rebellion as a threat to its power and authority. The rebellion was seen as a challenge to the Communist Party's control of the state and the military, and the Bolsheviks feared that it could inspire similar uprisings across the country.

How did the Bolsheviks suppress the Kronstadt rebellion?

The Bolshevik government sent the Red Army to crush the rebellion, with the attack beginning on March 7, 1921. The Red Army surrounded Kronstadt, cutting off the rebels' supplies and communications, and launched a heavy artillery barrage followed by a ground assault. The fighting lasted for several days, with the Red Army ultimately emerging victorious.

What was the impact of the Kronstadt rebellion on the Russian Revolution?

The Kronstadt rebellion marked a turning point in the Bolshevik government's relationship with its supporters and the wider population. Many people who had previously supported the Bolsheviks were disillusioned by the harsh suppression of the rebellion and the government's increasing authoritarianism. It also marked the beginning of a period of economic and political consolidation for the Bolsheviks, as they sought to reaffirm their power and impose greater control over the population.

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Why Poland's Draconian Anti-Abortion Laws May Get Even Crueler

Poland has some of the most restrictive abortion laws in Europe. Several parties vying in national elections on Oct. 15 are competing for conservative Catholic voters by promising new laws that could put women's lives at risk.

Photograph of a woman with her lower face covered holding a red lightning bolt - the symbol of the Women's Strike - during the demonstration outside Kaczynski's house.

November 28, 2022, Warsaw, Poland: A protester holds a red lightning bolt - the symbol of the Women's Strike - during the demonstration outside Kaczynski's house.

Attila Husejnow/ZUMA
Katarzyna Skiba


In 2020, Poland was rocked by mass protests when the country’s Constitutional Tribunal declared abortions in the case of severe fetal illness or deformity illegal. This was one of only three exceptions to Poland’s ban on abortions, which now only applies in cases of sexual assault or when the life of the mother is at risk.

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