On June 13th, 1905 the Odessa authorities shot
several workers from metalworking and machine-construction
factories who had been on strike since the beginning
14th, workers retaliated against these shootings
by engaging in massive worker stoppages and attacking
the police with guns and rocks. That same day, there
was a mutiny of the battleship Potemkin.
That night the ship entered the harbor bearing the
Soviet red flag.
15th, the strikers enthusiastically greeted the
ship, jamming the port, to view the battleship and
rally behind the mutinous soldiers. The port workers
provided the ship with more supplies. The mutinous
workers of that port wanted assistance in the capture
of the city. But the crew was hesitant, and only fired
two shots from a gun aimed at the seat of the local
Governmental Council, which missed their target. The
striking workers gathered at the port to witness the
sailors bring ashore the body of Grigory Vakulenchuk,
one of the slain leaders of the mutiny. (Click
here for more on the monument of Vakulenchuk)
afternoon, fires began in the wooden warehouses. Soviet-era
publications blame the authorities for setting the
fire. Western publications write that the fire was
actually started by the mob. In the ensuing panic
of the blaze, the troops cordoned off the port and
opened fire on the crowds. Over 1,000 people were
killed the night of June 15th, 1905, shot, drowned,
or burned in the fire.
of Russian warships approached Odessa with the intention
to capture the battleship Potemkin.
an appeal to the crew of the Potemkin,
the Russian warships called them to arrest their mutinous
leaders, but his flag signals failed to convince the
one of the ships of his own squadron, the Pobiedonosetz,
broke out of formation and followed the mutinous Potemkin.
The Pobiedonosetz was soon overtaken by her crewmembers
loyal to the czar and deliberately run aground in
the harbor. The Pobiedonosetz was then boarded by
from the coast by the navy and short on supplies,
the Battleship Potemkin
sailed out of Odessa on the evening of June 18th.
25th the Potemkin
sailors landed their ship and became political refugees
in the port town of Constanta, Romania.