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Entries / Obukhovskaya Defence (1901)

Obukhovskaya Defence (1901)

Categories / Social Life

OBUKHOVSKAYA DEFENCE (1901), the first public clash between workers and the police and military. Occurred on 7 May 1901 during strikes at several factories near the Nevskaya Gate. The strike was initiated by the dismissal of 26 workers from the State-owned Obukhovsky Steel-Casting Factory for leaving work without authorization on May Day. Aside from being a countermand to the dismissal, the strikers made several demands, including that May Day be considered an official holiday, the institution of a fixed eight-hour workday, the establishment of a soviet (council) of elected representatives made up of factory workers, and increases in pay rates. After the head of the factory refused to satisfy these demands, organizers of the strike, including N.I. Yunikov, A.I. Gavrilov, A.I. Ermakov, and A.V. Schotman (mostly members of socialist-democratic circles) stopped work in the workshops and took the workers to Schlisselburgsky Ave, where they were joined by workers from the Alexandrovsky Factory and the Card Factory. Arriving detachments of mounted police were met by a storm of stones. In response, the police and a unit of sailors guarding the factory opened fire. Having beaten off several attacks, the workers barricaded themselves on the territory of the Card Factory and continued to hurl stones at the police. Over the course of several hours of clashes, seven workers, one boy and several policemen were killed, and there were many wounded on both sides; several hundreds of workers were arrested (including those who did not participate in the clash). Investigation of the Obukhovskaya Defence case began towards the end of July. About 800 participants of the Obukhovskaya Defence were exiled from St. Petersburg according to an administrative order; 37 were prosecuted in the Court of the Special Commission of the Petersburg Judicial Chamber (eight people were discharged, 29 were sentenced to different terms of confinement). In memory of the Obukhovskaya Defence, Schlisselburgsky Avenue and a number of other roads were renamed Avenue of the Obukhovskaya Defence (Obukhovskoy Oborony Ave).

References: Гаврилов А. Воспоминания старого обуховца // Красная летопись. 1926. № 4. С. 60-67; Розанов М. Д. За братьев: Подвиг героини Обуховской обороны М. Яковлевой. Л., 1960; Шотман А. В. Записки старого большевика. 4-е изд. Л., 1983.

A. G. Kalmykov.

Ermakov A.I.
Gavrilov A.I.
Schotman Alexander Vasilievich
Yunikov Nikolay Ivanovich

Obukhovskoy Oborony Ave/Saint Petersburg, city
Shlisselburgsky Ave/Saint Petersburg, city

Гаврилов А. Воспоминания старого обуховца // Красная летопись, 1926
Шотман А. В. Записки старого большевика. 4-е изд. Л., 1983
Розанов М. За братьев!: Подвиг героини Обуховской обороны М. Яковлевой. Л., 1960

The subject Index
Obukhovsky Plant


May Strikes ("Maevki").

MAY STRIKES ("Maevki"), secret gatherings of workers in the suburbs during pre-revolutionary Russia, in honour of the international workers solidarity celebration on 1 May, called May Day

Memorial Cemetery to the Victims of 9th January

MEMORIAL CEMETERY TO THE VICTIMS OF 9TH JANUARY (4 Ninth January Avenue), in Nevsky District near Obukhovo Railway Station. Its square is 76 hectares. It was founded in 1872 as a city cemetery

Nevskaya Zastava

NEVSKAYA ZASTAVA (outpost), a historical name of the territory along the left bank of the Neva River from Alexander Nevsky Lavra to Rybatskoe. It encompasses the following historical districts and localities: Steklyanny Settlement (Glass Settlement)

Obukhovskoy Oborony Avenue

OBUKHOVSKOY OBORONY AVENUE from Alexandra Nevskogo Square to Karavaevskaya Street. It was laid in the early 18th century as a road to Arkhangelsk through Shlisselburg and was known as Shlisselburgskaya Road, Shlyutenburgskaya Road