Kliment Voroshilov
Kliment Voroshilov

Organization of power in the Crimean Soviet Republic (part two)


On April 27, 1919, a joint meeting of members of the Muslim Bureau under the Crimean Regional Committee of the RCP (B) and the local Tatar-Turkish Communist section took place. M. Subhi chaired the meeting. Yu. Gaven (as a representative of the Central Committee of the RCP (B)) and the chairman of the Ukrainian People’s Commissar H. Rakovsky spoke on the organization of the future government in Crimea. Both speakers informed the audience about Moscow’s decision to create a republic in Crimea.

Then M. Subhi took the floor again. He noted that the center considers it necessary to create a temporary Soviet of People’s Commissars consisting of 9 commissioners, of which 4 seats the regional committee decided to give to the Tatars. It was decided to elect A. Mukharsky as the Commissioner of Public Education, S. Idrisov as the Commissioner of Internal Affairs, S. Memetov as the Commissioner for Foreign Affairs, D. Beshveli as the Commissioner of Justice, and A. Bodaninsky as the RNC Manager. It was decided to send S. Dzhigenti and S. Memetov to the center. It was decided to send Diver and A. Nedim from the Muslim Bureau to agitate among Muslims, and U. Ibraimov and M. Merdymshayev from the section of Tatar Communists. D. Mambet Aji, H. Emirov and V. Ibraimov were elected to the presidium of the Tatar section [1] .

But things did not turn out exactly as the members of the Muslim Bureau and the local Tatar-Turkish communist section had hoped. On April 28-29, 1919, the VI Crimean Regional Conference of the CP (B) U took place in Simferopol. Its work was attended by: from the Simferopol organization – V. Khaikevich, V. Kirov, Shuster, E. Bagaturyants (Laura), Kovalchuk, R. Greenberg; from Sevastopol – I. Shulman, J. Gorodetsky, O. Aleksakis; from Evpatoria – Abramovich, D. Ulyanov; from Feodosia – I. Polonsky (Stepan), M. Zhuravlyov (Beck), Guildin; from Yalta – Skenavsky; from the Tatar-Turkish sector – M. Subhi, A. Bodaninsky, S. Memetov, S. Idrisov, Dost Mambet Aji. In addition, J. Gaven and S. Dzhigenti took part in the conference. K. Voroshilov, L. Kamenev and M. Muranov were present from the Central Committee of the RCP (B) [2] .

Kliment Voroshilov
Kliment Voroshilov

The first item on the agenda of the conference was an information report “On the military-political situation of the Soviet Republic and the party’s policy on the national question,” made by L. Kamenev. After that, he acquainted the audience with the decision adopted by the Central Committee of the RCP (b), namely: to create a Crimean Socialist Soviet Republic on the Crimean peninsula.

The news sparked debate. Mustafa Subhi together with Ali Bodaninsky welcomed this decision of the Central Committee. He pointed to the “great importance of this decision in the cause of revolutionary development and the involvement of the Soviet masses of the broad masses of Tatar workers in the city and the countryside.” Subhi also noted that “this decision of the Central Committee is of great importance for the East, especially the Middle East, where peoples related and historically connected with the Crimean Tatars live. Pressed imperialism, they look at the great proletarian revolution and expect it will solve the issue of self-determination of small nations ” [3] .

Opposite statements were made during the discussion. Schuster and I. Shulman noted that they were hesitant about the correctness of this decision of the Central Committee and instead suggested ” discussing the question in principle: whether it is appropriate to create a Soviet republic in the Crimea[4] .

K. Voroshilov put an end to the discussion. He stated that “the discussion of this issue in principle can only have the character of expressing views on this issue of a comrade, but not the nature of its approval or disapproval. The decision of the Central Committee to establish the Crimean Soviet Republic is final, the conference cannot change it. It should discuss the decision of the Central Committee, but on its essence, in terms of practical implementation[5] . After that, the “snatching” of the discussion stopped, and the conference adopted the following resolution: ” To adopt a decision of the Central Committee on the establishment of the Crimean Soviet Socialist Republic and immediately undertake its implementation[6] .

Simferopol, Bohdan Khmelnytsky Street
Simferopol, Bohdan Khmelnytsky Street

The conference adopted a declaration of the Government of the Crimean Republic to all countries of the world. On May 6, it was published in newspapers under the signatures of Acting Prime Minister D. Ulyanov, members of the government P. Dybenko, Y. Gaven, J. Gorodetsky, S. Wolfson (Davidov), I. Polonsky (Stepan) and I. Nazukin. [7] . The declaration proclaimed Crimea a socialist Soviet republic without any mention of its autonomous affiliation with either the RSFSR or the USSR. This was done quite deliberately, because otherwise the meaning of the formation of the republic as a buffer against the Entente was lost.


Mustafa Subhi
Mustafa Subhi

The Declaration also stated inseparable ties with the Soviet republics of Russia, Ukraine and European countries. The Crimean government proclaimed the program of its activities and, first of all, indicated that in the conditions of hostilities with the White Guards, supported by the Entente armed forces, it would pay special attention to “the formation of the workers ‘and peasants’ Red Army.” The main tasks of the government were proclaimed: lifting the blockade of Crimea by the Entente, creating an apparatus of proletarian power, transferring the means of production to the socialist state, ie nationalization of industry and other sectors of the economy, nationalization of food and trade, confiscation of landed estates. production and distribution, the transition from a capitalist to a communist system. In addition,declaration proclaimed “full equality of all nationalities inhabiting Crimea”[8] . None of them was mentioned in the document, ie they were not able to claim a leadership role. This gives grounds to assert that the Crimean Republic, like its predecessor, the Republic of Tavrida, was created by the new government not as a national but as a territorial one.

The next item was the discussion of a number of organizational issues, one of which was the organization of the Tatar sector at the regional committee, aimed at spreading the influence of the Bolshevik Party on the Crimean Tatar population and the work of attracting Crimean Tatars to the party organization. The Tatsector included M. Subhi, A. Bodaninsky and S. Memetov [9] .

The conference outlined the main composition of the Crimean RNA, which was transferred to the regional committee of the CP (B) U. He had to finally determine its composition. The RNA included: D. Ulyanov (as chairman), Y. Gaven, P. Dybenko, A. Bodaninsky (as members of the RNA presidium), S. Memetov and S. Wolfson (Davidov) [10] .

Thus, the initiative to create the Crimean SSR came from Moscow. Any “separatist tendencies” on the part of the local party committee were immediately uprooted.

  1. State Archives of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea (hereinafter – DAARK). – F.-P. 150. – Op. 1. – Ref. 51. – Arc. 35.
  2. Only there. – Ref. 312. – Arc. 25.
  3. Only there. – Arc. 25 stars
  4. Only there.
  5. Only there.
  6. Only there. – Arc. 26.
  7. The struggle for Soviet power in the Crimea. – Collection of documents and materials. – Vol. 2. – Simferopol, 1957. – P. 144-148.
  8. Only there. – P. 145-146.
  9. DAARK. – F.-P. 150. – Op. 1. – Ref. 312. – Arc. 26.
  10. Only there.

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The project was implemented with the support of the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation

Tetiana Bikova

Candidate of Historical Sciences, Scientist of the Institute of History of Ukraine of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine

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