The coverup of a Massacre

The summer of 1962 was difficult for the Russian people and workers due to the increase in food prices. Workers from Novocherkassk Electric Locomotive Works spoke out against the rise in prices, but were met with hostility. There were guards outside of the Communist Party headquarters in Novocherkassk where the protests came to make their petitions heard. The protesters did not stop when the commander of the troops warned them and the troops opened fire on the civilians. Reports have said that twenty-four people died and many were wounded and many were arrested.

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The authorities that were fearful of a revolt attempted a cover up of the shooting. The workers that were in protest did not provoke the soldier by throwing mud or stones or trying to take their weapons. The workers were protesting peacefully and the troops were given the order to open fire upon them. According to the official report, twenty-three died. Fifteen were identified and the rest still remain unknown.

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Many years later as the Soviet Union started to crumble, the public found out about the coverup. An investigation was opened to uncover the truth about what happened. The investigation uncovered that there were seventeen deaths at the protests in the city square, another five during the demonstrators’ attack on the city police department, and another two were shot during curfew. All of these killings were covered up. The official report said that the bodies were dumped outside the city in abandoned cemeteries and in huge mass graves.

Many people have eye witness account of the events that happened in June 1962. They did not come out until after the story was leaked to the public. Now the world knows about the Novocherkassk Massacre that ensued during a protest for a better standard of living and the coverup which took over twenty years to be uncovered.  A monument was built there after the investigation was finished.

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Work Cited:

http://dlib.eastview.com.ezproxy.lib.vt.edu:8080/search/simple/doc?art=2&id=13610544
http://soviethistory.macalester.edu/index.php?page=article&ArticleID=1961nvkhrus1&SubjectID=1961novocherkassk&Year=1961
http://soviethistory.macalester.edu/index.php?page=subject&SubjectID=1961novocherkassk&Year=1961&navi=byYear
http://su8bj7jh4j.search.serialssolutions.com.ezproxy.lib.vt.edu:8080/?sid=sersol&SS_jc=TC0000460802&title=Current%20digest%20of%20the%20Russian%20press
https://libcom.org/library/1962-novocherkassk-tragedy

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5 thoughts on “The coverup of a Massacre

  1. This post was very informative, but not surprising. The Soviets ultimately killed huge amounts of their own citizens. This massacre was just lucky enough to be uncovered and publicized.

  2. Tell me more about the photo of Putin laying flowers at the memorial! That’s definitely a complex image. The article by Peter Suda, who was a participant in the protest, is really interesting and suggests that the significance of the massacre is much deeper than the cover-up.

  3. Its pretty difficult to wrap your mind around this event. Here in the US government conspiracies are kind of a joke that people argue about. However, in some countries like russia, there is hard evidence that government conspiracies have been very real in the past.

  4. Great post! I’m sure that there were a lot of other killings that they covered up, and you had really great sources linked about this. I liked the connections between this time period and the present day discovery of how many people were actually killed in the massacre.

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