Novocherkassk Tragedy


Thousands of workers from the Novocherkassk Electric Locomotive Works and their “supporters marched to the Communist Party’s headquarters in order to protest Khrushchev’s passing of legislation that would lead to nation-wide price increases for meat and dairy products on June 2nd, 1962” (Seventeen Moments). The march on headquarters resulted in a labor strike due to the laborers’ growing displeasure of the new prices. The NEVZ workers were the most prominent group at the strike since they had been overworked at their factory, which had been competing in a socialist competition. These workers didn’t receive any extra benefits or compensation for the extra work.

Failing to adhere to the warnings of the general who was stationed there, the soldiers dispersed gunfire into the crowd. Thus, resulting in the deaths of twenty-four people and many wounded. This culminated in the Novocherkassk Massacre. Even though, news of an atrocity of this magnitude would usually spread very quickly to other places, the Soviets managed to keep the major details secret until 1988, when close to two dozen bodies were found and eventually connected to this slaughter. Following the uncovering of this massacre, a Russian newspaper obtained classified documents of the event and issued a story that exposed the true events that took place. The Soviets rapidly buried the bodies of those who were murdered and immediately shut down another protest endeavor the following day, which allowed them to keep this event a secret for so long.

The Novocherkassk Massacre proves just how effectively the Soviets were able to hide the majority of human rights violations and oppressive actions that they committed. Many of the truths of Soviet massacres and abuses were kept under wraps up until the collapse of the Soviet Union. The Soviets were able to keep many of the significant details and evidence hidden from external eyes. Therefore, the Soviets were able to maintain friendly relationships with other communist nations that they had aligned themselves with and, most importantly, maintain favorable bonds with their citizens.




“Novocherkassk Massacre.” Seventeen Moments in Soviet History. Accessed April 03, 2016.

Wikipedia. Accessed April 03, 2016.

“1962: The Novocherkassk Tragedy.” 1962: The Novocherkassk Tragedy. Accessed April 03, 2016. “Novocherkassk Massacre.” YouTube. January 12, 2016. Accessed April 03, 2016.