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.
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.
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.