1907-11-07 THE VLADIVOSTOK MUTINY

  
London Times, 1 November 1907, p. 5: THE VLADIVOSTOK MUTINY. (FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.) ST. PETERSBURG, OCT. 31.

            The meagre reports of the mutiny at Vladivostok leave the door open to speculation regarding its scope. The town has been placed in a state of siege and telegrams have, apparently, been stopped. The only message besides the one sent by the official news agency late last night has been received by the Russ. It says that the mutinous Strogy (sic), attempting to support the mutinous sappers, hoisted the red flag and began at 10 a.m. yesterday to bombard the Government buildings, but, being surrounded by three loyal destroyers, was sunk, her boilers being blown up. Scores of soldiers were shot down by the 10th Fusiliers. Arrests are proceeding in the town.

            No information whatever is vouchsafed by the Admiralty or the War Office. The above telegram, however, warrants the inference that the mutiny of the sapper battalion on October 20 was more serious than it was stated to be in the official agency’s message of that day. The fact that warships in the harbour were supplied with ammunition, without which the fight between the destroyers would have been impossible, seems to show that the naval authorities thought the situation ashore so serious as to necessitate the intervention of the navy. But if the vessels were prepared for action it is difficult to understand how outsiders gained access to the Skory without immediate detection.

            Some light is thrown on this mysterious and utterly unexpected outbreak by the fact that Vladivostok is a perfect hotbed of revolution. It will be remembered that the town and district returned none but Social Democratic electors. The terrible distress among the thousands of settlers from Russia who are encumbering the place owing to the breakdown of the emigrant organization, besides the local discontent engendered by the late war, has afforded a fruitful field for revolutionary agitators. These causes, combined with the usual tendency to lawlessness in frontier settlements, probably underlie the naval and military mutinies, which are, apparently, of altogether a political character.

            The tragic events at Vladivostok are all the more regrettable since they will undoubtedly intensify the reactionary trend evoked by the revolutionary aftermath in European Russia. Bureaucratic circles are particularly incensed because they imagined that they had completely extinguished the revolution. The Novoe Vremya calls for stern measures in the navy, which it bitterly describes as bereft of proper management.

Provided by Stephen McLaughlin

 

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