Tatarbunary Uprising of 1924

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Tatarbunary Uprising of 1924


an armed protest by the toiling masses of southern Bessarabia against the Rumanian occupiers for the restoration of Soviet power and reunification with the USSR. The reason for the Tatarbunary Uprising, which lasted from September 15 to September 18, was the colonial policy of the Rumanian government and the government’s rejection of the USSR’s proposal to hold a plebiscite. With the guidance of the communist organization headed by A. I. Kliushnikov (Ninin), the workers and peasants drove the occupiers out of the village of Tatarbunary on Sept. 16,1924, and restored Soviet power. On September 17, the Tatarbunary Uprising spread to almost all of southern Bessarabia. The insurgents, including Moldavians, Ukrainians, Russians, and Bulgarians, established revolutionary committees as organs of Soviet power and organized people’s militia and Red Guard detachments. They fought for the creation of a Soviet Moldavian republic. Among the leaders of the uprising were Kliushnikov, I. Batishchev, L. Tsurkan, N. Lisovoi, and I. Bezhanovich.

The Rumanian monarchy dispatched its artillery troops and navy to suppress the uprising, resulting in more than 3,000 deaths. After taking reprisals against the rebels and arresting many, the occupiers staged the “Trial of the 500,” which was to “prove” that the Tatarbunary Uprising was “the work of Moscow.”

The Rumanian proletariat sided with the toilers of Bessarabia, and in a special manifesto the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Rumania appealed for help for the insurgents. The Soviet government issued a protest demanding an end to the massacres, and communists of all countries expressed solidarity with the participants in the uprising. Many leading figures in science and the arts, including H. Barbusse, R. Rolland, U. Sinclair, T. Dreiser, A. Einstein, B. Shaw, L. Aragon, M. Sadoveanu, C. Parhon, and T. Mann, spoke out in defense of the arrested rebels. Under pressure of public opinion, the court acquitted most of those arrested; 85 persons were convicted.


Smishko, P. Tatarbunars’ke povstannia 1924 r. Kiev, 1956.
Roshkovan, Iu. O pazhine vie de solidaritate internatsionale. Kishinev, 1966.
Bor’ba trudiashchikhsia Bessarabii za svoe osvobozhdenie i vossoedinenie s Sovetskoi rodinoi (1918–1940 gg.). Kishinev, 1970.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.