It is also supporting legislation that would place tighter regulations on fertilizer. But the group is not run by environmentalists. Its driving force is a Russian fertilizer giant that has ties to the Kremlin. And the environmental legislation it is backing would reset regulations in a way that could help the company, PhosAgro, push aside rivals and give it greater influence over the European food supply.
Fertilizer might not seem an obvious source of geopolitical tension. But with Moscow working openly and covertly to widen its sphere of power, the prospect of a politically connected Russian company cornering a key part of the European agricultural market has raised sharp concerns. After years of lobbying, European officials could move forward on new regulations as early as this week, when representatives of the three governing bodies of the European Union meet in Strasbourg, France.
For years, European officials have been hospitable toward Russian business and Kremlin-connected investors, particularly in the energy industry. But trust has frayed. First came revelations about state-sponsored Russian hacking efforts to undermine elections in the United States and Europe. More recently, Western intelligence officials have blamed Russia for poisoning a former Russian spy on British soil.
Long before that, Russia used environmental concerns to advance its interests. In Romania and Bulgaria, officials have accused Moscow of secretly financing protests against domestic fracking, which threatens the Russian natural gas industry. The television network RT, which American intelligence officials have labeled a Kremlin propaganda outlet, has also focused on fracking. PhosAgro, a publicly traded company, dismissed any notion of Russian government involvement in its efforts. Like many of the largest Russian conglomerates, PhosAgro has strong Kremlin ties.
It is run by Andrei A. Vladimir Litvinenko, a former high-ranking official for President Vladimir V. The company obtained an important mine in after Mr. Litvinenko, are very close.
The debate now brewing is over whether the European Union should impose strict limits on the levels of cadmium, a toxic metal in fertilizer. By a quirk of geology, PhosAgro is sitting on a stockpile of fertilizer minerals that are naturally much lower in cadmium than its competitors. The European Union has almost no domestic supply of the phosphate rock used to make fertilizer. But by mid-September price increases were swallowing up the pay rises won earlier in the year. One of their demands was pay for punctuation marks.
But towards the end of the first week in October, everything seemed to be dying down. However, by then the ferment had spread to the railways. Moscow was the railway hub of the empire. Once the workshops there began to come out, tsarism began to seize up. It was no longer simply a question of piecemeal demands about wages and conditions.
This was a trial of strength. A conference of railway employees, which was meeting in St Petersburg to discuss pensions, demanded the eight-hour day, civil liberties, an amnesty for political prisoners and a constituent assembly. Now the die was cast. It was a political as well as an economic issue.
The order of the worker’s boot
It was a struggle to force the state to give some of its power to the people. The railways carried the strike throughout the empire. In every city a general strike spread out from the railhead. The economic life of the empire ground to a halt. The professional and educated classes joined the workers; schools and universities shut down. The strike went round the country and then knocked at the gates of St Petersburg. There are signs that the gap between the rank and file militants of the Revolution and the moderates during the spring and summer may have been growing.
The strain was particularly intense on the brink of the October general strike. The strike was led by better-paid workers who had a history of winning important disputes—print workers, metal workers, bakery workers, and so on. The St Petersburg print workers not only went on strike but immediately set about turning the strike into an uprising by organising armed detachments and calling on other workers to do likewise. At the same time, the majority of the textile plants in the city were still at work.
The October strike was a vindication of Leninist politics. In August the tsar had issued a plan for a toothless parliament known as the Bulygin Duma. Voting was to have been highly restricted and workers were completely excluded. Nevertheless, the bourgeois liberals generally agreed to take part.
The Mensheviks wobbled around between the Bolsheviks and the liberals.
In St Petersburg an important group of left Mensheviks influenced by Trotsky adopted the same line as the Bolsheviks. In the event, the Bulygin Duma was swept away by the October strike. It was not that the Bolsheviks—or any other organised political force—actually initiated the strike. That was not the point. The important thing was that the Bolshevik position corresponded to the actual state of the mass movement.
It was an essential starting point. This does not mean that all the Bolsheviks, including Bolshevik workers, now understood how to relate to workers who were changing through open struggle. Despite a unanimous boycott by all the left wing parties, over 1, workers turned up.
But the moment Dezobri opened the meeting the workers forced an election for an independent chairman, expelled Dezobri and his associates, and spent the rest of the meeting quite legally discussing the struggle against the autocracy. The October strike was a generalised, class-wide, direct industrial action for political change.
It also brought into being a united front against tsarism between the mass of the workers and the militants who, like the St Petersburg print workers, wanted to turn the strike into an armed uprising. In this sense, it was the culmination of a series of joint political activities stemming from the revolutionary mass movement and encouraged by Lenin himself. This was democracy as ordinary people actually experienced it. It was understandable that they should identify it with parliamentary government, which Russia had yet to experience.
But in its rank and file working class roots and its tendency to intrude on and dictate to the established power, it was strikingly socialist. The soviet led four mass struggles. The first was the October strike. The second was resistance to the pogroms—police-inspired massacres, mainly of Jews—which began as soon as the October strike ended. The third was the struggle for the eight-hour day. The fourth was the November strike against repression and martial law. Three of these four struggles were not initiated by the soviet.
But it generalised them. Railway engineers, print workers and metal workers brought the October strike to St Petersburg. At least 3, to 4, people were killed. Their deputies then brought the issue to the soviet, which called on other workers to follow their example.
- Guidelines for the recognition of Russian qualifications.
- Movement Of Stillness: As Revealed In The New Mayan Calendar-Post 2012.
- Navigation menu!
- 1905: The consciousness factor.
- Global Moves: Belly Dance as an Extra/Ordinary Space to Explore Social Paradigms in Egypt and Around the World!
- I Want My Mothers Dress To Match The Napkins!
In other words, the militant workplaces led by example and appealed to the soviet to generalise the struggle. This gave consciousness and organisation to what had previously been much more of a chance, haphazard relationship. Only in the case of the November strike did the more militant workers wait for the soviet before taking action. This was because the issue came up a couple of days into the eight-hour struggle and demanded a complete change of front. The government had declared martial law in Russian-ruled Poland and in several areas of Ukraine and Russia affected by peasant unrest.
It was also preparing to impose death sentences in field court-martials on several hundred sailors after a mutiny in Kronstadt, the island fortress which commanded the approach to St Petersburg from the sea. Strike resolutions from workplace mass meetings poured into the soviet, which voted to call a strike after a heated discussion. Apart from the struggle for the eight-hour day, none of these mass mobilisations by the soviet was about a purely working class issue.
The soviet was a class organisation which united all workers, irrespective of industry or belief. The most dramatic example was the November strike, which was supported by professional and educated people such as pharmacists, dental students and high school students. The strike won the transfer of the Kronstadt sailors to a normal military court on a reduced charge and the lifting of martial law.
On the third day of the strike the representative of a local peasant union addressed the soviet in warmly fraternal terms at the request of his members. However, a united front like the soviet is always a two-way street. The majority of the soviet deputies kept the October strike going for as long as they could after the Constitutional Manifesto. But such political warnings only scratch the surface of the mass consciousness. The masses need the schooling of big events. Many employers had initially supported political struggle by the workers, from which they stood to benefit in terms of parliamentary representation.
But faced with the eight-hour struggle and the November strike on the one hand and a gathering counterrevolution on the other, they leapt into the government camp with a massive lockout. The state plants were the first to close, followed by 72 metal and textile plants. The soviet reluctantly called off the November strike without having achieved its full aims the complete abandonment of martial law and all court-martials. Five days later it abandoned the eight-hour day struggle as well. The soviet struggled on for another three weeks, but it had been fatally weakened.
According to Trotsky, this was as much to do with illusions among the militants themselves as with difficult circumstances or backsliding among the moderates. When the soviet was arrested on 3 December, the deputies smashed their revolvers to prevent them falling into the hands of the encircling troops.
The St Petersburg workers had tried to mount a successful response on their own and now they were off the battlefield. Defeat and demoralisation resurrected the Black Hundreds. A revolutionary militant in the Putilov suffered multiple stab wounds at their hands and it became dangerous for others to be in the plant without protection.
The mutineers eventually surrendered the battleship to Romanian authorities on 8 July in exchange for asylum, then the Romanians returned her to Imperial Russian authorities on the following day. Nationalist groups had been angered by the Russification undertaken since Alexander II. The Poles, Finns, and the Baltic provinces all sought autonomy, and also freedom to use their national languages and promote their own culture.
Certain groups took the opportunity to settle differences with each other rather than the government. Some nationalists undertook anti-Jewish pogroms , possibly with government aid, and in total over 3, Jews were killed. The number of prisoners throughout the Russian Empire, which had peaked at , in , fell by over a third to a record low of 75, in January , chiefly because of several mass amnesties granted by the Tsar;  the historian S G Wheatcroft has wondered what role these released criminals played in the —06 social unrest. He appointed a government commission "to enquire without delay into the causes of discontent among the workers in the city of St Petersburg and its suburbs" [ attribution needed ] in view of the strike movement.
Elections of the workers delegates were, however, blocked by the socialists who wanted to divert the workers from the elections to the armed struggle. Responding to speeches by Prince Sergei Trubetskoi and Mr Fyodrov, the Tsar confirmed his promise to convene an assembly of people's representatives.
When its slight powers and limits on the electorate were revealed, unrest redoubled. The Saint Petersburg Soviet was formed and called for a general strike in October, refusal to pay taxes, and the withdrawal of bank deposits. In June and July , there were many peasant uprisings in which peasants seized land and tools. Surprisingly, only one landlord was recorded as killed. It closely followed the demands of the Zemstvo Congress in September, granting basic civil rights , allowing the formation of political parties, extending the franchise towards universal suffrage , and establishing the Duma as the central legislative body.
He regretted signing the document, saying that he felt "sick with shame at this betrayal of the dynasty When the manifesto was proclaimed, there were spontaneous demonstrations of support in all the major cities. The strikes in Saint Petersburg and elsewhere officially ended or quickly collapsed. A political amnesty was also offered. The concessions came hand-in-hand with renewed, and brutal, action against the unrest. There was also a backlash from the conservative elements of society, with right-wing attacks on strikers, left-wingers, and Jews.
While the Russian liberals were satisfied by the October Manifesto and prepared for upcoming Duma elections, radical socialists and revolutionaries denounced the elections and called for an armed uprising to destroy the Empire. Some of the November uprising of in Sevastopol , headed by retired naval Lieutenant Pyotr Schmidt , was directed against the government, while some was undirected.
It included terrorism, worker strikes, peasant unrest and military mutinies, and was only suppressed after a fierce battle. The Trans-Baikal railroad fell into the hands of striker committees and demobilised soldiers returning from Manchuria after the Russo—Japanese War. The Tsar had to send a special detachment of loyal troops along the Trans-Siberian Railway to restore order.
The government sent troops on 7 December, and a bitter street-by-street fight began.
The consciousness factor – International Socialism
A week later, the Semyonovsky Regiment was deployed, and used artillery to break up demonstrations and to shell workers' districts. After a final spasm in Moscow , the uprisings ended in December According to figures presented in the Duma by Professor Maksim Kovalevsky , by April , more than 14, people had been executed and 75, imprisoned. Following the Revolution of , the Tsar made last attempts to save his regime, and offered reforms similar to most rulers when pressured by a revolutionary movement. The military remained loyal throughout the Revolution of , as shown by their shooting of revolutionaries when ordered by the Tsar, making overthrow difficult.
These reforms were outlined in a precursor to the Constitution of known as the October Manifesto which created the Imperial Duma. The Russian Constitution of , also known as the Fundamental Laws, set up a multiparty system and a limited constitutional monarchy. The revolutionaries were quelled and satisfied with the reforms, but it was not enough to prevent the revolution that would later topple the Tsar's regime.
There had been earlier attempts in establishing a Russian Duma before the October Manifesto, but these attempts faced dogged resistance. One attempt in July , called the Bulygin Duma , tried to reduce the assembly into a consultative body. It also proposed limiting voting rights to those with a higher property qualification, excluding industrial workers.
Both sides- the opposition and the conservatives- were not pleased with the results. The Manifesto also extended the suffrage to universal proportions, allowing for greater participation in the Duma, though the electoral law in 11 December still excluded women. Of course, propositions for restrictions to the Duma's legislative powers remained persistent.
The trap seemed perfectly set for the unsuspecting Duma: by the time the assembly convened in 27 April, it quickly found itself unable to do much without violating the Fundamental Laws. Defeated and frustrated, the majority of the assembly voted no confidence and handed in their resignations after a few weeks on 13 May. The attacks on the Duma were not confined to its legislative powers. By the time the Duma opened, it was missing the crucial support from its populace, thanks in no small part to the government's return to Pre-Manifesto levels of suppression.
The Soviets were forced to lay low for a long time, while the zemstvos turned against the Duma when the issue of land appropriation came up. The issue of land appropriation was the most contentious of the Duma's appeals. Of course, Nicholas II remained wary of having to share power with reform-minded bureaucrats. When the pendulum in elections swung to the left, Nicholas immediately ordered the Duma's dissolution just after 73 days. Much to Nicholas's chagrin, Stolypin attempted to bring about acts of reform land reform , while retaining measures favorable to the regime stepping up the number of executions of revolutionaries.
After the revolution subsided, he was able to bring economic growth back to Russia's industries, a period which lasted until But Stolypin's efforts did nothing to prevent the collapse of the monarchy, nor seemed to satisfy the conservatives. Stolypin died from a bullet wound by a revolutionary, Dmitry Bogrov , on 5 September Even after Bloody Sunday and defeat in the Russo-Japanese War, Nicholas II had been slow to offer a meaningful solution to the social and political crisis. At this point, he became more concerned with his personal affairs such as the illness of his son, whose struggle with haemophilia was overseen by Rasputin.
Nicholas also refused to believe that the population was demanding changes in the autocratic regime, seeing "public opinion" as mainly the "intelligentsia"  and believing himself to be the patronly 'father figure' to the Russian people. Sergei Witte , the minister of Russia, frustratingly argued with the Tsar that an immediate implementation of reforms was needed to retain order in the country.
It was only after the Revolution started picking up steam that Nicholas was forced to make concessions by writing the October Manifesto. Issued on 17 October , the Manifesto stated that the government would grant the population reforms such as the right to vote and to convene in assemblies. Its main provisions were:. Of course, despite what seemed to be a moment for celebration for Russia's population and the reformists, the Manifesto was rife with problems. Aside from the absence of the word "constitution", one issue with the manifesto was its timing.
By October , Nicholas was already dealing with a revolution. Another problem surfaced in the conscience of Nicholas himself: Witte said in that the manifesto was written only to get the pressure off the monarch's back, that it was not a "voluntary act".
1905 Russian Revolution
One immediate effect it did have, for a while, was the start of the Days of Freedom, a six-week period from 17 October to early December. This period witnessed an unprecedented level of freedom on all publications—revolutionary papers, brochures, etc. This opportunity allowed the press to address the tsar, and government officials, in a harsh, critical tone previously unheard of. The freedom of speech also opened the floodgates for meetings and organized political parties. In Moscow alone, over meetings took place in the first four weeks.
Some of the political parties that came out of these meetings were the Constitutional Democrats Kadets , Social Democrats , Socialist Revolutionaries , Octobrists , and the far-rightist Union of Russian People. Among all the groups that benefited most from the Days of Freedoms were the labor unions. In fact, the Days of Freedom witnessed unionization in the history of the Russian Empire at its apex.
At least 67 unions were established in Moscow, as well as 58 in St. Petersburg; the majority of both combined were formed in November alone.
- Human rights in Russia?
- Members descriptions.
- 2.2. Access to Doctoral Studies.
For the Soviets , it was a watershed period of time: nearly 50 of the unions in St. Petersburg came under Soviet control, while in Moscow, the Soviets had around members. This large sector of power allowed the Soviets enough clout to form their own militias. In St. Petersburg alone, the Soviets claimed around 6, armed members with the purpose of protecting the meetings. Perhaps greatly washed up in their newfound window of opportunity, the St. Petersburg Soviets, along with other socialist parties, called for armed struggles against the Tsarist government, a war call that no doubt alarmed the government.
Not only were the workers charged up, but the Days of Freedom also had an earthquake-like effect on the peasant collective as well. Seeing an opening in the autocracy's waning authority thanks to the Manifesto, the peasants, with a political organization, took to the streets in revolt. In response, the government exerted its forces in campaigns to subdue and repress both the peasants and the workers. Consequences were now in full force: with a pretext in their hands, the government spent the month of December regaining the level of authority once lost to Bloody Sunday.
Ironically, the writers of the October Manifesto were caught off guard by the surge in revolts. One of the main reasons for writing the October Manifesto bordered on the government's "fear of the revolutionary movement". Among those more scared was Dmitri Feodorovich Trepov , governor general of St.
Petersburg and deputy minister of the interior. Trepov urged Nicholas II to stick to the principles in the Manifesto, for "every retreat The Russian Constitution of was published on the eve of the convocation of the First Duma. The new Fundamental Law was enacted to institute promises of the October Manifesto as well as add new reforms. The Tsar was confirmed as absolute leader, with complete control of the executive, foreign policy, church, and the armed forces. The structure of the Duma was changed, becoming a lower chamber below the Council of Ministers, and was half-elected, half-appointed by the Tsar.
Legislations had to be approved by the Duma, the Council, and the Tsar to become law. The Fundamental State Laws were the "culmination of the whole sequence of events set in motion in October and which consolidated the new status quo ". The introduction of The Russian Constitution of was not simply an institution of the October Manifesto. The introduction of the constitution states and thus emphasizes the following:.
The Constitution did not mention any of the provisions of the October Manifesto.