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Eesti Töörahva Kommuun
Commune of the Working People of Estonia
Client state of Soviet Russia



Location of Estonia
Capital Narva
Language(s) Estonian, Russian
Government Socialist republic
 - 1918–19 Jaan Anvelt
Legislature Soviet¹
 - Established November 29, 1918
 - Disestablished June 5, 1919
Currency Russian ruble
1. Chairman (esimees) of the Soviet of The Commune of the Working People of Estonia (Eesti Töörahva Kommuuni Nõukogu)

The Commune of the Working People of Estonia (Estonian: Eesti Töörahva Kommuun, earlier Eesti Töörahwa Kommuuna, Russian: Эстляндская Трудовая Коммуна, ЭТК) (ETK) was an unrecognised government claiming the Bolshevik-occupied parts of Republic of Estonia as its territories during the Estonian War of Independence and the Russian Civil War. The primary purpose of this entity, temporary by its very design, was fuzzying the aggression by Soviet Russia and to masquerade the invasion as an Estonian civil war.[1]

The Commune was established in Narva on 29 November 1918, a day after its conquest by the Red Army and chaired by Jaan Anvelt for the duration of its existence.

The Russian offensive was initially successful and eventually reached as far as 34 kilometres from Tallinn. However, with the Estonian People's Force (Rahvavägi) counteroffensive under Commander-in-Chief Johan Laidoner beginning on 7 January 1919 and with international military aid, primarily from British Empire, Red Army units were eventually driven out of Estonia leaving the ETK defunct. After its expulsion from Estonia, ETK claimed a government in exile first in Pskov, then in Luga and from 17 May 1919 in Staraya Russa.


International recognition

The Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic formally recognised the ETK on 7 December 1918 and remained the only government to do so.[2] However, at that time, Bolshevist Russia was itself not internationally recognised; one of the first international treaties recognising Russia's Bolshevist government as legitimate was the Treaty of Tartu that in 1920 concluded Estonian War of Independence.


The regime committed massacres in Rakvere and Tartu, among most known victims of these actions were Bishop Platon, priest Sergei Florinski and pastor Traugott Hahn.

Members of the Soviet of the Commune of the Working People of Estonia

  • Jaan Anvelt – chairman and military
  • Viktor Kingissepp – interior (actually underground in Estonia, Johannes Käspert acting for him)
  • Hans Pöögelmann – economic affairs
  • Artur Vallner – culture and public education
  • Johannes Mägi – foreign affairs (from 20 December 1918 Max-Alfred Trakmann) and state control (later Karl Mühlberg)
  • Rudolf Vakman – social insurance (acting Otto Rästas)
  • Johannes Käspert – secretary

Soviet authorities executed most of the members during the Great Purge.

See also


  1. ^ Eesti ajalugu, a textbook for grade 11 by Küllo Arjakas, Mati Laur, Tõnis Lukas and Ain Mäesalu; Koolibri, Tallinn 1991; p. 261
  2. ^ Eesti ajalugu, a textbook for grade 11 by Küllo Arjakas, Mati Laur, Tõnis Lukas and Ain Mäesalu; Koolibri, Tallinn 1991; p. 263

External links



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