How a young revolutionary Joseph Stalin became a sea pirate and robber
How a young revolutionary Joseph Stalin became a sea pirate and robber
Joseph Stalin, nicknamed Koba, is a likely robber of the Black Sea steamers

Perhaps there is not a single person in the post-Soviet space who has not heard the name of Joseph Stalin. Some call him the leader of the peoples, while others call him a cruel tyrant. And the early pages of the biography of a Georgian seminarian who became a revolutionary Bolshevik hide a lot of unknowns. Historians believe that the future Soviet dictator in his youth could be a Black Sea pirate and rob steamers.

Russian revolutionary sailors, 1917-1918

In the first decade of the twentieth century, revolutionary unrest swept over Russia. Numerous political groups began to fight for their ideas, increasingly involving active young people. In an open confrontation with the authorities, they used terrorist methods, and began to use robberies and brazen robbery to replenish party funds.

Russian steamer "Tsesarevich Georgy"

In September 1906, the Russian steamship "Tsesarevich Georgy" sailed to the Black Sea from the port of Novorossiysk. The vessel was off the coast of Georgia and was passing by Sukhumi when a daring robbery took place. About 20 people who boarded as passengers turned out to be real pirates. Some broke into the captain's cabin, opened the safes and took 16 thousand rubles. Others at this time searched the cabins. The passengers were gathered in one place and kept under supervision, however, there was a firefight.

On the deck of a passenger ship. Henry Bacon, 1877

Having collected everything of value, the hijackers fled in boats that came up from the shore. According to the captain, the attackers were from the Caucasus, most likely Georgians. For local abrek partisans, it was considered a standard trade to attack the Russians. However, earlier the inhabitants of the Caucasus did not go out to sea.

The second popular version was that the robbery was committed by revolutionaries or anarchists who were constantly in need of money.

The gendarmes searched for the newly minted pirates for a long time, but in vain. In those years, many robberies were committed in the Caucasus, during which tens of thousands of rubles fell into the hands of the "political".

The steamer of the Russian Society of Shipping and Trade "Chernomor"

A year later, another Russian ship was attacked. The bandits with the passengers' tickets boarded the Chernomor and revealed themselves in the open sea. Everyone on board was searched and their wallets, watches and jewelry were seized.

The next steamer robbery took place in the Caspian Sea. One of the pirates dropped the phrase that this is their third "business". And again, eyewitnesses claim that 16 of the hijackers were Georgians. They took about 4000 rubles from the steamer "Tsarevich Alexander".

Young revolutionary Marxist Koba, 1902

And in 1908, the most successful robbery occurred. A large sum of money was transported in safes on the steamer "Nicholas I". When the intruders got on board, among them was the experienced "bugbear" Ahmed. Breaking open the barriers, the pirates found 1,200,000 rubles.

Historians still cannot agree on whether the young Joseph Stalin was one of the members of the pirate gang. It is reliably known that in those years he took part in robberies throughout the Caucasus. Of the expropriated money, 20% remained for the needs of the party cell, and 80% was forwarded "to the center", to Lenin.

Account card of Joseph Dzhugashvili, detained in Baku in 1910

After the 1917 revolution, the head of the Mensheviks, Martov, openly accused Stalin of being an expropriator and demanded an investigation. Stalin resisted and the case was "hushed up". And in 1989, an archival file "surfaced", in which it was mentioned that one of the pirates who robbed "Tsarevich George" was a young freckled revolutionary of short stature. The detailed description closely resembled a portrait of Stalin.

Joseph Dzhugashvili was not only a revolutionary and politician, but also a husband who dearly loves his Kato.

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