In the wake of the failed Russian revolution of 1905—1906, the tsarist government established a prison for women “terrorists” in eastern Siberia. Maltsev Prison, in a remote mining district near the border with China, already housed “common” women criminals, but from 1907 to 1911 also held dozens of women convicted of violent revolutionary acts, the most famous being Maria Spiridonova, assassin of a brutal tsarist official. Half these women were members of the Socialist Revolutionary Party (SRs) while the other half were divided between anarchists (mostly anarcho-communists) and social democrats (SDs, including members of the Jewish Bund).
Biographies of the ten anarchist prisoners are by Sergei Ovsiannikov, who also determined the date of the large group photo. Translation and notes by Malcolm Archibald. Supplementary biographical material in the notes is from the “Kalendar” of Anatoly Dubovik at www.makhno.ru/forum.
Translated by: Malcolm Archibald.