Yuri Gaven

Yuri Gaven
Юрий Петрович Гавен

Yuri Gaven (Jānis Daumanis)
Chairman of the Central Executive Committee (Crimean ASSR)
In office
November 7, 1921  March 18, 1918
Preceded by post created
Succeeded by Veli Ibrahimov
Personal details
Born (1884-03-18)March 18, 1884
Bikern (Riga), Livland Governorate, Russian Empire
Died October 4, 1936(1936-10-04) (aged 52)
Soviet Union
Nationality Latvian
Political party RSDLP (1901-1936)
SDLK (1906-1936)
Spouse(s) Armenui Ovvyan
Alma mater Baltic Teacher Seminary

Yuri Gaven is a Latvian revolutionary of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union, chekist, key figure in defeating of the Crimean People's Republic (with establishment of the so-called Taurida Soviet Socialist Republic) and active participant of the "Red Terror" in Crimea.


Born as Jānis Daumanis in a peasant family on March 18, 1884 at hamlet Bikern near Riga, in 1901 he graduated the Baltic Teacher Seminary becoming a people's teacher. The same year in 1901 Gaven joined the Social Democratic Labour Party and until 1905 worked as a secretary of Riga's party organization. During the 1905 Revolution, he was a leader of militant formations of peasants in Livland Governorate and in 1906 he became a member of the Central Committee of the Social Democracy of Livland Krai. On February 6, 1908 Gaven was arrested and until the start of World War I (July 1914) he spent time in katorga centers of Riga and Vologda, after which Gaven was exiled to Minusinsk (at that time part of Yeniseysk Governorate).

After the February Revolution on March 3, 1917 Gaven was released and became a chairman of the local Minusinsk Communa at the same time he also was one of organizers of the Congress of Soviets of the Middle Siberia. In September 1917 Gaven was delegated to the All-Russian Democratic Conference in Petrograd, after which at the end of September with Bolshevik mandate he was sent to Sevastopol. For some 11 days Gaven spent in Simferopol awaiting to be allowed in Sevastopol.

On November 6–10, 1917 Gaven was heading the so-called "First Black Sea Fleet Congress" in Sevastopol, which adopted Bolshevik resolution on power and sanctioned to send ships and sailors in fight against Alexey Kaledin. On November 20, 1917 Gaven was a delegate of the Governorate Congress of Soviets in Simferopol and the Bolshevik regional conference on November 23–24, 1917.

At night on December 15–16, 1917 he led an uprising of sailors which resulted in establishing of the Soviet regime in Sevastopol by creating the Sevostopol military revkom (Taurida milrevkom since December 28, 1917). Since December 18, Gaven headed the Presidium of Soviet of soldiers and workers deputies, the city's Bolshevik committee and was a chief editor of newspaper "Tavricheskaya Pravda" (Taurida's Truth).

Further reading

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