Two years after his birth his family moved to Alexandrovsk, where Stepan graduated from City College and joined the local ironworks as a metalworker.
In 1913 Petrichenko was called up for military service with the Russian navy, where he was assigned to the Russian battleship Petropavlovsk, part of the Baltic Fleet. During the February Revolution in Russia, he had been with the fleet at the Estonian island Nargen (now Naissaar). In December 1917, it was proclaimed a Soviet Republic of Soldiers and Fortress-Builders of Nargen.
Petrichenko fought the Bolsheviks, and the German Empire, aiding in the evacuation of Naissaar on February 26 with the Baltic Fleet in the direction of Helsinki, and from there to Kronstadt.
In 1919 he entered the Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks) himself, but later resigned (a veiled cleansing). In the summer of 1920, he went home and returned with the approval of Nestor Makhno.
He was not a career officer in the Baltic fleet, and when he took the responsibility of guiding the fleet he was an engineer on the battleship Petropavlovsk. After the rebellion was struck down by Trotsky, he fled over the ice to Finland, where he continued his agitation against the Bolsheviks.
He stayed in Finland for many years, until he came into conflict with the Finnish government over his support of Soviet groups during the Winter War between the Soviet Union and Finland in 1940.
He was arrested and in 1945 he was expelled to the Soviet Union, where he was soon arrested and deported to Vladimir Prison where he died shortly after.
A republic under the red-black flag of anarcho-syndicalism was launched with eighty-two navy troops guiding about 800 local workers (indigenous had been evacuated at the start of World War I).