Lenin in 1920
|Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars of the Soviet Union
(Premier of the Soviet Union)
30 December 1922 – 21 January 1924
|Preceded by||Position created|
|Succeeded by||Alexei Rykov|
|Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars of the Russian SFSR|
8 November 1917 – 21 January 1924
|Preceded by||Position created|
|Succeeded by||Alexei Rykov|
|Full member of the Politburo|
10 October 1917 – 21 January 1924
|Term(s)||6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th|
|Full member of the Central Committee|
3 August 1917 – 21 January 1924
|Term(s)||6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th|
27 April 1905 – 19 May 1907
|Born||Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov (Владимир Ильич Ульянов)
22 April 1870
Simbirsk, Russian Empire
|Died||21 January 1924
Gorki, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
|Resting place||Lenin's Mausoleum, Moscow, Russian Federation|
|Political party||League of Struggle for the Emancipation of the Working Class
Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (Bolsheviks)
Russian Communist Party
|Relations||Aleksandr Ulyanov (older brother)
Anna Ulyanova (older sister)
Dmitry Ilyich Ulyanov (younger brother)
Maria Ilyinichna Ulyanova (younger sister) and 4 other siblings
|Parents||Ilya Ulyanov (father)
Maria Alexandrovna Ulyanova (mother)
|Alma mater||Saint Petersburg State University
Kazan Federal University
|Other names||Lenin, Nikolai, N. Lenin, V. I. Lenin, Peterburzhets, Starik, Ilyin, Frei, Petrov, Maier, Iordanov, Jacob Richter, Karpov, Mueller, Tulin|
Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov (Russian: Влади́мир Ильи́ч Улья́нов; IPA: [vlɐˈdʲimʲɪr ɪˈlʲjitɕ ʊˈlʲjanəf] ( listen)), alias Lenin (//; Russian: Ле́нин; IPA: [ˈlʲenʲɪn]) (22 April [O.S. 10 April] 1870 – 21 January 1924) was a Russian communist revolutionary, politician, and political theorist. He served as head of government of the Russian Republic from 1917 to 1918, of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic from 1918 to 1924, and of the Soviet Union from 1922 to 1924. Under his administration, Russia and then the wider Soviet Union became a one-party communist state governed by the Russian Communist Party. Ideologically a Marxist, his political theories are known as Leninism.
Born to a wealthy middle-class family in Simbirsk, Lenin gained an interest in revolutionary socialist politics following his brother's execution in 1887. Expelled from Kazan State University for participating in protests against the Russian Empire's Tsarist regime, he devoted the following years to a law degree. In 1893 he moved to Saint Petersburg and became a senior figure in the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (RSDLP). Arrested for sedition and exiled to Shushenskoye for three years, there he married Nadezhda Krupskaya. After his exile he moved to Western Europe, where he became a prominent party theorist through his publications. In 1903, he took a key role in a RSDLP schism over ideological differences, leading the Bolshevik faction against Julius Martov's Mensheviks. Encouraging insurrection during Russia's failed Revolution of 1905, he later campaigned for the First World War to be transformed into a Europe-wide proletarian revolution, which as a Marxist he believed would result in the overthrow of capitalism and its replacement with socialism. After the 1917 February Revolution ousted the Tsar and established a Provisional Government, he returned to Russia to campaign for the new regime's removal by a Bolshevik-led government of the soviets.
Lenin played a leading role in the October Revolution of 1917, overthrowing the Provisional Government and establishing a one-party state under the new Communist Party. His government abolished Russia's elected Constituent Assembly, withdrew from the First World War by signing a punitive treaty with the Central Powers, and granted temporary independence to non-Russian nations under Russian control. Ruling by decree, it redistributed land among the peasantry and nationalized banks and large-scale industry. Opponents were suppressed in the Red Terror, a violent campaign orchestrated by the Cheka; tens of thousands were killed and many others interned in Gulag labor camps. Lenin's government proved victorious over anti-Bolshevik armies in the Russian Civil War from 1917 to 1922. Responding to famine and peasant rebellions, in 1921 Lenin introduced a mixed economic system with the New Economic Policy. Creating the Communist International and waging the Polish–Soviet War to promote world revolution, Lenin's government also united Russia with neighboring territories to form the Soviet Union in 1922. In increasingly poor health, Lenin expressed opposition to the growing power of his successor, Joseph Stalin, before dying at his dacha in Gorki.
Widely considered one of the most significant and influential figures of the 20th century, Lenin was the posthumous subject of a pervasive personality cult within the Soviet Union until its dissolution in 1991. He became an ideological figurehead behind Marxism-Leninism and thus a prominent influence over the international communist movement. A controversial and highly divisive individual, Marxist-Leninists view Lenin as a champion of socialism and the working classes whilst critics on both the left and right see him as the founder of a totalitarian dictatorship responsible for civil war and mass human rights abuses.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Revolutionary activity
- 3 Lenin's government
- 4 Decline and death
- 5 Political ideology
- 6 Personal life and characteristics
- 7 Legacy
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 Further reading
- 11 External links
Lenin's father, Ilya Nikolayevich Ulyanov, was the grandson – and possibly also the son – of a serf, although despite this lower class background he had risen to middle-class status; having studied physics and mathematics at Kazan State University, he taught at the Penza Institute for the Nobility. Ilya married Maria Alexandrovna Blank in the summer of 1863. Hailing from a relatively prosperous background, she was the daughter of an apostate Russian Jewish physician and his German–Swedish wife, and had received a good education, learning Russian, German, English and French, and being well versed in Russian literature. Soon after their wedding, Ilya obtained a job in Nizhny Novgorod, rising to become Director of Primary Schools in the Simbirsk district six years later. Five years after that, he was promoted to Director of Public Schools for the province, overseeing the foundation of over 450 schools as a part of the government's plans for modernisation. His dedication to education earned him the Order of St. Vladimir, which bestowed on him the status of hereditary nobleman.
The couple had two children, Anna (born 1864) and Alexander (born 1868), before Vladimir "Volodya" Ilyich was born in Simbirsk on 10 April 1870, and baptised in St. Nicholas Cathedral several days later. They would be followed by three more children, Olga (born 1871), Dmitry (born 1874) and Maria (born 1878). Another brother, Nikolai, had died in infancy in 1873. Ilya was a devout member of the Russian Orthodox Church and baptised his children into it, although Maria – a Lutheran – was largely indifferent to Christianity, a view that influenced her children. Both parents were monarchists and liberal conservatives, being committed to the emancipation reform of 1861 introduced by the reformist Tsar Alexander II; they avoided political radicals and there is no evidence that the police ever put them under surveillance for subversive thought. Every summer they holidayed at a rural manor in Kokushkino. Among his siblings, Vladimir was closest to his sister Olga, whom he bossed around, having an extremely competitive nature; he could be destructive, but usually admitted his misbehaviour. A keen sportsman, he spent much of his free time outdoors or playing chess, and excelled at school, the disciplinarian and conservative Simbirsk Classical Gimnazia.
Ilya Ulyanov died of a brain haemorrhage in January 1886, when Vladimir was 16. Vladimir's behaviour became erratic and confrontational, and shortly thereafter he renounced his belief in God. At the time, Vladimir's elder brother Aleksandr "Sacha" Ulyanov was studying at Saint Petersburg University. Involved in political agitation against the absolute monarchy of the reactionary Tsar Alexander III which governed the Russian Empire, he studied the writings of banned leftists and organised anti-government protests. He joined a revolutionary cell bent on assassinating the Tsar and was selected to construct a bomb; before the attack commenced, the conspirators were arrested and tried; in May, Sacha was executed by hanging. Despite the emotional trauma brought on by his father and brother's deaths, Vladimir continued studying, leaving school with a gold medal for his exceptional performance, and decided to study law at Kazan University.
University and political radicalisation: 1887–93
Upon entering Kazan University in August 1887, Vladimir moved into a nearby flat alongside his mother. Interested in his late brother's radical ideas, he joined both an agrarian-socialist revolutionary cell and the university's illegal Samara-Simbirsk zemlyachestvo, being elected as its representative for the university's zemlyachestvo council. In December he took part in a demonstration against government restrictions that banned student societies. The police arrested Vladimir and accused him of being a ringleader in the demonstration; he was expelled from the university, with the Ministry of Internal Affairs exiling him to his Kokushkino estate. There, he read voraciously, becoming enamoured with Nikolay Chernyshevsky's 1863 pro-revolutionary novel What is to be Done?. Vladimir's mother was concerned by her son's radicalisation, and was instrumental in encouraging the Interior Ministry to permit him to return to Kazan. In the city, he joined Nikolai Fedoseev's revolutionary circle, through which he discovered Karl Marx's 1867 book Capital. This sparked his interest in Marxism, a socio-political theory that argued that society developed in stages, that this development resulted from class struggle, and moreover that capitalist society would ultimately give way to socialist society and from that to communist society.
Wary of his political views, Vladimir's mother bought an estate in Alakaevka village, Samara Oblast – made famous in the work of poet Gleb Uspensky, of whom Lenin was a great fan – in the hope that her son would turn his attention to agriculture. However, he had little interest in farm management, and his mother soon sold the land, keeping the house as a summer home. The Ulyanov family subsequently moved to the city of Samara in September 1889, and it was here that Vladimir joined Alexei Sklyarenko's socialist discussion circle. Both Vladimir and Sklyarenko adopted Marxism, with Vladimir translating Marx and Friedrich Engels' 1848 political pamphlet, The Communist Manifesto, into Russian. He began to read the works of the Russian Marxist Georgi Plekhanov, a founder of the Black Repartition movement, concurring with Plekhanov's argument that Russia was moving from feudalism to capitalism and that accordingly it would be the proletariat, or urban workers, who would be the class to implement socialism and not the rural peasantry.
This Marxist perspective contrasted with the agrarian-socialist, Narodnik view that the peasantry could establish socialism in Russia through the formation of peasant communes; this approach had developed in the 1860s with the People's Freedom Party and was dominant within the Russian revolutionary movement. Contrary to Lenin and the Marxists, these Narodniks hoped to bypass capitalism altogether in pushing Russia toward socialism. Although opposing the Narodnik perspective, Lenin was nevertheless influenced by agrarian-socialists like Pëtr Tkachëvi and Sergei Nechaev, and befriended members of that movement, in particular Apollon Shukht, who asked Vladimir to be his daughter's godfather in 1893.
In May 1890, Maria convinced the authorities to allow Vladimir to undertake his exams externally at a university of his choice. He chose the University of St Petersburg, and obtained the equivalent of a first-class degree with honours. The graduation celebrations were marred when his sister Olga died of typhoid. Vladimir remained in Samara for several years, in January 1892 being employed as a legal assistant for a regional court, before gaining a job with a local lawyer. He devoted much time to radical politics, remaining active in Skylarenko's group and formulating ideas about Marxism's applicability to Russia. Inspired by Plekhanov's work, Vladimir collected data on Russian society, using it to support a Marxist interpretation of societal development and increasingly rejecting the claims of the Narodniks. In the spring of 1893, Lenin submitted his paper on "New Economic Developments in Peasant Life" to the liberal journal Russian Thought, but it was rejected and appeared in print only much later.
Early activism and imprisonment: 1893–1900
In autumn 1893, Lenin moved to Saint Petersburg. There, he worked as a barrister's assistant and rose to a senior position in a Marxist revolutionary cell calling themselves the "Social Democrats" after the Marxist Social Democratic Party of Germany. Publicly championing Marxism among the socialist movement, he encouraged the foundation of revolutionary cells in Russia's industrial centres. By autumn 1894 he was leading a Marxist workers' circle, and was meticulous in covering his tracks, knowing that police spies were trying to infiltrate the revolutionary movement. He entered a romantic relationship with Marxist schoolteacher Nadezhda "Nadya" Krupskaya. He also authored a political tract criticising the Narodnik agrarian-socialists, What the "Friends of the People" Are and How They Fight the Social-Democrats; based largely on his experiences in Samara, around 200 copies were illegally printed in 1894.
Lenin hoped to cement connections between his Social-Democrats and Emancipation of Labour, a group of Russian Marxist emigres based in Switzerland, soon visiting Switzerland to meet group members Plekhanov and Pavel Axelrod. He proceeded to Paris to meet Paul Lafargue and to research the Paris Commune of 1871, which he saw as an early prototype for a proletarian government. Financed by his mother, he stayed in a Swiss health spa before traveling to Berlin, where he studied for six weeks at the Staatsbibliothek and met Wilhelm Liebknecht. Returning to Russia with a stash of illegal revolutionary publications, he traveled to various cities distributing literature to striking workers. While involved himself in producing a news sheet, Rabochee delo (The Workers' Cause), he was among 40 activists arrested and charged with sedition.
Refused legal representation or bail, Lenin denied all charges against him but remained imprisoned for a year before sentencing. He spent this time theorising and writing, focusing his attention on the revolutionary potential of the working-class; acknowledging that the rise of industrial capitalism in Russia had led large numbers of peasants to move to the cities, where they became proletariat, from a Marxist perspective he argued that they would gain class consciousness and then violently overthrow Tsarism, the aristocracy, and the bourgeoisie to establish a proletariat state that would move toward socialism.
In February 1897, he was sentenced without trial to 3 years exile in eastern Siberia, although granted a few days in Saint Petersburg to put his affairs in order; he used this time to meet with the Social-Democrats, who had renamed themselves the League of Struggle for the Emancipation of the Working Class. His journey to eastern Siberia took 11 weeks, for much of which he was accompanied by his mother and sisters. Deemed only a minor threat to the government, he was exiled to a peasant's hut in Shushenskoye, Minusinsky District, where he was kept under police surveillance; he was nevertheless able to correspond with other subversives, many of whom visited him, and permitted to go on trips to hunt duck and snipe and to swim in the Yenisei River.
In May 1898, Nadya joined him in exile, having been arrested in August 1896 for organising a strike. Although initially posted to Ufa, she convinced the authorities to move her to Shushenskoye, claiming that she and Ulyanov were engaged; they married in a church on 10 July 1898. Settling into a family life with Nadya's mother Elizaveta Vasilyevna, in Shushenskoye the couple translated English socialist literature into Russian. Keen to keep abreast of the developments in German Marxism – where there had been an ideological split, with revisionists like Eduard Bernstein advocating a peaceful, electoral path to socialism – Ulyanov remained devoted to violent revolution, attacking revisionist arguments in A Protest by Russian Social-Democrats. He also finished The Development of Capitalism in Russia (1899), his longest book to date, which offered a criticism of the agrarian-socialists and promoted a Marxist analysis of Russian economic development. Published under the pseudonym of "Vladimir Ilin", upon publication it received predominantly poor reviews.
Munich, London and Geneva: 1900–05
His exile over, Ulyanov settled in Pskov in early 1900. There, he began raising funds for a newspaper, Iskra (The Spark), a new organ of the Russian Marxist party, now calling itself the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (RSDLP). In July 1900, Ulyanov left Russia for Western Europe; in Switzerland he met other Russian Marxists, and at a Corsier conference they agreed to launch the paper from Munich, where Lenin relocated in September. Containing contributions from prominent European Marxists Rosa Luxemburg, Karl Kautsky, and Leon Trotsky, Iskra was smuggled into Russia illegally, becoming the country's most successful underground publication for 50 years. Ulyanov adopted the pseudonym "Lenin" in December 1901, possibly taking the River Lena as a basis; he often used the fuller pseudonym of "N. Lenin", and while the N did not stand for anything, a popular misconception later arose that it represented "Nikolai". Under this pseudonym, he published the political pamphlet What Is to Be Done? in 1902; his most influential publication to date, it dealt with Lenin's thoughts on the need for a vanguard party to lead the proletariat to revolution.
Nadya joined Lenin in Munich, becoming his personal secretary. They continued their political agitation, with Lenin writing for Iskra and drafting the RSDLP program, attacking ideological dissenters and external critics, particularly the Socialist Revolutionary Party, a Narodnik agrarian-socialist group founded in 1901. Despite remaining a Marxist, he accepted the Narodnik view on the revolutionary power of the Russian peasantry, accordingly penning the 1903 pamphlet To the Village Poor. To evade Bavarian police, Lenin relocated to London with Iskra in April 1902, there becoming friends with Trotsky. While in London, Lenin fell ill with erysipelas and was unable to take such a leading role on the Iskra editorial board; in his absence the board moved its base of operations to Switzerland.
The 2nd RSDLP Congress was held in London in July 1903. At the conference, a schism emerged between Lenin's supporters and those of Julius Martov. Martov argued that party members should be able to express themselves independently of the party leadership; Lenin disagreed, emphasising the need for a strong leadership with complete control over the party. Lenin's supporters were in the majority, and Lenin termed them the "majoritarians" (bol'sheviki in Russian; thus Bolsheviks); in response, Martov termed his followers the minoritarians (men'sheviki in Russian; thus Mensheviks). Arguments between Bolsheviks and Mensheviks continued after the conference; the Bolsheviks accused their rivals of being opportunists and reformists who lacked discipline, while the Mensheviks accused Lenin of being a despot and autocrat. Enraged at the Mensheviks, Lenin resigned from the Iskra editorial board and in May 1904 published the anti-Menshevik tract One Step Forward, Two Steps Back. The stress made Lenin ill, and to recuperate he went on a rural holiday. The Bolshevik faction grew in strength; by the spring, the whole RSDLP Central Committee was Bolshevik, and in December they founded the newspaper Vperëd (Forward).
Revolution of 1905 and its aftermath: 1905–14
In January 1905, the Bloody Sunday massacre of protesters in St. Petersburg sparked a spate of civil unrest known as the Revolution of 1905. Lenin urged Bolsheviks to take a greater role in the events, encouraging violent insurrection. In doing so he adopted SR slogans regarding "armed insurrection", "mass terror", and "the expropriation of gentry land", resulting in Menshevik accusations that he had deviated from orthodox Marxism. In turn he insisted that the Bolsheviks split completely with the Mensheviks, although many Bolsheviks refused and both groups attended the 3rd RSDLP Congress, held in London in April 1905. Lenin presented many of his ideas in the pamphlet Two Tactics of Social Democracy in the Democratic Revolution, published in August 1905. Here, he predicted that Russia's liberal bourgeoisie would be sated by a transition to constitutional monarchy and thus betray the revolution; instead he argued that the proletariat would have to build an alliance with the peasantry to overthrow the Tsarist regime and establish the "provisional revolutionary democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry".
In response to the Revolution of 1905, Tsar Nicholas II accepted a series of liberal reforms in his October Manifesto, at which Lenin felt it safe to return to St. Petersburg. Joining the editorial board of Novaya Zhizn (New Life), a radical legal newspaper run by Maria Andreyeva, he used it to discuss issues facing the RSDLP. He encouraged the party to seek out a much wider membership, and advocated the continual escalation of violent confrontation, believing both to be necessary for a successful revolution. Although he briefly supported the idea of reconciliation between Bolsheviks and Mensheviks, at the 4th Party Congress in Stockholm, Sweden in April 1906 the Mensheviks condemned Lenin for supporting bank robberies and violence. A Bolshevik Centre was set up in Kuokkala, Grand Duchy of Finland, which was then a semi-autonomous part of the Empire, before the Bolsheviks regained dominance of the RSDLP at its 5th Congress, held in London in May 1907. However, as the Tsarist government disbanded the Second Duma while its secret police, the Okhrana, cracked down on revolutionaries, Lenin fled Finland for Switzerland.
Alexander Bogdanov and other prominent Bolsheviks decided to relocate the Bolshevik Centre to Paris, France; although Lenin disagreed, he moved to the city in December 1908. Lenin disliked Paris, lambasting it as "a foul hole", and while there he sued a motorist who knocked him off his bike. Here, Lenin revived his polemics against the Mensheviks, who objected to his advocacy of violent expropriations and thefts such as the 1907 Tiflis bank robbery, which the Bolsheviks were using to fund their activities. Lenin also became heavily critical of Bogdanov and his supporters; Bogdanov believed that a socialist-oriented culture had to be developed among Russia's proletariat for them to become a successful revolutionary vehicle, whereas Lenin favoured a vanguard of socialist intelligentsia who could lead the working-classes in revolution. Furthermore, Bogdanov – influenced by Ernest Mach – believed that all concepts of the world were relative, whereas Lenin stuck to the orthodox Marxist view that there was an objective reality to the world, independent of human observation. Although Bogdanov and Lenin holidayed together at Maxim Gorky's villa in Capri, Italy, in April 1908, on returning to Paris, Lenin encouraged a split within the Bolshevik faction between his and Bogdanov's followers, accusing the latter of deviating from Marxism.
In May 1908, Lenin lived briefly in London, where he used the British Museum library to write Materialism and Empirio-criticism, an attack on Bogdanov's relativist perspective, which he lambasted as a "bourgeois-reactionary falsehood". Lenin's factionalism began to alienate increasing numbers of Bolsheviks, including close Lenin supporters Alexei Rykov and Lev Kamenev. The Okhrana decided to exploit his factionalist attitude by sending a spy, Roman Malinovsky, to become a vocal supporter and ally of Lenin within the party. Various Bolsheviks expressed their suspicions regarding Malinovsky to Lenin, although it is unclear if the latter was aware of the spy's duplicity; it is possible that he used Malinovsky to feed false information to the Okhrana.
In August 1910, Lenin attended the 8th Congress of the Second International – an international meeting of socialists – in Copenhagen as the RSDLP's representative, following this with a holiday in Stockholm with his mother. With his wife and sisters he then moved to France, settling first in Bombon and then Paris. Here, he became a close friend to the French Bolshevik Inessa Armand; their friendship continued until 1912, with some biographers suggesting that they had an extra-marital affair. Meanwhile, at a Paris meeting in June 1911 the RSDLP Central Committee decided to move their focus of operations back to Russia, ordering the closure of the Bolshevik Centre and its newspaper, Proletari. Seeking to rebuild his influence in the party, Lenin arranged for a party conference to be held in Prague in January 1912, and although 16 of the 18 attendants were Bolsheviks, he was heavily criticised for his factionalist tendencies and failed to boost his status within the party.
Then moving to Krakow in the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria, a culturally Polish part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, he made use of Jagellonian University's library to conduct his ongoing research. There, he was able to stay in close contact with the RSDLP operating in the Russian Empire, convincing the Duma's Bolshevik members to split from their parliamentary alliance with the Mensheviks. In January 1913, the Bolshevik Joseph Stalin – whom Lenin referred to as the "wonderful Georgian" – visited him, with the pair discussing the future of non-Russian ethnic groups in the Empire. Due to the ailing health of both Lenin and his wife, they moved to the rural area of Biały Dunajec, before heading to Bern, Switzerland for Nadya to have surgery on her goiter.
First World War: 1914–17
Lenin was in Galicia when the First World War broke out. The war pitted the Russian Empire against the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and due to his Russian citizenship, Lenin was arrested and briefly imprisoned until his anti-Tsarist credentials were explained. Lenin and his wife returned to Bern, before relocating to Zurich in February 1916. Lenin was angry that the German Social-Democratic Party was supporting the German war effort – a direct contravention of the Second International's Stuttgart resolution that socialist parties would oppose the conflict – and thus saw the Second International as defunct. He attended the Zimmerwald Conference in September 1915 and the Kiental conference in April 1916, urging socialists across the continent to convert the "imperialist war" into a continent-wide "civil war" with the proletariat pitted against the bourgeoisie and aristocracy. In July 1916, Lenin's mother died, but he was unable to attend her funeral. Her death deeply affected him, and he became depressed, fearing that he would not live long enough to witness the proletariat revolution.
In September 1917, Lenin published Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism, in which he argued that imperialism was a product of monopoly capitalism, as capitalists sought to increase their profits by extending into new territories where wages were lower and raw materials cheaper. He believed that competition and conflict would increase and that war between the imperialist powers would continue until they were overthrown by proletariat revolution and socialism established. At this time, he devoted much time to reading the works of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Ludwig Feuerbach, and Aristotle, all of whom had been key influences on Marx. In doing so he rejected his earlier interpretations of Marxism; whereas he had once believed that policies could be developed on the basis of predetermined scientific principles, he now believed that the only test of whether a policy was right or not was through practice. Although still perceiving himself as an orthodox Marxist, he began to divert from some of Marx's predictions regarding societal development; whereas Marx had believed that a "bourgeoisie-democratic revolution" of the middle-classes had to take place before a "socialist revolution" of the proletariat, Lenin believed that in Russia, the proletariat could overthrow the Tsarist regime without the intermediate revolution.
February Revolution and the July Days: 1917
In February 1917, the February Revolution broke out in St. Petersburg – recently renamed Petrograd – as industrial workers went on strike over food shortages and deteriorating factory conditions. The unrest spread to other parts of Russia, and fearing that he would be violently overthrown, Tsar Nicholas II abdicated. The State Duma took over control of the country, establishing a Provisional Government and converting the Empire into a new Russian Republic. When Lenin learned of this from his base in Switzerland, he celebrated with other dissidents. He decided to return to Russia to take charge of the Bolsheviks, but found that most passages in to the country were blocked due to the ongoing conflict. He organised a plan with other dissidents to negotiate a passage for them through Germany, with whom Russia was then at war. Recognising that these dissidents could cause problems for their Russian enemies, the German government agreed to permit 32 Russian citizens to travel in a train carriage through their territory, among them Lenin and his wife. The group traveled by train from Zurich to Sassnitz, proceeding by ferry to Trelleborg, Sweden, and from there to Helsinki, Finland, before taking the final train to Petrograd.
On arriving at Petrograd's Finland Station, Lenin gave a speech to Bolshevik supporters condemning the Provisional Government and again calling for a Europe-wide proletariat revolution. Over the following days he spoke at Bolshevik meetings, lambasting those who wanted reconciliation with the Mensheviks and revealing his April Theses, an outline of his plans for the Bolsheviks which he had written on the journey from Switzerland. He publicly condemned both the Mensheviks and the Social Revolutionaries – who dominated the influential Petrograd Soviet – for supporting the Provisional Government, denouncing them as traitors to socialism. Considering the government to be as equally imperialist as the Tsarist regime, he advocated immediate peace with Germany and Austria-Hungary, rule by soviets, the nationalisation of industry and banks, and the state expropriation of land, all with the intention of establishing proletariat government and pushing toward a socialist society. The Mensheviks conversely believed Russia to be insufficiently developed to transition to socialism and accused Lenin of trying to plunge the new Republic into civil war. Over the coming months he campaigned for his policies, attending the meetings of the Bolshevik Central Committee, prolifically writing for the Bolshevik newspaper Pravda, and giving public speeches in Petrograd aimed at converting workers, soldiers, sailors, and peasants to his cause.
Sensing growing frustration among Bolshevik supporters, Lenin suggested an armed political demonstration in Petrograd to test the government's response. However, amid deteriorating health, he left the city to recuperate in the Finnish village of Neivola. The Bolsheviks' armed demonstration, the July Days, took place while Lenin was away, but upon learning that demonstrators had violently clashed with government forces he returned to Petrograd, there calling upon Bolshevik supporters for calm. Responding to the violence, the government ordered the arrest of Lenin and other prominent members of the Bolsheviks, raiding their offices, and publicly alleging that he was a German agent provocateur. Evading arrest, Lenin hid in a series of Petrograd safe houses. Fearing that he would be killed, Lenin and fellow senior Bolshevik Grigory Zinoviev then escaped Petrograd in disguise, relocating to Razliv. It was here that Lenin began work on the book that became The State and Revolution, an exposition on how he believed the socialist state would develop following the proletariat revolution, and how from that point on the state would gradually wither away leaving a pure communist society. He began arguing for a Bolshevik-led armed insurrection to topple the government, although at a clandestine meeting of the party's central committee this idea was rejected. Lenin then headed by train and by foot to Finland, arriving at Helsinki on 10 August, where he hid away in safe houses belonging to Bolshevik sympathisers.
October Revolution: 1917
In August 1917, while Lenin was in Finland, General Lavr Kornilov, the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Army, sent troops to Petrograd in what appeared to be a military coup attempt against the Provisional Government. Premier Alexander Kerensky turned to the Petrograd Soviet – including its Bolshevik members – for help, allowing the revolutionaries to organise workers as Red Guards to defend the city. The coup petered out before it reached Petrograd, however the events had allowed the Bolsheviks to return to the open political arena. Fearing a counter-revolution from right-wing forces hostile to socialism, the Mensheviks and Social-Revolutionaries who then dominated the Petrograd Soviet had been instrumental in pressurising the government to normalise relations with the Bolsheviks. However, both the Mensheviks and Social-Revolutionaries had lost much popular support because of their affiliation with the Provisional Government and its unpopular continuation of the war, with the Bolsheviks capitalising on this, and soon the pro-Bolshevik Marxist Trotsky was elected leader of the Petrograd Soviet. In September, the Bolsheviks gained a majority in the workers' sections of both the Moscow and Petrograd Soviets.
Recognising that the situation was safer for him, Lenin returned to Petrograd. There, he attended a meeting of the Bolshevik Central Committee on 10 October, where he again argued his case that the party should lead an armed insurrection to topple the Provisional Government. This time, he was successful in his argument, and the motion was ratified with ten votes against two. Those critical of the plan, Zinoviev and Kamenev, expressed the view that Russian workers would not support a violent coup against the existing regime and that there was no clear evidence for Lenin's assertion that all of Europe was on the verge of proletarian revolution. The party began plans to organise the offensive, holding a final meeting at the Smolny Institute on 24 October. This was the base of the Military Revolutionary Committee (MRC), an armed militia largely loyal to the Bolsheviks that had been established by the Petrograd Soviet during Kornilov's alleged coup.
In October, the MRC were ordered to seize control of Petrograd's key transport, communication, printing and utilities hubs, doing so without bloodshed. Bolsheviks had laid siege to the government in the Winter Palace, succeeding in overcoming it and arresting its ministers after the Bolshevik ship Aurora opened fire on the building. While the insurrection was taking place, Lenin gave a speech to the Petrograd Soviet announcing that the Provisional Government had been overthrown. The Bolsheviks declared the formation of a new government, the Council of People's Commissars or "Sovnarkom"; although Lenin initially turned down the leading position of Chairman, suggesting Trotsky for the job, the other Bolsheviks refused to accept this and ultimately Lenin relented. Lenin and other Bolsheviks then attended the Second Congress of Soviets, held over 26 and 27 October; there they announced the creation of the new government, but were condemned by Menshevik attendees, who lambasted the Bolshevik seizure of power as illegitimate and warned of civil war. In these early days of the new regime, Lenin avoided talking in explicitly Marxist and socialist phraseology, fearing that in doing so he might alienate much of Russia's population, instead focusing on the idea of a country controlled by the workers. At this point, Lenin and many other Bolsheviks were expecting proletariat revolution to sweep across Europe, either in the coming days or, at most, in the coming months.
Organising the Soviet government
The Provisional Government had planned for a Constituent Assembly to be elected in November 1917; against Lenin's objections, Sovnarkom agreed for the vote to take place as scheduled. In the constitutional election, the Bolsheviks gained approximately a quarter of the vote, being defeated by the agrarian-focused Socialist Revolutionary Party. Lenin argued that the election had not been a fair reflection of the people's will, stating that they had not had time to acquaint themselves with the Bolsheviks' political program and noting that the candidacy lists had been drawn up before the Left Socialist Revolutionaries had split from the Socialist Revolutionaries. The newly elected Russian Constituent Assembly convened in Petrograd in January 1918, however Sovnarkom argued that it was counter-revolutionary because it sought to remove power from the soviets, an idea rejected by the Socialist Revolutionaries and Mensheviks. The Bolsheviks presented the Assembly with a motion that would strip it of most of its legal powers; when the Assembly rejected the motion, Sovnarkom declared this to be evidence of its counter-revolutionary nature and forcibly disbanded it.
At the 7th Congress of the Bolsheviks in March 1918, the group renounced their official name, the "Russian Social Democratic Labor Party", with Lenin seeking to terminologically distance his group from the Social Democratic Party of Germany. Instead they renamed themselves the Russian Communist Party, emphasizing their ultimate goal: the establishment of a future communist society. Sovnarkom faced repeat calls – including from some Bolsheviks – to establish a coalition government with other socialist parties, an idea that Lenin rejected. However, partially conceding to the idea, in December 1918 the Bolsheviks permitted the Left Socialist Revolutionaries to become junior partners in Sovnarkom, allowing them five posts in the cabinet; this coalition only lasted four months.
Although ultimate power officially wrested with the country's government in the form of Sovnarkom and the Executive Committee (VTSIK) elected by the All-Russian Congress of Soviets (ARCS), the Communist Party was the de facto controlling power in Russia, something which was acknowledged by its members at the time. Within the party was established a Political Bureau ("Politburo") and Organisation Bureau ("Orgburo") to accompany the preexisting Central Committee; the decisions of these party bodies were deemed mandatory for Sovnarkom and the Council of Labor and Defense to adopt. By 1918, Sovnarkom had begun acting unilaterally, claiming a need for expediency, with the ARCS and VTSIK becoming increasingly marginalized, meaning that in effect the soviets no longer had any place in the governance of Russia. During 1918 and 1919, the government then expelled members of the Mensheviks and Socialist Revolutionaries from the soviets. Russia had become a one-party state.
Lenin was the most significant figure in this governance structure; as well as being the Chairman of Sovnarkom and sitting on the Council of Labor and Defense, he was on the Central Committee and Politburo of the Communist Party. The only individual to have anywhere near this influence was Lenin's right-hand man, Yakov Sverdlov, although the latter died in March 1919 during a flu pandemic. In November 1917 Lenin and his wife took a two-room flat within the Smolny Institute, although in December Lenin holidayed briefly in Halia, Finland. In January 1918 he survived an assassination attempt made on him in Petrograd; Fritz Platten, who was with Lenin at the time, shielded him but was injured by a bullet.
Concerned that the German Army posed a threat to Petrograd, in March 1918 Sovnarkom relocated to Moscow, initially as a temporary measure. There, Lenin, Trotsky and other Bolshevik leaders moved into the Kremlin, where Lenin lived with his wife and sister Maria, in a first floor apartment that was adjacent to the room in which the Sovnarkom meetings were held. Lenin disliked Moscow, although nevertheless rarely left the centre of the city during the rest of his life. It was in the city in August 1918 that a second assassination attempt was made on Lenin's life, in which he was shot and badly injured after giving a public speech. A Socialist Revolutionary, Fanny Kaplan, was arrested and executed. The attack received much coverage in the Russian press, with much good wishes expressed toward Lenin himself. The assassination attempt boosted Lenin's popularity and generated much sympathy for him. As a respite, in September 1918 Lenin was driven to the luxurious estate near Gorki that the government had recently acquired for him.
Social, legal, and economic reform
Upon taking power, Lenin's regime issued a series of decrees, the first of which was a Decree on Land; this declared that the landed estates owned by the aristocracy and the Russian Orthodox Church should be confiscated, taken into national ownership, and then redistributed among the peasants by the local government. This was in contrast to Lenin's desire for agricultural collectivisation but provided governmental recognition of the widespread peasant land seizures that had already occurred. In November 1917 the government issued the Decree on the Press which closed down many opposition media outlets which were deemed counter-revolutionary; they claimed it would be a temporary measure, although the decree was widely criticised, including by many Bolsheviks themselves, for compromising freedom of the press.
In November 1917, Lenin issued the Declaration of the Rights of the Peoples of Russia, which stated that non-Russian ethnic groups living inside the Republic had the right to cede from Russian authority and establish their own independent nation-states. Many nations declared independence as a result of this: Finland and Lithuania in December 1917, Latvia and Ukraine in January 1918, Estonia in February 1918, Transcaucasia in April 1918, and Poland in November 1918. The Bolsheviks were soon active in promoting independent communist parties in these newly independent nation-states, while in July 1918, at the Fifth All-Russian Congress of the Soviets, a constitution was approved that reformed the Russian Republic into the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Seeking to modernise the country, the government officially converted Russia from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar used in Europe.
In November 1917, Sovnarkom issued a decree abolishing Russia's pre-existing legal system and its courts. The established system of law was replaced by "revolutionary conscience", which was to be the deciding factor regarding crime and punishment. In November, Revolutionary Tribunals were established to deal with counter-revolutionary crimes, while in March 1918 the People's Courts were established to deal with civil and other criminal offences; told to ignore pre-Bolshevik laws, they were instructed to instead base their rulings on the Sovnarkom decrees and a "socialist sense of justice". November also witnessed a major overhaul of the Russian armed forces, as Sovnarkom implemented egalitarian measures by abolishing all previous ranks, titles, and medals; to reorganise the system, soldiers were called upon to establish their own committees through which they could elect their own commanders.
In October 1917, Lenin issued a decree proclaiming that no one in Russia should work more than eight hours per day. He proclaimed the Decree on Popular Education which stipulated that the government would guarantee free, secular, universal education for all children in Russia, while another decree established a system of state orphanages. To combat mass illiteracy, a literacy campaign was initiated; an estimated 5 million people were schooled in crash courses to teach them basic literacy skills between 1920 and 1926. Embracing the equality of the sexes, laws were introduced that helped to emancipate women, by giving them economic autonomy of husbands and removing restrictions on divorce. A Bolshevik women's organisation, Zhenotdel, was established to further these aims. Militantly atheist, the Communist Party wanted to demolish organised religion, with the new government declaring the separation of church and state.
In November 1917, Lenin issued the Decree on Workers' Control, which called on the workers of a particular enterprise to establish an elected committee who would monitor that enterprise's management. That month they also issued an order requisitioning the country's gold, and nationalised the banks, an act which Lenin saw as a major step toward establishing socialism. In December, Sovnarkom established a Supreme Council of the National Economy (VSNKh) which had authority over industry, banking, agriculture, and trade. The factory committees were subordinate to the trade unions, who in turn were subordinate to the VSNKh; the state's centralized economic plan was therefore prioritised over the workers' local economic interests. In early 1918, Sovnarkom cancelled all foreign debts and refused to pay the interest owed on them. In April 1918, it nationalised foreign trade, establishing a state monopoly on imports and exports. In June 1918 Sovnarkom issued a decree officially nationalising public utilities, railways, engineering, textiles, metallurgy, and mining, although often these were state owned in name only. Full-scale nationalisation would not take place until November 1920, when small-scale industrial enterprises were brought under state control.
A faction of the Bolsheviks known as the "Left Communists" criticised Sovnarkom's economic policy as being too moderate; they desired the total nationalisation of all industry, agriculture, trade, finance, transport, and communication. Lenin believed that this was impractical at that stage, arguing that the government should only nationalise Russia's large-scale capitalist enterprises, such as the banks, railways, larger landed estates, and larger factories and mines, allowing smaller businesses to operate privately until a point where they had grown to a sufficiently large size where they could be successfully nationalised. Lenin also disagreed with the Left Communists on issues of economic organisation; in June 1918, Lenin expressed the need for a centralised economic control of industry, whereas the Left Communists promoted the idea of each factory being under the direct control of its workers, an syndicalist approach that Lenin considered to be detrimental to the cause of socialism.
The Left Communists and other factions within the Communist Party expressed concern at where Russia was headed; adopting a more left libertarian perspective, they critiqued the increasing lack of democracy. Internationally, many socialists decried Lenin's regime and denied that he was establishing socialism; in particular, they highlighted the lack of widespread political participation, popular consultation, and industrial democracy. In autumn 1918, the Czech-Austrian Marxist Karl Kautsky authored an anti-Leninist pamphlet condemning the anti-democratic nature of Soviet Russia, to which Lenin published a vociferous reply. The German Marxist Rosa Luxemburg echoed Kautsky's views, while the Russian anarchist Peter Kropotkin described the Bolshevik seizure of power as "the burial of the Russian Revolution".
Treaty of Brest-Litovsk
Upon taking power, Lenin believed that a key policy of his government must be to withdraw from the ongoing First World War by establishing an armistice with the Central Powers of Germany and Austria-Hungary. He believed that ongoing war would generate increasing resentment among war-weary Russian troops – to whom he had promised peace – and that these troops and the advancing German Army posed a threat both to the future of his own government and to international socialism. Other Bolsheviks – in particular Bukharin and the Left Communists – viewed things differently, believing that peace with the Central Powers would be a betrayal of international socialism and that Russia should instead wage "a war of revolutionary defense" that they believed would provoke an uprising of the German proletariat against their nation's government.
Lenin proposed a three-month armistice in his Decree on Peace, which was then approved by the Second Congress of Soviets and presented to the German and Austro-Hungarian governments. The Germans responded positively, viewing this as an opportunity to focus their attentions on the Western Front and stave off looming defeat. In November, armistice talks began at Brest-Litovsk, the headquarters of the German high command on the Eastern Front, with the Russian delegation being led by Trotsky and Adolph Joffe. Meanwhile, a ceasefire designed to last until January was agreed. During negotiations, the Germans insisted on keeping their wartime conquests – which included Poland, Lithuania, and Courland – whereas the Russians countered that this was a violation of these nations' rights to self-determination. There had been hopes among the Bolsheviks that the armistice negotiations could be dragged out indefinitely until such a time as proletarian revolution would break out throughout Europe. On 7 January 1918, Trotsky returned from Brest Litovsk to St. Petersburg, informing the government that the Central Powers had presented them with an ultimatum: either they accept Germany's territorial demands or the war would resume.
In January and again in February Lenin urged the Bolsheviks to accept Germany's proposals. He argued that the territorial losses were acceptable if it ensured the survival of the Bolshevik-led government, however the majority of Bolsheviks rejected his position, hoping to prolong the armistice and call Germany's bluff. On 18 February the German Army relaunched the offensive, advancing further into Russian-controlled territory and within a day conquering Dvinsk. At this point Lenin finally convinced a small majority of the Bolshevik Central Committee to accept the Central Powers' demands. On 23 February the Central Powers issued a new ultimatum: the Russian government would recognise German control not only of Poland and the Baltic states but also Ukraine, else they would face a full-scale invasion of Russia itself.
On 3 March, the Treaty of Brest Litovsk was signed. The Treaty resulted in massive territorial losses for Russia, with 26% of the former Empire's population, 37% of its agricultural harvest area, 28% of its industry, 26% of is railway tracks, and two-thirds of its coal and iron reserves being transferred to German control. Accordingly, the Treaty was deeply unpopular across Russia's political spectrum, and several Bolsheviks and Left Socialist Revolutionaries resigned from Sovnarkom in protest. After the Treaty was signed, Sovnarkom focused its attentions on attempting to foment proletarian revolution in Germany, issuing an array of anti-war and anti-government publications in the country; the German government retaliated by expelling Russia's diplomats. However, that month Wilhelm II, the German Emperor, resigned and the country's new administration signed the Armistice of 11 November 1918. As a result, the Sovnarkom proclaimed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk to be devoid of meaning.
Anti-Kulak campaigns, Cheka, and Red Terror
Many of the cities in western Russia were facing famine as a result of chronic food shortages. Lenin claimed that the blame for this problem lay with the kulaks, or wealthier peasants, who were allegedly hoarding their produce. In May 1918 he issued a requisitioning order that established armed detachments who would confiscate grain from the kulaks for distribution in the cities, and in June called upon the formation of the Committees of Poor Peasants to aid the requisitioning effort. This policy resulted in vast social disorder and violence, with the armed detachments often clashing with peasant groups, providing much fuel for the developing civil war. A prominent example of Lenin's views on the matter was provided in the August 1918 telegram that he sent to the Bolsheviks of Penza, in which he called upon them to suppress a peasant insurrection by publicly hanging at least 100 "known kulaks, rich men, [and] bloodsuckers".
The requisitioning efforts disincentived peasants from producing more grain than they could personally consume, and thus production slumped. A booming black market supplemented the official state-sanctioned economy, with Lenin calling on speculators, black marketeers and looters to be shot. Both the Socialist Revolutionaries and Left Socialist-Revolutionaries condemned these armed appropriations of grain at the Fifth All-Russian Congress of Soviets in July 1918, and coming to realize that the Committees of the Poor Peasants were also persecuting peasants who were not kulaks and were accordingly contributing to anti-government feeling among the peasantry, in December 1918 Lenin abolished them.
Lenin repeatedly emphasised the need for terror and violence to be used in order for the old order to be overthrown and for the revolution to succeed. Speaking to the All-Russian Central Executive Committee of the Soviets in November 1917, he declared that "the state is an institution built up for the sake of exercising violence. Previously, this violence was exercised by a handful of moneybags over the entire people; now we want... to organise violence in the interests of the people." When suggestions were made that the government should abolish capital punishment, he strongly opposed the idea, declaring "Never! How can you safeguard a revolution without executions?" Fearing anti-Bolshevik forces would overthrow his administration, in December 1917 Lenin ordered the establishment of the Emergency Commission for Combating Counter-Revolution and Sabotage, or Cheka, a political police force under the leadership of Felix Dzerzhinsky.
In September 1918 Sovnarkom passed a decree, "On Red Terror". The Red Terror was designed to eliminate the bourgeoisie as a class, and the majority of its victims were well-to-do citizens or former members of the Tsarist administration. However, it was also used to exterminate many non-bourgeois anti-Bolsheviks and perceived social undesirables such as prostitutes. The Cheka claimed the right to both sentence and execute anyone whom it deemed to be an enemy of the government, without recourse to the Revolutionary Tribunals. Accordingly, throughout Soviet Russia the Cheka carried out killings, often in large numbers, with the Petrograd Cheka for instance executing 512 people over the course of a few days. There are no surviving records to provide an accurate figure of how many perished due to the Red Terror, although the later estimates of historians have ranged from 50,000 to 140,000.
Lenin never witnessed this violence or participated in it first hand, and publicly distanced himself from it. Although regularly doing so in his coded telegrams and confidential notes, in his published articles and speeches he did not typically call for executions. Many middle-ranking Bolsheviks expressed disapproval of the Cheka's mass executions and feared the organisation's apparent unaccountability for its actions. The Party brought in attempts to restrain its activities in early 1919, stripping it of its powers of tribunal and execution, however this only applied in those few areas not under official martial law; the Cheka therefore continued their activities as before in large swathes of the country. By 1920, the Cheka had become the most powerful institution in Soviet Russia, exerting influence over all other state apparatus.
The establishment of concentration camps was entrusted to the Cheka, with Dzerzhinsky orchestrating their construction from the spring of 1919 onward, although they would subsequently be administered by a new government agency, Gulag. By the end of 1920, 84 camps had been established across Soviet Russia, holding circa 50,000 prisoners; by October 1923, this had grown to 315 camps with approximately 70,000 inmates. Those interned in the camps were used as slave labor. From July 1922, intellectuals deemed to be in opposition to the Bolshevik government were exiled to inhospitable regions or deported from Russia altogether; Lenin personally scrutinized the lists of those to be dealt with in this manner. In May 1922, Lenin issued a decree calling for the execution of anti-Bolshevik priests, resulting in between 14,000 and 20,000 deaths. Although the Russian Orthodox Church was worst affected, the government's anti-religious policies also impacted on Roman Catholic churches, synagogues, and mosques.
Civil War and Polish-Soviet War
Although Lenin expected that Russia's aristocracy and bourgeoisie would oppose his government, he believed that the sheer numerical superiority of the lower classes, coupled with the Bolsheviks' ability to effectively organise them, guaranteed a swift victory in any conflict. In this, he failed to anticipate the intensity of the violent opposition to Bolshevik rule in Russia. The ensuing Russian Civil War pitted the pro-Bolshevik Reds against the anti-Bolshevik Whites, but also encompassed ethnic conflicts on Russia's borderlands and conflict between both Red and White armies and local peasant groups, the Green armies, throughout the former Empire. Accordingly, various historians have seen the civil war as representing two distinct conflicts: one between the revolutionaries and the counter-revolutionaries, and the other between different revolutionary factions.
The White armies were established by former officers of the Tsarist military, and included Anton Denikin's Volunteer Army in South Russia, Alexander Kolchak's forces in Siberia, and Nikolai Yudenich troops in the newly independent Baltic states. The Whites were bolstered when 35,000 members of the Czech Legion – prisoners of war from the conflict with the Central Powers – turned against Sovnarkom and allied themselves to the Committee of Members of the Constituent Assembly (Komuch), an anti-Bolshevik government established in Samara. However, the White cause was hindered by the fact that they were fragmented and geographically scattered, as well as the fact that the ethnic Russian supremacism expressed by the Whites alienated the region's national minorities.
Responding to anti-Bolshevik threats, Lenin tasked Trotsky with establishing a Workers' and Peasants' Red Army. With Lenin's support, in September 1918 Trotsky organised a Revolutionary Military Council, remaining its chairman until 1925. Recognising that they often had valuable military experience, Lenin agreed that officers who had previously been loyal to the Tsar could serve in the Red Army, although Trotsky established military councils to monitor the activities of such individuals. During the conflict, the Bolsheviks primarily held the area of Great Russia, while the White opposition were situated largely in the peripheries of the former Empire. Significantly, the Bolsheviks held control of Russia's two largest cities, Moscow and Petrograd. By 1919, the White armies were all in retreat.
Anti-Bolshevik armies carried out the White Terror, a campaign of violence against perceived Bolshevik supporters, although this was typically more spontaneous than the state-sanctioned Red Terror. Both White and Red Armies were responsible for attacks against Jewish communities, prompting Lenin to issue a condemnation of anti-Semitism in which he blamed such hatred of Jews on capitalist propaganda.
Western governments backed the White forces, perceiving the Treaty of Best Litovsk as a betrayal of the Allied war effort and fearing the Bolsheviks' calls for world revolution. This Western support soon took a more active role in the conflict; by July 1918, 4000 troops provided by the United Kingdom, France, United States, Canada, Italy, and Serbia had landed in Murmansk, taking control of Kandalaksha; by August their troop numbers had grown to 10,000. In November 1918, British, US, and Japanese forces landed in Vladivostok, the latter soon having 70,000 troops based in Siberia. Japan saw this as an opportunity for territorial expansion, desiring to bring Russia's Far Eastern Maritime Province under its own imperial control. While Japanese troops remained to play a part in the civil war, Western troops were soon ordered home, although Western governments continued to provide White armies with officers, technicians, and armaments.
In July 1918, Sverdlov informed Sovnarkom that the Ural Regional Soviet had overseen the execution of the former Tsar and his immediate family in Yekaterinburg in order to prevent them from being rescued by advancing White troops. Although lacking proof, biographers and historians like Richard Pipes and Dmitri Volkogonov have expressed the view that the killing was probably anctioned by Lenin, for whom the killing was axiomatic; he highlighted the precedent set by the execution of Louis XVI in the French Revolution.
After the Brest Litovsk Treaty, the Left Socialist Revolutionaries had increasingly come to view the Bolsheviks as traitors to the revolutionary cause. In July 1918, the Left Socialist Revolutionary Yakov Grigorevich Blumkin assassinated the German ambassador to Russia, Wilhelm von Mirbach, unsuccessfully hoping that the ensuing diplomatic incident would lead to a relaunched revolutionary war against Germany. The Left Socialist Revolutionaries then launched a coup in Moscow, shelling the Kremlin and seizing the city's central post office, however their uprising was soon put down by Trotsky's forces. The party's leaders and many of their members were arrested and imprisoned, although the Bolsheviks showed greater leniency toward them than they had done to many other opponents.
In 1920, the Polish-Soviet War broke out after Poland attempted to annex parts of Belarus and Western Ukraine; by May 1920 they had conquered Kiev. After forcing the Polish Army back, Lenin urged the Red Army to push into Poland itself, believing that the Polish proletariat would rise up to support the Russian troops and thus spark European revolution. Although Trotsky and other Bolsheviks were sceptical, they eventually agreed to the invasion; however, the Polish proletariat uprising failed to materialise, and the Red Army was defeated at the Battle of Warsaw. The Polish armies began to push the Red Army back into Russia, forcing Sovnarkom to sue for peace; the war culminated in the Peace of Riga, a treaty in which Russia ceded territory to Poland and paid them reparations.
Comintern and world revolution
After the Armistice on the Western Front, Lenin believed that the breakout of world revolution was imminent, particularly in Europe. Sovnarkom supported the establishment of Béla Kun's Hungarian Soviet Republic in March 1919, as well as the establishment of the Bavarian Council Republic and various revolutionary socialist uprisings in other parts of Germany, among them that of the Spartacus League. During Russia's Civil War, the Red Army were sent into the newly independent national republics on Russia's borders to aid Marxists there in establishing soviet systems of government. In Europe, this resulted in the establishment of the Commune of the Working People of Estonia, the Latvian Socialist Soviet Republic, the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic, the Socialist Soviet Republic of Byelorussia, and the Ukrainian Soviet Republic, all of which were officially independent of the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic. In February 1921 the Red Army invaded Georgia and established the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic, while in late 1921 the Red Army invaded Outer Mongolia and established the Mongolian People's Republic. Various senior Bolsheviks wanted these absorbed into the Russian state; Lenin insisted that national sensibilities should be respected, although reassured these Bolsheviks that these nations' new Communist Party governments were de facto regional branches of Moscow's government.
In late 1918, the British Labour Party called for the establishment of an international conference of socialist parties, the Labour and Socialist International. Lenin saw this as a revival of the Second International which he had despised and decided to offset its impact by formulating his own rival conference of international socialists. Lenin set about organising such a conference with the aid of Zinoviev, Trotsky, Christian Rakovsky, and Angelica Balabanoff. On 2 March 1919, the First Congress of the Communist International ("Comintern") opened in Moscow. It lacked a global coverage; of the 34 assembled delegates, 30 resided within the countries of the former Russian Empire, and most of the international delegates were not officially recognised by the socialist parties within their own nations. Accordingly, the Bolsheviks dominated proceedings, with Lenin subsequently authoring a series of regulations that meant that only socialist parties that endorsed the Bolsheviks' views were permitted to join Comintern. Comintern remained financially reliant on the Soviet government. During the first conference, Lenin spoke to the delegates, lambasting the parliamentary path to socialism espoused by revisionist Marxists like Kautsky and repeating his calls for a violent overthrow of Europe's bourgeoisie governments. While Zinoviev became the International's President, Lenin continued to wield great control over it.
The Second Congress of the Communist International opened in Petrograd's Smolny Institute in June 1920, representing the last time that Lenin visited a city other than Moscow. There, he encouraged foreign delegates to emulate the Bolsheviks' seizure of power, and abandoned his longstanding viewpoint that capitalism was a necessary stage in societal development, instead encouraging those nations under colonial occupation to transform their pre-capitalist societies straight into socialist ones. For this conference, he authored "Left-Wing" Communism: An Infantile Disorder, a short book in which he articulated his criticism of far left elements within the British and German communist parties who refused to enter those nations' parliamentary systems and trade unions; instead he urged them to do so in order to advance the revolutionary cause. The conference had to be suspended for several days due to the ongoing war with Poland, before the Congress subsequently moved to Moscow, where it continued to hold sessions until August. However, Lenin's predicted world revolution failed to materialise, as the Hungarian Soviet Republic was overthrown and the German Marxist uprisings suppressed. Lenin instead suggested that the German communists form an alliance with the Freikorps and other far right groups in order to overthrow the government, at which they could then turn upon the far right groups; the German communists refused to accept this proposal.
Famine and the New Economic Policy
Within the Communist Party itself there was dissent from both the Group of Democratic Centralism and the Workers' Opposition, both of whom criticised the Russian state for being too centralised and bureaucratic. The Workers' Opposition, who had connections to the state's official trade unions, also expressed the concern that the government had lost the trust of Russia's working class. The 'trade union discussion' preoccupied much of the party's focus in this period; Trotsky angered the Workers' Opposition by suggesting that the trade unions be eliminated, seeing them as superfluous in a "workers' state", but Lenin disagreed, believing it best to allow their continued existence, and most of the Bolsheviks eventually embraced this latter view. Seeking to deal with the problem of these dissenting factions, at the Tenth Party Congress in February 1921, Lenin brought about a ban on factional activity within the party, under pain of expulsion.
Caused in part by a drought, the Russian famine of 1921 was the most severe that the country had experienced since that of 1891. The famine was exacerbated by the government's requisitioning efforts, as well as their decision to continue exporting large quantities of Russian grain rather than using it for domestic consumption. To aid the famine victims, the U.S. government established an American Relief Administration to distribute food, although Lenin was suspicious of this aid, and had it closely monitored. During the Russian famine of 1921, Patriarch Tikhon called on Orthodox churches to sell unnecessary items to help feed the starving, an action endorsed by the government. In February 1922 Sovnarkom went further by calling on all valuables belonging to religious institutions to be forcibly appropriated and sold. Tikhon opposed the sale of any items used within the Eucharist, and many clergy resisted the appropriations.
In 1920 and 1921, Russia witnessed a number of peasant uprisings against the government, sparked by local opposition to the requisitioning, but these were suppressed. Among the most significant was the Tambov Rebellion, which was put down by the Red Army. In February 1921, workers went on strike in Petrograd, resulting in the government proclaiming martial law in the city and sending in the Red Army to quell demonstrations. In March, the Kronstadt rebellion began as sailors in Kronstadt revolted against the Bolshevik government, demanding that all socialists be given freedom of press, that independent trade unions be given freedom of assembly, and that peasants be allowed free markets and not be the subject to forced requisitioning. Under Trotsky's leadership, the Red Army began an assault on the rebels; the rebellion was subdued on 17 March, with thousands dead and many survivors sent to labor camps.
Acknowledging Russia's economic woes, in February 1921 Lenin suggested the introduction of a New Economic Policy (NEP) to the Politburo, eventually convincing most senior Bolsheviks of its necessity, with it passing into law in April. Lenin explained the policy in a booklet, On the Food Tax, in which he stated that the NEP represented a return to the Bolsheviks' original economic plans; he claimed that they had been derailed by the civil war, in which they had been forced to resort to the economic policies of "war communism". Designed to renew economic growth, the NEP allowed for the restoration of some private enterprise within Russia, permitting the reintroduction of the wage system and allowing peasants to sell much of their produce on the open market, albeit then being taxed on their earnings. The policy also allowed for a return to privately owned small industry, although basic industry, transportation, and foreign trade all remained under state control. Lenin termed this "state capitalism", although many Bolsheviks thought it to be a betrayal of socialist principles. Lenin biographers have often characterised the introduction of the NEP as one of Lenin's most significant achievements, with Service suggesting that had it not been implemented then the Bolshevik government would have been quickly overthrown amid popular uprisings.
In January 1920, Lenin's government brought in universal labour conscription, ensuring that all citizens aged between 16 and 50 had to work. Lenin also called for a mass electrification project, the GOELRO plan, which began in February 1920; Lenin's declaration that "communism is Soviet power plus the electrification of the whole country" would be widely cited in later years. Seeking to advance the Soviet economy through establishing foreign trade links, the Soviet Union sent delegates to the Genoa Conference; Lenin had hoped to attend, but was prevented by ill health. The conference resulted in a Russian agreement with Germany, the Treaty of Rapallo, while an Anglo-Soviet Trade Agreement was also agreed with the United Kingdom. Lenin hoped that by allowing foreign corporations to invest in Russia, it would exacerbate rivalries between the capitalist nations and hasten their downfall; for instance, he unsuccessfully attempted to rent the oil fields of Kamchatka to an American corporation in order to exacerbate tensions between the U.S. and Japan, who desired Kamchatka for their empire.
Decline and death
In April 1920, the Bolsheviks held a party to celebrate Lenin's fiftieth birthday, with widespread celebrations taking place across Russia and poems and biographies dedicated to him being published. All of this embarrassed and horrified Lenin himself. Between 1920 and 1926, twenty volumes of Lenin's Collected Works were published; that material which was deemed inappropriate for the needs of the Soviet government were omitted. During 1920, a number of prominent Western socialists had visited Lenin in Russia; these included the philosopher Bertrand Russell and the author H. G. Wells, as well as the anarchists Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman.
Armand repeatedly visited Lenin at the Kremlin, where he became increasingly concerned by her poor health. He sent her to a sanatorium in Kislovodsk, Northern Caucusus in order to recover, but there she died in September 1920 during a cholera epidemic. Her body was transported to Moscow, where a visibly grief-stricken Lenin oversaw its burial beneath the Kremlin Wall. During his leadership of the Soviet administration, Lenin struggled against the state bureaucracy and the corruption within it, and became increasingly concerned by this in his final years. Condemning such bureaucratic attitudes, he suggested a total overhaul of the Russian system to deal with such problems, in one letter complaining that "we are being sucked into a foul bureaucratic swamp".
Lenin was seriously ill by the latter half of 1921, suffering from hyperacusis, insomnia, and regular headaches. At the Politburo's insistence, in July he left Moscow for a month's leave at his Gorki mansion, where he was cared for by his wife and sister. Lenin began to contemplate the possibility of suicide, asking both Krupskaya and Stalin to acquire potassium cyanide for him. In total, 26 physicians would be hired to help Lenin during his final years; many of them were foreign, and had been hired at great expense. Some suggested that his sickness could have been caused by metal oxidation arising from the bullets that were lodged in his body; in April 1922 he underwent a surgical operation to remove them. The symptoms continued after this, with Lenin's doctors unsure of the cause; some suggested that he had syphilis, although others believed that he was suffering from neurasthenia or cerebral arteriosclerosis, or a combination of these diseases. In May 1922, he suffered his first stroke, temporarily losing his ability to speak and being paralysed on his right side. He convalesced at Gorki, and had largely recovered by July. In October he returned to Moscow, although in December suffered a second stroke and returned to Gorki.
Between June and August 1922, a trial of the SR leaders was held in which they were found guilty of conspiring against the government; although Lenin urged that they be executed, they were instead imprisoned indefinitely, only being executed during the Great Purges of Stalin's leadership. In March 1923, the Politburo ordered the expulsion of Mensheviks from state institutions and enterprises, with members being arrested and sent to concentration camps, resulting in the virtual eradication of Menshevism in Russia.
During December 1922 and January 1923 Lenin dictated "Lenin's Testament", in which he discussed the personal qualities of his comrades, particularly Trotsky and Stalin. Here, he recommended that Stalin be removed from his position as General Secretary of the Communist Party, deeming him inappropriate for the position. Instead he presented Trotsky as the best suited person for the job, describing him as "the most capable man in the present Central Committee"; he highlighted Trotsky's superior intellect but at the same time criticized his self-assurance and inclination toward excess administration. Concerned at the survival of the Tsarist bureaucratic system in Soviet Russia, during this period he dictated a criticism of the bureaucratic nature of the Workers' and Peasants' Inspectorate, calling for the recruitment of new, working-class staff as an antidote to this problem, while in another article he called for the state to combat illiteracy, encourage punctuality and conscientiousness within the populace, and encourage peasants to join co-operatives.
In Lenin's absence, Stalin had begun consolidating his power by appointing his supporters to prominent positions, as well as cultivating an image of himself as Lenin's closest intimate and deserving successor. In December 1922, Stalin took responsibility for Lenin's regimen, being tasked by the Politburo with controlling who had access to him. Lenin was however increasingly critical of Stalin; while Lenin was insisting that the state should retain its monopoly on international trade during the summer of 1922, Stalin was leading a number of other Bolsheviks in unsuccessfully opposing this. There were personal arguments between the two as well; Stalin had upset Krupskaya by shouting at her during a phone conversation, which in turn greatly angered Lenin, who sent Stalin a letter expressing his annoyance.
The most significant political division between the two emerged during the Georgian Affair. Stalin had suggested that Georgia, as well as other neighbouring countries like Azerbaijan and Armenia, should be merged into the Russian state, despite the protestations of their national governments. Lenin saw this as an expression of Great Russian ethnic chauvinism on behalf of Stalin and his supporters, instead calling for these nation-states to join Russia as semi-independent parts of a greater union, which he suggested be called the Union of Soviet Republics of Europe and Asia. Stalin ultimately relented to this proposal, although changed the name of the newly proposed state to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), which Lenin agreed to. Lenin sent Trotsky to speak on his behalf at a Central Committee plenum in December, where the plans for the USSR were sanctioned; these plans were then ratified on 30 December by the Congress of Soviets, resulting in the formation of the Soviet Union.
In March, Lenin suffered a third stroke and lost his ability to speak; that month, he experienced partial paralysis on his right side and began exhibiting sensory aphasia. By May, he appeared to be making a slow recovery, as he began to regain his mobility, speech, and writing skills. In October 1923, he made a final visit to Moscow and the Kremlin. In his final weeks, Lenin was visited by Zinoviev, Kamenev, and Bukharin, with the latter visiting him at his Gorki dacha on the day of his death. Lenin died at his Gorki home on 21 January 1924, having fallen into a coma earlier in the day. His official cause of death was recorded as an incurable disease of the blood vessels. Posthumously, various claims have arisen that his death was brought about by neurosyphilis, an idea supported in a 2004 report by a team of neuroscientists, who suggested that this fact was known to Lenin's doctors but deliberately concealed by the government who did not wish to associate Lenin with a sexually transmitted infection like syphilis.
The government publicly announced Lenin's death the following day. On 23 January, mourners from the Communist Party, trade unions, and soviets visited his Gorki home to inspect the body, which was carried aloft in a red coffin by leading Bolsheviks. Transported by train to Moscow, the coffin was carried to the House of Trade Unions, where the body lay in state. Over the next three days, around a million mourners came to see the body, many queuing for hours in the freezing conditions. On Saturday 26 January, the eleventh All-Union Congress of Soviets met to pay respects to the deceased leader, with speeches being made by Kalinin, Zinoviev and Stalin, but notably not Trotsky, who had been convalescing in the Caucasus. Lenin's funeral took place the following day, when his body was carried to Red Square, accompanied by martial music, where assembled crowds listened to a series of speeches before the corpse was carried into the vault of a specially erected mausoleum. Despite the freezing temperatures, tens of thousands attended.
Despite Krupskaya's protestations, Lenin's body was mummified in order to preserve it for long-term public display in the Red Square mausoleum. During this process, Lenin's brain was removed; in 1925 an institute was established to dissect it, revealing that Lenin had suffered from severe sclerosis. In July 1929, the Politburo agreed to replace the temporary mausoleum with a permanent granite alternative, which was finished in 1933. The sarcophagus in which Lenin's corpse was contained was replaced in 1940 and again in 1970. From 1941 to 1945 the body was moved from Moscow and stored in Tyumen for safety amid the Second World War.
The term "Leninism", used to describe Lenin's ideological beliefs, was first used by Martov in 1904. The pragmatic realities of governing Russia amid war, famine, and economic collapse resulted in Lenin deviating from many of the Marxist ideas that he had articulated prior to the October Revolution.
A Marxist, Lenin deemed his Leninism to be the sole authentic, and orthodox, interpretation of Marxism. His ideas were heavily influenced both by pre-existing thought within the Russian revolutionary movement, and the theoretical variants of Russian Marxism which had focused heavily on how Marx and Engels' writings would apply to Russia. Accordingly, while a Marxist, Lenin was also influenced by earlier currents of Russian socialist thought such as Narodnichestvo. Conversely, he derided Marxists who adopted from contemporary non-Marxist philosophers and sociologists. In his theoretical writings, particularly Imperialism, he examined what he thought were the developments in capitalism since Marx's death, arguing that it had reached a new stage, state monopoly capitalism. Before taking power in 1918, he was of the opinion that while the Russian economy was still dominated by the peasantry, the fact that monopoly capitalism existed in Russia meant that the country was sufficiently materially developed to move to socialism.
According to his Marxist perspective, Lenin believed that humanity would eventually reach pure communism, becoming a stateless, classless, egalitarian society of workers who were free from exploitation and alienation, controlled their own destiny, and abided by the rule of "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs". According to biographer Dmitri Volkogonov, Lenin "deeply and sincerely" believed that the path which he was setting Russia on would ultimately lead to the establishment of this communist society.
However, Lenin's Marxist beliefs led him to the view that society could not transform straight from its present state to communism, but that it must first enter a period of socialism, with his main concern thereby being how to convert Russia from capitalism to socialism. To do so, he believed that a dictatorship of the proletariat had to be established, which could suppress the bourgeoisie and develop a socialist economy. He defined socialism as "an order of civilized co-operators in which the means of production are socially owned", and believed that this economic system had to be expanded to the point whereby it could create a society of abundance. To achieve this, he saw bringing the Russian economy under state control to be his central concern, with – in his words – "all citizens" becoming "hired employees of the state". Lenin's view of socialism was one that was centralised, planned, and statist, with both production and distribution strictly controlled. He believed that all workers throughout the country would voluntarily join together to enable the state's economic and political centralisation. In this way, his calls for "workers' control" of the means of production referred not to the direct control of enterprises by their workers, but the operation of all enterprises under the control of a "workers' state". This resulted in two conflicting themes within Lenin's thought, that between the idea of popular workers' control on the one side, and that of a centralised, hierarchical, and coercive state apparatus on the other.
Lenin was an internationalist and a keen supporter of world revolution, thereby deeming national borders to be an outdated concept and nationalism a distraction from class struggle. He believed that under revolutionary socialism, there would be "the inevitable merging of nations" and the ultimate establishment of "a United States of the World". He opposed federalism, deeming it to be bourgeoisie, instead emphasising the need for a centralised unitary state. Lenin was an anti-imperialist, and believed that all nations deserved "the right of self-determination". He thus supported wars of national liberation, accepting that such conflicts might be necessary for a minority group to break away from a socialist state, asserting that the latter were not "holy or insured against mistakes or weaknesses".
He expressed the view that "Soviet government is many millions of times more democratic than the most democratic-bourgeois republic", the latter of which was simply "a democracy for the rich". He deemed his "dictatorship of the proletariat" to be democratic through the election representatives to the soviets, and by workers electing their own officials, with regular rotation and the involvement of all workers in the administration of the country. Lenin believed that the representative democracy of capitalist countries to had been used to give the illusion of democracy while maintaining the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie; describing the representative democratic system of the United States, he referred to the "spectacular and meaningless duels between two bourgeois parties", both of whom were led by "astute multimillionaires" that exploited the American proletariat. He was also opposed to liberalism, exhibiting a general antipathy toward liberty as a value, and believing that liberalism's freedoms were fraudulent because it did not free labourers from capitalist exploitation.
Personal life and characteristics
Lenin believed himself to be a man of destiny, having an unshakable belief in the righteousness of his cause, and in his own ability as a revolutionary leader. Biographer Louis Fischer described him as "a lover of radical change and maximum upheaval", a man for whom "there was never a middle-ground. He was an either-or, black-or-red exaggerator." Highlighting Lenin's "extraordinary capacity for disciplined work and total commitment to the revolutionary cause", the historian Richard Pipes noted that the Russian leader exhibited a great deal of charisma and personal magnetism. Similarly, Volkogonov believed that "by the very force of his personality, [Lenin] had an influence over people." Conversely, Lenin's friend Gorky commented that in his physical appearance as a "a baldheaded, stocky, sturdy person", the communist revolutionary was "too ordinary" and did not give "the impression of being a leader".
Historian and biographer Robert Service asserted that Lenin had been an intensely emotional young man, who had exhibited a strong emotional hatred of the Tsarist authorities. According to Service, Lenin developed an "emotional attachment" to his ideological heroes, such as Marx, Engels and Chernyshevsky; he owned portraits of them, and privately described himself as being "in love" with Marx and Engels. According to Lenin biographer James D. White, Lenin treated the writings of Marx and Engels as if they were "holy writ", a "religious dogma" which should "not be questioned but believed in". In Volkogonov's view, Lenin accepted Marxism as "absolute truth", and accordingly acted like "a religious fanatic". Similarly, Bertrand Russell felt that Lenin exhibited "unwavering faith - religious faith in the Marxian gospel". The biographer Christopher Read suggested that Lenin was "a secular equivalent of theocratic leaders who derive their legitimacy from the [perceived] truth of their doctrines, not popular mandates." Lenin was however an atheist and a critic of religion, believing that socialism was inherently atheistic; he thus deemed Christian socialism to be a contradiction in terms.
Service stated that Lenin was a man who could be "moody and volatile", with Pipes deeming him to be "a thoroughgoing misanthrope", a view rejected to Read, who highlighted many instances in which Lenin displayed kindness, particularly toward children. According to several biographers, Lenin was intolerant of opposition and often dismissed opinions that differed from his own outright. He ignored facts which did not suit his argument, abhored compromise, and very rarely admitted his own errors. He refused to bend his opinions, until he rejected them completely, at which he would treat the new view as if it was just as unbendable. Although he showed no sign of sadism or of personally desiring to commit violent acts, Lenin endorsed the violent actions of others and exhibited no remorse for those killed by the revolutionary cause. Adopting an amoral stance, in Lenin's view the end always justified the means; according to Service, Lenin's "criterion of morality was simple: does a certain action advance or hinder the cause of the Revolution?"
Aside from Russian, Lenin spoke and read French, German, and English. Concerned with physical fitness, he took regular exercise, enjoyed cycling, swimming, and hunting, and also developed a passion for mountain walking in the Swiss peaks. He was also fond of pets, in particular cats. Tending to eschew luxury, he lived an austere lifestyle, with Pipes noting that Lenin was "exceedingly modest in his personal wants", leading "an austere, almost ascetic, style of life". Lenin despised untidiness, always keeping his work desk tidy and his pencils sharpened, and insisted on total silence while he was working. According to Fischer, Lenin's "vanity was minimal", and for this reason he disliked the cult of personality that the Soviet administration had begun to build around him; he nevertheless accepted that it might have some benefits in unifying the movement.
Despite his revolutionary politics, Lenin disliked revolutionary experimentation in literature and the arts, for instance expressing his dislike of expressionism, futurism, and cubism, and conversely favouring realism and Russian classic literature. Lenin also took a conservative attitude with regard to sex and marriage. Throughout his adult life, he was in a relationship with Krupskaya, a fellow Marxist whom he married. Lenin and Nadya were both sad that they never had children, although they enjoyed entertaining their friends' offspring. Read noted that Lenin had "very close, warm, lifelong relationships" with his close family members, although he had no lifelong friends, and Armand has been cited as being his only close, intimate confidante.
Service described Lenin as "a bit of a snob in national, social and cultural terms". The Bolshevik leader expressed an attitude of cultural superiority between different nations; at the top was Germany, followed by Britain and France, and then Finland, with Russia coming beneath them. Privately, he was critical of his Russian homeland, describing it as "one of the most benighted, medieval and shamefully backward of Asian countries". He was annoyed at what he perceived as a lack of conscientiousness and discipline among the Russian people, and from his youth he had wanted Russia to become more culturally European and Western. He informed Gorky that "an intelligent Russian is almost always a Jew or someone with Jewish blood", believing that the country's Jewish community had helped to modernise Russia through their artistic, cultural, and scientific achievements, further expressing pride in having some Jewish ancestry.
Volkogonov claimed that "there can scarcely have been another man in history who managed so profoundly to change so large a society on such a scale". Lenin's administration laid the framework for the system of government that ruled Russia for seven decades as well as providing the model for later Communist-led states which came to cover a third of the inhabited world in the mid-20th century. In doing so, Lenin's influence was global. Lenin has been idolised by communists, yet demonised by critics on both the left, such as democratic socialists and anarchists, and the right, such as conservatives and fascists. Even during his lifetime, Lenin "was loved and hated, admired and scorned" by the Russian people.
The historian Albert Resis suggested that if the October Revolution is considered to be the most significant event of the 20th century, then Lenin "must for good or ill be considered the century's most significant political leader". Lenin biographer James D. White described Lenin as "one of the undeniably outstanding figures of modern history", while Service noted that the Russian leader was widely understood to be one of the 20th century's "principle actors". Read considered him to be "one of the most widespread, universally recognizable icons of the twentieth century". Time magazine named Lenin one of the 100 most important people of the 20th century, and one of their top 25 political icons of all time.
In the Western world, biographers began writing about Lenin shortly after his death; some were sympathetic and others hostile, although a number of later biographers sought to avoid making either hostile or positive comments about him. Among those sympathetic to him, he was portrayed as having made a genuine adjustment to Marxist theory that enabled it to suit Russia's particular socio-economic conditions. The Soviet view characterised him as a man who recognised the historically inevitable and accordingly helped to make the inevitable happen. Conversely, the majority of Western historians have perceived him as a person who manipulated events in order to attain and then retain political power, moreover seeing his ideas as being attempts to ideologically justify his pragmatic policies. More recently, revisionists in both Russia and the West have highlighted the impact that pre-existing ideas and popular pressures exerted on Lenin and his policies.
Various historians and biographers have characterised Lenin's administration as a totalitarian system of government, with many also describing it as a one-party dictatorship. Several such scholars have described Lenin as a dictator, although Fischer noted that while "Lenin was a dictator, [he was not] not the kind of dictator Stalin later became". Similarly, Volkogonov believed that whereas Lenin established a "dictatorship of the Party", it would only be under Stalin that the Soviet Union became the "dictatorship of one man". Conversely, various Marxist observers – including Western historians Christopher Hill and John Rees – argued against the view that Lenin's government was a dictatorship, viewing it instead as an imperfect way of preserving elements of democracy without some of the democratic processes found in liberal democracies.
Within the Soviet Union
In the Soviet Union, a cult of personality devoted to Lenin had begun to develop during his lifetime, although it would only be fully established after his death. According to historian Nina Tumarkin, it represented the world's "most elaborate cult of a revolutionary leader" since that of George Washington in the United States, and has been repeatedly described as "quasi-religious" in nature. Busts or statues of Lenin were erected in almost every village, and his face adorned postage stamps, crockery, posters, and the front pages of Soviet newspapers Pravda and Isvestia. The places where he had lived or stayed were converted into museums devoted to him. Libraries, streets, farms, museums, towns, and whole regions were named after him, with the city of Petrograd being renamed "Leningrad" in 1924, and his birthplace of Simbirsk becoming "Ulyanovsk". The Order of Lenin was established as one of the country's main awards. All of this was contrary to Lenin's own desires, and was publicly criticised by his widow.
Various biographers have stated that Lenin's writings were treated in a manner akin to holy scripture within the Soviet Union, while Pipes added that "his every opinion was cited to justify one policy or another and treated as gospel." Stalin codified Leninism through a series of lectures at the Sverdlov University which were then published as Questions of Leninism. Stalin also had much of the deceased leader's writings collated and stored in a secret archive in the Marx-Engels-Lenin Institute. Material, such as Lenin's collection of books in Krakow, were also collected from abroad for storage in the Institute, often at great expense. During the Soviet era, these writings would be strictly controlled and very few had access. All of Lenin's writings that proved useful to Stalin would be published, although everything else remained hidden, and knowledge of both Lenin's non-Russian ancestry and his noble status was suppressed. In particular, his Jewish ancestry would be suppressed until the 1980s, perhaps out of Soviet anti-semitism or perhaps so as not to provide fuel for anti-Soviet sentiment among international anti-semites. Under Stalin's regime, Lenin was actively portrayed as a close friend of Stalin's who had supported Stalin's bid to be the next Soviet leader. During the Soviet era, five separate editions of Lenin's published works were published in Russian, the first beginning in 1920 and the last from 1958 to 1965; although the fifth edition was described as "complete", in reality it had much omitted for political expediency.
After Stalin's death, Nikita Khruschev became leader of the Soviet Union and began a process of De-Stalinization, citing Lenin's writings (including those on Stalin) to legitimize this process. When Mikhail Gorbachev took power in the 1980s and introduced the policies of glastnost and perestroika, he too cited these actions as a return to Lenin's principles. In late 1991, amid the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the Russian President Boris Yeltsin ordered the Lenin archive to be removed from Communist Party control and placed under the control of a state organ, the Russian Center for the Preservation and Study of Documents of Recent History, at which it was revealed that there were over 6000 unpublished writings of Lenin; these were declassified and made available for scholarly study. Yeltsin did not dismantle the Lenin mausoleum, however, recognising that Lenin was too popular and well respected among the Russian populace for this to be viable.
Although many of the Lenin statues across the former Soviet Union have been removed, some remain standing, and a few new ones have been erected. In Russia, the ruling United Russia party has proposed removing the Lenin statues from Russian cities; the proposal is strongly opposed by the Communist Party of the Russian Federation. During the Euromaidan protests in Ukraine, several were damaged or destroyed. All others have to be dismantled to comply with decommunization laws; because of these laws all topographic entities named after Lenin were renamed.
In the international communist movement
Following Lenin's death, Stalin's administration established an ideology known as Marxism-Leninism, a movement which came to be interpreted differently by various contending factions in the Communist movement. After being forced into exile by Stalin's administration, Trotsky argued that Stalinism was a debasement of Leninism which was dominated by bureaucratism and Stalin's own personal dictatorship. Marxism-Leninism would be adapted to many of the 20th century's most prominent revolutionary movements, forming into variants such as Stalinism, Maoism, Juche, Ho Chi Minh Thought, and Castroism. Conversely, many later Western communists such as Manuel Azcárate and Jean Ellenstein who were involved in the Eurocommunist movement expressed the view that Lenin and his ideas were irrelevant to their own objectives, thereby embracing a Marxist but not Marxist-Leninist perspective.
- "Lenin". Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary.
- Fischer 1964, pp. 1–2; Rice 1990, pp. 12–13; Service 2000, pp. 21–23; White 2001, pp. 13–15; Read 2005, p. 6.
- Fischer 1964, p. 5; Rice 1990, p. 13; Service 2000, p. 23.
- Fischer 1964, pp. 2–3; Rice 1990, p. 12; Service 2000, pp. 16–19, 23; White 2001, pp. 15–18; Read 2005, p. 5; Lih 2011, p. 20.
- Fischer 1964, p. 6; Rice 1990, pp. 13–14, 18; Service 2000, pp. 25, 27; White 2001, pp. 18–19; Read 2005, pp. 4, 8; Lih 2011, p. 21.
- Fischer 1964, p. 6; Rice 1990, pp. 12, 14; Service 2000, pp. 13, 25; White 2001, pp. 19–20; Read 2005, p. 4; Lih 2011, p. 21, 22.
- Fischer 1964, pp. 3, 8; Rice 1990, pp. 14–15; Service 2000, p. 29.
- Fischer 1964, p. 8; Service 2000, p. 27; White 2001, p. 19.
- Rice 1990, p. 18; Service 2000, p. 26; White 2001, p. 20; Read 2005, p. 7.
- Fischer 1964, p. 7; Rice 1990, p. 16; Service 2000, pp. 32–36.
- Fischer 1964, p. 7; Rice 1990, p. 17; Service 2000, pp. 36–46; White 2001, p. 20; Read 2005, p. 9.
- Fischer 1964, pp. 6, 9; Rice 1990, p. 19; Service 2000, pp. 48–49; Read 2005, p. 10.
- Fischer 1964, p. 9; Service 2000, pp. 50–51, 64; Read 2005, p. 16.
- Fischer 1964, pp. 10–17; Rice 1990, pp. 20, 22–24; Service 2000, pp. 52–58; White 2001, pp. 21–28; Read 2005, p. 10; Lih 2011, pp. 23–25.
- Fischer 1964, p. 18; Rice 1990, p. 25; Service 2000, p. 61; White 2001, p. 29; Read 2005, p. 16.
- Fischer 1964, p. 18; Rice 1990, p. 26; Service 2000, pp. 61–63.
- Rice 1990, pp. 26–27; Service 2000, pp. 64–68, 70; White 2001, p. 29.
- Fischer 1964, p. 18; Rice 1990, p. 27; Service 2000, pp. 68–69; White 2001, p. 29; Read 2005, p. 15; Lih 2011, p. 32.
- Fischer 1964, p. 18; Rice 1990, p. 28; White 2001, p. 30; Read 2005, p. 12; Lih 2011, pp. 32–33.
- Fischer 1964, p. 18; Rice 1990, p. 310; Service 2000, p. 71.
- Fischer 1964, p. 19; Rice 1990, pp. 32–33; Service 2000, p. 72; White 2001, pp. 30–31; Read 2005, p. 18; Lih 2011, p. 33.
- Rice 1990, p. 33; Service 2000, pp. 74–76; White 2001, p. 31; Read 2005, p. 17.
- Rice 1990, p. 34; Service 2000, p. 78; White 2001, p. 31.
- Rice 1990, p. 34; Service 2000, p. 77; Read 2005, p. 18.
- Rice 1990, p. 34 36–37; Service 2000, pp. 55–55, 80, 88–89; White 2001, p. 31; Read 2005, pp. 37–38; Lih 2011, pp. 34–35.
- Fischer 1964, pp. 23–25; Read 2005, p. 11.
- Fischer 1964, p. 26; Service 2000, p. 55; Read 2005, p. 24.
- Service 2000, p. 98.
- Service 2000, p. 79.
- Rice 1990, pp. 34–36; Service 2000, pp. 82–86; White 2001, p. 31; Read 2005, pp. 18, 19; Lih 2011, p. 40.
- Fischer 1964, p. 21; Rice 1990, p. 36; Service 2000, p. 86; White 2001, p. 31; Read 2005, p. 18; Lih 2011, p. 40.
- Fischer 1964, p. 21; Rice 1990, pp. 36, 37.
- Fischer 1964, p. 21; Rice 1990, p. 38; Service 2000, pp. 93–94.
- Pipes 1990, p. 354; Rice 1990, pp. 38–39; Service 2000, pp. 90–92; White 2001, p. 33; Lih 2011, pp. 40, 52.
- Pipes 1990, p. 354; Rice 1990, pp. 39–40; Lih 2005, p. 53.
- Rice 1990, p. 40.
- Rice 1990, p. 43; Service 2000, p. 96.
- Pipes 1990, p. 355; Rice 1990, pp. 41–42; Service 2000, p. 105; Read 2005, pp. 22–23.
- Fischer 1964, p. 22; Rice 1990, p. 41; Read 2005, pp. 20–21.
- Fischer 1964, p. 27; Rice 1990, pp. 42–43; White 2001, pp. 34, 36; Read 2005, p. 25; Lih 2011, pp. 45–46.
- Fischer 1964, p. 30; Pipes 1990, p. 354; Rice 1990, pp. 44–46; Service 2000, p. 103; White 2001, p. 37; Read 2005, p. 26; Lih 2011, p. 55.
- Rice 1990, p. 46; Service 2000, p. 103; White 2001, p. 37; Read 2005, p. 26.
- Fischer 1964, p. 30; Rice 1990, p. 46; Service 2000, p. 103; White 2001, p. 37; Read 2005, p. 26.
- Rice 1990, pp. 47–48; Read 2005, p. 26.
- Fischer 1964, p. 31; Pipes 1990, p. 355; Rice 1990, p. 48; White 2001, p. 38; Read 2005, p. 26.
- Fischer 1964, p. 31; Rice 1990, pp. 48–51; Service 2000, pp. 107–108; Read 2005, p. 31; Lih 2011, p. 61.
- Fischer 1964, p. 31; Rice 1990, pp. 48–51; Service 2000, pp. 107–108.
- Fischer 1964, p. 31; Rice 1990, pp. 52–55; Service 2000, pp. 109–110; White 2001, pp. 38, 45, 47; Read 2005, p. 31.
- Fischer 1964, pp. 31–32; Rice 1990, pp. 53, 55–56; Service 2000, pp. 110–113; White 2001, p. 40; Read 2005, pp. 30, 31.
- Fischer 1964, p. 33; Pipes 1990, p. 356; Service 2000, pp. 114, 140; White 2001, p. 40; Read 2005, p. 30; Lih 2011, p. 63.
- Fischer 1964, pp. 33–34; Rice 1990, pp. 53, 55–56; Service 2000, p. 117; Read 2005, p. 33.
- Rice 1990, pp. 61–63; Service 2000, p. 124; Rappaport 2010, p. 31.
- Rice 1990, pp. 57–58; Service 2000, pp. 121–124, 137; White 2001, pp. 40–45; Read 2005, pp. 34, 39; Lih 2011, pp. 62–63.
- Fischer 1964, pp. 34–35; Rice 1990, p. 64; Service 2000, pp. 124–125; White 2001, p. 54; Read 2005, p. 43; Rappaport 2010, pp. 27–28.
- Fischer 1964, p. 35; Pipes 1990, p. 357; Rice 1990, pp. 66–65; White 2001, pp. 55–56; Read 2005, p. 43; Rappaport 2010, p. 28.
- Fischer 1964, p. 35; Pipes 1990, p. 357; Rice 1990, pp. 64–69; Service 2000, pp. 130–135; Rappaport 2010, pp. 32–33.
- Rice 1990, pp. 69–70; Read 2005, p. 51; Rappaport 2010, pp. 41–42, 53–55.
- Rice 1990, pp. 69–70.
- Fischer 1964, pp. 4–5; Service 2000, p. 137; Read 2005, p. 44; Rappaport 2010, p. 66.
- Rappaport 2010, p. 66; Lih 2011, pp. 8–9.
- Fischer 1964, p. 39; Pipes 1990, p. 359; Rice 1990, pp. 73–75; Service 2000, pp. 137–142; White 2001, pp. 56–62; Read 2005, pp. 52–54; Rappaport 2010, p. 62; Lih 2011, pp. 69, 78–80.
- Fischer 1964, p. 37; Rice 1990, p. 70; Service 2000, p. 136; Read 2005, p. 44; Rappaport 2010, pp. 36–37.
- Fischer 1964, p. 37; Rice 1990, pp. 78–79; Service 2000, pp. 143–144.
- Read 2005, p. 60.
- Fischer 1964, p. 38; Lih 2011, p. 80.
- Fischer 1964, pp. 38–39; Rice 1990, pp. 75–76; Service 2000, p. 147.
- Fischer 1964, pp. 40, 50–51; Rice 1990, p. 76; Service 2000, pp. 148–150; Read 2005, p. 48.
- Rice 1990, pp. 77–78; Service 2000, p. 150.
- Pipes 1990, p. 360; Rice 1990, pp. 79–80; Service 2000, pp. 151–152; White 2001, p. 62; Read 2005, p. 60; Lih 2011, p. 81.
- Rice 1990, pp. 81–82; Service 2000, pp. 154–155; White 2001, p. 63; Read 2005, pp. 60–61.
- Fischer 1964, p. 39; Rice 1990, p. 82; Service 2000, pp. 155–156; Read 2005, p. 61; White 2001, p. 64.
- Rice 1990, p. 83.
- Rice 1990, pp. 83–84; Service 2000, p. 157; White 2001, p. 65.
- Service 2000, pp. 158–159.
- Service 2000, pp. 163–164.
- Rice 1990, p. 85; Service 2000, p. 163.
- Fischer 1964, p. 41; Rice 1990, p. 85; Service 2000, p. 165; White 2001, p. 70; Read 2005, p. 64.
- Fischer 1964, p. 44; Rice 1990, pp. 86–88; Service 2000, p. 167; Read 2005, p. 75; Lih 2011, p. 87.
- Fischer 1964, pp. 44–45; Pipes 1990, pp. 362–363; Rice 1990, pp. 88–89.
- Service 2000, pp. 170–171.
- Pipes 1990, pp. 363–364; Rice 1990, pp. 89–90; Service 2000, pp. 168–170; Read 2005, p. 78.
- Fischer 1964, p. 60; Pipes 1990, p. 367; Rice 1990, pp. 90–91; Service 2000, p. 179; Read 2005, p. 79.
- Rice 1990, pp. 88–89.
- Fischer 1964, p. 51; Rice 1990, p. 94; Service 2000, pp. 175–176; Read 2005, p. 81; Read 2005, pp. 77, 81.
- Rice 1990, pp. 94–95; White 2001, pp. 73–74; Read 2005, pp. 81–82.
- Rice 1990, pp. 96–97; Service 2000, pp. 176–178.
- Rice 1990, p. 95; Service 2000, pp. 178–179.
- Fischer 1964, p. 53; Pipes 1990, p. 364; Rice 1990, pp. 99–100; Service 2000, pp. 179–180; White 2001, p. 76.
- Rice 1990, p. 103; Service 2000, pp. 180–181; White 2001, p. 77.
- Rice 1990, pp. 103–105; Service 2000, pp. 181–182; White 2001, pp. 78–79.
- Rice 1990, pp. 105–106; Service 2000, pp. 184–186.
- Service 2000, pp. 186–187.
- Fischer 1964, pp. 67–68; Rice 1990, p. 111; Service 2000, pp. 188–189.
- Service 2000, p. 189.
- Fischer 1964, p. 71; Pipes 1990, pp. 369–370; Rice 1990, p. 108.
- Fischer 1964, p. 64; Rice 1990, p. 109; Service 2000, pp. 189–190; Read 2005, pp. 89–90.
- Fischer 1964, pp. 63–64; Rice 1990, p. 110; Service 2000, pp. 190–191; White 2001, pp. 83, 84.
- Rice 1990, pp. 110–111; Service 2000, pp. 191–192; Read 2005, p. 91.
- Fischer 1964, pp. 64–67; Rice 1990, p. 110; Service 2000, pp. 192–193; White 2001, pp. 84, 87–88; Read 2005, p. 90.
- Fischer 1964, p. 69; Rice 1990, p. 111; Service 2000, p. 195.
- Fischer 1964, pp. 81–82; Pipes 1990, pp. 372–375; Rice 1990, pp. 120–121; Service 2000, pp. 206; White 2001, p. 102; Read 2005, pp. 96–97.
- Fischer 1964, p. 70; Rice 1990, pp. 114–116.
- Fischer 1964, pp. 68–69; Rice 1990, p. 112; Service 2000, pp. 195–196.
- Fischer 1964, pp. 75–80; Rice 1990, p. 112; Pipes 1990, p. 384; Service 2000, pp. 197–199; Read 2005, p. 103.
- Rice 1990, p. 115; Service 2000, p. 196; White 2001, pp. 93–94.
- Fischer 1964, pp. 71–72; Rice 1990, pp. 116–117; Service 2000, pp. 204–206; White 2001, pp. 96–97; Read 2005, p. 95.
- Fischer 1964, p. 72; Rice 1990, pp. 118–119; Service 2000, pp. 209–211; White 2001, p. 100; Read 2005, p. 104.
- Fischer 1964, pp. 93–94; Pipes 1990, p. 376; Rice 1990, p. 121; Service 2000, pp. 214–215; White 2001, pp. 98–99.
- Rice 1990, p. 122; White 2001, p. 100.
- Service 2000, p. 216; White 2001, p. 103; Read 2005, p. 105.
- Fischer 1964, pp. 73–74; Rice 1990, pp. 122–123; Service 2000, pp. 217–218; Read 2005, p. 105.
- Fischer 1964, p. 85.
- Solzhenitsyn 1976, p. 12; Rice 1990, p. 127; Service 2000, pp. 222–223.
- Fischer 1964, p. 94; Solzhenitsyn 1976, pp. 13–15; Pipes 1990, pp. 377–378; Rice 1990, pp. 127–128; Service 2000, pp. 223–225; White 2001, p. 104; Read 2005, p. 105.
- Fischer 1964, p. 94; Pipes 1990, p. 378; Rice 1990, p. 128; Service 2000, p. 225; White 2001, p. 104; Read 2005, p. 127.
- Fischer 1964, p. 107; Service 2000, p. 236.
- Fischer 1964, p. 85; Pipes 1990, pp. 378–379; Rice 1990, p. 127; Service 2000, p. 225; White 2001, pp. 103–104.
- Fischer 1964, p. 94; Rice 1990, pp. 130–131; Pipes 1990, pp. 382–383; Service 2000, p. 245; White 2001, pp. 113–114, 122–113; Read 2005, pp. 132–134.
- Fischer 1964, p. 85; Rice 1990, p. 129; Service 2000, pp. 227–228; Read 2005, p. 111.
- Pipes 1990, p. 380; Service 2000, pp. 230–231; Read 2005, p. 130.
- Rice 1990, p. 135; Service 2000, p. 235.
- Fischer 1964, pp. 95–100, 107; Rice 1990, pp. 132–134; Service 2000, pp. 245–246; White 2001, pp. 118–121; Read 2005, pp. 116–126.
- Service 2000, pp. 241–242.
- Service 2000, p. 243.
- Service 2000, pp. 238–239.
- Rice 1990, pp. 136–138; Service 2000, p. 253.
- Service 2000, pp. 254–255.
- Fischer 1964, pp. 109–110; Rice 1990, p. 139; Pipes 1990, pp. 386, 389–391; Service 2000, pp. 255–256; White 2001, pp. 127–128.
- Fischer 1964, p. 110–113; Rice 1990, pp. 140–144; Pipes 1990, pp. 391–392; Service 2000, pp. 257–260.
- Fischer 1964, pp. 113, 124; Rice 1990, p. 144; Pipes 1990, p. 392; Service 2000, p. 261; White 2001, pp. 131–132.
- Pipes 1990, pp. 393–394; Service 2000, p. 266; White 2001, pp. 132–135; Read 2005, p. 143, 146–147.
- Service 2000, pp. 266–268, 279; White 2001, pp. 134–136; Read 2005, pp. 147, 148.
- Service 2000, pp. 267, 271–272; Read 2005, pp. 152, 154.
- Service 2000, p. 282; Read 2005, p. 157.
- Service 2000, p. 276; White 2001, p. 140; Read 2005, p. 157.
- Pipes 1990, p. 421; Rice 1990, p. 147; Service 2000, p. 283; White 2001, p. 140; Read 2005, p. 157.
- Pipes 1990, pp. 422–425; Rice 1990, pp. 147–148; Service 2000, pp. 283–284; Read 2005, pp. 158–61; White 2001, pp. 140–141; Read 2005, pp. 157–159.
- Pipes 1990, pp. 431–434; Rice 1990, p. 148; Service 2000, pp. 284–285; White 2001, p. 141; Read 2005, p. 161.
- Fischer 1964, p. 125; Rice 1990, pp. 148–149; Service 2000, p. 285.
- Pipes 1990, p. 436, 467; Service 2000, p. 287; White 2001, p. 141; Read 2005, p. 165.
- Pipes 1990, pp. 468–469; Rice 1990, p. 149; Service 2000, p. 289; White 2001, pp. 142–143; Read 2005, pp. 166–172.
- Service 2000, p. 288.
- Pipes 1990, p. 468; Rice 1990, p. 150; Service 2000, pp. 289–292; Read 2005, p. 165.
- Pipes 1990, pp. 439–465; Rice 1990, pp. 150–151; Service 2000, p. 299; White 2001, pp. 143–144; Read 2005, p. 173.
- Pipes 1990, p. 465.
- Pipes 1990, pp. 465–467; White 2001, p. 144; Lee 2003, p. 17; Read 2005, p. 174.
- Pipes 1990, p. 471; Rice 1990, pp. 151–152; Read 2005, p. 180.
- Pipes 1990, pp. 473, 482; Rice 1990, p. 152; Service 2000, pp. 302–303; Read 2005, p. 179.
- Pipes 1990, pp. 482–484; Rice 1990, pp. 153–154; Service 2000, pp. 303–304; White 2001, pp. 146–147.
- Pipes 1990, pp. 471–472; Service 2000, p. 304; White 2001, p. 147.
- Service 2000, pp. 306–307.
- Pipes 1990, p. 466; Rice 1990, p. 155.
- Pipes 1990, pp. 485–486, 491; Rice 1990, pp. 157, 159; Service 2000, p. 308.
- Pipes 1990, pp. 492–493, 496; Service 2000, p. 311; Read 2005, p. 182.
- Pipes 1990, p. 491; Service 2000, p. 309.
- Pipes 1990, p. 499; Service 2000, pp. 314–315.
- Pipes 1990, pp. 496–497; Rice 1990, pp. 159–161; Service 2000, pp. 314–315; Read 2005, p. 183.
- Pipes 1990, p. 504; Service 2000, p. 315.
- Service 2000, p. 316.
- Shub 1966, p. 314; Service 2000, p. 317.
- Shub 1966, p. 315; Pipes 1990, pp. 540–541; Rice 1990, p. 164; Volkogonov 1994, p. 173; Service 2000, p. 331; Read 2005, p. 192.
- Volkogonov 1994, p. 176; Service 2000, pp. 331–332; White 2001, p. 156; Read 2005, p. 192.
- Rice 1990, p. 164.
- Pipes 1990, pp. 546–547.
- Pipes 1990, pp. 552–553; Rice 1990, p. 165; Volkogonov 1994, pp. 176–177; Service 2000, pp. 332, 336–337; Read 2005, p. 192.
- Fischer 1964, p. 219.
- Fischer 1964, pp. 219, 256, 379; Shub 1966, p. 374; Service 2000, p. 355; White 2001, p. 159; Read 2005, p. 219.
- Fischer 1964, p. 158; Shub 1966, pp. 301–302; Pipes 1990, pp. 508, 519; Service 2000, pp. 318–319; Read 2005, pp. 189–190.
- Pipes 1990, pp. 533–534, 537; Volkogonov 1994, p. 171; Service 2000, pp. 322–323; White 2001, p. 159; Read 2005, p. 191.
- Volkogonov 1994, pp. 374–375; Service 2000, p. 377.
- Service 2000, p. 388; Lee 2003, p. 98.
- Sandle 1999, p. 74.
- Fischer 1964, p. 432.
- Lee 2003, pp. 98–99.
- Lee 2003, p. 99.
- Service 2000, p. 388.
- Service 2000, pp. 325–326; Read 2005, p. 212.
- Service 2000, p. 333; Read 2005, p. 211.
- Shub 1966, p. 361; Pipes 1990, p. 548; Volkogonov 1994, p. 229; Service 2000, pp. 335–336; Read 2005, p. 198.
- Fischer 1964, p. 156; Shub 1966, p. 350; Pipes 1990, p. 594; Volkogonov 1994, p. 185; Service 2000, p. 344; Read 2005, p. 212.
- Fischer 1964, pp. 320–321; Shub 1966, p. 377; Pipes 1990, pp. 94–595; Volkogonov 1994, pp. 187–188; Service 2000, pp. 346–347; Read 2005, p. 212.
- Service 2000, p. 345.
- Fischer 1964, p. 466; Service 2000, p. 348.
- Fischer 1964, p. 280; Shub 1966, pp. 361–362; Pipes 1990, pp. 806–807; Volkogonov 1994, pp. 219–221; Service 2000, pp. 367–368; White 2001, p. 155.
- Fischer 1964, pp. 282–283; Shub 1966, pp. 362–363; Pipes 1990, pp. 807, 809; Volkogonov 1994, pp. 222–228; White 2001, p. 155.
- Volkogonov 1994, p. 222.
- Volkogonov 1994, pp. 231.
- Service 2000, p. 369.
- Rice 1990, p. 161.
- Fischer 1964, pp. 252–253; Pipes 1990, p. 499; Volkogonov 1994, p. 341; Service 2000, pp. 316–317; White 2001, p. 149; Read 2005, pp. 194–195.
- Shub 1966, p. 310; Pipes 1990, pp. 521–522; Service 2000, p. 317–318; White 2001, p. 153a; Read 2005, pp. 235–236.
- Fischer 1964, p. 249; Pipes 1990, p. 514; Service 2000, p. 321.
- Fischer 1964, p. 249; Pipes 1990, p. 514; Read 2005, p. 219.
- White 2001, pp. 159–160.
- Fischer 1964, p. 249.
- Sandle 1999, p. 84; Read 2005, p. 211.
- Pipes 1990, p. 797.
- Pipes 1990, pp. 796–797; Read 2005, p. 242.
- Pipes 1990, pp. 798–799.
- Hazard 1965, p. 270; Pipes 1990, pp. 796–797.
- Volkogonov 1994, p. 170.
- Service 2000, p. 321.
- Fischer 1964, pp. 260–261.
- Sandle 1999, p. 174.
- Fischer 1964, pp. 554–555; Sandle 1999, p. 83.
- Sandle 1999, pp. 122–123.
- Fischer 1964, p. 552; Sandle 1999, p. 126; Read 2005, pp. 238–239.
- Volkogonov 1994, p. 373.
- Pipes 1990, p. 709; Service 2000, p. 321.
- Volkogonov 1994, p. 171.
- Pipes 1990, pp. 682, 683; Service 2000, p. 321; White 2001, p. 153.
- Pipes 1990, p. 689; Sandle 1999, p. 64; Service 2000, p. 321; Read 2005, p. 231.
- Fischer 1964, pp. 437–438; Pipes 1990, p. 709; Sandle 1999, pp. 64, 68.
- Fischer 1964, pp. 263–264; Pipes 1990, p. 672.
- Fischer 1964, p. 264.
- Pipes 1990, pp. 681, 692–693; Sandle 1999, pp. 96–97.
- Pipes 1990, pp. 692–693; Sandle 1999, p. 97.
- Fischer 1964, p. 236; Service 2000, pp. 351–352.
- Fischer 1964, pp. 259, 444–445.
- Sandle 1999, p. 120.
- Service 2000, pp. 354–355.
- Fischer 1964, pp. 307–308; Volkogonov 1994, pp. 178–179; White 2001, p. 156; Read 2005, pp. 252–253.
- Shub 1966, pp. 329–330; Service 2000, p. 385; White 2001, p. 156; Read 2005, pp. 253–254.
- Shub 1966, p. 383.
- Fischer 1964, pp. 193–194.
- Shub 1966, p. 331; Pipes 1990, p. 567.
- Fischer 1964, p. 151; Pipes 1990, p. 567; Service 2000, p. 338.
- Fischer 1964, pp. 190–191; Shub 1966, p. 337; Pipes 1990, p. 567; Rice 1990, p. 166.
- Fischer 1964, pp. 151–152; Pipes 1990, pp. 571–572.
- Fischer 1964, p. 154; Pipes 1990, p. 572; Rice 1990, p. 166.
- Fischer 1964, p. 161; Shub 1966, p. 331; Pipes 1990, p. 576.
- Fischer 1964, pp. 162–163; Pipes 1990, p. 576.
- Fischer 1964, pp. 171–172, 200–202; Pipes 1990, p. 578.
- Rice 1990, p. 166; Service 2000, p. 338.
- Service 2000, p. 338.
- Fischer 1964, p. 195; Shub 1966, pp. 334, 337; Service 2000, pp. 338–339, 340; Read 2005, p. 199.
- Fischer 1964, pp. 206, 209; Shub 1966, p. 337; Pipes 1990, pp. 586–587; Service 2000, pp. 340–341.
- Pipes 1990, p. 587; Rice 1990, pp. 166–167; Service 2000, p. 341; Read 2005, p. 199.
- Shub 1966, p. 338; Pipes 1990, pp. 592–593; Service 2000, p. 341.
- Fischer 1964, pp. 211–212; Shub 1966, p. 339; Pipes 1990, p. 595; Rice 1990, p. 167; Service 2000, p. 342; White 2001, pp. 158–159.
- Pipes 1990, p. 595; Service 2000, p. 342.
- Fischer 1964, pp. 213–214; Pipes 1990, pp. 596–597.
- Service 2000, p. 344.
- Fischer 1964, pp. 313–314; Shub 1966, pp. 387–388; Pipes 1990, pp. 667–668; Volkogonov 1994, pp. 193–194; Service 2000, p. 384.
- Fischer 1964, pp. 303–304; Pipes 1990, p. 668; Volkogonov 1994, p. 194; Service 2000, p. 384.
- Volkogonov 1994, p. 182.
- Fischer 1964, p. 236; Pipes 1990, pp. 558, 723; Rice 1990, p. 170; Volkogonov 1994, p. 190.
- Fischer 1964, pp. 236–237; Shub 1966, p. 353; Pipes 1990, p. 560, 722, 732–736; Rice 1990, p. 170; Volkogonov 1994, pp. 181, 342–343; Service 2000, pp. 349, 358–359; White 2001, p. 164; Read 2005, p. 218.
- Fischer 1964, p. 254; Pipes 1990, p. 728, 734–736; Volkogonov 1994, p. 197.
- Fischer 1964, pp. 277–278; Pipes 1990, p. 737; Service 2000, p. 365; White 2001, pp. 155–156.
- Fischer 1964, p. 450; Pipes 1990, p. 726.
- Pipes 1990, pp. 700–702; Lee 2003, p. 100.
- Fischer 1964, p. 195; Pipes 1990, p. 794; Volkogonov 1994, p. 181; Read 2005, p. 249.
- Fischer 1964, p. 237.
- Service 2000, p. 385; White 2001, p. 164; Read 2005, p. 218.
- Shub 1966, p. 344; Pipes 1990, pp. 790–79a; Volkogonov 1994, pp. 181, 196; Read 2005, pp. 247–248.
- Shub 1966, p. 312.
- Fischer 1964, pp. 435–436.
- Fischer 1964, p. 435.
- Shub 1966, pp. 345–347; Pipes 1990, p. 800; Volkogonov 1994, p. 233; Service 2000, pp. 321–322; White 2001, p. 153; Read 2005, pp. 186, 208–209.
- Volkogonov 1994, pp. 233–234; Sandle 1999, p. 112.
- Shub 1966, p. 366; Sandle 1999, p. 112.
- Pipes 1990, p. 821.
- Shub 1966, p. 366; Sandle 1999, p. 113; Read 2005, p. 210.
- Pipes 1990, p. 801.
- Pipes 1990, pp. 819–820.
- Shub 1966, p. 364.
- Pipes 1990, p. 837.
- Pipes 1990, p. 834.
- Volkogonov 1994, p. 202; Read 2005, p. 247.
- Pipes 1990, p. 796.
- Volkogonov 1994, p. 202.
- Pipes 1990, p. 825.
- Pipes 1990, pp. 828–829.
- Pipes 1990, pp. 829–830, 832.
- Pipes 1990, pp. 832, 834.
- Pipes 1990, p. 835; Volkogonov 1994, p. 235.
- Pipes 1990, p. 836.
- Pipes 1990, pp. 832–833.
- Volkogonov 1994, pp. 358–360.
- Volkogonov 1994, pp. 376–377; Read 2005, p. 239.
- Volkogonov 1994, pp. 376–377.
- Volkogonov 1994, p. 381.
- Service 2000, p. 357.
- Service 2000, pp. 391–392.
- Lee 2003, pp. 84, 88.
- Read 2005, p. 205.
- Shub 1966, p. 355; Rice 1990, pp. 173, 175; Volkogonov 1994, p. 198; Service 2000, pp. 357, 382; Read 2005, p. 187.
- Fischer 1964, pp. 334, 343, 357; Service 2000, pp. 382, 392; Read 2005, pp. 205–206.
- Read 2005, p. 206.
- Fischer 1964, pp. 288–189; Pipes 1990, pp. 624–630; Service 2000, p. 360; White 2001, pp. 161–162; Read 2005, p. 205.
- Pipes 1990, p. 651; Volkogonov 1994, p. 200; White 2001, p. 162; Lee 2003, p. 81.
- Fischer 1964, p. 251; White 2001, p. 163; Read 2005, p. 220.
- Pipes 1990, p. 610; Volkogonov 1994, p. 198.
- Pipes 1990, p. 612; Volkogonov 1994, p. 198.
- Fischer 1964, p. 337; Pipes 1990, p. 609, 612, 629; Volkogonov 1994, p. 198; Service 2000, p. 383; Read 2005, p. 217.
- Fischer 1964, p. 248.
- Fischer 1964, p. 262.
- Pipes 1990, p. 792; Volkogonov 1994, pp. 202–203; Read 2005, p. 250.
- Volkogonov 1994, pp. 203–204.
- Volkogonov 1994, p. 204.
- Fischer 1964, pp. 262–263.
- Fischer 1964, p. 291; Shub 1966, p. 354.
- Fischer 1964, p. 331.
- Fischer 1964, p. 333.
- Shub 1966, pp. 357–358; Pipes 1990, pp. 781–782; Volkogonov 1994, pp. 206–207; Service 2000, pp. 364–365.
- Pipes 1990, pp. 763, 770–771; Volkogonov 1994, p. 211.
- Volkogonov 1994, p. 208.
- Pipes 1990, p. 635.
- Fischer 1964, p. 244; Shub 1966, p. 355; Pipes 1990, p. 636–640; Service 2000, pp. 360–361; White 2001, p. 159; Read 2005, p. 199.
- Fischer 1964, p. 242; Pipes 1990, pp. 642–644; Read 2005, p. 250.
- Fischer 1964, p. 244; Pipes 1990, p. 644; Volkogonov 1994, p. 172.
- Fischer 1964, p. 389; Rice 1990, p. 182; Volkogonov 1994, p. 281; Service 2000, p. 407; White 2001, p. 161.
- Fischer 1964, pp. 391–395; Shub 1966, p. 396; Rice 1990, pp. 182–183; Service 2000, pp. 408–409, 412; White 2001, p. 161.
- Rice 1990, p. 183; Volkogonov 1994, p. 388; Service 2000, p. 412.
- Shub 1966, p. 387.
- Shub 1966, p. 387; Rice 1990, p. 173.
- Fischer 1964, p. 333; Shub 1966, p. 388; Rice 1990, p. 173; Volkogonov 1994, p. 395.
- Service 2000, pp. 385–386.
- Fischer 1964, p. 531.
- Fischer 1964, p. 536.
- Service 2000, p. 386.
- Shub 1966, pp. 389–390.
- Shub 1966, p. 390.
- Fischer 1964, p. 525; Shub 1966, p. 390; Rice 1990, p. 174; Volkogonov 1994, p. 390; Service 2000, p. 386; White 2001, p. 160; Read 2005, p. 225.
- Fischer 1964, p. 525; Shub 1966, pp. 390–391; Rice 1990, p. 174; Service 2000, p. 386; White 2001, p. 160.
- Service 2000, p. 387; White 2001, p. 160.
- Fischer 1964, p. 525; Shub 1966, p. 398; Read 2005, pp. 225–226.
- Volkogonov 1994, p. 392.
- Service 2000, p. 387.
- Shub 1966, p. 395; Volkogonov 1994, p. 391.
- Shub 1966, p. 397; Service 2000, p. 409.
- Service 2000, p. 409.
- Service 2000, pp. 409–410.
- Service 2000, p. 410.
- Fischer 1964, pp. 415–420; White 2001, pp. 161, 180–181.
- Shub 1966, p. 397.
- Fischer 1964, p. 341; Shub 1966, p. 396; Rice 1990, p. 174.
- Service 2000, pp. 413–414.
- Fischer 1964, pp. 437–438; Shub 1966, p. 406; Rice 1990, p. 183; Service 2000, p. 419; White 2001, pp. 167–168.
- Shub 1966, p. 406; Service 2000, p. 419; White 2001, p. 167.
- Fischer 1964, pp. 436, 442; Rice 1990, pp. 183–184; Sandle 1999, pp. 104–105; Service 2000, pp. 422–423; White 2001, p. 168; Read 2005, p. 269.
- White 2001, p. 170.
- Fischer 1964, pp. 507–508; Rice 1990, pp. 185–186.
- Rice 1990, pp. 185–186.
- Volkogonov 1994, p. 343.
- Volkogonov 1994, p. 347.
- Fischer 1964, p. 508; Shub 1966, p. 414; Volkogonov 1994, p. 345; White 2001, p. 172.
- Volkogonov 1994, p. 346.
- Volkogonov 1994, pp. 374–375.
- Volkogonov 1994, pp. 375–376; Read 2005, p. 251.
- Volkogonov 1994, p. 376.
- Fischer 1964, p. 467; Shub 1966, p. 406; Volkogonov 1994, p. 343; Service 2000, p. 425; White 2001, p. 168; Read 2005, p. 220.
- Fischer 1964, p. 459; Service 2000, pp. 423–424; White 2001, p. 168.
- Shub 1966, pp. 406–407; Rice 1990, p. 184; Read 2005, p. 220.
- Fischer 1964, pp. 469–470; Shub 1966, p. 405; Rice 1990, p. 184; Service 2000, p. 427; White 2001, p. 169.
- Fischer 1964, pp. 470–471; Shub 1966, pp. 408–409; Rice 1990, pp. 184–185; Service 2000, p. 427.
- Shub 1966, pp. 412–413.
- Shub 1966, p. 411; Rice 1990, p. 185; Service 2000, pp. 421, 424–427, 429; Read 2005, p. 264.
- Fischer 1964, pp. 479–480; Sandle 1999, p. 155; Service 2000, p. 430; White 2001, pp. 170, 171.
- Shub 1966, p. 411; Sandle 2001, pp. 153, 158; Service 2000, p. 430; White 2001, p. 169; Read 2005, pp. 264–265.
- Shub 1966, p. 412; Service 2000, p. 430; Read 2005, p. 266.
- Fischer 1964, pp. 479; Shub 1966, p. 412; Sandle 1999, p. 155.
- Sandle 1999, p. 151; Service 2000, p. 422; White 2001, p. 171.
- Service 2000, p. 421.
- Service 2000, p. 434.
- Pipes 1999, pp. 703–707; Sandle 1999, p. 103.
- Fischer 1964, pp. 423, 582; Sandle 1999, p. 107; White 2001, p. 165; Read 2005, p. 230.
- Fischer 1964, pp. 567–569.
- Fischer 1964, pp. 574, 576–577; Service 2000, p. 441.
- Service 2000, p. 432.
- Fischer 1964, pp. 424–427.
- Fischer 1964, p. 414; Rice 1990, pp. 177–178; Service 2000, p. 405; Read 2005, pp. 260–261.
- Volkogonov 1994, p. 283.
- Fischer 1964, pp. 404–409; Rice 1990, pp. 178–179; Service 2000, p. 440.
- Fischer 1964, pp. 409–411.
- Fischer 1964, pp. 433–434; Shub 1966, pp. 380–381; Rice 1990, p. 181; Service 2000, pp. 414–415; Read 2005, p. 258.
- Fischer 1964, p. 434; Shub 1966, pp. 381–382; Rice 1990, p. 181; Service 2000, p. 415; Read 2005, p. 258.
- Rice 1990, pp. 181–182; Service 2000, p. 416–417; Read 2005, p. 258.
- Volkogonov 1994, p. 311.
- Fischer 1964, p. 578; Rice 1990, p. 189.
- Rice 1990, pp. 192–193.
- Fischer 1964, p. 578.
- Shub 1966, p. 426; Rice 1990, p. 187; Volkogonov 1994, p. 409; Service 2000, p. 435.
- Shub 1966, p. 426; Rice 1990, p. 187; Service 2000, p. 435.
- Rice 1990, p. 187; Service 2000, p. 436.
- Service 2000, p. 436; Read 2005, p. 281.
- Volkogonov 1994, pp. 420, 425–426; Service 2000, p. 439; Read 2005, pp. 280, 282.
- Volkogonov 1994, p. 443; Service 2000, p. 437.
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Poroshenko: Time for Ukraine to resolutely get rid of Communist symbols, UNIAN. 17 May 2015
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