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Vladimir Lenin

"Lenin" and "Vladimir Ilyich Lenin" redirect here. For other uses of "Lenin", see Lenin (disambiguation). For the poem by Mayakovsky, see Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (poem).
In this Eastern Slavic naming convention, the patronymic is Ilyich and the family name is Ulyanov.

Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov (22 April [O.S. 10 April] 1870 – 21 January 1924), better known by his alias Lenin, was a Russian revolutionary, politician, and political theorist. He served as the first and founding head of government of Soviet Russia from 1917 to 1924 and of the Soviet Union from 1922 to 1924. Under his administration, Russia, and later the Soviet Union, became a one-party socialist state governed by the Soviet Communist Party. A Marxist, he developed a variant of communist ideology known as Leninism.

Vladimir Lenin

Contents

Childhood: 1870–1887

Lenin's childhood home in Simbirsk

Lenin's father Ilya Nikolayevich Ulyanov was from a family of former serfs; his ethnic origins remain unclear, with suggestions being made that he was of Russian, Chuvash, Mordvin, or Kalmyk ancestry. Despite this lower-class background, Ilya had risen to middle-class status, studying physics and mathematics at Kazan Imperial University before teaching at the Penza Institute for the Nobility. Ilya married Maria Alexandrovna Blank in mid-1863. Well educated, she was the daughter of a wealthy GermanSwedish Lutheran mother, and according to some sources a Russian Jewish father who had converted to Christianity and worked as a physician. According to historian Petrovsky-Shtern, it is likely that Lenin was unaware of his mother's half-Jewish ancestry, which was only discovered by his sister Anna after his death. 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.

An image of Lenin (left) at the age of three

Lenin was born in Streletskaya Ulitsa, Simbirsk, now Ulyanovsk, on 22 April 1870, and baptised six days later; as a child, he was known as Volodya, a diminutive of Vladimir. He was the third of eight children, having two older siblings, Anna (born 1864) and Alexander (born 1866). They were followed by three more children, Olga (born 1871), Dmitry (born 1874), and Maria (born 1878). Two later siblings died in infancy. Ilya was a devout member of the Russian Orthodox Church and baptised his children into it, although Maria, a Lutheran by upbringing, 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, Lenin was closest to his sister Olga, whom he often bossed around; he had an extremely competitive nature and 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 Gymnasium.

In January 1886, when Lenin was 15, his father died of a brain haemorrhage. Subsequently, his behaviour became erratic and confrontational and he renounced his belief in God. At the time, Lenin's elder brother Alexander, whom he affectionately knew as Sasha, was studying at Saint Petersburg University. Involved in political agitation against the absolute monarchy of the reactionary Tsar Alexander III, Alexander 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 could take place, the conspirators were arrested and tried, and Alexander was executed by hanging in May. Despite the emotional trauma of his father's and brother's deaths, Lenin continued studying, graduated from school at the top of his class with a gold medal for exceptional performance, and decided to study law at Kazan University.

University and political radicalisation: 1887–1893

Upon entering Kazan University in August 1887, Lenin moved into a nearby flat. There, he joined a zemlyachestvo, a form of university society that represented the men of a particular region. This group elected him as its representative to the university's zemlyachestvo council, and he took part in a December demonstration against government restrictions that banned student societies. The police arrested Lenin and accused him of being a ringleader in the demonstration; he was expelled from the university, and the Ministry of Internal Affairs exiled him to his family's Kokushkino estate. There, he read voraciously, becoming enamoured with Nikolay Chernyshevsky's 1863 pro-revolutionary novel What Is to Be Done?

Lenin's mother was concerned by her son's radicalisation, and was instrumental in convincing the Interior Ministry to allow him to return to the city of Kazan, but not the university. On his return, 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 that capitalist society would ultimately give way to socialist society and then communist society. Wary of his political views, Lenin's mother bought a country estate in Alakaevka village, Samara Oblast, in the hope that her son would turn his attention to agriculture. He had little interest in farm management, and his mother soon sold the land, keeping the house as a summer home.

Lenin came under the influence of Karl Marx.

In September 1889, the Ulyanov family moved to the city of Samara, where Lenin joined Alexei Sklyarenko's socialist discussion circle. There, Lenin fully embraced Marxism and produced a Russian language translation of Marx and Friedrich Engels's 1848 political pamphlet, The Communist Manifesto. He began to read the works of the Russian Marxist Georgi Plekhanov, agreeing with Plekhanov's argument that Russia was moving from feudalism to capitalism and so socialism would be implemented by the proletariat, or urban working class, rather than the peasantry. This Marxist perspective contrasted with the view of the agrarian-socialist Narodnik movement, which held that the peasantry could establish socialism in Russia by forming peasant communes, thereby bypassing capitalism. This Narodnik view developed in the 1860s with the People's Freedom Party and was then dominant within the Russian revolutionary movement. Lenin rejected the premise of the agrarian-socialist argument, but was influenced by agrarian-socialists like Pyotr Tkachev and Sergei Nechaev, and befriended several Narodniks.

In May 1890, Maria, who retained societal influence as the widow of a nobleman, persuaded the authorities to allow Lenin to take his exams externally at the University of St Petersburg, where he obtained the equivalent of a first-class degree with honours. The graduation celebrations were marred when his sister Olga died of typhoid. Lenin remained in Samara for several years, working first as a legal assistant for a regional court and then for a local lawyer. He devoted much time to radical politics, remaining active in Sklyarenko's group and formulating ideas about how Marxism applied to Russia. Inspired by Plekhanov's work, Lenin collected data on Russian society, using it to support a Marxist interpretation of societal development and counter the claims of the Narodniks. He wrote a paper on peasant economics; it was rejected by the liberal journal Russian Thought.

Early activism and imprisonment: 1893–1900

In late 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 that called itself the Social-Democrats after the Marxist Social Democratic Party of Germany. Publicly championing Marxism within the socialist movement, he encouraged the founding of revolutionary cells in Russia's industrial centres. By late 1894, he was leading a Marxist workers' circle, and meticulously covered his tracks, knowing that police spies tried to infiltrate the movement. He began a romantic relationship with Nadezhda "Nadya" Krupskaya, a Marxist schoolteacher. He also authored the political tract What the "Friends of the People" Are and How They Fight the Social-Democrats criticising the Narodnik agrarian-socialists, 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 émigrés based in Switzerland; he visited the country to meet group members Plekhanov and Pavel Axelrod. He proceeded to Paris to meet Marx's son-in-law Paul Lafargue and to research the Paris Commune of 1871, which he considered an early prototype for a proletarian government. Financed by his mother, he stayed in a Swiss health spa before travelling to Berlin, where he studied for six weeks at the Staatsbibliothek and met the Marxist activist Wilhelm Liebknecht. Returning to Russia with a stash of illegal revolutionary publications, he travelled to various cities distributing literature to striking workers. While involved in producing a news sheet, Rabochee delo (Workers' Cause), he was among 40 activists arrested in St. Petersburg and charged with sedition.

Lenin (seated centre) with other members of the League of Struggle for the Emancipation of the Working Class in 1897

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. In this work he noted that the rise of industrial capitalism in Russia had caused large numbers of peasants to move to the cities, where they formed a proletariat. From his Marxist perspective, Lenin argued that this Russian proletariat would develop class consciousness, which would in turn lead them to violently overthrow tsarism, the aristocracy, and the bourgeoisie and to establish a proletariat state that would move toward socialism.

In February 1897, Lenin was sentenced without trial to three years' exile in eastern Siberia. He was granted a few days in Saint Petersburg to put his affairs in order and 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 revolutionaries, many of whom visited him, and permitted to go on trips to swim in the Yenisei River and to hunt duck and snipe.

In May 1898, Nadya joined him in exile, having been arrested in August 1896 for organising a strike. She was initially posted to Ufa, but persuaded the authorities to move her to Shushenskoye, claiming that she and Lenin 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 up with developments in German Marxism, where there had been an ideological split, with revisionists like Eduard Bernstein advocating a peaceful, electoral path to socialism, Lenin 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 criticised 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: 1900–1905

Lenin in 1916, while in Switzerland

After his exile, Lenin settled in Pskov in early 1900. There, he began raising funds for a newspaper, Iskra (Spark), a new organ of the Russian Marxist party, now calling itself the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (RSDLP). In July 1900, Lenin 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, Iskra was smuggled into Russia, becoming the country's most successful underground publication for 50 years. He first adopted the pseudonym Lenin in December 1901, possibly based on the Siberian River Lena; 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.

His wife Nadya joined Lenin in Munich and became his personal secretary. They continued their political agitation, as Lenin wrote for Iskra and drafted the RSDLP programme, attacking ideological dissenters and external critics, particularly the Socialist Revolutionary Party (SR), 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 moved to London with Iskra in April 1902. He became friends with fellow Russian Marxist Leon Trotsky. 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 Geneva.

The second 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 he termed them the "majoritarians" (bol'sheviki in Russian; Bolsheviks); in response, Martov termed his followers the "minoritarians" (men'sheviki in Russian; 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 hiking holiday in rural Switzerland. The Bolshevik faction grew in strength; by spring 1905, the whole RSDLP Central Committee was Bolshevik, and in December they founded the newspaper Vpered (Forward).

Revolution of 1905 and its aftermath: 1905–1914

In January 1905, the Bloody Sunday massacre of protesters in St. Petersburg sparked a spate of civil unrest in the Russian Empire 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; many Bolsheviks refused, and both groups attended the Third 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."

The uprising has begun. Force against Force. Street fighting is raging, barricades are being thrown up, rifles are cracking, guns are booming. Rivers of blood are flowing, the civil war for freedom is blazing up. Moscow and the South, the Caucasus and Poland are ready to join the proletariat of St. Petersburg. The slogan of the workers has become: Death or Freedom!

—Lenin on the Revolution of 1905

In response to the revolution of 1905, which had failed to overthrow the government, Tsar Nicholas II accepted a series of liberal reforms in his October Manifesto. In this climate, 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. Recognising that membership fees and donations from a few wealthy sympathisers were insufficient to finance the Bolsheviks' activities, Lenin endorsed the idea of robbing post offices, railway stations, trains, and banks. Under the lead of Leonid Krasin, a group of Bolsheviks began carrying out such criminal actions, the best known taking place in June 1907, when a group of Bolsheviks acting under the leadership of Joseph Stalin committed an armed robbery of the State Bank in Tiflis, Georgia.

Although he briefly supported the idea of reconciliation between Bolsheviks and Mensheviks, Lenin's advocacy of violence and robbery was condemned by the Mensheviks at the Fourth RSDLP Congress, held in Stockholm in April 1906. Lenin was involved in setting up a Bolshevik Centre in Kuokkala, Grand Duchy of Finland, which was at the time a semi-autonomous part of the Russian Empire, before the Bolsheviks regained dominance of the RSDLP at its Fifth Congress, held in London in May 1907. As the Tsarist government cracked down on opposition, both by disbanding Russia's legislative assembly, the Second Duma, and by ordering its secret police, the Okhrana, to arrest revolutionaries, Lenin fled Finland for Switzerland. There, he tried to exchange those banknotes stolen in Tiflis that had identifiable serial numbers on them.

Alexander Bogdanov and other prominent Bolsheviks decided to relocate the Bolshevik Centre to Paris; 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. Lenin became very critical of Bogdanov's view that Russia's proletariat had to develop a socialist culture in order to become a successful revolutionary vehicle. Instead, Lenin favoured a vanguard of socialist intelligentsia who would 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 independent of human observation. Bogdanov and Lenin holidayed together at Maxim Gorky's villa in Capri 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.

Lenin undertook research at the British Museum in London.

In May 1908, Lenin lived briefly in London, where he used the British Museum Reading Room to write Materialism and Empirio-criticism, an attack on what he described as the "bourgeois-reactionary falsehood" of Bogdanov's relativism. Lenin's factionalism began to alienate increasing numbers of Bolsheviks, including his former close supporters Alexei Rykov and Lev Kamenev. The Okhrana exploited his factionalist attitude by sending a spy, Roman Malinovsky, to act as a vocal Lenin supporter within the party. Various Bolsheviks expressed their suspicions about 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 Eighth 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; some biographers suggest that they had an extra-marital affair from 1910 to 1912. 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.

Moving to Kraków in the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria, a culturally Polish part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, he used Jagiellonian University's library to conduct research. He stayed in close contact with the RSDLP, which was operating in the Russian Empire, convincing the Duma's Bolshevik members to split from their parliamentary alliance with the Mensheviks. In January 1913, Stalin, whom Lenin referred to as the "wonderful Georgian", visited him, and they discussed 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 town of Biały Dunajec, before heading to Bern for Nadya to have surgery on her goitre.

First World War: 1914–1917

The [First World] war is being waged for the division of colonies and the robbery of foreign territory; thieves have fallen out–and to refer to the defeats at a given moment of one of the thieves in order to identify the interests of all thieves with the interests of the nation or the fatherland is an unconscionable bourgeois lie.

—Lenin on his interpretation of the First World War

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 Zürich in February 1916. Lenin was angry that the German Social-Democratic Party was supporting the German war effort, which was a direct contravention of the Second International's Stuttgart resolution that socialist parties would oppose the conflict, and saw the Second International as defunct. He attended the Zimmerwald Conference in September 1915 and the Kienthal 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 too would die before seeing the proletarian revolution.

In September 1917, Lenin published Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism, which 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. He spent much of this time reading the works of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Ludwig Feuerbach, and Aristotle, all of whom had been key influences on Marx. This changed Lenin's interpretation of Marxism; whereas he once believed that policies could be developed based on predetermined scientific principles, he concluded that the only test of whether a policy was correct was its practice. He still perceived himself as an orthodox Marxist, but he began to diverge from some of Marx's predictions about 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 an intermediate revolution.

February Revolution and the July Days: 1917

In February 1917, the February Revolution broke out in St. Petersburg, renamed Petrograd at the beginning of the First World War, 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 the Russian 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 into 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 sealed train carriage through their territory, among them Lenin and his wife. The group travelled by train from Zürich to Sassnitz, proceeding by ferry to Trelleborg, Sweden, and from there to the HaparandaTornio border crossing and then to Helsinki before taking the final train to Petrograd in disguise.

Lenin's travel route from Zurich to St. Petersburg, named Petrograd at the time, in April 1917, including the ride in a sealed train on German territory
The engine that pulled the train on which Lenin arrived at Petrograd's Finland Station in April 1917 was not preserved. So Engine #293, by which Lenin escaped to Finland and then returned to Russia later in the year, serves as the permanent exhibit, installed at a platform on the station.

Arriving at Petrograd's Finland Station in April, Lenin gave a speech to Bolshevik supporters condemning the Provisional Government and again calling for a continent-wide European proletarian 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 just as 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 a proletariat government and pushing toward a socialist society. By contrast, the Mensheviks believed that Russia was 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. 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 and called for calm. Responding to the violence, the government ordered the arrest of Lenin and other prominent 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 escaped Petrograd in disguise, relocating to Razliv. There, Lenin began work on the book that became The State and Revolution, an exposition on how he believed the socialist state would develop after the proletariat revolution, and how from then 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, but 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

Main article: October Revolution
Painting of Lenin in front of the Smolny Institute by Isaak Brodsky

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, but 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 Socialist-Revolutionaries who dominated the Petrograd Soviet had been instrumental in pressurising the government to normalise relations with the Bolsheviks. Both the Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries had lost much popular support because of their affiliation with the Provisional Government and its unpopular continuation of the war. The Bolsheviks capitalised 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 that the party should lead an armed insurrection to topple the Provisional Government. This time the argument won with ten votes against two. Critics of the plan, Zinoviev and Kamenev, argued that Russian workers would not support a violent coup against the 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 was ordered to take control of Petrograd's key transport, communication, printing and utilities hubs, and did so without bloodshed. Bolsheviks besieged the government in the Winter Palace, and overcame it and arrested its ministers after the cruiser Aurora, controlled by Bolshevik seamen, fired a blank shot to signal the start of the revolution. During the insurrection, 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. Lenin initially turned down the leading position of Chairman, suggesting Trotsky for the job, but other Bolsheviks insisted and ultimately Lenin relented. Lenin and other Bolsheviks then attended the Second Congress of Soviets on 26 and 27 October, and announced the creation of the new government. Menshevik attendees condemned the illegitimate seizure of power and the risk of civil war. In these early days of the new regime, Lenin avoided talking in Marxist and socialist terms so as not to alienate Russia's population, and instead spoke about having a country controlled by the workers. Lenin and many other Bolsheviks expected proletariat revolution to sweep across Europe in days or months.

Organising the Soviet government: 1917–1918

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-Revolutionaries. Lenin argued that the election was not a fair reflection of the people's will, that the electorate had not had time to learn the Bolsheviks' political programme, and that the candidacy lists had been drawn up before the Left Socialist-Revolutionaries split from the Socialist-Revolutionaries. Nevertheless, the newly elected Russian Constituent Assembly convened in Petrograd in January 1918. Sovnarkom argued that it was counter-revolutionary because it sought to remove power from the soviets, but the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks denied this. 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 as evidence of its counter-revolutionary nature and forcibly disbanded it.

Lenin rejected repeated calls, including from some Bolsheviks, to establish a coalition government with other socialist parties. Although refusing a coalition with the Mensheviks or Socialist-Revolutionaries, Sovnarkom partially relented; they allowed the Left Socialist-Revolutionaries five posts in the cabinet in December 1917. This coalition only lasted four months until March 1918, when the Left Socialist-Revolutionaries pulled out of the government over a disagreement about the Bolsheviks' approach to ending the First World War. At their 7th Congress in March 1918, the Bolsheviks changed their official name from the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party to the Russian Communist Party, as Lenin wanted to both distance his group from the increasingly reformist German Social Democratic Party and to emphasise its ultimate goal, that of a communist society.

The Moscow Kremlin, which Lenin moved into in 1918

Although ultimate power officially rested 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 de facto in control in Russia, as acknowledged by its members at the time. By 1918, Sovnarkom began acting unilaterally, claiming a need for expediency, with the ARCS and VTSIK becoming increasingly marginalised, so the soviets no longer had a role in governing Russia. During 1918 and 1919, the government expelled Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries from the soviets. Russia had become a one-party state.

Within the party was established a Political Bureau (Politburo) and Organisation Bureau (Orgburo) to accompany the existing Central Committee; the decisions of these party bodies had to be adopted by Sovnarkom and the Council of Labour and Defence. Lenin was the most significant figure in this governance structure as well as being the Chairman of Sovnarkom and sitting on the Council of Labour and Defence, and 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, who died in March 1919 during a flu pandemic. In November 1917, Lenin and his wife took a two-room flat within the Smolny Institute; the following month they left for a brief holiday in Halila, Finland. In January 1918, he survived an assassination attempt in Petrograd; Fritz Platten, who was with Lenin at the time, shielded him and 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 adjacent to the room in which the Sovnarkom meetings were held. Lenin disliked Moscow, but rarely left the city centre during the rest of his life. He survived a second assassination attempt, in Moscow in August 1918; he was shot following a public speech and injured badly. A Socialist-Revolutionary, Fanny Kaplan, was arrested and executed. The attack was widely covered in the Russian press, generating much sympathy for Lenin and boosting his popularity. As a respite, he was driven in September 1918 to the Gorki estate, just outside Moscow, recently acquired for him by the government.

Social, legal, and economic reform: 1917–1918

To All Workers, Soldiers and Peasants. The Soviet authority will at once propose a democratic peace to all nations and an immediate armistice on all fronts. It will safeguard the transfer without compensation of all land—landlord, imperial, and monastery—to the peasants' committees; it will defend the soldiers' rights, introducing a complete democratisation of the army; it will establish workers' control over industry; it will ensure the convocation of the Constituent Assembly on the date set; it will supply the cities with bread and the villages with articles of first necessity; and it will secure to all nationalities inhabiting Russia the right of self-determination ... Long live the revolution!

—Lenin's political programme, October 1917

Upon taking power, Lenin's regime issued a series of decrees. The first was a Decree on Land, which declared that the landed estates of the aristocracy and the Orthodox Church should be nationalised and redistributed to peasants by local governments. This contrasted with 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 that closed many opposition media outlets deemed counter-revolutionary. They claimed the measure would be temporary; the decree was widely criticised, including by many Bolsheviks, 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 secede from Russian authority and establish their own independent nation-states. Many nations declared independence (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). Soon, the Bolsheviks actively promoted communist parties in these independent nation-states, while at the Fifth All-Russian Congress of the Soviets in July 1918 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 legal system, calling on the use of "revolutionary conscience" to replace the abolished laws. The courts were replaced by a two-tier system, namely the Revolutionary Tribunals to deal with counter-revolutionary crimes, and the People's Courts to deal with civil and other criminal offences. They were instructed to ignore pre-existing laws, and base their rulings on the Sovnarkom decrees and a "socialist sense of justice." November also saw an overhaul of the armed forces; Sovnarkom implemented egalitarian measures, abolished previous ranks, titles, and medals, and called on soldiers to establish committees to elect their commanders.

Bolshevik political cartoon poster from 1920, showing Lenin sweeping away monarchs, clergy, and capitalists; the caption reads, "Comrade Lenin Cleanses the Earth of Filth"

In October 1917, Lenin issued a decree limiting work for everyone in Russia to eight hours per day. He also issued the Decree on Popular Education that stipulated that the government would guarantee free, secular education for all children in Russia, and a decree establishing a system of state orphanages. To combat mass illiteracy, a literacy campaign was initiated; an estimated 5 million people enrolled in crash courses of basic literacy from 1920 to 1926. Embracing the equality of the sexes, laws were introduced that helped to emancipate women, by giving them economic autonomy from their husbands and removing restrictions on divorce. Zhenotdel, a Bolshevik women's organisation, was established to further these aims. Under Lenin, Russia became the first country to legalize abortion on demand in the first trimester. Militantly atheist, Lenin and the Communist Party wanted to demolish organised religion. In January 1918, the government decreed the separation of church and state, and prohibited religious instruction in schools.

In November 1917, Lenin issued the Decree on Workers' Control, which called on the workers of each enterprise to establish an elected committee to monitor their enterprise's management. That month they also issued an order requisitioning the country's gold, and nationalised the banks, which Lenin saw as a major step toward 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, which were subordinate to VSNKh; the state's centralised economic plan was prioritised over the workers' local economic interests. In early 1918, Sovnarkom cancelled all foreign debts and refused to pay interest owed on them. In April 1918, it nationalised foreign trade, establishing a state monopoly on imports and exports. In June 1918, it decreed nationalisation of public utilities, railways, engineering, textiles, metallurgy, and mining, although often these were state-owned in name only. Full-scale nationalisation did 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 too moderate; they wanted nationalisation of all industry, agriculture, trade, finance, transport, and communication. Lenin believed that this was impractical at that stage and 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 they grew large enough to be successfully nationalised. Lenin also disagreed with the Left Communists about the economic organisation; in June 1918, he argued that centralised economic control of industry was needed, whereas Left Communists wanted each factory to be controlled by its workers, a syndicalist approach that Lenin considered detrimental to the cause of socialism.

Adopting a left-libertarian perspective, both the Left Communists and other factions in the Communist Party critiqued the decline of democratic institutions in Russia. 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 late 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. German Marxist Rosa Luxemburg echoed Kautsky's views, while Russian anarchist Peter Kropotkin described the Bolshevik seizure of power as "the burial of the Russian Revolution."

Treaty of Brest-Litovsk: 1917–1918

[By prolonging the war] we unusually strengthen German imperialism, and the peace will have to be concluded anyway, but then the peace will be worse because it will be concluded by someone other than ourselves. No doubt the peace which we are now being forced to conclude is an indecent peace, but if war commences our government will be swept away and the peace will be concluded by another government.

—Lenin on peace with the Central Powers

Upon taking power, Lenin believed that a key policy of his government must be to withdraw from the First World War by establishing an armistice with the Central Powers of Germany and Austria-Hungary. He believed that ongoing war would create resentment among war-weary Russian troops, to whom he had promised peace, and that these troops and the advancing German Army threatened both his own government and the cause of international socialism. By contrast, other Bolsheviks, in particular Nikolai Bukharin and the Left Communists, believed that peace with the Central Powers would be a betrayal of international socialism and that Russia should instead wage "a war of revolutionary defence" that would provoke an uprising of the German proletariat against their own government.

Lenin proposed a three-month armistice in his Decree on Peace of November 1917, which was 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 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 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. Some Bolsheviks had expressed hopes of dragging out negotiations until proletarian revolution broke out throughout Europe. On 7 January 1918, Trotsky returned from Brest-Litovsk to St. Petersburg with an ultimatum from the Central Powers: either Russia accept Germany's territorial demands or the war would resume.

Signing of the armistice between Russia and Germany on 15 December 1917

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. The majority of Bolsheviks rejected his position, hoping to prolong the armistice and call Germany's bluff. On 18 February, the German Army launched Operation Faustschlag, advancing further into Russian-controlled territory and conquering Dvinsk within a day. 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: Russia had to recognise German control not only of Poland and the Baltic states but also of Ukraine, or face a full-scale invasion.

On 3 March, the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was signed. It 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 its railway tracks, and three-quarters of its coal and iron deposits 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, Sovnarkom focused on trying 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. The Treaty nevertheless failed to stop the Central Powers' defeat; in November 1918, the German Emperor Wilhelm II abdicated and the country's new administration signed the Armistice with the Allies. As a result, Sovnarkom proclaimed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk void.

Anti-Kulak campaigns, Cheka, and Red Terror: 1918–1922

[The bourgeoisie] practised terror against the workers, soldiers and peasants in the interests of a small group of landowners and bankers, whereas the Soviet regime applies decisive measures against landowners, plunderers and their accomplices in the interests of the workers, soldiers and peasants.

—Lenin on the Red Terror

By early 1918, many cities in western Russia faced famine as a result of chronic food shortages. Lenin blamed this on the kulaks, or wealthier peasants, who allegedly hoarded the grain that they had produced to increase its financial value. In May 1918, he issued a requisitioning order that established armed detachments to confiscate grain from kulaks for distribution in the cities, and in June called for the formation of Committees of Poor Peasants to aid in requisitioning. This policy resulted in vast social disorder and violence, as armed detachments often clashed with peasant groups, helping to set the stage for the civil war. A prominent example of Lenin's views was his August 1918 telegram to the Bolsheviks of Penza, which called upon them to suppress a peasant insurrection by publicly hanging at least 100 "known kulaks, rich men, [and] bloodsuckers."

Requisitioning disincentivised peasants from producing more grain than they could personally consume, and thus production slumped. A booming black market supplemented the official state-sanctioned economy, and Lenin called on speculators, black marketeers and looters to be shot. Both the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Left Socialist-Revolutionaries condemned the armed appropriations of grain at the Fifth All-Russian Congress of Soviets in July 1918. Realising that the Committees of the Poor Peasants were also persecuting peasants who were not kulaks and thus contributing to anti-government feeling among the peasantry, in December 1918 Lenin abolished them.

Lenin repeatedly emphasised the need for terror and violence in overthrowing the old order and ensuring the success of the revolution. 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." He strongly opposed suggestions to abolish capital punishment. 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 led by Felix Dzerzhinsky.

Lenin with his wife and sister in a car after watching a Red Army parade at Khodynka Field in Moscow, May Day 1918

In September 1918, Sovnarkom passed a decree that inaugurated the Red Terror, a system of repression orchestrated by the Cheka. Although sometimes described as an attempt to eliminate the entire bourgeoisie, Lenin did not want to exterminate all members of this class, merely those who sought to reinstate their rule. The majority of the Terror's victims were well-to-do citizens or former members of the Tsarist administration; others were 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. For example, the Petrograd Cheka executed 512 people in a few days. There are no surviving records to provide an accurate figure of how many perished in the Red Terror; later estimates of historians have ranged between 10,000 and 15,000, and 50,000 to 140,000.

Lenin never witnessed this violence or participated in it first-hand, and publicly distanced himself from it. His published articles and speeches rarely called for executions, but he regularly did so in his coded telegrams and confidential notes. Many Bolsheviks expressed disapproval of the Cheka's mass executions and feared the organisation's apparent unaccountability. The Communist Party tried to restrain its activities in February 1919, stripping it of its powers of tribunal and execution in those areas not under official martial law, but the Cheka continued as before in swathes of the country. By 1920, the Cheka had become the most powerful institution in Soviet Russia, exerting influence over all other state apparatus.

A decree in April 1919 resulted in the establishment of concentration camps, which were entrusted to the Cheka, later administered by a new government agency, Gulag. By the end of 1920, 84 camps had been established across Soviet Russia, holding about 50,000 prisoners; by October 1923, this had grown to 315 camps and about 70,000 inmates. Those interned in the camps were used as slave labour. From July 1922, intellectuals deemed to be opposing the Bolshevik government were exiled to inhospitable regions or deported from Russia altogether; Lenin personally scrutinised 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, causing between 14,000 and 20,000 deaths. The Russian Orthodox Church was worst affected; the government's anti-religious policies also impacted on Roman Catholic and Protestant churches, Jewish synagogues, and Islamic mosques.

Civil War and the Polish–Soviet War: 1918–1920

The existence of the Soviet Republic alongside the imperialist states over the long run is unthinkable. In the end, either the one or the other will triumph. And until that end will have arrived, a series of the most terrible conflicts between the Soviet Republic and the bourgeois governments is unavoidable. This means that the ruling class, the proletariat, if it only wishes to rule and is to rule, must demonstrate this also with its military organization.

—Lenin on war

Lenin expected Russia's aristocracy and bourgeoisie to oppose his government, but he believed that the 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 borders 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 Tsarist military officers, and included Anton Denikin's Volunteer Army in South Russia, Alexander Kolchak's forces in Siberia, and Nikolai Yudenich's troops in the newly independent Baltic states. The Whites were bolstered when 35,000 members of the Czech Legion, who were prisoners of war from the conflict with the Central Powers, turned against Sovnarkom and allied with the Committee of Members of the Constituent Assembly (Komuch), an anti-Bolshevik government established in Samara. The Whites were also backed by Western governments who perceived the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk as a betrayal of the Allied war effort and feared the Bolsheviks' calls for world revolution. In 1918, Great Britain, France, United States, Canada, Italy, and Serbia landed 10,000 troops in Murmansk, seizing Kandalaksha, while later that year British, American, and Japanese forces landed in Vladivostok. Western troops soon pulled out of the civil war, instead only supporting the Whites with officers, technicians and armaments, but Japan remained because they saw the conflict as an opportunity for territorial expansion.

Lenin tasked Trotsky with establishing a Workers' and Peasants' Red Army, and with his support, Trotsky organised a Revolutionary Military Council in September 1918, remaining its chairman until 1925. Recognising their valuable military experience, Lenin agreed that officers from the old Tsarist army could serve in the Red Army, although Trotsky established military councils to monitor their activities. The Reds held control of Russia's two largest cities, Moscow and Petrograd, as well as most of Great Russia, while the Whites were located largely on the former Empire's peripheries. The latter were therefore hindered by being both fragmented and geographically scattered, and because their ethnic Russian supremacism alienated the region's national minorities. Anti-Bolshevik armies carried out the White Terror, a campaign of violence against perceived Bolshevik supporters which 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, blaming prejudice against Jews on capitalist propaganda.

A White Russian anti-Bolshevik propaganda poster, in which Lenin is depicted in a red robe, aiding other Bolsheviks in sacrificing Russia to a statue of Marx (c. 1918–1919)

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 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 sanctioned by Lenin; conversely, historian James Ryan cautioned that there was "no reason" to believe this. Whether Lenin sanctioned it or not, he still regarded it as necessary, highlighting the precedent set by the execution of Louis XVI in the French Revolution.

After the Brest-Litovsk Treaty, the Left Socialist-Revolutionaries had abandoned the coalition and increasingly viewed the Bolsheviks as traitors to the revolution. In July 1918, the Left Socialist-Revolutionary Yakov Blumkin assassinated the German ambassador to Russia, Wilhelm von Mirbach, 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 before being stopped by Trotsky's forces. The party's leaders and many members were arrested and imprisoned, but were treated more leniently than other opponents of the Bolsheviks.

By 1919, the White armies were in retreat and by the start of 1920 were defeated on all three fronts. Although Sovnarkom were victorious, the territorial extent of the Russian state had been reduced, for many non-Russian ethnic groups had used the disarray to push for national independence. In some cases, such as the north-eastern European nations of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Finland, the Soviets recognised their independence and concluded peace treaties. In other cases, the Red Army suppressed secessionist movements; by 1921 they had defeated the Ukrainian national movements and occupied the Caucasus, although fighting in Central Asia lasted until the late 1920s.

After the German Ober Ost garrisons were withdrawn from the Eastern Front following the Armistice, both Soviet Russian armies and Polish ones moved in to fill the vacuum. The newly independent Polish state and the Soviet government each sought territorial expansion in the region. Polish and Russian troops first clashed in February 1919, with the conflict developing into the Polish–Soviet War. Unlike the Soviets' previous conflicts, this had greater implications for the export of revolution and the future of Europe. Polish forces pushed into Ukraine and by May 1920 had taken Kiev from the Soviets. After forcing the Polish Army back, Lenin urged the Red Army to invade Poland itself, believing that the Polish proletariat would rise up to support the Russian troops and thus spark European revolution. Trotsky and other Bolsheviks were sceptical, but agreed to the invasion. The Polish proletariat did not rise, and the Red Army was defeated at the Battle of Warsaw. The Polish armies pushed the Red Army back into Russia, forcing Sovnarkom to sue for peace; the war culminated in the Peace of Riga, in which Russia ceded territory to Poland.

Comintern and world revolution: 1919–1920

Photograph of Lenin on 1 May 1919, taken by Grigori Petrovich Goldstein

After the Armistice on the Western Front, Lenin believed that the breakout of the European revolution was imminent. Seeking to promote this, Sovnarkom supported the establishment of Béla Kun's soviet government in Hungary in March 1919, followed by the soviet government in Bavaria and various revolutionary socialist uprisings in other parts of Germany, including that of the Spartacus League. During Russia's Civil War, the Red Army was 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 creation of new communist-led states in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, and Ukraine, all of which were officially independent of Russia, while further east it led to the creation of communist governments in Outer Mongolia. Various senior Bolsheviks wanted these absorbed into the Russian state; Lenin insisted that national sensibilities should be respected, but reassured his comrades that these nations' new Communist Party administrations were under the de facto authority of Sovnarkom.

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 formulated his own rival international socialist conference to offset its impact. Organised with the aid of Zinoviev, Nikolai Bukharin, Trotsky, Christian Rakovsky, and Angelica Balabanoff, the First Congress of this Communist International (Comintern) opened in Moscow in March 1919. It lacked 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 recognised by any socialist parties in their own nations. Accordingly, the Bolsheviks dominated proceedings, with Lenin subsequently authoring a series of regulations that meant that only socialist parties endorsing the Bolsheviks' views were permitted to join Comintern. 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 Comintern's president, Lenin retained significant influence over it.

The Second Congress of the Communist International opened in Petrograd's Smolny Institute in July 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 directly into socialist ones. For this conference, he authored "Left-Wing" Communism: An Infantile Disorder, a short book articulating his criticism of elements within the British and German communist parties who refused to enter their nations' parliamentary systems and trade unions; instead he urged them to do so to advance the revolutionary cause. The conference had to be suspended for several days due to the ongoing war with Poland, and was relocated to Moscow, where it continued to hold sessions until August. Lenin's predicted world revolution did not materialise, as the Hungarian communist government was overthrown and the German Marxist uprisings suppressed.

Famine and the New Economic Policy: 1920–1922

Within the Communist Party, there was dissent from two factions, the Group of Democratic Centralism and the Workers' Opposition, both of which accused the Russian state of being too centralised and bureaucratic. The Workers' Opposition, which had connections to the official state trade unions, also expressed the concern that the government had lost the trust of the Russian working class. They were angered by Trotsky's suggestion that the trade unions be eliminated. He deemed the unions to be superfluous in a "workers' state", but Lenin disagreed, believing it best to retain them; most Bolsheviks embraced Lenin's view in the 'trade union discussion'. To deal with the dissent, at the Tenth Party Congress in February 1921, Lenin introduced a ban on factional activity within the party, under pain of expulsion.

Victims of the famine in Buzuluk, Volga region, next to Saratov

Caused in part by a drought, the Russian famine of 1921–22 was the most severe that the country had experienced since that of 1891–92, resulting in around five million deaths. The famine was exacerbated by government requisitioning, as well as the export of large quantities of Russian grain. To aid the famine victims, the US government established an American Relief Administration to distribute food; Lenin was suspicious of this aid and had it closely monitored. During the famine, 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 items used within the Eucharist and many clergy resisted the appropriations, resulting in violence.

In 1920 and 1921, local opposition to requisitioning resulted in anti-Bolshevik peasant uprisings breaking out across Russia, which 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 when sailors in Kronstadt revolted against the Bolshevik government, demanding that all socialists be allowed to publish freely, that independent trade unions be given freedom of assembly and that peasants be allowed free markets and not be subject to requisitioning. Lenin declared that the mutineers had been misled by the Socialist-Revolutionaries and foreign imperialists, calling for violent reprisals. Under Trotsky's leadership, the Red Army put down the rebellion on 17 March, resulting in thousands of deaths and the internment of survivors in labour camps.

You must attempt first to build small bridges which shall lead to a land of small peasant holdings through State Capitalism to Socialism. Otherwise you will never lead tens of millions of people to Communism. This is what the objective forces of the development of the Revolution have taught.

—Lenin on the NEP, 1921

In February 1921, Lenin introduced a New Economic Policy (NEP) to the Politburo; he convinced most senior Bolsheviks of its necessity and it passed 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 original Bolshevik economic plans; he claimed that these had been derailed by the civil war, in which Sovnarkom had been forced to resort to the economic policies of war communism. The NEP allowed some private enterprise within Russia, permitting the reintroduction of the wage system and allowing peasants to sell produce on the open market while being taxed on their earnings. The policy also allowed for a return to privately owned small industry; basic industry, transport and foreign trade remained under state control. Lenin termed this "state capitalism", and many Bolsheviks thought it to be a betrayal of socialist principles. Lenin biographers have often characterised the introduction of the NEP as one of his most significant achievements and some believe that had it not been implemented then Sovnarkom would have been quickly overthrown by popular uprisings.

In January 1920, the 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" was widely cited in later years. Seeking to advance the Russian economy through foreign trade, Sovnarkom 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, which followed on from an earlier trade agreement with the United Kingdom. Lenin hoped that by allowing foreign corporations to invest in Russia, Sovnarkom would exacerbate rivalries between the capitalist nations and hasten their downfall; he tried to rent the oil fields of Kamchatka to an American corporation to heighten tensions between the US and Japan, who desired Kamchatka for their empire.

Declining health and conflict with Stalin: 1920–1923

Lenin in 1923, in a wheelchair

To Lenin's embarrassment and horror, in April 1920 the Bolsheviks held a party to celebrate his fiftieth birthday, which was also marked by widespread celebrations across Russia and the publication of poems and biographies dedicated to him. Between 1920 and 1926, twenty volumes of Lenin's Collected Works were published; some material was omitted. During 1920, several prominent Western figures visited Lenin in Russia; these included the author H. G. Wells and the philosopher Bertrand Russell, as well as the anarchists Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman. Lenin was also visited at the Kremlin by Armand, who was in increasingly poor health. He sent her to a sanatorium in Kislovodsk in the Northern Caucasus to recover, but she died there in September 1920 during a cholera epidemic. Her body was transported to Moscow, where a visibly grief-stricken Lenin oversaw her burial beneath the Kremlin Wall.

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. Twenty-six physicians were 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 from the bullets that were lodged in his body from the 1918 assassination attempt; 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 was suffering from neurasthenia or cerebral arteriosclerosis; others believed that he had syphilis, an idea endorsed in a 2004 report by a team of neuroscientists, who suggested that this was later deliberately concealed by the government. 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; in December he suffered a second stroke and returned to Gorki.

Lenin spent his final years largely at the Gorki mansion.

Despite his illness, Lenin remained keenly interested in political developments. When the Socialist Revolutionary Party's leadership was found guilty of conspiring against the government in a trial held between June and August 1922, Lenin called for their execution; they were instead imprisoned indefinitely, only being executed during the Great Purges of Stalin's leadership. With Lenin's support, the government also succeeded in virtually eradicating Menshevism in Russia by expelling all Mensheviks from state institutions and enterprises in March 1923 and then imprisoning the party's membership in concentration camps. Lenin was concerned by the survival of the Tsarist bureaucratic system in Soviet Russia, particularly during his final years. Condemning bureaucratic attitudes, he suggested a total overhaul to deal with such problems, in one letter complaining that "we are being sucked into a foul bureaucratic swamp."

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. He recommended that Stalin be removed from the position of General Secretary of the Communist Party, deeming him ill-suited for the position. Instead he recommended Trotsky 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 criticised his self-assurance and inclination toward excess administration. 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, promote punctuality and conscientiousness within the populace, and encourage peasants to join co‑operatives.

Stalin is too crude, and this defect which is entirely acceptable in our milieu and in relationships among us as communists, becomes unacceptable in the position of General Secretary. I therefore propose to comrades that they should devise a means of removing him from this job and should appoint to this job someone else who is distinguished from comrade Stalin in all other respects only by the single superior aspect that he should be more tolerant, more polite and more attentive towards comrades, less capricious, etc.

—Lenin, 4 January 1923

In Lenin's absence, Stalin had begun consolidating his power both by appointing his supporters to prominent positions, and by 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 increasingly critical of Stalin; while Lenin was insisting that the state should retain its monopoly on international trade during mid-1922, Stalin was leading 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 both Georgia and 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 by 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. After some resistance to the proposal, Stalin eventually accepted it but, with Lenin's agreement, he changed the name of the newly proposed state to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). 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. Despite his poor health, Lenin was elected chairman of the new government of the Soviet Union.

Death and funeral: 1923–1924

Lenin's funeral, painted by Isaac Brodsky, 1925

In March 1923, 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, regaining some of his mobility, speech, and writing skills. In October, he made a final visit to the Kremlin. In his final weeks, Lenin was visited by Zinoviev, Kamenev, and Bukharin; the latter visited him at his Gorki mansion on the day of his death. On 21 January 1924, Lenin fell into a coma and died later that day. His official cause of death was recorded as an incurable disease of the blood vessels.

The Soviet 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 taken 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 26 January, the eleventh All-Union Congress of Soviets met to pay respects, with speeches by Kalinin, Zinoviev, and Stalin. Notably, Trotsky was absent; he had been convalescing in the Caucasus, and he later claimed that Stalin sent him a telegram with the incorrect date of the planned funeral, making it impossible for him to arrive in time. 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 placed into the vault of a specially erected mausoleum. Despite the freezing temperatures, tens of thousands attended.

Against Krupskaya's protestations, Lenin's body was embalmed 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 one in granite, which was finished in 1933. His sarcophagus was replaced in 1940 and again in 1970. For safety amid the Second World War, from 1941 to 1945 the body was temporarily moved to Tyumen. As of 2021, his body remains on public display in Lenin's Mausoleum on Red Square.

Marxism and Leninism

Main articles: Leninism and Marxism–Leninism

We do not pretend that Marx or Marxists know the road to socialism in all its concreteness. That is nonsense. We know the direction of the road, we know what class forces will lead it, but concretely, practically, this will be shown by the experience of the millions when they undertake the act.

—Lenin, 11 September 1917

Lenin was a devout Marxist, and believed that his interpretation of Marxism, first termed "Leninism" by Martov in 1904, was the sole authentic and orthodox one. According to his Marxist perspective, 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 "from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs." According to Volkogonov, Lenin "deeply and sincerely" believed that the path he was setting Russia on would ultimately lead to the establishment of this communist society.

Lenin's Marxist beliefs led him to the view that society could not transform directly from its present state to communism, but must first enter a period of socialism, and so his main concern was how to convert Russia into a socialist society. To do so, he believed that a "dictatorship of the proletariat" was necessary to 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 until 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 "all citizens" becoming "hired employees of the state" in his words. Lenin's interpretation of socialism 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 what some perceive as two conflicting themes within Lenin's thought: popular workers' control, and a centralised, hierarchical, coercive state apparatus.

Lenin speaking in 1919

Before 1914, Lenin's views were largely in accordance with mainstream European Marxist orthodoxy. Although he derided Marxists who adopted ideas from contemporary non-Marxist philosophers and sociologists, his own ideas were influenced not only by Russian Marxist theory but also by wider ideas from the Russian revolutionary movement, including those of the Narodnik agrarian-socialists. He adapted his ideas according to changing circumstances, including the pragmatic realities of governing Russia amid war, famine, and economic collapse. As Leninism developed, Lenin revised the established Marxist orthodoxy and introduced innovations in Marxist thought.

In his theoretical writings, particularly Imperialism, Lenin discussed what he regarded as developments in capitalism since Marx's death; in his view, it had reached the new stage of state monopoly capitalism. He believed that although Russia's economy was dominated by the peasantry, the presence of monopoly capitalism in Russia meant that the country was sufficiently materially developed to move to socialism. Leninism adopted a more absolutist and doctrinaire perspective than other variants of Marxism, and distinguished itself by the emotional intensity of its liberationist vision. It also stood out by emphasising the role of a vanguard who could lead the proletariat to revolution, and elevated the role of violence as a revolutionary instrument.

Democracy and the national question

[Lenin] accepted truth as handed down by Marx and selected data and arguments to bolster that truth. He did not question old Marxist scripture, he merely commented, and the comments have become a new scripture.

—Biographer Louis Fischer, 1964

Lenin believed that the representative democracy of capitalist countries gave 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 opposed 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.

Lenin declared 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 regarded his "dictatorship of the proletariat" as democratic because, he claimed, it involved the election of representatives to the soviets, workers electing their own officials, and the regular rotation and involvement of all workers in the administration of the state. Lenin's belief as to what a proletariat state should look like nevertheless deviated from that adopted by the Marxist mainstream; European Marxists like Kautsky envisioned a democratically elected parliamentary government in which the proletariat had a majority, whereas Lenin called for a strong, centralised state apparatus that excluded any input from the bourgeois.

Lenin was an internationalist and a keen supporter of world revolution, deeming national borders to be an outdated concept and nationalism a distraction from class struggle. He believed that in a socialist society, the world's nations would inevitably merge and result in a single world government. He believed that this socialist state would need to be a centralised, unitary one, and regarded federalism as a bourgeois concept. In his writings, Lenin espoused anti-imperialist ideas and stated that all nations deserved "the right of self-determination." He supported wars of national liberation, accepting that such conflicts might be necessary for a minority group to break away from a socialist state, because socialist states are not "holy or insured against mistakes or weaknesses."

Prior to taking power in 1917, he was concerned that ethnic and national minorities would make the Soviet state ungovernable with their calls for independence; according to the historian Simon Sebag Montefiore, Lenin thus encouraged Stalin to develop "a theory that offered the ideal of autonomy and the right of secession without necessarily having to grant either." On taking power, Lenin called for the dismantling of the bonds that had forced minority ethnic groups to remain in the Russian Empire and espoused their right to secede but also expected them to reunite immediately in the spirit of proletariat internationalism. He was willing to use military force to ensure this unity, resulting in armed incursions into the independent states that formed in Ukraine, Georgia, Poland, Finland, and the Baltic states. Only when its conflicts with Finland, the Baltic states, and Poland proved unsuccessful did Lenin's government officially recognise their independence.

Lenin saw himself as a man of destiny and firmly believed in the righteousness of his cause and 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 "devotion to the revolutionary cause", Pipes noted that he exhibited much charisma. 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 "baldheaded, stocky, sturdy person", the communist revolutionary was "too ordinary" and did not give "the impression of being a leader."

[Lenin's collected writings] reveal in detail a man with iron will, self-enslaving self-discipline, scorn for opponents and obstacles, the cold determination of a zealot, the drive of a fanatic, and the ability to convince or browbeat weaker persons by his singleness of purpose, imposing intensity, impersonal approach, personal sacrifice, political astuteness, and complete conviction of the possession of the absolute truth. His life became the history of the Bolshevik movement.

—Biographer Louis Fischer, 1964

Historian and biographer Robert Service asserted that Lenin had been an intensely emotional young man, who exhibited strong hatred for 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 their writings as "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." 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 nevertheless an atheist and a critic of religion, believing that socialism was inherently atheistic; he thus considered Christian socialism a contradiction in terms.

Service stated that Lenin could be "moody and volatile", and Pipes deemed him to be "a thoroughgoing misanthrope", a view rejected by 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 outright opinions that differed from his own. He could be "venomous in his critique of others", exhibiting a propensity for mockery, ridicule, and ad hominem attacks on those who disagreed with him. He ignored facts that did not suit his argument, abhorred compromise, and very rarely admitted his own errors. He refused to change his opinions, until he rejected them completely, after which he would treat the new view as if it was just as unchangeable. Lenin showed no sign of sadism or of personally desiring to commit violent acts, but he endorsed the violent actions of others and exhibited no remorse for those killed for 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?"

The Lenin who seemed externally so gentle and good-natured, who enjoyed a laugh, who loved animals and was prone to sentimental reminiscences, was transformed when class or political questions arose. He at once became savagely sharp, uncompromising, remorseless and vengeful. Even in such a state he was capable of black humour.

—Biographer Dmitri Volkogonov, 1994

Aside from Russian, Lenin spoke and read French, German, and English. Concerned with physical fitness, he exercised regularly, 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 a spartan lifestyle, and Pipes noted 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 began to build around him; he nevertheless accepted that it might have some benefits in unifying the communist movement.

Despite his revolutionary politics, Lenin disliked revolutionary experimentation in literature and the arts, expressing his dislike of expressionism, futurism, and cubism, and conversely favouring realism and Russian classic literature. Lenin also had a conservative attitude towards sex and marriage. Throughout his adult life, he was in a relationship with Krupskaya, a fellow Marxist whom he married. Lenin and Krupskaya both regretted that they never had children, and they enjoyed entertaining their friends' offspring. Read noted that Lenin had "very close, warm, lifelong relationships" with his close family members; he had no lifelong friends, and Armand has been cited as being his only close, intimate confidante.

Ethnically, Lenin identified as Russian. Service described Lenin as "a bit of a snob in national, social and cultural terms." The Bolshevik leader believed that other European countries, especially Germany, were culturally superior to Russia, describing the latter 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 had wanted Russia to become more culturally European and Western.

The 1985 post stamp for 115th birth anniversary of Lenin. Portrait of Lenin (based on a 1900 photography of Y. Mebius in Moscow) with the Tampere Lenin Museum.

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 and provided the model for later Communist-led states that came to cover a third of the inhabited world in the mid-20th century. As a result, Lenin's influence was global. A controversial figure, Lenin remains both reviled and revered, a figure who has been both idolised and demonised. Even during his lifetime, Lenin "was loved and hated, admired and scorned" by the Russian people. This has extended into academic studies of Lenin and Leninism, which have often been polarised along political lines.

Statue of Lenin erected by the East German Marxist–Leninist government at Leninplatz in East Berlin, East Germany (removed in 1992)

The historian Albert Resis suggested that if the October Revolution is considered the most significant event of the 20th century, then Lenin "must for good or ill be considered the century's most significant political leader." 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 "principal actors." Read considered him "one of the most widespread, universally recognizable icons of the twentieth century", while Ryan called him "one of the most significant and influential figures of modern history." 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 soon after his death; some such as Christopher Hill were sympathetic to him, and others such as Richard Pipes and Robert Gellately expressly hostile. Some later biographers such as Read and Lars Lih sought to avoid making either hostile or positive comments about him, thereby evading politicised stereotypes. Among sympathisers, he was portrayed as having made a genuine adjustment of 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 considering his ideas as 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 totalitarian, and as a police state, and many have described it as a one-party dictatorship. Several such scholars have described Lenin as a dictator; Ryan stated that he was "not a dictator in the sense that all his recommendations were accepted and implemented", for many of his colleagues disagreed with him on various issues. Fischer noted that while "Lenin was a dictator, [he was] not the kind of dictator Stalin later became." 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 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 processes found in liberal democratic states. Ryan contends that the leftist historian Paul Le Blanc "makes a quite valid point that the personal qualities that led Lenin to brutal policies were not necessarily any stronger than in some of the major Western leaders of the twentieth century." Ryan also posits that for Lenin revolutionary violence was merely a means to an end, namely the establishment of a socialist, ultimately communist world—a world without violence. Historian J. Arch Getty remarked, "Lenin deserves a lot of credit for the notion that the meek can inherit the earth, that there can be a political movement based on social justice and equality." Some left-wing intellectuals, among them Slavoj Žižek, Alain Badiou, Lars T. Lih, and Fredric Jameson, advocate reviving Lenin's uncompromising revolutionary spirit to address contemporary global problems.

Within the Soviet Union

Lenin's Mausoleum in front of the Kremlin, 2007

In the Soviet Union, a cult of personality devoted to Lenin began to develop during his lifetime, but was only 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 Izvestia. 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 highest decorations. 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 systematised 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 Kraków, were also collected from abroad for storage in the institute, often at great expense. During the Soviet era, these writings were strictly controlled and very few had access. All of Lenin's writings that proved useful to Stalin were published, but the others remained hidden, and knowledge of both Lenin's non-Russian ancestry and his noble status was suppressed. In particular, his Jewish ancestry was suppressed until the 1980s, perhaps out of Soviet antisemitism, and so as not to undermine Stalin's Russification efforts, and perhaps so as not to provide fuel for anti-Soviet sentiment among international antisemites. After the discovery of Lenin's Jewish ancestry, this aspect was repeatedly emphasised by the Russian far-right, who claimed that his inherited Jewish genetics explained his desire to uproot traditional Russian society. 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; the fifth edition was described as "complete", but in reality had much omitted for political expediency.

Commemorative one rouble coin minted in 1970 in honour of Lenin's centenary

After Stalin's death, Nikita Khrushchev became leader of the Soviet Union and began a process of de-Stalinisation, citing Lenin's writings, including those on Stalin, to legitimise this process. When Mikhail Gorbachev took power in 1985 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, Russian President Boris Yeltsin ordered the Lenin archive be removed from Communist Party control and placed under the control of a state organ, the Russian Centre for the Preservation and Study of Documents of Recent History, at which it was revealed that over 6,000 of Lenin's writings had gone unpublished. These were declassified and made available for scholarly study. Yeltsin did not dismantle the Lenin mausoleum, recognising that Lenin was too popular and well respected among the Russian populace for this to be viable.

In Russia in 2012, a proposal from a deputy belonging to the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, with the support of some members of the governing United Russia party, proposed the removal of all Lenin monuments. The proposal was strongly opposed by the Communist Party of the Russian Federation. In 2012, the last statue of Lenin still standing in the Mongolian capital, Ulaanbaatar, was removed, with city mayor Bat-Uul Erdene calling him a "murderer." In Ukraine, during and after the 2013–14 Euromaidan protests, thousands of Lenin statues were damaged or destroyed by protesters, and in April 2015 the Ukrainian government ordered that all others be dismantled to comply with decommunisation laws.

In the international communist movement

Detail of Man, Controller of the Universe, fresco at Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City showing Vladimir Lenin

According to Lenin biographer David Shub, writing in 1965, it was Lenin's ideas and example that "constitutes the basis of the Communist movement today." Socialist states following Lenin's ideas appeared in various parts of the world during the 20th century. Writing in 1972, the historian Marcel Liebman stated that "there is hardly any insurrectionary movement today, from Latin America to Angola, that does not lay claim to the heritage of Leninism."

After Lenin's death, Stalin's administration established an ideology known as Marxism–Leninism, a movement that 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 was 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.

  1. The Constituent Assembly was declared dissolved by the Bolshevik-Left SR Soviet government, rendering the end the term served.
  2. Russian:Владимир Ильич Ульянов, tr. Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, IPA: .
  3. English: ; Russian:Ленин, IPA: .

Footnotes

  1. Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary.
  2. Fischer 1964, pp. 1–2; Rice 1990, pp. 12–13; Volkogonov 1994, p. 7; Service 2000, pp. 21–23; White 2001, pp. 13–15; Read 2005, p. 6; Schmermund & Edwards 2016, p. 9.
  3. Fischer 1964, pp. 1–2; Rice 1990, pp. 12–13; Service 2000, pp. 21–23; White 2001, pp. 13–15; Read 2005, p. 6.
  4. Fischer 1964, p. 5; Rice 1990, p. 13; Service 2000, p. 23.
  5. 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.
  6. Petrovsky-Shtern 2010, pp. 66–67.
  7. 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.
  8. Sebestyen 2017, p. 33.
  9. Fischer 1964, p. 6; Rice 1990, p. 12; Service 2000, p. 13.
  10. Fischer 1964, p. 6; Rice 1990, pp. 12, 14; Service 2000, p. 25; White 2001, pp. 19–20; Read 2005, p. 4; Lih 2011, pp. 21, 22.
  11. Fischer 1964, pp. 3, 8; Rice 1990, pp. 14–15; Service 2000, p. 29.
  12. Fischer 1964, p. 8; Service 2000, p. 27; White 2001, p. 19.
  13. Rice 1990, p. 18; Service 2000, p. 26; White 2001, p. 20; Read 2005, p. 7; Petrovsky-Shtern 2010, p. 64.
  14. Fischer 1964, p. 7; Rice 1990, p. 16; Service 2000, pp. 32–36.
  15. Fischer 1964, p. 7; Rice 1990, p. 17; Service 2000, pp. 36–46; White 2001, p. 20; Read 2005, p. 9.
  16. Fischer 1964, pp. 6, 9; Rice 1990, p. 19; Service 2000, pp. 48–49; Read 2005, p. 10.
  17. Fischer 1964, p. 9; Service 2000, pp. 50–51, 64; Read 2005, p. 16; Petrovsky-Shtern 2010, p. 69.
  18. 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.
  19. Fischer 1964, p. 18; Rice 1990, p. 25; Service 2000, p. 61; White 2001, p. 29; Read 2005, p. 16; Theen 2004, p. 33.
  20. Fischer 1964, p. 18; Rice 1990, p. 26; Service 2000, pp. 61–63.
  21. Rice 1990, pp. 26–27; Service 2000, pp. 64–68, 70; White 2001, p. 29.
  22. 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.
  23. Fischer 1964, p. 18; Rice 1990, p. 28; White 2001, p. 30; Read 2005, p. 12; Lih 2011, pp. 32–33.
  24. Fischer 1964, p. 18; Rice 1990, p. 310; Service 2000, p. 71.
  25. 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.
  26. Rice 1990, p. 33; Service 2000, pp. 74–76; White 2001, p. 31; Read 2005, p. 17.
  27. Rice 1990, p. 34; Service 2000, p. 78; White 2001, p. 31.
  28. Rice 1990, p. 34; Service 2000, p. 77; Read 2005, p. 18.
  29. Rice 1990, pp. 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.
  30. Fischer 1964, pp. 23–25, 26; Service 2000, p. 55; Read 2005, pp. 11, 24.
  31. Service 2000, pp. 79, 98.
  32. Rice 1990, pp. 34–36; Service 2000, pp. 82–86; White 2001, p. 31; Read 2005, pp. 18, 19; Lih 2011, p. 40.
  33. Fischer 1964, p. 21; Rice 1990, p. 36; Service 2000, p. 86; White 2001, p. 31; Read 2005, p. 18; Lih 2011, p. 40.
  34. Fischer 1964, p. 21; Rice 1990, pp. 36, 37.
  35. Fischer 1964, p. 21; Rice 1990, p. 38; Service 2000, pp. 93–94.
  36. Pipes 1990, p. 354; Rice 1990, pp. 38–39; Service 2000, pp. 90–92; White 2001, p. 33; Lih 2011, pp. 40, 52.
  37. Pipes 1990, p. 354; Rice 1990, pp. 39–40; Lih 2011, p. 53.
  38. Rice 1990, pp. 40, 43; Service 2000, p. 96.
  39. Pipes 1990, p. 355; Rice 1990, pp. 41–42; Service 2000, p. 105; Read 2005, pp. 22–23.
  40. Fischer 1964, p. 22; Rice 1990, p. 41; Read 2005, pp. 20–21.
  41. Fischer 1964, p. 27; Rice 1990, pp. 42–43; White 2001, pp. 34, 36; Read 2005, p. 25; Lih 2011, pp. 45–46.
  42. 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.
  43. Rice 1990, p. 46; Service 2000, p. 103; White 2001, p. 37; Read 2005, p. 26.
  44. Fischer 1964, p. 30; Rice 1990, p. 46; Service 2000, p. 103; White 2001, p. 37; Read 2005, p. 26.
  45. Rice 1990, pp. 47–48; Read 2005, p. 26.
  46. Fischer 1964, p. 31; Pipes 1990, p. 355; Rice 1990, p. 48; White 2001, p. 38; Read 2005, p. 26.
  47. Fischer 1964, p. 31; Rice 1990, pp. 48–51; Service 2000, pp. 107–108; Read 2005, p. 31; Lih 2011, p. 61.
  48. Fischer 1964, p. 31; Rice 1990, pp. 48–51; Service 2000, pp. 107–108.
  49. Fischer 1964, p. 31; Rice 1990, pp. 52–55; Service 2000, pp. 109–110; White 2001, pp. 38, 45, 47; Read 2005, p. 31.
  50. 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.
  51. 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.
  52. Fischer 1964, pp. 33–34; Rice 1990, pp. 53, 55–56; Service 2000, p. 117; Read 2005, p. 33.
  53. Rice 1990, pp. 61–63; Service 2000, p. 124; Rappaport 2010, p. 31.
  54. 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.
  55. 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.
  56. 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.
  57. Fischer 1964, p. 35; Pipes 1990, p. 357; Rice 1990, pp. 64–69; Service 2000, pp. 130–135; Rappaport 2010, pp. 32–33.
  58. Rice 1990, pp. 69–70; Read 2005, p. 51; Rappaport 2010, pp. 41–42, 53–55.
  59. Rice 1990, pp. 69–70.
  60. Fischer 1964, pp. 4–5; Service 2000, p. 137; Read 2005, p. 44; Rappaport 2010, p. 66.
  61. Rappaport 2010, p. 66; Lih 2011, pp. 8–9.
  62. 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.
  63. Fischer 1964, p. 37; Rice 1990, p. 70; Service 2000, p. 136; Read 2005, p. 44; Rappaport 2010, pp. 36–37.
  64. Fischer 1964, p. 37; Rice 1990, pp. 78–79; Service 2000, pp. 143–144; Rappaport 2010, pp. 81, 84.
  65. Read 2005, p. 60.
  66. Fischer 1964, p. 38; Lih 2011, p. 80.
  67. Fischer 1964, pp. 38–39; Rice 1990, pp. 75–76; Service 2000, p. 147.
  68. Fischer 1964, pp. 40, 50–51; Rice 1990, p. 76; Service 2000, pp. 148–150; Read 2005, p. 48; Rappaport 2010, pp. 82–84.
  69. Rice 1990, pp. 77–78; Service 2000, p. 150; Rappaport 2010, pp. 85–87.
  70. Pipes 1990, p. 360; Rice 1990, pp. 79–80; Service 2000, pp. 151–152; White 2001, p. 62; Read 2005, p. 60; Rappaport 2010, p. 92; Lih 2011, p. 81.
  71. Rice 1990, pp. 81–82; Service 2000, pp. 154–155; White 2001, p. 63; Read 2005, pp. 60–61.
  72. Fischer 1964, p. 39; Rice 1990, p. 82; Service 2000, pp. 155–156; Read 2005, p. 61; White 2001, p. 64; Rappaport 2010, p. 95.
  73. Rice 1990, p. 83; Rappaport 2010, p. 107.
  74. Rice 1990, pp. 83–84; Service 2000, p. 157; White 2001, p. 65; Rappaport 2010, pp. 97–98.
  75. Service 2000, pp. 158–159, 163–164; Rappaport 2010, pp. 97, 99, 108–109.
  76. Rice 1990, p. 85; Service 2000, p. 163.
  77. Fischer 1964, p. 41; Rice 1990, p. 85; Service 2000, p. 165; White 2001, p. 70; Read 2005, p. 64; Rappaport 2010, p. 114.
  78. Fischer 1964, p. 44; Rice 1990, pp. 86–88; Service 2000, p. 167; Read 2005, p. 75; Rappaport 2010, pp. 117–120; Lih 2011, p. 87.
  79. Fischer 1964, pp. 44–45; Pipes 1990, pp. 362–363; Rice 1990, pp. 88–89.
  80. Service 2000, pp. 170–171.
  81. Pipes 1990, pp. 363–364; Rice 1990, pp. 89–90; Service 2000, pp. 168–170; Read 2005, p. 78; Rappaport 2010, p. 124.
  82. Fischer 1964, p. 60; Pipes 1990, p. 367; Rice 1990, pp. 90–91; Service 2000, p. 179; Read 2005, p. 79; Rappaport 2010, p. 131.
  83. Rice 1990, pp. 88–89.
  84. Fischer 1964, p. 51; Rice 1990, p. 94; Service 2000, pp. 175–176; Read 2005, p. 81; Read 2005, pp. 77, 81; Rappaport 2010, pp. 132, 134–135.
  85. Rice 1990, pp. 94–95; White 2001, pp. 73–74; Read 2005, pp. 81–82; Rappaport 2010, p. 138.
  86. Rice 1990, pp. 96–97; Service 2000, pp. 176–178.
  87. Fischer 1964, pp. 70–71; Pipes 1990, pp. 369–370; Rice 1990, p. 104.
  88. Rice 1990, p. 95; Service 2000, pp. 178–179.
  89. Fischer 1964, p. 53; Pipes 1990, p. 364; Rice 1990, pp. 99–100; Service 2000, pp. 179–180; White 2001, p. 76.
  90. Rice 1990, pp. 103–105; Service 2000, pp. 180–182; White 2001, pp. 77–79.
  91. Rice 1990, pp. 105–106; Service 2000, pp. 184–186; Rappaport 2010, p. 144.
  92. Brackman 2000, pp. 59, 62.
  93. Service 2000, pp. 186–187.
  94. Fischer 1964, pp. 67–68; Rice 1990, p. 111; Service 2000, pp. 188–189.
  95. Fischer 1964, p. 64; Rice 1990, p. 109; Service 2000, pp. 189–190; Read 2005, pp. 89–90.
  96. Fischer 1964, pp. 63–64; Rice 1990, p. 110; Service 2000, pp. 190–191; White 2001, pp. 83, 84.
  97. Rice 1990, pp. 110–111; Service 2000, pp. 191–192; Read 2005, p. 91.
  98. Fischer 1964, pp. 64–67; Rice 1990, p. 110; Service 2000, pp. 192–193; White 2001, pp. 84, 87–88; Read 2005, p. 90.
  99. Fischer 1964, p. 69; Rice 1990, p. 111; Service 2000, p. 195.
  100. Fischer 1964, pp. 81–82; Pipes 1990, pp. 372–375; Rice 1990, pp. 120–121; Service 2000, p. 206; White 2001, p. 102; Read 2005, pp. 96–97.
  101. Fischer 1964, p. 70; Rice 1990, pp. 114–116.
  102. Fischer 1964, pp. 68–69; Rice 1990, p. 112; Service 2000, pp. 195–196.
  103. Fischer 1964, pp. 75–80; Rice 1990, p. 112; Pipes 1990, p. 384; Service 2000, pp. 197–199; Read 2005, p. 103.
  104. Rice 1990, p. 115; Service 2000, p. 196; White 2001, pp. 93–94.
  105. Fischer 1964, pp. 71–72; Rice 1990, pp. 116–117; Service 2000, pp. 204–206; White 2001, pp. 96–97; Read 2005, p. 95.
  106. Fischer 1964, p. 72; Rice 1990, pp. 118–119; Service 2000, pp. 209–211; White 2001, p. 100; Read 2005, p. 104.
  107. Fischer 1964, pp. 93–94; Pipes 1990, p. 376; Rice 1990, p. 121; Service 2000, pp. 214–215; White 2001, pp. 98–99.
  108. Rice 1990, p. 122; White 2001, p. 100.
  109. Service 2000, p. 216; White 2001, p. 103; Read 2005, p. 105.
  110. Fischer 1964, pp. 73–74; Rice 1990, pp. 122–123; Service 2000, pp. 217–218; Read 2005, p. 105.
  111. Fischer 1964, p. 85.
  112. Rice 1990, p. 127; Service 2000, pp. 222–223.
  113. Fischer 1964, p. 94; Pipes 1990, pp. 377–378; Rice 1990, pp. 127–128; Service 2000, pp. 223–225; White 2001, p. 104; Read 2005, p. 105.
  114. Fischer 1964, p. 94; Pipes 1990, p. 378; Rice 1990, p. 128; Service 2000, p. 225; White 2001, p. 104; Read 2005, p. 127.
  115. Fischer 1964, p. 107; Service 2000, p. 236.
  116. Fischer 1964, p. 85; Pipes 1990, pp. 378–379; Rice 1990, p. 127; Service 2000, p. 225; White 2001, pp. 103–104.
  117. 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.
  118. Fischer 1964, p. 85; Rice 1990, p. 129; Service 2000, pp. 227–228; Read 2005, p. 111.
  119. Pipes 1990, p. 380; Service 2000, pp. 230–231; Read 2005, p. 130.
  120. Rice 1990, p. 135; Service 2000, p. 235.
  121. 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.
  122. Service 2000, pp. 241–242.
  123. Service 2000, p. 243.
  124. Service 2000, pp. 238–239.
  125. Rice 1990, pp. 136–138; Service 2000, p. 253.
  126. Service 2000, pp. 254–255.
  127. 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.
  128. Fischer 1964, pp. 110–113; Rice 1990, pp. 140–144; Pipes 1990, pp. 391–392; Service 2000, pp. 257–260.
  129. Merridale 2017, p. ix.
  130. Fischer 1964, pp. 113, 124; Rice 1990, p. 144; Pipes 1990, p. 392; Service 2000, p. 261; White 2001, pp. 131–132.
  131. Pipes 1990, pp. 393–394; Service 2000, p. 266; White 2001, pp. 132–135; Read 2005, pp. 143, 146–147.
  132. Service 2000, pp. 266–268, 279; White 2001, pp. 134–136; Read 2005, pp. 147, 148.
  133. Service 2000, pp. 267, 271–272; Read 2005, pp. 152, 154.
  134. Service 2000, p. 282; Read 2005, p. 157.
  135. Pipes 1990, p. 421; Rice 1990, p. 147; Service 2000, pp. 276, 283; White 2001, p. 140; Read 2005, p. 157.
  136. 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.
  137. Pipes 1990, pp. 431–434; Rice 1990, p. 148; Service 2000, pp. 284–285; White 2001, p. 141; Read 2005, p. 161.
  138. Fischer 1964, p. 125; Rice 1990, pp. 148–149; Service 2000, p. 285.
  139. Pipes 1990, pp. 436, 467; Service 2000, p. 287; White 2001, p. 141; Read 2005, p. 165.
  140. Pipes 1990, pp. 468–469; Rice 1990, p. 149; Service 2000, p. 289; White 2001, pp. 142–143; Read 2005, pp. 166–172.
  141. Service 2000, p. 288.
  142. Pipes 1990, p. 468; Rice 1990, p. 150; Service 2000, pp. 289–292; Read 2005, p. 165.
  143. Pipes 1990, pp. 439–465; Rice 1990, pp. 150–151; Service 2000, p. 299; White 2001, pp. 143–144; Read 2005, p. 173.
  144. Pipes 1990, p. 465.
  145. Pipes 1990, pp. 465–467; White 2001, p. 144; Lee 2003, p. 17; Read 2005, p. 174.
  146. Pipes 1990, p. 471; Rice 1990, pp. 151–152; Read 2005, p. 180.
  147. Pipes 1990, pp. 473, 482; Rice 1990, p. 152; Service 2000, pp. 302–303; Read 2005, p. 179.
  148. Pipes 1990, pp. 482–484; Rice 1990, pp. 153–154; Service 2000, pp. 303–304; White 2001, pp. 146–147.
  149. Pipes 1990, pp. 471–472; Service 2000, p. 304; White 2001, p. 147.
  150. Service 2000, pp. 306–307.
  151. Rigby 1979, pp. 14–15; Leggett 1981, pp. 1–3; Pipes 1990, p. 466; Rice 1990, p. 155.
  152. Pipes 1990, pp. 485–486, 491; Rice 1990, pp. 157, 159; Service 2000, p. 308.
  153. Pipes 1990, pp. 492–493, 496; Service 2000, p. 311; Read 2005, p. 182.
  154. Pipes 1990, p. 491; Service 2000, p. 309.
  155. Pipes 1990, p. 499; Service 2000, pp. 314–315.
  156. Pipes 1990, pp. 496–497; Rice 1990, pp. 159–161; Service 2000, pp. 314–315; Read 2005, p. 183.
  157. Pipes 1990, p. 504; Service 2000, p. 315.
  158. Service 2000, p. 316.
  159. Shub 1966, p. 314; Service 2000, p. 317.
  160. 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.
  161. Volkogonov 1994, p. 176; Service 2000, pp. 331–332; White 2001, p. 156; Read 2005, p. 192.
  162. Rice 1990, p. 164.
  163. Pipes 1990, pp. 546–547.
  164. Pipes 1990, pp. 552–553; Rice 1990, p. 165; Volkogonov 1994, pp. 176–177; Service 2000, pp. 332, 336–337; Read 2005, p. 192.
  165. Fischer 1964, p. 158; Shub 1966, pp. 301–302; Rigby 1979, p. 26; Leggett 1981, p. 5; Pipes 1990, pp. 508, 519; Service 2000, pp. 318–319; Read 2005, pp. 189–190.
  166. Rigby 1979, pp. 166–167; Leggett 1981, pp. 20–21; Pipes 1990, pp. 533–534, 537; Volkogonov 1994, p. 171; Service 2000, pp. 322–323; White 2001, p. 159; Read 2005, p. 191.
  167. Fischer 1964, pp. 219, 256, 379; Shub 1966, p. 374; Service 2000, p. 355; White 2001, p. 159; Read 2005, p. 219.
  168. Rigby 1979, pp. 160–164; Volkogonov 1994, pp. 374–375; Service 2000, p. 377.
  169. Sandle 1999, p. 74; Rigby 1979, pp. 168–169.
  170. Fischer 1964, p. 432.
  171. Leggett 1981, p. 316; Lee 2003, pp. 98–99.
  172. Rigby 1979, pp. 160–161; Leggett 1981, p. 21; Lee 2003, p. 99.
  173. Service 2000, p. 388; Lee 2003, p. 98.
  174. Service 2000, p. 388.
  175. Rigby 1979, pp. 168, 170; Service 2000, p. 388.
  176. Service 2000, pp. 325–326, 333; Read 2005, pp. 211–212.
  177. Shub 1966, p. 361; Pipes 1990, p. 548; Volkogonov 1994, p. 229; Service 2000, pp. 335–336; Read 2005, p. 198.
  178. Fischer 1964, p. 156; Shub 1966, p. 350; Pipes 1990, p. 594; Volkogonov 1994, p. 185; Service 2000, p. 344; Read 2005, p. 212.
  179. 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.
  180. Service 2000, p. 345.
  181. Fischer 1964, p. 466; Service 2000, p. 348.
  182. 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.
  183. Fischer 1964, pp. 282–283; Shub 1966, pp. 362–363; Pipes 1990, pp. 807, 809; Volkogonov 1994, pp. 222–228; White 2001, p. 155.
  184. Volkogonov 1994, pp. 222, 231.
  185. Service 2000, p. 369.
  186. Rice 1990, p. 161.
  187. 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.
  188. Shub 1966, p. 310; Leggett 1981, pp. 5–6, 8, 306; Pipes 1990, pp. 521–522; Service 2000, pp. 317–318; White 2001, p. 153; Read 2005, pp. 235–236.
  189. Fischer 1964, p. 249; Pipes 1990, p. 514; Service 2000, p. 321.
  190. Fischer 1964, p. 249; Pipes 1990, p. 514; Read 2005, p. 219.
  191. White 2001, pp. 159–160.
  192. Fischer 1964, p. 249.
  193. Sandle 1999, p. 84; Read 2005, p. 211.
  194. Leggett 1981, pp. 172–173; Pipes 1990, pp. 796–797; Read 2005, p. 242.
  195. Leggett 1981, p. 172; Pipes 1990, pp. 798–799; Ryan 2012, p. 121.
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  198. Service 2000, p. 321.
  199. Fischer 1964, pp. 260–261.
  200. Sandle 1999, p. 174.
  201. Fischer 1964, pp. 554–555; Sandle 1999, p. 83.
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  203. David 1974, p. 417.
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  207. Volkogonov 1994, p. 171.
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  210. Fischer 1964, pp. 437–438; Pipes 1990, p. 709; Sandle 1999, pp. 64, 68.
  211. Fischer 1964, pp. 263–264; Pipes 1990, p. 672.
  212. Fischer 1964, p. 264.
  213. Pipes 1990, pp. 681, 692–693; Sandle 1999, pp. 96–97.
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  216. Fischer 1964, pp. 259, 444–445.
  217. Sandle 1999, p. 120.
  218. Service 2000, pp. 354–355.
  219. Fischer 1964, pp. 307–308; Volkogonov 1994, pp. 178–179; White 2001, p. 156; Read 2005, pp. 252–253; Ryan 2012, pp. 123–124.
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  221. Shub 1966, p. 383.
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  224. Fischer 1964, p. 151; Pipes 1990, p. 567; Service 2000, p. 338.
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  230. Fischer 1964, pp. 171–172, 200–202; Pipes 1990, p. 578.
  231. Rice 1990, p. 166; Service 2000, p. 338.
  232. Service 2000, p. 338.
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  234. Fischer 1964, pp. 206, 209; Shub 1966, p. 337; Pipes 1990, pp. 586–587; Service 2000, pp. 340–341.
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  241. Fischer 1964, pp. 313–314; Shub 1966, pp. 387–388; Pipes 1990, pp. 667–668; Volkogonov 1994, pp. 193–194; Service 2000, p. 384.
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  249. Pipes 1990, pp. 700–702; Lee 2003, p. 100.
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  251. Fischer 1964, p. 237.
  252. Service 2000, p. 385; White 2001, p. 164; Read 2005, p. 218.
  253. Shub 1966, p. 344; Pipes 1990, pp. 790–791; Volkogonov 1994, pp. 181, 196; Read 2005, pp. 247–248.
  254. Shub 1966, p. 312.
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  259. Ryan 2012, p. 116.
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  262. Leggett 1981, pp. 173–174; Pipes 1990, p. 801.
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  265. Pipes 1990, p. 837.
  266. Ryan 2012, p. 114.
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  284. Lee 2003, pp. 84, 88.
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  289. Fischer 1964, pp. 288–289; Pipes 1990, pp. 624–630; Service 2000, p. 360; White 2001, pp. 161–162; Read 2005, p. 205.
  290. Fischer 1964, pp. 262–263.
  291. Fischer 1964, p. 291; Shub 1966, p. 354.
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  293. Pipes 1990, pp. 610, 612; Volkogonov 1994, p. 198.
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  301. Pipes 1990, pp. 763, 770–771; Volkogonov 1994, p. 211.
  302. Ryan 2012, p. 109.
  303. Volkogonov 1994, p. 208.
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Bibliography

Vladimir Lenin Language Watch Edit Lenin and Vladimir Ilyich Lenin redirect here For other uses of Lenin see Lenin disambiguation For the poem by Mayakovsky see Vladimir Ilyich Lenin poem In this Eastern Slavic naming convention the patronymic is Ilyich and the family name is Ulyanov Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov b 22 April O S 10 April 1870 21 January 1924 better known by his alias Lenin c was a Russian revolutionary politician and political theorist He served as the first and founding head of government of Soviet Russia from 1917 to 1924 and of the Soviet Union from 1922 to 1924 Under his administration Russia and later the Soviet Union became a one party socialist state governed by the Soviet Communist Party A Marxist he developed a variant of communist ideology known as Leninism Vladimir LeninVladimir LeninLenin in July 1920Chairman of the Council of People s Commissars of the Soviet UnionIn office 6 July 1923 21 January 1924Preceded byOffice establishedSucceeded byAlexei RykovChairman of the Council of People s Commissars of the Russian SFSRIn office 8 November 1917 21 January 1924Preceded byOffice establishedSucceeded byAlexei RykovMember of the Russian Constituent AssemblyIn office 25 November 1917 20 January 1918 a Serving with Pavel DybenkoPreceded byConstituency establishedSucceeded byConstituency abolishedConstituencyBaltic FleetPersonal detailsBornVladimir Ilyich Ulyanov 22 April O S 10 April 1870 Simbirsk Russian EmpireDied21 January 1924 1924 01 21 aged 53 Gorki Moscow Governorate Russian SFSR Soviet UnionBuriedLenin s Mausoleum Moscow Russian FederationNationalityRussian SovietPolitical partyRussian Social Democratic Labour Party 1898 1903 Russian Social Democratic Labour Party Bolsheviks 1903 12 Bolshevik Party 1912 1918 Russian Communist Party Bolsheviks 1918 1924 Other political affiliationsLeague of Struggle for the Emancipation of the Working Class 1895 1898 Spouse s Nadezhda Krupskaya m 1898 wbr RelationsAleksandr Ulyanov brother Anna Ulyanova sister Dmitry Ilyich Ulyanov brother Maria Ilyinichna Ulyanova sister and three other siblingsParentsIlya Nikolayevich UlyanovMaria Alexandrovna BlankAlma materSaint Petersburg Imperial UniversitySignatureCentral institution membership 1917 1924 Full member 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th 12th Politburo1917 1924 Full member 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th 12th Central Committee1905 1907 Full member 3rd Central Committee Military offices held 1918 1920 Chairman Council of Labour and Defence Leader of the Soviet Union First holder Stalin Born to a moderately prosperous middle class family in Simbirsk Lenin embraced revolutionary socialist politics following his brother s 1887 execution Expelled from Kazan Imperial University for participating in protests against the Russian Empire s Tsarist government he devoted the following years to a law degree He moved to Saint Petersburg in 1893 and became a senior Marxist activist In 1897 he was arrested for sedition and exiled to Shushenskoye for three years where he married Nadezhda Krupskaya After his exile he moved to Western Europe where he became a prominent theorist in the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party RSDLP In 1903 he took a key role in the RSDLP ideological split leading the Bolshevik faction against Julius Martov s Mensheviks Following Russia s failed Revolution of 1905 he campaigned for the First World War to be transformed into a Europe wide proletarian revolution which as a Marxist he believed would cause 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 play a leading role in the October Revolution in which the Bolsheviks overthrew the new regime Lenin s Bolshevik government initially shared power with the Left Socialist Revolutionaries elected soviets and a multi party Constituent Assembly although by 1918 it had centralised power in the new Communist Party Lenin s administration redistributed land among the peasantry and nationalised banks and large scale industry It withdrew from the First World War by signing a treaty conceding territory to the Central Powers and promoted world revolution through the Communist International Opponents were suppressed in the Red Terror a violent campaign administered by the state security services tens of thousands were killed or interned in concentration camps His administration defeated right and left wing anti Bolshevik armies in the Russian Civil War from 1917 to 1922 and oversaw the Polish Soviet War of 1919 1921 Responding to wartime devastation famine and popular uprisings in 1921 Lenin encouraged economic growth through the mixed market socialist New Economic Policy Several non Russian nations had secured independence from the Russian Empire after 1917 but three were re united into the new Soviet Union in 1922 His health failing Lenin died in Gorki with Joseph Stalin succeeding him as the pre eminent figure in the Soviet government 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 a prominent influence over the international communist movement A controversial and highly divisive historical figure Lenin is viewed by supporters as a champion of socialism and the working class while critics have accused him of establishing a totalitarian dictatorship and ordering political repression and mass killings Contents 1 Early life 1 1 Childhood 1870 1887 1 2 University and political radicalisation 1887 1893 2 Revolutionary activity 2 1 Early activism and imprisonment 1893 1900 2 2 Munich London and Geneva 1900 1905 2 3 Revolution of 1905 and its aftermath 1905 1914 2 4 First World War 1914 1917 2 5 February Revolution and the July Days 1917 2 6 October Revolution 1917 3 Lenin s government 3 1 Organising the Soviet government 1917 1918 3 2 Social legal and economic reform 1917 1918 3 3 Treaty of Brest Litovsk 1917 1918 3 4 Anti Kulak campaigns Cheka and Red Terror 1918 1922 3 5 Civil War and the Polish Soviet War 1918 1920 3 6 Comintern and world revolution 1919 1920 3 7 Famine and the New Economic Policy 1920 1922 3 8 Declining health and conflict with Stalin 1920 1923 3 9 Death and funeral 1923 1924 4 Political ideology 4 1 Marxism and Leninism 4 2 Democracy and the national question 5 Personal life and characteristics 6 Legacy 6 1 Within the Soviet Union 6 2 In the international communist movement 7 See also 8 Notes 9 References 9 1 Footnotes 9 2 Bibliography 10 Further reading 11 External linksEarly lifeMain article Early life of Vladimir Lenin Childhood 1870 1887 Lenin s childhood home in Simbirsk Lenin s father Ilya Nikolayevich Ulyanov was from a family of former serfs his ethnic origins remain unclear with suggestions being made that he was of Russian Chuvash Mordvin or Kalmyk ancestry 2 Despite this lower class background Ilya had risen to middle class status studying physics and mathematics at Kazan Imperial University before teaching at the Penza Institute for the Nobility 3 Ilya married Maria Alexandrovna Blank in mid 1863 4 Well educated she was the daughter of a wealthy German Swedish Lutheran mother and according to some sources a Russian Jewish father who had converted to Christianity and worked as a physician 5 According to historian Petrovsky Shtern it is likely that Lenin was unaware of his mother s half Jewish ancestry which was only discovered by his sister Anna after his death 6 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 7 An image of Lenin left at the age of three Lenin was born in Streletskaya Ulitsa Simbirsk now Ulyanovsk on 22 April 1870 and baptised six days later 8 as a child he was known as Volodya a diminutive of Vladimir 9 He was the third of eight children having two older siblings Anna born 1864 and Alexander born 1866 They were followed by three more children Olga born 1871 Dmitry born 1874 and Maria born 1878 Two later siblings died in infancy 10 Ilya was a devout member of the Russian Orthodox Church and baptised his children into it although Maria a Lutheran by upbringing was largely indifferent to Christianity a view that influenced her children 11 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 12 Every summer they holidayed at a rural manor in Kokushkino 13 Among his siblings Lenin was closest to his sister Olga whom he often bossed around he had an extremely competitive nature and could be destructive but usually admitted his misbehaviour 14 A keen sportsman he spent much of his free time outdoors or playing chess and excelled at school the disciplinarian and conservative Simbirsk Classical Gymnasium 15 In January 1886 when Lenin was 15 his father died of a brain haemorrhage 16 Subsequently his behaviour became erratic and confrontational and he renounced his belief in God 17 At the time Lenin s elder brother Alexander whom he affectionately knew as Sasha was studying at Saint Petersburg University Involved in political agitation against the absolute monarchy of the reactionary Tsar Alexander III Alexander 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 could take place the conspirators were arrested and tried and Alexander was executed by hanging in May 18 Despite the emotional trauma of his father s and brother s deaths Lenin continued studying graduated from school at the top of his class with a gold medal for exceptional performance and decided to study law at Kazan University 19 University and political radicalisation 1887 1893 Upon entering Kazan University in August 1887 Lenin moved into a nearby flat 20 There he joined a zemlyachestvo a form of university society that represented the men of a particular region 21 This group elected him as its representative to the university s zemlyachestvo council and he took part in a December demonstration against government restrictions that banned student societies The police arrested Lenin and accused him of being a ringleader in the demonstration he was expelled from the university and the Ministry of Internal Affairs exiled him to his family s Kokushkino estate 22 There he read voraciously becoming enamoured with Nikolay Chernyshevsky s 1863 pro revolutionary novel What Is to Be Done 23 Lenin s mother was concerned by her son s radicalisation and was instrumental in convincing the Interior Ministry to allow him to return to the city of Kazan but not the university 24 On his return 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 that capitalist society would ultimately give way to socialist society and then communist society 25 Wary of his political views Lenin s mother bought a country estate in Alakaevka village Samara Oblast in the hope that her son would turn his attention to agriculture He had little interest in farm management and his mother soon sold the land keeping the house as a summer home 26 Lenin came under the influence of Karl Marx In September 1889 the Ulyanov family moved to the city of Samara where Lenin joined Alexei Sklyarenko s socialist discussion circle 27 There Lenin fully embraced Marxism and produced a Russian language translation of Marx and Friedrich Engels s 1848 political pamphlet The Communist Manifesto 28 He began to read the works of the Russian Marxist Georgi Plekhanov agreeing with Plekhanov s argument that Russia was moving from feudalism to capitalism and so socialism would be implemented by the proletariat or urban working class rather than the peasantry 29 This Marxist perspective contrasted with the view of the agrarian socialist Narodnik movement which held that the peasantry could establish socialism in Russia by forming peasant communes thereby bypassing capitalism This Narodnik view developed in the 1860s with the People s Freedom Party and was then dominant within the Russian revolutionary movement 30 Lenin rejected the premise of the agrarian socialist argument but was influenced by agrarian socialists like Pyotr Tkachev and Sergei Nechaev and befriended several Narodniks 31 In May 1890 Maria who retained societal influence as the widow of a nobleman persuaded the authorities to allow Lenin to take his exams externally at the University of St Petersburg where he obtained the equivalent of a first class degree with honours The graduation celebrations were marred when his sister Olga died of typhoid 32 Lenin remained in Samara for several years working first as a legal assistant for a regional court and then for a local lawyer 33 He devoted much time to radical politics remaining active in Sklyarenko s group and formulating ideas about how Marxism applied to Russia Inspired by Plekhanov s work Lenin collected data on Russian society using it to support a Marxist interpretation of societal development and counter the claims of the Narodniks 34 He wrote a paper on peasant economics it was rejected by the liberal journal Russian Thought 35 Revolutionary activityMain article Revolutionary activity of Vladimir Lenin Early activism and imprisonment 1893 1900 In late 1893 Lenin moved to Saint Petersburg 36 There he worked as a barrister s assistant and rose to a senior position in a Marxist revolutionary cell that called itself the Social Democrats after the Marxist Social Democratic Party of Germany 37 Publicly championing Marxism within the socialist movement he encouraged the founding of revolutionary cells in Russia s industrial centres 38 By late 1894 he was leading a Marxist workers circle and meticulously covered his tracks knowing that police spies tried to infiltrate the movement 39 He began a romantic relationship with Nadezhda Nadya Krupskaya a Marxist schoolteacher 40 He also authored the political tract What the Friends of the People Are and How They Fight the Social Democrats criticising the Narodnik agrarian socialists based largely on his experiences in Samara around 200 copies were illegally printed in 1894 41 Lenin hoped to cement connections between his Social Democrats and Emancipation of Labour a group of Russian Marxist emigres based in Switzerland he visited the country to meet group members Plekhanov and Pavel Axelrod 42 He proceeded to Paris to meet Marx s son in law Paul Lafargue and to research the Paris Commune of 1871 which he considered an early prototype for a proletarian government 43 Financed by his mother he stayed in a Swiss health spa before travelling to Berlin where he studied for six weeks at the Staatsbibliothek and met the Marxist activist Wilhelm Liebknecht 44 Returning to Russia with a stash of illegal revolutionary publications he travelled to various cities distributing literature to striking workers 45 While involved in producing a news sheet Rabochee delo Workers Cause he was among 40 activists arrested in St Petersburg and charged with sedition 46 Lenin seated centre with other members of the League of Struggle for the Emancipation of the Working Class in 1897 Refused legal representation or bail Lenin denied all charges against him but remained imprisoned for a year before sentencing 47 He spent this time theorising and writing In this work he noted that the rise of industrial capitalism in Russia had caused large numbers of peasants to move to the cities where they formed a proletariat From his Marxist perspective Lenin argued that this Russian proletariat would develop class consciousness which would in turn lead them to violently overthrow tsarism the aristocracy and the bourgeoisie and to establish a proletariat state that would move toward socialism 48 In February 1897 Lenin was sentenced without trial to three years exile in eastern Siberia He was granted a few days in Saint Petersburg to put his affairs in order and used this time to meet with the Social Democrats who had renamed themselves the League of Struggle for the Emancipation of the Working Class 49 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 revolutionaries many of whom visited him and permitted to go on trips to swim in the Yenisei River and to hunt duck and snipe 50 In May 1898 Nadya joined him in exile having been arrested in August 1896 for organising a strike She was initially posted to Ufa but persuaded the authorities to move her to Shushenskoye claiming that she and Lenin were engaged they married in a church on 10 July 1898 51 Settling into a family life with Nadya s mother Elizaveta Vasilyevna in Shushenskoye the couple translated English socialist literature into Russian 52 Keen to keep up with developments in German Marxism where there had been an ideological split with revisionists like Eduard Bernstein advocating a peaceful electoral path to socialism Lenin remained devoted to violent revolution attacking revisionist arguments in A Protest by Russian Social Democrats 53 He also finished The Development of Capitalism in Russia 1899 his longest book to date which criticised 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 54 Munich London and Geneva 1900 1905 Lenin in 1916 while in Switzerland After his exile Lenin settled in Pskov in early 1900 55 There he began raising funds for a newspaper Iskra Spark a new organ of the Russian Marxist party now calling itself the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party RSDLP 56 In July 1900 Lenin 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 57 Containing contributions from prominent European Marxists Iskra was smuggled into Russia 58 becoming the country s most successful underground publication for 50 years 59 He first adopted the pseudonym Lenin in December 1901 possibly based on the Siberian River Lena 60 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 61 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 62 His wife Nadya joined Lenin in Munich and became his personal secretary 63 They continued their political agitation as Lenin wrote for Iskra and drafted the RSDLP programme attacking ideological dissenters and external critics particularly the Socialist Revolutionary Party SR 64 a Narodnik agrarian socialist group founded in 1901 65 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 66 To evade Bavarian police Lenin moved to London with Iskra in April 1902 67 He became friends with fellow Russian Marxist Leon Trotsky 68 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 Geneva 69 The second RSDLP Congress was held in London in July 1903 70 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 71 Lenin s supporters were in the majority and he termed them the majoritarians bol sheviki in Russian Bolsheviks in response Martov termed his followers the minoritarians men sheviki in Russian Mensheviks 72 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 73 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 74 The stress made Lenin ill and to recuperate he went on a hiking holiday in rural Switzerland 75 The Bolshevik faction grew in strength by spring 1905 the whole RSDLP Central Committee was Bolshevik 76 and in December they founded the newspaper Vpered Forward 77 Revolution of 1905 and its aftermath 1905 1914 In January 1905 the Bloody Sunday massacre of protesters in St Petersburg sparked a spate of civil unrest in the Russian Empire known as the Revolution of 1905 78 Lenin urged Bolsheviks to take a greater role in the events encouraging violent insurrection 79 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 80 In turn he insisted that the Bolsheviks split completely with the Mensheviks many Bolsheviks refused and both groups attended the Third RSDLP Congress held in London in April 1905 81 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 82 The uprising has begun Force against Force Street fighting is raging barricades are being thrown up rifles are cracking guns are booming Rivers of blood are flowing the civil war for freedom is blazing up Moscow and the South the Caucasus and Poland are ready to join the proletariat of St Petersburg The slogan of the workers has become Death or Freedom Lenin on the Revolution of 1905 83 In response to the revolution of 1905 which had failed to overthrow the government Tsar Nicholas II accepted a series of liberal reforms in his October Manifesto In this climate Lenin felt it safe to return to St Petersburg 84 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 85 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 86 Recognising that membership fees and donations from a few wealthy sympathisers were insufficient to finance the Bolsheviks activities Lenin endorsed the idea of robbing post offices railway stations trains and banks Under the lead of Leonid Krasin a group of Bolsheviks began carrying out such criminal actions the best known taking place in June 1907 when a group of Bolsheviks acting under the leadership of Joseph Stalin committed an armed robbery of the State Bank in Tiflis Georgia 87 Although he briefly supported the idea of reconciliation between Bolsheviks and Mensheviks 88 Lenin s advocacy of violence and robbery was condemned by the Mensheviks at the Fourth RSDLP Congress held in Stockholm in April 1906 89 Lenin was involved in setting up a Bolshevik Centre in Kuokkala Grand Duchy of Finland which was at the time a semi autonomous part of the Russian Empire before the Bolsheviks regained dominance of the RSDLP at its Fifth Congress held in London in May 1907 90 As the Tsarist government cracked down on opposition both by disbanding Russia s legislative assembly the Second Duma and by ordering its secret police the Okhrana to arrest revolutionaries Lenin fled Finland for Switzerland 91 There he tried to exchange those banknotes stolen in Tiflis that had identifiable serial numbers on them 92 Alexander Bogdanov and other prominent Bolsheviks decided to relocate the Bolshevik Centre to Paris although Lenin disagreed he moved to the city in December 1908 93 Lenin disliked Paris lambasting it as a foul hole and while there he sued a motorist who knocked him off his bike 94 Lenin became very critical of Bogdanov s view that Russia s proletariat had to develop a socialist culture in order to become a successful revolutionary vehicle Instead Lenin favoured a vanguard of socialist intelligentsia who would 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 independent of human observation 95 Bogdanov and Lenin holidayed together at Maxim Gorky s villa in Capri in April 1908 96 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 97 Lenin undertook research at the British Museum in London In May 1908 Lenin lived briefly in London where he used the British Museum Reading Room to write Materialism and Empirio criticism an attack on what he described as the bourgeois reactionary falsehood of Bogdanov s relativism 98 Lenin s factionalism began to alienate increasing numbers of Bolsheviks including his former close supporters Alexei Rykov and Lev Kamenev 99 The Okhrana exploited his factionalist attitude by sending a spy Roman Malinovsky to act as a vocal Lenin supporter within the party Various Bolsheviks expressed their suspicions about 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 100 In August 1910 Lenin attended the Eighth 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 101 With his wife and sisters he then moved to France settling first in Bombon and then Paris 102 Here he became a close friend to the French Bolshevik Inessa Armand some biographers suggest that they had an extra marital affair from 1910 to 1912 103 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 104 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 105 Moving to Krakow in the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria a culturally Polish part of the Austro Hungarian Empire he used Jagiellonian University s library to conduct research 106 He stayed in close contact with the RSDLP which was operating in the Russian Empire convincing the Duma s Bolshevik members to split from their parliamentary alliance with the Mensheviks 107 In January 1913 Stalin whom Lenin referred to as the wonderful Georgian visited him and they discussed the future of non Russian ethnic groups in the Empire 108 Due to the ailing health of both Lenin and his wife they moved to the rural town of Bialy Dunajec 109 before heading to Bern for Nadya to have surgery on her goitre 110 First World War 1914 1917 The First World war is being waged for the division of colonies and the robbery of foreign territory thieves have fallen out and to refer to the defeats at a given moment of one of the thieves in order to identify the interests of all thieves with the interests of the nation or the fatherland is an unconscionable bourgeois lie Lenin on his interpretation of the First World War 111 Lenin was in Galicia when the First World War broke out 112 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 113 Lenin and his wife returned to Bern 114 before relocating to Zurich in February 1916 115 Lenin was angry that the German Social Democratic Party was supporting the German war effort which was a direct contravention of the Second International s Stuttgart resolution that socialist parties would oppose the conflict and saw the Second International as defunct 116 He attended the Zimmerwald Conference in September 1915 and the Kienthal Conference in April 1916 117 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 118 In July 1916 Lenin s mother died but he was unable to attend her funeral 119 Her death deeply affected him and he became depressed fearing that he too would die before seeing the proletarian revolution 120 In September 1917 Lenin published Imperialism the Highest Stage of Capitalism which 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 121 He spent much of this time reading the works of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel Ludwig Feuerbach and Aristotle all of whom had been key influences on Marx 122 This changed Lenin s interpretation of Marxism whereas he once believed that policies could be developed based on predetermined scientific principles he concluded that the only test of whether a policy was correct was its practice 123 He still perceived himself as an orthodox Marxist but he began to diverge from some of Marx s predictions about 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 an intermediate revolution 124 February Revolution and the July Days 1917 In February 1917 the February Revolution broke out in St Petersburg renamed Petrograd at the beginning of the First World War 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 the Russian Provisional Government and converting the Empire into a new Russian Republic 125 When Lenin learned of this from his base in Switzerland he celebrated with other dissidents 126 He decided to return to Russia to take charge of the Bolsheviks but found that most passages into 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 sealed train carriage through their territory among them Lenin and his wife 127 The group travelled by train from Zurich to Sassnitz proceeding by ferry to Trelleborg Sweden and from there to the Haparanda Tornio border crossing and then to Helsinki before taking the final train to Petrograd in disguise 128 Lenin s travel route from Zurich to St Petersburg named Petrograd at the time in April 1917 including the ride in a sealed train on German territory The engine that pulled the train on which Lenin arrived at Petrograd s Finland Station in April 1917 was not preserved So Engine 293 by which Lenin escaped to Finland and then returned to Russia later in the year serves as the permanent exhibit installed at a platform on the station 129 Arriving at Petrograd s Finland Station in April Lenin gave a speech to Bolshevik supporters condemning the Provisional Government and again calling for a continent wide European proletarian revolution 130 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 131 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 just as 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 a proletariat government and pushing toward a socialist society By contrast the Mensheviks believed that Russia was insufficiently developed to transition to socialism and accused Lenin of trying to plunge the new Republic into civil war 132 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 133 Sensing growing frustration among Bolshevik supporters Lenin suggested an armed political demonstration in Petrograd to test the government s response 134 Amid deteriorating health he left the city to recuperate in the Finnish village of Neivola 135 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 and called for calm 136 Responding to the violence the government ordered the arrest of Lenin and other prominent Bolsheviks raiding their offices and publicly alleging that he was a German agent provocateur 137 Evading arrest Lenin hid in a series of Petrograd safe houses 138 Fearing that he would be killed Lenin and fellow senior Bolshevik Grigory Zinoviev escaped Petrograd in disguise relocating to Razliv 139 There Lenin began work on the book that became The State and Revolution an exposition on how he believed the socialist state would develop after the proletariat revolution and how from then on the state would gradually wither away leaving a pure communist society 140 He began arguing for a Bolshevik led armed insurrection to topple the government but at a clandestine meeting of the party s central committee this idea was rejected 141 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 142 October Revolution 1917 Main article October Revolution Painting of Lenin in front of the Smolny Institute by Isaak Brodsky 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 but the events had allowed the Bolsheviks to return to the open political arena 143 Fearing a counter revolution from right wing forces hostile to socialism the Mensheviks and Socialist Revolutionaries who dominated the Petrograd Soviet had been instrumental in pressurising the government to normalise relations with the Bolsheviks 144 Both the Mensheviks and Socialist Revolutionaries had lost much popular support because of their affiliation with the Provisional Government and its unpopular continuation of the war The Bolsheviks capitalised on this and soon the pro Bolshevik Marxist Trotsky was elected leader of the Petrograd Soviet 145 In September the Bolsheviks gained a majority in the workers sections of both the Moscow and Petrograd Soviets 146 Recognising that the situation was safer for him Lenin returned to Petrograd 147 There he attended a meeting of the Bolshevik Central Committee on 10 October where he again argued that the party should lead an armed insurrection to topple the Provisional Government This time the argument won with ten votes against two 148 Critics of the plan Zinoviev and Kamenev argued that Russian workers would not support a violent coup against the regime and that there was no clear evidence for Lenin s assertion that all of Europe was on the verge of proletarian revolution 149 The party began plans to organise the offensive holding a final meeting at the Smolny Institute on 24 October 150 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 151 In October the MRC was ordered to take control of Petrograd s key transport communication printing and utilities hubs and did so without bloodshed 152 Bolsheviks besieged the government in the Winter Palace and overcame it and arrested its ministers after the cruiser Aurora controlled by Bolshevik seamen fired a blank shot to signal the start of the revolution 153 During the insurrection Lenin gave a speech to the Petrograd Soviet announcing that the Provisional Government had been overthrown 154 The Bolsheviks declared the formation of a new government the Council of People s Commissars or Sovnarkom Lenin initially turned down the leading position of Chairman suggesting Trotsky for the job but other Bolsheviks insisted and ultimately Lenin relented 155 Lenin and other Bolsheviks then attended the Second Congress of Soviets on 26 and 27 October and announced the creation of the new government Menshevik attendees condemned the illegitimate seizure of power and the risk of civil war 156 In these early days of the new regime Lenin avoided talking in Marxist and socialist terms so as not to alienate Russia s population and instead spoke about having a country controlled by the workers 157 Lenin and many other Bolsheviks expected proletariat revolution to sweep across Europe in days or months 158 Lenin s governmentMain article Government of Vladimir Lenin Organising the Soviet government 1917 1918 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 159 In the constitutional election the Bolsheviks gained approximately a quarter of the vote being defeated by the agrarian focused Socialist Revolutionaries 160 Lenin argued that the election was not a fair reflection of the people s will that the electorate had not had time to learn the Bolsheviks political programme and that the candidacy lists had been drawn up before the Left Socialist Revolutionaries split from the Socialist Revolutionaries 161 Nevertheless the newly elected Russian Constituent Assembly convened in Petrograd in January 1918 162 Sovnarkom argued that it was counter revolutionary because it sought to remove power from the soviets but the Socialist Revolutionaries and Mensheviks denied this 163 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 as evidence of its counter revolutionary nature and forcibly disbanded it 164 Lenin rejected repeated calls including from some Bolsheviks to establish a coalition government with other socialist parties 165 Although refusing a coalition with the Mensheviks or Socialist Revolutionaries Sovnarkom partially relented they allowed the Left Socialist Revolutionaries five posts in the cabinet in December 1917 This coalition only lasted four months until March 1918 when the Left Socialist Revolutionaries pulled out of the government over a disagreement about the Bolsheviks approach to ending the First World War 166 At their 7th Congress in March 1918 the Bolsheviks changed their official name from the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party to the Russian Communist Party as Lenin wanted to both distance his group from the increasingly reformist German Social Democratic Party and to emphasise its ultimate goal that of a communist society 167 The Moscow Kremlin which Lenin moved into in 1918 Although ultimate power officially rested 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 de facto in control in Russia as acknowledged by its members at the time 168 By 1918 Sovnarkom began acting unilaterally claiming a need for expediency with the ARCS and VTSIK becoming increasingly marginalised 169 so the soviets no longer had a role in governing Russia 170 During 1918 and 1919 the government expelled Mensheviks and Socialist Revolutionaries from the soviets 171 Russia had become a one party state 172 Within the party was established a Political Bureau Politburo and Organisation Bureau Orgburo to accompany the existing Central Committee the decisions of these party bodies had to be adopted by Sovnarkom and the Council of Labour and Defence 173 Lenin was the most significant figure in this governance structure as well as being the Chairman of Sovnarkom and sitting on the Council of Labour and Defence and on the Central Committee and Politburo of the Communist Party 174 The only individual to have anywhere near this influence was Lenin s right hand man Yakov Sverdlov who died in March 1919 during a flu pandemic 175 In November 1917 Lenin and his wife took a two room flat within the Smolny Institute the following month they left for a brief holiday in Halila Finland 176 In January 1918 he survived an assassination attempt in Petrograd Fritz Platten who was with Lenin at the time shielded him and was injured by a bullet 177 Concerned that the German Army posed a threat to Petrograd in March 1918 Sovnarkom relocated to Moscow initially as a temporary measure 178 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 adjacent to the room in which the Sovnarkom meetings were held 179 Lenin disliked Moscow 180 but rarely left the city centre during the rest of his life 181 He survived a second assassination attempt in Moscow in August 1918 he was shot following a public speech and injured badly 182 A Socialist Revolutionary Fanny Kaplan was arrested and executed 183 The attack was widely covered in the Russian press generating much sympathy for Lenin and boosting his popularity 184 As a respite he was driven in September 1918 to the Gorki estate just outside Moscow recently acquired for him by the government 185 Social legal and economic reform 1917 1918 To All Workers Soldiers and Peasants The Soviet authority will at once propose a democratic peace to all nations and an immediate armistice on all fronts It will safeguard the transfer without compensation of all land landlord imperial and monastery to the peasants committees it will defend the soldiers rights introducing a complete democratisation of the army it will establish workers control over industry it will ensure the convocation of the Constituent Assembly on the date set it will supply the cities with bread and the villages with articles of first necessity and it will secure to all nationalities inhabiting Russia the right of self determination Long live the revolution Lenin s political programme October 1917 186 Upon taking power Lenin s regime issued a series of decrees The first was a Decree on Land which declared that the landed estates of the aristocracy and the Orthodox Church should be nationalised and redistributed to peasants by local governments This contrasted with Lenin s desire for agricultural collectivisation but provided governmental recognition of the widespread peasant land seizures that had already occurred 187 In November 1917 the government issued the Decree on the Press that closed many opposition media outlets deemed counter revolutionary They claimed the measure would be temporary the decree was widely criticised including by many Bolsheviks for compromising freedom of the press 188 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 secede from Russian authority and establish their own independent nation states 189 Many nations declared independence 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 190 Soon the Bolsheviks actively promoted communist parties in these independent nation states 191 while at the Fifth All Russian Congress of the Soviets in July 1918 a constitution was approved that reformed the Russian Republic into the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic 192 Seeking to modernise the country the government officially converted Russia from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar used in Europe 193 In November 1917 Sovnarkom issued a decree abolishing Russia s legal system calling on the use of revolutionary conscience to replace the abolished laws 194 The courts were replaced by a two tier system namely the Revolutionary Tribunals to deal with counter revolutionary crimes 195 and the People s Courts to deal with civil and other criminal offences They were instructed to ignore pre existing laws and base their rulings on the Sovnarkom decrees and a socialist sense of justice 196 November also saw an overhaul of the armed forces Sovnarkom implemented egalitarian measures abolished previous ranks titles and medals and called on soldiers to establish committees to elect their commanders 197 Bolshevik political cartoon poster from 1920 showing Lenin sweeping away monarchs clergy and capitalists the caption reads Comrade Lenin Cleanses the Earth of Filth In October 1917 Lenin issued a decree limiting work for everyone in Russia to eight hours per day 198 He also issued the Decree on Popular Education that stipulated that the government would guarantee free secular education for all children in Russia 198 and a decree establishing a system of state orphanages 199 To combat mass illiteracy a literacy campaign was initiated an estimated 5 million people enrolled in crash courses of basic literacy from 1920 to 1926 200 Embracing the equality of the sexes laws were introduced that helped to emancipate women by giving them economic autonomy from their husbands and removing restrictions on divorce 201 Zhenotdel a Bolshevik women s organisation was established to further these aims 202 Under Lenin Russia became the first country to legalize abortion on demand in the first trimester 203 Militantly atheist Lenin and the Communist Party wanted to demolish organised religion 204 In January 1918 the government decreed the separation of church and state and prohibited religious instruction in schools 205 In November 1917 Lenin issued the Decree on Workers Control which called on the workers of each enterprise to establish an elected committee to monitor their enterprise s management 206 That month they also issued an order requisitioning the country s gold 207 and nationalised the banks which Lenin saw as a major step toward socialism 208 In December Sovnarkom established a Supreme Council of the National Economy VSNKh which had authority over industry banking agriculture and trade 209 The factory committees were subordinate to the trade unions which were subordinate to VSNKh the state s centralised economic plan was prioritised over the workers local economic interests 210 In early 1918 Sovnarkom cancelled all foreign debts and refused to pay interest owed on them 211 In April 1918 it nationalised foreign trade establishing a state monopoly on imports and exports 212 In June 1918 it decreed nationalisation of public utilities railways engineering textiles metallurgy and mining although often these were state owned in name only 213 Full scale nationalisation did not take place until November 1920 when small scale industrial enterprises were brought under state control 214 A faction of the Bolsheviks known as the Left Communists criticised Sovnarkom s economic policy as too moderate they wanted nationalisation of all industry agriculture trade finance transport and communication 215 Lenin believed that this was impractical at that stage and 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 they grew large enough to be successfully nationalised 215 Lenin also disagreed with the Left Communists about the economic organisation in June 1918 he argued that centralised economic control of industry was needed whereas Left Communists wanted each factory to be controlled by its workers a syndicalist approach that Lenin considered detrimental to the cause of socialism 216 Adopting a left libertarian perspective both the Left Communists and other factions in the Communist Party critiqued the decline of democratic institutions in Russia 217 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 218 In late 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 219 German Marxist Rosa Luxemburg echoed Kautsky s views 220 while Russian anarchist Peter Kropotkin described the Bolshevik seizure of power as the burial of the Russian Revolution 221 Treaty of Brest Litovsk 1917 1918 By prolonging the war we unusually strengthen German imperialism and the peace will have to be concluded anyway but then the peace will be worse because it will be concluded by someone other than ourselves No doubt the peace which we are now being forced to conclude is an indecent peace but if war commences our government will be swept away and the peace will be concluded by another government Lenin on peace with the Central Powers 222 Upon taking power Lenin believed that a key policy of his government must be to withdraw from the First World War by establishing an armistice with the Central Powers of Germany and Austria Hungary 223 He believed that ongoing war would create resentment among war weary Russian troops to whom he had promised peace and that these troops and the advancing German Army threatened both his own government and the cause of international socialism 224 By contrast other Bolsheviks in particular Nikolai Bukharin and the Left Communists believed that peace with the Central Powers would be a betrayal of international socialism and that Russia should instead wage a war of revolutionary defence that would provoke an uprising of the German proletariat against their own government 225 Lenin proposed a three month armistice in his Decree on Peace of November 1917 which was approved by the Second Congress of Soviets and presented to the German and Austro Hungarian governments 226 The Germans responded positively viewing this as an opportunity to focus on the Western Front and stave off looming defeat 227 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 228 Meanwhile a ceasefire until January was agreed 229 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 230 Some Bolsheviks had expressed hopes of dragging out negotiations until proletarian revolution broke out throughout Europe 231 On 7 January 1918 Trotsky returned from Brest Litovsk to St Petersburg with an ultimatum from the Central Powers either Russia accept Germany s territorial demands or the war would resume 232 Signing of the armistice between Russia and Germany on 15 December 1917 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 The majority of Bolsheviks rejected his position hoping to prolong the armistice and call Germany s bluff 233 On 18 February the German Army launched Operation Faustschlag advancing further into Russian controlled territory and conquering Dvinsk within a day 234 At this point Lenin finally convinced a small majority of the Bolshevik Central Committee to accept the Central Powers demands 235 On 23 February the Central Powers issued a new ultimatum Russia had to recognise German control not only of Poland and the Baltic states but also of Ukraine or face a full scale invasion 236 On 3 March the Treaty of Brest Litovsk was signed 237 It 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 its railway tracks and three quarters of its coal and iron deposits being transferred to German control 238 Accordingly the Treaty was deeply unpopular across Russia s political spectrum 239 and several Bolsheviks and Left Socialist Revolutionaries resigned from Sovnarkom in protest 240 After the Treaty Sovnarkom focused on trying 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 241 The Treaty nevertheless failed to stop the Central Powers defeat in November 1918 the German Emperor Wilhelm II abdicated and the country s new administration signed the Armistice with the Allies As a result Sovnarkom proclaimed the Treaty of Brest Litovsk void 242 Anti Kulak campaigns Cheka and Red Terror 1918 1922 See also Decossackisation The bourgeoisie practised terror against the workers soldiers and peasants in the interests of a small group of landowners and bankers whereas the Soviet regime applies decisive measures against landowners plunderers and their accomplices in the interests of the workers soldiers and peasants Lenin on the Red Terror 243 By early 1918 many cities in western Russia faced famine as a result of chronic food shortages 244 Lenin blamed this on the kulaks or wealthier peasants who allegedly hoarded the grain that they had produced to increase its financial value In May 1918 he issued a requisitioning order that established armed detachments to confiscate grain from kulaks for distribution in the cities and in June called for the formation of Committees of Poor Peasants to aid in requisitioning 245 This policy resulted in vast social disorder and violence as armed detachments often clashed with peasant groups helping to set the stage for the civil war 246 A prominent example of Lenin s views was his August 1918 telegram to the Bolsheviks of Penza which called upon them to suppress a peasant insurrection by publicly hanging at least 100 known kulaks rich men and bloodsuckers 247 Requisitioning disincentivised peasants from producing more grain than they could personally consume and thus production slumped 248 A booming black market supplemented the official state sanctioned economy 249 and Lenin called on speculators black marketeers and looters to be shot 250 Both the Socialist Revolutionaries and Left Socialist Revolutionaries condemned the armed appropriations of grain at the Fifth All Russian Congress of Soviets in July 1918 251 Realising that the Committees of the Poor Peasants were also persecuting peasants who were not kulaks and thus contributing to anti government feeling among the peasantry in December 1918 Lenin abolished them 252 Lenin repeatedly emphasised the need for terror and violence in overthrowing the old order and ensuring the success of the revolution 253 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 254 He strongly opposed suggestions to abolish capital punishment 255 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 led by Felix Dzerzhinsky 256 Lenin with his wife and sister in a car after watching a Red Army parade at Khodynka Field in Moscow May Day 1918 In September 1918 Sovnarkom passed a decree that inaugurated the Red Terror a system of repression orchestrated by the Cheka 257 Although sometimes described as an attempt to eliminate the entire bourgeoisie 258 Lenin did not want to exterminate all members of this class merely those who sought to reinstate their rule 259 The majority of the Terror s victims were well to do citizens or former members of the Tsarist administration 260 others were non bourgeois anti Bolsheviks and perceived social undesirables such as prostitutes 261 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 262 Accordingly throughout Soviet Russia the Cheka carried out killings often in large numbers 263 For example the Petrograd Cheka executed 512 people in a few days 264 There are no surviving records to provide an accurate figure of how many perished in the Red Terror 265 later estimates of historians have ranged between 10 000 and 15 000 266 and 50 000 to 140 000 267 Lenin never witnessed this violence or participated in it first hand 268 and publicly distanced himself from it 269 His published articles and speeches rarely called for executions but he regularly did so in his coded telegrams and confidential notes 270 Many Bolsheviks expressed disapproval of the Cheka s mass executions and feared the organisation s apparent unaccountability 271 The Communist Party tried to restrain its activities in February 1919 stripping it of its powers of tribunal and execution in those areas not under official martial law but the Cheka continued as before in swathes of the country 272 By 1920 the Cheka had become the most powerful institution in Soviet Russia exerting influence over all other state apparatus 273 A decree in April 1919 resulted in the establishment of concentration camps which were entrusted to the Cheka 274 later administered by a new government agency Gulag 275 By the end of 1920 84 camps had been established across Soviet Russia holding about 50 000 prisoners by October 1923 this had grown to 315 camps and about 70 000 inmates 276 Those interned in the camps were used as slave labour 277 From July 1922 intellectuals deemed to be opposing the Bolshevik government were exiled to inhospitable regions or deported from Russia altogether Lenin personally scrutinised the lists of those to be dealt with in this manner 278 In May 1922 Lenin issued a decree calling for the execution of anti Bolshevik priests causing between 14 000 and 20 000 deaths 279 The Russian Orthodox Church was worst affected the government s anti religious policies also impacted on Roman Catholic and Protestant churches Jewish synagogues and Islamic mosques 280 Civil War and the Polish Soviet War 1918 1920 The existence of the Soviet Republic alongside the imperialist states over the long run is unthinkable In the end either the one or the other will triumph And until that end will have arrived a series of the most terrible conflicts between the Soviet Republic and the bourgeois governments is unavoidable This means that the ruling class the proletariat if it only wishes to rule and is to rule must demonstrate this also with its military organization Lenin on war 281 Lenin expected Russia s aristocracy and bourgeoisie to oppose his government but he believed that the numerical superiority of the lower classes coupled with the Bolsheviks ability to effectively organise them guaranteed a swift victory in any conflict 282 In this he failed to anticipate the intensity of the violent opposition to Bolshevik rule in Russia 282 The ensuing Russian Civil War pitted the pro Bolshevik Reds against the anti Bolshevik Whites but also encompassed ethnic conflicts on Russia s borders and conflict between both Red and White armies and local peasant groups the Green armies throughout the former Empire 283 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 284 The White armies were established by former Tsarist military officers 285 and included Anton Denikin s Volunteer Army in South Russia 286 Alexander Kolchak s forces in Siberia 287 and Nikolai Yudenich s troops in the newly independent Baltic states 288 The Whites were bolstered when 35 000 members of the Czech Legion who were prisoners of war from the conflict with the Central Powers turned against Sovnarkom and allied with the Committee of Members of the Constituent Assembly Komuch an anti Bolshevik government established in Samara 289 The Whites were also backed by Western governments who perceived the Treaty of Brest Litovsk as a betrayal of the Allied war effort and feared the Bolsheviks calls for world revolution 290 In 1918 Great Britain France United States Canada Italy and Serbia landed 10 000 troops in Murmansk seizing Kandalaksha while later that year British American and Japanese forces landed in Vladivostok 291 Western troops soon pulled out of the civil war instead only supporting the Whites with officers technicians and armaments but Japan remained because they saw the conflict as an opportunity for territorial expansion 292 Lenin tasked Trotsky with establishing a Workers and Peasants Red Army and with his support Trotsky organised a Revolutionary Military Council in September 1918 remaining its chairman until 1925 293 Recognising their valuable military experience Lenin agreed that officers from the old Tsarist army could serve in the Red Army although Trotsky established military councils to monitor their activities 294 The Reds held control of Russia s two largest cities Moscow and Petrograd as well as most of Great Russia while the Whites were located largely on the former Empire s peripheries 295 The latter were therefore hindered by being both fragmented and geographically scattered 296 and because their ethnic Russian supremacism alienated the region s national minorities 297 Anti Bolshevik armies carried out the White Terror a campaign of violence against perceived Bolshevik supporters which was typically more spontaneous than the state sanctioned Red Terror 298 Both White and Red Armies were responsible for attacks against Jewish communities prompting Lenin to issue a condemnation of anti Semitism blaming prejudice against Jews on capitalist propaganda 299 A White Russian anti Bolshevik propaganda poster in which Lenin is depicted in a red robe aiding other Bolsheviks in sacrificing Russia to a statue of Marx c 1918 1919 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 to prevent them from being rescued by advancing White troops 300 Although lacking proof biographers and historians like Richard Pipes and Dmitri Volkogonov have expressed the view that the killing was probably sanctioned by Lenin 301 conversely historian James Ryan cautioned that there was no reason to believe this 302 Whether Lenin sanctioned it or not he still regarded it as necessary highlighting the precedent set by the execution of Louis XVI in the French Revolution 303 After the Brest Litovsk Treaty the Left Socialist Revolutionaries had abandoned the coalition and increasingly viewed the Bolsheviks as traitors to the revolution 304 In July 1918 the Left Socialist Revolutionary Yakov Blumkin assassinated the German ambassador to Russia Wilhelm von Mirbach hoping that the ensuing diplomatic incident would lead to a relaunched revolutionary war against Germany 305 The Left Socialist Revolutionaries then launched a coup in Moscow shelling the Kremlin and seizing the city s central post office before being stopped by Trotsky s forces 306 The party s leaders and many members were arrested and imprisoned but were treated more leniently than other opponents of the Bolsheviks 307 By 1919 the White armies were in retreat and by the start of 1920 were defeated on all three fronts 308 Although Sovnarkom were victorious the territorial extent of the Russian state had been reduced for many non Russian ethnic groups had used the disarray to push for national independence 309 In some cases such as the north eastern European nations of Estonia Latvia Lithuania and Finland the Soviets recognised their independence and concluded peace treaties 310 In other cases the Red Army suppressed secessionist movements by 1921 they had defeated the Ukrainian national movements and occupied the Caucasus although fighting in Central Asia lasted until the late 1920s 311 After the German Ober Ost garrisons were withdrawn from the Eastern Front following the Armistice both Soviet Russian armies and Polish ones moved in to fill the vacuum 312 The newly independent Polish state and the Soviet government each sought territorial expansion in the region 313 Polish and Russian troops first clashed in February 1919 314 with the conflict developing into the Polish Soviet War 315 Unlike the Soviets previous conflicts this had greater implications for the export of revolution and the future of Europe 316 Polish forces pushed into Ukraine and by May 1920 had taken Kiev from the Soviets 317 After forcing the Polish Army back Lenin urged the Red Army to invade Poland itself believing that the Polish proletariat would rise up to support the Russian troops and thus spark European revolution Trotsky and other Bolsheviks were sceptical but agreed to the invasion The Polish proletariat did not rise and the Red Army was defeated at the Battle of Warsaw 318 The Polish armies pushed the Red Army back into Russia forcing Sovnarkom to sue for peace the war culminated in the Peace of Riga in which Russia ceded territory to Poland 319 Comintern and world revolution 1919 1920 Main article Revolutions of 1917 23 Photograph of Lenin on 1 May 1919 taken by Grigori Petrovich Goldstein After the Armistice on the Western Front Lenin believed that the breakout of the European revolution was imminent 320 Seeking to promote this Sovnarkom supported the establishment of Bela Kun s soviet government in Hungary in March 1919 followed by the soviet government in Bavaria and various revolutionary socialist uprisings in other parts of Germany including that of the Spartacus League 321 During Russia s Civil War the Red Army was sent into the newly independent national republics on Russia s borders to aid Marxists there in establishing soviet systems of government 322 In Europe this resulted in the creation of new communist led states in Estonia Latvia Lithuania Belarus and Ukraine all of which were officially independent of Russia 322 while further east it led to the creation of communist governments in Outer Mongolia 323 Various senior Bolsheviks wanted these absorbed into the Russian state Lenin insisted that national sensibilities should be respected but reassured his comrades that these nations new Communist Party administrations were under the de facto authority of Sovnarkom 324 In late 1918 the British Labour Party called for the establishment of an international conference of socialist parties the Labour and Socialist International 325 Lenin saw this as a revival of the Second International which he had despised and formulated his own rival international socialist conference to offset its impact 326 Organised with the aid of Zinoviev Nikolai Bukharin Trotsky Christian Rakovsky and Angelica Balabanoff 326 the First Congress of this Communist International Comintern opened in Moscow in March 1919 327 It lacked 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 recognised by any socialist parties in their own nations 328 Accordingly the Bolsheviks dominated proceedings 329 with Lenin subsequently authoring a series of regulations that meant that only socialist parties endorsing the Bolsheviks views were permitted to join Comintern 330 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 331 While Zinoviev became Comintern s president Lenin retained significant influence over it 332 The Second Congress of the Communist International opened in Petrograd s Smolny Institute in July 1920 representing the last time that Lenin visited a city other than Moscow 333 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 directly into socialist ones 334 For this conference he authored Left Wing Communism An Infantile Disorder a short book articulating his criticism of elements within the British and German communist parties who refused to enter their nations parliamentary systems and trade unions instead he urged them to do so to advance the revolutionary cause 335 The conference had to be suspended for several days due to the ongoing war with Poland 336 and was relocated to Moscow where it continued to hold sessions until August 337 Lenin s predicted world revolution did not materialise as the Hungarian communist government was overthrown and the German Marxist uprisings suppressed 338 Famine and the New Economic Policy 1920 1922 Within the Communist Party there was dissent from two factions the Group of Democratic Centralism and the Workers Opposition both of which accused the Russian state of being too centralised and bureaucratic 339 The Workers Opposition which had connections to the official state trade unions also expressed the concern that the government had lost the trust of the Russian working class 340 They were angered by Trotsky s suggestion that the trade unions be eliminated He deemed the unions to be superfluous in a workers state but Lenin disagreed believing it best to retain them most Bolsheviks embraced Lenin s view in the trade union discussion 341 To deal with the dissent at the Tenth Party Congress in February 1921 Lenin introduced a ban on factional activity within the party under pain of expulsion 342 Victims of the famine in Buzuluk Volga region next to Saratov Caused in part by a drought the Russian famine of 1921 22 was the most severe that the country had experienced since that of 1891 92 343 resulting in around five million deaths 344 The famine was exacerbated by government requisitioning as well as the export of large quantities of Russian grain 345 To aid the famine victims the US government established an American Relief Administration to distribute food 346 Lenin was suspicious of this aid and had it closely monitored 347 During the famine Patriarch Tikhon called on Orthodox churches to sell unnecessary items to help feed the starving an action endorsed by the government 348 In February 1922 Sovnarkom went further by calling on all valuables belonging to religious institutions to be forcibly appropriated and sold 349 Tikhon opposed the sale of items used within the Eucharist and many clergy resisted the appropriations resulting in violence 350 In 1920 and 1921 local opposition to requisitioning resulted in anti Bolshevik peasant uprisings breaking out across Russia which were suppressed 351 Among the most significant was the Tambov Rebellion which was put down by the Red Army 352 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 353 In March the Kronstadt rebellion began when sailors in Kronstadt revolted against the Bolshevik government demanding that all socialists be allowed to publish freely that independent trade unions be given freedom of assembly and that peasants be allowed free markets and not be subject to requisitioning Lenin declared that the mutineers had been misled by the Socialist Revolutionaries and foreign imperialists calling for violent reprisals 354 Under Trotsky s leadership the Red Army put down the rebellion on 17 March resulting in thousands of deaths and the internment of survivors in labour camps 355 You must attempt first to build small bridges which shall lead to a land of small peasant holdings through State Capitalism to Socialism Otherwise you will never lead tens of millions of people to Communism This is what the objective forces of the development of the Revolution have taught Lenin on the NEP 1921 356 In February 1921 Lenin introduced a New Economic Policy NEP to the Politburo he convinced most senior Bolsheviks of its necessity and it passed into law in April 357 Lenin explained the policy in a booklet On the Food Tax in which he stated that the NEP represented a return to the original Bolshevik economic plans he claimed that these had been derailed by the civil war in which Sovnarkom had been forced to resort to the economic policies of war communism 358 The NEP allowed some private enterprise within Russia permitting the reintroduction of the wage system and allowing peasants to sell produce on the open market while being taxed on their earnings 359 The policy also allowed for a return to privately owned small industry basic industry transport and foreign trade remained under state control 360 Lenin termed this state capitalism 361 and many Bolsheviks thought it to be a betrayal of socialist principles 362 Lenin biographers have often characterised the introduction of the NEP as one of his most significant achievements and some believe that had it not been implemented then Sovnarkom would have been quickly overthrown by popular uprisings 363 In January 1920 the government brought in universal labour conscription ensuring that all citizens aged between 16 and 50 had to work 364 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 was widely cited in later years 365 Seeking to advance the Russian economy through foreign trade Sovnarkom sent delegates to the Genoa Conference Lenin had hoped to attend but was prevented by ill health 366 The conference resulted in a Russian agreement with Germany which followed on from an earlier trade agreement with the United Kingdom 367 Lenin hoped that by allowing foreign corporations to invest in Russia Sovnarkom would exacerbate rivalries between the capitalist nations and hasten their downfall he tried to rent the oil fields of Kamchatka to an American corporation to heighten tensions between the US and Japan who desired Kamchatka for their empire 368 Declining health and conflict with Stalin 1920 1923 Lenin in 1923 in a wheelchair To Lenin s embarrassment and horror in April 1920 the Bolsheviks held a party to celebrate his fiftieth birthday which was also marked by widespread celebrations across Russia and the publication of poems and biographies dedicated to him 369 Between 1920 and 1926 twenty volumes of Lenin s Collected Works were published some material was omitted 370 During 1920 several prominent Western figures visited Lenin in Russia these included the author H G Wells and the philosopher Bertrand Russell 371 as well as the anarchists Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman 372 Lenin was also visited at the Kremlin by Armand who was in increasingly poor health 373 He sent her to a sanatorium in Kislovodsk in the Northern Caucasus to recover but she died there in September 1920 during a cholera epidemic 374 Her body was transported to Moscow where a visibly grief stricken Lenin oversaw her burial beneath the Kremlin Wall 375 Lenin was seriously ill by the latter half of 1921 376 suffering from hyperacusis insomnia and regular headaches 377 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 378 Lenin began to contemplate the possibility of suicide asking both Krupskaya and Stalin to acquire potassium cyanide for him 379 Twenty six physicians were hired to help Lenin during his final years many of them were foreign and had been hired at great expense 380 Some suggested that his sickness could have been caused by metal oxidation from the bullets that were lodged in his body from the 1918 assassination attempt in April 1922 he underwent a surgical operation to remove them 381 The symptoms continued after this with Lenin s doctors unsure of the cause some suggested that he was suffering from neurasthenia or cerebral arteriosclerosis others believed that he had syphilis 382 an idea endorsed in a 2004 report by a team of neuroscientists who suggested that this was later deliberately concealed by the government 383 In May 1922 he suffered his first stroke temporarily losing his ability to speak and being paralysed on his right side 384 He convalesced at Gorki and had largely recovered by July 385 In October he returned to Moscow in December he suffered a second stroke and returned to Gorki 386 Lenin spent his final years largely at the Gorki mansion Despite his illness Lenin remained keenly interested in political developments When the Socialist Revolutionary Party s leadership was found guilty of conspiring against the government in a trial held between June and August 1922 Lenin called for their execution they were instead imprisoned indefinitely only being executed during the Great Purges of Stalin s leadership 387 With Lenin s support the government also succeeded in virtually eradicating Menshevism in Russia by expelling all Mensheviks from state institutions and enterprises in March 1923 and then imprisoning the party s membership in concentration camps 388 Lenin was concerned by the survival of the Tsarist bureaucratic system in Soviet Russia 389 particularly during his final years 390 Condemning bureaucratic attitudes he suggested a total overhaul to deal with such problems 391 in one letter complaining that we are being sucked into a foul bureaucratic swamp 392 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 393 He recommended that Stalin be removed from the position of General Secretary of the Communist Party deeming him ill suited for the position 394 Instead he recommended Trotsky 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 criticised his self assurance and inclination toward excess administration 395 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 396 while in another article he called for the state to combat illiteracy promote punctuality and conscientiousness within the populace and encourage peasants to join co operatives 397 Stalin is too crude and this defect which is entirely acceptable in our milieu and in relationships among us as communists becomes unacceptable in the position of General Secretary I therefore propose to comrades that they should devise a means of removing him from this job and should appoint to this job someone else who is distinguished from comrade Stalin in all other respects only by the single superior aspect that he should be more tolerant more polite and more attentive towards comrades less capricious etc Lenin 4 January 1923 185 In Lenin s absence Stalin had begun consolidating his power both by appointing his supporters to prominent positions 398 and by cultivating an image of himself as Lenin s closest intimate and deserving successor 399 In December 1922 Stalin took responsibility for Lenin s regimen being tasked by the Politburo with controlling who had access to him 400 Lenin was increasingly critical of Stalin while Lenin was insisting that the state should retain its monopoly on international trade during mid 1922 Stalin was leading other Bolsheviks in unsuccessfully opposing this 401 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 402 The most significant political division between the two emerged during the Georgian Affair Stalin had suggested that both Georgia and neighbouring countries like Azerbaijan and Armenia should be merged into the Russian state despite the protestations of their national governments 403 Lenin saw this as an expression of Great Russian ethnic chauvinism by 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 404 After some resistance to the proposal Stalin eventually accepted it but with Lenin s agreement he changed the name of the newly proposed state to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics USSR 405 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 406 Despite his poor health Lenin was elected chairman of the new government of the Soviet Union 407 Death and funeral 1923 1924 Main article Death and state funeral of Vladimir Lenin Lenin s funeral painted by Isaac Brodsky 1925 In March 1923 Lenin suffered a third stroke and lost his ability to speak 408 that month he experienced partial paralysis on his right side and began exhibiting sensory aphasia 409 By May he appeared to be making a slow recovery regaining some of his mobility speech and writing skills 410 In October he made a final visit to the Kremlin 411 In his final weeks Lenin was visited by Zinoviev Kamenev and Bukharin the latter visited him at his Gorki mansion on the day of his death 412 On 21 January 1924 Lenin fell into a coma and died later that day 413 His official cause of death was recorded as an incurable disease of the blood vessels 414 The Soviet government publicly announced Lenin s death the following day 415 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 416 Transported by train to Moscow the coffin was taken to the House of Trade Unions where the body lay in state 417 Over the next three days around a million mourners came to see the body many queuing for hours in the freezing conditions 418 On 26 January the eleventh All Union Congress of Soviets met to pay respects with speeches by Kalinin Zinoviev and Stalin 418 Notably Trotsky was absent he had been convalescing in the Caucasus and he later claimed that Stalin sent him a telegram with the incorrect date of the planned funeral making it impossible for him to arrive in time 419 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 placed into the vault of a specially erected mausoleum 420 Despite the freezing temperatures tens of thousands attended 421 Against Krupskaya s protestations Lenin s body was embalmed to preserve it for long term public display in the Red Square mausoleum 422 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 423 In July 1929 the Politburo agreed to replace the temporary mausoleum with a permanent one in granite which was finished in 1933 424 His sarcophagus was replaced in 1940 and again in 1970 425 For safety amid the Second World War from 1941 to 1945 the body was temporarily moved to Tyumen 426 As of 2021 his body remains on public display in Lenin s Mausoleum on Red Square 427 Political ideologyMarxism and Leninism Main articles Leninism and Marxism Leninism We do not pretend that Marx or Marxists know the road to socialism in all its concreteness That is nonsense We know the direction of the road we know what class forces will lead it but concretely practically this will be shown by the experience of the millions when they undertake the act Lenin 11 September 1917 428 Lenin was a devout Marxist 429 and believed that his interpretation of Marxism first termed Leninism by Martov in 1904 430 was the sole authentic and orthodox one 431 According to his Marxist perspective 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 from each according to his ability to each according to his needs 432 According to Volkogonov Lenin deeply and sincerely believed that the path he was setting Russia on would ultimately lead to the establishment of this communist society 433 Lenin s Marxist beliefs led him to the view that society could not transform directly from its present state to communism but must first enter a period of socialism and so his main concern was how to convert Russia into a socialist society To do so he believed that a dictatorship of the proletariat was necessary to suppress the bourgeoisie and develop a socialist economy 434 He defined socialism as an order of civilized co operators in which the means of production are socially owned 435 and believed that this economic system had to be expanded until it could create a society of abundance 432 To achieve this he saw bringing the Russian economy under state control to be his central concern with all citizens becoming hired employees of the state in his words 436 Lenin s interpretation of socialism was centralised planned and statist with both production and distribution strictly controlled 432 He believed that all workers throughout the country would voluntarily join together to enable the state s economic and political centralisation 437 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 438 This resulted in what some perceive as two conflicting themes within Lenin s thought popular workers control and a centralised hierarchical coercive state apparatus 439 Lenin speaking in 1919 Before 1914 Lenin s views were largely in accordance with mainstream European Marxist orthodoxy 429 Although he derided Marxists who adopted ideas from contemporary non Marxist philosophers and sociologists 440 his own ideas were influenced not only by Russian Marxist theory but also by wider ideas from the Russian revolutionary movement 441 including those of the Narodnik agrarian socialists 442 He adapted his ideas according to changing circumstances 443 including the pragmatic realities of governing Russia amid war famine and economic collapse 444 As Leninism developed Lenin revised the established Marxist orthodoxy and introduced innovations in Marxist thought 429 In his theoretical writings particularly Imperialism Lenin discussed what he regarded as developments in capitalism since Marx s death in his view it had reached the new stage of state monopoly capitalism 445 He believed that although Russia s economy was dominated by the peasantry the presence of monopoly capitalism in Russia meant that the country was sufficiently materially developed to move to socialism 446 Leninism adopted a more absolutist and doctrinaire perspective than other variants of Marxism 429 and distinguished itself by the emotional intensity of its liberationist vision 447 It also stood out by emphasising the role of a vanguard who could lead the proletariat to revolution 447 and elevated the role of violence as a revolutionary instrument 448 Democracy and the national question Lenin accepted truth as handed down by Marx and selected data and arguments to bolster that truth He did not question old Marxist scripture he merely commented and the comments have become a new scripture Biographer Louis Fischer 1964 449 Lenin believed that the representative democracy of capitalist countries gave 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 450 He opposed liberalism exhibiting a general antipathy toward liberty as a value 451 and believing that liberalism s freedoms were fraudulent because it did not free labourers from capitalist exploitation 452 Lenin declared 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 453 He regarded his dictatorship of the proletariat as democratic because he claimed it involved the election of representatives to the soviets workers electing their own officials and the regular rotation and involvement of all workers in the administration of the state 454 Lenin s belief as to what a proletariat state should look like nevertheless deviated from that adopted by the Marxist mainstream European Marxists like Kautsky envisioned a democratically elected parliamentary government in which the proletariat had a majority whereas Lenin called for a strong centralised state apparatus that excluded any input from the bourgeois 447 Lenin was an internationalist and a keen supporter of world revolution deeming national borders to be an outdated concept and nationalism a distraction from class struggle 455 He believed that in a socialist society the world s nations would inevitably merge and result in a single world government 456 He believed that this socialist state would need to be a centralised unitary one and regarded federalism as a bourgeois concept 457 In his writings Lenin espoused anti imperialist ideas and stated that all nations deserved the right of self determination 458 He supported wars of national liberation accepting that such conflicts might be necessary for a minority group to break away from a socialist state because socialist states are not holy or insured against mistakes or weaknesses 459 Prior to taking power in 1917 he was concerned that ethnic and national minorities would make the Soviet state ungovernable with their calls for independence according to the historian Simon Sebag Montefiore Lenin thus encouraged Stalin to develop a theory that offered the ideal of autonomy and the right of secession without necessarily having to grant either 460 On taking power Lenin called for the dismantling of the bonds that had forced minority ethnic groups to remain in the Russian Empire and espoused their right to secede but also expected them to reunite immediately in the spirit of proletariat internationalism 461 He was willing to use military force to ensure this unity resulting in armed incursions into the independent states that formed in Ukraine Georgia Poland Finland and the Baltic states 462 Only when its conflicts with Finland the Baltic states and Poland proved unsuccessful did Lenin s government officially recognise their independence 463 Personal life and characteristicsLenin saw himself as a man of destiny and firmly believed in the righteousness of his cause and his own ability as a revolutionary leader 464 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 465 Highlighting Lenin s extraordinary capacity for disciplined work and devotion to the revolutionary cause Pipes noted that he exhibited much charisma 466 Similarly Volkogonov believed that by the very force of his personality Lenin had an influence over people 467 Conversely Lenin s friend Gorky commented that in his physical appearance as a baldheaded stocky sturdy person the communist revolutionary was too ordinary and did not give the impression of being a leader 468 Lenin s collected writings reveal in detail a man with iron will self enslaving self discipline scorn for opponents and obstacles the cold determination of a zealot the drive of a fanatic and the ability to convince or browbeat weaker persons by his singleness of purpose imposing intensity impersonal approach personal sacrifice political astuteness and complete conviction of the possession of the absolute truth His life became the history of the Bolshevik movement Biographer Louis Fischer 1964 469 Historian and biographer Robert Service asserted that Lenin had been an intensely emotional young man 470 who exhibited strong hatred for the Tsarist authorities 471 According to Service Lenin developed an emotional attachment to his ideological heroes such as Marx Engels and Chernyshevsky he owned portraits of them 472 and privately described himself as being in love with Marx and Engels 473 According to Lenin biographer James D White Lenin treated their writings as holy writ a religious dogma which should not be questioned but believed in 474 In Volkogonov s view Lenin accepted Marxism as absolute truth and accordingly acted like a religious fanatic 475 Similarly Bertrand Russell felt that Lenin exhibited unwavering faith religious faith in the Marxian gospel 476 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 477 Lenin was nevertheless an atheist and a critic of religion believing that socialism was inherently atheistic he thus considered Christian socialism a contradiction in terms 478 Service stated that Lenin could be moody and volatile 479 and Pipes deemed him to be a thoroughgoing misanthrope 480 a view rejected by Read who highlighted many instances in which Lenin displayed kindness particularly toward children 481 According to several biographers Lenin was intolerant of opposition and often dismissed outright opinions that differed from his own 482 He could be venomous in his critique of others exhibiting a propensity for mockery ridicule and ad hominem attacks on those who disagreed with him 483 He ignored facts that did not suit his argument 484 abhorred compromise 485 and very rarely admitted his own errors 486 He refused to change his opinions until he rejected them completely after which he would treat the new view as if it was just as unchangeable 487 Lenin showed no sign of sadism or of personally desiring to commit violent acts but he endorsed the violent actions of others and exhibited no remorse for those killed for the revolutionary cause 488 Adopting an amoral stance in Lenin s view the end always justified the means 489 according to Service Lenin s criterion of morality was simple does a certain action advance or hinder the cause of the Revolution 490 The Lenin who seemed externally so gentle and good natured who enjoyed a laugh who loved animals and was prone to sentimental reminiscences was transformed when class or political questions arose He at once became savagely sharp uncompromising remorseless and vengeful Even in such a state he was capable of black humour Biographer Dmitri Volkogonov 1994 491 Aside from Russian Lenin spoke and read French German and English 492 Concerned with physical fitness he exercised regularly 493 enjoyed cycling swimming and hunting 494 and also developed a passion for mountain walking in the Swiss peaks 495 He was also fond of pets 496 in particular cats 497 Tending to eschew luxury he lived a spartan lifestyle 498 and Pipes noted that Lenin was exceedingly modest in his personal wants leading an austere almost ascetic style of life 499 Lenin despised untidiness always keeping his work desk tidy and his pencils sharpened and insisted on total silence while he was working 500 According to Fischer Lenin s vanity was minimal 501 and for this reason he disliked the cult of personality that the Soviet administration began to build around him he nevertheless accepted that it might have some benefits in unifying the communist movement 502 Despite his revolutionary politics Lenin disliked revolutionary experimentation in literature and the arts expressing his dislike of expressionism futurism and cubism and conversely favouring realism and Russian classic literature 503 Lenin also had a conservative attitude towards sex and marriage 504 Throughout his adult life he was in a relationship with Krupskaya a fellow Marxist whom he married Lenin and Krupskaya both regretted that they never had children 505 and they enjoyed entertaining their friends offspring 506 Read noted that Lenin had very close warm lifelong relationships with his close family members 507 he had no lifelong friends and Armand has been cited as being his only close intimate confidante 508 Ethnically Lenin identified as Russian 509 Service described Lenin as a bit of a snob in national social and cultural terms 510 The Bolshevik leader believed that other European countries especially Germany were culturally superior to Russia 511 describing the latter as one of the most benighted medieval and shamefully backward of Asian countries 450 He was annoyed at what he perceived as a lack of conscientiousness and discipline among the Russian people and from his youth had wanted Russia to become more culturally European and Western 512 LegacySee also List of places named after Vladimir Lenin List of statues of Vladimir Lenin and Leniniana The 1985 post stamp for 115th birth anniversary of Lenin Portrait of Lenin based on a 1900 photography of Y Mebius in Moscow with the Tampere Lenin Museum 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 513 Lenin s administration laid the framework for the system of government that ruled Russia for seven decades and provided the model for later Communist led states that came to cover a third of the inhabited world in the mid 20th century 514 As a result Lenin s influence was global 515 A controversial figure Lenin remains both reviled and revered 448 a figure who has been both idolised and demonised 516 Even during his lifetime Lenin was loved and hated admired and scorned by the Russian people 517 This has extended into academic studies of Lenin and Leninism which have often been polarised along political lines 518 Statue of Lenin erected by the East German Marxist Leninist government at Leninplatz in East Berlin East Germany removed in 1992 The historian Albert Resis suggested that if the October Revolution is considered the most significant event of the 20th century then Lenin must for good or ill be considered the century s most significant political leader 519 White described Lenin as one of the undeniably outstanding figures of modern history 520 while Service noted that the Russian leader was widely understood to be one of the 20th century s principal actors 521 Read considered him one of the most widespread universally recognizable icons of the twentieth century 522 while Ryan called him one of the most significant and influential figures of modern history 523 Time magazine named Lenin one of the 100 most important people of the 20th century 524 and one of their top 25 political icons of all time 525 In the Western world biographers began writing about Lenin soon after his death some such as Christopher Hill were sympathetic to him and others such as Richard Pipes and Robert Gellately expressly hostile Some later biographers such as Read and Lars Lih sought to avoid making either hostile or positive comments about him thereby evading politicised stereotypes 526 Among sympathisers he was portrayed as having made a genuine adjustment of Marxist theory that enabled it to suit Russia s particular socio economic conditions 527 The Soviet view characterised him as a man who recognised the historically inevitable and accordingly helped to make the inevitable happen 528 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 considering his ideas as attempts to ideologically justify his pragmatic policies 528 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 529 Various historians and biographers have characterised Lenin s administration as totalitarian 530 and as a police state 531 and many have described it as a one party dictatorship 532 Several such scholars have described Lenin as a dictator 533 Ryan stated that he was not a dictator in the sense that all his recommendations were accepted and implemented for many of his colleagues disagreed with him on various issues 534 Fischer noted that while Lenin was a dictator he was not the kind of dictator Stalin later became 535 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 536 Conversely various Marxist observers including Western historians 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 processes found in liberal democratic states 537 Ryan contends that the leftist historian Paul Le Blanc makes a quite valid point that the personal qualities that led Lenin to brutal policies were not necessarily any stronger than in some of the major Western leaders of the twentieth century 538 Ryan also posits that for Lenin revolutionary violence was merely a means to an end namely the establishment of a socialist ultimately communist world a world without violence 539 Historian J Arch Getty remarked Lenin deserves a lot of credit for the notion that the meek can inherit the earth that there can be a political movement based on social justice and equality 540 Some left wing intellectuals among them Slavoj Zizek Alain Badiou Lars T Lih and Fredric Jameson advocate reviving Lenin s uncompromising revolutionary spirit to address contemporary global problems 541 Within the Soviet Union Lenin s Mausoleum in front of the Kremlin 2007 In the Soviet Union a cult of personality devoted to Lenin began to develop during his lifetime but was only fully established after his death 542 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 543 and has been repeatedly described as quasi religious in nature 544 Busts or statues of Lenin were erected in almost every village 545 and his face adorned postage stamps crockery posters and the front pages of Soviet newspapers Pravda and Izvestia 546 The places where he had lived or stayed were converted into museums devoted to him 545 Libraries streets farms museums towns and whole regions were named after him 545 with the city of Petrograd being renamed Leningrad in 1924 547 and his birthplace of Simbirsk becoming Ulyanovsk 548 The Order of Lenin was established as one of the country s highest decorations 546 All of this was contrary to Lenin s own desires and was publicly criticised by his widow 421 Various biographers have stated that Lenin s writings were treated in a manner akin to holy scripture within the Soviet Union 549 while Pipes added that his every opinion was cited to justify one policy or another and treated as gospel 550 Stalin systematised Leninism through a series of lectures at the Sverdlov University which were then published as Questions of Leninism 551 Stalin also had much of the deceased leader s writings collated and stored in a secret archive in the Marx Engels Lenin Institute 552 Material such as Lenin s collection of books in Krakow were also collected from abroad for storage in the institute often at great expense 553 During the Soviet era these writings were strictly controlled and very few had access 554 All of Lenin s writings that proved useful to Stalin were published but the others remained hidden 555 and knowledge of both Lenin s non Russian ancestry and his noble status was suppressed 546 In particular his Jewish ancestry was suppressed until the 1980s 556 perhaps out of Soviet antisemitism 557 and so as not to undermine Stalin s Russification efforts 558 and perhaps so as not to provide fuel for anti Soviet sentiment among international antisemites 557 After the discovery of Lenin s Jewish ancestry this aspect was repeatedly emphasised by the Russian far right who claimed that his inherited Jewish genetics explained his desire to uproot traditional Russian society 559 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 560 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 the fifth edition was described as complete but in reality had much omitted for political expediency 561 Commemorative one rouble coin minted in 1970 in honour of Lenin s centenary After Stalin s death Nikita Khrushchev became leader of the Soviet Union and began a process of de Stalinisation citing Lenin s writings including those on Stalin to legitimise this process 562 When Mikhail Gorbachev took power in 1985 and introduced the policies of glastnost and perestroika he too cited these actions as a return to Lenin s principles 563 In late 1991 amid the dissolution of the Soviet Union Russian President Boris Yeltsin ordered the Lenin archive be removed from Communist Party control and placed under the control of a state organ the Russian Centre for the Preservation and Study of Documents of Recent History at which it was revealed that over 6 000 of Lenin s writings had gone unpublished These were declassified and made available for scholarly study 564 Yeltsin did not dismantle the Lenin mausoleum recognising that Lenin was too popular and well respected among the Russian populace for this to be viable 565 In Russia in 2012 a proposal from a deputy belonging to the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia with the support of some members of the governing United Russia party proposed the removal of all Lenin monuments The proposal was strongly opposed by the Communist Party of the Russian Federation 566 In 2012 the last statue of Lenin still standing in the Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar was removed with city mayor Bat Uul Erdene calling him a murderer 567 In Ukraine during and after the 2013 14 Euromaidan protests thousands of Lenin statues were damaged or destroyed by protesters 568 and in April 2015 the Ukrainian government ordered that all others be dismantled to comply with decommunisation laws 569 In the international communist movement Detail of Man Controller of the Universe fresco at Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City showing Vladimir Lenin According to Lenin biographer David Shub writing in 1965 it was Lenin s ideas and example that constitutes the basis of the Communist movement today 570 Socialist states following Lenin s ideas appeared in various parts of the world during the 20th century 523 Writing in 1972 the historian Marcel Liebman stated that there is hardly any insurrectionary movement today from Latin America to Angola that does not lay claim to the heritage of Leninism 571 After Lenin s death Stalin s administration established an ideology known as Marxism Leninism a movement that came to be interpreted differently by various contending factions in the communist movement 572 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 573 Marxism Leninism was 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 522 Conversely many later Western communists such as Manuel Azcarate 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 574 See also Biography portal Communism portal Politics portal Soviet Union portal Foreign relations of the Soviet Union Lenin Peace Prize Lenin Prize Marxist Leninist atheism National delimitation in the Soviet Union Tampere Lenin Museum Vladimir Lenin bibliographyNotes The Constituent Assembly was declared dissolved by the Bolshevik Left SR Soviet government rendering the end the term served Russian Vladimir Ilich Ulyanov tr Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov IPA vlɐˈdʲimʲɪr ɨˈlʲjitɕ ʊˈlʲjanef English ˈ l ɛ n ɪ n 1 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2010 p 64 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 Petrovsky Shtern 2010 p 69 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 Theen 2004 p 33 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 pp 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 26 Service 2000 p 55 Read 2005 pp 11 24 Service 2000 pp 79 98 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 2011 p 53 Rice 1990 pp 40 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 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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 p 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 Rice 1990 p 127 Service 2000 pp 222 223 Fischer 1964 p 94 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 pp 110 113 Rice 1990 pp 140 144 Pipes 1990 pp 391 392 Service 2000 pp 257 260 Merridale 2017 p ix 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 pp 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 Pipes 1990 p 421 Rice 1990 p 147 Service 2000 pp 276 283 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 pp 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 Rigby 1979 pp 14 15 Leggett 1981 pp 1 3 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 158 Shub 1966 pp 301 302 Rigby 1979 p 26 Leggett 1981 p 5 Pipes 1990 pp 508 519 Service 2000 pp 318 319 Read 2005 pp 189 190 Rigby 1979 pp 166 167 Leggett 1981 pp 20 21 Pipes 1990 pp 533 534 537 Volkogonov 1994 p 171 Service 2000 pp 322 323 White 2001 p 159 Read 2005 p 191 Fischer 1964 pp 219 256 379 Shub 1966 p 374 Service 2000 p 355 White 2001 p 159 Read 2005 p 219 Rigby 1979 pp 160 164 Volkogonov 1994 pp 374 375 Service 2000 p 377 Sandle 1999 p 74 Rigby 1979 pp 168 169 Fischer 1964 p 432 Leggett 1981 p 316 Lee 2003 pp 98 99 Rigby 1979 pp 160 161 Leggett 1981 p 21 Lee 2003 p 99 Service 2000 p 388 Lee 2003 p 98 Service 2000 p 388 Rigby 1979 pp 168 170 Service 2000 p 388 Service 2000 pp 325 326 333 Read 2005 pp 211 212 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 pp 222 231 a b 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 Leggett 1981 pp 5 6 8 306 Pipes 1990 pp 521 522 Service 2000 pp 317 318 White 2001 p 153 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 Leggett 1981 pp 172 173 Pipes 1990 pp 796 797 Read 2005 p 242 Leggett 1981 p 172 Pipes 1990 pp 798 799 Ryan 2012 p 121 Hazard 1965 p 270 Leggett 1981 p 172 Pipes 1990 pp 796 797 Volkogonov 1994 p 170 a b 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 David 1974 p 417 Fischer 1964 p 552 Leggett 1981 p 308 Sandle 1999 p 126 Read 2005 pp 238 239 Ryan 2012 pp 176 182 Volkogonov 1994 p 373 Leggett 1981 p 308 Ryan 2012 p 177 Pipes 1990 p 709 Service 2000 p 321 Volkogonov 1994 p 171 Rigby 1979 pp 45 46 Pipes 1990 pp 682 683 Service 2000 p 321 White 2001 p 153 Rigby 1979 p 50 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 a b 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 Ryan 2012 pp 123 124 Shub 1966 pp 329 330 Service 2000 p 385 White 2001 p 156 Read 2005 pp 253 254 Ryan 2012 p 125 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 pp 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 pp 728 734 736 Volkogonov 1994 p 197 Ryan 2012 p 105 Fischer 1964 pp 277 278 Pipes 1990 p 737 Service 2000 p 365 White 2001 pp 155 156 Ryan 2012 p 106 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 790 791 Volkogonov 1994 pp 181 196 Read 2005 pp 247 248 Shub 1966 p 312 Fischer 1964 pp 435 436 Shub 1966 pp 345 347 Rigby 1979 pp 20 21 Pipes 1990 p 800 Volkogonov 1994 p 233 Service 2000 pp 321 322 White 2001 p 153 Read 2005 pp 186 208 209 Leggett 1981 p 174 Volkogonov 1994 pp 233 234 Sandle 1999 p 112 Ryan 2012 p 111 Shub 1966 p 366 Sandle 1999 p 112 Ryan 2012 p 116 Pipes 1990 p 821 Ryan 2012 pp 114 115 Shub 1966 p 366 Sandle 1999 p 113 Read 2005 p 210 Ryan 2012 pp 114 115 Leggett 1981 pp 173 174 Pipes 1990 p 801 Leggett 1981 pp 199 200 Pipes 1990 pp 819 820 Ryan 2012 p 107 Shub 1966 p 364 Ryan 2012 p 114 Pipes 1990 p 837 Ryan 2012 p 114 Pipes 1990 p 834 Volkogonov 1994 p 202 Read 2005 p 247 Pipes 1990 p 796 Volkogonov 1994 p 202 Pipes 1990 p 825 Ryan 2012 pp 117 120 Leggett 1981 pp 174 175 183 Pipes 1990 pp 828 829 Ryan 2012 p 121 Pipes 1990 pp 829 830 832 Leggett 1981 pp 176 177 Pipes 1990 pp 832 834 Pipes 1990 p 835 Volkogonov 1994 p 235 Leggett 1981 p 178 Pipes 1990 p 836 Leggett 1981 p 176 Pipes 1990 pp 832 833 Volkogonov 1994 pp 358 360 Ryan 2012 pp 172 173 175 176 Volkogonov 1994 pp 376 377 Read 2005 p 239 Ryan 2012 p 179 Volkogonov 1994 p 381 Pipes 1990 p 610 a b Service 2000 p 357 Service 2000 pp 391 392 Lee 2003 pp 84 88 Read 2005 p 205 Shub 1966 p 355 Leggett 1981 p 204 Rice 1990 pp 173 175 Volkogonov 1994 p 198 Service 2000 pp 357 382 Read 2005 p 187 Fischer 1964 pp 334 343 357 Leggett 1981 p 204 Service 2000 pp 382 392 Read 2005 pp 205 206 Leggett 1981 p 204 Read 2005 p 206 Fischer 1964 pp 288 289 Pipes 1990 pp 624 630 Service 2000 p 360 White 2001 pp 161 162 Read 2005 p 205 Fischer 1964 pp 262 263 Fischer 1964 p 291 Shub 1966 p 354 Fischer 1964 pp 331 333 Pipes 1990 pp 610 612 Volkogonov 1994 p 198 Fischer 1964 p 337 Pipes 1990 pp 609 612 629 Volkogonov 1994 p 198 Service 2000 p 383 Read 2005 p 217 Fischer 1964 pp 248 262 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 Leggett 1981 p 201 Pipes 1990 p 792 Volkogonov 1994 pp 202 203 Read 2005 p 250 Leggett 1981 p 201 Volkogonov 1994 pp 203 204 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 Ryan 2012 p 109 Volkogonov 1994 p 208 Pipes 1990 p 635 Fischer 1964 p 244 Shub 1966 p 355 Pipes 1990 pp 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 Leggett 1981 p 184 Service 2000 p 402 Read 2005 p 206 Hall 2015 p 83 Goldstein 2013 p 50 Hall 2015 p 84 Davies 2003 pp 26 27 Davies 2003 pp 27 30 Davies 2003 pp 22 27 Fischer 1964 p 389 Rice 1990 p 182 Volkogonov 1994 p 281 Service 2000 p 407 White 2001 p 161 Davies 2003 pp 29 30 Davies 2003 p 22 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 Rice 1990 p 173 Fischer 1964 p 333 Shub 1966 p 388 Rice 1990 p 173 Volkogonov 1994 p 395 a b Service 2000 pp 385 386 Fischer 1964 pp 531 536 Service 2000 p 386 Shub 1966 pp 389 390 a b 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 Service 2000 p 387 Shub 1966 p 395 Volkogonov 1994 p 391 Shub 1966 p 397 Service 2000 p 409 Service 2000 pp 409 410 Fischer 1964 pp 415 420 White 2001 pp 161 180 181 Service 2000 p 410 Shub 1966 p 397 Fischer 1964 p 341 Shub 1966 p 396 Rice 1990 p 174 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 Ryan 2012 p 164 Volkogonov 1994 pp 343 347 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 Ryan 2012 pp 176 177 Volkogonov 1994 p 376 Ryan 2012 p 178 Fischer 1964 p 467 Shub 1966 p 406 Volkogonov 1994 p 343 Service 2000 p 425 White 2001 p 168 Read 2005 p 220 Ryan 2012 p 154 Fischer 1964 p 459 Leggett 1981 pp 330 333 Service 2000 pp 423 424 White 2001 p 168 Ryan 2012 pp 154 155 Shub 1966 pp 406 407 Leggett 1981 pp 324 325 Rice 1990 p 184 Read 2005 p 220 Ryan 2012 p 170 Fischer 1964 pp 469 470 Shub 1966 p 405 Leggett 1981 pp 325 326 Rice 1990 p 184 Service 2000 p 427 White 2001 p 169 Ryan 2012 p 170 Fischer 1964 pp 470 471 Shub 1966 pp 408 409 Leggett 1981 pp 327 328 Rice 1990 pp 184 185 Service 2000 pp 427 428 Ryan 2012 pp 171 172 Shub 1966 pp 412 413 Shub 1966 p 411 Rice 1990 p 185 Service 2000 pp 421 424 427 429 Fischer 1964 pp 479 480 Sandle 1999 p 155 Service 2000 p 430 White 2001 pp 170 171 Shub 1966 p 411 Sandle 1999 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 Ryan 2012 p 159 Fischer 1964 p 479 Shub 1966 p 412 Sandle 1999 p 155 Ryan 2012 p 159 Sandle 1999 p 151 Service 2000 p 422 White 2001 p 171 Service 2000 pp 421 434 Pipes 1990 pp 703 707 Sandle 1999 p 103 Ryan 2012 p 143 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 pp 432 441 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 pp 416 417 Read 2005 p 258 Shub 1966 p 426 Lewin 1969 p 33 Rice 1990 p 187 Volkogonov 1994 p 409 Service 2000 p 435 Shub 1966 p 426 Rice 1990 p 187 Service 2000 p 435 Service 2000 p 436 Read 2005 p 281 Rice 1990 p 187 Volkogonov 1994 pp 420 425 426 Service 2000 p 439 Read 2005 pp 280 282 Volkogonov 1994 p 443 Service 2000 p 437 Fischer 1964 pp 598 599 Shub 1966 p 426 Service 2000 p 443 White 2001 p 172 Read 2005 p 258 Service 2000 pp 444 445 Lerner Finkelstein amp Witztum 2004 p 372 Fischer 1964 p 600 Shub 1966 pp 426 427 Lewin 1969 p 33 Service 2000 p 443 White 2001 p 173 Read 2005 p 258 Shub 1966 pp 427 428 Service 2000 p 446 Fischer 1964 p 634 Shub 1966 pp 431 432 Lewin 1969 pp 33 34 White 2001 p 173 Fischer 1964 pp 600 602 Shub 1966 pp 428 430 Leggett 1981 p 318 Sandle 1999 p 164 Service 2000 pp 442 443 Read 2005 p 269 Ryan 2012 pp 174 175 Volkogonov 1994 p 310 Leggett 1981 pp 320 322 Aves 1996 pp 175 178 Sandle 1999 p 164 Lee 2003 pp 103 104 Ryan 2012 p 172 Lewin 1969 pp 8 9 White 2001 p 176 Read 2005 pp 270 272 Fischer 1964 p 578 Rice 1990 p 189 Rice 1990 pp 192 193 Fischer 1964 p 578 Fischer 1964 pp 638 639 Shub 1966 p 433 Lewin 1969 pp 73 75 Volkogonov 1994 p 417 Service 2000 p 464 White 2001 pp 173 174 Fischer 1964 p 647 Shub 1966 pp 434 435 Rice 1990 p 192 Volkogonov 1994 p 273 Service 2000 p 469 White 2001 pp 174 175 Read 2005 pp 278 279 Fischer 1964 p 640 Shub 1966 pp 434 435 Volkogonov 1994 pp 249 418 Service 2000 p 465 White 2001 p 174 Fischer 1964 pp 666 667 669 Lewin 1969 pp 120 121 Service 2000 p 468 Read 2005 p 273 Fischer 1964 pp 650 654 Service 2000 p 470 Shub 1966 pp 426 434 Lewin 1969 pp 34 35 Volkogonov 1994 pp 263 264 Lewin 1969 p 70 Rice 1990 p 191 Volkogonov 1994 pp 273 416 Fischer 1964 p 635 Lewin 1969 pp 35 40 Service 2000 pp 451 452 White 2001 p 173 Fischer 1964 pp 637 638 669 Shub 1966 pp 435 436 Lewin 1969 pp 71 85 101 Volkogonov 1994 pp 273 274 422 423 Service 2000 pp 463 472 473 White 2001 pp 173 176 Read 2005 p 279 Fischer 1964 pp 607 608 Lewin 1969 pp 43 49 Rice 1990 pp 190 191 Volkogonov 1994 p 421 Service 2000 pp 452 453 455 White 2001 pp 175 176 Fischer 1964 p 608 Lewin 1969 p 50 Leggett 1981 p 354 Volkogonov 1994 p 421 Service 2000 p 455 White 2001 p 175 Service 2000 pp 455 456 Lewin 1969 pp 40 99 100 Volkogonov 1994 p 421 Service 2000 pp 460 461 468 Rigby 1979 p 221 Fischer 1964 p 671 Shub 1966 p 436 Lewin 1969 p 103 Leggett 1981 p 355 Rice 1990 p 193 White 2001 p 176 Read 2005 p 281 Fischer 1964 p 671 Shub 1966 p 436 Volkogonov 1994 p 425 Service 2000 p 474 Lerner Finkelstein amp Witztum 2004 p 372 Fischer 1964 p 672 Rigby 1979 p 192 Rice 1990 pp 193 194 Volkogonov 1994 pp 429 430 Fischer 1964 p 672 Shub 1966 p 437 Volkogonov 1994 p 431 Service 2000 p 476 Read 2005 p 281 Rice 1990 p 194 Volkogonov 1994 p 299 Service 2000 pp 477 478 Fischer 1964 pp 673 674 Shub 1966 p 438 Rice 1990 p 194 Volkogonov 1994 p 435 Service 2000 pp 478 479 White 2001 p 176 Read 2005 p 269 Volkogonov 1994 p 435 Lerner Finkelstein amp Witztum 2004 p 372 Rice 1990 p 7 Rice 1990 pp 7 8 Fischer 1964 p 674 Shub 1966 p 439 Rice 1990 pp 7 8 Service 2000 p 479 a b Rice 1990 p 9 History April 2009 Shub 1966 p 439 Rice 1990 p 9 Service 2000 pp 479 480 a b Volkogonov 1994 p 440 Fischer 1964 p 674 Shub 1966 p 438 Volkogonov 1994 pp 437 438 Service 2000 p 481 Fischer 1964 pp 625 626 Volkogonov 1994 p 446 Volkogonov 1994 pp 444 445 Volkogonov 1994 p 445 Volkogonov 1994 p 444 Moscow info Fischer 1964 p 150 a b c d Ryan 2012 p 18 Volkogonov 1994 p 409 Sandle 1999 p 35 Service 2000 p 237 a b c Sandle 1999 p 41 Volkogonov 1994 p 206 Sandle 1999 p 35 Shub 1966 p 432 Sandle 1999 pp 42 43 Sandle 1999 p 38 Sandle 1999 pp 43 44 63 Sandle 1999 p 36 Service 2000 p 203 Sandle 1999 p 29 White 2001 p 1 Service 2000 p 173 Ryan 2012 p 13 Sandle 1999 p 57 White 2001 p 151 Sandle 1999 p 34 White 2001 pp 150 151 a b c Ryan 2012 p 19 a b Ryan 2012 p 3 Fischer 1964 p 213 a b Rice 1990 p 121 Volkogonov 1994 p 471 Shub 1966 p 443 Fischer 1964 p 310 Shub 1966 p 442 Sandle 1999 pp 36 37 Fischer 1964 p 54 Shub 1966 p 423 Pipes 1990 p 352 Fischer 1964 pp 88 89 Fischer 1964 p 87 Montefiore 2007 p 266 Fischer 1964 p 87 Fischer 1964 pp 91 93 Montefiore 2007 p 266 Page 1948 p 17 Page 1950 p 354 Page 1950 p 355 Page 1950 p 342 Service 2000 pp 159 202 Read 2005 p 207 Fischer 1964 pp 47 148 Pipes 1990 pp 348 351 Volkogonov 1994 p 246 Fischer 1964 p 57 Fischer 1964 pp 21 22 Service 2000 p 73 Fischer 1964 p 44 Service 2000 p 81 Service 2000 p 118 Service 2000 p 232 Lih 2011 p 13 White 2001 p 88 Volkogonov 1994 p 362 Fischer 1964 p 409 Read 2005 p 262 Fischer 1964 pp 40 41 Volkogonov 1994 p 373 Service 2000 p 149 Service 2000 p 116 Pipes 1996 p 11 Read 2005 p 287 Read 2005 p 259 Fischer 1964 p 67 Pipes 1990 p 353 Read 2005 pp 207 212 Petrovsky Shtern 2010 p 93 Pipes 1990 p 353 Fischer 1964 p 69 Service 2000 p 244 Read 2005 p 153 Fischer 1964 p 59 Fischer 1964 p 45 Pipes 1990 p 350 Volkogonov 1994 p 182 Service 2000 p 177 Read 2005 p 208 Ryan 2012 p 6 Fischer 1964 p 415 Shub 1966 p 422 Read 2005 p 247 Service 2000 p 293 Volkogonov 1994 p 200 Service 2000 p 242 Fischer 1964 p 56 Rice 1990 p 106 Service 2000 p 160 Fischer 1964 p 56 Service 2000 p 188 Read 2005 pp 20 64 132 37 Shub 1966 p 423 Fischer 1964 p 367 Fischer 1964 p 368 Pipes 1990 p 812 Service 2000 pp 99 100 160 Fischer 1964 p 245 Pipes 1990 pp 349 350 Read 2005 pp 284 259 260 Fischer 1964 pp 489 491 Shub 1966 pp 420 421 Sandle 1999 p 125 Read 2005 p 237 Fischer 1964 p 79 Read 2005 p 237 Service 2000 p 199 Shub 1966 p 424 Service 2000 p 213 Rappaport 2010 p 38 Read 2005 p 19 Fischer 1964 p 515 Volkogonov 1994 p 246 Petrovsky Shtern 2010 p 67 Service 2000 p 453 Service 2000 p 389 Pipes 1996 p 11 Service 2000 pp 389 400 Volkogonov 1994 p 326 Service 2000 p 391 Volkogonov 1994 p 259 Read 2005 p 284 Fischer 1964 p 414 Liebman 1975 pp 19 20 Encyclopedia Britannica White 2001 p iix Service 2000 p 488 a b Read 2005 p 283 a b Ryan 2012 p 5 Time 13 April 1998 Time 4 February 2011 Lee 2003 p 14 Ryan 2012 p 3 Lee 2003 p 14 a b Lee 2003 p 123 Lee 2003 p 124 Fischer 1964 p 516 Shub 1966 p 415 Leggett 1981 p 364 Volkogonov 1994 pp 307 312 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