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Russian Timeline: From WWI to Lenin

  • Revolution of 1905 and the October Manifesto

    Revolution of 1905 and the October Manifesto
    In January 1905, 120,000 people went on strike to demand a more liberal style government. On January 9th, 100,000 workers marched against the government and were fired upon which led to the name Bloody Sunday. After the Revolution, the tsar introduced the October Manifesto, adding more liberal reforms such as the State Duma. The image demonstrates the bloodshed and violence that occurred on Bloody Sunday and the divide, in the negative space, between the palace and the citizens.
  • Beginning of WWI

    Beginning of WWI
    Russia joined the Triple Entente, tying them into a defensive alliance with Britain and France. When Germany attacked Belgium, Britain was forced to go to war with Germany, bringing in France and Russia due to their alliance. In the first major battle, Battle of Tannenberg in 1914, the Russian 2nd Army lost majorly at the hands of the German Army in which 100K soldiers were taken prisoner. This photo demonstrates the fighting and the suffering of Russian soldiers during World War I.
  • Tsar Nicholas II take sole control of military operations

    Tsar Nicholas II take sole control of military operations
    In 1915, Tsar Nicholas II took command of the Russian Army in hopes of inspiring increased morale among soldiers. This caused more criticism against the tsar as the people blamed him for military failures. This image illustrates Tsar Nicholas' role as commander as his decision making that led to his eventual overthrowal.
  • Brusilov Offensive

    Brusilov Offensive
    The Brusilov Offensive also called the “June advance” occurred on June 4th- 1916 when Austria- Hungary experienced one of the largest assaults during WW1. Russia was able to push Austria- Hungary’s forces back as they broke Austrian lines on the first day of the June Advance resulting in the deaths of millions. This picture resembles the Brusilov Offensive as it shows Russian soldiers on horses ready to fight against the Austro-Hungarians.
  • Assassination of Rasputin

    Assassination of Rasputin
    On December 30, 1916, Rasputin was murdered by Purishkevich, a far right Russian politician. He was killed due to Russian hatred for him because of his considerable negative influence over the tsarina. The image below depicts Rasputin, giving an idea of who he was in Russia.
  • International Women’s Day March in Petrograd

    International Women’s Day March in Petrograd
    On February 23 1917, militant women (mostly factory workers) marched on Petrograd to show unity on International Women’s Day due to the exploitation of war and food shortage. Soldiers were commanded to fire on the crowd but mutinied instead, starting with the Volynsky Regiment. This shut down transportation around Petrograd. This image was chosen because it depicts the sheer amount of women who participated against the tsarist government and show unity among women against the tsar.
  • Nicholas II Abdicates

    Nicholas II Abdicates
    Mikhail Rodzianko created a provisional committee of the Duma to control and demand Tsar’s abdication. On March 2nd 1917 Tsar Nicholas II abdicated after hearing of the bloodshed of the revolution. This put the Provisional Government and later the Soviet into power. The image below was chosen to depict the reaction to the tsar's abdication and the spectacle it was in ending the Romanov rule.
  • Provisional Government formed

    Provisional Government formed
    After NII brother Michael Alexandrovich refused being the Tsar, a provisional government was created out of the committee in Duma headed by George Lvov. It was still seen as untrustworthy by people because they saw them as self appointed and tainted by rich nobles favoring tsardom. The image was chosen to depict the members of the Provisional Government, being all men, and being a concentrated group of higher ups in the government. This illustrates why the population was skeptical.
  • Trotsky organizes Red Guard to defend Petrograd

    Trotsky organizes Red Guard to defend Petrograd
    The Red Guards were reformed in March 1917 and served as the people who would protect the government after the overthrow of Nick II just occurred. The Red Guards were volunteers who were originally industrial workers that took up the position of guarding the Bolsheviks under Trotsky. This picture displays Red Guard soldiers lined up together showing how they were brought together in unity to serve the Bolshevik government.
  • April Theses Published

    April Theses Published
    The April Theses was published in April 1917 by Vladimir Lenin who was the leader of the Bolshevik party. The Theses consisted of ten points that Lenin made to oppose the provisional government while supporting the Bolsheviks. This picture enhances the idea of the April Thesis as it displays Lenin overlooking a crowd of people who were looking up to him for the future of the Russian government.
  • Return of Lenin From Exile

    Return of Lenin From Exile
    In 1917, Lenin returned from exile to spread Bolshevik ideals after the shift in power. In April, he spread his April Theses demanding peace, bread, and land, which led to the November Revolution. This image was chosen as it shows the support Lenin had in the mass of people behind him and his power over them as he is depicted to be much larger than them.
  • First All-Russian Congress of Soviets meets

    First All-Russian Congress of Soviets meets
    The First All- Russian Congress of Soviets met June 6th 1917 as it was hosted by the National Conferece of the Soviets. The event was ruled by social revolutionaries who declared the power of the Provisional government. This picture amplifies how tense the environment of the All- Russian Congress was as the men can be seen talking to each other with a lot of emotion.
  • Kornilov Affair

    Kornilov Affair
    The Kornilov Affair occurred July 1, 1917 when Kornilov, the commander in chief of the Russian Amry launched a military coup on the Provisional government. Kornilov and his troops were eventually stopped when the Bolsheviks sent the Red Guards to Petrograd to stop Kornilov’s troops. This picture shows General Kornilov along with other army soldiers who fought in the Kornilov Affair which is representative of the idea that Kornilov was the leader throughout the affair.
  • July Days

    July Days
    The July Days were a time period of chaos throughout Russia that started on July 16th, 1917. Workers, sailors and soldiers held demonstrations that protested against the Russia’s Provisional Government. This picture demonstrates the violence that took place in the July Days as injured and dead citizens were laid out in the street.
  • Bolsheviks overthrow the Provisional Government and take control

    Bolsheviks overthrow the Provisional Government and take control
    On October 25, 1917, the Bolsheviks overthrew the Provisional Government and took control in Russia. The Bolsheviks led their soldiers in an uprising in Petrograd as they captured Petrograd and the Red Guards captured vital government buildings and critical communication installments. This picture is a good representation of the Provisional Government being overthrown as soldiers can be seen dead on the floor while a Red Army guard is standing on top of them.
  • Cheka formed

    Cheka formed
    The Cheka force was formed December 20, 1917 due to the event of the Russian Revolution. The Cheka was a Bolshevik security force/ secret police unit that was put together to make sure opposition against the Bolshevik Government was suppressed as it acted outside the law by arresting and investigating whoever it wanted. This political cartoon is important as it shows how the Cheka had a prominent sense of control over Russia because it's bigger than everything else in the cartoon.
  • Constituent Assembly Meets and is Disbanded

    Constituent Assembly Meets and is Disbanded
    Dissolving the Constituent Assembly was one of Lenin’s first steps in consolidating a one-party state. When the Social Revolutionist President, Chernov, refused to implement Lenin’s policies during a meeting at the Tauride Palace, Bolsheviks fired and killed 12 demonstrators on the anniversary of Bloody Sunday. The image illustrates Lenin campaigning in 1917 for the Constituent Assembly, demonstrating his commanding presence over the crowd to generate attention, and later, power.
  • Treaty of Brest-Litovsk

    Treaty of Brest-Litovsk
    The treaty was signed between the new Bolshevik government and the Central Powers, withdrawing Russia from World War I. Russia lost 32% of the governed territory, including Latvia, Ukraine, Belarussia, Lithuania and Estonia. The image illustrates a map of Russia and Western Europe during March 1918, where the territories lost can be seen. This is a significant amount of land, consisting of 1 million square miles and 55 million civilians (1/3 of population).
  • Kolchak (White Leader) Begins Serious Attacks Against Reds from Siberia

    Kolchak (White Leader) Begins Serious Attacks Against Reds from Siberia
    Kolchak established an anti-Communist government in Siberia during the Russian Civil War. He was a naval admiral and was considered the “Supreme Leader of Russia” by the Whites. He was defeated and killed by the Bolshevik Red Army. The included image pictures Kolchak leading a parade near Tobolsk in 1919. This image shows his dedication to leading a fight against the Bolsheviks, especially considering that he also served in the Russo-Japanese War of 1905.
  • Wartime Communism Created

    Wartime Communism Created
    War Communism ensured that the Russian people had little rights during the Russian Civil War, including complete control of the economy for the benefit of the Red Army. The Bolsheviks seized factories, banned private and foreign trade, and controlled peasant agriculture. The image contains civilians receiving their fuel rations to survive the famine occurring in 1918. Since money was not relevant at this time, food and fuel rations became relatively minimal.
  • Red Terror

    Red Terror
    The Red Terror was a Bolshevik campaign dedicated to arrests, executions, and violence. The goal was to suppress existing political parties, and was carried out by the Cheka secret police. Violence continued throughout the Russian Civil War. The image demonstrates the terror enforced under the Bolsheviks, as indicated by the limp figure with a gun pointed to his head. The painting was created in 1919 by Ivan Vladimirov, titled, "In the Basements of the Cheka."
  • Poles Move Toward Kiev

    Poles Move Toward Kiev
    Often referred to as the Kiev Expedition, 65,000 Polish soldiers and 15,000 Ukrainian soldiers traveled to Kiev to attack the occupying Bolsheviks, eventually freeing the city from communist control. The image illustrates Polish soldiers in Kiev. Their determination is acknowledged by the flag they are carrying. It is also clear that the abundance of soldiers in the city shows their power, which was used to eventually rid the city from communist control.
  • Soviets attempt to take Warsaw

    Soviets attempt to take Warsaw
    Poles rose up against the soviets who were attempting to spread communism westward. Led by Marshal Joseph Pilsudski, the Poles defeated the Red Army and pushed the Russians back near Minsk. The image chosen presents the Poles and their active push against communism which emphasizes their nations role in preventing communism from moving westward.
  • Tambov Rebellion

    Tambov Rebellion
    Largest peasant rebellion against the Bolsheviks during the civil war, led by Social Revolutionaries who wanted an end to grain requisitioning. 30,000 Red Army forces were sent to crush the rebellion. The picture displays Alexander Antonov and his staff which were able to effectively assemble the peasantry to challenge communist rule.
  • Kronstadt Uprising

    Kronstadt Uprising
    30,000 soldiers at Kronstadt Naval base sent a manifesto to Lenin demanding free elections, free speech, freedom of the press, and an end to one-party communist rule. Sailors were labeled as traitors and were put down by the Red Army and Cheka. The image portrays the overwhelming communist force that was quickly sent before the ice melted to crush the soldiers and reject any possibility of accepting their negotiations.
  • Ending of Wartime Communism

    Ending of Wartime Communism
    New Economic Policy (NEP) reinstalled a money economy, put an end to requisitioning of grain and allowed private ownership of small businesses in addition to private trade. Interaction between town and city was encouraged so cereal and factory production rose greatly. The image reveals Lenin's change to the NEP and provides understanding to how he was attempting to appeal to the peoples' needs to prevent further opposition.
  • Treaty of Rapallo

    Treaty of Rapallo
    Germany and Russia recognized another, canceled debt claims, developed trade relations, and agreed to cooperate secretly in military matters. The economic benefits from the treaty proved significant following Lenin’s death. The picture helps to emphasize how the treaty was beneficial to Russia because due to Western opposition to communism, international co-existence was desired.
  • Ukraine Brought Under Soviet Control

    Ukraine Brought Under Soviet Control
    The USSR brought Ukraine under Communist control, after Bolsheviks in Ukraine defeated the national government in Kiev. The image contains the flag of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, which existed from 1922 when brought under Soviet control, to 1991. Significantly, this flag captures colors from both the Russian and Ukrainian flag, representing how culture in Ukraine molded to suit Soviet ambitions.
  • Formation of Soviet Union

    Formation of Soviet Union
    The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) replaced the Russian Soviet Federal Republic (RSFR) though the difference was minimal. States that made up the union were under strict control and, if needed, could be coerced from it. The picture emphasizes the communists consolidation of power and depicts Lenin's desire of a new Russia capable of spreading communism internationally.
  • Lenin Dies

    Lenin Dies
    Suffered three major strokes that left him mute and bed-ridden. His Testament didn’t signal clear intentions of future leadership but included appraisals and criticisms of Zinoviev, Kamenev, Bukharin, Trotsky and strong condemnations of Stalin. The image presents Lenin's funeral with the presence of Stalin, this helps depict Stalin's attempts to gain popularity and authority by using Lenin's death to his advantage.