Revolutionary Russia, 1891-1991: A Pelican Introduction
What caused the russian revolution?did it succeed or fail?do we still live with its consequences?orlando figes teaches history at birkbeck, university of london and is the author of many acclaimed books on russian history, including a people's tragedy, which the times literary supplement named as one of the '100 most influential books since the war', natasha's dance, the whisperers, crimea and just send me word. The financial times called him 'the greatest storyteller of modern russian historians. '
liberated them from police supervision and gave them more autonomy from the Moscow ministries, where Malenkov had his power base. He also spoke of reinforcing ‘socialist legality’, a term used throughout the Soviet period but never taken very seriously, and ordered a review of all ‘counter-revolutionary crimes’ since 1921. He took a particular interest in the Leningrad Affair, in which his rival Malenkov had served as Stalin’s main henchman. Several MGB officials linked to Malenkov were arrested.
ten times as many agents per capita of population) but enough to act as a deterrent to those who might be drawn into oppositional activities. The key to the power of the KGB was the popular belief that they were ‘everywhere’. Fear of the police – passed down through the generations by the collective memory of the Stalin years – produced an in-built compliance that goes a long way to explain why the Soviet regime lasted for so long after it had spent its revolutionary energies. The dissident
Retreat: The Growth and Decline of Communism in Russia (New York, 1946), pp. 199–200, 202. CHAPTER 13: THE GREAT TERROR 1. MM [Archive of Memorial Society, Moscow], f. 1, op. 1, d. 169 (V. A. Antonov-Ovseenko to S. I. Antonov-Ovseenko, 11 October 1937). 2. R. Conquest, The Great Terror: A Reassessment (London, 1992), pp. 424–5. 3. O. Khlevniuk, Master of the House: Stalin and His Inner Circle (New Haven, Conn., 2009), p. 174. 4. Ibid., p. 175. 5. Istochnik, 1994, no. 3, p. 80; N. S.
advantages of defensive warfare and dug themselves in. One entrenched machine-gunner was enough to repel a hundred infantrymen, and railways could bring up defenders much faster than the advancing troops could fill the gaps in the front line. It was at this point that Russia’s military weaknesses began to show. Russia was not prepared for a war of attrition, as Durnovo had warned. Other European powers managed to adapt to this new type of industrial warfare. But Russia was divided socially, its
independence from Bolshevik Russia, and used this threat to pressure the Russians to accept their tough demands (including the separation of Poland from Russia and the German annexation of Lithuania and most of Latvia). Trotsky called for an adjournment and returned to Petrograd to confer with the rest of the Bolshevik leaders. At the decisive meeting of the Central Committee, on 11 January, the largest faction supported Bukharin’s call for a revolutionary war. Trotsky suggested playing for more