Russian Royal Family – 1914
Few moments in our recent history were so defining as the Russian Red Revolution, the event which leads to the formation of the Soviet Union, and to the current political and military paradigm. Many myths surround the transition from the Tsarist rule to that of the Soviets, what happened in 1917 and in the years to come.
The Russian Revolution was a direct consequence of the First World War and of the generalized struggle for National affirmation. Dubbed the graveyard of multinational empires, the First World War revealed that both the Russian economy and its military power were many steps behind its European counterparts. Extended casualties over the many years of war meant that the Imperial Army was now weakened and sensible to acts of mutiny. Tsarist claim to internal power relied substantially on military interventions and, when they failed to be coherent, the general unrest coagulated in highly complex and well-orchestrated mass protests.
Christ the Redeemer Church – Moskow, Photo Ekaterina Bykova / Shutterstock
The Russian Revolution was a two act play. In February 1917, the abdication of Emperor Nicholas II makes place for a provisional government to be installed. Later that year, in October, the Provisional Government is replaced with a Bolshevik (Communist) government. To end Russia’s participation in the First World War, the Bolshevik leaders signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with Germany in March 1918. What quickly followed was an internal strife to eliminate all opposition towards the newly installed regime.
Of course, the headline of the Russian Revolution is the execution of the tsar and its family and the presumed survival of princess Anastasia. Following the discovery of their remains in 1991, the Romanovs were admitted as victims of political repression and canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church.
Winter Palace – St. Petersburg, Russia
The Russian Revolution is often looked upon on a larger scale. Leon Trotsky, one of the leaders of the revolution said that the goal of socialism in Russia would not be realized without the success of the world revolution. There were also other attempts of communist revolutions throughout Europe (Germany, Hungary), but it will take two more decades for communist regimes to be installed in Eastern and Central Europe, at the end of the Second World War.
There is no doubt what happened in Russia has changed the face of the world and Communism has been proven a historic mistake that pushed back so many countries and created so many tragedies.