“The October revolution cannot be considered only a revolution within the national framework. It is above all a revolution of an international, world order. ”
Why did the Bolsheviks win? Because they gave the Russian civilization and the people a new development project. They created a new reality that was in the interests of the majority of the workers and peasants of Russia. "Old Russia" in the face of the nobility, the liberal intelligentsia, the bourgeoisie and the capitalists committed suicide - thinking that it is destroying the Russian autocracy.
The Bolsheviks did not intend to reanimate the old project: the state and society. On the contrary, they offered people a new reality, a completely different world (civilization), which was fundamentally different from the old world, which died before their eyes. The Bolsheviks beautifully used a brief moment in storieswhen the “old Russia” died (was killed by the Westernizers of the Februaryists), and the temporary revolutionaries of the Februaryists could not offer anything to the people, except for the power of the capitalists, the bourgeois owners and the increasing dependence on the West. At the same time without sacred royal power, which for a long time hid the flaws of the old world. A conceptual, ideological emptiness was formed. Russia had to die, torn apart by western and eastern "predators" into spheres of influence, semi-colonies and "independent" bantustans, or make a breakthrough into the future.
And the Bolsheviks themselves did not expect that there would be a revolution in Russia, and even in the country, in their opinion, not ready for a socialist revolution. Lenin wrote: “The endless pattern they have (among traditional Marxists. - Auth.) Is the one that they learned by heart during the development of Western European Social Democracy and which is that we didn’t reach socialism, that we don’t have various scholars of them, the objective economic prerequisites for socialism, are expressed. And it does not occur to anyone to ask oneself: could the people who met the revolutionary situation be like the first imperialist war, under the influence of the hopelessness of his position to rush to such a struggle, which at least offered him any chance to conquer for themselves is not in very ordinary conditions for the further growth of civilization "?
That is, the Bolsheviks used the historical chance to try to create a new better world on the rubble of the old. At the same time, the old world collapsed under the weight of objective reasons that sharpened the Romanov empire for centuries, as well as the subversive activities of the heterogeneous “fifth column”, where the main role was played by Western liberals, the bourgeoisie and the capitalists, led by Freemasons (the support of the West also played a role). It is clear that the Bolsheviks also sought to destroy the old world, but until February they were such a weak, small and marginal force that they themselves noted that there would be no revolution in Russia. Their leaders and activists hid abroad, or were in prisons, were in exile. Their structures were crushed, or went deep underground, having practically no influence on society, compared to such powerful parties as the Cadets or Social Revolutionaries. Only February opened the "window of opportunity" for the Bolsheviks. Fevralista-Westerners, in an effort to seize the desired power, themselves killed the "old Russia", destroyed all the foundations of statehood, began a great Russian unrest and laid a loophole for the Bolsheviks.
And the Bolsheviks found everything that was necessary for the Russian civilization and the Russian superethnos to create a new project and reality, where "the good will live" for the majority, and not just for small sections of the "chosen". The Bolsheviks had a bright image of a possible and desirable world. They had an idea, an iron will, energy and faith in their victory. Therefore, the people supported them and they won.
Milestones of the Great October Socialist Revolution
It is worth noting that Lenin's ideas about the need to take power, expressed in the April Theses, caused misunderstanding in the ranks of the Bolsheviks. His demands to deepen the revolution, to go to the dictatorship of the proletariat were then incomprehensible to the comrades, frightened them. Lenin was in the minority. However, he was the most far-sighted. Within a few months, the situation in the country changed in the most radical way, the Februarylistists undermined all the foundations of power, the state, launched a distemper in the country. Now the majority was in revolt. The 6th Congress of the RSDLP (end of July - early August 1917 of the year) headed for an armed uprising.
October 23 held a meeting of the Central Committee of the RSDLP (b) (the Bolshevik Party) in a conspiratorial setting in Petrograd. The party leader, Vladimir Lenin, secured the adoption of a resolution on the need for a speedy armed uprising to seize power in the country of 10 with “for” votes while 2 is “against” (Lev Kamenev and Grigory Zinoviev). Kamenev and Zinoviev hoped that in these conditions the Bolsheviks could get power by mines, from the Constituent Assembly. October 25, on the initiative of the Chairman of the Petrograd Soviet, Lev Trotsky, created the Military Revolutionary Committee (WRC), which became one of the centers for the preparation of the uprising. The committee was controlled by the Bolsheviks and the Left Social Revolutionaries. It was established legally, under the pretext of protecting Petrograd from the advancing Germans and the Kornilov rebels. With a call to join him, the Council appealed to the soldiers of the capital garrison, the Red Guards and the Kronstadt sailors.
Meanwhile the country continued to fall apart and decompose. So, October 23 in Grozny was formed the so-called "Chechen Committee of the gains of the revolution." He declared himself the main authority in the Grozny and Vedeno districts, formed his own Chechen bank, food committees and introduced a compulsory court for Sharia. The criminal situation in Russia, where liberal-bourgeois “democracy” was victorious, was extremely difficult. On October 28, the newspaper Russkie Vedomosti (No. 236) reported on the atrocities perpetrated by soldiers on the railways and complaints about them by the railway workers. In Kremenchug, Voronezh and Lipetsk, soldiers looted cargo trains and passengers' luggage, attacking the passengers themselves. In Voronezh and Bologoy, they also trashed the cars themselves, breaking windows and breaking the roofs. “It’s impossible to work,” railroad workers complained. In Belgorod, pogrom spread to the city, where deserters and local residents who joined them defeated grocery stores and rich houses.
Deserters running from the front with weapons in their hands, not only went home, but also replenished and created bandit formations (sometimes whole “armies”), which became one of the threats to the existence of Russia. Only the Bolsheviks will be able to suppress this “green” danger and anarchy as a whole. They will have to solve the task of suppressing the criminal revolution, which began in Russia with the “light” hand of revolutionaries-Februaryists.
On October 31, a garrison meeting was held in Petrograd (representatives of the regiments stationed in the city), the majority of whose participants expressed support for an armed uprising against the Provisional Government, if it happens under the leadership of the Petrograd Soviet. On November 3, representatives of the regiments recognized the Petrograd Soviet as the sole legitimate authority. At the same time, the Military Revolutionary Committee began to appoint commissars to the military units, replacing the commissars of the Provisional Government with them. On the night of 4 in November, representatives of the Revolutionary Military Committee announced to Georgy Polkovnikov, Commander of the Petrograd Military District, about the appointment of their commissars and to the district headquarters. Colonels initially refused to cooperate with them, and only 5 in November agreed to a compromise - the creation at headquarters of an advisory body to coordinate with the WRC, which did not work in practice.
On November 5, the Revolutionary Command issued an order granting its commissioners the right to veto orders from commanders of military units. Also on this day, the garrison of the Peter and Paul Fortress moved to the side of the Bolsheviks, which was “propagandized” by one of the Bolshevik leaders and the actual leader of the Revolutionary Committee, Lev Trotsky (formally, the Revolutionary Committee was headed by the left SR Pavel Lazimir). The garrison of the fortress immediately seized the nearby Kronverksky arsenal and began distributing weapons to the Red Guard detachments.
On the night of November 5, the head of the Provisional Government, Alexander Kerensky, ordered the chief of staff of the Petrograd military district, General Yakov Bagratuni, to send an ultimatum to the Petrograd Soviet: either the Council recalls its commissars, or the military authorities will use force. On the same day, Bagratuni ordered the junkers of the military schools in Petrograd, students of the ensigns schools and other parts to arrive at the Palace Square.
November 6 (October 24) began an open armed struggle between the Military Revolutionary Committee and the Provisional Government. The Provisional Government issued a decree on the arrest of the circulation of the Bolshevik newspaper “Work Path” (previously closed “Pravda”), which was printed at the Trud printing house. Policemen and cadets went there and began to arrest the circulation. Upon learning of this, the leaders of the WRC contacted the Red Guard detachments and committees of military units. “The Petrograd Soviet is in direct danger,” said the Revolutionary Command of the Revolution, “at night, counterrevolutionary conspirators tried to call in from the neighborhood junkers and strike battalions to Petrograd. The newspapers "Soldier" and "Work Path" are closed. It is hereby ordered to put the regiment on alert. Wait for further orders. Any delay and confusion will be seen as a betrayal of the revolution. " By order of the Revolutionary Committee, a company of soldiers under his control arrived at the Trud printing house and ousted the junkers. The seal of Work Path was resumed.
The Provisional Government decided to strengthen its own security, but to protect the Winter Palace during the day it was possible to attract only about 100 war invalids from the St. George Cavaliers (many, including the squad commander, on prostheses), junior artillery battalions and the company of the shock battalion of women. It is worth noting that The Provisional Government, Kerensky themselves did everything so that the Bolsheviks did not meet with serious armed resistance. They were afraid of the fire of the “right” —the Cadets, the Kornilovites, the generals, the Cossacks — the forces that could overthrow them and establish a military dictatorship. Therefore, by October they suppressed all the forces that could offer real resistance to the Bolsheviks. Kerensky was afraid to create officer units and introduce Cossack regiments to the capital. And the generals, the army officers and the Cossacks hated Kerensky, who ruined the army and led to the failure of Kornilov’s speeches. On the other hand, hesitant attempts by Kerensky to get rid of the most unreliable parts of the Petrograd garrison only led to the fact that they drifted "to the left" and went over to the side of the Bolsheviks. At the same time, the temporary worker was carried away by the formation of national formations - Czechoslovakia, Polish, Ukrainian, which later would play a crucial role in unleashing the Civil War.
The head of the Provisional Government, Alexander F. Kerensky
By this time, a meeting of the Central Committee of the RSDLP (b) was held, at which it was decided to start an armed uprising. Kerensky went for support at the meeting of the Provisional Council of the Russian Republic held on the same day (Pre-Parliament, advisory body to the Provisional Government), asking him for support. But the Pre-Parliament refused to give extraordinary powers to Kerensky to suppress a rising insurrection, adopting a resolution criticizing the actions of the Provisional Government.
The revolutionary committee then appealed with an appeal "To the people of Petrograd," which said that the Petrograd Soviet took upon itself "the protection of the revolutionary order against the attempts of counter-revolutionary pogromists." Began an open confrontation. The Provisional Government ordered the bridges across the Neva to be erected in order to cut off the Red Guards in the northern half of the city from the Winter Palace. But the cadets who were sent to execute the order managed to dissolve only the Nikolayevsky Bridge (on Vasilyevsky Island) and for some time held the Palace (next to the Winter Palace). Already on the Liteiny Bridge they were met and disarmed by the Red Guards. Also in the late evening, the Red Guard units began to take control of the stations. The latter, Warsaw, was busy on the morning of 8 on November 7.
At about midnight, the Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin left the safe house and arrived in Smolny. He did not yet know that the enemy was not at all ready to resist, so he changed his appearance by shaving off his mustache and beard so that he would not be recognized. November 7 (October 25) at 2 in the morning hours a detachment of armed soldiers and sailors on behalf of the WRC took over the telegraph and the Petrograd Telegraph Agency. Right there, telegrams were sent to Kronstadt and Helsingfors (Helsinki) demanding that warships with sailors' detachments be pulled up to Petrograd. Red Guard detachments, meanwhile, occupied all the new main points of the city and by morning they controlled the printing house of the newspaper Birzhevye Vedomosti, the Astoria hotel, the power station and the telephone exchange. The cadets guarding them were disarmed. 9 hours 30 min. a detachment of sailors occupied the State Bank. Soon the police received a message that the Winter Palace was isolated and its telephone network was disconnected. An attempt by a small detachment of junkers led by the Provisional Government Commissioner Vladimir Stankevich to recapture the telephone station ended in failure, and the cadets of the school of ensigns (near 2000 bayonets) called by Kerensky in Petrograd could not be reached because the Baltic Station was already occupied by the rebels. The cruiser "Aurora" approached the Nikolaevsky bridge, the bridge itself was beaten off by the cadets and again reduced. Already early in the morning, sailors from Kronstadt, who landed on Vasilyevsky Island, began to arrive in the city. They were covered by the cruiser Aurora, the battleship Dawn of Freedom and two destroyers.
Armored cruiser "Aurora"
On the night of November 7, Kerensky moved between the headquarters of the Petrograd Military District, trying to pull up new units from there, and the Winter Palace, where the Provisional Government was meeting. The military district commander Georgy Polkovnikov read out a report to Kerensky, in which he assessed the situation as “critical” and informed that “there are no troops at the disposal of the government”. Then Kerensky dismissed Polkovnikov from office for indecision and personally appealed to 1, 4, and 14 Cossack regiments to take part in the defense of "revolutionary democracy." But most of the Cossacks showed "unconsciousness" and did not come out of the barracks, and only about 200 Cossacks arrived at the Winter Palace.
By 11 in the morning hours of November 7, Kerensky drove Petrograd to Pskov by car from the American embassy and flying the American flag, accompanied by several officers, where the headquarters of the Northern Front was located. Later, a legend will appear that Kerensky fled from the Winter Palace, dressing in a woman's dress, which was a complete fiction. Kerensky left Minister of Trade and Industry Alexander Konovalov to perform the duties of the head of government.
November 7 day was gone by the rebels to break up the Pre-Parliament meeting in the Mariinsky Palace not far from the already occupied Astoria. By noon, the building was cordoned off by revolutionary soldiers. From 12 hours 30 min. the soldiers began to go inside, demanding that the delegates disperse. A prominent politician, the foreign minister in the first composition of the Provisional Government, Pavel Milyukov later described the inglorious end of this institution: “No attempt was made to stop a group of members to react to events. This was reflected in the general consciousness of the powerlessness of this ephemeral institution and the impossibility for it, after the resolution adopted on the eve of the resolution, to take any kind of joint actions. ”
The capture of the Winter Palace proper began around 9 hours of the evening with a blank shot from the Peter and Paul Fortress and then also a blank shot from the Aurora cruiser. The detachments of revolutionary sailors and Red Guards actually just entered the Winter Palace from the side of the Hermitage. By two o'clock in the morning, the Provisional Government was arrested, defending the cadet’s palace, women and people with disabilities partially fled before the assault, partly they laid down their arms. Already in the USSR, artists created a beautiful myth about the storming of the Winter. But there was no need to storm the Winter Palace, temporary workers from the Provisional Government were so tired of everyone that almost no one defended them.
The creation of the Soviet government
The uprising coincided in time with the II All-Russian Congress of Soviets, which opened on November 7 in 22 hours 40 minutes. in the building of the Smolny Institute. Deputies from among the right-wing Socialist-Revolutionaries, Mensheviks and Bundists, having learned of the coup that had begun, left the congress in protest. But by their departure they could not violate the quorum, and the Left Social Revolutionaries, part of the Mensheviks and anarchists, and delegates from national groups supported the actions of the Bolsheviks. As a result, Martov’s position on the need to create a government in which representatives of all socialist parties and democratic groups would be, was not supported. The words of the leader of the Bolsheviks, Vladimir Lenin - “The revolution, the necessity of which the Bolsheviks spoke for so long, came true!” - caused a standing ovation at the congress. Based on the victorious uprising, the Congress proclaimed “Workers, Soldiers and Peasants!” By calling out the transfer of power to the Soviets.
The victorious Bolsheviks immediately began legislative work. The first laws were the so-called "Decree on Peace" - a call to all belligerent countries and peoples to immediately begin negotiations on concluding a universal peace without annexations and indemnities, to cancel secret diplomacy, to publish secret treaties of the tsarist and Provisional Governments; and the “Land Decree” —the landlord's land was subject to confiscation and transfer for processing to the peasants, but at the same time all the lands, forests, waters and subsoil were nationalized. Private land ownership was canceled free of charge. These decrees were approved by the November 8 Congress of the Soviets (October 26).
The Congress of Soviets formed the first so-called "workers 'and peasants' government" - the Council of People's Commissars headed by Vladimir Lenin. The government included the Bolsheviks and the Left Social Revolutionaries. Leonid D. Trotsky became People’s Commissar of Foreign Affairs, A. I. Rykov became Commissioner of Internal Affairs, Lunacharsky Commissar of Education, Skvortsov-Stepanov of Finance, Stalin etc. for Nationalities Affairs. The Committee on Naval Affairs included Antonov-Ovseenko, Krylenko and Dybenko. The All-Russian Central Executive Committee (VTSIK), headed by Chairman Lev Kamenev, became the supreme body of Soviet power (in two weeks Yakov Sverdlov will succeed him).
Already on November 8, the decree of the Revolutionary Military Committee also closed down the first "counter-revolutionary and bourgeois" newspapers - the Exchange News, the Cadet Rech, the Menshevik Day, and several others. The Decree on the Press, published on 9 in November, said that only the press, "calling for open resistance or disobedience to the Workers 'and Peasants' Government," and "sowing distemper by clearly slanderous distortion of facts, are subject to closure. It was pointed out the temporary nature of the closure of newspapers until the situation normalized. November 10 was formed a new, so-called "working" police. On November 11, the Council of People's Commissars adopted a decree on the 8-hour working day and the regulation “On workers 'control”, which was introduced in all enterprises that had hired workers (the owners of the enterprises were obliged to fulfill the requirements of the “workers' control bodies”).
V.I. Lenin, First Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars of the Russian Soviet Republic
To be continued ...