Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, more popularly known as Lenin, died on January 21 in 1924. Lenin was a Russian political revolutionary who propagated the idea of communism among civilians. He became the head of the Soviet Union in 1917 and founded the base of a socialist empire.
Some facts about Vladimir Lenin:
- Lenin was born to a Russian middle-class family on April 22 in 1870 in the city of Simbirsk (now Ulyanovsk) lying by the river Volga, far from Moscow
- Zemlyachestvo was a union of students and travelling merchants who came from distant lands. Lenin became a representative for the university’s Zemlyachestvo council
- In December 1887, Lenin was arrested for leading a demonstration against the Russian government’s restrictions on student societies. He was exiled to his Kokushkino estate in Tatarstan district where he voraciously studied political science and the works of famous authors including Nikolai Chernyshevsky’s novel ‘What is to be Done?’
- Lenin’s mother requested the Ministry to allow him to return to Kazan. On his return, Lenin joined the revolutionary circle of Nikolai Fedoseev, a pioneer of Marxism in Russia, who introduced Lenin to Karl Marx’s Das Capital
- Lenin became fascinated with Marxism and Communism. After joining hands with another Marxist, Alexei Skilarenko, Lenin translated Karl Marx and Frederick Engel’s political pamphlet, The Communist Manifesto
- Due to his inclination towards Marism, Lenin was exiled to Siberia by the Tsarist government. He completed his sentence till 1900 but the government would not risk keeping him in the country. He was asked to leave Russia. Lenin travelled through Europe and returned at the time of the 1905 Revolution
- The Revolution of 1905 was sparked by an incident of genocide in St. Petersburg known as the Bloody Sunday or the Red Sunday. On January 22 in 1905, a group of unarmed revolutionaries, led by Father Gregory Gapon, was shot down by the Imperial Guard, as the gathering proceeded towards the Winter Palace (the Tsar’s winter headquarters) to talk to the then Tsar Nicholas II. Lenin pushed the Bolshevik Party of Russia to initiate violent insurrection. He also became the editor of Novaya Zhizn (New Life) and inspired people to become a member of the newspaper
- Lenin passively supported the fall of Russia during the First World War. His idea was that Russia will be severely damaged in the war, which will weaken the Tsarist government, making it easy to topple. He spoke in many conferences across Europe and urged socialists from around the continent to turn the ‘imperialist war’ between countries to a ‘civil war’ between the proletariat and the bourgeois
- In February 1917, a mass revolution, later named as the famous February Revolution, broke out in St. Petersburg against the oppressive Tsarist government. Fearing violence against the royalty, Tsar Nicholas II abdicated the throne. The news reached Lenin who was in Switzerland at the time. He decided to return to Russia but found all the ways blocked. He took help from the Germans and travelled to his native land with his wife Nadezhda Krupskaya
- Since the Tsar’s collapse, a Provincial Government was in power. Lenin organised a social unrest in October 1917, later known as the October Revolution, and toppled the ad hoc government to rise as the leader of Russia. Under his regime, the Bolsheviks went on a rampage. They killed the royal family and many more imperialists in the country. Although Lenin identified himself to be innocent and oblivious to his party’s actions, many believe otherwise
- In his last years, Lenin became obsessed with the idea of suicide. He even asked Stalin, one of his trusted subordinates, to acquire potassium cyanide for him. His health deteriorated further and he went into coma on January 21, 1924. Hours later, Lenin died due to an “incurable disease of the blood vessels”, according to the records. His body was mummified and placed inside a permanent granite mausoleum at Moscow’s Red Square.