In Defence of October

Study the lessons of the Russian Revolution

About us 1917 Live

Answers to Questions Put by a Workers’ Delegation of Alexandro-Grushevsky District

"Our troops are moving in the direction of Kaledin’s troops in sufficient numbers."

1) Re the sequestration of mines and works in the Alexandro-Grushevsky District.

Mines and works may be confiscated only after the district is liberated from Kaledin’s troops and influence.

2) Should the workers now quit the mines and go away to Central Russia?

They should not quit but go on working as long as possible. Resolution on this question by the Council of People’s Commissars: the workers of the Alexandro-Grushevsky District to be instructed to contact Kharkov for the arming of the Red Guard. The comrades to be asked to hold out to the last, as long as they can, and not throw up their work.

3) On sending guards to the mines.

Our troops are moving in the direction of Kaledin’s troops in sufficient numbers.

4) Re a subsidy of 3,000,000 rubles to carry on the work.

The question of Monotop{2} will be settled on the arrival of Comrade Artyom from Kharkov.

5) Are the bank-notes issued by Kaledin’s government to be considered valid?

The bank-notes are to be considered invalid.

V. Ulyanov (Lenin)

Chairman, Council of People’s Commissars


{1} The question of Alexandro-Grushevsky Mining District was dis-cussed at a meting of the C.P.C. on December 9 (22), 1917

{2} Monotop-Russian abbreviation for Donets Fuel Monopoly Trade Council, which was set up by the Provisional Government in 1917. After the October Revolution Monotop pursued a policy of sabotage in the matter of supplying fuel to the railways and industrial enterprises in the central part of Soviet Russia.


Source: Marxist Internet Archive.

The February Revolution
Strikes and protests erupt on women's day in Petrograd and develop into a mass movement involving hundreds of thousands of workers; within 5 days the workers win over the army and bring down the hated and seemingly omnipotent Tsarist Monarchy.
Lenin Returns
Lenin returns to Russia and presents his ‘April Theses’ denouncing the Bourgeois Provisional Government and calling for “All Power to the Soviets!”
The June Days
Following the First All-Russian Congress of Soviets, the reformist leaders called a demonstration to show the strength of "democracy". 400,000 people attended, the vast majority carried banners with Bolshevik slogans.
The July Days
Spontaneous, armed demonstrations against the Provisional Government erupt in Petrograd. The workers and soldiers are suppressed by force, introducing a period of reaction and making the peaceful development of the revolution impossible.
The Kornilov Affair
Following the July days, the Bolsheviks were driven underground and the forces of reaction were emboldened. This process culminated in the reactionary forces coalescing around General Kornilov, who attempt to march on Petrograd and crush the revolutionary movement in its entirety.
The October Revolution
The Provisional Government is overthrown. State power passes to the Soviets on the morningm of 26th October, after the Bolsheviks’ Military Revolutionary Committee seize the city and the cabinet surrenders.
  • V. I. Lenin

    V. I. Lenin

    "The dominating trait of his character, the feature which constituted half his make-up, was his will..."
  • L. Trotsky

    L. Trotsky

    “Astounding speeches, fanfares of orders, the unceasing electrifier of a weakening army.”
  • G. Plekhanov

    G. Plekhanov

    "In the final analysis the brilliant aspects of Plekhanov’s character will endure forever."
  • G. O. Zinoviev

    G. O. Zinoviev

    "Zinoviev has won the reputation of being one of the most remarkable orators – a difficult feat."
  • Y. M. Sverdlov

    Y. M. Sverdlov

    “He did not die on the field of battle, but we are right to see him as a man who gave his life for the cause.”
  • V. Volodarsky

    V. Volodarsky

    “He was always to be seen in the front row, the on-the-spot leader. So, they killed him.”
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Reading Guides

  • The 1917 February Revolution

    The 1917 February Revolution

    The February Revolution saw a mass strike develop from below at a furious pace which posed the question of state power within a week of its inception. Workers in Petrograd took to the streets against intolerable bread shortages, the slaughter
  • Lenin Returns in April

    Lenin Returns in April

    This reading guide contains some of Lenin’s most important writings and speeches made in the April period, accompanied by works which provide further details of events at that stage of the Revolution.
  • The June Days 1917

    The June Days 1917

    This reading guide informs the May-June period of the Revolution with analysis, accounts of those who were involved and important speeches and writings of the time.
  • The July Days 1917

    The July Days 1917

    This selection of texts covers the background, events and consequences of the July Days. Next, we will turn our attention to one of those consequences – the Kornilov putsch in late August.
  • The Kornilov affair

    The Kornilov affair

    Kornilov’s failed coup brought the direct action of the masses into play again, and proved to them once and for all that they were the only force in society capable of transforming their own living conditions. For the first time,
  • The October Insurrection 1917

    The October Insurrection 1917

    The following series of articles provides in-depth analyses and first-hand accounts of the events immediately preceding, during and after the greatest event in human history: the October Revolution, in addition to reflections on its aftermath.
  • 1