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Lenin V. I.

Vladimir Ilich Ulyanov (Lenin), Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars, was born April 22, 1870, Simbirsk, Russia.

Founder of the Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks), inspirer and leader of the Bolshevik Revolution, Vladimir Ulyanov (Lenin) (1) gave up his law practice to participate in the revolutionary underground movement in St. Petersburg. He was arrested and exiled to Siberia in 1895. Upon completing his term in 1900, Lenin went abroad and spent almost 20 years in building a a highly centralized party organized around a small core of experienced professional revolutionaries. Lenin's theory split the Russian Social Democratic Workers' Party (RSDWP) in two: Lenin's radical group, the Bolsheviks (Majority), and the more moderate group, the Mensheviks (Minority). The 3rd congress elected Lenin a member of the Central Committee (Apr. 1905 - Apr. 1906), but the defeat of the Revolution of 1905 brought about a unification of the party at the 4th congress, and Lenin lost his seat on the Committee. The Bolsheviks mostly dominated the 5th congress and Lenin was elected a candidate member of the Central Committee (May 1907 - Jan. 1912). Fighting to preserve the Bolshevik party, Lenin convened the party conference at Prague, in 1912, which split the RSDWP forever. Lenin was reinstated as a full member of the Central Committee (Jan. 1912 - Jan. 21, 1924), a post he held until his death.

After living in Switzerland during World War I, Lenin and his associates returned to St.Petersburg on Apr. 3 [16], 1917, one month after the Tsar abdicated. The Bolsheviks took part in the unsuccessful July uprising and Lenin had to flee to Finland. Around Oct. 10 [23] he returned secretly and directed the Bolsheviks from the underground. On Oct. 25-26 [Nov. 7-8], the Bolshevik-led troops deposed the Provisional Government. The delegates of the Second All-Russian Congress of Soviets voted to accept full power and elected Lenin (between 4 AM and 5 AM Oct. 27 [Nov. 9]) as chairman of the Council of People's Commissars, the first Soviet government.

Largely because of Lenin's skillful leadership the Soviet government managed to survive and won the Civil War against the anti-Soviet forces ('the Whites') and repelled the foreign intervention. On formation of the new Bolshevik organs in 1919, Lenin became a full member of the Politburo (March 25, 1919 - Jan. 21, 1924), but his authority was so enormous that his formal posts never made up a basis for his leadership. By 1921 Lenin's government had crushed all opposition parties and the Red Army occupied the territory of the former Russian Empire that allowed to create a new political entity, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). However, in the spring of 1922, Lenin fell seriously ill as a result of the assassination attempt made in August 1918. He recovered rapidly from the operation, but a month later he fell ill, partially paralyzed and unable to speak. In June he made a partial recovery, but in December he was again incapacitated by semiparalysis. On March 10, 1923, another stroke deprived him of speech.

After a six-month transitional period without a federal government (Dec. 30 1922 - July 6, 1923), incapacitated Lenin was approved chairman of the Council of People's Commissars of the USSR by the 2nd session of the 1st Central Executive Committee on July 6, 1923. On July 7, 1923, he was also re-elected Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars of the Russian SFSR by the All-Russian Central Executive Committee. But he never came to work and his political activity came to an end. He suffered yet another stroke on the morning of Jan. 21, 1924, and died that evening in the village of Gorki (now known as Gorki Leninskiye), near Moscow.


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