1917 Revolution: Bolsheviks seize Moscow
Following the fall of Petrograd, modern-day Saint Petersburg, the Bolsheviks set their sights on Moscow.
According to historian Boris Kagarlitsky from the Institute of Comparative Political Studies, “They were really forced to face a set of consequences which were probably very good for Lenin to take power, but not very good for Lenin to manage the country.”
Bolsheviks conquer Moscow
The first big test of their power was in today's Russian capital.
A committee was formed in Moscow, bringing together workers and soldiers and headed by four Bolsheviks and two moderate Mensheviks.
The next day they published a decree announcing the victory of the movement in Petrograd. Now it was Moscow's turn to follow suit.
Red Guard detachments` arrival helped the Bolsheviks to win in Moscow
Meanwhile, the Moscow Duma prepared to resist. They formed a Social Security Committee to face the Bolsheviks head on.
The revolutionaries managed to get forces into the Kremlin but government troops surrounded them. Forced negotiations then began.
But when Colonel Ryabtsev, head of Moscow's military learnt they might be getting reinforcements from the front, he pulled out of negotiations and introduced martial law.
However, the revolutionaries were having none of it. They mobilised troops and workers to arm and fight for the Soviets. Forces clashed on Red Square and revolutionaries fired from the Kremlin wall.
Government troops entered the Kremlin via secret tunnels, ambushing the revolutionary forces from the inside – but the battle was far from over.
Spurred on by the new order taking over in Petrograd the revolutionaries re-routed.
There was a bloody standoff at Krymsky Square. Both sides met with casualties but the Bolsheviks controlled key facilities.
With the arrival of Mikhail Frunze and thousands of soldiers together with Red Guard detachments, the government troops were soon broken.
Two weeks after the bloody violence started it was over – the Bolsheviks had won. In a matter of months Moscow would be their new capital.
However, the story doesn't end there. Civil War would rage for years before the relative stability of the Soviet Union and then it's eventual collapse.
Bolshevik Revolution 90 years after
Hugo Chavez, President of Venezuela
In October, 1917, the Russian people and Russian soldiers were breaking centuries of tyranny, centuries of colonialism. I, a revolutionary, pay tribute to those days. Glory to the revolutionaries of the 20th century
How relevant is the revolution today?
The new anti-capitalist system that emerged as a result of the 1917 Revolution in Russia inspired others.
Hugo Chavez, President of Venezuela, is sure that “in October, 1917, the Russian people and Russian soldiers were breaking centuries of tyranny, centuries of colonialism. I, a revolutionary, pay tribute to those days. Glory to the revolutionaries of the 20th century.”
Andrey Fursov, Director of the Institute of Russian Studies in Moscow, says that “one of the most dangerous things for contemporary Russia is social and economic polarisation. Tsarist Russia and Post-Soviet Russia look similar in many respects”.
“This revolution started as a socialist revolution promising to build a new society based on a new set of rules. So far as that goes, it failed. At the same time it was also a dramatic modernisation of Russian society, and in that sense it did succeed quite massively,” Boris Kagarlitsky adds.
Failure or success, the revolution's impact continues to be felt.