Socialist Worker

Russia


How was the Russian Revolution defeated?

10 April 2004
The Russian Revolution of October 1917 was greeted across the world with enormous popular enthusiasm. In the midst of the bloody slaughter of the First World War the workers' and soldiers' councils had taken control of the country. The new soviet government took Russia out of the war, instituting far-reaching reforms. Factory committees took over enterprises. The peasants won the land. Legislation gave women the most advanced freedoms anywhere in the world.

Internationalism: workers of all countries unite

14 February 2004
In 1919, dockers in the city of Seattle refused to load arms for use against the recent Russian Revolution. They were followed by dockers in San Francisco, London, Hull and elsewhere.

Deep disappointment chills Russian election

13 December 2003
RUSSIAN PRESIDENT Vladimir Putin looks set to claim victory in the country's parliamentary elections last weekend.

Georgia is on George Bush's mind

29 November 2003
GEORGIA IS a poor country with only four million inhabitants. But facing the Black Sea between Russia, Turkey, Armenia and Azerbaijan, it is of key strategic importance for any outside power trying to exercise influence over the whole region from the Middle East through to the Chinese border. Britain occupied the country briefly as part of its efforts to destroy the Russian Revolution in the aftermath of the First World War.

Russia 1917: was it a revolution or a coup?

25 October 2003
The Russian Revolution began in February 1917 with an uprising that brought down the hated Tsar. By October a new government was founded led by the Bolsheviks. What happened?

Pravda: the spark that lit a revolution

11 October 2003
Pravda (Truth) was a key part of the great wave of upheaval that swept Russia before the First World War. It was also important in taking forward the Russian Revolution of 1917.

To Russia with love

10 May 2003
GUY BURGESS, Donald Maclean, Kim Philby and Anthony Blunt were Britain's most notorious and successful 20th century spies. Their lives are depicted in the watchable BBC2 drama Cambridge Spies, a four-part series starting on Friday of this week.

Division at the heart of system

19 April 2003
THERE WERE two major summit meetings last week. The first, highly publicised here, was the meeting of George W Bush and Tony Blair in Northern Ireland. The other brought together the French and Russian presidents - Jacques Chirac and Vladimir Putin - with the German chancellor, Gerhard Schröder, in St Petersburg, Russia.

Out to rule the world

29 March 2003
A FANATICAL group of men in and around the White House use the 11 September attacks to launch a war they have wanted for over a decade. Conquering Iraq is merely one step in their plan for ongoing military operations against other states, leaving the world in awe of US power. The aim? Global domination. France, Germany, Russia, China and other major states are all to come under the thumb of the US state and the interests of its multinationals.

A tradition of true democracy

22 March 2003
MANY YEARS ago when the benefits of parliamentary democracy were shared by very few of the world's population, the Russian revolutionary Lenin pointed to a fundamental problem. He argued that "hidden beneath the polished exterior of modern democracy are deceit, violence, corruption, mendacity, hypocrisy and oppression of the poor". Tony Blair's New Labour has managed to illustrate each one of them in six short years. One measure of the outcome is the declining number of people who vote in elections.

US faces backlash over threat of war

11 January 2003
THE US has been caught out banging the war drum over North Korea. That threat has provoked such a strong public reaction that the governments of South Korea and Japan, both US allies, have distanced themselves from George Bush. The division of the Korean peninsula into two states is a relic of the Cold War. The US backed the South, while China and Russia at different times supported the North.

Backdrop to Dr Zhivago

23 November 2002
THE PETER and Paul Fortress in St Petersburg was once a prison but is now a museum. You can wander round its cells and see grainy photographs of its former occupants, political prisoners under the old Russian Tsars 100 years ago. A large number are women-revolutionaries usually from middle class backgrounds who braved torture and exile for their cause.

It was revolution

09 November 2002
THIS YEAR is the 85th anniversary of one of the most important and uplifting events of the 20th century. But you wouldn't know that from any of the papers or TV. The revolution in Russia in 1917 is an event hated by people who defend the system we live in. That's because the mass of people took their lives into their own hands. Historians who are hostile claim it was a conspiracy by a small bunch of revolutionaries called the Bolsheviks.

Russia's reign of terror in Chechnya

02 November 2002
OVER 100 people were killed by the gas which Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered to be pumped into the Moscow theatre siege last weekend. The horror of the siege's end gave a glimpse of the brutal methods used by the Russian state in Chechnya, methods which created the hostage crisis. Putin, along with Tony Blair and most of the British press, describe the Chechens as fanatical terrorists.

Beatrice Jones

26 October 2002
SOCIALIST Worker readers will be saddened to hear of the recent death of one of the paper's oldest readers. Beatrice Mary Jones was born into a fairly privileged family in August 1901. As a teenager she read about the harsh lives of working class people, and in 1917 her sympathy for the Russian Revolution led her aunty to declare her a "Bolshie".

Price for UN war

21 September 2002
THE US is using bullying and dirty deals to try and ensure that the United Nations does not oppose war. That underlines why opponents of the war must be clear and say no war, with or without United Nations backing. The five permanent members of the UN Security Council are the US, Britain, Russia, France and China. Any of these can veto a resolution backing war. Bush can rely on Britain. That leaves the three others.

A settling of accounts

13 July 2002
APOLOGISTS for Western capitalism have long sought to discredit the idea of socialism by pointing to the terror of Stalin's regime in Russia. It is now just over ten years since that system collapsed, but the message is the same-any attempt to build an alternative to capitalism is doomed to follow the path of the Soviet Union.

Privatised skies behind disaster

13 July 2002
A CHAOTIC privatised air traffic control system caused last week's tragic midair collision in southern Germany, not pilot error. Swiss authorities attempted to blame the pilot of the Russian plane which crashed into a cargo plane, killing 71 people-52 of them children. Air traffic control in Switzerland was privatised this year and handed to the Skyguide company.

Gripping read of a besieged city

22 June 2002
THE SIEGE, by Helen Dunmore, is a novel set in the winter-long blockade of Leningrad in Russia by Nazi forces during the Second World War. It has just come out in paperback. It follows the story of a young woman, Anna. Her mother died in childbirth. Now Anna works in a nursery, and cares for her five year old brother and ageing father.

A different kind of party altogether

08 June 2002
THE RICH and powerful always want to put us off the idea of revolution. They have consciously promoted the argument that in Russia the revolution led to terror and dictatorship, that Lenin led to Stalin. This idea has been encouraged for decades and by a wide range of people. Writers who supported the old Stalinist rulers of Russia continually promoted the argument that Lenin led to Stalin.

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