In Russia Bolsheviks led by Vladimir Lenin seized power. Lenin (1870-1924) and Leon Trotsky (1879-1940), seized power from Russian socialist Alexander F. Kerensky (1881-1970) who had taken over the government in July of 1917. Kerensky sent troop on this day to shut down the Bolshevik press in Petrograd (Leningrad, St. Petersburg). Kerensky’s ministers at the Winter Palace surrendered in the face of Bolshevik armed might.
Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, the Ottoman Empire and Russia signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, which ended Russian participation in World War I. Germany and Austria forced Soviet Russia to sign the Peace of Brest, which called for the establishment of 5 independent countries: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine. The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, which ended Russian participation in World War I, was annulled by the November 1918 armistice. The treaty deprived the Soviets of White Russia.
Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna (b.1864) was murdered at a mine the village of Siniachikha. The Cheka beat Grand Duke Sergei Mikhailovich Romanov, Princes Ioann Konstantinovich, Konstantin Konstantinovich, Igor Konstantinovich, Vladimir Pavlovich Paley, Feodor Remez (Grand Duke Sergei's secretary), and Varvara Yakovleva, a sister from the Grand Duchess's convent, before throwing their victims into a pit, Elizabeth being the first. Hand grenades were then hurled down the shaft, but only one victim, Feodor Remez, died as a result of the grenades. Finally a large quantity of brushwood was shoved into the opening and set alight.
Russian Tsar, Nicholas II, was executed at Ekaterinburg by the Bolsheviks under orders from Lenin. His wife, son, 4 daughters, and 4 servants were also executed. The family mass grave was discovered by a former KGB agent in 1979 in the Urals and only 9 bodies were found. The bodies were dug up in 1991. A 1997 documentary film by Victoria Lewis, "Mystery of the Last Tsar," told the story. The Czar, his wife, three children and four servants were executed by a 12-man firing squad in the Ipatiev House in Yekaterinburg. A reburial of the family was scheduled in St. Petersburg for Jul 17, 1998.
Grand Prince Pavel Alexandrovich, a son of Czar Alexander II, and grand princes Nikolai Mikhailovich, Georgy Mikhailovitch and Dmitry Konstantinovich, nephews of the czar, were executed at the Peter and Paul Fortress in St. Petersburg. They were posthumously rehabilitated in 1999 by the Russian office of the prosecutor general.
During the Russian Civil War, Mongolia was invaded by a White Russian force of 5,000 men. Freiherr Roman Nikolai Maximilian von Ungern-Sternberg hoped to use Mongolia as a base to restore the Romanov regime. During his 130-day rule he ordered that Commissars, Communists, and Jews, together with their families, be exterminated. In 2009 James Palmer authored “The Bloody White Baron: The Extraordinary Story of the Russian Nobleman Who Became the Last Khan of Mongolia."
During Polish-Soviet war thousands of captured Red Army men were placed in the camp of Тuchola, Poland. These POWs lived in trenches, while famine, cold, and infectious diseases killed tens of prisoners daily. In the winter 1920/1921 POWs had a death rate of about 25%, which was attributed to malnutrition, poor sanitary conditions, lack of fuel and medicines, and physical maltreatment by the Polish supervisors.
Vladimir I. Lenin proclaimed the establishment of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Soviet Russia was renamed the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The Soviet Union was organized as a federation of RSFSR, Ukrainian SSR, Belorussian SSR and Transcaucasian SSR.
Russian revolutionary Vladimir Ilyich Lenin died at age 53 and a major struggle for power in the Soviet Union began. A triumvirate led by Joseph Stalin succeeded Lenin. By 1928, Stalin had assumed absolute power, ruling as an often brutal dictator until his death in 1953 of a brain hemorrhage. In 1998 Vladimir Brovkin published "Russia After Lenin." After the death of Lenin, Bukharin became a full member of the Politburo and opposed the policy of initiating rapid industrialization and collectivization in agriculture-a position shared by Stalin at the time. In 2000 Robert Service authored "Lenin."