1870-04-22 to 1924-01-21
RussiaVladimir Ilyich Ulyanov (22 April 1870 – 21 January 1924), better known by his alias Lenin, was a Russian revolutionary, politician, and political theorist. He served as head of government of Soviet Russia from 1917 to 1922 and of the Soviet Union from 1922 to 1924. Under his administration, Russia and then the wider Soviet Union became a one-party communist state governed by the Russian Communist Party. Ideologically a communist, he developed a variant of Marxism known as Leninism; his ideas were posthumously codified as Marxism–Leninism.
In late 1893, Lenin moved to Saint Petersburg. There, he worked as a barrister's assistant and rose to a senior position in a Marxist revolutionary cell that called itself the "Social-Democrats" after the Marxist Social Democratic Party of Germany.
In February 1897, he was sentenced without trial to three years' exile in eastern Siberia. He was granted a few days in Saint Petersburg to put his affairs in order and used this time to meet with the Social-Democrats, who had renamed themselves the League of Struggle for the Emancipation of the Working Class.
In May 1898, Nadya joined him in exile, having been arrested in August 1896 for organising a strike. She was initially posted to Ufa, but persuaded the authorities to move her to Shushenskoye, claiming that she and Lenin were engaged; they married in a church on 10 July 1898.
In February 1917, the February Revolution broke out in St. Petersburg – renamed Petrograd at the beginning of the First World War – as industrial workers went on strike over food shortages and deteriorating factory conditions.
The Union of Socialist Soviet Republics (USSR) is formally established on December 30, 1922, after years of civil war within Russia and its neighboring regions, now part of the USSR. Lenin has achieved his dream, but the party is beginning to stray from his Socialist vision.
Despite suffering from semi-paralysis, Lenin dictates a series of articles and his political "Testament" to his secretary, finishing on January 4, 1923. The "Testament" describes his fear that the party will destabilize under the leadership of Trotsky and Joseph Stalin, who is rapidly consolidating power as general secretary.