Red October

Protesters scatter in Petrograd shortly after Russian government troops opened fire
Protesters scatter in Petrograd shortly after Russian government troops opened fire

Historical Context

After the February Revolution in 1917 overthrew Russia's centuries-old monarchy, the conflict between the Provisional Government led by Alexander Kerensky and the Bolsheviks led by Vladimir Lenin intensified around the country.

On 7 November (25 October in Old Style) Bolshevik forces under Lenin's command seized government buildings in Petrograd (or St. Petersburg) and the following day the Winter Palace. This began the Soviet rise to power, and on 9 November the Bolsheviks proclaimed the creation of the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, the first socialist state so created.

The revolution did not end the struggles. Over the next 5 years the country descended into the chaos and anarchy of the Russian Civil War; the Soviets would triumph, leading to the creation of the Soviet Union in 1922.

Photo Info


Photographer: Viktor Bulla
Date taken: July 4, 1917
Location taken: Petrograd (St. Petersburg), Russia

Source: Russian Archives (via Wikimedia Commons)

Related Events

  • 1917-07-04 Troops of the Russian Provisional Government open fire on protesters in Petrograd during the 'July Days' of unrest
  • 1917-11-06 [OS Oct 24] Bolshevik revolution begins with bombardment of the Winter Palace in Petrograd during the Russian October Revolution
  • 1917-11-07 [OS Oct 25] October Revolution in Russia; Lenin and the Bolsheviks seize power, capture the Winter Palace and overthrow the Provisional Government.
  • 1917-11-07 The Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic is proclaimed; first Council of People's Commissars is formed with Vladimir Lenin as leader and including Leon Trotsky and Joseph Stalin

Historical Photos