Left Socialist Revolutionaries

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In 1917, the Russian Socialist-Revolutionary Party split between those who supported the Provisional Government, established after the February Revolution, and those who supported the Bolsheviks, who favoured a communist insurrection. Left Socialist Revolutionaries demanded:

  • condemn the war as imperialist and immediately get out of it;
  • to cease cooperation with the Socialist Revolutionary Party Provisional Government;
  • immediately resolve the land issue in accordance with the program of the party, gave the land to the peasants.

The majority stayed within the mainstream party but a minority who supported the Bolshevik path became known as Left Socialist Revolutionaries. Maria Spiridonova was a prominent leader of this group. They, in effect, split from the main party. The split was not completed before the Russian Constituent Assembly elections; the first meaningful electoral test between the parties in the peasant soviets a few weeks after the Assembly elections showed the parties had roughly equal support among the peasantry.

October Revolution

The Left SR party became the coalition partner of the Bolsheviks in the Soviet Government (the Council of People's Commissars) after the October Revolution of 1917, heading the People's Commissariats for agriculture, justice, posts and telegraph, etc. They later resigned their positions in protest at the signing (3 March 1918) and ratification of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, but continued for a time to co-operate with the Bolsheviks at other levels.

Russian Civil War

In mid-July 1918, LSR tried to incite an uprising in areas ceded to Germany by the Brest-Litovsk Treaty,[1] so their supporters were involved in the assassination of German ambassador Graf von Mirbach in Moscow on July 6, and Field Marshal von Eichhorn, commander of Army Group Kiev and military governor of Ukraine, on July 30.

Von Mirbach's assassination signaled the beginning of LSR's failed revolt in Moscow in 1918, and was a part of the Dual Entente plan to undermine Lenin's power by supporting the most powerful opposition after Ataman Kaledin's rebellion in the Don region failed in January 1918. Some LSR became full members of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

Prominent Members

Terrorist actions


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