Russia Unit 3

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Conditions in Russia 1921

-1921- War Communism leads to famine worsneded by drought.

-5 million die from starvation.

-Cannibalism was reported.

-War Communism was brought in by Lenin to provide for the economic needs of the Red army during the civil war.

-War Communism was successful because it supplied the Red army with food and supplies whih enabled victory over the whites.

-However War Communism failed to create a utopian state.

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Kronstadt Rising

-The worsening effects of War Communism in 1921 reaches the Kronstadt sailors.

-In Febuary the demand for better conditions and rise up.

-Red attack with 60,000 men.

-3 weeks of fighting results in 10, 000 dead or sent to labour camps.

-Lenin wanted no opposition and decided to stop the protests.

-Trotsky had to use the Red army to put down the rebellion.

-He ordred General Tukhachevsky to attack the naval base using 60,000 troops.

-During a 3 week struggle over 20, 000 men were killed or wounded in the fighting.

-The surviving rebels were either executed by the Cheka or put into Gulag (A prison where inmates were punished by forced labour).

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NEP- New Economic Policy.

-After the Kronstadt uprising, Lenin realised that War Communism had to be abandonned.

-In March 1921- Lenin annonces the New Economic Policy.

-This reduces government control over aspects of the economy.

-Lenin saw the New Economic Policy as a temporary measure to get Russia back on it's feet.

-"One step forward, two steps back"

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Key features of the NEP

-Grain requisitioning was abolished.

-Peasant who increased their food production would pay less tax.

-The ban on private trade was removed.

-Factories with fewer than 20 workers would be given back to their owners and consumer goods could be produced and sold for profit.

-Key industries, such as coal and steel still remained under state control.

-The NEP also included the electrification of Russia.

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Life under Communists

Women's equality-

  • Marriage, divorce and abortion are made easier.
  • Alexandra Kollantai was the first female member of any European government.
  • 1920 abortion was made legal in all state hospitals.

Supression of religion-

  • Land confiscated.
  • Monasteries closed.
  • Anti- religous laws banned preists from meting and the teaching of religion.


  • Komsomol= Organization in the former Soviet Union for young people aged 14–28 years. Primarily a political organ for spreading Communist teachings and preparing future members of the Communist Party, it was organized in 1918
  • Creating a massive literacy drive.
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Soviet Foreign Policy

-Communist ideology viewed with suspicion from Western governments, particularly due to the Comintern.

-Relations did improve slightly in the 1920s.

-April 1922, Russia signed the Treaty of Rapallo with Germany fro greater economic co-operation.

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Bolshevik Propaganda


  • On every corner of the Russian empire.
  • Messages had to be simple and visual as many Russians could not read or write.


  • The Bolsheivks made use of the cinema to put across ther ideas to the masses.
  • However, cinemas were almost entirely restricted to the towns so the government intoduced specially equipped trains which travelled across Russia showing political propaganda films.
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