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Vladimir Lenin (RIA Novosti) Vladimir Lenin (RIA Novosti)

10 February

On February 10, 1900 Vladimir Lenin returned to Saint Petersburg following his 3-year exile in Shushenskoye village, Siberia. He had been exiled in 1895 for anti-government agitation carried out by himself and his associates.

Vladimir Lenin began participating in revolutionary activities in 1887 after his brother Aleksandr was executed for conspiracy to assassinate Emperor Alexander II. In the same year, Lenin was expelled from the Kazan University for taking part in student riots and was ordered out of Kazan for one year. When Lenin returned to Kazan he joined one of many Marxist groups and began to study Marxism.

In May 1895 Lenin visited Europe where he met with the leaders of the foreign worker movements – Georgy Plehanov, Wilhelm Liebknecht and Paul Lafarge. When Lenin returned to Russia in September he united the Petrograd Marxist groups in the “League of Struggle for the Emancipation of the Working Class”. Some historians call the The League “the prototype of the communist party”. In 1895 Lenin was arrested and in 1897 he was sent to Shushenskoye, a small village near Yenisei River. At first the Russian government planned to send Lenin to a place with more severe conditions, but the doctor who examined Lenin on his way to exile opposed this sentence.

There are different views on Lenin’s life in exile. Soviet historians usually wrote about the hardships of Siberian life and described Shushenskoye as a dirty and poor village. Nevertheless, nowadays it is known that Shushenskoye was a large and rich village and the everyday life of Lenin and other exiles living in Shushenskoye was not too complicated. The Russian government even provided a benefit large enough to hire local servants. The climate in Shushenskoye was mild, - Shushenskoye was even called “the Siberian Italy” - so it was easy to grow vegetables and the forests around the village were full of game.

In 1898, in Shushenskoye, Lenin married Nadezhda Krupskaya, who had also been sent there for spreading anti-government propaganda. During his exile Lenin wrote more then 30 books and articles and was in correspondence with social democrats in the largest Russian cities.

Lenin came back to Russia in November 1905 after the bourgeois-democratic revolution and spent less then a year in the Motherland – since the secret police were after him, so in 1906 he moved to Finland and in 1908 returned to Switzerland. Until 1917 Lenin preferred to coordinate the work of underground organizations from abroad and on April 4, 1917 he presented his famous “April thesis”, – the program of action for the Bolshevik Party, - to the Bolsheviks of Petrograd, now Saint Petersburg.

On July 20 the Provisional Government ordered the arrest of Lenin. He hid from the police in Razliv, a location near Petrograd, disguised as a Finnish haymaker. In this self-imposed exile Lenin continued his social research – he wrote several articles and started to work on the book “The State and the Revolution”. Lenin abandoned his home along the banks of Lake Razliv in August and spent the remaining time before the October Revolution in Finland.

Both Shushenskoye and Razliv still host Lenin memorials.