“Winter is taken”: 100 years ago the Bolsheviks seized power in Russia

25 Oct 1917, power passed to the Bolsheviks because they want to protect the Interim government was not. At that moment the tie was like who the owner of the Winter Palace, Kerensky, or Lenin, if only in the city order reigned.

photo: ru.wikipedia.org

“In a milky fog over the Neva pale silhouette of Aurora, barely puffing pipes, — recalled the artist Yuri Annenkov. — Nicholas bridge hurriedly ran past the cadets, to defend the Provisional government. Already down the chilly, dripping wet snow the night boomed blank shots with the “Aurora”.

Volunteer women’s battalion blocking the access road to the Winter Palace, tucked away behind a wooden barricade was broken. Wood flew in all directions. I saw from the Palace were taken to the square of the Ministers, butts beaten to a pulp unarmed girls, and near them the rest of the cadets”.

The Commission of the Petrograd city Duma established that the three female soldier during the storming of the Winter had been raped and one had committed suicide.

On Wednesday 25 October (7 November, new style) 1917, the newspaper “Izvestia” placed an editorial entitled “wild rides”, “The worst is that the Bolshevik revolt in any luck would lead to a number of civil wars between the separate areas, and inside each of them. We would have reigned mode fist right in one place terror on the right, another was a terror on the left. Any positive would be for a long time impossible, and the result is anarchy, the government would have seized the first available adventurer… Is clear that the attempt of the uprising during the preparation of the elections to the Constituent Assembly completely insane?”

Read this insightful article to those who undertook to change the historical fate of Russia, it was once. They took the power.


The Bolshevik seizure of power was not so well-organized enterprise. But wanting to protect the Interim government does not find. On the streets of Petrograd were only detachments of red guards and patrols of troops that joined the Bolsheviks.

“A huge city like would have died out — remember the future chief of the red army Nikolai Krylenko. — Not a soul on the streets. Sometimes only rattled with thunder rolling along the Nevsky, armored cars and rattling, tightened to the Winter Palace three-inch guns… the Kerensky Government fell because it did not have any real power. No, the regiment moved to defend it.”

Exhaustively that October 25 was held in the Winter Palace, were told already in exile, a member of his defense Lieutenant Alexander Sinegub, teacher of the Petrograd school of ensigns of the engineer troops.

In the morning the headquarters of the Petrograd military district ordered the school warrant be to the Winter Palace to “pacify elements who rebelled against the existing government.” Sinegub at the head of the battalion of cadets (i.e. pupils OCS) went to execute the order. All were set with confidence:

— We quickly arrange the boundaries of proper behavior for gentlemen hooligan. Oh, hell, would be allowed to arrest Lenin and company, and all would come right.

Cadets built face to the Winter Palace. Appeared the Commissioner of the Provisional government at the rate of the Supreme commander Lieutenant Vladimir Stankevich:

— I have just come from the army. Faith of the army in the present government, headed by the beloved Alexander F. Kerensky, is unusually large. It is very clear belief in the future of Russia. And only here in the capital, in red Petrograd, preparing the knife in the back of the revolution. I’m glad and happy to welcome you, so strongly and fervently, without hesitation, giving himself into the hands of those who only has the right to guide the life of the people until the day of the Constituent Assembly.

Stankevich shook hands with the officers and disappeared.

Cadets were sent to guard the Mariinsky Palace, the seat of the Council of the Republic — the so-called pre-Parliament formed by representatives of various political parties and public organizations. The Council of the Republic had to act until the convocation of the Constituent Assembly.

The commander asked to give ammo.

— Ammo? Why? — surprised the Commissioner of the Provisional government.

— We have little. At 15 Grand for a rifle. Machine guns and grenades not at all. Promised here to give, but to achieve…

— It is unnecessary. The case before the fire can not be reached. And 15 pieces for the eyes is enough. Fire unless absolutely necessary, do not open. And if they come to the Mariinsky Palace some hooligan crowd, it tame enough of one kind of the cadets with rifles.

On the road it became clear that the city’s telephone exchanges was captured by the red guards. The gates of the station were locked inside never opened them. The commander of the cadets demanded to send him reinforcements, guns and gun-cotton to blow up the gate.

The Commissioner of the Provisional government stopped him.

— The first not to open fire. It’s kind of a thing to spoil. Then they will scream that we first opened fire and that we follow in the footsteps of the old regime policemen, shoot at people.

The red guards seized not only the city’s telephone exchanges, and Telegraph, Central telephone station. Then the telephones of the Winter Palace was disabled. The Bolsheviks controlled the radio.

From trying to regain control of the telephone exchange Juncker was quickly abandoned. The Commissioner of the Provisional government led the squad back to the Winter Palace. Summoned to all who responded to the call of the government to protect the legitimate authority and order in the country, schools of ensigns from Oranienbaum and Peterhof and Konstantinovsky artillery school… In the Winter appeared the Cossacks, people with disabilities, the knights of St. George and the shock company of the women’s “battalion of death”.


Head of engineering warrant officers school Colonel Anan’ev, was appointed responsible for the defense of the Winter Palace, has developed a plan of action. But the plan immediately began to crumble. The Konstantinovsky artillery school plan to protect the Interim government, left the Palace and took their guns. To keep them failed. Was going to leave and Cossacks:

— When we walked in, we fairy tales have told that here almost the whole city with the images, but all military schools and guns, and in fact, were You here… even Kerensky, not the night be commemorated, left alone.

The Winter Palace wandering group of drunken officers. They are already in anything believed in and wanted nothing to do.

Colonel Ananiev said:

Now received an ultimatum from the cruiser “Aurora”, which became on the Neva opposite the Palace. The sailors demand surrender of the Palace, otherwise it will open fire from the guns. The government wants to let everyone to leave. The very same remains here and the delivery is refused.

In the presence of troops and the determination of the commanders of the defense in Palace could be kept for quite a long time. But there was neither the one nor the other. The Winter Palace was in chaos. Juncker, the few defenders of the Provisional government, did not know what to do, and aimlessly wandered the corridors. The officers did not trust each other, because some were already prepared to side with the Bolsheviks, others just wanted to escape so as not to jeopardize his life.

Colonel Anan’ev apologetically said Lieutenant Sinegub:

— Sasha, I need to pass the Palace. Do not boil. Go to the Provisional government and warn It… Juncker promised life. That’s all before I spoke. For the government I can’t do anything.

In a deserted corridor on the floor littered with rifles, grenades, mattresses. Just a few of the cadets continued to guard the government. But it was all over. The Palace passed into the hands of the Bolsheviks.


Appeared, Sinegub, “a little figure with a sharp face in a dark suit with a wide, like artists, old Slepchenko on the head.” It was ensign Vladimir Alexandrovich Antonov-Ovseenko. October 1917 was his finest hour. On behalf of the Petrograd military revolutionary Committee, he directed the capture of the Winter Palace and arrest the Provisional government.

It’s loud voice said:

Comrades, capitalist power, the power of the bourgeois at our feet! Comrades, at the feet of the proletariat! And now you, fellow proletarians, you are required to show all the vitality of revolutionary discipline! I demand complete peace of mind!

Peter Palchinsky, Deputy Minister of trade and industry, told the cadets the government’s decision: to surrender unconditionally, obeying force. Some cadets didn’t want to surrender their weapons:

— Tell them to open fire!

— Aimlessly and senselessly die, was the reply.

“The October revolution, recalled the last chief of the Petrograd secret police gendarmerie, General Constantin Gobachev happened is easier and painless than February. For me personally, at the time, was essentially still ruled by Kerensky or Lenin. There is some hope that growing for eight months of the Provisional government collapse finally one way or another will stop”.


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