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Citizen Kurchatov: Stalin's Bomb Maker


Russian Revolutions of 1917

Early in 1917, the Tsar was deposed, and a provisional government was established. The new government relied on a tenuous agreement between several revolutionary groups, including the communists.

Lenin returned to Russia from Switzerland later in 1917. He found that very little had changed since the provisional government seized control from the Tsar. Russia was still at war with Germany, and most of the same people were still in control.

Lenin and his Bolsheviks decided to seize control and install a communist government, with the soviets in ultimate control. On November 6th, the Red Guard started to take control of Petrograd.

It was a relatively bloodless coup. Most of the soldiers in Petrograd remained neutral. The Bolsheviks had been accumulating political power in the more rural and distant parts of Russia, so they already held a large portion of Russia.

Some of the military did fight, and for the next two years, the Red Guard fought a civil war with troops loyal to the Provisional Government, troops loyal to the old Tsarist government, and troops from other countries including Britain and the United States.

It was a chaotic time in Russia, and it was a time when Kurchatov was deciding on his future. He was fourteen when the civil war began, and he learned to keep his ideas to himself and get along with whoever was in control.



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