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Terror in 1905

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Abstract

On 4 March 1905, just a hundred years ago, the grand duke Sergei Alexandrovich, uncle to the tsar and governor-general of Moscow, was crossing Senate Square in the Kremlin in his carriage when suddenly a young man approached. Ivan Kalyaev, a young poet aged 28, son of an army NCO and a Polish woman, was known to his friends as author of religious poetry which blended Nietzschean and socialist ideas. But for three years he had been a member of the Party of Socialist-Revolutionaries (PSR) ‘Combat Squad’, and it was in this capacity that he entered history, for the bomb he threw utterly destroyed the target vehicle. The grand duke’s head was severed from the rest of his body and rolled some way off, to be mocked by youths in the crowd that quickly assembled. The public reaction to the killing was one of indifference, or even approval, for Sergei had made himself unpopular in Moscow by his repressive policies. He symbolised the Romanov dynasty’s increasing isolation from ‘society’ after a year of unsuccessful warfare against the Japanese, and especially in the wake of the ‘Bloody Sunday’ fiasco two months earlier.

Keywords

Central Committee Target Vehicle Russian Revolution White Terror Undercover Agent 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

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Copyright information

© John Keep 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of TorontoCanada

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