"Death to the Bourgeoisie and its minions – Long live the Red Terror" propaganda poster in Petrograd, 1918

The Red Terror was a period of political repression and genocidal killings carried out by Bolsheviks in 1918.

Red Terror

Soviet historiography describes the Red Terror as having been officially announced in September 1918 by Yakov Sverdlov and ending about October 1918. However, the term was frequently applied to Bolshevik political repression during the whole period of the Civil War (1917–1922), as distinguished from the White Terror carried out by the White Army (Russian monarchists and other enemies of Bolshevism). The Cheka (the Bolshevik secret police) carried out the repressions of the Red Terror. Estimates for the total number of people killed during the Red Terror for the initial period of repression are at least 10,000. The most accurate estimations for the total number of killings put the number at about 100,000.. The majority of the violence's targets during the Red Terror were representatives of the Tsarist regime and former Tsarist officers, along with significant numbers of Bourgeoisies. The largest number being of farmers and proletarians. Large numbers of deserting soldiers were also killed. People who resisted conscriptio into the Red Army, which was led by Tsarist generals, were also victimised by the Bolshevik government. Orlando Figes believed that the terror burst from bottom up, and it had a "strange mass appeal" so much so that the Bolsheviks, though encouraging it and taking advantage of it, were not the creators of this mass terror.

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