Red Terror  

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"It is necessary – secretly and urgently to prepare the terror." --Vladimir Lenin, 1918, cited in the Mitrokhin Archive

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The Red Terror in Soviet Russia was the campaign of mass arrests and executions conducted by the Bolshevik government. In Soviet historiography, the Red Terror is described as officially announced on September 2, 1918 by Yakov Sverdlov and ended in about October 1918. However many historians, beginning with Sergei Melgunov, apply this term to repressions for the whole period of the Russian Civil War, 1918-1922. The mass repressions were conducted without judicial process by the secret police, the Cheka, together with elements of the Bolshevik military intelligence agency, the GRU.

The term "Red Terror" was originally used to describe the last six weeks of the "Reign of Terror" of the French Revolution, ending on July 28, 1794 (execution of Robespierre), to distinguish it from the subsequent period of the White Terror (historically this period has been known as the Great Terror (French: la Grande Terreur).

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