We explain all the major events of Russia's TWO revolutions of 1917– the February Revolution that ended Tsarist rule in Russia, and the October Revolution, that brought the Bolsheviks to power. We explain the causes of Tsar Nicholas II's growing unpopularity - the role of the mysterious Siberian mystic Rasputin, Russia's disastrous involvement in World War One, and the events on the streets of Petrograd that led to the Tsar's abdication. That summer Russia lurched from crisis to crisis, with a Provisional Government that faced riots (the July Days), military revolt (the Kornilov Affair), economic chaos, and constantly dwindling support. Socialist Prime Minister Alexander Kerensky, once hailed as Russia's great hope, was unable to restore order, or, in October, prevent the Bolsheviks from launching a coup, organised by Leon Trotsky and led by Vladimir Lenin, that overthrow the Provisional Government and brought the Bolsheviks to power. A brutal civil war followed, leading to the death of more than 10 million Russians – amongst them Tsar Nicholas II and his family, executed by Bolsheviks at Yekaterinburg in July 1918. From the wreckage emerged the Soviet Union, formed in 1922, and destined to be one of the 20th century's two superpowers.
Almost overnight an entire society was replaced with one of the most radical social experiments every seen. Millions would die and almost a third of the world's population would live under communism.
"Stalin was a visionary but ruthless leader. Under his totalitarian regime, Russia's industry prospered and the general quality of life improved. But this did not come without sacrifice. The Russian people lived in perpetual fear of persecution. Stalin controlled everything from where they worked to what they were taught, read and heard. Using archival footage and sound recordings, this program explores Russian life under Stalin.
In 1917, two revolutions swept through Russia, ending centuries of imperial rule and setting in motion political and social changes that would lead to the formation of the Soviet Union. In March, growing civil unrest, coupled with chronic food shortages, erupted into open revolt, forcing the abdication of Nicholas II (1868-1918), the last Russian czar. Just months later, the newly installed provisional government was itself overthrown by the more radical Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin (1870-1924).