Quotes from the Russian Revolution

1905 Revolution
"Everything has failed. Let us build jails." Mirskey , Minister of Interior, (December 1904) on learning that the Tsar had rejected proposals for reforms. Figes1996: p173.

October and After
"How can you make a revolution without executions?" an outraged Lenin in October on hearing that the Soviet had abolished the death penalty. Shub p344

"I think, though the Bolsheviks have few positive sides , the disbandment of the Constituent Assembly is truly to their credit. This one should consider their positive asset." Kolchak, white dictator of Siberia. Brovkin p195

"Even if we have to burn half of Russia and shed the blood of three quarters of the population, we shall do it if that is needed to save Russia." General Lavr Kornilov , commander of the Volunteer Army. Figes1996: p561.

"I am an opponent of the Bolsheviks. I consider them enemies of my country. I know that they will bring the greatest suffering upon the people .... But if I were asked whether I regretted the revolution, I would say no. And whatever my personal fate - if I were asked whether I'd live through the revolution again, I would say yes." Andrei Shingarev, former KADET minister from his prison diary. Stienberg p83

"You're wasters, not soldiers. Why didn't you get rid of them?" Komisar Kutilov to the red guards who had safely delivered Shingarev and Kokoshkin to a prison hospital. The two former ministers were executed shortly afterwards.Stienberg p81

"The Bolsheviks slavishly imitated speech and gesture of the French Jacobins, just as the Jacobins in turn had imitated the heroes of ancient Rome. But they forgot that the French Revolution itself was drowned in bloody defeat precisely because of its terrorism." Stienberg, Sovnarkom Minister of Justice Stienberg p61

Sources