Bolshevik coup in Petrograd

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25. October 1917

In this tense situation, where the Provisional Government was rapidly loosing their authority, the Bolsheviks began to prepare for their revolution.

The Congress of the Northern Regions was organized in Petrograd, which was also attended by delegates from Estonia. Most of them supported the Bolsheviks and soviets' coming to power. A War- and Revolutionary Committee of the Russian Socialist Worker's Party was formed in Petrograd.

On the night of October 25 (November 7), 1917, the rebels captured Petrograd's General Post Office and railway stations, also the National Bank. The Provisional Government was surrounded in the Winter Palace. Kerensky managed to escape to the Headquarters of the Northern Front in Pihkva, and started to gather forces against the revolutionaries. On the evening of October 25, a blank shot from the cruiser Aurora signaled the beginning of the assault on the Winter Palace. At 01.30, on October 26 (November 8), the forces reached the cabinet where the Provisional Government was holding their last meeting. All the members were arrested and taken to the Peter and Paul fortress.

Already on the evening of October 25, the Second Congress of Soviets had gathered to a former school for noble ladies (see image) in Smolnoi palace. They had passed the Decree on Peace and the Decree on Land, formed the Council of People's Commissaries, which became a base for new Soviet government. It was lead by Vladimir Lenin.

Sources: Eesti ajalugu. VI, Vabadussõjast taasiseseisvumiseni. Tartu: Ilmamaa, 2005
Õie Elango, Ants Ruusmann ja Karl Siilivask. Eesti maast ja rahvast: Maailmasõjast maailmasõjani. Tallinn: Olion, 1998
Eesti ajalugu: kronoloogia. Tallinn: Olion, 2007
Eesti ajaloo atlas. Tallinn: Avita, 2006.

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