The Red Terror was a series of mass arrests and persecution against the Russian people enforced by the infamous secret police group the Cheka. Historians apply this term to repressions for the whole period of the Russian Civil War, 1918–1922. The Cheka itself was headed by Felix Dzerzhinsky and formed in December 1917. The Bolsheviks aimed to instil fear into the Russian people in order to sustain power in Russia. Kulak Laws (also known as Lenin’s hanging orders) were passed in 1918. It was the hanging of any peasant who refused to hand over grain or was suspected of withholding grain. These iron-fisted policies of coercion asserted Bolshevik control but also created the authoritarian state. Instead of a ‘classless utopia’ the people of Russia felt pain and suffering. Although the ideology of Communism meant to see state ‘wither away’ the State became stronger under Lenin and was oppressive over the people.
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