Grigori Evseyevich Zinoviev

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Zinoviev, Grigori Evseyevich (1883–1936) Russian revolutionary. A self-educated lawyer, Zinoviev joined the Bolsheviks in 1903, and was active in the Russian Revolution of 1905. He was a close collaborator of Lenin in exile (1908–17). In the Russian Revolution (1917), Zinoviev voted against seizing power but remained a powerful figure in St Petersburg and was appointed head of the Communist International in 1919. Although he sided with Stalin against Trotsky in 1922, Zinoviev was later expelled from the party and eventually executed. The ‘Zinoviev letter’ (1924), urging the British Communist Party to revolt, may have contributed to the subsequent electoral defeat of the Labour government, but has since proved to be a forgery.

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