978-0-11-702424-3 / 9780117024243

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About the book:

Britain looked anxiously on as the Bolshevik seizure of power in Russia gave way to a terror of torture, assassination and mass purge during the first half of 1918. This Stationery Office edition of information collected and published originally by the Foreign Office shows how quickly British concern passed from pompous irritation at diplomats being questioned by Soviet commissars, to horror as hundreds were imprisoned in the Peter and Paul fortress prison, the Tsar and his family were assassinated, and across the Russian empire opponents of the Bolsheviks were killed off. Driving nails into the shoulder straps of army officers was a favourite torture, and using Chinese and Mongolian rank-and-file soldiers to carry out execution was a preferred system of killing. British diplomats, unsurprisingly, took the high moral ground, although now and again their real dilemma--the crippling of the Russian economy, especially the grain supply--slips into their discussions. Humanitarianism, as so often is the case, gave way to economic realpolitik.--Miles Taylor

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