Russia marks on Thursday the 140th anniversary of the birth of revolutionary leader Vladimir Lenin.
Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov Lenin was born in the provincial city of Simbirsk (now Ulyanovsk) on the Volga River on April 22, 1870. His father was a secondary-school teacher.
In 1887, soon after the death of his father, Lenin's older brother Alexander was arrested in St. Petersburg for plotting against the Tsar. He was convicted and hanged. The tragic event affected young Vladimir deeply, laying the foundation for his revolutionary ideas.
After graduating from high school with a gold medal, Lenin began studying at the University of Kazan, but was soon expelled for holding radical views.
In 1891, Lenin began studying at St. Petersburg University as an external student and was awarded a first class diploma in law in January 1892. During his time at university, Lenin started a Marxist underground movement.
In 1895, he travelled to Switzerland, where he met Social Democrat Georgy Plekhanov. After returning to Russia in 1895, Lenin established the Union of Struggle for the Liberation of the Working Class. He was soon arrested and exiled to Siberia, where he spent three years. During his exile, he wrote a book called The Development of Capitalism in Russia, which was published in 1985.
In 1900, Lenin left for Switzerland where founded a paper, entitled Iskra, in order to promote his ideas. Inspired by Lenin's views, his supporters began creating underground organizations across Russia.
The 1905 St. Petersburg Massacre, when the tsar's troops fired at a peaceful demonstration led by priest Georgy Gapon, spurred Lenin to advocate violent action. During the 1905 revolution he returned to Russia, but was forced to go abroad again two years later.
After the 1917 February Revolution and overthrew Tsar Nicholas II, Lenin returned to his homeland. He came to power in October 1917 after an almost bloodless coup.
Lenin led the Soviet state until 1924. He died on January 21, 1924 after having a series of strokes.
Lenin's embalmed body has been displayed in a glass case in a mausoleum in Red Square since his death. His continuing presence in the heart of Moscow has been an ongoing source of controversy since the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991. It has been suggested that Lenin's body should be buried in a new national military cemetery, which is to opened in 2011.
MOSCOW, April 22 (RIA Novosti)