The decision [to kill the imperial family] was not only expedient but necessary. The severity of this punishment showed everyone that we would continue to fight on mercilessly, stopping at nothing

The decision [to kill the imperial family] was not only expedient but necessary. The severity of this punishment showed everyone that we would continue to fight on mercilessly, stopping at nothing. The execution of the Tsar’s family was needed not only in order to frighten, horrify, and instill a sense of hopelessness in the enemy but also to shake up our own ranks, to show that there was no turning back, that ahead lay either total victory or total doom This Lenin sensed well.

Trotsky’s Diary in Exile, 1935

Trotsky was later killed himself at Stalin’s behest. Trotsky has been painted as a martyr by Trotskyites pedalling the myth that the Russian Revolution was ‘betrayed’. The fact is, Trotsky himself fell victim to the brutal logic unleashed in the ‘Revolution’ that brooked no opposition and was accountable to no standards beyond its own success at whatever cost. Trotsky’s murder was as much a useful tool to ‘shake up our own ranks’ as the Tsar’s – it’s just that he wasn’t in the ‘in crowd’ any more. Stalin ‘stopped at nothing’ to use Trotsky’s words.

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