History of Terrorism Part 8: Russian Terrorism Before the Revolution

JB Shreve
May 11, 2018 2 mins to read
Reading Time: 2 minutes

When we think of terrorism today many of us think of the Middle East and Islamic extremists. In the late 19th century and up to World War I, Russian terrorism held the world’s image for what terrorism looked like. Russia and terrorism became synonymous during this time period.


If you enjoyed this podcast episode check out the complete series on the History of Terrorism.

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The History of Terrorism series tells the story of how terrorism developed from the ancient world to ISIS.


The nature of Russian terrorism bled over into the terrorism philosophies of anarchy which we looked at in my last episode in this podcast series on the history of terrorism. In this episode, we meet our first notable female terrorist, Vera Zasulich. Other important figures that will be discussed in this episode include Sergey Nechayev and Mikhail Bakunin. Both of these men were influential not only in the development of Russian terrorism but in the ongoing evolution of the philosophy of terrorism. Many of their beliefs and methods persisted to followers for the next 100 years.

This episode is part of our podcast series on the history of terrorism. In today’s episode we tell the story of Russian Terror from 1850 to the Russian Revolution.

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The rise of Russian Terrorism coincided with the decline of the Russian state. To state that the collapse of Russia and monarchy of the Czar was the result of terrorism is an overstatement. The two should not be separated however. Russian terror may not have brought about the end of the monarchy but it defined the nature of the times within which that collapse took place.

Episode 187: History of Terrorism: Russian Terrorism

You can download this episode at my Patreon.

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Additional Reading about Russian Terrorism Before the Revolution:

Assassination of Alexander II

ISIS and the History of Russian Terrorism

Blood Rage & History: The World’s First Terrorists


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