Elena Stasova in 1914

Elena Stasova, the daughter of a liberal lawyer, was born in 1873. Her father held progressive political views and defended several revolutionaries in court.

Stasova taught at a workers' evening school in St. Petersburg. She also joined the Social Democratic Labour Party and in 1900 became a full-time agent involved in distributing Iskra. By 1912 Stasova was one of the leaders of the Bolsheviks in St. Petersburg.

Elena Stasova

1. Was highly critical of Nicholas II and the autocracy.

2. Wanted Russia to have universal suffrage.

3. Wanted the Russian government to allow freedom of expression and an end to political censorship of newspapers and books.

4. Believed that democracy could only be achieved in Russia by the violent overthrow of Nicholas II and the autocracy.

5. Was strongly opposed to Russia going to war with Austria-Hungary and Germany.

6. Believed that if Russia did go to war with Austria-Hungary and Germany the Mensheviks, Bolsheviks and the Socialist Revolutionaries should try to persuade the Russian soldiers to use their weapons to overthrow Nicholas II.