Nikolai Sukhanov was born in Moscow in 1882. At high school he joined a socialist group and later joined the Socialist Revolutionary Party. He was arrested in 1904 after being caught in possession of illegal literature. This resulted in a one-year spell in the Taganka Prison.
Sukhanov participated in the 1905 Revolution and published a series of academic books on agricultural economics. He also contributed to Russkoe Bogatstvo (Russian Wealth).
In 1910 he was arrested again and exiled to Archangel. Released in 1913 he returned to St. Petersburg and became editor of the radical journal Sovremennik (Contemporary) and Letopis (Chronicle).
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.
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.