Maria Spiridonova in 1914

Maria Spiridonova was born in Tambov in 1885. While training as a nurse she joined the Socialist Revolutionary Party.

During the 1905 Revolution the police brutally suppressed a peasant uprising. In January, 1906, Spiridonova assassinated Police Inspector Luzhenovsky who had ordered the attack. After her arrest she was beaten, tortured, and sexually assaulted.

Found guilty of murder she was sent to Akatui in Siberia. On her release she once again became active in the Socialist Revolutionary Party.

Maria Spiridonova

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.