12.07.2018 PWT 26-2018 History of Political Party Funding : The 1907 Tiflis Bank Robbery

The 1907 Tiflis Bank Robbery, also known as the Yerevan Square Expropriation was an armed robbery on 26 June 1907 in the city of Tiflis in the Tiflis Governorate in the Caucasus Viceroyalty of the Russian Empire (now Georgia’s capital, Tbilisi). A bank cash shipment was stolen by Bolsheviks to fund their revolutionary activities. The robbers attacked a bank stagecoach and surrounding police and military using bombs and guns while the stagecoach was transporting money through Yerevan Square (now Freedom Square) between the post office and the Tiflis branch of the State Bank of the Russian Empire. The attack killed forty people and injured fifty others, according to official archive documents. The robbers escaped with 341,000 rubles (equivalent to around US 3.86 million in 2017).

The robbery was organized by a number of top-level Bolsheviks, including Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, Maxim Litvinov, Leonid Krasin, and Alexander Bogdanov, and executed by a party of revolutionaries led by Stalin’s early associate Ter-Petrosian (Kamo).

The RSDLP, the predecessor to the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, was formed in 1898. The goal of the RSDLP was to carry out a Marxist proletarian revolution against the Russian Empire. As part of their revolutionary activity, the RSDLP and other revolutionary groups (such as anarchists and Socialist Revolutionaries) practised a range of militant operations, including “expropriations”, a euphemism for armed robberies of government or private funds to support revolutionary activities.

PWT 26-2018 TIFLIS UNDER THE RAIN

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