Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Fast Forward

This Russian TV Show Claims Trotsky Was Real Force Behind 1917 Revolution

A new Russian TV show argues that Leon Trotsky was the mastermind behind the 1917 revolutions that led to the end of tsarist Russia and the beginning of the Soviet regime, the Times of Israel reported. The TV show, which will be broadcast on Russia’s most popular channel, coincides with the 100th anniversary of the famed October Revolution.

“You can say that Trotsky wrote the music, and Lenin sang to it. Trotsky made the revolution happen; Lenin only lead it,” said Alexander Kott, co-director of the TV series, and who happens to be Jewish.

Kott claims that it was Trotsky’s Jewish identity that kept him from taking a starring role in the revolutions.

“The people wouldn’t have followed a Jewish leader,” Kott said. “For the factory workers, he was a stranger. So he did everything and then he stepped aside.”

The show portrays Trotsky as a bloodthirsty revolutionist — and as the man who ordered the killing of Tsar Nicholas II and his children.

Historians, however, say that Vladimir Lenin was the true leader of the 1917 revolutions. Gennady Estraikh, a New York University professor of Russian Jewish history, said that the production “smells like anti-Semitism.”

Contact Ari Feldman at [email protected] or on Twitter @aefeldman.



Thanks for reading this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war and rising antisemitism.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Support our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.