Nikolai Ivanovich Bukharin (9 October [O.S. 27 September] 1888 – 15 March 1938) was a Bolshevik revolutionary, Soviet Union politician and prolific author on revolutionary theory. As a young man, he spent six years in exile working closely with fellow exiles Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky. After the revolution of February 1917, he returned to Moscow, where his Bolshevik credentials earned him a high rank in the Bolshevik party and after the October Revolution became editor of the party newspaper Pravda. Within the Bolshevik Party, Bukharin was initially a left communist, but gradually moved from the left to the right from 1921. His strong support for and defence of the New Economic Policy (NEP) eventually saw him lead the Right Opposition. By late 1924, this stance had positioned Bukharin favourably as Joseph Stalin's chief ally, with Bukharin soon elaborating Stalin's new theory and policy of socialism in one country. Together, Bukharin and Stalin ousted Trotsky, Grigory Zinoviev and Lev Kamenev from the party at the XVth Communist Party Congress in December 1927. From 1926 to 1929, Bukharin enjoyed great power as General Secretary of the Comintern's executive committee. However, Stalin's decision to proceed with collectivisation drove the two men apart and Bukharin was expelled from the Politburo in 1929. When the Great Purge began in 1936, Stalin looked for any pretext to liquidate his former allies and rivals for power and some of Bukharin's letters, conversations and tapped phone-calls indicated disloyalty. Arrested in February 1937, he was charged with conspiring to overthrow the Soviet state. After a show trial that alienated many Western communist sympathisers, he was executed in March 1938.
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