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Episode 776             Episode 778
Episode 777

Irakli Tsereteli
Fri, 2019-Jun-21 00:09 UTC
Length - 3:54

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Welcome to featured Wiki of the Day where we read the summary of the featured Wikipedia article every day.

The featured article for Friday, 21 June 2019 is Irakli Tsereteli.

Irakli Tsereteli (20 November 1881 – 20 May 1959) was a Georgian politician and a leading spokesman of the Social Democratic Party of Georgia and later Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (RSDLP) during the era of the Russian Revolutions.

Tsereteli was born and raised in Georgia when it was part of the Russian Empire. A member of the Menshevik faction of the RSDLP, Tsereteli was elected to the Duma in 1907, where he gained fame for his oratory abilities. Shortly after entering the Duma, Tsereteli was arrested and charged with conspiracy to overthrow the Tsarist government, and exiled to Siberia. A dedicated Social Democrat who believed in the Menshevik ideology, Tsereteli was one of the leading figures of the movement in Russia. In 1915, during his Siberian exile, Tsereteli formed what would become known as Siberian Zimmerwaldism, which advocated for the role of the Second International in ending the war. He also developed the idea of "Revolutionary Defensism", the concept of a defensive war which only allowed for the defence of territory, and argued it was not being utilized.

Returning to the government in the aftermath of the 1917 February Revolution, he took up a leading position in the Petrograd Soviet and accepted a position in the Russian Provisional Government as Minister of Post and Telegraph, and briefly as Minister of the Interior. Concerned that political fragmentation would lead to a civil war in Russia, Tsereteli strived to broker compromises between the various leftist factions in the Russian Revolution and was the force behind efforts to work together with the middle classes, to no avail. Renowned for his speaking ability, Tsereteli gained appreciation for his ability in this regard, giving impassioned speeches in the Duma and in the Petrograd Soviet. Uninterested in acquiring or maintaining political power, Tsereteli was much more concerned with inequality, and tried to solve that above all.

After the Bolsheviks seized power of the Russian government during the October Revolution, Tsereteli returned to Georgia. He worked as a diplomat at the Paris Peace Conference, where he lobbied for international recognition and assistance for the newly independent Democratic Republic of Georgia; these efforts largely failed to materialize before the Bolshevik-led Red Army invaded in 1921. An avowed internationalist, Tsereteli grew increasingly distant from the Georgian Mensheviks who gradually adopted more nationalist tendencies. He spent the rest of his life in exile, mainly in France, working with socialist organisations and writing on socialism, and died in New York in 1959.

This recording reflects the Wikipedia text as of 00:09 UTC on Friday, 21 June 2019.

For the full current version of the article, see Irakli Tsereteli on Wikipedia.

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