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Pravda and the Communist Movement

  • The Russian newspaper Pravda(meaning the truth) was founded in 1908.

  • Initially started by Leon Trotsky, it became an important organ of the Bolshevik movement. "It was aim to publicize activism and expose the working conditions in the Russian factories"(1).

  • The original Pravda was founded back in 1905 in Ukraine, which Trotsky later brought to Russia.

  • The editorial staff consisted of Trotsky and his close friends Adolf Joffe and Matvey Skobelev.

  • Since Trotsky was a member of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party(RSDLP) the newspaper was also affiliated to the party. The RSDLP was then divided and the newspaper spent much of the time writing in order to reunite the party.

  • The Bolsheviks(a faction of the RSDLP) also started to publish something similar that they would called Zvezda.

  • Lenin and Stalin later met to write a paper on the Bolsheviks stand in regards to minority races(2). The booklet was entitled Marxism and the National Problem. They would also published several articles: "A New Period", Life Triumphs", They Are Working Well", The Ice Has Broken", How They Are Preparing for the Elections", "Deductions", etc(3).

  • But official Pravda wasn't issued until April 1912 in St. Petersburg. "It offered its readers well-written articles and analyses on science, economics, cultural topics, and literature"(1).

  • "[Pravda's] aim was to publicize labor activism and expose working conditions in Russian factories. The editors published many letters and articles from ordinary workers, their primary target audience at the time" (5).

  • Due to the constant oppression by the tsar's police, the newspaper was sort of closed down but was still operating under different names such as: Rabochaya Pravda, Severnaya Pravda, Za Pravda, Put' Pravda, Rabochy and Trudovaya Pravda.

  • Stalin briefly edited Pravda before being exiled in Siberia from July 1913 to March 1917 (9).

  • After the paper closed on July 21,1914, it wasn't seen again until March 5, 1917 (5).

  • Stalin resumes editorship in 1917 (9).

  • By 1933 Pravda, now headed by Lev Mekhlis, was Stalin's mouthpiece (5).

Parallels to Animal Farm



  • Is "brilliant talker" and can be very persuasive.

  • "The others said of Squealer that he could turn black into white"(pg. 11).

  • Squealer is Napoleon's propaganda.

  • "[The poem] was surmounted by a portrait of Napoleon, in profile, executed by squealer in white paint" (pg. 65).

  • Presents Napoleon as a Hero and tell vivid tales of Napoleon's heroic acts.

  • "And do you not remember, too that it was just at that moment, when panic was spreading and all seemed lost, that Comrade Napoleon sprang forward with a cry of 'Death to Humanity!' and sank his teeth into Jones's leg? Surely you remember that, Comrades?....Now when Squealer described the scene so graphically, it seemed to the animals that they did remember it" (pg. 56).

  • Instructed the animals of new rules, such as dismissing the "Beasts of England" song and introducing the new songs and mottos.

  • "Animal Farm, Animal Farm, Never through me shalt thou come to harm!" (pg. 62). "Four legs good, two legs better" (pg. 90).

  • Informs the animals of any "crimes" Snowball commits.

  • "Snowball has sold himself to Frederick of Pinchfield Farm, who is even now plotting to attack us and take our farm away from us!" (pg. 55).

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  • In the 1920's, "editors simplified the paper's language...." in response to the "influx of young working-class men..." and "...resorted to the sort of journalism that would appeal to [them]--- militant slogans, tales of heroic feats of production, and denunciation of class enemies" (5).

  • Squealer's list of figures, the songs, Mr. Pilkington, Mr. Frederick, etc(pg.79).

  • Pravda featured "pleasing make up, occasional photography, and attractive typography" (7).

  • Squealer's persuasive manner and the way he covers up. "you do not imagine, I hope, that we pigs are doing this in a spirit of selfishness and privilege?" (pg. 25).

  • "It is for your sake that we drink that milk and eat those apples" (pg. 25).

  • "It sought to encourage unity of thought on the part of its readers by stressing and interpreting the party line" (7).

  • "Four legs good, two legs bad".

  • "Stalin's biography was long obscured by a mendacious Soviet-propagated "legend" exaggerating his prowess as a heroic Bolshevik boy-conspirator and a faithful follower of Lenin, the founder of the Soviet Union" (9).

  • Quote above.

  • "Stalin was hailed as a universal genius, as a 'shining sun,' or 'the staff of life,' and also a 'great teacher and friend'...; Once he was even publicly invoked as 'Our Father' by a metropolitan of the Russian Orthodox Church" (9).

  • "[Napoleon] was always referred to in formal style as 'our leader, Comrade Napoleon,' and the pigs liked to invent for him such titles as Father of All Animals, Terror of Mankind, Protector of the Sheep-fold...."(pg. 64).


1.- Pravda.(2012). Retrieved from http://answers.com/topic/pravda
2.- Joseph Stalin.(2012). Retrieved from http://angelfire.com/ia/totalwar/Stalin
3.- Joseph Stalin: Biography Chronicle.(2012). Retrieved from http://stel.ru/stalin
4.- Pravda.(2012). Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved from http://britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/474092/Pravda
5.-Pravda.(2004). Galegroup.Retrieved from
6.-Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU).(2012). Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/129291/Communist-Party-of-the-Soviet-Union
7.-Pravda. (2012). Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/474092/Pravda
8.-Pravda links Stalin to Trotsky killing.(1988, September 10). Gale World History In Context. Retrieved from
9.-Josef Stalin. (2011, October 5). New World Encyclopedia. Retrieved from