Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov also known as Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (or in Russian: Владимир Ильич Ленин) was a Russian communist revolutionary, politician and political theorist. He was the leader of the Russian SFSR from 1917 after which he started a massive campaign of executions of the political and non-political opposition resulting in 100.000 to 200.000 deaths, solidifying his power as Premier of the Soviet Union from 1922, until his death.
Like most non-elected heads of state of the 1900s, Lenin remains a controversial figure, mostly outside Russia, for his dozens of alleged humans rights abuses. Lenin died in 1924 and also because of the later work of his successor - Joseph Stalin - Lenin escapes modern scrutiny.
Vladimir Lenin brought back forced labor of political prisoners in labor camps from 1918, the "Main Directorate of Camps" internationally now known as GULAG became a system extensively utilized by the Soviet Union.
The Red Terror in Soviet Russia was justified in Soviet historiography - and by virtually all allies of Lenin such as Leon Trotsky as a wartime campaign against counter-revolutionaries during the Russian Civil War of 1918–1921, targeting those who sided with the Whites (White Army). Bolsheviks referred to any anti-Bolshevik factions as Whites, regardless of whether those factions actually supported the White movement cause. The Red Terror campaign is considered to have officially begun between 17–30 August 1918 as retribution for two assassination attempts (one of which was successful).
Among the victims of the Red Terror were tsarists, liberals, non-Bolshevik socialists, members of the clergy, kulaks ('affluent' peasants), Mensheviks, foreigners, suspected counter-revolutionaries, and other political dissidents. Later, industrial workers who failed to meet production quotas were also targeted.
Estimates for the total number of victims of Bolshevik repression, however, vary widely. One source asserts that the total number of victims of repression and pacification campaigns could be 1.3 million, while others go as low as 20000.