Nikolai Ivanovich Bukharin, (October 9, 1888 – March 13, 1938) was a Soviet politician and intellectual.
He joined the Bolsheviks in 1906 and was exiled from Russia from 1911 until just before the Russian Revolution, writing several books and editing the newspaper Novy Mir with Trotsky and Kollontai. On his return to Russia in August 1917 he became one of the leading Bolsheviks in Moscow and was elected to the Central Committee. After the revolution he also became editor of Pravda.
Bukharin led the opposition to the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, arguing instead for the Bolsheviks moving the war effort to become a world-wide push for Proletarian Revolution. He was at this stage seen as the leader of the Left-Communists. He later moderated his position and accepted Lenin’s policies, encouraging the development of the New Economic Policy in 1921. He became a full member of the Politburo in 1924 and president of the Communist International (Comintern) in 1926.
Following the death of Lenin he was part of Stalin’s ruling group, allying himself with Kamenev and Zinoviev. He had by now firmly moved himself away from his earlier Left-Communist days and was viewed as being firmly on the right of the party, firmly supporting Stalin’s Socialism in one country thesis.
When he opposed Stalin’s proposed collectivization of agriculture in 1928, he lost his Politburo post within a year. Arrested in 1937, Bukharin was tried in March 1938 as part of the Trial of the Twenty One for conspiring to overthrow the Soviet state. He made a ‘confession’ and was shot by the NKVD.
He was officially rehabilitated by the Soviet state in 1988.