Full name Giorgiy Valentinovich Plekhanov but he only ever used his last name (why did Russian revolutionaries only ever use one name? Is Cher a secret Bolshevik? Has Prince ever been a member of the Communist Party ... sorry, I digress).

Back to Plekhanov. He was called "the father of Russian Marxism", born at Gundalovka, Russia, in 1856. Deeply influenced by the works of Marx and Engels, who he met during a period of exile in the 1880s he founded the first Russian Marxist group, the Liberation of Labour Group amongst the exiled Russian intellectuals in Geneva in 1883. Widely respected as a philosopher, journalist and historian, Plekhanov was a major influence on the young Lenin.

Plekhanov returned to Russia in 1917 but sided with the Mensheviks against Lenin's Bolsheviks and denounced the October Revolution. Following the revolution he moved to Finland (then newly freed from Russian rule) where he died a year later.

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