Nothing personal, I'm sure you're nice folks, but I have to take issue with both of you. You guys should read the excellent node The Russian Revolution. Meanwhile here are my responses to what you said.

Full name, Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov. Major figure in the Bolshevik party who pushed for the successful November coup against the democratically elected provisional government in 1917. The Czar had already abdicated in February of that year, so you can hardly say that the Bolsheviks overthrew him. Lenin persecuted anyone who threatened the Bolshevik's extreme, radical centralization of power using the paramilitary Petrograd Revolutionary Military Committee (PRMC), ultimately a predecessor of the KGB several times removed. Trotsky was politically inept but succeeded in the party in part because he had Lenin's favor. However, the much more politically astute Stalin wound up becoming de facto boss of things instead. (To be complete I should mention that Lenin took Stalin under his wing more than he did anyone else - although it appears that in his dying last days he changed his mind and wanted to set out to destroy Stalin). The Trotsky witch hunt didn't start until years later.

Lenin may have pulled Russia out of WWI- in fits and starts- but he did throw them into other needless conflicts, such as the basically unprovoked invasion of Poland in 1919 (Russians tend not to like Poles) and another unprovoked, failed invasion of Lithuania. "Sit tight, guys, we'll be back for both of you when WWII comes along." The Bolsheviks did not initially redistribute land - that had already happened during the popular revolution which was taking place before the November coup. What progressive things they may have done I don't know, the peasants absolutely hated them once they actually took power. I'm sure you're not referring to the famine of 1922, which Lenin instigated in order to break the resistance of the most troublesome towns and regions in Russia and the other states which it subjugated.

Before communism, Russia was considered backwards by European standards but they were making many advances in the liberal direction. Sadly things only got worse after the revolution. By all evidence, the average Russian was much poorer by 1930.

The current Russian government is just another third world kleptocracy which merges seamlessly with the criminal class. Not surprising considering that much of the modern Russian mafia is an offshoot of the KGB and even the state factories.