Poletaev, Nikolai Gur’evich
Born Apr. 15 (27), 1872, in the village of Kozhukhovo, Kostroma Province; died Oct. 23, 1930, in Tuapse. Leader in the Russian workers’ movement. Member of the Communist Party from 1904.
Poletaev, the son of a peasant, became a lathe operator at the Putilov Works in St. Petersburg in 1891. He was a member of the circle led by M. I. Brusnev, and in 1895 he joined the St. Petersburg League of Struggle for the Emancipation of the Working Class. After being arrested and exiled several times, he emigrated to Germany in 1898. Beginning in 1901, he worked in the Ukraine, and from 1904 in St. Petersburg. During the Revolution of 1905–07, Poletaev was a member of the executive committee of the St. Petersburg soviet. Between 1907 and 1912 he was a deputy to the Third State Duma, where he represented the workers’ curia of St. Petersburg Province and headed the Bolshevik wing of the Social Democratic faction. A delegate to the Fifth Conference of the RSDLP (1908), he participated in many other party meetings led by Lenin abroad. At the Eighth Congress of the Second International in Copenhagen (1910), Poletaev was a Bolshevik delegate. He helped put out the newspapers Zvezda and Pravda. In 1913 he conducted party work in St. Petersburg, where he was a member of the RSDLP committee, and a contributor to the journal Prosveshchenie. The correspondence between the St. Petersburg Bolsheviks and Lenin was channeled through Poletaev.
After the February Revolution of 1917, Poletaev was in charge of the Pravda printing works. From 1918 to 1921 he engaged in work for the press and in economic work in Moscow. From 1921 he was with the Vneshtorg (Foreign Trade) organizations in Tuapse. In 1927, Poletaev was a delegate to the Fifteenth Party Congress.