Background. The First World War considerably affected the everyday life of average European people as well as the lives of Russian revolutionary emigrants. In view of the upcoming anniversary of the revolutionary events it seems relevant to retrace the activities of the conspicuous members of the revolutionary movement, who played a pivotal role in the Revolution and the making of the Soviet Republic. For the first time in native and foreign historiography the current article attempts to reconstruct the biography of Grigory Zinoviev during his last Swiss emigration up to the appearance of first news about the Revolution in Russia in March of 1917. Both native and foreign historiography have a very shallow knowledge of the figure of G. Y. Zinoviev, and this particular period of his life is practically unstudied.
Materials and methods. This article was written on the basis of archival materials as well as published sources. The main sources for this study were the materials provided by the funds of the Russian State Archive of Social-Political History as well as The State Archive of the Russian Federation.
Results. The author of the current article attempts to highlight different aspects of G. Y. Zinoviev’s activities in the given time period, including his intraparty functions, his work in the Zimmerwald Alliance, his attempts to collaborate with nonBolshevist publishing houses, literary activities, as well as the everyday life of the Zinoviev family.
Conclusions. The activities of G. Y. Zinoviev on the threshold of the February Revolution were mostly of publicistic and organizational nature. As a politician, Zinoviev worked primarily as an editor and representative of the Central Committee of the RSDLP(b) in the Zimmerwald movement. But his primary occupation which provided him with the means of living was journalism. The financial difficulties caused by the war forced Zinoviev to collaborate with a number of non-party publishing houses.
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