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Topics - Zvezda

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The great revolutionary leader and Russian statesmen V.I. Lenin is the subject of several inspirational Russian films. They include:

Mark Donskoi's A Mother's Heart about the childhood and youth of Lenin with emphasis on the devotion of his mother.

Sergei Yutkevich's Lenin in Poland about Lenin's exile in Austrian-ruled Cracow from 1912-14.

Sergei Yutkevich's Stories About Lenin, a two-part film about Lenin hiding in Finland after the end of dual power in July 1917 and his last days in the village of Gorky in 1923.

Lev Kulidzhanov's Blue Notebook about Lenin set in the period following the July Days of 1917 when Lenin took refuge in Razliv outside Petrograd, before escaping to Finland in August 1917.

Other films include "Lenin in October" and "Lenin in 1918" by Mikhail Romm, "Lenin in Paris" by Sergei Yutkevich, "A Mother's Devotion" and "Nadezhda" by Mark Donskoi, and "Sixth of July" by Karasik.

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Books about the Romanovs and Imperial Russia / Richard Pipes
« on: February 11, 2008, 05:54:05 PM »
The venom disseminated by Richard Pipes has committed much harm to scholarship over the last two decades. As one whose work has been endlessly derided by the scholarly community, Pipes's work on 20th century Russia cannot be taken seriously.

Quote
The question of whether, where, and how the revolution went wrong deserves serious scholarly investigation, and it deserves open scholarly debate. This debate is not well served by this methodologically flawed polemic masquerading as historical scholarship.
http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0022-2801(199306)65%3A2%3C432%3ATRR%3E2.0.CO%3B2-U

The reader closes this long, angry, and gloomy book with relief. It is a pity indeed that Pipes, blinded by a narrow, unattractive ideology, in spite of his obvious erudition, intelligence, and talent, could not retell the great story of the Russian Revolution in a convincing fashion.
http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0036-0341(199107)50%3A3%3C345%3ATPOSHA%3E2.0.CO%3B2-4

Rather than providing a synthesis of what we know about the revolutionary processes of 1917-18 or a
reinterpretation that contends with the major contributions of recent historiography (almost none of which is even referred to in notes or bibliography), Pipes has offered a personal political vision, an indictment that is highly selective, uneven in its treatment, and eccentric in its emphases and omissions.
http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0002-8762(199112)96%3A5%3C1581%3ATRR%3E2.0.CO%3B2-X

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The Russian Revolution / Information from the Soviet View Point
« on: February 07, 2008, 08:37:18 PM »
http://www.cultinfo.ru/fulltext/1/001/008/012/870.htm

At 10:40 P.M On October 25 (November 7) 1917, the Second All-Russian Congress of Soviets of Workers and Soldiers Deputies began in Smol’nyi. The congress proclaimed the transfer of all power to the soviets. At 2:00 A.M On October 26 (November  the Winter Palace was occupied, and the members of the former Provisional Government were expelled.

On October 26 the Congress of Soviets adopted the Decree on Peace and the Decree on Land, based on a report by Lenin. In the Decree of Peace, the Soviet power proposed to all belligerent countries that negotiations begin immediately for a just and democratic peace without annexations or indemnifications. By the terms of the Decree on Land, landlord ownership was abolished; landlord estates and crown, monastery, and church lands, with all livestock, implements, and buildings and everything thereto, were given to the peasants without any compensation. Private ownership of land was abolished and replaced by all-national ownership of land. As a result of this decree, the peasants received more than 375 million acres of land and were freed from annual rent payments to landlords amounting to 700 million gold rubles. The congress elected an All-Russian Central Executive Committee and formed the first Soviet government—the Council of People’s Commissars.

The counterrevolutionary forces, headed by ex-Prime Minister Kerensky, who had fled to the Northern Front area on October 25, General Krasnov, commander of the III Cavalry Corps, and N.Dukhonin, the former chief of staff to the supreme commander of chief, rebelled and started a civil war with the aim of overthrowing workers’ power. The enemy began an offensive, seized Gatchina and Tsarskoe Selo, and went to the heights of Pulkovo, thus creating a direct threat to Petrograd.” They started a mutiny of the cadets, which was suppressed by the workers on October 29. On October 31, revolutionary forces drove Kerensky and Krasnov back from Pulkovo and on November 1 they forced them to capitulate. Krasnov was arrested and Kerensky fled.

In Moscow the revolutionary forces in support of Soviet power encountered extremely bitter obstruction from the organized counterrevolution. Red Guards from Petrograd and other cities and sailors from the Baltic Fleet arrived to assist the Moscow workers. The Moscow workers and revolutionary soldiers of the garrison disrupted the counterrevolutionaries’ plans to preserve the power of the capitalist-landlord bloc. Soviet power was established in Moscow. But the victory was won at the cost of great sacrificies: as a result of the counterrevolution, more than 1000 people had been killed.

A difficult struggle for Soviet power developed in Orenburg Province, where one of the most dangerous centers of the Russian counterrevolution developed, headed by the Cossack warlord A.Dutov. On November 14, Dutov issued an order declaring war on Soviet power. On the night of November 28, White Cossacks kidnapped members of the Orenburg Soviet, smashed the Military Revolutionary Committee, and announced a mobilization of the Cossacks. Basing himself on Cossack units, he attacked Orenburg, Cheliabinsk, and a number of other cities on the Southern Urals and set up the so-called Cossack Army Government. As a result of the decisive steps taken by the workers, the Dutov revolt was crushed, and on December 3, Soviet power was restored in Cheliabinsk. On January 31, Orenburg was liberated from the occupation of Dutov’s forces.

In the Don oblast, the hetman of the Don Cossacks, A.Kaledin, initiated a revolt against the workers in October. After seven days of fighting, Kaledin’s forces seized Rostov, where Soviet power had been established on November 8. The Cossacks then attacked the Donbas. However, most Cossacks did not support Kaledin. On January 23, a congress of front-line Cossack units declared Kaledin’s regime deposed and proclaimed Soviet power in the Don region. Soviet troops commanded by Antonov-Ovseenko liquidated Kaledin’s aggression; Rostov was freed on February 24, and Novocherkassk on February 25.

On November 10, the soviet of Vladikavkaz voted for Soviet power, and on November 17 it adopted a resolution, based on a report by S.Kirov, declaring support for the Sovnarkom. In November, Soviet power was established in Petrovsk-Port and Groznyi. But the counterrevolution, finding support among the Cossacks, illegally formed the “Terek-Dagestan Government” on December 14 and proceeded to attack the soviets of Vladikavkaz, Groznyi and other cities. The congress of the peoples of Terek convened In January 1918 in Mozdok, and the second in March in Piatigorsk. The second congress established the Terek People’s Soviet Republic. Soviet power was established throughout the Terek region and a significant section of Dagestan. In the Kuban region and along the Black Sea coast, furious reaction on the part of the Kuban Cossacks had to be overcome in the process of establishing Soviet power. On December 14, Soviet power was victorious in Novorossiisk and in January in Armavir. On March 14 revolutionary forces fought their way into into Ekaterindor and took control of it.

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News Links / Oligarch Berezovsky Threatens Coup in RU by '08
« on: December 05, 2006, 06:23:27 PM »
Russian billionaire Boris Berezovsky has never made any secret of
his loathing for President Vladimir Putin, but in an interview in
his London exile the controversial tycoon went one step further with
a vow to mount a coup.

"President Putin violates the constitution and any violent action on
the opposition's part is justified today, and that includes taking
power by force, which is exactly what I am working at," the oligarch,
looking vibrant despite five years in self-imposed exile, told AFP
at his Piccadilly office.

For the past 18 months, "we have been preparing to take power by force
in Russia," he said, claiming he would finance this with a fortune
that had "tripled" over the last five years to billions of dollars.

The disgraced eminence grise of Russia's former president Boris Yeltsin
and one-time media baron fled Russia in 2000 after Putin's rise to
power, saying that charges of large-scale fraud and swindling against
him were politically motivated. He successfully fought off extradition
attempts and in 2003 was granted political asylum in Britain.

Berezovsky, who still owns the opposition Moscow business daily
Kommersant, said that Putin was guilty of wrecking the country's
post-Soviet constitution.

"The Kremlin has demolished Russian federalism, particularly through
the law on appointing governors" for the regions, a law the parliament
adopted in late 2004, he said.

This reform abolished election of regional chiefs by popular vote and
sparked biting criticism in Russia and concerns abroad that Russia's
leadership has taken an authoritarian course.

Berezovsky added that "that Russia under Putin has practically lost
the North Caucasus where separatism has grown stronger and also lost
its influence in Ukraine, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan and Moldova and is
yielding its positions in Armenia."

"Everything that will be done to reestablish the Russian constitution
will be constitutional by definition and that will happen before 2008,"
the year of the next presidential elections, he claimed.

However, a coup, he said, could only be mounted by "one elite against
another in power."

"I do not rely on one elite only, military, media, business or secret
services -- rather on each and all, not excluding even an alliance
with former enemies," he added.

"The majority and the mob never interested me. They are always
conservative. All changes will be made by an active minority, like
it happened in Ukraine," Berezovsky continued.

For people to take to the streets, the elite would first have to
"influence a part of society," he said, refusing to give any further
detail on his plan, other than to say that it would not mirror the
2004 Ukrainian "orange revolution".

"My political aim is to transform Russia into a modern democratic
state, to prevent its disappearance as a state. I do not hide that,
but I do not want to reveal my tactics," he said.

Berezovsky's Civil Liberties Foundation recently acknowledged having
donated 21 million dollars to sources close to Viktor Yushchenko,
the opposition candidate who led the "orange revolution" and then
was elected Ukraine's president over a pro-Russian rival.

http://www.bhhrg.org/mediaDetails.asp?ArticleID=849

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