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Messages - Sergei Witte

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The Russian Revolution / Re: Information from the Soviet View Point
« on: July 26, 2009, 12:05:25 PM »
The workers’ revolutionary song consistently served an important educational purpose in Russia. Among the best known revolutionary songs are "Varshavianka", "Workers' Marseillaise", "Boldly, Comrades, In Step", "Forward, Red Marines", and "Red Banner"

Such songs helped to develop some of the most progressive features of Russian music: democratism, humanism, truth to life, and civic-mindedness. They are guided by principles of close ties with the people and internationalism.

Abuse of the musical talent of Russia by the Communists for their propaganda was exactly the reason why so many great Russian artists fled from the Soviet Union.  :'(

The Russian Revolution / Re: Communist crimes - Link to a Web Site
« on: July 26, 2009, 05:20:02 AM »

The review under the url shows that The Black Book is reliable.

Imperial Russian History / Re: Best Russian statesman before 1917
« on: July 25, 2009, 06:03:07 AM »
Count Witte certainly was a very good statesman when he represented Russia at the Portsmouth, New Hampshire treaty negotiations.  Even though Russia was clearly at fault for starting the Russo-Japanese War and thoroughly inept at running it, Witte managed to come out of the treaty negotiations with some of Russia's pride and land still intact.

Interesting how it was T Roosevelt who got the Nobel Peace Prize for the work that the Portsmouth negotiators did.

The one action of the Russo-Japanese War that has always astounded me was the sending of the Baltic Fleet to the Straits of Tsushima.  It was like - OK, here we come guys, get ready for us and just wait to blow us out of the water when we get there.

Apart from Portsmouth he was a great personality who also had enough understanding of what was going on in Russia. He saw that there was great tension between the conservative which he mistrusted and on the other hand, the Revolutionaries who wanted to turn the country upsidedown. He warned the government not to go to war with Japan in the first place. If they listened to him the tensions of 1905 wouldn't have occurred, al least not in this form. In stead he was dismissed following a conspiracy by the Conservatives who accused him from a 'Jewish Conspiracy' against the country. He would have been the man who could possibly meddle through all opposite forces as he was a loyal servant of the Tsar. Alas, it wasn't to be.

After the disaster of the War in 1905 Nicholas II suddenly remembered how he needed Witte and he was called back in service. He was a big proponent of Constitutional reforms when they were needed. But he was also of the opinion that reforms shouldn't be hastened. They should only be gradually be introduced. More as a means to release the pressure from the revolutionares.

Unfortunately he was dismissed in 1906. After him, Stolypin took over. But I think Stolypin did more harm than good because of his oppresive politics.

The Russian Revolution / Re: Communist crimes - Link to a Web Site
« on: July 25, 2009, 05:19:35 AM »
Numbers say nothing. Even with 1 man/woman murdered there is a mother, husband/wife, chlidren etc. who is left alone in misery. One can better imagine the grief of 1 dead than talk about so or so many millions having perished. When we look at numbers we forget the individuals who died.

Having said that, my general impression is that the numbers of victims during the last 70 years of the Tsars were multiplied by 100 during 70 years of Communist regime. (rough estimation)
There is another difference imo: the difference between the phenomena opression and terror. The tsars used a great deal of opression which killed many and condemned many but the Communists used state terror. The difference being the former being a reaction to revolutionary activity, coming to a halt when the upheaval stops, and the latter continuing by killing innocent people 'as an example'. This difference in approach accounts for the numbers of victims multipying by 100.

The cause for this 'different approach' lies in the different 'political goals' of the two regimes. The Tsars wanted everything to remain the same and the Communists wanted to change the whole society. Both used violence as a means to obtain their goal.

Imperial Russian History / Re: Best Russian statesman before 1917
« on: July 24, 2009, 11:23:14 AM »
I would never nominate Pobedonostev.

He was not a brilliant statesman.  He was the person who encouraged radical reactionary behavior in both Alexander III and Nicholas II.

Without his belief in the helplessness of the Russian people and his obvious contempt for constitutional forms of government, perhaps Russia would not have gone into revolution in both 1905 and 1917.

I totally agree. So we remove him from the list.

That leaves us with:
Pjotr Stolypin
Loris Melikov

who else?

I think Witte was probably the best statesman. Not for his progressive ideas but for his personality. Stolypin had perhaps more progressive ideas but he was Prime minister in a period of great oppression. That makes him to me less attractive as statesman. Loris Melikov could have grown to a important person historically if the Constitutional reforms of Alexander II would have been carried out and more reforms would have followed for sure if only........

So, who also fits on the list?

Imperial Russian History / Best Russian statesman before 1917
« on: July 24, 2009, 04:56:51 AM »
I would be interested in who you people find the best statesman or woman in Russian history. Please also describe why.

To mention a few:

Me  :)
Pjotr Stolypin
Konstantin Pobedonostsev
Loris Melikov

Having Fun! / Re: Suppose that Russia Had Not Entered the War ...
« on: July 22, 2009, 05:45:47 AM »
One cannot simply say what would have happened if Russia didn't enter WWI, that Revolution would have been avoided or it would have happened anyway or that the 3 emperors were doomed. Anything could have happened.

What would have been the natural course of events?

In my opinion it would have been that NII would have abdicated in 1905, go in exile in Denmark by example and let the Dooma take over and form a real constitution. That would be the natural course of events after the drama that happened in Russia. Only because the army still backed him, he could remain in power and oppres the Revolt. It was the army that didn't obey him anymore in feb 1917, and this directly led to his abdication. Were the army still loyal to him, things could have dragged on for years.

Would that have been wise? No. Would that have been cruel? Yes. But it would have happened. You just compare the situation with countries today with a big gap between rich and poor and with a strong military presence, like Brazil, or Argentina. The role of the military is decisive.

The reason to go for mobilisation looks stupid in our eyes. But back then it looked like a measure that effectively could back off Austria. Even even when it would lead to war, it was generally believed that a war would last only a couple of months. No one could have foreseen such a slaughter.
I think no one should be judged for the results of their actions if those results could not have been foreseen at the moment of action.

Nicholas II / Re: Video and Audio Recordings of Nicholas II
« on: July 17, 2009, 02:27:20 PM »
Hi! first of all, welcome to the forum . Now, about your question about audios of Nicholas, follow the next links

There are a couple of links with audio of Nicky.

Next time, it would be very helpful for you  (and all the new people) to use the "search engine". That helped me a lot when i started here. ;-)

Thank you Katenka, this is the 2nd time you helped me out. Next time I will use the search engine....

Nicholas II / Re: Video and Audio Recordings of Nicholas II
« on: July 17, 2009, 08:42:03 AM »
The original url was

But....... this doesn't work anymore

Nicholas II / Re: Video and Audio Recordings of Nicholas II
« on: July 17, 2009, 06:53:23 AM »
I read somewhere on the forum that there was an audio file somewhere on the internet of Nicholas II adressing his troops. An url was posted also, but this doesn't work anymore. (It was posted in 2004).

Does anybody know on what url I can find this audio of him?

Thanks in advance.

Hello, I am new on the forum, and very impressed by the amount of information this forum provides on Russian history especially before the revolution.

I am very interested in a specific figure of who not much can be found on the internet, namely Nicholas Alexandrovitsj, eldest son of Alexander II. Born 1843, died 1865.

I know his tutor was SG Stroganoff, and that he died of tubrculosis on the brain (meningitis)

Does anybody have more information about this young man, anything at all, I would be very happy with it. I don't read Russian.

Thanks in advance.

PS are there any photos of SG Stroganoff on the net?

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