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The Russian Revolution / Re: Why is Lenin still praised?
« Last post by TimM on Today at 11:36:47 AM »
I don't give Lenin a free pass.  Yes, he didn't kill as many as Stalin did, but he made it all happen to begin with.  That's all on him.
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The Windsors / Re: Prince Henry/Prince Harry of Wales
« Last post by TimM on Today at 11:35:08 AM »
I agree, it was a great wedding. 
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Having Fun! / Re: IMPORTANT: If you use Photobucket, read this!
« Last post by TimM on Today at 11:33:07 AM »
Same here.  Imgur is great.
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The Windsors / Re: Prince Henry/Prince Harry of Wales
« Last post by RoyalWatcher on Yesterday at 01:50:54 PM »
Reflections on the royal wedding...I've been waiting for this day a long time! Prince Harry has always had a special place in my heart. He couldn't have chosen a more perfect partner to share his life with. Being a huge anglophile, I am beyond proud that Meghan is American and hails from my home state. What a beautiful woman and soul she is. Her wedding dress was so classic and so lovely. Perfect. I'm so happy she wore a tiara and one that we have not seen since the 30's (I'm hugely into the jewels of the Royal Families of Europe, but especially of Great Britain). Queen Mary's bandeau tiara was such a gorgeous choice, and it will become Meghan's tiara now to wear at royal functions. I was thinking that Harry would have a new one made that would be uniquely hers, but since the bandeau hasn't been in use for so long, it's basically like seeing a new tiara. Her veil...oh my, how dramatic and how stunning. She paid tribute to all 53 countries of the Commonwealth with her 5-meter long wedding veil, which represented the flowers of each Commonwealth country. She also incorporated two flowers with personal meaning: Wintersweet (Chimonanthus praecox), which is grown outside her Nottingham Cottage home with Prince Harry, and California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica), the state flower from her place of birth. Meghanís veil also included crops of wheat delicately embroidered and blended into the flora, to symbolise love and charity. I was so pleased to see Harry choose to wear a wedding band on his wedding finger. William chose not to. His father wears a little pinky gold band with his signet ring. Prince Phillip also shunned a wedding band. Good on you Harry! The flowers were amazing decorating all the archways and entrances...just stunning. I also loved how the seat next to William was empty...because it reserved for his Mom, Princess Diana. Meghan incorporated some of Diana's favorite flowers into her bridal bouquet. So many happy memories made today! It brings me back to that day in July 1981 getting up early to watch his Mom and Dad get married. I'll leave with 1 Corinthians 13:4-: "...Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres..."

Many, many congratulations to the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex!!!
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Having Fun! / Re: IMPORTANT: If you use Photobucket, read this!
« Last post by Sanochka on Yesterday at 12:04:52 PM »
After what they did last July, I'll never go near Photobucket again, no matter what they do.  I transferred all my photos to Imgur and am using them now.  I like Imgur so much better.
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And we start Romanov Birthday Season 2018.

Happy 150th Birthday to Nicholas II of Russia.
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Having Fun! / Re: Operation Rod of Iron: AU fic
« Last post by Nictionary on Yesterday at 05:53:14 AM »
In his first major Intelligence Section assignment, a thirty-six-year-old Estonian called Heigo Viiding was recruited to help, and Bylinkin also recruited Prokhor Naumov, twenty-seven, as the communications specialist.
   Of the two killers, one was tall, blond, and travelled on a false passport identifying him as Yefim Karaulov from Astrakhan.
   On December 30, 1919, the Intelligence Section also approached Vahagn Ispiryan, a thirty-six-year-old Armenian working as a quartermaster for the Volunteer Army.
   The Armenian arrived in Vologda with two other Intelligence Section agents on January 4 and rented a large apartment for six months, which was to be used as a safe house for the operation.  He also had fifteen keys cut for the apartment and arranged delivery of six sets of sheets and bedcovers.
   At this point the Whites were no closer to locating their target.  It was not until January 5 that Bylinkin and his unit received a tip that Yurovsky was living in Vladimir Guberniya.  He was about to receive a visit from a mysterious young Latvian living in Moscow, who had taken a train towards the east on short notice.  The Intelligence Section suspected the man, Gatis Dreimanis, of serving as an emissary for VTsIK, the Soviet Central Executive Committee.  Dreimanis, twenty-eight, a dark, handsome Latvian, had left Moscow for a meeting with the administrative job candidate, Yakov Yurovsky.  A new government department was being created to replace the Peopleís Commissariat for State Control.  According to Intelligence Section estimates, Yurovsky was being considered for a top role in the new department, and VTsIK was sending Dreimanis to meet with him to inform him of his appointment and deliver some official papers.  The Intelligence Section immediately began hunting for Dreimanis in the hope he would lead them to their target, eventually tracing him to Vladimir.  Then he disappeared.
   With what they thought was the initial link to Yurovsky uncovered, the rest of the White team made preparations to leave for Vladimir Guberniya.  Their mission was to locate the two men who were set to rendezvousó Dreimanis and Yurovsky.  The team arrived in Vladimir by various routes, and under a variety of cover names and identities.  On January 9, after an exhaustive four-day hunt, the trackers learned that Dreimanis had already left Vladimir for the small town of Gus-Khrustalny, which nestles along the shore of the Gus River, eight milyas to the south.  It was a strange destination for a man the Whites suspected of delivering important information and documents to a senior Bolshevik.  There could be only one conclusion: Dreimanis was in Gus-Khrustalny to meet Yakov Yurovsky. 
   The ten members of the O squad, led by Yaroslav Mikhailov, hired sleighs and followed him as he drove down to Gus-Khrustalny.  Despite the unforeseen location, the Intelligence Sectionís estimate remained the same: Dreimanis and Yurovsky would still meet, most likely in Gus-Khrustalny.  They found Dreimanis staying at the small Meshchyora Hotel.  Posing as traveling peddlers, two of the White agents even managed to sit next to Dreimanis in the lobby as he idly read a newspaper.
   White intelligence gathering was incessant and earnest, but the intelligence itself was often of medium to poor quality and incomplete.  Low-level sources supplied secondhand information.  The Perekrestok division, charged with running agents, was still struggling to gain adequate intelligence.  Numerous case officers, scattered throughout Russia, invested endless hours recruiting quality sources. Despite their hard work and complete motivation, Perekrestok was not getting enough reliable information from its agents.  It received virtually no solid intelligence about planned Red Army moves and far too little information of the sort that could help in the planning of assassination operations.
   For twenty-four hours, the Intelligence Section team could find no trace of Yurovsky in Gus-Khrustalny.  Surveillance crews in four sleighs circled the city, searching the streets, canteens, and hotel lobbies, to no avail.  On Sunday afternoon, January 11, Dreimanis, who was being trailed at all times, sat in the tiny Restaurant Roman, near the hospital.  Two Jewish-looking men approached him and sat down at his table. The three talked intently for about an hour. To a member of the O squad, one of the men looked like Yakov Yurovsky.
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Having Fun! / Re: Operation Rod of Iron: AU fic
« Last post by Nictionary on Yesterday at 05:50:19 AM »
January 12, 1920

   At the banya in Gus-Khrustalny, a small industrial town, men were hitting themselves with bath brooms and making noise in the steam.  A tall, bearded man in his forties sat on a bench talking with a man of similar age.  The two did not notice when Andrei Churkin sat down on the bench in his no-frills blue felt hat and began to hit himself.  Churkin maneuvered his way closer to the two men as he did so, glancing at the bearded man’s face.  He noticed that the two were speaking in German but the other men’s noise prevented hi, from making out their words.  Churkin was the youngest member of the Intelligence Section O squad that had been rushed to Gus-Khrustalny, twenty-five milyas east of Moscow, to close in on the “bastard,” whose extensive travels had brought him to the sleepy town.
   The bearded man was thought to be Yakov Yurovsky, the lead murderer of the Imperial Family.
   After weeks and months, thousands of hours of reconnaissance, frustrating waiting and watching, Yurovsky’s trail had finally been picked up by the Intelligence Section’s assassination squad.  In a few hours they would be sending him into the next world.  The operational and intelligence achievement this assassination represented would be immense, more significant even than the Shimmering Light.
   The hunt for Yurovsky had stretched across Russia since March.  White agents rattled their contacts for several months until a tip-off came through in December 1919 that Yurovsky had traveled to Moscow for a job interview for a top administrative post.  The tip even came with an address where Yurovsky was said to be staying: a quiet hotel on Tverskaya Ulitsa.
   But just as Intelligence Section agents moved close to the hotel to begin surveillance of Yurovsky, their target slipped out of the hotel by a back entrance and disappeared.
   With White agents hot on his trail, Yurovsky, not a stupid man himself, got busy setting up his own personal security. He wanted to avoid the Intelligence Section and to make the Whites look bad at the same time.  So he arranged with volunteers to get themselves recruited by the Intelligence Section.  Their job was to feed the Whites a series of dates and locations that would map his movements. Not his real movements, of course, but the ones he wanted them to believe.
   In the winter of 1919-1920, White intelligence received information that Yurovsky was near the town of Berezniki; then they got word that he had moved to Kazan; then back to Berezniki.  Next, he went southwest to Ryazan, on the shores of the Oka River, where the trail went cold.
   Most of the agents in the Rod of Iron team responsible for the earlier killings were exhausted by the end of 1919, and Bylinkin, the senior White agent in charge of the assassination team, promptly and hastily began to assemble a new squad of agents in order to locate Yurovsky and kill him.
   At least fifteen White agents were picked out for Yurovsky’s assassination: Bylinkin as team leader, two to carry out the killing, two to provide cover, two agents specializing in logistics, a communications expert, and seven more to fill in where required.  Bylinkin travelled under a passport as Filipp Andreevich Chmykhov.  His deputy Yaroslav Mikhailov posed as Anton Vedeneyev, a schoolteacher from Nizhny Novgorod.
   Bylinkin also brought in Ruslana Havrysh, a beautiful Ukrainian woman recruited by the intelligence section while working as a laundress for the Volunteer Army.  She had already crisscrossed Russia on missions for the Whites, carrying a fake passport and pretending to be a Latvian writer called Kaiva Strautmane.  Other agents involved included “Pavel Shulgin,” “Angelina Lyalyushkina,” “Stanislav Anosov,” “Danila Putilov,” and a stunning auburn-haired female agent known as “Rakhila.”
   Andrei Churkin, a twenty-five-year-old blond, was also recruited.  Churkin grew up in Vladimir Guberniya.  He was supposed to help the team of assassins pick their way around the region and smooth over any problems the Whites had in adapting.
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The Windsors / Re: Prince Henry/Prince Harry of Wales
« Last post by Tsaritsa on Yesterday at 02:04:57 AM »
I am going to add my two cents worth here. I have given this a lot of thought. I am going to go with the Duke and Duchess of Clarence for Prince Harry and Meghan. My second choice is the Duke and Duchess of Connaught. Either one rounds out the Cís for the Wales men. The Duke of Cornwall and the Duke of Cambridge. 
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