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Topics - Mike

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The Alexander Palace / Fine recent photos of AP
« on: May 28, 2008, 02:16:57 PM »
Many fine recent (last Sunday's) photos of AP, outside and inside, see here.

Tsarskoe Selo Town / Grand Dukes at Tsarskoe - but where exactly?
« on: March 25, 2007, 05:08:08 AM »
Grand Dukes Nicholas Alexandrovich (the heir), Sergey Alexandrovich and Pavel Alexandrovich at Tsarskoe Selo, late 1880s, by Nikolay Dmitriev-Orenburgsky:

Current Events / Two Uzbek migrants killed in Pushkin
« on: February 17, 2007, 12:13:06 PM »
Two Uzbek migrants were killed in Pushkin by a gang of local apparently nationalistically motivated youths.

The Final Chapter / Painting by Vladimir Pchelin
« on: November 26, 2006, 03:09:23 PM »
I apologize if this image has already been posted by somebody else. I personally have never seen it before. It was painted in 1927 for the Sverdlovsk Revolution Museum by Vladimir Pchelin and titled "The Romanovs being handed over to the Ural Soviet".

Left to right: A. Avdeev, I. Goloshchekin, A. Beloborodov, B. Didkovsky, V. Yakovlev, Nicholas II, Alexandra Feodorovna, P. Guzakov, Maria Nikolaevna.

Tsarskoe Selo Palaces / Mansion of GD Boris Vladimirovich
« on: March 01, 2006, 03:10:52 PM »
A comprehensive description with many photos in a Russian blog.

News Links / Transsiberian Express exhibition in Brussels
« on: October 13, 2005, 12:14:30 PM »
Seems to be an interesting  exhibition, just opened.

The Alexander Palace / My aunt lived in Alexander Palace
« on: October 06, 2005, 09:28:30 AM »
While sorting out the family archive a couple of days ago, I've found two old postcards that might be of some interest for the people here.

1. Face: Nicholas' study in the Alexander Palace.
Back: My grandma's niece writes, on 22.08.36, to her aunt in Leningrad, describing how she spends her vacation in the Alexander Palace - converted to a sanatorium. "The rooms are very beautiful, we receive four meals a day so there is no feeling of hunger, and go on excursions every day".

2. My grandma writes, on 25.03.38, to her daughter from a sanatorium in Pavlovsk (then called S l u t s k). The face of the postcard shows the Rose Pavillion in the Pavlovsk park.

In my non-expert opinion:
1. The sword is a regulation navy officer saber. The marking on the blade, around the two-headed eagle, reads: "Zlatoust Arms Factory".

2. Regarding the epaulettes:
(a) The rank is lieutenant.
(b) If they are indeed navy epaulettes (with crossed anchors on the buttons, beneath the two-headed eagles - which is hard to say from the photo), then the combination of silver braid, golden stars and red piping makes their owner poruchik po admiralteistvu, i.e. lieutenant in one of the Russian navy's several coastal and technical branches. This rank was equivalent to leitenant  (a navy  lieutenant who belonged to the "ship personnel") but had different uniform details.

3. The "medal" is actually not a medal but a badge, probably of some emigrant union.


This unlikely token of Russian-German battle comradeship was issued in 1912, to mark the centenary of the Russian-German Legion formed during the Napoleonic wars. Just two years before WWI...

News Links / Kolchak Island back on map
« on: July 05, 2005, 01:54:22 PM »
According to, Rastorguev Island in the Arctic Kara Sea will soon get its original name: Kolchak Island.

The island was so named in the 1900s to honor Lieutenant Alexander Kolchak, a renowned explorer of Northern seas who later became admiral, commanded Russian Black Sea fleet during WW1, headed the White forces in Siberia and was executed in Irkutsk in 1920.

Astonishingly, the island was renamed by the Soviets only in 1937! I wonder if somebody had then paid dearly for such a counter-revolutionary overlook.

You apparently mean Sophia Perovskaya. She was tried with the other "People's Will" members involved in the assassination and hanged in April 1881.

A rare photo of officers of the Finland Guards Rifle Battalion, ca 1896. Note a protestant pastor instead of orthodox priest normal in other military units. The shoulder boards were hand-painted blue - apparently by some Finnish enthusiast.

News Links / Ban czar in tights!
« on: February 15, 2005, 11:23:33 AM »

News Links / Russian Army Scraps Imperial Eagle Cockades
« on: February 12, 2005, 04:13:51 AM »
Read HERE.
This is how officer caps look now (rather ugly to my taste):

Yesterday night I've seen the film "It" [Ono in Russian] by director Sergey Ovcharov and was absolutely stunned.

It's a fantastic piece of art, deeply touching and immensely sad. It shows the Russian life and the Russian national character from the ancient history through the imperial period to the recent times. Vaguely based on Saltykov-Shchedrin's "History of a Town", the film reaches far beyond. Made in 1989, it features the best Russian actors like Rolan Bykov, Leonid Kuravlev, Margarita Terekhova etc. The black/white film's visual art and camera work are absolutely amazing.

My suggestion to everybody here: try to get it at a Russian video shop - if you have one nearby. Prepare for a heart-rending experience of seeing Russia through the eyes of one of its best filmmakers.

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