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Topics - nigbil

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Can any of you military experts help me do some tracing?

I live in a tiny village in the south of France and have made the acquaintance of another resident, an elderly Russian lady called Olga Igoraevna Sokolnikova.

She says she still has relatives in the Moscow area but her main anticedents came from St Petersburg.

Her grandfather: Hypolytte Nikolaevitch Sokolnikov. She says he was general of artillery in WWI and was killed late in the war. She says her family had close connections with either an artillery or engineering school/college in St.P

Her father: Igor Hypolotovitch Sokolnikov. He was a Lieutenant in the artillery in WWI and escaped in 1920
She says her mother left at the same time as her father but that they did not leave together.  

Olga was, I believe born in the 1920's (I have yet to ask the exact date!) but what is interesting is the General Deniken was her God-father as they shared a house in Paris (1925).

I have promised to do some research for Olga so any help with any pictures/details would be greatly appreciated.

« on: February 23, 2005, 04:54:24 AM »
Hi all,
I'm wondering what the general view is of this Rasputin prediction. The source is Massie and it concerns Rasputin's village of birth.

"His birthplace was Pokrovskoe, a village on the Tura River in western Siberia, 250 miles east of the Ural mountains"

"Near midnight on August 17th (1917), the train crawled slowly into Tyumen on the Tura River. At the dock across from the station, the river steamer Rus was waiting......Nicholas spent the voyage pacing the steamer's upper deck and staring at the villages scattered along the bare shores. One of these villages was Pokrovskoe, Rasputin's home. As P glided past, the family gathered on deck to look. They saw a prosperous village with flowers in the windowboxes and cows and pigs in the barnyards. Rasputin's house was unmistakable: two storeys tall, it loomed above the simple peasant huts. The passengers were fascinated to see this remote but famous hamlet. Long before, Rasputin had predicted to the Empress that one day she would visit his village. He had not foretold the circumstances, and the family accepted this glimpse as a fulfilment of the prophecy."

"Further south, reaching the Tobol River, they found the ice beginning to crack. For safety sake, the entire party dismounted and crossed the river on foot. They changed horses frequently. The last of these remount stations was Pokrovskoe, and the change was carried out directly beneath the windows of Rasputin's house.
There sat the Tsar and the Empress, prisoners in a caravan of peasant carts, while in the windows above them the family of the man who had done so much to destroy them stood looking down, waving white handkerchiefs. Before the procession moved on, Rasputin's widow, Praskovie, looked directly at Alexandra and carefully made the sign of the cross."

I wonder what were the odds of the Tsar of All the Russias visiting a village, any village, one of tens of thousands?

I just purchased what I think is quite a rare book.

Its "Tsar Nicholas II" by Major-General A. Elchaninov, in English, printed London 1913., with many photographs.

Its the only book on this period I have read by a Russian before the revolution and without any idea that storm clouds are gathering.

I'm trying to value this book for insurance purposes.

[edited to add title info to subject line]

Rasputin / Yusupov Palace - Murder Site
« on: February 18, 2005, 06:29:19 AM »
the Yusupov Palace courtyard where Rasputin was shot twice.
He was running for his life (and filled up with poison) and the first shot that hit him was half way across this courtyard. Rasputin was making for the gates. The second shot was close up to his head. He was dragged from this spot to be dumped into a canal - and the autopsy showed that he died from drowning?

Russian Imperial Medals, Orders, Uniforms & Militaria / Pavlovsky Barracks
« on: February 18, 2005, 04:47:40 AM »
If I can manage to do this I'll post below a recent picture of the Pavlovsky Barracks. Volkov, in his memoirs, stated that he was on duty outside the barracks the day Alexander II was blown up. He rushed down to the site, which is about 200 metres away, and is, of course, now the site of the Cathedral "of the Spilt Blood".

I wonder if someone could help identify the physical characteristics that determined whether one entered the Semenovsky regiment or the Pavlovski regiment?

I ask this as Volkov, in his memoirs on this site, said "
............ since my appearance was much more like that of the typical Semenovsky solider and unlike the typical Pavlovsky ." (Chapter 1)

I asked Rob Moshein, who translated the Volkov memoirs, and he said:
"What he means is that in the Imperial era, each regiment was generally known to all have the same physical appearance and men were usually selected for each regiment based on their height, hair color, etc. One regiment would be all tall blond/fair haired, another medium height, muscular and dark haired, etc etc. So all the men of the Praeobrazhensky regiment looked the same, the Semenonvsky looked the same in a different way, the Pavlovsky yet again. So what Volkov meant was that his physical appearance was far more like a Semenovsky man, and he stood out for looking different than the other men in the Pavlovsky regiment."

It would be interesting is someone out there could expand on the selection process that determined where someone might be placed. I assume that some of the criteria would be based on military 'professionalism' and 'experience' beside a physical 'look'
PS I also assume that these criteria were somewhat watered down post-1914 which would account for the Pavlovsky's poor showing in the early days of the 1st revolution.

Rasputin / Rasputin's Funeral and Burial
« on: February 07, 2005, 10:32:27 AM »

Could this be where Rasputin was secretly buried on the orders of the Empress on the night of Thursday Jan 4th 1917. Its about 200 metres from the Alexander Palace?                                                    

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