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Messages - AnBhanfhaidh

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It's funny (odd) discovering this thread. I was just not long ago thinking about Andrei Rublev and wishing I could see it again. Terrific movie!

Could some one give me some more information on "The Barber of Siberia". I hate to admit that I have never heard of it, but from the pictures posted, it looks absolutely fascinating (what are those guys doing - a chorus line dance???).  Could you give the particulars, such as when the film was made, etc. I can always search the net, but you all seem already to be so well informed!

I wonder how Natalia felt about working for the KGB? It was basically an arm of the same Soviet apparatus that systematically murdererd any Romanov they could get their hands on (and in the most brutal manner possible) and then in the 1920s (IIRC) under Stalin hunted down and tortured many of the "formers" - people who had done nothing more than just worked for the IF.

 And then she goes to the funeral for Nicholas' family - a crime her former "bosses" had covered up and lied about for decades (something Yeltsin himself admitted). I don't condemn her, mind you, I just wonder how she felt.  She saved her own life, but at what price?

The book I originally cited (2nd post), Perry and Pleshakov's "Fligth of the Romanovs" touches on this to some degree. They describe her as a reluctant recruit. She was basically told to inform on her friends or be shot. They continuously use language that implies she was indeed reluctant about her services. They cite her final assignment (against the US ambassador - a honey trap), after which she was finally released from obligation. "But the good news was that the Lubyanka kept its word, and Natalia says they never asked her to work for them again." (p352).

The authors seem to admire her, saying she had the same spirit and daring as Peter the Great. They also say, the KGB file speaks of her admiringly, as well.

But, I had the same thoughts you had. The authors have pretty extensive notes, with sources tied directly to particular statements within the chapters. On this issue, however, most of their source material is personal interviews with Natalia Androsova (as she was known when they met with her in Moscow in the 90s). So, not too much of a lead there to do further research.

I've been toying with the idea of getting in touch with the authors. There are about three other instances where I would like some more information and the notes either don't cover the point or are tied to personal interviews. Alas, the burden of the armchair (as opposed to professional) historian.

News Links / Re: More Romanov Treasure to return
« on: August 15, 2004, 02:10:02 PM »
That's what I call patriotism - to pay $7 million, just to give it away!! Unless he was backed  by the group for restoration of treasures, etc. cited in the article.

. She currently ives (at least at the time of the article) in a small apartment she had to wait for, with some memorabilia of her Imperial history. I'll have to look up the info about her mother and siblings.

She has passed on now.

Mateo: a couple of pictures are in the book I told you about. Also the newspaper article cited above has the famous picture of her in men's wear smoking a cigar (also in the book)

Perry and Pleshakov's book "The Flight of the Romanovs" gives a pretty good summary of Natalie's life after the revolution. Describes her visiting her old home as a museum attendee, her mother and her moving to Moscow. Various reversals of fortune there. Natalie became a famous motorcycle dare-devil and, oh by the way, a KGB agent. Against her will, but she did choose cooperating with the KGB rather than being shot. She also was one of the invited guests at the reburial of N II in 1998. but, to my disappointment, she's listed in the second tier - the first tier being the Family and prestigious government officials. The book also discusses her brothers, but I'm not able to as readily recall that information.
I'm glad somebody is taking an interest in this branch.

Dearest Anna:
  The CD has arrived. And, my, you do play beautifully. I could not hope to match your skill with my hole-in-the-bottom balalaika.
  Funny thing, the CD was found next to a deposit of pigeon poo, anchoring a request for repayment ??? for a round-trip first class airline ticket. Hmm. The airline ticket was propped against a dark grey pigeon feather with gold gilt on the edges  :o (Sort of reminded me of the Imperial pages with the gold trim on their black coats).
 Good thing I had the tarp out!!

News Links / Re: Tsar memorial vandalized
« on: August 12, 2004, 06:55:18 PM »
I am absolutely horrified to learn of this grotesque act of vandalism.   I visited the Cathedral last autumn and found the statue impressive and moving.  

It takes the form of a very large Orthodox Cross.   On the side which looks across the lake, Nicholas II stands, gazing into the horizon.  He is carrying Alexei in his arms.   Erect and proud, standing slightly behind her husband, to his right, is Empress Alexandra Feodorovna.  On his left, is Anastasia.  

The reverse of the Cross, faces the cathedral.   Grand Duchess Olga stands in the middle.   One hand is raised covering her eyes.   On her right is Tatiana.   Her right hand is placed across her left breast,  To Olga's left, Maria is depicted crumpling, clutching her oldest sister's  gown.

I promised Bob I would send copies of my photographs.   I will do so tomorrow and hopefully it will not be long before they are posted for everyone to see.

Like everyone else, I am disgusted.  

They do know what they are doing.   The question is WHY?


Oh, this sounds so moving - I've never heard of this sculpture (?). You describe it so well, I can almost see it. Oh, yes, please, let's see the photos.

News Links / Re: Grand Duchess Olga´s paintings in Russia
« on: August 12, 2004, 06:42:17 PM »
Kulikovskaya-Romanov will open the exhibition that ushers in a Tsar Days festival that has been held in summer in many cities of Russia every year for almost a decade now in memory of the tragic death of Nicholas II, his family and other relatives in the July of 1918.

I, too, would love to have seen this. In fact, I wish I had seen this post in time to read the article. TASS has updated, I guess.

But, I'd really like to know more about these "Tsar Day" festivals!!! Any more info?

Dearest Mentor Master-Spy Anna:
  I do play the Celtic Harp (An Bhanfhaidh is the name of my harp per tradition that all Celtic Harps are named). I used to play the balalaika until a kind workman stuck a broom handle into it's bottom  :'(. Funny thing is, being a Berioshka shop quality balalaika, it still sounds the same, even with a big gaping hole in it - oh well  :-/ So, very delighted at the CD.
 Will one of the budgies be instructing their carrier pigeon entourage to deliver same?? If so, I'll put out the pigeon poop tarp for my NYC apt roof.  ;D
  Blinis sound great. And if the bubbles are champagne, that sounds even better (hic). But, I'm afraid I'm not up to the peanut butter.

Forum Announcements / Re: St. P'burgh in winter
« on: August 12, 2004, 08:48:18 AM »
Good question.
I had not even thought about that !  I guess I had presumed  my friend's booking would include me ! [other Americans will be going, but for the business part].

Good, that was part of my reason for asking it - to give you a heads up. I have just completed this process, so I can assure you it is still in effect. The best source of information is to get on the consulate web-site and read the directions carefully - there are several pieces of paper you need.

Guess I had best check on this. Anyone have any idea of how long this takes & can I do it in London? I could use a British passport, but that gets soooo complicated.

Also, you might want to look into what the requirements are for British citizens. If you can use that passport, it might be easier. See previous post  quoting Helen_Azar about reciprocity.

By the way, I think we should have a thread OUTSIDE FORUM ANNOUNCEMENTS, hopefully at the top level, to help people trying to travel to Russia. Not only the mechanics of Visa red tape, but we all have a common interest here and I, for one, would like to get some questions answered about shopping. (I left a question for Bob Atchison on the Fed. Cath thread about where to buy something because it referenced a photo he had posted, but I never got a reply. These types of trees get lost in the forest .) I found this thread by accident and it has been VERY HELPFUL.

Forum Announcements / Re: St. P'burgh in winter
« on: August 12, 2004, 08:40:01 AM »
But you have be careful because from what I understand there are two types of visas they can get for you: the kind where you have to do nothing once you get to Russia and the kind where you have to register at the local OVIR office once you get there. The latter option is cheaper but is very time consuming, someone told me that it can take almost the whole day to wait on line in OVIR!

My understanding, for Americans - and I stress this because it is different for different citizenry - unless you have a legitimate reason to be invited by a company, university, have relatives in the country, etc, [glb]you MUST get the visa that has to be registerd once entering the country. You have 3 days to get it registered[/glb], and supposedly the "tour group" (i.e., the association aligned with your hotel that provides you the VISA SUPPORT LETTER and VOUCHER), will help you get registered. That's what mine is claiming anyway, of course, I've yet to experience the real deal (the last time I was in that part of the world, it went by a different name and INTOURIST ran the show).

I am not sure why the Russian government makes it so difficult for westerners to visit the country, you would think they by now would realize that western tourists = better economy, but alas, I think they still have the soviet mentality about that, and stick with the "make things as difficult as possible for foreigners to visit Russia" for some demented reason.

I think a lot of this is reciprocity. I get the impression from people I have talked to, both American and Russian, that before 9/11, though not a trivial process, it was a little easier getting a visa and moving about the country. After 9/11, the US started requesting more information from people of certain nationalities (Russian included) entering our country and monitoring their movements a bit more. The other countries tend to "reciprocate" that treatment to US citizens. Do you remember when Mexico threatened to start finger-printing US citizens entering Mexico, right after we announced we were going to do the same? Having said that, of course, there IS the age-old Russian paranoia :-/

Forum Announcements / Re: St. P'burgh in winter
« on: August 11, 2004, 12:29:34 PM »
 NEEDED: advice on shopping. I have been warned about paying too high prices, especially at the flea maerket. Do not even know where/when that is.  But books, Amazing how I can clean out a bookstore in record time.

I've been eavesdropping on this conversation, since I will be in St. P's for the first time for a week in late Sep/ early Oct. So glad you asked this question about the books - I see you got a great reply! Does anyone know how to print a single response, without getting the whole thread - I am new to forums in general.

One thing that is confusing me with all the comments from people who have traveled there before - and often. You seem to describe a freedom of movement I am not expecting. Americans, as you know, are still required to be "invited" or be part of a Russ. Fed Gov't recognized "tour." One of the ways of getting around the last requirement seems to be these "tours" created for one person, which is how I am going. I have just recently gone through the Visa Application process, so I know Americans must still furnish proof of this association. My every second seems to be orchestrated. For sure, they tailored the tour to my needs - for example, I am Orthodox and I told them on Sat and Sun I am definitely going to Church. Plus they made arrangements for me to attend a service at the Feodorovskii Sobor in T.S. But, this is all arranged ahead of time and is not willy nilly. One of my biggest concerns is adequate time to comparison shop. I get the impression I am going to have an afternoon to shop and that is it - no wandering around the city, finding interesting book stores. Can someone set me straight.  Tanya

Dear Anna:
  I see you wish to test your recruit. As I know you know, Sidney Reilly was a white Russian agent and got caught up in the "sting" operation the Soviets mounted against the Romanovs (Nikolasha and Dmitri). Trest was an elaborate ploy created to make the Romanovs and counter-revolutionaries believe there was a strong counter-revolutionary movement in Russia proper. Many white agents were lured across the border on pretexts of meeting up with like-minded people, only to be captured or killed. Reilly went across the border on such a mission and was never heard from again. (Trest means Trust as in a business; its predecessor which also "took out" a major white Russ spy was called Syndikat).
 Tsar Doug, please take heed. See the price paid by those loyal to the throne. I think a Countess-ship is the least to request. Countess Tatiana - has a nice ring. And, alas, I have revealed my real name. Hopefully, I won't lose points with the Master Spy for that breech of security. (AnBhanfhaidh is the title of a Celtic prophetess - it is pronounced "Ahn vanEE". Good spies should have a command of many languages and cultures, don't you think??)

I echo Katieann's sentiments - this thread is a hoot! May I play, too?

I'm interested in supporting the Crown with my espionage skills. Perhaps Master Spy Anna could put down the balalaika and set up the Imperial Intelligence Service - what do you think, Anna - Novaya Okhrana???
Ochen zhal about your love, Sidney - too bad he fell victim to Trest!!!

Having Fun! / Re: Website Quiz-which GDss are you like?
« on: July 22, 2004, 03:33:57 PM »
Pooh, I came out Olga, too! Even though I'm named after Tatiana. What did the Tatianas answer to get their result - some of the questions I didn't fit any category.

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