Autumn In Saint Petersburg

December 21, 2013

Autumn St Petersburg River

Although winter is already well upon the minds of the Ruskies residing in this Western metropolis, it’s not too late to marvel in the city’s rich autumnal hues.

The Russian Revolution In Pictures

December 6, 2013

The Russian Revolution that led to the formation of the Soviet Union is a long story of relatively fast social change in a short amount of time. Because Russia was still using the Julian calendar at the time, they are known as the February and October Revolutions. Following the Bolshevik uprising in November, a four-year civil war would break out between the communist Red Army and the conglomeration of loosely affiliated anti-Bolsheviks, ending with the cementing of the Communist state and the formal founding of the USSR.

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Russian Revolution Muzhik Emancipated

Serfdom was abolished in 1861 as calls for political reform were gaining traction. By the 20th century, multiple cultural struggles were coming to a head. Source: Wikipedia

Russian Revolution Two Tsars

Tsarevich Alexei and Tsar Nicholas II sawing wood in 1917. Nicholas was worth $900 million when he was killed in 1917, making the struggles of his people to feed and heat their families all the more appalling.

Russian Revolution Rasputin

Grigori Rasputin was a controversial healer who gained favor with Tsarina Alexandra when he was able to stop the young heir Alexei’s hemophilic bleeding episodes. The public quickly lost confidence in the stability of the royal family as Rasputin gained more clout. Despite his death in 1916, damages to the Romanov reputation could not be undone. Source: NPR

Russian Revolution Nicholas Muzhik

Tsar Nicholas II is served lunch by a muzhik during World War I. Russian involvement in World War I was the final straw for the public, as the already terrible toll of the new era of combat was particularly devastating to Russia. Source: RIA

Russian Revolution Putilov

Source: Libcom

Russian Revolution Putilov Strike

Fed-up with social and political stagnation, workers strike en masse. With the war going badly for Russia and the shortage of bread and coal, the door was wide open for revolution. Source: Wikipedia

Russian Revolution Soldiers Kneel

Soldiers are called in to quell the riots by force, but refuse to shoot on the crowds. With massive economic losses due to nationwide strikes and dwindling political support, Nicholas II abdicates his throne.

Russian Revolution Nicholas Arrested

Nicholas II in detention. The whole royal family would be killed by the end of the year.

Russian Revolution Alexander Statue

The statue of Alexander III is destroyed by celebrators following Nicholas II’s abdication. Source: Alas Barricadas

Russian Revolution Alexander Head

The statue of Alexander III is destroyed by celebrators following Nicholas II’s abdication. Source: Alas Barricadas

Russian Revolution Georgy Lvov

Though Tsarist rule had been toppled, a feckless Provisional Government headed by Prime Minister Georgy Lvov was established to maintain order as the country settled down. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Russian Revolution Vlad Lenin

A dissident from young age, Vladimir Lenin had been exiled by the imperial government and wrote socialist newsletters that were smuggled back into Russia. When the Tsar was dethroned, Lenin returned to Petersburg to immediately undermine the Provisional Government. Source: Visit Saint Petersburg

Russian Revolution Petrograd Soviet

Lenin and the Marxist Bolsheviks formed the Petrograd Soviet, a council of laborers, to oppose the Provisional Government. The two governments ruled in tandem, with only cursory recognition of one another and constant calls for the other’s dissolution. Source: Istpravda

Russian Revolution Kerensky

Alexander Kerensky continues the war effort with a new offensive strategy. Though it would initially appear successful, the offensive would be handedly dismantled by the Central Powers and would be pushed back into Russian territory, greatly angering the majority of citizens that had revolted to end the war in the first place. Source: Alexander Palace

Russian Revolution July Days

Provisional Government soldiers open fire on civilians in Petersburg’s Nevsky Prospect. The riots only seemed to get worse, however, as the Provisional Government continued the war effort in Europe with disastrous consequences, and living standards made no progress. Source: WIkimedia

Russian Revolution Women's Brigade

Promises of gender equality are part of a last-ditch effort by the Provisional Government to drum up support for the war. By the time the civil war would erupt, women would be fighting for all armies involved. Source: Wikipedia

Russian Revolution Deserting Troops

With the Kerensky Offensive a complete disaster, troops became deeply embittered and many deserted or mutinied. Many soldiers joined with Lenin for his anti-war message, and Germany even financed his rise to power to ensure victory on the eastern front. Source: Burdo's Classroom

Russian Revolution Lenin Trotsky

Vladimir Lenin riles up a crowd as Leon Trotsky watches from the platform. With catchy slogans like “Peace, Land, Bread” and “All power to the Soviets,” Lenin and the Bolsheviks drummed up huge public support. Source: Burdo's Classroom

Russian Revolution Winter Palace

With the Provisional Government lacking allies and the momentum entirely behind the Bolsheviks, the people stormed the Winter Palace where Provisional Government members were meeting. When informed of the Bolshevik siege, the government surrendered immediately. Source: Burdo's Classroom

Russian Revolution Troops Celebrating

Russian and German troops celebrate at the news of the Brest-Litovsk Treaty. The Treaty was negotiated by newly appointed Leon Trotsky, who would become integral in the formation of the Soviet Union.

Russian Revolution Proletariat

Though the civil war was only just beginning, the new Communist authority gave land to all peasants, declaring Russia a republic. Many believed that the oppressive yoke under which Russia had struggled had finally been lifted, but in only five years they would be living under a dictatorship arguably worse than the one from which they had just freed themselves. Source: Libcom

The Majesty Of The Kliuchevskoi Mountain

October 26, 2013

Kiluchevskoi Mountain Russia

To many indigenous groups, this title-bearing mountain (highest mountain the Russian Kamchatka Peninsula and the highest active volcano of Eurasia) represents the origins of the world as we know it. It’s pretty easy to see why.

Lake Baikal In Winter

October 14, 2013

Lake Baikal Russia

Sprawling throughout Russia, Lake Baikal is truly a reservoir. Home to over 170 species of flora and fauna (many of which can only be found there) and indigenous tribes, the voluminous lake also contains approximately 20% of the world’s unfrozen surface freshwater. It’s also incredibly beautiful.

The Fantastic Turquoise Ice Of Lake Baikal

October 13, 2013

Lake Baikal

Located in Siberia, Laka Baikal is the largest freshwater lake on the planet that contains approximately 20 percent of the Earth’s freshwater. Apart from being the oldest lake in the world at over 25 million years old, Lake Baikal is also home to over two thousand varieties of flora and fauna, of which almost 1,600 are endemic to the lake.

The water of Lake Baikal is renowned for being some of the clearest in the world. When the lake freezes during the winter, an amazing phenomena takes place: large shards of transparent ice form on the surface of the lake, giving the amazing appearance of turquoise ice.

Lake Baikal Frozen

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Saint Petersburg At Dusk

September 16, 2013

St. Petersburg Russia

One of Peter the Great’s crowning achievements (thanks to the blood, sweat and tears of Russian peasants) is his 1703-founded city of Saint Petersburg. The shining, Westernized beacon served as Russia’s imperial capital from 1732 to 1918, when it was overthrown by the Bolsheviks. Today, the city is home to around five million people, international corporations and some of the finest cultural activities that Russia has to offer.