Chernobyl and the Meltdown of the USSR

This picture shows Ukrainian “liquidators” who worked to build a cement “sarcophagus” around the remains of nuclear reactor 4. Their banner reads “We will fulfill the government’s order!” (at least, according to the source of the photo it does, I myself have, shall we say, “limited” Russian..). Thousands of liquidators like these either died from […]


Allow me the pleasure of introducing you to Andrei Voznesenskii. Just look at this badass: Voznesenskii was an internationally renowned young Soviet poet. Here is his poem Anti-Worlds published in 1962: The clerk Bukashkin is our neighbor. His face is gray as blotting paper. But like balloons of blue or red, Bright Antiworlds float over […]

Stilyaga: Hipsters of DeStalinization

The stilyaga are an interesting phenomenon in Soviet History. Although the stilyaga culture had been developing quietly for some time, after Stalin’s death the social and economic “thaw” allowed the public debut of the youth movement. The stilyaga were a group of youths, usually the children of party elites, who revolted against Soviet uniformity and […]

Soviet Mobilization (For those who can afFORD it)

The vehicular situation in post- WWII USSR is an ironically accurate representation of the way Soviet society functioned under Stalinism. Before the war, cars were visible in some cities but were not common in Soviet society. After the war, Stalin made some concessions, and allowed two new models of cars to be manufactured. “Oh joy!” […]

A Bolshevik Census

  The above picture states “Beginning of the All-Union Census. Citizen, don’t forget to go through the census. We will conduct a Bolshevik census. It is a citizen’s duty to pass through the census and give correct answers to all questions on the questionnaire.” This actually made me chuckle a little.  The results of the […]

1917- The End of the Romanovs

    After three centuries of rule, the Romanov Dynasty finally met its end in revolution in 1917. Since the revolution of 1905, Russian society had been only momentarily appeased with reforms, but with the combination of a regime attempting to rescind the concessions it had given the unhappy populace, poor economic conditions, food shortages, […]

Sunday, Bloody Sunday

Today I am going to talk about the inception of the 1905 revolution in Russia. Political unrest in Russia had been steadily increasing since the counter-reformative years of the 1880’s and 1890’s (following the 1860’s and 1870’s which brought land redistribution, formation of local governments, and other liberal reforms). Since these reforms, a new radical […]

Belozersk; City of the Past

    This picture of a chapel was taken in 1909 by Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin- Gorskii. Prokudin- Gorskii employed avant- garde photography techniques to take one negative in three color frames , later combined, to then produce a color photograph. The chapel photographed here stands on the site of the founding of the ancient city […]