Cultural Contradiction

      The Helsinki Accords were signed on August 1, 1975 in Helsinki, Finland (US Department of State). The signatories of this conference include 35 European states, the US, and Canada. The goal of this conference “was to reduce tension between East and West” (New World Encyclopedia, 2014). This diplomatic effort served to lessen […]

Out With the Old (Prisoners)

         It is well known that Soviet citizens were often victims to incredibly harsh punishments for mediocre crimes: examples of trial worthy crimes are here and here. But on March 27, 1953 De-Stalinization reached the prisoners that had been locked into the camps (Freeze, 2009, p. 410). Those who were released were […]

Back to the Famine

  As we have learned, Soviet history is infamous for the many famines that wipe out huge chunks of their population and led to civil unrest. Thankfully, during WWII these famines were absent and this was crucial to the wartime success  (Wheatcroft, 2012). Following the war, they were hit, once again, with another massive famine. […]

The Champagne Train

The importance of wine is not in its ability to get you drunk but in its cultural expression. Wine, for centuries, has been the drink paired with thoughts of wealth, culture and seems to be some marker of a state’s innovation and stature. Everyone wants a taste of the great drink, even Russia. When people […]

The Railroad Raids

                                     CER Railroad:                                           Dower, J. W. (n.d.). MIT Visualizing Cultures [Map]. Retrieved February 24, 2017, from […]

The Ships of Change

  The Russian Civil War had left the country weak, unstable, and hungry for more effective government. This, coupled with droughts and famine, left an undercurrent of discontent. Riots began to spread across the country, with the Kronstadt rebellion leaving the biggest mark. The Rebellion The Kronstadt sailors were especially unimpressed with the Bolshevik government. […]

An Assassins Guide to a Successful Murder

              Assassins are a fascinating group of people. They are willing to go to the grandest extremes for their goal, no matter the danger. What is equally as fascinating is the planning that goes into these assassinations, as the assassins spend enormous amounts of time planning the murder of […]

Russia’s Inherited Geographies

  Prokudin-Gorskii travelled throughout the Russian empire trying document a visual Russia. His work features numerous beautiful landscapes and interesting people whose vivid colors attract attention, but I think some of the more striking pictures are the ones that feature people with hauntingly somber faces seemingly absorbed in their own life. In particular, I find […]