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Let the games begin!

On 31 July 1956, a sports festival celebrated the opening of the Central Lenin stadium, the national stadium of the Soviet Union. Gymnasts, acrobats, and other athletes came together after awaiting the 450-day construction.   Throughout the 1950s, the Soviet Union was transformed through the education and training of its people. Transportation allowed for the […]

The Worst Thing About Prison was… the Dementors

Following the death of Stalin, a set of reforms were made in “de-stalinizing” the Soviet Union. Among these key reforms was the release of prisoners from camps administered by the GULAG. Lavrentii Beria was named minister of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and State Security (MVD) in 1953 and on March 26, Beria sent the […]

Religious Return

Adolf Hitler’s Wehrmacht was unstoppable. Their operational and tactical levels in war were resilient- “the finest army in the world” (Freeze, 276) at the time. The Soviet Union was going to be easy to take, right? Wrong. Joseph Stalin was able to mobilize his people in a remarkable way. The centralization under Stalin’s dictatorship unified the […]

Power to the People

The New Economic Policy  From 1919 up to 1921, War Communism (the Soviet state economic plan) had devastated the national economy as well as the people. Famine, lack of resources, and disease out of malnutrition shocked the Bolsheviks into comprehending how unequipped the state was in instantly adopting Communism. The people demanded change and Vladimir […]

The “Opium of the People”

And then there were two… February 1917: Bolshevik law separates church and state. Starting with the February Revolution, the contention between the Orthodox Church and the Bolsheviks escalated. The Bolsheviks who came into power after the 1917 October Revolution were atheists who considered religion to be “opium of the people,” working against the interests of […]

The Photographer to the Tsar

The Photographer  Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii, photographer and chemist in the early 1900s, displayed the powerful Russian Empire pre-World War I and revolution with the use of colored photography, a new technique that he developed during the time. Supported by Tsar Nicholas II and with the aide of the Ministry of Transportation, Prokudin-Gorskii traveled in an … Continue reading The Photographer to the Tsar