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  #161  
Old 07-26-2009, 07:53 PM
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Marsel, that's very interesting. Were there a large number of Checkas? And do we know how many others came from other places that were pressed into service of the Reds almost like assassins for hire?
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  #162  
Old 07-26-2009, 08:47 PM
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Among the 'revolutionary leaders' (and I mean the October revolution, not the February one - the difference is the same as between the French Revolution of 1789 and 1793), CHEKA members and criminals were perhaps most commonly encountered. Lenin and the likes mostly relied on unscrupulous bullies.

Of the three leaders of the October Revolution, Lenin was of Mordovian, Kalmyk, Jewish, German, and Swedish ancestry, Trotsky was of Jewish ancestry and Dybenko was of Ukrainian ancestry. You'd have to try really hard to find a representative of any of the major ethnicities among even moderately important 'revolutionary leaders' (Dybenko was the only exception but then he didn't last long).


It should be noted, however, that Lenin did manage to raise a huge wave of patriotism in the years immediately after Revolution and by the time of the WWII, the country was more or less united (in ideological sense). There might have been those who were deeply dissatisfied with the state of affairs, but they constituted a minority.
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  #163  
Old 07-27-2009, 05:35 PM
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Alexandra believed too that Nicholas should keep the autocracy, and rule with a firm hand and he listened to her. But both of them should have showed themselves more to the Russian people. The Russian nobility didn't appreciate that Alexandra wasn't like Nicholas's mother, who was very social.I agree that Alexandra's view on the peasantry was right, at first I hadn't thought of it that way, but what you posted was very interesting Marsel.
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  #164  
Old 07-27-2009, 07:09 PM
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Hence my comment on Cleopatra and Catherine The Great.
I often wonder what would have happened were Olga a boy with no haemphilia?
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  #165  
Old 07-28-2009, 01:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marsel View Post

That’s a very truthful and accurate opinion: the last Emperor was a wonderful man in private life, however he was hardly fit to Rule a country the size of Russian Empire. I can’t help but think that he should have abdicated in favour of Grand Duke Mikhail earlier; from what I’ve read about ‘Misha’, he would be much more suitable Ruler in those times of trouble and worries. [my bolding]
I have already touched this subject in the following post Could Nicholas II have changed the Imperial Succession?
As per Pikul's account in "The Evil Power", Alexander III had a discussion with then Tsarevich Nicholas explaining him that he might be unsuitable to rule Russia and asking him to wait for Grand Duke Mikhail to come of age and settle down (i.e., marry) and then abdicate in favour of his brother.
As mentioned by my history teacher, the possibility of Grand Duke Mikhail becoming an Emperor was discussed in Russian high-society salons and then mentioned in diaries of some Russian nobles.
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  #166  
Old 07-28-2009, 03:06 PM
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The Pikul book hasn't been published in English has it? What's the full title of the book? Was it Alexander II ( who died when Michael was still very young) or Alexander III who said what Pikul says? Just wondering if was Alexander II because Michael was so young when Alexander II died.
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  #167  
Old 07-28-2009, 03:31 PM
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You are quite right. The book I am referring to has not been translated into English. I do not think that any of his books were translated into English. I would say that Valentin Pikul might be viewed as biased Soviet historical novelist. He had an access to so-called special archives others could not access. Pikul gave accounts of some historical events by citing courtiers' and ministers' personal diaries/notes. While working on "At the Last Frontier" (also known as "The Evil Power"), Pikul portrayed the Imperial family less than favourably, thereby proving inadequacy of the Tsarist regime and need for changes. Although the narration is vivid, his books should taken with a grain of salt.
I did miss "I". I have meant Alexander III. Grand Duke Mikhail was 23 in 1894 (the year Alexander III passed away). He was a bit too young to ascend the throne. As far as I understood Pikul, both Alexander III and Maria Fedorovna wanted Grand Duke Mikhail to learn the ropes of ruling and marry a suitable girl and possibly reinforce the bloodline with one more Prince, whereas Nicholas II was supposed to keep the throne for his brother and involve Grand Duke Mikhail into decision-making process at the state level.
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  #168  
Old 07-28-2009, 03:41 PM
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Thanks for that info. I had never heard of him. I agree given that he was biased he should be taken with a grain of salt. Did the info he had access to when his books were written come to light after communism fell in the Soviet Union? I'm assuming it did.Were his works popular in Soviet Russia? I guess I should look him up.
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  #169  
Old 07-28-2009, 05:46 PM
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He was certainly a very popular and influential author during the Soviet era. As Al_bina mentioned, he was one of those few, who actually had an access to classified information and private sources. Although I do enjoy reading most of his books, Al_bina is correct - he was very biased when it came to the Imperial Family: but then, you couldn't expect anything else from a historian of his time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Al_bina
I have already touched this subject in the following post Could Nicholas II have changed the Imperial Succession?
As per Pikul's account in "Evil Power", Alexander III had a discussion with then Tsarevich Nicholas explaining him that he might be unsuitable to rule Russia and asking him to wait for Grand Duke Mikhail to come of age and settle down (i.e., marry) and then abdicate in favour of his brother.
As mentioned by to my history teacher, the possibility of Grand Duke Mikhail becoming an Emperor was discussed in Russian high-society salons and then mentioned in diaries of some Russian nobles.
I wish Nicholas had gone along with that plan (if it ever existed - Pikul might have exaggerated or wrongly interpreted the sources available to him). It might have saved not only Nicholas and his family, but also lives of thousands, hundreds of thousands of ordinary Russians: Mikhail would most probably be a much more able Ruler and Commander. Fond as I am of the last Emperor, the choices he made during WWI claimed so many lives: true, he did basically win the war in the end, but at what cost!
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  #170  
Old 07-28-2009, 05:48 PM
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It is impossible for me to determine what kind of archives Pikul had an access to and whether or not these archives were declassified later.
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  #171  
Old 07-28-2009, 08:09 PM
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I've read in a preface to one of his books (not on Royalty) that he has used a lot of connections to get access to some highly sensitive documents when writing his books.
I doubt most of the figures are declassified yet.
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  #172  
Old 04-29-2010, 01:57 PM
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Tsarista Alexandra was a beatiful woman...But did you notice what a sad face she almost always has when photographed? There was only some pics where you may see her smiling. I think she was a woman with a very tragic sense of life...
Where? I've never come across a single photograph where she is smiling, or looks happy.
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  #173  
Old 04-29-2010, 02:16 PM
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Where? I've never come across a single photograph where she is smiling, or looks happy.
If I am not mistaken, there are a few of her smiling with Nicky when they first became engaged.
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  #174  
Old 05-05-2010, 02:47 PM
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Do you suppose Nicholas ever saw Alix's flaws? As czarina, I mean. Especially where Rasputin was concerned. I know he loved her, but was he, like 'blind', or simply refused to acknowledge it.
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  #175  
Old 05-05-2010, 03:21 PM
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I think he saw her flaws when she meddled in the affairs of government but too late. As for Rasputin, Nicholas, in my opinion, saw how Alix benefited by her belief in Rasputin's "divine intercession" and probably kept his mouth shut.
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  #176  
Old 05-05-2010, 05:49 PM
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I think he saw her flaws when she meddled in the affairs of government but too late. As for Rasputin, Nicholas, in my opinion, saw how Alix benefited by her belief in Rasputin's "divine intercession" and probably kept his mouth shut.
Copy that. Don't forget they had 4 healthy girls not dreaming their son would be haemophelic.
The immense pressure put on Alix to produce an heir also got to her though that was later as well.
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  #177  
Old 05-05-2010, 05:53 PM
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I think the real tragedy of Nicholas and Alexandra was that neither one had common sense in terms of running the country. Then again, Alexandra was likely the most delusional of the two when it came to everything in life. Sure, having a hemophiliac son might've deteriorated her mindseta great deal, but I don't think she was very smart to begin with. I am not implying that she was mentally ill, as the Carolly Erickson historical fiction book, "The Tsarina's Daughter", says. But both Nicky and Alix were quite clueless on a lot of things.
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  #178  
Old 05-05-2010, 05:57 PM
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Another poster pointed out to me (AE, I believe) that Nicholas didn't expect to be Tsar for a long time so he never really tried to learn the ropes thereby leaving him utterly clueless.
I am reading Sullivan's bio. on Ducky currently and in it it states that Alix had a hard time playing second fiddle to Ducky. I think that transferred over in her life when Minnie would force her to play second fiddle.
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  #179  
Old 05-06-2010, 11:23 AM
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That makes sense from a psychological point of view. Alix seemed to enjoy being the "lady of the land" for her widowed father and Ducky marrying into the family displaced Alix from that position. I believe it also irked Alix that pursuant to Russian custom, a dowager Empress often took precedence over the wife of the Tsar.
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  #180  
Old 05-06-2010, 01:05 PM
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See that makes sense to US, and given all that Minnie did for the country, why would you want to begrudge that honor upon her? Why couldn't Alix be the bigger person and let it go? Which is why I found Vicky's comment in Van der Kriste quoted in Sullivan so interesting. I thought it was a good insight and wondered if anybody had any more info. on it to round it out.
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