Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

15 February 2011. What Goes Around… Comes Around. There’s Nothing New Under the Sun…

00 A Happy Worker in Sovdepiya. 1919. 23.04.14

There are two ideas of government. There are those who believe that, if you will only legislate to make the well-to-do prosperous, their prosperity will leak through on those below. The Democratic idea, however, has been that if you legislate to make the masses prosperous, their prosperity will find its way up through every class which rests up on them.

William Jennings Bryan


The above is a White Russian poster published in Odessa in 1919, satirising hyperinflation in Soviet-held territories (it was almost as bad in White territories, to speak frankly)… it shows an emaciated worker begging, sitting on a heap of devalued and worthless banknotes. It’s a perfect illustration for today’s USA… we have inflated and devalued currency, too. For instance, it cost three cents to mail a first-class letter in 1954, the year that I was born… today, it costs 44 cents, over fourteen times as much. There used to be a TV show in the 50s called The Millionaire… a sum of equal value today would be 14.66 million dollars. Alternatively, to flip the equation around, one million dollars in today’s money would be 68,213 dollars in 1950s terms. No matter how you slice this particular hunk of baloney, it comes down to the fact that the wild deficit spending of Ronald Reagan and George W Bush beggared this country. Indeed, both of these presidents threw pots of money at defence contractors… Reagan did so in an attempt to bring the Cold War to a head (a conditional success), and Bush did so in an attempt to enforce a notional American hegemony around the world (an utter failure). They did all of it on tick… even the USA didn’t have that kind of money. We aren’t at the level of Weimar-style inflation, yet… but if the present Republican-engendered and supported wars continue… need I go on?

The root of today’s inflation is “running the printing presses” rather than taxing the rich. They’ve gotten a relatively free ride since 1981… what do we have to show for it? Now, we have unemployment/underemployment at 20 percent, that’s what we have to show for it all. There’s more misery amongst working Americans and more satiety amongst the oligarchs. This situation reeks to high heaven… how long shall it endure? Reflect well that the GOP and Sectarian “religious leaders” defend the system that led to this situation with utter tenacity.

None dare call it evil… 1919… 2011… there’s not much difference for the common man, is there? There’s nothing new under the sun in this fallen world, but must we continue to make the same greedy mistakes? Think hard on the picture… think of William Jennings Bryan… “You shall not press down upon the brow of labour this crown of thorns; you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold”. Looks like they faced the same evil in 1896 as we face today… and we defeated that ogre, at least for a spell. It’s time to go “back to the future”, isn’t it?

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Tuesday 15 February 2011

Albany NY

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Sunday, 30 January 2011

A Photo Essay. The Red Dawn: Early Soviet Posters

Workers of the World, Unite!

A mural in contemporary St Petersburg


  • The people gathered here share different opinions, but when it comes to basic values such as culture, health, economic revival, and the support of all forms of property, they’ve united their effort.
  • Let’s not divide the country into the victorious and vanquished. Together, we’ll revive Russia.
  • We must come out as a single front against the greedy bourgeoisie.
  • The “international community” is today no more than another name for imperialism, with the United States in the lead.
  • The Earth is a spaceship that moves with an enormous speed through the universe. This spaceship accommodates more than 6 billion cosmonauts. It’s clear that the Earth’s resources, as those of any spaceship, are limited. The barbarian capitalism and rapacious consumerism imposed by America flagrantly contradicts Earth’s nature, and the Earth has started to take merciless revenge… with the savage hurricane that flooded New Orleans and powerful fires. If we don’t fight capitalism, we will simply destroy the Earth and die on this ship.

Gennady Zyuganov

Head of the Presidium of the KPRF

Head of the KPRF faction in the RF Gosduma


Tsar, Priest, Oligarch… the curse of the working people.

This is the absolute classic of them all. To have omitted it would have been a crime.


Illiteracy is blind, defeat and misfortune await it everywhere.


A strong culture creates firm cooperation.


Cooperation is open to everyone.


Reading is a necessity for mankind.


What have you done for the front?


The working class pulled the world out of darkness, illuminating it with the light of enlightenment.


Light and knowledge for the people.


From darkness to light, from battle to book, from sorrow to happiness.


Cooperation helps people to create brotherhood.


We are NOT slaves!


Day of (Supporting) the Wounded of the Red Army. For Socialism! Forward to victory!


To have more one needs to produce more. To produce more one has to know more.


Contrary to what one hears from rightwing nutters, the Reds didn’t win because they were brutes… they won because they offered a vision of the future that was more attractive than that offered by the Whites. We do history an injustice if we don’t admit that there were wrongs to be righted in Tsarist Russia. Don’t forget… the Reds DID put up Cooperation and Sharing as goods… unlike the GOP/Tea Party/Neoliberals, who put up Greed, Selfishness, and Pride as goods. I seem to think that one of these things isn’t like the other…

THIS is why the New Russia that’s emerging is a mixture of the best of the White and Red legacies. No country has been unshaken by the current Bush-fomented Great Recession… every country shall have to change… here’s what Gennady Andreyevich had to say on that:

A new revolutionary situation is taking shape. It’s only emerging, but one thing is clear… the winds of history are again filling the sails of the left-wing forces, our sails. By contrast, clouds are gathering and lightning is flashing over the heads of the supporters of capitalism, and, very soon, a great thunderstorm of transformation will break out. Humanity, which has been led into a dead end by the champions of greed and egoism, and by apologists for unbridled consumption, needs such a purifying thunderstorm. Over the past 20 years, the bourgeois ideologists in the West, and those who echo them in Russia, have been vehemently arguing that the general crisis of capitalism was something invented by Marx and Lenin. Now, we see the garish wall of globalism crumbling. What is happening before our eyes fully vindicates the thesis of Marx and Lenin about imperialism being in a dead end. The gigantic financial bubble, which the Americans have been blowing out for nearly half a century, has burst, and its metastases have riddled the planet. The world monetary system turned out to be a banal pyramid scheme built by the Americans in order to cheat the whole world.

The more things change… is 2011 merely another 1916 (with different specifics, of course)? Only time shall tell us…


Thursday, 20 January 2011

Romanov Pretenders believe that Lenin and Sverdlov were Involved in the Execution of Nikolai II

Filed under: history,Revolution/Civil War,Romanovs,Russian — 01varvara @ 00.00

The Romanov pretenders don’t believe the conclusion of the RF SKP that there’s no evidence that the execution of Tsar Nikolai II and his family was on the direct orders of Soviet leaders such as Vladimir Lenin and Yakov Sverdlov. “We believe that there’s much evidence”, Aleksandr Zakatov, the Director of the Office of the House of Romanov, told Interfax on Thursday. He explained that the memoirs of Leon Trotsky and those of other Bolshevik leaders contain evidence that Sverdlov and Lenin directly ordered the execution of the tsar’s family. “We must restore the full picture. A number of documents remain classified. The inventory of the items in Lenin’s office, made after his death, hasn’t been declassified. There’s no basis for their remaining secret”, he said, saying, “Our modern state isn’t Bolshevik”. Vladimir Solovyov, the head of the SKP investigation into the murder case concerning Nikolai II and his family, told Interfax this week that the investigation found no evidence that Lenin and Sverdlov directly ordered the execution of the tsar’s family. “As far as I know, none of the researchers found any such document”, he said. According to the findings of the investigators, the Ural Soviet, which was the highest Soviet governmental body in the region, ordered the execution of Nikolai II, his family, and his entourage; it had authority over Perm, Yekaterinburg, Vyatka, Chelyabinsk, Ufa, and Orenburg Guberniyas.

20 January 2011



Editor’s Note:

Maria Vladimirovna is having a hissy fit. Well… she’s NOT the tsaritsa… she’s the pretender to the throne, something else completely. The SKP RF had access to all documentation, including classified data. Memoirs aren’t considered primary source documentation… they are often useful confirmatory sources, but they’re not the same as an actual government document. The available documentation clears Lenin and Sverdlov… and this displeases Maria Vladimirovna and her minions. Let’s be clear… the situation around Yekaterinburg in July 1918 was fluid and the Ural Soviet often was cut off from communication with Moscow. The White forces were threatening Yekaterinburg, so, the local honchos lost their heads and ordered the killing. Indeed, Yekaterinburg did fall to Admiral Kolchak’s forces soon after. Lenin was many things, but he wasn’t a fool. I believe that he was holding the tsar and his family for ransom… but events intervened, the locals panicked, and they shot their captives out of hand, for fear that the Whites would liberate them. That’s what I believe, based on what I’ve read of the affair… I agree with Vladimir Nikolaevich… the documents clear Lenin and the other top Reds from directly ordering the killing.

I believe that Patriarch Kirill is going to “legitimate” the remains in Petersburg as the relics of the Royal Martyrs. It’s clear that the remains were originally buried at Ganina Yama, then, reburied at the location that they where found many years later. To be blunt, both PM Putin and Patriarch Kirill want to close this chapter in Russian history fittingly and definitively. The records clear Lenin and Sverdlov, they didn’t order the murder of the martyrs… like it or not, Vladimir Ilyich was NOT the killer of the tsar. In the end, the Church will accept the remains buried at the Cathedral of Ss Peter and Paul, and the state will accept that Ganina Yama was the first burial site of the martyrs. Let the martyrs rest in peace… let their memories be eternal… it’s time to bury the passions of the Civil War and embark on building a new Russian space using the best from both our White and Red legacies. It’s our heritage, after all… I embrace it all fully, what about you?


Monday, 17 January 2011

RF SKP Acknowledged the Authenticity of the Remains of the Family Members of Tsar St Nikolai Aleksandrovich


The RF SKP concluded its investigation of the criminal case into the matter of the deaths of Tsar Nikolai Aleksandrovich, his family members, and members of their entourage. “On 14 January 2011, we issued a decision regarding the present investigation; complying with the court decision, we closed the criminal case. This ruling confirms our identification of the remains of the family members of former Tsar Nikolai II (Romanov) and the members of his entourage”, according to a statement posted Monday on the official website of the RF SKP. It noted that, according to findings by Russian and foreign experts, and according to other investigation materials, the human remains found in the first grave belonged to Tsar Nikolai Aleksandrovich, his wife Tsaritsa Aleksandra Fyodorovna, his daughters Grand Princesses Olga Nikolaevna, Tatiana Nikolaevna, and Anastasia Nikolaevna, as well as individuals from their entourage (personal maid, physician, valet, and cook). It also concluded that the remains from the second grave belonged to the children of Nikolai Aleksandrovich… Tsarevich Aleksei Nikolayevich and Grand Princess Maria Nikolaevna. The SKP brought up the fact that, on 1 October 2008, the Presidium of the Supreme Court issued a resolution on the tsar’s family’s legal rehabilitation, stating, “The state detained Nikolai Romanov and his family and their execution was per the orders of the state. From the perspective of the public authorities of the RSFSR, the use of such repressive measures was due to the fact that the former tsar, his wife and children, indeed, all the members of the Russian imperial house, represented a danger to the Soviet state and political system on class, social, or religious grounds”. Connected with statements of the House of Romanov made by Grand Princess Maria Vladimirovna Romanova on 26 August 2010, the judges of the Basmanny District Court in Moscow decided, under Article 90 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, to acknowledge the RF SKP’s decision of 15 January 2009 to dismiss the pending criminal case as unfounded and ordered action to correct any violations. On 25 November 2010, the Deputy Chairman of the Investigative Committee revoked the decision to end the criminal case’s investigation.


A barrister representing the House of Romanov wants to familiarise himself with the RF SKP’s decision to end the criminal case on the investigation into the murder of Nikolai II and his family members before deciding whether to make an appeal. “It’s much too early for us to decide. We have to familiarise ourselves with the decision in all its aspects. After that, Grand Princess Maria Vladimirovna has the final say on whether there was a legitimate and legal investigation, on whether it was full, thorough, and impartially investigated all the circumstances”, German Lukyanov, the chief attorney for the House of Romanov, told Interfax on Monday. He related to us that the criminal investigation into the murder of the royal family stopped and restarted five times. “This very fact shows that this isn’t the end of everything done”, Mr Lukyanov said. On Monday, the RF SKP completed its criminal investigation into the death of the Tsar Nikolai II, his family, and the members of his entourage in 1918-19, and closed the criminal case regarding it.


Vladimir Solovyov, who headed the investigation into the murder of Tsar Nikolai II and his family, has no doubts that the remains of the tsar’s family discovered near Yekaterinburg were authentic. “We’re fully confident that our identification of the remains of the tsar’s family is 100 percent correct”, Vladimir Nikolaevich told Interfax on Monday. He headed the investigation during the criminal case into the murder of Nikolai II and his family since 1993. On 14 January 2011, he signed an order terminating the criminal case. Earlier, on 15 January 2009, he terminated the criminal investigation. “If you compare the new ruling with the older ruling, in fact, nothing’s changed. The previous ruling complied with the decision made by the Presidium of the Supreme Court on 1 October 2008. It made it clear that they were all shot on the orders of the state”, Vladimir Nikolaevich said. In response to a question that factions in the MP and the House of Romanov doubt the remains’ authenticity, he said, “Of course, anyone can question what they will. The problem is that there are parties who don’t want to tackle these questions forthrightly. If you doubt us, ask us; we’ll give you a reply, if our answer leaves you in doubt… check our data. No one asked us to check out our data for the past two years. They claim to be very serious. We hold all the materials related to the identification [of the remains]. His Holiness the Patriarch created a special commission to address the Church’s stance to the Yekaterinburg remains. Over the years, this commission never asked to see our material. We’re always open to coöperation, and we’re willing to submit to the Church any materials [that it might need]”, Vladimir Nikolaevich said. According to the results of the investigation, the Ural Soviet ordered the execution of Nicholas II, his family, and entourage. It was the highest Soviet authority in the region, which included Perm, Yekaterinburg, Vyatka, Chelyabinsk, Ufa, and Orenburg Guberniyas. Solovyov said that the investigation unearthed no evidence that explicit authorisation from top Soviet leaders such as Lenin and Sverdlov was behind the execution of the tsar’s family. “We don’t have any documents of Lenin or Sverdlov linking them to this. As far as I know, none of the researchers found any such documentation”, Vladimir Nikolaevich said.

17 January 2011






These three stories were the total of the reportage on Interfax (and much of the other reportage on other sites was a rehash)… note well that there’s no reaction from the Church, either official or unofficial. Originally, the MP ruled against recognising the Yekaterinburg remains at a time when it was looking to bring the ROCOR back into Orthodox unity. Vitaly Ustinov was an obstinate and senile nutter who believed in the old White Army line about the tsar’s death, and nothing would shake him. Therefore, the Church made an official pronouncement against the remains. Yet, MP clergy served a Pannikhida over the remains… interesting, nicht wahr? Today, the ROCOR is back in the Church, so… you can catch my drift, no? I think that His Holiness is grappling with his reaction to this… it’s much more important than the visit of a minor and impecunious bishop from America, isn’t it? Let’s wait to see the OFFICIAL Church reaction to all of this. It bids fair to be “interesting”…


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