Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Russia of the Tzars

The Russian empire was not underdeveloped before the Revolution. At the time it was the one of the largest economies in the world with a developed educational and transportation system. Above is a picture taken by Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii in 1910. In my opinion a good photographer and quite prolific as one can easily see.

"Russia under Nicholas II, with all the survivals of feudalism, had opposition political parties, independent trade unions and newspapers, a rather radical parliament and a modern legal system. Its agriculture was on the level of the USA, with industry rapidly approaching the West European level. In the USSR there was total tyranny, no political liberties and practically no human rights. Its economy was not viable; agriculture was destroyed. The terror against the population reached a scope unprecedented in history. No wonder many Russians look back at Tsarist Russia as a paradise lost." Soviet defector, Oleg Gordievsky, letter to The Independent (London), 21st July 1998.

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