Vikings here, Vikings there, Vikings everywhere…! So today I take us back to one of my favourite women in history: an absolute kick ass queen who manage to take rulership of an old Norse state to a different level. Today, I bring you Olga of Kiev – or rather a summary of the things we … More Olga of Kiev: Queen of the Rus
I think it best I preface this with some definitions otherwise someone will revolt. Second International= Organisation of Socialist and Labour parties. ISB= International Socialist Bureau- Permanent organisers of the above. ISC= International Socialist Comission- Like the above but friendly to the Zimmerwald Movement. SDP= Social Democrat Party- just testing you on this one! This was the state … More The Zimmerwald Movement: Why you shouldn’t bring socialism to the dinner table.
Nikolai Aleksandrovich, known as Tsar Nicholas II, was the last Russian Emperor and a member of the illustrious Romanov dynasty that had sat on the imperial throne since the early seventeenth century. Born on the 18th of May in Tsarskoye Selo, now Pushkin, Nicholas was born to rule only to die in a bloody revolution … More Political Unrest in Russia: The Abdication of Nicholas II
Grigori Rasputin- a man whose legend has defined him, who is not as well-known as he should be. Rasputin in popular culture is defined through the film Anastasia as the main villain: as the individual that tried to kidnap Anastasia, who put a curse on the Romanov family. But for me, he is best remembered through the words … More Rasputin- There Was a Cat That Really Was Gone
Politics and professional sport have forever been intertwined. Recently this has become more apparent with a number of news stories demonstrating this relationship. The American footballer Colin Kaepernick has made headlines and received a great deal of harassment for kneeling during the American national anthem at matches in protest of police violence against African Americans. … More When Politics Come to Sport: A History of Protest and Boycott at the Olympic and Paralympic Games
Let me take you away to the white taiga of the north of Europe today. Where lakes cover the land, and the tundra approaches on the horizon. Okay, it may not be Lapland with all its mythos, but this border region has been a very contested area of influence up in Scandinavia. Swedes, Finns and … More Karjala – In search of Karelia
Born in 1868, Nicholas II of Russia is most famously known as the last Tsar of Russia and of his abdication underlining a new era in Russian history. Following the Russian Revolution in 1917, he and was forced to abdicate, and only the following year was executed by the Bolsheviks who had overthrown him. Nicholas … More The Last Tsar of Russia
So, what about an opera about a Tsar, written by a serf’s grandson and which was rejected by the Maryinsky Theatre just because (allegedly) it lacked a leading female character, then turning into a massive success (but not with the Imperial family) only to be adapted, shortened, reconstructed and who knows what else after its … More A Tsar and a musician walk into a bar…
Does the name Mazepa mean anything to you? Perhaps if you are from Ukraine or Poland, but maybe not. Hopefully Pyotr Ilvich Tchaikovsky would be a name that you would be more familiar with. Well, it is of an opera of his, and a symphonic poem by Liszt that we are going to talk about … More Mazeppa: Cossack, Hero and Betrayer
http://rusopedia.rt.com/images/publications/45/slide_issue_252.jpg As part of our new challenges task set, here is my challenge, to do a blog post on Leonid Brezhnev as requested by fellow blogger Ali. Brezhnev was General Secretary of the Soviet Union 1964 till his death in 1982, and was the second longest-serving Secretary after Stalin. Other than his famous eyebrows, Brezhnev … More Did the Brezhnev Doctrine Prolong the Cold War?