On this day: a nuclear disaster in the USSR | In Times Gone By…

This is the first picture taken of the destroyed nuclear reactor in Chernobyl (Chornobyl in Ukrainian), Ukraine. 27th April, 1986. Taken from a helicopter flying over to assess the damage, the imag…

Source: On this day: a nuclear disaster in the USSR | In Times Gone By…

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On this day: Svetlana Alliluyeva defects | In Times Gone By…

On the 6th of March, 1967, Svetlana Alliluyeva, daughter of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, approached the US embassy in New Delhi and asked for political asylum. She is seen below arriving in the U…

Source: On this day: Svetlana Alliluyeva defects | In Times Gone By…

On this day: the bombing of the Kashmir Princess | In Times Gone By…

The Kashmir Princess, an aircraft operated by Air India, was bombed and sank into the South China Sea on the 11th of April, 1955. Of the nineteen people on board, sixteen died. Zhou Enlai in 1946 I…

Source: On this day: the bombing of the Kashmir Princess | In Times Gone By…

December 1930: the Moscow execution of Ukrainian musicians | In Times Gone By…

In December 1930, 337 Ukrainian musicians were executed in Russia in an attempt to eliminate Ukrainian culture. Some historians place the date of the execution as 1933, but as with most things that happened in the Soviet Union, records are…

Source: December 1930: the Moscow execution of Ukrainian musicians | In Times Gone By…

Rare Photos of the Romanov Royal Family Found

Life in Russia

inside Anastasia smoking

Tsar Nicholas II appears in a photograph to be teaching his daughter Grand Duchess Anastasia how to smoke.

inside Alexey with JoyAnother picture taken by the emperor dated 1916 shows Tsarevich Alexei – heir to an autocratic throne that would be abolished the following year – posing on a tree in winter with his beloved pet spaniel Joy.

These images of the Russian royal family, captured in photographs taken by the Tsar himself or his children, mostly date from the years of the First World War, and some very soon before the Romanov dynasty crumbled, to be rapidly replaced by Communism.

inside - tatiana with a manFound in a vault in Zlatoust, the album shows the private moments of the royals as the storm clouds gather over a dynasty that had ruled for more than three centuries.

The smoking picture shows the youngest princess Anastasia, then 15, evidently imbibing from a cigarette with every encouragement from the Emperor…

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Aesthetes and ideologies

The Badger's Sett

There was an interesting article in the Guardian a couple of weeks ago on Noel Coward and Ivor Novello’s previously unreported flirtation with fascism – a chance discovery of a poster in a London market revealing both on the billing for the British Fascist’s Carnival Ball of 1925.

Both gay men, the author (Philip Hoare) argues convincingly that neither possessed a genuine political commitment or interest in fascism. Certainly, when conflict did break out 14 years later, both were involved in the war effort with Coward employed by the British secret service.

Fascism at the time was in fashion, particularly among the kind of establishment circles that Coward and Novello depended on to finance their artistic endeavours, where it was seen as an important counter-balance to communism, at a time when eugenicist ideas where supported earnestly on both the right and left of the political spectrum.

While, it’s pretty clear…

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