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22 votes
Accepted

What's the background to the popularity of turquoise in Russian architecture?

It's entirely modern. In 1840, the Winter Palace wasn't teal. This page has a lovely timeline of how its color changed in the moist Baltic climate from beige to ochre, before being painted...bright ...
SPavel's user avatar
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17 votes
Accepted

Why didn't a noble family change their last name from a kind of duck to something more prestigious?

Actually, the answer is a bit confusing. The name was apparently originally a 'normal' one before one of Nikolai's ancestors added the 'Gogol' bit. A Reference Guide to Russian Literature tells us: ...
CDR's user avatar
  • 997
15 votes

Why didn't Russia colonize in the scramble for Africa?

You got your facts wrong. The peak of the scramble for Africa was the Berlin Conference of 1878. Alaska was sold to the USA in 1867. Russia had (and has) great resources, but always had (and has) ...
Jos's user avatar
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12 votes
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Is Wikipedia's identification of Lebed an error?

Yes, that is the same Lebed: Политикой заинтересовался в конце «перестройки»: в 1990 году был избран делегатом XXVIII съезда КПСС He became interested in politics at the end of Perestroika and in ...
SPavel's user avatar
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12 votes
Accepted

Why couldn't honey be sent up to Mir?

It's true that there was a reduction in production of honey at least in the state-sponsored enterprises. The collapse of the U.S.S.R. in the 1990s reduced governmental financing of beekeeping in ...
against very long user names's user avatar
11 votes
Accepted

Bismarck urged not to hinder Russia from going deeper into the "oriental dead end." What did he mean by "oriental dead end?"

The quoted letter includes a written dispute between Bismarck and Crown Prince Wilhelm. Wilhelm annotated the sentence about Russia walking into the "dead end": Es hat aber leider die ...
ccprog's user avatar
  • 5,498
6 votes

What is all the equipment used by the Russian imperial army?

The image as presented is not a particularly good one one for gathering individual details about the gear being used, It is likely an artistic derivation of an image taken from the cover of the book ...
justCal's user avatar
  • 39.7k
6 votes

Is Wikipedia's identification of Lebed an error?

Apparently an episode with Yakovlev, closely resembling the one described in Wikipedia, indeed took place, although characterization of Lebed as a communist hardliner (alongside Zyuganov, who would ...
Roger V.'s user avatar
  • 3,852
6 votes

What languages did Karl Marx speak and how well?

There is a difference between speaking a language and being fluent in it. In any case, Marx published books and articles in German, English and French. Engels writes that whole pages of “Das Kapital” ...
fdb's user avatar
  • 9,780
6 votes
Accepted

Why are the Russian Federation's Strategic Rocket Forces and the 12th Chief Directorate separate?

12th Chief Directorate originated from the Main Directorate of special weaponry of USSR MoD. This organisation was created in 1947 to coordinate R&D, production and storage of nuclear weapons and ...
Danila Smirnov's user avatar
5 votes

Why in English do we say "Tsar of all (the) Russias"?

When Tzar Peter I. proclaimed the Russian Empire in 1721, this was connected to a state ideology that saw Russia as a triune nation, one nation with three comprising regional sub-nations (Триединый ...
ccprog's user avatar
  • 5,498
5 votes

Is there an example of a Soviet or Russian prison camp where both guards and prisoners perished?

Nazino tragedy perhaps is rather close - although most of the guards survived, it provides a scenario of how such an event could happen. This party of prisoners was simply forgotten on an island in Ob ...
Roger V.'s user avatar
  • 3,852
4 votes
Accepted

What were Lenin's and Trotsky's roles in the October revolution of 1917?

Short Answer Lenin and Trotsky were entirely involved in the events of October 1917, particularly if those events were classified as a coup and not a revolution. Trotsky was a leading "organizer ...
Smith's user avatar
  • 2,091
3 votes

Did Rasputin ever make false predictions to the royal family?

While it may not be the case that any member of the Romanov family ever explicitly complained that Rasputin got something wrong, it is quite easy to find supposedly correct predictions he made to ...
Brian Z's user avatar
  • 20.9k
3 votes
Accepted

At the beginning of the 20th century, how did Austria-Hungary and Russia's foreign policies conflict in the Balkans?

This was an era of peak nationalism, so it probably helps if you think ethnically. Let's compare a political map of Europe in 1900 to an ethnic one, taking special note of eastern and southeastern ...
T.E.D.'s user avatar
  • 119k
2 votes

Why didn't all non-Russian states become independent during the collapse of the Soviet Union?

Unlike the SSRs, their constituent republics had no constitutional right to secede. But it doesn't mean some of them didn't try. First, some background. The settlement of the Russian Empire was a long ...
SPavel's user avatar
  • 11.2k
2 votes

Why didn't Russia colonize in the scramble for Africa?

During this time Russia was already engaged in a colonial enterprise on a staggering scale - the conquest of Central Asia. Conquering and then digesting such a vast territory more or less took up most ...
Felix Goldberg's user avatar
2 votes

Why in English do we say "Tsar of all (the) Russias"?

Before the Mongol invasion the words "Rus", and "Russian land" meant a neighborhood of Kyiv. For example, in the Primary Chronicle, a person traveling from Vladimir to Kiev was ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 38.8k
2 votes

Is there an example of a Soviet or Russian prison camp where both guards and prisoners perished?

Almost ANY camp is OK as an example for your question. The only exception is described in the bottom. My mom's third husband was a lieutenant commanding a spying company during WWII. For not allowing ...
Gangnus's user avatar
  • 7,243
2 votes

Did the Czechoslovak Legion commit "war crimes" in Russia?

Legion as a counter-revolutionary force Revolt of Czechoslovak legion took place in 1918-1920, i.e. during the Russian civil war. While the bulk of the legion was sympathizing with socialist ideas (as ...
Roger V.'s user avatar
  • 3,852
1 vote
Accepted

Did Bolsheviks try to foster socialist revolution in Europe?

The Bolsheviks did not "foster" any revolutions in Europe, and were not in a position to contribute meaningfully to ones that did occur anyway in the post-war wave of Socialist revolutions ...
SPavel's user avatar
  • 11.2k
1 vote

What is Lenin critically referring to here - presumably some actions by Trotsky?

Lenin seems to support "revolutionary defeatism" in the sense of inviting (I don't know what Russian word was used) military victory by the other nation, as he approves of "military ...
Roger V.'s user avatar
  • 3,852
1 vote

At the beginning of the 20th century, how did Austria-Hungary and Russia's foreign policies conflict in the Balkans?

The causes of the First World War are quite complicated, and defy a simple explanation like "nationalism," which in itself is not a sole cause nor sole symptom to any war. It's best to ...
Smith's user avatar
  • 2,091
1 vote

At the beginning of the 20th century, how did Austria-Hungary and Russia's foreign policies conflict in the Balkans?

At a fundamental level, both Russia and Austria-Hungary were imperialist, multi-ethnic states too close to each other. Any specific events, like the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, have to ...
o.m.'s user avatar
  • 17k
1 vote

Why didn't Russia colonize in the scramble for Africa?

The colonial interests of Russian Empire lie elsewhere - notably in Central Asia (as has been already pointed out in the answer by @FelixGoldberg). In part this was due to geographic and historical ...
Roger V.'s user avatar
  • 3,852
1 vote

Why Finland received so little foreign support during the winter war?

No treaty obligations States typically don't intervene in wars unless there is a compelling reason. And in this case, no nation was compelled. The League of Nations was not a defensive treaty; all it ...
SPavel's user avatar
  • 11.2k
1 vote

What were the ideological differences between Mensheviks and Bolsheviks?

There were many differences between the two. The Bolsheviks wanted extreme bloody violence in their revolution. Followed Karl Marx to the core and believed without a bloody revolution, there is no ...
Imaan's user avatar
  • 19
1 vote

Isn't there any positive legacy of the Mongolian occupation in Russia?

This kind of question involves rather subjective and relative terms, like positive and negative legacies, which are bound to trigger a "yes and no" answer. Not only these terms are relative ...
cipricus's user avatar
  • 2,304

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