Quartz: These videos from Mariupol show life under Russian bombardment

Quartz: These videos from Mariupol show life under Russian bombardment. http://google.com/newsstand/s/CBIwvtGIsyA

Eastern Orthodox Iconography

Growing up as  Ukrainian Orthodox, I often looked upon and pondered the icons that were literally everywhere. The composition and actual illustration of these pieces was incredible. This started my fascination with iconography and still to this day fuels it. Hopefully these images will get someone else hooked as well.

Here is a collection of some excellent pieces to give a wide example.

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Caviar Harvesting In The Astrakhan Region Of Russia, 1960

These pictures were taken during 1960 in the Soviet Union. Caviar has always been a staple of Eastern European cuisine. The finest caviar being Russian caviar from the Sturgeon.  These pictures show the laborers in the environment getting the cash crop. For more posts like these of the old Soviet days go to the excellent website http://kcmeesha.com/

Photos are provided by Life Magazine

The Rise Of Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky And The Zaporozhian Cossack Hetmanate

The story of Bohdan Khmelnytsky is one of high drama and patriotism. Leading a charge for Ruthenian independence from Poland he was one of the most successful patriots Ukraine has known. The Zaporozhian Cossack Hetmanate was one of the first, well organized and planned attempts at true Ukrainian independence from Poland. Here is the extremely well written Wiki page text about Khmelnytsky.

Although there is no definite proof of the date of his birth, it has been suggested by Ukrainian historian Mykhaylo Maksymovych that it is likely 27 December 1595 (St. Theodore‘s  day). As it was the custom in the Orthodox Church, he was baptized with one of his middle names—Theodor, translated into Ukrainian as Bohdan.

The latest biography of Khmelnytsky by Smoliy and Stepankov, however, challenges the 27 December date and suggests that it is more likely he was born on 9 November (feast day of St Zenoby, 30 October in Julian Calendar) and was baptised on 11 November (feast day of St. Theodore in the Catholic Church)[3]

Khmelnytsky was probablyborn in the village of Subotiv, near Chyhyryn in Ukraine at the estate of his father Mykhailo Khmelnytsky. Even though his father, a courtier of Great Crown Hetman Stanisław Żółkiewski, was of noble birth himself and belonged to the Clan Massalski, Abdank or Syrokomla, there was and is still controversy as to whether Bohdan belonged to the szlachta himself. Some sources state that in 1590 his father Mykhailo was appointed as a sotnyk for the Korsun-Chyhyryn starosta Jan Daniłowicz, who continued to colonize the new Ukrainian lands near the Dnieper river. According to the above mentioned-source, Mykhailo established Chyhyryn and later his own family estates of Subotiv (5 miles from Chyhyryn) and Novoseltsi. This, however, didn’t prevent Khmelnytsky from considering himself a noble and his father’s status as a deputy Starosta (elder) of Chyhyryn helped him to be considered as such by others. Later on, however, during the Uprising he would stress his mother’s Cossack roots and his father’s exploits with the Cossacks of the Sich.

There is also no concrete evidence in regard to Khmelnytsky’s early education. Several historians believe he received his elementary schooling from a church clerk until he was sent to one of Kiev‘s Orthodox fraternity schools. He continued his education in Polish at a Jesuit college, possibly in Jarosław, but more likely in Lviv, in the school founded by hetman Żółkiewski. He completed his schooling by 1617 and acquired a broad knowledge of world history and learned Polish and Latin. Later he learned Turkish, Tatar and French. Unlike many of the other Jesuit students, he did not embrace Roman Catholicism but remained Greek Orthodox.

Service with the Cossacks

Upon completion of his studies in 1617, Bohdan entered into service with the Cossacks. As early as 1619 he was sent along with his father to Moldavia, as the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth entered into war with the Ottoman Empire. His first military engagement was a tragic one. During the battle of Cecora (Ţuţora) on 17 September 1620, his father was killed, and young Khmelnytsky among many others, including future hetman Stanisław Koniecpolski, was captured by the Turks. He spent the next two years in captivity in Constantinople, as a prisoner of an Ottoman Kapudan Pasha (presumably Parlak Mustafa Pasha). Other sources claim that he spent his slavery in Ottoman Navy on galleys as an oarsman where he picked up a knowledge of Turkic languages.

While there is no concrete evidence as to how he returned to Ukraine, most historians believe he either escaped or his ransom was paid. Sources vary as to by whom — his mother, friends, the Polish king — but perhaps by Krzysztof Zbaraski, ambassador of the Rzeczpospolita to the Ottomans, who in 1622 paid 30,000 thalers in ransom for all prisoners of war captured at the Battle of Cecora. Upon return to Subotiv, Khmelnytsky took over the running of his father’s estate and became a registered Cossack in the Chyhyryn Regiment where he later became a pysar (a historical officer title among cossacks). Since 1625 he participated in several sea raids together with Zaporozhian Cossacks onto Constantinople. In those raids he earned his title of a sotnyk (a leader of a hundred). In the meantime, his widowed mother married again, to Belarusian noble Vasyl Stavetsky, and moved to his estate, leaving Bohdan in charge of Subotiv. In a year she had another son, Hryhoriy, who curiously enough later preferred to take his mother’s name and was known as Hryhoriy Khmelnytsky. For a short time he also served as a koniuszy to hetman Mikołaj Potocki, but relatively quickly they parted their ways after a personal conflict. Bohdan Khmelnytsky later married Hanna Somkivna, a daughter of a rich Pereyaslavl Cossack and they settled in Subotiv. By the second half of the 1620s they already had three daughters: Stepanida, Olena, and Kateryna. His first son Tymish (Tymofiy) was born in 1632, and another son Yuriy was born in 1640.

During this time Bohdan Khmelnytsky was running his estate and advanced in his service in the Regiment. He first became a sotnyk and later advanced to the rank of a regiment scribe. He certainly had significant negotiation skills and commanded respect of his fellow Cossacks as on 30 August 1637 he was included in a delegation to Warsaw to plead the Cossacks’ case before the Polish King Władysław IV. Serving in the army of a Polish magnate and great commander, hetman Stanisław Koniecpolski, he participated in a rather successful campaign as the Commonwealth army, part of which was Bohdan’s regiment, scored a decisive victory over the Tatars in 1644.

During this time Bohdan Khmelnytsky was running his estate and advanced in his service in the Regiment. He first became a sotnyk and later advanced to the rank of a regiment scribe. He certainly had significant negotiation skills and commanded respect of his fellow Cossacks as on 30 August 1637 he was included in a delegation to Warsaw to plead the Cossacks’ case before the Polish King Władysław IV. Serving in the army of a Polish magnate and great commander, hetman Stanisław Koniecpolski, he participated in a rather successful campaign as the Commonwealth army, part of which was Bohdan’s regiment, scored a decisive victory over the Tatars in 1644. During this time, as some archival documents show, he also had a meeting in Warsaw with the French ambassador Count De Bregie, during which he discussed the possibility of Cossack participation in war in France. Sources vary as to whether in April 1645 he traveled to France (to Fontainebleau) to discuss further details of Cossack service in France; this claim is supported by Ukrainian historiography but disputed by Polish scholarship.  In October 1644 around two thousand Polish infantry soldiers (some scholars think they were Cossacks, but the French sources do not actually name them as such) went to France by sea via Gdańsk and Calais, where they participated in the siege and capture of Dunkerque.

The Czapliński Affair

In the meantime another trouble was brewing at home. Upon the death of magnate Stanisław Koniecpolski, an advocate of fair treatment of Cossacks, his successor Aleksander redrew the maps of his possessions and laid claim to Khmelnytsky’s estate, which he claimed was his. In his attempt to find protection from the powerful magnate, Khmelnytsky wrote numerous appeals and letters to different representatives of the Polish crown — but to no avail. At the end of 1645 the Chyhyryn starosta Daniel Czapliński officially received authority from Koniecpolski to seize the Subotiv estate. In summer of 1646 Khmelnytsky, using his favorable standing at the Polish court, arranged an audience with King Władysław IV to plead his case. Władysław, who wanted Cossacks on his side in the wars he planned, gave him a royal charter, which protected his rights to the estate. However, such was the structure of the Commonwealth at that time, and the lawlessness of its eastern realms, that even the King was not able to avert the confrontation with the local magnates. In the beginning of 1647 Daniel Czapliński openly started to harass Khmelnytsky in an attempt to force him off the land. On two occasions Subotiv was raided: considerable property damage was done and Khmelnytsky’s son Yuriy was badly beaten. Finally, in April 1647, Czapliński succeeded in evicting Khmelnytsky from the land, causing Khmelnytsky to move with his large family to a relative’s house in Chyhyryn.

In May 1647 Khmelnytsky arranged a second audience with the King to plead his case, but found the King unwilling to go into an open confrontation with a powerful magnate. In addition to the loss of the estate, his first wife Hanna died, leaving him alone with the children. While he promptly remarried to Motrona, his second wife, he was still unsuccessful in all of his attempts to find justice in regard to his estate. During this time, he met several higher Polish officials to discuss the Cossacks’ issue of the war with the Tatars and used this occasion again to plead his case with Czapliński, still unsuccessfully.

While Khmelnytsky found no support from the Polish officials, he found it in his Cossack friends and subordinates. The case of a Cossack being unfairly treated by the Poles found a lot of support not only in his Chyhyryn regiment, but also with others including the Sich. All through the autumn of 1647 Khmelnytsky traveled from one regiment to another, and had numerous consultations with Cossack leaders throughout Ukraine. His activity raised suspicion among the Polish authorities already used to Cossack revolts; he was promptly arrested. Koniecpolski issued an order for his execution, but the Chyhyryn Cossack polkovnyk who held Khmelnytsky was persuaded to release him. Not willing to tempt fate any further, Khmelnytsky headed for the Zaporozhian Sich with a group of his supporters.

The Uprising

While it might appear that the Czapliński Affair was the immediate cause of the Uprising, it was only an impetus that brought a successful and talented Cossack to the forefront of popular discontent among the people of what is now Ukraine. Religion, ethnicity, and economics factored into this discontent. While the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth remained a union of two nations: of Poland and Lithuania, a sizable population of Orthodox Ruthenians remained ignored. That left them oppressed by the Polish magnates and their wrath was directed at the Poles’ Jewish traders, who often ran their estates for them. The advent of the Counter-Reformation further worsened relations between the Orthodox and Catholic Churches. Many Orthodox Ukrainians saw the Union of Brest as a threat to their Orthodox faith, and coupled with the frequent abuse of the Orthodox clergy this added a religious dimension to the conflict. This could have been one of the many other frequent Cossack revolts that had been put down by the authorities, but the stature and skill of, and respect for, the seasoned 50-year-old negotiator and warrior Khmelnytsky perhaps made all the difference………

The rest of the intriguing story can be found here on Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bohdan_Khmelnytsky

Here is a gallery of available images of the man and his exploits

Russia’s Wooden Churches Are Vanishing

I was recently turned on to a story out of Russia. It seems their characteristic wooden churches (architectural wonders) are falling by the wayside due to natural disasters and lack of maintenance. Truly a shame to such beautiful buildings.

Be sure to visit http://www.richarddavies.co.uk/woodenchurches/ for Mr. Richard Davies website and for information on his new book ( “Wooden Churches – Travelling in the Russian North “) about the churches. Here is an excerpt of the story and a link to the full story and video. I added a gallery as well of some beautiful churches still standing as well. Maybe if we all turn our attention to this matter we can make a difference. Enjoy!

“The wooden church, one of Russia’s unique architectural treasures, is in danger of extinction. Once dotting the landscape by the thousand, years of harsh weather, fires, war and neglect have not been kind. Today, some 200 churches remain, most dating from the 1700s and located in the northern regions of Arkhangelsk, Karelia, and Vologda. ”

Full story is here http://www.rferl.org/media/soundslide/24564914.html

As always, great praise and thanks to all the photographers featured here. Excellent shots!

Get involved in this cause! The loss of these building would be a irreversible cultural loss.

Man Enters Space, April 12, 1961

Choice Samples Of Ilya Repin’s Work

Wolves Terrorize Russian Town

A ’super pack’ of wolves has been terrifying a town after leaving more than 30 horses dead in just four days.

Four hundred bloodthirsty wolves have been spotted prowling around the edges of Verkhoyansk, in Russia, attacking livestock at will.

Twenty four teams of hunters have been put together to get rid of the wolves, with a bounty of £210 for every wolf skin brought to officials.

Stepan Rozhin, an administration official for the Verkhoyansk district in Russia, said: ‘To protect the town we are creating 24 teams of armed hunters, who will patrol the neighbourhood on snowmobiles and set wolf traps.

‘But we need more people. Once the daylight increases, the hunters will start shooting predators from helicopters.’

A pack of wolves this size is unheard of, with the animals usually preferring to hunt in smaller groups of just six or seven.

The massive group is believed to be made from hundreds of packs and has left animal experts baffled

For more information, see original article.

Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii’s Amazing Catalog

The photographs of Russian chemist and photographer, Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii, show Russia on the eve of World War I and the coming of the revolution. They show an amazing example of life in it’s purest form.

Captured: Russia in Color

1

View of the monastery from Svetlitsa Island, Saint Nil Stolbenskii Monastery, Lake Seliger; 1910 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress).

Captured: Russia in Color

2

Peasant girls, Russian Empire. Three young women offer berries to visitors to their izba, a traditional wooden house, in a rural area along the Sheksna River, near the town of Kirillov; 1909 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress).

Captured: Russia in Color

3

Trans-Siberian Railway metal truss bridge on stone piers, over the Kama River near Perm, Ural Mountains Region; ca. 1910 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress).

Captured: Russia in Color

4

Cotton textile mill interior with machines producing cotton thread, probably in Tashkent; between 1905 and 1915 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress).

Captured: Russia in Color

5

Man and camel loaded with packs; between 1905 and 1915 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress).

Captured: Russia in Color

6

Three yurts, man seated in doorway of yurt in foreground; between 1905 and 1915 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress).

Captured: Russia in Color

7

Altar side of the Dmitrievskii Cathedral, Vladimir; 1911 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress).

Captured: Russia in Color

8

Bashkir switchman; 1910 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress).

Captured: Russia in Color

9

Isfandiyar, Khan of the Russian protectorate of Khorezm (Khiva), full-length portrait, in uniform, seated on chair, outdoors; between 1910 and 1915 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress).

Captured: Russia in Color

10

Austrian prisoners of war near a barrack, near Kiappeselga; 1915 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress).

Captured: Russia in Color

11

Church in the village of Shaidoma; 1915 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress).

Captured: Russia in Color

12

Photographer posing with two others; 1915 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress).

Captured: Russia in Color

13

Shuia River; 1915 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress).

Captured: Russia in Color

14

In Little Russia (Ukraine); between 1905 and 1915 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress).

Captured: Russia in Color

15

Alim Khan, Emir of Bukhara, seated holding sword; between 1905 and 1915 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress).

Captured: Russia in Color

16

Log buildings in the Ural Mountain Region; between 1905 and 1915 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress).

Captured: Russia in Color

17

Corner tower of the Trinity Cathedral in the Solovetskii Monastery, Solovetski Islands; 1915 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress).

Captured: Russia in Color

18

Boy standing by wooden gatepost; 1910 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress).

Captured: Russia in Color

19

Work at the Bakalskii mine; 1910 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress).

Captured: Russia in Color

20

Bashkir’s yard, Ekhia; 1910 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress).

Captured: Russia in Color

21

Rafts on the Peter the Great Canal. City of Shlisselburg, Russian Empire; 1909 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress).

Captured: Russia in Color

22

City of Cherdyn; 1910 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress).

Captured: Russia in Color

23

Old church of Saint Nicholas the Wonder Worker, Nyrob; 1910 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress).

Captured: Russia in Color

24

Church in Vetluga settlement; 1910 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress).

Captured: Russia in Color

25

Andrei Petrov Kalganov. Former master in the plant. Seventy-two years old, has worked at the plant for fifty-five years. He was fortunate to present bread and salt to His Imperial Majesty, the Sovereign Emperor Nicholas II, Zlatoust; 1910 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress).

Captured: Russia in Color

26

Dvinsk, Roman Catholic church; 1912 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress).

Captured: Russia in Color

27

Mills in Ialutorovsk district of Tobolsk Province; 1912 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress).

Captured: Russia in Color

28

Molding shop at the Kasli plant; 1910 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress).

Captured: Russia in Color

29

On the Karolitskhali River, self portrait of photographer Prokudin-Gorskii in suit and hat, seated on rock beside the Karolitskhali River, with mountains in background; between 1905 and 1915 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress).

Captured: Russia in Color

30

Assumption Cathedral in the Goritskii Monastery, near Pereiaslavl-Zalesskii; 1911 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress).

Captured: Russia in Color

31

Chapel on Olga hill, Russian Empire; 1909 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress).

Captured: Russia in Color

32

Garden of the M.P.S. (Ministry of Communication and Transportation) and Saint Paul sluice, Deviatiny, Russian Empire; 1909 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress).

Captured: Russia in Color

33

Pinkhus Karlinskii, eighty-four years. Sixty-six years of service. Supervisor of Chernigov floodgate, Russian Empire; 1909 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress).

Captured: Russia in Color

34

Crew of the steamship “Sheksna” of the M.P.S. (Ministry of Communication and Transportation), Russian Empire; 1909 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress).

Captured: Russia in Color

35

Sawmill, Oka River, Several men standing near a sawmill; 1912 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress).

Captured: Russia in Color

36

Church of the Resurrection in the Grove (from the other side), Kostroma; 1910 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress).

Captured: Russia in Color

37

Dagestani types, Group of women posed outdoors; between 1905 and 1915 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress).

Captured: Russia in Color

38

Gallery in the Church of the Resurrection of Christ, Rostov Velikii; 1911 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress).

Captured: Russia in Color

39

Construction of iron-concrete frames for the lock’s walls, Beloomut, Uniformed man posed in framework of lock; 1912 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress).

Captured: Russia in Color

40

Mosque in Vladikavkaz; between 1905 and 1915 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress).

Captured: Russia in Color

41

General view of the Shakh-i Zindeh mosque (evening photo), Samarkand; between 1905 and 1915 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress).

Captured: Russia in Color

42

Shepherd posed near a hillside, Samarkand; between 1905 and 1915 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress).

Captured: Russia in Color

43

Georgian woman standing on a carpet, outside, near a tree; between 1905 and 1915 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress).

Captured: Russia in Color

44

Mugan, Settler’s family, Settlement of Grafovka; between 1905 and 1915 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress).

Captured: Russia in Color

45

Group of workers harvesting tea. Greek women, Chakva; between 1905 and 1915 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress).

Captured: Russia in Color

46

Dagestani types, Man and woman posed outdoors; between 1905 and 1915 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress).

Captured: Russia in Color

47

General view of the Likanskii palace from the Kura River; between 1905 and 1915 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress).

Captured: Russia in Color

48

Portion of entrance door on right side of Tillia-Kari, Samarkand; between 1905 and 1915 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress).

Captured: Russia in Color

49

On the Saimaa Lake; between 1905 and 1915 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress).

Captured: Russia in Color

50

Camel caravan carrying thorns for fodder, Golodnaia Steppe; between 1905 and 1915 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress).

Captured: Russia in Color

51

Melon vendor, Samarkand; between 1905 and 1915 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress).

Captured: Russia in Color

52

At work on the upper reaches of the Syr-Darya, Golodnaia Steppe, Four men on a horse-drawn cart, next to a cliff; between 1905 and 1915 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress).

Captured: Russia in Color
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The World’s Tallest Wooden Skyscraper

woodsky

Where else would the world’s highest wooden structure be located other than “The Wooden City” (which, as the arboreally astute among you may know, is Archangelsk, Russia)? Archangelsk did not only earn its nickname for the town’s numerous wooden dwellings but also for its wooden port building, wooden streets and…
The World’s Tallest Wooden Skyscraperhttp://travel.spotcoolstuff.com

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