alexander alexandrovich

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Experienced medium tank Object 430

Object 430 medium tank 1957 release, was intended to replace the T-54/55, chief designer of the project was Alexander Alexandrovich Morozov. Originally this tank was supposed to receive the designation T-64, due to a slight superiority over the T-54/55, and given the number and co-ordination of the production of T-54/55, the Object 430 on the arms was not adopted. Further the Object 430 was the basis for the Object 432, the weapons, the Object 432 was adopted under the designation T-64.

Tsar Nicholas II, Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias (1868 - 1918)

“What am I going to do? What is going to happen to me, to you, to Alix, to Mother, to all Russia?“

Nikolai Aleksandrovich Romanov was born on May 6, 1868, in the Alexander Palace in Tsarskoye Selo, south of St. Petersburg. He was the eldest son of his parents, Alexander Alexandrovich, the heir to the Russian throne, and Princess Dagmar of Denmark. Nicolas’s grandfather was the Tsar, Alexander II, known as the Liberator for emancipating Russia’s serfs in 1863. Their family, the Romanov dynasty, had ruled Russia for three hundred years. Nicholas would be the last emperor.

Unlike his soft-hearted, liberal grandfather, Nicholas’s father was a reactionary, whose conservative and religious values strongly influenced Nicholas’s beliefs. In 1891, Nicholas’s father acceded to the throne when Alexander II was murdered by an anarchist revolutionary. This murder convinced both Alexander III, and his son, against offering further reforms. Yet Nicholas’s education did not prepare him at all for his future role as Russian emperor.

Although he had a close relationship with his mother, Nicholas’s father believed his son to be silly and weak. Tsar Alexander III was a very strong ruler and saw no need to share a job with his uninterested heir. He refused to let him participate in any affairs of state; once, when Nicholas was twenty-five, a minister suggested that he be allowed to head a committee to supervise the completion of the Trans-Siberian Railway. Alexander III was incredulous. “Have you ever tried to discuss anything of consequence with him?” asked the Tsar about his son and heir. “He is still absolutely a child; he has only infantile judgements. How would he be able to become president of a committee?”

The Romanov family in 1893. From left to right: Tsarevich Nicholas, Grand Duke George, Empress Maria Feodorovna (Princess Dagmar of Denmark), Grand Duchess Olga, Grand Duchess Xenia, Grand Duke Michael, Tsar Alexander III seated.

In neither his education nor his temperament did Nicholas show much aptitude to be emperor. He enjoyed foreign languages and history, but struggled with economics and politics. In general he preferred sport to books, when older he delighted in the military and served for a year when he was nine-teen. In 1894 he married Princess Alexandra of Hesse-Darmstadt, a German noble, with whom he had four daughters and a son, Alexei. Alexandra was an assertive woman whose personality dominated the weaker Nicholas, and she strongly reinforced his belief in autocratic rule and his resistance to democratic reforms. In contrast to his political life, Nicholas’s home life was serene. He was a wonderful family man, a devout Orthodox Christian, and devoted to his wife and children.

The same year that he married, Nicholas became the Tsar when his father died of kidney disease. The newly-crowned emperor had not expected to be thrust into the role so soon, and he panicked about running the vast Russian empire all by himself. It was the moment, he wrote, that he “had dreaded all his life.” He confessed his fears to a cousin: “Sandro, what am I going to do? What is going to happen to me, to you, to Alix, to Mother, to all Russia? I am not prepared to be Tsar. I never wanted to become one. I know nothing of the business of ruling. I have no idea of even how to talk to ministers.”

Nicholas determined to uphold the status quo as Tsar, but unfortunately evens abroad and at home forced his hand. Hoping not to be left out of the imperial scramble, Russia grew its industry in the Far East, and forced concessions from China in Manchuria. Yet Russian’s expansion provoked the Japanese, who attacked Russia’s eastern border in 1904, beginning the Russo-Japanese War. Europeans were convinced that the white Russians would easily triumph over the “yellow” Japanese, but the Japanese embarked on a series of victories ending in the total destruction of the Russian fleet at the Battle of Tshushima in 1905.

Nicholas and Alix’s engagement photo, 1894.

The defeat was a stunning humiliation for Russian prestige. At home it sparked outrage and crisis that turned to strikes and riots. In January 1905, Russian troops opened fire on demonstrators in front of the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, killing many. Outrage turned to outright revolution, and eventually the Tsar was forced to grant concessions in a constitution, as well as establish an elected parliament, the Duma.

Despite some elements of democratic reform, Nicholas tightened his autocratic rule. Secret police crushed revolutionary elements in the cities, and voting laws prevented the election of radicals. A travel guide for foreigners published in 1914 warned against taking photos in rail stations - offenders would be arrested.

The Tsar’s most pressing crisis, however, was at home. His son and heir, the Tsarevich Alexei, had hemophilia, the scourge of interbred European royal families. Nicholas and Alexandra despaired for their child and sought any means to help him. They turned to an unlikely source, a disheveled mysticfrom Siberia named Grigori Rasputin. Rasputin’s monasticism belied his true character, that of a debauched womanizer and con-man. Russian noble society despised him, but Alexandra especially confided in him, and Rasputin strengthened her belief in Nicholas’s divine right to rule. His influence steadily eroded the trust Russian people felt for their Tsar.

Nicholas (left) with his cousin King George V of England. They are wearing German military uniforms while on a visit to Berlin. Despite their likeness, George refused to help Nicholas or offer him asylum during the Russian Revolution, fearing that he might be toppled as well.

Nicholas’s failing popularity received a boost in 1914, when Russia went to war against Germany and Austria. Although Nicholas was close to his cousin, the Kaiser (they wrote to each other as “Nicky” and “Willy”), Russians enlisted en masse and displayed loyalty and love for their royal family. Yet endless failures at the front burst newfound support for the Tsar, especially when Nicholas took over from his cousin as supreme commander in 1915, a position in which he demonstrated no talent. The unending string of military disaster was now firmly pinned on him. Worse, economic deprivations at home soon turned into crisis. Russia was deeply in debt and many were starving. Approval of the royal family soured; they were thought to be living in luxury while ordinary Russians died at the front or starved at home.

In March 1917 (February of the old Russian calendar), demonstrations in St. Petersburg (now Petrograd) again turned to revolution. This time, Nicholas had no army to turn to - the military was in a state of collapse, with many soldiers deserting to go back home and take part in the revolution. Helpless, Nicholas abdicated on March 15, 1917. He hoped to go to England for asylum, but the British government (fearing he might provoke the British left) refused his request. Five hundred years of Russian Tsardom ended with NIcholas.

A shaky liberal-socialist Provisional Government was set up to replace the monarchy, but the war continued to go badly. Nicholas went into house arrest in the Urals with his family. His situation worsened in the fall of 1917, when a radical communist party, the Bolsheviks, ousted the Provisional Government. Civil war began in Russia between the Bolshevik “Reds” and the “Whites”, a complex mix of warlords and political parties who opposed the Bolsheviks.

The Russian royals played no role in the Civil War, but the Bolsheviks feared that the Tsar and his family could become a symbol for the White armies to rally around. Nicholas, Alexandra, and their children were transported to a house in Yekaterinburg for safe-keeping, but in the summer of 1918 the war was going poorly for the Reds and the Czech Legion, a unit of the White army, was rapidly advancing towards Yekaterinburg.

Nicholas in captivity at Tsarskoye Selo. This is one of the last photos taken in his life.

On the night of July 16-17, as the Czechs neared, Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin ordered the execution of the royal family. What actually happened is still shrouded in some state secrecy, but what is known is that a truckload of local Bolsheviks and foreign soldiers entered the house and ordered the ex-Tsar and his family to the basement. The Empress asked for chairs for her and thirteen-year-old Alexei to sit upon. The Red commander brought in two chairs, and then informed the stunned Tsar that he had been condemned to death. “What? What?” asked the Tsar. The executioners brought out revolvers and began shooting the family. The four daughters, between twenty-two and seven-teen years old, had been hiding some of their jewels in their clothes which deflected the bullets. The Bolshevik shooters stabbed them with bayonets and shot them in their heads, and stabbed to death their maid, who had shielded herself with a pillow full of jewels.

The executioners burnt, dismembered, and buried the bodies. In 1976 a team of investigators found their grave, but did not release the information until the collapse of the Soviet Union. Rumors had long abounded that one of the daughters, seven-teen year-old Anastasia, had survived and escaped the massacre, which were put to rest. In 2000 the Russian Orthodox Church canonized the family as saints; today the place where they were buried is the site of a church.

Princess Zenaida Youssoupoff (back turned to camera), Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich, Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich (Sandro), Grand Duchess Olga, and likely Grand Duchess Xenia seated next to her. Koriez 1905

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Grand Duke Alexander Alexandrovich of Russia (7 June 1869 - 2 May 1870) was the infant son of Emperor Alexander III – the heir apparent, styled Tsesarevich, to the Russian throne as the eldest living son of Emperor Alexander II – and his consort, Marie Feodorovna of Russia. He was Alexander and Marie’s second child, second son, and the younger brother of the future Emperor Nicholas II.

Alexander tragically died of meningitis in 1870, one month before his first birthday. “The doctors maintain he did not suffer, but we suffered terribly to see and hear him,” the baby’s grieving mother wrote to her own mother, Queen Louise of Denmark.

His parents had him posthumously photographed and sketched to remember him, therefore it is likely that the photograph above, of Grand Duke Alexander in his coffin surrounded by flowers, is the only existing photograph. It appears that little Alexander had a great facial resemblance to his youngest brother, Michael, as a toddler.

Happy 23rd birthday to Alexander “Alex” Alexandrovich Galchenyuk aka Chucky. Hope you have a great one.

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Alexander Alexandrovich Kiselev - Summer Landscape [1895] by Gandalf
Via Flickr:
By the 1890s, Kiselev (1837 - 1911) was immensely popular with collectors from Moscow, St Petersburg and Odessa. His patrons also included Grand Duke Georgy Mikhailovich, who bought another work from this year, Along the River Terek. The present work is characteristically dated to the day, and shares the same bright palette and fresh greens of other landscapes from this period, Village on the Riverbank (1893, Zaporozhye Art Museum) and Senokos (1894, Sochi Art Museum).

[Sotheby’s, London - Oil on canvas, 25.5 x 43.5 cm]

  • Brendan: wait wait I thought your name was Sasha??
  • Alex: no let's not get into this right now...
  • Brendan: doesn't Alex mean Sasha??
  • Alex: In Russian yeah- but that's a different conversation
  • Brendan: Sasha Alexandrovich Galchenyuk?
  • Alex: ye-no no Alexander Alexandrovich Galchenyuk
  • Brendan: oh okay okay
  • Alex: Brendavich would sound cool
  • Brendan: Brendavich would yeah
  • Alex: Brendan Galchenyuk...yeah I mean maybe we'll become better friends in a couple years and I would consider that.
  • Brendan: cool.
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On this day, 17 February 1905, the assassination of Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich, general-governor of Moscow, was committed in the Kremlin by the member of the Combat Organization of the Social-Revolutionary Party  Ivan Kalyayev. 

Grand Duke, son of Alexander II and uncle of Nicholas II, had a bad reputation and was known for his strong conservative position and antisemitism. Also he was accused of the tragedy on Khodynka because he was responsible for its organization in 1896. 

The bomb was thrown to the carriage with Grand Duke and tore his body to pieces. Kalyayev was arrested at the scene because he was in a daze and had no strength to escape. The last photo showed him after the assassination. Later Kalyayev was hanged. 

Among his comrades Kalyayev was known for his idealistic nature and romantic poetry. His figure inspired many authors - Alexander Block, Leonid Andreyev (The governor), Zinaida Gippius, Maxim Gorky, Albert Camus (The righteous) and so on. Also there is a book of his comrade, revolutionary Boris Savinkov,“The pale horse” based on this story. Savinkov described there a psychological portrait of Kalyayev and the book contains a lot of interesting material about revolutionary activity of that time.

English, Russian, Danish and Greek royalty, ca. 1888

Back row: Princess Marie of Denmark; Princess Louise of Denmark; Crown Prince Frederick and Crown Princess Louise of Denmark; Prince Maximilian of Baden; Princess Marie of Greece; Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna of Russia; Prince Albert Victor of Wales; Crown Prince Constantine of Greece; Princess Victoria of Wales; Tsarevich Nicholas Alexandrovich of Russia; Princess Alexandra of Greece; Prince Nicholas of Greece; Grand Duke George Alexandrovich of Russia.

Front row: Princess Ingeborg and Princess Thyra of Denmark; Albert Edward Prince of Wales; Alexandra Princess of Wales; Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna, Empress Maria Feodorovna and Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich of Russia; Queen Louise of Denmark; Tsar Alexander III of Russia; Princess Maud of Wales; King Christian of Denmark.

flickr

Alexander Alexandrovich Kiselev - Summer Landscape 3c fl [1895] - Sotheby’s by Peter

Alexander Alexandrovich Kiselev, 1837-1911, was a Russian landscape painter.