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Travel Pictures - RUSSIA - 1991

All images Ron Miller

          I entered the Soviet Union only days before the August Coup, a pivotal
     time that helped to illuminate the dynamics which determine whether a
     society will be governed by democracy or tyranny. At the time, the Soviet
     tourist infrastructure was quite lacking and travel within the various republics
     sometimes seemed more like an adventure than a holiday - especially when
     having to rely on Soviet tourism employees. After all, communism created
     skilled workers - skilled at avoiding work.

Photo of St. Isaac's Cathedral when the city was named Leningrad. St. Isaac's Cathedral was built between 1818 and 1858 and
was dedicated to Saint Isaac of Dalmatia, a patron saint of Peter the Great. Under the Soviet government, the building was initially
abandoned and later converted  into a museum for atheism! The cathedral is perhaps taller than it appears, as it towers 330 feet
above St. Isaac's Square (the equestrian monument to Nicholas I is in the foreground). The golden dome is covered with 220
pounds of gold. During World War II, the dome was painted over in gray to avoid attracting attention from enemy aircraft -
Leningrad (St. Petersburg), Russia

While waiting for the hydrofoil (approaching rapidly in the background) to Petrodvorets, I met Svetlana,
a young lady from Moscow (L to R, Me, Svetlana, Kay) -
Leningrad (St. Petersburg), Russia

Svetlana standing in front of one of the city's many canals. Founded by Tsar Peter I of Russia in 1703, St. Petersburg was the capital
of the Russian Empire for more than two hundred years (1713-1728 and 1732-1918). The city ceased being the capital in 1918 after
the Russian Revolution of 1917. St. Petersburg has held two other names, Petrograd (1914-1924), and Leningrad (1924-1991) -
Leningrad (St. Petersburg), Russia

St. Petersburg's main street, Nevsky Prospect, as pictured from the Intourist bus. Notice the large gathering
of Soviet citizens (at left) who, because of shortages of almost all products, were forced to wait
in long lines just for the opportunity to purchase the essentials -
Leningrad (St. Petersburg), Russia

My personal guide Yelena posing in Red Square just before the Gang of Eight's attempted coup to reinstate hard-line communism -
Moscow, Russia

St. Basil's Cathedral, constructed in the 1561, was named for Basil the Blessed, a popular Russian Orthodox saint.
The cathedral's Russian-Byzantine architecture is perhaps symbolic of Russia's unique position sandwiched between
Europe and Asia. Contrary to popular legend, the architect(s) were not blinded following the cathedrals construction.
However, Stalin is said to have wanted the structure razed to provide more room for his military parades! -
Moscow, Russia

Moscow, Olympic stadium, and the Moscow River (and hydrofoil) from the top of the ski jump -
Moscow, Russia

Moscow vista with three of the Seven Sisters dominating the horizon -
Moscow, Russia

Moscow University and perhaps the most beautiful of the Gothic "Seven Sisters" that were constructed during Stalin's regime -
Moscow, Russia

Yelena inside the Kremlin at Ivan the Great Bell Tower -
Moscow, Russia

Another photo of Yelena smiling innocently at the Kremlin just hours before the dynamic events of the August Coup -
Moscow, Russia

One of the results of glasnost (government openness) and perestroika (economic restructuring) was the
natural formation and growth of outdoor markets such as this bazaar adjacent to a metro entrance -
 Moscow, Russia
These wide and uncrowded (and somewhat unkempt) boulevards were typical of Moscow's suburbs in 1991 -
Moscow, Russia
More Russia Pictures - 2001
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All images Ron Miller
For authorized use of these photos, please contact Ron Miller at TheHappyCannibal@gmail.com