Rare and unusual photos from Russian history

The Man

Former Staff
Jul 2011
Homosexuals and crossdressers at a secret club in Soviet Union in 1921 lol

Believe it or not but, during the early years after the 1917 Revolution, the new Soviet government, under Lenin, which, at that time was still positioning itself as a great liberator of the people, actually decriminalized all sorts of things, including "Muzhelozhstvo" ("Laying down with a [fellow] man"), i.e. homosexuality. Unprecedented freedoms were granted for women too, for example, such as voting in elections. It would, actually, not be until 1933, that Stalin would harshly re-criminalize the gays and start throwing them into GULag camps, or executing, etc.

Lenin was far from a peachy guy either. In 1920-21, peasants and others in the Tambov region rebelled against the new government, against the forcible collectivization and seizing of their crops and farmlands

The new Red Army brutally suppressed the rebellion, including with the use of mustard gas and other chemical weapons, on civillians

Thousands and thousands of people died horrible deaths there...

Ironically, general Mikhail Tukhachevsky, who led the crackdowns there, would later himself be executed by Stalin in the Purges of 1937. That's one of the few people from those Purges honestly nobody ever shed a tear for...

Tsarist Russia, before Communism, Chelyabinsk, children working at a tea factory

child labor was commonplace back then, including in heavy industry

A dormitory housing factory workers back then

a lot of peasants went to the cities to work in the factories, they had nowhere else to live and were kept in such barracks.

Workers building a railway somewhere back then

"State school" for peasant children

They were relatively few and far between and majority of lower class people back then were born, lived, and died illiterate...

A lyceum, an elite boarding school for aristocratic children, boys, in this case

It is interesting to note that, while at most peasant schools the teachers were mainly women (aside from those run directly by Church, where priests and monks taught most classes), at the rich lyceums and other high-end schools for the upper crust kids, most staff were men...

Some people sitting on the shore of a river watch "burlaki" pull a boat past them

Before the 1860s, when serfdom, the legalized enslavement of peasants and lower class people in Russia by the aristocrats, was repealed (and also steam engines became more common), the burlaki were the main source of power for the especially commercial shipping on Russia rivers.

Merchants would purchase particularly strong and resilient men, to pull their merchandise up and down the Volga, Don, and other mighty rivers

There were WOMEN burlaki as well, I would not have believed it, yet there are photos of them left behind as well

Russian women were always tough as fucking nails...

A serf peasant with his children

Any offspring of a serf were also the property of his barin, the aristocrat who owned him. A barin could, in fact, sell you and your wife to other noble families, even separately, while keeping your kids for himself. Most weren't that cruel. But plenty were. It was slavery, as real, and as brutal as the black slavery in America, with the whippings, beating, and executions of those who who slack off, those who grew too weak to work on the farm or such due to age or sickness (serfs generally did not live to old years, either died early on their own or were put out of misery, like dogs, after going past their economically useful age...), and, opf course, especially those who tried to rebel.

Anyway, I'll conclude with some nicer pics, back to Soviet era

:D One of the Athletes Parades back then lol

There were men there too, but, if I had to guess, it was the scantily clad females that Stalin and the other old bastards were there for


They could do amazing tricks, put on awesome shows, back then

Where do you think North Korea learned all their mass event shit that they do from? ;)