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12 Fascinating Colourised Photographs from Russian History

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Enthusiasts have colourised Russian photographs taken between 1850-1955. The collection features different eras, people, and social classes, and provides a fascinating view of Russian life in the early 20th Century.

The laborious process often involves removing scratches and other defects from photographs, as well as adding realistic tones to make the images appear realistic and not over-processed. Here we list 15 of our favourites.

12. Vladimir Lenin (1920)

Lenin | Ленин
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Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, alias Lenin, was a Russian communist revolutionary, politician, and political theorist.

11. Mikhail Bulgakov (circa 1925)

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klimbim

Mikhaíl Afanasyevich Bulgakov was a Russian writer and playwright active in the first half of the 20th Century. He is best known for his novel The Master and Margarita, which has been called one of the masterpieces of the 20th Century.

10. Vera Kholodnaya (1918)

Вера Холодная
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Vera Vasilyevna Kholodnaya was the first star of Russian silent cinema. Only five of her films still exist and the total number she acted in is unknown, with speculation ranging between fifty and one hundred.

9. Victory Day in Moscow (1945)

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klimbim

Victory Day commemorates the the capitulation of Nazi Germany to the Soviet Union at the end of the Great Patriotic War (known as World War II elsewhere). It was first celebrated in the evening of 8 May 1945 and continues to be celebrated each year.

8. Admiral Nikolai Luin (1942)

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klimbim

Nikolai Luin was an Admiral of the Soviet Navy during World War II. The son of a soldier, Lunin went on to study at Rostov-on-Don maritime college before joining the merchant marines. Then joined the Soviet Navy in 1935 and worked his way up to the rank of Admiral by 1943 after several successful missions.

7. Grand Duchesses Olga and Tatiana Romanov (circa 1905)

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klimbim

Olga and Tatiana Romanov were duchesses in the last Royal Family of Russia. Born on 15 November, 1895, Olga was the eldest daughter of Tsar Nicholas II. Born on the 10 June, 1897, Tatiana was the second daughter of Tsar Nicolas II. Both died in their early 20’s during July of 1918 and were not buried until July 17, 1998.

6. Grigora Rasputin (1916)

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klimbim

Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin was a Russian peasant, mystical faith healer, and trusted friend of the family of Nicholas II, the last Tsar of Russia.

5. Imam Shamil (1859)

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Imam Shamil was an Avar political and religious leader of the Muslim tribes of the Northern Caucasus (present-day Dagestan, Russia). He was a leader of anti-Russian resistance during the Caucasian War.

4. Anna Pavlova (circa 1915)

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klimbim

Anna Pavlova was a Russian prima ballerina of the late 19th and the early 20th centuries. She was a principal artist of the Imperial Russian Ballet and the Ballets Russes of Sergei Diaghilev.

3. Soviet Traffic Guard, Berlin (1945)

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After World War II had come to an end, Germany was divided between Soviet and Allied control. This is a picture of an unknown woman traffic guard directing traffic in 1945, just after the end of the War.

2. 7th Regiment of Chasseurs (1915)

kilmlim/Daily Mirror
kilmlim/Daily Mirror

This photograph was taken by British photographer George H. Mewes during his time serving for the Russian Imperial Army. As well as making a photographic record of the army’s fortunes, he also wrote a series of articles which were syndicated around the world. As the only western journalist present at the siege of Warsaw, his description of the fall of the city is regarded as a fine example of early 20th Century journalism.

1. Russian Nurse (circa 1914)

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klimbim

Also known as the Sister of Charity, this photograph shows an unknown Russian nurse attending to patients during the First World War.

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