Tags: diplomacy

Russian Old Believers in Turkey (1922)

In his memoir about two years in Turkey in the early 1920s, the Soviet ambassador S. I. Aralov recounted a visit to a village near Kocagöl on the Kuş Lake, where Russian Cossacks had been living in exile since the 18th century. According to Aralov's report, the villagers were eager to "return" to mother Russia, and that wish was eventually granted: "The Soviet government allowed the Cossacks to settle in Kuban. Only a small fraction – the richest peasants – remained in Turkey."

Other chronicles tell this story differently. The Soviet agitators were relentless. They urged the villagers to repatriate and lured them with promises of a good life: autonomy, religious freedom, economic prosperity and respect for Cossack traditions. In 1924, the first group of returnees sailed to Soviet Batumi. Most of them, however, found the agricultural conditions unbearable, so they ran back to Turkey and rejoined their brethren. There still are Russian Cossacks living in the Turkish province.

The courageous (and nostalgic) ex-Turkey Cossacks who stayed in the USSR (and underwent collectivization in 1930) recalled: "On the Kuş Lake we had a good life. We had our fields, we harvested our bread, and we caught our fish. But our souls longed for the ancestral land. Here we live in poverty. We lack bread, and our cows have been expropriated. There is no freedom and you cannot go anywhere without a permit."

[See the excerpt from the memoir in Russian...]

Image: Alexey Makeev.

American Consulate in Shanghai over the years

This is a re-edit of the 4th of July FB post, which led to an interesting discussion with the experts.

At different times, the US Consulate General in Shanghai was located in different buildings. Here is a survey of its locations – some of which remained designs on paper.

This image is a tough one. It either shows the 1889–1901 location on Kiukiang Road, or the 36 Whangpoo Road location used afterwards:

Image source: unknown.

The US Consulate in the "Consulate Row" on the northern bank of the Whangpoo, where it moved in 1911:

Collected by Li Shenkai.

[See more pictures...]
The German Church, two buildings of the German Consulate, the American one, and the Japanese one in the distance:

Francis Stafford, 1911–1915.

There has been some rebuilding, evidently, and the triangular gables on both sides of the facade were removed:

This is the total proposed by the architect R. A. Curry in 1926:

And here is what Elliott Hazzard got the green light for, in 1935. But then – the inflation, Chinese war preparations, quotas on materials, projects downsizing...

1948, in the Development Building:

Jack Birns.

1949, Glen Line Building. Celebrating the 4th no matter what!

Life Magazine.

1980s, at its present site on Middle Huaihai Road:


Russians meting out justice quickly in 1913 Shanghai

Shanghai, 25 August, 1913
Before M. Mulinkin, Esq, Vice-Consul

N. Getz, 108 Yangtzepoo Road, Y. Venissky, 304 Broadway, Rosie Shuchmann, Yalu Road, and S. Brodsky were charged with being undesirable characters and having no visible means of support. After evidence had been adduced, the accused were ordered to pay various fines and to leave the Settlement.


Central Bund in 1913. Image from Views of Shanghai (1913), courtesy of marenzhi