Stalin Gets His Man (Trotsky)

Lead: Joseph Stalin had had enough. The heavy hand of the Russian dictator reached out across 10,000 miles and struck his old enemy.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: After ridding himself of most of the old Bolsheviks in a series of show trials, Stalin determined to eliminate his greatest rival for power one who was not even in Russia, Leon Trotsky. Trotsky was the creator of the Red Army, had been present at the beginning of the Revolution and was a charismatic leader but was no political infighter. Stalin, from his position as Party Chairman working behind the scenes, by early 1928 had so packed the Soviet Politburo that he was able to deport Trotsky first to Siberia and eventually to Mexico.

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Anna Larina Bukharin

Lead: As a teenager Anna Larina fell deeply in love with Nicholai Ivanovich Bukharin, a hero of the Russian Revolution, a man twenty-six years her elder. She shared his fate at the hands of Joseph Stalin.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: As a girl, Larina met most of the old Bolsheviks. Her father, Yuri was one of the inner circle and often in the 1920s Lenin or Stalin would dine in their apartment in the Metropole Hotel in Moscow. Bukharin lived just upstairs and soon her crush on him became evident to all around them. Once she wrote a love letter and slipped up the stairs to put it under his door. On the way she nearly ran into Stalin who was headed that way. She gave him the note to deliver. The irony of one of the twentieth century's great butchers passing romantic notes for a love-sick teenager is inescapable.

Ivan the Terrible

Lead: Few figures in Russia's vast and interesting history have elicited the same degree of fear as has Ivan the Terrible or more precisely Ivan the Awesome.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: With that fascinating combination of religious devotion and personal cruelty, Czar Ivan was a contemporary of Elizabeth the First of England. Ivan began his reign as a three year old at the death of his father and only slowly was able to wrest authority from the nobles who ruled in his name. His first attempt at independent action set the tone of his long and infamous career. At the age of thirteen Ivan ordered the arrest of one of leaders of the faction that were struggling for power at court. Prince Andrey Shuysky was then brutally murdered by the keeper of Ivan's dogs. He once had the tongue cut from the mouth of an impertinent nobleman who dared to criticize him.

 

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Kim Philby, Spying for the Other Side II

Lead: As a student at Cambridge in the 1930s, Kim Philby was infused with an intellectual, emotional and life-long commitment to communism. That made him a willing recruit into the ranks of the Soviet espionage service.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Philby and his friends, Donald MacLean, Guy Burgess and Anthony Blunt were true believers. Philby’s career was perhaps the most exotic. At the instruction of his Soviet handlers, after his University years, he began to tack in a rightward direction in conversation, beliefs and political connections. This was to disguise and make possible his recruitment into British intelligence. His stint as a pro-Franco journalist covering the Spanish Civil War led through Burgess to his enrollment in the ranks of first MI5 then the sabotage and subversion division of MI6.

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Kim Philby, Spying for the Other Side I

Lead: Polished and elegant, with upper-class education and heritage, Kim Philby in the 1940s rose in the ranks of British intelligence. He was, however, spying for the other side.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Harold Adrian Russell Philby grew up in India. Early on his father, a fixture in the British Civil Service there gave him the name Kim, after a Rudyard Kipling character. While studying at Trinity College, Cambridge in the mid-1930s, Philby came under the influence of Professor Maurice Dodd. His mentor reinforced in the boy a powerful trend among intellectuals in that decade. Many of them looked at the socialist experiment in the Soviet Union and believed they had discovered the future, a system that would transform mankind for the better. Ignoring the corrupt, inefficient, brutal and oppressive character of Stalinism, they became quiet, and sometimes not so quiet, champions of communism. Kim Philby became a life-long true believer.

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Kalashnikov Semi-Automatic Rifle II

Lead: Originally designed to help the Soviet army best the Germans in World War II, the AK-47 has become the weapon of choice for insurgent forces world-wide.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: An automatic weapon, in particular the AK-47, has a relatively simple operating mechanism. When a firing pin hits the cartridge primer, the exploding gunpowder creates a wave of gas which propels the bullet out of the barrel at enormous speed. Caught between the bullet and the cartridge, the gas builds up pressure because it has no place to go. Near the muzzle there is a small opening which bleeds off some of the gas into a tube above or below the barrel. The pressure of the gas in the tube pushes the bolt backward, ejecting the spent cartridge and opening the firing chamber to receive a fresh cartridge from the magazine which is pushed upward into the chamber by a spring. As long as the trigger is depressed, the process repeats itself over and over.

Kalashnikov Semi-Automatic Rifle I

Lead: The world’s greatest killing machine, with some 250,000 victims a year, is a Russian invention, the Ak-47, Mr. Kalashnikov’s semi-automatic assault rifle.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: At the high-point of Operation Barbarossa, Adolf Hitler’s ultimately disastrous invasion of Russia that began in 1941, units of the German Army were approaching the outskirts of Moscow. In September they arrived at Bryansk, a city buried in the forest along the Desna River southwest of Moscow. Nazi bombing nearly wiped out the town, killing more than 80,000. Nearly 200,000 were taken into slave camps.

Soviet Coup 1991 IV

Lead: With the world holding its breath, hard-line Communists led by the KGB, in late summer 1991 arrested Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, and tried to take over the government. A man of courage climbed onto an armored vehicle and stopped them dead.

Intro. A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: As Muscovites headed to work on Monday August 19th, they had to deal with troops and tanks lining the streets. The coup leaders who called themselves the Extraordinary Commission had banned all demonstrations, political parties, and newspapers not associated with their movement, but did not have in custody all their opponents. The President of the Russian Republic, Boris Yeltsin, a former ally of Gorbachev who broke with him because his reforms did not go far enough, after initial hesitation, went to the Russian Parliament Building to oppose the coup. Finally, assured that at least some of the military units in the Moscow region would back him, just after noon he climbed onto an armored vehicle, pronounced the coup illegal and unconstitutional, and called for a general strike and for the return of Gorbachev. By the next morning 150,000 Russians stood outside the Parliament Building and several army units had joined the countercoup. By Tuesday evening it was clear that to succeed the Extraordinary Commission would need to use deadly force and this the leaders hesitated to do. That night, a small scuffle between protesters and a tank produced the only three deaths in their attempt to seize power. On Wednesday the coup collapsed. That night Gorbachev was back in Moscow.