The Cossacks- Part II

Lead: In the late sixteenth century, the Cossacks, fierce warriors in service to the Czar of Russia, moved from their traditional homes in the Ukraine and began the occupation and conquest of Siberia.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The Cossacks settled in southern Russia and the Ukraine beginning in the late 15th century. Cossacks, fierce fighters and skilled horsemen, were nomads, escaped serfs and outlaws many of whom were of Slavic origin. The Cossacks lived in independent settlements and were given virtual autonomy in exchange for protecting the Russian frontier. The largest group of Cossacks, those living on the lower Don River, known as the Don Cossacks, in 1581, under the leadership of Yermak Timofeyevich, crossed the Ural Mountains and wrested control of the small Tartar khanate, “Sibir” – hence the name Siberia, which means “sleeping land.”

 

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The Cossacks Part I

Lead: In the late 1500s Russia expanded into the vast and often desolate region of Siberia. Leading the way was a band of fiercely independent military cavalry warriors called the Cossacks.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Cosssack is a derivative of the Turkic word” kazak,” which means “adventurer” or “free man.” Cossacks were escaped serfs, religious refugees, nomads and outlaws drawn together by their common estrangement in present day southern Ukraine and the steppes of western Russia.

 

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Beria III (Russia)

Lead: After clawing his way to the top of the ailing Joseph Stalin's pyramid of bureaucratic terror, Lavrentiy Beria seemed set to succeed the maximum leader.

Intro. A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In 1938 Stalin brought him to Moscow after Beria had distinguished himself as the bloody enforcer of the Great Purges in Georgia and other southern Soviet provinces near the Caucasus Mountains. He became assistant to Nikolai Yezhov, the head of the NKVD, in the waning days of the purge, and after Yezhov's fall from power and execution, Beria took his place. He became a candidate member of the Politburo and during World War II he sat on the five-member State Defense Committee, which, with Stalin, directed the war effort. Beria was responsible for internal security as well as foreign intelligence operations and the network of forced labor camps he ruled, the Gulag Archipelago, turned out much of the raw material for the Soviet war industry.

Beria II (Russia)

Lead: Of the henchmen of Joseph Stalin, none struck fear in the hearts of Russians quite like Lavrentiy Pavlovich Beria.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Born of Georgian peasant stock in 1899, Beria became a Marxist sympathizer while attending technical college in Azerbaijan. At the fall of the Russian monarchy, Beria dropped out of school to join the Army, apparently to spread Communist ideas and help undermine morale. When the Bolsheviks overthrew the Provisional government in the October Revolution, Beria returned home to finish his studies but was soon caught up in his party's counterintelligence service, the All-Russian Extraordinary Commission for Combating Counterrevolution and Sabotage, or CHEKA.

Beria I (Russia)

Lead: In a history punctuated by rulers noted for their villainy, Russia produced few leaders as efficiently cruel or as feared as Stalin's exterminator, Lavrentiy Pavlovich Beria.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In his long rule over the Soviet Union Joseph Stalin acquired a reputation for ruthlessness and near barbarity in the pursuit and maintenance of his power, yet it was some of his henchmen, anxious to do his bidding and please him, who brought a whole new dimension to the practice of state sponsored terrorism.

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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