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.

Gregori Potemkin – II

Lead: In 1787 Russian Field Marshall Grigori Potemkin, organized a tour of southern Russia for his former lover Catherine the Great. It was among the most lavish royal tours in Russian history.               

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts. 

Content: Girgori Potemkin was a young ambitious military officer when he took part in the palace coup that deposed Peter III, the estranged husband of Catherine the Great. As a reward for his skill and loyalty, Catherine made Potemkin a member of her court. He became infatuated with her. In 1768, when the first war with Turkey broke out, Potemkin returned to the military and served in the cavalry, rising to the rank of major general. For his distinguished service at the end of the war, Catherine made Potemkin a count and the two began a two-year affair. She said of him, “He is one of the greatest, most bizarre, and most entertaining eccentrics of this iron age." Even after their romantic liaison ended, Potemkin remained one of Catherine's most powerful, capable and influential advisors. When Catherine annexed the Crimea thus expanding  Russia's borders on the Black Sea, Potemkin served as governor of the new province and developed its infrastructure. Anxious to demonstrate his expertise, Potemkin organized a visit by the Empress to the Crimea in 1787.

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Gregori Potemkin – Part I

Lead: In 1762, Grigori Potemkin, and ambitious young officer, secured his political and affectional future leading the coup that overthrew unpopular Czar Peter III in favor of his wife. She became Catherine the Great Grigory became her lover.               

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts. 

Content: Grigori was born in 1739, studied at the University of Moscow and entered the military as quartermaster of horse guards. Catherine, ten years his senior was the daughter of a minor German prince married at age sixteen to Peter, heir to the Russian throne. Catherine on the other hand was ambitious, determined and bright and had acquired a brilliant education as young woman. By the time her husband ascended to the throne as Peter III in early 1762, Catherine disliked her husband intensely. He may have borne the name of his grandfather Peter the Great, but that is where the comparison ended. He was regarded as weak and incompetent and much of the court shared Czarina’s disdain for her husband. A mere six months after the coronation he was deposed in a palace coup d’etat and a short time later the Czar “died in an accident.” Actually he was murdered while in the custody of one of the conspirators. Power was handed to Catherine who ascended the throne with the support of her lover and chief schemer, Grigori Orlov.

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Beria (Russia) III

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 (Russia) II

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 (Russia) I

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.

Spy Satellites

Lead: It was mid-August 1960. In a White House ceremony, President Dwight D. Eisenhower displayed a United States flag that been recovered from an environmental satellite orbiting the earth. He wasn’t exactly telling the whole truth.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Actually, the flag had been carried into orbit aboard Discoverer XIII and was returned to earth in an ejected capsule which was then recovered from its splash down point northwest of Hawaii by a Navy taskforce. It was the first time an object had been catapulted into earth orbit and brought back without mishap, but this exercise was far more than patriotic chauvinism. The Discoverer program was a ruse, a clever cover-up for a secret reconnaissance operation known as Corona.

John Paul Jones in Russia

Lead: After the Revolution the United States greatest war hero, John Paul Jones was out of a job.

Intro.: "A Moment in Time" with Dan Roberts.

Content: In the euphoria following the defeat of British forces in the Revolution, Congress declined to maintain a navy and the officers who served in the wartime navy were out of work. Among them was John Paul Jones the most prominent naval commander in the War for Independence, who distinquished himself even as he lost his ship, the "Bonhomme Richard" in the fight with the British cruiser, "Serapis" in September, 1779. Jones carried the fight and captured the enemy vessel off the coast of northeast England.

 

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