Lenin speaking to red army troops leaving for the front. Moscow, 1920. Viacheslav Peregudov / mediadrumimages.com

By Mark McConville

 

THE GRITTY reality of the Russian Revolution in the early 20th century has been brought to light thanks to a series of expertly colourised images.

Red army soldiers 1919.
Viacheslav Peregudov / mediadrumimages.com

 

Striking pictures show Vladimir Lenin disguised as factory worker KP Ivanov at Razliz station in August 1917, Lenin with Joseph Stalin in 1922 and revolutionaries and women and former members of the Russian Army holding up a plaque that states ‘The tyranny has collapsed and the chains are broken’.

Emperor Nicholas II visits the Army. 1916.
Viacheslav Peregudov / mediadrumimages.com

 

Other stunning colour shots show the last Tsar of Russia, Nicholas II with his family and visiting the army in 1916, the Tsar family executor Jakob Jurovsky and the February revolution taking place in 1917.

February revolution in Russia 1917.
Viacheslav Peregudov / mediadrumimages.com

 

The original black and white photographs were painstakingly colourised by artist Viacheslav Peregudov (51), from Irkutsk, Russia.

2nd Anniversary of October revolution. Moscow 1920.
Viacheslav Peregudov / mediadrumimages.com

 

“The crowds were intoxicated by freedom soldiers mixed with civilians,” he said.

Nikolay Marshalk with brother and wife Vera. Civil war in Russia White guard 1919.
Viacheslav Peregudov / mediadrumimages.com

 

“The first was the February revolution, which screamed in the squares about equality and brotherhood, followed by the Bolshevik revolution, the civil war.

Revolutionary women and former members of the Russian Army hold up a plaque reading ‘The tyranny has collapsed and the chains are broken’. The funeral of february revolution victims. St Petersburg (Petrograd ) March 1917.
Viacheslav Peregudov / mediadrumimages.com

 

“And you’re looking for the point where the giant Empire began its descent to the edge of the abyss.

Guard soldiers from the Kexholm regiment guarding the Central telegraph. Petrograd 1917.
Viacheslav Peregudov / mediadrumimages.com

 

“One of the greatest dreams of any person in the world is a time machine. And the greatest regret of any person is that it is impossible to produce this machine in our world.

Boris Savinkov 1917.
Viacheslav Peregudov / mediadrumimages.com

 

“Not in our time at least but who knows; maybe in 100 years. For now we can do it just in our imagination.

Nikolas II with son.
Viacheslav Peregudov / mediadrumimages.com

 

“I would say my time machine works on a fuel of imagination and the real colour of the past which is a channel of reality that has been ignored for many years due to black and white images.”

Lenin disguised as worker Ivanov 1917.
Viacheslav Peregudov / mediadrumimages.com

 

The Russian Revolution was a pair of revolutions in Russia in 1917 which dismantled the Tsarist autocracy and led to the rise of the Soviet Union. The Russian Empire collapsed with the abdication of Emperor Nicholas II and the old regime was replaced by a provisional government during the first revolution of February 1917.

Women of Death batallion 1917. Viacheslav Peregudov / mediadrumimages.com

 

In the October Revolution the Bolsheviks led an armed insurrection by workers and soldiers in Petrograd that successfully overthrew the Provisional Government, transferring all its authority to the soviets with the capital being relocated to Moscow shortly thereafter.

Funeral of Junkers 1919. Vladivostok.
Viacheslav Peregudov / mediadrumimages.com

 

Soon after, civil war erupted among the “Reds” (Bolsheviks), the “Whites” (counter-revolutionaries), the independence movements and the non-Bolshevik socialists. It continued for several years, during which the Bolsheviks defeated both the Whites and all rival socialists and thereafter reconstituted themselves as the Communist Party. In this way, the Revolution paved the way for the creation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in 1922.

Agitpoezd ( agitation train) “October revolution” guard 1919.
Viacheslav Peregudov / mediadrumimages.com

 

Viacheslav began to colourise old photographs around five years ago and was quickly drawn to images of Russia in the early 20th Century.

Sergei Vitte – Prime Minister of Imperial Russia 1905.
Viacheslav Peregudov / mediadrumimages.com

 

“When I started my project, History of Russia in the beginning of XX Century in Colour, it was just a few historical photos,” he added.

Barricades on Petrograd 1917.
Viacheslav Peregudov / mediadrumimages.com

 

“I didn’t do it for money but just my private pleasure and today it is a collection of more than 50 colourised photos that were shot in the period from 1898 to 1935.

Rasputin.
Viacheslav Peregudov / mediadrumimages.com

 

“Sometimes I do colourisation for other photographs but I always return to Russia in the early 1900s.”

Nikolay Romanov with his son Alexay in exile. Tobolsk 1918.
Viacheslav Peregudov / mediadrumimages.com

 

 

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