Flower crisis, floating dachas, wine shortages and Easter in the Kremlin

A pope blesses the traditional Easter meal in a military academy in St. Petersburg. Source: UllsteinBild / Vostock-Photo

A pope blesses the traditional Easter meal in a military academy in St. Petersburg. Source: UllsteinBild / Vostock-Photo

RBTH turns the clock back a century and shines a light on the now-forgotten stories being reported on the inside pages of Russian newspapers in 1915 and the events and processes occupying the minds of the Russians of the age. Travel back in time with us week by week for a sense of what life was like in the twilight days of the Russian Empire.

Lack of vegetables and plants in the markets

Early Easter, with its snowy cover, has created almost a total lack of vegetables and flowers in the markets of the capital. There are of course small quantities of spinach and cucumbers. Bundles of quickly matured radish with 8-10 small heads cost fifty kopeks apiece, while cauliflower cannot be found at all. Pots of hyacinths and narcissus, which have been greatly damaged by the cold wind, can be found here and there. The saddest of all are the cut greenhouse flowers being held by poor women and children, stiffened from the cold.

Petrogradsky Listok, April 6, 1915


Floating dachas for wounded soldiers

Kiev Region Railways is organizing floating dachas for wounded soldiers. For this purpose 70 barges will be adapted and fully equipped with all comforts. The barges will have libraries, halls for walks, dispensaries, etc. Towed by steamboats, the vessels will navigate the most beautiful parts of the Dniepr and its tributaries and make long stops at the healthiest and most picturesque places.

Russkoe Slovo, April 7, 1915  


Easter night

Despite the cold weather the Kremlin was overflowing with people on Easter night. By midnight endless processions of carriages had already passed through the Resurrection Gates. Pedestrians were not admitted through the gates and had to use another entrance. A huge crowd filled the Kremlin. People selling fireworks and sparklers are circulating all around. Despite this being forbidden, the young are buying rockets and preparing to light them after the first toll of the bell.

Moskovskaya Kopeika, April 7, 1915


Around Moscow

 Officially, sobriety still thrives in Moscow, but unofficially there is not a home without a substantial reserve of drink. And those few Muscovites who spent Christmas without wine, having become wise from the bitter experience, began to stock up long before Easter. In fact, this was not so difficult: Middlemen enter houses and ask directly: "What and how much?" And the order is carried out that same day, with "blessed" prices.

Stolichnaya Moskva, April 8, 1915


Exchange of captive doctors

The mayor has received information from the Red Cross that an agreement has been reached with the Austrian government on the exchange of captive military doctors. It was not possible to reach the same agreement with Germany, though. However, the German government is freeing nurses.

Moskovsky Listok, April 10, 1915


A new union

A group of Moscow public figures and representatives of the British colony in Moscow have presented a draft of the Anglo-Russian Union charter to the Ministry of Interior. The union's aim is to assist the economic and cultural convergence between Russia and Britain. To realize this mission the union intends to organize exhibitions, lectures, museums, open an information bureau, carry out intermediary services between the countries, and publish books and newspapers. The idea had the ministry's full sympathy.

Kievskaya Mysl, April 12, 1915


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