Soldier Segei’s Sad Story

What had changed in Russia from 1905 – 1939?

The rulers were very different. In 1905, Russia was ruled by a Tsar (Nicholas II), and the power was passed down from generation to generation. The problem during this time was that the classes of citizens were much too separate. The rich and powerful lived in luxury, but the majority of the lower class workers lived in poverty. In between, Lenin was an important government figure and the Soviets, along with the Bolsheviks shared that power. By 1939, the entirety of the power belonged to Joseph Stalin and Stalin alone. Stalin’s rule was by far the harshest. Thousands of people were sent to the Gulag, a horrible prison camp where people were literally worked to death. They were given this punishment for tiny things, even just being ten minutes late to work. Every day, a couple people would be killed for no reason at all. This was known as “Stalin’s Purges”.

What had stayed the same in Russia from 1905 – 1939?

Much of the population, especially the peasants, still lived in poverty. In 1905, it was the wealth divide that was the main problem. It was extremely unfair for the workers, because their hard work produced the food and other necessities the rich simply enjoyed. Changes were made during the 34 years that elapsed, but at the end in 1939, poverty was still a huge problem for Russia. It was arguably even worse, considering the Gulag prison camp where living conditions were considerably more impoverished. There was always a small fraction of wealthy people, but the majority of Russians always lived in squalor.

In 1939, how were Sergei’s and Alexander’s lives the same or different from 1905?

Sergei’s life stayed relatively constant during the 34 years between 1905 to 1939. He was a soldier throughout all those years, and the lives of most soldiers were not affected. In fact, his living conditions were considerably better than the majority of the population.Soldiers weren’t loaded, but they did have enough food to live. However, the story could have ended very differently for him solely based on who he supported. At the start in 1905, Sergei could be loyal to the Tsar like most of the other soldiers and face no consequence. But under Stalin’s rule in 1939, supporting anyone other than the “Man of Steel” himself could very possibly be punishable by being worked to death at the Gulag, or if Sergei was lucky, death.

Photo Citations:

  1. “Russian-Polish Tension: Anger at Bitter Truths.” RT International, RT,

  2. “Soviet Models 1918-1951.” Paradox Interactive Forums,

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