Jacques Dupâquier, a French scientist, historian and member of the Communist Party of France, visited the Soviet Union three times. Below there are photographs that he took in 1956 in Uzbekistan. “Spending several days in Moscow, we flew to Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan. The old propeller planes flew no higher than 3,200 m so we were able to enjoy Central Asia to the full. Tashkent was a large city with an only avenue. Nevertheless, it all was destroyed in the 1966 earthquake. I have been to its market and saw ladies wearing traditional costumes, went to a mosque and met local officials…” Recalling his trip, Dupâquier would say the following, “I made a bunch of photos
from the plane…” “I saw their ‘Virgin Lands’, a grandiose project which however was not fulfilled properly. I saw huge fields with a lot of agricultural equipment. They had no hangars and kept grain in trenches, like they did in the Middle Ages. They had no protection from rats and bad weather. When I saw it, I understood why this project failed…” “People harvested cotton with their hands and it was terrible… It was only in Soviet movies where they showed all those combines and other equipment…” “I loved Uzbek people. They were so calm and peaceful. Perhaps, all that vanished several years later…”
The Siege of Leningrad was broken in the wake of Operation Iskra, a full-scale offensive conducted by the Leningrad and Volkhov Fronts. The offensive started in the morning of January 12th, 1943. After fierce battles the Red Army units overcame the powerful German fortifications to the south of Lake Ladoga, and on January 18th, 1943 the Leningrad
and Volkhov Fronts met, opening a 10–12 km wide land corridor, which could provide some relief to the besieged population of Leningrad. Yesterday, Russia celebrated the 69th anniversary of the breach of the blockade, so we offer you to see photographs made by combining those taken during the siege and those of today.