Witnessing the Fall of the USSR: The August Coup, 1991

Witnessing the Fall of the USSR: The August Coup, 1991

It's been 28 years since the dissolution of the Soviet Union. We're marking the anniversary with eyewitness accounts from MIR colleagues and contacts. This installment is from Annie Lucas, then tour manager and now MIR’s vice president. She was leading one of her first few MIR tours to Russia. In her early 20s, she had done this several times before, but it was still new to her. And on this trip, her own father (Bud Lucas, who kindly let us use his photos) had signed up to be one of the participants, making it even more important to her that the trip go smoothly. As Annie and her group of travelers packed for the coach ride into Russia, they heard the news on Finnish TV: Mikhail Gorbachev, leader of the Soviet Union, was said to be ill and confined to his dacha. A State of Emergency had been declared and an Emergency Committee formed to take the reins of government while he was recovering. That was all anybody knew. Read More


Fame, Fortune & Film: LenFilm Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia

Fame, Fortune & Film: LenFilm Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia

A walk through St. Petersburg’s LenFilm Museum is a walk through the history of Russian film, with sets, props, costumes and sketches from its most famous films. The staff of MIR’s St. Petersburg affiliated office recently made a field trip to the museum and shared photos with us. Read More


Growing Up Soviet: A Firsthand Photo Essay

Growing Up Soviet: A Firsthand Photo Essay

I don’t remember talking much about communism, growing up. Nevertheless, in school I was a Little Octobrist and a Young Pioneer, both communist youth organizations. In this photo you can see my Lenin pin. It’s 1983 in this photo, and I was 9 years old. Read More


Moscow’s Red Square: Beautiful in Red

Moscow’s Red Square: Beautiful in Red

Depending on how you translate it from Russian, Moscow’s Red Square ­– “Krasnaya Ploshchad’”– is either red, or beautiful. To many, it's definitely both. Red Square is home to history, from St. Basil's and the Kremlin to the military celebrations of the Great October Socialist Revolution of 1917. Read More


MIR Spotlight: Katya Boyarskaya

MIR Spotlight: Katya Boyarskaya

MIR’s Katya Boyarskaya was destined to take the stage, born into the legacy of a prominent Russian theatrical family in St. Petersburg. But Katya’s stage is far beyond a theater interior: it’s the world stage of travel, beginning in Soviet times. Katya shares her struggles and successes to do what she loves most. Read More