Voices from Russian Émigrés of the 1917 Diaspora Still Sound

Scan.08Heirs to 1917 revolutionary-era emigrants appeal to EU: ‘Stop blaming everything on Russia’

When over 2 million people had to flee war-torn Russian following the Bolshevik takeover in 1917, it seemed that all of the once-great empire’s nobility, culture, and grandeur had been lost forever.  The cities of Europe, especially Berlin and then Paris, became the somewhat reluctant recipients of this diaspora: both enjoying a massive influx of great painters, writers, artists and ballet dancers, yet also at a loss of what to do with the accompanying sea of impoverished army officers, noblemen and other refugees.  And over time, it appeared that the famous dynasties–Shakovskoy, Romanov,  Tolstoy, Pushkin, Trubetskoy,Vinogradov, Yuriev, Ignatiev,…–had been relegated to the history books (or the occasional journalist byline).

This year, on Nov. 26, 2014,  over 100 descendants showed the First-wave emigration was alive and well, raising their voices in defense of their former homeland in a passionate open leader to the leaders of the European Union.

For almost a year Ukrainian events are deeply concerned about all of us, the descendants of white emigration, especially in contrast to the people around us we are because of our origin, we have access to comprehensive information. Knowledge of the recent past, namely the last pre-revolutionary Russia, gives us the opportunity, and with it the duty to expose the obvious historical falsifications that led to the current drama in Ukraine.  In the face of heightened tensions in the Donbas and in international relations conclusion is that aggressive hostility, unfolding now against Russia, devoid of any rationality.

The aggressive hostility that Russia faces now lacks any rationality and the double standard policy simply exceeds all limits. Russia is accused of all crimes, without a priori evidence it is declared guilty, while other countries have shown an amazing concessions, in particular with regard to human rights.

We are in no way refuse to protect those values ​​upon which our ancestors taught us, doomed to exile after the 1917 revolution.  We do not refuse any condemnation of the criminal acts of the Bolsheviks and their successors, or by restoring the historical truth about that terrible time.  But this does not mean that we  can put up with the daily slander targeting modern Russia, its leaders and its president, who are slapped with sanctions and smeared with dirt, in contradiction to basic reason. It is self-destructive for the European countries to think, to take the ridiculous idea seriously, that Russia wants to prevent development of the West more than it wants to settle the crisis in Ukraine. What is especially ridiculous is the systematic attack on everything, that somehow relates to the “Russian world”: we are talking about the historical, geographical, linguistic, cultural and spiritual realities of the great civilization that has enriched the world and we are proud of.

We also resent the shameful silence European official institutions and the media regarding the brutal bombing that the [Western] Ukrainian army, supported by military groups marching under the sign of Nazi symbols, has performed in Donbass on civilians and civilian infrastructure.  For months, children and old people are killed or seriously injured, and prisoners are tortured.  Now the Kiev government has introduced even complete blockage (gas, electricity, railways, pensions, salaries, medication, institutions, hospitals, etc.), to finally destroy the region, which is declared in this part of its territory.

And how can the world not condemn the violent acts committed by supporters of the Kiev government in relation to the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine ?!  Priests are persecuted, forced to flee and even killed;  fifty temples have been bombed, of which twenty were completely destroyed; Where are the European values?

We cannot put up with daily slander that falls upon Russia today despite our complete rejection of the Soviet Union or the great suffering or our fathers and grandfathers, endured by the Russian people, during World War II.  We will not stay indifferent and silent witnesses in the face of the systematic destruction of the population of Donbass, blatant Russophobia and hypocritical approaches, completely contrary to the interests of our beloved Europe. We really want to hope that the countries that gave shelter to our families again take the path of prudence and impartiality.

Paris, November 26, 2014


This letter is the Prince and Princess Dimitri and Tamara Shahovskaya, which supported the initiative group “Russian Bridge”, established in February 2011, the descendants of white emigration. Published online November 26, 2014, a letter was supported by more than one hundred representatives of princely and aristocratic families from different countries. Every day more and more letters “solidarity with Russia in the hour of the Ukrainian tragedy” comes to e-mail

Yuriev,  His Serene Highness Prince George A.  and St. George, Dark Princess Elikonida, (Switzerland)
Vera F. Albertini, (France)
Andreoli Olga A.,  born.  Trubnikova (France)
Marianov, Arkady A., (Belgium)
Averino, Michael B. (France)
Baryatinsky, Prince Vladimir V.  and Baryatinsky, Princess Yolanda, (France)
Beglan, Marie-France, (England)
Belyavcky, Nikolay S.  and Belyavckaya, Gilen (Belgium)
Bereznikov, Aleksey A. and Bereznikova, Claude (France)
Bobrikov, Alexander P., (France)
Bobrincky, Nicholas B., (Germany)
Boldyrev, Aleksandr (France)
de Boreysha, Irina P., (Switzerland)
Brune de Saint-Hippolyte, Sophia (France)
Butlerova Vera N., (France)
Vinand, Olga, born.  Rosina (England)
Vinogradov, Michael, (France)
Vorontsov-Velyaminov, Michael W.
and Vorontsova-Velyaminova, Shantal, (France)
Davydov, Konctantin K. (France)
Durdin Mak, Dmitry P. (Belgium)
Drutskoy-Cokolincky,  Prince Aleksandr A., (Belgium)
Gendercon-Ctyuart, Anna C. born. Countess von der Palen, (England)
Gendercon-Ctyuart, Andrei, (England)
Genko, Nector N.  and Genko, Mariya I. born.  Ctarocelckaya (France)
Golubinova, Nadin, (France)
Gorohov, Zherar A. (France)
Grabar, Michael N. (France)
Grekov, Nikolai N., (France)
Guchkov, Ivan A. (Switzerland)
Grigorev, Aleksey P. (France)
Ignatev, Count Nikolai N., (France)
Zhivolup, Vladimir, (France)
Ivanova, D. Mariya  born.  Countess Tatischeva (France)
Kameneva, Tatyana, (France)
Kapnist, Countess Veronica J.,
born.  Liset (France)
Kapnict, Count Sergei A., (France)
Carmignani, Roger (France)
Knyupfer, Elena V. born.  Yagello (England)
Kozyrev, Vladimir, (Belgium)
Kolla-Mucin-Pushkin, Rocticlav V. (France)
Aleksandr Kolchak R. and Kolchak, Zhanin (France)
Krylov, Ivan P., (Belgium)
Crewe, Philip, (Belgium)
Kurdyukov, Ivan S. (France)
Lavrov, Oleg N., (France)
Lazarev, Ivan N. (France)
Louis Kicelevskaya, Anna M., (France)
Luchaninov, Sergey (USA)
Marshalk, Georgy (France)
Matchere, Georgy A. and Matchere, Nadezhda V., born Princess Volkonckaya (France)
Matsnev, Andrei, (France)
Miller de la Cerda, Aleksandr N. Miller and de la Cerda, Anna O., born.  Countess Tolstoy, (France)
Miloradovich, Anna (Canada)
Muratova, Kseniya M. (France)
Muruzi, Prince Konctantin P. and Muruzi, Princess Suzanne (France)
Mure, Mariya A. born.  Trubnikova (France)
Naryshkin, Peter A., (Cape Town, South Africa)
About de de Cizhi Mariya G. born. de the St Hippolit, (France)
von der Palen, Baroness Irina G. (Belgium)
von der Palen, Count Sergei C., (Switzerland)
Pasco, Serge (France)
Pervyshin, Rocticlav N.  and Pervyshina, Kceniya B. born Mashtaler (France)
Pernik, Yefim, (France)
Plott, Alexander V. and Plott, Elena V., (France)
Pocylkin, Dmitry, (Belgium)
Pridun, Johann (France)
Pridun, Stephen, (France)
Pushkin, Aleksandr A. and Pushkin, Mariya-Magdalina born.  Durnovo (Belgium)
Pule, Marina R., born.  Pervyshina (France)
Rampelberg, Marianna D.  born.  Parfenova and Rampelberg, Rene-Mari, (France)
Rebinder, Cerafim A. and Rebinder, Elena A. born.  Pochitalova, (Switzerland)
Rebinder, Sergey A. and Rebinder, Elena K. (France)
Renn, Darya A. born.  Rozov, (France)
de Rennenkampf, Aleksandra P., born.  Nefedov (France)
background Rozenshild, Nataliya A., (France)
Ruccel, Elizaveta P. born.  Ctefanovich (France)
Ruchkovsky Aleksey G. and Ruchkovskaya, Nataliya A. born.  Babkova (France)
Cafyannikov, Paul A., (Belgium)
Svechin, Ivan N. and Svechin Deniza (France)
de Hippolite the St, Peter G. (France)
Stenbok Fermor, Count Andrei I., (France)
Stenbok Fermor, Countess Kseniya A., (Italiya)
Sukkar (Caharov), Antonio S. (France)
Culatskaya, Ekaterina A., (France)
Terentev, Aleksandr V. (France)
Tolstaya, Countess Colette M. (France)
Tolstaya, Countess Marina M. (Belgium)
Tolstoy, Count Dmitry C., (France)
Trotsky, Dr. Sergey C., (Austria)
Tunguzova, Tatyana A., (France)
Ucova, Tatyana K., (France)
fon Tsurikov, Catherine L. born.  Countess Ignateva, (Germany)
Fedorov, Andrei N., (France)
Fedorova, Tatyana, (France)
de Fermor, Peter A., (France)
Filatova, Julia, (Belgium)
Finnson, Xenia P. (France)
Finnson, Vera (France)
Shakhovskoi, Prince Dmitry M.
and Shahovskaya, Princess Tamara G. born.  Thorzhevskaya (France)
Sheremet, Count Petr P. (France)
Shidlovskaya, Irina A. born.  Golovina, (France)
Shidlovskaya Marina Yu, (France)
Shirikova, Tatyana, (Switzerland)
Shorohov, Andrei P. (Belgium)
Yanov, Nicholas M., (France)

Presenting author
Prince Dmitry Shakhovskoy, one of the authors of the open letter, during a trip to the Crimea.

Dmitry M. Shakhovskoy – Doctor of Historical and Philological Sciences, Professor Emeritus of French universities and St. Sergius Orthodox Theological Institute in Paris. He is a representative of the princely family, originating from the legendary Rurik. Among his ancestors such prominent figures as a poet and writer of XVII century Simeon Shakhovskoy, Procurator of the Holy Synod Shakhovskoy Jacob, who was considered the most honest man of his time, a hero of World War II, a member of the Battle of Borodino and the occupation of Paris General Ivan L. Shakhovskoy.

What circumstances led to the fact that you and your spouse have initiated an open letter to the descendants of white emigration?

Dmitry Shakhovskoy: I would like to mention a few things. Firstly, this reunion of Crimea with Russia. Frankly speaking, for us, Crimea never ceased to be Russian, and that for some time having the peninsula  cut off from Russia was a constant pain. When Crimea returned to Russia, we were very happy.  However, to our surprise, we saw that not everyone shares this feeling, including some among emigration. It was then that we realized that the anti-Russian propaganda and misinformation affects not only the French and decided to speak publicly about it.  In addition, we are outraged about how the events surrounding the Ukrainian crisis  are portrayed in incredible terms in the Western media.

I must say that the position of Russia, its president in the current international circumstances, we are quite clear and in harmony with the thoughts of many of us. After all, we are brought up in a certain consciousness of the Russian past, our history. I have the feeling that it is now back to what he was talking at one time professor of St. Sergius Theological Institute in Paris, and before that the Minister of the Provisional Government confessions Professor Anton Kartashov, namely the “reconstruction of Holy Russia.”

As for me personally, I have dedicated myself to the study of Russian history, literature and taught French at the University of Rennes. All my life I defended those principles that were handed to me by my parents, and chief among them – the unity of the Russian land. Therefore, when it is strengthened, as with the Crimea, this means that the country is returning to normal, and that there is a certain manifestation of its vitality.


Dmitry Mikhailovich how were you helped in getting the collection of signatures?

Dmitry Shakhovskoy: We have compiled a letter first in French and then in Russian, and began to send to friends, and those already transported to their friends. . Thus letter went beyond France and Europe, to reach other continents. In addition, the stock has been involved in the initiative group “Russian Bridge”, which includes the descendants of white emigration, those who took part in the naval campaigns from Bizerte to Sevastopol in the summer of 2010. Let me remind you that it was organized by several Russian organizations – Fund of St. Andrew, the glory of Russian and some other in memory of the end of the army of General Wrangel in the Crimea in 1920.

 Among those who signed the message, a lot of interesting people, is not it?

Dmitry Shakhovskoy: Who, for example, my old friend, great grandson of Pushkin, Mikhail Vorontsov, Sonya, head of the Museum of the Life Guards regiment of Cossacks of the Imperial Alexander Bobrikov Muruzi Duke Constantine, who does a lot to strengthen the ties between Russia and France.  By the way, there are French. In particular, it is one of the former directors of the World Bank Roger Carmignani.

Your letter already signed by more than 120 people. What’s next?

We placed the letter on the site “Russian Bridge” , and it is open to all who wish to join our initiative.

Prepared by Vyacheslav Prokofiev , Paris

Announcements about the letter have been broadcast at these news outlets


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