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Ivan Chistyakov’s diary is unique historical testimony. He commanded an armed guard unit on a section of BAM, the Baikal-Amur Railway which was built by forced labour.
We have few memoirs written even by people on the outside of the barbed wire. This diary, written inside the Gulag, gives a day by day account of life there over several months in 1935-36 and is probably unique.
The original diary is in the safekeeping of the Memorial human rights centre in Moscow which, since the late 1980s, has been collecting documents, testimony, memoirs, and letters relevant to the history of political repression in the USSR. It was passed to...
A nomad city of Karakorum, capital of the Mongol Empire (the map of which is just identical to a map of the Russian Empire), appears suddenly in the beginning of XVIII century in the area of Novocherkassk City in the Province of Don Cossack Voisko. The city does not fit into the picture of the real world; it moves every day a couple kilometers from the point it was seen before; Mongol Emperor Tughe, the ruler of the city, knows nothing about the existence of Russian Emperor Alexander (who in turn has never heard of Tughe).
Otroshenko creates a reality in which the relation between incidents, characters, and setting could not be based upon or justified by laws of nature or their normal acceptance by human mentality.