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Empire of the Tsars

I just finished watching Empire of the Tsars, a history of Romanov Russia from the BBC, and I must say it wasn't that bad. I've been interested in Russian history since I was introduced to it at A-Level: it just seems so vibrant, so dramatic, so vicious and sad. It all boils down to a set of bloody-minded autocrats who, one after another, refuse to relinquish power. The Tsars themselves were bad enough, especially Nicolas II, but I can't help thinking that what followed them - the Red Tsars - was even worse. I also can't help thinking that it is the same, even now; Russia never seems to change. Isn't Putin a despotic autocrat, a strong man desperate to impose his will, in his own way? Poor old Russia: no matter how many revolutions it has, it never seems to change.

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