A Thin Thread
of Destiny

A Novel
by Lara Prodan

NKVD: The All-Embracing Power

NKVD or, in other words, the People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs, was the successor of Cheka. It was a law enforcement organization which implemented the ideas of the Communist Power and protected it from all possible dangers from inside and outside.

After the February and October revolutions, the overthrow of the Russian Tsar and the establishment of the Bolshevik regime the new agency of public security was created. Headed by Felix Dzerzhinsky, this organization was occupied with different internal affairs, like taking care of homeless children – though being mostly known for repressions and terror. NKVD, the new form of Cheka, was born in 1934 and continued the traditions of its predecessor.

NKVD’s power and responsibilities embraced different spheres of people’s lives. Apart from public police domain, it had also been engaged in providing traffic police, border guarding, archiving and firefighting services. But that was just the top of the iceberg. At the same time, NKVD was responsible for spying on the foreign politics. The organization had its agents in almost all foreign countries, especially those which could pose threat to the USSR. People from this organization also supervised those Soviet citizens who managed to get abroad. Apart from that, they had to kill individuals who were believed to be dangerous for Stalin personally.

Moreover, solely NKVD had the right to issue international passports to Soviet people, as every their visit to other countries could be considered risky for the national security. For example, in the novel The Thin Thread of Destiny by Lara Prodan Leonid Nikolaevich, one of the Ukhtomsky Dukes who stayed in Russia after the February revolution, got the chance to go to the United States of America in the business trip from his Institute. It was a great luck for him – as far not everybody got such possibility, especially considering that apart from his main aim, Leonid wanted to find his brother and family.

During the 1940th NKVD had several waves of the Great Terror when more than 600 thousand people from all over the country were arrested, put to jail or killed. Main victims were those who could be the main probable public enemies (opponents of the Stalin’s regime), counterrevolutionaries and ordinary people from noble families. In this period Leonid Ukhtomsky was arrested, as well as all those who went to America. They were suspected of being American spies and organizing the murder of Stalin. Of course, Ukhtomsky was not guilty, just like most of the others – but nobody cared.

The same period was also known for big purge inside the organization, when one of its members could inform against another. The same happened in the novel, when the investigator Stepan Uglovaty reported about his companion comrade Rozov. As the NKVD could find the person guilty and sentence it to death without the court, most of such victims had no chance.

After the dissolution of the organization in 1946, NKVD stayed in people’s memories as the agency conducting mass extrajudicial executions, political assassinations, repressions and imprisoning the ‘public enemies’ in Gulag camps. Just as it took up the baton from Cheka, later NKVD passed it to MVD (Ministry of Internal Affairs) and KGB (Committee for State Security) with the division of the spheres of influence.

Felix Dzerzhinsky: The Contradictory Personality

Felix Dzerzhinsky was born in 1877 in a Polish family of a grammar school teacher who lived in the small ancestral manor in the Vilna governorate. That place now makes a part of Belarus. Unfortunately at the age of 5 the boy lost his father who died from tuberculosis.

Felix’s parents always considered Russian Empire to be the oppressor of Poland and other countries. It was the thought inculcated to the boy from the very childhood. In the young years Felix dreamed of becoming a Roman Catholic priest. But this aspiration never came true. Moreover, the hatred against Russia and a revolutionary bend made young Dzerzhinsky enter the Lithuanian Social-Democratic organization.

For several years Felix was busy carrying on the propaganda among the factory workers and craftspeople. For such activity he was arrested and inprisoned in the Kovno (now Kaunas) prison. Felix escaped from it 2 years later and fled to Vilnius, but later was arrested again and sent to Warsaw Citadel and Siedlce prison. However, the young man managed to escape again.

Dzerzhinsky has always been the follower of the ideas of Rosa Luxemburgh who was the developer of Marxism ideology, as well as the activist in revolutionary circles and supporter of socialism. Inspired by such example, Felix becomes the professional revolutionist. During several following years Dzerzhinsky becomes a member of the Social Democracy of the Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania party. On the 4th union he is elected as one of the members of the party’s headquarters. In the times of Russian-Japanese war Felix is busy organizing riots of Polish workers. Moreover, he often performs acts of sabotage.

Dzerzhinsky took an active part in the preparation for the October revolution. In consideration of this activity, as well as other achievements, Felix was asked to create a special commission to deal with riots of workers all over the country. This idea was a success, that’s why when the so-called “Cheka” was created as a kind of Soviet state security organization, Dzerzhinsky was appointed its chairman.

Being the head of “Cheka”, Felix carried out severe persecution of those people who could be considered enemies of Soviet regime. In addition, he has been the ideologist of victimization of counter-revolutionaries and mass terror. Lots of people, especially from the intelligentsia and nobility, like the Ukhtomsky Dukes, suffered from this policy. Some of them died, but others were forced to leave their Motherland to save their lives.

But one can’t think that Dzerzhinsky was only a negative character and did nothing good. For some time he was at the head of commission dealing with homeless children. He created the whole network of temporal shelters, orphanages and other child care centers. Poor orphans could find a refuge there; they were given medical help and the possibility to study to achieve something in their lives.

Dzerzhinsky has always been a contradictory personality. Many people cursed his name, but others owe their lives to him. Felix died at the age of 48 from the heart attack.

Microsoft: The International Brand

What future can wait for the two young hackers who broke into the security system of one of the Seattle companies? The first of them managed to get to Harvard but then left it without graduating. The second also left studies in Stanford to work on his own. Soon they created the company whose annual income exceeded 1 million dollars just in four years.

Microsoft Company was born on April 4, 1975. It was founded by two school friends Bill Gates and Paul Allen. Gates has become the CEO. The name they gave to the company derives from two words: microcomputer and software.

Though the company was established in New Mexico, it changed its headquarters two times within the next 11 years. In 1979 they moved to Bellevue and 7 years later the administration has chosen Redmond, where the headquarters of Microsoft are settled till now. Today the company owns more than 14 million sq. feet.

During these 40 years Microsoft developed a line of operating systems starting with MS-DOS and up to Windows 10 as well as all the associated programs. It would be a mistake to think that such activity is the only thing Microsoft has. The company also developed hardware – like Microsoft Mouse 1.0, released in 1983.

Today’s most famous products are Xbox and Microsoft Surface. The separate department is engaged in making computers more friendly for people with disabilities. Moreover, Microsoft bought more than 150 different companies. For example, the first integrated company was Forethought which developed the program now known as PowerPoint. In 2011 Microsoft bought Skype and in 2013 it absorbed Finnish mobile company Nokia. The most recent acquisition is the Swedish company Mojang AB which developed the well-known game Minecraft.

Nowadays Microsoft is not just a company with the worldwide acquisition. It has almost become one of America’s symbols. Definitely, it has also become a part of the world’s culture. No wonder it is mentioned so many times in different films and books. In the novel “A Thin Thread of Destiny” by Lara Prodan the best friend of Daria, Tomy Michael Wellington, after finishing Computer Science faculty of the University of Washington was invited to work on probation in Microsoft. The program written by the young man was considered to be the best of the kind. Michael’s father hopes that his son will soon be taken on the staff.

Another talented young man from Russia Vladimir also comes to work on the probation period in Microsoft. He is considered to be a genius. Actually, the experts say that America goes through a very difficult period these days. Recent reforms in education had the drop in the knowledge of Americans as a result. In its turn, Microsoft is unable to find all the employees it needs just inside the country. It has to invite qualified specialists from abroad. The management of the company says that the education level in the countries of Eastern Europe is still high and there are so many talented people coming to America.

Presently Microsoft is the biggest transnational software developing company and is considered to be one of the most expensive ones. Its programs have been translated into more than 45 languages and are used worldwide.

*The Microsoft logo is the official trademark of Microsoft Corporation.

The great commander Suvorov

The names of the greatest commanders in the world’s history are known to everybody. Every country though has its own heroes that became cult figures. In Russia Alexander Suvorov has been the icon of the majority of boys and young men for more than 2 centuries. His example inspired them to choose military career – as it happened to the Duke Ukhtomsky’s elder son Alexander and many of his compatriots.

Young years

Many of us would assume that Suvorov must have been raised for the military carrier. It is true – but only partially. Alexander was born in the family of the general Vasili Suvorov who is famous for compiling the first Russian military dictionary. Vasili gave the name to his sun in honor of another famous commander Alexander Nevsky.

Alexander Suvorov has always been fond of history and military service. Unfortunately, his father thought of a different career for his son. The reason was that the future great commander was a very weak and sickly boy and it was really hard to imagine him as a soldier. However, after the visit of Pushkin’s great grandfather general Gannibal to their home, the father had to change his decision – because the guest told that the boy would have a brilliant future.

Soldiers’ talisman

Suvorov’s military career was developing very rapidly. Soldiers literally worshiped him, and even the Queen appreciated his unique gift. Alexander did not want soldiers to obey the commands just because of the fear or strict rules – but because of respect. Indeed, he did a lot to improve the living conditions and to change the morale of Russian soldiers. Thanks to his attempts the death-rate among the servicemen decreased significantly.

Suvorov always thought that the person is the main criteria of the victory. He spent almost all his time with the soldiers and lived in the same conditions as they did. During the battle he stayed among them giving orders and invigorating soldiers. There was even the legend that just Suvorov’s presence is enough to win in the most desperate situations.

Personal life

Alexander Suvorov did not plan to get married – but at the age of 44, out of respect to his father he agreed to marry the young woman whom the father had chosen. During the first years the couple lived happily. At the same time, their daughter was born. But soon Alexander’s wife who was 20 years younger than her husband had an affair with the younger man. As the result of this adultery Suvorov almost managed to get divorced but then forgave his wife – until she had another adultery several years later. After that they never lived together.

Fame and achievements

Alexander Suvorov is famous for never being defeated. All of his campaigns and battles were a success. Historians say that he managed to win every time, even though in every battle he had much less soldiers than his enemies.

Alexander has always been a very honest person and appreciated this quality in other people. Being also a very intelligent man who knew several foreign languages, he never groveled to anyone at court and always said what he thought.

Suvorov had more than 7 titles and lots of decorations, but asked not to put that list on his grave after he died. He wished to have only three words: Here lies Suvorov.

Impressive Detroit

If you want to travel, either for pleasure or on business, you can choose among various places worth visiting. Some of them are mysterious, some are marvelous and, all of them are, of course, unforgettable. And without any doubt, everyone will find something special for themselves in any part of the world. Whether it is a village or a city, you may look for the second home here. Every place can share different stories, show the traveler some old museums and sincere people. Detroit has become a city of business and attractions a long time ago. Millions of people from all over the world have a great desire to visit it some time. So, here we present some interesting facts about this city.

Detroit can become a city of your dream if you really wish it. Here there are lots of interesting places, big roads and other things you will never forget. There are many business centers – but one should not forget about the beauty of parks and gardens nearby. People say it is a perfect place if you want to climb a career ladder and become the richest man in the world (at least it was like this).

Here one can find numerous attractions for all tastes. You can spend days and nights in fashionable clubs and pubs without getting too tired. Moreover, you will fall in love with the city’s architecture and road system. It will become your personal heaven on earth. And what about millions of shops? Do you want to visit them? If yes, come on! There are also different restaurants of all kinds where you can treat yourself with culinary masterpieces from exotic countries. Or you can forget about fashion of having something exotic for lunch and try a perfect pizza or sushi in the local cafes. Everything depends on you!

This city is depicted in lots of films and books. One of them impresses almost every reader. ‘A Thin Thread Of Destiny’ by Lara Prodan is a perfect novel for those who can’t live without history and investigations. The most interesting part is that it is a real story of a real family who managed to overcome all obstacles they had on their way. Despite the repressions, the war and many other problems, they lived without fear with a big desire to stay together. The history of this strong family was deeply appreciated by their descendants. Thanks to them, all the facts about Uhtomsky family appeared. And they were worth knowing. Detroit city has become one of the main places where the action in the book takes place.

Rurikids: from Rus till nowadays

Scientists know lots of different royal families all around the world. The most famous dynasties in Europe are Houses of Habsburg, Windsor, York, Tudor etc. At the same time, in Russia there were two powerful royal dynasties – Rurik and Romanov.

Rurik was the first prince who ruled the Rus. Legends tell that in the second part of the 9th century there were various tribes who lived together on a very big territory. They always had quarrels among each other and couldn’t come to any agreement. Once they asked some distant northern tribes to send their prince to rule over them and to create order on their territory.

Rurik came with two of his brothers. They divided power between them and soon the new state was founded. Later everyone will know it as the Kievan Rus. There were specific principles of ruling in that country. For example, the right to inherit the throne was given first to the elder son, then to the middle one, then to the younger. The children of the elder son did not have the right to reign until all their uncles die. The country was divided into numerous principalities and all the male representatives got to rule their own land according to their proximity to the throne. The children of the Prince who hadn’t been ruling the country became outcasts and lost the right to claim their right on the throne. There were lots of cases when brothers killed each other and their nearest male relatives to get the power.

Rurik family was one of the most powerful dynasties in the European history. They ruled the country for more than 7 centuries. There were lots of striking personalities among them. Suffice it to name Vladimir the Great who brought Christianity to the Rus and baptized the country. Yaroslav the Wise put together different rules and created the law code called Russkaja Pravda. During his life the country flourished and reached the peak of military and cultural development. Ivan the Terrible was an intelligent diplomat and the founder of the first Print Yard of Russia – but at the same time well known for brutality and mental instability.

Nevertheless the Royal Rurik Dynasty disappeared after centuries of reign and with the whole family spread all over Europe. The last ruling representatives were Volodymyr of Galicia, the Monarch from the Kingdom of Galicia-Volhynia, Prince Feodor who reigned in Kiev and Vasili IV of Russia.

Nowadays there are thousands of people who descend from numerous branches of Rurik Dynasty. Most of them come from outcasts or from marriages of Rurikids daughters. These people do not have neither official titles nor lands. But they often take an active part in the life of the country. They are professors, doctors, architects, scientists.

No wonder that there are so many books written about them. For example, in the novel “A Thin Thread of Destiny” one can learn about the destiny of several generations of the Ukhtomsky Dukes. This kin appeared from a primary branch of the dynasty. Speaking about this particular family we can find out that their descendants live in modern Russia as well as in other countries of the world – like the USA.

Finally, there was a group of scientists who decided to check the gene code of Rurikids and those who claim to be their relatives. The study has shown that nowadays many people have the gene marking them as distant descendants of Rurik. That gene itself has much in common with the genes of the Scandinavians – that proves the Varangian theory of Rurik’s origin.

Nicholas the Second: Story of the Great Ruler

Every epoch has numerous prominent people worth remembering and admiring. They were living and creating something new. Some of them managed to change people’s way of living or to add important things to our everyday routine. Perhaps there are several persons who wrote the new history themselves. They changed this world, their people and their country. Definitely, we are talking about kings. How many of them were in every époque? Now we are going to talk about one Russian tsar whose history is very tragic, but is definitely worth remembering and respecting.

Tsar Nicholas the Second was a well-mannered and brave person. He was protecting Russian’s frontiers and people from enemies. Moreover, he managed to rule the whole powerful empire very wisely. He was and still is a good example of a perfect ruler and father. His family was proud of him and maybe because of this sincere support he was always sure in his actions. Nicholas II made a real magic: he effectively raised economic importance of the Russian empire. But there were a lot of quarrels among different segments of society. As a result, these incidents lead to a real chaos.

Everyone has enemies. So had Nicholas II. He was very open hearted, that is why he trusted almost every person he met. It was a big mistake. At that time he and his family were suffering from the severe observance of supervisors. It was a first step to the full destruction of the big family. Perhaps Tsar couldn’t imagine how difficult their life would become and how fast it would end. Unfortunately, the Romanovs were tortured in their own house. Everyone received at least 3 bullets. The murderers didn’t have mercy on anybody. It was a real tragedy.

You can find a big amount of information about Nicholas II in historical books and manuscripts. However, bare facts often are of little great value to people. They are fed up with such dull numbers and names. To make people interested in history, numerous writers create their own novels or short stories based on real facts. There are millions of books written about Romanov family and Nicholas the Second. However, ‘A Thin Thread Of Destiny’ managed to combine love, friendship, investigations and history. This novel shows us the real life with real emotions. Just read it once – and you will never forget this awesome story. Nowadays the author of this book, Lara Prodan, has become very popular. And she stated – this history is not the last one. She is going to write as much as possible.

As you can see, sometimes history is a difficult thing to understand. However, we should always remember it and avoid mistakes our ancestors did. Only this way we will receive an opportunity to make our world better. The history of Nicholas II is one of the most dramatic stories of the last century. At the same time, he is an example of a person worth admiring.

Ukhtomsky family: from the beginning till nowadays

uktomskiy familyIn a book titled “A Thin Thread Of Destiny” the history of the famous Russian aristocratic family – Dukes Ukhtomsky – was presented. In this article we will tell about the history of the ancestors and descendants of this family in a more detailed way.

Let’s start with the fact that Ukhtomskys were a Russian princely family, descended from Rurik, a branch of dukes Belozersky. Their ancestor was the Prince Ivan (XVII knee from Rurik), grandson of Vasily Romanovich, Prince Sugorsky. He owned Ukhtomsky parish, which was situated on the river Uhtoma – from where that family got their second name.

In the ten generations from Ivan Ivanovich there were 116 direct representatives of the genus. Among the members of this genus, which also exists today, there are many well-known figures. For example, duke Vasily has shown himself very well in the battle against the Tatars near Kazan. In the Time of Troubles in Vyatka Mikhail Ukhtomsky led an active struggle against the gang of thieves.

Prince Dmitry Ukhtomsky took an active part in the construction of the Kremlin, he also helped to reconstruct the Red Gate which was burned down in 1748. A number of representatives of the genus have shown themselves in the second half of the XIX century. For example, the admiral Leonid Ukhtomsky wrote his memoirs which were published in the journal “Sea Bulletin”.

The diplomat Esper Ukhtomsky was one of the trustees of Nicholas II, and he sought to strengthen the position of the Russian Empire in the East. Also, as a journalist, he campaigned for the rights of minorities living in the Russian Empire, including the Armenians and the Buryats.

One of the commanders of the fleet in the Russian-Japanese War was Paul Ukhtomsky. In addition, Ukhtomsky brothers, Alex and Alexander, have been church leaders. At the same time, Alex was one of the most prominent Soviet physiologists and academicians. Dmitry Ukhtomsky served in the military intelligence in Iran during the World War II, and later became a famous photojournalist.

The coat of arms of this family deserves separate attention. It is a shield which has a blue field and a golden cross over it, the silver moon under it, and two silver fish that swim in the river crosswise in the lower part of the shield.

If you gather the most important representatives of this genus, there will be a long list that includes:

• Ukhtomsky Vasily – the Russian statesman and military leader of the XV century, the prince;

• Ukhtomsky Alexei (1875-1942) – the scientist, psychologist, creator of the dominant doctrine;

• Ukhtomsky Andrew (1770-1852) – the artist;

• Ukhtomsky Dmitry (1719-1774) – architect, educator;

• Ukhtomsky Leonid (1829-1909) – the Russian naval officer, Vice Admiral, writer;

• Ukhtomsky Nikolai (1895-1953) – one of the leaders of the White emigration to Manchuria;

• Ukhtomsky Paul (1848-1910) – the Vice-Admiral;

• Ukhtomsky Esper (1834-1885) – the naval officer, a member of the defense of Sevastopol and several sea voyages;

• Ukhtomsky Esper (1861-1921) – the trustee of Nicholas II, the diplomat and Orientalist;

• Ukhtomsky Alexander (1872-1937) – the Archbishop, leader of the Russian Orthodox Church.

The World War II – Never Forget

world war 2There are moments in our history that are always worth remembering. One of them is the Second World War. It was one of the most horrible times in the world’s history. More than 100 million people from over 30 countries were involved in this war. And of course, it has killed numerous people and destroyed millions of families. This deadliest conflict in our history has been depicted in many books, films and pictures. But nevertheless, only those who have participated in it can really imagine all danger and grief of what happened during those times. Probably everyone has lost something or someone during this atrocious war.

Some episodes of this unbearable event were mentioned in the popular novel by Lara Prodan ‘A Thin Thread Of Destiny’. The main characters of this book went through different obstacles of the First and Second World Wars. However, in spite of this fact, they saved their love, happiness and friendship. Moreover, they managed to stay a real family. This book shows all horrors, all misery and ordeals of this epoch. Moreover, you will have a great opportunity to observe different uneasy relationships between different people.

What is more, if you are interested in history, you will fall in love with this book at once. It is read in lots of countries, and people are deeply interested in the situation that has happened in a big family described in this book. Lara Prodan managed to create a real masterpiece which touched people’s hearts. ‘A Thin Thread Of Destiny’ is not just a simple book. It is a real history of love, friendship and fraternity. Everyone can find something for themselves in this book. From its first pages you will dive into a simple life of a simple family. Suddenly, an accident will turn their life into a real investigation. The best thing is that you will take an active part in it while reading – we promise!

Anyway, war is something we sometimes can even hardly imagine. However, everyone should know about it as much as possible. It is a part of our past – as it took place back there, as well as present and future – as every war has very long-lasting devastating effects. Now there are not so many people who remember this war. Anyway, we are responsible for their memories. We should preserve them and tell our children about the most important mistakes of human being. War is the biggest tragedy ever, so our duty is to learn something from it – not to make the same mistakes.

Quite often we hear only facts about the most prominent and important people from the epoch of 20th century. However, sometimes it is extremely necessary to learn more about other people’s destinies. They suffered from injuries, hunger and stress every day, however, they tried to live their lives. The main thing is that they appreciated every moment, because it could become the last one. It was a real life of real people with real emotions. Nothing was fake. We should appreciate it and never forget about it. Who knows, what may happen next.

Romanov Family: When, How, Why?

Nowadays we have a lot of ways to entertain ourselves. However, books still are among the best companions for every person. They easily help us to dive into the world of unique creatures, castles, space travels… and even travel in time! We can cry and laugh with books. And, of course, we live characters’ lives with them. Sometimes you just want to spend the whole day sitting with your book to forget your own issues. At the same time, mind that you should be quite attentive while choosing a book you want to read. There are lots of those which are not worth even opening. That’s why today we are going to recommend you a perfect one.

A beautiful novel by Lara Prodan has caught everybody’s attention. ‘A Thin Thread Of Destiny’ is the story of love, revenge and misery. You can find almost everything you want here. This is not only the story of one family; all events show the great history of Russia. Definitely, it shouldn’t be forgotten. Moreover, while reading it, you will become a part of the real investigation. So, this novel will suit everyone’s taste. Moreover, if you are interested in prominent events and people of the World War I epoch, this novel will give you a perfect opportunity to get to know more about them.

Actually, the royal family of Romanovs was mentioned several times in the novel. What should we know about them? The only well-known fact is that all this family fell victims of the new regime. The Tsar, Nicolas II, and his family were executed by Bolsheviks led by Yakov Yurovsky under the orders of the Ural Soviet. Nicolas II had little children, but nobody cared about their age. Most historians state the whole family were not guilty at all. Unfortunately, it was a peculiarity of that time – all those who were not necessary or were dangerous for the new power were killed or sent to prisons. Can you even imagine how it was to live during that times?

The morning started terribly. All the family was sent to the cellar room. They expected they would be sent somewhere, and even the Tsar didn’t know about the main reason of Yurovsky’s presence. The family heard the words that were absolutely bewildering.

“Nikolai Alexandrovich, in view of the fact that your relatives are continuing their attack on Soviet Russia, the Ural Executive Committee has decided to execute you”.

The only thing Nicolas could say was ‘What?’. And after that the hell started. Children were trying to protect themselves by pillows, but soft beddings could not prevent them from being stabbed to death. They were all killed. The crowd was told about the accident only two days later. Some were really happy – but there were a lot of those who started to doubt the necessity of a new, so cruel, regime.

Still, it was the start of the new era in the Russian history. Anyway, there was a lot of good and bad things during this époque. Yet, now the new page of history is being written. We should do our best to avoid such cruelty and powerlessness of people in future. We believe that humanity is going to be better. This is we who has to make these steps to the better future. Everything depends on us.