The museum of Political History of Russia is situated on the Petrogradskaya Island in St Petersburg. It is the main cultural center representing documents and artifacts of the turbulent 20th century history of Russia. It occupies two significant buildings created in art-nouveau style – one that used to belong to the outstanding Russian ballet dancer M. Kshesinskaya and the other that was in the possession of the timberman baron V. Brant.
The first museum, dedicated to the Russian October Revolution, was opened in 1919 and at that time its exposition was on display in the Winter Palace. It was not earlier than in 1955 that the two mansions became part of the October Revolution Museum and two years later an exposition was opened there. Having been recently renovated, the Museum of Political History of Russia regularly organizes temporary exhibitions.
Nowadays the museum invites visitors to discover the secret world of the Soviet intelligence service. Back to the first half of the 20th century there were two major types of intelligence officers – those who worked officially for the Soviet Union abroad and the so-called deep-cover agents. The professional activity and hard life of one of such deep-cover agents, who was risking his life for the good of his Motherland, is the main theme of the new exhibition.
D. Bystroletov was a man of great talents – he spoke 20 foreign languages, was a Doctor of Medicine, and a non-degree student of Berlin and Paris Art Academies. He worked as an agent in the late 20’s and 30’s, and was recruiting potential agents for the Soviet intelligence service. Unfortunately, during Stalin’s repressions he was sent to a jail for 16 years. During his imprisonment he wrote his memoirs called ”Feast of Immortals.”
A manuscript of this autobiography, together with photographs, personal notes, and maps were gratuitously presented by the grandson of the agent Mr. Milashov and are now on display in the museum until 31st December 2014 .
You can see the Museum of Political History as part of our St Petersburg Tours