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The Imperiia Project: a spatial history of the Russian Empire

Note from a Russian Spy of the Tsar; Brink of the Russian Revolution

Frantic Note from a Russian Spy Sometime just before February of 1917

I write now in a rushed pen without time or thought to follow protocol and code this message. Whoever receives this need look no further than the back side of this document to verify its validity. I have signed my real name and, in doing so, have exposed myself to every possible danger. Furthermore, I have resigned my duties as a spy of the Tsar. This is not an act of treachery, rather a desperate attempt to warn the capital of the delicate state of things. I sense that the profitable, advantageous relationship that we have so long shared with the city of Bukhara teeters at the edge of destruction. I have outlined the three economic items which most concern me. I trust the recipient of this desperate, frantically written message will be able to infer from it the necessary information to salvage an important connection for the Motherland.

Item #1
The local bourgeoisie has grown substantially in recent years as a result of our great nation’s capital investments in Bukhara. The cotton industry appears to be leading the charge, although it is hard to deduce the state of trade with complete certainty in such an environment of fluid trade. The capital no doubt knows of the Khodjayev family by now. The Khodjayevs—a prominent local bourgeoisie family— are generating vast amounts of capital. We are, of course, keeping a close watch on the family and their business ventures. They own financial operations that are said to be valued at one million roubles. I will venture to assume that the center understands the implications and dangers of such a financially strong family in a city as valuable as Bukhara. (Kirchenko, 69)

Item #2
Another family on the horizon are the Vadyaev Brothers. The brothers own eleven plants and lease twenty to work with raw materials. The Emir of Bukhara, Siad-Mir-Alim, owns 27,000,000 roubles in gold. He is said to be keeping most of this in state banks. We have identified that 7,000,000 of his roubles are in private banks. (Kirchenko, 69)

The great Emir is the third largest trader of astrakhan fur. On top of all of this, a new cotton cleaning plant has recently been added to the five existing plants. One of these is the property of the Bukhara government. (Kirchenko, 69)

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