A. I. Guchkov. Military Minister, and temporarily Navy Minister.
My most famous relative on the side of the Guchkovs, Alexander Ivanovich Guchkov, fought in the Second Anglo-Boer War, was the head of the Octobrist Party, the man who accepted the last Tzars abdication, a Minister in the Provisional Government, etc, etc, etc.
 

Somehow, these almost mythical times and events have seemed suddenly closer to me when, in the year 2000, I got to meet his son, a French citizen Andrei Alexandrovich Guchkov.
In the photo you can see us surrounded by our children and household members in the village of Skrynorovo near Borovsk. Andrei Guchkov is the one with a camera in his hands. The village is the birthplace of the founder of the clan, Fyodor Guchkov. In the foreground on the left is Olga Dyomushkina, descendant of the Guchkovs, who has done so much to preserve their heritage. Olga is a granddaughter of another famous Guchkov, Nikolai Ivanovich, who from 1905 to 1912 was the Moscow City mayor.

 

I will quote a passage from the book Everyday Moscow by V. Roug and A. Kokarev in which a rowdy 1914 New Years Eve celebration (of) is described and Guchkov is mentioned:
Right after Christmas they celebrated New Years Eve, giving each other good wishes and resting sure that their life will continue along a familiar route.
Thus, in the fateful year of 1914 no one could even imagine that in a little more than six months, World War I would break out. For instance, the former mayor and brother of a prominent member of the State Duma, N.I. Guchkov stated: It goes without saying that nothing is going to happen. I dont expect any changes in our life in the New Year. All is relatively calm abroad, and quiet within the country. There are no omens foreboding any significant events. No comment

 

 

NIKOLAI ZIMIN

Among my many relatives on the Zimin side is one of the engineers and creators of the Moscow waterworks system, Nikolai Zimin. (Incidentally, he collaborated on this project with N.E. Zhukovsky yes, the Grandfather of Russian aviation.) There is also the theater activist Sergei Zimin who created the renowned Zimins Private Opera that used to occupy the building of the Solodovnikov Theater on Bolshaya Dmitrovka, now home to The Theater Of Operetta.
And there is a generation of entrepreneurs who created the textile mill in Drezna, near Orekhovo-Zuevo.

SERGEI ZIMIN

 

All that Ive found out only in 2000, when a TV crew from, I believe, Channel 2, descended on me. I was then the president of VympelCom. They were working on a series of short 20-minute-long films under the heading Your Dynasty.
By the time of our acquaintance, they had already completed films about the Filippov and Catoire families. Before that, I had only heard of a Moscow region railroad station called Catoire, but I learned from the movie just how much cultural and industrial heritage is associated with these Russified Frenchmen. And now the filmmakers were undertaking a film about the Zimin family of merchants and entrepreneurs.
By the time of our acquaintance, they had already completed films about the Filippov and Catoire families. Before that, I had only heard of a Moscow region railroad station called Catoire, but I learned from the movie just how much cultural and industrial heritage is associated with these Russified Frenchmen. And now the filmmakers were undertaking a film about the Zimin family of merchants and entrepreneurs.
I want to thank again and again the creators of these films which have opened my eyes to certain pages of my familys history. These are their names: writer Natalia Spiridonova, producer Irina Fedorenko, cameraman Alexei Smirnov. It is only thanks to them that Ive learned about the Moscow region town Drezna near Orekhovo-Zuevo, and the local Zimins textile mill.
In this picture you see one of the buildings of the mill. Note the industrial architectural style typical of the late 19th early 20th century. And the smoke stack is a real beauty.

 

And in this photo you see my new acquaintances visiting me in my VympelCom office: the head of the Drezna administration Victor Sorokin (on the left) and next to him the mills director Dmitry Leonov, The latter, most unfortunately, was tragically killed in 2003.
Together we organized celebrations of the mills centenary and of the towns 60th anniversary (the town turned out to be younger than me).

 

Some of our famous actors accepted my invitation to come to these celebrations.

All these events have suddenly turned me into a hereditary entrepreneur and a member of a business dynasty. But what dynasty are we talking about, when you dont learn a damn thing about your relatives until after youre 60? One can talk about dynasties when there is continuity, an intellectual link between generations. But here in Russia
I have to admit, though, that I absorbed all this information not without a certain pleasure-laced with trepidation.

It was only thanks to the movie makers that I learned about the graves of my ancestors in the Preobrazhenskoye Old-Believer cemetery.
As for my ancestors on my mothers side, I scarcely know anything about them. I believe my mothers parents died before I was born. I dont know when and where

 

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