Seven postcards from Chernobyl
A hundred years old Christmas wish

While checking our archives, we found a Christmas postcard from 1914, and then some more from different years. All of them were written in pre-reform Russian and featured an exchange between family members in Chernobyl and Kyiv in a period between two revolutions and partly during World War I. Actually, as it appeared from the texts, one of family members was a seaman on a battle ship.

The earliest card dates from 1907. Latest — from April 4th, 1917: a Russian empire does not exist already for two months, and just a little bit more than a half of a year remains before the infamous October coup, that established a communist rule in Russia. 

Just in two days in Kyiv will start a Ukrainian national congress, that proclaimed Ukrainian Central Council the main representative body for all national forces. This will be a foundation of massive changes. And soon Chernobyl will become a town in — in beginning, autonomous — Ukrainian People’s republic.

So, seven postcards from Chernobyl. And one — to Chernobyl.

Sent: 25.10.1907, Chernobyl
Received: 27.10.1907, Kyiv

To 
Her High Nobility 
Hanna Andriivna 
Mademoiselle Zaitseva

Lukjanivsky lane, 47
in the city of Kyiv

Dear Lenochka, tell your mother. When will our dad go to take my things (suitcase, pillow, and blanket) because I will not be in Kyiv. Bow to mom, dad, Andryusha from us. From [unreadable] Tanya did not receive the letter, we are staying. Those who love you Ignas, Tanya, Lida, Shura Shcherbakovy.

Sent: 19.07.1908, Chernobyl
Received: 24.07.1908, Kyiv

To 
city of Kyiv
Lukjanivsky lane, 
house 47

Helen Petrovna
Mademoiselle Zaitseva

Dear Lena. I received your postcard, for which I deeply thank you. Dear Lenochka, I'm spending my time joy, but it's a pity that you are not here. On the 29th we were in the forest and the field, we picked flowers, a lot [unreadable]. 
My dear Lena, [unreadable] you from A. and from S. and from E. Lena, you write what they say about you here. But nothing bad and even regret that you moved out. I beg you, dear Lenochka write me more often, forgive that [unreadable] then on our [unreadable]. Bow to you from everyone. Loving Polina R., I kiss you hard, waiting for an answer.

Sent: 25.03.1912, Kyiv
Received: 27.03.1912, Chernobyl

To
Town of Chernobyl
Novoaleksandrivska st.

Her High Nobility 
Tatiana Petrivna Scherbakova

Tanya, [unreadable] Andreyevich, Andrey Grigorievich, Lida, Shura, and Toma, congratulations on the bright Resurrection of Christ! All the best. We kiss tightly, mom and Lena. [unreadable] in one [unreadable].

Sent: 24.12.1914, Chernobyl
Received: 26.12.1914, Kyiv

city of Kyiv
Lukjanivska st. 47

To 
Helen Petrovna 
Mademoiselle Zaitseva

Dear Luсy,
I send the best to you, as well as your mother, on the holiday of Christmas and the upcoming New Year, and I sincerely wish you to have fun... I will write a letter soon. I kiss you hard. Maria R.

Sent: 23.02.1915, Chernobyl
Received: 25.02.1915, Kyiv

To
Her High Nobility 
Helen Petrovna 
Madam Zaitseva

Kyiv Lukjanivska st. 47

Dear Mom and Lena! I have received your letter, thank you very much for the memory that you have one me and that you yet not completely forgotten me, or, more correctly, that my letter reminded you of me, but still, thank you very much. Everyone is healthy, we live as before, during the second week everyone was fasting, if you also fast, then I congratulate you on accepting the holy sacraments. 
I received letters from Andrew. He wrote that their ship almost perished, and with it they too, there is nothing new. Write what you have new, what you are doing. Yes, and write more often, do not count on me, because you, Lena, are much freer than me, and you could write more often. Goodbye and kiss you hard. Ardently loving Tatiana, and Ignas, and Andrei Grigorievich. Waiting for an answer.

Sent: 06.01.1916, Chernobyl
Received: 08.01.1916, Kyiv

To
Her High Nobility 
Hanna Andriivna 
Zaitseva

Kyiv
Lukjanivska st. 47

The year 1916
Happy new year. Congratulate you and wish all the best.
Respectfully, Il. Terekhov

Sent: 23.12.1916, Chernobyl
Received: 26.12.1916, Kyiv

Kyiv
47 house of Lukjanivska st.

To
Helen Petrovna 
Mademoiselle Zaitseva

1916 December 23th
Sweetheart and dear Lucy,
I congratulate you on the holiday of the Nativity of Christ and the upcoming New Year and sincerely wish you all the best in the world. Your [unreadable]. I kiss you hard, do not forget to write.

Sent: 04.04.1917, Chernobyl
Received: 06.04.1917, Kyiv

Kyiv
Lukjanivsky lane. 47

To
Hanna Andriivna 
Madam Zaitseva

Dear mother and grandmother, sister and aunt, we congratulate you on the bright-holy Resurrection of Christ, and we wish you to have a lot of fun, to wait a lot from the future. We kiss tightly, tightly ardently loving: Tanya, Ignas, Lida, Shura, Toma, and Valya.

Time did not have mercy for both addresses. Private houses on Lukyanivska Street were demolished in 1988, and the old private mansions there were replaced with multi-story buildings. The town of Chernobyl appeared in Exclusion Zone. All that remains — are these yellowed postcards. 

But, I think, we will go into records to find more about the fate of these people.

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