The Russian poet, Nikolai Stepanovich Gumilev (1886–1921), was arrested in 1921 on the false charge of conspiracy and was shot. The Soviet Union's existence ended as abruptly and unexpectedly as did Gumilev's. No major political structure in modern history has collapsed so rapidly. Left is the scarred memory of an enormously rich history. Libraries are the souls of memory. Russian libraries face an extremely important role as the skins of the past are shed for a new soul.
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