The Desolation of Exile:
A Russian Family's Odyssey

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The Ukhtomskys arrived in Harbin with the Golitsyn family in 1920. Nikolay Ukhtomsky (my grandfather) left for Berlin in 1922 and lived, studied and worked in Western Europe until 1929. He then returned to Harbin and married Lyubov Alexandrovna Krutova in 1932. They had two daughters, Marina (my mother) and Yelena. These are selected  photographs spanning the time period from the 1920s to 1953. At the end are photographs of unidentified people. If you have information to share or questions, please contact me at
Since I first created this website, many people have written to help idientify the people in these photos. I am grateful to all who have taken the time to contact me with information.

Pokrovsky Church in Harbin.

Father Petr Rozhdestvensky with the Ukhtomsky family (1920s). Natalia Alexandrovna is across the table from him and Alexander Nikolayevich is at the head of the table. The man seated at the far side of the table may be Robert Alexandrovich Markov.
Natalia Alexandrovna with Anna Valerianovna, Easter (Year unknown). At right, Anna Valerianovna and Alexander Nikolayevich. Probably the late 1920s or early 1930s.

Alexandr Nikolayevich, possibly in front of Ukhtomsky home on Telinskaya St. At right, Alexander Nikolayevich and Anna Valerianovna in the yard of their home. Probably early to mid-1930s.

Bishop Dmitriy.  At right, Lyubov Ukhtomsky nee Krutova, dressed for a costume ball. Early 1930's.

At left, Lyubov with daughter Marina in her arms. The name of the young girl standing next to her is "Lyalya" (short for Yelena) but her last name is unknown (summer 1934).  At right, Natalia Alexandrovna and Alexander Nikolayevich with Marina and one of Alexander Nikolayevich's beloved dogs, Roika (1935).

Natalia Alexandrovna with Marina.

Marina with Roika in 1937. Probably the house on Telinskaya St.

"Shura" (short for Alexandra) with children Marina and Yelena in the summer of 1937. Shura's exact  identity is unknown but she was apparently a friend of Lyubov's.

The Ukhtomsky family in 1937. From left: Lyubov Alexandrovna with Yelena in her lap, Anna Valerianovna, Natalia Alexandrovna with Marina in her lap, and Alexander Nikolayevich.

Natalia Alexandrovna with children Marina and Yelena likely standing in front of their home with Vladimir Arnoldovich Zissermann and his daughter-in-law Zinaida Dmitrievna (circa 1938). V.A. Zisserman also lived on Telinskaya St. so was both a friend  and neighbor of the Ukhtomskys. One of Zinaida Dmitrievna's sons was Natalia Alexandrovna's godson. The Zissermann family later moved to Australia.

Marina and Yelena with two unidentified friends, June 1939.

Marina with unidentified boy, 1940.  At right, Natalia Alexandrovna with another family dog, Puska, 1941.

Nadezhda A. Krutova.

Marina and Yelena with Lydia Nikolayevna Koltunovskaya  (nee Berdonsova). The little boy is Dmitriy Korenovsky, the son of Lydia Nikolayevna's niece. This photo was probably taken in Harbin when Dmitriy came to visit with his grandmother, Antonina Shevchenko. Lydia Koltunovskaya left for the U.S. in the fall of 1940 so this may have been the summer of that year.

Marina and Yelena in April 1942.

The photographs below are friends and schoolmates of Marina. Some are identified by full name, others by first name only.

This photo was given to Marina and Yelena from a self-described "soldier" who was in Harbin and is dated April 18, 1946. This would mean that he was a member of the occupying Soviet Army.

To Marina to remember me by, signed T.K. (Tatiana Kotovskaya), September 14, 1951.

To Marina from Vova (Vladimir). March 20, 1953.

Vova (Vladimir), photo dated Feb. 25, 1953.

From Valentin (Ivashinnikov), January 29, 1953.

Valentin Ivashinnikov at left and two unidentified.

Sergey Baygildin, a friend and neighbor who lived on Telinskaya St.

To Marina from Pashka (Pavel Gideonov), December 1952 (given March 2, 1953).

From Pavel Gideonov to Marina, taken December 1952. Sent April 10, 1953 from Harbin.

To Marina from Oleg, February 23, 1953.

From Oleg to Marina. Sent 6 November 1954, taken in May at "you can guess where"- the place where "we would often meet."

To Marina from Shura (Alexander Pilyushenko), March 15, 1952.

To Marina from Boris K., February 24, 1953

To Marina from Pavel Gideonov, May 10, 1954.

To Marina from Boris Tarasov.

At left: Mitya Turanov. At right, Militsa.

Natasha Kuzora, undated and February 18, 1953.

To Marina from Lyusya Goffman,  March 21, 1953. "Don't forget our foursome."

To Marina from Masha Kudrina, 1953.

To Marina from Lyusya (Kulemina). She also lived on Telinskaya St.

To Marina from Aleksey, 1953 (Alleksey Baranov)

To Marina from Genna (Gennadiy Butorin), Summer 1953, the Sungari River.

To Marina from Genna, June 23, 1954 (Gennadiy Butorin)

Gennadiy Butorin.

To Marina from Alyoshka (Aleksey), September 16, 1954.

At left, A. Makarova. At right, unknown.

"To Marina to remember us by from the guys at the Alexander Nevsky Lyceum," April 5, 1953. Top row left to right: Valya Ivashinnikov, Tolya Lukin, Alypsha Baranov, Seva Ustinov; bottom row: Nikita Charikov, Sasha Pilyushenko. Identified by Gleb Razjigayev.

Unidentified, both photos dated Harbin, 1952.

To Marina from Alyosha (Aleksey) L. 19 January 1953, Tsitsikar.

To Marina from G. Batuyev, Peking

Unidentified man, photo taken in Peking (Beijing) in April 1958 at Bey Hai Park.

Lydia Nikolayevna Koltunovskaya  (nee Berdonosova). On the back the world "Auntie" is written.

The photos below were probably taken in Harbin. There are no dates or other identifying information.

Unidentified woman at left. The photo on the right may be a Golitsyn family member (one of the daughters of Alexander Vladimirovich and Lyubov Vladimirovna Golitsyn).

At left: group of unidentified women. At right: this photo was among Harbin photos but may have been taken in Russia. No identifying information.

Location, person and date unknown.

Location and date unknown. The men are all identified by first name: Feodor, Nikita, Andrey, etc.

Семья Ухтомских в Харбине
In the fall of 1920, the Ukhtomskys had been living in Harbin for several months. They lived in Modiagau on Batalionnaya Street, near St. Alexis Orthodox Church. All the women worked as teachers. Maria taught at the M.S. Henerozova School, and Natalia had several teaching positions...

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