Kremlin wives brought to life in new Moscow exhibition

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From a sumptuous gown of the last Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna to a peasant-style smock worn by Lenin's wife Nadezhda Krupskaya, a new exhibition on the wives of Kremlin leaders illuminates a turbulent century.

The exhibition,"Russian First Ladies in the 20th Century" -- just opened at Moscow's Museum of Contemporary History -- displays clothes, jewelry, photographs and furniture relating to these women who stood, mostly silently, by their husbands, but also symbolised their times.

"Such an exhibition would have been unimaginable before. Under the tsars these things were kept in the family. Under the Bolsheviks affairs of the heart were not discussed," said Larisa Vasilyeva, author of a book entitled"Kremlin Spouses."

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