|A friendly visitor The Russians, although in some degree a maritime nation, did not devote much attention to their navy, as can be seen from a glance at this picture of one of the visiting Russian vessels during the Civil War, the “Osliaba.” In another photograph has been shown a group of their sailors. They are as different in appearance from the trim American and English men-of-warsmen as their vessel is different from an American or English man-of-war. The Russian sailors were all conscripts, mostly taken from inland villages and forced to take up a sea-faring life in the service of the Czar. There had to be a sprinkling of real seamen among the crew, but they, like the poor serfs from the country, were conscripts also. The Russian harbors are practically cut off from the world by ice for at least five months of the year. This fact has prevented Russia from taking a place among maritime nations. It has been Russia's purpose to reach warm-water harbors that has brought on two of its greatest wars.|
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