Life in Russia

Ivannov experiments Ilia Ivanov

In February 1926, Russian biologist Ilia Ivanov set out for Guinea in French West Africa, where he planned to perform one of the world’s most sensational experiments. Ivanov was an expert in artificial insemination and had used his ground-breaking methods to create an assortment of hybrid animals. Now he was going to try something even more radical – crossing an ape and a human. His trip to Africa was expensive and its purpose highly questionable, yet the Bolshevik government not only sanctioned it but also financed it at a time when few Russians were allowed to leave the country. Why would so eminent a scientist risk his reputation? And why did the Bolsheviks back him?

half man, half ape ape-human hybrid

IT WAS the story with everything: secret papers, an evil Soviet dictator and a zealous zoologist hell-bent on breeding a creature that was half man, half ape. When details of Ilia…

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