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I don't know much about my step-grandfather prior to his emigration from Russia in 1906 other than the fact that he was in the "Czar's army" and he left Russia to escape the brutality of that army.

It is this picture of my step-grandfather and his friend from the army that is the only clue I have:

enter image description here

How can I identify rank, regiment, location of service, date, or any other information that might be of help from what's shown in the picture?

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    I don't think this picture was taken in Russia proper. My guess it was in what is modern Poland, given the name of the photography studio. Do you have a copy of the back of the picture? – Gene Golovchinsky Oct 10 '12 at 3:34
  • @Gene - If you must know, there is nothing on the back of the picture. Also, a large area of Poland today was part of Russia then. – lkessler Oct 10 '12 at 3:53
  • Can you post a larger version of the image somewhere? – fbrereto Oct 10 '12 at 3:56
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    @Gene - p.s. His Canadian Census record said he was from Osek, Russia. I looked everywhere I could for Osek, Russia and couldn't find it. But lightbulb, because of your comment, I just looked up Osek, Poland on Google and Eureka: jewishgen.org/jri-pl/town/osiek.htm - Thank you! Thank you! I didn't expect to get this sort of help so early into the site's opening, like 6 hours! – lkessler Oct 10 '12 at 3:58
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    Have you lodged this question with ALL EXPERTS - Military History en.allexperts.com/q/Military-History-669. While not a genealogy site, they are experts at military uniforms and information. – Loan Oct 10 '12 at 4:16
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First, when I researched the name I located the following record:
National Archives and Records Administration
U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925 Record for Henry R Ostrowski enter image description here

I'm not implying this is the ancestor but as reference to the Place name as the documents reads, Russian Poland.

I researched multiple military uniforms for all the listed regions, the only real similarity I found will be in the photo provided below

enter image description here

compared with the photo in question enter image description here

I believe that these uniforms aren't an exact match. The insignia on the cap however are of Russian Military origin, these appear to show on both photo's. The difference is that the photo originally provided wasn't in the Imperial Army and the photo that I've introduced was of The Imperial Russian Army. Hence the slight difference in the headgear.

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The Forensic Genealogy website might help you analyze the photo and includes some other helpful links as well.

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