The church in the background is built on the spot where tsar Alexander II was murdered, "on the blood".
It is also a protest against European architecture (f.i. this Mikhailovsky palace) - and I agree.
Why should a Russian city look like Paris, or Amsterdam (of all places...).
What's wrong with Moscow, or Irkutsk? There's more Russian architecture on my other blog: http://analoog60.blogspot.com/