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Aleksandr Gorianin “Petersburg grew atop the bones of its builders”—this myth is so persistent in both popular opinion and the work of historians who don’t specifically study this topic that it has hardly been discussed seriously until very recently. Meanwhile, this story has a few interesting twists in it. The Swede’s Envy The rumor was started in the middle of the eighteenth century by the Swedes—which isn’t surprising since the mouth of the Neva was taken from them and Swedish captives cut out the first trenches for what would become the city’s roads....

23.03.2017
Rubric: Articles
Subject: History

The metalwork of the Urals is one of Russia’s brands. The roots of this tradition go back to the eighteenth century, and to this day collectors highly value the works of Urals craftspeople. In recent decades the standard-bearer of this craft, the legendary Kasli factory, has run into certain difficulties. Nonetheless, the tradition of artistic metalworking in the Urals remains alive. An Arrival from the Celestial Empire Cast iron is, according to the encyclopedia, the name for an alloy of iron and carbon. The Russian word for cast iron (chugun) derives from Chinese, and this is significant: it...

11.03.2017
Rubric: Articles
Subject: History

Once Russia had gone to sea, acquiring its own navy and overseas colonies (Russian America), it could only keep moving forward. It was hard to believe that just a little while ago the Russian navy, founded by the will of Peter the Great, didn’t exist at all. But now people were thinking of a voyage around the world that would be entirely under the naval flag of Russia.   Predecessors   The prominent diplomat and traveler Nikolai Rezanov once said, “May Russia’s fate be upon the wings of sails.” Many people would have signed onto this phrase, including commanders, simple...

03.03.2017
Rubric: Articles
Subject: History

This year Russia marks the one hundred year anniversary of the 1917 February Revolution. In Soviet times it was called a “bourgeois democratic revolution” (as opposed to the socialist October Revolution), but now more and more historians are inclined to view these events as a successfully planned сoup. The publicist and historian Aleksandr Gorianin reflects on what this February Revolution actually was. A Year Before the Bolsheviks Let’s count backwards from the Bolshevik coup exactly one year. Let’s forget everything we know about that year and immerse ourselves in the details of 25 October 1916...

02.03.2017
Rubric: Articles
Subject: History

States wage war not only with weapons, but also by spreading disparaging rumors. Russia has experienced this for centuries and continues to do so. The dissemination of the “Potemkin village” tale is the most successful negative “PR campaign” in history. This myth has kept going for over two hundred years. Even if you know nothing about the centuries of bad blood between England and the Netherlands, the dictionary can tell you about it: Dutch courage (drinking until you feel brave), Dutch widow (a prostitute), Dutch bargain (one made while drinking), Dutch feast (one where the host is...

02.02.2017
Rubric: Articles
Subject: History

It is Dmitry Alekseyevich Milyutin’s 200 birthday this year. The last Field Marshal, Military Minister, he was the author of military reform of 1860s. The result of his work was creation of a new type of the Russian Army after 20 years from the loss in Crimean war, which crawled up to the outskirts of Istanbul.   Milyutin had an ancient, well-know at some point – a lane in Moscow is named after his grandfather – but a bankrupt family of Serbian background. His father was one of those people, who are unlucky in all the spheres of life… except for love. ...

10.07.2016
Rubric: Articles
Subject: History

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Photo credit: rurik.se The Russian-speaking society in Norrkoping, Sweden, organized a literary evening dedicated to the 150th anniversary of the outstanding Russian writer Alexander Kuprin. The guests were told about the life of the writer, read excerpts from his iconic works,... .
Photo credit: culture.ru German customs officials are going to return 3,000 icons to Russia, TASS reports. They were all confiscated in an attempted smuggling into Germany. According to Major General of Police Alexander Prokopchuk, head of the National Central Bureau (NCB) of... .
Photo credit: a shot from Soldier / kinofilmpro.ru The Felix Prize Russian Film Festival opens on September 24 in the Italian province of Lombardy for the third time. The films will be screened in September and October in cinemas in Milan and two other cities in the province, and... .