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R u s s i a August 2, 2010

Posted by anagasto in history, WWII.
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The Brown Bear is the symbol of Russia; photo by Simm in public domain at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Medved_mzoo.jpg

Basic Timeline:

1552-56 … Ivan the Terrible establishes Russian rule by stopping Asian invadors.

1689 -1725 … Peter the Great tries to reform the administration.

1818 … … Napoleon invades Russia and is defeated.

1914 … Russia fights against Germany alongside Britain and France in WWI. 1917… … The Revolution led by Vladimir Lenin takes control of the government.

1922Russia joins the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics under Joseph Stalin. 

1941- 1945 … … Hitler invades Russia and is defeated. ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

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In the late Middle Ages Russia began to define its borders against the Asian invaders.

Ivan the Terrible

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Ivan IV is known as Ivan the Terrible. He lived from 1530 to 1584. During his reign Russia expanded at the rate of 130 square kilometers a day (says Wikipedia).

At the time, until recently and maybe right up to the present time, those who lived off some sort of government job lived well. The rest had to make do any which way.

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In Eisenstein’s stellar film you see the people lining up all across the plain to approach Ivan IV with their plea. The legends and fairy tales portray the Zars as the gentle and wise benefactors.

The photos are from http://www.uoregon.edu/~kimb

from http://sovietmovies.blogspot.com/

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19th century: the French invasion

When Napoleon invaded Russia, he came with “an army of 120,000 men and 40,000 horses and needed 850 carts just to carry a single day’s food and forage. Powder and shot for the artillery, medical care for the sick and wounded, tents and other supplies required many more.” —

From the NYT presentation of Dominic Lieven’s “Russia Against Napoleon”.

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The orange curve represents Napoleon’s advancing army starting out with 400,000 men. The black curve shows Napoleon’s army turning back and reaching Lithouania with 4,000 men. — The chart is at http://www.historywiz.com/russianinvasion.htm

For the Russian cavalry in Napoleon’s war see  http://napoleonistyka.atspace.com/Russian_cavalry.htm

Below, the French retreating, by Prianishnikov in public domain at

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Prianishnikov_1812.jpg

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Lenin and Stalin: according to  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Lenin_and_stalin.jpg this photo may be fake and its copyright situation hard to ascertain.

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20th century: The German invasion

The Russian president Stalin had killed his military leaders because they belonged to aristocratic families. His plan was to let Hitler’s armies advance deep into Russia in summer and let them freeze and die in winter. This strategy had destroyed Napoleon’s armies and it destroyed Hitler’s at the cost of many million lives.

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Map of WWII death in Europe

according to Putzger.
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When the Germans started to retreat, the Russians advanced against them and surrounded them at the city of Stalingrad.

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Panorama view of Stalingrad at war

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The caption says that this was “the battle for the factory”, but there is no factory anymore. The photo is by Georgi Zelma.

Its copyright status is unknown.

Подбитый и севший на вынужденную немецкий истребитель Мессершмитт Bf.109 в центре Сталинграда [2] — A German Messerschmitt Bf.109 in the center of

Stalingrad — The photo is from http://waralbum.ru/  which is a large Russian collection of photos from WWII.

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Russians marching

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Russian front WW2

Both of these stills are from http://www.youtube.com/wat
The explanation is at http://riowang.blogspot.com.es/2011/09/trian …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. .

20th century post war Russia

1948 … … The Russians try to block access to Berlin. The US air force supplies the city’s 2 000 000 inhabitants with food and water as long as the blockade lasted. The photo shows children on the WWII ruins of their houses watching a plane arriving.

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1956 … … Nikita Khrushchev becomes leader and denounces Stalin’s brutality. He was visited by US president Nixon.

They both went to see the exhibition of an American kitchen. Khrushchev says he doesn´t believe that most Americans own a kitchen like that, and you see Nixon correct him.

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The iconic “Kitchen Debate” and the “Airlift” photos and their stories are at http://iconicphotos.wordpress.com/

1985 … Mikhail Gorbachev tries to put through an all-out reform called Perestroika. Before he resigned or was thrown out, he once was arrested at his own dacha, though only for a short time.

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1990 … … Yeltsin becomes president. The Communist party was strong, and its opposition grew.

The photo is licensed under the CC Attribution 3.0 Unported license and attributed to http://www.kremlin.ru .

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Yeltsin orders the tanks to attack Parliament. The photo by Rs4life07 is at http://callofduty.wikia.com/wiki/File:Rasstrel.jpg  under aGNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2

1991 … … The Soviet Union is dissolved.

1999 … … Yeltsin resigns.

2000 … … Putin is elected president.

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Putin: they gave him a little tiger as a present. He is known to sponsor some tiger protection association. In the international opinion he held up very well…….

Added in 2012 :-(

It is not yet possible to find out what the story is. I read that he keeps buying things like cars, planes, villas, boats, etc. etc, which sounds dangerous because it would mean he is not aging very well.
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this politician

Added in 2013 :-(

Recently, with tact and discretion, he intervened to help Obama and the Europeans figure out their foreign affairs.
The evident ease of his moves should give some high  people pause to think.
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Languages

The map is from the SiberianLight.
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In Russia there are 160 ethnic groups speaking 100 languages

The map is from the Siberian Light.

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Lifestyle

Below is the forest in Siberia. About 70% of Siberia’s people live in cities. Most city people live in apartments. Many people in rural areas live in log houses. Novosibirsk is the largest city in Siberia, with a population of about 1.5 million.

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There are reindeer and sledges further north, in Arkangelsk. ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

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The palace square in Saint Petersburg; photo at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:PalaceSquare.JPG placed into public domain by its author, Виталий Быстров = Vitali Vistrov.

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The Kremlin by NVO under a CC Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Kremlin_27.06.2008_01.jpg

The cathedral of Saint Basile: doesn’t it look like straight out of a fairy tale? It is 450 years old, as a contemporary of Europe’s baroque churches that were just as ornate, though in a very different way.

Notice that in spite of their rocky recent  history, they seem to have kept their crosses and stars on the spires of their churches.

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Russia, Rossiya , Moskovskaya Oblast', Moscow, Moskva, St Basil's Cathedral and Spassky Tower, Red Square

Собор в честь Покрова Пресвятой Богородицы (храм Василия Блаженного) и Спасская башня, Красная площадь  —

St Basil’s Cathedral and Spassky Tower, Red Square The large version is at http://www.8thingstodo.com/kremlin-moscow

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It is called an onion top, but it is shaped more like a turnip. Some are made of wood and gilded. It is the historic center of Nizhny Novgorod with its church and further up the walls of its Kremlin.

The photo is from Novgorod. Gorod is Russian for city. It is by Vmenkov under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 unported license at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:C0315-NN-Kremlin-seen-from-Kanavino-Bridge.jpg

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The Kazan church.

The photo is by Maarten and licensed under  a CC  Attribution 2.0 Generic license at http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a5/Kazan_church.jpg

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They are built completely of wood. The original photo  is by MatthiasKabel published under a CC Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported  license at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Kizhi_churches.jpg ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… .

The Russian fairy tales are the greatest in the world, and they are as strange as those buildings.

Some Westerners are afraid to do Russian because of the alphabet called Cyrillic, but that is easy to learn.

According to tradition the alphabet was invented by two Saints, Cyril and Methodius, who went to Russia as missionaries more than 1100 years ago.

The letters look a little confusing at first, but you put that with some little phrase list on your breakfast table  and have it around for a while, also at the office, and it is just like as crossword puzzle:

Russian alphabet

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basic-russian-phrase

At “Petersburg city” you would find a good and more complete list : petersburgcity.com

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tn_floor-plan333

The last word is kuknya which is a kitchen.
The drawing is by Gring from an Assimil Russian course. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….

And, finally, a map:

Licensed by Luís Flávio Loureiro dos Santos under CC Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported at Russian_Regions-EN.svg/842px-Russian_Regions-EN.svg.png.

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It was hard to find a map. I wonder whether there is some truth in the story that under Communism the Government issued only faulty or distorted maps to prevent people from trying to run away. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. .

Postscript January 19, 2011 I forgot the writers, probably the Western world’s most influential great writers, Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky. Has to be a separate post. ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… .

Postscript October 18, 2011 from The Guardian: The Russian Winter

The mayor spends his time dreaming up snow-fighting schemes. In 2009 he proposed deploying jets to the skies outside Moscow to disperse snow-heavy clouds.

Every year it’s a disaster.

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Putin and Berlusconi.  —  In the past, a coat was so expensive that it became an awful status symbol. If you are poor, you wear rabbit. Or cat?

The picture is part of a photo report on Berlusconi at http://internacional.elpais.com/internacional/2011/11/11/album/1321017481_513392.html .

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This picture is from the US.  It is in public domain according to http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/ff/Snowplow2.jpg

I just hope Putin has thought of buying an item like this for his dacha. Consider: it could also be used to remove demonstrators.

Recent news however would suggest that he prefers silent contrivances.

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This post of mine only reflects what is generally known about Russia. —

If you are looking for real knowledge, broad and deep and with photos — photos like the one below — go and see http://riowang.blogspot.com.es/2010/06/get-to-know-soviet-union.html

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from Rio Wang blog

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Comments»

1. Anonymous - September 29, 2011

The map shows 6 million Russian civilians dead.
We know that at least 25 million died. The Germans were clear about their plan for lebensraum, murdering half the population, enslaving the rest, stealing the resources and wiorking the slaves to death.

2. cantueso - September 29, 2011

I think you counted only the grey crosses. Those represent the civilians who died. In addition there are 13 black crosses representing the military.

3. ursula - January 22, 2012

You hit the “like it” button of your own post !

:-D

cantueso - November 23, 2013

It was by accident, but, of course, I do like and even re-read and correct my own posts. And I don’t think there is a way to “unlike” it. —

4. gerald b santover - November 29, 2013

This presentation of Russia is subective, and you knew that, didn’t you? You left out quite a few centuries, in fact most of Russian history, but as an idea it is ok anyway.


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