The Russian Economic miracle

Today, June 12, is Russia Day. The day when the nation celebrates its independence, the beginning of a new era after the dissolution of the USSR in 1990. An independence gained without firing a single shot, quite a remarkable achievement. Some shots were fired, but that actually happened a little over a year afterwards, in... Continue Reading →

Operation Beluga

I've got good news and bad news. Bad news first: if you are looking for a post on the delicious beluga caviar, this is not it. The good news, on the other hand are that this is another incredible, but true! story (about Soviet icebreakers and beluga whales) and that if you are still thinking... Continue Reading →

You are not Albert Gunter!

A couple of years ago, I wrote a post about the surreal views you can get in Saint Petersburg during the navigation period on the Neva (from April to November), when 22 bridges across the river and main canals are drawn at night to let ships pass in and out of the Baltic Sea and right through... Continue Reading →

Russian schools, education and values

The other day I was walking by a recently constructed apartment building. Like most new residential construction, it has a playground for the children who are going to be living in those apartments. What caught my eye is the "decoration" that was chosen for the playground. As you can see in the picture above, there... Continue Reading →

The long swim to freedom – Part II

If you haven't already done so, please read Part I of this incredible, yet absolutely true story before proceeding. «That night - Pyotr recalls - I knew I couldn't go back to the unit. I would get maimed or killed. It was as simple as that». The celebrations, after a day's work, happened right around... Continue Reading →

When Russia wanted to conquer India

One of the most bizarre and short lived military campaign in the history of Russia was the plan to try to conquer India in 1801. Russia and Britain were allied during the French Revolutionary Wars of the 1790s. In 1799 they even attempted to invade the Netherlands together. When this operation failed, the Russian Emperor Paul I... Continue Reading →

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