The Polish architect Władysław Horodecki originally constructed the House with Chimaeras for use as his own upmarket apartment building during the period of 1901–1902. However, as the years went by, Horodecki eventually had to sell the building due to financial troubles, after which it changed ownership numerous times before finally being occupied by an official Communist Partypolyclinic until the early 2000s. When the building was vacated, its interior and exterior decor were fully reconstructed and restored according to Horodecki's original plans. (Full article...)
At the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, Filatov was selected sixth overall by the Blue Jackets. Filatov was the top-ranked European skater by the NHL Central Scouting Bureau. Filatov played two seasons with the Blue Jackets organization. During the 2009–10 season, Filatov was unhappy with his situation in Columbus and was loaned to CSKA Moscow for the remainder of the season. At the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, the Blue Jackets then traded him to Ottawa in exchange for a third-round draft pick. In December 2011, the Senators loaned Filatov to CSKA Moscow for the balance of the 2011–12 season. The following season, Filatov signed with Salavat Yulaev. The Senators chose not to tender Filatov a qualifying offer, making him a free agent. (Full article...)
Nikita Zotov, rotogravure by Alexandr Osipov, 1882–1883
Not much is known about Zotov's life aside from his connection to Peter. Zotov left Moscow for a diplomatic mission to Crimea in 1680 and returned to Moscow before 1683. He became part of the "Jolly Company", a group of several dozen of Peter's friends that eventually became The All-Joking, All-Drunken Synod of Fools and Jesters. Zotov was mockingly appointed "Prince-Pope" of the Synod, and regularly led them in games and celebrations. He accompanied Peter on many important occasions, such as the Azov campaigns and the torture of the Streltsy after their uprising. Zotov held a number of state posts, including from 1701 a leading position in the Tsar's personal secretariat. Three years before his death, Zotov married a woman 50 years his junior. He died in December 1717 of unknown causes. (Full article...)
The Caspian expeditions of the Rus' were military raids undertaken by the Rus' between 864 and 1041 on the Caspian Sea shores, of what are nowadays Iran, Dagestan, and Azerbaijan. Initially, the Rus' appeared in Serkland in the 9th century traveling as merchants along the Volga trade route, selling furs, honey, and slaves. The first small-scale Viking raids took place in the late 9th and early 10th century. The Rus' undertook the first large-scale expedition in 913; having arrived on 500 ships, they pillaged in the Gorgan region, in the territory of present-day Iran, and more to the west, in Gilan and Mazandaran, taking slaves and goods. On their return, the northern raiders were attacked and defeated by the Khazars in the Volga Delta, and those who escaped were killed by the local tribes on the middle Volga.
During their next expedition in 943, the Rus' captured Bardha'a, the capital of Arran, in the modern-day Republic of Azerbaijan. The Rus' stayed there for several months, killing many inhabitants of the city and amassing substantial plunder. It was only an outbreak of dysentery among the Rus' that forced them to depart with their spoils. Sviatoslav, prince of Kiev, commanded the next attack, which destroyed the Khazar state in 965. Sviatoslav's campaign established the Rus's hold on the north-south trade routes, helping to alter the demographics of the region. Raids continued through the time period with the last Scandinavian attempt to reestablish the route to the Caspian Sea taking place in 1041 by Ingvar the Far-Travelled. (Full article...)
Laika (/ˈlaɪkə/LY-kə; Russian: Лайка, IPA: [ˈlajkə]; c. 1954 – 3 November 1957) was a Soviet space dog who was one of the first animals in space and the first to orbit the Earth. A stray mongrel from the streets of Moscow, she flew aboard the Sputnik 2 spacecraft, launched into low orbit on 3 November 1957. As the technology to de-orbit had not yet been developed, Laika's survival was never expected. She died of overheating hours into the flight, on the craft's fourth orbit.
Little was known about the impact of spaceflight on living creatures at the time of Laika's mission, and animal flights were viewed by engineers as a necessary precursor to human missions. The experiment, which monitored Laika's vital signs, aimed to prove that a living organism could survive being launched into orbit and continue to function under conditions of weakened gravity and increased radiation, providing scientists with some of the first data on the biological effects of spaceflight. (Full article...)
The Rite of Spring (French: Le Sacre du printemps) is a ballet and orchestral concert work by the Russian composer Igor Stravinsky. It was written for the 1913 Paris season of Sergei Diaghilev's Ballets Russes company; the original choreography was by Vaslav Nijinsky with stage designs and costumes by Nicholas Roerich. When first performed at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées on 29 May 1913, the avant-garde nature of the music and choreography caused a sensation. Many have called the first-night reaction a "riot" or "near-riot", though this wording did not come about until reviews of later performances in 1924, over a decade later. Although designed as a work for the stage, with specific passages accompanying characters and action, the music achieved equal if not greater recognition as a concert piece and is widely considered to be one of the most influential musical works of the 20th century.
Stravinsky was a young, virtually unknown composer when Diaghilev recruited him to create works for the Ballets Russes. Le Sacre du printemps was the third such major project, after the acclaimed Firebird (1910) and Petrushka (1911). The concept behind The Rite of Spring, developed by Roerich from Stravinsky's outline idea, is suggested by its subtitle, "Pictures of Pagan Russia in Two Parts"; the scenario depicts various primitive rituals celebrating the advent of spring, after which a young girl is chosen as a sacrificial victim and dances herself to death. After a mixed critical reception for its original run and a short London tour, the ballet was not performed again until the 1920s, when a version choreographed by Léonide Massine replaced Nijinsky's original, which saw only eight performances. Massine's was the forerunner of many innovative productions directed by the world's leading choreographers, gaining the work worldwide acceptance. In the 1980s, Nijinsky's original choreography, long believed lost, was reconstructed by the Joffrey Ballet in Los Angeles. (Full article...)
Oganesson is a synthetic chemical element with the symbolOg and atomic number 118. It was first synthesized in 2002 at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR) in Dubna, near Moscow, Russia, by a joint team of Russian and American scientists. In December 2015, it was recognized as one of four new elements by the Joint Working Party of the international scientific bodies IUPAC and IUPAP. It was formally named on 28 November 2016. The name honors the nuclear physicist Yuri Oganessian, who played a leading role in the discovery of the heaviest elements in the periodic table. It is one of only two elements named after a person who was alive at the time of naming, the other being seaborgium, and the only element whose eponym is alive today.
Oganesson has the highest atomic number and highest atomic mass of all known elements. The radioactive oganesson atom is very unstable, and since 2005, only five (possibly six) atoms of the isotope oganesson-294 have been detected. Although this allowed very little experimental characterization of its properties and possible compounds, theoretical calculations have resulted in many predictions, including some surprising ones. For example, although oganesson is a member of group 18 (the noble gases) – the first synthetic element to be so – it may be significantly reactive, unlike all the other elements of that group. It was formerly thought to be a gas under normal conditions but is now predicted to be a solid due to relativistic effects. On the periodic table of the elements it is a p-block element and the last one of period 7. (Full article...)
Portrait of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov in 1898 by Valentin Serov (detail)
Rimsky-Korsakov believed in developing a nationalistic style of classical music, as did his fellow composer Mily Balakirev and the critic Vladimir Stasov. This style employed Russian folk song and lore along with exotic harmonic, melodic and rhythmic elements in a practice known as musical orientalism, and eschewed traditional Western compositional methods. Rimsky-Korsakov appreciated Western musical techniques after he became a professor of musical composition, harmony, and orchestration at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory in 1871. He undertook a rigorous three-year program of self-education and became a master of Western methods, incorporating them alongside the influences of Mikhail Glinka and fellow members of The Five. Rimsky-Korsakov's techniques of composition and orchestration were further enriched by his exposure to the works of Richard Wagner. (Full article...)
Nadezhda Sergeyevna Alliluyeva (Russian: Надежда Сергеевна Аллилуева; 22 September [O.S. 9 September] 1901 – 9 November 1932) was the second wife of Joseph Stalin. She was born in Baku to a friend of Stalin, a fellow revolutionary, and was raised in Saint Petersburg. Having known Stalin from a young age, she married him when she was 18, and they had two children. Alliluyeva worked as a secretary for Bolshevik leaders, including Vladimir Lenin and Stalin, before enrolling at the Industrial Academy in Moscow to study synthetic fibres and become an engineer. She had health issues, which had an adverse impact on her relationship with Stalin. She also suspected he was unfaithful, which led to frequent arguments with him. On several occasions, Alliluyeva reportedly contemplated leaving Stalin, and after an argument, she fatally shot herself early in the morning of 9 November 1932. (Full article...)
Nihonium was first reported to have been created in 2003 by a Russian–American collaboration at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR) in Dubna, Russia, and in 2004 by a team of Japanese scientists at Riken in Wakō, Japan. The confirmation of their claims in the ensuing years involved independent teams of scientists working in the United States, Germany, Sweden, and China, as well as the original claimants in Russia and Japan. In 2015, the IUPAC/IUPAP Joint Working Party recognised the element and assigned the priority of the discovery and naming rights for the element to Riken. The Riken team suggested the name nihonium in 2016, which was approved in the same year. The name comes from the common Japanese name for Japan (日本, nihon). (Full article...)
The Siberian accentor (Prunella montanella) is a small passerinebird that breeds in northern Russia from the Ural Mountains eastwards across Siberia. It is migratory, wintering in Korea and eastern China, with rare occurrences in western Europe and northwestern North America. Its typical breeding habitat is subarcticdeciduous forests and open coniferous woodland, often close to water, although it also occurs in mountains and sprucetaiga. It inhabits bushes and shrubs in winter, frequently near streams, but may also be found in dry grassland and woods.
The Siberian accentor has brown upperparts and wings, with bright chestnut streaking on its back and a greyish-brown rump and tail. The head has a dark brown crown and a long, wide pale yellow supercilium ("eyebrow"). All plumages are quite similar. The nest is an open cup in dense shrub or a tree into which the female lays four to six glossy deep blue-green eggs that hatch in about ten days. Adults and chicks feed mainly on insects, typically picked off the ground, but sometimes taken from vegetation. In winter, the accentors may also consume seeds or feed near human habitation. (Full article...)
A Boyar Wedding Feast is an oil-on-canvas painting created by Russian artist Konstantin Makovsky in 1883. The boyars were members of the highest rank of the feudal aristocracy of Russia in the 16th and 17th centuries, and a wedding was an important social event. In this painting, the guests are depicted toasting a newlywed couple. They stand at the head of the table, where the groom sees his bride without her veil for the first time; she appears timid and bashful as the men toast for the first kiss. Behind the couple, the Lady of Ceremony gently urges on the bride. A roasted swan is being brought in on a large platter, the last dish to be served before the couple retires to the bedroom. The work is in the collection of the Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens, in Washington, D.C.
The Solovetsky Monastery is a Russian Orthodox monastery in Solovetsky, Arkhangelsk, Russia. Founded in 1436 by the monk Zosima, the monastery grew in power into the 16th century, becoming an economic and political center of the White Sea region and eventually hosting 350 monks. After the Bolshevik Revolution, Soviet authorities closed down the monastery and incorporated many of its buildings into Solovki prison camp, one of the earliest forced-labor camps of the gulag system. The camp closed after the region's trees had been harvested. Today the monastery has been re-established, and also serves as a museum.
This photo of the Nilov Monastery on Stolobny Island in Tver Oblast, Russia, was taken by Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky in 1910 before the advent of colour photography. His process used a camera that took a series of monochrome pictures in rapid sequence, each through a different coloured filter. By projecting all three monochrome pictures using correctly coloured light, it was possible to reconstruct the original colour scene.
Leo Tolstoy (1828–1910) was a Russian writer who is regarded as one of the world's greatest novelists. He is best known for War and Peace (1869) and Anna Karenina (1877), often cited as pinnacles of realist fiction. Born to an aristocratic family on 9 September [O.S. 28 August] 1828, Tolstoy was orphaned when he was young. He studied at Kazan University, but this was not a success, and he left university without completing his degree. During this time, he began to write and published his first novel, Childhood, in 1852. Tolstoy later served at the Siege of Sevastopol during the Crimean War, and was appalled by the number of deaths and left at the conclusion of the war. He spent the remainder of his life writing whilst also marrying and starting a family. In the 1870s he converted to a form of fervent Christian anarchism.
A late nineteenth-century photochrom of a reindeer sled, Arkhangelsk, Russia. Reindeer have been herded for centuries by several Arctic and Subarctic people including the Sami and the Nenets. They are raised for their meat, hides, antlers and, to a lesser extent, for milk and transportation.
The Krestovsky Stadium is the home ground of FC Zenit Saint Petersburg. Photographed here in 2016, when construction was nearing completion, it is situated on Krestovsky Island in the Russian city of Saint Petersburg. It was opened in 2017 as a venue for the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, and hosted the final, in which Germany beat Chile 1–0. It was one of the venues for the 2018 FIFA World Cup the following year. Among other features, it has a retractable roof, and is equipped with a video-surveillance and identification system, as well as security-alarm, fire-alarm and robotic fire-extinguishing systems. The stadium's seating capacity is 67,800.
The Bolshoi Theatre is a historic theatre in Moscow, Russia, which holds ballet and opera performances. The company was founded on 28 March [O.S. 17 March] 1776, when Catherine the Great granted Prince Pyotr Urusov a licence to organise theatrical performances, balls and other forms of entertainment. Usunov set up the theatre in collaboration with English tightrope walker Michael Maddox. The present building was built between 1821 and 1824 and designed by architect Joseph Bové.
Although James Clerk Maxwell made the first color photograph in 1861, the results were far from realistic until Prokudin-Gorsky perfected the technique with a series of improvements around 1905. His process used a camera that took a series of monochrome pictures in rapid sequence, each through a different colored filter. Prokudin-Gorskii then went on to document much of the country of Russia, travelling by train in a specially equipped darkroomrailroad car.
Russian wine refers to wine made in Russia, at times also including the disputed region of Crimea. The vast majority of Russia's territory is unsuitable for grape growing, with most of the production concentrated in parts of Krasnodar and Rostov regions, as well as Crimea.
The Russian market is characterized by the presence of many low-cost products, with a significant part of local wines having a retail price of less than 100 rubles ($1.71). Attempts to shift away from the low-quality reputation of Soviet wines has been moderately successful, though 80% of wines sold in Russia in 2013 were made from grape concentrates. (Full article...)