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Vladimir Ilich Lenin

Vladimir Ilich Lenin, founder of the Russian Communist party, leader of the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, and first head of state of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, was also a masterly political thinker whose theories shaped Communist thought and influenced all factions of the Marxist movement. Lenin was born Vladimir Ilich Ulyanov on April 22, 1870, in the provincial city of Simbirsk on the Volga River. By all accounts, Lenin’s middle-class family was warm and loving....

From Russia with Love : Rudolf Nureyev

The most photographed male dancer in the world, Rudolf Nureyev electrified the world with his ballet for close to three decades in the second half of the 20th century. In the world of ballet, dominated by the ballerina or the female artist, Nureyev brought male dancing to the limelight, and changed the nature of 20th century ballet. From peasantdom to stardom, he twirled his way to the very top in an eventful life. Rudolf Hametovich Nureyev was born in a train near Irkutsk in Russia, when his mother was on her way to meet his father, in 1938....

Destination Mir

Destination Mir

Destination Mir [Illustration by Shiju George] August 19: Dennis Tito is a very excited man. This businessman-cum-space-enthusiast has won the first prize in a game show called Destination Mir. He is now all set to be the world’s first space tourist, and is training at Russia’s Star City space-base for his unusually long journey. Russia has launched a television game show to revive interest in its ageing space station, Mir. The winner of the show gets to shoot into space, straight to the Russian space station Mir, which has been in space for 14 years now....

The Young Tax Commandos

The Young Tax Commandos

October 14: Every country has its heroes in every generation, and children, when asked what they want to be when they grow up, point at them. There was a time when becoming a diplomat or a cosmonaut was the most thrilling profession for Russian children. Recognition from others, glamour and adventure – these professions seemed to have it all. But times have changed and how. Today, the ambition of most Russian children is to have an ear to the ground....

North Korea Conducts Nuclear Test

Where: Pyongyang, North Korea May 26, 2009 : North Korea conducted a nuclear test on Monday, May 25, 2009, in the face of warnings and opposition from countries around the world. Geological sensors in South Korea detected tremors from an artificial earthquake caused by the explosion. This was followed by an official announcement by the North Korean government agencies of the successful conduct of the test. The Russian Defence Department said the bomb was probably as big as the bombs that caused such large scale destruction in Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of the second World War....

A 'Big Bang' in Earth's Orbital Space

Where: Orbital Space around Earth February 15, 2009 : An American and a Russian satellite collided over Siberia, Russia, on February 10, 2009. Five days after the event, there were reports that burning fragments of the wreckage were spotted over several American cities. The American satellite, Iridium 33, was a civilian communications satellite launched in 1997, and the Russian one, Kosmos-2251, was a non-functioning military communications satellite, launched in 1993. Both satellites weighed over 450 kilograms....

The Final Descent

The Final Descent

March 26: After 15 years in the skies, the Russian-made Mir space station finally returned to earth on March 22. Its burning remnants could be seen as they shot across the sky over the Fiji islands. The Final Descent [Illustration by Shiju George] Mir means both ‘peace’ and ‘village’ in Russian. It housed 104 astronauts in its lifetime, 62 of whom were from other countries, including seven Americans. Mir’s first component was launched in 1986....

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