Esperanto is an artificial international language created by Dr Ludovic Lazarus Zamenof between 1877-85. Zamenhof, who grew up in Warsaw, Poland, was convinced that a common language would be necessary to resolve many problems as language barriers helped to aggravate problems between nations.
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.
May 11: The world’s first paying space tourist is back on earth after a week-long joyride in space. On Sunday, May 6, American millionaire Dennis Tito and two Russian cosmonauts landed back on earth, as their space capsule gently parachuted down onto the barren steppe in Kazakhstan.
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.
To Russia with Love? [Illustration by Shiju George] November 25: Meet Tinky-Vinky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po. They are the Russian version of characters in Teletubbies, the British television series for toddlers.
Where: St. Petersbug, RUssia
May 19, 2001: For more than 50 years Danzig Baldayev had been studying a unique mode of communication amongst the Russian prisoners. When he was a prison guard he discovered that the tattoo on each prisoner’s body had a message for the other inmates.
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.
November 4: Central Asian countries that proclaimed independence after the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR) disintegrated in 1991 are not merely beset by the usual political and economic uncertainties that mark all new nations. They are uncertain about their alphabets too.
Where: Tehran, Iran
February 26, 2009 : Bushehr, located on Iran’s Gulf coast, houses the country’s first nuclear facility. It was inaugurated with much ceremony, but will only become fully functional later in the year. The 1000-megawatt reactor was built with Russian help.
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.
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