Abram Petrovich Gannibal was an African child kidnapped to Russia as a gift for Peter the Great. The tsar freed him and raised him as his godson. Gannibal became a Major-General and the Governor of Reval. He is the great-grandfather of Alexander Pushkin, considered the greatest Russian poet.
Nadezhda Durova (1783-1866), daughter of a Russian Army Officer, disguised herself as a man, serving in a Cavalry Regiment during the Napoleonic Wars. She was the first recorded Female Officer in the Russian army, and was awarded the Cross of St George for bravery under fire.
In 2007, Russia used a mini-submarine to plant the country’s flag on the floor of the Arctic Ocean in an attempt to claim the region and its natural resources, a move that was rejected by the U.N.
Russia removed Saturday and Sunday from the calendar for 11 years to create a “continuous working week” from 1929 to 1940.
So instead of everyone having Saturday off, some people had Mondays off, others had Tuesdays off, others Wednesday, etc.
So your “Weekend” came at different points of the week so the factories didn’t stop. In theory, from a purely output perspective, it’s brilliant. But then you have to remember the radical notion that people are humans and these humans have lives and loved ones, so if you didn’t get the rest day on the same day as your partner you might not ever really get to spend time with them.
The three rulers of Great Britain, Russia, and Germany, respectively, were first cousins. Additionally, Czar Nicholas II of Russia, King George V of Britain were friends since childhood and were mistaken for each other because they looked so alike.
Sweden has “gay sailor” defense system in the Baltic Sea. Underwater dancing gay sailor neon sign sends a Morse code saying “Come here if you’re gay”, targeted to Russian submarines detected regularly in the area.
From the 1960s to the 1970s, Russian cosmonauts were issued alcohol rations to drink in space. While it is still officially banned, it is widely believed that cosmonauts still smuggle some into space.
Chess Grand Master Ossip Bernstein was arrested by the Bolshevik secret police and ordered to be shot. As the firing squad lined up, an officer asked if he was really the famous chess master. The officer made Bernstein play a game for his life against him. Bernstein won easily and was released.
During the siege of Leningrad, a Russian girl named Tanya Savicheva cronicled in her diary the deaths of all her family members during the siege of Leningrad, ending with “Everyone is dead. Only Tanya is left”.
Sergei Preminin, a Russian sailor, sacrificed his life to prevent a reactor meltdown aboard the Soviet submarine K-219. The submarine was off the coast of Bermuda and a reactor meltdown would have spread radiation across the entire North American Atlantic coast.