Author: Andy Young

Ivan the Terrible Facts

Ivan the Terrible, formally Ivan IV Vasilyevich, was the first Tsar of Russia. His reign, one of the longest of Russian Tsars, saw Russia emerge from its position as a medieval nation state into the beginnings of the Russian Empire. This article contains some facts about Ivan the Terrible, his life and reign. Ivan the Terrible was three years old when he became Tsar Ivan’s father, Valili III, died in December 1533, when Ivan was just three years old, and Ivan was proclaimed the Grand Prince of Moscow, a title he held until his death. Too young to actually rule, his mother Elene Glinskaya acted as his regent until she died (probably murdered) when Ivan was eight. Ivan was formally crowned Tsar on 16 January 1547, aged 16 (although he only became known as Tsar Ivan the Terrible at a later date). Ivan the Terrible died playing chess Ivan’s reign came to an end on 28 March 1584, when he suffered a stroke while playing chess against Bogdan Belsky, his bodyguard and closest confidant. Ivan ordered the construction of St Basil’s Cathedral St Basil’s cathedral was constructed in Moscow on Ivan’s order, to commemorate his victories in battle, particularly the capture of Kazan. The cathedral was designed by the renowned architect of the time, Postnik Yakovlev. There are many stories that say that Ivan was so pleased with his new...

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Joseph Stalin Facts

Joseph Stalin was leader of the Soviet Union between 1922 and 1953. He followed Vladimir Lenin as Soviet leader, and was the first General Secretary of the USSR’s Central Committee. This article contains a number of interesting Joseph Stalin facts that you may find helpful in learning about Stalin, or for teaching about Stalin. Joseph Stalin trained as a priest Joseph Stalin was a talented but rebellious child and, when he was 16, was awarded a scholarship to attend a seminary. He was expelled in 1899, aged 20. Reasons for his expulsion differ – some say that, despite being a talented pupil, he missed examinations, others say that he wasn’t able to pay his tuition fees. The official Soviet record, naturally, didn’t address either of these theories, preferring the argue that he was expelled because he was caught reading illegal communist pamphlets. Joseph Stalin was Georgian, not Russian Stalin’s birth name was Ioseb Besarionis dze Jughasvili. He was born on 1878 in the town of Gori, in Georgia. Despite his upbringing, he became a Russian nationalist in his early 20s, and then a Marxist. Stalin was exiled to Siberia seven times It was in Siberia that Ioseb Besarionis dze Jughasvili changed his name to Joseph Stalin. In Russia, Stalin means man of steel. Stalin suffered a damaged arm as a child, and was judged unfit to serve in the...

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Leon Trotsky Facts

Leon Trotsky was one of the most important figures of the Russian Revolution, and of the early years of the Soviet Union. Although he fell out of favour within the Soviet elite, and was eventually assassinated, his role was pivotal to the development of the Soviet Union in many ways. He played a leading role in St Petersburg during the revolution itself, and was instrumental in turning the Red Army into an effective fighting force, allowing the new Soviet government to solidify its position against internal and external opposition. Unlike contemporaries such as Joseph Stalin, Trotsky was also one of the foremost political thinkers within the Soviet leadership. So important that one of the key Marxist theories – Trotskyism – was named after him. This article contains a number of Leon Trotsky facts that you may not have known. Leon Trotsky was originally called Lev Bronstein Trotsky’s birth name was Lev Davidovitch Bronstein (sometimes spelled Lev Bronshtein), son of David Leontyevich Bronstein, a farmer in the Western Russian Empire, in what today is Ukraine. He took the name Trotsky in his early twenties, while in exile. The reason for his choice of name isn’t certain, although Trotsky himself has said that he took the name from a prison warden in Odessa. Leon Trotsky (probably) wasn’t Pushkin’s Great-Grandson Alexander Latsis has alleged that Trotsky was the great grandson of Alexander...

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Anastasia Romanov Biography

The Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna Romanova was the youngest and most famous of Tsar Nicholas II’s four daughters. Born on 18 June 1901, she was executed along with her family by Bolsheviks on 17 July 1918, aged just 17. The mystery surrounding her death, and the number of people who came forward claiming to be her – notably Anna Anderson – has led to an enduring public fascination with her life and death. This article provides a brief Anastasia Romanov biography, plus information about her lasting cultural impact, including the wide array of people who later claimed to be her and to have survived the execution, and a summary of the films and books that have been written about Anastasia. Anastasia’s Early life Grand Duchess Anastasia Romanov was born on 18 June 1901 the fourth daughter of Russian Emperor Nicholas II and his wife Alexandra Feodorovna Romanova, Russia’s last Tsarina. Anastasia was chosen as her name because her father celebrated her birth by pardoning a number of students who had recently rioted in St Petersburg – one of the many meanings of the name Anastasia is “breaker of chains”. Along with her elder sisters (Olga Romanov, Tatiana Romanov and Maria Romanov) and, later, her younger brother Alexei Romanov, she was raised in a rather simple style by her parents, who were not believers in ostentatious displays of the Russian...

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Battle of Stalingrad Facts

The Battle of Stalingrad was one of the most important battles of the Second World War. Fought between 17 July 1942 and 2 February 1943, it is widely regarded as one of the turning points of the entire war. A decisive Soviet victory, Stalingrad marked the beginning of the end for the German invasion of the USSR. This article contains some of the key battle of Stalingrad facts.

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