Find out why a Russian tsar treated his friends worse than his country and how a steamer expedition was saved from an icy grave.
Controversial Russian Tsar Boris Godunov died at his residence today in 1605, following a sudden nosebleed.
As Tsar, Godunov was paranoid and overly reliant on his network of informants. He had his best friend tortured and exiled, and he persecuted the powerful Romanov family.
However, his bad reputation overshadows many of his political achievements. It was Godunov who carried out progressive military and administrative reforms. He also was the first to recruit foreign teachers on a large scale, and to send young Russians abroad to be educated.
Soviet pilots rescued the crew of the “Chelyuskin” steamer expedition in a daring Arctic airlift today in 1934.
The steamer had gotten trapped in an ice field and, after more than two months adrift there, was crushed by pack ice.
Those on board, including two newborn girls, escaped onto the surrounding ice.
The stranded crew managed to put together a crude airstrip using ice shovels and crowbars.
They were finally rescued after three months in an extraordinary airlift, for which the pilots involved were awarded the Order of Lenin.
Read more about this day in Russian history in our “Russia Now” section.
The world's largest depository of Russian fine arts was created today in 1895.
Young emperor Nicholas II issued a decree establishing the "Russian Museum" in St. Petersburg's Mikhailovsky Palace.
The original collection was relatively small, but it was dramatically expanded after the revolution of 1917.
Many private collections were nationalized then and taken to the Russian Museum.
These included Kazimir Malevich's famous "Black Square."
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