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MOSCOW HISTORY - MOSCOW RUSSIA HISTORY

Moscow History RussiaMoscow History - The history of Moscow spans approximately 850 years. It's fascinating in its tragedy and its triumphs. Knyaz Yury is the founder of Moscow, and a huge granite statue of the man on horse points towards red City Hall, not too far from the Kremlin. Yury actually was more like the finder, rather than the founder. He found it very near and dear to his heart, and took it from Boyarin Kuchka by "removing" him permanently. At the time, Moscow was just a picturesque village, and Kiev was actually the capital. This is generally considered Moscow's birthday (1147). Centuries went by and Moscow survived other conquerors like Genghis Khan and Hitler. Fires, invasions, rebellions, executions, and starvation all mark Moscow's past.

For centuries, the Mongol-Tatar's horsemen rampaged over the Russian land. They rode into towns, slaughtering, raping, pillaging, and extorting money, produce, and cattle.

By the end of the 14th century, Moscow was finally strong enough to defeat its invaders. The battle, known as Kulikovskaya (1380) was one of the most significant events in Russian history. Russians, led by Muscovites, defeated the invaders. This was the start of the demise of the khans' domination over Moscow.

By the end of the 15th century, Moscow had become the capital of the new Russia. Ivan III was in power and married to Sophie Paleologue in 1472. Sophie recruited the best Italian architects to create the magnificent cathedrals, towers, and palaces of the Kremlin.

In 1547, a shy 16-year-old boy was crowned the first Tsar. His name was Ivan Grozny, known as Ivan the Terrible. His notorious temper led to mass executions and tortures. In one fateful fit of rage, he even murdered his beloved son.

To celebrate his last victory over the Khans, Ivan ordered a cathedral built that would have no rivals in the entire world. St. Basil's cathedral was created. To ensure that the cathedral would not be replicated, Ivan had it's creators blinded, thus ensuring the cathedral would remain unique.

October 25, 1917 is the day of the October revolution. The communist took power and thus Russia became the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). The execution of the Romanov family was the end of Tsarist rule in Russia. Everything would now be state controlled, state owned, and if anyone did not believe in the state, they were tortured, jailed, executed or exiled, never to be heard from again.

The Great Patriotic War (World War II) was extremely difficult for Russia. 20 million lives were lost in this war. May 9th is Victory Day, and remains a solemn, widely observed holiday.

In the early 1990's, communism died, giving way to a new Russia.

 

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