Nansen's Fram expedition of 1893–1896 was an attempt by the Norwegian explorer Fridtjof Nansen to reach the geographical North Pole by harnessing the natural east–west current of the Arctic Ocean. In the face of much discouragement from other polar explorers, Nansen took his ship Fram to the New Siberian Islands in the eastern Arctic Ocean, froze her into the pack ice, and waited for the drift to carry her towards the pole. Impatient with the slow speed and erratic character of the drift, after 18 months Nansen and a chosen companion, Hjalmar Johansen, left the ship with a team of Samoyed dogs and sledges and made for the pole. They did not reach it, but they achieved a record Farthest North latitude of 86°13.6′N before a long retreat over ice and water to reach safety in Franz Josef Land. Meanwhile, Fram continued to drift westward, finally emerging in the North Atlantic Ocean.
The idea for the expedition had arisen after items from the American vessel Jeannette, which had sunk off the north coast of Siberia in 1881, were discovered three years later off the south-west coast of Greenland. The wreckage had obviously been carried across the polar ocean, perhaps across the pole itself. Based on this and other debris recovered from the Greenland coast, the meteorologist Henrik Mohn developed a theory of transpolar drift, which led Nansen to believe that a specially designed ship could be frozen in the pack ice and follow the same track as Jeannette wreckage, thus reaching the vicinity of the pole. (Full article...)
Fridtjof Wedel-Jarlsberg Nansen (Norwegian:[ˈfɾɪ̂tːjɔf ˈnɑ̀nsn̩]; 10 October 1861 – 13 May 1930) was a Norwegian polymath and Nobel Peace Prize laureate. He gained prominence at various points in his life as an explorer, scientist, diplomat and humanitarian. He led the team that made the first crossing of the Greenland interior in 1888, traversing the island on cross-country skis. He won international fame after reaching a record northern latitude of 86°14′ during his Fram expedition of 1893–1896. Although he retired from exploration after his return to Norway, his techniques of polar travel and his innovations in equipment and clothing influenced a generation of subsequent Arctic and Antarctic expeditions.
Nansen studied zoology at the Royal Frederick University in Christiania and later worked as a curator at the University Museum of Bergen where his research on the central nervous system of lower marine creatures earned him a doctorate and helped establish neuron doctrine. Later, neuroscientist Santiago Ramón y Cajal won the 1906 Nobel Prize in Medicine for his research on the same subject. After 1896 his main scientific interest switched to oceanography; in the course of his research he made many scientific cruises, mainly in the North Atlantic, and contributed to the development of modern oceanographic equipment. (Full article...)
The elements from atomic numbers 1 (hydrogen) to 118 (oganesson) have all been discovered or synthesized, completing seven full rows of the periodic table. The first 94 elements, hydrogen to plutonium, all occur naturally, though some are found only in trace amounts and a few were discovered in nature only after having first been synthesized. Elements 95 to 118 have only been synthesized in laboratories, nuclear reactors, or nuclear explosions. The synthesis of elements having higher atomic numbers is currently being pursued: these elements would begin an eighth row, and theoretical work has been done to suggest possible candidates for this extension. Numerous synthetic radioisotopes of naturally occurring elements have also been produced in laboratories. (Full article...)
In the early days of sound cinema, among the various distinguished composers ready to try their hand at film music, Prokofiev was not an obvious choice for the commission. Based in Paris for almost a decade, he had a reputation for experimentation and dissonance, characteristics at odds with the cultural norms of the Soviet Union. By early 1933, however, Prokofiev was anxious to return to his homeland, and saw the film commission as an opportunity to write music in a more popular and accessible style. (Full article...)
Tsereteli was born and raised in Georgia when it was part of the Russian Empire. A member of the Menshevik faction of the RSDLP, Tsereteli was elected to the Duma in 1907, where he gained fame for his oratory abilities. Shortly after entering the Duma, Tsereteli was arrested and charged with conspiracy to overthrow the Tsarist government, and exiled to Siberia. A dedicated Social Democrat who believed in the Menshevik ideology, Tsereteli was one of the leading figures of the movement in Russia. In 1915, during his Siberian exile, Tsereteli formed what would become known as Siberian Zimmerwaldism, which advocated for the role of the Second International in ending the war. He also developed the idea of "Revolutionary Defensism", the concept of a defensive war which only allowed for the defence of territory, and argued it was not being utilized. (Full article...)
Ali, taking advantage of the Empire's preoccupation with Russia, declared Egypt's independence and in 1771 sent an army led by Muhammad Bey Abu al-Dhahab to occupy Ottoman territory in the Levant. Abu al-Dhahab unexpectedly returned to challenge Ali for control of Egypt. Ali requested Russian military assistance against his rival and the Ottomans. When this aid, in the form of a small Russian squadron, arrived in the region, Ali had already fled Egypt and taken refuge in Acre, the power base of his ally, Zahir al-Umar. After helping repel an Ottoman offensive on Sidon, the Russian squadron sailed for Beirut. They bombarded the town in June 1772 and occupied it from June23 to 28. (Full article...)
Pallas's leaf warbler is one of the smallest Palearcticwarblers, with a relatively large head and short tail. It has greenish upperparts and white underparts, a lemon-yellow rump, and yellow double wingbars, supercilia and central crown stripe. It is similar in appearance to several other Asian warblers, including some that were formerly considered to be its subspecies, although its distinctive vocalisations aid identification. (Full article...)
The Gurian Republic was an insurgent community that existed between 1902 and 1906 in the western Georgian region of Guria (known at the time as the Ozurget Uyezd) in the Russian Empire. It rose from a revolt over land grazing rights in 1902. Several issues over the previous decades affecting the peasant population including taxation, land ownership and economic factors also factored into the start of the insurrection. The revolt gained further traction through the efforts of Georgian social democrats, despite some reservations within their party over supporting a peasant movement, and grew further during the 1905 Russian Revolution.
During its existence the Gurian Republic ignored Russian authority and established its own system of government, which consisted of assemblies of villagers meeting and discussing issues. A unique form of justice, where trial attendees voted on sentences, was introduced. While the movement broke from imperial administration, it was not anti-Russian, desiring to remain within the Empire. (Full article...)
The discovery of tennessine was officially announced in Dubna, Russia, by a Russian–American collaboration in April2010, which makes it the most recently discovered element . One of its daughter isotopes was created directly in 2011, partially confirming the results of the experiment. The experiment itself was repeated successfully by the same collaboration in 2012 and by a joint German–American team in May2014. In December2015, the Joint Working Party of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) and the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics, which evaluates claims of discovery of new elements, recognized the element and assigned the priority to the Russian–American team. In June2016, the IUPAC published a declaration stating that the discoverers had suggested the name tennessine after Tennessee, United States, a name which was officially adopted in November 2016. (Full article...)
The Borodino-class battlecruisers (Russian: Линейные крейсера типа «Измаил») were a group of four battlecruisers ordered by the Imperial Russian Navy before World War I. Also referred to as the Izmail class, they were laid down in late 1912 at Saint Petersburg for service with the Baltic Fleet. Construction of the ships was delayed by a lack of capacity among domestic factories and the need to order some components from abroad. The start of World War I slowed their construction still further, as the imported components were often not delivered and domestic production was diverted into areas more immediately useful for the war effort.
Three of the four ships were launched in 1915 and the fourth in 1916. Work on the gun turrets lagged, and it became evident that Russian industry would not be able to complete the ships during the war. The Russian Revolution of 1917 halted all work on the ships, which was never resumed. Although some consideration was given to finishing the hulls that were nearest to completion, they were all eventually sold for scrap by the Soviet Union. The Soviet Navy proposed to convert Izmail, the ship closest to completion, to an aircraft carrier in 1925, but the plan was cancelled after political manoeuvring by the Red Army led to funding not being available. (Full article...)
An Alaskan parchment scrip banknote in the denomination of 1 ruble, printed on vellum or parchment by the Russian-American Company. On the obverse, the horizontal text immediately beneath the double-headed eagle reads "Seal of the Russian American Company". The oval text reads "under august protection of His Imperial Majesty", and under the oval is the value of the note "one ruble".
Alaskan parchment scrip was used as a form of company scrip in Alaska when it was a possession of the Russian Empire. In circulation from 1816 to 1867, such scrip could be printed on vellum, parchment, or pinniped skin. Denominations of 10, 25, 50 kopecks and 1, 5, 10, and 25 rubles were issued.
Although James Clerk Maxwell made the first color photograph in 1861, the results were far from realistic until Prokudin-Gorsky perfected the technique with a series of improvements around 1905. His process used a camera that took a series of monochrome pictures in rapid sequence, each through a different colored filter. Prokudin-Gorskii then went on to document much of the country of Russia, travelling by train in a specially equipped darkroomrailroad car.
Charles Minard's Carte figurative (1869), which details the losses of men, the position of the army, and the freezing temperatures on Napoleon's disastrous 1812 invasion of Russia. Created in an effort to show the horrors of war, the graph "defies the pen of the historian in its brutal eloquence" and has been called the best statistical graphic ever drawn.
The Solovetsky Monastery is a Russian Orthodox monastery in Solovetsky, Arkhangelsk, Russia. Founded in 1436 by the monk Zosima, the monastery grew in power into the 16th century, becoming an economic and political center of the White Sea region and eventually hosting 350 monks. After the Bolshevik Revolution, Soviet authorities closed down the monastery and incorporated many of its buildings into Solovki prison camp, one of the earliest forced-labor camps of the gulag system. The camp closed after the region's trees had been harvested. Today the monastery has been re-established, and also serves as a museum.
Kombat (Russian for 'battalion commander') is a black-and-white photograph by Soviet photographer Max Alpert. It depicts a Soviet military officer, armed with a TT pistol, raising his unit for an attack during World War II. This work is regarded as one of the most iconic Soviet World WarII photographs, yet neither the date nor the subject is known with certainty. According to the most widely accepted version, it depicts junior politruk Aleksei Gordeyevich Yeryomenko, minutes before his death on 12July1942, in Voroshilovgrad Oblast, now part of Ukraine. The photograph is in the archives of RIA Novosti, a Russian state-owned news agency.
The Bolshoi Theatre is a historic theatre in Moscow, Russia, which holds ballet and opera performances. The company was founded on 28 March[O.S. 17 March]1776, when Catherine the Great granted Prince Pyotr Urusov a licence to organise theatrical performances, balls and other forms of entertainment. Usunov set up the theatre in collaboration with English tightrope walker Michael Maddox. The present building was built between 1821 and 1824 and designed by architect Joseph Bové.
The Portrait of Chaliapin is an oil-on-canvas painting by Boris Kustodiev, produced in 1921. Feodor Chaliapin was a Russian opera singer; possessing a deep and expressive bass voice, he enjoyed an important international career at major opera houses. He is depicted here wearing an expensive fur coat, which had come from a Soviet warehouse containing items confiscated from rich people during the Russian Revolution, and which he had received in lieu of payment for a performance. The background shows festivities at the traditional folk holiday of Maslenitsa. Dressed in a smart suit and holding a cane, Chaliapin is portrayed as having risen above his contemporaries. His favourite dog is at his feet and, at the bottom left, his two daughters stroll on the festive square in front of a poster promoting his concert. This copy of the painting is in the collection of the Russian Museum in Saint Petersburg.
A female Siberian tiger (Panthera tigris altaica), a subspecies of tiger native to Central Asia, and her cub. The Siberian tiger is the largest of the extant tiger subspecies as well as the largest felid, attaining 320kg (710lb) in an exceptional specimen. Considered an endangered subspecies, the wild population is down to several hundred individuals and is limited to eastern Siberia.
This photo of the Nilov Monastery on Stolobny Island in Tver Oblast, Russia, was taken by Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky in 1910 before the advent of colour photography. His process used a camera that took a series of monochrome pictures in rapid sequence, each through a different coloured filter. By projecting all three monochrome pictures using correctly coloured light, it was possible to reconstruct the original colour scene.
Tushonka can be used and preserved in extreme situations, and therefore is a part of military food supplies in the CIS. For the people of the Soviet Union, tushonka was a part of military and tourist food supplies; at some extreme periods of time it could only be bought with food stamps. (Full article...)