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At the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, Filatov was selected sixth overall by the Blue Jackets. Filatov was the top-ranked European skater by the NHL Central Scouting Bureau. Filatov played two seasons with the Blue Jackets organization. During the 2009-10 season, Filatov was unhappy with his situation in Columbus and was loaned to CSKA Moscow for the remainder of the season. At the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, the Blue Jackets then traded him to Ottawa in exchange for a third-round draft pick. In December 2011, the Senators loaned Filatov to CSKA Moscow for the balance of the 2011-12 season. The following season, Filatov signed with Salavat Yulaev. The Senators chose not to tender Filatov a qualifying offer, making him a free agent. (Full article...)
Largest European specimen, a male at Südostbayerisches Naturkunde- und Mammut-Museum, Siegsdorf
The woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) is a species of mammoth that lived during the Pleistocene until its extinction in the Holocene epoch. It was one of the last in a line of mammoth species, beginning with Mammuthus subplanifrons in the early Pliocene. The woolly mammoth began to diverge from the steppe mammoth about 800,000 years ago in East Asia. Its closest extant relative is the Asian elephant. DNA studies show that the Columbian mammoth was a hybrid between woolly mammoths and another lineage descended from steppe mammoths. The appearance and behaviour of this species are among the best studied of any prehistoric animal because of the discovery of frozen carcasses in Siberia and Alaska, as well as skeletons, teeth, stomach contents, dung, and depiction from life in prehistoric cave paintings. Mammoth remains had long been known in Asia before they became known to Europeans in the 17th century. The origin of these remains was long a matter of debate, and often explained as being remains of legendary creatures. The mammoth was identified as an extinct species of elephant by Georges Cuvier in 1796.
The woolly mammoth was roughly the same size as modern African elephants. Males reached shoulder heights between 2.7 and 3.4 m (8.9 and 11.2 ft) and weighed up to 6 metric tons (6.6 short tons). Females reached 2.6-2.9 m (8.5-9.5 ft) in shoulder heights and weighed up to 4 metric tons (4.4 short tons). A newborn calf weighed about 90 kg (200 lb). The woolly mammoth was well adapted to the cold environment during the last ice age. It was covered in fur, with an outer covering of long guard hairs and a shorter undercoat. The colour of the coat varied from dark to light. The ears and tail were short to minimise frostbite and heat loss. It had long, curved tusks and four molars, which were replaced six times during the lifetime of an individual. Its behaviour was similar to that of modern elephants, and it used its tusks and trunk for manipulating objects, fighting, and foraging. The diet of the woolly mammoth was mainly grasses and sedges. Individuals could probably reach the age of 60. Its habitat was the mammoth steppe, which stretched across northern Eurasia and North America. (Full article...)
The Jeannetteexpedition of 1879-1881, officially called the U.S. Arctic Expedition, was an attempt led by George W. De Long to reach the North Pole by pioneering a route from the Pacific Ocean through the Bering Strait. The premise was that a temperate current, the Kuro Siwo, flowed northwards into the strait, providing a gateway to the Open Polar Sea and thus to the pole.
This theory proved illusory; the expedition's ship, USS Jeannette and its crew of thirty-three men, was trapped by ice and drifted for nearly two years before she was crushed and sunk north of the Siberian coast. De Long then led his men on a perilous journey by sled, dragging the Jeannettewhaleboat and two cutters, eventually switching to these small boats to sail for the Lena Delta in Siberia. During this journey, and in the subsequent weeks of wandering in Siberia before rescue, twenty of the ship's complement died, including De Long. (Full article...)
The Sovetsky Soyuz-class battleships (Project 23, Russian: ?, "Soviet Union"), also known as "Stalin's Republics", were a class of battleships begun by the Soviet Union in the late 1930s but never brought into service. They were designed in response to the Bismarck-class battleships being built by Germany. Only four hulls of the fifteen originally planned had been laid down by 1940, when the decision was made to cut the program to only three ships to divert resources to an expanded army rearmament program.
These ships would have rivaled the Imperial Japanese Yamato class and America's planned Montana class in size if any had been completed, although with significantly weaker firepower: nine 406-millimeter (16 in) guns compared to the nine 460-millimeter (18.1 in) guns of the Japanese ships and a dozen 16-inch (406 mm) on the Montanas. The failure of the Soviet armor plate industry to build cemented armor plates thicker than 230 millimeters (9.1 in) would have negated any advantages from the Sovetsky Soyuz class's thicker armor in combat. (Full article...)
The Siberian accentor (Prunella montanella) is a small passerinebird that breeds in northern Russia from the Ural Mountains eastwards across Siberia. It is migratory, wintering in Korea and eastern China, with rare occurrences in western Europe and northwestern North America. Its typical breeding habitat is subarcticdeciduous forests and open coniferous woodland, often close to water, although it also occurs in mountains and sprucetaiga. It inhabits bushes and shrubs in winter, frequently near streams, but may also be found in dry grassland and woods.
The Siberian accentor has brown upperparts and wings, with bright chestnut streaking on its back and a greyish-brown rump and tail. The head has a dark brown crown and a long, wide pale yellow supercilium ("eyebrow"). All plumages are quite similar. The nest is an open cup in dense shrub or a tree into which the female lays four to six glossy deep blue-green eggs that hatch in about ten days. Adults and chicks feed mainly on insects, typically picked off the ground, but sometimes taken from vegetation. In winter, the accentors may also consume seeds or feed near human habitation. (Full article...)
Euler is held to be one of the greatest mathematicians in history, and, most likely, the greatest of the XVIII century. A statement attributed to Pierre-Simon Laplace expresses Euler's influence on mathematics: "Read Euler, read Euler, he is the master of us all." Carl Friedrich Gauss remarked: "The study of Euler's works will remain the best school for the different fields of mathematics, and nothing else can replace it." Euler is also widely considered to be the most prolific, his more than 850 publications are collected in 92 quarto volumes, (including his Opera Omnia) more than anyone else in the field. He spent most of his adult life in Saint Petersburg, Russia, and in Berlin, then the capital of Prussia. (Full article...)
Due to the length of the front lines created by the German 1942 summer offensive, which had aimed at taking the Caucasus oil fields and the city of Stalingrad, German and other Axis forces were over-extended. The German decision to relocate several mechanized divisions from the Soviet Union to Western Europe exacerbated their situation. Furthermore, Axis units in the area were depleted after months of fighting, especially those which had taken part in the fighting in Stalingrad. The Germans could only count on the XXXXVIII Panzer Corps, which had the strength of a single panzer division, and the 29th Panzergrenadier Division as reserves to bolster their Romanian allies on the German Sixth Army's flanks. In comparison, the Red Army deployed over one million personnel for the purpose of beginning the offensive in and around Stalingrad. Soviet troop-movements were not without problems: concealing their build-up proved difficult, and Soviet units commonly arrived late due to logistical issues. Operation Uranus was first postponed by the Soviet high command (Stavka) from 8 to 17 November, then to 19 November. (Full article...)
Jogaila was the last pagan ruler of medieval Lithuania. After he became King of Poland, as a result of the Union of Krewo, the newly formed Polish-Lithuanian union confronted the growing power of the Teutonic Knights. The allied victory at the Battle of Grunwald in 1410, followed by the Peace of Thorn, secured the Polish and Lithuanian borders and marked the emergence of the Polish-Lithuanian alliance as a significant force in Europe. The reign of W?adys?aw II Jagieo extended Polish frontiers and is often considered the beginning of Poland's Golden Age. (Full article...)
Clockwise from top: Remnants of Azerbaijani APCs; internally displaced Azerbaijanis from the Armenian-occupied territories; Armenian T-72 tank memorial at the outskirts of Stepanakert; Armenian soldiers
The First Nagorno-Karabakh War was an ethnic and territorial conflict that took place from the late 1980s to May 1994, in the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh in southwestern Azerbaijan, between the majority ethnic Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh backed by Armenia, and the Republic of Azerbaijan. As the war progressed, Armenia and Azerbaijan, both former Soviet Republics, entangled themselves in protracted, undeclared mountain warfare in the mountainous heights of Karabakh as Azerbaijan attempted to curb the secessionist movement in Nagorno-Karabakh. The enclave's parliament had voted in favor of uniting itself with Armenia and a referendum, boycotted by the Azerbaijani population of Nagorno-Karabakh, was held, whereby a majority voted in favor of independence. The demand to unify with Armenia began in a relatively peaceful manner in 1988; in the following months, as the Soviet Union disintegrated, it gradually grew into an increasingly violent conflict between Armenians and Azerbaijanis, resulting in ethnic cleansing, with the Sumgait (1988) and Baku (1990) pogroms directed against Armenians, and the Gugark pogrom (1988) and Khojaly Massacre (1992) directed against Azerbaijanis being notable examples. Inter-ethnic clashes between the two broke out shortly after the parliament of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast (NKAO) in Azerbaijan voted to unify the region with Armenia on 20 February 1988. The declaration of secession from Azerbaijan was the final result of a territorial conflict regarding the land. As Azerbaijan declared its independence from the Soviet Union and removed the powers held by the enclave's government, the Armenian majority voted to secede from Azerbaijan and in the process proclaimed the unrecognizedRepublic of Nagorno-Karabakh.
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...)
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.
Maxim Gorky (1868-1936) was a Russian political activist and writer who helped establish the Socialist Realism literary method. This portrait dates from a trip Gorky made to the United States in 1906, on which he raised funds for the Bolsheviks. During this trip he wrote his novel The Mother.
An aerial view of the Field of Mars, a large park in central Saint Petersburg, Russia, pictured in 2016. It is named after Mars, the Roman god of war. The park's history goes back to the 18th century, when it was converted from bogland and named the Grand Meadow. Later, it was the setting for celebrations to mark Russia's victory over Sweden in the Great Northern War. Its next name, the Tsaritsyn Meadow, appears after the royal family commissioned Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli to build the Summer Palace for Empress Elizabeth. It became the Field of Mars during the reign of Paul I. Towards the end of the 18th century, the park became a military drill ground, where they erected monuments commemorating the victories of the Russian Army and where parades and military exercises took place regularly. After the February Revolution in 1917, the Field of Mars became a memorial area for the revolution's honoured dead. In the summer of 1942, as the city was besieged by the German army in the Siege of Leningrad, the park was covered with vegetable gardens to supply food. An eternal flame was lit in the centre of the park in 1957, in memory of the victims of various wars and revolutions.
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.
The first mentions of pastila in Russian written sources date back to the 16th century. The name is probably a loanword from Italian: pastello or pastiglia, or from the cognate French: pastille which in turn comes from Latin: pastillus (a loaf or pie, cf. pastilla). (Full article...)
Not much is known about Zotov's life aside from his connection to Peter. Zotov left Moscow for a diplomatic mission to Crimea in 1680 and returned to Moscow before 1683. He became part of the "Jolly Company", a group of several dozen of Peter's friends that eventually became The All-Joking, All-Drunken Synod of Fools and Jesters. Zotov was mockingly appointed "Prince-Pope" of the Synod, and regularly led them in games and celebrations. He accompanied Peter on many important occasions, such as the Azov campaigns and the torture of the Streltsy after their uprising. Zotov held a number of state posts, including from 1701 a leading position in the Tsar's personal secretariat. Three years before his death, Zotov married a woman 50 years his junior. He died in December 1717 of unknown causes. (Full article...)
In my view, the composer, just as the poet, the sculptor or the painter, is in duty bound to serve Man, the people. He must beautify human life and defend it. He must be a citizen first and foremost, so that his art might consciously extol human life and lead man to a radiant future. Such is the immutable code of art as I see it.