The cruiser "Kirov" was commissioned in 1938 and became one of the most powerful ships of its class in the world. From the first day of the Great Patriotic War "Kirov" participated in the Battle of the Baltic Fleet - defended the Gulf of Riga and Tallinn, bombarding enemy positions, reflected the air raids. During the blockade, "Kirov" took a fighting position on the Neva River and was shooting at German troops. In the spring of 1942, during Operation Aysshtoss "(" ice blow "), when the Soviet ships frozen into the Neva ice, the German air force has made several direct hits bombs in the cruiser. In June 1944 "Kirov" fire main fire destroyed the bunkers and pillboxes "Mannerheim Line", providing ground troops of the Leningrad front in the Vyborg area.
Just in case you mistakenly heard that it was all ice and snow in Russia, take a peek at the Big Bikini Exposition. This is right on the river Moskva in Moscow!Moscow has been the capital of Russia for almost its entire history. The exception is during the period of the Russian Empire, which lasted from 1721 until the Russian Revolution 1917. For these two centuries the capital was St. Petersburg. The Russian Empire was the second largest contiguous Empire in world memory; only the Mongol Empire had been greater.Check out what's happening north of Mongolia these days, in ChitaAlthough you may not have heard of Sochi, on the Black Sea, they're building up quickly and hope to host the 2014 Olympics.Other periods of Russian history include the Tsardom of Russia, from Ivan IV to Peter the Great, and the Grand Duchy (14th-16th centuries).The earliest period of Russian history was ruled by the Novgorod Republic and Kievan Rus, which was the first Russian state dating back to 800AD in Kiev.Modern Russia remains one of the world's superpowers. They launched the earth's second satellite, called Sputnik 1, and were the first country to put a human being into orbit around earth. (The first one is called the Moon.)After the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia became a federal republic of 83 states.Text by Steve Smith.