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Bird’s-eye view of Kazan

Kazan is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia. With a population of 1,143,535, it is the eight most populous city in Russia. In April 2009, the Russian Patent Office granted Kazan the right to brand itself as the “Third Capital” of Russia. In 2009 it was chosen as the “Sports capital of Russia” and it still is referred to as such. The city will host the 2013 Summer Universiade, 2015 World Aquatics Championships, and 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Credit: Slava Stepanov

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Siberian faces of the 20th century

These photographs were taken in the Siberian Yeniseysk Governorate in the 20th century. They remain in the archive of the city of Krasnoyarsk’s local museum. This is visual history: the local residents’ livelihoods, deer herding and shipping on the Yenisei River, and constructing churches. But the most interesting and astounding is, of course, the faces of people who lived at the beginning of the 20th century.

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3

Shades of Russian nature beyond the Arctic Circle

The Khibiny Mountains are a small mass of mountains in the central part of the Kola Peninsula located within the Russian Arctic Circle. It’s unique for its geological formation and relief. The largest number of rare plant species in the Murmansk region have been discovered here. Thickets of dwarf birch, shrubs, mosses and lichens abound in the mountains’ valleys.

Credit: Alexandr Ermolitsky.

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"Siberian Christ" founded the City of the Sun in taiga

The Church of the Last Covenant was founded by a man who called himself Vissarion; he started forming a religious community in Siberian Taiga in 1991 - today his settlement called the City of the Sun occupies 250 hectares

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The Smolny Institute for Noble Maidens

The Smolny Institute for Noble Maidens was the first women’s educational institution in Russia and paved the way for women’s education in the country. The institute was founded at the urging of Ivan Betskoy and in accordance with a decree signed by Catherine the Great on May 5 (April 24 according to Julian calendar) 1764. 

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3

Kolyma and other former gulag sites

In the winter of 1937, a young Russian woman named Eugenia Ginzburg was falsely accused of revolutionary activities and sent to a labor camp for the next 18 years. During the 1930s, after Joseph Stalin assumed control of the Soviet Union, millions of Soviet citizens like Ginzburg were imprisoned in labor camps known by the acronym GULAG. At the height of the Stalinist purges, Russians were sent to the gulag for crimes as petty as making jokes about Stalin. The camps were infamous for their harsh treatment of prisoners and millions died before finishing their sentences.

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