#5. The 73-Year-Old Man Who Played Chicken With the Entire Soviet Union
In 1968, Leonid Brezhnev, general secretary of the Soviet Union (the highest position in the land – basically the king of Russia) was in his office minding his own business when Ludvik Svoboda, the president of Czechoslovakia (a symbolic position lacking real power, like “employee of the month” or “Joe Biden”), burst in and demanded that Brezhnev release the 26 Czechoslovakian political prisoners he was holding. Brezhnev said no, because Svoboda was 73 years old and had no authority – what could he possibly do?
The Badass Moment: Svoboda pulled out a pistol, held it to his own head, and said, “If I kill myself, my blood will be on your hands, and no one in the world will believe you did not murder me.”