January 01, 1999

Russian Calendar


1 Fifty-five years ago, the first Suvorov Military Schools opened in Russia. Named after the famous Russian General Alexander Vasiliyevich Suvorov, the schools were opened in 1943, when  Soviet troops had already turned the tide in the war with the Nazis, but when the storming of the Reichstag was still years away. The first pupils of the schools were orphans whose parents perished on the front or on territory occupied by the Nazis, and children of Soviet partizans. Eleven such schools opened in 1943, followed by six more in 1944. The school accepted pupils over the age of 10 and they studied there for seven years. Hundreds of officers graduated from Suvorov’s schools. Today the schools accept boys aged 15 or 16 – undergraduates of secondary schools – and they study for two years at the Suvorov school, after which they enter a higher military school.

5 195 years ago the famous Russian poet Fyodor Tyutchev was born. He is perhaps most famous for his poetic line, “In Russia you must simply believe.” Yet, this fine poet was also a diplomat and a life-long public servant. Upon graduating from Moscow University in 1821, he served for more than 20 years at different diplomatic missions, most notably in Munich and then in Torino, Italy. Upon returning to Russia, he served at the Russian Foreign Ministry and then headed the Committee on Foreign Censorship. At first sight, such public service seems incompatible with poetry. Certainly this was the Soviet interpretation of Tyutchev’s biography – then, a poet’s sympathy for revolutionaries was a must for official blessing by the state, which saw Tyutchev’s loyalty to the state and his Pan-Slavic as weakness. Still, Tyutchev, a loyal adherent of Russian statehood, remains one of Russia’s most cherished poets. 

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