January 20-21 in Russian history

Sorry for being late, but the week-ends are usually such a busy time...

January 20

1591: Tsar Feodor I Ivanovich, son of Ivan IV the Terrible, the last Rurikid tsar, signed a 12-year truce with Poland. By that time, Russia and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth had been competing for a long time for the lands between Moscow and Lithuania, like Smolensk, Polotsk and other important towns. This truce stopped this rivalry for some time and gave a chance to Russia to withstand the attack of the Crimean Khanate. The Crimean Khan signed a treaty with the Swedish king Johan III, and the danger of the simultaneous attack from North and South was imminent. Johan III had about 20,000 people on the Northern borders of Russia, but he didn't want to start a war without the support from Poland. The Crimean Khan attacked Russia with 100,000 people, but due to the truce with Poland, Russia concentrated on this war and after a grave defeat the Crimean Khan left Russia. Johan III, assuming that Russia was weakened by this war, attacked Pskov, but Russian forces drove him away.

January 21

1924: V.Ulyanov (Lenin) died. One of the most controversial figures in Russian history. Born in 1870 in Simbirsk. His elder brother Alexander was executed in 1887 as a participant of a plot against the life of tsar Alexander III. In 1895 Ulyanov founds the Union for Liberation of the Working Class in St.Petersburg. He is immediately arrested and sent to Siberia for three years. He emigrates in 1900. In 1917, after the February revolution, he is allowed to return to Russia where he begins to prepare a new revolution. In October 1917 he leads the October revolution and becomes the chairman of Sovnarkom (the council of people's commissars). The initiator of the Red Terror, the "military communism", liquidation of the oppositional parties. A ruthless leader, but how could he organize a revolt, had it not been for the huge popular support?

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