January 27-28 in Russian history

January 27

1756: I cannot start this post with any other date than this: the birthday of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

1871: Alexander II issues a decree allowing women to work in public and state institutions

1944: The siege of Leningrad is totally lifted.

1945: In the course of liberation of Poland, Soviet troops enter the concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau. The majority of prisoners were relocated to Germany and the Soviet soldiers only find about 3,000 people, who were considered 'useless' by the Nazis.

January 28

1725: (Feb 8 New style) Emperor Peter I died. Probably, the most influential ruler in the Russian history. The author of the "westernization" policy. Creator of the Russian Empire. Builder of the Russian fleet. Victor in many wars, including the war with Carl XII, king of Sweden. Architect of St. Petersburg, Russian "window into Europe". On the other hand, it was he who turned the life of Russian serfs into what became the distinguishing quality of Russian history in the eyes of all foreigners. It was he who killed thousands of people by sending them to forced labor. The people remembered him as the Tsar-Antichrist.

1765: Catherine II issues a decree giving the landowners (pomeshchiki) the right to condemn their serfs to penal servitude.

1783: The same empress, Catherine II, allows private book-printing. 13 years later, in 1796, private publishing houses are prohibited again.

1820: Two Russian ships, Vostok and Mirnyi, captained by Faddey Bellinsgauzen and Mikhail Lazarev, discover Antarctica.

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