1238: Batu Khan seized and burnt Moscow. Batu Khan was a grandson of Chingiz Khan and the founder of the Blue Horde, later transformed into the Golden Horde. The most detailed account of the seizure of Moscow is given in Lavrentiev chronicle: "On the same winter Tatars took Moscow and killed the chieftain Philip Nyanko for the true Christian faith, and took knyaz Vladimir, son of Yuri, with hands, and killed people from old to little ones; and the burnt the town and the sacred churches, and all monasteries and villages, and left, having taken large loot." Anyway, there is another source -- some sheets, glued into a copy of Nikanorov chronicle. These sheets were copied by Johann-Werner Pause in the first half of XVIII century from a lost chronicle and were not explored sufficiently until late 1970s. This text reports: "Tatars came from there (from Kolomna. DM) to Moscow and beat it incessantly. The chieftain Filip Nyanskin sat on his horse and all his army with him, crossed themselves, opened the gates and, shouting, attacked the Tatars. And the Tatars, seeing the great force, were frightened and started to run. And tsar Batu then with great force stepped onto the chieftain and captured him alive, and dissected his body in parts and strewn it all over the field, and the town of Moscow was burnt and sacked, and all people and babies were killed."
1701: Peter I issued "The Decree about construction of six 16-gun ships on Ladoga lake." These ships became the first ships of the Russian Baltic fleet.
1943: The end of the battle of Stalingrad, sometimes called the bloodiest battle in the history. Frankly, I see no reason to describe it, since it is covered extensively in many books and online sources. For a brief introduction, see (I was perplexed by one sentence in the article: "The battle was marked by brutality and disregard for military and civilian casualties on both sides." German civilian casualties in the middle of Russia?) Instead, I will copy an article I posted at the Sima Qian Studio forum a year and a half ago when I visited Volgograd. See the next post in this blog.