February 21 in Russian history

1784: A fortress was founded near the Tatar village Aqyar, named Sevastopol, from the Greek words σεβαστóς and πóλις, literally meaning "the venerable town", but the connotation being "the imperial town". This town has a special place in Russian history. In some way, it is a legend.

Sevastopol is locate on the South of Crimea, on the Heraclean peninsula. Its northernmost point also has a classically sounding name -- cape Lucullus. In antiquity, a Greek colony Chersonesos was located on this place. It was built by inhabitants of Heraclea in V century BC. In 705, the citizens of Chersonesos revolted against the emperor Justinian II. In 711, a new revolt happened, led by Bardanes Philippicus, who had been exiled to Chersonesos some years earlier. Bardanes succeeded and became the new emperor of the Roman Empire. In 988, knyaz Vladimir the Saint (aka the Red Sun) attacked and seized Chersonesos. In 1804 Sevastopol was proclaimed the main naval port of the Russian Empire. In 1830, a large revolt started in the city, known as the "plague revolt". It was caused by the oppressions during the epidemics of cholera in 1829-1830. During the Crimean war of 1853-1856, the joint forces of Britain, France and Turkey sieged Sevastopol. After 11 months of heroic defense, Russian army left a part of the town and evacuated to the northern bank of the bay. In 1905, a large group of sailors and soldiers revolted and demanded for the call of the Constituent Assembly, republican government, 8-hour long working day, etc. The revolt was quelled and four leaders, including lieutenant Schmidt, were executed. During the World War II, in 1941-1942, the Second Siege of Sevastopol took place, when the city survived 250 days of bombardment. It was liberated on May 9, 1944. In 1954, the city along with the whole Crimean peninsula was transferred under the authority of the Ukrainian SSR to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the re-unification of Ukraine and Russia. Now, while remaining a Ukrainian city, Sevastopol hosts a Russian naval base and the HQ of the Russian Black Sea Fleet.

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