February 27 in Russian history

1825: The first chapter of Eugene Onegin is published for the first time. Onegin is a novel in verses, but, just like more common prosaic novels, it was a serial and was published by chapters. The last, eighth chapter was published in 1831 and the book in whole appeared in 1833. I would love to write a huge article about Pushkin and Onegin where I could say everything I'd like to say about the book, but I won't even try, since I know that I wouldn't be able to, even in Russian. Instead, I will simply quote some lines from the preface to Onegin which could be easily a preface to this blog (or any other blog, for that matter :))

Heedless of the proud world's enjoyment,
I prize the attention of my friends,
and only wish that my employment
could have been turned to worthier ends --
worthier of you in the perfection
your soul displays, in holy dreams,
in simple but sublime reflection,
in limpid verse that lives and gleams.
But, as it is, this pied collection
begs your indulgence -- it's been spun
from threads both sad and humoristic,
themes popular or idealistic,
products of carefree hours, of fun,
of sleeplessness, faint inspirations,
of powers unripe, or on the wane,
of reason's icy intimations,
and records of a heart in pain.

Other, less important anniversaries of today are:

1617: The end of the Russo-Swedish war of 1613-1617. Treaty of Stolbovo signed. Russia lost Kexholm and Ingria, Estonia and Livonia. Not forever, though. Sweden recognized tsar Mikhail as the ruler of Russia.

1901: A student Pyotr Karpovich, a member of the party of socialist-revolutionaries, kills the minister of education Nikolay Bogolepov. Karpovich planned the assassination after he learned that Bogolepov ordered to send 183 students of the Kiev university to the army. When Karpovich came to the Bogolepov's office, he witnessed a discussion between the minister and a mayor of Chernigov, who asked to open another school in his hometown. Bogolepov asked: "Give us the proofs that the richer citizens will send their children to this school. We do not want to teach the poor." During the trial, Karpovich said that these words finally convinced him in the necessity of the assassination.

1919: Bolsheviks create Litbel, Lithuanian-Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, on the territory of Byelorussia and eastern Lithuania. About half a year later, when the Polish army occupied almost whole territory of Byelorussia, Litbel ceased to exist.

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