March 29 in Russian history

1814: In the early morning, Russian troops begin the battle of Paris. After the first assault, they are stopped by the artillery gunfire, but the assistance of the Prussian and Austrian allies allows them to throw away the French Imperial Guard. Russian troops enter the Montmartre hills. For the first time since 1437 a foreign army enters the French capital. One of the commanders of the glorious French army, Joseph Bonapart, fled, while the other, Auguste Marmont, sent truce envoys to the allied forces and agreed to capitulate. A year and a half later, the winning countries sign the treaty of the so called Holy Alliance. This Alliance was extremely interesting and deserves a separate article, but for now the most interesting thing for us is that the main idea behind the alliance was to establish the European peacekeeping forces. Unfortunately, Russian emperor Alexander I, who was the main proponent of this document, had a very special view of "peacekeeping". In his opinion, it was the alliance of god-blessed monarchies against liberal conspiracies.

1856: The end of the Crimean war. The war started in 1853, when the political landscape of Europe had significantly changed since the birth of the Holy Alliance. Revolutions in Belgium, France and interference of the alliance in the internal affairs of European countries led to the negative attitude towards Russia. There were other reasons, of course. Britain competed with Russia in Persia and sought to weaken the opponent. France attempted to increase influence in the Holy Land, controlled by Turkey. The Austrian position was, probably, influenced by other countres, because her anti-Russian position was inexplicable: only four years earlier Russia helped to suppress the rebellion in Hungary and saved the Austrian empire from dissipation. Anyway, the war had started. Russia successfully defeated the Turkish fleet near Sinop and the Turkish army in Bayazet, Kuruk Dar and Kars. Then the European countries interfered and landed in Crimea. After 11 months of siege, Russian troops abandoned the southern part of Sevastopol. Some more months later, Russia agreed to sign the peace treaty. According to the Second peace treaty of Paris, Russia lost the right to keep fleet and fortresses on the Black Sea. Russia returned Kars, settled by Georgians and Armenians, to Turkey and received back Sevastopol. Russia was also prohibited from protecting the Christian nations subjugated by the Ottoman empire. Russia lost much of the influence in Romania and Serbia.

1867: The Crimean war had shown that Russia was weaker than the European countries. Russia began to understand that it will be very difficult to keep the overseas territories, especially Alaska, where only 600-800 Russians lived at that time. In 1859, USA had already attempted to buy Alaska for $5,000,000, but the Russian government was too busy with the forthcoming abolition of serfdom and refused. By 1867, the Russian government became more interested in Middle Asia and the Far East, so it was decided to sell the Russian America to the United States. The US payed $7,200,000 and renamed Russian America to Alaska. For the USA, the importance of Alaska was lying in the political, rather than in the economical sphere. Had it not been for the Gold Rush of the 1896, Alaska could have remained the barren land for many more years.

That's it. So the victory in the war with Napoleon finally led to the loss of Alaska.

1945: Soviet troops liberate Gdansk (Danzig) and raise the Polish national flag over the city. The 2nd Ukrainian front crossed the borders of Austria, so ungrateful 100 years ago.

1969: Soviet ice hockey squad becomes the world champion for the seventh time in a row.

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