February 29 in Russian history. Not an everyday day.

Leap day is a problem. On the one hand, the probability of finding an event that a) would be interesting enough, and b) I would like to write about, is at least four times smaller than on usual days. On the other hand, I am not so self-confident as to postpone the article till 2012, since the chances of this blog to last that long do not look unquestionable. So, below is just a small roundup of events that took place on 29 February in different years, but either were not very interesting or simply did not fit my today's disposition of mind.


Grand duke of Lithuania Casimir IV publishes Casimir Code, the code of laws of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The code was based on the local customs and (to a certain degree) on the norms of Russkaya Pravda. Casimir Code defined punishments for crimes (like theft), limited the responsibility of the members of the family of the criminal and prohibited the peasants from leaving the landowners, turning them into serfs.


The Red Army occupied Stavropol.


Finnish movement Lapua begins an attempt of a coup-d'état. Lapua started as an anti-communist movement but by 1932 it degenerated into an anti-democratic semi-fascist organization. The article from Wikipedia notes the reaction in the USSR:

In the Soviet Union, the Lapua Movement's actions were closely followed. Old deep-rooted perceptions of Finland as a threat and as a continuation of the ancient tsarist régime were enhanced — both among ordinary citizens and in the Bolshevist leadership — which further contributed to the conditions leading to the Winter War. In Leningrad, the old tsarist capital, the old concerns over the close proximity of the border were kept alive. Over that border, invasion armies had arrived right at the doorstep of the capital twice in the 1700s and again in 1918, immediately after Finland's independence, during the ongoing world war; the German enemy had been invited by Finland and threatened to bring the horrors of war to the civilians of Leningrad. Russian newspapers mirrored these fears, covering events in Finland and interviewing victims that had been deported to Russia by the Lapua Movement as telling examples of terror in capitalist countries.


Aeroplane IL-18D which flew from Krasnoyarsk to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky crashed near Bratsk. The aeroplane suddenly descended from flight level 7,900 meters (FL260) to approximately 3,000 meters (FL100), then fell apart. There were 9 crew members and 82 passengers aboard. One of them survived. It was a soldier whose chair remained attached to a large piece of the fuselage. The cause of the crash was never discovered. Probably, it was the fuel leakage.

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