Historama, November 11

The biggest battle that never happened and a galloping train are the stars of tonight’s Historama.

­Victorious standoff ends 200-year yoke

This day in 1480 saw the end of the 200-year-long Tatar-Mongol hold over Russian land.

The last battle entered the annals of Russian history as “the Great Standoff on Ugra River.”

Actually, it was not any kind of a fight: due to a number of military misunderstandings, the two armies ended up retreating in opposite directions. This was the end.

Nomadic Tatar-Mongol tribes took over Russian land at the beginning of the 13th century.

They systematically robbed and burned villages and towns across all Russia.

Read more on this day in Russian history

­Steam on Sundays

On this day in 1837, the first railway started operating in Russia.

It connected St. Petersburg and the Tsarskoe Selo royal residence.

The journey took up to 35 minutes at speeds from 50 to 60 kilometers an hour.

For the first two years, the trains were mainly horse drawn. They used steam engines only on Sundays.

­Dostoevsky starts up as human soul explorer

On this day in 1821, one of Russia’s greatest writers,Fyodor Dostoyevsky, was born in Moscow.

His life faced many trials. At the age of 28, he was sentenced to death for joining an underground organisation. Then, after a mock execution, he was sent to Siberia.

Dostoyevsky also suffered from epilepsy and was addicted to gambling. Many of his works are partly autobiographical.

He is widely regarded as one of the most skilled portrayers of the human condition in literature.

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