Historama, November 7

Soviet leader saved and first metro line opens in St. Petersburg, two events that made this day in Russian history.

­Close shave for Gorbachev

Taking part in a parade on today’s date in 1990 nearly cost the last Soviet leader his life.

While Michael Gorbachev was watching the show, one of the marchers pulled out a sawn-off shotgun and tried to shoot him in the head.

That was factory worker Alexander Shmonov, who thought Gorbachev was standing in the way of democracy, he missed when a police officer grab the weapon.

He was deemed mentally ill and spent four years in a psychiatric ward.

He is now a human-rights activist.

Metro opens in St. Petersburg

On this day in 1955, the first trains of the St. Petersburg metro started operating.

At first there was just one short line; now there are five lines and 64 stations.

Several new stations are currently being built. One of them, called “Admiralteyskaya,” will become the deepest in Russia – it is going to be 84 metres under ground.

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