Historama, September 1

Grave tragedy caused by human and technical mistakes and one of the reasons for the endless conflict between Moscow government and architecture lovers are remembered in tonight’s Historama.

269 people killed due to dispatchers’ mistake

On this day in 1983, a Soviet fighter plane shot down an international Korean Airlines jet because it did not have authorization to enter the Soviet Union’s airspace. All 269 passengers and the crew died.

The US was quick to brand the USSR “The Evil Empire.” The Soviets, in turn, accused America of espionage.

In 1993, the International Civil Aviation Organization drew its conclusion about the case: The Boeing 747 entered Soviet airspace because of an error in the plane’s navigation equipment. It was consequently shot down because it was mistaken for a spy plane.

Read more on this event in Russian history

Architectural controversy

On this day in 1900, the Paveletsky train station was opened in Moscow.

It is one of nine railway stations in the city – the one you take when you are off to Domodedovo airport.

The building was a new architectural concept at the time. Architect and engineer Krasovsky pushed functionality over design. Rational as it is, the station is still a beauty.

Many are furious over current city government plans to construct a mall next to the station, which would make it impossible to see the building from the Garden Ring.

­The highest education

­On this day in 1953, the main building of the Moscow State University in Sparrow Hills was opened.

The 240-meter construction housed several faculties, as well as the university’s administrative offices, a library, a museum, an assembly hall and a student dormitory.

The building was the tallest among the so-called “Seven Sisters,” skyscrapers that were built on the orders Josef Stalin in the 1950s.  

Now the main building of MSU ranks as the sixth tallest building in the Russian capital, but it is still the first among all educational buildings in the world.

­Mausoleum suicide bomber

­In 1973 an unknown terrorist blew up an explosive devise inside the Lenin Mausoleum in Moscow.

Lenin’s body was not harmed, as it was protected by bulletproof glass. The terrorist himself died along with two visitors. Several others were injured, including children.   

It was not the first attempt to destroy the embalmed body. An earlier attack in 1960 succeeded in damaging Lenin’s corpse with shattered glass after his sarcophagus was kicked.

Leave a comment