Historama, August 23

Tonight’s Historama finds out why the Moscow Kremlin was deprived of its beautiful golden eagles and recalls the legendary battle of Kursk.

Greatest World War II victory

On this day in 1943, the Soviet army defeated Nazi forces in the battle of Kursk, which lasted 49 days.

Germany wanted to destroy Soviet troops based near the city of Kursk, but Soviet intelligence found out about it and a decision was made to strike with a counterattack.

Watch RT’s film about the Kursk battle

The victory in the operation ensured a dominant Soviet position on the front. It was the final strategic offensive the Germans were able to mount in the east front.

­Russia takes giant step to freedom

On this day in 1552, another famous Russian battle commenced, as Ivan the Terrible invaded Kazan.

Russia had been fighting with the Tartar Khans for over 100 years and this invasion marked the end of this war.

Ivan entered Kazan with 150,000 soldiers, but did not secure the city until October.

Kazan is considered to be Russia’s third city and is located 400 miles east of Moscow.

Moscow Kremlin swaps golden eagles for red stars

Today in 1935, the Kremlin said goodbye to its golden eagles.

The Communist Party Central Committee issued a decree ordering the replacement of the imperial two-headed eagles with communist stars.

The original ones were golden and covered with semi-precious stones. However, grand as they were, they quickly faded and it was decided to replace them – with red stars.

With communism gone, there were proposals to go back to eagles, but no serious steps were taken in that direction.

Read more on this event in Russian history

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