92 Secret Facts About Russia’s Past and Present Few People Know

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51New Year

Russians celebrate the New Year twice, once on January 1st and then again on January 14th.


52. In 2012, a team of scientists from the Russian Academy of Sciences successfully revived a flowering plant (Silene stenophylla) from a 32,000-year-old fruit buried by a squirrel in the Siberian permafrost.


53. Russia installed lighthouses powered by nuclear generators along its coastline in the 1970s. Two of those generators are now missing.


54. “UVB-76” is a mysterious Russian radio signal (on 4625 kHz). For almost 40 years, a repeating buzzing sound has been broadcasted, though every few years it stops, and a Russian voice reads numbers and Russian names. In 2013, for the first time, UVB-76 issued an order: “Command 135 initiated.”


55. Certain bears in Russia have become addicted to sniffing Jet Fuel out of discarded barrels. Going as far as stalking helicopters for the drops of fuel they leave behind.


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56Terrestrial and space cockroaches

Russian scientists have observed differences between cockroaches conceived in space and their terrestrial counterparts. The space-conceived cockroaches grew more quickly, and also grew up to be faster and tougher.


57. The 2001 video game Ghost Recon takes place during a fictional 2008 Russian invasion of Georgia. In reality, Russia would actually invade Georgia that year.


58. Russian fighter pilot Alexey Maresyev’s plane was shot down by the Germans in 1942 and he crash landed in enemy territory. Both his legs were severely mangled, but he managed to get himself to the friendly turf after crawling for 18 days in the snow. His legs had to be amputated below the knee. He got himself on crutches and prosthetics and within a year danced in front of a judge to prove he was battle ready. He then went on to fly 86 combat missions and took out 11 enemy warplanes.


59. Russians have a word "Zapoi" to describe several days of continuous drunkenness during which one withdraws from society.


60. 1,311 people live in Verkhoyansk, Russia. A town with an average temperature of -45 °C (-50 °F) in January. It was also attacked by a pack of 400 wolves. The sun currently rises at 2 pm and sets at 3:30 pm.


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61Russia 100 years ago

There are pictures over 100 years old that are in full color taken with a special camera from all over Russia.


62. Actor Rick Moranis was fired from the set of The Breakfast Club after he kept playing the janitor as a goofy Russian character.


63. In Russia, many doctors “treat” alcoholism by surgically implanting a small capsule into their alcoholic patients. The capsules react so severely with alcohol that if the patient ingests even a single drop of alcohol, they instantly acquire an excruciating illness of similar intensity to acute heroin withdrawal.


64. The most polluted place on the planet is Lake Karachay, located near the Ural Mountains in Russia. In 1990, just standing on the shore for an hour would give you a radiation dose of 600 roentgen, more than enough to kill you. The lake is located within the Mayak Production Association, one of the largest and leakiest nuclear facilities in Russia. Lake Karachay is now full of concrete that’s intended to keep radioactive sediment away from shore.


65. There is a Russian cult that worships the character named Gadget Hackwrench from the TV show Chip N Dale Rescue Rangers.


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66Vladimir the Great

In the late 980's, Vladimir the Great chose to Christianize Russia rather than Islamicize it partly due to Islam’s ban on alcohol, saying, “Drinking is the joy of the Rus', we can't go without it.”


67. A Russian scientist, Alexander Bogdanov, hoped to achieve everlasting life, by transfusing blood with others who were younger than him. Later, he died after transfusing a student with malaria, who made a full recovery after the transfusion.


68. Cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev was in space when the Soviet Union was dissolved. He went up a Soviet citizen and returned a Russian citizen.


69. Although Joseph Stalin officially killed around 2.9 million Russians during his reign, historians think that number may have been as high as 30 million, or around 22% of the population.


70. While the Russian Tsar Bomb is the largest nuclear device ever detonated, it was the ‘cleanest’ nuclear bomb ever detonated. Its modifications removed 97% of its fallout.


71Vladimir Yakunin

Russian Railways president Vladimir Yakunin wants to build a bridge across the Bering Strait from Russia to Alaska. This would make possible an almost 13,000-mile road trip from New York to London.


72. In 2006, Russia gifted USA a 9/11 memorial monument, which was erected in Bayonne, New Jersey.


73. When the US imposed sanctions against Russia’s space program, the Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin tweeted “After reviewing the sanctions against our space industry, I suggest that the United States deliver their astronauts to the ISS using a trampoline.”


74. In 2009, Russian Cosmonauts on the International Space Station were banned by their officials from using the ‘luxurious’ U.S. model Astro-loo toilet and were only allowed to use the Russian-built toilet.


75. Russia remains the 6th largest holder of slaves, estimated at 516,000 in 2013.

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