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Alkhanay – Russia's Newest National Park

Located in the Aginsky Buryat Autonomous District of Zabaykalsky Krai, Russia, the spectacular Alkhanay National Park was established in 1990, and is the youngest of the national parks of Russia. The park consists of a variety of terrain, from mountainous regions supporting coniferous and birch forests, to the broad steppes of the lower altitudes. The park is well watered by the Ilia River and its many tributaries, with its three main lakes being Krasnoyarovo, Balzino and Alkhanay.

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Artistic Inspiration of Tarusa

With wide open fields, scenic hills, and lush forests stretching from the banks of the Oka River out to the horizon, the town of Tarusa and its picturesque surroundings has been the inspiration for many poets and artists over the years. This tranquil little town has even been dubbed by artists as the Barbizon of Russia – a reference to the renowned Barbizon art school in the French village of the same name. Visitors to the town, which is located around 130 kilometers from Russia's capital city, Moscow, soon agree that it is an idyllic setting.

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Kronotsky Nature Reserve

In the Russian Far East, which runs along the Kamchatka Peninsula, is a breathtaking protected area named the Kronotsky Nature Reserve. It covers an area of over ten thousand square kilometers and was founded in 1934. What makes this reserve so unique is its numerous natural features, such as a variety of volcanoes, huge mountain ranges, and the only geyser basin in the whole of Russia. Even UNESCO has recognized the magnificence of this reserve and have listed it as a World Heritage Site, drawing more than three thousand visitors each year, as well as scientists.

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Saint Basil's Cathedral Celebrates Anniversary

Saint Basil's Cathedral has survived wars and winters to now celebrate its 450th year of existence. This historical masterpiece is located in the Red Square of Moscow, and was commissioned by Tsar Ivan the Terrible. Construction began in 1555 and was completed in 1561. Due to the historical significance of the cathedral, renovations of approximately $14 million have been done to the structure to keep it in pristine condition. The observance to celebrate this landmark anniversary will continue for fourth months.

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Battles at Borodino

Located in the Mozhaysky District of Russia’s Moscow Oblast, the village of Borodino is indelibly etched in Russian history as the location of two devastating battles. The historic Borodino battlefield is a protected area that has been preserved as a reminder of the two history-shaping conflicts that took place there, firstly between Russia and France in 1812, and later between Soviet and German military forces in 1941. Within the protected area is the State Borodino War and History Museum chronicling these conflicts in detail, while the former battlefield is scattered with memorials and monuments as reminders of specific events and influential figures relating to both wars.

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Millennium of Russia - Honoring Past Heroes

The Millennium of Russia monument, located in the Novgorod Kremlin grounds, never fails to impress visitors as a remarkable work of narrative art. Crafted primarily from bronze, the monument consists of 129 individual statues sculpted by leading Russian artists of the 19th century. The completed monument was erected in 1862 as part of the millennium celebration of Prince Rurik's arrival in the city. As the founder of the Rurikid dynasty, Prince Rurik reigned from 864 to 876 over Kievan Rus and this event is widely considered to be the origin of Russia's history. The Rurik Dynasty ruled the Tsardom of Russia until the year 1598.

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White Nights Festival in St Petersburg

Taking place each year in the Russian city of St Petersburg, during what is known as the "season of the midnight sun", the White Nights Festival features a series of music events, carnivals and parades, as well as operas and classical ballet performances. First held in 1993, the festival presents an opportunity for audiences to enjoy the works of talented Russian performers, as well as a host of participating international stars in one of Russia's most stately cities.

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Russian Martial Art of Systema

The Russian martial art of Systema focuses on the use of the neck, shoulders, elbows, waist, knees and ankles as levers to strike body pressure points of opponents, and to make use of weapons, including firearms, in combat. Unlike many martial arts, training for Systema does not adhere to a set kata (choreographed pattern of movements), but involves drills and sparring between opponents on more of a freestyle basis.





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