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Golden Names of Russia

Since the children of the royal dynasty received a home education, the personalities of their tutors played a crucial role in shaping the worldview of future sovereigns. Mentors for the grand dukes were selected with particular care… Admissible were exclusively ”persons of good character, conduct based on sound intellect and honesty, and who could treat their children pleasantly and kindly” - reasoned Catherine II, in whose era were laid the basic principles of education of the heirs to the throne and the grand princes.
”You, born in the heart of Asia, are considered an honor by all European academies to have as a member,” wrote a famous German geologist and traveler, professor at one of Germany’s largest universities, Gerhardt vom Rath, to Nikolai Koksharov, Director of the Mining Institute and the Imperial Mineralogical Society.
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In the early 1970s, the Swedish magazine ”Wonders of Science and Technology” published an article about an extraordinary invention made back in the 18th century by Russian scientist Alexander Karamyshev. In it the historian Reynar Hagel described the creation of a device capable of overturning humanity’s ideas about the nature of things. It was about giving complete transparency to opaque in nature of bodies…
Today, even in scientific publications about the invention of the legendary explosive ”Sinal-AK” during the Great Patriotic War one can meet a very simplified interpretation of events: they say that the cry was raised and a scientist far from military affairs, after thinking for a while, immediately gave a new composition. In July 1941 the City Committee of the CPSU(b) agreed to the proposal, and in August the products produced thirteen Leningrad enterprises and scientific organizations. One can guess that events developed somewhat differently…
The founder of the new scientific field of petrochemistry, President of the All-Union Mineralogical Society, laureate of the Lenin and two Stalin Prizes, Alexander Zavaritsky, according to the recollections of his colleagues, was a very private person. This was due not only to his high state positions and developments of defense purposes, but also to certain circumstances of his life.
One of the largest Russian crystallographers of the 20th century, Ilarion Shafranovsky, became a doctor of sciences at the age of 35. The creator of a vast branch of science - mineralogical crystallography - devoted more than 50 years to research and teaching. However, few knew that the professor had another equally strong passion…
In 1948 one of the most destructive earthquakes in the history of mankind, the intensity of which reached 9-10 points, occurred in the region of Ashkhabad city. According to various estimates, 110,000 to 170,000 people died. The number of injured went off the scale. In the first hours after the disaster, a 60-year-old man came to the emergency response headquarters. ”The city is buried under the rubble. I am not a doctor of medicine, but I am a doctor of science. And I want to offer my help,” he said.
On average, it takes several decades for a university graduate who wants to build a research and teaching career to become a professor. If he turns out to be capable of it at all. However, Grigori Helmersen, the son of a Livonian baron, received the position the year he graduated from the Mining Institute. In the future he was to head his alma mater, become one of the founders of the Russian Geographical Society, an ordinary member of the Academy of Sciences, as well as the initiator and first director of the Geological Committee.
Russia did not learn about sanctions in 2014. Back in the 1930s, during the implementation of the first five-year plans, the USSR waged an active struggle for independence from the global capitalist market. In its attempts to subjugate our country’s economy to its control, the West tried all sorts of tricks: from the credit and ”gold” blockade (refusing to accept Soviet gold in 1920) to the anti-dumping campaign and special treatment for Soviet exports. The only possible path to development remained the policy of import substitution.
The year 1956 marked the 100th anniversary of the birth of Georgy Plekhanov, the Russian Marxist theorist whose works Lenin called the most important ”textbook of communism.” In honor of the anniversary, the Mining Institute in St. Petersburg was named after the revolutionary. At first glance, this seems an ordinary occurrence, but the paradoxical situation was that Plekhanov was a Menshevik and almost openly accused the Bolshevik leader of treason against his homeland. Twenty years after 1917, such figures were, as Beria put it, ”washed into camp dust.