Defender of the Fatherland Day Article: There Is More About Russia Than Its Rulers

From almost whatever angle you explore Russian history, there’s one conclusion that will be derived in any case: the more than one millennium’s existence of Russia has always revolved around war issues. Established by warriors, the Vikings, Russia seems to have been foretold its fate for centuries to follow.

This might be the explanation for the fact that the lion’s share of the Russian history’s landmarks coincide with turning points of one or another war.

May 15, 1240. Early in the morning Swedish troops, planning to get hold of a crucial Russian water channel, the Neva, were deployed in its mouth, only to be ambushed by the army of Duke Alexander Yaroslavich, whose – let me call the guys like this – reconnaissance had reported him of the forthcoming attack safely before.

At the crack of dawn a marvellous battle, punctuated by mounted warriors destroying the enemy’s ships as well as single-handedly attacking some of most prominent Swedes, broke out.

Swedes & Russians
Swedes & Russians

The Duke himself reportedly pricked the helmet of his Swedish counterpart, an action considered quite a humiliation of a rival back then. The fight resulted in a Russian victory, the revival of the Russian spirit tormented by the Tatar yoke, and the Duke gratefully labeled Nevsky by the people.

July 27, 1572 carved itself in history as the day on which the Molodinskaya Battle (Battle of Molody) flared up, a desperate, as it was, attempt by Russian troops led by to stop the Crimean Tatar charge on Moscow. Outnumbered.

Tsarist Army
Tsarist Army

Left at the last standpoint. The country they fought for ruined by the years of oppressive rule (Google Ivan the Terrible).They won. What I want to convey by offering you a glimpse (well, actually either of the events deserves at least a profound research) at these two glorious battles of the past is the following: there’s much more about Russia than the United Russia party, Putin and the Crimea annexed.

There is valor and courage. There is the selflessness of the Russian soul ready to sacrifice itself even if no slightest chance of victory is looming at the horizon. There are – as always have been – patriots. Not the likes of something between a clown and a demagogue, but those who, with all sincerity, care about the country’s fate and voice, albeit with no sensible outcome so far, their concern over just where might the current isolationist policy lead.

It’s not us ordinary Russians who construct the ramparts, predominantly verbal but occasionally material ones, against the so-called Western intrusion and harangue about the never-ending attempts to violate Russian sovereignty.

The only problem we’ve got is that we don’t have much of a choice in the current circumstances and no real freedom of speech and press to stand up to the ruling elite. In fact, as the history of Russia shows, we’ve never had anything of the above.


Yet, when duty called and Motherland was at hazard, Russia – the real one beyond the government rotten by corruption and insatiable for power – revealed itself in all its glory. This is the Russia I’m proud of, the one with which I’m connected by a bond nothing will ever be able to undermine.

Image Sources: [1], [2], [3].

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