The Volga is the longest river in Europe with a catchment area of 1,350,000 square kilometres. It is Europe's largest river in terms of discharge and drainage basin; the river flows through central Russia and into the Caspian Sea, is regarded as the national river of Russia. Eleven of the twenty largest cities of Russia, including the capital, are located in the Volga's drainage basin; some of the largest reservoirs in the world are located along the Volga. The river has a symbolic meaning in Russian culture and is referred to as Волга-матушка Volga-Matushka in Russian literature and folklore; the Russian hydronym Volga derives from Proto-Slavic *vòlga "wetness, moisture", preserved in many Slavic languages, including Ukrainian volóha "moisture", Russian vlaga "moisture", Bulgarian vlaga "moisture", Czech vláha "dampness", Serbian vlaga "moisture", Croatian vlaga "moisture" and Slovene vlaga "moisture" among others. The Slavic name is a loan translation of earlier Scythian Rā "Volga" "wetness", cognate with Avestan Raŋhā "mythical stream" and Vedic Sanskrit rasā́ "dew, juice.
The Scythian name survives in modern Mordvin Rav "Volga". The Turkic peoples living along the river referred to it as Itil or Atil "big river". In modern Turkic languages, the Volga is known as İdel in Tatar, Атăл in Chuvash, Idhel in Bashkir, Edil in Kazakh, İdil in Turkish; the Turkic peoples associated the Itil's origin with the Kama. Thus, a left tributary to the Kama was named the Aq Itil "White Itil" which unites with the Kara Itil "Black Itil" at the modern city of Ufa; the name Indyl is used in Adyge language. Among Asians, the river was known by its other Turkic name Sarı-su "yellow water", but the Oirats used their own name, Ijil mörön or "adaptation river". Presently the Mari, another Uralic group, call the river Jul, they called the river Volgydo, a borrowing from Old East Slavic. The Volga is the longest river in Europe, its catchment area is entirely inside Russia, though the longest river in Russia is the Ob–Irtysh river system, it belongs to the closed basin of the Caspian Sea, being the longest river to flow into a closed basin.
Rising in the Valdai Hills 225 meters above sea level northwest of Moscow and about 320 kilometers southeast of Saint Petersburg, the Volga heads east past Lake Sterzh, Dubna, Yaroslavl, Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan. From there it turns south, flows past Ulyanovsk, Samara and Volgograd, discharges into the Caspian Sea below Astrakhan at 28 meters below sea level. At its most strategic point, it bends toward the Don. Volgograd Stalingrad, is located there; the Volga has many tributaries, most the rivers Kama, the Oka, the Vetluga, the Sura. The Volga and its tributaries form the Volga river system, which flows through an area of about 1,350,000 square kilometres in the most populated part of Russia; the Volga Delta has a length of about 160 kilometres and includes as many as 500 channels and smaller rivers. The largest estuary in Europe, it is the only place in Russia where pelicans and lotuses may be found; the Volga freezes for most of its length for three months each year. The Volga drains most of Western Russia.
Its many large reservoirs provide hydroelectric power. The Moscow Canal, the Volga–Don Canal, the Volga–Baltic Waterway form navigable waterways connecting Moscow to the White Sea, the Baltic Sea, the Caspian Sea, the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea. High levels of chemical pollution have adversely affected its habitats; the fertile river valley provides large quantities of wheat, has many mineral riches. A substantial petroleum industry centers on the Volga valley. Other resources include natural gas and potash; the Volga Delta and the nearby Caspian Sea offer superb fishing grounds. Astrakhan, at the delta, is the center of the caviar industry. A number of large hydroelectric reservoirs were constructed on the Volga during the Soviet era, they are: Volgograd Reservoir Saratov Reservoir Kuybyshev Reservoir – the largest in Europe by surface Cheboksary Reservoir Gorky Reservoir Rybinsk Reservoir Uglich Reservoir Ivankovo Reservoir Volgograd Nizhny Novgorod Kazan Samara Saratov Tolyatti Yaroslavl Astrakhan Ulyanovsk Cheboksary Tver The area downstream of the Volga believed to have been a cradle of the Proto-Indo-European civilization, was settled by Slavs and other Turkic peoples in the first millennium AD, replacing the Scythians.
The ancient scholar Ptolemy of Alexandria mentions the lower Volga in his Geography. He calls it the Rha, the Scythian name for the river. Ptolemy believed the Don and the Volga shared the same upper branch, which flowed from the Hyperborean Mountains; the Russian ethnicity in Western Russia and around the Volga river evolved among other tribes, out of the East Slavic tribe of the Buzhans. Several localities in Russia are connected to the Buzhans, like for example Sredniy Buzhan in the Orenburg Oblast and the Buzan river in the Astrakhan Oblast. Buzhan is a village in Nishapur, Iran. Subsequently, the river basin played an important role in the movements of peoples from Asia to Europe. A powerful polity of Volga Bulgaria once flourished where the Kama jo
World War II
World War II known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries; the major participants threw their entire economic and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China, it included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, the only use of nuclear weapons in war. Japan, which aimed to dominate Asia and the Pacific, was at war with China by 1937, though neither side had declared war on the other. World War II is said to have begun on 1 September 1939, with the invasion of Poland by Germany and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by France and the United Kingdom.
From late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or controlled much of continental Europe, formed the Axis alliance with Italy and Japan. Under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union partitioned and annexed territories of their European neighbours, Finland and the Baltic states. Following the onset of campaigns in North Africa and East Africa, the fall of France in mid 1940, the war continued between the European Axis powers and the British Empire. War in the Balkans, the aerial Battle of Britain, the Blitz, the long Battle of the Atlantic followed. On 22 June 1941, the European Axis powers launched an invasion of the Soviet Union, opening the largest land theatre of war in history; this Eastern Front trapped most crucially the German Wehrmacht, into a war of attrition. In December 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack on the United States as well as European colonies in the Pacific. Following an immediate U. S. declaration of war against Japan, supported by one from Great Britain, the European Axis powers declared war on the U.
S. in solidarity with their Japanese ally. Rapid Japanese conquests over much of the Western Pacific ensued, perceived by many in Asia as liberation from Western dominance and resulting in the support of several armies from defeated territories; the Axis advance in the Pacific halted in 1942. Key setbacks in 1943, which included a series of German defeats on the Eastern Front, the Allied invasions of Sicily and Italy, Allied victories in the Pacific, cost the Axis its initiative and forced it into strategic retreat on all fronts. In 1944, the Western Allies invaded German-occupied France, while the Soviet Union regained its territorial losses and turned toward Germany and its allies. During 1944 and 1945 the Japanese suffered major reverses in mainland Asia in Central China, South China and Burma, while the Allies crippled the Japanese Navy and captured key Western Pacific islands; the war in Europe concluded with an invasion of Germany by the Western Allies and the Soviet Union, culminating in the capture of Berlin by Soviet troops, the suicide of Adolf Hitler and the German unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945.
Following the Potsdam Declaration by the Allies on 26 July 1945 and the refusal of Japan to surrender under its terms, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August respectively. With an invasion of the Japanese archipelago imminent, the possibility of additional atomic bombings, the Soviet entry into the war against Japan and its invasion of Manchuria, Japan announced its intention to surrender on 15 August 1945, cementing total victory in Asia for the Allies. Tribunals were set up by fiat by the Allies and war crimes trials were conducted in the wake of the war both against the Germans and the Japanese. World War II changed the political social structure of the globe; the United Nations was established to foster international co-operation and prevent future conflicts. The Soviet Union and United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the nearly half-century long Cold War. In the wake of European devastation, the influence of its great powers waned, triggering the decolonisation of Africa and Asia.
Most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic expansion. Political integration in Europe, emerged as an effort to end pre-war enmities and create a common identity; the start of the war in Europe is held to be 1 September 1939, beginning with the German invasion of Poland. The dates for the beginning of war in the Pacific include the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 July 1937, or the Japanese invasion of Manchuria on 19 September 1931. Others follow the British historian A. J. P. Taylor, who held that the Sino-Japanese War and war in Europe and its colonies occurred and the two wars merged in 1941; this article uses the conventional dating. Other starting dates sometimes used for World War II include the Italian invasion of Abyssinia on 3 October 1935; the British historian Antony Beevor views the beginning of World War II as the Battles of Khalkhin Gol fought between Japan and the fo
The Soviet Union the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, its government and economy were centralized; the country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centres were Leningrad, Minsk, Alma-Ata, Novosibirsk, it spanned over 10,000 kilometres east to west across 11 time zones, over 7,200 kilometres north to south. It had five climate zones: tundra, steppes and mountains; the Soviet Union had its roots in the 1917 October Revolution, when the Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the Russian Provisional Government which had replaced Tsar Nicholas II during World War I. In 1922, the Soviet Union was formed by a treaty which legalized the unification of the Russian, Transcaucasian and Byelorussian republics that had occurred from 1918. Following Lenin's death in 1924 and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s.
Stalin committed the state's ideology to Marxism–Leninism and constructed a command economy which led to a period of rapid industrialization and collectivization. During his rule, political paranoia fermented and the Great Purge removed Stalin's opponents within and outside of the party via arbitrary arrests and persecutions of many people, resulting in at least 600,000 deaths. In 1933, a major famine struck the country. Before the start of World War II in 1939, the Soviets signed the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, agreeing to non-aggression with Nazi Germany, after which the USSR invaded Poland on 17 September 1939. In June 1941, Germany broke the pact and invaded the Soviet Union, opening the largest and bloodiest theatre of war in history. Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the effort of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad and Kursk; the territories overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Soviet Union.
The post-war division of Europe into capitalist and communist halves would lead to increased tensions with the United States-led Western Bloc, known as the Cold War. Stalin died in 1953 and was succeeded by Nikita Khrushchev, who in 1956 denounced Stalin and began the de-Stalinization; the Cuban Missile Crisis occurred during Khrushchev's rule, among the many factors that led to his downfall in 1964. In the early 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed with the Soviet–Afghan War in 1979. In 1985, the last Soviet premier, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost and perestroika, which caused political instability. In 1989, Soviet satellite states in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist governments; as part of an attempt to prevent the country's dissolution due to rising nationalist and separatist movements, a referendum was held in March 1991, boycotted by some republics, that resulted in a majority of participating citizens voting in favor of preserving the union as a renewed federation.
Gorbachev's power was diminished after Russian President Boris Yeltsin's high-profile role in facing down a coup d'état attempted by Communist Party hardliners. In late 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union met and formally dissolved the Soviet Union; the remaining 12 constituent republics emerged as independent post-Soviet states, with the Russian Federation—formerly the Russian SFSR—assuming the Soviet Union's rights and obligations and being recognized as the successor state. The Soviet Union was a powerhouse of many significant technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus; the country had the largest standing military in the world. The Soviet Union was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states and possessed the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction, it was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Pact.
The word "Soviet" is derived from a Russian word сове́т meaning council, advice, harmony and all deriving from the proto-Slavic verbal stem of vět-iti, related to Slavic věst, English "wise", the root in "ad-vis-or", or the Dutch weten. The word sovietnik means "councillor". A number of organizations in Russian history were called "council". For example, in the Russian Empire the State Council, which functioned from 1810 to 1917, was referred to as a Council of Ministers after the revolt of 1905. During the Georgian Affair, Vladimir Lenin envisioned an expression of Great Russian ethnic chauvinism by Joseph Stalin and his supporters, calling for these nation-states to join Russia as semi-independent parts of a greater union, which he named as the Union of Soviet Republics of Europe and Asia. Stalin resisted the proposal, but accepted it, although with Lenin's agreement changed the name of the newly proposed sta
2nd Shock Army
The 2nd Shock Army was a field army of the Soviet Union during the Second World War. This type of formation was created in accordance with prewar doctrine that called for Shock Armies to overcome difficult defensive dispositions in order to create a tactical penetration of sufficient breadth and depth to permit the commitment of mobile formations for deeper exploitation. However, as the war went on, Shock Armies lost this specific role and reverted, in general, to ordinary frontline formations; the 2nd Shock Army was formed from the Volkhov Front's 26th Army in December 1941 and consisted of the 327th Rifle Division and eight separate rifle brigades. During the Lyuban Offensive Operation in early 1942, the 2nd Shock Army broke through German lines, was cut off from reinforcement along the Volkhov River by a German counter-attack, was not permitted to retreat; when the order for retreat came in, the 2nd was destroyed trying to escape. This happened again during the Siniavino operation, in which the survivors of the 2nd Shock Army had to return to the Front's HQ for resupply and manpower to rebuild the Army.
By 1944, during its participation in the Battle of Narva, the 2nd Shock Army consisted of five rifle divisions along with 600 artillery pieces, a tank brigade, another tank regiment, two SPG regiments, masses of ammunition and supplies. After the war ended, the 2nd Shock Army remained in northeastern Germany until January 1946, after which it returned to the USSR, where its HQ was reorganized as the HQ of the Arkhangel'sk Military District, it was composed of three rifle corps by this time. After the 2nd Shock Army was re-designated HQ Arkhangelsk MD's 116th Rifle Corps, its component units were spread among other districts; the 109th Rifle Corps went to the North Caucasus Military District, the 134th Rifle Corps went to the Voronezh Region. In January 1942 the Volkhov Front commander, had to request the Army’s commander, General Lieutenant Sokolov, a former NKVD commissar, be relieved, as he was incompetent. Command was handed over to the former commander of General Lieutenant Klykov; that same month the 2nd Shock Army was launched against Lyuban, but its offensive saw the Army isolated, under a new commander, General Lieutenant A. A. Vlasov.
On January 7, 1942, Vlasov's army had spearheaded the Lyuban Offensive Operation to break the Leningrad encirclement. Planned as a combined operation between the Volkhov and Leningrad Fronts on a 30 km frontage, other armies of the Leningrad Front were supposed to participate at scheduled intervals in this operation. Crossing the Volkhov River, Vlasov's army was successful in breaking through the German 18th Army's lines and penetrated 70–74 km deep inside German rear area; the other armies, failed to provide the required support, Vlasov's army became stranded. Permission to retreat was refused. With the counter-offensive in May 1942, the Second Shock Army was allowed to retreat, but by now, too weakened, it was annihilated during the final breakout at Myasnoi Bor. Vlasov was taken prisoner by the Wehrmacht troops on July 6, 1942, he raised a legion of Russians who fought alongside the German forces. 2nd Shock Army again suffered severe losses during the Siniavino operation from 19 August - 20 October 1942.
Again, the remnants were returned to the Front reserves for rebuilding. In January 1943 it took part in the offensive which aimed to raise the Siege of Leningrad, Operation Iskra; the Stavka intervened in Leningrad Front offensive planning during September 1943, changing the plan so that 2nd Shock Army would attack from the Oranienbaum bridgehead. The offensive, under a newly appointed commander, General I. I. Fedyuninskii, begun on 14 January, took part in breaking the 900-day Siege of Leningrad, pushed west to the outskirts of Narva, resulting in the Battle of Narva; the 2nd Shock Army struggled to take Narva and German positions further west of the city until September 1944, when deep exploitation by Soviet forces in the Baltic States forced a German retreat through Estonia. As a result of the strategic Soviet victory in this region, the 2nd Shock Army was moved south and assigned to the 2nd Belorussian Front; as part of the 2nd Belorussian Front, the 2nd Shock Army fought across Poland and northeastern Germany, with its route of march taking it north of Warsaw and Stettin.
In late March, the army helped capture Danzig. On May 1, 1945, the 2nd Shock Army took Stralsund on the Baltic Coast, ending the war there and on the island of Rügen. Lieutenant General Andrey Vlasov commander of the pro-Nazi Russian Liberation Army General Ivan Fedyuninsky, commander during the Battle of Narva Keith E. Bonn, Slaughterhouse: The Handbook of the Eastern Front, Aberjona Press, Bedford, PA, 2005 Feskov, The Soviet Army in the Period of the Cold War, Tomsk, 2004
Rzhev is a town in Tver Oblast, located 49 kilometers southwest of Staritsa and 126 kilometers from Tver, on the highway and railway connecting Moscow and Riga. It is the uppermost town situated on the Volga River. Population: 61,982 . Rzhev was founded in the Middle Ages and rivals Toropets as the oldest town in the region. Rzhevians point out that their town is mentioned in the Novgorod laws as early as 1019, their neighbors from Toropets, on the other hand, give more credence to Rzhev's first mention in a major chronicle under 1216, when it was in possession of Mstislav the Bold, Prince of Toropets. Whatever the truth may be, it is clear that medieval Rzhev was bitterly contested by three regional powers—the Novgorod Republic, the Principality of Smolensk, the Grand Principality of Vladimir-Suzdal. Following the Mongol invasion, Rzhev passed to a lateral branch of the Smolensk dynasty, which made the town its capital; the princes divided the town in two parts, which are still called the Prince-Dmitry's Side and Prince-Theodor's Side.
In the mid-14th century, they had a hard time repelling attacks from Algirdas of Lithuania and Grand Princes of Tver, who bought all the villages around the town. They left for Moscow, where their descendants have become comic characters of many a joke. In the meantime, the town was occupied for a short space by Tver, Poland-Lithuania, by the Grand Duchy of Moscow. In the course of the administrative reform carried out in 1708 by Peter the Great, Rzhev was included into Ingermanlandia Governorate, in 1727 Novgorod Governorate split off. In 1775, Tver Viceroyalty was formed from the lands which belonged to Moscow and Novgorod Governorates, Rzhev was transferred to Tver Viceroyalty, which in 1796 was transformed to Tver Governorate. In 1775, Rzhevsky Uyezd was established, with the center in Rzhev. In the 18th century, local merchants of Old Believer confession, brought a great measure of prosperity to the town. On 12 July 1929, governorates and uyezds were abolished, Rzhevsky District with the administrative center in the town of Rzhev was established.
It belonged to Rzhev Okrug of Western Oblast. On August 1, 1930 the okrugs were abolished, the districts were subordinated directly to the oblast. On 29 January 1935 Kalinin Oblast was established, Rzhev was transferred to Kalinin Oblast. In 1990, Kalinin Oblast was renamed Tver Oblast. During World War II, Rzhev was occupied by German troops from 14 October 1941 to 3 March 1943. More than one-sixth of the population was sent off to forced labor in Germany during the Nazi occupation and some nine thousand residents were shot, starved, or tortured to death in a concentration camp set up in the center of town. During this occupation, the general area of Rzhev and Vyazma was the site of a set of major military operations between the Red Army and Nazi German military forces; these operations, which resulted in a great loss of civilian and military life, are referred to as the Battles of Rzhev and completely wiped out the population of the town. No old architecture survived these battles. Within the framework of administrative divisions, Rzhev serves as the administrative center of Rzhevsky District though it is not a part of it.
As an administrative division, it is incorporated separately as Rzhev Okrug—an administrative unit with the status equal to that of the districts. As a municipal division, Rzhev Okrug is incorporated as Rzhev Urban Okrug. Rzhev produces most of the cranes used in constructing apartment buildings and shopping malls in Moscow; the railway which connects Moscow and Riga runs through Rzhev. Another railway connecting Torzhok with Vyazma via Rzhev, crosses it from north to south. There is passenger railway traffic; the M9 highway connecting Moscow with Riga passes Rzhev. Two other roads connect Rzhev with Ostashkov via Selizharovo. There are local roads with bus traffic originating from Rzhev; the Volga is navigable, there is no passenger navigation. It was home to the Bakhmutovo air bases during the Cold War. Rzhev contains 15 cultural heritage monuments of federal significance and additionally 72 objects classified as cultural and historical heritage of local significance; the federal monuments include the Church of John the Baptist built in the 19th century, monuments to soldiers and civilians fallen in World War II, as well as a number of archeological sites.
There is a local museum in Rzhev. As a controversial move, in 2013 the Joseph Stalin Museum was opened in a building where Joseph Stalin had spent one night in 1943 while inspecting the troops; as of 2015, the museum did not have regular opening hours and was only open by appointment, trying to keep a low profile. Rzhev is twinned with: Katrineholm, Sweden Salo, Finland Legionowo, Poland Kovel, Ukraine Silistra, Bulgaria Gütersloh, Germany Законодательное Собрание Тверской области. Закон №34-ЗО от 17 апреля 2006 г. «Об административно-территориальном устройстве Тверской области», в ред. Закона №66-ЗО от 1 октября 2014 г. «О внесении изменения в статью 18 Закона Тверской области "Об административно-территориальном устройстве Тверской области"». Вступил в силу со дня официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Тверские ведомости", №17, 19 апреля 2006 г. (Legislative Assembly of Tver Oblast. Law #34-ZO of April 17, 2006 On the Administrative-Territorial Structure of Tver Oblast, as amended by the Law #66-ZO of October 1, 2014 On Amending Article 18 of the Law of Tver Oblast "On the Administrative-Territorial Structure of T
Vyazma is a town and the administrative center of Vyazemsky District in Smolensk Oblast, located on the Vyazma River, about halfway between Smolensk, the administrative center of the oblast, Mozhaysk. Throughout its turbulent history, it defended western approaches to Moscow. Population: 57,101 . Vyazma was first mentioned in a chronicle under the year of 1230, although it is believed to be much older than that; the town was named after the river, whose name was from Russian word "вязь", meaning "bog" or "swamp". At the time, the town belonged to a lateral branch of the Rurikid House of Smolensk, carried on a lively trade with Narva on the Gulf of Finland. In 1403, the local princes were expelled by Lithuanians to Moscow, where they took the name of Princes Vyazemsky; the most notable among them were Pyotr Vyazemsky, an intimate friend of the poet Alexander Pushkin and a poet himself, Sophie Viazemski, a French writer, for a time married to Jean-Luc Godard. In 1494, Vyazma was captured by the Grand Duchy of Moscow and turned into a fortress, of which but a single tower remains.
Two important abbeys were embellished with stone churches, including a rare three-tented church dedicated to Our Lady of Smolensk and consecrated in 1638 after Polish occupation between 1611 and 1634. A barbican church of the same abbey dates back to 1656, the town's cathedral was completed by 1676. Other churches are designed in baroque style. During the French invasion of Russia in 1812, there was a battle between the retreating French army and the Russian army near Vyazma on October 22, 1812; the vanguard of the Russian army under the command of Lieutenant General Mikhail Miloradovich and a Cossack unit of General Matvey Platov attacked the rearguard corps of Marshal Louis-Nicolas Davout east of Vyazma and cut off his retreat. Owing to the intervention of Eugène de Beauharnais and Józef Poniatowski, Davout managed to break through the Russian army's encirclement. However, the French army's attempts to hold the heights near Vyazma and the town itself were unsuccessful. By the evening of October 22, Russians seized Vyazma, set on fire by the French.
The French lost 6,000 men during the battle. The Russians lost around 2,000 men. In 1941, during World War II, Vyazma was the scene of a battle of encirclement. Red Army units were trapped in the town after it was surrounded by the German Third and Fourth Panzer armies. Vyazma was occupied by German forces between 7 October 1941 and 12 March 1943. In October 1941, 11 Jews were shot in the town and two were hanged. In December 1941, 117 Jews were killed in a mass execution perpetrated by the Einsatzgruppe B; the town was damaged in the fighting rebuilt after the war. U. S. journalist Quentin Reynolds, of Collier's Weekly, visited Vyazma shortly after the German withdrawal in 1943 and gave an account of the destruction in his book The Curtain Rises, in which he stated that the town's population was reduced from 60,000 to 716, with only three buildings remaining. The Nazis established two concentration camps in the town, Dulag 184 and Dulag 230. About 80,000 people were buried in mass graves; the victims included Jews, political officers, POWs.
Within the framework of administrative divisions, Vyazma serves as the administrative center of Vyazemsky District. As an administrative division, it is incorporated within Vyazemsky District as Vyazemskoye Urban Settlement; as a municipal division, this administrative unit has urban settlement status and is a part of Vyazemsky Municipal District. The town's main industries are engineering, leather working, graphite products, flax textiles. Vyazma is a major railway junction, with connecting trains from Moscow, St. Petersburg and Bryansk, it is located near the main M1 Highway between Moscow and Minsk. The town is served by the Vyazma Airport. In terms of education Vyazma has branches of the Moscow State Industrial University, the Smolensk Humanitarian University, the International Academy of Tourism, the Moscow State University of Technology and Management, as well as the Vyazemsky Polytechnic College; the town association football club, FK Vyazma, plays in the Amateur football league. The town is known for the aviation-squadron Vyazma Russ which flies in Aero L-39 Albatros jet aircraft.
Boris Almazov, poet and literary critic Sergei Davydov, football player Igor Korobov, chief of GRU Anatoli Papanov and theater actor Nikolai Plotnikov and theater actor Vasily Stroganov and scientist Администрация Смоленской области. Постановление №261 от 30 апреля 2008 г. «Об утверждении реестра административно-территориальных единиц и территориальных единиц Смоленской области», в ред. Постановления №464 от 27 июня 2014 г. «О внесении изменений в реестр административно-территориальных единиц и территориальных единиц Смоленской области». Опубликован: База данных "Консультант-плюс".. Смоленская областная Дума. Закон №130-з от 28 декабря 2004 г. «О наделении статусом муниципального района муниципального образования "Вяземский район" Смоленской области, об установлении границ муниципальных образований, территории которых входят в его состав, и наделении их соответствующим статусом», в ред. Закона №136
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army shortened to Red Army was the army and the air force of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, after 1922, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The army was established after the 1917 October Revolution; the Bolsheviks raised an army to oppose the military confederations of their adversaries during the Russian Civil War. Beginning in February 1946, the Red Army, along with the Soviet Navy, embodied the main component of the Soviet Armed Forces; the Red Army provided the largest land force in the Allied victory in the European theatre of World War II, its invasion of Manchuria assisted the unconditional surrender of Imperial Japan. During operations on the Eastern Front, it accounted for 75–80% of casualties the Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS suffered during the war and captured the Nazi German capital, Berlin. In September 1917, Vladimir Lenin wrote: "There is only one way to prevent the restoration of the police, and, to create a people's militia and to fuse it with the army."
At the time, the Imperial Russian Army had started to collapse. 23% of the male population of the Russian Empire were mobilized. The Tsarist general Nikolay Dukhonin estimated that there had been 2 million deserters, 1.8 million dead, 5 million wounded and 2 million prisoners. He estimated the remaining troops as numbering 10 million. While the Imperial Russian Army was being taken apart, "it became apparent that the rag-tag Red Guard units and elements of the imperial army who had gone over the side of the Bolsheviks were quite inadequate to the task of defending the new government against external foes." Therefore, the Council of People's Commissars decided to form the Red Army on 28 January 1918. They envisioned a body "formed from the class-conscious and best elements of the working classes." All citizens of the Russian republic aged 18 or older were eligible. Its role being the defense "of the Soviet authority, the creation of a basis for the transformation of the standing army into a force deriving its strength from a nation in arms, furthermore, the creation of a basis for the support of the coming Socialist Revolution in Europe."
Enlistment was conditional upon "guarantees being given by a military or civil committee functioning within the territory of the Soviet Power, or by party or trade union committees or, in extreme cases, by two persons belonging to one of the above organizations." In the event of an entire unit wanting to join the Red Army, a "collective guarantee and the affirmative vote of all its members would be necessary." Because the Red Army was composed of peasants, the families of those who served were guaranteed rations and assistance with farm work. Some peasants who remained at home yearned to join the Army. If they were turned away they would prepare care-packages. In some cases the money they earned would go towards tanks for the Army; the Council of People's Commissars appointed itself the supreme head of the Red Army, delegating command and administration of the army to the Commissariat for Military Affairs and the Special All-Russian College within this commissariat. Nikolai Krylenko was the supreme commander-in-chief, with Aleksandr Myasnikyan as deputy.
Nikolai Podvoisky became the commissar for Pavel Dybenko, commissar for the fleet. Proshyan, Steinberg were specified as people's commissars as well as Vladimir Bonch-Bruyevich from the Bureau of Commissars. At a joint meeting of Bolsheviks and Left Socialist-Revolutionaries, held on 22 February 1918, Krylenko remarked: "We have no army; the demoralized soldiers are fleeing, panic-stricken, as soon as they see a German helmet appear on the horizon, abandoning their artillery and all war material to the triumphantly advancing enemy. The Red Guard units are brushed aside like flies. We have no power to stay the enemy; the Russian Civil War occurred in three periods: October 1917 – November 1918: From the Bolshevik Revolution to the First World War Armistice, developed from the Bolshevik government's nationalization of traditional Cossack lands in November 1917. This provoked the insurrection of General Alexey Maximovich Kaledin's Volunteer Army in the River Don region; the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk aggravated Russian internal politics.
The situation encouraged direct Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War, in which twelve foreign countries supported anti-Bolshevik militias. A series of engagements resulted, amongst others, the Czechoslovak Legion, the Polish 5th Rifle Division, the pro-Bolshevik Red Latvian Riflemen. January 1919 – November 1919: Initially the White armies advanced: from the south, under General Anton Denikin; the Whites defeated the Red Army on each front. Leon Trotsky reformed and counterattacked: the Red Army repelled Admiral Kolchak's army in June, the armies of General Denikin and General Yudenich in October. By mid-Nove