Tomsk is a city and the administrative center of Tomsk Oblast in Russia, located on the Tom River. The city's population was 524,669 . Tomsk is considered one of the oldest towns in Siberia, it celebrated its 410th anniversary in 2014. The city is a notable educational and scientific center with six state universities, over 100,000 students, the oldest university in Siberia. Tomsk originated with a decree from Tsar Boris Godunov in 1604 after Toian, the Tatar duke of Eushta, asked for the Tsar's protection against Kirghiz bandits; the Tsar sent 200 Cossacks under the command of Vasily Fomich Tyrkov and Gavriil Ivanovich Pisemsky to construct a fortress on the bank of the Tom River, overlooking what would become the city of Tomsk. Toian ceded the land for the fortress to the Tsar. In 1804 the Imperial Russian government selected Tomsk as the seat of the new Tomsk Governorate, which would include the modern cities of Novosibirsk and Krasnoyarsk, as well as the territories now in Eastern Kazakhstan.
The new status brought the city grew quickly. The discovery of gold in 1830 brought further development to Tomsk in the 19th century. In time, Novosibirsk would surpass Tomsk in importance. In the mid-19th century one fifth of the city's residents were exiles. However, within a few years, the city reinvented itself as the educational center of Siberia with the establishment of Tomsk State University, founded in 1880, Tomsk Polytechnic University, founded in 1896. By World War II, every twelfth resident of the city was a student, giving rise to the city's nickname, the Siberian Athens. After the October Revolution of 1917 the city became a notable center of the White movement, led by Anatoly Pepelyayev and Maria Bochkareva, among others. After the victory of the Red Army in the 1920s, Soviet authorities incorporated Tomsk into the West Siberian Krai and into Novosibirsk Oblast. Like many Siberian cities, Tomsk became the new home for many factories relocated out of the war zone from 1941; the resulting growth of the city led the Soviet government to establish the new Tomsk Oblast, with Tomsk serving as the administrative center.
During the Cold War, Tomsk became one of many designated closed cities, which outsiders and, in particular, could not visit. In 1949 matters went a stage further with the establishment of a secret city, known as "Tomsk-7" 15 kilometres north-west of Tomsk. Tomsk-7 received municipal status in 1956 and was renamed Seversk in 1992. Tomsk serves as the administrative center of the oblast and, within the framework of administrative divisions, it serves as the administrative center of Tomsky District though it is not a part of it; as an administrative division, it is, together with seven rural localities, incorporated separately as Tomsk City Under Oblast Jurisdiction—an administrative unit with the status equal to that of the districts. As a municipal division, Tomsk City Under Oblast Jurisdiction is incorporated as Tomsk Urban Okrug. Tomsk is divided into four city districts: Kirovsky, Leninsky and Sovetsky. Tomsk has a humid continental climate escaping a subarctic classification; the annual average temperature is +0.87 °C.
Winters are severe and lengthy, the lowest recorded temperature was −55 °C in January 1931. However, the average temperature in January is between −21 °C and −13 °C; the average temperature in July is +18.7 °C. The total annual rainfall is 568 millimeters. In 2006, Tomsk experienced what might have been its first recorded winds of hurricane force, which toppled trees and damaged houses. Tomsk is governed by a 33-member Duma; the current mayor, appointed in 2013, is a member of The United Russia party. Of the 33 members, 16 are elected from the eight double mandate districts while 17 are chosen from party lists. In the October 2005 local elections, United Russia was expected to cruise to a solid victory; the final count was: 19.42% — 5 seats — Pensioners Party 17.85% — 5 seats — United Russia 9.95% — 3 seats — Communist Party 8.57% — 2 seats — Union of Rightist Forces/Yabloko coalition 7.77% — 2 seats — Liberal Democratic Party of Russia 14.67% — Against all candidatesDouble mandates10 seats — No party affiliation 4 seats — United Russia 1 seat — Pensioners Party 1 seat — Liberal Democratic Party of Russia Tomsk has the oldest electrical grid in Siberia.
There are three power stations in the city: TEC-1 GRES-2 TEC-3 Tomsk consumes more electric energy than it produces. The bulk of the city's electric and thermal energy is produced by the GRES-2 and TEC-3 powerplants, belonging to Tomskenergo Inc. Tomsk supplements its energy needs with electricity generated at Seversk. Road network: northern branch of the M53 federal road. There is a passenger port on the Tom River; the city is served by the Bogashevo Airport. Tomsk is a small railway center, situated on the Tayga—Bely Yar line of the Trans-Siberian Railway; the main
Brovary is a city in Kiev Oblast in northern Ukraine, an eastern suburb of the country's capital, Kiev. Administratively, it is incorporated as a town of oblast significance, it serves as the administrative centre of Brovary Raion, though it does not belong to the raion. Its population is 100,866 . Brovary is a historic town, first mentioned in 1630, its name, translated from Ukrainian, means "brewers". The city houses a railway station. International ill-fame came to the city in 2000 after one of its apartment blocks was hit by a stray surface-to-surface missile launched from a neighbouring army shooting range in Honcharivs'ke. Three people were killed. Today, Brovary is Ukraine's shoe-making capital with dozens of such companies located here. At Brovary, there is a broadcasting centre for long and shortwaves; the longwave transmitter, which works on 207 kHz, uses as its antenna two 259.6 m tall guyed mast radiators each equipped with a cage antenna at their lower part. Brovary is an important sport centre of Ukraine.
Several world and Olympic champions began their career here. Ukraine's national mint facility is located in Brovary. Brovary is a district centre in Kyiv region, it is situated 20 kilometers from the capital of Kyiv. Brovary district lies in the areas of mixed forests; the climate here is moderately continental with the middle temperature -6 C in January and +19 C in July. The territory of the region was populated ages ago by the ancestors of the current inhabitants – trypillians, who were the first in Europe to sow seeds of the well-known Ukrainian bread. Brovary was firstly mentioned in 1630. In that time there were only 60 or 70 houses in Brovary, but in 1649 a Cossack sotnya is known to have been formed there. Cossacks took; the town got its name after breweries. Travellers who went to Kiev stopped in Brovary, rested and drank the local tasty beer. Many famous people visited Brovary while travelling to Kiev. A Ukrainian poet, Taras Shevchenko, was among them, he visited this town many times in the period from 1829 to 1847.
Nowadays there is a monument to Shevchenko in the place from which Brovary began its history as a town, in its old centre. The modern centre of Brovary is the most beautiful part of the town. There, one will find a park with its peaceful alleys. In the central park you can see monuments to the past. There is a tank; some shops and cafes are situated there, so the streets are never empty in the evening. Traditionally the town is divided into 3 parts: the old town, the new town, the industrial part. There are a lot of plants and factories in the town, producing knitting, machine tools, plastic materials and other goods. There are 10 secondary schools, 2 music schools, a school of Arts, 3 libraries in Brovary. In the city center lies “Prometey”, the historical museum in Gagarin street, which attracts many visitors. If you are fond of sports, you may go to the swimming pools or to the “Spartak” stadium, or enter the sport college. In September the citizens of Brovary celebrate the Holiday of the Town’s Day.
It’s the time when everyone can watch and listen to concerts of musicians and singers, see performances by dancers who live in the district. On that day, all the competitions are for show, but Brovary itself is known to be a famous sports town, where a lot of well-known sportsmen have started their career. Oleksandra Kononova won three medals at the 2010 Paralympic games in Vancouver and became the 2010 Ukrainian sports personality of the year. Brovary is twinned with: Missile blasts Ukraine flats. History of broadcasting in Brovary Paspolini Studio
Dissolution of the Soviet Union
The dissolution of the Soviet Union occurred on 26 December 1991 granting self-governing independence to the Republics of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. It was a result of the declaration number 142-Н of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union; the declaration acknowledged the independence of the former Soviet republics and created the Commonwealth of Independent States, although five of the signatories ratified it much or did not do so at all. On the previous day, 25 December, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, the eighth and final leader of the USSR, declared his office extinct and handed over its powers—including control of the Soviet nuclear missile launching codes—to Russian President Boris Yeltsin; that evening at 7:32 p.m. the Soviet flag was lowered from the Kremlin for the last time and replaced with the pre-revolutionary Russian flag. From August to December all the individual republics, including Russia itself, had either seceded from the union or at the least denounced the Treaty on the Creation of the USSR.
The week before formal dissolution, eleven republics signed the Alma-Ata Protocol formally establishing the CIS and declaring that the USSR had ceased to exist. Both the Revolutions of 1989 and the dissolution of the USSR marked the end of the Cold War. Several of the former Soviet republics have retained close links with the Russian Federation and formed multilateral organizations such as the Commonwealth of Independent States, Eurasian Economic Community, the Union State, the Eurasian Customs Union and the Eurasian Economic Union to enhance economic and security cooperation. On the other hand, the Baltic states have joined the European Union. Mikhail Gorbachev was elected General Secretary by the Politburo on March 11, 1985, three hours after predecessor Konstantin Chernenko's death at age 73. Gorbachev, aged 54, was the youngest member of the Politburo, his initial goal as general secretary was to revive the Soviet economy, he realized that doing so would require reforming underlying political and social structures.
The reforms began with personnel changes of senior Brezhnev-era officials who would impede political and economic change. On April 23, 1985, Gorbachev brought two protégés, Yegor Ligachev and Nikolai Ryzhkov, into the Politburo as full members, he kept the "power" ministries happy by promoting KGB Head Viktor Chebrikov from candidate to full member and appointing Minister of Defence Marshal Sergei Sokolov as a Politburo candidate. This liberalization, fostered nationalist movements and ethnic disputes within the Soviet Union, it led indirectly to the revolutions of 1989, in which Soviet-imposed socialist regimes of the Warsaw Pact were toppled peacefully, which in turn increased pressure on Gorbachev to introduce greater democracy and autonomy for the Soviet Union's constituent republics. Under Gorbachev's leadership, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1989 introduced limited competitive elections to a new central legislature, the Congress of People's Deputies. In May 1985, Gorbachev delivered a speech in Leningrad advocating reforms and an anti-alcohol campaign to tackle widespread alcoholism.
Prices of vodka and beer were raised, intended to discourage drinking by increasing the cost of liquor. A rationing program was introduced, where citizens were assigned punch cards detailing how much liquor they could buy in a certain time frame. Unlike most forms of rationing, adopted as a strategy to conserve scarce goods, this was done to restrict sales with the overt goal of curtailing drunkenness. Gorbachev's plan included billboards promoting sobriety, increased penalties for public drunkenness, censorship of drinking scenes from old movies; this mirrored Tsar Nicholas II's program during the First World War, intended to eradicate drunkenness in order to bolster the war effort. However, that earlier effort was intended to preserve grain for only the most essential purposes, which did not appear to be a goal in Gorbachev's program. Gorbachev soon faced the same adverse economic reaction to his prohibition; the disincentivization of alcohol consumption was a serious blow to the state budget according to Alexander Yakovlev, who noted annual collections of alcohol taxes decreased by 100 billion rubles.
Alcohol sales migrated to the black market and moonshining became more prevalent as some made "bathtub vodka" with homegrown potatoes. Poorer, less educated Soviets resorted to drinking unhealthy substitutes such as nail-polish remover, rubbing alcohol, or men's cologne, resulting in an additional burden on Russia's healthcare sector due to the increased poisoning cases; the underlying purpose of these reforms was to prop up the existing command economy, in contrast to reforms, which tended toward market socialism. On July 1, 1985, Gorbachev promoted Eduard Shevardnadze, First Secretary of the Georgian Communist Party, to full member of the Politburo, the following day appointed him minister of foreign affairs, replacing longtime Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko; the latter, disparaged as "Mr Nyet" in the West, had served for 28 years as Minister of Foreign Affairs. Gromyko was relegated to the ceremonial position of Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, as he was considered an "old thinker".
On July 1, Gorbachev sidelined his main rival by removing Grigory Romanov from the Politburo and he brought Boris Yeltsin and Lev Zaikov into the CPSU Central Committee Secretariat. In the fall of 1985, Gorbachev continued to bring more energetic men into government. On September 27, 55-year-ol
Baltic Military District
The Baltic Military District was a military district of the Soviet armed forces in the occupied Baltic states, formed before the German invasion during the World War II. After end of the war the Kaliningrad Oblast was added to the District's control in 1946, the territory of Estonia was transferred back to the Baltic Military District from the Leningrad Military District in 1956; the Baltic Military District was disbanded after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 and reorganised into the North Western Group of Forces, which ended its existence after withdrawal of all Russian troops from Estonia and Lithuania on 1 September 1994. The Baltic Military District was first created by order of the USSR People's Commissar of Defence on 11 July 1940, under the command of Colonel General Alexander Loktionov, its headquarters was formed from the headquarters of the disbanded Kalinin Military District in Riga on 13 August. This was after the Soviet occupation of the Baltic States but before they were forcibly absorbed into the Soviet Union.
It controlled troops on the territory of the Latvian and Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republics as well as the western part of Kalinin Oblast. On 17 August 1940 it became the Baltic Special Military District, changing its boundaries to control troops on the territory of Estonian and Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republics; the western part of Kalinin Oblast was transferred to control of the Moscow Military District. The district was created in order to strengthen the defense of the northwestern borders of the Soviet Union and to protect the approaches to Moscow and Leningrad from German-controlled East Prussia; the district troops cooperated with the Baltic Fleet. In August, the district included the 8th and 11th Armies, soon augmented in September by the transformation of the Estonian and Lithuanian armies into the Red Army's 22nd, 24th Territorial, 29th Territorial Rifle Corps respectively; however they were notoriously unreliable and defected in large numbers to the Germans after June 1941. In 1940 and 1941 the district formed new units, including two mechanized corps, as well as local and republic military commissariats.
Loktionov was replaced by Lieutenant General Fyodor Kuznetsov in December 1940. In May 1941, the headquarters of the 27th Army was formed by the district. At the same time, the district headquarters developed a plan for responding to a German invasion, ordered that troops be brought to combat readiness on 18 June. However, by 22 June, when Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union, the district's newly formed units were not manned; when the war broke out, it included six rifle corps in the 8th, 11th, 27th Armies, the 5th Airborne Corps, the 3rd and 12th Mechanized Corps, six fortified regions. According to the district's plan, the 8th, 11th, 27th Armies were to cooperate with the Baltic Fleet in defending the coast from Haapsalu to Palanga, focusing on the defense of the 300-kilometer border with East Prussia. On 22 June 1941 the District consisted of the: 8th Army 11th Army 27th Army 5th Airborne Corps and other smaller formations and units.3rd Mechanised Corps was located within the district at Vilnius.
On 22 June, after the outbreak of the war, the district headquarters was used to form the headquarters of the Northwestern Front. Parts of the former district headquarters remained in Riga, led by the deputy district commander, evacuating to Valga on 1 July and to Novgorod, where they were disbanded; the Baltic Military District was formed for a second time in accordance with a directive of the General Staff of the Red Army on 30 October 1943, although its assigned territory was at that time still under German occupation. Its headquarters was formed in Vyshny Volochyok from that of the 58th Army, under the command of Major General Nikolay Biyazi; the district was disbanded on 23 March 1944, was used to form the headquarters of the Odessa Military District. Postwar, the district was formed for a third time on 9 July 1945 at Riga on the basis of Samland Group of Forces formed from the former 1st Baltic Front, under the command of Army General Ivan Bagramyan, who would lead it until 1954, it included only the Latvian and Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republics.
Following the disbandment on 27 February 1946 of the Special Military District, administering Kaliningrad Oblast, the oblast was transferred to district control on 1 March. The Special Military District headquarters was reorganized into the 11th Guards Army headquarters. In January 1956 the territory of the Estonian SSR was transferred from the Leningrad Military District. Circa 1944 a headquarters for Internal Troops in the area was created, which became HQ Internal Troops NKVD-MVD-MGB Baltic MD; this headquarters supervised several Internal Troops divisions, including the 14th Railway Facilities Protection Division NKVD from 1944 to 1951. Other divisions deployed included the 4th, 5th, 63rd Rifle Divisions NKVD. On 30 April 1948 10th Guards Army became 4th Guards Rifle Corps; the main combat formation within the District was the 11th Guards Army in the Kaliningrad Oblast, following the disbandment of 10th Guards Army. In the 1950s it comprised the 1st TD and all the remaining Guards formations - 2nd Rifle Corps, 16th Koenigsberg Red Banner Rifle Corps and 36th Nemanskiy Red Banner Rifle Corps.
In 1955 the district's forces comprised the 11th Guards Army, the 2nd Guards Rifle Corps, the 4th Guards Rifle Corps, the 1st Guards Rifle Division, the 5th, the 16th
Volodymyr-Volynskyi is a small city located in Volyn Oblast, in north-western Ukraine. Serving as the administrative centre of the Volodymyr-Volynskyi Raion, the city itself is designated as a separate municipality within the oblast as the city of regional significance; the city is the historic centre of the region of Volhynia and the historic capital of the Principality of Volhynia. Population: 39,074 The mediaeval Latin name of the town "Lodomeria" became the namesake of the 19th century Austro-Hungarian Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria, of which the town itself was not a part. 5 kilometres south from Volodymyr is Zymne, where the oldest Orthodox Monastery in Volynia is located.????-1569 Володимѣръ 1569-1795 Włodzimierz 1795-1922 Влади́мир-Волы́нский 1922-1939 Włodzimierz 1939-1941 Влади́мир-Волы́нск / Володимир-Волинськ 1941-1944 Wladimir-Wolynsk 1944-1991 Влади́мир-Волы́нский / Володимир-Волинський 1991–present Володимир-Волинський The city is one of the oldest towns in Ukraine and historical Ruthenia.
It took its name after Prince Volodymyr the Great, who founded a stronghold on the lands taken from the Polish Lendians around 981. In 988 the city became the capital of Volodymyr Principality and the seat of an Orthodox bishopric, as mentioned in the Primary Chronicle. In 1160 the building of Sobor of Dormition of The Holy Mother of God was completed. By the 13th century the city became part of Galicia–Volhynia as one of the most important trading towns in the region. Upon the conquest of Batu Khan in 1240, the city was subordinated to the Mongol Empire together with other Ruthenian principalities. In the 14th century, Metropolitan Theognostus of all Rus' resided in the city for several years before moving to Moscow. In 1349 King Casimir the Great captured the city, subsequently it became part of the Kingdom of Poland. In 1370 it was taken by the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and it was not until the Union of Lublin of 1569 that it returned to the Crown of Poland. In the meantime the city was given Magdeburg rights in 1431.
From 1566 to 1795 it was part of the Volhynian Voivodeship. It was a royal city of Poland. On July 17, 1792, the Battle of Włodzimierz took place in the vicinity of the town: a numerically inferior Polish force led by Tadeusz Kościuszko defeated the Russian army; the city remained a part of Poland until the Third Partition of Poland of 1795, when the Russian Empire annexed it. That year the Russian authorities changed the name of several cities in Volhynia including Novohrad-Volynskyi. Volodymyr-Volynsky stayed within Russian Partition till 1917. In 18th and 19th centuries the town started to grow mostly thanks to large numbers of Jews settling there. By the second half of the 19th century they made up the majority of local inhabitants. According to the Geographical Dictionary of the Kingdom of Poland, in the late 19th century the city had 8336 inhabitants, 6122 of them Jews. After World War I, the area became disputed by Poland, Bolshevist Russia and the Ukrainian People's Republic, with the Polish 17th Infantry Regiment capturing it overnight on January 23, 1919.
In the interbellum the city was a seat of a powiat within the Volhynian Voivodeship and an important garrison was located there. Following the Nazi-Soviet Pact the city was occupied by Soviet forces on 19 September 1939. On 23 June 1941 the city was occupied by Germany, the Jewish community of 11,554 began to be persecuted. Between September 1 and 3, 1942, 25,000 Jews from the local area were shot at Piatydni. On November 13, 1942, the Germans killed another 3,000 Jews from the town near Piatydni. During World War II, a German concentration camp was located near the city. About 140 Jews returned to the city after the war, but most emigrated. By 1999 only 30 remained; the city was occupied again by the Red Army on 20 July 1944 and annexed to the Ukrainian SSR. A Cold War air base was located north-east of the town at Zhovtnevy. Since 1991 the city has been part of Ukraine. A series of mass graves were discovered in 1997, with exhumations completed by 2013. Thought to be an example of NKVD mass murder, similar to the Katyn massacre and the Vinnytsia massacre, the Volodymyr-Volynskyi murders were shown in 2012 to have been carried out by German forces, most the Einsatzgruppen C.
The primary archeological evidence for German culpability was that most of the bullet shell casings were dated 1941. Testimony by a Jewish survivor of the city, recorded by the USC Shoah Foundation corroborated the view that the perpetrators were German and that the victims were Jewish. Anthropological analysis of the remains led to the conclusion that three quarters of the victims were women and children; the 747 victims were reinterred in local city cemeteries. The oldest place of worship in the town was the Temple of Volodymyr, erected several kilometres from the modern town's centre and first mentioned in a chronicle of 1044; the oldest existing church is the Dormition of the Mother of God built by Mstyslav Izyaslavovych in 1160. By the late 18th century it fell into disuse and collapsed in 1829, but was restored between 1896 and 1900; the third of the old Orthodox churches is an Orthodox Basil the Great's cathedral, was erected in 14th or 15th centuries, though local legends attribute its construction to Volodymyr the Great, to build
Latvia the Republic of Latvia, is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. Since its independence, Latvia has been referred to as one of the Baltic states, it is bordered by Estonia to the north, Lithuania to the south, Russia to the east, Belarus to the southeast, shares a maritime border with Sweden to the west. Latvia has 1,957,200 inhabitants and a territory of 64,589 km2; the country has a temperate seasonal climate. After centuries of Swedish and Russian rule, a rule executed by the Baltic German aristocracy, the Republic of Latvia was established on 18 November 1918 when it broke away and declared independence in the aftermath of World War I. However, by the 1930s the country became autocratic after the coup in 1934 establishing an authoritarian regime under Kārlis Ulmanis; the country's de facto independence was interrupted at the outset of World War II, beginning with Latvia's forcible incorporation into the Soviet Union, followed by the invasion and occupation by Nazi Germany in 1941, the re-occupation by the Soviets in 1944 to form the Latvian SSR for the next 45 years.
The peaceful Singing Revolution, starting in 1987, called for Baltic emancipation from Soviet rule and condemning the Communist regime's illegal takeover. It ended with the Declaration on the Restoration of Independence of the Republic of Latvia on 4 May 1990, restoring de facto independence on 21 August 1991. Latvia is a democratic sovereign state, parliamentary republic and a highly developed country according to the United Nations Human Development Index, its capital Riga served as the European Capital of Culture in 2014. Latvian is the official language. Latvia is a unitary state, divided into 119 administrative divisions, of which 110 are municipalities and nine are cities. Latvians and Livonians are the indigenous people of Latvia. Latvian and Lithuanian are the only two surviving Baltic languages. Despite foreign rule from the 13th to 20th centuries, the Latvian nation maintained its identity throughout the generations via the language and musical traditions. However, as a consequence of centuries of Russian rule and Soviet occupation, Latvia is home to a large number of ethnic Russians, some of whom have not gained citizenship, leaving them with no citizenship at all.
Until World War II, Latvia had significant minorities of ethnic Germans and Jews. Latvia is predominantly Lutheran Protestant, except for the Latgale region in the southeast, predominantly Roman Catholic; the Russian population are Eastern Orthodox Christians. Latvia is a member of the European Union, Eurozone, NATO, the Council of Europe, the United Nations, CBSS, the IMF, NB8, NIB, OECD, OSCE, WTO. For 2014, the country was listed 46th on the Human Development Index and as a high income country on 1 July 2014. A full member of the Eurozone, it began using the euro as its currency on 1 January 2014, replacing the Latvian lats; the name Latvija is derived from the name of the ancient Latgalians, one of four Indo-European Baltic tribes, which formed the ethnic core of modern Latvians together with the Finnic Livonians. Henry of Latvia coined the latinisations of the country's name, "Lettigallia" and "Lethia", both derived from the Latgalians; the terms inspired the variations on the country's name in Romance languages from "Letonia" and in several Germanic languages from "Lettland".
Around 3000 BC, the proto-Baltic ancestors of the Latvian people settled on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea. The Balts established trade routes to Byzantium, trading local amber for precious metals. By 900 AD, four distinct Baltic tribes inhabited Latvia: Curonians, Selonians, Semigallians, as well as the Finnic tribe of Livonians speaking a Finnic language. In the 12th century in the territory of Latvia, there were 14 lands with their rulers: Vanema, Bandava, Duvzare, Megava, Pilsāts, Upmale, Sēlija, Jersika, Tālava and Adzele. Although the local people had contact with the outside world for centuries, they became more integrated into the European socio-political system in the 12th century; the first missionaries, sent by the Pope, sailed up the Daugava River in the late 12th century, seeking converts. The local people, did not convert to Christianity as as the Church had hoped. German crusaders were sent, or more decided to go on their own accord as they were known to do. Saint Meinhard of Segeberg arrived in Ikšķile, in 1184, traveling with merchants to Livonia, on a Catholic mission to convert the population from their original pagan beliefs.
Pope Celestine III had called for a crusade against pagans in Northern Europe in 1193. When peaceful means of conversion failed to produce results, Meinhard plotted to convert Livonians by force of arms. In the beginning of the 13th century, Germans ruled large parts of today's Latvia. Together with Southern Estonia, these conquered areas formed the crusader state that became known as Terra Mariana or Livonia. In 1282, the cities of Cēsis, Limbaži, Koknese and Valmiera, became part of the Hanseatic League. Riga became an important point of east-west trading and formed close cultural links with Western Europe. After the Livonian War, Livonia fell under Lithuanian rule; the southern part of Estonia and the northern part of Latvia were ceded to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and formed into the Duchy of Livonia. Gotthard Kettler, the last Master of
Ivan Khristoforovich Bagramyan known as Hovhannes Khachaturi Baghramyan, was a Soviet military commander and Marshal of the Soviet Union of Armenian origin. During World War II, Bagramyan was the first non-Slavic military officer to become a commander of a Front, he was among several Armenians in the Soviet Army who held the highest proportion of high-ranking officers in the Soviet military during the war. Bagramyan's experience in military planning as a chief of staff allowed him to distinguish himself as a capable commander in the early stages of the Soviet counter-offensives against Nazi Germany, he was given his first command of a unit in 1942, in November 1943 received his most prestigious command as the commander of the 1st Baltic Front. As commander of the Baltic Front, he participated in the offensives which pushed German forces out of the Baltic republics, he did not join the Communist Party after the consolidation of the October Revolution, becoming a member only in 1941, a move atypical for a Soviet military officer.
After the war, he served as a deputy of the Supreme Soviets of the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic and Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic and was a regular attendee of the Party Congresses. In 1952, he became a candidate for entry into the Central Committee and, in 1961, was inducted as a full member. For his contributions during the war, he was regarded as a national hero in the Soviet Union, continues to hold such esteemed status among Armenians. Ivan Bagramyan was born to Armenian parents in the village of Çardaqlı, near Yelizavetpol a part of the Russian Empire. Çardaqlı was one of the largest Armenian settlements in the South Caucasus populated entirely by migrants from the village of Maghavuz in Nagorno Karabakh who continued keeping a connection with their ancestral land. Hamazasp Babadzhanian, a fellow Armenian, to become the chief marshal of the Soviet Armor corps, was born in the same village. While Bagramyan's father, went to work all day at the railway station in Yelizavetpol, his mother, stayed at home to take care of her seven children.
Because his parents could not afford to send him to the local gymnasium, they decided to enroll him at a opened two-year school in Yelizavetpol. Graduating in 1912, whom everyone affectionately called Vanya, followed his father and his brothers in a path in rail work, attending the three-year railway technical institute located in Tiflis, he graduated with honors and was slated to become a railway engineer within a few years when events in the First World War changed his life. Bagramyan was well aware of the military situation at the Caucasus front during the first months of the world war. In the winter of 1914–15, the Imperial Russian Army was able to withstand and repel the Ottoman Empire's offensive at Sarikamish, to take the fight to its territory. Bagramyan began reading harrowing reports in the Russian press of what was taking place against his fellow kinsmen across the border: the Ottomans had embarked on a campaign to commit genocide upon their Armenian subjects, he attempted to join the military effort but because he was only seventeen and a railway mechanic, he was not liable to be drafted.
This did not dissuade him from trying, as he remarked, "My place was at the front."His opportunity came on 16 September 1915, when he was accepted by the Russian Army as a volunteer. He was sent to Akhaltsikhe for basic training. With his training complete in December, he joined the 2nd Caucasus Frontier Regiment of the Russian Expeditionary Corps, sent to dislodge the Ottoman Turks in Persia. Bagramyan participated in several battles in Asadabad and Kermanshah, the Russian victories here sending Ottoman forces reeling toward Anatolia. Learning about the exploits of the men in the outfit, the chief of staff of the regiment, General Pavel Melik-Shahnazaryan, advised Bagramyan to return to Tiflis to enroll in the Praporshchik Military Academy, but in order to attend the school, Bagramyan needed to satisfy the academy's requirement of having completed school at a gymnasium. This did not deter him and, after preparing for the courses in Armavir, he passed his exams and began attending the academy on February 13, 1917.
He graduated in June 1917 and was assigned to the 3rd Armenian Infantry Regiment, stationed near Lake Urmia. But with the overthrow of the Russian Provisional Government in the midst of the October Revolution of 1917, his unit was demobilized. However, with the creation of the newly established First Republic of Armenia in 1918, Bagramyan enlisted in the 3rd Armenian Regiment of that country's armed forces. From 1 April 1918, that is, after the Ottoman Empire signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with the Russian SFSR, he was in the 1st Armenian Cavalry Regiment, which put a halt to the Ottoman 3rd Army, bent on conquering the remains of the republic, in Karaurgan and Kars, he most notably took part in the May 1918 Battle of Sardarapat, where the Armenian military scored a crucial victory against Turkish forces. He remained in the regiment until May 1920. Three years after the toppling of the Provisional Government by the Bolsheviks in October 1917, the Red Army invaded the southern Caucasus republics of Azerbaijan and Armenia.
In May 1920, upset with the country's social and political conditions, participated in a failed rebellion against the Dashnak-led government of Armenia. He was jailed a