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Fun Facts from Cities in Russia and Kyrgyzstan

Towards the end of Lesson 1 - Russian Storytime and Culture/Fun Facts from Cities in Russia and Krygyzstan, Maria from Volgograd shares information about "The Motherland Calls" statue on Mamayev Kurgan, Volgograd, Russia, commemorating the sacrifices of Soviet soldiers in the Battle of Stalingrad (1942-1943). It was one of the most decisive battles of World War II between the Soviet Russians and the Germans, in which the Russians drove back the Germans, stopping their advance further into Russia and turning the tide of the war in the favor of the Allies. One million Russian soldiers lost their lives in the Battle of Stalingrad, which was a series of battles, and 35,000 unidentified soldiers are laid to rest under the statue.  The statue is twice as tall as the Statue of Liberty. To hear the story behind Europe's largest statue, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vro-pS4cQ2g

Vanya shares information about Tomsk, a city of 600,000 residents. In Tomsk, 20% of the population are students at the various universities. Tomsk was founded in 1604 and served as a fortress, a merchants’ city, a centre of the gold rush, and the centre of a huge province covering several regions of today’s Russia and Kazakhstan. The establishment in 1888 of the first university beyond the Urals changed Tomsk dramatically. The city is both old and always young; its humming life is filled with hopes, talents, and youthful energy.

Katya tells about Vladivostok, a port city in the Russian Far East. It is located on a peninsula by the Sea of Japan. Vladivostok is located at the same latitude as Crimea, but is near a cold current, so the weather is similar to the weather in Moscow, the capital. Vladivostok is a modern city with a number of new constructions, including the Russky and Golden Horn bridges, the addition of a huge university campus, and the Primorsky Opera Theatre. The Trans-Siberian Railway, the longest railway in the world ends in the Far East in Vladivostok. It takes 7 days to travel by train from Moscow, the capital to Vladivostok. To learn more about the famous Trans-Siberian Railway, watch this short video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9gzZw_KH-TQ

Akmaral is from Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, the country's capitol. In the valley of Kyrgyzstan's Chatkal mountain range is the village of Arslanbob, home to the world's largest natural walnut forest. Many people depend on the walnut harvest to support their families. Thus, when it's harvest time, families often camp near the forest to harvest the nuts. Akmaral shares a legend that Alexander the Great visited the territory of Kyrgyzstan and gathered local foods, including walnuts, which he took to Greece where they appeared at the markets. Watch a short video to learn more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s20lRR36eQY

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