|Mujahideen in Kunar, Afghanistan. Mortar attack on Shigal Tarna garrison, Kunar Province, 1987.|
Friday, March 25, 2016
History Documentary: The Soviet war in Afghanistan (1979-1989) - Full Documentary, USSR - Afghanistan War and the Mujahideen
The Soviet–Afghan War lasted over nine years from December 1979 to February 1989. Insurgent groups ("the Mujahideen"), who received aid from both Christian and Muslim countries, fought against the Soviet Army and allied Afghan forces. Between 850,000–1.5 million civilians were killed and millions of Afghans fled the country as refugees, mostly to Pakistan and Iran.
Prior to the arrival of Soviet troops, the pro-Soviet Nur Mohammad Taraki government took power in a 1978 coup and initiated a series of radical modernization reforms throughout the country. Vigorously suppressing any opposition from among the traditional Muslim Afghans, the government arrested thousands and executed as many as 27,000 political prisoners. By April 1979 large parts of the country were in open rebellion and by December the government had lost control of territory outside of the cities. In response to Afghan government requests, the Soviet government under leader Leonid Brezhnev first sent covert troops to advise and support the Afghani government, but on December 24, 1979, began the first deployment of the 40th Army.
Arriving in the capital Kabul, they staged a coup, killing the Afghan President, and installing a rival Afghan socialist (Babrak Karmal).
In January 1980, foreign ministers from 34 nations of the Islamic Conference adopted a resolution demanding "the immediate, urgent and unconditional withdrawal of Soviet troops" from Afghanistan, while the UN General Assembly passed a resolution protesting the Soviet intervention by a vote of 104–18. Afghan insurgents began to receive massive amounts of aid, military training in neighboring Pakistan and China, paid for primarily by the United States and Arab monarchies in the Persian Gulf.[
Soviet troops occupied the cities and main arteries of communication, while the mujahideen waged guerrilla war in small groups operating in the almost 80 percent of the country that escaped government and Soviet control. Soviets used their air power to deal harshly with both rebels and civilians, leveling villages to deny safe haven to the enemy, destroying vital irrigation ditches, and laying millions of land mines.
By the mid-1980s the Soviet contingent was increased to 108,800 and fighting increased throughout the country, but the military and diplomatic cost of the war to the USSR was high. By mid-1987 the Soviet Union, now under reformist leader Mikhail Gorbachev, announced it would start withdrawing its forces. The final troop withdrawal started on May 15, 1988, and ended on February 15, 1989.Credits: Wikipedia
Sunday, March 20, 2016
History Documentary: Catherine the Great, Yekaterina Alexeyevna (Russian: Екатерина Алексеевна) or Catherine II, also known as Catherine the Great, History Documentary
Documentary Catherine The Great Documentary: History Documentary: Catherine the Great, Yekaterina Alexeyevna (Russian: Екатерина Алексеевна) or Catherine II, also known as Catherine the Great, History Documentary
|Portrait of Catherine II (Catherine the Great), by Fedor Rokotov|
Yekaterina Alexeyevna (Russian: Екатерина Алексеевна) or Catherine II, also known as Catherine the Great (Екатерина II Великая, Yekaterina II Velikaya; 2 May [O.S. 21 April] 1729 – 17 November [O.S. 6 November] 1796), was the most renowned and the longest-ruling female leader of Russia, reigning from 1762 until her death in 1796 at the age of 67. Born in Stettin, Pomerania, Prussia as Sophie Friederike Auguste von Anhalt-Zerbst-Dornburg, she came to power following a coup d'état when her husband, Peter III, was assassinated. Russia was revitalized under her reign, growing larger and stronger than ever and becoming recognized as one of the great powers of Europe.
In both her accession to power and in rule of her empire, Catherine often relied on her noble favorites, most notably Grigory Orlov and Grigory Potemkin. Assisted by highly successful generals such as Pyotr Rumyantsev and Alexander Suvorov, and admirals such as Fyodor Ushakov, she governed at a time when the Russian Empire was expanding rapidly by conquest and diplomacy. In the south, the Crimean Khanate was crushed following victories over the Ottoman Empire in the Russo-Turkish wars, and Russia colonised the vast territories of Novorossiya along the coasts of the Black and Azov Seas. In the west, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, ruled by Catherine's former lover, king Stanisław August Poniatowski, was eventually partitioned, with the Russian Empire gaining the largest share. In the east, Russia started to colonise Alaska, establishing Russian America.
Catherine reformed the administration of Russian guberniyas, and many new cities and towns were founded on her orders. An admirer of Peter the Great, Catherine continued to modernise Russia along Western European lines. However, military conscription and economy continued to depend on serfdom, and the increasing demands of the state and private landowners led to increased levels of reliance on serfs. This was one of the chief reasons behind several rebellions, including the large-scale Pugachev's Rebellion of cossacks and peasants.
The period of Catherine the Great's rule, the Catherinian Era, is often considered the Golden Age of the Russian Empire and the Russian nobility. The Manifesto on Freedom of the Nobility, issued during the short reign of Peter III and confirmed by Catherine, freed Russian nobles from compulsory military or state service. Construction of many mansions of the nobility, in the classical style endorsed by the Empress, changed the face of the country. She enthusiastically supported the ideals of The Enlightenment, thus earning the status of an enlightened despot. As a patron of the arts she presided over the age of the Russian Enlightenment, when the Smolny Institute, the first state-financed higher education institution for women in Europe, was established.Credits: Wikipedia
Saturday, March 12, 2016
History Documentary: King Midas and the Golden Touch, Greek mythology. History Documentary: Midas Phrygian King, Midas King of Phrygia
Midas (/ˈmaɪdəs/; Greek: Μίδας) is the name of at least three members of the royal house of Phrygia.
The most famous King Midas is popularly remembered in Greek mythology for his ability to turn everything he touched into gold. This came to be called the golden touch, or the Midas touch. The Phrygian city Midaeum was presumably named after this Midas, and this is probably also the Midas that according to Pausanias founded Ancyra. According to Aristotle, legend held that Midas died of starvation as a result of his "vain prayer" for the gold touch. The legends told about this Midas and his father Gordias, credited with founding the Phrygian capital city Gordium and tying the Gordian Knot, indicate that they were believed to have lived sometime in the 2nd millennium BC, well before the Trojan War. However, Homer does not mention Midas or Gordias, while instead mentioning two other Phrygian kings, Mygdon and Otreus.
Another King Midas ruled Phrygia in the late 8th century BC, up until the sacking of Gordium by the Cimmerians, when he is said to have committed suicide. Most historians believe this Midas is the same person as the Mita, called king of the Mushki in Assyrian texts, who warred with Assyria and its Anatolian provinces during the same period.
A third Midas is said by Herodotus to have been a member of the royal house of Phrygia and the grandfather of an Adrastus who fled Phrygia after accidentally killing his brother and took asylum in Lydia during the reign of Croesus. Phrygia was by that time a Lydian subject. Herodotus says that Croesus regarded the Phrygian royal house as "friends" but does not mention whether the Phrygian royal house still ruled as (vassal) kings of Phrygia.
Friday, March 4, 2016
History Documentary: Decoding Neanderthals (Full Documentary), History of Neanderthal, Pre-History Documentary: Neanderthals or Neandertals
Over 60,000 years ago, the first modern humans—people physically identical to us today—left their African homeland and entered Europe, then a bleak and inhospitable continent in the grip of the Ice Age. But when they arrived, they were not alone: the stocky, powerfully built Neanderthals had already been living there for hundred of thousands of years.
|Sites where typical Neanderthal fossils have been found|
Neanderthals or Neandertals UK /niˈændərˌtɑːl/, us also /neɪ/-, -/ˈɑːndər/-, -/ˌtɔːl/, -/ˌθɔːl/) (named after the Neandertal area in Germany) were a species or subspecies of human in the genus Homo which became extinct around 40,000 years ago. They were closely related to modern humans,[ having DNA over 99.5% the same. Remains left by Neanderthals include bone and stone tools, which are found in Eurasia, from Western Europe to Central, Northern, and Western Asia. Neanderthals are generally classified by paleontologists as the species Homo neanderthalensis, or alternatively a subspecies of Homo sapiens (Homo sapiens neanderthalensis).
Several cultural assemblages have been linked to the Neanderthals in Europe. The earliest, the Mousterian stone tool culture, dates to about 300,000 years ago. Late Mousterian artifacts were found in Gorham's Cave on the south-facing coast of Gibraltar.
Neanderthals were large compared to Homo sapiens because they inhabited higher latitudes, in conformance with Bergmann's rule, and their larger stature explains their larger brain size because brain size generally increases with body size. With an average cranial capacity of 1600 cm3, the cranial capacity of Neanderthals is notably larger than the 1400 cm3 average for modern humans, indicating that their brain size was larger. Males stood 164–168 cm (65–66 in) and females 152–156 cm (60–61 in) tall.
The Neanderthal genome project published papers in 2010 and 2014 stating that Neanderthals contributed to the DNA of modern humans, including most non-Africans as well as a few African populations, through interbreeding, likely between 50,000 to 60,000 years ago.