4 Joseph Stalin Facts That Will Surprise You

Joseph Stalin Facts Mugshot Glasses

Wait—he’s wearing sunglasses in his mugshot?!?! Source: Reddit

Josef Stalin was the Adolf Hitler of bloodthirsty dictators. For over 30 years, he wrote pages of Russian history in blood, and when he died he left a huge smoking crater in the middle of the century that, in many ways, has yet to fully close. It might never be known just how many people died under Stalin, but it certainly isn’t less than tens of millions. In his day, Stalin ruled the largest land empire of the modern age, built up a state that went from a feudal monarchy to a Space Age superpower, and tried to breed an army of half-human/half-ape slaves.

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In Russia, Supersonic Planes Can Be Found In Your Backyard

Abandoned Supersonic Plane Russia

OK, so two caveats: it’s an abandoned supersonic TU-144, and it’s part of the Sinsheim Auto & Technik Museum, not a backyard per se. Like the Concorde, this supersonic plane’s use was short-lived, as the plane underwent a violent dive, eventually crashing, destroying 15 homes and killing 14 people total.

Lenin Celebrates The Second Anniversary Of The 1919 October Revolution

Second Anniversary October Revolution 1919

Following the overthrow of the Romanovs during the February Revolution, the Bolshevik-led October Revolution laid waste to the provisional government that had been established following the Tsarist autocracy and culminated in the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, the world’s first socialist state. Such an establishment helped lay the institutional foundations for an upcoming civil war; and later, a longer term Cold War.

For more on the Russian Revolution (with snazzy, Soviet-era photos), be sure to visit our revolution gallery as well as our post on the best Soviet propaganda posters.

Uniting Russia and The United States Through Rail

US Russia Trains 1

US Russia Trains 2

Making use of the very strait that many believe to have allowed for the human migration from Asia to the Americas some 20,000 years ago, various organizations have motioned to unite Russia and the United States via a Bering Strait railroad. The proposed crossing has been dubbed everything from “The Intercontinental Peace Bridge” to the “TKM-World Link” to the “AmerAsian Peace Tunnel”, and in 2007 Russian government officials stated that they would put forth $65 billion to build the tunnel.

However, given the strait’s proximity to the Arctic Circle and its volatile conditions, construction would likely take longer than ideal, and the finished product would deteriorate at a quicker–and therefore more expensive–rate than normal.

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