The Media Mirror: what's in today's Russian newspapers?

In this edition we are presenting the first 2008 issue of the EXPERT weekly magazine. It happens to be the only piece of serious print media published in Russia for the whole period between December 31, 2007 and January 10, 2008.

This is a special edition completely dedicated to the last 500 years of Russian history – the evolution of Russia as an empire from a modern perspective.

The magazine lists Russia’s main victories in the past 600 years. Here are some of them:

1380. The Battle on Kulikovo Field. Russian warriors under the command of Prince Dmitry Donskoy won a victory over an expedition force from the Mongol Empire, the Golden Horde. After 300 years of Mongol domination Eastern Europe freed itself to continue along the path of European rather than Asian civilisation.

1700-17014. The Great Northern War. Land and sea victories over Sweden gained Russia vast territories in the Baltic region and the status of a great European power, as well as a great naval power. Russia has been enjoying that status ever since.

The 1812 Patriotic War, when not only regular army units but all the people of Russia opposed Napoleon’s invasion. This contributed to the downfall of Napoleon’s Empire and strengthened Russia’s influence in Europe beyond any expectations.

The building of the Trans Siberian railroad from 1891 to 1901 is to this day considered an unprecedented construction programme. The railroad, connecting St. Petersburg with Vladivostok was built entirely with simple tools without using any machinery.

Operation Bagration against German forces in 1944. It was a reverse image of the German Barbarossa Plan of 1941: Russian divisions surrounded, destroyed and captured the whole of the German Central Group of armies, consisting of more than 400,000 men.

Sputnik, the first ever artificial satellite, may have been launched by accident. Work on artificial satellites was announced by the Soviet Union and the U.S. in 1955. By October 1957 the Soviet Union had two spare ballistic missiles left from weapons tests but the main equipment for the satellite wasn’t ready. It was decided that a half-empty orb with a short wave transmitter and a thermometer would be launched. The signal from space was caught by every radio receiver on the planet.

And one more victory – at the Munich Olympic Games in 1972 the Soviet national team won the basketball competition by beating the United States, the winner of 63 back-to-back games played at earlier Olympiads.