In the late 1800s, an arms dealer sold a steam-powered submarine to the Greeks, then convinced the Turks that it posed a threat, and sold them two. He then persuaded the Russians to buy two more. But none of them were used in combat, because they didn’t work.
Russian fighter pilot Alexey Maresyev’s plane was shot down by the Germans in 1942 and he crash landed in enemy territory. Both his legs were severely mangled, but he managed to get himself to friendly turf after crawling for 18 days in snow. His legs had to be amputated below the knee. He got himself on crutches and prosthetics and within a year danced in front of a judge to prove he was battle ready. He then went on to fly 86 combat missions and took out 11 enemy warplanes.
The U.S. purchased Alaska from Russia for just US$7.2 million in 1867.
In Russia in 1997, a poacher shot and wounded a tiger and stole part of its recent kill. The tiger later found the poacher’s cabin, waited at least 12 hours for him come home, then killed and ate him.
The United States and Russia signed a treaty in 1967 agreeing not to nuke the Moon.
Russia banned the sale of vodka during World War I. The government immediately lost a third of its income.
On a 1995 visit to Washington D.C., Russian President Boris Yeltsin was found on Pennsylvania Avenue, drunk, in his underwear and trying to hail a cab in order to find pizza.
Russia has 800,000 faith healers but only 640,000 doctors.
In 1908, the Russian Olympic team arrived at the Olympics in London 12 days late because it was still using the Julian calendar instead of the Gregorian calendar.