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20 December

On December 20, 1699, Russian Tsar Peter the Great issued an order for the New Year to be celebrated on January 1 according to the Julian calendar – transferring Russia from the year 7208 to the year 1700.…

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Peter Carl Faberge

Peter Carl Faberge was a world famous master jeweler and head of the ‘House of Faberge’ in Imperial Russia in the waning days of the Russian Empire.

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Of Russian origin: Gosplan

The Soviet Union was a country with a state-controlled economy. Every five years, government developed plans for all plants and collective farms in USSR, ordering them to produce exact amounts of goods in the following five year period. The committee responsible for the creation of those plans was called State Planning Committee (Gosudarstvenny Komitet po Planirovaniyu), or, in short, “Gosplan”.

The prototype of the Gosplan was GOELRO – “The State Commission for the Electrification of Russia” (Bolsheviks loved abbreviations). It was created in 1920 per the initiative of Vladimir Lenin to carry out a statewide electrification project that had been developed earlier. That same year, Herbert Wells visited the Soviet Union, looked through this project, declared it utopian, and called Lenin “a Kremlin dreamer”. When in 1934 he returned to USSR, he admitted his mistake – the seemingly unrealizable plan had been overly fulfilled.

“Gosplan” was created in 1923 to coordinate the economic plans of the Soviet republics and to work out a general USSR plan; then its functions were changed from coordination to creation and supervision.  With the help of Gosplan, the USSR turned from an agricultural to an industrial state in ten years. In 1928 -1937, 5000 plants and factories were built all over the Soviet Union. 

Бывшее здание Госплана СССР (RT Photo / Irina Vasilevitskaya) Former office of Gosplan USSR, Moscow (RT Photo)

In 1949, the head of the Gosplan was accused of high treason and executed. According to accusations, he was plotting along with several other communist party bosses to overthrow Joseph Stalin and abolish the Soviet Union. However, the whole case was a sham invented by  the authorities, like many other cases those days.

Six years later, the Gosplan was divided into two organizations, the USSR Council of Ministers State Commission for Advanced Planning, and the USSR Council of Ministers Economic Commission on Current Planning. 

Written by Olga Pigareva, RT