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In the third week of November a few really important events happened in the history of Russia and the Soviet Union: the compulsory military service began in Russia, Operation Uranus was launched and the United States considered the Cuban Missile Crisis over. Also, in the space race, the Venera 3 spacecraft was launched and in the world of culture Solzhenitsyn published his first novel.
November 21, 1699: Tsar Peter I of Russia, a key figure in the modernization of the Russian Empire, decided the obligation of all men in the country to join the army. After a series of defeats against Sweden, Russia needed more soldiers and the compulsory military service was the solution. Years later each noble family was allowed to spare from this service one of their sons.
On November 19, 1942 "Operation Uranus" begins. It was a plan under the leadership of Stalin with the goal of liberating the city of Stalingrad during the second World War. In a three-month campaign, the Soviet Army achieved its goal and inflicted a major defeat on the Nazi forces. It is estimated that the German army lost 900,000 soldiers trying to besiege the city.
A Soviet soldier raises a flag after the German forces had left Stalingrad
On November 20, 1962 US President JF Kennedy receives satellite pictures showing no more Soviet nuclear missiles on the island of Cuba. This ended the Cuban missile crisis officially. This event had different names: in Cuba it was known as the "October Crisis" and in Russia it was the "Caribbean Crisis".
An important milestone in Soviet technology was launched on November 16, 1965: the spacecraft Venera 3, which had the mission of landing on the planet Venus. Finally, because of technical issues, it crashed on the surface of Venus on March 1, 1966. Despite that, it became the first spacecraft that reached the surface of another planet.
November 17, 1962: in the Soviet literary magazine "New World" (НовыйМир) the novel "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich" is published. It was the first novel by Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Nobel Prize in Literature in 1970, which would give him worldwide fame. Written in 1959 in less than six weeks, the book harshly criticized the Soviet government, although it was published with some passages censored.
On 18 November 1917 Tikhon was elected Patriarch of the Orthodox Church of All Russia and America. The council hadn’t met since 1721, when the title of Patriarch was abolished by Emperor Peter the Great. After his death in 1925, Tikhon was canonized in 1981 by the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and in 1989 by the Russian Orthodox Church.
November 22, 1936: The government of the USSR became the first government in the world to legalize abortion, provided there was a risk in the life of the mother. In most countries around the world, this kind legislation would not arrive until the 1970s.
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