As I usually do, I went back to my hometown, Smolensk in Russia this summer.
Smolensk is a city and the administrative center of Smolensk Oblast, Russia, located on the Dnieper River, 360 kilometers (220 mi) west-southwest of Moscow. It has a population of approximately 350,000.
My home town was the capital of an independent principality of Russia and developed a commercial and important cultural activity. It was attacked by the Mongols in 1238 and had 40 000 inhabitants before the attack, which was considerable for the time.
In 1404 , the region of Smolensk fell under the rule of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. In 1667 , the city became Russian again, then became the headquarters city government in 1708 . In 1812 , Napoleon ‘s conquered Smolenskon the way to Moscow .In 1918 , it became part of Belarus ; in 1919 the Belarussian Soviet Socialist Republic was founded, with Smolensk as its capital.
During the Second World War , Smolensk became pivotal and during the Battle of Smolensk in the summer of 1941 , the city was occupied and almost completely destroyed. Thousands of people were killed or taken to forced labor in Germany.
In the spring of 1943 , it was reconquered by the Red Army ( Second Battle of Smolensk ) and integrated into the Russian Soviet Socialist Republic.. Part of the city was then rebuilt identically. The city obtained the distinction of Hero City of the Soviet Union.
If you are able to visit Russia, take the time to get away from Moscow and go south to Smolensk. It will give you an inside look into what the rest of Russia looks like and how most Russians live.
With Love Always
Irina Marchenkova | CHIC Irina
She is a personal trainer at Life Time Athletics in Ajax.