Russia is an ancient country with a colorful history. In this century alone, monarchy, revolution, communism, the Cold War, nuclear disaster and economic crisis have influenced the evolution of this world superpower. Yet, in spite of political upheaval, Russia has remained a mecca for art and culture. Explore the culture and history of Russia through the many sites at Times Launchpoint Web site: http://www.latimes.com/launchpoint/
Peace Corps Kids World: Russia: Russia is the world's largest country and spans eleven different time zones. Learn more about this country through photos and maps and find out what daily life there is like through the eyes of a Peace Corps volunteer.
Culture Quest: Russia: The Russian White Nights occurs from June 21 to June 29 when twilight lasts only forty minutes and the night is so short that the sky looks white or light gray. Find out how to play gorelki, how to make Russki Salat and read such folk tales as "The Wee Little Havroshechka" and "The Wise Little Girl."
Playground of the Czars: It is customary in Russia to give bread and salt, symbolizing the essentials of life, either as a housewarming or wedding gift. Learn about Russian history and customs and hear how to speak simple Russian phrases.
Alexander Palace Russian History Web Sites: Do you know who Anastasia really was? Just a cartoon character, or the mysterious daughter of Russia's last ruler? Explore 14 beautiful exhibits that bring Russian history and culture alive, from the Jewels of the Romanovs to the Great Catherine Palace to the religious art masterpieces called ikons.
The Face of Russia: Russia has produced many fine artists such as painter Vassily Kandinsky, composer Igor Stravinsky and writers such as Fyodor Dostoevsky and Leo Tolstoy. View ten centuries of Russian culture and history through this interactive timeline that has pictures, sounds and video clips.
The Official Guide to Russia
Take an on-line trip to modern-day Russia. Visit Moscow and St. Petersburg and learn about Lake Baikal, the Trans-Siberian Railway, as well as Russia's Arctic regions. Find out about Russian history and view some of its art and architecture.
Russia: How Has Change Affected the Former USSR?: On December 26, 1991, what was known as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) became the Russian Federation (Russia) and fourteen independent countries. Understand the changes that have taken place by tracing the major events in Russia's history and by trying some interactive activities such as what would it take to live in Moscow, one of the most expensive cities in the world.
The New York Times on AOL: Sputnik: The Russians launched Sputnik, the first satellite into space, on October 4, 1957. Hear what it sounded like as it traveled at 18,000 miles an hour and read about its impact on the world and the future of space travel through news articles, photos and NASA commentaries.
Bucknell Russian Studies Department: Whether you want to listen to the Russian National Anthem, find out what the weather is like in Moscow or take a peek into the Pushkin Museum, this site provides extensive web resources on this country's rich history and culture.
The answer to this Internet quiz can be found in the sites at right.
Who freed 20 million serfs in 1861?
CLUE: See Playground of the Czars
Answer to last week's Quest: The Treaty of Tordesillas was to give all land to the west of the Atlantic Ocean to Spain, including the Americas, and Portugal would receive all land to the east, which would include Africa and India. CLUE: See Explorers of the World Launch Point is produced by the UC Irvine department of education, which reviews each site for appropriateness and quality. Even so, parents should supervise their children's use of the Internet. This column was designed by Brett King, Tim Titus, Courtney McColl and Anna Manring.