October is a really unlucky month for this town. Located 230 kilometers west of Moscow in the Smolensk region, the city of Vyazma that is now home to 57,000 people, has served as a resilient doormat for foreign invaders for nearly 800 years.
It's not often that something positive is born out of the destruction of war, but Lipetsk is one such example. In the beginning of the 18th century, after Peter the Great started the Great Northern War with Sweden, his main supplier of iron, he needed to find domestic sources to compensate.
On the 50th anniversary of the first manned spaceflight two years ago, many Russian TV channels focused their attention on this small town 180 kilometers west of Moscow that bears the famous cosmonaut's name.