Given the recent events, it’s quite hard to look at Russia as anything but a big bully and a terrorist state. Their soldiers barely hold their positions, while Putin hides in some deep underground bunker, deciding whether to off himself now or wait for the bounty hunters to knock on his door.

Over the centuries, Russians took part in countless battles, but it’s important to know that not all of them ended well. Let’s remind ourselves of some of Russia’s biggest military failures!

1. Battle of Kalka River — Kyivan Rus vs. Mongols (1223)

Let me preface that Kyivan Rus was a precursor to modern Russia and many other European nations. The Rus was a sort of a confederation of princes centered around the city named after prince Kyi — hence, Kyiv (not Kiev). Basically, it was a European Union but with horses, spears, and arrows. In the XIII century, the Mongols captured smaller kingdoms left, right, and center. One day the Mongols sent their messenger to Kyiv, letting the princes know they should kneel before the Horde. The princes scoffed at the supposed threat and killed the poor messenger. How dare these Mongols threaten the noble princes? Long story short, the nobility gathered a great army and beat the living crap out of surprisingly underwhelming Mongol forces. But the proto-Russians got greedy and followed the retreating invaders, only to be ambushed and killed by the Horde. Even those who surrendered were slain and buried right under the camp. Absolutely brutal!

2. Moscow Under Siege — Moscow vs. Mongols (1382)

120 years after the battle on the Kalka River, Moscow rose up from the swamps and even started to look like a promising little city, but it was still under Mongol rule and was governed by a puppet noble — prince Dmitriy Donskoy. One day, Dmitriy got really fed up with being ordered around and decided to kill some Mongols. Such actions only angered the Asian overlords, and they sent their version of the Terminator, Prince Tokhtamysh, to teach Dritriy a lesson. He kept Moscow under siege for three gruesome days and then waved a white flag. The half-witted Moscovites rejoiced and opened the gates, only to get slaughtered by Tokhtamysh’s swordsmen. Oh, by the way, Donskoy was not even in Moscow at the time, but when he came back, all he saw was charred corpses and his beloved city razed to the ground.

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