On May 5th, the Russian ICT Ministry launched a Microsoft Silverlight-powered “Chronicle of Victory” portal at http://pobeda-info.ru, developed to commemorate the 65th anniversary of World War II Victory Day on May 9th, 2010 and created with the support of Microsoft Russia.

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The portal delivers a unique opportunity for history buffs and users around the world to experience this important period of World history (and if you don’t read Russian, you can easily use Bing and Microsoft Translator to translate the text). The public site includes materials from World War II owned by ITAR TASS (Russian news agency), the Russian Ministry of Defense, the Russian Navy, Russian Intelligence Services and other sources. The interactive application, developed using Silverlight, Deep Zoom and IIS Smooth Streaming, allows users to scan through original documents, photos, newspapers, maps, and audio and video chronicles, many that were kept in secret archives and are now available to the public for the first time. The site also contains materials obtained from NARA (National Archives and Records Administration) in the US, as well as UK and German government historic archives.

The content in the portal will be updated regularly and offers a collection of:

· More than 40,000 digitized newspaper pages;

· Approximately 600 audio and video recordings;

· More than 1,900 photos, and;

· More than 400 strategic maps and war schemes.

Silverlight was used to design and build this application from the ground up, providing users with an interactive way to scan through and experience this collection of materials. Some features include:

· Silverlight Deep Zoom, allowing viewers to zoom into and out of maps and photos with ease to examine even the smallest details at high resolution (check out the Battle of Stalingradfor an example);

· IIS Smooth Streaming to power all videos on the site, and;

· Integration with Microsoft SharePoint for back-end content management purposes.

You can find out more information about this joint project with the ICT Ministry of Russia, Rostelecom, ITAR-TASS and Microsoft Russia. Check out the portal here: http://pobeda-info.ru. In addition, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev discussed this portal on his video blog – you can watch here (in Russian, from 05:20).