Saturday, 7 July 2018

Russian history and about of Russia(Part5)

I'm back with the part5 of Russian history and about of Russia.

Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic:-

This article is about Russia under communist rule from 1917 to 1991. For the modern Russian state, see Russia.
"SFSR" redirects here. For the railroad in New Mexico, see Santa Fe Southern Railway.
Not to be confused with Soviet Union.
The Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (Russian SFSR or RSFSR; Russian: Росси́йская Сове́тская Федерати́вная Социалисти́ческая Республика, tr. Rossiyskaya Sovetskaya Federativnaya Sotsialisticheskaya Respublika, IPA: [rɐˈsʲijskəjə sɐˈvʲɛtskəjə fʲɪdʲɪrɐˈtʲivnəjə sətsɨəlʲɪˈsʲtʲitɕɪskəjə rʲɪˈspublʲɪkə] (About this sound listen)), also unofficially known as the Russian Federation,[8] Soviet Russia,[9] or Russia (About this sound listen (help·info); Russian: Росси́я, tr. Rossiya, IPA: [rɐˈsʲijə]; from the Greek: Ρωσία Rōsía — Rus'), was an independent state from 1917 to 1922, and afterwards the largest, most populous, and most economically developed union republic of the Soviet Union from 1922 to 1991 and then a sovereign part of the Soviet Union with priority of Russian laws over Union-level legislation in 1990 and 1991.[10] The Republic comprised sixteen autonomous republics, five autonomous oblasts, ten autonomous okrugs, six krais, and forty oblasts.[10] Russians formed the largest ethnic group. The capital of the Russian SFSR was Moscow and the other major urban centers included Leningrad, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg, Nizhny Novgorod, and Samara.

Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic
Russian: Российская Советская Федеративная Социалистическая Республика
Rossiyskaya Sovetskaya Federativnaya Sotsialisticheskaya Respublika[1]
Sovereign state (1917–1922)
Union Republic of USSR (1922–1991)
Flag (1954–1991)
Emblem (1978–1991)
Emblem (1978–1991)
Пролетарии всех стран, соединяйтесь! (Russian)
Proletarii vsekh stran, soyedinyaytes'! (transliteration)
"Workers of the world, unite!"
The Internationale

State Anthem of the Soviet Union

State Anthem of the Soviet Union
(modified version)

"The Patriotic Song" (1990–1991)

Extent of the Russian SFSR (red) within the Soviet Union
(red and white) following World War II and territorial changes (1956)
Petrograd (1917–1918)
Moscow (March 1918–1991)[2]
Federal Marxist–Leninist one-party socialist republic
(1922–1924; 1953–1990)[3]
Stalinist one-party totalitarian dictatorship (1924–1953)[4]
Federal semi-presidential republic (1990–1991)[5]
Head of state
1917 (first)
Lev Kamenevc
1990–1991 (last)
Boris Yeltsind
Head of government
1917–1924 (first)
Vladimir Lenine
Ivan Silayevf
1991–1991 (last)
Boris Yeltsing
VTsIK / All-Russian Congress (1917–38)
Supreme Soviet (RSFSR) (1938–90)
Supreme Soviet (RSFSR) / Congress of
People's Deputies (1990–91)
Historical era
20th century
October Revolution
7 November 1917
Soviet Republic proclaimed
9 November 1917
Admitted to the USSR
30 December 1922
Priority of Russian laws declared, partial cancellation of the Soviet form of government
12 June 1990
Agreement to dissolve the USSR was ratified (de-facto Russia's independence declared)
12 December 1991
Russian SFSR renamed into the Russian Federation
25 December 1991
Self-dissolution of the USSR (de-facto Russia's independence recognized)
26 December 1991
Soviet ruble (руб) (SUR)
Preceded by Succeeded by
 Russian Republic
 Far Eastern Republic
 Tuvan People's Republic
 Karelo-Finnish Soviet Socialist Republic
 Viipuri Province
 Oulu Province
 Lapland Province
 East Prussia
 Kuril Islands
 Karafuto Prefecture
 Russian Democratic Federative Republic
Soviet Union
Russian Federation
Karelo-Finnish Soviet Socialist Republic
Chechen Republic of Ichkeria
Today part of
Remained the national anthem of Russia until 2000.
Official language in the courts from 1937.[6]
As Chairman of the VTsIK (All-Russian Central Executive Committee).
As Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR, from 29 May 1990 to 10 July 1991, then as President of Russia.
As Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars of the Russian SFSR
As Chairmen of the Council of Ministers – Government of the Russian SFSR
Served as acting head of government while President of Russia
Hero of the USSR Seven Hero City awards
The Russian Democratic Federative Republic existed briefly on 19 January 1918, but actual sovereignty was still in the hands of the Soviets even after the Russian Constituent Assembly opened its first and last session.[7]
The economy of Russia became heavily industrialized, accounting for about two-thirds of the electricity produced in the USSR. It was, by 1961, the third largest producer of petroleum due to new discoveries in the Volga-Urals region[11] and Siberia, trailing only the United States and Saudi Arabia.[12] In 1974, there were 475 institutes of higher education in the republic providing education in 47 languages to some 23,941,000 students. A network of territorially organized public-health services provided health care.[10] After 1985, the restructuring policies of the Gorbachev administration relatively liberalised the economy, which had become stagnant since the late 1970s, with the introduction of non-state owned enterprises such as cooperatives.

The Russian Soviet Republic was proclaimed on 7 November 1917 (October Revolution) as a sovereign state and the world's first constitutionally socialist state with the ideology of Communism. The first Constitution was adopted in 1918. In 1922 the Russian SFSR signed the Treaty on the Creation of the USSR. The 1977 Soviet Constitution stated "Union Republic is a sovereign ... state that has united ... in the Union"[13] and "each Union Republic shall retain the right freely to secede from the USSR".[14] On 12 June 1990, the Congress of People's Deputies adopted the Declaration of State Sovereignty, established separation of powers (instead of Soviet form of government), established citizenship of Russia, and stated that the RSFSR shall retain the right of free secession from the USSR. On 12 June 1991, Boris Yeltsin was elected the first President supported by the Democratic Russia pro-reform movement.

The 1991 August Soviet coup d'état attempt destabilised the Soviet Union. On 8 December 1991, the heads of Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus signed the Belavezha Accords. The agreement declared dissolution of the USSR by its founder states (i.e. denunciation of 1922 Treaty on the Creation of the USSR) and established the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). On 12 December the agreement was ratified by the Russian Parliament, therefore Russian SFSR denounced the Treaty on the Creation of the USSR and de facto declared Russia's independence from the USSR.

On 25 December 1991, following the resignation of Mikhail Gorbachev as president of the Soviet Union, the Russian SFSR was renamed the Russian Federation[15] re-establishing the sovereign and independent state[16] (see History of Russia (1991–present)). On 26 December 1991, the USSR was self-dissolved by the Soviet of Nationalities, which by that time was the only functioning house of the Supreme Soviet (the other house, Soviet of the Union, had already lost the quorum after recall of its members by the union republics). After dissolution of the USSR, Russia declared that it assumed the rights and obligations of the dissolved central Soviet government, including UN membership and permanent membership on the Security Council but originally excluding foreign debt and foreign assets of the USSR (also parts of the former Soviet Army and nuclear weapons remained under overall CIS command as CIS United Armed Forces (Wikidata)).

The 1978 RSFSR Constitution was amended several times to reflect the transition to democracy, private property, and market economy. The new Russian constitution, coming into effect on 25 December 1993 after a constitutional crisis, completely abolished the Soviet form of government and replaced it by semi-presidential republic.

Nomenclature Edit

Under the leadership of Vladimir Lenin, the Bolsheviks established the Soviet state on 7 November [O.S. 25 October] 1917, immediately after the Russian Provisional Government, which governed the Russian Republic, was overthrown during the October Revolution. Initially, the state did not have an official name and wasn't recognized by neighboring countries for five months. Meanwhile, anti-Bolsheviks coined the mocking label "Sovdepia" for the nascent state of the "Soviets of Workers' and Peasants' Deputies".[17]

On 25 January 1918 the third meeting of the All-Russian Congress of Soviets renamed the unrecognised state the Russian Soviet Republic.[18] The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was signed on 3 March 1918, giving away much of the land of the former Russian Empire to Germany in exchange for peace during the rest of World War I. On 10 July 1918, the Russian Constitution of 1918 renamed the country the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic.[19] By 1918, during the Russian Civil War, several states within the former Russian Empire seceded, reducing the size of the country even more.

Internationally, in 1920, the RSFSR was recognized as an independent state only by Estonia, Finland, Latvia and Lithuania in the Treaty of Tartu and by the short-lived Irish Republic.[20]

On 30 December 1922, with the creation of the Soviet Union, Russia became one of sixteen republics within the federation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The final Soviet name for the republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, was adopted in the Soviet Constitution of 1936. By that time, Soviet Russia had gained roughly the same borders of the old Tsardom of Russia before the Great Northern War of 1700.

For most of the Soviet Union's existence, it was commonly referred to as "Russia," even though technically "Russia" was only one republic within the larger union—albeit by far the largest, most powerful and most highly developed.

On 25 December 1991, following the collapse of the Soviet Union (officially on 26 December), the republic was renamed the Russian Federation, which it remains to this day.[21] This name and Russia were specified as the official state names on 21 April 1992, an amendment to the existing constitution and were retained as such in the 1993 Constitution of Russia.

Geography Edit

At a total of about 17,125,200 km (6,612,100 sq mi), the Russian SFSR was the largest of its fifteen republics, with its southerly neighbor, the Kazakh SSR, being second.

The international borders of the RSFSR touched Poland on the west; Norway and Finland on the northwest; and to its southeast were the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Mongolian People's Republic, and the People's Republic of China. Within the Soviet Union, the RSFSR bordered the Ukrainian, Belarusian, Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian SSRs to its west and Azerbaijan, Georgian and Kazakh SSRs to the south.[10]

Roughly 70% of the area in the RSFSR consisted of broad plains, with mountainous tundra regions mainly concentrated in the east. The area is rich in mineral resources, including petroleum, natural gas, and iron ore.[22]

History Edit

Early years (1917–1920) Edit
The Soviet government first came to power on 7 November 1917, immediately after the Russian Provisional Government, which governed the Russian Republic, was overthrown in the October Revolution. The state it governed, which did not have an official name, would be unrecognized by neighboring countries for another five months.

On 25 January 1918, at the third meeting of the All-Russian Congress of Soviets, the unrecognized state was renamed the Soviet Russian Republic.[18] On 3 March 1918, the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was signed, giving away much of the land of the former Russian Empire to Germany, in exchange for peace in World War I. On 10 July 1918, the Russian Constitution of 1918 renamed the country the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic.[19] By 1918, during the Russian Civil War, several states within the former Russian Empire had seceded, reducing the size of the country even more.

The RSFSR was recognized as an independent state internationally by only Estonia, Finland, Latvia, and Lithuania, in the Treaty of Tartu in 1920.

1920s Edit

The Russian SFSR in 1922.

The Russian SFSR in 1924.

The Russian SFSR in 1929.
On 30 December 1922, the First Congress of the Soviets of the USSR approved the Treaty on the Creation of the USSR, by which Russia was united with the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, and Transcaucasian Soviet Federal Socialist Republic into a single federal state, the Soviet Union. Later treaty was included in the 1924 Soviet Constitution,[clarification needed] adopted on 31 January 1924 by the Second Congress of Soviets of the USSR.

Paragraph 3 of Chapter 1 of the 1925 Constitution of the RSFSR stated the following:[23]

By the will of the peoples of the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, who decided on the formation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics during the Tenth All-Russian Congress of Soviets, the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, being a part of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, devolves to the Union the powers which according to Article 1 of the Constitution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics are included within the scope of responsibilities of the government bodies of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

1930s Edit

The Russian SFSR in 1936.
Many regions in Russia were affected by the Soviet famine of 1932–1933: Volga; Central Black Soil Region; North Caucasus; the Urals; the Crimea; part of Western Siberia; and the [Kazak ASSR]. With the adoption of the 1936 Soviet Constitution on 5 December 1936, the size of the RSFSR was significantly reduced. The Kazakh ASSR and Kirghiz ASSR were transformed into the Kazakh SSR and Kirghiz Soviet Socialist Republics. The Karakalpak Autonomous Socialist Soviet Republic was transferred to the Uzbek SSR.

The final name for the republic during the Soviet era was adopted by the Russian Constitution of 1937, which renamed it the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic.

1945 Edit

The Russian SFSR in 1940.
See also: Eastern Front (World War II)
In 1943, Karachay Autonomous Oblast was dissolved by Joseph Stalin, when the Karachays were exiled to Central Asia for their alleged collaboration with the Germans, and territory was incorporated into the Georgian SSR.

On 3 March 1944, on the orders of Stalin, the Chechen-Ingush ASSR was disbanded and its population forcibly deported upon the accusations of collaboration with the invaders and separatism. The territory of the ASSR was divided between other administrative units of Russian SFSR and the Georgian SSR.

On 11 October 1944, the Tuvan People's Republic joined the Russian SFSR as the Tuvan Autonomous Oblast, in 1961 becoming an Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic.

After reconquering Estonia and Latvia in 1944, the Russian SFSR annexed their easternmost territories around Ivangorod and within the modern Pechorsky and Pytalovsky Districts in 1944–1945.

At the end of World War II Soviet troops occupied southern Sakhalin Island and the Kuril Islands, making them part of the RSFSR. The status of the southernmost Kurils remains in dispute with Japan.

On 17 April 1946, the Kaliningrad Oblast — the northern portion of the former German province of East Prussia—was annexed by the Soviet Union and made part of the Russian USSR.

1950s Edit
After the death of Joseph Stalin, 5 March 1953, Georgy Malenkov became the new leader of the USSR.

In January 1954, Malenkov transferred Crimea from the Russian SFSR to the Ukrainian SSR.

On 8 February 1955, Malenkov was officially demoted to deputy Prime Minister. As First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, Nikita Khrushchev's authority was significantly enhanced by Malenkov's demotion.

On 9 January 1957, Karachay Autonomous Oblast and Chechen-Ingush Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic were restored by Khrushchev and they were transferred from the Georgian SSR back to the Russian SFSR.

The Karelo-Finnish SSR was transferred back to the RSFSR as the Karelian ASSR in 1956.

1960s–1980s Edit
In 1964, Nikita Khrushchev was removed from his position of power and replaced with Leonid Brezhnev. Under his rule, the Russian SFSR and the rest of the Soviet Union went through an era of stagnation. Even after he died in 1982, the era didn’t end until Mikhail Gorbachev took power in March 1985 and introduced liberal reforms in Soviet society.

Early 1990s Edit
Main articles: Declaration of State Sovereignty of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, 1991 Soviet coup d'etat attempt, Belavezha Accords, and 1993 Russian constitutional crisis

Flag adopted by the Russian SFSR national parliament in 1991.
On 29 May 1990, at his third attempt, Boris Yeltsin was elected the chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the Russian SFSR. The Congress of People's Deputies of the Republic adopted the Declaration of State Sovereignty of the Russian SFSR on 12 June 1990, which was the beginning of the "War of Laws", pitting the Soviet Union against the Russian Federation and other constituent republics.

On 17 March 1991, an all-Russian referendum created the post of President of the RSFSR. On 12 June, Boris Yeltsin was elected President of Russia by popular vote. During an unsuccessful coup attempt on 19–21 August 1991 in Moscow, the capital of the Soviet Union and Russia, President of Russia Yeltsin strongly supported the President of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev.

After the failure of GKChP, in the presence of Gorbachev, on 23 August 1991, Yeltsin signed a decree suspending all activity by the Communist Party of the Russian SFSR in the territory of Russia.[24] On 6 November, he went further, banning the Communist Parties of the USSR and the RSFSR from the territory of the RSFSR.[25]

On 8 December 1991, at Viskuli near Brest (Belarus), the President of the Russian SFSR and the heads of Byelorussian SSR and Ukrainian SSR signed the "Agreement on the Establishment of the Commonwealth of Independent States" (known in media as Belavezha Accords). The document, consisting of a preamble and fourteen articles, stated that the Soviet Union ceased to exist as a subject of international law and geopolitical reality. However, based on the historical community of peoples, relations between them, given the bilateral treaties, the desire for a democratic rule of law, the intention to develop their relations based on mutual recognition and respect for state sovereignty, the parties agreed to the formation of the Commonwealth of Independent States. On 12 December, the agreement was ratified by the Supreme Soviet of the Russian SFSR by an overwhelming majority: 188 votes for, 6 against, 7 abstentions. On the same day, the Supreme Soviet of the Russian SFSR denounced the Treaty on the Creation of the USSR and recalled all Russian deputies from the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union. The legality of this act is the subject of discussions because, according to the 1978 Constitution (Basic Law) of the Russian SFSR, the Russian Supreme Soviet had no right to do so.[26] However, by this time the Soviet government had been rendered more or less impotent and was in no position to object. Although 12 December vote is sometimes reckoned as the moment that the RSFSR seceded from the collapsing Soviet Union, this is not the case. It appears that the RSFSR took the line that it was not possible to secede from an entity that no longer existed.

On 24 December, Yeltsin informed the Secretary-General of the United Nations that by agreement of the member states of the CIS Russian Federation would assume the membership of the Soviet Union in all UN organs (including permanent membership in the UN Security Council). Thus, Russia is considered to be an original member of the UN (since 24 October 1945) along with Ukraine (Ukrainian SSR) and Belarus (Byelorussian SSR). On 25 December—just hours after Gorbachev resigned as president of the Soviet Union—the Russian SFSR was renamed the Russian Federation (Russia), reflecting that it was now a sovereign state with Yeltsin assuming the Presidency.[16] That same night, the Soviet flag was lowered and replaced with the tricolor. The Soviet Union officially ceased to exist the next day. The change was originally published on 6 January 1992 (Rossiyskaya Gazeta). According to law, during 1992, it was allowed to use the old name of the RSFSR for official business (forms, seals and stamps).

Post-Soviet transition (1991–1993) Edit
See also: History of Russia (1991–present) and 1993 Russian constitutional crisis
Russia made a significant turn toward developing a market economy by implanting basic tenets such as market-determined prices. Two fundamental and interdependent goals—macroeconomic stabilization and economic restructuring—the transition from central planning to a market-based economy. The former entailed implementing fiscal and monetary policies that promote economic growth in an environment of stable prices and exchange rates. The latter required establishing the commercial, and institutional entities—banks, private property, and commercial legal codes—that permit the economy to operate efficiently. Opening domestic markets to foreign trade and investment, thus linking the economy with the rest of the world, was an important aid in reaching these goals. The Gorbachev regime failed to address these fundamental goals. At the time of the Soviet Union's demise, the Yeltsin government of the Russian Republic had begun to attack the problems of macroeconomic stabilization and economic restructuring. By mid-1996, the results were mixed.[citation needed]

The struggle for the center of power in post-Soviet Russia and for the nature of the economic reforms culminated in a political crisis and bloodshed in the fall of 1993. Yeltsin, who represented a course of radical privatization, was opposed by the parliament. Confronted with opposition to the presidential power of decree and threatened with impeachment, he "dissolved" the parliament on 21 September, in contravention of the existing constitution, and ordered new elections and a referendum on a new constitution. The parliament then declared Yeltsin deposed and appointed Aleksandr Rutskoy acting president on 22 September. Tensions built quickly, and matters came to a head after street riots on 2–3 October. On 4 October, Yeltsin ordered Special Forces and elite army units to storm the parliament building, the "White House" as it is called. With tanks thrown against the small-arms fire of the parliamentary defenders, the outcome was not in doubt. Rutskoy, Ruslan Khasbulatov, and the other parliamentary supporters surrendered and were immediately arrested and jailed. The official count was 187 dead, 437 wounded (with several men killed and wounded on the presidential side).[27][citation needed]

Government Edit

Main article: Government of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic
See also: List of leaders of the Russian SFSR
The Government was known officially as the Council of People's Commissars (1917–1946), Council of Ministers (1946–1978) and Council of Ministers–Government (1978–1991). The first government was headed by Vladimir Lenin as "Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars of the Russian SFSR" and the last by Boris Yeltsin as both head of government and head of state under the title "President".

The Russian SFSR was controlled by the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, until the abortive 1991 August coup, which prompted President Yeltsin to suspend the recently created Communist Party of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic.

Autonomous Republics within the Russian SFSR Edit
Turkestan ASSR – Formed on 30 April 1918, on the territory of the former Turkestan General-Governorate. As part of the delimitation programme of Soviet Central Asia, the Turkestan ASSR along with the Khorezm SSR and the Bukharan PSR were disbanded on 27 October 1924, and in their place came the Union republics of Turkmen SSR and Uzbek SSR. The latter contained the Tajik ASSR until December 1929 when it too became a full Union republic, the Tajik SSR. The RSFSR retained the newly formed Kara-Kirghiz and the Kara-Kalpak autonomous oblasts. The latter was part of the Kirgiz, then the Kazak ASSR until 1930, when it was directly subordinated to Moscow.
Bashkir ASSR – Formed on 23 March 1919 from several northern districts of the Orenburg Governorate populated by Bashkirs. On 11 October 1990, it declared its sovereignty, as the Bashkir SSR, which was renamed in 1992 the Republic of Bashkortostan.
Tatar ASSR – Formed on 27 May 1920 on the territory of the western two-thirds of the Kazan Governorate populated by Tatars. On 30 October 1990, declared sovereignty as the Republic of Tatarstan and on 18 October 1991 it declared its independence. The Russian constitutional court overturned the declaration on 13 March 1992. In February 1994, a separate agreement was reached with Moscow on the status of Tatarstan as an associate state in Russia with confederate status.
Kirgiz ASSR – Formed on 26 August 1920, from the Ural, Turgay, Semipalatinsk oblasts, and parts of Transcaspia, Bukey Horde and Orenburg Governorate populated by Kirgiz-Kaysaks (former name of Kazakh people). Further enlarged in 1921 upon gaining land from Omsk Governorate and again in 1924 from parts of Jetysui Governorate and Syr Darya and Samarkand oblasts. On 19 April 1925 renamed as the Kazak ASSR. (see below)
Mountain ASSR – Formed on 20 January 1921, after the Bolshevik Red Army evicted the short-lived Mountainous Republic of the Northern Caucasus. Initially composed of several national districts; one-by-one these left the republic until 7 November 1924, when the remains of the republic was partitioned into the Ingush Autonomous Oblast, the North Ossetian Autonomous Oblast and the Sunzha Cossack District (all subordinates to the North Caucasus Krai).
Dagestan ASSR – Formed on 20 January 1921, from the former Dagestan Oblast. On 17 September 1991, it declared sovereignty as the Dagestan SSR.
Crimean ASSR – Formed on 18 October 1921, on the territory of Crimean peninsula, following the Red Army's eviction of Baron Wrangel's army, ending the Russian Civil War in Europe. On 18 May 1944, it was reduced to the status of Oblast, alongside the deportation of the Crimean Tatars, as collective punishment for alleged collaboration with the Nazi occupation regime in Taurida Subdistrict. On 19 February 1954, it was transferred to the Ukrainian SSR. Re-established on 12 February 1991, it declared sovereignty on 4 September of that year. On 5 May 1992, it declared independence as the Republic of Crimea, on 13 May; the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine overturned the declaration but compromised on an Autonomous Republic of Crimea within Ukraine. After the 2014 Ukrainian revolution, a Russian military intervention and a disputed referendum, Crimea was annexed by Russia in March 2014.
Yakut ASSR – Formed on 16 February 1922 upon the elevation of the Yakut Autonomous Oblast into an ASSR. On 27 September 1990, it declared sovereignty as the Yakut-Sakha Soviet Socialist Republic. From 21 December 1991, it has been known as the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia).
Buryat ASSR – Formed on 30 March 1923 as due to the merger of the Mongol-Buryat Autonomous Oblast of the RSFSR and the Buryat-Mongol Autonomous Oblast of the Far Eastern Republic. Until 7 July 1958 – Mongol-Buryat ASSR. On 27 March 1991 it became the Republic of Buryatia.
Karelian ASSR – Formed on 23 July 1923 when the Karelian Labor Commune was integrated into the RSFSR's administrative structure. On 31 March 1940, it was elevated into a full Union republic as the Karelo-Finnish SSR. On 16 July 1956, it was downgraded in status to that of an ASSR and re-subordinated to RSFSR. It declared sovereignty on 13 October 1991 as the Republic of Karelia.
Volga German ASSR – Formed on 19 December 1924, upon elevation of the Volga German Autonomous Oblast into an ASSR. On 28 August 1941, upon the deportation of Volga Germans to Central Asia, the ASSR was disbanded. The territory was partitioned between the Saratov and Stalingrad Oblasts.
Kazak ASSR was formed on 19 April 1925, when the first Kirghiz ASSR was renamed and partitioned. Upon the ratification of the new Soviet constitution, the ASSR was elevated into a full Union Republic on 3 December 1936. On 25 October 1990, it declared sovereignty and on 16 December 1991 its independence as the Republic of Kazakhstan.
Chuvash ASSR – Formed on 21 April 1925 upon the elevation of the Chuvash Autonomous Oblast into an ASSR. It declared sovereignty on 26 October 1990 as the Chuvash SSR.
Kirghiz ASSR was formed on 1 February 1926 upon elevation of the Kirghiz Autonomous Oblast. Upon the ratification of the new Soviet constitution, the ASSR was elevated into a full Union Republic on 3 December 1936. On 12 December 1990, it declared sovereignty as the Republic of Kyrgyzstan and on 31 August 1991 its independence.
Kara-Kalpak ASSR – Formed on 20 March 1932 upon elevation of the Kara-Kalpak Autonomous Oblast into the Kara-Kalpak ASSR; from 5 December 1936 a part of the Uzbek SSR. In 1964, it was renamed the Karakalpak ASSR. It declared sovereignty on 14 December 1990.
Mordovian ASSR – Formed on 20 December 1934 upon the elevation of Mordovian Autonomous Oblast into an ASSR. It declared sovereignty on 13 December 1990 as the Mordovian SSR. Since 25 January 1991 it has been known as the Republic of Mordovia.
Udmurt ASSR was formed on 28 December 1934 upon the elevation of Udmurt Autonomous Oblast into an ASSR. It declared sovereignty on 20 September 1990. Since 11 October 1991 it has been known as the Udmurt Republic.
Kalmyk ASSR was formed on 20 October 1935 upon the elevation of Kalmyk Autonomous Oblast into an ASSR. On 27 December 1943, upon the deportation of the Kalmyks, the ASSR was disbanded and split between the newly established Astrakhan Oblast and parts adjoined to Rostov Oblast, Krasnodar Krai, and Stavropol Krai. On 9 January 1957, Kalmyk Autonomous Oblast was re-established in its present borders, first as a part of Stavropol Krai and from 19 July 1958 as a part of the Kalmyk ASSR. On 18 October 1990, it declared sovereignty as the Kalmyk SSR.
Kabardino-Balkar ASSR – Formed on 5 December 1936, upon the departure of the Kabardino-Balkar Autonomous Oblast from the North Caucasus Kray. After the deportation of the Balkars on 8 April 1944, the republic is renamed as Kabardin ASSR and parts of its territory transferred to Georgian SSR, upon the return of the Balkars, the KBASSR is re-instated on 9 January 1957. On 31 January 1991, the republic declared sovereignty as the Kabardino-Balkar SSR, and from 10 March 1992 – Kabardino-Balkarian Republic.
Northern Ossetian ASSR – Formed on 5 December 1936, upon the disbandment of the North Caucasus Kray, and its constituent North Ossetian Autonomous Oblast was raised into an ASSR. Declared sovereignty on 26 December 1990 as the North Ossetian SSR.
Chechen-Ingush ASSR – Formed on 5 December 1936, when the North Caucasus Krai was disestablished and its constituent Chechen-Ingush Autonomous Oblast was elevated into an ASSR and subordinated to Moscow. Following the en masse deportation of the Chechens and Ingush, on 7 March 1944, the ChIASSR was disbanded, and the Grozny Okrug was temporarily administered by Stavropol Kray until 22 March, when the territory was portioned between North Ossetian and Dagestan ASSRs, and the Georgian SSR. The remaining land was merged with Stavropol Krays Kizlyar district and organised as Grozny Oblast, which existed until 9 January 1957 when the ChIASSR was re-established though only the southern border's original shape was retained. Declared sovereignty on 27 November 1990 as the Chechen-Ingush Republic. On 8 June 1991, the 2nd Chechen National Congress proclaimed a separate Chechen-Republic (Noxchi-Cho), and on 6 September, began a coup which overthrew the Soviet local government. De facto, all authority passed to the self-proclaimed government which was renamed as the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria in early 1993. In response, the western Ingush districts after a referendum on 28 November 1991, were organised into an Ingush Republic which was officially established on 4 June 1992, by decree of Russian President as the Republic of Ingushetia. The same decree de jure created a Chechen republic, although it would be established only on 3 June 1994 and carry out partial governance during the First Chechen War. The Khasavyurt Accord would again suspend the government on 15 November 1996. The present Chechen Republic government was re-established on 15 October 1999.
Komi ASSR – Formed on 5 December 1936 upon the elevation of the Komi (Zyryan) Autonomous Oblast into an ASSR. Declared sovereignty on 23 November 1990 as the Komi SSR. From 26 May 1992 – the Republic of Komi.
Mari ASSR – Formed on 5 December 1936 upon the elevation of the Mari Autonomous Oblast into an ASSR. Declared Sovereignty on 22 December 1990 as the Mari Soviet Socialist Republic (Mari El).
Tuva ASSR – Formed on 10 October 1961 when the Tuva Autonomous Oblast was elevated[by whom?] into an ASSR. On 12 December 1990 declared sovereignty as the Soviet Republic of Tyva.
Gorno-Altai ASSR was formed on 25 October 1990, when Gorno-Altai Autonomous Oblast declared sovereignty; since 3 July 1991 it has been known as the Gorno-Altai SSR.
Karachayevo-Cherkessian ASSR was formed on 17 November 1990, when Karachay-Cherkess Autonomous Oblast was elevated into an ASSR and, instead of Stavropol Krai, subordinated directly to the RSFSR. It declared sovereignty on 3 July 1991 as the Karachay-Cherkess SSR.
Culture Edit

See also: Culture of Russia
National holidays and symbols Edit
Main articles: Public holidays in Russia, Public holidays in the Soviet Union, and Cultural icons of Russia
The public holidays for the Russian SFSR included Defender of the Fatherland Day (23 February), which honors Russian men, especially those serving in the army; International Women's Day (8 March), which combines the traditions of Mother's Day and Valentine's Day; Spring and Labor Day (1 May); Victory Day; and like all other Soviet republics, the Great October Socialist Revolution (7 November).

Victory Day is the second most popular holiday in Russia; it commemorates the victory over Nazism in the Great Patriotic War. A huge military parade, hosted by the President of Russia, is annually organised in Moscow on Red Square. Similar parades take place in all major Russian cities and cities with the status Hero city or City of Military Glory.

Matryoshka doll taken apart
During its 76-year existence, the Russian SFSR anthem was Patrioticheskaya Pesnya, but before 1990, the previous anthem shared its music with the Soviet Anthem, though not the lyrics and The Internationale was its anthem before 1944. The motto Proletarians of all countries, unite! was commonly used and shared with other Soviet republics. The hammer and sickle and the full Soviet coat of arms were still widely seen in Russian cities as a part of old architectural decorations until its slow gradual removal in 1991. The Soviet Red Stars are also encountered, often on military equipment and war memorials. The Red Banner continues to be honored, especially the Banner of Victory of 1945.

The Matryoshka doll is a recognizable symbol of the Russian SFSR (and the Soviet Union as a whole), and the towers of Moscow Kremlin and Saint Basil's Cathedral in Moscow are Russian SFSR's main architectural icons. The Chamomile is the national flower, while birch is the national tree. The Russian bear is an animal symbol and a national personification of Russia. Though this image has a Western origin, Russians themselves have accepted it. The native Soviet Russian national personification is Mother Russia.

Flag history Edit
Main article: Flag of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic
The flag of the Russian SFSR changed numerous times, with the original being a field of red with the Russian name of the republic written on the flag's centre in white. This flag had always been intended to be temporary, as it was changed less than a year after its adoption. The second flag had the letters "РСФСР" (RSFSR) written in yellow within the canton, and encased within two yellow lines forming a right angle. The next flag was used from 1937, notably during World War II. It was used until Joseph Stalin's death when a major vexillological reform was undertaken within the Soviet Union. This change incorporated an update for all the flags of the Soviet Republics, as well as for the flag of the Soviet Union itself. Now, the flag of the Russian SFSR was a defaced version of the flag of the Soviet Union, with the main difference being a minor repositioning of the hammer and sickle, and most notably adding a blue vertical stripe to the hoist. This version of the flag was used from 1954 all the way to 1991, where it was changed due to the collapse of the Soviet Union. The flag was somewhat reverted back to the original imperial civil ensign of Russia, with a notable difference being the proportions. After 1993 when the Russian SFSR was officially dissolved into the Russian Federation, the final flag of Soviet Russia was used with its original 2:3 proportions.






7) Soviet Union:-

USSR", "CCCP", and "Soviet" redirect here. For other uses, see USSR (disambiguation), CCCP (disambiguation), and Soviet (disambiguation).
Not to be confused with Soviet Russia.
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
Союз Советских Социалистических Республик
Soyuz Sovetskikh Sotsialisticheskikh Respublik
State emblem
State emblem
Workers of the world, unite!
Пролетарии всех стран, соединяйтесь!
(Proletarii vsekh stran, soyedinyaytes'!
Literally: Proletarians of all countries, unite!)
The Internationale

State Anthem of the Soviet Union

State Anthem of the Soviet Union
(modified version)

Union of Soviet Socialist Republics during Cold War
Moscow (Москва)
Russian (de facto, then officially)[2]
Regional languages
Soviet, Russian[1]
Federal Marxist–Leninist one-party socialist state (1922–1990)[2][3][4][5]
Federal semi-presidential republic (1990–1991)[6]
General Secretary
Joseph Stalin (first)
Vladimir Ivashko (last)
Head of state
Mikhail Kalinin (first)
Mikhail Gorbachev (last)
Head of government
Vladimir Lenin (first)
Ivan Silayev (last)
Supreme Soviet
Upper house
Soviet of the Union
Lower house
Soviet of Nationalities
Historical era
20th century
Treaty of Creation
30 December 1922
Admitted to the United Nations
25 October 1945
Constitution adopted
9 October 1977
Union dissolved
25 December 1991[3]
22,402,200 km2 (8,649,500 sq mi)
1991 est.
13/km2 (34/sq mi)
Soviet ruble (руб) (SUR)
Internet TLD
Calling code
Preceded by Succeeded by
 Russian SFSR
 Transcaucasian SFSR
 Ukrainian SSR
 Byelorussian SSR
 Bukharan People's Soviet Republic
 Khorezm People's Soviet Republic
 Kingdom of Romania
 Tuvan People's Republic
Russian Federation
^ Declaration № 142-Н of the Soviet of the Republics of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union, formally establishing the dissolution of the Soviet Union as a state and subject of international law. (in Russian)
^ Original lyrics used from 1944 to 1956. No lyrics from 1956 to 1977. Revised lyrics from 1977 to 1991.
^ All-union official since 1990, constituent republics had the right to declare their own official languages.
^ Assigned on 19 September 1990, existing onwards.
The Soviet Union,[a] officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics[b] (USSR) was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics,[c] its government and economy were highly centralized. The country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. The Russian nation had constitutionally equal status among the many nations of the union but exerted de facto dominance in various respects.[7] Other major urban centres were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Alma-Ata and Novosibirsk. The Soviet Union was one of the five recognized nuclear weapons states and possessed the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction.[8] It was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (CMEA) and the Warsaw Pact.

The Soviet Union had its roots in the October Revolution of 1917, when the Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the Russian Provisional Government which had replaced Tsar Nicholas II during World War I. In 1922, the Soviet Union was formed by the Treaty on the Creation of the USSR which legalized the unification of the Russian, Transcaucasian, Ukrainian and Byelorussian republics that had occurred from 1918. Following Lenin's death in 1924 and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s. Stalin committed the state's ideology to Marxism–Leninism (which he created) and initiated a centrally planned economy which led to a period of rapid industrialization and collectivization. During this period of totalitarian rule, political paranoia fermented; the late-1930s Great Purge removed Stalin's opponents within and outside of the party via arbitrary arrests and persecutions of many people, resulting in an estimated 600,000 deaths. Suppression of political critics, forced labor and famines were carried out by Stalin's government; in 1933, a major famine that became known as the Holodomor struck Soviet Ukraine, causing the deaths of some 3[9] to 7 million people.

Shortly before World War II, Stalin signed the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact agreeing to non-aggression with Nazi Germany, after which the two countries invaded Poland in September 1939. In June 1941, the pact collapsed as Germany turned to attack the Soviet Union, opening the largest and bloodiest theatre of war in history. Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the effort of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad and Kursk. The territories overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Soviet Union; the postwar division of Europe into capitalist and communist halves would lead to increased tensions with the West, led by the United States.

The Cold War emerged by 1947, as the Eastern Bloc, united under the Warsaw Pact in 1955, confronted the Western Bloc, united under NATO in 1949. On 5 March 1953, Stalin died and was eventually succeeded by Nikita Khrushchev, who in 1956 denounced Stalin and began the De-Stalinization of Soviet society through the Khrushchev Thaw. The Soviet Union took an early lead in the Space Race, with the first artificial satellite and the first human spaceflight. Dissatisfied with Khrushchev's policies, the Communist Party's conservative wing led a bloodless coup d'état against Khrushchev in 1964, quietly ousting him without any bloodshed. In the early 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed with the Soviet–Afghan War in 1979. In the mid-1980s, the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost (government transparency) and perestroika (openness, restructuring). Under Gorbachev, the role of the Communist Party in governing the state was removed from the constitution, causing a surge of severe political instability to set in. The Cold War ended during his tenure, and in 1989, Soviet satellite states in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist governments.

With the rise of strong nationalist and separatist movements inside the union republics, Gorbachev tried to avert a dissolution of the Soviet Union in the post-Cold War era. A March 1991 referendum, boycotted by some republics, resulted in a majority of participating citizens voting in favor of preserving the union as a renewed federation. Gorbachev's power was greatly diminished after Russian President Boris Yeltsin played a high-profile role in facing down an abortive August 1991 coup d'état attempted by Communist Party hardliners. On 25 December 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the remaining twelve constituent republics emerged as independent post-Soviet states. The Russian Federation—formerly the Russian SFSR—assumed the Soviet Union's rights and obligations and is recognized as the successor state of the Soviet Union.[10][11][12] In summing up the international ramifications of these events, Vladislav Zubok stated: "The collapse of the Soviet empire was an event of epochal geopolitical, military, ideological and economic significance."[13]

8) Russia Day:-

Russia Day (Russian: День России, Den' Rossii), previously, before 2002, Day of adoption of the declaration of state sovereignty of RSFSR (Russian: День принятия Декларации о государственном суверенитете РСФСР, Den' prinyatia Declaratsii o gosudarstvennom suvernitete RSFSR) is the national holiday of the Russian Federation. It has been celebrated annually on June 12 since 1991.[1] It commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of State Sovereignty of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR) on June 12, 1990. The passage of this Declaration by the First Congress of People's Deputies marked the beginning of constitutional reform in the Russian Soviet state.

День России
Russia Day
Salut. Nizhny Novgorod Kremlin-01.jpg
Fireworks during celebrations in Nizhny Novgorod Kremlin, 2015
Observed by
 Russian Federation
National Day
Flag hoisting, Parades, Fireworks, Award ceremonies, singing patriotic songs and the National anthem, Speeches by the President, entertainment and cultural programs
June 12
Next time
12 June 2019
Related to
Declaration of State Sovereignty of the Russian Federation

With the creation of the post of the President of the Russian Federation and the adoption of the new Russian Constitution to reflect the new political reality, the national flag, anthem, and emblem of the Russian Federation were major landmarks in the consolidation of Russian statehood. The country's new name, the Russian Federation, was adopted on December 25, 1991. In 1992, the Supreme Soviet of Russia proclaimed June 12 as a national holiday.[1] By presidential decree on June 2, 1994, the date was again proclaimed Russia's national holiday. Under a subsequent presidential decree on June 16, 1998, the holiday was officially named "Russia Day". In 2002, the new Labour Code gave its official seal to this title.

Russia Day celebrations in Saint Petersburg, 2007.
Russian attitudes towards this holiday are ambivalent.[2] According to the Fund "Public Opinion", June 12 is considered a holiday by 45% of Russians. It is noteworthy that the number of citizens who perceive this day as a holiday increased substantially over time. For example, in 2005 only 15% of Russians called it a holiday, and 29% did in 2014. At the same time, the number of people who receive the day off from work has declined: In 2005 the figure was 73%, in 2014 it was 60%, and by 2015 it had fallen to 42%.[3][4]

9) Belavezha Accords:-

The Belavezha Accords (Russian: Беловежские соглашения, Belarusian: Белавежскае пагадненне, Ukrainian: Біловезькі угоди) is the agreement that declared the Soviet Union effectively dissolved and established the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in its place. It was signed at the state dacha near Viskuli in Belovezhskaya Pushcha on December 8, 1991, by the leaders of three of the four republics-signatories of the Treaty on the Creation of the USSR — Russian President Boris Yeltsin and First Deputy Prime Minister of RSFSR/Russian Federation Gennady Burbulis, Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk and Prime Minister of Ukraine Vitold Fokin, Belarusian Parliament Chairman Stanislav Shushkevich and Prime Minister of Belarus Vyacheslav Kebich

Agreement establishing the
Commonwealth of Independent States
The signing ceremony at Viskuly Government House in the Belarusian Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park, 8 December 1991
Treaty establishing a loose regional organisation
8 December 1991
De facto:
Belarus Białowieża Forest
De jure:
Belarus Minsk, Belarus
12 December 1991
Russia Boris Yeltsin
Russia Gennady Burbulis
Ukraine Leonid Kravchuk
Ukraine Vitold Fokin
Belarus Stanislav Shushkevich
Belarus Vyacheslav Kebich
Russia Russia
Ukraine Ukraine
Belarus Belarus
Minsk, Belarus
Belarusian, Russian, Ukrainian
The original accord could not be found as of 2013 (see below).

Transliteration Edit

The name is variously transliterated as Belavezh Accords, Belovezh Accords, Belovezha Accords, Belavezha Agreement, Belovezhskaya Accord, Belaya Vezha Accord, etc.

Legal basis and ratification Edit

While doubts remained over the authority of the leaders of three of the 12 remaining republics (the three Baltic republics had seceded in August) to dissolve the Union, according to Article 72 of the 1977 Soviet Constitution, Soviet republics had the right to secede freely from the Union. On December 12, 1991 the Supreme Soviet of the Russian SFSR ratified the accords on behalf of Russia and at the same time denounced the 1922 Treaty on the Creation of the Soviet Union. While this is sometimes noted as the moment that the largest republic in the Soviet Union effectively seceded, this is not the case. Rather, the RSFSR appeared to take the line that it was not possible to secede from an entity that no longer existed.

However, in the aftermath of the failed coup in August 1991, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union had been effectively dissolved and the republics were scrambling to pull free of Moscow. By the end of the summer of 1991, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev could no longer influence events outside of the Kremlin. He was being challenged even there by Yeltsin, who by the end of the fall had taken over most of the Soviet government.

Xerography of Accords
The preamble of the document stated that "the USSR, as a subject of international law and a geopolitical reality, is ceasing its existence." It also invited other republics to join the three founding members.

These attempts to dissolve the Soviet Union were seen as illegal by what remained of the Soviet federal government. Gorbachev himself described the moves thus:

...The fate of the multinational state cannot be determined by the will of the leaders of three republics. The question should be decided only by constitutional means with the participation of all sovereign states and taking into account the will of all their citizens. The statement that Unionwide legal norms would cease to be in effect is also illegal and dangerous; it can only worsen the chaos and anarchy in society. The hastiness with which the document appeared is also of serious concern. It was not discussed by the populations nor by the Supreme Soviets of the republics in whose name it was signed. Even worse, it appeared at the moment when the draft treaty for a Union of Sovereign States, drafted by the USSR State Council, was being discussed by the parliaments of the republics.[1]

There was some question as to whether the Belavezha Accords were enough in and of themselves to dissolve the Soviet Union, since they were signed by only three republics–albeit, three of the five largest and most powerful republics. However, all doubts about whether the Soviet Union still existed were removed on December 21, 1991, when the representatives of 11 of the 12 remaining Soviet republics—all except Georgia—signed the Alma-Ata Protocol, which confirmed the extinction of the Soviet Union and restated the establishment of the CIS. Given that 11 of the republics now agreed that the Soviet Union no longer existed, the plurality of member-republics required for its continuance as a federal state was no longer in place. The summit of Alma-Ata also provisionally accepted Gorbachev's resignation as president of the Soviet Union and agreed on several other practical measures consequential to the extinction of the Union. Gorbachev stated that he would resign as soon as he knew the CIS was a reality. Three days later, in a secret meeting with Yeltsin, he accepted the fait accompli of the Soviet Union's dissolution.

However, for four more days a rump Soviet federal government continued to exist, and Gorbachev continued to hold control over the Kremlin. This ended in the early hours of December 25, 1991, when Gorbachev resigned and turned control of the Kremlin and the remaining powers of his office over to the office of the president of Russia, Yeltsin.

Gorbachev's televised resignation speech and the subsequent lowering of the flag of the Soviet Union and hoisting of the flag of Russia on the flagpole in front of the Kremlin was broadcast around the world. On this day, President of the United States George H. W. Bush, a former head of the CIA, gave a short speech on national TV in the United States to commemorate the ending of the Cold War and to recognize the independence of the former states of the Soviet Union.[2]

Also on December 25, 1991, the Russian SFSR, now no longer a sub-national entity of the Soviet Union but a sovereign nation in its own right, adopted a law renaming itself the "Russian Federation" or "Russia" (both being equally official).

Gorbachev's speech and the lowering of the Soviet flag marked the end of the Soviet Union in the eyes of the world. However, the final legal step in the dissolution came a day later, when the Soviet of the Republics, the upper house of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, recognized the collapse of the Union and voted both itself and the Union out of existence. The lower house, the Soviet of the Union, had not met since 12 December when Russia recalled its deputies from both chambers, leaving it without a quorum.

The Summit of Alma-Ata also issued a statement on December 21, 1991 supporting Russia's claim to be recognized as the successor state of the Soviet Union for the purposes of membership of the United Nations. On December 25, 1991, Russian President Yeltsin informed UN Secretary-General Javier Pérez de Cuéllar that the Soviet Union had been dissolved and that Russia would, as its successor state, continue the Soviet Union's membership in the United Nations. The document confirmed the credentials of the representatives of the Soviet Union as representatives of Russia, and requested that the name "Soviet Union" be changed to "Russian Federation" in all records and entries. This was a move designed to allow Russia to retain the Soviet Union's permanent Security Council seat, which wouldn't have been possible if the former republics were all reckoned as equal successors of the Soviet Union, or if the Soviet Union was regarded as having no successor state for the purpose of continuing the same UN membership. (see Russia and the United Nations). The Secretary General circulated the request, and there being no objection from any Member State, the Russian Federation took the Soviet Union's UN seat. On January 31, 1992, Russian Federation President Yeltsin personally took part in a Security Council meeting as representative of Russia, the first Security Council meeting in which Russia occupied the permanent Security Council seat originally granted to the Soviet Union by the UN Charter.

10) Russia:-

Russian Federation
Росси́йская Федерaция (Russian)
Rossiyskaya Federatsiya
Flag of Russia
Coat of arms of Russia
Coat of arms
"Gosudarstvenny gimn Rossiyskoy Federatsii
(Slav'sya, otechestvo, nashe svobodnoye
Bratskikh narodov soyuz vekovoy)" (transliteration)
"State Anthem of the Russian Federation"

Location of Russia (green) Russian-administered Crimea (not recognized as Russian territory; light green)[note 1]
Location of Russia (green)
Russian-administered Crimea (not recognized as Russian territory; light green)[note 1]
and largest city
Moscow (Москва)
55°45′N 37°37′E
Official language
Recognised national languages
See Languages of Russia
Ethnic groups (2010[2])
81.0% Russian
3.7% Tatar
1.4% Ukrainian
1.1% Bashkir
1.0% Chuvash
0.8% Chechen
11.0% others / unspecified
See Religion in Russia
Federal semi-presidential constitutional republic[3]
• President
Vladimir Putin
• Prime Minister
Dmitry Medvedev
• Chairman of the Federation Council
Valentina Matviyenko
• Chairman of the State Duma
Vyacheslav Volodin
Federal Assembly
• Upper house
Federation Council
• Lower house
State Duma
• Arrival of Rurik[4]
• Kievan Rus'
• Grand Duchy of Moscow
• Tsardom of Russia
16 January 1547
• Russian Empire
22 October 1721
• Russian Republic
14 September 1917
• Russian SFSR
7 November 1917[note 2]
• Soviet Union
30 December 1922
• Sovereignty Declaration
12 June 1990
• CIS Declaration
8 December 1991[note 3]
• Russian Federation
25 December 1991[note 3]
• Current constitution
12 December 1993
• Total
17,098,246 km2 (6,601,670 sq mi)[5] (without Crimea)[note 4] (1st)
• Water (%)
13[7] (including swamps)
• 2018 estimate
144,526,636 Increase[8] (without Crimea)[note 5] (9th)
• Density
8.4/km2 (21.8/sq mi) (225th)
2018 estimate
• Total
$4.152 trillion[9] (6th)
• Per capita
$28,957[9] (49th)
GDP (nominal)
2018 estimate
• Total
$1.719 trillion[9] (12th)
• Per capita
$11,946[9] (67th)
Gini (2015)
Positive decrease 37.7[10]
medium · 98
HDI (2015)
Increase 0.804[11]
very high · 49th
Russian ruble (₽) (RUB)
Time zone
(UTC+2 to +12)
Date format
Drives on the
Calling code
ISO 3166 code
Internet TLD
Russia (Russian: Росси́я, tr. Rossiya, IPA: [rɐˈsʲijə]), officially the Russian Federation[12] (Russian: Росси́йская Федера́ция, tr. Rossiyskaya Federatsiya, IPA: [rɐˈsʲijskəjə fʲɪdʲɪˈratsɨjə]), is a country in Eurasia.[13] At 17,125,200 square kilometres (6,612,100 sq mi),[14] Russia is the largest country in the world by area, covering more than one-eighth of the Earth's inhabited land area,[15][16][17] and the ninth most populous, with over 144 million people as of December 2017, excluding Crimea.[8] About 77% of the population live in the western, European part of the country. Russia's capital Moscow is one of the largest cities in the world; other major cities include Saint Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg and Nizhny Novgorod.

Extending across the entirety of Northern Asia and much of Eastern Europe, Russia spans eleven time zones and incorporates a wide range of environments and landforms. From northwest to southeast, Russia shares land borders with Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland (both with Kaliningrad Oblast), Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia and North Korea. It shares maritime borders with Japan by the Sea of Okhotsk and the U.S. state of Alaska across the Bering Strait.

The East Slavs emerged as a recognizable group in Europe between the 3rd and 8th centuries AD.[18] Founded and ruled by a Varangian warrior elite and their descendants, the medieval state of Rus arose in the 9th century. In 988 it adopted Orthodox Christianity from the Byzantine Empire,[19] beginning the synthesis of Byzantine and Slavic cultures that defined Russian culture for the next millennium.[19] Rus' ultimately disintegrated into a number of smaller states; most of the Rus' lands were overrun by the Mongol invasion and became tributaries of the nomadic Golden Horde in the 13th century.[20] The Grand Duchy of Moscow gradually reunified the surrounding Russian principalities, achieved independence from the Golden Horde. By the 18th century, the nation had greatly expanded through conquest, annexation, and exploration to become the Russian Empire, which was the third largest empire in history, stretching from Poland on the west to Alaska on the east.[21][22]

Following the Russian Revolution, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic became the largest and leading constituent of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the world's first constitutionally socialist state.[23] The Soviet Union played a decisive role in the Allied victory in World War II,[24][25] and emerged as a recognized superpower and rival to the United States during the Cold War. The Soviet era saw some of the most significant technological achievements of the 20th century, including the world's first human-made satellite and the launching of the first humans in space. By the end of 1990, the Soviet Union had the world's second largest economy, largest standing military in the world and the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction.[26][27][28] Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, twelve independent republics emerged from the USSR: Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and the Baltic states regained independence: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania; the Russian SFSR reconstituted itself as the Russian Federation and is recognized as the continuing legal personality and a successor of the Soviet Union.[29] It is governed as a federal semi-presidential republic.

The Russian economy ranks as the twelfth largest by nominal GDP and sixth largest by purchasing power parity in 2015.[30] Russia's extensive mineral and energy resources are the largest such reserves in the world,[31] making it one of the leading producers of oil and natural gas globally.[32][33] The country is one of the five recognized nuclear weapons states and possesses the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction.[34] Russia is a great power as well as a regional power and has been characterised as a potential superpower. It is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and an active global partner of ASEAN,[35][36][37] as well as a member of the G20, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), the Council of Europe, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), and the World Trade Organization (WTO), as well as being the leading member of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and one of the five members of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), along with Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

It was our topic about, Russian history and about of Russia.
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Russian history and about of Russia(Part4)

Russian Republic:-
For the constituent republic of the Soviet Union, see Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. For modern-day country, see Russia. For its federal subjects, see Republics of Russia.

Russian Republic
Российская Республика
Rossiyskaya Respublika
Coat of arms
Coat of arms
Гимн свободной России
"Hymn of Free Russia"


The Russian Provisional Government in 1917. With the exception of some western areas lost to the German Empire, its territory was essentially the same as that of the preceding Russian Empire after the sale of Alaska to the United States in 1867.
Saint Petersburg
Provisional government
15 March 1917
Georgy Lvov
21 July 1917
Alexander Kerensky
Council of the Russian Republic
Historical era
World War I
February Revolution
15 March 1917
Republic proclaimed
14 September 1917
October Revolution
7 November 1917
Preceded by Succeeded by
 Russian Empire
Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic
Russian Democratic Federative Republic
Kingdom of Finland (1918)
Today part of
 North Korea
The Russian Republic (Russian: Российская республика, tr. Rossiyskaya respublika, IPA: [rɐˈsʲijskəjə rʲɪsˈpublʲɪkə]) was a short-lived state that controlled, de jure, the territory of the former Russian Empire between its proclamation by the Russian Provisional Government on 1 September (14 September, N.S.) in a decree signed by Alexander Kerensky as Minister-President and Alexander Zarudny as Minister of Justice.[1]

Less than six weeks later, the Republic was overtaken by the October Revolution beginning on 25 October 1917 (7 November, N.S.) and the establishment of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (Russian SFSR).[2]

Officially, the Republic's government was the Provisional Government, although de facto control of the country and its armed forces was divided between the Provisional Government and the Petrograd Soviet.

The term Russian Republic is sometimes used erroneously for the period between the abdication of the Emperor Nicholas II on 2 March 1917 (15 March, N.S) and the declaration of the Republic in September. However, during that period the future status of the monarchy remained to be resolved.

Principal institutionsEdit

Russian history and about of Russia(Part3)

Hello friends,
I'm back again with the part 3.
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3)Grand Duchy of Moscow:-
The Grand Duchy or Grand Principality of Moscow (Russian: Великое Княжество Московское, Velikoye Knyazhestvo Moskovskoye), also known in English simply as Muscovy from the Latin: Moscovia, was a late medieval Russian principality centered on Moscow and the predecessor state of the early modern Tsardom of Russia.

Grand Principality of Moscow
Великое княжество Московское
Velikoye knyazhestvo Moskovskoye
Vassal state of the Golden Horde
Sovereign state
Byzantine imperial eagle (adopted 1472)
Byzantine imperial eagle (adopted 1472)

Territorial development between 1390 and 1530
Old Russian
Russian Orthodoxy
Absolute monarchy
Grand Duke
Daniel (first)
Ivan III the Great
Vasili III
Ivan IV (last)
Tsardom proclaimed
22 October 1547
2,500,000 km2 (970,000 sq mi)
ruble, denga
Preceded by Succeeded by
 Novgorod Republic
 Grand Duchy of Tver
 Great Perm
 Principality of Ryazan
Tsardom of Russia 
The state originated with Daniel I, who inherited Moscow in 1283, eclipsing and eventually absorbing its parent duchy of Vladimir-Suzdal by the 1320s. It later annexed the Novgorod Republic in 1478 and the Grand Duchy of Tver in 1485.[2]

After the Mongol invasion of Rus', Muscovy was a tributary vassal to the Mongol-ruled Golden Horde (under the "Tatar Yoke") until 1480. Ivan III further consolidated the state during his 43-year reign, campaigning against his major remaining rival power, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and by 1503 he had tripled the territory of his realm, adopting the title of tsar and claiming the title of "Ruler of all Rus'". By his marriage to the niece of the last Byzantine emperor, he established Muscovy as the successor state of the Roman Empire, the "Third Rome".

Ivan's successor Vasili III also enjoyed military success, gaining Smolensk from Lithuania in 1512, pushing Muscovy's borders to the Dniepr River. Vasili's son Ivan IV (later known as Ivan the Terrible) was an infant at his father's death in 1533. He was crowned in 1547, assuming the title of tsar together with the proclamation of Tsardom of Russia (Russian: Царство Русcкое, Tsarstvo Russkoye).


The seal of Simeon the Proud (1340s), reads: "The seal of the Grand Duke Simeon of all Rus'"

The seal of Ivan III the Great (1490s), reads: "Ioan (John), by God's grace, the Sovereign of all Rus' and the Grand Duke"

Blaeu's map of Russia (1645), Moscovia is Moscow and the vicinities
As with many medieval states the country had no particular "official" name, but rather official titles of the ruler. "The Duke (Knyaz) of Moscow" (Московский князь) or "the Sovereign of Moscow" (Московский государь) were common short titles. After the unification with the Duchy of Vladimir in the mid-14th century, the dukes of Moscow might call themselves also "the Duke of Vladimir and Moscow", as Vladimir was much older than Moscow and much more "prestigious" in the hierarchy of possessions, although the principal residence of the dukes had been always in Moscow. In rivalry with other duchies (especially the Grand Duchy of Tver) Moscow dukes also designated themselves as the "Grand Dukes", claiming a higher position in the hierarchy of Russian dukes. During the territorial growth and later acquisitions, the full title became rather lengthy.[3] In routine documents and on seals, though, various short names were applied: "the (Grand) Duke of Moscow", "the Sovereign of Moscow" (Московский государь), "the Grand Duke of all Rus'" (Великий князь всея Руси), "the Sovereign of all Rus'" (Государь всея Руси), or simply ""the Grand Duke" (Великий князь) or "the Great (or Grand) Sovereign" (Великий государь).
In spite of feudalism the collective name of the Eastern Slavic land, Rus', was not forgotten,[4] though it then became a cultural and geographical rather than political term, as there was no single political entity on the territory. Since the 14th century various Moscow dukes added "of all Rus'" (всея Руси) to their titles, after the title of Russian metropolitans, "the Metropolitan of all Rus'".[5]Dmitry Shemyaka (died 1453) was the first Moscow duke who minted coins with the title "the Sovereign of all Rus'". Although initially both "Sovereign" and "all Rus'" were supposed to be rather honorific epithets,[5] since Ivan III it transformed into the political claim over the territory of all the former Kievan Rus', a goal that the Moscow duke came closer to by the end of that century, uniting eastern Rus'.[4]
Such claims raised much opposition and hostility from its main rival, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, which controlled a large (western) portion of the land of ancient Rus' and hence denied any claims and even the self-name of the eastern neighbour.[4][5] Under the Polish-Lithuanian influence the country began to be called Muscovy (LatinMoscovia, Muscovy, FrenchMoscovie) in Western Europe.[4] The first appearances of the term were in an Italian document of 1500.[4] Initially Moscovia was the Latinized name of the city of Moscow itself, not of the state;[4] later it acquired its wider meaning (synecdoche) and has been used alongside of the older name, Russia. The term Muscovy persisted in the West until the beginning of the 18th century and is still used in historical contexts.


When the Mongols invaded the lands of Kievan Rus' in the 13th century, Moscow was an insignificant trading outpost in the principality of Vladimir-Suzdal. Although the Mongols burnt down Moscow in the winter of 1238 and pillaged it in 1293, the outpost's remote, forested location offered some security from Mongol attacks and occupation, while a number of rivers provided access to the Baltic and Black Seas and to the Caucasus region.[6]

During the reign of DanielMoscowwas little more than a small timber fort in the forest of Central Rus'.
More important to the development of the state of Moscow, however, was its rule by a series of princes who expanded its borders and turned a small principality in the Moscow River Basin into the largest state in Europe of the 16th century.[7] The first ruler of the principality of Moscow, Daniel I (d. 1303), was the youngest son of Alexander Nevsky of Vladimir-Suzdal. He started to expand his principality by seizing Kolomna and securing the bequest of Pereslavl-Zalessky to his family. Daniel's son Yuriy (also known as Georgiy; ruled 1303-1325) controlled the entire basin of the Moskva River and expanded westward by conquering Mozhaisk. He then forged an alliance with the overlord of the Rus' principalities, Uzbeg Khan of the Golden Horde, and married the khan's sister. The Khan allowed Yuriy to claim the title of Grand Duke of Vladimir-Suzdal, a position which allowed him to interfere in the affairs of the Novgorod Republic to the north-west.
Yuriy's successor, Ivan I (ruled 1325–1340), managed to retain the title of Grand Duke by cooperating closely with the Mongols and by collecting tribute and taxes from other Rus' principalities on their behalf. This relationship enabled Ivan to gain regional ascendancy, particularly over Moscow's chief rival, the northern city of Tver, which rebelled against the Horde in 1327. The uprising was subdued by the joint forces of the Grand Duchy of Suzdal, the Grand Duchy of Moscow (which competed with Tver for the title of the Grand Duke of Vladimir), and Tatars.[8] Ivan was reputed to be the richest person in Rus', as his moniker "Kalita" (literally, the "moneybag") testifies.[9] He used his treasures to purchase land in other principalities and to finance the construction of stone churches in the Moscow Kremlin.
In 1325 the Orthodox Metropolitan Peter (died 1326) transferred his residence from Kiev to Vladimir and then to Moscow, further enhancing the prestige of the new principality.[10]

Dmitri DonskoiEdit

Ivan's successors continued gathering the lands of Rus' to increase the population and wealth under their rule. In the process, their interests clashed with the expanding Grand Duchy of Lithuania, whose subjects were predominantly East Slavic and Orthodox. Grand Duke Algirdas of Lithuania allied himself by marriage with Tver and undertook three expeditions against Moscow (1368, 1370, 1372) but was unable to take it. The main bone of contention between Moscow and Vilnius was the large city of Smolensk.
In the 1350s, the country and the royal family were hit by the Black DeathDmitry Ivanovichwas aged nine when his parents died and the title of Grand Duke slipped into the hands of his distant relative, Dmitry of Suzdal. Surrounded by Lithuanians and Muslim nomads, the ruler of Moscow cultivated an alliance with the Rus' Orthodox Church, which experienced a resurgence in influence, due to the monastic reform of St. Sergius of Radonezh.
Educated by Metropolitan Alexis, Dmitri posed as a champion of Orthodoxy and managed to unite the warring principalities of Rus' in his struggle against the Horde. He challenged the Khan's authority and defeated his commander Mamai in the epic Battle of Kulikovo (1380). However, the victory did not bring any short-term benefits; Tokhtamysh in 1382 sacked Moscow hoping to reassert his vested authority over his vassal, the Grand Prince, and his own Mongol hegemony, killing 24,000 people.
Nevertheless, Dmitri became a national hero. The memory of Kulikovo Field made the Rus' population start believing in their ability to end Tatar domination and become a free people. In 1389, he passed the throne to his son Vasily I without bothering to obtain the Khan's sanction.

Vasily I and Vasily IIEdit

Vasily I (1389–1425) continued the policies of his father. After the Horde was attacked by Tamerlane, he desisted from paying tribute to the Khan, but was forced to pursue a more conciliatory policy after Edigu's incursion on Moscow in 1408. Married to the only daughter of the Grand Duke Vytautas of Lithuania, he attempted to avoid open conflicts with his powerful father-in-law, even when the latter annexed Smolensk. The peaceful years of his long reign were marked by the continuing expansion to the east (annexation of Nizhny Novgorod and Suzdal, 1392) and to the north (annexation of VologdaVeliky Ustyug, and Perm of Vychegda, 1398). Nizhny Novgorod was given by the Khan of the Golden Horde as a reward for Muscovite help against a rival.[11]

Andrei Rublev's famous icon of the Trinity
The reforms of St. Sergius triggered a cultural revival, exemplified by the icons and frescoes of the monk Andrei Rublev. Hundreds of monasteries were founded by disciples of St. Sergius in distant and inhospitable locations, including Beloozero and Solovki. Apart from their cultural function, these monasteries were major landowners that could control the economy of an adjacent region. In fact they served as outposts of Moscow influence in the neighboring principalities and republics. Another factor responsible for the expansion of the Grand Duchy of Moscow was its favorable dynastic situation, in which each sovereign was succeeded by his son, while rival principalities were plagued by dynastic strife and splintered into ever smaller polities. The only lateral branch of the House of Moscow, represented by Vladimir of Serpukhov and his descendants, was firmly anchored to the Moscow Duchy.
The situation changed with the ascension of Vasily I's successor, Vasily II (r. 1425–62). Before long his uncle, Yuri of Zvenigorod, started to advance his claims to the throne and Monomakh's Cap. A bitter family conflict erupted and rocked the country during the whole reign. After Yuri's death in 1432, the claims were taken up by his sons, Vasily Kosoy and Dmitry Shemyaka, who pursued the Great Feudal War well into the 1450s. Although he was ousted from Moscow on several occasions, taken prisoner by Olug Moxammat of Kazan, and blinded in 1446, Vasily II eventually managed to triumph over his enemies and pass the throne to his son. At his urging, a native bishop was elected as Metropolitan of Moscow, which was tantamount to declaration of independence of the Russian Orthodox Church from the Patriarch of Constantinople (1448).

Ivan IIIEdit

Outward expansion of the Grand Duchy in the 14th and 15th centuries was accompanied by internal consolidation. By the 15th century, the rulers of Moscow considered the entire Rus' territory their collective property. Various semi-independent princes of Rurikid stock still claimed specific territories, but Ivan III (the Great; r. 1462–1505) forced the lesser princes to acknowledge the grand prince of Moscow and his descendants as unquestioned rulers with control over military, judicial, and foreign affairs.
Moscow gained full sovereignty over a significant part of the ethnically Rus' lands by 1480, when the overlordship of the TatarGolden Horde officially ended after its defeat in the Great standing on the Ugra river. By the beginning of the 16th century virtually all those lands were united, including the Novgorod Republic (annexed in 1478) and the Grand Duchy of Tver (annexed in 1485). Through inheritance, Ivan was able to control the important Principality of Ryazan, and the princes of Rostov and Yaroslavl' subordinated themselves to him. The northwestern city of Pskov, consisting of the city and a few surrounding lands, remained independent in this period, but Ivan's son, Vasili III (r. 1505–33), later conquered it.
Having consolidated the core of Russia under his rule, Ivan III became the first Moscow ruler to adopt the titles of tsar[12] and "Ruler of all Rus'".[6] Ivan competed with his powerful northwestern rival, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, for control over some of the semi-independent former principalities of Kievan Rus' in the upper Dnieper and Donets river basins. Through the defections of some princes, border skirmishes, and a long, inconclusive war with Lithuania that ended only in 1503, Ivan III was able to push westward, and the Moscow state tripled in size under his rule.
The reign of the Tsars started officially with Ivan the Terrible, the first monarch to be crowned Tsar of Russia, but in practice it started with Ivan III, who completed the centralization of the state (traditionally known as the gathering of the Russian lands).


The court of the Moscow princes combined ceremonies and customs inherited from Kievan Rus' with those imported from the Byzantine Empire and Golden Horde. Some traditional Russian offices, like that of tysyatsky and veche, were gradually abolished in order to consolidate power in the hands of the ruling prince. A new elaborate system of court precedence, or mestnichestvo, predicated the nobleman's rank and function on the rank and function of his ancestors and other members of his family. The highest echelon of hereditary nobles was composed of boyars. They fell into three categories:
Rurikid and Gediminid boyars, whose fathers and grandfathers were independent princelings, felt that they were kin to the grand prince and hence almost equal to him. During the times of dynastic troubles (such as the years of Ivan IV's minority), boyardom constituted an internal force that was a permanent threat to the throne. An early form of the monarch's conflict with the boyars was the oprichnina policy of Ivan the Terrible.
During such conflicts, Ivan, Boris Godunov, and some later monarchs felt the necessity to counterbalance the boyardom by creating a new kind of nobility, based on personal devotion to the tsar and merits earned by faithful service, rather than by heredity. Later these new nobles were called dvoryans(singular: dvoryanin). The name comes from the Russian word dvor, meaning tsar's dvor, i.e., The Court. Hence the expression pozhalovat ko dvoru, i.e., to be called to (serve) The Court.

Relations with the HordeEdit

Relations between the Moscow principality and the Horde were mixed.[13] In the first two decades of the 13th century Moscow gained support of one of the rivaling Mongol statesmen, Nogai, against the principalities that were oriented towards Sarai khans. After the restoration of unity in the Golden Horde in the early 14th century, it generally enjoyed the favour of khans until 1317, but lost it in 1322–1327.[13] The following thirty years, when the relations between the two states improved, allowed Moscow to achieve a sufficient economic and political potential. Further attempts to deprive its rulers of the status of grand dukes of Vladimir were unsuccessful after the Khanate sank into internecine war and proved to be fruitless during the reign of a relavetively powerful khan such as Mamai, whereas Tokhtamysh had no other choice but to recognise the supremacy of Moscow over northern and eastern Russian lands.[13] The traditional Mongol principle of breaking up larger concentrations of power into smaller ones resulted in a failure, and the following period is characterised by the lack of support from the Horde.[13] Although Moscow recognized khans as the legitimate authority in the early years of the Tatar yoke, despite certain acts of resistance and disobedience, it refused to acknowledge their suzerainty in the years 1374–1380, 1396–1411, 1414–1416 and 1417–1419, even in spite of the growing might of the Golden Horde.[14] The power of the Horde over Moscow was greatly limited in the reign of Dmitri Donskoi, who gained recognition of the Grand Duchy of Vladimir as a hereditary possession of Moscow princes: while the Horde collected tribute from his land, it could no longer have a serious impact on the internal structure of northern Russian lands.[15] In the years of Vasily II and Ivan III, the Grand Duchy of Moscow acquired the idea of tsardom from the fallen Byzantine empire, which was incompatible with the recognition of the suzerainty of the khan, and started to declare its independence in diplomatic relations with other countries.[16] Eventually, the country was liberated in the reign of Ivan III.[14]


The development of the modern day Russian state is traced from Kievan Rus' through Vladimir-Suzdal and the Grand Duchy of Moscow to the Tsardom of Russia, and then the Russian Empire. The Moscow Duchy drew people and wealth to the northeastern part of Kievan Rus'; established trade links to the Baltic SeaWhite SeaCaspian Sea, and to Siberia; and created a highly centralized and autocratic political system. The political traditions established in Muscovy, therefore, exerted a powerful influence on the future development of Russian society.

4) Tsardom of Russia:-
The Tsardom of Russia (Русское царство,[2][3] Russkoye tsarstvo or Российское царство,[4][5] Rossiyskoye tsarstvo), also known as the Tsardom of Muscovy,[6][7] was the name of the centralized Russian state from assumption of the title of Tsar by Ivan IV in 1547 until the foundation of the Russian Empire by Peter the Great in 1721.

Tsardom of Russia
Русcкое царство (Russian)
Russkoye tsarstvo
Civil ensign
Coat of arms
Coat of arms

Territory of Russia in 1500, 1600 and 1700.
Alexandrov Kremlin
Saint Petersburg
Russian Orthodox
Absolute Monarchy
Tsar (Caesar)
Ivan IV (first)
Peter I (last)
Zemsky Sobor
Coronation of Ivan IV
16 January 1547
Livonian War
Time of Troubles
Russo-Polish War
Great Northern War
Treaty of Nystad
10 September 1721
Empire proclaimed
22 October 1721
1500[1] est.
1600[1] est.
Russian ruble
Preceded by Succeeded by
 Grand Duchy of Moscow
Russian Empire 
Today part of
From 1551 to 1700, Russia grew 35,000 km2 (about the size of the Netherlands) per year.[8] The period includes the upheavals of the transition from the Rurik to the Romanov dynasties, many wars with the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, Sweden and Ottoman Empire as well as the Russian conquest of Siberia, leading up to the ground-changing reign of Peter the Great, who took power in 1689 and transformed the Tsardom into a major European power. During the Great Northern War, he implemented substantial reforms and proclaimed the Russian Empire (Russian: Российская империя, Rossiyskaya imperiya) after victory over Sweden in 1721.
Name Edit

Further information: Rus' (name) and Muscovy (disambiguation)
While the oldest endonyms of the Grand Duchy of Moscow used in its documents were Rus' (Russian: Русь) and the Russian land (Russian: Русская земля),[9] a new form of its name, Rusia or Russia, appeared and became common in the 15th century.[10][11][12] In the 1480s Russian state scribes Ivan Cherny and Mikhail Medovartsev mention Russia under the name Росиа, Medovartsev also mentions "the sceptre of Russian lordship (Росийскаго господства)".[13] In the following century Russia co-existed with the old name Rus' and appeared in an inscription on the western portal of the Transfiguration Cathedral of the Spaso-Preobrazhensky Monastery in Yaroslavl (1515), on the icon case of the Theotokos of Vladimir (1514), in the work by Maximus the Greek,[14] the Russian Chronograph written by Dosifei Toporkov (?–1543/44[15]) in 1516–22 and in other sources.[16]

In 1547, Ivan IV assumed the title of “Tsar and Grand Duke of all Rus'” (Царь и Великий князь всея Руси) and was crowned on 16 January,[17] thereby turning the Grand Duchy of Moscow into Tsardom of Russia, or "the Great Russian Tsardom", as it was called in the coronation document,[18] by Constantinople Patriarch Jeremiah II[19][20] and in numerous official texts,[21][22][23][24][25][26] but the state partly remained referred to as Moscovia (English: Muscovy) throughout Europe, predominantly in its Catholic part, though this Latin term was never used in Russia.[27] The two names "Russia" and "Moscovia" appear to have co-existed as interchangeable during the later 16th and throughout the 17th century with different Western maps and sources using different names, so that the country was called "Russia, or Moscovia" (Latin: Russia seu Moscovia) or "Russia, popularly known as Moscovia" (Latin: Russia vulgo Moscovia). In England of the 16th century, it was known both as Russia and Muscovy.[28][29] Such notable Englishmen as Giles Fletcher, author of the book Of the Russe Common Wealth (1591), and Samuel Collins, author of The Present State of Russia (1668), both of whom visited Russia, were familiar with the term Russia and used it in their works.[30] So did numerous other authors, including John Milton, who wrote A brief history of Moscovia and of other less-known countries lying eastward of Russia, published posthumously,[31] starting it with the words: "The Empire of Moscovia, or as others call it, Russia..."[32]

In the Russian Tsardom, the word Russia replaced the old name Rus' in official documents, though the names Rus' and Russian land were still common and synonymous to it,[33] and often appeared in the form Great Russia (Russian: Великая Россия), which is more typical of the 17th century,[34] whereas the state was also known as Great-Russian Tsardom (Russian: Великороссийское царствие).[21]

According to prominent historians like Alexander Zimin and Anna Khoroshkevich, the continuous use of the term Moscovia was a result of traditional habit and the need to distinguish between the Muscovite and the Lithuanian part of the Rus', as well as of the political interests of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, which competed with Moscow for the western regions of the Rus'. Due to the propaganda of the Commonwealth,[35][36] as well as of the Jesuits, the term Moscovia was used instead of Russia in many parts of Europe where prior to the reign of Peter the Great there was a lack of direct knowledge of the country. In Northern Europe and at the court of the Holy Roman Empire, however, the country was known under its own name, Russia or Rossia.[37] Sigismund von Herberstein, ambassador of the Holy Roman Emperor in Russia, used both Russia and Moscovia in his work on the Russian tsardom and noted: "The majority believes that Russia is a changed name of Roxolania. Muscovites ("Russians" in the German version) refute this, saying that their country was originally called Russia (Rosseia)".[38] Pointing to the difference between Latin and Russian names, French captain Jacques Margeret, who served in Russia and left a detailed description of L’Empire de Russie of the early 17th century that was presented to King Henry IV, stated that foreigners make "a mistake when they call them Muscovites and not Russians. When they are asked what nation they are, they respond 'Russac', which means 'Russians', and when they are asked what place they are from, the answer is Moscow, Vologda, Ryasan and other cities".[39] The closest analogue of the Latin term Moscovia in Russia was “Tsardom of Moscow”, or “Moscow Tsardom” (Московское царство), which was used along with the name "Russia",[40][41] sometimes in one sentence, as in the name of the 17th century Russian work On the Great and Glorious Russian Moscow State (Russian: О великом и славном Российском Московском государстве).[42]

Moscovia, Herberstein, 1549

Russia, Mercator, 1595

Russia seu Moscovia, Mercator, Atlas Cosmographicae, 1596

Russia vulgo Moscovia, Atlas Maior, 1645

Byzantine heritage Edit

Main articles: Tsar and Third Rome

Ivory throne of Ivan IV of Russia
By the 16th century, the Russian ruler had emerged as a powerful, autocratic figure, a Tsar. By assuming that title, the sovereign of Moscow tried to emphasize that he was a major ruler or emperor on par with the Byzantine emperor or the Mongol khan. Indeed, after Ivan III's marriage to Sophia Palaiologina, the niece of Constantine XI Palaiologos, the Moscow court adopted Byzantine terms, rituals, titles, and emblems such as the double-headed eagle, which survives as the Coat of Arms of Russia.

At first, the Byzantine term autokrator expressed only the literal meaning of an independent ruler, but in the reign of Ivan IV (1533-1584) it came to mean unlimited rule. Ivan IV was crowned Tsar and thus was recognized, at least by the Russian Orthodox Church, as Emperor. Philotheus of Pskov claimed that after Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Empire in 1453, the Russian Tsar was the only legitimate Orthodox ruler, and that Moscow was the Third Rome because it was the final successor to Rome and Constantinople, the centers of Christianity in earlier periods. That concept was to resonate in the self-image of Russians in future centuries.

Early reign of Ivan IV Edit

The development of the Tsar's autocratic powers reached a peak during the reign of Ivan IV, and he gained the sobriquet "Grozny". The English word terrible is usually used to translate the Russian word grozny in Ivan's nickname, but this is a somewhat archaic translation. The Russian word grozny reflects the older English usage of terrible as in "inspiring fear or terror; dangerous; powerful; formidable". It does not convey the more modern connotations of English terrible, such as "defective" or "evil". Vladimir Dal defined grozny specifically in archaic usage and as an epithet for tsars: "courageous, magnificent, magisterial and keeping enemies in fear, but people in obedience".[43] Other translations have also been suggested by modern scholars.[44][45][46]

Ivan IV became Grand Prince of Moscow in 1533 at the age of three. The Shuysky and Belsky factions of the boyars competed for control of the regency until Ivan assumed the throne in 1547. Reflecting Moscow's new imperial claims, Ivan's coronation as Tsar was a ritual modeled after those of the Byzantine emperors. With the continuing assistance of a group of boyars, Ivan began his reign with a series of useful reforms. In the 1550s, he declared a new law code, revamped the military, and reorganized local government. These reforms undoubtedly were intended to strengthen the state in the face of continuous warfare. The key documents prepared by the so-called Select Council of advisors and promulgated during this period are as follows:

Foreign policies of Ivan IV Edit

Main articles: Muscovite–Lithuanian Wars and Livonian War

Ivan the Great Bell Tower, raised to the present height during the reign of Boris Godunov
Muscovy (Grand Duchy) remained a fairly unknown society in Western Europe until Baron Sigismund von Herberstein published his Rerum Moscoviticarum Commentarii (literally Notes on Muscovite Affairs) in 1549. This provided a broad view of what had been a rarely visited and poorly reported state. In the 1630s, the Russian Tsardom was visited by Adam Olearius, whose lively and well-informed writings were soon translated into all the major languages of Europe.

Further information about Russia was circulated by English and Dutch merchants. One of them, Richard Chancellor, sailed to the White Sea in 1553 and continued overland to Moscow. Upon his return to England, the Muscovy Company was formed by himself, Sebastian Cabot, Sir Hugh Willoughby, and several London merchants. Ivan IV used these merchants to exchange letters with Elizabeth I.

Despite the domestic turmoil of the 1530s and 1540s, Russia continued to wage wars and to expand. It grew from 2.8 to 5.4 million square kilometers from 1533 to 1584.[47] Ivan defeated and annexed the Khanate of Kazan on the middle Volga in 1552 and later the Astrakhan Khanate, where the Volga meets the Caspian Sea. These victories transformed Russia into a multiethnic and multiconfessional state, which it continues to be today. The tsar now controlled the entire Volga River and gained access to Central Asia.

Expanding to the northwest toward the Baltic Sea proved to be much more difficult. In 1558 Ivan invaded Livonia, eventually involving himself in a twenty-five-year war against the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, Sweden, and Denmark. Despite occasional successes, Ivan's army was pushed back, and the nation failed to secure a coveted position on the Baltic Sea.

Hoping to make profit from Russia's concentration on Livonian affairs, Devlet I Giray of Crimea, accompanied by as many as 120,000 horsemen, repeatedly devastated the Moscow region, until the Battle of Molodi put a stop to such northward incursions. But for decades to come, the southern borderland was annually pillaged by the Nogai Horde and the Crimean Khanate, who took local inhabitants with them as slaves. Tens of thousands of soldiers protected the Great Abatis Belt — a burden for a state whose social and economic development was stagnating.

Oprichnina Edit

Main article: Oprichnina

The Apostle (1564) by Ivan Fyodorov and Pyotr Mstislavets, one of the first Russian printed books
During the late 1550s, Ivan developed a hostility toward his advisers, the government, and the boyars. Historians have not determined whether policy differences, personal animosities, or mental imbalance caused his wrath. In 1565 he divided Russia into two parts: his private domain (or oprichnina) and the public realm (or zemshchina). For his private domain, Ivan chose some of the most prosperous and important districts of Russia. In these areas, Ivan's agents attacked boyars, merchants, and even common people, summarily executing some and confiscating land and possessions. Thus began a decade of terror in Russia that culminated in the Massacre of Novgorod (1570).

As a result of the policies of the oprichnina, Ivan broke the economic and political power of the leading boyar families, thereby destroying precisely those persons who had built up Russia and were the most capable of administering it. Trade diminished, and peasants, faced with mounting taxes and threats of violence, began to leave Russia. Efforts to curtail the mobility of the peasants by tying them to their land brought Russia closer to legal serfdom. In 1572 Ivan finally abandoned the practices of the oprichnina.

According to a popular theory,[citation needed][by whom?] the oprichnina was started by Ivan in order to mobilize resources for the wars and to quell opposition. Regardless of the reason, Ivan's domestic and foreign policies had a devastating effect on Russia and led to a period of social struggle and civil war, the Time of Troubles (Smutnoye vremya, 1598-1613).

Time of Troubles Edit

Main articles: Time of Troubles and Polish–Muscovite War (1605–18)

Vasili Shuyskiy, deposed by the Seven Boyars, kneeling before Sigismund III of Poland in Warsaw, by Jan Matejko
Ivan IV was succeeded by his son Feodor, who was mentally deficient. Actual power went to Feodor's brother-in-law, the boyar Boris Godunov (who is credited with abolishing Yuri's Day, the only time of the year when serfs were free to move from one landowner to another). Perhaps the most important event of Feodor's reign was the proclamation of the Patriarchate of Moscow in 1589. The creation of the patriarchate climaxed the evolution of a separate and totally independent Russian Orthodox Church.

In 1598 Feodor died without an heir, ending the Rurik Dynasty. Boris Godunov then convened a Zemsky Sobor, a national assembly of boyars, church officials, and commoners, which proclaimed him tsar, although various boyar factions refused to recognize the decision. Widespread crop failures caused the Russian famine of 1601–1603, and during the ensuing discontent, a man emerged who claimed to be Tsarevich Demetrius, Ivan IV's son who had died in 1591. This pretender to the throne, who came to be known as False Dmitriy I, gained support in Poland and marched to Moscow, gathering followers among the boyars and other elements as he went. Historians speculate[48] that Godunov would have weathered this crisis had he not died in 1605. As a result, False Dmitriy I entered Moscow and was crowned tsar that year, following the murder of Tsar Feodor II, Godunov's son.

Subsequently, Russia entered a period of continuous chaos, known as The Time of Troubles (Смутное Время). Despite the Tsar's persecution of the boyars, the townspeople's dissatisfaction, and the gradual enserfment of the peasantry, efforts at restricting the power of the Tsar were only halfhearted. Finding no institutional alternative to the autocracy, discontented Russians rallied behind various pretenders to the throne. During that period, the goal of political activity was to gain influence over the sitting autocrat or to place one's own candidate on the throne. The boyars fought among themselves, the lower classes revolted blindly, and foreign armies occupied the Kremlin in Moscow, prompting many to accept Tsarist autocracy as a necessary means to restoring order and unity in Russia.

The Poles surrender the Moscow Kremlin to Prince Pozharsky in 1612. Painting by Ernst Lissner
The Time of Troubles included a civil war in which a struggle over the throne was complicated by the machinations of rival boyar factions, the intervention of regional powers Poland and Sweden, and intense popular discontent, led by Ivan Bolotnikov. False Dmitriy I and his Polish garrison were overthrown, and a boyar, Vasily Shuysky, was proclaimed tsar in 1606. In his attempt to retain the throne, Shuysky allied himself with the Swedes, unleashing the Ingrian War with Sweden. False Dmitry II, allied with the Poles, appeared under the walls of Moscow and set up a mock court in the village of Tushino.

In 1609 Poland intervened into Russian affairs officially, captured Shuisky, and occupied the Kremlin. A group of Russian boyars signed in 1610 a treaty of peace, recognising Ladislaus IV of Poland, son of Polish king Sigismund III Vasa, as tsar. In 1611, False Dmitry III appeared in the Swedish-occupied territories, but was soon apprehended and executed. The Polish presence led to a patriotic revival among the Russians, and a volunteer army, financed by the Stroganov merchants and blessed by the Orthodox Church, was formed in Nizhny Novgorod and, led by Prince Dmitry Pozharsky and Kuzma Minin, drove the Poles out of the Kremlin. In 1613 a zemsky Sobor proclaimed the boyar Mikhail Romanov as tsar, beginning the 300-year reign of the Romanov family.

Romanovs Edit

Andrei Ryabushkin: Tsar Michael at the Session of the Boyar Duma (1893)
The immediate task of the new dynasty was to restore order. Fortunately for Russia, its major enemies, Poland and Sweden, were engaged in a conflict with each other, which provided Russia the opportunity to make peace with Sweden in 1617. The Polish–Muscovite War (1605–1618) was ended with the Truce of Deulino in 1618, restoring temporarily Polish and Lithuanian rule over some territories, including Smolensk, lost by the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in 1509.

The early Romanovs were weak rulers. Under Mikhail, state affairs were in the hands of the tsar's father, Filaret, who in 1619 became Patriarch of Moscow. Later, Mikhail's son Aleksey (r. 1645-1676) relied on a boyar, Boris Morozov, to run his government. Morozov abused his position by exploiting the populace, and in 1648 Aleksey dismissed him in the wake of the Salt Riot in Moscow.

After an unsuccessful attempt to regain Smolensk from Poland in 1632, Russia made peace with Poland in 1634. Polish king Władysław IV Vasa, whose father and predecessor was Sigismund III Vasa, had been elected by Russian boyars as tsar of Russia during the Time of Troubles, renounced all claims to the title as a condition of the peace treaty.

Legal code of 1649 Edit

The autocracy survived the Time of Troubles and the rule of weak or corrupt tsars because of the strength of the government's central bureaucracy. Government functionaries continued to serve, regardless of the ruler's legitimacy or the boyar faction controlling the throne. In the 17th century, the bureaucracy expanded dramatically. The number of government departments (prikazy ; sing., prikaz ) increased from twenty-two in 1613 to eighty by mid-century. Although the departments often had overlapping and conflicting jurisdictions, the central government, through provincial governors, was able to control and regulate all social groups, as well as trade, manufacturing, and even the Orthodox Church.

Portrait of the Russian diplomat and voivode Pyotr Potemkin by Godfrey Kneller
The Sobornoye Ulozheniye, a comprehensive legal code introduced in 1649, illustrates the extent of state control over Russian society. By that time, the boyars had largely merged with the new elite, who were obligatory servitors of the state, to form a new nobility, the dvoryanstvo. The state required service from both the old and the new nobility, primarily in the military because of permanent warfare on southern and western borders and attacks of nomads. In return, the nobility received land and peasants. In the preceding century, the state had gradually curtailed peasants' rights to move from one landlord to another; the 1649 code officially attached peasants to their home.

The state fully sanctioned serfdom, and runaway peasants became state fugitives. Landlords had complete power over their peasants. Peasants living on state-owned land, however, were not considered serfs. They were organized into communes, which were responsible for taxes and other obligations. Like serfs, however, state peasants were attached to the land they farmed. Middle-class urban tradesmen and craftsmen were assessed taxes, and, like the serfs, they were forbidden to change residence. All segments of the population were subject to military levy and to special taxes. By chaining much of Russian society to specific domiciles, the legal code of 1649 curtailed movement and subordinated the people to the interests of the state.

Under this code, increased state taxes and regulations altered the social discontent that had been simmering since the Time of Troubles. In the 1650s and 1660s, the number of peasant escapes increased dramatically. A favourite refuge was the Don River region, domain of the Don Cossacks. A major uprising occurred in the Volga region in 1670 and 1671. Stenka Razin, a Cossack who was from the Don River region, led a revolt that drew together wealthy Cossacks who were well established in the region and escaped serfs seeking free land. The unexpected uprising swept up the Volga River valley and even threatened Moscow. Tsarist troops finally defeated the rebels after they had occupied major cities along the Volga in an operation whose panache captured the imaginations of later generations of Russians. Razin was publicly tortured and executed.

Acquisition of Ukrainian Lands Edit

A warrior of the Russian noble cavalry (поместная конница) during the Russo-Polish War of 1654–1667. The drawing is based on the pieces preserved in the Kremlin Armoury.
The Tsardom of Russia continued its territorial growth through the 17th century. In the southwest, it claimed eastern Ukraine's lands, which had been under Polish–Lithuanian rule and sought assistance from the Tsardom to leave the rule of the Commonwealth. The Zaporozhian Cossacks, warriors organized in military formations, lived in the frontier areas bordering Poland, the Crimean Tatar lands. Although part of them was serving in the Polish army as Registered Cossacks, the Zaporozhian Cossacks remained fiercely independent and staged a number of rebellions against the Poles. In 1648, the peasants of what is now Ukraine joined the Cossacks in rebellion during the Khmelnytsky Uprising, because of the social and religious oppression they suffered under Polish rule. Initially, Cossacks were allied with Crimean Tatars, which had helped them to throw off Polish rule. Once the Poles convinced the Tartars to switch sides, the Zaporozhian Cossacks needed military help to maintain their position.

In 1648 the Hetman (leader) of the Zaporozhian Host, Bohdan Khmelnytsky, offered to ally with the Russian tsar, Aleksey I. Aleksey's acceptance of this offer, which was ratified in the Treaty of Pereyaslav in 1654, led to a protracted war between Poland and Russia. The Truce of Andrusovo, which did not involve the Hetmanate (Cossack Hetmanate) as a participating party of the agreement ended the war in 1667. As a result, it split Ukrainian territory along the Dnieper River, reuniting the western sector (or Right-bank Ukraine) with Poland and leaving the eastern sector (Left-bank Ukraine) self-governing under the sovereignty of the tsar. However, the self-government did not last long and Eastern Ukrainian territory was eventually incorporated into the Russian Empire (after the Battle of Poltava) during the 18th century.

Raskol (Schism) Edit

Main article: Raskol

Patriarch Nikon and Tsar Alexis in the Cathedral of the Archangel
Russia's southwestern expansion, particularly its incorporation of eastern Ukraine, had unintended consequences. Most Ukrainians were Orthodox, but their close contact with the Roman Catholic Polish also brought them Western intellectual currents. Through the Ukrainian Academy in Kiev, Russia gained links to Polish and Central European influences and to the wider Orthodox world. Although the Ukrainian link induced creativity in many areas, it also weakened traditional Russian religious practices and culture. The Russian Orthodox Church discovered that its isolation from Constantinople had caused variations to appear between their liturgical books and practices.

The Russian Orthodox patriarch, Nikon, was determined to bring the Russian texts back into conformity with the Greek texts and practices of the time. But Nikon encountered opposition among the many Russians who viewed the corrections as improper foreign intrusions. When the Orthodox Church forced Nikon's reforms, a schism resulted in 1667. Those who did not accept the reforms came to be called the Old Believers; they were officially pronounced heretics and were persecuted by the church and the state. The chief opposition figure, the protopope Avvakum, was burned at the stake. The split afterwards became permanent, and many merchants and peasants joined the Old Believers.

The tsar's court also felt the impact of Ukraine and the West. Kiev was a major transmitter of new ideas and insight through the famed scholarly academy that Metropolitan Mohyla founded there in 1631. Other more direct channels to the West opened as international trade increased and more foreigners came to Russia. The Tsar's court was interested in the West's more advanced technology, particularly when military applications were involved. By the end of the 17th century, Ukrainian, Polish, and West European penetration had weakened the Russian cultural synthesis—at least among the elite—and had prepared the way for an even more radical transformation.

Conquest of Siberia Edit

Main article: Russian conquest of Siberia

Vasily Surikov: Yermak's Conquest of Siberia (1895)
Russia's eastward expansion encountered little resistance. In 1581 the Stroganov merchant family, interested in the fur trade, hired a Cossack leader, Yermak Timofeyevich, to lead an expedition into western Siberia. Yermak defeated the Khanate of Sibir and claimed the territories west of the Ob and Irtysh Rivers for Russia.

From such bases as Mangazeya, merchants, traders, and explorers pushed eastward from the Ob River to the Yenisei River, then on to the Lena River and the coast of the Pacific Ocean. In 1648 Cossack Semyon Dezhnyov opened the passage between America and Asia. By the middle of the 17th century, Russians had reached the Amur River and the outskirts of the Chinese Empire.

After a period of conflict with the Qing dynasty, Russia made peace with China in 1689. By the Treaty of Nerchinsk, Russia ceded its claims to the Amur Valley, but it gained access to the region east of Lake Baikal and the trade route to Beijing. Peace with China strengthened the initial breakthrough to the Pacific that had been made in the middle of the century.

Reign of Peter the Great and establishment of the Russian Empire Edit

Main articles: Peter the Great and Russian Empire

Nativity Church at Putinki, an example of the 17th-century Russian uzorochye style
Peter the Great (1672–1725), who became ruler in his own right in 1696, was destined to bring the Tsardom of Russia, which had little contact with Europe and was mostly seen as a regional power, into the mainstream of European culture and politics. After suppressing numerous rebellions with considerable bloodshed, Peter embarked on a tour of Western Europe incognito. He became impressed with what he saw and was awakened to the backwardness of Russia, a nation that resembled a Mongol khanate more than a European monarchy. Peter began requiring the nobility to wear Western clothing and shave off their beards, an action that the boyars protested bitterly. Arranged marriages among nobility were banned and the Orthodox Church brought under state control. Military academies were established to create a modern European-style army and officer corps in place of the disorganized levies that Muscovite rulers had traditionally used.

These changes did not win Peter many friends and in fact caused great political division in the country. These along with his notorious cruelties (such as the torture death of his own son for plotting a rebellion) and the immense human suffering that accompanied many of his projects such as the construction of Saint Petersburg led many pious Russians to believe that he was the Antichrist. The Great Northern War against Sweden consumed much of Peter's attention for years, however the Swedes were eventually defeated and peace agreed to in 1721. Russia annexed the Baltic coast from Sweden and parts of Finland, which would become the site of the new Russian capital, Saint Petersburg. The Russian victory in the Great Northern War marked a watershed in European politics, as it not only brought about the eclipse of Sweden and Poland as great powers, but also Russia's decisive emergence as a permanent factor in Europe. Expansion into Siberia also continued and war with Persia brought about the acquisition of territory in the Caucasus, although Russia surrendered those gains after Peter's death in 1725.

State flags Edit

There was no single flag during the Tsardom. Instead, there were multiple flags:

Standards used by the Tsar:[49]
Standard of the Tsar of Moscow (1693–1700): white-blue-red tricolor with golden double-headed eagle in the center.[49] Replaced by the Imperial standard in 1700 (see below).[49]
Imperial Standard of the Tsar of Russia: black double-headed eagle carrying St. Vladimir Red Coat of Arms, on a golden rectangular field, adopted in 1700 instead of the older white-blue-red Standard of the Tsar of Moscow.[49]
Civil Flag: The early Romanov Tsars instituted the two-headed eagle Imperial Flag of the Tsar, which origin dates back to 1472, as a Civil Flag, it remained the Civil Flag of Russia until replaced during the Empire in 1858.[50]
Civil Ensign of Russia: the white-blue-red tricolor, that was adopted on 20 January 1705 by decree of Peter I.[49]
Naval Ensign of the Imperial Russian Navy: white field with a blue saltire, adopted in 1712.[51] Before that, the naval ensign of Russia was white-blue-red tricolor.[51]
Naval Jack of the Imperial Russian Navy: red field with a blue saltire, adopted in 1700.

Standard of the Tsar of Moscow (1693–1700)

Imperial Standard of the Tsar (from 1700)

Naval Ensign of the Imperial Russian Navy (1697–1699)[51] and Civil Ensign of Russia (from 1705)[49]

Naval Ensign of the Imperial Russian Navy (1699–1700),[51] a transitional variant between the 1697–1699 Ensign and the Andreevsky Flag of 1712

Naval Jack of the Imperial Russian Navy (from 1700)[52]

Naval Ensign of the Imperial Russian Navy (from 1712)[51]

5) Russian Empire:-
The Russian Empire (Russian: Российская Империя, tr. Rossiyskaya Imperiya) or Russia was an empire that existed across Eurasia and North America from 1721, following the end of the Great Northern War, until the Republic was proclaimed by the Provisional Government that took power after the February Revolution of 1917.[6]

Russian Empire
Российская Империя (Russian)
Lesser coat of arms
Lesser coat of arms
S nami Bog!
Съ нами Богъ!
"God is with us!"
Bozhe, Tsarya khrani!
Боже, Царя храни!
"God Save the Tsar!"

Russian Empire at its peak in 1865:
  Russian Empire
  Protectorates and sphere of influence

Saint Petersburg (1721–28; 1730–1917) 
Moscow (1728–30)
Official: Russian 
Orthodox Christianity
Roman Catholicism
Absolute monarchy
Constitutional monarchy
(1906–17; de jure)[1]
Peter I (first)
Nicholas II (last)
Prime Minister
Sergei Witte (first)
Nikolai Golitsyn (last)
Emperor along with the legislative assembly[2]
Upper house
State Council
Lower house
State Duma
Empire proclaimed
by Peter I
22 Oct [O.S. 11 Oct] 1721
Decembrist revolt
took place
26 Dec [O.S. 14 Dec] 1825
Emancipation reform
3 Mar [O.S. 19 Feb] 1861
1905 Revolution
took place
Jan–Dec 1905
6 May [O.S. 23 Apr] 1906
February Revolution
took place
Feb–Mar 1917
of Nicholas II
15 Mar [O.S. 2 Mar] 1917
Republic proclaimed
by the Provisional Government
14 Sep [O.S. 1 Sep] 1917
22,800,000 km2 (8,800,000 sq mi)
1897 est.
Preceded by Succeeded by
 Tsardom of Russia
Russian Republic 
Today part of
 North Korea
 United States[5]
a. ^ After 1866, Alaska was sold to the United States, but Batum, Kars, Pamir and Transcaspia were acquired.
b. ^ Renamed Petrograd in 1914.
c. ^ Russia continued to use the Julian calendar until after the
collapse of the empire (see Old Style and New Style dates).
Warning: Value specified for "continent" does not comply
The third largest empire in world history, stretching over three continents, the Russian Empire was surpassed in landmass only by the British and Mongol empires. The rise of the Russian Empire happened in association with the decline of neighboring rival powers: the Swedish Empire, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, Persia and the Ottoman Empire. It played a major role in 1812–1814 in defeating Napoleon's ambitions to control Europe and expanded to the west and south.

The House of Romanov ruled the Russian Empire from 1721 until 1762, and its German-descended cadet branch, the House of Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov, ruled from 1762. At the beginning of the 19th century, the Russian Empire extended from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Black Sea in the south, from the Baltic Sea on the west to the Pacific Ocean, and (until 1867) into Alaska in America on the east.[7] With 125.6 million subjects registered by the 1897 census, it had the third-largest population in the world at the time, after Qing China and India. Like all empires, it included a large disparity in terms of economics, ethnicity, and religion. There were numerous dissident elements, who launched numerous rebellions and assassination attempts; they were closely watched by the secret police, with thousands exiled to Siberia.

Economically, the empire had a predominantly agricultural base, with low productivity on large estates worked by serfs (until they were freed in 1861). The economy slowly industrialized with the help of foreign investments in railways and factories. The land was ruled by a nobility (the boyars) from the 10th through the 17th centuries, and subsequently by an emperor. Tsar Ivan III (1462–1505) laid the groundwork for the empire that later emerged. He tripled the territory of his state, ended the dominance of the Golden Horde, renovated the Moscow Kremlin, and laid the foundations of the Russian state. Emperor Peter the Great (1682–1725) fought numerous wars and expanded an already huge empire into a major European power. He moved the capital from Moscow to the new model city of St. Petersburg, and led a cultural revolution that replaced some of the traditionalist and medieval social and political mores with a modern, scientific, Europe-oriented, and rationalist system.

Empress Catherine the Great (reigned 1762–1796) presided over a golden age; she expanded the state by conquest, colonization and diplomacy, continuing Peter the Great's policy of modernization along West European lines. Emperor Alexander II (1855–1881) promoted numerous reforms, most dramatically the emancipation of all 23 million serfs in 1861. His policy in Eastern Europe involved protecting the Orthodox Christians under the rule of the Ottoman Empire. That connection by 1914 led to Russia's entry into the First World War on the side of France, the United Kingdom, and Serbia, against the German, Austrian, and Ottoman empires.

The Russian Empire functioned as an absolute monarchy until the Revolution of 1905 and then became a de jure constitutional monarchy. The empire collapsed during the February Revolution of 1917, largely as a result of massive failures in its participation in the First World War.


Though the Empire was only officially proclaimed by Tsar Peter I, following the Treaty of Nystad (1721), some historians would argue that it was truly born either when Ivan III of Russia conquered Veliky Novgorodin 1478, or when Ivan the Terrible conquered Khanate of Kazan in 1552.[citation needed]According to another point of view, the term Tsardom, which was used after the coronation of Ivan IV in 1547, was already a contemporary Russian word for empire.[citation needed]


Much of Russia's expansion occurred in the 17th century, culminating in the first Russian colonisation of the Pacific in the mid-17th century, the Russo-Polish War (1654–67) that incorporated left-bank Ukraine, and the Russian conquest of Siberia. Poland was divided in the 1790-1815 era, with much of the land and population going to Russia. Most of the 19th century growth came from adding territory in Asia, south of Siberia.[8]
YearPopulation of Russia (millions)[9]Notes
172015.5includes new Baltic & Polish territories
179537.6includes part of Poland
181242.8includes Finland
181673.0includes Congress Poland, Bessarabia
1914170.0includes new Asian territories

Foreign relationsEdit

Eighteenth centuryEdit

Peter the Great (1672–1725)Edit

Peter the Great officially renamed the Tsardom of Russia as the Russian Empire in 1721 and became its first emperor. He instituted sweeping reforms and oversaw the transformation of Russia into a major European power.
Peter I the Great (1672–1725) played a major role in introducing Russia to the European state system. While the vast land had a population of 14 million, grain yields trailed behind those of agriculture in the West,[10]compelling nearly the entire population to farm. Only a small percentage lived in towns. The class of kholops, close in status to slavery, remained a major institution in Russia until 1723, when Peter converted household kholops into house serfs, thus including them in poll taxation. Russian agricultural kholops were formally converted into serfs earlier in 1679.
Peter's first military efforts were directed against the Ottoman Turks. His attention then turned to the North. Peter still lacked a secure northern seaport, except at Archangel on the White Sea, where the harbor was frozen for nine months a year. Access to the Baltic was blocked by Sweden, whose territory enclosed it on three sides. Peter's ambitions for a "window to the sea" led him to make a secret alliance in 1699 with Saxony, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and Denmark against Sweden, resulting in the Great Northern War. The war ended in 1721 when an exhausted Sweden asked for peace with Russia. Peter acquired four provinces situated south and east of the Gulf of Finland. The coveted access to the sea was now secured. There he built Russia's new capital, Saint Petersburg, to replace Moscow, which had long been Russia's cultural center. In 1722, he turned his aspirations as first Russian monarch toward increasing Russian influence in the Caucasus and the Caspian Sea at the expense of the weakened Safavid Persians. He made Astrakhan the centre of military efforts against Persia, and waged the first full-scale war against them in 1722–23.[11]
Peter reorganized his government based on the latest political models of the time, moulding Russia into an absolutist state. He replaced the old boyar Duma (council of nobles) with a nine-member Senate, in effect a supreme council of state. The countryside was divided into new provinces and districts. Peter told the Senate that its mission was to collect taxes, and tax revenues tripled over the course of his reign. As part of the government reform, the Orthodox Church was partially incorporated into the country's administrative structure, in effect making it a tool of the state. Peter abolished the patriarchate and replaced it with a collective body, the Holy Synod, led by a government official. Meanwhile, all vestiges of local self-government were removed. Peter continued and intensified his predecessors' requirement of state service for all nobles.[12]
Peter died in 1725, leaving an unsettled succession. After a short reign of his widow Catherine I, the crown passed to empress Anna who slowed down the reforms and led a successful war against the Ottoman Empire, which brought a significant weakening of the Ottoman vassal Crimean Khanate, a long-term Russian adversary.
The discontent over the dominant positions of Baltic Germans in Russian politics brought Peter I's daughter Elizabeth on the Russian throne. Elizabeth supported the arts, architecture and the sciences (for example with the foundation of the Moscow University). However, she did not carry out significant structural reforms. Her reign, which lasted nearly 20 years, is also known for her involvement in the Seven Years' War. It was successful for Russia militarily, but fruitless politically.[13]

Catherine the Great (1762–1796)Edit

Empress Catherine the Great, who reigned from 1762 to 1796, continued the empire's expansion and modernization. Considering herself an enlightened absolutist, she played a key role in the Russian Enlightenment.
Catherine the Great was a German princess who married Peter III, the German heir to the Russian crown. After the death of Empress Elizabeth, she came to power when her coup d'état against her unpopular husband succeeded. She contributed to the resurgence of the Russian nobility that began after the death of Peter the Great. State service was abolished, and Catherine delighted the nobles further by turning over most state functions in the provinces to them.[14]
Catherine the Great extended Russian political control over the lands of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. Her actions included the support of the Targowica Confederation, although the cost of her campaigns, on top of the oppressive social system that required serfs to spend almost all of their time laboring on their owners' land, provoked a major peasant uprising in 1773, after Catherine legalised the selling of serfs separate from land. Inspired by a Cossack named Pugachev, with the emphatic cry of "Hang all the landlords!", the rebels threatened to take Moscow before they were ruthlessly suppressed. Instead of the traditional punishment of being drawn and quartered, Catherine issued secret instructions that the executioner should carry the sentence out quickly and with a minimum of suffering, as part of her effort to introduce compassion into the law.[15] She also ordered the public trial of Darya Nikolayevna Saltykova, a member of the highest nobility, on charges of torture and murder. These gestures of compassion garnered Catherine much positive attention from Europe experiencing the Enlightenment age, but the specter of revolution and disorder continued to haunt her and her successors.
In order to ensure continued support from the nobility, which was essential to the survival of her government, Catherine was obliged to strengthen their authority and power at the expense of the serfs and other lower classes. Nevertheless, Catherine realized that serfdom must be ended, going so far in her "Instruction" to say that serfs were "just as good as we are" – a comment the nobility received with disgust. Catherine successfully waged war against the Ottoman Empire and advanced Russia's southern boundary to the Black Sea. Then, by plotting with the rulers of Austria and Prussia, she incorporated territories of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth during the Partitions of Poland, pushing the Russian frontier westward into Central Europe. In accordance with the treaty Russia had signed with the Georgians to protect them against any new invasion of their Persian suzerains and further political aspirations, Catherine waged a new war against Persia in 1796 after they had again invaded Georgia and established rule over it about a year prior and expelled the newly established Russian garrisons in the Caucasus. By the time of her death in 1796, Catherine's expansionist policy had turned Russia into a major European power.[16] This continued with Alexander I's wresting of Finland from the weakened kingdom of Sweden in 1809 and of Bessarabia from the Principality of Moldavia, ceded by the Ottomans in 1812.

State budgetEdit

Catherine II Sestroretsk Rouble (1771) is made of solid copper measuring 77 millimetres (3 3100 in) (diameter), 26 millimetres (1 150 in) (thickness), and weighs 1.022 kg (2.25 lb). It is the largest copper coin ever issued.[17]
Russia was in a continuous state of financial crisis. While revenue rose from 9 million rubles in 1724 to 40 million in 1794, expenses grew more rapidly, reaching 49 million in 1794. The budget allocated 46 percent to the military, 20 percent to government economic activities, 12 percent to administration, and nine percent for the Imperial Court in St. Petersburg. The deficit required borrowing, primarily from Amsterdam; five percent of the budget was allocated to debt payments. Paper money was issued to pay for expensive wars, thus causing inflation. For its spending, Russia obtained a large and well-equipped army, a very large and complex bureaucracy, and a court that rivaled Paris and London. However the government was living far beyond its means, and 18th century Russia remained "a poor, backward, overwhelmingly agricultural, and illiterate country."[18]

First half of the nineteenth centuryEdit

Napoleon, following a dispute with Tsar Alexander I, launched an invasion of Russia in 1812. The campaign was a catastrophe. Although Napoleon's Grande Armée made its way to Moscow, the Russians' scorched earthstrategy prevented the invaders from living off the country. In the bitter Russian Winter, thousands of French troops were ambushed and killed by peasant guerrilla fighters.[19] As Napoleon's forces retreated, the Russian troops pursued them into Central and Western Europe and to the gates of Paris. After Russia and its allies defeated Napoleon, Alexander became known as the 'saviour of Europe', and he presided over the redrawing of the map of Europe at the Congress of Vienna (1815), that ultimately made Alexander the monarch of Congress Poland.[20]
Although the Russian Empire would play a leading political role in the next century, thanks to its defeat of Napoleonic France, its retention of serfdom precluded economic progress of any significant degree. As Western European economic growth accelerated during the Industrial Revolution, Russia began to lag ever farther behind, creating new weaknesses for the Empire seeking to play a role as a great power. This status concealed the inefficiency of its government, the isolation of its people, and its economic backwardness. Following the defeat of Napoleon, Alexander I had been ready to discuss constitutional reforms, but though a few were introduced, no major changes were attempted.[21]

Fort Ross, an early-19th-century outpost of the Russian-American Company in Sonoma County, California
The liberal tsar was replaced by his younger brother, Nicholas I (1825–1855), who at the beginning of his reign was confronted with an uprising. The background of this revolt lay in the Napoleonic Wars, when a number of well-educated Russian officers travelled in Europe in the course of military campaigns, where their exposure to the liberalism of Western Europe encouraged them to seek change on their return to autocratic Russia. The result was the Decembrist revolt (December 1825), the work of a small circle of liberal nobles and army officers who wanted to install Nicholas' brother as a constitutional monarch. But the revolt was easily crushed, leading Nicholas to turn away from the modernization program begun by Peter the Great and champion the doctrine of Orthodoxy, Autocracy, and Nationality.[22]
The retaliation for the revolt made "December Fourteenth" a day long remembered by later revolutionary movements. In order to repress further revolts, censorship was intensified, including the constant surveillance of schools and universities. Textbooks were strictly regulated by the government. Police spies were planted everywhere. Would-be revolutionaries were sent off to Siberia – under Nicholas I hundreds of thousands were sent to katorga there.[23]
After the Russian armies liberated allied (since the 1783 Treaty of GeorgievskGeorgiafrom the Qajar dynasty's occupation in 1802,[citation needed] in the Russo-Persian War (1804–13) they clashed with Persia over control and consolidation over Georgia, and also got involved in the Caucasian Waragainst the Caucasian Imamate. The conclusion of the 1804-1813 war with Persia made it irrevocably cede what is now Dagestan, Georgia, and most of Azerbaijan to Russia following the Treaty of Gulistan.[24] To the south west, Russia attempted to expand at the expense of the Ottoman Empire, using recently acquired Georgia at its base for the Caucasus and Anatolian front. The late 1820s were successful military years. Despite losing almost all recently consolidated territories in the first year of the Russo-Persian War of 1826–28, Russia managed to bring an end to the war with highly favourable terms with the Treaty of Turkmenchay, including the official gains of what is now ArmeniaAzerbaijan, and Iğdır Province.[25] In the 1828-29 Russo-Turkish War, Russia invaded northeastern Anatolia and occupied the strategic Ottoman towns of Erzurum and Gümüşhane and, posing as protector and saviour of the Greek Orthodox population, received extensive support from the region's Pontic Greeks. Following a brief occupation, the Russian imperial army withdrew back into Georgia.[26]
The question of Russia's direction had been gaining attention ever since Peter the Great's program of modernization. Some favored imitating Western Europe while others were against this and called for a return to the traditions of the past. The latter path was advocated by Slavophiles, who held the "decadent" West in contempt. The Slavophiles were opponents of bureaucracy who preferred the collectivism of the medieval Russian obshchina or mir over the individualism of the West.[27] More extreme social doctrines were elaborated by such Russian radicals on the left as Alexander HerzenMikhail Bakunin, and Peter Kropotkin.
Russian tsars crushed two uprisings in their newly acquired Polish territories: the November Uprising in 1830 and the January Uprising in 1863. The Russian autocracy gave the Polish artisans and gentry reason to rebel in 1863 by assailing national core values of language, religion, culture.[28] The result was the January Uprising, a massive Polish revolt, which was crushed by massive force. France, Britain and Austria tried to intervene in the crisis but were unable to do so. The Russian patriotic press used the Polish uprising to unify the Russian nation, claiming it was Russia's God-given mission to save Poland and the world.[29] Poland was punished by losing its distinctive political and judicial rights, with Russianization imposed on its schools and courts.[30]

Second half of the nineteenth centuryEdit

A panoramic view of Moscow in 1867.
Flag of the Russian Empire for "Celebrations" from 1858 to 1883.[31][32][33][34] It was not as popular as Peter the Great's tricolour, the white-blue-red flag, which was adopted as the official flag in 1883, officialised by the Tsar in 1896; however, it had been used as a de facto flag to represent Russia since the end of the 17th century.
The Imperial Standard of the Tsar, used from 1858 to 1917. Previous versions of the black eagle on gold background were used as far back as Peter the Great's time.

The eleven-month siege of a Russian naval base at Sevastopol during the Crimean War

Russian troops taking Samarkand (8 June 1868)

Capturing of the Turkish redoubt during the Siege of Plevna (1877)
In 1854–55 Russia lost to Britain, France and Turkey in the Crimean War, which was fought primarily in the Crimean peninsula, and to a lesser extent in the Baltic. Since playing a major role in the defeat of Napoleon, Russia had been regarded as militarily invincible, but against a coalition of the great powers of Europe, the reverses it suffered on land and sea exposed the decay and weakness of Tsar Nicholas' regime.
When Tsar Alexander II ascended the throne in 1855, desire for reform was widespread. A growing humanitarian movement attacked serfdom as inefficient. In 1859, there were more than 23 million serfs in usually poor living conditions. Alexander II decided to abolish serfdom from above, with ample provision for the landowners, rather than wait for it to be abolished from below in a revolutionary way that would hurt the landowners.[35]
The emancipation reform of 1861 that freed the serfs was the single most important event in 19th-century Russian history, and the beginning of the end for the landed aristocracy's monopoly of power. Further reforms of 1860s included socio-economic reforms to clarify the position of the Russian government in the field of property rights and their protection.[36] Emancipation brought a supply of free labour to the cities, stimulating industry, and the middle class grew in number and influence. However, instead of receiving their lands as a gift, the freed peasants had to pay a special tax for what amounted to their lifetime to the government, which in turn paid the landlords a generous price for the land that they had lost. In numerous cases the peasants ended up with the smallest amount of land. All the property turned over to the peasants was owned collectively by the mir, the village community, which divided the land among the peasants and supervised the various holdings. Although serfdom was abolished, since its abolition was achieved on terms unfavourable to the peasants, revolutionary tensions were not abated, despite Alexander II's intentions. Revolutionaries believed that the newly freed serfs were merely being sold into wage slavery in the onset of the industrial revolution, and that the bourgeoisie had effectively replaced landowners.[37]
Alexander II obtained Outer Manchuria from the Qing China between 1858–1860 and sold the last territories of Russian America, Alaska, to the USA in 1867.
In the late 1870s Russia and the Ottoman Empire again clashed in the Balkans. From 1875 to 1877, the Balkan crisis intensified with rebellions against Ottoman rule by various Slavic nationalities, which the Ottoman Turks dominated since the 16th century. This was seen as a political risk in Russia, which similarly suppressed its Muslims in Central Asia and Caucasia. Russian nationalist opinion became a major domestic factor in its support for liberating Balkan Christians from Ottoman rule and making Bulgaria and Serbia independent. In early 1877, Russia intervened on behalf of Serbian and Russian volunteer forces in the Russo-Turkish War (1877–78). Within one year, Russian troops were nearing Istanbuland the Ottomans surrendered. Russia's nationalist diplomats and generals persuaded Alexander II to force the Ottomans to sign the Treaty of San Stefano in March 1878, creating an enlarged, independent Bulgaria that stretched into the southwestern Balkans. When Britain threatened to declare war over the terms of the Treaty of San Stefano, an exhausted Russia backed down. At the Congress of Berlin in July 1878, Russia agreed to the creation of a smaller Bulgaria, as an autonomous principality inside the Ottoman Empire. As a result, Pan-Slavistswere left with a legacy of bitterness against Austria-Hungary and Germany for failing to back Russia. Disappointment at the results of the war stimulated revolutionary tensions, and helped Serbia, Romania and Montenegro to gain independence from and strengthen themselves against the Ottomans.[38]
Another significant result of the 1877–78 Russo-Turkish War in Russia's favour was the acquisition from the Ottomans of the provinces of BatumArdahan and Kars in Transcaucasia, which were transformed into the militarily administered regions of Batum Oblast and Kars Oblast. To replace Muslim refugees who had fled across the new frontier into Ottoman territory the Russian authorities settled large numbers of Christians from an ethnically diverse range of communities in Kars Oblast, particularly the GeorgiansCaucasus Greeks and Armenians, each of whom hoped to achieve protection and advance their own regional ambitions on the back of the Russian Empire.

Alexander IIIEdit

In 1881 Alexander II was assassinated by the Narodnaya Volya, a Nihilist terrorist organization. The throne passed to Alexander III (1881–1894), a reactionary who revived the maxim of "Orthodoxy, Autocracy, and Nationality" of Nicholas I. A committed Slavophile, Alexander III believed that Russia could be saved from turmoil only by shutting itself off from the subversive influences of Western Europe. During his reign Russia declared the Franco-Russian Alliance to contain the growing power of Germany, completed the conquest of Central Asia and demanded important territorial and commercial concessions from the Qing. The tsar's most influential adviser was Konstantin Pobedonostsev, tutor to Alexander III and his son Nicholas, and procurator of the Holy Synod from 1880 to 1895. He taught his royal pupils to fear freedom of speech and press, as well as disliking democracy, constitutions, and the parliamentary system. Under Pobedonostsev, revolutionaries were persecuted and a policy of Russification was carried out throughout the Empire.[39][40]
The movement south toward Afghanistan and India alarmed the British, who ignored Russia's quest for a warm-water port and worked to block its advance in what observers called The Great Game. Both nations avoided escalating the tensions into a war, and they became allies in 1907.[41][42]

Early twentieth centuryEdit

View of Moscow River from Kremlin, 1908
In 1894, Alexander III was succeeded by his son, Nicholas II, who was committed to retaining the autocracy that his father had left him. Nicholas II proved ineffective as a ruler and in the end his dynasty was overthrown by revolution.[45] The Industrial Revolution began to show significant influence in Russia, but the country remained rural and poor. The liberal elements among industrial capitalists and nobility believed in peaceful social reform and a constitutional monarchy, forming the Constitutional Democratic Party or Kadets.[46]
On the left the Socialist Revolutionary Party(SRs) incorporated the Narodnik tradition and advocated the distribution of land among those who actually worked it — the peasants. Another radical group was the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party, exponents of Marxism in Russia. The Social Democrats differed from the SRs in that they believed a revolution must rely on urban workers, not the peasantry.[47]
In 1903, at the 2nd Congress of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party in London, the party split into two wings: the gradualist Mensheviks and the more radical Bolsheviks. The Mensheviks believed that the Russian working class was insufficiently developed and that socialism could be achieved only after a period of bourgeois democratic rule. They thus tended to ally themselves with the forces of bourgeois liberalism. The Bolsheviks, under Vladimir Lenin, supported the idea of forming a small elite of professional revolutionists, subject to strong party discipline, to act as the vanguard of the proletariat in order to seize power by force.[48]
Defeat in the Russo-Japanese War (1904–1905) was a major blow to the Tsarist regime and further increased the potential for unrest. In January 1905, an incident known as "Bloody Sunday" occurred when Father Georgy Gapon led an enormous crowd to the Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg to present a petition to the Tsar. When the procession reached the palace, soldiers opened fire on the crowd, killing hundreds. The Russian masses were so furious over the massacre that a general strike was declared demanding a democratic republic. This marked the beginning of the Revolution of 1905Soviets(councils of workers) appeared in most cities to direct revolutionary activity. Russia was paralyzed, and the government was desperate.[49]
In October 1905, Nicholas reluctantly issued the October Manifesto, which conceded the creation of a national Duma (legislature) to be called without delay. The right to vote was extended and no law was to become final without confirmation by the Duma. The moderate groups were satisfied. But the socialists rejected the concessions as insufficient and tried to organise new strikes. By the end of 1905, there was disunity among the reformers, and the tsar's position was strengthened for the time being.

War, revolution, collapseEdit

Tsar Nicholas II and his subjects entered World War I with enthusiasm and patriotism, with the defense of Russia's fellow Orthodox Slavs, the Serbs, as the main battle cry. In August 1914, the Russian army invaded Germany's province of East Prussia and occupied a significant portion of Austrian-controlled Galicia in support of the Serbs and their allies – the French and British. In September 1914, in order to relieve pressure on France, the Russians were forced to halt a successful offensive against Austro-Hungary in Galicia in order to attack German-held Silesia.[50] Military reversals and shortages among the civilian population soon soured much of the population. German control of the Baltic Sea and German-Ottoman control of the Black Sea severed Russia from most of its foreign supplies and potential markets.
By the middle of 1915, the impact of the war was demoralizing. Food and fuel were in short supply, casualties were increasing, and inflation was mounting. Strikes rose among low-paid factory workers, and there were reports that peasants, who wanted reforms of land ownership, were restless. The tsar eventually decided to take personal command of the army and moved to the front, leaving his wife, the Empress Alexandra in charge in the capital. The illness of her son Alexei led her to trust the semi-literate Siberian peasant Grigori Rasputin (1869 – 1916), who convinced the royal family that he possessed healing powers that would cure Alexei. He had gained enormous influence but did not shift any major decisions. His assassination in late 1916 by a clique of nobles restored their honor but could not restore the Tsar's lost prestige.[51]
The Tsarist system was overthrown in the February Revolution in 1917. The Bolsheviks declared “no annexations, no indemnities” and called on workers to accept their policies and demanded the end of the war. On 3 March 1917, a strike was organized on a factory in the capital, Petrograd; within a week nearly all the workers in the city were idle, and street fighting broke out. Rabinowitch argues that "[t]he February 1917 revolution ... grew out of prewar political and economic instability, technological backwardness, and fundamental social divisions, coupled with gross mismanagement of the war effort, continuing military defeats, domestic economic dislocation, and outrageous scandals surrounding the monarchy."[52] Swain says, "The first government to be formed after the October Revolution of 1917 had, with one exception, been composed of liberals."[53]
With his authority destroyed, Nicholas abdicated on 2 March 1917.[54] The execution of the Romanov family at the hands of Bolsheviks followed in 1918.



The Russian Empire in 1912
The administrative boundaries of European Russia, apart from Finland and its portion of Poland, coincided approximately with the natural limits of the East-European plains. In the North it met the Arctic Ocean. Novaya Zemlya and the Kolguyev and Vaygach Islandsalso belonged to it, but the Kara Sea was referred to Siberia. To the East it had the Asiatic territories of the Empire, Siberia and the Kyrgyz steppes, from both of which it was separated by the Ural Mountains, the Ural River and the Caspian Sea — the administrative boundary, however, partly extending into Asia on the Siberian slope of the Urals. To the South it had the Black Seaand Caucasus, being separated from the latter by the Manych River depression, which in Post-Pliocene times connected the Sea of Azov with the Caspian. The western boundary was purely conventional: it crossed the Kola Peninsula from the Varangerfjord to the Gulf of Bothnia. Thence it ran to the Curonian Lagoon in the southern Baltic Sea, and thence to the mouth of the Danube, taking a great circular sweep to the west to embrace Poland, and separating Russia from Prussia, Austrian Galicia and Romania.
It is a special feature of Russia that it has few free outlets to the open sea other than on the ice-bound shores of the Arctic Ocean. The deep indentations of the Gulfs of Bothnia and Finland were surrounded by what is ethnically Finnish territory, and it is only at the very head of the latter gulf that the Russians had taken firm foothold by erecting their capital at the mouth of the Neva River. The Gulf of Riga and the Baltic belong also to territory which was not inhabited by Slavs, but by Baltic and Finnic peoples and by Germans. The East coast of the Black Sea belonged to Transcaucasia, a great chain of mountains separating it from Russia. But even this sheet of water is an inland sea, the only outlet of which, the Bosphorus, was in foreign hands, while the Caspian, an immense shallow lake, mostly bordered by deserts, possessed more importance as a link between Russia and its Asiatic settlements than as a channel for intercourse with other countries.


Ethnic map of European Russia before the First World War
By the end of the 19th century the size of the empire was about 22,400,000 square kilometers (8,600,000 sq mi) or almost 1/6 of the Earth's landmass; its only rival in size at the time was the British Empire. However, at this time, the majority of the population lived in European Russia. More than 100 different ethnic groups lived in the Russian Empire, with ethnic Russians composing about 45% of the population.[55]

Territorial developmentEdit

In addition to almost the entire territory of modern Russia,[n 1] prior to 1917 the Russian Empire included most of Dnieper UkraineBelarusBessarabia, the Grand Duchy of FinlandArmeniaAzerbaijanGeorgia, the Central Asian states of Russian Turkestan, most of the Baltic governorates, as well as a significant portion of the Kingdom of Polandand ArdahanArtvinIğdırKars and northeastern part of Erzurum Provinces from the Ottoman Empire.
Between 1742 and 1867, the Russian-American Company administered Alaska as a colony. The Company also established settlements in Hawaii, including Fort Elizabeth(1817), and as far south in North America as Fort Ross Colony (established in 1812) in Sonoma County, California just north of San Francisco. Both Fort Ross and the Russian River in California got their names from Russian settlers, who had staked claims in a region claimed until 1821 by the Spanish as part of New Spain.
Following the Swedish defeat in the Finnish War of 1808–1809 and the signing of the Treaty of Fredrikshamn on 17 September 1809, the eastern half of Sweden, the area that then became Finland was incorporated into the Russian Empire as an autonomousgrand duchy. The tsar eventually ended up ruling Finland as a semi-constitutional monarch through the Governor-General of Finland and a native-populated Senateappointed by him. The Emperor never explicitly recognized Finland as a constitutional state in its own right, however, although his Finnish subjects came to consider the Grand Duchy as one.

Map of governorates of the western Russian Empire in 1910
In the aftermath of the Russo-Turkish War, 1806–12, and the ensuing Treaty of Bucharest (1812), the eastern parts of the Principality of Moldavia, an Ottoman vassal state, along with some areas formerly under direct Ottoman rule, came under the rule of the Empire. This area (Bessarabia) was among the Russian Empire's last territorial increments in Europe. At the Congress of Vienna (1815), Russia gained sovereignty over Congress Poland, which on paper was an autonomous Kingdom in personal union with Russia. However, this autonomy was eroded after an uprising in 1831, and was finally abolished in 1867.
Saint Petersburg gradually extended and consolidated its control over the Caucasus in the course of the 19th century at the expense of Persia through the Russo-Persian Wars of 1804–13 and 1826–28 and the respectively ensuing treaties of Gulistan and Turkmenchay,[56] as well as through the Caucasian War (1817–1864).
The Russian Empire expanded its influence and possessions in Central Asia, especially in the later 19th century, conquering much of Russian Turkestan in 1865 and continuing to add territory as late as 1885.
Newly discovered Arctic islands became part of the Russian Empire as Russian explorers found them: the New Siberian Islands from the early 18th century; Severnaya Zemlya("Emperor Nicholas II Land") first mapped and claimed as late as 1913.
During World War I, Russia briefly occupied a small part of East Prussia, then part of Germany; a significant portion of Austrian Galicia; and significant portions of Ottoman Armenia. While the modern Russian Federation currently controls the Kaliningrad Oblast, which comprised the northern part of East Prussia, this differs from the area captured by the Empire in 1914, though there was some overlap: Gusev (Gumbinnen in German) was the site of the initial Russian victory.

Imperial territoriesEdit

The Russian settlement of St. Paul's Harbor (present-day Kodiak town), Kodiak Island
According to the 1st article of the Organic law, the Russian Empire was one indivisible state. In addition, the 26th article stated that "With the Imperial Russian throne are indivisible the Kingdom of Poland and Grand Principality of Finland". Relations with the Grand Principality of Finland were also regulated by the 2nd article, "The Grand Principality of Finland, constituted an indivisible part of the Russian state, in its internal affairs governed by special regulations at the base of special laws" and the law of 10 June 1910.
Between 1744 and 1867, the empire also controlled Russian America. With the exception of this territory – modern-day Alaska – the Russian Empire was a contiguous mass of land spanning Europe and Asia. In this it differed from contemporary colonial-style empires. The result of this was that while the British and French colonial empires declined in the 20th century, the Russian Empire kept a large portion of its territory, first as the Soviet Union, and latter as part of present-day Russia as well as the Commonwealth of Independent States.
Furthermore, the empire at times controlled concession territories, notably the Kwantung Leased Territory and the Chinese Eastern Railway, both conceded by Qing China, as well as a concession in Tianjin. See for these periods of extraterritorial control the empire of Japan–Russian Empire relations.
In 1815, Dr. Schäffer, a Russian entrepreneur, went to Kauai and negotiated a treaty of protection with the island's governor Kaumualii, vassal of King Kamehameha I of Hawaii, but the Russian Tsar refused to ratify the treaty. See also Orthodox Church in Hawaiiand Russian Fort Elizabeth.
In 1889, a Russian adventurer, Nikolay Ivanovitch Achinov, tried to establish a Russian colony in Africa, Sagallo, situated on the Gulf of Tadjoura in present-day Djibouti. However this attempt angered the French, who dispatched two gunboats against the colony. After a brief resistance, the colony surrendered and the Russian settlers were deported to Odessa.

Government and administrationEdit

From its initial creation until the 1905 Revolution, the Russian Empire was controlled by its tsar/emperor as an absolute monarch, under the system of tsarist autocracy. After the Revolution of 1905, Russia developed a new type of government which became difficult to categorize. In the Almanach de Gotha for 1910, Russia was described as "a constitutional monarchy under an autocratictsar." This contradiction in terms demonstrated the difficulty of precisely defining the system, essentially transitional and meanwhile sui generis, established in the Russian Empire after October 1905. Before this date, the fundamental laws of Russia described the power of the Emperor as "autocratic and unlimited." After October 1905, while the imperial style was still "Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias", the fundamental laws were remodeled by removing the word unlimited. While the emperor retained many of his old prerogatives, including an absolute veto over all legislation, he equally agreed to the establishment of an elected parliament, without whose consent no laws were to be enacted in Russia. Not that the regime in Russia had become in any true sense constitutional, far less parliamentary. But the "unlimited autocracy" had given place to a "self-limited autocracy." Whether this autocracy was to be permanently limited by the new changes, or only at the continuing discretion of the autocrat, became a subject of heated controversy between conflicting parties in the state. Provisionally, then, the Russian governmental system may perhaps be best defined as "a limited monarchy under an autocratic emperor."


Nicholas II was the last Emperor of Russia, reigning from 1894 to 1917.
Peter the Great changed his title from Tsar in 1721, when he was declared Emperor of all Russia. While later rulers kept this title, the ruler of Russia was commonly known as Tsaror Tsaritsa until the fall of the Empire during the February Revolution of 1917. Prior to the issuance of the October Manifesto, the Emperor ruled as an absolute monarch, subject to only two limitations on his authority (both of which were intended to protect the existing system): the Emperor and his consort must both belong to the Russian Orthodox Church, and he must obey the laws of succession (Pauline Laws) established by Paul I. Beyond this, the power of the Russian Autocrat was virtually limitless.
On 17 October 1905, the situation changed: the Emperor voluntarily limited his legislative power by decreeing that no measure was to become law without the consent of the Imperial Duma, a freely elected national assembly established by the Organic Lawissued on 28 April 1906. However, the Emperor retained the right to disband the newly established Duma, and he exercised this right more than once. He also retained an absolute veto over all legislation, and only he could initiate any changes to the Organic Law itself. His ministers were responsible solely to him, and not to the Duma or any other authority, which could question but not remove them. Thus, while the Emperor's power was limited in scope after 28 April 1906, it still remained formidable.

Imperial CouncilEdit

The building on Palace Square opposite the Winter Palace was the headquarters of the Army General Staff. Today, it houses the headquarters of the Western Military District/Joint Strategic Command West.

The Catherine Palace, located at Tsarskoe Selo, was the summer residence of the imperial family. It is named after Empress Catherine I, who reigned from 1725 to 1727.
Under Russia's revised Fundamental Law of 20 February 1906, the Council of the Empire was associated with the Duma as a legislative Upper House; from this time the legislative power was exercised normally by the Emperor only in concert with the two chambers.[57] The Council of the Empire, or Imperial Council, as reconstituted for this purpose, consisted of 196 members, of whom 98 were nominated by the Emperor, while 98 were elective. The ministers, also nominated, were ex officiomembers. Of the elected members, 3 were returned by the "black" clergy (the monks), 3 by the "white" clergy (seculars), 18 by the corporations of nobles, 6 by the academy of sciences and the universities, 6 by the chambers of commerce, 6 by the industrial councils, 34 by the governments having zemstvos, 16 by those having no zemstvos, and 6 by Poland. As a legislative body the powers of the Council were coordinate with those of the Duma; in practice, however, it has seldom if ever initiated legislation.

State Duma and the electoral systemEdit

The Duma of the Empire or Imperial Duma (Gosudarstvennaya Duma), which formed the Lower House of the Russian parliament, consisted (since the ukaz of 2 June 1907) of 442 members, elected by an exceedingly complicated process. The membership was manipulated as to secure an overwhelming majority of the wealthy (especially the landed classes) and also for the representatives of the Russian peoples at the expense of the subject nations. Each province of the Empire, except Central Asia, returned a certain number of members; added to these were those returned by several large cities. The members of the Duma were chosen by electoral colleges and these, in their turn, were elected in assemblies of the three classes: landed proprietors, citizens and peasants. In these assemblies the wealthiest proprietors sat in person while the lesser proprietors were represented by delegates. The urban population was divided into two categories according to taxable wealth, and elected delegates directly to the college of the Governorates. The peasants were represented by delegates selected by the regional subdivisions called volosts. Workmen were treated in special manner with every industrial concern employing fifty hands or over electing one or more delegates to the electoral college.
In the college itself, the voting for the Duma was by secret ballot and a simple majority carried the day. Since the majority consisted of conservative elements (the landowners and urban delegates), the progressives had little chance of representation at all save for the curious provision that one member at least in each government was to be chosen from each of the five classes represented in the college. That the Duma had any radical elements was mainly due to the peculiar franchise enjoyed by the seven largest towns — Saint Petersburg, Moscow, KievOdessaRiga and the Polish cities of Warsaw and Łódź. These elected their delegates to the Duma directly, and though their votes were divided (on the basis of taxable property) in such a way as to give the advantage to wealth, each returned the same number of delegates.

Council of MinistersEdit

By the law of 18 October 1905, to assist the Emperor in the supreme administration a Council of Ministers (Sovyet Ministrov) was created, under a minister president, the first appearance of a prime minister in Russia. This council consists of all the ministers and of the heads of the principal administrations. The ministries were as follows:

Most Holy SynodEdit

The Senate and Synod headquarters – today the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation on Senate Squarein Saint Petersburg.
The Most Holy Synod (established in 1721) was the supreme organ of government of the Orthodox Church in Russia. It was presided over by a lay procurator, representing the Emperor, and consisted of the three metropolitans of Moscow, Saint Petersburg and Kiev, the archbishop of Georgia, and a number of bishops sitting in rotation.


The Senate (Pravitelstvuyushchi Senat, i.e. directing or governing senate), originally established during the government reform of Peter I, consisted of members nominated by the Emperor. Its wide variety of functions were carried out by the different departments into which it was divided. It was the supreme court of cassation; an audit office, a high court of justice for all political offences; one of its departments fulfilled the functions of a heralds' college. It also had supreme jurisdiction in all disputes arising out of the administration of the Empire, notably differences between representatives of the central power and the elected organs of local self-government. Lastly, it promulgated new laws, a function which theoretically gave it a power akin to that of the Supreme Court of the United States, of rejecting measures not in accordance with fundamental laws.

Administrative divisionsEdit

Subdivisions of the Russian Empire in 1914

Residence of the Governor of Moscow (1778–82)
For administration, Russia was divided (as of 1914) into 81 governorates (guberniyas), 20 oblasts, and 1 okrugVassals and protectorates of the Russian Empire included the Emirate of Bukhara, the Khanate of Khivaand, after 1914, Tuva (Uriankhai). Of these 11 Governorates, 17 oblasts and 1 okrug (Sakhalin) belonged to Asian Russia. Of the rest 8 Governorates were in Finland, 10 in Poland. European Russia thus embraced 59 governorates and 1 oblast (that of the Don). The Don Oblast was under the direct jurisdiction of the ministry of war; the rest had each a governor and deputy-governor, the latter presiding over the administrative council. In addition there were governors-general, generally placed over several governorates and armed with more extensive powers usually including the command of the troops within the limits of their jurisdiction. In 1906, there were governors-general in Finland, Warsaw, Vilna, Kiev, Moscow, and Riga. The larger cities (Saint Petersburg, Moscow, OdessaSevastopolKerchNikolayevRostov) had an administrative system of their own, independent of the governorates; in these the chief of police acted as governor.

Judicial systemEdit

The judicial system of the Russian Empire, existed from the mid-19th century, was established by the "tsar emancipator" Alexander II, by the statute of 20 November 1864 (Sudebny Ustav). This system – based partly on English, partly on French models – was built up on certain broad principles: the separation of judicial and administrative functions; the independence of the judges and courts; the publicity of trials and oral procedure; and the equality of all classes before the law. Moreover, a democratic element was introduced by the adoption of the jury system and – so far as one order of tribunal was concerned – the election of judges. The establishment of a judicial system on these principles constituted a major change in the conception of the Russian state, which, by placing the administration of justice outside the sphere of the executive power, ceased to be a despotism. This fact made the system especially obnoxious to the bureaucracy, and during the latter years of Alexander II and the reign of Alexander III there was a piecemeal taking back of what had been given. It was reserved for the third Duma, after the 1905 Revolution, to begin the reversal of this process.[n 2]
The system established by the law of 1864 was significant in that it set up two wholly separate orders of tribunals, each having their own courts of appeal and coming in contact only in the Senate, as the supreme court of cassation. The first of these, based on the English model, are the courts of the elected justices of the peace, with jurisdiction over petty causes, whether civil or criminal; the second, based on the French model, are the ordinary tribunals of nominated judges, sitting with or without a jury to hear important cases.

Local administrationEdit

Alongside the local organs of the central government in Russia there are three classes of local elected bodies charged with administrative functions:
  • the peasant assemblies in the mir and the volost;
  • the zemstvos in the 34 Governorates of Russia;
  • the municipal dumas.

Municipal dumasEdit

Since 1870 the municipalities in European Russia have had institutions like those of the zemstvos. All owners of houses, and tax-paying merchants, artisans and workmen are enrolled on lists in a descending order according to their assessed wealth. The total valuation is then divided into three equal parts, representing three groups of electors very unequal in number, each of which elects an equal number of delegates to the municipal duma. The executive is in the hands of an elective mayor and an uprava, which consists of several members elected by the duma. Under Alexander III, however, by laws promulgated in 1892 and 1894, the municipal dumas were subordinated to the governors in the same way as the zemstvos. In 1894 municipal institutions, with still more restricted powers, were granted to several towns in Siberia, and in 1895 to some in Caucasia.

Baltic provincesEdit

The formerly Swedish-controlled Baltic provinces (CourlandLivonia and Estonia) were incorporated into the Russian Empire after the defeat of Sweden in the Great Northern War. Under the Treaty of Nystad of 1721, the Baltic German nobility retained considerable powers of self-government and numerous privileges in matters affecting education, police and the administration of local justice. After 167 years of German language administration and education, laws were declared in 1888 and 1889 where the rights of the police and manorial justice were transferred from Baltic German control to officials of the central government. Since about the same time a process of Russification was being carried out in the same provinces, in all departments of administration, in the higher schools and in the Imperial University of Dorpat, the name of which was altered to Yuriev. In 1893 district committees for the management of the peasants' affairs, similar to those in the purely Russian governments, were introduced into this part of the empire.


Mining and Heavy IndustryEdit

100 roubles (1910)

Country equity capitalization 1900-2012

Russian and US equites, 1865 to 1917
Output of mining industry and heavy industry of Russian Empire by region in 1912 (in percent of the national output).
Ural RegionSouthern RegionCaucasusSiberiaKingdom of Poland
Pig Iron19.4%67.7%9.3%
Iron and Steel17.3%36.2%10.8%



The planning and building of the railway network after 1860 had far-reaching effects on the economy, culture, and ordinary life of Russia. The central authorities and the imperial elite made most of the key decisions, but local elites set up a demand for rail linkages. Local nobles, merchants, and entrepreneurs imagined the future from "locality" '(mestnost')' to "empire" to promote their regional interests. Often they had to compete with other cities. By envisioning their own role in a rail network they came to understand how important they were to the empire's economy.[58] The Russian army built two major railway lines in Central Asia during the 1880s. The Trans-Caucasian Railway connected the city of Batum on the Black Sea and the oil center of Baku on the Caspian Sea. The Trans-Caspian Railway began at Krasnovodsk on the Caspian Sea and reached Bukhara, Samarkand and Tashkent. Both lines served the commercial and strategic needs of the Empire, and facilitated migration.[59]



The Kazan Cathedral in Saint Petersburg was constructed between 1801 and 1811, and prior to the construction of Saint Isaac's Cathedralwas the main Orthodox Church in Imperial Russia.

Subdivisions of the Russian Empire by largest ethnolinguistic group (1897)
The Russian Empire's state religion was Orthodox Christianity.[60] The Emperor was not allowed to ″profess any faith other than the Orthodox″ (Article 62 of the 1906 Fundamental Laws) and was deemed ″the Supreme Defender and Guardian of the dogmas of the predominant Faith and is the Keeper of the purity of the Faith and all good order within the Holy Church″ (Article 64 ex supra). Although he made and annulled all senior ecclesiastical appointments, he did not determine the questions of dogma or church teaching. The principal ecclesiastical authority of the Russian Church that extended its jurisdiction over the entire territory of the Empire, including the ex-Kingdom of Kartli-Kakheti, was the Most Holy Synod, the civilian Over Procurator of the Holy Synod being one of the council of ministers with wide de factopowers in ecclesiastical matters. All religions were freely professed, except that certain restrictions were laid upon the Jews and some marginal sects. According to returns published in 1905, based on the Russian Imperial Census of 1897, adherents of the different religious communities in the whole of the Russian empire numbered approximately as follows.
ReligionCount of believers[61]%
Russian Orthodox87,123,60469.3%
Latin Catholics11,467,9949.1%
Lutherans[n 3]3,572,6532.8%
Old Believers2,204,5961.8%
Armenian Apostolics1,179,2410.9%
Buddhists and Lamaists433,8630.4%
Other non-Christian religions285,3210.2%
Armenian Catholics38,8400.0%
Karaite Jews12,8940.0%
Other Christian religions3,9520.0%
The ecclesiastical heads of the national Russian Orthodox Church consisted of three metropolitans (Saint Petersburg, Moscow, Kiev), fourteen archbishops and fifty bishops, all drawn from the ranks of the monastic (celibate) clergy. The parochial clergy had to be married when appointed, but if left widowers were not allowed to marry again; this rule continues to apply today.


Tsarist troops prepare for invading Persian forces during the Russo-Persian War (1804–13), which occurred contemporaneously with the French invasion of Russia.
The Russian Empire's military consisted of the Imperial Russian Army and the Imperial Russian Navy. The poor performance during the Crimean War, 1853–56, caused great soul-searching and proposals for reform. However the Russian forces fell further and further behind the technology, training and organization of the German, French and particularly the British military.[62]


Announcing the Coronation of Alexander II

Maslenitsa by Boris Kustodiev, showing a Russian city in winter
The Russian Empire was, predominantly, a rural society spread over vast spaces. In 1913, 80% of the people were peasants. Soviet historiography proclaimed that the Russian Empire of the 19th century was characterized by systemic crisis, which impoverished the workers and peasants and culminated in the revolutions of the early 20th century. Recent research by Russian scholars disputes this interpretation. Mironov assesses the effects of the reforms of latter 19th-century especially in terms of the 1861 emancipation of the serfs, agricultural output trends, various standard of living indicators, and taxation of peasants. He argues that they brought about measurable improvements in social welfare. More generally, he finds that the well-being of the Russian people declined during most of the 18th century, but increased slowly from the end of the 18th century to 1914.[63][64]


Subjects of the Russian Empire were segregated into sosloviyes, or social estates (classes) such as nobility (dvoryanstvo), clergy, merchants, cossacks and peasants. Native people of the Caucasus, non-ethnic Russian areas such as Tartarstan, Bashkirstan, Siberia and Central Asia were officially registered as a category called inorodtsy (non-Slavic, literally: "people of another origin").
A majority of the people, 81.6%, belonged to the peasant order, the others were: nobility, 0.6%; clergy, 0.1%; the burghers and merchants, 9.3%; and military, 6.1%. More than 88 million of the Russians were peasants. A part of them were formerly serfs (10,447,149 males in 1858) – the remainder being " state peasants " (9,194,891 males in 1858, exclusive of the Archangel Governorate) and " domain peasants " (842,740 males the same year).


The serfdom that had developed in Russia in the 16th century, and had become enshrined by law in 1649, was abolished in 1861.[65][66]
The household servants or dependents attached to the personal service were merely set free, while the landed peasants received their houses and orchards, and allotments of arable land. These allotments were given over to the rural commune, the mir, which was made responsible for the payment of taxes for the allotments. For these allotments the peasants had to pay a fixed rent, which could be fulfilled by personal labour. The allotments could be redeemed by peasants with the help of the Crown, and then they were freed from all obligations to the landlord. The Crown paid the landlord and the peasants had to repay the Crown, for forty-nine years at 6% interest. The financial redemption to the landlord was not calculated on the value of the allotments, but was considered as a compensation for the loss of the compulsory labour of the serfs. Many proprietors contrived to curtail the allotments which the peasants had occupied under serfdom, and frequently deprived them of precisely the parts of which they were most in need: pasture lands around their houses. The result was to compel the peasants to rent land from their former masters.[67][68]


Young Russian peasant women in front of traditional wooden house (ca. 1909 to 1915) taken by Prokudin-Gorskii.

Peasants in Russia. (Photograph taken by Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky in 1909.)
The former serfs became peasants, joining the millions of farmers who were already in the peasant status.[68][69] After the Emancipation reform, one quarter of peasants received allotments of only 2.9 acres (12,000 m2) per male, and one-half less than 8.5 to 11.4 acres; the normal size of the allotment necessary for the subsistence of a family under the three-fields system is estimated at 28 to 42 acres (170,000 m2). Land must thus of necessity be rented from the landlords. The aggregate value of the redemption and land taxes often reached 185 to 275% of the normal rental value of the allotments, not to speak of taxes for recruiting purposes, the church, roads, local administration and so on, chiefly levied from the peasants. The areas increased every year; one-fifth of the inhabitants left their houses; cattle disappeared. Every year more than half the adult males (in some districts three-quarters of the men and one-third of the women) quit their homes and wandered throughout Russia in search of labor. In the governments of the Black Earth Area the state of matters was hardly better. Many peasants took "gratuitous allotments," whose amount was about one-eighth of the normal allotments.[70][71]
The average allotment in Kherson was only 0.90-acre (3,600 m2), and for allotments from 2.9 to 5.8 acres (23,000 m2) the peasants pay 5 to 10 rubles of redemption tax. The state peasants were better off, but still they were emigrating in masses. It was only in the steppe governments that the situation was more hopeful. In Ukraine, where the allotments were personal (the mir existing only among state peasants), the state of affairs does not differ for the better, on account of the high redemption taxes. In the western provinces, where the land was valued cheaper and the allotments somewhat increased after the Polish insurrection, the general situation was better. Finally, in the Baltic provinces nearly all the land belonged to the German landlords, who either farmed the land themselves, with hired laborers, or let it in small farms. Only one quarter of the peasants were farmers; the remainder were mere laborers.[72]


The situation of the former serf-proprietors was also unsatisfactory. Accustomed to the use of compulsory labor, they failed to adapt to the new conditions. The millions of rubles of redemption money received from the crown was spent without any real or lasting agricultural improvements having been effected. The forests were sold, and the only prosperous landlords were those who exacted rack-rents for the land without which the peasants could not live upon their allotments. During the years 1861 to 1892 the land owned by the nobles decreased 30%, or from 210,000,000 to 150,000,000 acres (610,000 km2); during the following four years an additional 2,119,500 acres (8,577 km2) were sold; and since then the sales went on at an accelerated rate, until in 1903 alone close to 2,000,000 acres (8,000 km2) passed out of their hands. On the other hand, since 1861, and more especially since 1882, when the Peasant Land Bank was founded for making advances to peasants who were desirous of purchasing land, the former serfs, or rather their descendants, had between 1883 and 1904 bought about 19,500,000 acres (78,900 km2) from their former masters. There was an increase of wealth among the few, but along with this a general impoverishment of the mass of the people, and the peculiar institution of the mir—framed on the principle of community of ownership and occupation of the land--, the effect was not conducive to the growth of individual effort. In November 1906, however, the emperor Nicholas II promulgated a provisional order permitting the peasants to become freeholders of allotments made at the time of emancipation, all redemption dues being remitted. This measure, which was endorsed by the third Duma in an act passed on 21 December 1908, is calculated to have far-reaching and profound effects on the rural economy of Russia. Thirteen years previously the government had endeavored to secure greater fixity and permanence of tenure by providing that at least twelve years must elapse between every two redistributions of the land belonging to a mir amongst those entitled to share in it. The order of November 1906 had provided that the various strips of land held by each peasant should be merged into a single holding; the Duma, however, on the advice of the government, left this to the future, as an ideal that could only gradually be realized.[72]


Censorship was heavy-handed until the reign of Alexander II, but it never went away.[73]Newspapers were strictly limited in what they could publish, as intellectuals favored literary magazines for their publishing outlets. Fyodor Dostoyevsky, for example, ridiculed the St. Petersburg newspapers, such as Golos and Peterburgskii Listok, which he accused of publishing trifles and distracting readers from the pressing social concerns of contemporary Russia through their obsession with spectacle and European popular culture.[74]

Russian history and about of Russia(Part5)

I'm back with the part5 of Russian history and about of Russia. Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic:- This article is abou...