The largest country in the world, spanning territory from the eastern edge of Europe to Siberia in northern Asia.

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41
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10answers
11k views

Did the Soviets excel in one area of weaponry during World War II?

The Germans had some of the best machine guns and tanks during World War II. Likewise, the Americans had a big advantage with the M1 Garand (which Patton famously called "The greatest battle implement ...
0
votes
2answers
73 views

Feudalism vs Serfdom [closed]

Are these two the same? I was thinking that Serfdom will always exist on your feudalism but not vice versa. For example Peter the Great of Russia employed serfdom however these service were not part ...
11
votes
5answers
1k views

Why did Stalin push for the Great Purge against the Red Army in 1936?

From what we now know of Stalin, he seemed to believe in the basics of Marxist-Leninism. As a communist, didn't he fear that killing his own military's leadership would seriously endanger the world's ...
12
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3answers
2k views

Did Peter the Great promote rights for women? If so, how?

I read somewhere that Peter the Great wanted that women participated more actively in the society. But I can not find a reliable source to confirm this, nor why or how he did this. I think this is ...
6
votes
4answers
731 views

Has there ever been a direct clash between NATO and Russia?

Looking at the news today on the downing of a Russian fighter jet by Turkey and I am wondering... Prior to this, has there ever been a direct clash between NATO and Russia? Proxy wars don't count, I ...
8
votes
2answers
370 views

How did Germany claim self-defense in WW1?

WW1 broke out after a series of ultimatums and warnings against each other. However, I understand that every power claimed that the other powers were acting against its interests, and it was ...
4
votes
4answers
229 views

Alexander Nevsky's helmet

I've seen a claim that Alexander Nevsky's helmet has Arabic writing on it, saying something like "With Allah's help" and "Speedy victory". The claim sounds about right, giving Alexander's close ...
13
votes
2answers
309 views

Are these Red Army uniforms authentic?

This image attributes all three uniforms to the Red Army of 1918-1922. I wonder whether the proposed time frame and/or details authentic. For me the first one looks like it was taken from the 1940s ...
8
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0answers
195 views

Have there been any joint US-Russia/Soviet military engagements post WW II?

Reportedly, now both the USA and Russia are engaged in military combat against Islamic State in Syria. Although contexts are different and it remains debatable exactly whom Russia are targeting, the ...
3
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2answers
197 views

Why did the USSR switch from 1524 mm gauge to 1520 mm gauge in the late 1960's?

This article mentions that Russia started with a 1,524 mm rail gauge, and in the sixties and seventies, switched to a 1,520 mm rail gauge with tighter tolerances. Why do this? If you want tighter ...
-1
votes
3answers
467 views

Why and how were the Mongols able to invade Russia successfully?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mongol_invasion_of_Rus%27 The campaign was heralded by the Battle of the Kalka River in 1223, which resulted in a Mongol victory over the forces of several Rus' ...
1
vote
1answer
241 views

Is this true that the Russian economy was efficient during war II? [closed]

During the second world war (You remember, the one that America was briefly involved in), the USSR’s “russian system” recovered from being devastated by the advancing Germans, and using a ...
7
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2answers
132 views

Why did Peter the Great tie particular expenditures to particular revenue sources?

Peter the Great founded the Russian Academy in 1724. In his decree, he says the Academy will be supported by an annual grant of 25,000 rubles drawn from the custom tolls of Baltic Sea ports. (source) ...
6
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3answers
1k views

Did Russia declare war on Prussia before its invasion of that country on August 7, 1914?

I was looking through some lists of war declarations from the first World War and I did not see any declaration of war by Russia on Germany or Prussia. The Russian army did invade Prussia on August 7, ...
20
votes
1answer
2k views

What is this household object from early 1900s rural Russia?

At the Kalashnikov museum in Izhevsk, one of the exhibits includes this item: It is a yoke-shaped square bar of light, unvarnished wood, roughly 100 cm long, with rounded corners. There is a hole ...
7
votes
3answers
476 views

Why was Lithuania not colonized by Soviet Union?

During the Soviet occupation of Baltic States, Estonia and Latvia saw their countries settled by Russians who eventually made up more than 30% of their populations. However percentage of Russians in ...
16
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1answer
3k views

Why did Stalin keep the famine of 1932 a secret?

The famine of 1932 took millions of lives, before the Soviet authorities took some measures to alleviate the lives of the peasants. During the whole time, and for decades afterwards, the affair was ...
7
votes
2answers
658 views

Are Russians descended from Varangian Vikings? [closed]

Some historians say yes, but some do not. There had been archaeological diggings in Saint-Petersburg and the Novgorod region, as seen in one rare documentary on Youtube. ( haha I am not studying ...
0
votes
1answer
153 views

Is classical music 'bourgeois'? [closed]

Historically I am aware that classical music has always been an activity mostly reserved for the elite; therefore, it would seem that it is something completely inaccessible to the general population. ...
15
votes
7answers
806 views

Why were the Germans and Russians so fixated on an unlikely “separate peace” in 1945?

Anyone familiar with the history of WW2 will know that the Germans hoped for and the Russians feared the British and Americans in 1944/45 might make a separate peace with Hitler and even join together ...
4
votes
0answers
70 views

What was the role of Konstantin Rokossovsky during WW1?

The Wikipedia article is very poor in this subject: On joining the Kargopolsky 5th Dragoon Regiment, Rokossovsky soon showed himself a talented soldier and leader; he ended the war with the rank ...
2
votes
2answers
136 views

Was there a battle were Russians forces rallied around a religious icon to achieve victory?

I remember on my last visit to Moscow, there was an incredible art piece where a group of priests carrying orthodox icons are surrounded by soldiers with spears and swords. I remember the legend ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Why is there is a pan-slavic movement?

While studying the history of Eastern Europe during the last century, I found that one of the main issues was the Pan-Slavic movement. For example big events such as World War I or the current civil ...
5
votes
1answer
179 views

What was the role of the Russian Orthodox church in Soviet Russia?

Considering that Soviet Union was officially atheistic and Bibles and most "Christian" denominations were banned, it is interesting to me that the government left the Russian Orthodox churches ...
10
votes
3answers
372 views

Was the Empire style of fashion adopted in Russia?

I just started re-reading War and peace, having completely forgotten it since the first time I read it. And I'm noticing that Tolstoy is referring to clothing every now and then. I wonder what it ...
11
votes
2answers
334 views

Authenticity of the Russian birch bark manuscripts

More than 1000 birch bark manuscripts have been found in Novgorod and other Russian cities in last 50 years. Many of them stayed in the soil for more than 700 years. In the same time, no special ...
5
votes
0answers
302 views

Dresses of Catherine the Great

How many dresses did Catherine the Great have in her wardrobe just before she died. I have a clue that one of their lovers took notes. I'm still researching and I will post if I find something.
11
votes
1answer
183 views

Who owned Franz Josef islands between 1918-1926?

Franz Josef land was discovered and claimed by Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1873. Previously Norway discovered it, but they never reported the discovery. The Austro-Hungarian Empire dissoluted in ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

When was slavery abolished in Russia?

It is usually agreed that the Russian serfdom which was abolished in the mid-19th century originated in the 16th century as a form of martial law needed for armed campaigns and was especially ...
-5
votes
1answer
171 views

Are the slavs somehow involved in slavery? [closed]

Why are the slavs / slavic people called the slavs? It looks like the name suggests that it has to do something with slavery.
1
vote
0answers
61 views

What historical incidents to Russian historians study to understand crisis management? [closed]

"Groupthink" -- a word originally coined by William H. White in 1952, is a phenomenon that occurs when members of a cohesive group are concerned with quickly reaching a consensus in their decision ...
5
votes
2answers
266 views

When did the socialist movement start becoming noteworthy in Russian history?

I'm not a historian but I've always been intrigued by modern Russian history, from the socialist revolution to the present. I'm thinking of reading more on the subject and want to know how far back in ...
19
votes
2answers
9k views

Did the Germans purposefully arrange to send Lenin to Russia to start a revolution?

A recent documentary, The World Wars, on the History Channel suggested, strongly, that the Imperial German government secretly arranged safe-passage for Vladimir Lenin to return to Moscow from ...
5
votes
2answers
176 views

After the fall of Constantinople was there a re-evaluation of the basis of Russia's religion?

According to the Primary Chronicle, Vladimir the Great rejected Judaism in 987 with the rationale that they lost Jerusalem. When Constantinople was conquered in 1453 by the Ottomans, was there any ...
3
votes
3answers
572 views

Is this Brzezinski quote real?

Various Russian websites attribute to Brzezinski the following quote: The new world order under U.S. hegemony was created against Russia at the expense of Russia and on the ruins of Russia. I ...
5
votes
2answers
276 views

Why was Tsesarevich Alexei's hemophilia a state secret?

Alexei inherited hemophilia from his mother Alexandra, a condition that could be traced back to her maternal grandmother Queen Victoria. In 2009 genetic analysis determined specifically that he ...
5
votes
1answer
96 views

Statistics on pre-revolutionary Russian education

I'm looking for some statistics (and I know this may not even exist) about education rates in pre-revolutionary Russian society (by pre-revolutionary I'm looking for between 1890 and 1917). Someone ...
3
votes
0answers
288 views

What was the lena River Delta U-boat base in the Soviet Arctic used for?

In 1963 the body of a German navy NCO was found in Neelova Gulf with the remnants of his uniform and rifle ammunition. In 1985 Soviet helicopter pilot Peter Statsyukom discovered a small complex of ...
6
votes
2answers
813 views

Who was the first Russian in space (not Soviet)?

I know Yuri Gagarin was the first Soviet, and man, in space. Who was the first Russian (not Soviet) in space?
1
vote
1answer
90 views

What was character of Chmielnitski's rise?

What was the character of Chmielnitski's rise? It has started as a private conflict between him and a polish nobel, Aleksander Czapliński. But what was after? And what was the reason to fight when ...
-5
votes
1answer
119 views

Holocaust reparations & liberation bill [closed]

Since the end of WWII, Jewish groups have been suing Germany and Axis owned businesses for reparations for their roles in the holocaust. In a similar vein, have the Russians ever sent the Jews a bill ...
5
votes
6answers
401 views

Have there been other examples of reunification/annexation, such as in the Crimea, that succeeded without using deadly force?

I'm not trying to start a debate about if Russia's recent actions in the Crimea are legal or whether the majority of the population agrees with what has happened. However, the action was successful ...
2
votes
2answers
321 views

When did the Polovtsy convert to Islam?

Polovtsy is a name used to refer various Turkic tribes living to the East of Kievan Rus. I wonder at what point those Turkic peoples became Muslim?
8
votes
1answer
333 views

Why did the Streltsy in Russia have no summer uniform?

As noted in this answer, the typical well-know-from-paintings red coats and hats uniform of Russian Streltsy guard was both a winter and summer uniform. Is there any reason why an (obviously warm, to ...
14
votes
2answers
417 views

Three rings (wreaths?) symbol in XIX century Russia

On some buildings in Moscow (and other cities in European part of Russia) there are carvings of three interconnected wreaths. For example, some are on the Pushkin Museum building on Prechistenka: ...
8
votes
1answer
638 views

What was the summer uniform of the streltsy?

The Russian streltsy (shooters) of 17th century are usually depicted in winter uniform wearing fur hats and dress. What was their summer uniform?
3
votes
2answers
396 views

Who were the first democratically elected leaders of Russia in history?

On Boris Yeltsin's page in Wikipedia there's the fact that on 12th June, 1991, he was elected by popular vote to the newly created post of President of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic ...
6
votes
1answer
273 views

Civilians in Napoleon's Grand Army when he invaded Russia

It is fairly well documented that Napoleon's retreat from Moscow in 1812 was somewhat slowed by the large amounts of civilians following the army. My question is - where did these civilians come from ...
2
votes
1answer
193 views

Was the 18th century Russian peasant braver; or simply more afraid of Cossacks?

Frederick the Great famously noted after the Battle of Zorndorf that "It's easier to kill the Russians than to win over them." For that same battle the Russian commander (William Fermor) is noted as ...
7
votes
1answer
415 views

Who was in charge of the Barysaw massacre (20 October 1941)?

I'm looking for information about the Barysaw Massacre of 20 October 1941. Who performed it and who was in charge of this operation?