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

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2answers
237 views

Why did Russian Federation declare independence from Soviet Union? [closed]

In June 12th 1990, the Russian Federation declared its independence from the Soviet Union, effectively ending the Soviet Union. While I understand that other parts of the former Soviet Union like ...
8
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1answer
248 views

Did Soviet Republics like Kazakstan and Azerbaijan have their own military units?

Were Soviet units typically separated by national origin or were all men from all Soviet nations mixed together in divisions? I'm not talking just through World War II, but from the 1940s all the way ...
4
votes
1answer
114 views

Is there a name for the style of the 'superhero' Russian statues?

Is there a name for the style of the 'superhero' Russian statues? I can only find one example which is a statue of Yuri Gagarin But I have seen similar statues in documentaries and movies.
8
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4answers
1k views

Did Russia declare war on Germany 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, ...
2
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2answers
132 views

How much resemblance did the industrialization of the Soviet Union bear to those of the rest of the world?

I was thinking about the industrialization of the Soviet Union, most notably the death toll involved. The policies (such as forced-labour, prison camps for those who under performed, extremely poor ...
12
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2answers
383 views

Why did Napoleon march to Moscow instead of Saint Petersburg?

When Napoleon decided to invade Russia in 1812, why did he target Moscow instead of Saint Petersburg? At the time, Saint Petersburg was the Capital of Russia, not Moscow (although Moscow may have had ...
44
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11answers
12k 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
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2answers
82 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 ...
10
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2answers
253 views

Have Moscow and Beijing ever been cities under the same rule?

Have Moscow and Beijing ever been cities under the rule of the same empire? It should have been Mongol Empire, I suppose. How long has it lasted?
15
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7answers
877 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
91 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 ...
10
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2answers
451 views

How and why did Charles XII Get to Poltava?

The decisive battle of the Great Northern War between Sweden and Russia was the battle of Poltava. That's located deep in the Ukraine, southeast of Kiev, between Cherkassy and Kharkov. That seems ...
5
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2answers
178 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 ...
12
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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 ...
4
votes
2answers
371 views

Why did Peter the Great crown Catherine I as empress?

Watching a Russian tv-series about the life of Peter the Great, I didn't quite follow why Peter crowned Catherine I as empress. I looked the Wikipedia article but they don't mention any reason.
4
votes
4answers
290 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
573 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 ...
11
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3answers
1k views

Is the “Katyusha” scene from Deer Hunter historically accurate?

In the movie Deer Hunter we can see Russian-Americans sing the song "Katyusha" during a wedding. One can clearly see that this song fits well into the movie's themes (the groom on this wedding is ...
6
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4answers
775 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 ...
4
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1answer
1k views

Why did Empress Elizabeth and Catherine the Great of Russia have such different policies toward Frederick the Great?

Elizabeth of Russia seemed to consider Frederick the Great Russia's worst enemy. She waged the Seven Years' War in order to conquer East Prussia (which she planned to exchange to Poland for territory ...
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3answers
557 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' ...
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5answers
5k views

Where does the name of the country “Belarus” come from?

I've read the German and English Wikipedia on this topic as well as the translated Belarussian version and some sites I googled. They all seem to argue that the 'Rus' part stems from the Region called ...
13
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2answers
354 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
votes
0answers
224 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
109 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
143 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) ...
3
votes
2answers
217 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
vote
1answer
255 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
564 views

What were the causes of the “Dardenelles” fiasco in World War I

During World War II, the Allies sent supplies to the Soviet Union via Murmansk/Archangelsk in the north, via Persia and the Caspian Sea in the south, and via the Tran-Siberian railroad. Why didn't ...
5
votes
6answers
437 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 ...
22
votes
8answers
13k views

How Did Moscow Become the Capital/Most Important City in Russia?

Early in the past millennium, Kiev was probably the largest, most modern city in the former Soviet Union, at least until the Mongols came. One might have expected it to be the capital of the Soviet ...
10
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3answers
422 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
432 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?
20
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6answers
5k views

Why hasn't Russia maintained significant numbers of aircraft carriers?

The United States has 11 aircraft carriers in total. Russia has only one. This is reflective of the past, in which we saw that the USSR also didn't put much importance on constructing aircraft ...
10
votes
4answers
708 views

Did The Soviet Union Need Both Prongs to Succeed At the Battle of Stalingrad?

In November, 1942, three months after the battle of Stalingrad began, the Soviet Union, launched Operation Uranus, a counterencirclement of the German forces in and around the city, in two prongs. ...
20
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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 ...
8
votes
3answers
559 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 ...
17
votes
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
927 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 ...
19
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2answers
12k 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 ...
0
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1answer
178 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. ...
4
votes
0answers
77 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 ...
13
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5answers
3k views

How compare the rights and conditions of the American slaves to those of Russian serfs?

How compare the rights and conditions of the 19-th century American slaves to those of the 19-th century Russian serfs?
11
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2answers
359 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
144 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
442 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 ...
10
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3answers
4k views

Why did Russia give up its claims to the Oregon Country?

Originally, everyone in the area claimed the Oregon Country: the British, Americans, Spanish, and Russians. Why did Russia give up its claim to the region? What did they get in return?
8
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
339 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?