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

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Why did Britain not purchase Alaska when Russia had it up for sale?

One thing that comes up often when discussing "what-ifs" with family or friends is why the British government never nabbed Alaska when Russia had placed it up for sale and made it into Canada's fourth ...
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7answers
5k 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 ...
17
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4answers
2k 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 ...
16
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2answers
2k 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 ...
15
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5answers
3k 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 ...
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3answers
291 views

Were British fears of Russia using Afghanistan as a staging post for an invasion of India unfounded?

I know that "The Great Game" was originally concerned with Russian-British competition in Central Asia, but my question is was this competition and British fear founded on anything? My understanding ...
13
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2answers
262 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: ...
11
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3answers
3k views

What does Russia want with Chechnya

I have heard that Russia has been fighting with the Chechens on and off for about 300 years, occasionally losing control and reconquering. What exactly does Russia have to gain by retaining control of ...
11
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1answer
449 views

Could the Russians Have Done Better at the Battle of Tsushima Straits Than They Actually Did?

In 1905, during the Russo-Japanese War, a Russian fleet sailing all the way from the Baltic was annihilated by the Japanese fleet in the Tsushima Straits. The Russian fleet was larger, with thirteen ...
11
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4answers
487 views

What role did the space race play in reducing the nuclear threat during the 1960s?

Today I visited again the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center, a space flight history museum, and noticed for the first time the claim that part of John F. Kennedy's motivation for pushing for a ...
11
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1answer
257 views

Who were the target audiences of this propaganda lithograph?

What was the main purpose of the image below, who was the audience (except Japanese people themselves)? It is a Japanese lithograph depicting the capture of Blagoveshchensk, Siberia, by the Imperial ...
10
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2answers
738 views

Did Japan ever pay Russia war reparations after WW2? Why or why not?

Russia had the largest number of casualties during WW2, and Russia had taken many Japanese prisoners. So, why didn't Russia receive a reparation from Japan to help boost Russia's economy after the ...
10
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1answer
120 views

How long was a journey “from the Varangians to the Greeks?”

Textbooks about Russian history often discuss the importance of trade routes "from the Varangians to the Greeks," which allowed ships to pass from the Baltic to the Black Sea using a network of ...
10
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1answer
1k views

What was Lenin's major criticism of or differences with Marx?

I'm interested in what specific differences in Lenin's writing might address what he perceived to be the shortcomings of Marx's work. Wikipedia is weak on this topic.
10
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3answers
255 views

What was the basis for valuating large territorial purchases by USA?

There were at least 2 times when USA extended its territory by purchasing it outright - Louisiana+ from French and Alaska from Russians. The Louisiana Purchase was the acquisition by the United ...
9
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2answers
741 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 ...
9
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2answers
224 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 ...
9
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2answers
270 views

Ethnic Germans in Russian service in Poland

General Brusilov wrote in his memoirs that a few years before the war he was serving in a high military position in Russian-controlled Poland and that he was appalled by the fact that all Russian high ...
8
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6answers
987 views

Why didn't Russia help Saddam Hussein as it is helping Syria now?

Wasn't Saddam an ally of Russia? If Russia wasn't his ally, who was his ally? Syria is looking like a strong ally of Russia as it was the case of Serbia. Russians played direct roles to save these ...
8
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2answers
298 views

Can you identify these images from Revolution-era Russia?

I saw an unrelated image include portions of these images: I know they are from the 1918-1932 era of the USSR, judging from the art style, but I can not find titles or translations for them. I ...
8
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2answers
263 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. ...
7
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1answer
359 views

Why Antarctica was never conquered before the advent of the modern men?

Citing wikipedia: "...the first confirmed sighting of the continent is commonly accepted to have occurred in 1820 by the Russian expedition of Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen and Mikhail Lazarev on ...
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5answers
284 views

Has a book ever caused the ousting of a dictator?

The new book, The Man Without a Face, by Masha Gessen is at least partially intended to humanize Russian leader Vladimir Putin in hopes that it will eliminate the power he appreciates by maintaining a ...
7
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2answers
843 views

Are there ways to measure “how much power did ”Russia“ lose when the Soviet Union broke up?”

Russia today is the largest country in the world (by a fairly wide margin). That is true after the other 15 or so "Socialist Republics" left and went their separate ways in 1991, leaving Russia with a ...
7
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2answers
321 views

What sources or documentation exists to indicate Stalin's level of popularity in Russia today?

migrated from comments http://history.stackexchange.com/a/1710/682 To what extent is Stalin still loved and/or respected by Russians (and for extra points former USSR states) while articles like ...
7
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1answer
218 views

What was Poland's posture during the Seven Years' War?

Poland seems like the "invisible" party during the Seven Years' War Ostensibly, it was fought between France, Austria, and Russia on one side, and Prussia, plus Great Britain-Hannover on the other. ...
7
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4answers
552 views

Who are the modern descendants of the Khazar people?

The Khazars where a people who built an empire centred North of the Caucasus Range, between the 7th and 11th centuries. They are not at all mainstream (at least in Europe), even though, defeating the ...
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3answers
2k views

How many Russian people did Tsar Ivan IV (“the Terrible”) kill?

Ivan's rule was full of contradiction, success and failure. Was his rule bloody? How many Russian people were killed by him?
6
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1answer
186 views

What was the summer uniform of the streltsy?

The Russian streltsy (shooters) of 17th century are usually depicted in winter uniform wearing fur caps and dress. What was their summer uniform?
6
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1answer
73 views

Was Pawiak prison in Warsaw originally for political or general prisoners?

I was reading about Pawiak prison in Warsaw and the general consensus appears to be that it was built between 1829 and 1835 during a time of Russian occupation. It seems clear that after the January ...
6
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2answers
332 views

Isn't there any positive legacy of the Mongolian occupation in Russia?

In the BBC radio 4 series The Wild East, the history of Russia after the Mongolian occupation is described as if all the bad things happend subsequently had been caused by the legacy of that era. ...
5
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2answers
1k 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?
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1answer
260 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 preformed it and who was in charge of this operation?
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3answers
1k 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?
5
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2answers
158 views

What Was the Political Condition of the Region that Encompasses the Modern Russian State in the time of the Roman empire?

What was the political system of the peoples living in what is presently the Russian state during the time of the Roman empire? Also, was there any communication between these peoples and the Roman ...
5
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1answer
96 views

Why was Patriarch Nikon removed from power?

Why did he lose the grace of Tzar Alexey? Which enemies conspired against him and how?
5
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1answer
109 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 ...
5
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1answer
266 views

Were there opium dens in Russia during the 19th century?

The title says it all. I've tried searching information on opium use in Europe, but I can't find any source that says whether or not opium dens were ever prominent in Russia specifically.
5
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0answers
114 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 ...
5
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1answer
93 views

Are there non-russian sources related to how Rurikid Dynasty became rulers of Russia?

Most of the information - at least as taught in Russia - related to how Rurik Dynasty became rulers of Rus is based on "Повѣсть времяньныхъ лѣтъ" ("Tale of Bygone Years", aka "Primary Chronicle"). Is ...
4
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2answers
724 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?
4
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3answers
298 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 ...
4
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4answers
259 views

Does US law permit spending taxpayers' money to support foreign political parties?

Here is a video, showing a number of Russian opposition activists visiting U.S. embassy before Russian presidential elections: ...
4
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3answers
152 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 ...
4
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2answers
146 views

Battle of Vienna & Morean War : what was Russia's position?

Russia doesn't appear in wikipedia's accounts of the Morean War or of the preceding Battle of Vienna. I find that mildly suprising. Perhaps the reason is that before Peter Russia was less active with ...
4
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1answer
407 views

Was the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan one of the major reasons that led to the fall of Soviet Union?

Was the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan one of the major reasons that led to the fall of Soviet Union? That is what the world history teacher told me. Please show your sources.
4
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4answers
478 views

What was the fate of most SS members after World War II?

What happened to most of the members of the SS after the war? Were they punished?
4
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1answer
366 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 ...
4
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1answer
141 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 ...
4
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1answer
172 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 did he crown Catherine I as Empress ? I looked the Wikipedia article but they don't mention any reason.