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50

Because Russia had been at war with Britain for most of the preceding two decades. One of Russia's problems in owning Alaska was defending it against it being used as a British route to invade Russia (militarily insane - but that's politics) - remember Canada was British at the time. By selling it to America they installed one of Britain's adversaries in ...


29

First of all, aircraft carriers are expensive. Russia (compared to USA) was never resource-rich enough to be able to afford the expense; neither was USSR. Second of all, Russia (or rather USSR) had no motivation. USA's main geopolitical goal is to safeguard seabourne trade routes; and to prevent strong competitors from arising and commanding great sets of ...


25

Yes. Originally, Moscow became a center of power as a defensive measure against Mongols, since it was seen as a "remote, forested location" for the descendants of Kievan Rus. One Wikipedia article says that "a number of rivers provided access to the Baltic and Black Seas and to the Caucasus region", but it seems to me it is in the Volga basin, so the best ...


25

1932 There are two chief interpretations of the 1932 Soviet famine, or especially the more infamous Ukrainian component, the Holodomor. That the famine was at least partially caused or exacerbated by Soviet policies is well established. The main difference between the schools of thought is the degree to which Soviet authorities perpetuated or even ...


24

It is depending on your definition of a Russian. Gagarin was born in the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, so he was the first Russian in space. Sergei Krikaljow (also a Russian) started as a citizen of the Soviet Union, when the Soviet Union was dissolved on December 26, 1991 he was in space. So he was the first citizen of the Russian ...


24

It's a Cветец (Svetetz), a device for holding a primitive torch called a Лучина (Luchina - splinter) or Rushlight, really just a splinter of wood or a piece of plant fiber dipped in grease. The Svetetz would need to be placed in a pool of water to prevent dropped ashes from starting a fire, so that could explain the raised yoke-like sides of the wooden ...


22

Existence The existence of a Southern Land was postulated by the Greeks, on grounds of symmetry. Aristotle (Meterologica, II, 5) writes: Now since there must be a region bearing the same relation to the southern pole as the place we live in bears to our pole, it will clearly correspond in the ordering of its winds as well as in other things. So just as ...


19

The Russo-American Treaty of 1824 established a clear border between American and Russian lands on the West Coast as well as trade. It gave Russian claims south of parallel 54°40′ north to the US. Russia was inclined to give away this territory, which was in dispute between them, Britain, America and Spain, to insure their undisputed and ongoing ownership ...


17

It wasn't as simple as "13 against 4" as the question states. Russians only had 8 real battleships. 3 were coastal defense Ushakov class battleships. The entire order of battle was significantly less lopsided than the ratio above indicates. Even leaving aside ship quality, the quantity was (from Wiki) | Japan | Russia | ...


17

The “bela” stems from the common Slavic root for “white”, as has been discussed in the other answers. There were also historical regions called the “Red” and the “Black” Rus’ (Ruthenia) on the territory of todays Belarus and Ukraine-- the Grand Duchy of Lithuania of the middle ages. The origin of the “Rus” part of Belarus is somewhat uncertain. It is first ...


16

Origins of Pan-Slavism Speaking as a (western) Slav, panslavism was indeed a big topic in 19th century politics. The primary reason for this seems to have been that outside of Russia, most Slavic populations were not in fact in their own nation states, but rather were subjugated by other national groups. This included, for instance, Czechs under Austrian ...


15

A Russian revolution caused by the Bolsheviks was most definitely the goal of the Germans when they allowed Lenin to pass through their lands. Germany wished to undermine, or end, the Russian war effort and sending Lenin back was done for that purpose. If true, who came up with the idea and was there any consideration that a communist Russia could ...


14

After Franklin suggested that no serf ever realized the potential of improving their conditions and the right to education, I'd like to introduce a story of Aleksandr Nikitenko, who went to school being a serf and later, as a free man, became a professor at St. Petersburg University. He was emancipated by his owner in 1824, at the age of 20. In 1824, ...


13

The first one says USSR (right below the star) The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics is a socialist state of workers and peasants See http://www.departments.bucknell.edu/russian/const/36cons01.html (constitution of the USSR), Article 1. The second one says "VKP(b)" in the top-right corner meaning All-Russian Communist Party (bolsheviks) or All-Union ...


13

Russia and America (the Union) were very nearly allies during the Civil War. The implied enemies were the South (Confederacy) and Great Britain. Although Russia wanted to "monetize" Alaska, she also wanted it in "friendly" hands. The (re-united) U.S. fit the bill. Great Britain did not, after having allied with France and Turkey in the Crimean war.


13

Let's split this into two questions. First, is it plausible that a population of Russian emigrants from the White émigré population would sing this Soviet song. And second, was it the intention of the film makers to portray the Russian emigrants as influenced by Soviet culture. According to Wikipedia, Russian Americans came to America in four waves: the ...


13

There are not many situations of annexation or unification in recent history, and most of those are accompanied by warfare or guerrilla violence. So this is a relatively unusual situation. Given the narrow question you asked, the most obvious answer is German unification. The DDR/GDR basically just dissolved and those East German Lander were incorporated ...


13

The usual answer is that Russia abolished slavery in 1723. Technically speaking, there were no more slaves in Russia after this point. In reality, it meant they were merged into the class of serfs, whose lives were barely distinguishable from the formally enslaved anyway. State measures to increase the numbers of people liable to direct taxation in the ...


12

It's a bit of a long write-up, but the best reason is fairly easy to trace on a map. The southern border of Russia between Caspian and Black seas is pretty defenseless as far as natural features (same is true for other borders). So historically, Russia worked/fought to extend its borders to defensible ranges, in case of this specific area, the Greater ...


12

Japan agreed to pay war reparations of 1.3 trillion yen. The Japanese GDP in 1952 was 6,217 billion yen. So the reparation was 20.91% of the Japanese GDP. The Japanese GDP in 2011 was equivalent to $5.869 trillion 2011 USD. So the reparations were equivalent to 1,224 billion 2011 USD. This was all proposed at the Treaty of San Francisco in 1952. The soviet ...


12

Interesting question and highly creative conjectures but ultimately the answer is no. The trade routes didn't play much of a role: Russian trade remained oriented on Western Europe; as for the great Russian music, it was the product of the 19-20th centuries and followed and developed, once again, Western patterns. So, to sum up: I can't think of any ...


11

Belarus was earlier called White Russia. Belo is the "Russian" word for White. It is probably not a reference to the Latin "bella" or beautiful. Nor do I believe that "Rus" is a reference to a woman. "Rus" was a reference to a group of Vikings who settled the western parts of what later became the Soviet Union, including modern Belarus and the Ukraine. ...


11

There was a serious drop in GDP. The following graphic shows drop in GDP per captia for Russian Federation (not the USSR): Passengers transported by civil air transport (RSFSR compared to Russia): Passengers transported by intercity rail transport: There was also a serious drop in demographic indicators. The following plot shows birth rate (red), ...


11

On October, 20-21 1941, the German occupation authority of Borisov (headed by Stanislav Stankevich with the participation of obersturmfuerer Kraffe) performed liquidation of the Jewish ghetto. At the day were killed 7 245 Jews. The upcoming action was announced on a banquet by the city administration. The performers were mostly Russian auxiliary police ...


10

The USSR was created in 1922 so the first one for sure cannot be from 1918. The cited first article of the constitution belongs to the constitution of 1936. The image clearly attributes it to the constitution (by small font below the phrase it says "from the constitution of the Soviet Union" and the entire phrase is in the quotes. So my guess is that the ...


10

The aircraft carrier is an offensive weapon; it is not very useful to protect one's own territory-- and the USSR was never planning an aggressive war. The USSR's main military preparations were for a defensive war in Europe similar to the Great Patriotic War during WWII and for nuclear deterrence so to avoid a nuclear strike from the United States. Even in ...


10

Russia is not a true naval power. It has only a handful of ports: St. Petersburg, Vladlivostok, Archangelsk, and Sevastopol (and all but the last are icebound for several months of the year). Its naval needs are primarily defensive, meaning that it can use land-based aircraft, rather than aircraft carriers for this purpose. Of course it needs a surface ...


10

Similar examples are the Anschluss of Austria; the annexation of Sudetenland (but there was an explicit agreement of France and Great Britian and there had been fighting in previous attempts); and the establishment of the Protectorate_of_Bohemia_and_Moravia. Later these turned out to not be so bloodless, but initially it was achieved without much loss of ...


10

I'll just try to put some further tidbits into the three questions. "Lenins Rückkehr nach Russland 1917: Die deutschen Akten" has from Page 39 on a telegram conversation between the German ambassador in Bern von Romberg and the Auswärtige Amt (Foreign Bureau). It starts with von Romberg 7th September 1914: Russian, who seems to have contact with ...


9

To complement kubanczyk's excellent answer: Moscow's rise to power was the result of a masterful political play by their rulers jockeying for power/position in front of the Horde (e.g. Mongols). It was cemented when Moscow's Dmitry Donskoj and his army was the main force behind the first battle where Russians defeated Mongols (Kulikovo Field battle). As ...



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