Questions tagged [russia]

The largest country in the world, spanning territory from the eastern edge of Europe to Siberia in northern Asia, except for the period 1918-1990, when it was known as the "Soviet Union"

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Were the majority of people killed in the last two Chechen Wars ethnic Russians?

This New York Times article relays the following numbers with the benefit of doubt (NYT: Chechen official puts death toll for 2 wars at up to 160,000 [paywalled]): 160 000 killed, 100 000 of them ...
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Was there any significant cultural shift in Russian Empire caused by the partition of Poland?

Wikipedia article on Tsardom of Russia claims that acquisition of Wild Fields and Kiev Academy caused an influx of intellectuals in Russia, which in turn kick-started later reforms by Peter The Great ...
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What was the involvement of the upper social classes of Russia in Kizhi?

Kizhi Pogost, a UNESCO World Heritage site, was built in the 17th - early 18th century in Karelia (north-west Russia). Its architecture is remarkable, and it's quite big. The only personality ...
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How and why did e.g. Chechnya differ in status from entities like Armenia?

Chechnya, Dagestan, North and South Ossetia, etc. are Russian republics. In this regard, they differ from "Soviet Republics" like Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, etc. (My particular interest ...
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What type of uniform and cap emblem could my great grandfather be wearing? We have been told that it is maybe a Cossack

This picture was given to me and I was told it was the only picture we have of our great grandfather. He looks quite young in the photo (maybe around 15-16, he was born about 1878). My guess is this ...
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What were Russian empresses' position and policy regarding women's role in society and their rights?

There are 4 empress regnants (Catherine I, Anna, Elizabeth, Catherine II) in Russian history, all of whom ruled during roughly the same historic period (18th century). 3 of them (Anna, Elizabeth, ...
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Can anyone find the letter of Tsar Alexander II to Rostovtsev dated October / December 25th, 1859?

I don't know Russian so this is exceedingly hard for me. I am trying to find the beautiful original Russian letter of Tsar Alexander II Liberator (Алекса́ндр II Освободи́тель) to Iakov Ivanovich ...
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Why was the northern boundary of the Mongol empire set where it was?

The Question By the latter part of the 13th century, the Mongols' frantic territorial expansion was losing momentum. In the east, their empire reached the Pacific, and their efforts to conquer Japan ...
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Who are the 'Tiursk tribe' of Central Asia?

I am reading this passage in a book called Overland to China (1900) which on page 66 makes mention of a Tiursk tribe in Central Asia. Online searches didn't provide much details except referencing/...
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Was Russia ready for amphibious invasion of Istanbul in 1914?

I've been reading The Russian Origins of the First World War by Sean McMeekin, in which he makes some very interesting claims about what the strategic situation prior to the July crisis looked like ...
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Were Russians less racist than I thought? [closed]

I recently found out that Alexander Pushkin's great grandfather, Abram Petrovich Gannibal, came from Africa and was black. Apparently he was abducted as a slave and given to Peter the great as a gift, ...
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Did Russian government employ state-sponsored assassins under Russian Empire?

Did Russian government employ state-sponsored assassins under Russian Empire during 1800-1917? I know, killings of many figures disliked by the Tsar were arranged in the forms of staged duels, but ...
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Why did no one take Siberia over before the Russians, and how did they do it?

I realize that Russia had ambitions in the east and they took over Siberia. However Siberia was just north of the Mongols really and its islands were easily accessible to Japan in history. They even ...
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Why was Lenin's brother executed, when he himself was only banished?

Alexander was executed. But Lenin was sent abroad. He settled in Germany, before he came back for the Revolution (and, as some people say, to avenge his brother). (A related question.)
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Why did Peter the Great change his daughters' title to Tsesarevna?

Having won the Great Northern War in 1721, Peter the Great promoted himself from Tsar to Emperor. At the same time, he seems to have changed the title used by his daughters from Tsarevna to Tsesarevna....
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What were the relations between Romania and Bulgaria before WWI?

I am researching the Balkan's involvement in World War 1. Specifically, Bulgaria, Serbia, and Romania. My question is: What were Romanian - and Bulgarian relations in, and around the lead-up to the ...
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During the breakup of the Soviet Union, on what basis was citizenship granted or withheld for each of the fifteen new republics?

The politics and economics of the Soviet Union caused large numbers of people to be transplanted from one region to another, for example: The Crimean Tatars were deported to Central Asia; Ethnic ...
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Is this a pastiche of a particular painting or photograph?

The children's book Zen Ghosts by Jon J. Muth depicts a Halloween in suburban America, with several unexplained figures trick-or-treating in the background. Among them are these two children: This ...
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How formalised were the various tiers of Russian nobility during the regency of Sophia Alekseyevna?

I'm a few chapters into Robert K Massie's biography of Peter the Great, and I was surprised to read that, in the aftermath of Peter's seizure of power from his sister and regent Sophia, when passing ...
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Were there other reasons or interests apart from Pan-Slavism for the Russian Empire to support Serbia? [duplicate]

In my History class, I was taught that that the Russian Empire supported Serbia's independence and nationality and fought against the Austria-Hungary Empire due to Pan-Slavism. My point is, were there ...
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When did the Russians first employ a successful envelopment tactic?

Greetings fellow history buffs. I read a book on the Soviet Army called, not surprisingly, Inside the Soviet Army. The author, Victor Suvorov (note this is an edit as there was confusion with the ...
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What factors led to the differing attitude to (civil) engineering projects between Roman and Russian armies?

While this might sound like a bit of a leap (i.e., why should Roman armies and Russian armies have any similarities), the Romans were considered as one of the first civilizations to use as models (if ...
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Have there been any significant developments in the "Norman Controversy" on the origin of the Kievan Rus? [closed]

I've been reading Riasanovsky's "A History of Russia" (2nd edition, so fairly out of date), and it comes out strongly against the Norman theory. Today though, most sources seem to lean ...
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How difficult was Muraviev's amassing of troops for the forcing of the Treaty of Aigun, and what effects on development did it have?

I'm reading an account of the Trans-Siberian Railways' construction, and what was interesting was the poor level of development in Siberia, including that roads were very limited and transport ...
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Did Germans refuse to take Cossacks prisoners in WWI? If so, why?

The Russian Wikipedia's page about Kozma Kryuchkov, the first awardee of Russia's Cross of Saint George in the First World War, says: После этого случая, освещённого почти во всей тогдашней ...
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Did Hezbollah kidnap Russian diplomats, and Russia subsequently dismember Hezbollah family members?

I heard this story several years ago, I don't recall the exact details, and I don't even know if the story is real or not (if it is real, I'm guessing it may be exaggerated). Can anyone confirm this ...
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How did Britain and Russia block the railway in Iran?

Karen Armstrong (2000): [...] both Britain and Russia promoted only the technology that furthered their own interests and blocked such inventions as the railway, which might have benefited the ...
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Did Helsinki have higher standards of living than Saint Petersburg when it was a part of the Russian Empire?

For over a century Finland was a part of the Russian Empire. It seems that overall Finland was significantly richer than Russia proper in the early XX century (look at these estimates). Was Helsinki ...
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Was the Kerensky Offensive doomed from the start?

I've been reading about Russia in the Great War during 1917, and what is quite surprising for me is the Kerensky Offensive. Primarily, what is surprising is that the army was in great material terms ...
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What specific Medieval Rus waterway engineering examples are there?

I've been investigating a statement (cited below) made in Nicolle's 'Lake Peipus 1242' which describes waterway engineering by Medieval Russian princes but doesn't bring any specific examples. Which ...
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Why was Austria given the best chunk in the First Partition of Poland, even while protesting it?

In the First Partition of Poland, Austria was given 2.7 million people, versus 1.3 million for Russia, and almost 1 million for Prussia. Austria got more than twice as much land as Prussia, and only ...
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Why was Poland subject to much harsher Russification than Finland was?

A Wikipedia page describes Russification of Poland: Russification in Congress Poland intensified after the November Uprising of 1831, and in particular after the January Uprising of 1863. In 1864 the ...
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What did the Baltic Fleet do in Reval in 1904 and when was it there?

I noticed, in @Schwern's answer that the 1904-1905 journey of the Baltic Fleet is cited as having started in (modern Tallinn). This doesn't make much sense as to the best of my knowledge Reval/Tallinn ...
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Good books on Kievan Rus era? [closed]

Title pretty much self explenatory. Im a student myself (but not of history), and I am looking for a good book on the period that is not too heavy, but gives good coverage for early east Slavic ...
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Did Boris Belousov join in his brother's conspiracy to kill the Emperor?

I'm working on a paper about the Belousov-Zhabotinsky-reaction (a chemical oscillator). I included some information about the history of oscillation reaction, in particular about Boris Pavlovich ...
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Identify male uniform 1860-80 north Central Europe single breast trouser boot round cap

This photo is believed to be from 1860-1880 Poland/Lithuania, as the house behind them looks like a Polish thatch house. The man in question is in the center back of the photo. Uniform is single ...
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How did the Bolsheviks fund their government? [closed]

I came across this from a telegram sent by a Mr. Lindley in Russia to Mr. Balfour in London.— (Received November 28.) (Telegraphic.) Archangel, November 27, 1918. Principal reason why Bolsheviks have ...
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Why are the buildings built in classical style in the first half of the 19th century in Russia so frequently yellow-and-white - coloured?

So many buildings built in neo-classical style in cr. 1800-1850 in Russian empire are yellow (always the same shade of yellow) with white columns. There are some exceptions, e.g. grey or blue of beige ...
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What was the ethnic makeup of Lenin's bodyguards during the assassination attempt? [closed]

There were detachments of foreign soldiers fighting for the Bolshevik cause during the Russian Civil War, most notably, Chinese. Apparently Chinese troops served as the personal bodyguards for the ...
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Were Christians prohibited to pass Golden Horde - Rus border immediately before Black Death?

Note: this question is similar to earlier Were there any travel restrictions during the Black Death pandemic?, but asks about travel restrictions existing before the epidemic. Wikipedia article on ...
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How did Soviet soldiers resist tanks during the battle of Shumshu?

During the battle of Shumshu, it is claimed in the Wikipedia article that forces ratio was as follow: Japan side: 8 500 personnel (combatant and non combatant?) and 77 tanks Russian side: up to 9 000 ...
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Is Carolyn Seymour (the actress) related to Alexander von Benckendorff (the Russian statesman)?

Browsing Wikipedia (I know) the other day, I came across the page for the British actress Carolyn Seymour. The page in question states that she was born Carolyn von Benckendorf (note that this is only ...
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What did Russia do in 1848 that could make the Austrians seek "brutal revanche" towards the Russians?

In the first volume of the Thalerhof Concentration Camp Almanacs (Russian title: Талергофсiй альманахъ, пропамятная книга австрiйскихъ жестокостей, изуверстствъ и насилий надъ карпато - русскимъ ...
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Why did Peter the Great name Saint Petersburg, Russia with a foreign styled name?

When Peter the Great of Russia established Saint Petersburg he originally called it Sankt-Pieter-Burch (Сан(к)т-Питер-Бурхъ) in Dutch manner. Later, under apparent German influence it was changed to ...
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Why were the cities of the Eastern European Plain founded much later than those elsewhere in Europe?

As site on which to found a city, Moscow seems to have a lot going for it. It's surrounded by fertile farmland - Russia produces more grain than the United States - it's located on a watercourse which ...
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Did the Third Rome theory help make Michael Romanov tsar?

Rome fell apart as the Middle Ages began, and Constantinople, the "Second Rome", was conquered as they ended. Afterwards, a famous religious argument or school of thought in Russia maintained that ...
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Did Austrian chief of staff Franz Riml say that the only way to correct the Russophile Ukrainians is to exterminate them?

Several Russian pages claim that Austrian general Franz Riml von Altrosenburg said the following: Galician Russians can be divided in two groups: a) Russophiles and b) Ukrainophiles. If ...
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Why is the late Russian Empire associated with Byzantium while having little in common with it?

I have started reading the book A people's tragedy by Orlando Figes about the Russian revolution. I am no historian, however having read a few pages I have a few questions about the repeated ...
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Did the western Allies and Russia try to cooperate in World War I as they did in World War II?

America's General Eisenhower referred to it as "cross-ruffing." Coincidentally or otherwise, the timing of Operation Torch came close to the Russian counterattack at Stalingrad, and Operation Husky ...
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Was the Russian Black Sea fleet strong enough to help with land operations on the southern shore in World War I?

The Russian Black Sea Fleet was stronger than the Turkish Black Sea fleet for most of the 19th century. But the successful flight of two German ships to the Black Sea greatly strengthened the Turkish ...

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