Questions tagged [russia]

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

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Is this story about the Tsar's encounter with a sergeant true?

I once read a story (about why one should not be rude to strangers or rude in general) in a local magazine that, once Tsar Peter I asked about directions from a Sergeant. Sergeant (not knowing whom ...
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What happened to the cavalry corps of Simon Boudienny?

According to this question, there was a campaign led by the Russians in Ukraine where they engaged a cavalry unit. I imagine it was in 1941, and according to Wikipedia research, it might be the ...
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For how many years in the eighteenth century were Russian soldiers present within the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth borders?

For modern Poland, the answer is rather simple. Russian, and later Soviet soldiers, were stationed inside the Polish borders for almost the whole 19th and 20th centuries (with a notable exception for ...
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1answer
787 views

Identification of a badge with Russian text

Here's a curious badge that I found somewhere years ago, but didn't know whom to ask. (click to enlarge) Could someone please identify it? I learnt the Cyrillic script and tried googling it, but ...
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Did Boris Tarasov return from Mexico to Russia?

Boris Tarasov, employee of the Russian-American Company, was arrested in San Pedro, California in 1815. As a prisoner of some political value, in 1816 he was sent from Monterey to San Blas and then ...
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1answer
721 views

Where can I find documents from the Nuremberg trials about war crimes of the Wehrmacht in the Soviet Union?

I want to read documents that were used to prove German war crimes in the Soviet Union, incl. crimes against civilians and treatment of Soviet prisoners of war. So far I found the following: ...
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4answers
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Why did the Germans forbid the possession of pet pigeons in Rostov-on-Don in 1941?

Photograph made by Max Alpert shows a dead boy holding a pigeon. It seems that the child has been tortured before he was killed. Source: Federal Archive Agency of Russia, Russian state archive of ...
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What was the average age of first marriage in 18th century Russia?

I found the following claim on Wikipedia (Women in Russia) and I wonder if it is true: Early in the eighteenth-century, the average age for peasant girls to marry was around twelve years old. In ...
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1answer
75 views

Are the Zemstvo Statistics Digitized?

There were massive statistics collected during the late Russian Empire (1861-1917)-- the "Zemstvo Statistics." They are available on microform at Yale (http://www.library.yale.edu/slavic/microform/...
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635 views

Why did Russia set up so many cities in Siberia and Far East?

If one takes a casual glance at the Russian population census data, he or she would be astonished to find that a significant part of the Russian population is actually not concentrated west of the ...
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3answers
470 views

Did Imperial Japan persecute Slavic people, as European fascists did?

Over the interwar period, fascist governments in Europe heavily promoted anti-Slavic propaganda. In Germany, they were labelled as Untermensch alongside the Jews, and in Italy, Slavic media, languages,...
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1answer
205 views

Telegraph availability in Russia around year 1875

Were there any telegraph lines available in late 19th century Russia (let's say year 1875), which would go deep into mainland Russia? I can find some mentions about Moscow telegraph station being ...
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Did the defense of the Brest fortress make sense?

I came across an opinion of an alternative "historian"/conspiracy theorist who claims that the defense of Brest fortress did not make sense. According to his theory, its inhabitants should have left ...
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What are the text and subtext of this 1949 Soviet cartoon?

Over on Wikipedia, we find this cover from the March 1949 issue of Soviet satire mag Krokodil: The person who uploaded it to Wikipedia captioned it "Antisemitic caricature of rootless cosmopolitan." ...
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What's this flag flying on a fort at Kodiak, Alaska?

Naval captain Yuri Lisianskii drew a harbor scene in Alaska about 1805. It was engraved in England for an edition of his book. (High-res version) In the image, from left to right, there are flags ...
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1answer
59 views

Which Imperial Russian officials created and verified passports?

In Imperial Russia (as in other states) passports were required for interior travel. They were issued to individuals and had a finite duration. I'm guessing that being found away from home without a ...
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Which prayer did sailors in Russian America expect to hear?

Father Ioann Veniaminov (Saint Innocent) was a Russian Orthodox priest who ministered in Russian America. Leaving Sitka, he recorded the following in his journal: Tuesday, June 30, 1836. Having ...
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1answer
142 views

Were “The People's Will” referred to as “terrorist” by their contemporaries?

Narodnaya Volya (The People's Will) was the organization responsible for the assassination of Tsar Alexander II in in March 1881. Is there any evidence (preferably online sources) which point to the ...
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96 views

What was the troop ratio between the red and white army in the Russian revolution?

I am making a game over the Russian Revolution for English class. I want to make this game a somewhat accurate representation of the Russian Revolution. I have been able find the answers to all of my ...
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159 views

How was money transferred in early 1900s' Russia?

I'm reading Young Stalin by Simon Sebag Montefiore. The book frequently quotes letters between him and fellow revolutionaries, often when he was in internal exile in some obscure corner of Siberia. ...
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1answer
129 views

Was slaughtering cows in Kamchatka prohibited in the 1820s?

In To the Pacific and Arctic with Beechey: The Journal of Lieutenant George Peard of HMS Blossom, 1825–1828, Peard claims that in Petropavlovsk, Kamchatka, "nearly every family possesses a Cow (...
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1answer
161 views

Kabris, the “half-wild Frenchman”, in Kamchatka

A Frenchman who had gone native in the Marquesas Islands, Jean Cabri or Kabris, returned to Europe in the early 1800s and became a well-known attraction and swimming teacher. His return voyage ...
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1answer
154 views

Was The Great Game a war? [closed]

I know that The Great Game was between UK & Russia and done through parts of Asia, Middle East & Europe. I was wondering if the Great Game was basically two empires trying fighting each other ...
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535 views

Why is Russian far east less populated than Chinese north east regions?

I was comparing the Russia's Far Eastern zone with the equivalent Northeast China. Anyway the two regions have many difference but by comparing regions at the same latitude I found vast difference to ...
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1answer
252 views

Under Catherine the Great were all officers appointed for five years?

I noticed that the chief commandants of Kamchatka seemed to serve terms of about five years (Koselev 1802-1807, Petrovskii 1807-1813, Rudakov 1813-1817). These seem to have been Majors-General (rank ...
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130 views

What were Catherine the Great's orders to von Böhm?

In about 1773, Catherine the Great appointed Magnus Karl von Böhm (or Behm, depending on the roundtrip transliteration) governor of Kamchatka. The peninsula had been pacified and the natives were ...
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1answer
201 views

How did the Russian-American Company hire serfs?

In the Russian Empire until 1861 the estate of serfdom kept most of the country's population the property of others. This cheap labor was attractive to capitalist enterprises like the Russian-American ...
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45 views

How old were the youngest employees of the Russian-American Company?

The Russian-American Company, founded 1799, employed some real lowlifes. Golovnin about 1810 found them "composed for the most part of dissolute persons, many of whom have been flogged with the knout ...
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127 views

What would have been Napoleon's optimal strategy after Borodino? [closed]

There is a saying that everyone is a general after the battle, but I still could not figure out what could have Napoleon done differently in order to save his army and consequently empire after ...
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1answer
157 views

What did Russia do about Caucasus oil after the collapse of the Soviet Union?

During World War II, something like 72% of the Soviet Union's oil came from Baku, Azerbaijan, in the Caucasus. More like 86% if you count Grozny (Chechnya), and other Caucasus territories, leaving ...
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2answers
595 views

Has the training of Russian troops improved since 1989? [closed]

Recently, USA has excluded Pakistan from military training list. On the flip side, Pakistan has signed an agreement with Russian Federation for the training of its officers. My personal assessment is, ...
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1answer
191 views

What is Russia's official reason for invading Crimea? [closed]

I'm having trouble finding Russia's official reason for invading the Crimea region of Ukraine. If my memory serves me right, didn't they change the reason halfway through the invasion?
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How did Taganrog escape the devastation of the Stalingrad batlle of WW2?

About 30 years ago I visited Taganrog ( steel mill ), and drove through Rostov-on-Don. I did not realize how close Stalingrad was (I only saw Volograd on the map). We did pass a monument marking the ...
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Is this a true quote of Engels about vague Russian leaders and their vague followers?

In the recent movie "The Young Karl Marx", Engels refers to Russian communist leaders being confused and finding confused followers. Is this a true quote and if yes, whom did he mean?
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252 views

Why did Russia accept the legal framework that led to Kosovo's independence?

Kosovo's unilateral secession was judged not illegal by the ICJ based on Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999) and the UNMIK (United Nations Mission in Kosovo) regulations promulgating the ...
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How literate were Kamchadal people?

Kamchatka was settled by Russians starting around 1700. I get the impression that by 1800 most people in Kamchatka had mixed heritages. According to UNESCO, Itelmen languages were already extinct. ...
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1answer
234 views

Origin of the Petropavlovsk artillery company

The frontier port of Petropavlovsk, Kamchatka, was an army outpost which acquired an artillery company at some point before the garrison was dissolved in 1812 and the port became regional capital in ...
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1answer
184 views

Were the officers assigned to Kamchatka being punished?

The Russian Imperial army and navy had to build frontier outposts in very remote locations such as Kamchatka. During the Catherine the Great/Paul/Alexander period (1762-1825), the few ostrogs and ...
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1answer
102 views

What was the first printed material owned and kept in Kamchatka?

Kamchatka today has cultural projects like universities and museums, but in the early Russian period it was considered a pretty desolate place. Among other deficiencies, there was very little for the ...
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9answers
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Did Russian winter seriously contribute to German defeat on the Eastern Front in WWII?

When people discuss the causes of Hitler's defeat in Russia, one topic is frequently mentioned: climate. People claim that winter contributed significantly to the problems of German army on the ...
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1answer
220 views

How to attack Fort Ross

Imperial Spain was upset when the Russian-American Company founded its Californian outpost Fort Ross. Local Spanish officials always stayed cordial with the Russians, though. Both sides were remote ...
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1answer
539 views

Are there notable incident(s) where Russia/SU was wrongfully accused by Western powers in the 20th century?

I would like to know incident(s) where SU/Russia was accused to have done something by Western powers where Western historians also came at least now to the conclusion that the accusation was ...
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1answer
144 views

Wreck of the Juno

K.T. Khlebnikov wrote a biography of his boss, Baranov: Chief Manager of the Russian Colonies in America. In this book he described the wreck of the Juno as taking place November 3, 1811 (O.S.), "not ...
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Who issued the passports for travel to Russian America?

Employees of the Russian-American Company were supposed to have seven-year passports to travel from Russia to the Company's colonies. Officials endeavored to stay in compliance, though it's clear that ...
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3answers
4k views

When did Josef Wissarionowitsch become “sexy” Stalin?

According to KnowYourMeme, among others, a relatively young Stalin is so good looking in a certain picture that he is often referred to as "sexy Stalin": This is indeed a pretty picture of a ...
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272 views

Help with identifying my great-grandfather's pre-WWI Cossack uniform

My great-grandfahter was a Cossack from "Then Russia" "Now Belarus" where the Belarus, Ukraine and Poland borders met, but I don't now which "type" like Don or Kuban etc. He fled from the place he ...
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1answer
175 views

Why did Iturbide choose Fernández for the mission to California?

After Mexican independence, Emperor Agustín I took power. During his short reign he understandably sent a representative to the Californias to procure and check on their loyalty. The representative, a ...
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467 views

Ideological differences between Mensheviks and Bolsheviks

As I understand from this brief explanation, the main doctrinal difference was that the Bolsheviks were more radical (class struggle) while the Mensheviks were more in favor of class cooperation and ...
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388 views

Why was Stalin chosen as the First General Secretary in 1922?

At the 11th Party Congress, Stalin was voted into the position of General Secretary. This was the first time the party had a General Secretary. This was in 1922 Mar/Apr. Why was Stalin chosen? I ...
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1k views

Did the US military just kill more Russians in Syria than they ever did during the Cold War?

EDIT: It is understood that the US military generally was not in direct confrontation with the Soviets during the Cold War (hence it being Cold). It's also true that even during a cold war "things" ...