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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1answer
107 views

Did Herman Melville help write his uncle's book?

Captain John D'Wolf II (1779-1872), member of a prominent slave-trading family of Bristol, Rhode Island, was the uncle of author Herman Melville (1819-1891). D'Wolf informed Melville's view of life at ...
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Where is Ivan the Terrible's Library?

During the confusion surrounding the capture of Constantinople by the Ottomans in 1453, the library of the Byzantine Paleologi Emperors was sent north to Moscow and installed by Ivan III under the ...
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416 views

Was an adobe fort or a palisade fort more defensible?

All else equal, when these types of forts were in use, was an adobe fort or a palisade fort more defensible? A bit of what-if led to this question. Russians ostrogs such as Nizhnekamchatsk and Fort ...
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220 views

Why was Russia never part of NATO? [closed]

1954 USSR proposed to join NATO and got rejected. 1991 one of Yeltsin's long term goals was to join NATO. 2001 Putin asked Bill Clinton if Russia could join NATO and his response was "never mind". So ...
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1answer
101 views

What was Captain Vozdvit's real name?

The Russian-American Company and the Russian Imperial Navy, deeply connected shipbuilding and seafaring organizations, both employed lots of foreign captains. In Richard A. Pierce's translation, K.T. ...
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How many criminal exiles were sent to Kamchatka?

Exile in Siberia was a well-known punishment for criminals in Imperial (and Soviet) Russia. Exiles, who could be common criminals or political prisoners, were forced to walk in irons to their new job ...
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What did Yuri Gagarin do while waiting for his ride?

So I found out from a post on skeptics:SE that when Yuri Gagarin landed from being the first human in space during the Vostok 1 mission, he parachuted down and landed in the Soviet Union near the ...
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3answers
229 views

Which lover of a Russian Empress obtained the highest rank?

There were numerous well-known male lovers of Russian Empresses, particularly those of Catherine the Great. Such a role often meant receiving sumptuous gifts such as beautiful apartments, the status ...
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1answer
192 views

Why was the Russian Federation Military expenditure cut in 1998-1999?

I am looking into the Military Expenditure Data provided by SIPRI. Interestingly through 1998-1999 Russian Federation's Military Expenditure was cut down to 14,000 almost half of 1997 which was 23,...
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Was Lenin actually responsible for the execution of the Romanovs?

Oddly, the Wikipedia page about the Executions has the soviet leadership saying that Lenin didn't have a part in it: They acknowledged the murders in 1926 following the publication of an ...
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1answer
243 views

How did Kolmogorov help protect Moscow in WW2?

I have been reading this blog post which mentions that: during World War II Kolmogorov applied his mathematical gifts to artillery problems, helping to protect Moscow from German bombardment. So,...
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Did Yuri Gagarin really hear a ticking sound during his journey into outer space?

In the movie, Another Earth, Rhoda told John that Yuri Gagarin heard a ticking sound during his journey into outer space. He couldn't find the source, and eventually came to love that ticking sound. ...
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What was the Orthodox Church's role in Russian expansion?

Yuri Semyonov's The Conquest of Siberia says the main motivation for the Russian empire's eastwards expansion was the acquisition of furs (in the form of yasak, the fur tax assessed on native male ...
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What was the program of the Mensheviks in their later years? How did they hope to achieve it?

The Mensheviks were an important force in Russia during the February Revolution of 1917. Within Russia proper, they were gradually sidelined after the Bolshevik October Revolution. The Menshevik ...
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Did the Germans use the V1 and V2 missile system on the Eastern Front in World War 2?

Did the Germans use the V1 and V2 missile system on the Eastern Front in World War 2? We have heard the legendary use of these missile systems on the Western Front, which in my opinion were counter-...
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Why did the other Continental European powers keep trying to fight Napoleon before 1813 despite being beaten by him so often?

In the Napoleonic Wars the other major powers of Continental Europe, especially Austria but also Prussia and Russia, seemed to keep coming back every few years to have another go at fighting Napoleon, ...
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Why was there such tension between the Ottoman Empire and Russia during the Armenian genocide?

I'm researching the Armenian genocide on a very basic level, and I've learned that a lot of the tension between Armenians and the Turks was because the Armenians were seen as supporting the Russians, ...
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What clergy went on the second Bering expedition?

Vitus Bering led two seaborne expeditions to explore the Russian Far East. On the second expedition, he founded Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky by building a "City-Nativity" church [Богородско-Рождественской ...
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4answers
874 views

Why didn't Russia seize California when it could? [closed]

Spanish colonies in the Californias, created in part to forestall Russian expansion, were militarily weak. The military had only a few hundred men in the whole territory, and no ships at all. It was ...
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Venezuelan crisis of 1902–03: Why is there a Russian flag on the cover of the prominent newspaper 'Le Petit Parisien'?

The Venezuelan crisis of 1902–03[a] was a naval blockade from December 1902 to February 1903 imposed against Venezuela by Britain, Germany and Italy over President Cipriano Castro's refusal to pay ...
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385 views

Which people resisted Russian expansion most fiercely?

The Russian Empire's expansion towards the east and south meant conquering lots of local tribes along the way (Buryats, Yakuts, etc.). These peoples unwillingly became ethnic minorities in Russia. ...
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Did Peter the Great introduce the potato to Russia?

The essay "Tuber or not Tuber" claims with no citation: Introduction of the tuber to Russia is usually credited to Peter the Great, who became familiar with potatoes while learning the shipbuilding ...
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Did Japan ever retaliate for the Russian attacks of 1806?

In 1806 two Russian naval vessels burned several settlements and kidnapped several citizens in far northern Japan ("Russians in Alaska" by Lydia Black). Did Japan take any military action in response ...
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Novgorod means “New city”. Given such name, what were the old cities in the region? [closed]

"Novgorod" means "New city". Given such name, what were the old cities in the region at the time of its foundation?
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How educated were the Orthodox priests of Imperial Russia around 1800?

In Imperial Russia, "white" priests (as opposed to "black" monks) of the non-noble clergy ministered to the Orthodox public. Entering this profession meant entering a new social class; it did not ...
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Were there ethnic Russians in Alaska when the US purchased it 1867? Did they stay?

How many ethnic Russians, or inhabitants with recent roots in Russia, were there in Alaska when US bought it? Were they hunters, farmers, traders? How many stayed and became Americans?
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Why would native women of the Russian Far East undergo Orthodox baptism?

Russian colonism of the Pacific Rim included religious missions which sought to perform baptisms. As an incentive to conversion, baptized native men were exempted from imperial fur tax (they then had ...
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358 views

Solzhenitsyn's History of Russian Jews

I was looking for some comprehensive histories of Jews in Russia, when I came across Aleksander Solzhenitsyn's Two Hundred Years Together. I had no idea that this book even existed, and am ...
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183 views

When did Russian carriages start to have suspensions?

During the Imperial era, quality transport for Russian officials was riding in a horse-drawn open carriage called a droshky. The one pictured below has springs on each wheel, providing a much smoother ...
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What did Fyodor Shtein report after his voyage?

In 1820 The Russian admiralty sent two pairs of ships to explore the polar regions. The southern ships, Mirny and Vostok, circumnavigated Antarctica, and the northern ships, Otkrytie and ...
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1answer
254 views

Did the Ukraine and Moldova belong to Russia between 1905-1918? [closed]

Between the years of 1905-1918? Were the countries of Moldova and Ukraine part of the Russian Federation? Or were they their own independent state / country.?
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Why did Russia support Serbia in the years leading to World War I?

Serbia, in its desires to develop a Slavic state, was hindered by Austria-Hungary, which took steps to stop Serbia, especially shown by the autonomy given to Albania by Austria. When Austria ...
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Why did Ivan the Terrible put a Khan to rule Astrakhan in 1554?

I just discovered that*, in 1554, when the Russians finally conquered the city, they put a weak Khan on the throne, in order to control the place. Two years later Ivan The Terrible annexed it after a ...
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718 views

Six pregnant maidens from Kamchatka

Yuri Semyonov's history "The Conquest of Siberia: An Epic of Human Passions" says: Journeys to Siberia were always measured in years. In an old book the author, in order to make clear how long a ...
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1answer
245 views

What was the social class of priests' children in Imperial Russia?

Imperial Russia considered all its subjects to fall within a social class or estate (petty burgher, noble, privately held serf, native, etc.) Most of these categories are hereditary, but a couple ...
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150 views

Would a leader in a monarchy be able to hand their reign over to someone else? [closed]

Example: Would have Tsar Nicolas II be able to hand his reign over to someone family or non family related to continue his reign or was this prohibited?
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Is Russia a direct successor of the USSR? Could the USSR be considered to continue existing under a different name?

Consider this: before WWII, France controlled a vast number of colonies around the globe. They have since lost most of their territory, however their official name remains as French Republic and they'...
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376 views

What are the chances that my ancestor from Massachusetts in 1670 was a Russian Jew?

I have family who claim that their ancestor who was in Massachusetts by 1670 was from Russia, and was Jewish! What are the chances?
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1answer
147 views

Did any intelligence agents defect to the Cheka before 1921? [closed]

Did any intelligence agents defect to the Cheka (USSR secret police) before 1921? Does that have any historical precedent? If not, 1926. Either former Czarist agents, or spies working for other ...
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1answer
457 views

How successful was Odessa GubCheKa against criminal gangs in the 1920s?

If you use the lens of popular culture (books and especially folk songs), one may come out with the impression that the criminal culture basically ran Odessa around 1920s, with Law Enforcement (...
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2answers
440 views

Prisons in 1800s in Russian Far East

In 1803 Kirill Khlebnikov, an agent of the Russian American Company, was imprisoned for three months in Petropavlosk, Kamchatka by Major General Koshelev, administrator of the district. The reason was ...
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1answer
298 views

Why was Highway One routed right through Fort Ross?

California's coastal Highway One was completed in the 1930s. Until about 1970, the roadway actually passed through the stockade of the Russian colony, Fort Ross. Later the Fort became a state park. ...
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1answer
92 views

Who were the Bishops of Irkutsk after St. Innocent?

The Irkutsk Orthodox diocese once administered a huge territory. Its founding bishop was St. Innocent, succeeded by Innocent (Nerunovich). Who else held the office before 1800?
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Who made wine from poisonous Heracleum?

Heracleum or cow parsnips are high-latitude plants that can produce severe inflammation in humans. They seem like the last thing someone would want to ingest. However: Flora on Kamchatka: flowers and ...
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1answer
502 views

Is there evidence to suggest the CIA didn't want Reagan to end the Cold War?

Paul Craig Roberts writes: The US military/security complex did not want Reagan to end the Cold War, as the Cold War was the foundation of profit and power for the complex. The CIA told Reagan that ...
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In Russia, are the anniversaries of the various events that occurred in 1917 and '18 observed according to the Old Style or the New Style calendar?

In Russia in 1917 and 1918, a number of important events, including the abdication and assassination of Czar Nicholas, and the Menshevik and Bolshevik revolutions occurred while the Old Style (Julian) ...
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Did the Tlingits benefit from resisting the Russians more than other Alaskan tribes?

The Russian-American Company had ongoing problems with the Tlingit (Kolosh) people living near its colonial headquarters. In other words, the Tlingits resisted incursion more effectively than other ...
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1answer
100 views

Which ships arrived at Novo-Arkhangelsk between 1810 and 1815?

The Russian-American Company's colonial headquarters were at Novo-Arkhangelsk, today's Sitka. Occasionally, supply ships from Russian ports to the west (Okhotsk, Petropavlovsk, Kodiak) would arrive. ...
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2answers
230 views

Has scurvy occurred on land outside the Russian Far East?

James Gibson's "Feeding the Russian Fur Trade" mentions episodes of scurvy occurring during the expansion into the Russian Far East (Northern Siberia and Okhostk Seaboard). These lands were inhabited, ...
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Was there anything in common between the War of 1812 between Britain and America and the War of 1812 between Napoleon and Russia?

Were the War of 1812 between Britain and America and the War of 1812 between Napoleon and Russia at all related? They were not only fought in the same year but also over the same general reason, trade ...