Questions tagged [russia]

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

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
8
votes
4answers
1k views

Has there ever been a direct clash between NATO and Russia?

Looking at the news today on the downing of a Russian fighter jet by Turkey and I am wondering... Prior to this, has there ever been a direct clash between NATO and Russia? Proxy wars don't count, I ...
10
votes
3answers
4k views

How did Germany claim self-defense in WW1?

WW1 broke out after a series of ultimatums and warnings against each other. However, I understand that every power claimed that the other powers were acting against its interests, and it was ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

Alexander Nevsky's helmet

I've seen a claim that Alexander Nevsky's helmet has Arabic writing on it, saying something like "With Allah's help" and "Speedy victory". The claim sounds about right, giving Alexander's close ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

Are these Red Army uniforms authentic?

This image attributes all three uniforms to the Red Army of 1918-1922. I wonder whether the proposed time frame and/or details authentic. For me the first one looks like it was taken from the 1940s ...
11
votes
3answers
779 views

Have there been any joint US-Russia/Soviet military engagements post WW II?

Reportedly, now both the USA and Russia are engaged in military combat against Islamic State in Syria. Although contexts are different and it remains debatable exactly whom Russia are targeting, the ...
5
votes
2answers
729 views

Why did the USSR switch from 1524 mm gauge to 1520 mm gauge in the late 1960's?

This article mentions that Russia started with a 1,524 mm rail gauge, and in the sixties and seventies, switched to a 1,520 mm rail gauge with tighter tolerances. Why do this? If you want tighter ...
0
votes
2answers
7k views

Why and how were the Mongols able to invade Russia successfully?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mongol_invasion_of_Rus%27 The campaign was heralded by the Battle of the Kalka River in 1223, which resulted in a Mongol victory over the forces of several Rus' ...
1
vote
1answer
838 views

Is this true that the Russian economy was efficient during war II? [closed]

During the second world war (You remember, the one that America was briefly involved in), the USSR’s “russian system” recovered from being devastated by the advancing Germans, and using a '...
7
votes
2answers
237 views

Why did Peter the Great tie particular expenditures to particular revenue sources?

Peter the Great founded the Russian Academy in 1724. In his decree, he says the Academy will be supported by an annual grant of 25,000 rubles drawn from the custom tolls of Baltic Sea ports. (source) ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

Did Russia declare war on Germany before its invasion of that country on August 7, 1914?

I was looking through some lists of war declarations from the first World War and I did not see any declaration of war by Russia on Germany or Prussia. The Russian army did invade Prussia on August 7, ...
24
votes
1answer
3k views

What is this household object from early 1900s rural Russia?

At the Kalashnikov museum in Izhevsk, one of the exhibits includes this item: It is a yoke-shaped square bar of light, unvarnished wood, roughly 100 cm long, with rounded corners. There is a hole ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Why was Lithuania not colonized by Soviet Union?

During the Soviet occupation of Baltic States, Estonia and Latvia saw their countries settled by Russians who eventually made up more than 30% of their populations. However percentage of Russians in ...
25
votes
2answers
6k views

Why did Stalin keep the famine of 1932 a secret?

The famine of 1932 took millions of lives, before the Soviet authorities took some measures to alleviate the lives of the peasants. During the whole time, and for decades afterwards, the affair was ...
9
votes
2answers
5k views

Are many Russians descended from Varangian Vikings? [closed]

Are many Russians descended from Varangian Vikings? Some historians say yes, but some do not. There had been archaeological diggings in Saint-Petersburg and the Novgorod region, as seen in one rare ...
18
votes
9answers
3k views

Why were the Germans and Russians so fixated on an unlikely “separate peace” in 1945?

Anyone familiar with the history of WW2 will know that the Germans hoped for and the Russians feared the British and Americans in 1944/45 might make a separate peace with Hitler and even join together ...
5
votes
1answer
228 views

What was the role of Konstantin Rokossovsky during WW1?

The Wikipedia article is very poor in this subject: On joining the Kargopolsky 5th Dragoon Regiment, Rokossovsky soon showed himself a talented soldier and leader; he ended the war with the rank of ...
2
votes
2answers
201 views

Was there a battle were Russians forces rallied around a religious icon to achieve victory?

I remember on my last visit to Moscow, there was an incredible art piece where a group of priests carrying orthodox icons are surrounded by soldiers with spears and swords. I remember the legend ...
8
votes
4answers
4k views

Why is there is a pan-slavic movement?

While studying the history of Eastern Europe during the last century, I found that one of the main issues was the Pan-Slavic movement. For example big events such as World War I or the current civil ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

What was the role of the Russian Orthodox church in Soviet Russia?

Considering that Soviet Union was officially atheistic and Bibles and most "Christian" denominations were banned, it is interesting to me that the government left the Russian Orthodox churches ...
10
votes
3answers
954 views

Was the Empire style of fashion adopted in Russia?

I just started re-reading War and peace, having completely forgotten it since the first time I read it. And I'm noticing that Tolstoy is referring to clothing every now and then. I wonder what it ...
15
votes
3answers
713 views

Authenticity of the Russian birch bark manuscripts

More than 1000 birch bark manuscripts have been found in Novgorod and other Russian cities in last 50 years. Many of them stayed in the soil for more than 700 years. In the same time, no special ...
6
votes
0answers
783 views

Dresses of Catherine the Great

How many dresses did Catherine the Great have in her wardrobe just before she died. I have a clue that one of their lovers took notes. I'm still researching and I will post if I find something.
11
votes
2answers
388 views

Who owned Franz Josef islands between 1918-1926?

Franz Josef land was discovered and claimed by Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1873. Previously Norway discovered it, but they never reported the discovery. The Austro-Hungarian Empire dissoluted in 1918. ...
21
votes
2answers
5k views

When was slavery abolished in Russia?

It is usually agreed that the Russian serfdom which was abolished in the mid-19th century originated in the 16th century as a form of martial law needed for armed campaigns and was especially ...
-4
votes
1answer
309 views

Are the slavs somehow involved in slavery? [closed]

Why are the slavs / slavic people called the slavs? It looks like the name suggests that it has to do something with slavery.
6
votes
2answers
504 views

When did the socialist movement start becoming noteworthy in Russian history?

I'm not a historian but I've always been intrigued by modern Russian history, from the socialist revolution to the present. I'm thinking of reading more on the subject and want to know how far back in ...
34
votes
2answers
41k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
276 views

After the fall of Constantinople was there a re-evaluation of the basis of Russia's religion?

According to the Primary Chronicle, Vladimir the Great rejected Judaism in 987 with the rationale that they lost Jerusalem. When Constantinople was conquered in 1453 by the Ottomans, was there any ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Is this Brzezinski quote real?

Various Russian websites attribute to Brzezinski the following quote: The new world order under U.S. hegemony was created against Russia at the expense of Russia and on the ruins of Russia. I am ...
5
votes
2answers
782 views

Why was Tsesarevich Alexei's hemophilia a state secret?

Alexei inherited hemophilia from his mother Alexandra, a condition that could be traced back to her maternal grandmother Queen Victoria. In 2009 genetic analysis determined specifically that he ...
5
votes
1answer
552 views

Statistics on pre-revolutionary Russian education

I'm looking for some statistics (and I know this may not even exist) about education rates in pre-revolutionary Russian society (by pre-revolutionary I'm looking for between 1890 and 1917). Someone ...
-2
votes
1answer
817 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
2k 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?
1
vote
1answer
122 views

What was character of Chmielnitski's rise?

What was the character of Chmielnitski's rise? It has started as a private conflict between him and a polish nobel, Aleksander Czapliński. But what was after? And what was the reason to fight when ...
-7
votes
1answer
265 views

Holocaust reparations & liberation bill [closed]

Since the end of WWII, Jewish groups have been suing Germany and Axis owned businesses for reparations for their roles in the holocaust. In a similar vein, have the Russians ever sent the Jews a bill ...
5
votes
6answers
670 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
573 views

When did the Polovtsy convert to Islam?

Polovtsy is a name used to refer various Turkic tribes living to the East of Kievan Rus. I wonder at what point those Turkic peoples became Muslim?
8
votes
1answer
835 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
736 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
votes
1answer
2k views

What was the summer uniform of the streltsy?

The Russian streltsy (shooters) of 17th century are usually depicted in winter uniform wearing fur hats and dress. What was their summer uniform?
4
votes
4answers
1k views

Who were the first two democratically elected leaders of Russia?

On Boris Yeltsin's page in Wikipedia there's the fact that on 12th June, 1991, he was elected by popular vote to the newly created post of President of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic ...
6
votes
1answer
628 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
358 views

Was the 18th century Russian peasant braver; or simply more afraid of Cossacks?

Frederick the Great famously noted after the Battle of Zorndorf that "It's easier to kill the Russians than to win over them." For that same battle the Russian commander (William Fermor) is noted as ...
8
votes
1answer
864 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 performed it and who was in charge of this operation?
13
votes
1answer
360 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
1k 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
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
-2
votes
1answer
6k views

Did Russia help India arm itself with nuclear weapons? [closed]

Although Canada provided India with its first nuclear reactor ccnr, much of the fuel for India's reactors have come from Russia India Times. India asserts that the atomic weapons program was entirely ...
5
votes
2answers
717 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 Peter crowned Catherine I as empress. I looked the Wikipedia article but they don't mention any reason.
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Was Nicholas II Romanov the last king of Poland?

Nicholas II Romanov, the last Emperor of All-Russia, used also (among many others) titles: Grand Prince of Lithuania, and King of Poland. The Wikipedia states he was "a titular" King of Poland. In ...