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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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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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 ...
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Is there a record of the times the nuclear brief case or its Russian counterpart have ever been actually opened?

So, it's a pretty simple question. When, and how many times has the nuclear brief-case or it's Russian counterpart ever been opened with the intent of use for a nuclear launch? Are there records of ...
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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. ...
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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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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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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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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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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 ...
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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, ...
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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 ...
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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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Were there any Russians in the 1849 Gold Rush?

A gold rush always brings new arrivals from many directions. Had any of the miners and businesspeople of the 1849 California Gold Rush come from Russia?
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Why did Russian Federation declare independence from Soviet Union? [closed]

In June 12th 1990, the Russian Federation declared its independence from the Soviet Union, effectively ending the Soviet Union. While I understand that other parts of the former Soviet Union like ...
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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?
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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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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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When did Europeans make their first well-attested visit to mainland Alaska?

To my surprise, I could not find a straightforward answer to this question. When did Europeans first set foot in mainland Alaska? I could easily find that: Vitus Bering, a Dane of Russian allegiance, ...
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Does any library hold the archives of the Russian-American Company?

I am researching Russian visits to Alta California during the Mexican War of Independence, which were mostly or all projects of the Russian-American Company. There is a collection of Company documents ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Why did the Russians lose to the Turks in 1711 after defeating them in 1700 and the Swedes in 1709?

The Russians captured Azov and Taganrog in a war with Turkey that ended in 1700. Then they decimated the Swedish army at Poltava in 1709, thereby crippling their main enemy, and freeing the bulk of ...
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When did Vladivostok become usable year-round?

Apparently some of us (myself included) were told in history class that the Russians were interested in control of Port Arthur/Dalian in part because their port at Vladivostok was not a warm water ...
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Are there non-russian sources related to how Rurikid Dynasty became rulers of Russia?

Most of the information - at least as taught in Russia - related to how Rurik Dynasty became rulers of Rus is based on "Повѣсть времяньныхъ лѣтъ" ("Tale of Bygone Years", aka "Primary Chronicle"). Is ...
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Was there a church around 1800 in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky?

Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, founded in 1742, had just 85 residents in 1792. According to "So Far From Home" (Farris, ed.), a priest named Yakov Volkov was there in the 1790s. Was there a church? Because ...
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Did Soviet Republics like Kazakstan and Azerbaijan have their own military units?

Were Soviet units typically separated by national origin or were all men from all Soviet nations mixed together in divisions? I'm not talking just through World War II, but from the 1940s all the way ...
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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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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) ...
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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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When did Russia learn about the Philippines and the Japanese and Spanish presences there?

The Japanese and Spanish did business in the Philippines from the 12th and 16th centuries respectively. In Russia, Vasili III became aware that the Spanish had reached America after his envoys ...
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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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What were the causes of the “Dardanelles” fiasco in World War I

During World War II, the Allies sent supplies to the Soviet Union via Murmansk/Archangelsk in the north, via Persia and the Caspian Sea in the south, and via the Tran-Siberian railroad. Why didn't ...
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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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What made Port Arthur (Manchuria) a better port for Russia than Vladivostok?

In 1897, Russia leased Port Arthur, Manchuria as a Pacific port to supplement its existing holding of Vladivostok. Port Arthur is at about 39 degrees N. latitude; Vladivostok is at 43 degrees N. ...
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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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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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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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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 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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Why was Patriarch Nikon removed from power?

Why did he lose the grace of Tzar Alexey? Which enemies conspired against him and how?
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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 ...
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Who was part of the Raznochintsy class in 1800s Russia?

In the system of social estates of Imperial Russia, someone "of miscellaneous rank" was a member of the raznochintsy, at least until the category was abolished. В.Н.Разгон says this happened at the ...
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What uniform is my Cossack great great grandfather wearing?

The man bellow with the medals and the beard is my great great grandfather. He was a Cossack in the Urals, I have been looking for ages but I can not find what Cossack uniform he is wearing. I really ...
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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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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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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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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 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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What did Mirsky mean by this quote (Russian Revolution 1905)?

I'm reading Orlando Figes' Revolutionary Russia. Prince Mirsky was appointed Minister for the Interior by Tsar Nicholas and was much more progressive than his predecessor. He convened a congress of ...
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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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