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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2answers
847 views

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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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. ...
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1answer
668 views

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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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 ...
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1answer
280 views

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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614 views

Is there any overland route to Kamchatka?

The port of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky was founded and visited by sailing ships. Even today no road connects it to the network of the rest of Russia -- it is reputed to be the second largest ...
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1answer
198 views

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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550 views

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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534 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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298 views

Why was the Kamchatka Regiment sent?

About 1800, Major-General Andrey Somov headed a regiment sent from Irkutsk to reinforce Kamchatka. Soldiers were to take up positions in about five garrisons around the peninsula. Feeding them was a ...
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500 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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735 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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5answers
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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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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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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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231 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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169 views

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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297 views

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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332 views

Other than Mr. Putin, has there been occassion of an ex-secret agent becoming the primary executive power holder?

In the modern era, are there people who were a secret agent before they started to play politics and get elected as the primary executive power holder such as but not limited to the position of ...
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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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1answer
982 views

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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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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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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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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166 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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268 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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118 views

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
828 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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238 views

Which English ship was in Kamchatka in 1793?

In 1795, Alaskan colonial supremo A.A. Baranov sent a letter to his bosses in Irkutsk. The text in Tikhmenev's History, Volume II, Documents, says: An English ship wintered in Kamchatka in 1793.... ...
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263 views

Before the Great War, was the word “Poland” typically used to refer only to the Russian partition of Poland?

Before World War 1, Poland was partitionned between Prussia, Austria-Hungary and Russia. However I have strong reasons to suspect that the word "Poland" was at that time referring specifically to the ...
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633 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 ...
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1answer
115 views

Was Pawiak prison in Warsaw originally for political or general prisoners?

I was reading about Pawiak prison in Warsaw and the general consensus appears to be that it was built between 1829 and 1835 during a time of Russian occupation. It seems clear that after the January ...
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1answer
854 views

Were there opium dens in Russia during the 19th century?

The title says it all. I've tried searching information on opium use in Europe, but I can't find any source that says whether or not opium dens were ever prominent in Russia specifically.
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204 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
246 views

Did Peter the Great support a Russian circumnavigation?

Peter the Great modernized Imperial Russia, reforming both its army and navy. He was keen to catch up with other European powers and built the Baltic port Kronstadt, a shipyard at Arkhangelsk, and the ...
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506 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 ...
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785 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.
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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 ...
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3answers
542 views

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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2answers
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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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277 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 ...
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422 views

Does US law permit spending taxpayers' money to support foreign political parties? [closed]

Here is a video, showing a number of Russian opposition activists visiting U.S. embassy before Russian presidential elections: http://www.youtube.com/v/yf3LjntNX20?version=3&feature=...
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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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386 views

Did 20% of the Soviet Population use a Latin script in 1935?

Did 20% of the Soviet Population use a Latin script in 1935? The literacy campaigns in the Soviet Union between 1917 and 1940 taught many people to read. Many people who did not speak Russian had no ...
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784 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 ...
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223 views

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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232 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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730 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 ...