The early history of Russia, like those of many countries, is one of migrating peoples and ancient kingdoms. In fact, early Russia was not exactly "Russia," but a collection of cities that gradually coalesced into an empire.
In 882, Oleg gained control of Kiev, a Slavic city that had arisen along the Dnepr River around the 5th century. Oleg's attainment of rule over Kiev marked the first establishment of a unified, dynastic state in the region. Kiev became the center of a trade route between Scandinavia and Constantinople, and Kievan Rus', as the empire came to be known, flourished for the next three hundred years.
Kievan Rus' struggled on into the 13th century, but was decisively destroyed by the arrival of a new invader--the Mongols. In 1237 Batu Khan, a grandson of Jenghiz Khan, launched an invasion into Kievan Rus' from his capital on the lower Volga (at present-day Kazan). Over the next three years the Mongols (or Tatars) destroyed all of the major cities of Kievan Rus' with the exceptions of Novgorod and Pskov.rhodes
Ivan the Terrible succeeded his father Vasily III as Grand Duke of Moscow in 1533 at the age of three.
For the first few generations, the Romanovs were happy to maintain the status quo in Russia. They continued to centralize power, but they did very little to bring Russia up to speed with the rapid changes in economic and political life that were taking place elsewhere in Europe. Peter the Great decided to change all of that.
Catherine the Great was born a German princess in one of the tiny German states, but turned out to be a powerful and enlightened ruler of the vast Russian Empire Catherine went on to become the most powerful sovereign in Europe. She continued Peter the Great's reforms of the Russian state, further increasing central control over the provinces. Russia's influence in European affairs, as well as its territory in Eastern and Central Europe, were increased and expanded. I n June of 1812, Napoleon began his fatal Russian campaign, a landmark in the history of the destructive potential of warfare.rhodos
In 1912, the Social Democrats split into two camps--the radical Bolsheviks (“bolshe” means bigger) and the comparatively moderate Menshiviks (“menshe” means smaller). In 1914, another disastrous war once again brought on a crisis. If the Russo-Japanese war had been costly and unpopular, it was at least remote. The First World War, however, took place right on Russia's western doorstep. Unprepared militarily or industrially, the country suffered demoralizing defeats, suffered severe food shortages, and soon suffered an economic collapse.
By February of 1917, the workers and soldiers had had enough. Riots broke out in St. Petersburg, then called Petrograd, and the garrison there mutinied.
The first few years of Soviet rule were marked by an extraordinary outburst of social and cultural change.
Although the Bolsheviks had maintained complete control of the economy during the civil war, Lenin decided at its end that a partial return to a market economy would help the country recover from the destruction of the previous three years.
Lenin's death in 1924 was followed by an extended and extremely divisive struggle for power in the Communist Party.
By the latter part of the decade, Joseph Stalin had emerged as the victor, and he immediately set the country on a much different course.
With the outbreak of the Second World War, the Soviet Union found itself unprepared for the conflict. Political purges had stripped the military of much of its experienced leadership, and industrial production was slow in converting from civil to military production. rhodos
Russia 's economy sank into deep depression by the mid-1990s, was hit further by a financial crash of 1998, and then began to recover in 1999-2000. Russia's economic decline is far more severe and more protracted than was the Great Depression that nearly paralyzed world capitalism following 1929 and about half as severe as the catastrophic drop borne out of the consequence of the First World War, the fall of Tsarism, and the Russian Civil War. While in the 1980s Russia had suffered from supply shortages, throughout the 1990s as imported goods flooded into the country, Russians could no longer afford most goods.
Stores that had previously stood empty were now stocked with all sorts of goods that no one could afford to buy. rhodes
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin He became Acting President of Russia on December 31, 1999, succeeding Boris Yeltsin, and was sworn in as President following the elections on May 7, 2000. In 2004, he was re-elected for a second term. rhodos
With the dissolution of the Soviet Union there has been an enormous resurgence of interest in Russia's pre-Soviet past, as well as a great deal of debate and reconsideration of the Soviet era itself. This shift has not resulted in a simple vilification of everything Soviet or a naive embrace of all that preceded it, but it has spurred an unprecedented effort to regain the ancient Russian national heritage.
Churches are being restored all across the country, great Russian writers and artists whose works were banned are once again being honored, and the individual character of ancient cities and communities is once again becoming established.rhodes
For most western travelers, the bulk of Russia's history is nothing more than a compendium of hazy legends .rhodes
One of the most notable features of present day Russia is a renewed celebration of the wealth of its past and its potential for the future. Throwing off the blanket of communist uniformity, Russia today is a nation of enormous diversity and tremendous vitality. It is as if the cultural traditions of a century ago have re-awakened with a newfound strength - ancient cathedrals are being rebuilt and restored, colorful markets hum with activity once again and literature and the arts are quickly regaining the creative renown they enjoyed decades ago. A new Russia is now in full bloom.
Moscow's central theatre district lies a short distance to the northeast of the Kremlin and Red Square. Both the Bolshoi and the Maly theatres sit directly on Theatre Square, while the Moscow Arts Theatre lies just around the corner. rhodos
If Moscow is Europe's most Asiatic capital, then St Petersburg is Russia's most European city.
St Petersburg is a year-round travelers destination. The city's northern latitude means long days in summer and long nights in winter. In winter, hotels and tourist attractions are less crowded and, while some describe the weather merely as 'dark', there's a twinkling magic about the winter sky.