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  • A BRIEF HISTORY OF RUSSIA

    Moscow. The Kremlin A Bosphorus state and a Scythian state emerged on the territory of Russia in the first millennium B. C. From 552 to 745 A. D., the Turk Khanate, a state of united Turkish tribes, occupied part of Russian territory. The Khazar khanate was situated in the Northern Volga basin, in the Northern Caucasus, and on the shores of the Azov Sea from the middle of the 7th through the end of the 10th century. The state of Bokhai was located in the Russian Far East from the beginning of the 8th century to 926 A. D. Bulgaria of the Volga and the Kama was situated on the shores of the mid-Volga and on the Kama river from the 10th to 14th century.

    An Old Russian state emerged in the 9th century. Christianity was adopted as the state religion of Russia around 988 A. D. The republic of Novgorod, the principalities of Vladimir and Suzdal, of Galich and Volyn, and others existed from the 12th to 14th centuries. In the 13th century Russian principalities and Bulgaria of the Volga and the Kama were invaded by Tataro-Mongolians (1237 - 42) and attacked by Swedes and Germans (the battle on the Neva river of 1240, and the Battle on the Ice, 1242).

    The Tatar yoke, which lasted almost 250 years, was overthrown by the joint forces of Russians (The battle of Kulikovo, 1380, the battle on the Ugra river, 1480). A Russian centralized state, which included the lands of North-East and North-West Russia, was formed around Moscow in the 14th to 16 centuries. Serfdom was legalized in the mid 16th to the mid 17th centuries. In the beginning of the 17th century Russia repelled an invasion of joint Polish and Lithuanian forces and defeated the Swedes.

    The Ukraine united with Russia in the middle of the 17th century. The growth of serf exploitation caused uprisings and peasant wars (the beginning of the 17th century, 1670 - 1671, 1707 - 09, 1773 - 1775). The reforms of Peter the Great (the end of the 17th through the first quarter of the 18th century) favored social, economic and cultural development of the country, and helped Russia to win the Northern war of 1720 - 21, which resulted in an outlet to the Baltic Sea. A multinational and multiethnic state (see Russian empire) was formed as a result of adding the territories of the North, the Volga basin, the Urals, Siberia and the Far East from the 16th to 19th centuries. Russia withstood the invasion of Napoleons army in the Great Patriotic war of 1812.

    The Ivanovsky Tower of the Kremlin. MoscowThe peasant reform of 1861 abolished serfdom and favored social and economic development. In 1898, the RSDRP (the Russian Socialist Democratic Labor party) was organized. Other political parties as well as trade unions appeared in the beginning of the twentieth century, and the State Duma, the Russian parlament, was established. The war against Japan of 1904 - 1905 was one of the main causes of the Russian revolution of 1905 - 1907. Russia fought in World War I from 1914 to 1918. Czarist autocracy was overthrown as a result of the February revolution of 1917.

    The October revolution of 1917 occurred on October 25 (November 7) of 1917 and the rule of the Soviets of workers, soldiers and peasants deputies was proclaimed. At the same time, other political parties were forcefully eliminated, which lead to the establishment of the political monopoly of the Communist party gradually merged with the state apparatus. The Civil War and the military intervention of 1917 - 1922 contributed to the establishment of military communist principles of social organization and of the production and distribution system.

    In January 1918 the Russian Soviet Federal Socialist Republic (the RSFSR) was formed. The New Economic policy (NEP) was adopted in 1921. On December 30, 1922 the RSFSR, the Ukrainian SSR (Soviet socialist republic), the Belorussian SSR, and the Republics of the Caucasus (ZSASR) joined the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (the USSR). Further development of Russia became inseparably linked with the USSR.

    Peter the Great. Mosaic of the 18th centuryFrom 1941 to 1945 Russia fought in WWII having been attacked by Germany. Joseph Stalin, the long-time leader of the USSR, died in 1953. His death brought an end to the era of mass political repression. At the same time, the construction of socialism continued, and the country was governed by the Communist party directed by the Politburo as before.

    In 1986 Mikhail Gorbachev was elected the general secretary of the CPSU Central Committee. Together with democratically-minded representatives of society, he started the restructuring (Perestroika) of the political and social system of the USSR. Soon the Soviet Union disintegrated.

    On June 12, 1990 the Congress of Peoples Deputies of the RSFSR adopted the Declaration on the State Sovereignty of the Russian Federation. On March 17, 1991 the post of the President of the Russian Federation was established by the Russian Referendum (B. N. Yeltsin was elected the first president in the same year). Russia joined the Commonwealth of the Independent States (CIS) in December 1991. The Constitution of the Russian Federation was adopted in December 1993, and elections to the Federal Assembly and the State Duma were held. In March 2000 Vladimir Putin was elected President of Russia.


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