What was the Cold War?

The Cold War was a conflict between the United States of America (and its allies) and the Soviet Union (and its allies). The conflict began in the mid-1940s, just after the end of the Second World War and ended in the early 1990s with the collapse of the Soviet Union. It is called the Cold […]

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Why did Napoleon invade Russia?

Napoleon’’s invasion of Russia in 1812 was a disaster. The campaign started well as Napoleon and his Grande Armée pushed into Russia and even briefly occupied Moscow. But there the tide turned. As summer turned to winter, his army was forced into a humiliating retreat westward. Only 120,000 of his 500,000 Grande Armée returned home. […]

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Catherine the Great Biography

Catherine the Great was Empress of Russia between 9 July 1762 and November 17, 1796. Catherine seized power from her husband, Peter III, in a coup d’etat and, seeing herself as an enlightened despot, reigned over what is regarded by many as a golden era of Russian enlightenment and expansion. She was famed not only for […]

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What was the Yalta Conference?

The Yalta Conference was a meeting between the Soviet, US and British heads of state, held from 4-11 February 1945. Recognising that the defeat of Nazi Germany was inevitable, Joseph Stalin, Franklin D Roosevelt and Winston Churchill met to discuss how post-war Europe would be organised – most notably the partition of Germany. The agreements […]

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Oleg of Novgorod

Oleg of Novgorod, also known as Oleg Veshchy (Oleg the Prophet) was a Varangian prince. He is widely recognised as the founder and first ruler of Kievan Rus. Founder of Kievan Rus According to the Primary Chronicle, Oleg succeeded Rurik the Varangian as leader of Novgorod in 879. An aggressive leader, he quickly moved to […]

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Kievan Rus

Kievan Rus was the first organised state on present-day Russian territory. It is widely regarded as the spiritual predecessor to today’s Russian state. A medieval European state, Kievan Rus was founded in 882AD by Prince Oleg. It was made up of a number of co-operating principalities, with it’s capital in Kiev. Spread across territory from […]

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