Napoleon Bonaparte

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 featured

Catherine the Great Biography

Catherine the Great was Empress of Russia between 9 July 1762 and November 17, 1796. She 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. Catherine is famed not only […]

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Churchill Roosevelt and Stalin at Yalta Conference - Featured

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 Portrait

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 Map Thumbnail

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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Peter the Great Accomplishments

Peter the Great timeline

This article outlines a brief Peter the Great timeline, highlighting some of the key moments in the life of one of Russia’s most notorious leaders. 09 June 1672 – Peter is born The future Peter the Great was born Pyotr Alexeyevich Romanov in Moscow to Alexis I of Russia and his mother Nataliya Naryshkina. Peter […]

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Soviet Cars

Soviet Cars

When you think of some of the classic vehicles to emerge from the Soviet era it’s easy to build an image of a lumbering stereotype; a kind of dull, functional car that looked and felt extremely similar to other models. While that may be true to some extent – it has to be said that […]

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Russian Serfdom

Russian Serfdom

It’s impossible to ignore the fact that there have been some extremely bleak periods in Russian history and while living memory exists to put the grim, Stalinist regime at the forefront of our minds, the era of Russian serfdom was longer, and in many ways just as hard to bear for those that lived with […]

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Sounds from Hell in Siberia

Sounds from Hell in Siberia

Myths and legends have been with us for decades but after the internet began to take hold in the mid 1990’s there was an explosion of so called Urban Myths. No area of the world was excluded and one particular story involved the infamous ‘Well to Hell’ a borehole in Siberia that was supposed to […]

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Ivan Pavlov Biography

Ivan Pavlov Biography

Ivan Pavlov was a celebrated Russian physiologist and Nobel Prize winner who discovered the Conditioned Reflex but like many famous names from the country’s history, we seem to know very little about him. Of course we all know about the research that involved the fabled Pavlov’s dog but there is so much more to discover […]

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