Custom Search

world clock

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Russian Federation

The history of the Russian Federation is long and brutal. It is apparent on every corner of the country's awesome cities, such as Moscow and St Petersburg, as well as in its lesser-known towns such as Novgorod, Kazan and Tomsk. But it also dwells in huge and remote expanses such as Siberia, filled with ancient forests and the world's largest lake. Everything exists here on an inhuman scale.Since the 15th century, when the Grand Prince of Moscow, Ivan III (the Great), annexed the rival principalities of Rus, Russia's ambitions have been as great as this first national sovereign's appellation. It took Ivan the Terrible's capture of the Tatar capital Kazan in 1552 and his subsequent annexation of Siberia, followed by Peter the Great's expansion to the Baltic and the building of St Petersburg as his ‘window on Europe' in the early 18th century, to create the vast nation we know as Russia today.Modern Russia came bloodily to life in 1917 with a popular revolution followed by a coup that brought the Bolsheviks and Lenin to power. The repressive downward spiral that followed was one of the 20th centuries great crimes, with millions killed in the gulag labour camps