Background: Founded in the 12th century, the Principality of Muscovy, was able to emerge from over 200 years of Mongol domination (13th-15th centuries) and to gradually conquer and absorb surrounding principalities. In the early 17th century, a new Romanov Dynasty continued this policy of expansion across Siberia to the Pacific. Under PETER I (ruled 1682-1725), hegemony was extended to the Baltic Sea and the country was renamed the Russian Empire. During the 19th century, more territorial acquisitions were made in Europe and Asia. Repeated devastating defeats of the Russian army in World War I led to widespread rioting in the major cities of the Russian Empire and to the overthrow in 1917 of the imperial household. The Communists under Vladimir LENIN seized power soon after and formed the USSR. The brutal rule of Josef STALIN (1928-53) strengthened Russian dominance of the Soviet Union at a cost of tens of millions of lives. The Soviet economy and society stagnated in the following decades until General Secretary Mikhail GORBACHEV (1985-91) introduced glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring) in an attempt to modernize Communism, but his initiatives inadvertently released forces that by December 1991 splintered the USSR into 15 independent republics. Since then, Russia has struggled in its efforts to build a democratic political system and market economy to replace the strict social, political, and economic controls of the Communist period. While some progress has been made on the economic front, recent years have seen a recentralization of power under Vladimir PUTIN and an erosion in nascent democratic institutions. A determined guerrilla conflict still plagues Russia in Chechnya.
Blogs from Yekaterinburg
Latest Blogs from Yekaterinburg
- January 18th 2014 Yekaterinburg! I will never forget!
by Words: 853 Photos: 21
- May 8th 2013 Day #27: Yekaterinburg
by Words: 110 Photos: 3
- April 27th 2013 Day #26: Yekaterinburg
by Words: 197 Photos: 3
- April 5th 2013 Start of the Trans-Siberian Railway: Kazan, Ekaterinburg
by Words: 1797 Photos: 0
- January 14th 2013 Gateway To Asia
by Words: 1542 Photos: 13
- November 29th 2012 Melting in Yekateringburg-95 degrees !!
by Words: 619 Photos: 19
- June 9th 2012 Ural respite
by Words: 521 Photos: 11
- April 13th 2012 Yekaterinburg
by Words: 5 Photos: 39
- July 23rd 2011 A Day in Yekaterinburg
by Words: 1578 Photos: 11
- July 3rd 2011 Yekaterinburg – unexpected visit of an ice rink :)
by Words: 1644 Photos: 24
- February 23rd 2011 My Big Trip (Part 3)
by Words: 947 Photos: 7
- August 18th 2010 Yekaterinburg and the Ural Mountains
by Words: 1784 Photos: 28
- July 28th 2010 Yekaterinburg
by Words: 1001 Photos: 25
- July 25th 2010 Back on the Trans-Siberian - but only for 51hrs
by Words: 1248 Photos: 26
- July 18th 2010 Europe - Asia for only US$7!
by Words: 1009 Photos: 6
- June 2nd 2010 Ekaterinbourg
by Words: 429 Photos: 23
- February 28th 2010 Yekaterinburg Russia
by Words: 693 Photos: 9
- September 6th 2009 We're in Asia!
by Words: 1435 Photos: 12
- July 11th 2009 Yekaterinburg and the Yellow Submarine Bar!
by Words: 758 Photos: 18
- July 9th 2009 Moscow to Yekaterinburg - First 30 Hour Train Journey
by Words: 284 Photos: 8