Wednesday, November 23, 2005

History of Russia

History of Russia. This is a history of the European and Asian nation of Russia. It has been a world power several times in the past and it may well be so again in the future. It also has long had the distinction (as Russia or the Soviet Union) of being the largest nation in the world.

Like other large countries (including the USA and China), there are a variety of regions of Russia claiming that they are independent nations undergoing occupation. The so called Republic of Chechnya is the most visible of these. The international community has responded overwhelmingly in support by refusing to recognize these separatists entities resulting in both de facto and de juris legal recognition of Russian sovereignty in all of Russian territory.

Wikipedia notes, "The Russian Federation , or Russia is a country that stretches over a vast expanse of Europe and Asia. With an area of 17,075,200 km² (6,595,600 mi²), it is the largest country in the world, covering almost twice the territory of the next-largest country, Canada. It ranks eighth in the world in population. It shares land borders with the following countries (counter-clockwise from NW to SE): Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland (only through Kaliningrad Oblast), Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia and North Korea. It is also close to the United States and Japan across stretches of water: the Diomede Islands (one controlled by Russia, the other by the United States) are just 3 km apart, and Kunashir Island (controlled by Russia but claimed by Japan) is about 20 kilometers from Hokkaido."

From the site:

Human experience on the territory of present-day Russia dates back to Paleolithic times. Greek traders conducted extensive commerce with Scythian tribes around the shores of the Black Sea and the Crimean region. In the third century B.C., Scythians were displaced by Sarmatians, who in turn were overrun by waves of Germanic Goths. In the third century A.D., Asiatic Huns replaced the Goths and were in turn conquered by Turkic Avars in the sixth century. By the ninth century, Eastern Slavs began to settle in what are now the Ukraine, Belarus, and the Novgorod and Smolensk regions.

In 862, the political entity known as Kievan Rus was established in what is now Ukraine and lasted until the 12th century. In the 10th century, Christianity became the state religion under Vladimir, who adopted Greek Orthodox rites. Consequently, Byzantine culture predominated, as is evident in much of Russia's architectural, musical, and artistic heritage. Over the next centuries, various invaders assaulted the Kievan state and, finally, Mongols under Batu Khan destroyed the main population centers except for Novgorod and Pskov and prevailed over the region until 1480.

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