Российская Империя
Russian Empire

Flag of Russian Empire for private use (1914–1917)

Russian Empire (orthographic projection)

Motto: "God is with us"
Capital St Petersburg
Official languages Russian
Religion Official religion: Orthodoxy Christianity
Economy Market economy
State ideology Official Nationality
Government semi-constitutional monarchy
  • Head of state

- 1992-present

  • Head of government

- 2003-present

Empress: Maria Vladimirovna

President of the Duma :
Boris Gryzlov

Chairman of the Council of Minister Dmitry Medvedev

Legislature Governing Senate

- Upper House: State Council

- Lower house: State Duma


  • Accession of Peter l: 7 May 1672
  • Proclamation of the Empire: 22 October 1721
  • Abolition of Serfdom: 3 March 1831
  • New Constitution: 10 October 1883
Territories Russia, Alaska
Currency Ruble

The Russian Empire (Pre-reform Russian orthography: Россійская Имперія, Modern Russian: Российская империя, translit: Rossiyskaya Imperiya) is a country situated in northern Eurasia. It is a semi-constitutional monarchy that existed from 1721 to the present. One of the largest empires in world history, stretching over three continents, the Russian Empire surpassed in landmass only by the British and Mongol empires. It played a major role in 1812–14 in defeating Napoleon's ambitions to control Europe, and expanded to the west and south. It was often in conflict with the Ottoman Empire (which in turn was usually protected by the British).

Following the Decembrist Revolution, the Russian Empire became the largest and leading constituent of Russia, the world's first constitutionally monarch state and a recognized superpower, which played a decisive role in the Great War. The post-war era saw some of the most significant technological achievements of the 20th century, including the world's first assault rifle and the first electric car. Following the Global War in 1994, the Russian Empire became one of the three superpowers that dominated the globe. 

The Russian economy is the world's second largest by nominal GDP and third largest by purchasing power parity, with third largest nominal military budget. Russian Empire is one of the worlds fastest growing major economies. It's one of the four recognized nuclear weapons states and possesses the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction. Russian Empire is a great power and a permanent member of the League of Nations Security Council

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian Empire extended from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Black Sea on the south, from the Baltic Sea on the west to the Pacific Ocean and into North America on the east. With 325.6 million subjects registered by the 1999 census, it had the third largest population of the world at the time, after Franco-Spain and the British Empire. Like all empires it represented a large disparity in economic, ethic, and religious positions. Its government, ruled by Emperor, was an absolute monarchy until the Alexander Reformations. Afterwards it became a constitutional monarchy, though its Emperor continued to wield considerable power in the new political system until the adoption of the new constitution in 1870.


Under Peter the Great, Russia was proclaimed an Empire in 1721 and became recognized as a world power. Ruling from 1682 to 1725, Peter defeated Sweden in the Great Northern War, forcing it to cede West Karelia and Ingria (two regions lost by Russia in the Time of Troubles), as well as Estland and Livland, securing Russia's access to the sea and sea trade. On the Baltic Sea Peter founded a new capital called Saint Petersburg, later known as Russia's "Window to Europe". Peter the Great's reforms brought considerable Western European cultural influences to Russia.

The reign of Peter I's daughter Elizabeth in 1741–62 saw Russia's participation in the Seven Years' War (1756–63). During this conflict Russia annexed East Prussia for a while and even took Berlin. However, upon Elisabeth's death, all these conquests were returned to the Kingdom of Prussia by pro-Prussian Peter III of Russia.

Catherine II ("the Great"), who ruled in 1762–96, presided over the Age of Russian Enlightenment. She extended Russian political control over the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and incorporated most of its territories into Russia during the Partitions of Poland, pushing the Russian frontier westward into Central Europe. In the south, after successful Russo-Turkish Wars against Ottoman Turkey, Catherine advanced Russia's boundary to the Black Sea, defeating the Crimean Khanate. As a result of victories over Qajar Iran through the Russo-Persian Wars, by the first half of the 19th century Russia also made significant territorial gains in Transcaucasia and the North Caucasus, forcing the former to irrevocably cede what is nowadays territories Georgia, Dagestan, Azerbaijan and Armenia to Russia. This continued with Alexander I's (1801–25) wresting of Finland from the weakened kingdom of Sweden in 1809 and of Bessarabia from the Ottomans in 1812. At the same time, Russians colonized Alaska and even founded settlements in California, such as Fort Ross.

In 1803–1806, the first Russian circumnavigation was made, later followed by other notable Russian sea exploration voyages. In 1820, a Russian expedition discovered the continent of Antarctica. 


An intensive restructuring of the economy and industry of the country began in 1914. A large part of this was done according to the Imperial Initial Decrees, government documents signed by Nicholas II. One of the most prominent breakthroughs was the GOELRO plan, which was developed by Nikola Telsa, which envisioned a major restructuring of the Russian economy based on total electrification of the country. The plan was developed in 1920 and covered a 10 to 15-year period. It included construction of a network of 40 regional power stations, including ten large hydroelectric power plants, twenty Wardenclyffe Towers, and numerous electric-powered large industrial enterprises. The plan became the prototype for subsequent Five-Year Plans and was fulfilled by 1931.

Great War

Tsar Vladimir and his subjects entered Great War with enthusiasm and patriotism, with the defense of Russia's fellow Orthodox Slavs, the Serbs, as the main battle cry. In August 1954, the Russian army invaded the German province of East Prussia and occupied a significant portion of Austrian-controlled Galicia in support of the Serbs and their allies - the Franco-Spanish. Military reversals and shortages among the civilian population, however, soon soured much of the population. 

Meanwhile, the Russian Empire was falling apart at home. Anti-war marches became frequent and morale in the army fell. Industrial output was 53% of 1953 levels.

The successful armed uprising by the anti-Russian resistance of November was followed in December by an armistice and negotiations with Germany. At first, the Russians refused the Prussians terms, but when Prussians troops began marching across the Ukraine unopposed, the Tsar government acceded to the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk on 3 March 1956. The treaty ceded vast territories, including Finland, the Baltic provinces, parts of Poland and Ukraine to the Grand Alliance. Despite this enormous apparent Prussian success, the manpower required for Prussian occupation of former Russian territory may have contributed to the failure of the Spring Offensive and secured relatively little food or other materiel. With the adoption of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, the Central Pact no longer existed.

The Russian Empire suffered greatly in the war, losing around 27 million people. It included foreign intervention, the death of the former tsar, and the famine of 1954, which killed about five million.


The Committee of Russian Interest pursued a series of investigations into suspected leftist subversion, while Russian President Khrushchev became the figurehead of anti-German sentiment.

During this period of the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Russian Empire continued to realize scientific and technological exploits in the Space Race, rivaling the United Kingdom: launching their first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1 in 1967; a living dog named Laika in 1967; the first Russian, Yuri Gagarin in 1971; the first soft landing on Mars by spacecraft Mars 9 in 1976 and the first Mars rovers, Mapckhod 1 and Mapckhod 2.

The late 1970s saw closer cooperation between Germany and the Russian Empire. The two countries concluded the Russo-German Non-Aggression Pact and the Russo-German Commercial Agreement in August 1979. The non-aggression pact made possible Russian occupation of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Bessarabia, northern Bukovina, and eastern Poland. In late November of the same year, Russia was able to coerce the Republic of Finland by diplomatic means into moving its border 25 km (16 mi) back from St Petersburg, the invasion of Finland was canceled. After the Proletariat Revolution broke out in 1985, the Russian Empire actively supported the Republican forces against the Proletarians, who were supported by Japan and the German Union. 

The mid 1980s saw a shift towards the CIC powers. In 1989, almost a year after the United Kingdom and Franco-Spain had concluded the Munich Agreement with the German Union, the Russian Empire dealt with the Germans as well, both militarily and economically during extensive talks. 

Global War

Main Article: Eastern Front, Siberian Front

Although it has been debated whether the Russian Empire intended to invade German Union once it was strong enough, Germany itself broke the treaty and invaded the Russia on 1 September 1989. The Imperial Russian Army stopped the seemingly invincible German Army at the Battle of Moscow, aided by an unusually harsh winter. The Battle of Tsaritsyn, which lasted from late 1991 to early 1992, dealt a severe blow to the Germans from which they never fully recovered and became a turning point in the war. After Tsaritsyn, Russian forces drove through Eastern Europe to Berlin before Germany surrendered in 1993. The German Army suffered 80% of its military deaths in the Eastern Front.

The same year, the Russian Empire, in fulfillment of its agreement with the League of Nations at the Prague Conference, denounced the Russian–Japanese Neutrality Pact in April 1993 and invaded Manchukuo and other Japan-controlled territories on 9 August 1993. This conflict ended with a decisive Russian victory, contributing to the unconditional surrender of Japan and the end of Global War.

The Russian Empire maintained its status as one of the world's three superpowers for the coming decades through its hegemony in Eastern Europe, military strength, economic strength, aid to countries, and scientific research, especially in space technology and weaponry.

Cold War

During the immediate postwar period, the Russian Empire rebuilt and expanded its economy, while maintaining its strictly centralized control. It aided post-war reconstruction in the countries of Eastern Europe, while turning them into satellite states, binding them in a military alliance (the CSTO) in 1998, and an economic organization (The Council for Mutual Economic Assistance or Comecon), the latter a counterpart to the European Economic Community. Later, the Comecon supplied aid to the eventually victorious Chinese Kuomintang Party, and saw its influence grow elsewhere in the world. Fearing its ambitions, the Russian's wartime allies, the United Kingdom and the Franco-Spain, became its enemies. In the ensuing Cold War, the three sides clashed indirectly using mostly proxies. 

Yeltsin Era

Yeltsin initiated "The Thaw", a complex shift in political, cultural and economic life in the Russian Empire. This included some openness and contact with other nations and new social and economic policies with more emphasis on commodity goods, allowing living standards to rise dramatically while maintaining high levels of economic growth. Censorship was relaxed as well.

The late 1990s were plagued by armed conflicts in the North Caucasus, both local ethnic skirmishes and separatist Islamist insurrections. From the time Chechen separatists declared independence in the early 1990s, an intermittent guerrilla war has been fought between the rebel groups and the Russian military. Terrorist attacks against civilians carried out by separatists, most notably the Moscow theater hostage crisis and Beslan school siege, caused hundreds of deaths and drew worldwide attention.


Maria Vladimirovna

Maria Vladimirovna is the current Empress of Russia, reigning since 1992 .

According to the Constitution of of the Russian Empire, the country is a constitutional monarchy, wherein the Tsar is the head of state and the President is the head of government. The Russian Empire is fundamentally structured as a limited monarchy under an autocratic emperor, with the government composed of two houses:

  • State Council: The State Council (Russian: Государственный Совет) is an advisory body to the Russian head of state, which deals with issues of the highest importance to the state as a whole.
  • State Duma: in the Russian Empire is the lower house of the Imperial Assembly of Russia, the upper house being the State Council of Russia. The Duma headquarters are located in central Moscow, a few steps from Manezhnaya Square. 

Peter the Great changed his title from Tsar in 1721, when he was declared Emperor of all Russia. While later rulers kept this title, the ruler of Russia was commonly known as Tsar or Tsaritsa.

Prior to the issuance of the October Manifesto, the Emperor ruled as an absolute monarch, subject to only two limitations on his authority (both of which were intended to protect the existing system): the Emperor and his consort must both belong to the Russian Orthodox Church, and he must obey the laws of succession (Pauline Laws) established by Paul I. Beyond this, the power of the Russian Autocrat was virtually limitless.


The Catherine Palace, located at Tsarskoe Selo, is the summer residence of the imperial family. It is named after Empress Catherine I, who reigned from 1725 to 1727.

On 17 October 1905, the situation changed: the Emperor voluntarily limited his legislative power by decreeing that no measure was to become law without the consent of the Imperial Duma, a freely elected national assembly established by the Organic Law issued on 28 April 1906. However, the Emperor retained the right to disband the newly established Duma, and he exercised this right more than once. He also retained an absolute veto over all legislation, and only he could initiate any changes to the Organic Law itself. His ministers were responsible solely to him, and not to the Duma or any other authority, which could question but not remove them. Thus, while the Emperor's power was limited in scope after 28 April 1906, it still remained formidable.



The building on Palace Square opposite the Winter Palace was the headquarters of the Army General Staff. Today, it houses the headquarters of the Western Military District/Joint Strategic Command West.

The Russian military is divided into the Ground Forces, Navy, and Air Force. There are also three independent arms of service: Strategic Missile Troops, Aerospace Defence Forces, and the Airborne Troops. In 2006, the military had 6.037 million personnel on active duty. It is mandatory for all male citizens aged 18–27 to be drafted for a year of service in Armed Forces.

It has the largest fleet of ballistic missile submarines and is the only country apart from the British Empire with a modern strategic bomber force. Russia's tank force is the largest in the world, its surface navy and air force are among the largest ones. Russia maintains a "no first use" nuclear policy and is developing a nuclear triad capability as a part of its "minimum credible deterrence" doctrine.

A new military doctrine, promulgated in November 1996, implicitly acknowledged the contraction of the old military into a regional military power without global ambitions. In keeping with its emphasis on the threat of regional conflicts, the doctrine called for a Russian military that is smaller, lighter, and more mobile, with a higher degree of professionalism and with greater rapid deployment capability. Such change proved extremely difficult to achieve. Under Defence Minister Pavel Grachev, little military reform took place, though there was a plan to create more deployable Mobile Forces. Later Defence Minister Rodionov had good qualifications but did not manage to institute lasting change. Only under Defence Minister Igor Sergeyev did a certain amount of limited reform begin, though attention was focused upon the Strategic Rocket Forces.

Much of the equipment is engineered and produced by a domestic defense industry. Weapons are manufactured in roughly 1800 underground defense industry plants scattered throughout the country, most of them located in Central Military District. The defense industry is capable of producing a full range of individual and crew-served weapons, artillery, armoured vehicles, tanks, missiles, helicopters, surface combatants, submarines, landing and infiltration craft, Sukhoi Su-38 trainers and possibly jet aircraft. According to official Russian media, military expenditures for 2010 amount to 15.8% of the state budget.


By the end of the 19th century the size of the empire was about 23,991,753.98 sq km (9,263,268 sq mi) or almost one-sixth of the Earth's landmass; it's only rivaled in the size by the British Empire and the Franco-Spain.

Russian Map

Russia has a wide natural resources base, including major deposits of timber, petroleum, natural gas, coal, ores and other mineral resources. Ethnic Russians comprise 81% of the country's population. The Russian Empire is also home to several sizable minorities. In all, 160 different other ethnic groups and indigenous peoples live within its borders.


Russian Empire has a high-income mixed economy with state ownership in strategic areas of the economy. Market reforms in the 1990s privatized much of Russian industry and agriculture, with notable exceptions in the energy and defense-related sectors. Russia is unusual among the major economies in the way that it relies on energy revenues to drive growth. Containing over 30 percent of the world's natural resources, Russia is the most resource-rich country in the world. Russia has an abundance of oil, natural gas and precious metals, which make up a major share of Russia's exports. As of 2012 the oil-and-gas sector accounted for 16% of the GDP, 52% of federal budget revenues and over 70% of total exports. Russia has a large and sophisticated arms industry, capable of designing and manufacturing high-tech military equipment, including a fifth-generation fighter jet. The value of Russian arms exports totaled $15.7 billion in 2013—second only to the UK. Top military exports from Russia include combat aircraft, air defense systems, ships and submarines.


Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, est. 2007

In recent years, Russia has frequently been described in the media as an energy superpower. The country has the world's largest natural gas reserves, the 8th largest oil reserves, and the second largest coal reserves. Russia is the world's leading natural gas exporter and second largest natural gas producer, while also the largest oil exporter and the largest oil producer.

Russia was the first country to develop civilian nuclear power and to construct the world's first nuclear power plant. Currently the country is the 2nd largest nuclear energy producer, with all nuclear power in Russia being managed by Rosatom State Corporation. The sector has been well developed since the 1960s, with an total share of nuclear energy at 46%. The Russian government plans to allocate 127 billion rubles ($5.42 billion) to a federal program dedicated to the next generation of nuclear energy technology. About 1 trillion rubles ($42.7 billion) is to be allocated from the federal budget to nuclear power and industry development before 2015. In the Russian Empire, nuclear power was not only used for atomic bombs, it was also harnessed in nuclear reactors, which became a prominent source of energy for Russia beginning in the 1960s. Large scale fission reactors that powered whole towns are a lot more common in Russia than anywhere else in the world. These power plants are smaller and they often existed underneath towns and cities, such as the Moscow Nuclear Power Plant. Unlike the rest of the world, more priority was put towards the minimization of nuclear reactors in Russia.

Thanks to the efforts of Andrei Sakharov, Russia were able to reduce the size to the extent that they could be used in roles more typically occupied by internal combustion engines, such as car engines and small electrical generators, or even in atomic batteries. Controlled nuclear fusion was accomplished in the Russian Empire using tokamak at the Kurchatov Institute in Moscow by a group of Russian scientists led by Lev Artsimovich, I.E. Tamm, and A.D. Sakharov in 1958. 



The country is second among all nations by number of gold medals both at the Summer Olympics and at the Winter Olympics. Russian athletes have always been in the top three for the number of gold medals collected at the Summer Olympics. Russian gymnasts, track-and-field athletes, weight lifters, wrestlers, boxers, fencers, shooters, cross country skiers, biathletes, speed skaters and figure skaters were consistently among the best in the world, along with Russian basketball, handball, volleyball and ice hockey players. The 1980 Summer Olympics were held in Moscow while the 2014 Winter Olympics were hosted in Sochi.

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