Russian is an East Slavic language and an official language in Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and many minor or unrecognised territories. Russian belongs to the family of Indo-European languages and is one of the four living members of the East Slavic languages, written examples of Old East Slavonic are attested from the 10th century and beyond. It is the most geographically widespread language of Eurasia and the most widely spoken of the Slavic languages and it is also the largest native language in Europe, with 144 million native speakers in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. Russian is the eighth most spoken language in the world by number of native speakers, the language is one of the six official languages of the United Nations. Russian is also the second most widespread language on the Internet after English, Russian distinguishes between consonant phonemes with palatal secondary articulation and those without, the so-called soft and hard sounds. This distinction is found between pairs of almost all consonants and is one of the most distinguishing features of the language, another important aspect is the reduction of unstressed vowels. Russian is a Slavic language of the Indo-European family and it is a lineal descendant of the language used in Kievan Rus. From the point of view of the language, its closest relatives are Ukrainian, Belarusian, and Rusyn. An East Slavic Old Novgorod dialect, although vanished during the 15th or 16th century, is considered to have played a significant role in the formation of modern Russian. In the 19th century, the language was often called Great Russian to distinguish it from Belarusian, then called White Russian and Ukrainian, however, the East Slavic forms have tended to be used exclusively in the various dialects that are experiencing a rapid decline. In some cases, both the East Slavic and the Church Slavonic forms are in use, with different meanings. For details, see Russian phonology and History of the Russian language and it is also regarded by the United States Intelligence Community as a hard target language, due to both its difficulty to master for English speakers and its critical role in American world policy. The standard form of Russian is generally regarded as the modern Russian literary language, mikhail Lomonosov first compiled a normalizing grammar book in 1755, in 1783 the Russian Academys first explanatory Russian dictionary appeared. By the mid-20th century, such dialects were forced out with the introduction of the education system that was established by the Soviet government. Despite the formalization of Standard Russian, some nonstandard dialectal features are observed in colloquial speech. Thus, the Russian language is the 6th largest in the world by number of speakers, after English, Mandarin, Hindi/Urdu, Spanish, Russian is one of the six official languages of the United Nations. Education in Russian is still a choice for both Russian as a second language and native speakers in Russia as well as many of the former Soviet republics. Russian is still seen as an important language for children to learn in most of the former Soviet republics, samuel P. Huntington wrote in the Clash of Civilizations, During the heyday of the Soviet Union, Russian was the lingua franca from Prague to Hanoi
The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. It was nominally a union of national republics, but its government. The Soviet Union had its roots in the October Revolution of 1917 and this established the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic and started the Russian Civil War between the revolutionary Reds and the counter-revolutionary Whites. In 1922, the communists were victorious, forming the Soviet Union with the unification of the Russian, Transcaucasian, Ukrainian, following Lenins death in 1924, a collective leadership and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s. Stalin suppressed all opposition to his rule, committed the state ideology to Marxism–Leninism. As a result, the country underwent a period of rapid industrialization and collectivization which laid the foundation for its victory in World War II and postwar dominance of Eastern Europe. Shortly before World War II, Stalin signed the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact agreeing to non-aggression with Nazi Germany, in June 1941, the Germans invaded the Soviet Union, opening the largest and bloodiest theater of war in history. Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the effort of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at battles such as Stalingrad. Soviet forces eventually captured Berlin in 1945, the territory overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Eastern Bloc. The Cold War emerged by 1947 as the Soviet bloc confronted the Western states that united in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949. Following Stalins death in 1953, a period of political and economic liberalization, known as de-Stalinization and Khrushchevs Thaw, the country developed rapidly, as millions of peasants were moved into industrialized cities. The USSR took a lead in the Space Race with Sputnik 1, the first ever satellite, and Vostok 1. In the 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, the war drained economic resources and was matched by an escalation of American military aid to Mujahideen fighters. In the mid-1980s, the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost. The goal was to preserve the Communist Party while reversing the economic stagnation, the Cold War ended during his tenure, and in 1989 Soviet satellite countries in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist regimes. This led to the rise of strong nationalist and separatist movements inside the USSR as well, in August 1991, a coup détat was attempted by Communist Party hardliners. It failed, with Russian President Boris Yeltsin playing a role in facing down the coup. On 25 December 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the twelve constituent republics emerged from the dissolution of the Soviet Union as independent post-Soviet states
Christianization of Kievan Rus'
The Christianization of Kievan Rus took place in several stages. In early 867, Patriarch Photius of Constantinople announced to other Orthodox patriarchs that the Rus, baptised by his bishop, the latter events are traditionally referred to as baptism of Rus in Russian and Ukrainian literature. According to the Church Tradition, Christianity was first brought to the territory of modern Belarus, Russia and Ukraine by Saint Andrew and he traveled over the Black Sea to the Greek colony of Chersonesus Taurica in Crimea, where he converted several thousand men to new faith. Allegedly Saint Andrew traveled also north along the Dnieper River, where Kiev would be founded around the 5th century, the legendary account of the Russian Primary Chronicle tells that Saint Andrew was amused by the Slavic customs of washing in hot steam bath, banya, on his way. Saints Cyril and Methodius were the missionaries of Christianity among the Slavic peoples of Bulgaria, through their work they influenced the cultural development of all Slavs, for which they received the title Apostles to the Slavs. After their deaths, their pupils continued their work among other Slavs. Both brothers are venerated in the Ukrainian Catholic and Byzantine Catholic Churches as well as the Orthodox Church as saints with the title of equal-to-apostles, the most authoritative source for the early Christianization of Rus is an encyclical letter of Patriarch Photius, datable to early 867. Referencing the Siege of Constantinople of 860, Photius informs the Oriental patriarchs and bishops that, after the Bulgarians turned to Christ in 863, as was the case with the Bulgarians, the Patriarch found it prudent to send to the barbarians a bishop from Constantinople. With some modifications, the story is repeated by Constantine VII in De Administrando Imperio, followed by generations of Byzantine historians. There is also an argumentum ex silentio, no Greek source recorded the baptism of the Rus in the 990s. Whatever the scope of Photiuss efforts to Christianize the Rus, their effect was not lasting, although they fail to mention the mission of Photius, the authors of the Primary Chronicle were aware that a sizable portion of the Kievan population was Christian by 944. The Kievan collegiate church of St. Elijah is mentioned in the text of the chronicle, either in 945 or 957, the ruling regent, Olga of Kiev, visited Constantinople with a certain priest, Gregory. Her reception at the court is described in De Ceremoniis. According to legends, Byzantine Emperor Constantine VII fell in love with Olga, however, when she was baptized, she said it was inappropriate for a godfather to marry his goddaughter. Although it is presumed that Olga was baptized in Constantinople rather than Kiev, there is no explicit mention of the sacrament. Olga is also known to have requested a bishop and priests from Rome and her son, Sviatoslav, continued to worship Perun and other gods of the Slavic pantheon. He remained a pagan all of his life, according to the Primary Chronicle, he believed that his warriors would lose respect for him. Sviatoslavs successor, Yaropolk I, seems to have had a more conciliatory attitude towards Christianity, late medieval sources even claim that Yaropolk exchanged ambassadors with the Pope
Russia, also officially the Russian Federation, is a country in Eurasia. The European western part of the country is more populated and urbanised than the eastern. Russias capital Moscow is one of the largest cities in the world, other urban centers include Saint Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg, Nizhny Novgorod. Extending across the entirety of Northern Asia and much of Eastern Europe, Russia spans eleven time zones and incorporates a range of environments. It shares maritime borders with Japan by the Sea of Okhotsk, the East Slavs emerged as a recognizable group in Europe between the 3rd and 8th centuries AD. Founded and ruled by a Varangian warrior elite and their descendants, in 988 it adopted Orthodox Christianity from the Byzantine Empire, beginning the synthesis of Byzantine and Slavic cultures that defined Russian culture for the next millennium. Rus ultimately disintegrated into a number of states, most of the Rus lands were overrun by the Mongol invasion. The Soviet Union played a role in the Allied victory in World War II. The Soviet era saw some of the most significant technological achievements of the 20th century, including the worlds first human-made satellite and the launching of the first humans in space. By the end of 1990, the Soviet Union had the second largest economy, largest standing military in the world. It is governed as a federal semi-presidential republic, the Russian economy ranks as the twelfth largest by nominal GDP and sixth largest by purchasing power parity in 2015. Russias extensive mineral and energy resources are the largest such reserves in the world, making it one of the producers of oil. The country is one of the five recognized nuclear weapons states and possesses the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction, Russia is a great power as well as a regional power and has been characterised as a potential superpower. The name Russia is derived from Rus, a state populated mostly by the East Slavs. However, this name became more prominent in the later history, and the country typically was called by its inhabitants Русская Земля. In order to distinguish this state from other states derived from it, it is denoted as Kievan Rus by modern historiography, an old Latin version of the name Rus was Ruthenia, mostly applied to the western and southern regions of Rus that were adjacent to Catholic Europe. The current name of the country, Россия, comes from the Byzantine Greek designation of the Kievan Rus, the standard way to refer to citizens of Russia is Russians in English and rossiyane in Russian. There are two Russian words which are translated into English as Russians
Vladimir the Great
Vladimir Sviatoslavich the Great or Volodymyr was a prince of Novgorod, grand prince of Kiev, and ruler of Kievan Rus from 980 to 1015. Vladimirs father was prince Sviatoslav of the Rurik dynasty, in Sweden, with the help from his relative Ladejarl Håkon Sigurdsson, ruler of Norway, he assembled a Varangian army and reconquered Novgorod from Yaropolk. Originally a follower of Slavic paganism, Vladimir converted to Christianity in 988, born in 958, Vladimir was the natural son and youngest son of Sviatoslav I of Kiev by his housekeeper Malusha. Malusha is described in the Norse sagas as a prophetess who lived to the age of 100 and was brought from her cave to the palace to predict the future, malushas brother Dobrynya was Vladimirs tutor and most trusted advisor. His place of birth is identified by different authors either as Budyatychi or Budnik, transferring his capital to Pereyaslavets in 969, Sviatoslav designated Vladimir ruler of Novgorod the Great but gave Kiev to his legitimate son Yaropolk. After Sviatoslavs death at the hands of the Pechenegs in 972, in 977, Vladimir fled to his kinsman Haakon Sigurdsson, ruler of Norway, collecting as many Norse warriors as he could to assist him to recover Novgorod. On his return the next year, he marched against Yaropolk, on his way to Kiev he sent ambassadors to Rogvolod, prince of Polotsk, to sue for the hand of his daughter Rogneda. The high-born princess refused to affiance herself to the son of a bondswoman, so Vladimir attacked Polotsk, slew Rogvolod, Vladimir continued to expand his territories beyond his fathers extensive domain. Although Christianity spread in the region under Olegs rule, Vladimir had remained a pagan, taking eight hundred concubines. He may have attempted to reform Slavic paganism by establishing the thunder-god, Perun, open abuse of the deities that most people in Rus revered triggered widespread indignation. A mob killed the Christian Fyodor and his son Ioann, immediately after the murder of Fyodor and Ioann, early medieval Rus saw persecutions against Christians, many of whom escaped or concealed their belief. However, Prince Vladimir mused over the incident long after, the result is described by the chronicler Nestor. Of the Muslim Bulgarians of the Volga the envoys reported there is no gladness among them, only sorrow and he also reported that Islam was undesirable due to its taboo against alcoholic beverages and pork. Vladimir remarked on the occasion, Drinking is the joy of all Rus and we cannot exist without that pleasure. His emissaries also visited Roman Catholic and Orthodox missionaries, ultimately Vladimir settled on Eastern Orthodox Christianity. If Vladimir was impressed by this account of his envoys, he was more attracted by the political gains of the Byzantine alliance. In 988, having taken the town of Chersonesos in Crimea, he negotiated for the hand of emperor Basil IIs sister. Never before had a Byzantine imperial princess, and one born in the purple at that, married a barbarian, as offers of French kings
Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus'
The Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus, also known as the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia, is the official title of the primate of the Russian Orthodox Church. It is often preceded by the honorific His Holiness, the patriarchate was established in Moscow in 1589, the first patriarch was St. Job. Abolished in 1721 by Peter the Great, the patriarchate was restored on October 28,1917, Patriarch Kirill acceded to this position on 1 February 2009. Different variations of the title Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, Patriarch of Moscow and all the great and small, the modern form, Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus, was initially used in 1589 through 1721. In the subsequent period, the Synod of Church authorities and public administration in Russia, the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church was restored by decision of the All-Russian Local Council on October 28,1917. The first patriarch elected after restoration was Saint Tikhon, Metropolitan of Moscow, between terms, Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church elects the chair from among its permanent members of the locum tenens of the Patriarchal throne. Not later than six months after the release of locum tenens of the throne. Shall convene to elect a new Patriarch of Moscow and All the Rus, the candidate for the patriarchs must be a bishop of the Russian Orthodox Church, not younger than 40 years old, have a higher theological education, the expertise of the diocesan administration. The procedure for the election of the patriarch of the charter was not detailed, Kirill I was elected on 27 January 2009 by the ROC Local Council as Patriarch of Moscow and All Rus and Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church, with 508 votes out of 700. He was enthroned on 1 February 2009, the Patriarch enters the dignity during a special ceremony of enthronement, which is held a few days after the election. List of Metropolitans and Patriarchs of Moscow
Patriarch Pimen I of Moscow
Patriarch Pimen, was the 14th Patriarch of Moscow and the head of the Russian Orthodox Church from 1970 to 1990. He was born 1910 in village Kobylino, Kaluga Governorate in pius family, on December 5,1925, he became a monk at Sretensky Monastery in Moscow. He also spent years in various Russian monasteries and cathedrals in Murom, Odessa, in 1954 Pimen became namestnik of Troitse-Sergiyeva Lavra. November 17,1957 in Odessa he was consecrated bishop of Balta, since December 26,1957 he was bishop of Dmitrov, vicar of the Moscow diocese. From July 1960 to November 14,1961 he was Chancellor of the Moscow Patriarchate, November 23,1960 he was elevated to the rank of archbishop. Since March 16,1961 he was archbishop of Tula and Belyov, on November 14,1961 he was appointed Metropolitan of Leningrad and Ladoga. Local Council was opened May 30,1971, the most important act of the Council - the abolition of the oath on the old rites of the Great Moscow Council,1667. June 2,1971 on the day of the Counsil Metropolitan Pimen was elected Patriarch of Moscow. June 3 of the year he was enthroned. Pimens task was to lead a Christian church in a state ruled by an officially atheist Communist party, in his post he worked closely with the authorities, he participated in numerous peace movement conferences sponsored by the government. Pimen was awarded the Soviet Peace Fund Medal and, in 1970, Pimen was a member of the World Peace Council from 1963 onwards. In 1961, Pimen was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labour, at the end of his difficult term as the head of the Russian Orthodox Church he organized the celebration of the 1000th anniversary of the Christianization of Rus in 1988. This event became the moment that marked the end of persecution of Orthodox Christianity in the Soviet Union
Moscow is the capital and most populous city of Russia, with 13.2 million residents within the city limits and 17.8 million within the urban area. Moscow has the status of a Russian federal city, Moscow is a major political, economic, cultural, and scientific center of Russia and Eastern Europe, as well as the largest city entirely on the European continent. Moscow is the northernmost and coldest megacity and metropolis on Earth and it is home to the Ostankino Tower, the tallest free standing structure in Europe, the Federation Tower, the tallest skyscraper in Europe, and the Moscow International Business Center. Moscow is situated on the Moskva River in the Central Federal District of European Russia, the city is well known for its architecture, particularly its historic buildings such as Saint Basils Cathedral with its brightly colored domes. Moscow is the seat of power of the Government of Russia, being the site of the Moscow Kremlin, the Moscow Kremlin and Red Square are also one of several World Heritage Sites in the city. Both chambers of the Russian parliament also sit in the city and it is recognized as one of the citys landmarks due to the rich architecture of its 200 stations. In old Russian the word also meant a church administrative district. The demonym for a Moscow resident is москвич for male or москвичка for female, the name of the city is thought to be derived from the name of the Moskva River. There have been proposed several theories of the origin of the name of the river and its cognates include Russian, музга, muzga pool, puddle, Lithuanian, mazgoti and Latvian, mazgāt to wash, Sanskrit, majjati to drown, Latin, mergō to dip, immerse. There exist as well similar place names in Poland like Mozgawa, the original Old Russian form of the name is reconstructed as *Москы, *Mosky, hence it was one of a few Slavic ū-stem nouns. From the latter forms came the modern Russian name Москва, Moskva, in a similar manner the Latin name Moscovia has been formed, later it became a colloquial name for Russia used in Western Europe in the 16th–17th centuries. From it as well came English Muscovy, various other theories, having little or no scientific ground, are now largely rejected by contemporary linguists. The surface similarity of the name Russia with Rosh, an obscure biblical tribe or country, the oldest evidence of humans on the territory of Moscow dates from the Neolithic. Within the modern bounds of the city other late evidence was discovered, on the territory of the Kremlin, Sparrow Hills, Setun River and Kuntsevskiy forest park, etc. The earliest East Slavic tribes recorded as having expanded to the upper Volga in the 9th to 10th centuries are the Vyatichi and Krivichi, the Moskva River was incorporated as part of Rostov-Suzdal into the Kievan Rus in the 11th century. By AD1100, a settlement had appeared on the mouth of the Neglinnaya River. The first known reference to Moscow dates from 1147 as a place of Yuri Dolgoruky. At the time it was a town on the western border of Vladimir-Suzdal Principality
Danilov Monastery, in full Svyato-Danilov Monastery or Holy Danilov Monastery, is a monastery on the right bank of the Moskva River in Moscow, Russia. Since 1983, it has functioned as the headquarters of the Russian Orthodox church, Danilov Monastery was founded in the late 13th century by Alexander Nevskys son Daniil. Shortly before his death in 1303, Danilo took monastic vows, the Russian Orthodox church venerates him as a saint. The very first Muscovite archmandrite came from this monastery in 1300, in the 14th - 15th centuries, Danilov Monastery fell into decline. In 1560, Ivan the Terrible brought it back to life, in 1591, when the armies of a Crimean khan Kaza Giray approached Moscow, the area around Danilov Monastery was turned into a fortified mobile camp. In 1606, the led by Ivan Bolotnikov and Istoma Pashkov collided with the army of Vasili IV not far from the monastery. In 1607, an impostor by the name of Ileyka Muromets, being in the center of many military events during the Time of Troubles, the monastery was severely damaged in 1610. In the early 17th century, it was surrounded by a wall with seven towers. In 1710, there were 30 monks in Danilov Monastery, in 1764, there were only twelve of them on staff. By 1900, however, the rose to seventeen. In 1805, an almshouse for women was established at the monastery, later it was turned into an almshouse for elderly clergymen. In 1812, the monastery was ransacked by the French army, the monasterial sacristy and treasury, however, had been transported to Vologda and Troitse-Sergiyeva Lavra shortly before the French occupied Moscow. First documented information on Danilov Monasterys landownership can be traced back to 1785, by the end of the 19th century, the monastery had already possessed 178 desyatinas and a few buildings in Moscow. The remains of most of them, however, were transported in Soviet years to the Novodevichy Cemetery, by 1917, Danilov Monastery had 19 monks and four novices and owned 164 desyatinas of land. After the October Revolution, the monastery housed archimandrites who had deprived of their pulpits. In 1929, the Soviets issued a decree on closing the monastery. The last monastery closed in Moscow became the first one to be returned in 1983 to the Moscow Patriarchy and became a spiritual, in 1988, the monastery was restored. A residence was built for the Patriarch and Synod, as well as a funeral chapel, when the monastery was closed in 1929 and 1930, its bell set was saved from Communist melting through the purchase by American industrialist Charles R. Crane