History of Russia
The history of Russia begins with that of the East Slavs and the Finno-Ugric peoples. The traditional beginning of Russian history is the establishment of Kievan Rus', the first united Eastern Slavic state, in 882; the state adopted Christianity from the Byzantine Empire in 988, beginning the synthesis of Byzantine and Slavic cultures that defined Orthodox Slavic culture for the next millennium. Kievan Rus' disintegrated as a state due to the Mongol invasions in 1237–1240 along with the resulting deaths of about half the population of Rus'. After the 13th century, Moscow became a cultural center, by the 18th century, the Tsardom of Russia had grown to become the Russian Empire, stretching from eastern Poland to the Pacific Ocean. Peasant revolts were common, all were fiercely suppressed. Russian serfdom was abolished in 1861, but the peasants fared poorly and turned to revolutionary pressures. In the following decades, reform efforts such as the Stolypin reforms, the constitution of 1906, the State Duma attempted to open and liberalize the economy and political system, but the tsars refused to relinquish autocratic rule or share their power.
The Russian Revolution in 1917 was triggered by a combination of economic breakdown, war-weariness, discontent with the autocratic system of government. It brought to power a coalition of liberals and moderate socialists, but their failed policies led to seizure of power by the communist Bolsheviks on 25 October. Between 1922 and 1991, the history of Russia is the history of the Soviet Union an ideologically based state, conterminous with the Russian Empire before the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk; the approach to the building of socialism, varied over different periods in Soviet history, from the mixed economy and diverse society and culture of the 1920s to the command economy and repressions of the Joseph Stalin era to the "era of stagnation" in the 1980s. From its first years, government in the Soviet Union was based on the one-party rule of the Communists, as the Bolsheviks called themselves, beginning in March 1918. By the mid-1980s, with the weaknesses of its economic and political structures becoming acute, Mikhail Gorbachev embarked on major reforms, which led to the overthrow of the communist party and the breakup of the USSR, leaving Russia again on its own and marking the start of the history of post-Soviet Russia.
The Russian Federation began in January 1992 as the legal successor to the USSR. Russia lost its superpower status. Scrapping the socialist central planning and state ownership of property of the socialist era, new leaders, led by President Vladimir Putin, took political and economic power after 2000 and engaged in an energetic foreign policy. Russia's recent annexation of the Crimean peninsula has led to severe economic sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union. In 2006, 1.5-million-year-old Oldowan flint tools were discovered in the Dagestan Akusha region of the north Caucasus, demonstrating the presence of early humans in Russia from a early time. The discovery of some of the earliest evidence for the presence of anatomically modern humans found anywhere in Europe was reported in 2007 from the deepest levels of the Kostenki archaeological site near the Don River in Russia, dated to at least 40,000 years ago. Arctic Russia was reached by 40,000 years ago; that Russia was home to some of the last surviving Neanderthals was revealed by the discovery of the partial skeleton of a Neanderthal infant in Mezmaiskaya cave in Adygea, carbon dated to only 29,000 years ago.
In 2008, Russian archaeologists from the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology of Novosibirsk, working at the site of Denisova Cave in the Altai Mountains of Siberia, uncovered a 40,000-year-old small bone fragment from the fifth finger of a juvenile hominin, which DNA analysis revealed to be a unknown species of human, named the Denisova hominin. During the prehistoric eras the vast steppes of Southern Russia were home to tribes of nomadic pastoralists. In classical antiquity, the Pontic Steppe was known as Scythia. Remnants of these long gone steppe cultures were discovered in the course of the 20th century in such places as Ipatovo, Sintashta and Pazyryk. In the part of the 8th century BCE, Greek merchants brought classical civilization to the trade emporiums in Tanais and Phanagoria. Gelonus was described by Herodotus as a huge earth- and wood-fortified grad inhabited around 500 BC by Heloni and Budini; the Bosporan Kingdom was incorporated as part of the Roman province of Moesia Inferior from 63 to 68 AD, under Emperor Nero.
At about the 2nd century AD Goths migrated to the Black Sea, in the 3rd and 4th centuries AD, a semi-legendary Gothic kingdom of Oium existed in Southern Russia until it was overrun by Huns. Between the 3rd and 6th centuries AD, the Bosporan Kingdom, a Hellenistic polity which succeeded the Greek colonies, was overwhelmed by successive waves of nomadic invasions, led by warlike tribes which would move on to Europe, as was the case with the Huns and Turkish Avars. A Turkic people, the Khazars, ruled the lower Volga basin steppes between the Caspian and Black Seas through to the 8th century. Noted for their laws and cosmopolitanism, the Khazars were the main commercial link between the Baltic and the Muslim Abbasid empire centered in Baghdad, they were important allies of the Byzantine Empire, waged a series of successful wars against the Arab Caliphates. In the 8th century, the Khazars embraced Judaism; some of the ancestors of the modern Russians were the Slavic tribes, whose original home is thought by some scholars to have been the wooded areas of the Pripet Marshes.
The Early East S
The Crimean Khanate was a Turkic state of the Ottoman Empire from 1441 to 1783, the longest-lived of the Turkic khanates that succeeded the empire of the Golden Horde of Mongol origin. Established by Hacı I Giray in 1441, the Crimean khans were the patrilineal descendants of Toqa Temür, thirteenth son of Jochi and grandson of Genghis Khan through marriage. Though, according to a well-know Russian historian, Doctor of Historical Sciences, professor of the Russian Academy of Sciences Zaitsev Ilya Vladimirovich, the Crimean Khanate was an independent state during all its history; the khanate was located in present-day Russia, Ukraine and Moldova. Ottoman forces under Gedik Ahmet Pasha conquered all of the Crimean peninsula and joined it to the khanate in 1475. In 1774, it was released as a sovereign political entity, following the Russo-Turkish Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca, formally annexed by the Russian Empire in 1783, becoming the Taurida Governorate. English-speaking writers during the 18th and early 19th centuries called the territory of the Crimean Khanate and of the Lesser Nogai Horde Little Tartary.
The name "Little Tartary" distinguished the area from Tartary – those areas of central and northern Asia inhabited by Turkic peoples or Tatars. The Khanate included the Crimean peninsula and the adjacent steppes corresponding to the parts of South Ukraine between the Dnieper and the Donets rivers; the territory controlled by the Crimean Khanate shifted throughout its existence due to the constant incursions by the Cossacks, who had lived along the Don since the disintegration of the Golden Horde in the 15th century. The London-based cartographer Herman Moll in a map of c. 1729 shows "Little Tartary" as including the Crimean peninsula and the steppe between Dnieper and Mius River as far north as the Dnieper bend and the upper Tor River. The Crimean Khanate originated in the early 15th century when certain clans of the Golden Horde Empire ceased their nomadic life in the Desht-i Kipchak and decided to make Crimea their yurt. At that time, the Golden Horde of the Mongol empire had governed the Crimean peninsula as an ulus since 1239, with its capital at Qirim.
The local separatists invited a Genghisid contender for the Golden Horde throne, Hacı Giray, to become their khan. Hacı Giray traveled from exile in Lithuania, he warred for independence against the Horde in the end achieving success. But Hacı Giray had to fight off internal rivals before he could ascend the throne of the khanate in 1449, after which he moved its capital to Qırq Yer; the khanate included the Crimean Peninsula as well as the adjacent steppe. The sons of Hacı I Giray contended against each other to succeed him; the Ottomans installed one of the sons, Meñli I Giray, on the throne. Menli I Giray, took the imperial title "Sovereign of Two Continents and Khan of Khans of Two Seas." In 1475 the Ottoman forces, under the command of Gedik Ahmet Pasha, conquered the Greek Principality of Theodoro and the Genoese colonies at Cembalo and Caffa. Thenceforth the khanate was a protectorate of the Ottoman Empire; the Ottoman sultan enjoyed veto power over the selection of new Crimean khans. The Empire annexed the Crimean coast but recognized the legitimacy of the khanate rule of the steppes, as the khans were descendants of Genghis Khan.
In 1475, the Ottomans imprisoned Meñli I Giray for three years for resisting the invasion. After returning from captivity in Constantinople, he accepted the suzerainty of the Ottoman Empire. Ottoman sultans treated the khans more as allies than subjects; the khans continued to have a foreign policy independent from the Ottomans in the steppes of Little Tartary. The khans continued to mint coins and use their names in Friday prayers, two important signs of sovereignty, they did not pay tribute to the Ottoman Empire. On, Crimea lost power in this relationship as the result of a crisis in 1523, during the reign of Meñli's successor, Mehmed I Giray, he died that year and beginning with his successor, from 1524 on, Crimean khans were appointed by the Sultan. The alliance of the Crimean Tatars and the Ottomans was comparable to the Polish-Lithuanian Union in its importance and durability; the Crimean cavalry became indispensable for the Ottomans' campaigns against Poland and Persia. In 1502, Meñli I Giray defeated the last khan of the Great Horde, which put an end to the Horde's claims on Crimea.
The Khanate chose as its capital Salaçıq near the Qırq Yer fortress. The capital was moved a short distance to Bahçeseray, founded in 1532 by Sahib I Giray. Both Salaçıq and the Qırq Yer fortress today are part of the expanded city of Bahçeseray; the Crimeans mounted raids into the Danubian principalities, Poland-Lithuania, Muscovy to enslave people whom they could capture. These campaigns by Crimean forces were either sefers declared military operations led by the khans themselves, or çapuls