Anton Ivanovich Denikin was a Russian Lieutenant General in the Imperial Russian Army and afterwards a leading general of the White movement in the Russian Civil War. Denikin was born in Szpetal Dolny village, now part of the Polish city Włocławek in the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship, his father, Ivan Efimovich Denikin, had been born a serf in the province of Saratov. Sent as a recruit to do 25 years of military service, the elder Denikin became an officer in the 22nd year of his army service in 1856, he retired from the army in 1869 with the rank of major. In 1869 Ivan Denikin married Polish seamstress Elżbieta Wrzesińska as his second wife. Anton Denikin, the couple's only child, spoke both Polish growing up, his father's Russian patriotism and devotion to the Russian Orthodox religion led Anton Denikin to the Russian army. The Denikins lived close to poverty, with the retired major's small pension as their only source of income, their finances worsened after Ivan's death in 1885. Anton Denikin at this time began tutoring younger schoolmates to support the family.
In 1890 Denikin enrolled at the Kiev Junker School, a military college from which he graduated in 1892. The twenty-year-old Denikin joined an artillery brigade. In 1895 he was first accepted into the General Staff Academy, where he did not meet the academic requirements in the first of his two years. After this disappointment, Denikin attempted to attain acceptance again. On his next attempt he finished fourteenth in his class. However, to his misfortune, the Academy decided to introduce a new system of calculating grades and as a result Denikin was not offered a staff appointment after the final exams, he protested the decision to the highest authority. After being offered a settlement according to which he would rescind his complaint in order to attain acceptance into the General Staff school again, Denikin declined, insulted. Denikin first saw active service during the 1905 Russo-Japanese War. In 1905 he won promotion to the rank of colonel. In 1910 he became commander of the 17th infantry regiment.
A few weeks before the outbreak of the First World War, Denikin reached the rank of major-general. By the outbreak of World War I in August 1914 Denikin was a Chief of staff of the Kiev Military District, he was appointed Quartermaster of General Brusilov's 8th Army. Not one for staff service, Denikin petitioned for an appointment to a fighting front, he was transferred to the 4th Rifle Brigade. His brigade was transformed into a division in 1915, it was with this brigade. In 1916, he was appointed to command the Russian 8th Army Corps and lead troops in Romania during the last successful Russian campaign of the war, the Brusilov Offensive. Following the February Revolution and the overthrow of Tsar Nicholas II, he became Chief of Staff to Mikhail Alekseev Aleksei Brusilov, Lavr Kornilov. Denikin supported the attempted coup of his commander, the Kornilov Affair, in September 1917 and was arrested and imprisoned with him. After this Alekseev would be reappointed commander-in-Chief. Following the October Revolution both Denikin and Kornilov escaped to Novocherkassk in the Northern Caucasus and, with other Tsarist officers, formed the anti-Bolshevik Volunteer Army commanded by Alekseev.
Kornilov was killed in April 1918 near Ekaterinodar and the Volunteer Army came under Denikin's command. There was some sentiment to place Grand Duke Nicholas in overall command but Denikin was not interested in sharing power. In the face of a Communist counter-offensive he withdrew his forces back towards the Don area in what came to be known as the Ice March. After that, in June-November 1918, Denikin launched the successful Second Kuban Campaign which gave him control of the entire area between the Black and Caspian Sea. In the summer of 1919, Denikin led the assault of the southern White forces in their final push to capture Moscow. For a time, it appeared. Makhno duly turned his Black Army east and led it against Denikin's extended lines of supply, forcing the Whites to retreat. Denikin's army would be decisively defeated at Orel in October 1919, some 360 km south of Moscow; the White forces in southern Russia would be in constant retreat thereafter reaching the Crimea in March 1920. Meanwhile, the Soviet government tore up its agreement with Makhno and attacked his anarchist forces.
After a seesaw series of battles in which both sides gained ground, Trotsky's more numerous and better equipped Red Army troops decisively defeated and dispersed Makhno's Black Army. During the Russian Civil War, an estimated 50,000 Jews perished in pogroms. Ukrainian forces, nominally under the control of Symon Petliura, perpetrated 40 percent of the recorded pogroms; the White Army is associated with 17 percent of the attacks, was responsible for the most active propaganda campaign against Jews, whom they associated with communism. The Red Army is blamed for 9 percent of the pogroms. In the territories it occupied, Denikin's army carried out mass executions and plunder, in what was known as the White Terror. In the town of Maykop in Circassia during
Order of Lenin
The Order of Lenin, named after the leader of the Russian October Revolution, was established by the Central Executive Committee on April 6, 1930. The order was the highest civilian decoration bestowed by the Soviet Union; the order was awarded to: Civilians for outstanding services rendered to the State Members of the armed forces for exemplary service Those who promoted friendship and cooperation between peoples and in strengthening peace Those with meritorious services to the Soviet state and societyFrom 1944 to 1957, before the institution of specific length of service medals, the Order of Lenin was used to reward 25 years of conspicuous military service. Those who were awarded the titles "Hero of the Soviet Union" and "Hero of Socialist Labour" were given the order as part of the award, it was bestowed on cities, factories, military units and ships. Corporate entities, various educational institutions and military units who received the said Order applied the full name of the order into their official titles.
The first design of the Order of Lenin was sculpted by Pyotr Tayozhny and Ivan Shadr based on sketches by Ivan Dubasov. It was made by Goznak of silver with some gold-plated features, it was a round badge with a central disc featuring Vladimir Lenin's profile surrounded by smokestacks, a tractor and a building a power plant. A thin red-enamelled border and a circle of wheat panicles surrounded the disc. At the top was a gold-plated "hammer and sickle" emblem, at the bottom were the Russian initials for "USSR" in red enamel. Only about 800 of this design were minted, it was awarded between 1930–1932. The second design was awarded from 1934 until 1936; this was a solid gold badge. The disc is surrounded by two golden panicles of wheat, a red flag with "LENIN" in Cyrillic script. A red star is placed on the left and the "hammer and sickle" emblem at the bottom, both in red enamel; the third design was awarded from 1936 until 1943. Design was same as previous, but the central disc was gray enamelled and Lenin's portrait was separate piece made of platinum fixed by rivets.
The fourth design was awarded from 1943 until 1991. Design was worn as a medal suspended from a ribbon; the badge was worn by screwback on the left chest without ribbon. It was worn as a medal suspended from a red ribbon with pairs of yellow stripes at the edges; the ribbon bar is of the same design. The portrait of Lenin was a riveted silver piece. For a time it was incorporated into a one-piece gold badge, but returned as a separate platinum piece until the dissolution of the USSR in 1991; the first Order of Lenin was awarded to the newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda on 23 May 1930. Among the first ten recipients were five industrial companies, three pilots, the Secretary to the Central Executive Committee Avel Enukidze; the first person to be awarded a second Order of Lenin was the pilot Valery Chkalov in 1936. Another pilot, Vladimir Kokkinaki, became the first to receive a third Order in 1939; the first five foreign recipients, a German and four Americans, received the award for helping in the reconstruction of Soviet industry and agriculture in 1931–1934.431,418 orders were awarded in total, with the last on 21 December 1991.
11 times: Nikolay Patolichev, longtime Minister for Foreign Trade of the USSR Dmitriy Ustinov, Defence Minister in 1976–1984 10 times: Efim Slavsky, Head of Sredmash, the ministry responsible for nuclear industry, in 1957–1986 Alexander Sergeyevich Yakovlev, aircraft designer 9 times: Petr Dementiev, Minister of Aviation Industry in 1953–1977 Vasily Ryabikov, defence industry official, co-head of the first Sputnik project Nikolay Semyonov, winner of 1956 Nobel Prize in chemistry Anatoly Petrovich Alexandrov. Ramón Mercader Sergey Afanasyev Aziz Aliyev Clyde G. Armistead and William Latimer Lavery George Avakian American record producer who promoted international musical exchange between Russian and American musicians. Valeriy Borzov Emilian Bukov Bill Booth Fidel Castro Konstantin Chelpan Luis Corvalán Álvaro Cunhal Sripat Amrit Dange Joseph Davies (American diplomat
Novodevichy Cemetery is a famous cemetery in Moscow. It lies next to the southern wall of the 16th-century Novodevichy Convent, the city's third most popular tourist site; the cemetery was designed by Ivan Mashkov and inaugurated in 1898. Its importance dates from the 1930s, when the necropolises of the medieval Muscovite monasteries were scheduled for demolition. Only the Donskoy survived the Joseph Stalin era intact; the remains of many famous Russians buried in other abbeys, such as Nikolai Gogol and Sergey Aksakov, were disinterred and reburied at the Novodevichy. A 19th-century necropolis within the walls of the Novodevichy convent, which contained the graves of about 2000 Russian noblemen and university professors underwent reconstruction; the vast majority of graves were destroyed. It was at that time, his grave served as the kernel of the so-called "cherry orchard" – a section of the cemetery which contains the graves of Constantin Stanislavski and the leading actors of his company. Under Soviet rule, burial in the Novodevichy Cemetery was second in prestige only to burial in the Kremlin Wall Necropolis.
Among the Soviet leaders, only Nikita Khrushchev was buried at the Novodevichy rather than at the Red Square. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the Kremlin Wall is no longer used for burials and the Novodevichy Cemetery is used for only the most symbolically significant burials. For example, in April 2007, within one week both the first President of the Russian Federation Boris Yeltsin and world-renowned cellist Mstislav Rostropovich were buried there. Today, the cemetery holds the tombs of Russian authors, musicians and poets, as well as famous actors, political leaders, scientists. More than 27,000 are buried at Novodevichy. There is scant space for more burials. A new national cemetery is under construction in Mytishchi north of Moscow; the cemetery has a park-like ambience, dotted with large sculpted monuments. It is divided into the old and newest sections; the work of these sculptors, among others, can be found at Novodevichy Cemetery: Nikolay Andreyev Mikhail Anikushin Lev Kerbel Sergey Konenkov Vera Mukhina Ernst Neizvestny Ivan Shadr Nikolai Tomsky Yevgeny Vuchetich Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois Russian Cemetery Federal Military Memorial Cemetery Unofficial site.
Hi-resolution photos Famous and picturesque memorials photographed June 2005 Novodevichii Cemetery – article from the Great Soviet Encyclopedia Novodevichy Cemetery: Where History sleeps -VIDEO
Eastern Front (World War II)
The Eastern Front of World War II was a theatre of conflict between the European Axis powers and co-belligerent Finland against the Soviet Union and other Allies, which encompassed Central Europe, Eastern Europe, Northeast Europe, Southeast Europe from 22 June 1941 to 9 May 1945. It has been known as the Great Patriotic War in the former Soviet Union and modern Russia, while in Germany it was called the Eastern Front, or the German-Soviet War by outside parties; the battles on the Eastern Front of the Second World War constituted the largest military confrontation in history. They were characterized by unprecedented ferocity, wholesale destruction, mass deportations, immense loss of life due to combat, exposure and massacres; the Eastern Front, as the site of nearly all extermination camps, death marches and the majority of pogroms, was central to the Holocaust. Of the estimated 70-85 million deaths attributed to World War II, over 30 million, the majority of them civilian, occurred on the Eastern Front.
The Eastern Front was decisive in determining the outcome in the European theatre of operations in World War II serving as the main reason for the defeat of Nazi Germany and the Axis nations. The two principal belligerent powers were Germany and the Soviet Union, along with their respective allies. Though never engaged in military action in the Eastern Front, the United States and the United Kingdom both provided substantial material aid in the form of the Lend-Lease to the Soviet Union; the joint German–Finnish operations across the northernmost Finnish–Soviet border and in the Murmansk region are considered part of the Eastern Front. In addition, the Soviet–Finnish Continuation War may be considered the northern flank of the Eastern Front. Germany and the Soviet Union remained unsatisfied with the outcome of World War I. Soviet Russia had lost substantial territory in Eastern Europe as a result of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, where the Bolsheviks in Petrograd conceded to German demands and ceded control of Poland, Estonia, Latvia and other areas, to the Central Powers.
Subsequently, when Germany in its turn surrendered to the Allies and these territories were liberated under the terms of the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 at Versailles, Soviet Russia was in the midst of a civil war and the Allies did not recognize the Bolshevik government, so no Soviet Russian representation attended. Adolf Hitler had declared his intention to invade the Soviet Union on 11 August 1939 to Carl Jacob Burckhardt, League of Nations Commissioner, by saying: Everything I undertake is directed against the Russians. If the West is too stupid and blind to grasp this I shall be compelled to come to an agreement with the Russians, beat the West and after their defeat turn against the Soviet Union with all my forces. I need the Ukraine as happened in the last war; the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact signed in August 1939 was a non-aggression agreement between Germany and the Soviet Union. It contained a secret protocol aiming to return Central Europe to the pre–World War I status quo by dividing it between Germany and the Soviet Union.
Finland, Estonia and Lithuania would return to the Soviet control, while Poland and Romania would be divided. The Eastern Front was made possible by the German–Soviet Border and Commercial Agreement in which the Soviet Union gave Germany the resources necessary to launch military operations in Eastern Europe. On 1 September 1939 Germany invaded Poland, starting World War II. On 17 September, the Soviet Union invaded Eastern Poland, and, as a result, Poland was partitioned among Germany, the Soviet Union and Lithuania. Soon after that, the Soviet Union demanded significant territorial concessions from Finland, after Finland rejected Soviet demands, the Soviet Union attacked Finland on 30 November 1939 in what became known as the Winter War – a bitter conflict that resulted in a peace treaty on 13 March 1940, with Finland maintaining its independence but losing its eastern parts in Karelia. In June 1940 the Soviet Union illegally annexed the three Baltic states; the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact ostensibly provided security to the Soviets in the occupation both of the Baltics and of the north and northeastern regions of Romania, although Hitler, in announcing the invasion of the Soviet Union, cited the Soviet annexations of Baltic and Romanian territory as having violated Germany's understanding of the Pact.
Moscow partitioned the annexed Romanian territory between the Ukrainian and Moldavian Soviet republics. Adolf Hitler had argued in his autobiography Mein Kampf for the necessity of Lebensraum: acquiring new territory for Germans in Eastern Europe, in particular in Russia, he envisaged settling Germans there, as according to Nazi ideology the Germanic people constituted the "master race", while exterminating or deporting most of the existing inhabitants to Siberia and using the remainder as slave labour. Hitler as early as 1917 had referred to the Russians as inferior, believing that the Bolshevik Revolution had put the Jews in power over the mass of Slavs, who were, in Hitler's opinion, incapable of ruling themselves but instead being ruled by Jewish masters; the Nazi leadership, saw the war against the Soviet Union as a struggle between the ideologies of Nazism and Jewish Bolshevism, ensuring territorial expansion for the Germanic Übermensch, who according to Nazi ideology were the Aryan Herrenvolk, at the expense of
Almaty known as Alma-Ata and Verniy, is the largest city in Kazakhstan, with a population of 1,801,713 people, about 8% of the country's total population and more than 2 million in its built-up area that encompasses Talgar, Otegen Batyr and many others suburbs. It served as capital of the Kazakh state in its various forms from 1929 to 1997, under the influence of the Soviet Union and its appointees. In 1997, the government relocated the capital to Astana in the north of the country and about 12 hours away by train. Almaty continues as the major commercial and cultural centre of Kazakhstan, as well as its most populous and most cosmopolitan city; the city is located in the mountainous area of southern Kazakhstan in the foothills of the Trans-Ili Alatau at an elevation of 700–900 m, where the Large and Small Almatinka rivers run into the plain. The city has been part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in the area of music since November 2017; the city was the host for a 1978 international conference on Primary Health Care where the Alma Ata Declaration was adopted, marking a paradigm shift in global public health.
From 1929 to 1936, Almaty was the capital of Kazakh ASSR. From 1936 to 1991 it was the capital of Kazakh SSR. After Kazakhstan became independent in 1991, Almaty continued as the capital until 1997, when Astana was designated a return to the historic capital. Almaty remains the largest, most developed, most ethnically and culturally diverse city in Kazakhstan. Due to development by the Soviet Union and relocation of workers and industries from European areas of the Soviet Union during World War II, the city has a high proportion of ethnic Russians and Ukrainians; the city is in the foothills of Trans-Ili Alatau in the extreme south-east. It has a mild climate with warm summers and quite cold winters. Since the city is in a tectonically active area, it has an endemic risk of earthquakes. Although most do not cause any significant damage, Almaty has suffered some large destructive earthquakes. In 1997 the capital was moved to Astana in the north-central part of the country. Since Almaty has been referred to as the'southern capital' of Kazakhstan.
The name Almaty has its roots in the medieval settlement Almatu, that existed near the present-day city. A disputed theory holds that the name is derived from the Kazakh word for'apple', is translated as "full of apples", it was Almatau which means Apple Mountain. The Russian version of the name was Alma-Ata. Since gaining its independence from the Soviet Union, the use of the Kazakh Almaty is accepted. There is great genetic diversity among the wild apples in the region surrounding Almaty; the wild Malus sieversii is considered a candidate for the ancestor of the modern domestic apple. The city's name was written as آلماتی Ālmātī in Turkish and Persian written with the Perso-Arabic script. During 1000–900 BC in the Bronze Age, the first farmers and cattle-breeders established settlements in the territory of Almaty. During the Saka period, these lands were occupied by the Saka and Wusun tribes, who inhabited the territory north of the Tian Shan mountain range. Evidence of these times can be found in the numerous burial mounds and ancient settlements the giant burial mounds of the Saka tsars.
The most famous archaeological finds have been "The Golden Man" known as "The Golden Warrior", from the Issyk Kurgan. During the period of Saka and Wusun governance, Almaty became an early education centre. During the Middle Ages, a city culture developed in Almaty. There was a transition to a settled way of living, the development of farming and handicrafts, the emergence of a number of towns and cities in the territory of Zhetysu. In the 10–14th centuries, settlements in the territory of the so-called "Greater Almaty" became part of the trade routes of the Silk Road, which reached from China to western Asia and Europe. At that time, Almaty became one of the trade and agricultural centres on the Silk Road, it had an official mint. The city was first mentioned as Almatu in books from the 13th century. In the 15th–18th centuries, the city was in decline as trade activities were decreasing on this part of the Silk Road. European nations were conducting more trade by shipping; this period was one of crucial political transformations.
The Kazakh state and nation were founded here. The Dzungar invaded; the Kazakh fought to preserve independence. In 1730 the Kazakh defeated the Dzungar in the Anyrakay mountains, 70 kilometres north-west of Almaty. During the eighteenth century, the city and region was on the border between the Khanate of Kokand and Qing Empire, it was absorbed as part of the Russian Empire in the 1850s. To defend its empire, Russia built Fort Verniy near the Zailiysky Alatau mountain range between the Bolshaya and Malenkaya Almatinka rivers. Construction was nearly completed by the autumn of that year; the fort was a wooden palisade, shaped like a pentagon, with one side built along the Malaya Almatinka. The wood fence was replaced with a brick wall with embrasures; the main facilities were erected around the large square for parading. In 1855 Kazakhs displaced from their nomadic territor
Communist Party of the Soviet Union
The Communist Party of the Soviet Union was the founding and ruling political party of the Soviet Union. The CPSU was the sole governing party of the Soviet Union until 1990, when the Congress of People's Deputies modified Article 6 of the most recent 1977 Soviet constitution, which had granted the CPSU a monopoly over the political system; the party was founded in 1912 by the Bolsheviks, a majority faction detached from the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party, led by Vladimir Lenin, who seized power in the October Revolution of 1917. After 74 years, it was dissolved on 29 August 1991 on Soviet territory, soon after a failed coup d'état by hard-line CPSU leaders against Soviet president and party general secretary Mikhail Gorbachev and was outlawed three months on 6 November 1991 in Russian territory; the CPSU was a Communist party, organized on the basis of democratic centralism. This principle, conceived by Lenin, entails democratic and open discussion of policy issues within the party followed by the requirement of total unity in upholding the agreed policies.
The highest body within the CPSU was the Party Congress. When the Congress was not in session, the Central Committee was the highest body; because the Central Committee met twice a year, most day-to-day duties and responsibilities were vested in the Politburo, the Secretariat and the Orgburo. The party leader was the head of government and held the office of either General Secretary, Premier or head of state, or some of the three offices concurrently—but never all three at the same time; the party leader was the de facto chairman of the CPSU Politburo and chief executive of the Soviet Union. The tension between the party and the state for the shifting focus of power was never formally resolved, but in reality the party dominated and a paramount leader always existed. After the founding of the Soviet Union in 1922, Lenin had introduced a mixed economy referred to as the New Economic Policy, which allowed for capitalist practices to resume under the Communist Party dictation in order to develop the necessary conditions for socialism to become a practical pursuit in the economically undeveloped country.
In 1929, as Joseph Stalin became the leader of the party, Marxism–Leninism, a fusion of the original ideas of German philosopher and economic theorist Karl Marx, Lenin, became formalized as the party's guiding ideology and would remain so throughout the rest of its existence. The party pursued state socialism, under which all industries were nationalized and a planned economy was implemented. After recovering from the Second World War, reforms were implemented which decentralized economic planning and liberalized Soviet society in general under Nikita Khrushchev. By 1980, various factors, including the continuing Cold War, ongoing nuclear arms race with the United States and other Western European powers and unaddressed inefficiencies in the economy, led to stagnant economic growth under Alexei Kosygin, further with Leonid Brezhnev and a growing disillusionment. After a younger vigorous Mikhail Gorbachev, assumed leadership in 1985, rapid steps were taken to transform the tottering Soviet economic system in the direction of a market economy once again.
Gorbachev and his allies envisioned the introduction of an economy similar to Lenin's earlier New Economic Policy through a program of "perestroika", or restructuring, but their reforms along with the institution of free multiparty elections led to a decline in the party's power, after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the banning of the party by last RSFSR President Boris Yeltsin and subsequent first President of an evolving democratic and free market economy of the successor Russian Federation. A number of causes contributed to CPSU's loss of control and the dissolution of the Soviet Union during the early 1990s; some historians have written that Gorbachev's policy of "glasnost" was the root cause, noting that it weakened the party's control over society. Gorbachev maintained. Others have blamed the economic stagnation and subsequent loss of faith by the general populace in communist ideology. In the final years of the CPSU's existence, the Communist Parties of the federal subjects of Russia were united into the Communist Party of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic.
After the CPSU's demise, the Communist Parties of the Union Republics became independent and underwent various separate paths of reform. In Russia, the Communist Party of the Russian Federation emerged and has been regarded as the inheritor of the CPSU's old Bolshevik legacy into the present day. 1912–18:Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party 1918–25:Russian Communist Party 1925–52:All-Union Communist Party 1952–91:Communist Party of the Soviet Union The origin of the CPSU was in the Bolshevik majority faction of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party, under the leadership of Vladimir Lenin, left the party in January 1912 to form a new one at the Prague Party Conference, called the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party – or RSDLP. Prior to the February Revolution, the first phase of the Russian Revolutions of 1917, the party worked underground as organized anti-Tsarist groups. By the time of the revolution, many of the party's central leaders, including Lenin, were in exile. With Emperor Nicholas II, deposed in February 1917, a republic was established and administered by a provisional gove
The Russian Empire known as Imperial Russia or Russia, was an empire that existed across Eurasia and North America from 1721, following the end of the Great Northern War, until the Republic was proclaimed by the Provisional Government that took power after the February Revolution of 1917. The third largest empire in world history, at its greatest extent stretching over three continents, Europe and North America, the Russian Empire was surpassed in landmass only by the British and Mongol empires; the rise of the Russian Empire coincided with the decline of neighboring rival powers: the Golden Horde, the Swedish Empire, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Ottoman Empire. It played a major role in 1812–1814 in defeating Napoleon's ambitions to control Europe and expanded to the west and south; the House of Romanov ruled the Russian Empire from 1721 until 1762, its matrilineal branch of patrilineal German descent the House of Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov ruled from 1762. At the beginning of the 19th century, the Russian Empire extended from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Black Sea in the south, from the Baltic Sea on the west to the Pacific Ocean, into Alaska and Northern California in America on the east.
With 125.6 million subjects registered by the 1897 census, it had the third-largest population in the world at the time, after Qing China and India. Like all empires, it included a large disparity in terms of economics and religion. There were numerous dissident elements. Economically, the empire had a predominantly agricultural base, with low productivity on large estates worked by serfs, Russian peasants; the economy industrialized with the help of foreign investments in railways and factories. The land was ruled by a nobility from the 10th through the 17th centuries, subsequently by an emperor. Tsar Ivan III laid the groundwork for the empire that emerged, he tripled the territory of his state, ended the dominance of the Golden Horde, renovated the Moscow Kremlin, laid the foundations of the Russian state. Emperor Peter the Great fought numerous wars and expanded an huge empire into a major European power, he moved the capital from Moscow to the new model city of St. Petersburg, led a cultural revolution that replaced some of the traditionalist and medieval social and political mores with a modern, Europe-oriented, rationalist system.
Empress Catherine the Great presided over a golden age. Emperor Alexander II promoted numerous reforms, most the emancipation of all 23 million serfs in 1861, his policy in Eastern Europe involved protecting the Orthodox Christians under the rule of the Ottoman Empire. That connection by 1914 led to Russia's entry into the First World War on the side of France, the United Kingdom, Serbia, against the German and Ottoman empires; the Russian Empire functioned as an absolute monarchy on principles of Orthodoxy and Nationality until the Revolution of 1905 and became a de jure constitutional monarchy. The empire collapsed during the February Revolution of 1917 as a result of massive failures in its participation in the First World War. Though the Empire was only proclaimed by Tsar Peter I following the Treaty of Nystad, some historians would argue that it was born either when Ivan III of Russia conquered Veliky Novgorod in 1478, or when Ivan the Terrible conquered the Khanate of Kazan in 1552. According to another point of view, the term Tsardom, used after the coronation of Ivan IV in 1547, was a contemporary Russian word for empire.
Much of Russia's expansion occurred in the 17th century, culminating in the first Russian colonization of the Pacific in the mid-17th century, the Russo-Polish War that incorporated left-bank Ukraine, the Russian conquest of Siberia. Poland was divided in the 1790 -- 1815 era, with much of the population going to Russia. Most of the 19th-century growth came from adding territory in Asia, south of Siberia. Peter I the Great played a major role in introducing Russia to the European state system. While the vast land had a population of 14 million, grain yields trailed behind those of agriculture in the West, compelling nearly the entire population to farm. Only a small percentage lived in towns; the class of kholops, close in status to slavery, remained a major institution in Russia until 1723, when Peter converted household kholops into house serfs, thus including them in poll taxation. Russian agricultural kholops were formally converted into serfs earlier in 1679. Peter's first military efforts were directed against the Ottoman Turks.
His attention turned to the North. Peter still lacked a secure northern seaport, except at Archangel on the White Sea, where the harbor was frozen for nine months a year. Access to the Baltic was blocked by Sweden. Peter's ambitions for a "window to the sea" led him to make a secret alliance in 1699 with Saxony, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and Denmark against Sweden, resulting in the Great Northern War; the war ended in 1721. Peter acquired four provinces situated east of the Gulf of Finland; the coveted access to the sea was now secured. There he built Russia's new capital, Saint Petersburg, to replace Moscow, which had long been Russia's cultural center. In 1722, he tur