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Russian History

Russian History





Chronology of the Russian history


For the first time, the term "Russia" (Greek Ρωσία) is found in the 10th century in the writings of the Byzantine emperor Constantine Porphyrogennetos "On Ceremonies" and "On Empire Management" as the Greek name for Russia. Subsequently, the term “Russia” was assigned to North-Eastern Russia, that is, Eastern Slavic territories that were not part of medieval Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and united by the Grand Duchy of Moscow into a single state.

Russia was proclaimed a republic on September 1, 1917, although it actually became it on March 3, 1917 as a result of the February Revolution. From January 10, 1918 - the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic (RSFSR). On December 30, 1922, the RSFSR, together with other Soviet republics, established the USSR, unofficially, it was also often called “Russia”.

After the collapse of the USSR on December 25, 1991, the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR adopted a law on renaming the RSFSR into the Russian Federation (Russia).


Four main events in the Russian history

Mongolian invasion

The western campaign of the Mongols in Eastern and Central Europe in 1236-1242, led by Chingizid Batu and the commander Subedei, left a long lasting legacy on Russia. In addition to losing thousands of its citizens country lost its independence for over two centuries. Every year Russian princes had to pay tribute to Mongolian overlords. Additionally Tatars (one of the Mongolian tribes that became synonymous with an entire nation) often attacked Russian cities in various conflicts.


This led to a formation of a particular political culture in the Russian lands. If you travel around Europe you can see many private castles of various lords. In Russia free standing castle are a rarity. Princes preferred to live in the cities that were surrounded by walls and towers. European military campaigns had some rules of engagement between Christian kings and loss on the battle field didn't always mean certain death. Russian princes and military commanders on the other hand faced people who differed from them both ethnically and religiously. Loss on a battle field almost always meant physical death if you were captured. Russian princes preferred to live in big cities so all citizens could participate in a mutual defense of their town in case of a sudden attack. That collective thinking of leader and his nation sharing same fate created almost a religious veneration of a man who is put on a high throne of luxury, but also incredible danger.


Many foreigners mistakenly believe that Russians have slave mentality toward their leaders. It is not quiet true. There is cultural expectation that a leader is someone who leads his nation in the battle and someone who will die for his people. He is almost like a sacrificial lamb. Long list of Russian rulers are still widely popular in Russian history despite their dark pages and critique from foreigners.



Fall of Constantinople

The fall of Constantinople in 1453 - the seizure of the capital of the Byzantine Empire of Constantinople by the Ottoman Turks under the leadership of Sultan Mehmed II on Tuesday, May 29, 1453. This meant the destruction of the Eastern Roman Empire, the last Byzantine Emperor Constantine XI died in battle. The victory provided the Turks dominance in the Eastern Mediterranean basin. Constantinople for more than a major power in the region. It was cultural and spiritual capital of the Eastern Orthodox World. Russia remained the largest Orthodox country.



Emperor Peter the Great



Great Patriotic War (World War II)





Chronology of the Russian history and main events that shaped people of Russia.

7th century BC

Greek colonists begin to build cities on the shores of the Northern and Eastern Black Sea. Their descendants still preserve heritage and culture. They are known known as Pont Greeks (Понтийские Греки) since "pont" means "sea" in Greek.

Scythians settle into Southern Russian steppe or plains


Ancient History

3rd century AD

Goths invade Western steppe of Russia


4th century AD

Huns invade Southern Russia from the Far East


5th century AD

Bulgars settle middle Volga river area


8th century AD

Khazars form  their state in the Southern Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan. Although they are a Turkish tribe the state was multinational in nature.



Vladimir converts himself and his subjects to Christianity. Russia becomes an Eastern Orthodox Christian country


Medieval History

1019- 54

Prince Yaroslav the Wise establishes first code of laws for the Russian lands



Moscow is first mentioned originally as a small settlement near hunting estate of prince



Kalka River Battle- Russian are defeated by the Mongols. This is just a sneak preview for future invasion.



Batu Khan, granson of Genghis Khan burns Moscow



Mongols burn Kiev

Alexander Nevsky defeats the Swedish army in a sneak attack at the Neva river



Alexander Nevsky defeats Teutonic knights on the lake Peipus (Chudskoye Lake)



Moscow becomes the new center of the Russian Orthodox Church, seat is moved from Kiev, former capital

Cathedral of the Assumption in Kremlin is laid


1326- 33

Cathedral of the Archangel Michael is build in Kremlin



Moscow is burned in accidental fire



Ivan Kalita rebuilts Kremlin. Pine walls are replaced by oak walls



Black Death kills large percent of Russian population. It claims the life of prince Simeon the Proud


1359- 1374

Grand Prince Dmitri Donskoy replaces wooden walls with white stone. The quarries in Syani are used for this purpose



Moscow burns again



Lithuanians lay siege to Moscow. They don't take it, but burn all the houses outside of Kremlin



Dmitri Donskoy defeats Khan Mamai at Kulikobo Pole Battle. It was fought near river Don that gave Grand Prince his title of "Donskoy"



Khan Tokhtamysh sacks Moscow


1396- 1416

First Cathedral of Annunciation is constructed


1408- 09

Mongol- Tatars attempt to take Moscow, but are repelled by the cannons in the walls of Kremlin



Ivan III marries Sophia, niece of the last Byzantine emperor who died courage sly defending his capital city of Constantinopol in 1453 against Ottoman Turks



New Cathedral of the Assumption is erected, a year later it collapses



Ivan III sends a mission to Venice to invite architects to Russia



Aristotele Fieraventi arrives in Moscow, begins to design new Cathedral of the Assumption



New Cathedral of the Assumption is completed



Ivan III faces the Tatars at Ugra river with firepower. Tatars avoid the battle and Russians celebrate victory. Tatar Yolk ends


1482- 90

New Cathedral of the Assumption is completed under supervision of Russian architects

Marco Ruffo and Pietro Solario complete new Red Kremlin. Italian influence is visible in modern of the Moscow citadel.



Ivan the Terrible captures Kazan



Ivan the Terrible captures Astrakhan, the last stronghold of the former Golden Horde


Cathedral of Holy Virgin Protection on the Moat is consecrated. Although it is more famous under a name of Saint Basil Cathedral after a holy fool, Basil, who used to hang out around that place. Moscow is named as "Third Rome" after Constantinople that was known as the "Second Rome", but fell over a century before to the Muslim hands



Crimean Tatars capture Moscow



Yermak or Ermak defeats the Siberian Tatars, explores Siberia



Tsar Cannon is cast. It weights 40 tons and it is considered the largest cannon up to that time. Although it is intended to defend a Moscow River crossing it never actually fired a single shot



Metropolitan of Moscow is elevated to the rank of the patriarch



Boris Godunov dies, Fedor is killed. First False Dmitri becomes new tsar of Russia


1605- 13

Time of Troubles


1613- 1645


Michael I

Romanoff Dynasty

1645- 1676


Alexis I


Feodor III

1682- 1725


Peter I the Great



Ivan V (jointly with Peter I)


Streltsy Rebellion. Peter the Great return from Europe and kills all participants


1700- 21

Great Northern War with Sweden



Saint Petersburg is found. A "window to the West" is made.



Bear Tax



Poltava Battle. Charles XII of Sweden is defeated by the Russian army under command of Peter the Great


1710- 13

Turkish War


1725- 1727


Catherine I

1727- 1730


Peter II

1730- 1740



1740- 1741


Ivan VI

1741- 1762





Peter III

1762- 1796


Catherine I the Great

1773- 74

Uprising of Yemelyan Pugachov



Yemelyan Pugachov is captured and executed near Kremlin


1796- 1801


Paul I

1801- 1825


Alexander I the Blessed


War of 1812, Napoleon invades Russia



Russian Army and its Allies capture Paris, beginning of 7 year occupation of France.


1825- 1855


Nicholas I

1853- 56

Crimean War


1855- 1881


Alexander II


Liberation of the serfs


1865- 85

Russian capture states of the Central Asia



Russia sells Alaska to the United States



Russian- Turkish war gives liberty to several Balkan states


1881- 1894


Alexander III

1894- 1917


Nicholas II


Russian Revolution. Monarchy is overthrown



January 21st- Lenin dies



1941- 45

World War II (Great Patriotic War)



First man made object Sputnik leaves Earth.



Yuriy Gagarin becomes the first man to travel to outer space


1979- 89

Afgan War



    Russian Federation