Russian and Soviet History

Boris Yeltsin addresses a crowd during the 1991 conservative coup

Russia throughout its tsarist, communist and hyper capitalist phases has had a fascinating and all too often painful history. Our articles cover economic modernisation during tsarist times, the Russian Civil War fought between the whites and the reds, the collapse of the Soviet Union and a case study on ethnic conflict within Georgia post the fall of the USSR.

The Collapse of the Soviet Union

What caused the Soviet Union, one of the world's two great superpowers to fall apart in less than six years? This series tries to shed some light on those confused and uncertain years before the fall of the USSR.

Introduction | Glasnost | Perestroika
Democratisation | Ethnic Problems
Baltic Independence | The Conservative Coup


Lenin at Sverdlov Square

The Russian Civil War

The Brest-Litovsk peace agreement between Germany and Communist Russia galvanised significant portions of Russia's population to violently oppose the Bolshevik government.


Russian Civil War (Part 1) | Russian Civil War (Part 2)
Russian Civil War (Bibliography)


Georgian Soldiers in the South Ossetia War

Russia's Policy Towards Ethnic Conflict in Georgia

Russian policy towards ethnic conflict in Georgia oscilated between the creation of an unstable and weak Georgia and the need for a strong Georgia to be a bulwark against Islamist expansion.


Georgian Ethnic Conflict (Part 1) | Georgian Ethnic Conflict (Part 2)
Georgian Ethnic Conflict (Bibliography)


Coronation of Tsar-Alexander III

Economic Modernisation in Tsarist Russia

The Russian Empire at the turn of the twentieth century was governed by an ancient autocratic system. By the time Alexander III was crowned to head of the system, Russia had lost its position as a great power.

Economic Modernisation (Part 1) | Economic Modernisation (Part 2)
Economic Modernisation (Bibliography)