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                                                                                                                 RUSSIA; PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE.

 

                                                                                     1. THE EARLY HISTORY OF HUMANITY.

 

          1. Who were the human's ancient ancestors? First primates originated 60 mln. years ago in the South America and first apes evolved some 7 mln. years ago in tropical and subtropical regions of Africa and later spread all over the planet. First hominids Homo Habilitis appeared about  3 mln.years ago in Eastern Africa They lived in the trees, made primitive tools and fed  mostly on vegetable food. As the climate was getting hotter and drier 2.6 mln years ago, forests receeded and vast prairies took their place. It led to far-reaching consequences for the hominids.

           2. Why did ancient hominids take to hunting instead of gathering fruit and berries? The reduction of fruit and vegetable food, caused by the changes in climate, drove ancient human ancestors to hunting small animals. So they resettled to the ground, evolved upright gait to see farther and run faster chaising their prey.Those Homo Erectus began to make different tools and weapons and use fire for cooking meals. Gradually,  the climate was gettung hotter and 2 mln. years ago some of them migrated to Eurasia,  Australia and America.

            3. How did the cooler climate in Eurasia influence Homo Erectus lifestyle? It triggered the whole chain reaction of drastical changes in their behaviour patterns: they occupied caves, learnt to make and keep bonfires, used hairy hides as primitive jackets and footwear. Life of Homo Erectus was full of hazards and required  enormous constant mental activity, mostly at the level of intuition. So, gradually, their chimp brain size grew from  350 cubic cm 6 mln. years ago to 1200 cubic cm 2,5 mln. years ago and, finally, up to solid 1800 cubic cm 0.5 mln years ago.

           4. Why did human brain begin to shrink later? Gigantic revolutionary changes in the way of llife of Neanderthalensis - a hominid species that evolved from Homo Erectus approximately 0.5 mln. years ago: rather short, stocky, strong and very smart -  brought to life new habits and skills. They could make a lot of things: spears, axes, knives, needles. They could make bonfires and hunt big and fierce animals, they built boats and used some herbs as medicine. All these appliances facilitated their life, making it more  comfortable and predictable. Thus, they gradually lost the need of an extrapowerful and big brain and about 30 000 years ago it began to diminish to 1 600 cubic cm 15 000 years ago to reach just 1400-1500 cubic cm now.

         5. Where and when did Homo Sapience come from? They evolved from Homo Erectus in Africa about 300 000 years ago and were more adapted to running, jumping, hunting. As the climate in Africa was getting hotter, the first wave of migration of Homo Sapience to Eurasia and later America and Austrralia began 150 000 years ago. The second migration wave of Homo Sapience to Eurasia from Africa happened 80 000 years ago. They fiercely annihilated Neanthertalensis and occupied their caves and hunting grounds.Homo Sapiences were much smarter,made flint knives and stone axes and spears, could make and keep fires, cook meals and the last, but not the least, were much better organised in big clans They also mixed with Neanderthalensis, so even now Europeans have 2-4 % of their genes.

        6. When did Homo Sapience begin to speak ? As a matter of fact, first sound signals of communication appeared about 2 mln. years ago, cause social interaction became more and more complicated. 80 000 years ago Homo Sapiences had already developed primitive language and could verbally transmit their life experience  from generation tio generation. They also used their criptic cave paintings to reflecr the life of hunters.

        7.When and why did ancient people begin to harvest herbs  and fruit and grow cattle? It began some 15 000 yeaes ago when the last 4 km thck glacier began to retreat  from the middle Eurasia to the Arctic North. The climate, finally, got conducive for agriculture and cattle breeding. That marked the origin of civilization, nations and states.

        8. What were the most ancient nations and states in history? The most ancient nation still existing is Bushmen in the South Africa. This ethnos is about 150 000 years old. Even now they use so-called clicking language as their ancient ancestors did. In Europe the oldest ethnos are the Basks that came to Spain about 15 000 years ago.THe oldest folks on the territory of Russia are polar Siberia tribal nations that evolved about 10 000 years ago. The oldest town settlement on the Earth is Jericho that was founded about 12 thousand years ago. The first states appeared in the Middle East 7000 years ago in Mesopotamia - a region between the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers. The most powerful and developed state of the  ancient world - Egypt is about 6 000 years old. 

       9. What were the oldest states on the territoty of Russia? Because of its favourable climate and geographic position, most ancient states on the territory of modern Russia appeared in the Black Sea region. The Scypths tribes formed up their kingdom in the VII century B.C., later they were conquered by Greeks, who founded The Bosphore Kingdom in the VI century B.C. This state existed about 1000 years up to the VI century A.D. and was destroyed by the Barbarian tribes during The Great Migration of Peoples when numerous Turk tribes invaded The Black Sea region and founded their Khaganate states. The latest of them, The Khazar Khaganate was the biggest county  in Europe and was defeated in 969 A.D. by the Russian prince Svyatoslav. 

 10. Why are humans so aggressive, much more than any other spieces on the Earth? Homo Sapience are hyperagressive and forever ready to rob, torment and kill each other, cause their wants are limitless and eternally expanding. And that, in turn, is the inevitable result of their highly developed self-conscience and, thus, their egotism. But not all the humans are egoistic, ambitious and avaricious. Most people are content with modest life necessities and enjoy their relations with nearest and dearest, but the most mentally developed, egotistic and ambitious part of any society are incessantly obcessed with severe thurst for resources and power. They have been ruling the world for the last 10 000 years, i.e. since the beginning of civilization.

11.Do you think humans will change their aggressive nature in future? The more democratic will the societies all over the world become, the more answerable to the nations the ruling elites will be.This is an objective and imperative trend of the social evolution, however unrealistic it might seem today.

                                                                                                                         2.THE EARLY HISTORY OF RUSSIA.

          1.When and where from did Slavic tribes come to Europe? It was in V century A.D. during the Great Migration of Peoples, caused by the collapse of the Roman Empire, that many tribal natoins moved from Siberia westward to finally settle in Central and Eastern Europe. They occupied vast territories and became the biggest ethnic majority there.Eastern, Southern and Westrn Slavs had almost the same language, culture, traditions and religion cults that time.

           2. When did the Russians appear? Gradually, different tribal unions of Slavs formed their unique national identities and by IX century A.D. about 200 tribes living on the Middle Russian Plate formed the core of the future Russian nation. They practiced agriculture and cattle breeding, apiculture and iron melting and forging.hunting and gathering mushrooms and berries. Dense impassable forests prompted ancient Russians to build rather big boats as numerous and full-flowing rivers were the main transport routs from the White Sea to the Black Sea.

           3.Why and when was the Russian state founded? Frequent raids to the ancient Russian territories, undertaken by nomadic tribes from the eastern, southern regions and from Scandinavia, on the one hand, and perrenial internicine bloody clashes, on  the other hand, forced the Russian tribes to unite and forrn a strong state.As there were no strong local tribal leaders to fulfill that mission, they decided to invite Varagian prince Rurik and his brothers to form and lead the new state as they had a powerful and well-organised army to protect the country from enemies.Therefore, the Russian state was born in 862.

           4. What were the initial steps of the Ruriks as the first rulers of Rus? They imposed heavy tributes upon each and every Russian settlement as if they had conquered the country. It caused bloody riots, but they were severely suppressed. Those tributets, though, helped Rurik and later Oleg - his brother-in-law and his son's Igor step-father to hire, train and equip a big and strong army to capture and rob  in 965-985 neighbouring nations and states, such as Southern nomadic tribes of the Polovtsy and the Pechenegs, the Bulgarian kingdom and Byzantium capital  city of Constantinipol. He captured and established Kiev as his residence and the centre of power in Rus.

          5.Where did the ruling classes of the new state emerge from? Those military campaigns exposed a number of strong and talented leaders who later became Rurik's  representatives in the old and new Russian cities and towns. They got power and wealth and formed the ruling elite of the Kievan Rus:rich landlords - boyars and military governors - voevodes. Being under the power of the Kievan prince, the ruling classes of Rus carried financial and political responsibility for the future of the country.

            6. Why and when did the Ruriks adopt Christianity? To strengthen the central power in the state the Kievan prince needed a solid ideologogical support in the form of a monotheistic religion - one god, one king, whereas the Russians then had numerous tribal gods, spirits and deities All three world's Abrahamian religions- Christianity, Judaism and Islam worshipped the one God. Most neighbouring countries, including Scandinavian states, had already chosen Christianity.At the same time,the Kievan Rus had very strong political and trade relations witn Byzantium - the most powerful and developed state in Europe that time and began to accept Byzantine technology, culture and traditions. There were Christian temples in many Russian cities and some Russians, including princess Olga  freely professed Christianity. When her grandson prince Vladimir decided to enforce Rus - Byzantium military union and marry princess Anna of Byizantium, he had to comply with Byzantine matrimonial regulations  and  was baptized in Chersonessos 28, July, 988.

           7. How successful was the process of Christianization in Rus? Actually it was a necessary,but, sometimes, cruel and bloody process.Kievans accepted baptizing without any noticeable resistance, but many Notherrn regions showed  strong commitment to their traditional deities and launched mass uprisings that were fiercely suppressed by prince Vladimir. Though,in some distant areas of Rus pagan cults were worshipped up to the XIV century,still, Christian churches and monasteries began to be built up all over the country, many educated clergymen, icon-painters, architects and artisans came from Byzantium to teach Russians and soon first church schools were opened.

           8. How well did Russia develop during  the next 350 years before the Mongol invasion? With the establishing of Christianity the Kievan Rus became a united state with a single currency, strong central power, developed economy, vast international political, trade and cultural ties. Monasteries and churches became the centres of literacy and enlightenment and not only the ruling classes, but many well-to-do citizens educated themselves and their children.The Kievan Rus benefited enormously from the international trade between Western and Nothern Europe and Byzantium and Oriental  countries as the main trade root "from the Varangians to the Greeks" was a river road  up and down big Russian rivers.The international authority of the Kievan princes was so high that many European monarchs wanted to make close family relations with them.

         9. When and why did the pre-Mongol Rus rise up to its climax point? The peak in the development of the pre-Mongol Kievan Rus came in the time of Yaroslav the Wize who ruled in Kiev from 1016 to 1054.Well-organized and trained, army that was formed by apanage princes fended off all the enemies alongside the country/s  lengthy frontiers. Yaroslav's strong grip on power curbed any oppositional moves of the princes and boyars. The Russian Pravda code of laws had properly regulated all main aspects of life in the state and served as a garantee of law and order.Unfortunately, the throne inheritage system was very complicated and dubious and later, after the death of Yaroslav the Wize, provoked numorous discrepancies and, actually, led to a split of the country into a number of forever feuding  apanage principalities.

       10. Why did Rus plunge more and more into a state of internecine feud and bloody clashes between apanage princes in XII - early XIII centuries? With the gradual decline of the Bizantine Empire in XIII-XV centuries and intensive development of European markets the waterway "from the Varangians to the Greeks" gradually fell out of use and the financial strength of Kiev, subsequently diminished. New centres of power and trade emerged, such as Novgorod, Pskov, Vladimir, Suzdal. It fuelled the growing ambitions of their ruling princes and led to insessant bloody intemicine wars. This pernicious process had finally atomized a one-day-united strong state of the Kievan Rus into a number of weak contesting apanage principalities.Thus, the future of such a country was doomed.

                                                                                                                                 3.THE  MONGOL INVASION.

        1.Why did the separate Mongol tribes unite at the beginning of XIII century? It's amazing, bur as like as all the other tectonic shifts in the history of humanity, the Mongols' invasion throughout almost the whole of Eurasia continent was, first and foremost, caused by harsh changes in climate. The climate in Eastern Siberia was getting drier an hotter depriving numerous and populous Mongol tribes of main sources of living Their cattle herds simply had almost nothing to graze.So the nobility was looking for some new ways of making wealth and had chosen capturing of vast prairies, robbing cities and towns of civilized nations and gripping control over main trade routs.

       2. Where did Genghis Khan come from? The suppressive climatic, social and economic conditions called for the emergence of a ruler who could unite and lead Mongol tribes to fulfill this aggressive mission.And such a man appeared. Genghis Khan was born to rich parents, but soon his father was poisoned, the family was totally robbed of their wealth and expelled from the tribe. Several years they lived hand-to-mouth life and Genghis Khan himself was hunted by his farther's enemy. Thus, for this mentally and physically strong boy the lesson learnt was: in this cruel world either you hunt, or you are hunted for life and power.

        3. How did Gengnhis Khan gain his mastership as an outstanding military and political leader? First, he won numerous victories in tribal clashes and accumulated a vast military and political experience. Later, he united all Mongol and Tartar tribes into a powerful nomadic state with a big, well-equipped and highly organised army. That is how the two-century long era of Asia and Europe's conquest began.In 1215 the army of Chingizhan captured most Chinese provinces and by 1223  the Middle Asian and Caucasus states were also devastated and captured by him.

       4. What were the strategy and the tactics of Genghis Khan that brought so many nations to knees? He was a very talented leader and psychologist and was guided by two major principles of political management:'divide and conquer' in strategy and 'carrot and stick' in tactics. In practice it meant intriguing against the elites of the nations to be subjugated and offering a simple choice: either to submit or to be enslaved or totally  annihilated. That's why a considerable part of his troops,were, in fact, conquered nations.

        5. Why couldn't Rus rebuke the Mongol intrusion? As each and every apanage prince was for himself and against his neighbours, the separated squads of the Russian principalities were doomed to be separately defeated. And so they were. In 1223 the Polovets tribes asked the Russians for help against offensive Mongol armies. The Russian princes, though, in everlasting feud, still agreed to fight with the Polovets together, but as each prince's squad fought for themselves, or even abstained from joining the battle, the allied forces were destroyed and totalled.It was a catastrophical omen for the future of the Russian state.

        6.How deep did the Mongols invade into the territory of Rus and what devastations did they cause? In 1237-1241 the 300 000 men army of  Baty Khan  (Genghis Khan's grandson) really crushed the Russian state: there were  three waves of invasion in four years - to the centre, South and  to the West of Rus. Three fouth of the Russian lands were ravaged, hundreds of towns and all big cities destroyed, many churches and monasteries were burnt to the ground and the Russian population was partly killed, partly taken as prisoners of war. The only untouched lands in Rus remained Novgorod, Smolensk and Polotsk principalities as they were away from the main routs of Baty armies.

      7. What tribute system did the Mongols establish in Rus? First of all, they counted all the population of the conquered territories and imposed heavy tributes on them. All Russian princes had to swear an oath of submission to Baty, got a yarlik from the Mongols - the right to reign in his principality, collect and deliver the tributes to the capital city of the Golden Horde (Mongol empire)-Sarai -Baty.The princes came there in person to pay a homage to Mongol rulers and, sometimes, to ask for help in their clashes with other Russian princes.They also aspired to make up strong matrimonial ties with the Mongol nobility as a garantee for their security.

      8.  How did Russ manage to preserve its identity under the yoke? It was a combination of factors that helped it.First and foremost, the Mongols tolerated the Orthodox church as it didn't call the Russians to resist the Golden Horde. And monasteries were the centers of culture and literacy that time. Then, the policy of the most powerful Vladimir-Suzdal principality headed by Alexander Nevsky was amiable to the Mongols and utterly boisterous against the Western aggressors: Sweedes and  Tevtons.

     9.Why did the Moscow principality assume the leading role in the process of the unification of Russian lands? Moscow's central geographic position as a crossroad of many trade routes and the growing power of its rulers such as Alexander Nevsky's son Daniil and his younger son Ivan Kalita, who gained the superiour trust from the Mongols and  were  personally authorised to collect and deliver tributes to the khan, predetermined the leading role of Moscow in the process  of Russ unification. 

     10. When and why did Moscow become the economic, political and religious centre of Rus? As Moscow was far from the frontiers that were suffering from incessant Mongol riots, many Russian people who lived in the South Eastern regions resettled here to obtain relative security. At the same time, Moscow princes gradually subjugated  the neighbouring weaker principalities by force or political agreements. Above it, Moscow assumed the title of the national religious centre when Mitropolitan Peter pilgrimated there from the former principality's capital city of Vladimir in 1325. 

     11. What stipulated the end of the Mongol yoke? While  Moscow principality had been growing from strength to strength in the last third of the XIV century, the Golden Horde got weaker and weaker in everlasting internicine strives. Finally  Moscow prince Dmitry Donskoy managed to summon numerous Russian troops from all over the Russian lands to dare fight the Mongols.The battle of Kulikovo happened on September,8 1380. It was the first great victiry of the Russians over the Tartars. The influence of the Mongols gradually  dwindled and so did the Russian tribute to it and since 1480 the money was sent to the Krimean khan as the Golden Horde ceased to exist.

     12. What were the main lessons learnt by the Russians in the course of the Mongol yoke? There were three of them. First, only strong, highly centrilised state is able to resist external agression and internal mutiny. Second,Russia can only exist as a perrenially expanding empire as the very process of expansion is the strongest state soverenity guarantee. And the third lesson  of the yoke is  as follows: the Orthodox church is the greatest ideological and moral mobiliser of the Russian nation.

                                                                                                                              4. THE MOSCOW STATE. 


        1.How exactly did Moscovy fulfill the lessons learnt in the course of the Mongol yoke? To eliminate the ground for any feud between Moscow princes the principle from father to son succession was established.On the other hand, close cooperation with the Golden Horde made Moscow state both military and financially strong. Moscow pinces got the right to collect tribute for the khan and often asked the Mongols to help conjugate numerous adjacent principalities resisting inclusion into Moscow state.And the last, but not the least, the Russian Mitropolites established themselves now in Moscow making it the the only supreme centre of religious power in the country.

       2. Who were the greatest Moscow princes and what are they famous for? Alexander Nevsky's son Daniil(1261-1303) was the founder of the Moscow state and his grandson Ivan Kalita (1288-1340) made Moscow the center of both temporal and religious power in Russia.His grandson Dmitry Donskoy(1350-1389) defeated the Mongol military commander Mamay in the battle of Kulikovo in 1380. It was a crushing blow to the Mongol yoke. Ivan III (1462-1505) rebuilt the Moscow Kremlin of red bricks and the Assumption cathedral and the Faceted Chamber(Granovitaya Palata)of white stone bricks with the help of Italian architects and fortification engineers at the end of XV century.The Kremlin became one of the strongest and most beautiful fortresses in Europe and  the Assumption cathedral has been so far the main church of Russia. Finally, Ivan the Terrible's father Vasily III (1479-1533) had strengthened the Moscow state militarilly, economically, politically and internationally.

       3. What was the political system of the Russian state? It was a highly centralised state and it was the only system of power that provided the national sovereignity and cultural identity for the country. All formely independent apanage princes were now strictly subordinated to Moscow princes and major military and state servicemen got lands for their service from Moscow rulers.The new class of nobility, dvoryans , was formed. They, gradually, became the main support of the state power, while the boyars ( hereditary landlords) were loosing political positions.

        4.What was the economic system of the Russian state? Land and its resourses have always been the main treasure and the source of power for the humanity. So was it for the Russian state. Most peasants in Moscow state were personally free and rented land from the landlords:princes, boyars and dvorans. Such a system stipulated active agricultural development of the country and rapid accumulation of wealth by landlords, peasants and the central authorities.

        5.How was  the army of the Moscow state organized? It was compiled from the state troops and boyars and princes' military units and numbered up to 150 000 warriors. They were well-armed, had cannons, harquebuses and side-arms and were protected with light, but reliable armors. Foreign mercenaries were also widely employed. Alongside the Southern frontiers mobile patrols were used to deter the invaders and inform the central authorities about the danger.

         6.What were the international ties of the Moscow state? They were determined by the main objectives of the Moscow state: to overthrow the Golden Horde, to take back the Russian lands that had been captured by the Lithvenian princedom and  defeat the Tefton Order to get the access to the Baltic Sea. Thanks to the thorough cooperation with the Crimean khans and lavish donations to them, Moscow princes weakened and destroyed the Golden Horde and ceased the 240 years old yoke. Successful wars with the Lithvenians returned many Western territories back under the Russian power. The Teftons were also weakened by friquent wars with the Russians and had to strike a peace agreement with Moscow prince that lasted up to 1557.

        7.What were the main cultural milestones in the development of the Moscow state? Mass building of churches and cathedrals such as the Assumption (1479), the Annunciation(1489) and the Archangel (1508) cathedrals called for the boost of frescoes  and icon-painting. As monasteries were the centers of literary culture in the Moscow state, it was the monks who rewrote manuscripts and created literary works about the heroes of  antimongol liberation. First schools were also arranged apice religious establishments and rich people had their children taught reading, writing, counting and the Scripture interpretation.

        8.How big was the territory and population of the Moscow state? Thanks to the process of incorporating of all the neighbouring principalities, the territory of the Moscovy grew from 20 to 600 000 square km and the population - from 20 000 to 8 millions in the period from 1350 to 1550 making it one of the biggest and most populous countries in Europe. Still, both the territory and population of the Moscow state were twice smaller than before the Mongol invasion in 1237. Many towns and settlements were ruined and gone with the wind.

                                                                                                         

                                                                                                                             5. IVAN THE TERRIBLE.

 


        1.How did it happen that by 1530 the Russian state was again torn apart by the internecine feud like iit had been at the eve of the Mongol invasion? The weakening of the power of the supreme ruler in an utterly centralised state always leads to the disbalance of the authoritarian hierarchy. Ivan the Terrible's father Vasily III didn't have children in his first marriage and it caused serious disturbancies in the ruling elite. Hence, he divorced with Solomonia Saburova in 1526 and married the Lithvenian princess Elena Glinsky.She gave birth to two boys, the eldest of which became an heir to the throne. But Vasily III suddenly died when Ivan was only 3 years old and his mother and her favourite tried to become sole rulers causing a fierce opposition from other high-ranking clans.

       2. How did the cruel boyars' fight for the power influence the moulding of the character of the young tzar? The Belskys, the Shuiskys, the Staritskys, the Glynskys waged the battle of death to hold the grip on power and the numerous bloody scenes of violence and killings had stamped in Ivan's memory.Living in cruelty and everlasting terror, he was doomed to become a cruel, unpredictable  and paranoic person and first sent a man to death when he was just 13.

        3. What kind of education did Ivan get? He was a smart boy thirsting for knowledge and reading became his main pastime round the clock. His library, biggest in Europe, contained more than 3000 volumes in Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Arab, Polish, German, English, Italian, Dutch and other languages.Even in his young years Ivan IV was known as one of the most educated men in Russia, a prolific Russian literature writer. He also composed religious music and lyrics and liked to sing in a quire. Besides, Ivan was fond of chess and loved mechanics.

         4.Why was Ivan IV coronated as tsar? He was coronated in the Assumption cathedral in 1547 as the first Russian tzar (emperor) as he wanted to assume the superior grandour in power both in Russia and Europe.No prince or khan could match him anymore. He also declared Russia the Third Rome, because the Second Rome (Byzantium) was conquered  by The Ottoman Empire. Hence, called himself the heavenly protector of the Orthdox church on the Earth.

          5.What were the first steps of Ivan IV as a ruler? First of all, he invited the wisest  and most educated noblemen into his thinktank, so called the Chosen rada (ruling body):Mitropolitan Makary, prince Kurbsky, nobleman Adashev, Ivan's  father- confessor Sivestr. They urged Ivan to summon the first in the Russian history consultive all-Russian congregation of most responsible representatives -Zemsky Sobor to solve the main political and social problems of the country. The numerous reforms in political, admiistrative,judicial, religious, military, financial and educational spheres were proposed and fulfilled in 1550-1560. They were highly beneficial for the country and its people.          

         6 .What military campaigns did Ivan IV undertake and why?  The main enemies of Russia regularly attacked it from the East and the South (Kazan,Astrakhan and Krimean khanates) and from the West (Livonians, Sweeds, Lithvenians and Poles). A series of successful military campaigns helped  Russia to conquer Kazan in 1552 and Astrakhan in 1554, the Golden Horde in 1556, capture some Livonian's  territories in 1558. Thus, the territory of Russia grew from 2.6 to 5.6 mln. sq. km.The Eastern frontiers were now safe. In the Noth-West, though, the Russian offensive was very successful at the first stage and turned flat in the end because of economic, political and administrative crisis caused by Oprichnina and total terror unleashed by Ivan and his henchmen.

           7. What  caused the crush of the Chosen Rada and multiple repressions against nobility in 1560--1572? The poisoning of Anastasia, Ivan IV first and most adorable wife in 1560, triggered his distrust to his closest aids who were suspected of treason and underwent severe repressions.Since then Ivan the Terrible was obsessed by the threat of plots against him and relied only on his merciless punitive troops - Oprichniks who terrorised the whole country. Thousands of people were tortured and executed, tens of thousands were killed in his military expeditions against the Noth Western regions of Russia in 1569-1570.

           8. What were the cosequences of Oprichnina? Severe political, economic, financial and administrative crisis broke out. Almost 2 million people fled the country. Many towns and villages stayed ravaged and uninhabited. The state coffers were empty and it provoked fatal defeats of the Russian army in Livonia and Poland.While the regular army was weakened, the oprichniks' troops couldn't defend Moscow against the Krimean khan's invasion in 1571 when the whole city was burnt to the ground  and Ivan the Terrible fled disgracefully. After these deplorable events Ivan the Terrile forbade Oprichnina.

          9. How did Russia manage to subjugate Siberia?  After defeating Kazan and the remnants of the Golden Horde the vast Siberian regions had become open for the Russian invasion. They were inhabited by backward nomadic tribes who still lived a primordial stone age lifestyle. In 1581 the Stroganovs merchants, who explored those territories, invited the well-known Kazak ataman(chieftain) with his paramilitaries to capture the neighbouring Siberian lands. Ermak crashed Kuchum's nomadic army in few battles and declared the region the  property of the Russian tzar.

          10. What were the main outcomes of Ivan the Terrible era? He had built up a highly centrilised, enormous in size serfdom state with a strong army and poor and rightless people. Fighting with the boyars, Ivan the Terrible annihilated any opposition to the monarch's power in Russia. Such authoritarian monopoly would inevitably slow down any further political, social  and economic development of the country and make the system of supreme power very unstable.

                                                                                          

                                                                                                                                6. TIME OF TROUBLES.

 


       1. Why did Russia slide down into a 30-year period of turbulence, mutiny, wars and riots after the death of Ivan the Terrible's son Theodor in 1598? Theodor Iohanovch didn't leave heirs to the throne and that  was the end of the Ruriks dynasty which was catastrophical for the country.The sovereign legitimacy in a highly totalitarian , despotic state is only based on the personality of the supreme ruler: the  people are ready to bear any hardships under the power of a legitimate tyrant. 

        2. Why did Russian people dislike so much Boris Gogunov, a new Russian tsar since 1598? Theodor Iohanovich  was physically and mentally weak , so Boris Godunov became the real ruler of Russia  in 1584. He worked inexorably to develop economic, political, social , defensive, religious and cultural spheres of the country. Boris sent young noble men to study in Europe and invited foreign masters to stay and work in Russia. And still, Russian people didn't accept Godunov as a lawful tsar, suspected him of poisoning Ivan the Terrible, Theodor Iohanovich and killing of tsarevich Dmitry, the rightious heir to the throne.

        3. What catastrophic event finally set Russian people against Boris Godunov? The most powerful blow to his popularity Boris Godunor got from the nature. Owing to a mega-eruption in Peru in 1600, the whole planet's atmosphere was covered for three years with an ash blanket,  reflecting solar radiation and causing crop-falure and famine everywhere.Godunov tried to alleviate the tragic consequences of the hunger distributing bread to poor people, but it didn't help. Russian people accused Boris Godunov of all these calamities. He suddenly died in 1605.

       4.. What dynasty crisis happened after the death of Boris Goginov? Not being checked by the people, the broken hyerarchy was torn to pieces by the war of powerful elite clans: Theodor Godunov, Grigory Otrepiev,Vasily Shuisky succeded each other from 1605 to 1610. Meanwile, Poles and Sweeds invaded Russia taking benefits of its weakness. It's just the unity of common people led by patriotic leaders prince Minin and citizen Pozharsky that won the independence of the country throwing the Polish troops from Moscow in 1612.

        5. Why didn't the Russian state disintegrate and survived the Times of Trouble? The utterly  turbulent history of the Russian state, that is more than 1100 years old, has shown that some invincible  patriotic powers unite the people of Russia to surpass any ordeals, hardships and sufferings every time when the very existance of the country is on stake.

        6. What is the role of the Orthodox church at the  turning points of the Russian history? Many a time throughout the history of Russia has the Orthdox church played a key role in mobilising the nation to struggle with all kinds of invadors: abbot Sergy of Radonezh blessed prince Dmitry Donskoy to fight with the Mongols on the field of Kulikovo in 1380, the icon of the mother of God of Vladimir is thought to have protected Moscow from Tamerlan's army in 1395, patriarch Germogen called to defeat Poles in 1612 and led the liberation movement, in 1812 the Russian Orthdox church not only forged people to resist Napoleon's agression, but also provided a substantional financial support to the army. Even during the Great Patriotic War Stalin asked the church for a strong moral suppoort and got it,

       7. Why was the new tsar Michail Romanov unanimously accepted by the Russian society as a true monarch? He belonged to one of the oldest and most respectful families in Russia, was a distant cousin to Anastasia, Ivan the Terrible's wife, one of Rurik's descendants.His father suffered a lot from Boris Gogunov and the Poles.And the last, but not the least, Mikhail Romanov  was just 16 years old and had no enemies.Thus, The Second Zemsky Sobor (All-Russian Lands Convention) chose him as a new tsar in 1612.

                                                                                                         7. FIRST ROMANOVS: MIKHAIL AND ALEXEY.

        

         1. What urgent questions had Mikhail Romanov to settle? After the Times of Trouble the economy of the country was in decay and the young tsar together  with the most respectful noblemen undertook a number of reforms: he gave a lot of scarcely populated lands in the East and South of Russia to those willing and boosted up the agricultural production in the country. State and military service became a duty for nobility. Mikhail also rearranged the army making it more up-to-date. At the same time, he made peasants more dependent on their masters to secure the support of landlords. 

         2. What did Mikhail Romanov udertake to reduce the technological backwardness from the Western countries? He established the first government school for the state servicemen,invited so many foreign masters that a special residential district for them was arranged in Moscow. The first metallurgical plant was built up in Tula and the first textile factory in Moscow.But on the whole, the lack of educated professionals  and  personally free  literate peasants in Russia prevented the development of trade and technology in the country.

          3. What were the most significant results of Mikhail Romanov's foreign policy? He struck peace treaties with Poland and Sweden, the most dangerous adversaries of Russia. At the same time, new vast territories in Siberia and Far East were attached to Russia. The de-facto empire, Russia had doubled in size during the reign of Mikhail Romanov.

          4. How well did Alexey Mikhailovich rule the country? Mikhail Romanov died in 1645 and his son, 16-year old Alexey, ascended the throne.In 1648 his new so called salt tax induced mass aggressive  protests and riots all over Russia and was later cancelled. Salt was the main conservant for all kinds of food stuff. Then in 1662 during the war with Poland (Rech Pospolita) that lasted from 1654 to 1667 the so called copper riot had broken out because of the attempt of the government to replace silver coins by cheap copper ones. As the serfes had lost all their rights of personal freedom and became practically enslaved, peasant mutinies began to brake out all over the country.

           5.Why was Stenan Razin's uprising so massive? It was fueled by the dire economic situation of different numerous social groups in Russia. Tiresome wars with Poland and Sweden ruined the country's financial system, new heavy taxes were imposed on the population, landlords fiercly exploited their serfs turning them into slaves who sought their freedom in the Don region joining kazak gangs.It was the kazaks led by Stepan Razin who began the uprising in 1670.They quickly  won public support and captured Samara, Saratov. Tzaritsin,Astrakhan and many other small towns.By that time Stepan Razin's army countered up to 200 000 people. 

           6. What were the main demands of the rebels? The kazaks wanted more arable lands to grow more corn and vegetables, the peasants required  serfdom abolishion, the artizans and traders asked for the tax reduction.

           7. Why was the uprising suppressed? The rebels' army was badly trained, poorly armed and desorganised. Apart from it, Stepan Razin was very merciless to his opponents and executed many of them, leaving no chance of financial support from rich people. That's why, when in 1671 they clashed with 60 000 regular tsar's troops, they were defeated, Stepan Razin was brought to Moscow and publicly quartered on Bolotnaya square.More than 10 000 of his active supporters were executed elsewhere.

            8. What were the main implications of Stepan Razin's uprising? As the riot was severely suppressed, the government just tightened more the institute of serfdom that was practically turned into slavery. On the other hand, the Kazaks of the Don got some more arable lands and pledged loyalty to Alexey Mikhailovich as the Southern frontier military servicemen.The kazaks since then had become the strongest supporters of the monarchy in Russia.

            9. Why was it so important for Russia to get an access to the Baltic Sea? It was the shortest (twice shorter than round Scandinavia) way to the Westesn countries for mutual trade, getting modern technologies,masters, for the development of culture. Besides, all land ways to Europe were blocked by Poland and Sweden, who didn't admit foreign specialists to Russia.

            10. What were the most significant internal outcomes of Alexey Mikhailovich's reign? In domestic policy  the results were poor: economoc stagnation, enslaving serfs, total pauperization of the Russian population because of extrahigh taxes and inflation caused by endless wars with Poland and Sweden. Add to that the implications of patriarch Nikon's ambitious reforms of the religious rites and services that led to a dramatic centuries-long schism in the congregation and caused a deep spiritual crisis. Actually, the prosperity of the nation, its welfare wasn't in focus of the monarch activity. 

             11. What were the most significant results of Alexey Mikhailovich's international policy? They were impressive: though Alexey Mikhailovich lost the wars with Poland and Sweden and didn't get the access to the Baltic Sea, he expanded enormously the territory of Russia: attached left-bank Ukraine, Far East and a hefty part of Manchuria region making Russia far and away larger than any other empire in the world  and that was the main objective of his ruling.Siberia and Far East brought half of the budget revenues (0.6 mln. out of 1.2 mln. of overall tax incomes) mostly in the form of furs.

 

                                                                                                                             8.PETER THE FIRST.

      1.Why did the death of Alexey Mikhailovich trigger a new wave of political turbulence in Russia? If the pyramid of power mostly depends on the monarch's personality, the whole system of power is utterly unstable. After the death of  tsar Alexey Mihailovich in 1676 his eldest son Theodor, who was weak in body, mind and will, accended  the throne.The contending elite groups of boyars Myloslavskys and Naryshkins tried to take their chance in their thirst for power and little Peter witnessed their fierce bloody struggle.

      2. How did it happen later that two brothers Iohan and Peter were together crowned, but didn't actually rule? When tsar Theodor died prematurely in 1682 Miloslavskys supported feeble-minded Iohan as a lawful heir to the throne and Naryshkins propulsed young and smart Peter. So they were crowned together and had a double-seat throne. Actually, it was their elder sister Sofia who really held a grip on power in the country in 1682-1689.

      3. What was the domestic policy of Sofia? Sofia was a very talented,ambitious, well-educated woman. She spoke 5 languages, read a lot, was  fond of theatre, music and was European-oriented. She firstly suppressed strelets( musketeers) riots and old-believers mutinies and then undertook a number of successful reforms of the army, taxation system, lands distribution, laxed the punishment for the serfs who ran away from their owners. Sofia favoured education and in 1687 she also arranged the Slavic-Greek-Latin Academy in Moscow, the first higher educational establishment in Russia that was transformed into Moscow Imperial University in 1755.

     4. What was the foreign policy of Sofia Romanova? In 1686 she managed to negotiate the "Eternal piece" with Rech Pospolita and return Kiev, Smolensk and Malorossia to Russia. In turn, Russia obliged to help Poland in the war with the Turks.Sofia improved relations with some European countries and set up an embassy in Paris.In 1689 the treaty of Nerchinsk was sighed with China to settle the borders in Siberia.

      5. Why did Sofia loose popularity after Crimean campaigns? She wanted to capture the peninsula from the Crimean khans to secure Southern frontiers and twice, in 1687 and 1689, sent the army under her favourite Vasily Golitsin's command. But 100000 troops were not properly equipped for a 2000 km march, mostly in arid climate without sufficient water and food supply for people and horses. Epidemies had broken out and killed 1/3 of the army.The military campaigns against the Crimean khanate fell flat. That caused a massive indignation in all social classes of the Russian society and terminated Sofia's authority. As tsar Ioghan had died by that time, Sofia tried to arrange a military uprizing against Peter, but was not supported by the Russian elites. She  was severely suppressed by Peter and he became a sole ruler of Russia since 1689.

      6.What factors moulded Peter's personality? Peter was a strong, healthy  and smart child, but in his young years he and his mother had several times narrowly escaped political murders and later Peter often suffered epilepcy feats which also caused his uncontrolled violent and cruel behaviour.

       7. What education did Peter get? Sofia regarded him as the only contender to power, so he didn't get a good primary education and made lots of mistakes in his writing up to the end of his life.Nevetheless, Peter was a very inquisitive boy and was deeply interested in military and navigation sciences.That's why, all his secondary education teachers were foreigners from the neighbouring so-called German village (sloboda) and he became fond of Western civilization and Western style of life. Peter studied all his life and was packed with knowledge in different sciences. He also became a real professional in 14 specialities.

       8.What determined Peter's foreign and domestic policy? He also realised that to be a great military, economic and culturally developed nation Russia should build up strong political, economic and cultural relations with Europe which was impossible without getting an access to the Baltic and the Black seas. Thus, throughout all his life Peter I had been building the army, the fleet, the industry and the educational system of the country.

      9. Why weren't Peter's Azov campaigns successful in 1695-1696? Having no modern army and powerful fleet, it was impossible to take over the Turks.Still, the Russians managed to found a new port Taganrog, but the fortress of Azov after its capture was, eventually, returned to the Turks The lessons learnt made Peter I cardinally reform Russia and bring new knowledge and  technologies from Europe.

      10. Why did Peter turn the direction of his naval expansion from the South to the North? Firstly, Russia was still too weak to match the Ottoman Empire, secondly, the Baltic seaway was the shortest itinenary to Europe and the last, but not the least, Russia could fight with Sweden, the strongest sea power in the Baltic sea, in coalition with Poland, Denmark and Saxonia.

       11. What were the main goals of the Great Embassy mission to Europe in 1697-1698? The main objective of Peter I and his 250 noble envoys' Great Embassy was to build up a European coalition of Russia, Austria, Poland, Denmark and Saxonia for the war against Sweden to get an access for Russia to the Baltic Sea. The second goal was to hire as many foreign specialists in Europe as possible to bring their military, technological skills and experience to work in Russia and teach Russian people.Peter also wanted to be deeply submerged into the European style of life, to possess their mastery and crafts personally in practice.

       12. What were the outcomes of the Great Embassy? They were as follows: Peter obtained the agreement with Poland, Saxonia and Denmark to fight war against Sweden, but later they stepped away from their ally pledges and Russia faced Sweden solely. Much more fruitful were Peter's efforts to invite foreign military officers, masters and scientists to Russia. More than a thousand of them came at once to Russia from different countries of Europe and 7 thousand more were received later.The participants of the Embassy imbibed the European spirit of enlightenment and got ready to study themselves.

       13. Why did the Nothern war 1700-1721 last so long? Russia was not yet ready to match Sweden military, technologically, economically and financially and it took time and enormous overstrain of the whole nation to surpass Sweeds. But eventually, new well-trained and equipped modern army was recruited, a big navy fleet was built up, metallurgy was developed in Russia and thousands and thousands of serfs brought from all over Russia toiled days and nights to embodify Peter's plans. It  cost  almost 20 000 lives of peasant builders,required a lot of material resourses and nearly ruined the overtaxed population of the country, but finally, after Poltava (1709) and Gangut (1714) battles Russia got the access to the Baltic sea and became the world's biggest empire.

       14.  What other military campaigns did Peter undertake and why? He was crowned as the first Russian emperror and saw his imperial mission in expanding Russia endlessly and in getting an access to seas  in the West, South and East and limitless natural resources of precious metals in Siberia to finance the Nothern war.Peter the Great  also wanted to conquer Persia,Central and South America, Madagascar and India. 

        15. What fundamental changes did Peter the Great bring to Russia? He wanted to create the most powerful and everexpanding empire in the world and all his reforms were aimed to attain this goal: to capture new territories Peter needed powerful army and fleet and he built them up on Western technologies and with the help of Western specialists The emperor wanted to have a well-educated and highly cultural, loyal to the monarchy class of landowners (dvorians) and he arranged different educational facilities in St. Petersburg and Moscow to raise a generation of best-qualified  Russian military commanders and civil engineers. 

         16. What industrial revolution did Peter the Great launch in Russia? Togerther with foreign specialists Russian merchants, professionally educated dvorians and loyal boyars he developed mining of natural mineral deposits, built metallurgical plants and cannon foundries, textile and china manufactures and a lot of various workshops all over the country. In the result, by the end of his reign Russia produced more iron-cast  metal than any other country. He also enhanced domestic and foreign trade to increase the budget revenues.

          17.Why wasn't Peter's economic policy so successful? Most of the Russian society were poor serfs, virtually, slaves having no property and income to produce and exchange goods.Hence, the overall demand was very low and it hindered any trade and production. Because of a very low level of technical culture, the quality of Russian produce was very poor and couldn't stand foreign competition. On the other hand, Russia had constantly been in the state of war  and that mostly robbed the economy of the country instead of massive investing into it. And above it, the level of all-penetrating corruption overflooded any concievable scales. So after Peter the Great's death in February 1725 the state coffers were empty. 

          18.What main lessons should be learned from Peter the great extatic 30-year activity? Russia entered a new political, economic and social era destined its future for the next 300 years.First and foremost, Peter brought and rooted new culture in all the spheres of Russian life, brought up a new European-educated upper ruling class- dvoryans who were the main support of tsar's power in Russia and made enormous contribution into the Rissian science, industry, culture and art.On the other hand, deep contradictions caused by the policy of the further enslaving of the Russian peasants - then 90% of the population of the country led to a fatal chain of social crisises in the  following 3 centuries and  culminated in the 1917 October revolution and collapse of the Russian Empire, outragious violence and terror of Stalin's regime and final collapse of the Soviet Union.

       

                                                                                                                  9. THE AGE OF TSARINAS.


        1. Why didn't Russia return to pre-Peter's time after the death of the emperor? Peter the Great virtually created and enforced the class of gentry (dvorians) - serving landlords who supported the reforms and were deeply involved into the process of transformation of the Russian society. It was European-educated, thinking and acting ruling class that was utterly interested in the European course of the country. Besides, the elite of Russia was also composed of European-oriented people letting alone the fact that many Europeans lived,worked in Russia and held the leading positions in the society.

         2. Why was Katherine I coronated as an empress after Peter's death? First and foremost, she expressed the fundamental interests of the most powerful groups in Russia: chancellors, ministers, army and fleet commanders, rich merchants and industrialists. And her most powerful proponent was Alexander Menshikov, Peter's right hand.

         3. What was the reign of Katherine I (1725-1727) remarkable for? Actually, it was Alexander Menshikov, the chancellor, and the members of the Secret Council, who really ruled Russia. They reduced the peasant taxes and gave the dvorians all the benefits to arrange, buy and run manufactures. Katherine I didn't wage any wars and boosted industrial development of the country, especially, in the Ural region.She liked all kinds of entertainments and balls and didn't bother about thriving bribery and corruption in Russia. Eventually, her unhealthy way of life killed her.

         4. What were  the main domestic reforms of Anna Iohanovna (1730-1740)? After the short reign of Peter II, the throne was given by the Secret Council to Anna Iohanovna, Peter the Great's niece, as she seemed prone to be directed by the elite groups of Russian top aristocrats Golitsins and Dolgorukys.  But Anna gained a strong support from the army guard officers, dissolved the Secret Council and set up a Cabinet of ministers and the Senate, instead. Then she executed her opponents and ruled under the influence of Biron, baron from Kurland, her favourute.She gave even more rights to dvoryans, and, at the same time, she finally, enslaved  Russian village and manufacture serfs. To stimulate trade, manufacture and metallurgy Anna Iohanovna cancelled internal trade taxes for merchants. As a result,in 10-years' time 22 metallurgical plants were built up and export of cast iron and coper to Europe quadrupled. 

          5. What foreign policy was Anna Iohanovna famous for? She pursued strengthening imperial positions of Russia in Europe and getting the access to the Black Sea. That's why, the Russian army occupied Poland  and brought king August III to the throne in 1734. Anna Iohanovna also tried to wage war with Turkey, but The Ottoman empire was still too strong  for Rusia to defeat it.

          6. Who ruled Russia after Anna Iohanovna? After Anna Iohanovna's death in 1740 her favourite, Kurland duke Biron, took power as a regent, but was overthrown in the course or the palace night coup and Peter the Great's daughter Elisaveta Petrovna became a new Russian empress in 1741. She was strongly supported by the officers of politically influential Preobrazhensky regiment.

           7. What domestic policy did the empress pursue? She gave even more preferences to the landlords (dvoryans) and merchants to gain their political and financial support, reestablished the Senate and banned capital punisment and tortures in Russia. On the other hand, Elisaveta Petrovna further enslaved Russian peasants and imposed more taxes on salt and wine. The first Russian commercial banks were opened

            8.Why was Elizaveta Petrovna famous as a protagonist of education and arts? She liked European education, culture and art and wanted to bring them to Russia.Thus, new educational establishments appeared in big cities:primary schools, military colleges and civil gymnasiums. First Russian newspapers and magazines appeared. Moscow university and the Academy of Arts were also established by Elizaveta Petrovna.She also built the Emperial theatre in St. Petersburg and governed it.

            9.What was Elizaveta Petrovna's foreign policy? She continued to expand Russia: the 1741-1743  war with Sweden gave Russia the most part of Finland, after a seven-year war (1756-1763) with Prussia, its big part was also attached to Russia. She also annexed Nothern Kazakh regions to Russia. 

          10.How did Katherine II take power in 1762? This ambitious German princess, was chosen by Elizaveta Petrovna to be the wife for her nephew, Peter III. After Elizaveta's sudden death, Peter III reigned as the Russian emperor for 186 days only and was overturned by his wife Kathherine II in the palace coup. She declared herself a sole ruler of Russia. Actually, the new empress was supported by some elite guard officers as Peter III wasn't popular with the army due to his proPrussian policy.

          11. What were the first steps of Katherine II in her internal policy? Because of the all-penetrating corruption, the state coffers were empty and the army hadn't had their salary for 3 months. So, first and foremost, Katherine gave freedom and protection to trade, crafts and all kinds of business and manufacture, which soon brought solid money flows to the budget. She also invited Germans and Jews to develop trade, commerce and agriculture in Russia. On the other hand, Katherine deprived the Ukraine of its economic and political independence and imposed high taxes on the population of Ukraine. Then, she resettled Zaporozhsky kazaks to Kuban's vast agricultural lands. Ithelped to develop a new breadbasket of Russia.

           11. What kind of state system did Katherine want to establish in Russia? At the beginning of her reign she issued a new code of laws comprising and regulating all social spheres of life. Then, Katherine established a special legislative assembly of representatives to justly balance political and economic interests of different classes and social groups of the Russian society. After 3 years of hot disputes at 1000 meetings, the emperess dissolved the assembly as the landlords (dvoryane) the main ruling class cf the country and the main support of the monarchy, didn't want to share their power with any other social groups. They chose the "enlighted absolutism" under a strict sovereign control. And so it came: numerous educational and cultural establishments for rich people appeared in the country, but the interests of less rich and influential social groups and classes were mostly neglected. 

           12. What administrative reforms did Katherine II undertake? She called Russia "the Universe" for its enormous size and she vastly expanded it futhermore. Hence, a centralized system of guberniyas (provinces) was arranged, hundreds of settlements were entitled as new towns and cities.The local governors had to check executive and judicial institutions in their regions to provide law and order and induce the development of trade, manufacture and infrastructure. This administrative system lived up to 1917.

             13.What was Katherine II foreign policy? It was utterly imperial policy aimed to expandi Russian borders beyond any limits imanginable. The same policies carried out almost all European states searching for new colonies. In the West Russia attached Western Ukraine,Belorussia, South Baltic region,it also made Poland its protectorate.In the South Russia got the Crimea, Trans- Black Sea region, Nothern Caucasus and established protectorate over Georgia. In the East Katherine II  waged unsuccesful wars with Chukchas in Anadyr and Aines in the Kuryls, but, having changed the tactics, she managed with the help of rich gifts and bribery of the tribal chiefs to persuade them become Russian subjects.

            14. What kind of state did the Russian Empire become at the end of Katherine the Great's time? Having increased enormously its territory westward and southward and its population from 23 to 38 million people, Russia became one of the world's greatest superpowers with strong army and fleet. The international trade, especially, with England had boosted enormously. Unfortunately, Russia exported only raw materials and lagged more and more behind European countries, where the first industrial revolution had already begun.

             15. What was the financial situation in Russia at the end of Katherine's reign ?The annual budget of the counry rose from 16 to 69 mln.roubles, but mostly because of inflation, caused by massive emission of paper banknotes.Being utterly prodigal, Katherine II spent on her favourites 92 mln. roubles and gave them about 1 mln serfs as well as granting all benefits to landlords(dvoryans). Hence, she finally turned surfs into deprived slaves. Meanwile, widespread corruption in all state central and local structures swallowed mass amounts of money.The state debt of Russia totalled up to 216 mln. roubles - 3 annual budgets of the country which, in fact, became a bunkrupt.

            16. What kind of person was the next Russian emperor? Pavel I assented the the throne in 1797 after his mother's death in 1796 and left the memories of himself as of adamant country's reformator and mad violent pro-Prussian petty tyrant.

             17. What were the first steps of Pavel? He released from prisons dozens of his mother's political opponents, imposed high taxes on the landlords (dvoryans). He was the first ruler in the history of Russia who improved the life of serfs:Pavel reduced the slave work of peasants from 6 to 3 days a week and granted all Sundays and religious holidays ( 112 days a year) as non-working days, cancelled bread-taxes. He also forbade to sell serfs without land. Being admired by the Prussian military orders, Pavel  reorganised the Russian army and arranged endless parades, musters and military drills.A the same time, he reduced the army by 1/3. 100 000 soldiers and officers were fired and great sums of money were saved.

            16. How did Pavel I fight corruption in the country? He dissmssed Katherine's corruptive favourites and jailed 20 000 state officers of all ranks.It multiplied immensely the numbers of his enemies.Pavel I also arranged a so-called complains box where everybody could put an appeal about corruption, violence and bribery cases.

             17. What was Pavel's foreign policy? Actually, he hated his mother for killing his father and tried to undo everything Katherine II had done both in domestic and foreign policy: at the beginning of his foreign militaty activity he joined the European coalition against revolutionary France, defended Italy and even helped to unite Switzerland as a new independent state. Meanwhile, Russian, British and Turkish fleets fought together against Napoleon in the Mediterranian Sea . All three allies were pursuing their own imperial interests, though.

              18. Why did Pavel I turn his policy against the English? After Great Britain had captured the strategic island of Malta, he broke diplomatic relations with Britain, arrested all English trade ships in the Russian ports and  began to support revolutionary France headed by Napoleon. The Russian emperor even decided to arrange a 20 000 troops military expedition to India together with Napoleon to expel the Brits from there. Thus, he, alongside with Napoleon, made himself the worst enemy of the British ruling class. British spies blasted Napoleon's coach, but, luckily, Napoleon remained intact.They also helped to arrange a palace coup against Pavel I and he was killed at night on March,24,1801 by a group of guards and high-ranking noblemen. His son Alexander knew about the plot, but wouldn't avert it. 

                                        

                                                                                                10.XIX century: brilliant perspectives and  missed opportunities.

          1. What was the political situation in Russia when Alexander I took power?  Being European-educated by Katherine the Great, his grandmother, Alexander I understood that liberal political, economic and social reforms were utterly essential for Russia. On the one hand, the  slavery-type serfdom was choking the overall development of the country, but, on the other hand, the ruling class of landlords (dvoryans) didn't want to lose their economic and political power and the new emperor didn't want to lose their support. Besides, the peasantry itself was not educated enough to take a proper financial responsibility as indpendent farmers.

          2. What kind of step-by-step policy did Alexander lead? He united his most gifted aides into so-called Clandestine cabinet that was in 1810 transformed into the State  Council.To conduct successful reforms the Russian emperor needed not only well-educated nobility, but, fist and foremost, a well-educated middle class of small property owners. That's why, he gained money through a financial reform and channeled a solid part of funds into the educational system of the country. Universities, gymnasiums and colleges were opened all over Russia. Still, the main question in Russia, the land reform, was not settled. Alexander I didn't dare grant lands to serfs at the expense of the state. His 1803 deree about an opportunity for peasans to buy land together with freedom didn't work as they had no money for it. 

           3. What was Alexander's foreign policy? It was the policy of everlasting wars with Turkey (1806-1812), Persia (1804-1813),Sweden(1808-1809) and obtaining new territories  for the Russian Empire such as Eastern Geogia,Finland,Bessarabia,Poland. By 1825 Russia also had taken Alaska and a big part of  California.The wars ruined the  financial system of the country and high inflation swallowed  people's incomes. At the same time, Alexander restored military and trade relations with Britain which became our biggest trade partner and ally in anti-Napoleon wars.That gave a significant economic and technological boost to Russia.

            4. Why did Alexander I wage  constant wars with Napoleon? It was the result of fundamental political, economic and ideological fight of interests between Russia and France. As an empire Russia had to be in the everlasting proсess of expansion, and the dominance in Europe was its closest imperial target.Besides, revolutionary France was a dangerous challenge for the absolute monarchy and the very serfdom system and Russia. That's why, even as early as in 1799 Pavel I joined the coalition of Austria, Britain and Turkey against Napoleon and the Russian military genius Alexander Suvorov defeated Napoleon in the Southern Italy and partly in Switzerland and Russian navy genius Theodor Ushakov, together with British navy genius sir Horatio Nelson, defeated the French fleet at the Mediterranian Sea.

           5. How successful  were Alexander's anti-Napoleon wars? They were utterly unsuccessful: a catastrophic defeat of the Russian and Austrian armies in the Battle of Austerlitz in 1805, constant retreat of the Russian army and its half-defeat at Preisish-Ailau battle in 1806 and a full-defeat at Fridland in 1807 ended in signing the Peace treaty of Tisit between Russia and France.The Treaty of Tilsit stipulated Russia to join Napoleon's continental blocade of England, Russia's main trade partner, and could have meant a real economic disaster for Russia.Practically, though, the continental blocade didn't have any significant negative impact on the Russian economy. 

            6.What were the main causes of 1812 war between Russia and France? It was a culmination point in  the eminent clash of interests between three expanding European empires: Britain, Russia and France exacservated by subjective personal motives of their rulers. On the one hand, Russia suffered some trade and financial losses because of the continental blocade of Britain: 40% drop in foreign trade in 1809, budget tax revenue arrears, ruining of many grain producers and the devaluation of the rouble by 2/3. As a counter measure, Alexander imposed extrahigh  custom duties on French export to Russia.On the other hand, the absence of competition from the British goods strongly stimulated our domestic manufacture production. So, the overall negative economic impact of the continental blocade was insignificant. The real economic, social and financial disaster for the country was Alexander's egoistic decision to wage a new war with Napoleon and finance the exorbitant military spendings. Thus, the Russian government  had to sharply (tenfold!) increase all inner income taxes and recruit 600 000 more serfs into the army to get ready for the oncoming war. The heavy burden of these colossal expences caused mass mutinies all over Russia in 1812.Britain, though, partly paid for these military preparations and supplied the Russian army with 150 000 modern rifles, gun powder and other weapons.

            7. Why did Alexander hate Napoleon? Oddly enough, Alexander envied and admired Napoleon for his commanding genius, especially, after the Russian and Austrian armies defeat at Austerlitz in 1805, for his brilliant intelligence and for his managerial skills.Alexander refused Napoleon's consequent marriage proposals to each of his sisters.When Napoleon declared himself the Emperor, Alexander called Napoleon the tyrant, even though, his authorities were strictly restricted by the parliament, and his Napoleon Code, developed in 1804, is still in action in most countries of Europe and America. Thus, Alexander was preparing for the war with Napoleon since 1811 in coalition with Austria and Prussia. Eventually, though, they refused to fight Napoleon's army as had already been defeated by the French. Thus, Alexander decided not to attack first.

             8. Why did the Russian armies have to retreat at the beginning of the Napoleon's invasion in 1812? With their 190 000 soldiers in three separate armies, they couldn't withstand 440 000 Napoleon's troops. That's why, their first goal was to unite forces as soon as possible, but it only happened in Smolensk where the first fierce battle broke out.The city was burnt down to the ground mostly by the Russians themselves who later did the same thing to Moscow (the barren land tactics) and the united Russian army retreated to Mozshaysk and camped at Borodino village.At the same time, the whole territory of Russia up to the Urals (38 govenies)was engulfed by peasants' riots who demanded freedom and land. Those uprisings were severely quenched by the regular Russian troops.

             9. What were the outcomes of the battle of Borodino? It was the first time in that war when Napoleon didn't win, he lost 35 000, while Kutuzov's army lost about 60 000 as didn't have enough ammunution and was badly trained and organized. The Russian army was so weakened after the battle that they had to give in Moscow, but Kutuzov saved the core of the army and restored it anew, while Napoleon's army finally lost not only human resourses, but also its strategic initiative and, hence,was doomed to be defeated. 

              10. Did staying in Moscow help Napoleon to strengthen his army and why? Vice versa. According to the directives of Kutuzov and Moscow governor Rostopchin, a  significant part of Moscow,  was burnt to the ground after Napoleon troops had entered it.The French tried to extinguish the fires, but all the figherfighters' equipment had been destroyed to prevent that. Tradgically, more than 15 000 out of 25 000 heavy-wounded Russian soldiers and officers left in Moscow hospitals without  food to be cared after by the French, also perished  in the blazes, even though, Napoleon's soldiers tried to save some of them. 

              11. How did Napoleon's army behave in Moscow? First and foremost, exhausted, hungry and often in tatters troops, while arranging their winter headquarters searched for and food and drink. The beauty of the Russian capital brought them in extazy, but after the great fire set by the Russians that lasted for two weeks, they turned into  moroders and thieves and robbed everything they could. Not only did the French  steal 5 000 kg of silver and 300 kg of gold, but they also desecrated the religious feelings of the Russians, destroying 300 Moscow churches and making stables out of the Kremlin cathedrals.That's why they were granted with the only resulting feelings induced in Russians - hatred and revenge.

               12. Why did Napoleon abandon Moscow after just 36 days of occupation? The French robbed, destroyed and burnt everything that still left intact after the great fire. Napoleon's army was gradually transforming into a big insubordinate gang, observing no rules, no commands. They even wanted to explode the Kremlin, but a sudden downpower crashed their devilish plans.Having not enough food and amunition, they fled from Moscow in mid-October 1812 pursued by the Russian army. and brave partisan groups. A series of clashes, but, mostly, severe frost, hunger and illnesses reduced the French army to mere 40 000 and 30 000 of them were killed at the crossing of the Berezina river. So, Napoleon left them to their fate and fled. The Russian army had also lost 2/3 of its quantity.

          13. Why did Alexander I undertake so-called "foreign campaign" of 1813-1814? He wanted to finally crash Napoleon and his empire and invigorate European antirevolutionary monarchies.Russia got a lot of new German allies while deliberating Prussia.Besides, Alexander pursuited the aim of strengthening Russian political influence in Europe. Nevertheless, Napoleon managed to win several battles against Russian and Austrian armies. But, finally, the united ally armies of European countries of almost 500 000 soldies thrice outnumbered the French, and Napoleon was doomed. In the battle of Leipzig (October, 1813) the Russians, eventually, defeated Napoleon and he was exiled to the island of Elba in the Mediterranian Sea in April, 1814.

          14. How did it happen that Napoleon took power again? First and foremost, Napoleon was still very popular in France. On the other hand, contradictions between Russia, England and Austria ran so high that they consumed all their attention and energy.Having a ship and three hundred grenaders at his disposal, Napoleon disembarked in Kann and, being unanimously supported by the royal soldiers and the population, was in Paris on March, 20, 1815. But he ruled France only 100 days and was finally defeated by British and German allies at Waterloo in June,1815

           15. Why was all-European Congress arranged? The Congress took place in Vienna, Austria, lasted from September, 1814 to June, 1815 . It represented all European states, save the Ottoman Empire, and was aimed to solve several tasks: reestablishment of the new post-war borders, installment of European antirevolutionary monarchies and forming of so-called Sacred Union, which included Russia, Austria and  Prussia, to secure nonrevolutionary political stability in Europe.There were some 15 000 participants, including 3 000 spies and all the leading countries were constantly intriguing and plottinfg against each other to push through their interests. Russia got big Polish territories as a trophy of war.

           16. What was the economic situation in Russia after the war? Total financial losses  of Russia were about 1.5 billion roubles - 4 annual budgerts of Russia.The economy and finance were in crisis.But Alexander I undertook decisive and effective mesures to restore Moscow as it had been robbed and burnt. He grantded 15 mln. roubles to the regions ravaged by the war. The land reform and abolishion of serfdom were  begun, firstly, in the Baltic provinces in 1818. At the same time, a reasonable all-Russion serfdom abolishion law was worked out by general Arakhcheev. It stipulated buyng from landlords and free distribution of their lands among peasants. But many dvoryans were  utterly angry about it,so,finally, the law wasn't implemented.Still, the number of factories in Russia had doubled from 1800 to 1820, new educational centers appeared, new technologies were introduced.

           17.Why did Alexander step away from the governing of his country towards religion and mysticism? The loss of his three bastard daughters nearly killed him and all his aspirations in life. He realised that Russia needed reforms urgently and was on the verge of social crisis, but had no energy or will to change anything about it. He forgot about all his favourites and regained strong personal ties with his wife just before his death in Taganrog on December,1, 1825. Thus, Russia missed its chance of gradual profound social reforms. Alas!

           18. What were the main causes of the Decembrists' riot? The most progressive-thinking part of the ruling class realised that without cardinal social and economic reforms Russia was doomed to slide to a social catastrophy. The serfdom system blocked the development of the economy and the non-parliamentary absolute monarchy hindered forming of the civil society in Russia. That's why the Decembrists had formed their clandestine Nothern and Southern societies and worked out their future domestic and foreign policy providing for the serfdom abolition and declaring constitutional monarchy of presidential republic.

            19. What measures did the Decembrists want to undertake? They intended to kill the tsar and all his family and establish revolutionary dictatorship. They wanted to liberate peasants giving them no land and making them beggars seeking for work in cities. The Decembrists hoped to get a strong moral support from Polish nationalists in case of future riot and they were ready to give Poland the Baltic regions and Ukraine. They also planned to resettle aggressive Caucasus nations elsewhere and replace them by Russians. The Nothern nations of Yakutiya and Chukotka were to be brought to Christianity and enlightened. The Jews, who didn't want to accept Christianity should be exiled from Russia to Asia o Africa.

            20. What were the main causes of the defeat of the Decembrists' riot? First of all, they were supported  neither by nobility nor by peasantry, there were very few of them and they were also poorly organised. Although, most of them were military officers, the army didn't support them even in St. Petersburg, let alone any other place in Russia. The mutiny was suppressed, five of the Decembrists' leaders were hanged, about 50 were exiled to Siberia.More than 1000 people, mostly civillian spectators, were killed during the riot. 

                                                                                    

                                                                                       11.NICOLAS I: THE JENDARME OF EUROPE, THE JENDARME OF RUSSIA.

        1. What was the domestic policy of Nicolas I? Though he understood the need for reforms, being scared by the Decembrists' riot,he was afraid to change anything cardinally. Still, Nicolas I undertook a number of efficient reforms: Kankrin's financial reform  exchanged all the old devaluated banknotes for newly-emitted roubles  of stable silver standard. It helped to reach a properly balanced  state budget and create powerful motivations for trade and undustrial development of Russia.  Kiselev's land reform concerned 20 mln.state peasants (half of the country's population)  and established self-governing bodies for the village communities to protect them from overtaxing and burocracy. The reform also gave new lands to those in need and stipulated arranging new educational establishments for peasants to improve agricultural technologies.

       2. What was Nicolas I educational policy? It was a policy of class segregation and antidemocratic restrictions at all levels of education to avoid any revolutionary intentions among the young generations. Many private educational facilities were closed. Fierce sensorship also chained literature and press. At the same time,Nicolas I arranged new technical and medical universities, schools and women's courses. Historical science and journalism were also on the rise. He was Pushkin's personal sensor and supported the poet financially.

       3. Why did Nicolas I begin railway building in Russia? He was interested in technology and regarded railway transport as a matter of presige and was justly sure about its strategic significance for the country. Thus, Russia was the sixth country in the world where railways appeared in 1837. St. Petersburg-Moscow 645 km railway was opened in 1851 and was one of the longest in Europe.

        4. What was the foreign policy of Nicolas I? His foreign policy was utterly imperial and antirevolutionary. During 1828-1828 Persian war he got the Erevan kingdom and some other South Caucasus territories, during 1828-1829 Turkish war Russia obtained conrol over Bessarabia and the Bosphor strait. 30 000 Russian army was sent in 1830 to quench the French revolution, but was redirected to crush the revolution in Poland. In 1848 a new wave of European revolutions pushed Nicolas I to send 140 000 Russian army to Austria and Hungary to save their monarchs. All those countries later became Russia's fiercest enemies, though.

        5. Why did the Crimean war begin? As the Ottoman Empire was getting weaker and weaker the European powers began their squabble for the Turkish legacy. So, Russia began to strongly support  the national liberation movements in the Balkan region of the Ottoman Empire to get control over the Black Sea straits. France didn't want to support Russian imperial aspirations and blocked with Britain to help Turkey. They attacked Russia in Crimea, Caucuses, on the White Sea and in the Far East. The war lasted from 1853 to 1856 and ended in the defeat of Russia as it was technologically weaker than Britain and France, the army was poorly trained and badly equiped.

         6. What were the economic outcomes of the Crimean war? Apart from 120 000 killed soldiers and officers and several destroyed Southern Russian cities, the war nearly ruined the Russian financial system it cost more than 200 mln. roubles (annual state budget), hyperinflation devaluated rouble twofolds, the peasants were robbed of horses, carts and were severely overtaxed. Local riots erupted all over Russia.The financial system of the country returned to normality only by 1870. So, instead of reforming the country, Nicolas I, being pressed by the conservative ruling class of landlords, lost precious time for Russia to catch up with developing European nations.

         7. Why was the first half of XIX century the golden age of Russian culture? Active educational activity of the Russian monarchs throughout XVIII century had grown up a highly intelligent  and cultural ruling class which brought forward real geniuses  creating the world-class masterpieces in all spheres of culture and art: prose and poetry, sculpture and painting, theatre and music.   

                                                                                               12. ALEXANDER II:  REFORMS AND TERROR. 


        1.Why did such a harsh conservatist as Nicolas I give his son Alexander  a truly advanced liberal European education? Actually, Nicolas I realised the necessity of cardinal reforms in Russia, but was sure it wasn't yet the time for them, so he invited the best teachers and professionals: Pushkin's best friend Vasily Zhukovsky (History, Philosophy, Russian and Literature), Alexander's I most progressive reformer Mikhail Speransky (state system and law) and Nicolas I minister of finance Egor Kankrin (economy and finance)  to give Alexander profound knowledge and prepare him to rule the empire. After visiting almost all European countries and about 40 Russian provinces, 16-year old Alexander took a practical participation in the state governing.

        2. Did Alexander II himself want to be a reformer and why? As a matter of fact, he didn't want any social changes , but had no alternative as the previous political and economic system brought Russia to the military, economic and social collapse. So he managed to end the Crimean war in the best diplomatic way and took up all-penetrating reforms at both local and state levels: abolishion of serfdom and regional self-governing.

        3.What reforms were undertaken by Alexander II and why? The most important, serfdom abolistion reform in 1861 gave peasants personal freedom and elementary civil rights, but didn't give them any land. They could buy it from their landlords using the government loans at the stake of 6%, but the price of the land was established by landlords much higher than it was really worth as out of 0.7 bln. roubles the landlords should have got for selling the land they had to return 0.4 bln. roubles of their prevoius accumulated debt to the state bank. The whole procedure was an act of robbing peasantry and  caused widespread indignation in the country.Still, some peasants became big agricultural and later industrial producers and millions of ruined former serfs came to the cities as daily workers for the growing industry.Hence, the serfdom abolishion reform gave a powerful impulse for the development of the capitalism in Russia. At the same time, all the local judicial matters were given to the rural community that mostly prevented the development of efficient individuaal farms and demotivated peasants to invest into their land because of friquent redistribution of the land plots in the rural community.

        4. What was the financial reform of Alexander II about? Actually, it was the first  Alexander's reform to finance all the other reforms in the country.In 1863 the State bank was established, it concentrated and controlled all budget resourses. Special  financial monitoring bodies were set up in all Russian provinces.It helped to efficiently check budget money flows and expenditures and actively finance the growth of the Russian industry. 

        5.What educational reforms were carried out by Alexander II? To raise the level of education since 1864 primary schools  in Russia could be arranged not only by state and church, but by local authorities,public organisations and private citizens as well. Secondary schools in Russia were mostly gymnasiums of humanities (classical) or natural sciences (real) curriculla. First female gymnasiums.and higher educational courses  were opened. All Russian universities got autonomy in terms of self-governing and educational process. Still, tuition fees were too high for 90% of the Russian population to enter and study.

       6. Why was the reform of  local self-governing undertaken? In 1864 to boost economic development of the Russian regions and ease social tensions, Alexander II gave them much more authorities in self-governing and revenues redistribution. The regional aspects  of education and health service, road and urban infrastructure, financial, trade and business matters were left to the locally elected legislative and executive bodies.The system of courts was built up to regulate justice cases. It was the most successful reform of the government and provided rising of living standarts all over the country and it, in turn caused a real demographic boom

        7. What was the foreign policy of Alexander II like? He actively continued the traditional Russian imperial policy of expanding Russia in all directions. Actually, all European powers were  acting the same way in the XIX century. In 1860 Russia occupied vast territories of the Central Asia (modern Kazakhstan,Uzbekistan, Tadzhikistan, Kirgizstan). Some parts of Iran and Afganistan were also attached to Russia alongside with some lands in the Caucuses. As  China was getting weaker and weaker, Russia made them give up more than 1.5 mln. sq. km in the Far East and Manchuria. 

        8. Why did Alexander II sell Alaska to the USA? A combination of provoking  factors pushed him to do it:the great distance from central Russia to maintain this colony, the growing influence of  Britain and USA on the Noth American continent and the lack of money for providing reforms. Besides, Alaska didn't bring any significant commercial revenues to the Russian traders. Therefore, it was sold to the USA in 1867 for 7.2mln. dollars of gold.

        9, Why did the Balkan war 1877-1878 break out?  The ruling classes of the Russian Empire  wanted  to control the Balkan region and the Black Sea straits and hoped to win in the war with the weakening Ottoman Empire. The Orthdox slavic Balkan nations suffering incessant massacres and slaughters under the Turkish yoke also fought for their independence and welcomed the Russian army offensive. And the last, but not the least, the Russian society, inflamed by the liberal newsparers, was pressing Alexander II to declare war as soon as possible, although the army was not ready for it.

        10. What were the outcomes of the Balkan war? Having lost more than 80 000 soldiers killed and wounded in severe battles, of injuries and frost, Russia brought independence to Romania,Bulgaria, Serbia, Montenegro, but all these Slavic " brotherly" countries that later waged mostly anti-Russian policy. The European governments made Russia give in all the territories gained and sign so-called disgracefull Berlin treaty in 1878.The war cost Russia more than 1 bln. roubles ( two annual state budgets) and caused hyperinflation and widespread public indignation and triggered frenzic terrorist and  revolutionary activity.

        11.Why did antigovernment terroristic organizations become so active during the reign of Alexander II? The numerous reforms undertaken by Alexander II inspired  an active growth of  social activity and public organizations in the central cities of Russia and, particularly, among suppressed nations such as Poles, Jews and Caucasians.. Most educated people insisted on more radical liberal social and economic reforms, but the conservative gentry and aristocracy were, on the contrary, very angry about loosing their power.Therefore, Alexander II became utterly unpopular with both liberals and conservatists alike. As the extrimist revolutionary elements couldn't obtain any peasants support, they resorted to terror killing reactionary government officers and, finally, after ten(!) failed attempts,they, finally, blasted Alexander II  on March,13,1881.

                                                                                                  13. ALEXANDER III: REACTION AND DEVELOPMENT.

         

      1. What were the first steps of the new tsar? To stop the terrorist antigovernment activity he decided not to further  develop social reforms begun by his father, but to restrict freedoms and boost economic boom in the country.The government reduced land payments for peasants and arranged special banks both for landlords and  the peasantry.General personal tax was also cancelled. At the same time, the university reform deprived them of their freedom, forbade  poor classes and Jewish population to get a higher education and also, so-called police regime was introduced in some prorevolutionary regions of Russia. The authorities of local elected and judicial bodies were also significantly reduced.

       2. How did Alexander III stimulate the economic development of Russia? Being a military man, he realised how pernicious were wars for the economic and social progress of the country and escaped any war conflicts between Russia and other European countries.That's why, Alexander III was called "peacemaker". His government intensevely built railroads all over the country, including the longest Trans-Siberian railway,to enhance trade and business and for military purposes as well. Peasants, willing to resettle to Siberia and the Central Asia, were given free lands and solid grants.Political, social and financial stability created favourabale conditions for sustainable economic growth and by 1890 the state budget had, finally, got financial surplus. At the same time, most railroad investments of the Russian government were financed by French loans and soon Russia became the world's largest debtor.

        3.What foreign policy did AlexanderIII conduct? As his main goal was peaceful development of Russia, he tried to keep balanced relations with other countries and led the policy of non-interferance into any conflicts.Even, the complicated so-called "big game" confrontation relations with Britain about Afganistan were settled, at last. Still, Alexander III was afraid of fast-growing newly-united Germany and joined military alliance with France.Eventually, this confrontation with Germany and absolute financial dependance on France pushed Russia to World War I. 

        4. Did social policy of AlexanderIII help him quench revolutionary moods  in the country? Absolutly not. Social, political, national and economic tensions grew immensely by mid-1890th. Mass devastation of peasantry by land taxes and intensive growth of the rural population almost ruined agiculture. Besides,virtually mandatory grain export left villagers almost without any grain stores and during 1891-92 hunger more than 1mln. people died because of starvation and epidemies caused by it. Antisemitic policy of Alexander III and handreds of Jewish mayhems in the South of Russia pushed 2 mln people emigrate from Russia  or became active revolutionaries instead of incorporating them into creative economic and social activity.The most extrimist social groups began terrorist war against the government and in 1887 tried to kill the tsar himself.So by his demise in 1894 the country had been submerged into a new wave of revolutionary movement.

        5. What progress did the education and science make during Alexander's reign? Despite the numerous restrictive measures undertaken in educational system, the rapid development of capitalism in industry and agriculture in Russia called for more and more educated farmers,workers and engineers. Therefore, numerous educational establishments such as primary schools, gymnasiums and universities appeared in the country.Russian matematicians, physisists, chemists and other scientists gained general international esteem. 

       6.How did Russian art develop during the reign of Alexander III? Being an avid proponent of  the Russian art, Alexander III strongly supported it. He loved literature, music, painting,sculpture and architecture very much and knew personally outstanding Russian writers,artists, sculptors, musicians and architects. Alexander often visited their concerts and exhibitions, bought their paintings and donated much money to them.Actually, it was the Golden age or the Russian culture and art that has never been surpassed.

                                                                                                         14.  NICOLAS II: DEMISE OF THE MONARCHY.

       1. What education did Nocolas II get? Born in 1868, Nicolas II was a very capable boy, had a phenomenal memory and got a home education, studied from the age of 9 to 22 years old and was tought by the best teachers from gymnasium up to the university course on History, Literature,Religion,Economy, Judisprudence and State Governing. He also received a highger military education and served as a military officer in the Russian army. Nicolas II perfectly managed 4 foreign languages. When Nicolas II was 24, he began to take a practical part in the state governing. He visited many regions of Russia and two scores of foreign countries.Unfortunately, Nicolas II was too mild and undecisive a person as a ruler, which was impregnated with dramatic cosequences for Russia.

       2. What were the main problems of Russia when Nicolas II got power? Nicolas II was coronated on 18,May,1896 which became a tragic date in the Russian history because of the stampede that killed more than 1300 people. The main problems his government had to solve were: land just distribution, lack of any agricultural growth, industrial underdevelopment, lack of constitution and parliament, absence of free press and civil freedoms, heavy dependance on foreign loans, national tensions and many others.

       3. What were the first steps of Nicolas II in the domestic policy? Following the conservative policy of his father in his programm speech in January 1895, Nicolas II uprightly declared the tsar's strong opposition to any kinds of political or social reforms and got a widespread negative public response. His first practical arrangement was the first All-Russian population census  in 1897, as that would give all the necessary vitally important demographic figures for the government to undertake proper measurers in taxation and economy, education and health service and so on. The census revealed very important facts: 80% of 125 mln.population were peasants and were illiterate.

       3. What budget, fiscal and industrial reforms did Nicolas II undertake? To replenish budget incomes alchogol industry was monopolised (1895), high indirect taxes were set up(1896) and to strengthen national currency, curb high inflation and boost foreign investments the gold rouble standard was introduced in 1897 by Sergey Witte, the ministry of finance and the champion of the Russian economic reforms. Wine monopoly gave the budget additional 500 mln. roubles annually (28% ot the budget) and gold standard attracted mass foreign investments because of the utterly favourable exchange rate alongside with cheap workforce and vast resources available. At the same time, highly protectionist import policy hindered agricultural and industrial import and stimulated domestic production prompting foreign capitalists to transfer industrial plants to Russia.

        4. What  were the positive results of Witte's economic reforms? In 5-6 years  2.5 bln. roubles of foreign investments came to Russia and raised up to amazing 50% the industrial potential of the country, making  it the fifth biggest industrial nation in the world. A considerable share of foreign capital was invested into railway building providing 2500 km of the network every year.Thus, Russia became one of the strongest railway power in the world.

       5. What were the negative consequences of Witte's reforms? As a matter of fact, the gold standard of the Russian currency played a positive role for the financial stability of the country, but the main uderminer of this stability was the Russian government themselves. The imperial policy of Russia made it build much more railways than it had sufficient domestic resources for, and Nicolas II was constantly borrowing money in European banks.  Apart from it, to support the declared gold value of rouble in the situation of still weak economy and high budget spendings the government had to borrow much money from  foreign banks making Russia more and more dependened on France and Britain and, actually, becoming their political and financial hostage.        

 6. How did Nicolas II settle the land question? Active development of the health service and education in rural areas of Russia as a result of Alexander II local governing reforms and a sharp fall in infant death rate from 500 in 1870 to 300 per 1000  in 1900 caused a real baby boom in the country in the last quarter of XIX century. Thus, village population grew from 60 mln. in 1870 to 100 mln. people in 1900 and peasant land plots diminished by half, increasing social tensions in the country. The government (Stolypin's) progamms of resettlement in 1907-1911 comprised only 5% of peasant families. It boosted overall grain production in Russia up by 20%, though. P.Solypin  also gave the Russian peasants an unlimited right for the independent efficient farming and, thus, in fact, ruined the rural community that had dramatically stopped the whole process of the development of Russia. Actually, the country needed just 20 more years of peaceful development to gradually absorb the surplus of the rural population into the expanding industry  and evolve high-productive mechanized  large-scale agricultural business.Unfortunately, Russia didn't get such a chance.

      7. What caused Russian-Japanese war? The imperial appetites of Russian ruling class spread all around Eurasia and, particularly, eastwards, towards the Peacific Ocean to China and Korea. Actually, all imperial powers intended to annex new territories as sales markets and sources of mineral resources. Nicolas II personal attitude towards Japan was utterly arrogant and negligent. Meanwile The Country Of The Rising Sun had already carried out its cultural and industrial revolutions: 90% of the Japanese were literate and their industry was technologically higher than the Russian one.

      8. What were the main battles at the beginning of the war? In January, 1904 after demonstrative ignoring by Russia of numerous Japanese protesting diplomatic notes, Japan broke diplomatic relations with Russia and attacked the Russian fleet in Port-Arthur (China) and Chemulpo (Korea).Many ships were destroyed including the flagman one that hit the Japanese mine and sank together with admiral S.Makarov and its staff of 29 key officers and about 700 able seamen.

       9. Why did the Russian army give in Port Arthur? At the battle of Laodun in China (August,1904). the Japanese army was defeated and the Russian army should have undertaken a further successful offensive.Still, somehow, the Russian commander-in-chief A.Kuropatkin gave orders to retreat and in Dcember 1904 Port Arthur was surrended to Japan. After the general battle of Mukden (China), when Russian and Japanese armies lost more than 80 000 troops each, the land war was ended. But in May,1905 at the battle of Tsushima the Russian fleet was destroyed and partly sunk. Then Russia aknowledged its defeat in the war.

        10. What were the main implications of Russian-Japan war? Having shown its military weakness, Russia triggered deep political shifts in Europe. France invited Britain to join Antante alliance and Britain, in turn,pushed Russia and France to war with rising Germany, Britain's main political rival. According to Portsmouth peaceful treaty (August,1905) Russia agreed to give up Korea, half of the island of Sakhalin and port Arthur to Japan. Apart from 120 000 human lives, Russia suffered tremendous financial losses of 6.6 bln. roubles (3 annual budgets of Russia). Numorous new taxes and  axcises duties were introduced.Billions of roubles were borrowed from France. The social siuation in the country was getting from bad to worse and, finally, the first Russian revolution broke out.

        11. What were the main causes and premises of the first Russian revolution? The unsettled and constantly exacserbating  land problem in mostly peasant country inevitably pushed  Russia to social cataclysms. At the same time, growing protests of overexploited Russian workers who worked up to 14 hours a day without any trade union  rights alongside with national tensions in many regions of the empire  and absence of any political freedoms put the country in front of the threat of revolution.The lurking defeat in the Russia-Japan war and overwhelming mutiny in the army was the last straw. 

        12.  What ignited the people's rage? On January, 9, 1905 almost150 000 workers, who were on strike in St.Petersburg, moved to Winter palace to seek for Nicolas' protection against unbearable conditions of their work and life, but were shot by the government troops. More than 200 people were killed and about 800 were wounded and the Russian emperor got the nickname Nicolas the Bloody. After that industrial and political actions, military workers uprisings  alongside with army and fleet mass riots engulfed the whole country Therefore, on October, 17,1905 Nicolas I issued  Manifest, a declaration of political,economic, civil, religious rights of every citizen in Russiia and established the State Duma, the first elected executive body in the history of Russia.

        13. What other measures were undertaken by the government to choke the fire of revolution? Peter Stolypin, a new prime-minister acted very decidedly and very efficiently: all payback land payments for peasants were cancelled, peasants got a right to quit village communities and own land privatly, 3 mln. farmers were resettled to Siberia and soon the region began to export 1 mln tonnes of wheat annually. At the same time, as the Interiour ministry, Stolypin had 4000 terrorists hanged for killing about 9 000 government officers. By 1907 the revolution gradually ceased. He also initiated the reduction of the working day from 12-14 to 10-11 hours.Stolypin developed  educational, national, social reforms and many other arrangements to make Russia prosperous, but was killed by a terrorist and a secret police double agent  in 1911 in Odessa. It was the eleventh attack on his life.Actually, the tsar and the court hated him for his progressive reforms and the revolutionaries couldn't forgive P.Stolypin his economic and social policy that was leading Russia far and away from any social cataclysms in future.

        14. What were the main characteristic features of the development of Russia before the World War I? It was a fierce struggle between the outgoing feudal tsar's power and incoming civil society.Russia was rapidly changing: although, mostly conservative and disproportionally elected (1 voice of a landlord was equal to 542 voices of workers) the State Duma still represented different social classes and groups, press became censorship-free, the level of education grew rapidly, industry and agriculture were on the rise. At the same time, the tzar's court and industrial oligarchy were against creating a civil society ain Russia as they didn't want any public control over their avaricious financial activity and, being supported by Britain and France, were intentionally pushing Russia to a new war with catasrrophic consequences for the country.

        15.What were the main causes of World War I? First and foremost, it was an aggresive imperial policy of all leading world powers: Britain wanted to crash newly united Germany, rapidly gaining from strength to strength, France intended to regain its territories lost in the war with Germany in 1870 and also to protect French colonies in Africa, Russia aspired to curb German influence in Turkey, to annex Stambul, the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles straits, Austria-Hungary was going to occupy the Balkans and Germany needed colonies all over the world and Polish and Baltic territories alongside with the Western part of Ukraine.Japan decided to capture Geman Peacific colonies and vast lands in China. And the last, but not the least, the USA hoped to make big money on this  war. Actually, all national business elites wanted to make money on the war.

        16. What events triggered the war? On 28,June, 1914 Austria-Hungary earchduke Ferdinand and his wife were shot and killed during their visit to Srayevo, Bosnia, that was then a part of Austria-Hungary. The killer, a  gymnasium student Gavrilo Princip, was a member of a terrorist group fighting for Great Serbia against Austria-Hungary and financed by British and Serbian secret services. Austria-Hungary demanded to take part in the police investigation of the case, but Bosnia denied them this right. Russia supported Bosnia and  Serbia, but Germany backed up Austria-Hungary and on August,1, 1914 declared war to Russia that had already declared its army's mobilisation. Later France joined Russia and Britain took the side of France.Thus, more than 50 states of the world got involved into this global massacre for the political and financial profits of their ruling elites. 

        17.Was Russia prepared for the war? No, it was ready neighter economically, nor militarily and Nicolas II was aware of it, but he was a hostage of the Russian colossal debts to Britain and France and had no choice.The army was in the process of modernization, it didn't have enough munition and weaponry. Therefore, it started its Prussian offensive without complete mobilization and very soon 150 000 Samsonov's army was encurcled and defeated.  After a short advance in 1914, the Russian army sustained heavy losses in Galicia, Poland, Baltic regions, Western Ukraine and Belorussia in 1915. About 2 mln. soldiers were killed and wounded and 2 mln. became prisoners of war. But Germany and Austrian-Hungarians also suffered colossal losses and it saved France from the defeat.

       18. What social and economic situation was in Russia during the war? Extrahigh military expences   made the government emit billions of roubles not supported by gold any longer, It, in turn, caused high inflation in the country: prices rose fivefold and the number of strikers - from 35000 in 1914  to 2 mln.in 1917.Important industrial regions were occupied by the German army and it seriously hindered the economy of the country. Millions of horses and other livestock were taken from peasants for the needs of the Russian army. Peasants were obliged to sell their agricultural products at low government tariffs and it caused mass uprising in the country. Exhausted by the 3-year war, Russian solders didn't want to fight any more.By 1917 the country was at the eve of a catastrophic social explosion. 

                                                                                                        15. FEBRUARY AND OCTOBER REVOLUTIONS.

                                                       

          1. Was the February, 1917 revolution in Russia inevitable and why? The political and economic crisis of the early 1917 formed up a  classical revolutionary situation in the  country: the ruling classes can't rule like before, the oppressed classes don't want to live like before.The ruling classes couldn't end the war and restore the falling economy and the working class and peasantry were utterly dissatisfied with the dire straits they were living in.About 3 mln. were killed, 4 mln. were wounded and maimed, 3 mln became prisoners of war and almost 15 mln., mostly peasants, had been called up and sent to rot at the front up to 1917. The situation exacerbated by the fierce political activity of different parties calling for the immediate overthrowning of Nicolas II. Actually, he lost all his supporters and on 15 of March,1917 abdicated from the throne.

            2. Who took power in Russia after Nicolas' abdication? He wanted to delegate his authorities to Grand Prince Mickail, his yonger brother, but the latter left it to the future Initiating Assembly. The real power in the country was virtually in hands of the Soviets (elected representatives from St. Petersburg workers) and the deputies of the State Duma.Because of the growing deficiency of provision, women in St. Petersburg began to crush bakeries. Then workers went on general strike and were joined by soldiers. The revolution lasted just 3 days. All political prisoners were freed and  special military commitees observed law and order in the city. Actually, the whole country was ready for such events and in a week Russia became a monarchy-free state with all democratic freedoms of a republic.

            3. Why was dual power established in Russia? It happened naturally as there were two centers of power in the country: the Soviets controlled by workes, soldiers and peasants, which defended their social interests and the  Care-taking government elected by the State Duma and expressing mostly the interests of capitalists and landlords.The interests of these two groups of power were utterly opposite and forever clashing. 

             4. Why did Lenin's Bolshevik party gain such a big popularity in a short period of time? The care-taking government, headed by A. Kerensky didn't solve any of the three main questions of the Russian society: they didn't end the exhausting war, they didn't redistribute 40 mln. hectares of landlords lands, they didn't make capitalists share their exorbitant profirs with workers. Bolsheviks, on the contrary, declared  these social demands as their core slogans and gained extraordinary popularity: in membership they grew from 20 000 in March 1917 to 350 000 in October 1917.Still, it was 1/3 of the number of Socialit revolutionaries(SR) party, But Bolsheviks were much better orginised and had its own military Red Guard.

            5.Why didn't general Kornilov's military mutiny in August, 1917 manage to establish dictatorship in Russia? This monarchy-supporting uprising couldn't gain any wide social support as Nicolas II discredited not only himself personally, but the whole institute of sole power, as well. Besides, the Bolshevics Red Guard squads fought successfully with this uprising and won popularity with public. What's more, Kornilov standed for the continuation of the war. That's why, many of his soldiers took the side of the Bolsheviks. Meanwhile, their leader, Lenin, was in his secret hide out in Finland, being persecuted and covicted in treason and instigating of an antilaw uprising.

            6. Why was October revolution so successful? The 25, October, 1917 attack of the Bolsheviks at Winter palace was so successful as almost all the troops in St.Petersburg supported Lenin's party and their first decrees stopped the hateful war, gave all 40 mln hectares of landlords' lands to the Russian  peasants and established 8-hour working day at factories. Military Revolutionary committees were set up by Bolsheviks in all the armies at the front.Soviets all over Russia, where Socialist Revolutionaries constituted a 70% majority,also backed up Lenin's party. The Ukranian Central Rada, the main governing body, however, didn't support the October revolution, arrested Bolshevik leaders and shot them. Anti-Bolshevik generals held up executive power and declared Ukraine independent.

             7. Why did the Bolsheviks smash Constitutional Assembly? They had only 20% of seats in it and could easily lose their power if the authority in the country passed to Constitutional Assembly. On the other hand, the Bolsheviks had already gained mass support among soldiers, workers and peasants. That's why,  in January 19, 1918 they easily suppressed nonpopulous demonstrations of intelligensia and workers against this violation of law. In future, all 73 years (1917-1991) they  didn't share their power with any other political force. 

                                                                                                                     16. CIVIL WAR 1918-1922.

             1. What were the main causes of the civil war in Russia? First of all, it was a fierce fight between the landlords and capitalists, on the one side, and  pro-Bolshevik workers and peasants, on the other. Hence, it was a battle for life and death between the old and the new ruling classes in Russia.Throughout all 1918 the Bolsheviks had been gradualiy nationalising all spheres of industry, transport and trade. It was caused by the opposition of capitalists to share profits with new authorities. and the former joined the White movement against the Soviet power.Meanwhile, generals Kornilov, Kaledin, Alekseev and Denikin formed the White army in the Don region where many rich peasants-kazaks supported the morarchy.

            2.Why did the Bolsheviks sign the Brest peace treaty with Germany and lost Poland, Finland, Caucasus, Ukraine, partly Belorussia and the Baltic regions? The Bolsheviks had no strong, big, trained and well-equipped army and were at risk of loosing Petrograd and other Russian territories in the course of the massive German and Austrian-Hungerian offensive, so they had to strike this deal in March,1918. Finland, Poland, Baltic states and Ukrain became independent states under German protection.But Lenin was expecting revolutions in Germany and Hungary and they did really break out in autimn 1918 supported by the Soviet government, then Germany lost the war and the Brest treaty was burried forever.

            3.Why did the foreign intervention begin? Actually, since early 1918 foreign powers decided to tear Russia into their imperial spheres of interests: British troops invaded in the North of Russia, Japanese and Americans - in the Far East, French - in Odessa, Romanians - in Bessarabia. They also wanted to return their investments and loans and crush the Russian revolution to garantee nonrevolutionary social development in their countries. As a matter of fact, 1 mln. foreign troops robbed Russian gold assets, jewelry and other commodities, but they escaped any direct clashes with the Red army. At the same time, 70 000 Chech and Slovak prisoners of war, formed in the Chech army corps, captured  6 000 km of TranssSiberian railway and sometimes fought for the White army. Still, the majority of the Russion population regarded foreign troops on the Russian land as invaders.

         4.How did the Bolsheviks manage to form up such a strong, well-trained and equipped Red army? The Bolshevik leaders were professional  social managers and they promptly responded to the challenges of the current political situation:the army of volunteers Red guards after its defeat at the Pskov battle with Germans on 23, February, 1918 was replaced by a constanly growing up to 5 mln.soldiers regular conscripted army led by experienced militaty commanders of the tsar's army. Actually, almost 500 generals and 50 000 officers of the former Russian army,  controlled by communist commissars, joined the Red army as they shared the Great French revolution's ideas of liberty, equality and brotherhood, exploited by the Bolsheviks. Lev Trotsky, who headed the Red army, checked fiercely the discipline and all the matters of military logistics. And the last, but not the least,  heading 300 000 soldiers the White army leaders didn't even promise peace to nations, lands to peasants, factories to workers and power to the Soviets.

          5. Was the White movement united? Financially supported and military equipped by Antanta powers, the White armies were not under united command and mostly acted on their own without a general plan and strategy.That gave the Bolshevks an advantage of manuverabily and the armies of Kolchak, Denikin and Wrangel were defeated one by one in 1918-1920. The remnants of Kolchak's army supported by Japan and USA were finally beaten in October, 1922.That  meant the end of the Civil war.

           6. Who with did the Bolsheviks have to fight? In February, 1918 German offensive made the Bolsheviks sign the Brest peaceful deal.In Novemder, 1918 - April, 1919 British, French, American, Japan, Romanian, Turkish,Italian, Austrian-Hungerian and German troops invaded into the territoty of Russia. In 1919 admiral Kolchak captured Siberia and part of the Volga region,in autumn of 1919 general Yudenich headed his army towards Petrograd and in 1918-1919 the volunteer army of general Denikin occupied the South of Russia.Later on, baron Wrangel fought with the Bolsheviks in Crimea and in 1921-1922 the last Far East SR (Sicialist-Revolutionaeries) separate republics fell.

          7.Why was the Civil war a real tragedy for Russia? More than 10 mln. Russian people died because of hunger, epidemic deseases, military battles and more than 2 mln Russians emigrated abroad, including the most talented spesialists in all spheres of human activity.The economy of the country was totally devastated by the war and the crisis and was pushed back for decades. Enormous part of the national wealth was literally robbed by foreign invaders as well as the tsar's gold reserves of Russia. Besides, both Red and White armies leaders inspired widespread terror on the occupied territories.

 8. Why was the USSR founded? Social instability always instigates nationalism in a multinational society and is impregnated with ethnic clashes and disintegration of the country. Stalin, the General secretary of the Communist party, put forward the principle of a limited national-cultural, but not political, autonomy, Lenin didn't agree with it, though, and on December,1922 declared the forming up of the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics-formally independent states. In the country of a very low political culture of the population it was only the Communist dictatorship that could unite such a federation. As soon as the former fell 70 years later, the latter did fall too.                                                                                                                                                                                                               

                                                                                               17.NEW ECONOMIC POLICY ( NEP).


        1. What were the main political, social and economic causes and premises of NEP? By 1921 the economy and finance of Russia had been ruined by the Civil war, disintegration of the empire and the Bolsheviks' dictatorship. As 70% of peasants' grain and other agricultural products were requisited by the state, they had next to nothing to live on and two consequitive crop-failure 1920 and 1921 years  brought Russia to the most devastating famine the country had ever experienced. Even then the mass requisitions continued and the peasants, especially, in the South Russia, died in millions. Epidemic diseases topped the ordeals of people.More than 5 mln citizens of the Soviet Russia died. Although riots and mutinies that broke out in villages and cities all over the country were severely suppressed by the authorities, Lenin realised that the Bolsheviks were loosing their power.

       2.What was the main idea of NEP? At the 10-th Communist party congress Lenin declared  the establishing of capitalism and free trade in the village and the town. Instead of almost 100% requisition, the provision tax was just 30% of the harvest and soon private businesses appeared all over the country.The agricultural market was again full of goods and  the USSR began to export grain surplusses in 1924.Rich peasants hired daily and season workers and gained bigger and bigger share in the food market.  More than 20% of GDP and 80% of retail in mid-20th belonged to the private sector.

       3. Why was NEP cancelled by 1930? The growing economic power of the new capitalist classes in the USSR threatened the Bolsheviks' political  dictatorship and they began to destroy NEP both economically and politically. To generate more profits for the state budget in autumn 1923 the Bolsheviks' government doubled prices of industrial goods while fixing agricultural prices at the lowest possible level. It led to the bankruptcy of many induvidual peasant farms, and they refused to sell grain surplusses to the Soviet state. Then the peasant tax was also doubled upn to 50% of income. In the result, peasants were selling less and less grain to the state.Taxes on private businesses in the cities were also doubled and that was the end of market economy in the USSR. It caused total deficiency of all kinds of commodities by 1930.

        4. Did NEP have any chances in the Soviet Russia? Hardy erver it did, cause it led to the restoring of a normal market economy and capitalism in Russia and destroyed the monopoly of the Communist party. Besides, as the USSR couldn't get any hefty foreign investments to develop its industry and supply peasantry with modern agricultural machines and equipment, it had to export more raw materials and agricultural products. Hence, the Bolsheviks returned to a policy of total robbing of peasants by means of enslaving them in techically equiped by labour-saving machines collective farms and more than 10 mln. peasants as new industry workers. And without modern technological base the Soviet Union was doomed.

                                                                                   18.COLLECTIVIZATION, INDUSTRIALIZATION, CULTURAL REVOLUTION. 

           1.Why did the Bolsheviks decide to replace individual farmers by collective farms in 1928? They faced the agricultural  problems they had created themselves: instead of a selfregulating market economy that stimulates the growth of largescale agricultural production, they, to get more cheap grain for the export, directively set up extra low purchase prices on agricultural production and exorbitantly high prices on industrial goods. The unfare price proportion rate 4:1 in comparison with 1913 meant the total exchange blockade between the city and the country 'price scissors'.Later the Communist leadership slightly mitigated the unjust exchange rate, but it made no difference- the peasants didn't want to sell their goods for a trifle.Peasant riots broke out all over the country again like in 1920-1921. The Red army was used to stifle the mutinies and punish their leaders.

           2. How did the Bolsheviks settle the problem of grain deficiency? In 1928 they decided to use administrative and repressive methods:against individual peasants: their property and live stock were nationalised in collective farms, about 2 mln. well-to-do peasants together with their families were exiled to Siberia and Kazakhstan to begin their life from the scratch, many died. Not willing to give away their property, peasants smashed it: they halfed the number of horses, cows and pigs, damaged grain and tools. All these curcumstances led to a man-made famine all over the USSR, especially, in the Don region, Ukraine and Kazakhstan where peasant families were left to die without grain. More than 6 mln. people died of hunger in 1932-1934, but 3 mln. tonnes  of grain was exported in exchange of industrial equipment. To exascerbate the lack of grain in the Soviet Union, the Western powers blockaded any other Soviet export goods, such as gold and mineral resources, but bought only grain, though they didn't need it that time because of the economic crisis.

          3. Did the Soviet administrative system of collective farming prove to be efficient and why? The results of the collectivization were ambiguous. On the one hand, a system of mechanized collective farms produced in 1934 the highest grain crop in the history of Russia-83 mln. t (80 mln.t in 1913). By 1940 the productivity of land and labour rose by 20%, 0.5 mln. tractors, 0.2 mln. combine harvesters and 0.2 mln.trucks worked in the country and almost 12 mln. former peasants became industrial workers at the new Soviet factories. But, eventually, the Soviey economic system happened to be highly inefficient, deprived of any personal motivation stimuli both in industry and agriculute that led to the crush of the system in 1991.

           4.What social price was paid for the collectivization in the USSR?  First and foremost, the Bolsheviks regained  total control over peasantry: political, social and economic life in the village. The human price for the collectivisation was tradgically exorbitant: 6 mln people died of 1932-1933 famine, 5 mln. peasants were deportated from their homes, 50 000 peasants were sent to GULAG labour camps. The live stock was halfed and Soviet peasants were practically enslaved. But by 1940, the overall number of horses,cows, pigs had increased to 80% of the precollectivization level, grain crops and overall agricultural production were 20% higher of those before the revolution.

           5. Why was industrialization so necessary for the Soviet Union? It was even necessary  for the prerevolutionary Russia to guarantee national sovereignity for the country, as Russia was highly dependent on foreign investments and loans and still greatly underdeveloped: its share in the world's industrial production in 1913 was less than 2%, whereas France gave 7%, Germany-9%, Britain - 18% and the USA - 20%. The lagging in the productivity of labour  in industry in 1913 was even more stunning: it was 2 times less than in Germany, 3 times less, than in France, 4 times less, than in Britain and almost 5 times less, than in the USA. After the Civil war the economy of the country was in ruins, far behind of the levels of 1913.

           6. Why was it so difficult to finance industrialization in the Soviet Union? The Soviet Union was an utterly hostile country for the West because it had declared the world revolution as its ultimate goal, refused to pay any debts and was a potential  object  for a massive foreign invasion. That's why, it  got no foreign investments or loans,  though,the country urgently needed them to build a powerful defensive potential. 

           7. What were the sources of industrialization for the Soviet Union? It was, solely, foreign trade, i.e. exchange of our domestic agricultural and mineral resources for the Western equipment and technology. Right after the Civil war Western countries banned any Soviet export, but grain, as the Bolsheviks didn't recognize 17 bln.gold roubles of tzar's Russia debts. The Soviet trade representatives found, however, intricate schemes to overpass this embargo and sold to the capitalist countries all the resources the country had including museum and church jewelry.

            8. What was the first stage of industrialisation about? As electrification was the basic precondition of the industrial and social development of the country, the GOELRO plan to build 30 electric power stations and a number of industrial plants  was adopted in 1920. It was partly based on the prerevolutionary scientific research in this sphere. This programm was fulfilled by 1928.

           9. Why was the second stage of industrialisation undertaken? The Soviet Union industrially overtook tsar's Russia, but was still lagging behind the main world's leaders. So a new much more ambitious programm was approved in December, 1925 a the XIV Communist party congress, but the first 5-year plan was introduced in 1929. 20 000 foreign spesialists were invited to assist and learn their Soviet counterparts in all segments of industry. It cost almost 50 bln.roubles  to build 9 000 new plants, factories and power stations all over the country.Tank, airctarf and shipbuilding enterprizes produced now all kinds of modern weaponry. By 1940 the USSR became the second most powerful industrial state in the world after the USA and, thus, it guaranteed its military and economic victory in the oncoming world war.

          10. What were the purposes of the cultural revolution that began in 1927 in the USSR? They were multiple: to ideologicaly enlighten  the Soviet people, especially, the youth, to learn and share communist ideas and ideals and to strongly support the Bolsheviks, to prepare highly educated and qualified industrial and agricultural workers, engineers and scientists in all the Soviet republics, including women , for the dynamic sustainable and independent development of the USSR, to eliminate illiteracy and create new socialist culture and art and, eventually, a new communist human being. 

         11. Was tsar's Russia absolutely backward in terms of education, science and technology, culture and art and in terms of women liberation at the beginning of the XX century? By 1900 more than 80% of the Russian population couldn't even read and write,the number of students per 1000 people was fivefold less than in the developed countries and women were mostly prohibited from higher education.The culture and art were at a very high level, but they mostly catered for the demands of  just 2% of the Russian population.Russian scientific activity was profound, but covered only a few fundamental spheres.

         12. What changes happened in the educational, scientific and cultural development of Rissia after 1905 revolution? They were really significant.A comprehensive primary education was introduced in 1912, the number of all kinds of educational establishments doubled and from 50 000 in 1900 to 100 000 in 1917 and by that time 80% of boys and 50% of girls in Russia could read, write and count. The number of gymnasiums rose 15 times and the number of students - more than 11 times, cause 10% of the 1913 state budget was allocated to the education expences. Even now, more than 100 years later (in 2023) Russia spends  only 4% of its state budget on education in 70 000 educational establishments. In 1913 more than 150 000 students in Russia were getting a higher education  and the on this indicator the country was far ahead of any other European country and was behind USA only.

          13. Were the spheres of education, science, culture and health service in Russia in 1917 developed up to the level of the best international standarts? Far and away not. About 20 mln people suffered from cholera, fever, TBC, antrax and chronic deseases. The number of doctors in Russia per 10 000 citizens in 1913  was 3 times less than in Germany and 4 times less than in the USA, infant mortality was 2-3 times higher than in Europe and America (263 and 110 babies respectedly). The number of students in Russia at all educational levels in 1913 was 60 per 1000 vs.190 in the USA and the number of higher education students in Russia per 10 000 citizens was 4 times  less than in the USA. By 1927, after the Civil war and emigration of the Russian intellectual and cultural elite the overall situation was even worse, so the urgency of the cultural revolution was great.

         14. What arrangements were udertaken by the Soviet power to commit the cultural revolution in the USSR? More than 1 mln. began to teach 30 mln illiterate people and by 1940 the literacy level had risen to 87% ( from 40% in 1917).The unified complex system of preschool, school, higher and postgraduate education had been recreated by 1930 and the best pre-revolution educational methodics were revived.The number of  schoolchildren rose from 9 mln. in 1917 to 35 mln. in 1940. The number of higher educational establishments rose from 124 in 1917 to  817 in 1940 and the number of students- from 112 000 to 540 000. The quality of the Soviet higher education rose gradually up to a decent level.The number of scientists and scientific workers rose from 10 000 in 1917 to 100 000 in 1940 and it paid back in terms of numerous Soviet scientific achievements in math, physics, chemistry, biology and medicine.

         15. What progress did the Soviet Uniom make in the fields of health service and physical culture in 1920-1940? The number of hospital in-patient beds rose from 200 000 in 1913 to 800 000 in 1940, the number of doctors - from 30 000 to 140 000,the number of nurses - from 40 000 to 500 000. The active development of mass physical culture and sports, a network pioneer summer camps, sanatoriums and resting houses all over the country led to the significant reduction of mortality rate from 30  per 1 000 in 1913 to 18 - in 1940. 

        16. What achievements did the Soviet power inspire in art? The Soviet 1920-1940 art did never reach the hights of the golden or silver ages of  XIX - early XX centuries in literature, music, painting (neither did Western art) and a great number of people of art left Russia, still in cinematograph, theatre, folk dancing and balley, sculpture and, especially,underground architecture the Soviet art masters developing the best Russian art traditions, soared to the world's top level. 

                                                                                                           19. TERROR IN THE SOVIET UNION.



       1.Is violence an integral part of any society and why? Every society should be protected from any violence against its loyal members to keep it afloat. Hence, every country has its punutive system as a just defence from criminals, but dictatorships protect their sole power against the people and not vice versa and that is the main cause of tradgedies of such nations being under dictatorships.

        2. Was tsar's Russia a dicatorship country and why? Yes, and no, it should be said. On the one hand, before the 1905 revolution civil, social, economic, political, national and religious rights of 80% of the population in Russia were suppressed, but the total number of such prisoners was less than 20 000 in the period from 1807 to 1898.Those political prisoners served their sentences without corporal punishments, most of them didn't have to work.But during and after 1905 revolution an epidemy of terrorist acts engulfed Russia, when more than 20 000 low- and high- ranking state officers, rich peasants  and ordinary people were killed by revolutionary and criminal terrorists. The reaction of P.Stolypin's government was prompt and hursh: 9 000 people were hanged for terrorism and banditism in 1905-1911.Besides, because of the rising political and economic strikes movement the tsar's regular troops  had been used more than 4 000 times against the protesters and more than 2 000 demonstrators were shot  dead from 1900 to 1914.

       3. Were violence and terror among the tools of the Bolsheviks and why? Actually, the death-marked class struggle and merciless civil war with capitalists had always been declared as their ultimate goal and so it happoened.The Civil war with mutual atrocities also unleashed gangs violence, famine, epidemic diseases, caused by it and took lives of more than 10 mln. people, about 4 mln. people emigrated. Never before did Russia suffer such a dramatic national catastrophy.The system of permanent dictatorial terror, as the main instrument of the Communist power, was established in the country. 

       4. Why was GULAG created in the Soviet Union? Every tyrant tries to annihilate his political opponents and even whole classes of opponents as he can't rely on any significant social support. That's why, he can't hold a grip on power without  strong punitive institutions and police and army. The All-Russian Extraordinary Commission (VCHK)was set up in December, 1917 to establish the Bolsheviks' dictate, the Red Army was formed in February, 1918 to fight both foreign and domestic enemies, the first Soviet concentration camps appeared in the summer of 1918 mostly for the hostages, prisoners of the Civil war and so-called antisocial elements.In 1922 the Solovki islands labour reformatory camp was set up. Gradually, a system of 400 GULAG camps was formed all over the country and from 1 to 2 mln. people were contained there. The overall number of prisoners that passed through GULAG system in Stalin's period was about 14 mln.

        5. What were the main waves of the Bolsheviks'  terror up to 1937?  As a matter of fact, every harsh oppressive campagin of the Soviet power provoked mass civil disobedience and uprisings and was severely suppressed by the Bosheviks with thousands of those killed or put into GULAG camps. They were as follows:the repressions against the former ruling classes before,during and after the Civil war, the repressions against peasants, workers and  soldiers in 1921, the punitive military operations against peasants in 1926,1929-1932, mass arrests of industrial and militaty specialists, so-called 'saboteurs' in 1929-1930 and later, repressions against Stalin's opponents in the Communust party.

         6. What campaigns of nationalistic terror did Stalin undertake in 1937-1941 and why? As a matter of fact, Stalin was zelous internationalist obsessed with the idea of the world's proletarian revolution under the leadership of the Bolsheviks, but he severe persecuted the peoples of the USSR  striving for their national independence such as Crimean tartars, Chechens and Ingushes, Baltic and Middle Asian nations. Apart from it, Stalin undertook so-called 'preventive repressions' and mass resettlement of the ethnic nationals of the so-called 'anti-Soviet' states: Germans, Finns, Baltic nations, Greeks, Poles, Italians and other national minorities as he was sure they would support Hitler in case of the German invasion. As a result, in 1937-1941 about 200 000 people were killed and about 2 mln - resettled to Siberia and Kazakhstan where many died because of the unbearabale living conditions. 

        7.Why did Stalin arrange  the Great Terror of 1937-1938? There were several reasons for it. The Spanish republican war op 1936-1937 clearly demonstrated how weak can be politicians against the army and its leadership.Many Soviet military commanders were Trotsky's active supporters and were connected with him as Trotsky founded and led the Red army and was very popular with its officer staff.Meanwhile,Hitler was very interested in weakening of the Red army and the German intelligence sent some secret documents to Stalin about the ongoing military coup in the USSR. Trotsky also had numerous supporters among the intelligent class of Russia.Besides, former rich peasants (kulaks) as well as the immigration White movement were ready to take revenge for the property and political power lost.

        8.  Who were the first victims of the Great Terror? First and foremost, Stalin annihilated 4 000 tsar-time talented military specialists who were shot as early as in 1930 as potential traitors. Then, the most popular Bolsheviks' leaders: Kirov (1934), Zinoviev, Kamenev(1936), Bukharin, Radek,Rykov(1937) were also killed. after that, he killed the most influentional Red army commandees: Tukhachevsky, Uborevich, Yakir, Blukher and almost all the armies and division commanders(1937-1938). Later on, repressions were aimed against former non-Bolsheviks revolutionary parties members, foreign communist leaders, Soviet intelligence personnel abroad, national minorities in Russia, Tuva, Mongolia and China. Many of those, already serving their sentences in GULAG camps, were also executed.The total number of people shot and killed in 1937-1938 was about 700 000. Seven more hundred thousands were put to prison.Finally, about 3 000 NKVD officers, including their chief N.Ezhov were also executed.

        9. What were the outcomes of the Great Terror? Stalin annihilated any kind of opposition in the Communist party, the Red army, industry and agriculture, science,culture and art and thought, that he was prepared for the oncoming war with the facist Germany. But, in reality, he dealt the deadliest blow to the human potential of the country: professional, intelectual, military, cultural and scientific.that had never been restored. At the same time, the Bolsheviks' propaganda instilled in hearts and minds of the Soviet people the idea that the repressions were necessary to protect the 1917, October revolution and the very existence of the USSR.

                                                                                                                         20.WORLD WAR TWO.


       1.What was the international situation in Europe at the end of 1930th? The world was inevitably moving to a new big imperialist war. The fascist Germany that had lost in the WWI 10% of its population and territory wanted a revenge to take back what it lost in the World War I and some new colonies all over the world. Britain, France and, especially, America helped Hitler to restore the German industrial and military potentials as they hoped to direct German military expantion against the Soviet Union to crush the Bolsheviks and to to take the political and economic control over Russia and its plentiful natural resources. So, they indulged Hitler's occupation of Austria and Chechoslovakia in 1938.

       2. What racist theory did the Nazis propogate and why? As well as Stalin was strongly directed by a deathly 'proletarian dictatorship theory', Hitler was maniacally obsessed with so-called 'Aryan supremacy' theory and classified all the races and nations depending on their proximity to 'real Aryans'. According to this theory, all Jews should be deported or annihilated for their shrewdness and avarice, all Roma should be annihilated for their nomadic and criminal style of life, Slavic nations should be mostly annihilated for their underveloped uncivilised style of life and black people should be annihilated for their 'primitive' mental level.

       3. How did it happen that a highly civilized and developed German nation almost fully fell contaminated with a deadly bacillus of facism (when you are ready to commit any crimes for the sake of your country and its leadership) and Nazism (when you are ready to commit any devious atrocities against so-called 'mean' nations whom you sincerely regard non-humans and parasites)? The unification of Germany in the second half of the XIX century boosted the rise of both German patriotism and fierce German nationalism. The victorious Bismark war with France in 1870 invigorated a strong feeling of German national superiority and contempt to other nations.After a tragic defeat in WWI it was easy to stigmatise German Jews as scape goats and mostly Jewish financial, indusrial and retail Jewish establishments (150 out of 200 biggest Berlin's banks belonged to Jews) were named as the main instigators of the late-1920th-early-1930th economic crisis in Germany with a total pauperization of the population. That provoked massive hatred towards any Jews and Hitler's  racist ideology came handy and helped Hitler's party to take power in 1933.

       4. What political and financial forces helped Hitler to win at the parliamentary elections in January, 1933 and why? Almost all main powerful world actors of the early-1930th intended to use Hitler for their rurposes: USA, Britain and France wanted to direct him against Bolsheviks, Stalin plotted to use him against the German social-democrats as the main enemies of the world's proletarian revolution. He ordered the German communist leader E.Telman under no surcumstances block with social democrats at the 1933 parliamentary elections and that opened the way to the dictatorship for Hitler who, after taking power, immediately repressed both communists and social democrats. Poland also was interested to join Hitler's declared 'Drang Nach Ost' and get Lituva, Belorussia and part of Ukraine down to the Black Sea. 

       5. What was the international situation in Asia in late-1930th? The growing economic and military potential of the Japan Empire cattered for its aggressive interests and by 1937 it had already occupied Korea and most of China. The next goal of Japan was Mongolia, which was under the Soviet control and in 1938-1939 in the course of intensive battles at Khasan lake and the Hanhingol river the Red army totally defeated the Japanese Quantun army.Later, in 1939-1945 the Japan Empire occupied almost all of the South-East Asian countries, but it would never tried again to clash with the Soviet Union. The victory of the Red Army in the Far East and Mongolia pushed Hitler to make the USSR his ally before his invasion in Poland. 

       6. Why did Stalin want to strike a collective security treaty in Europe? He realised that Hitler would attack the USSR sooner or later and wanted to make Germany fight at the Eastern and Western fronts against many countries simultaniously. Besides, Stalin was sure that Hitler would never fight at two fronts and would never begin a war in this case. He also knew about secret German, French and British negotiations against the Soviet Union in the summer of 1939 and, as France, England and Poland wouldn't accept the system of collective security with Stalin, so finally, he agreed to accept German proposal about a peace treaty with Hitler.

        6.What secret protocol was signed between Hitler and Stalin? They delineated their political and territorial interests in the Central Europe: Hitler was to get Western Poland, that he had decided to occupy even without Stalin's support, Stalin obtained the German consent to occupy all the territories that had belonged to the former Russian Empire.The Soviet-German pact was  signed iin August.23,1939 and a week later, on September,1,1939 Hitler attacked Poland and World War began.

         7. Would have Hitler undertaken his invasion into Poland, if Stalin had not striken a deal with him? He would have certainly occupied the whole of Poland as he was sure about the Soviet Union neutrality. Polish ruling elite wanted itself to occupy Western and Southern Ukraine and Eastern Belorussia to regain Rech Pospolita's grace with the territory 'from the sea to the sea' and even negotiated with Hitler about their united invasion against the USSR.Besides, Hitler knew about the process of  total modernisation of the Red Army and mass repressions that had weakend the officer corps.

        8. What was happening in Central Europe after September,1,1939? Soon after Hitler's invasion Britain, and later France, declared war to Germany, but didn't do anything to help and protect Poland. In the middle of September,1939 the Red army occupied Western Ukranian and Belorussian regions of Poland. that had belonged to the Russian Empire before World WarI .In September-October 1939 Stalin made the leaders of the Baltic states allow him  to displace Soviet troops on their territories and occupied them a year later.In late November, 1939 he began a war with Finland to neutrilize it as a potential Hitler's ally and include in into the USSR. The Red army sustained heavy losses, but, finally, was content with occupying Karelia. In 1940 the USSR occupied Bessarabia (Moldavia) and Trans-Karpatian regions (Bukovina).

        9. What economic, political and social implications did the Soviet occupation of 1939-1940 have? Economically, all these new territories were utterly underdevelopped (excepting Latvia) and required strong financial assistance from the Soviet Union. Politically, they lost their independence and the Soviet power was established with cosequent repressions against  land and capital owners, reach peasants and merchants as well as againest army, police officers and intelligencia.  More than 500 000 citizens of the newly occupied territories were arrested, 100 000 people were shot, died during deportations and in GULAG camps, about 80 000 Jewish people were returned from the USSR back to the Westrn Polland occupied by Hitler and most of them perished in the Nazi concentration camps. Mass killings of potential enemies of the Soviet power continued in prisons in the Baltic states and Weestern Ukraine and Belorussia in May-August 1941.

        10. Did moving frontiers 200-400 km westward help the USSR strengthen its strategic positions in the oncoming war with Germany and why? On the one hand, It took the German army 2-3 more weeks after the aggression to pass these 200 km new Soviet territories and maybe this time tipped the balance of the war in the USSR favour, but, on the other hand, most population in Western Ukraine, Western Belorussia and in the Baltic states was anti-Soviet and helped Germany in the pre-war period very actively.Besides, the Soviet Union had to erect new defensive fortification systems from the Black to the White Seas instead or financing its military modernisation more intensively. Still, those defensive fortifications were never completed and were mostly lost during the first day of the Great Patriotic war.

        11.How well was the Soviet economy prepared for the war with Nazi Germany? Powerful heavy industry was developed in the USSR during thefirst  two five-year periods, including a network of maining, metallurgical and machinery plants in the Ural region away from the reach of strategic adversary aviation.The working day was increased from 7 to 8 hours and the 6 working days week was established in the USSR. Working discipline regulations wers highly strengthened. All these measures provided an explosive 40% annual boom in the producing of modern armements for the Red army. On the whole, the industrial potential of Russia by 1941 was 34 times(!) higher than in 1913.

        12. How well was the Red army prepared for the war with Nazi Germany? Although the Soviet Union increased its army from 2.3 mln. in 1939 to 5.7 mln. soldiers and officers in 1941 and the Red army had about 20 000 tanks and 20 000 aircraft (more than Germany, USA, Britain and France altogether), but tanks and aircraft do not wage war without soldiers and, especially, high-ranking skillful military commanders who had been mostly repressed by Stalin who was afraid of their popularity. The losses of the Red army military leadership were great: 3 out of 5 marshalls,15 out of 15 army chiefs,62 out of 62 corps commanders,131 out of 201 division cammanders,217 out of 474 brigade chiefs. Besides, the Red army was still in the process of modernisation and there were only 10-15% of new types of tanks and aircraft. At the same time, the old models of tanks and aircraft constitued about 40% of their total number and were to be replaced.The new Western defensive fortification system was being only built, while a great deal of the old one was in negligence and got obsolete.

        13. How well was German economy prepared for the war with Russia? Having occupied  most European countries, Hitler obtained immence resource and industrial potential that was twice as big as the Soviet one. America and, partly, Britain helped Germany financially and technologically up to 1,September,1939 as they had hoped to direct Hitler to wage war against the Bolsheviks and, of course,for the huge mineral resources of Russia. The main serious problem for Germany was the lack of oil. That's why so eagerly did Hitler strive for oil deposits in Romania, Arabia and Iran.Besides, the Germans produced out of coal 4 mln.tons of artificial oil

        14. How well was the German army prepared for the war with Russia? Actually, German military machine was colossal: 8.2 mln.soldiers and officers (the biggest army in the world),about 6 000 tanks, almost 20 000 aircraft), more than 600 000 military trucks (almost 3 times more than the Red army had), 120 000  artillery guns ( twice more than the USSR had). Still, Hitler underestimated the military might of the Soviet Union, planned a short-term 6-8 week war and allocated to the Eastern campaign together with his allies 4.8 mln. soldiers and officers against 3 mln. Soviet troops (many of our units were still in the process of forming), 50 000 guns ajainst 55 000 Soviet guns,5 300 tanks and self-propelled guns against 15 000 Soviet tanks, 4 200 aircraft against 15 000 Soviet aircraft, 600 000 military trucks against 200 000 Russian trucks.About 70% of German tanks and aircraft were new and fnally perfected after the 1939-1941 European military campaigns of the German army, against only 30% of the Soviet new and not yet properly perfected weapons.

         15. Why was Stalin sure that Hitler wouldn't attack the Soviet Union in 1941? Hitler himself wrote in Main Kampf that it had been Kaizer's fatal mistake to wage war at Eastern and Western fronts simultaniously. Classified information signalled evenly for and against German attack in 1941, and even then, the Soviet intelligence warnings about the date of thw war on May,5 12, 24, June, 1, 8, 12, 16 were constantly faulty and partly inspired by the British intelligence to provoke Stalin begin the war first and help Britain to win. Stalin, meanwhile, helped to arrange a military coup in Yugoslavia that induced Hitler's invasion in this countly. Unfortunately, it took Wermacht just 12 days to defeat the Yugoslav army and to gain even more warcraft experience. But, at the same time, it delayed for 4-5 decisive weeks Hitler's invasion into the USSR.  

                                                                                                     21. GREAT PATRIOTIC WAR 1941-1945. 


         1.Why was the German invasion so successful from June,22 to December,1,1941? Unfortunately, the Red army defensive fortifcation zones were poorly interconnected, only 57 divisions were in the frontier regions against 157 German divisions.Besides, Wehrmacht concentrated its troops on the few main directions and 5-6 times overnumbered the Red army. Besides, the Red army was not ready for the defensive,had poor liason system and mostli inexperienced , badly trained officers and soldiers.And the last, but not the least, out of 120 000 officers of the Red army about 12 000 were repressed and 7 000 of them were killed. But what the worst, the very commanding leadership of the Red amy was almost totally annihilated in 1937-1941: out of 837 high-ranking officers from colonel to marshall 720 were shot by Stalin who was afraid of their military coupe. That's why, the Soviet military units were crushed by the German army one by one with the help of their powerful and masterly-organized tank attacks leading to surrounding Soviet military units and making them surrender.The Red army wasn't ready for the defensive war, the ammunition stocks were away from the battlefields and the Red army commanders were disorganized as they had lost any connecctions with their military leadership and with each other.

        2. What were the results of the first period of war? The German army occupied most part of the European Russia, almost 3,5 mln Soviet soldiers were made prisoners of war and half of them died of hunger and were killed in the Nazi concentration camps. More than 20 000 tanks and 5 000 aircraft were lost. But gradually, the heroic resistance of the Russian army grew and the Soviet military commanders began to copy modern Wehrmacht offensive tactics and being supported by redislocated from Siberia, Far East and Kazakhstan regular and newly-formed troops, they stopped the enemy at the outskirts of Moscow. Leningrad, though being sieged, standed numerous artillery shelling and air-raids.

        3. What helped the Russian army launch a full-scale controffensive in December, 1941? The Bolsheviks' leadership, headed by Stalin managed to mobilize all the military and economic resources of the country to defeat the facist Germany and its allies and satelites:thousands of industrial plants together with their personell were redislocated to the Ural region where in 1939-1941 all the basic infrustructure for the case of oncoming war had been built and many of them resumed their work even at the end of 1941. In the result, the Soviet Union produced 2000 tanks a month by summer 1942 and Nazi-Germany together with their allies and occupied industrial Europe gave only 600 tanks a month. But in December,1941 at the outskirts of Moscow the military balance was still quite different.

        4. Why was the German army defeated at the battle of Moscow if it was bigger and much better trained and equipped than the Red army? The Russians and the Germans were equal in the number of soldiers and officers, but the German troops were highly professional as they had lost only 20% in numbers while the regular 4 mln.people Red army had been totally annihilated by that time and had only 1 mln newly conscripted, hastily trained, inexperiedced soldiers and commanders . Besides, it had much less armements and ammunition than the German army. But, at the same time, the invincible Wehrmacht troops were utterly exhausted after the fierce battles, with long and poorly defended logistics communications and undefended flanks, with partly paralised tanks, guns and trucks even by 10 degrees frost in November, without any warm uniform.

        5. How successful was the Red army offensive in the Moscow region and why? It was very successful.At first, Georgy Zhukov, who was in charge of the Moscow army group, wanted just to stop the German propulsion  towards Moscow, but later it became obvious that the enemy was weakend to its limits and using powerful flank strikes, even though poorly trained and military equipped, the Red army broke German positions and made Nazis retreat.Up to January,15, 1942 the German army was pushed back 150-300 km away from Moscow and more than 400 villages, towns and cities were deliberated.Hitler's army lost 0.5 mln soldiers, 1 200 tanks 15 000 artillery guns and a lot of other military equipment.The long-standing  myth of  Wahrmacht invincibility was ruined forever.

        6. Why was 1942 so bad for the Red army? First of all, it was a tradgic result of the fallible Stalin's strategic military policy. He hoped to brake Germans powerful defensive fortifications in the wake of the glorious Red army controffensive at the battle of Moscow and end the war in 1942.But the German army was still very strong, well-trained and armed, whereas the Red army mostly consisted now of poorly-trained newly conscripted soldiers mostly from the Middle Asia.

         7. What were the results of this strightforward badly arranged offensive tactics? As a result,the Red army lost 1 mln. at the battle of  Rshzhev, 200 000 at the battle of Kharkov, 100 000 in the poorly-organised attempts to deblocade Leningrad, 250 000 in the Crimea and, finally, lost any strategic initiative.The Nazis resumed their multidirectional offensivet: they captured most part of Stalingrad, the Crimea, Rostov and the North Caucasus region. 

         8. How did the Red army win the battle of Stalingrad in winter 1942-1943? A complex number of causes should be enlisted. After numerous defeats during 1942 Stalin began to listen to his General Staff and chief front military commanders proposals about what operations to undertake. New waves of conscription doubled the number of soldiers and officers and they had gradually gained sufficient battle experience, Soviet military commanders became much more professional The military production in the Ural and other distant regions was constantly  growing in terms of both quality and quantity. At the same time,our allies, the USA and UK, were providing more and more military and technological equipment. Hitler and his generals, on the contrary, were, still, underestimating the growing power of the USSR and disperced their army units in many directions of the offensive, making each army group weaker and weaker.

        9.  What were the main outcomes of the battle of Stalingrad? It was the biggest and most important battle of World WarII with overall 2 mln. soldiers, 2000 tanks, 2000 aircraft and 26 000 artilelery guns. If the Red army had been defeated, the Soviet Union would have lost most of its mineral,oil and food resources alongside with vast territories that would have been captured and exploited by Hitler.But in fact, the Red army dealt a death blow to Warchmaht:by February,2,1943 it lost 1 mln. soldiers, 6 000 tanks, 1 500 aircraft, 300 000 troops were encircled  and, finally, 90 000 remaining German troops surrended on 31, January, 1943 as prisoners of war. German allies Japan and Turkey decided to remain neutral to the USSR up to the end of the war. And the last, but not the least, the German army would only move back to Berlin since then. 

        10. What else distinguished the year 1943? The Soviet army still used the same non-stop offensive tactics linked with heavy losses, but now having more and more powerful militaty potential, much more skillful and experienced commanders, much better trained and equipped soldiers, the USSR was gradually moving forward Westward towards its borders. Wermacht had no more power to unertake any full-scale offensive, they could only retreat still fighting back fiercely. That's why, the US and British allies were abled to embark in Italy and deoccupied it.

        11.What were the main military operations of 1943? In January the Leningrad blockade was broken, Caucuses region was deoccupied, in February feld marshal Paulus 300 000 armies were surrounded, crushed and taken prisoners of war, in April the Eastern part of Ukraine was deliberated  from facists, in  May 500 German aircraft were bombed and burnt on the ground by the Soviet aviation raids, in July and August the Battle of Kursk victoriously ended and in autumn the Dnipro was forced and the most part of Ukraine and Belorussia were also  deliberated.

        12. Was the British-American help to the USSR critically essential and why? The answer is yes and no. Their help was declared several days atfer Hiltler's attack on June, 22, 1941, but it was really delivered by the end of November, early December,1941, when the Red army counter-offensive had already successfully begun and it became clear that the USSR wouldn't be easily defeated.Of course, the allies didn't want to give any help to the Soviet Union before the latter had proved that it was strong enough to stop the German offensive. And only after that the British and American help began to gradually grow. and  became really significant. Still, more than 70% of all lend-lease goods came after the battle of Stalingrad, when it became clear that the Soviet Union would win in this war.

        13.  What exactly did the Soviet Union get from its allies? About 10% of tanks and aircraft delivered throughout the war undoubtedly helped in the fight with Nazis and saved a great number of lives of our soldiers. But what is more inportant, they gave us 500 000 powerful military trucks, twice more than the Red army had and it was very important for the intensive troops and artillery replacement.They also gave us half of high-quality aircraft fuel, 1/3 of railway rails and 1/3 of all explosive materials, more than half of all aluminium and cooper, 1/3 of tyres, 15 mln. pairs of military boots and 5 mln. tons of food and lots of other essential materials and equipment. These ally help saved hundreds thousands of Soviet solders lives and made the Victory day closer. Besides, the battle on sea and in the air against Britain and America made Germany spend gigantic technological and material recources to build more than 1000 fully equiped  navy ships, more than 1 000 submarines and 10 000 anti-aircraft artillery, instead of producing tens thousands tanks and artillery guns to fight the Red army.

        14. What were the main goals of  the Teheran conference in December 1943? The leaders of the USSR, USA and Great Britain - Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill finally agreed  to open the Second front in Europe, to restore Polish independence and establish its new borders, Stalin  gave his consent to begin a war against Japan after defeating Germany. They also discussed the postwar state system of Germany. In reality, Roosevelt and Churchill didn't want to involve their troops in the war in Europe untill May,1944 to wait and see what would happen at the Eastern front. Instead, they decided to arrange a full-scale landing in Italy to gain experience for their future landing in Nothern France a year later and  to cease Italy's participation as a close Gemany's ally. At the same time, it helped control the Mediterranian route to safely deliver the main part (over 70%) of lend-lease help to the USSR. 

         15.What victories did the Soviet army win in 1944? It was a very successful year for the Soviet Union as the armements industry had gained a strong momentum and power of well-trained and equiped Soviet army was at its highest level.Besides, the practical help of British and American allies also reached its peak and on June,6, 1944 they finally landed troops in Normandy and the Second front in Europe was opened.Thus, the whole territory of the USSR was deliberated by the end of 1944.The war now cotinued in Central Europe and even on the territory of Germany and the Warmacht had to constantly retreat. Meanwhile, the peaceful life was gradually returned to the Soviet cities, towns and villages that had to be resurrected from ruins and ashes.

          16.What crimes of the Nazis were revealed during the Soviet liberation of the Western regions of the USSR and Poland? The facists destroed more than 1700 cities and towns in the USSR.The country lost 1/3 of its national wealth. But the human losses were even more astounding. Never before in the human history had such mass atrocities been commited, such mass brutal killings of adults and children were executed in numerous concentration camps in the USSR and elsewhere: 6 mln. Jews, 5mln.Russians (incl.POW), 1.5 mln. Belorussians, 1.4 mln.Poles, 0.8 mln. Roma and millions people of other nations. 

          1.What military and political questions were settled at the Yalta conference in February 1945? The Second World War entered its final stage and the allies discussed the future organisation of the world. First and foremost, Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill agreed on the new borders of the European states, including Germany. They also divided Europe into the spheres of interests. Thus, Germany was to be under Russian, American, British and French occupation, its army and military industry were to be destroyed.Some Western territories of Germany went to France, Southern - to Chechoslovakia and Eastern - to Poland. 14 mln. German population was expellad from those territories. More than 1 mln. of them, mostly the old ones, women and children, died because of diseases, malnutrition and exhaustion. The Eastern Europe fell under the Soviet control and the Western Europe - under the allies' control.Instead of the League of Nations, the Organisation of the United Nations was to be constituted with the Security Council of the USSR, the USA, Britain, France and China as its permanent members.The Soviet Union confirmed its previous obligation to begin war with Japan after the end of war in Europe.

         17. How did it happen that the Soviet army was just 60 km away from Berlin in early February, 1945, but  finally captured it only on May, 2,1945? The swift movement of the Soviet army towards the German capital exhausted the troops and stretched enormously all communication logistics routes, while making the flanks virtuously undefended.The Warmacht still had more than 1 mln. soldiers 1500 tanks and 3500 aircraft against the Soviet army and posed a serious threat. That's why it took the Sovier army about 2 months to get ready for the final Berlin operation that began on 16, March,1945 and ended on May,2, 1945 in the unconditional capitulation of Germany. It was  a total crush for the Nazi army that lost 800 000 soldiers including 400 000 prisoners of war and it was a total crush of the German facsism.

         18. How long did the war with Japan last? It lasted just a bit more than 3 weeks from August, 9, 1945 to September,2, 1945 with an overwhelming advance of the Soviet army in tanks, aircraft and artillery and 90% of the 1 mln. soldiers of Quatun army surrended as prisoners of war.On 6 and 9 August the Americans bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki with A-bombs to demonstrate their military superiority to Stalin. But the Soviet intelligence had already provided the Soviet leadership and scientists with all the necessary information about the development of nuclear weapons.    

          19. What were the main outcomes of the World WarII for Russia and the rest of the world? 27 mln. or even more Soviet people were killed, 1700 cities and towns ruined, 1/3 of the national wealth lost.Not only was it the bloodiest war in the history of humanity, but it had changed the world  drastically in the course of the war: the USA and the USSR became two only world's superpowers with most powerful economies and armies.The cold war between them and their allies on each side would shape the political configuration of the world in the following 50 years. The economic, political and territorial might and influence of Russia was at its utmost in the last 1 000 years. The totalitarian directive communist system demonstrated its advantageous ability for mobilisation of human and economic resources at the critical moment. Unlike Western democratic system, it didn't spend time for the discussions, votes and any other democratic procedures. On the other hand, those voluntary dictatorial political, social and economic decisions proved to be wrong and destructive for the society every so often. 

                                                                                                                                      22. USSR IN 1945-1953.

         1. Why did the USSR resurrect by 1950, faster than any other war-broken European country? The Soviet planning system helped mobilise all  material and human resources to restore the country and develop its own nuclear weapons in the shortest period of time imaginable. On the other hand, the Soviet people lived in the dire straits and worked extremely hard. About 3 000 factories together with their specialists were brought as reparations from Germany. Besides, Stalin permitted private masters open their small shops to inundate the consumer market with all kinds of goods at the fixed administrative prices and it really helped grassroots to survive in thatharsh time. More than 7 mln. people (10% of the total workforce) were involved in such private activity. 

            2. What were the main goals of Stalin's internal policy in 1945-1953? After the gorgious victory in World War II, aspiring to bring communist power to all European and Asian countries, Stalin realised that the oncoming deadly confrontation of the USSR with the Western world was inevitable. That's why, Stalin wanted to develop the most powerful army, science and economy in the world with most progressive technologies and most qualified HR in the shortest historical terms.It was not only necessary to make the whole world communist and crush all capitalist ruling elites, but  to protect his own power in the USSR against interiour and foreign enemies.

           3. What was done to reach those objectives in the shortest terms? First of all, the most advanced system of education and science had to be the basic precondition for it.  The reform of school education was undertaken; by 1950 the number of schools and schoolchildren increased by 10% over the highest 1940 level, 7 and later 10 class mandatory education was introduced with more effective same-sex education, about 100 new teacher training schools were opened and the teacher's salary and social status were significantly raised. And the last, but not the least, the system of evening schools for workers comprised all the regions of the country. The number of higher education establishments rose by 20% and the number of students - by 1/3 and soon the Soviet Union became the most educated country in the world with the biggest number of scientists and postgraduates. Such new branches of science as nuclear physics, space engineering and cybernetics appeared and were rapidly developing in the USSR.

         4. How did the Soviet army change? It was equipped with ballistic missailes, nuclear weapons such as A-bomb  since 1949, superpowerful H-bomb since 1953 and anti-missile systems, superjet aircraft, helicopters  and long-distance radars, new types of submarines, tanks and artillery. Numerous military educational establishments were opened all over the country to prepare commanders of the new technological level. Soviet troops were located not only in the USSR, but also on the territory of the East European communist countries, in Mongolia and  North Korea.

         5. What was done to make the Soviet economy most powerful in the world? The level of 1940 was exceeded by 1950, 6 000 plants were restored and 4 000 new enterprises were built and by 1953 the Soviet Union reached its historical peak of economic power as most European countries and Japan were still in ruins. The labour heroism of the Soviet people, active intensification of work and boosting productivity growth alongside with widespread expropriation of people's money during the reform of 1947 and violent borrowing 10% of total wages for the reconstruction, made a real economic wonder.The share of the Soviet economy was about 20% of the world's GDP and industrial production. Now, in 2024, it is at the level of about 4% in parity prices.To provide the industry with all kinds of mineral resources Stalin strengthened the geological science and search of the new deposits of minerals all over  the territory of the country, especially in the North and East.  As a result, the total mineral resource deposits had risen tenfold, first of all, in the Urals, Siberia, Middle Asia, the North and far East of the USSR.

        6. What was the social situation in the Soviet Union in the post-war period? Intensive growth of the Soviet economy, productivity of labour and diminishing  the produktion initial costs made it possible to noticeably rise living standarts in the country by 1953. The system of food rationing was party canсelled in 1947 and the prices of all the main consumer goods were being reduced every year up to 1954, which caused all-national rejoicment.At the same time, the money reform of 1947, new high taxes for peasants and 10% tax for workers to restore the industry and infrastructure of the country actually took away a considerable share of income from people.

        7. Why did a new campaign of repressions was undertaken by Stalin in 1947-1953? As a matter of fact, Stalin was afraid of the great popularity of the  elite military commanders, so-called marshals of victory and their hopes to live in a country without a terror and mass repressions. They were supported by many people of science and art who standed for the closer cooperation with the Western countries. There were many Jews among them and Stalin declared and actively practiced the policy of the state antisemitism since 1947. He was sure that close cooperation with democratic countries would undermind the Soviet ideology and the dictatorial rule of Stalin himself and conducted 'the iron curtain' policy. Thus, Stalin, who was becoming more and more paranoic, arranged a new wave of arrests, tortures and kilings of the most active proponents of political and social changes in the dictator's country. Many outstanding people were killed or mutilated.This terror lasted up to a sudden death of Stalin 0n March,5, 1953. He,actually, was poisoned by his satraps Beria,Khrushchev, Malenkov as they began to worry about their own lives.

        8. Why did the Soviet political, social and economic model gradually degrade after Stalin's death?Stalin was a cruel, bloody dictator because the communist state couldn't exist without  a permanent war against its own citizens. All the other newly-formed socialist countries copied the Soviet pattern of dictatorship.But, at the same time, Stalin was a gifted leader, a talented administrator and manager who was, finally, be able to learn from his mistakes. Under his rule our dynamically developing country became the second  leading industrial, scientific and military power in the world.But the communist ideology was mistakeably based on the theory of good and bad social classes of human society. Anniihilation of  the so-called bad classes and competition in political and economic spheres makes a whole nation a mere hostage of a dictator and the doomed way of social and economic degradation.

        9. Why did the Soviet people bear the communist dictatorship for so long? The most outrageous distortion of social life in any country that people can't tolerate is unjustified inequality in living standarts between elite and ordinary people. Most people in the Soviet communist society enjoyed social justice and strong social garantees: really free and accessible medical service, free lodgings, free comprehesive school and higher education for everybody, free sports facilities for every child, virtually free summer camps for children, decent pensions and low retairement age for senior citizens and many other social benefits for millions and millions of Soviet people.Of course, the absence of political and economic compeition, gradually, stipulated economic,political and social degradation of all communist regimes. Moreover, many of their social arrangements were more and more actively used by capitalist countries to make their political systems more flexible and stable.

                                                                                                                            23.KHRUSHCHEV'S ERA.

        
       1.Why did L.Beriya take power after killing Stalin and what was his policy? He was in charge of all security system and guard squads in the Soviet Union and managed to aquire the monopoly of power. He was formally supported by Malenkov, the Prime minister, but, in fact, became a sole ruler of the country. First of all Beriya, stopped the terror in the country, released some political prisoners, forbade physical violence and prepared  to reform the system of GULAG.He also intended to make the Soviet economic model more market-oriented and out of the Communist party control. All the Soviet communist leaders perceived such proposals as a challenge to their grip on power and managed to arrest Beriya neutrilising his military units. He was declared a traitor, an American and British spy and was shot later the same year.

          2. Why did N.Chrushchev cease repressions in the Soviet Union and accuse Stalin's terror? He wanted to gain popularity and strengthen his moral authority in the post-Stalin society. He also aspired to clear himself off his own political crimes. That's why N.Chrushchev fiercely condemned Sialin's repressions at the XX Communust party congress in 1956. A new era was about to begin in the history of the country, so-called  ' thaw', when the state censorship was slackened and the the awful truth about  Stalin's GULAG repressive system was revealed.

           3. How  did the bulk of the Soviet society regard Stalin? Out of 100 mln. adults only 25 million Soviet people  had suffered from Stalin's collectivisation, famine, deportations, repressions. That's why, the majority of the Soviet people respected and loved Stalin as their true leader with whom they had already immensely developed education, science, culture and art, especially, in the national Soviet republics, as well as strong social support system and free and accessible health care, with whom they had won the bloodiest war and restored the country in the shortest terms.The overwhelming majority of the Soviet people regarded Stalin as their father, protector, wize teacher and personally modest man, though the repressive system he had created could be supported by everlasting terror only.

           4. What was N.Chrushchev's domestic policy?  First of all, he deranged such important Stalin's aides like Molotov, Kaganovich, and Malenkov, freed all political prisoners from GULAG and  dismissded all Stalin's officials in the party and governmenrt leading bodies.He also returned the peoples deported by Stalin for their direct or indirect support of Hitler's agression to their native lands and gave Crimea to Ukraine as it was economically and geografically justified still being absolutely politically meaningless that time. N.Chrushchev also built the North-Crimean Canal to provide Crimea with water for its agriculture and turned 20 mln. hectares of Kazakhstan steppes into a new breadbusket of the country.

          5. How effective was Chrushchev's agricultural policy? The new arable lands in Kazakhstan and South Siberia gave good harvests only a few years and without propper fertilizers the lands became exhausted, the yields gradually depleted and such grain became very dear. He also decided to enlarge agricultural collective farms, made them buy out all the agricultural machines that belonged to special service stations, though the collective farms had neither money, nor skills to repair or use them properly. Finally, over 60% of the Soviet collective farms went bankrupt. At the same time, he forbade peasants to grow their own vegetables, fruit and breed cattle. Peasants in masses began to flee to the cities and about 130 000 villages soon had gone with the wind. Besides, being inspired by the high crops of corn in the hot American climate, N.Chrushchev, after visiting the USA in 1959, voluntary replaced Russian traditional regional crops by this culture. The results were awful; corn didn't give good harvests in our cold climate and soon the country ran short of corn, meat, milk, vegetables and fruit. The system of rationing was introduced in 1963 and workers went on strike in a number of cities. In Novochercassk in 1962 the troops were used against the demonstants and  dozens of people were shot and killed. In 1963 the Soviet Union had  to buy American grain.

          6.How successful was N.Khrushchev's industrial policy? As the industrial complex of the USSR was getting bigger and and more unmanageable, it became too difficult to command the numerous enterprizes in multiple spheres of economy.So in 1957 N.Chrushchev decided to delegate all administrative functions of ministries to local party and government authorities. At first, it helped to better develop local economic ties and mutual cooperation and the industrial growth increased from 8-9% in 1955-1957 to 13-14% in 1958-1960. But later it dropped to 5-6% in 1961-1963 because of the gradual abruption of cooperation between different branches of industry. Still, the Soviet economy developed rather fast and many new factories and plants, hydro- and nuclear- power stations were built.The USSR kept the position of the second world's largest industrial power.

          7. What scientific and technological achievements is Chrushchev's era famous for? The scientific and technological revolution, that began in the USSR in 1945, made strong foundations for the future success in these spheres, so the period of 1954-1964 became the absolute time of the firsts in the world. Here they are: the first H-bomb in 1953,the first nuclear power station in 1954, the first sputnik in 1957, the first nuclear ice-breaker in 1959, the first cosmonaut in 1961, the first woman in space in 1963, the first man in outer space in 1965 and many other firsts in science and technology.

         8. What were the results of N.Chrusnchev's social policy? They were rather contadictive. On the one hand, in the period of 1954-1964 living standarts of the Soviet people rose considerably and the middle class was getting bigger and bigger. All socual standarts were improved, peasants began to get their pensions, 50 mln. people moved new free-distributing  flats with all the modern conveniences, the number of kindergardens, schools and institutes grew immensely.On the other hand, the 1961 money reform robbed millions and boosted high inflation, undeliberate industrial and agricultural reforms caused sharp deficiencies in food and consumer goods.

         9. What was N.Chrushchev's  foreign policy? At first sight,Chrushchev's foreign policy seems also utterly contradictive, but, in reality, it was logical and responsive. He strongly confronted the Western countries, created and strengthened the Warsaw military bloc, tasted superpowerful 50 megatonn H-bomb,tried to get parity with the USA in nuclear weapons and reacted simmetrically to the deployment of American nuclear missails in Turkey in 1962 delivering the Soviet ballistic missails to Cuba. In the result of the October, 1962 Carribean crisis, the USA and the USSR returned to the pre-crisis status quo. The very next year they signed a treaty to ban nuclear tests on land, in space and under water that is in action even 60 years later. At the same time, N.Chrushchev began to actively develop cooperative relations with Western countries and visited the USA and some European states. In general, it was the time of the strongest confrontation between the two remaining imperialistic superpowers in the world - the USSR and the USA, as Britain and France had lost their colonial realms to the Russians and Americans. 

         10. Why was N.Chrushchev dismissed by Brezhnev's political group in October, 1964?As a matter of fact, his domestic policy turned against him each and every class of the Soviet society, each and every group of the Soviet ruling party elite. Peasants were angry with N.Chrushchev for ruining collective farms in the process of their voluntary enlargement and robbing rural families of their kitchen gardens where almost 60% of overall agricultural production of the USSR was produced.Workers were angry with N.Chrushchov for total food and commodities shortages as a result of his awful agricultural reforms and high inflation, as a result of his money reform, and also for the refusal to pay for Stalin's obligatory state bonds. People of art accused N.Chrushchev for ending the period of relative freedom and returning to the strict total censorhip, especially, in literature, theatre and cinematograph. Army generals couldn't forgive him the reducing of the army and fleet by half alongside with social security fringes abolition. And the last, but not the least, the party elite was utterly displeased with N.Chrushchev for depriving them of their numerous benefits.

                                                                                                                                              24. L.BREZHNEV'S TIME.

     1. Why did L.Brezhnev's era begin with a fullscale economic reform of 1965? It was obvious that the highly centrilised Stalin's economic model no longer provided dynamic development of the country: it wasn't possible to control and balance thousands and thousands of economic ties between the numerous enterprises of the USSR. So under the leadership of prime minister A.Kosyigin the Soviet economic actors were given more freedom and responsibility in using their financial funds and  material resources. Special financial banks were arranged to carry out money transactions.Now the Soviet directors aspired to make more profit.

     2. What were the positive results of the reform 1965-1970? Being more interested to reduce initial cost of their goods and raise the volume of production, all the sectors of economy actively improved their results: in 1965-1970 annual GDP growth purpassed 6.5% and so did family incomes, industry grew by 50%, agriculture increased its production by 20%, more than 2 000 new enterprises were built, 50 mln. people got new flats absolutely free.Education and science,social system and health service, mass and elite sport, culture and art reached a very high level and were rapidly developing.

      3. What were the negative outcomes of Kosygin's reform? Having implied only some elements of the market economy, it ignored such its important stimuli as competition, stock exchange and stockshares, flexible labour market and freedom of assortment choice for the economic actors.Hence, the reform gradually led to the overall degeneration of the quality and variety of production causing price growth and inflation. By 1972 the reform came to a standstill instead of getting the Soviet economy more and more market-oriented. Besides, the Communist party leaders L.Brezhnev, N.Podgorny and M.Suslov were really frightened by the results of Chechoslovakia economic market reforms and revolution of 1968 and realised that a full-scale market reform would inevitably lead to the political democratic freedom and that would be the end of the communist party monopoly.

      4.What was the foreign policy of the USSR in 1964-1982? It was an odd combination of imperial and peaceful steps in the cold war with the West. On the one hand, the Communist party leadership totally controlled all Eastern Europe countries, besides Yugoslavia and Albania, such South Asian countries as Mongolia, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodgia, North Korea and later Afganistan.The Soviet Union also spent billions of dollars to arm and srtengthen procommunist and regimes all over the Middle East, Africa and Latin America. It financed dozens of communist parties and anticapitalist terrorist organisations all over the planet to cause political and social turbulence against the West.As a confrontindg anticommunist superpower USA, in turn, also led a highly imperialistic policy for their influence in the world: they also arranged wars, military coups and political assasinations all over the planet.

      5. Why was L.Brezhnev's time a period of warming relations with the West? Being involved into the nuclear armements race, the Soviet Union finally achieved the nuclear parity with the United States by the end of 1960-th, and won the proxy war with America in Vietnam by 1973.That's why, the two superpowers began to negociate peaceful agreements: they limited anti-missle systems, limited the number of nuclear warheads and arranged the system of preventing nuclear war between them.They also exchanged presidential visits and even fulfilled space cooperation programm Soyuz-Appolo in 1975. The culmination of easing East-West tensions was Helsinki declaration of peace and cooperation in Europe in 1975 signed by the leaders of all 35 countries of Europe and also the USA and Canada, confirming post-war borders legitimacy and observing human rights in the participating countries.

      6. What economic ties with the capitalist world were evolved in the period 1965-1982? Since early 1960-th the USSR was gradually increasing foreign trade, but by 1970, nevertheless, 70% of it was with the socialist countries and 10% - with developing countries. Initially, machinery and equipment constitued 30% in the Soviet export, but by 1970-th it fell to 15% as raw materials, especially, oil and gas became to dominate. On the contrary, the Soviet Union began to buy more and more technological equipment and agricultural production becoming the biggest grain importer in the world.It made the USSR highly dependant on foreign trade with the West.

      7. What problems did the Soviet economy face by the end of 1980-th? Because of the obsolete and highly ineffective economic model, the industrial and agricultural growth was gradually diminishing and came to a standstill by 1982. The daring attempt to reform it, undertaken by the Prime minister A.Kosyigin in 1979, was blocked by L.Brezhnev's leadership and fell flat. As a result, the USSR was more and more lagging behind technologically in the competition with the developed countries and, though, the country still gave about 20% of the world's industrial produce, had about 1/3 of the world's scientific workers, the real advanced Hi-Tech research output of its potential was noticeably insufficient. 

      8. Why were the Soviet troops sent to Afganistan at the end of 1979? Afganistan was a hotspot arena of the USSR-USA imperial confrontation. While the Soviet Union was fevereshly expanding its political, ideological and military control almost everywhere in the world and financed its imperial activity with oil and gas revenue money, the United States, on the contrary, was loosing its grip on power in the developing world.They just disgracefully lost Angola and Mozambique in 1975, Lybia, Somali and Ethiopia in 1978, Salvador and Nicaragua in 1979. They lost Iran in 1978 after the islamic revolution. So, L.Brezhnev's ideological and military leadership persuaded L.Brezhnev in the positive pesrectives of such invasion to set up a communist power in Afganistan. Besides, American and British intelligence misled the Soviets about the deployment of American nuclear missails in Afganistan. The only realistic-thinking Soviet top officers were the Prime minister A. Kosyigin and the head of military general staff marshall N.Ogarkov who strongly opposed the invasion. Unfortunately, their opinions were ignored and the USSR unleashsed the Afgan war.

      9.What were the military results of the Soviet invasion? The war lasted from 1979 to 1989 and took lives of about 15 000 Soviet solders and about  50 000 were wounded. Many Afgan regions were heavily artshelled and the city of Gerat was totally destroyed. Some 500 000 Afgans were killed, mostly civillians, more than 3 mln. Afgans became refugees. On the one hand, the Soviet Union had been helping Afganistan economy since 1921, building energy and transport infrastructure, industrial plants and sending arms.On the other hand, the USSR arranged the 1978 April revolution to violenly establish Afgan communist bloody dictatorship with mass killings of its opponents. As a result,  an overwhelming Islamic movement took control over 90% of the Afgan territory and in 1989 the Soviet troops left Afganistan that became the state of fanatic Taliban military rulers.                             

     10. What were political, economic and social results of the Afgan war for the USSR? The war was condemned by more than 100 countries, especially Western and Islamic countries, and the USSR faced the international isolation and boycott.The military spendings were about 4 bln.roubles a year (just 1% of the USSR budget), but the Western sanctions against the Soviet Union happened to be really catastrophic for the economy:not only developed countries stopped scientific cooperation and industrial and technological export to the Soviet Union, but they also ruined the Soviet hydrocarbon export. Alongside with the energy-efficiency revolution in the world after the 1973 Arab-Israeli war and oil crisis, new European the North Sea oil producers emerged such as UK, Norway and Holland, the USA also encouraged the Saudi Arabia to sharply increase its oil export and by such a way collapsed the world's oil prices from 30 to 10 dollars per barrel. That was a severe blow to the Soviet finance system as oil export gave 25% of its currency incomes.

     11. What were political, social and economic results of L.Brezhnev's era? On the one hand, the USSR became as economically and military powerful as ever, taking control over considerable part of the world. On the other hand, its imperial foreign political and military activity was actually ruining the country.Still, never before had the Soviet people lived such a wealthy,secure and psycologically comfortable life up to the beginning of 1980th and the developed socialism gave most of them ample opportunities for their creative personal growth.From 1970 to 1980 almost 100 mln. of the USSR citizens got new flats absolutely free. All educational, sports and cultural clubs and facilities were free for both children and adults and numerous summer camps and sanatoriums were nearly free. Science and education, culture and art were at their utmost. But, at the same time, since the early 1980th the quality and quantity of the Soviet consumer goods were gradually getting utterly insufficient and a latent inflation was more and more reducing real incomes of the Soviet citizens. 

                                                                             25.Y.ANDROPOV, K.CHERNENKO, M.GORBACHEV: EVENTUAL COLLAPSE OF THE USSR.


     1. What were the first steps of Y.Andropov when he took power after Brezhnev's death in November,1982? After 1968 Chechoslovakia revolution, that was severely suppressed by the Soviet troops, the state security service (KGB) gadually took total control over virtually all spheres of life in the Soviet Union. Its growing influence among the ruling Communist party elite made the former KGB chief the new ruler of the country. Andropov's first strict measures to tighten the discipline at all levels, to fight high-ranking elite corruption, gave some short-term boost to the economy, but didn't change  the very nature of the ineffective non-market planning system and, eventually, the USSR GDP growth came to standstill.

     2. What was the foreign policy of Andropov's government? It was utterly aggressive:the new Soviet middle-range ballistic missail Pioneer broke the previous ballance between the USSR and the USA and spiralled the armements race between them. All the disarmement negotiations were stopped and after the South Korean passanger Boeing was shot down by the Soviet jet fighter, American president Ronald Reagan called the USSR " the empire of evil'. At the same time, the Soviet Union, as well as the United States,kept pumping billions of dollars into its imperialistic expansion all over the world. By early 80-th those procommunist regimes owed about colossal 100 bln. dollars to the USSR and never returned it back. 

       3. Was it possible to successfully reform the Soviet economic and political system and how? Yes,it was. By 1983 China had already been doing its economic and political transformation for 5 years and the first positive results had already been achieved:the Communist party leaders began to rotate every 5 years, that was a guarantee against dictatorship of power. Private initiative, competition and market economy began to emerge, especially, in the agricultural sector, which boosted all the other spheres of economy and enabled to feed more than 1.2 billion Chinese people and made the reform policy very popular with people.They also normilised relations with the Western countries and got billions and billions of foreign industrial and agricultural  investments under the guarantee and protection of the Chinese government. At the same time, millions of Chinese students were sent to the best universities all over the world to study economy and finance, science and technology, culture and art.The Soviet Union had much better human resources starting positions, but the Chinese had a very strong European-educated party leader for such transformation as Deng Xiaoping, while in the USSR Prime minister A.Kosyigin had no any Communist party elite support.

     4. What was K.Chernenko's domestic policy after Y.Andropov's death in February 1984? K.Chernenko inherited the highest party rank as he had been the closest Brezhnev's friend for 40 years.K.Chernenko was a talented leader, but he attempted to revive the utterly ineffective Soviet economic system that had no historical future and was doomed. He tried to get the Western technology to upgrade the Soviet backward industry and agriculture, but it was nearly impossible because of anti-Afgan war Western sanctions.The real economic growth was close to 0% and producing weapons that consumed up to 70% GDP, alongside with the Afgan war and lavish donations to procommunist dictatorships all over the world, devoured more and more budget money disbalancing the Soviet domestic consumer market.

     5. What was K.Chernrnenko's foreign policy? On the one hand, he continued imperial expantion of the Soviet influence, supporting procommunist revolutions and regimes all over the world, but on the other hand, K.Chernenko aspired to normalise relations with China and with the Western world, as he realised that without close cooperation with developed countries it was impossible to overcome menacengly widening technologilal gap between them and the  USSR.

     6. How did M.Gorbachev manage to take power after K.Chernrnko's death in March, 1985? M.Gorbacher was Communist pary elite's favourite as the leader of the Krasnodar region in the South of Russia. He arranged comfortable rest for them at the luxurious sanatoriums at the sea resorts.Besides, the party elite wanted to see this young, 52 years old energetic leader at the top of the Communist party as a symbol of its revival. But when M.Gorbachev took power, he brought a clan of new party functioneers with hiim who began to replace the old party elite.

     7. What were the first steps of M.Gorbachev? Although, the leadership of the USSR had been aware of a 7-years Chinese reforms experience, they had vague notions of how to make the Soviet system more effective. So they firstly used their tried directive methods: severe punishment for plants and factories directors if they fail to fulfill their plan figures and strict party control for the employees discipline.And it paid back: the industrial growth increased from 1.1% in 1984 to 4.4% in 1985. That process was called 'acceleration', but since 1986 the growth was gradually slowing down to 0.5% in 1990.Instead of real decentralisation in industry and, especially, agriculture, developing economic initiative and competition in all the spheres of the Soviet economy, numerous administrative burocratic structures and norms hindering production were invented such as labour councils and CEO elections, extra state quality control and special state prduction orders. 

     8. What big economic mistakes did M.Gorbachev make? Catastrophic situation with total alcoholism in the USSR, when the level of drinking had quadruplle in 1965-1985 because of growing indifference of the Soviet people to work efficiently, promped Gorbachev's team to undertake antialcohol reform. The production of alcohol drinks dropped to 1/4  and the USSR state budget annual losses mounted up to 10%.On the one hand, that reform reduced crimes by 30%, boosted birthrate by 15% and  diminished absence from work by 40%. Still, the loss of 10% of budget finally disbalanced the finance system of the USSR and consumer goods deficiency became menacingly big.

     9.What other pernicious steps were undertaken by the Soviet leaderships in the late 80-th? To fulfill the disbalanced consumer market and stimulate the production of different goods in 1987 the government passed the law of cooperatives in all spheres of economic activity, without providing cooperators with all the necessary equipment and materials in the situation of total deficiency of everything.The result was utterly negative:the overall deficiency only grew because the aggressive cooperative demand for everything and a lot of worthless money flooded the Soviet Union consumer market. At the same time, the 1987 law of foreign trade liberalization for factories and cooperatives boosted almost uncontrolled export of both industrial and consumer goods from the USSR to earn hard currency, as rouble was rapidly loosing its purchaising value. It, too, enormously widened the outrageous disparity between supply and demand of each and every kind of commodity goods.

      10. How did the ideological changes of M.Gorbachev influence the future of the USSR? He declared the policy of glasnost (openness) to involve mostly indifferent Soviet people into the process of active participation in the social and political life of the country. Glasnost brought to mass media open criticism of local authorities, discovered historical truth about the most disgraceful pages of the Communist leaders' deeds in Lenin's, Stalin's time and later. Unfortunately, no deep analysis of the cause and effect ties was ever made, no explanation of what kind of society we were was given.The previous ideological idols fell forever into oblivion, but no new attractive and clear ideas to follow were ever elaborated. The future of such a society was doomed. 

       11. How did the political changes of M.Gorbachev influence the future of the country? Almost nobody that time understood that the three whales of the relative economic and political stability of the USSR were  the Marxist  ideology, communist party power and KGB overall repressive control.Willing to bring more political democracy into the utterly totalitarian society, M.Gorbachev addressed oppositional nationalistic elites in the Soviet republics to gain their political and social support against the pro-stalinist old guard. Having overruled the old party elites in the Soviet republics, he created new utterly nationalistic monsters and soon ethnic tensions and bloody conflicts broke out all over the USSR.

         12. How did the crush of the Marxist ideology influence the future of the USSR? The crush of the Marxist ideology undermined the long-standing ideals of a just communist society and deep belief of the Soviet people in the brotherhood of the Soviet nation, and deepened the negative attitude towards the communist party corrupted burocracy.So, mass political antiparty meetings were being held all over the USSR in late 1980-th and, finally, the leading role of the communict party, as the ruling and directing power of the Soviet society, stated in the aricle 6 of the USSR constitution, was abolished.

        13. What consequences did the loss of power by the Communist party have? The party burocracy at all levels in every region of the USSR got rid of any mandatory obligations to provide and guarantee basic Soviet welfare standarts such as working and health service conditions, all kinds of social security payments, vast sports clubs and snatorium systems.On the contraty, having thrown away any party control functions, many party officers began to establish their own financial and criminal control over so-called 'red directors' and private businesses. KGB, as the most powerful and well-organised state repressive structure, also actively included into these processes accumulating authority, assets and money. Thus, the communist party socially balanced dictatorship was gradually replaced by KGB criminal and even more dictatorial system.

        14. How did Boris Eltsin become the most powerful political leader in the USSR in 1991? His frensic administrative activity in Sverdlovsk was noticed by Y. Andropov in 1981 and supported by M.Gorbachev in 1984. As Gorbachev's associate,  the Sverdlovsk regional communist party leader, Boris Eltsin was assigned Moscow party chief in 1985 and served M.Gorbachev rightly up to 1987. But his urgent thirst for power gradually ruined his rrelations with M,Gorbachev and his influencial wife Raisa, and he was ousted and degraded at the 1987 patry meeteng. Since then, B.Eltsin began to act not only against M.Gorbachev, but also against the Soviet Union, which first president M.Gorbachev was elected in 1990.

                                                                                                          26.ELTSIN'S EPOCH 1990 - 2000.

 

      1.Why did B.Eltsin decide to crush the Soviet Union? Actually, he could trace the inevitable tendency of political, economic and social disintegration of the USSR supported by regional nationalistic, communist party and KGB elites in the Soviet republics, thirsting for the unlimited power beyond any centrilised party control, and realised that to gain their support he should pedal the idea of republican sovereignity and final disintegration of the Soviet Union under the guise of the fight for democracy against the communist party burocracy and privileges for the party elite. Thus, by 1991 he gained popularity with most regional  elites and weakened his personal political enemy M.Gorbachev.

      2. Why didn't M.Gorbachev try to resist those dangerous disintegration processes in 1990-1991? As a matter of fact, the main disintegration force for the Soviet society was a most pernicious economic policy of M.Gorbachev that totally disbalanced the markets of consumer and industrial goods causing an all-penetraiting deficiency of everything. All the Soviet republican propaganda fiercely set the nations of the USSR against one another blaming the central authorities for all the regional conflicts. Still, more than 76% of the Soviet people gave their voices for the saving of the USSR as a united federal state at the March,1990 referendum. M.Gorbachev also initiated the process of signing by the republican leaders a new All-union federal treaty with balanced and deliberated distribution of federal and republican rights and responsibilities. 

     3. What was the deathly blow dealt to the Soviet Union integrity? On May, 12, 1990 the First Congress of the Russian Federation deputies ratified the first constitution of the Russian Federation stating the ultimate priotity of the republican legislative acts over the federal ones. Thus, the Russian Federation, before any other Soviet republic, declared its independence from the USSR, though 76%  of its population voted against it in March,1990.Of course, it was a new political and economic elite, but not thegrassroots, that inspired and standed behind this act of the Russian Federation independence. A chain reaction of the Soviet republiсs' independence declarations followed it and that, in turn, underminded M.Gorbachev's real authorities even further in B.Eltsin's group strategic interests.

     4. Could the Union treaty prepared by M.Gorbachev make any difference in the  further fate of the USSR and why? Not at all, in that current political, social and economic situation when the central legislative power was entirely associated  with a communist party and its ineffective burocratic economic system that caused a total shortage of all kinds of commodities in the country. Most people mistakingly thought that the very federal state system was the main cause of all the problems of the Soviet society and wholeheartedly supported B.Eltsin's separatism ignoring the fact that there were many prosperous democratic federal states in the world and that it was the undemocratic political and economic system of the USSR that really undermined their basic living standards.Thus, the Union treaty fell flat and wasn't fulfilled. 

      5.What were the main factors caused total deficiency in the Soviet economy and consumer market at the end of 1980-th?? A significant part of consumer goods  was being bought by so-called cooperatives instead of being sold in the state retail system. The rising shortage of everything bred panic and people emptied the remaining stores in the state shops. At the same time, uncontrolled and free foreign trade gave the Soviet plants and cooperatives enormous profits while making the total deficiency in the state retail sector really catastrophic. Cooperative prices were times higher and the Soviet people couldn't efford them.The situation exacerbated by a mass breaking of all economic ties between the separating Soviet republics and a sharp decrease in consumer goods import because of the 70% fall in the world's oil prices.

       6.What was the cause and effect of the last USSR prime minister V.Pavlov's monetary reform in January,1991? Instead of undertaking strict regulating measures to replenish the drying commodity flow channels, the government decided to rob the Soviet people of their so-called 'superfluous' money. The reformers had planned to half the bulk of cash money in circulation, but in fact diminished in by 2-3% and the reform was a fiasco. Still, they managed to freeze 350 bln.rouble deposits (20-month averall wage of the Soviet people) that had never been returned back to them. At the same time, the USSR government increased most prices two or threefold and caused the angry reaction of people against M.Gorbachev and the communist party.On the other hand, it also helped B.Eltsin to gain enormous popularity.

      7.Could the state of emergency declared by so-called 'GKCHP' committee on August,18,1991 save the Soviet Union from its collapse? That committee only represented the bankrupt economic model and brought fotward no new ideas of the USSR sustainable development. Hence, it didn't receive any strong social support of the people. Vice versa. Mass demonstrations against the state of emergency erupted in Moscow and Leningrad and the Russian Federation authorities, headed by B.Eltsin,standed against the GKCHP coup and call the citizens to defend democracy in the country. In the result, the coup leaders were arrested and in the end of 1991 M. Gorbachev resined.    

     8. Did the Russian Federation get any benefits because of ceasing donations to other Soviet republics and why? Actually, the Russian Federation was the biggest 70 bln. roubles a year donor for the Soviet republics, but, on the other hand, the all-union cooperation gave a good synergy even to the  Soviet administrative economy. Later, the political disintegration of the USSR was followed by its catastrophic economic disintegration and social collapse.All attemts of the central government to unertake any economic reforms were doomed to fail because by the end of 1991 almost all political, social and economic processes in the country went out of any control of the federal authorities. 

       9.What were the reasons for striking Belovezhsk treaty between the leaders of the Russian Federation, Ukraine and Belorus in December, 1991?The new political leaders and their elites wanted to strenghten their grip on power at the expense of M.Gorbachev's authority and against the will of the majority of the Soviet people.For instance, most people in the Russian Federation supported B.Eltsin and, at the same time, they also supported the preservation of the USSR.Thus, the new republican leaders decided to substitute the Soviet Union by the Commonwealth of the Independent States (CIS) and , finally, 12 former Soviet republics signed in.

       10. Could CIS become an alternative to the USSR and why? On the on hand, free market of investments, commodities and workforce, stated by CIS participants, could have created profound and long-standing foundations for for the overwhelming beneficial cooperation between them, but, on the other hand, highly corrupted and nationalistic leaderships of the newborn countries weren't interested in the democratic social, economic and cultural integration of their peoples in the common state.The core of CIS, the Russian Federation, was a vivid negative example of corruptive anisocial and antidemocratic evolition of all state institutions and that strongly repelled other CIS countries away from any further political, social and economic integration.

      11.What was the economic situation in Russia at the end of 1991 and why? It turned out to be really catastrophic, as all producers were expecting the ongoing price liberalisation and didn't want to sell their goods at low fixed state prices.It caused a frenetic consume panic, especially, at the food market and pushed the country to the verge of social abyss. Not only traditional food-producing former Soviet republics ceased food deliveries to Russia, but even most prosperous food-producing regions of Russia stopped providing central industrial regions with provisions.

      12. Why did B.Eltsin implement the shock therapy market reforms programm instead of implementing gradual-change variants of reforms? He realised that his hold of power depended on American support and new Russian rich bankers' support.He was also afraid of the communist system restoration. Besides, this new influencial elite included corruptive high-ranking state, regional and KGB officers who didn't want to share power and wealth wih grassroots. As a result, sky-rocketing monopolistic prices of basiic producers actually stopped the economy and as much as tenfold reduced people's incomes making most of them beggars. The final liberalisation of foreign trade was another deathly blow for the backward non-competitive Russian economy and ruined most of the consumer goods producers.

       13. What were the main outcomes of privatization process in Russia that began in 1992? Actually, it was robbing of natural and material resources by both old and new elite groups of the Russian society: former party, Soviet, industrial, administrative leaders as well as KGB corruptive structures and new business, criminal leaders and burocratic high-ranking government officers. The total all-national wealth of about 1 000 bln. dollars was sold for less than 10 bln. dollars. Later, in the so-called 'bailing auctions' in 1995 about 40 bln. worth assets were sold for just 1 bln. dollars. Amaizingly though, but even that sum was borrowed by the oliagrchs  from the state and was never returned. In the result of this criminal pivatization, by 1996 just 10 oligarchs owned 50% the national wealth of Russia.Eltsin didn't even plan it as those oligarchs lavishly financed his 1996 electoral campaign and boosted his rating from 6% in January, 1996 to almost 40% in July, 1996 and guaranteed his reelection.Not only B.Eltsin benefited from this colossal swindling, but all the influential elite groups mentioned above: they got millions of dollars in bribes and assets themselves, while millions of Russian people died out because of the ctastrophically deteriopating living standards.

         15. Why did B.Eltsin clush with the parliament in October, 1993? The first 2 years of economic reforms had brought fabulios wealth for few utterly immoral 'new Russians' and made beggars 95% of others. That's why, a significant part of the parliament deputies, most of whom were elected by the Soviet people, were against E.Gaidar's devastating economic reforms and demanded the restoration of the Soviets as the main bodies of power in the country. They voted against B.Eltsin's government and nearly impiched B. Eltsin. The confrontation between B.Eltsin and the new elite, on the one side, and the Soviet-oriented deputies, headed by the Russian Communist party, was inevitable. B.Eltsin moved tanks to the White House (the building of parliament) and opened fire. About 200 rioters were killed and the building caught massive fire. One group of armed rioters stormed Ostankino TV centre, but was repelled. Finally, the protesters surrended and their leaders, including the head of the parliament R.Hazbulatov and Vice-President A.Rutskoy were arrested and jailed, but were freed later as B.Eltsin didn't want to multiply the number of his political enemies.

       16. What were the main results of  the October,1993 parliament-president crisis? B.Eltsin's victory over the parliamentary revolution let him take as much power over other legal branches in the country as possible. In the new constitution adopted in 12, December, 1993 the president of the Russian Federation got  in fact the authorities of executive and legislative powers and also a real control over the judicial system of the country.Taking into account that the Russian parliament began to be practically submitted to the president and became an absolutely inefficient formal institution, it unleashed all the preconditions for the establishing of a dictatorship in Russia. It was then when the gradual degradation of the Russian political system towards dictatorhsip in all spheres of the society began.

      17. Why did B.Eltsin begin the first Chechen war in December, 1994? In such multinational, multiconfessional and multicultural country as Russia national and religious separatism may easily cause the split of the federal state into small independent countries waging insessant wars with each other. Almost every regional nationalistic elite wanted to be independent from the central Moscow authorities and declared it from time to time. They were thirsting for wealth and power. B.Eltsin  gave them both of it and persuaded almost all national leaders to stay within Russia. But the Chechen leader Jokhar Dudaev cherished much higher ambitions: he wanted to create a panislamic state including Chechnya, Dagestan, Ingushetiya, Kabardino-Balkariya, Adygea and Karachaevo-Cherkessiya.So, he virtually broke relations with Moscow and provoked a military intrusion of the Russian army. Besides,the Russian citizens of Chechnya were terrorised by bandit gangs and had to flee leaving all their property. The total Russian population decreased from 200 000 in 1991 to just 20 000 people in 1995.

     18. What  were the results of the first Chechen war? As everything in the society, the Russian army was an absolute mess with poorly-trained soldiers,mostly unskilled military commanders, rusty armements and utterly corruptive army leadership.As a result of 20-month war and barbaric shelling of the Chechen capital Grozny by the Russian army, 6 000 Russian soldiers and about 80 000 of Chechens were killed. The war cost Russia 100 billion dollars and ended in signing Hasav-Yurt agreement iin August,31, 1996, virtually stating the independance of Chechnay(Ichkeriya) from the Russian Federation. It was a heavy political blow for B.Eltsin at the eve of the presidential elections.On the other hand, he did stop the utterly unpopular war. That's why he gave the most attractive Russian metallurgical and oil assets to a handful of oligiachs to get their powerful financial support against the communists and a new political figure - army general Alexander Lebed.

     19.Were the 1996 presidential elections honest? Yes, they were. Almost all mass media agitated for B.Eltsin, besides, he managed to attract some of his patriotic rivals on his side giving them lavish political and financial benefits. The communists, on the contrary, didn't bother about a wide  anti-Eltsin coalition, being sure of their crushing victory, as they had already won the parliamentary elections in December, 1995. But they couldn't offer anything new apart from the bancrupt Soviet economic and political model which, actually, caused the crush of the Soviet Union. And above ithat, their leader G.Zuganov wanted to violently restore the USSR in the course of new local wars with the former Soviet republics, where the nationalistic elite had already held strong political and economic positions.So voters chose B.Eltsin.

      20. What changed in the structure of supreme power in Russia after 1996 elections and why?  After the elections, B.Eltsin fell under the total control of the oligarchs who did not only help him to become the president of the Russian Federation, but  also financed and  controlled him and his influencial daughter Tatyana Diachenko. The oligarchs didn't want to lose their financial and political power after B.Eltsin's leave in the nearest future, so they were seekeng for a new formal puppet president who should have been supported by influencial KGB, army and police elites. The most powerful of the oligarchs, B.Berezovsky, actually controlled the most popular 1TV channel and the Security Council of Russia. He also took an active part in all major appointments and resignations. The presidential successor  was to be young influencial KGB man compliant with the oligarchs' requirements and directives. And together with B.Eltsin he began to choose the best candidature for the role.

      21. How did B.Eltsin search for his siccessors in 1997-1999? He wanted to make sure they were loyal to B.Eltsin's family and his course, got enough managerial and political experience and were popular with the people of Russia. Initially, there were more than 20 potential candidatures. The strongest positions had A.Chubaice, the first Vice Premier and, actually, the most powerful man in B.Eltsin's administration. He had good relations with most oligarchs, but B.Berezovsky, and had a noticeable support in the non-communist fractions of the parliament (Duma), but he wasn't popular with FSB (former KGB) as he had blocked FSB elite's attempts to take political power in the country, was very unpopular with the people of Russia because of the catastrophic social results of his privatization reforms. So, to counterbalance A. Chubaice's group, B.Berezovsky invited one more First Vice Prime Minister B.Nemtsov, a young and popular governor of Nizhny Novgorod in June,1997. But throughout 1997 these two young reformers drastically spoiled relations with the oligarchs and B.Eltsin's family and lost their chances for the supreme leadership in Russia. So, B.Eltsin ousted  B.Chernomyrdin's government and appointed young B.Nemtsov's protegee S.Kirienko as a new Prime Minister in March,1998 with a view of making him the president of Russia.

      22.Why did the 1998 default happen in Russia? First and foremost, it resulted from the disbalancing financial policy of the government, caused by the collapse of the economy and, hence, budget incomes. But, on the other hand, it was also the result of the political  war waged by A.Chubaice and his group against the new Prime minister who shattered A.Chubaice's chances for the vacancy. Together with the Central bank they deliberately blocked the IMF (International Monetary Fund) loan to Russia and left the new government without any financial resources to fulfill their domestic and international obligations. The state finance system bankrupcy and the rouble exchange rate crush followed. The real incomes of the Russian people decreased by further 20% making Russia the country of mostly beggars. Hence, S.Kirienko was sacked by B.Eltsin and replaced by E.Primakov,the Russian Intelligence chief,  an experienced foreign relations expert and scientist who was  popular with both FSB elite and the opposition majority in the Parliament (Duma).It brought a kind of political stability in the country, but no significant positive benefits for the economy and the social tensions continued to pile up.Besides, E.Primakov's presidential ambitions were becoming more and more obvious and dangerous for the so-called 'Family/.That's why, E.Primakov was also ousted by B.Eltsin on May,12,1999.

      23. Why did B.Eltsin choose  S.Stepashin as a new Prime Minister and sacked him just 80 days after the appointment? By the beginnng of 1991 B.Eltsin and 'the Family' had already made a decision about V.Putin as a future Prime Minister and then the President of Russia as he, apart from his numerous administrative merits, was extremely loyal to 'the Family' and had proven it by crushing the General Prosecutor Y.Scuratov's suitcase against 'the Family's frensic corruption' activity.Still, B.Eltsin was afraid of the growing political influence and popularity of the ousted political mammoth E.Primakov and decided to firstly put forward S. Stepashin and give him a chance, while getting V.Putin ready to take power in the country. But S.Stepashin wasn't a strong political leader and didn't gain popularity with the Parliamentary opposition. Besides, the economic and social situations didn't improve in any way, so B.Eltsin made S.Stepashin resign and declared  V.Putin a new Premier Minister and a future President.

                                                                   

                                                                                                            27.PUTIN'S EPOCH 2000-2024.


      1. What was Putin's initial background of V.Putin and how did it brought him to power? Actually, it was a long and winding road that led him to the summit of power in Russia. Volodya's childhood was tragic: his real parents (first father and then, mother) virtually disowned him and at the age of 7 he was adopted by his mother's parents who lived in Leningrad. They were almost illiterate peasants from the Tver region and Volodya was disposed to the street bringing up. Being an agile, but weak and fragile child and spending most of his time in the poor Leningrad neighbourhood, he was often bullyied and beaten by stronger boys. Those humiliations bred hatred and cruelty in the boy, so at the age of 14 he began to attend sambo and judo classes  and made a rapid and noticeable progress. Moreove, he obtained true friends and true life teachers who replaced his native siblings and parents for him. It moulded his strong character and he would never betray his 'family' and would never forgive betrayal. Volodya was a very smart guy, but didn't like to study at school, he'd rather wanted to become a yard gang leader and gradually he became the one.

       2. How did such a backward schoolboy manage to pass the university entrance exams? The  whole wrestling community of Leningrad was highly criminalised and V.Putin began to train under a criminal authority chief who had just served a sentence for banditism and the young Putin was gradually involved into a criminal world of Leningrad. As his coach was also a professional stuntplayer in the Lenfilm studio action movies and had a lot of contacts with highly influencial people in Leningrad, particularly, with Leningrad State University PE department dean. Thus,he helped Volodya to enter The Jurisprudence department of Leningrad State University as a promissing sportsman. 

       3. What did V.Putin do to become a KGB officer? Being encouraged by the films about heroic Soviet spies of the past and present, Volodya went to the local KGB office and asked about what to do to become a KGB agent. He was tipped to get a legal higher education and, finally, entered LGU where he was invited to serve as a KGB informer and recruiter.As he had a talant to instantly set candid contacts with people, in 1974 a 4-year student V.Putin became a professional KGB agent and had worked in the Leningrad KGB department up to 1978. Then after a year course of special training he was sent first back to Leningrad KGB office and then in 1985 -  to Dresden (East Germany) as a KGB recruiter of new agents.

       4. How did the 1989 democratic revolution in the East Germany influence V.Putin's future? He had to come back to the USSR and was going to resign from KGB, but was a vacancy of the major KGB agent in his almam-mater - LGU.There he resumed and strngthened his ties with the authorities of th university including its rector A.Sobchak - a future democratic laeder and the first governor of St.Petersburg. At the same time, V.Putin revived his friendship with his djodo trainer and a well-known criminal authority L.Usviyatsov who made V.Putin familiar with the most famous criminals of the city.

        5. What were V.Putin's main activities as  the governor's first deputy? He controlled all foreign trade and investments in St.Petersburg and also gave licenses to gamble and catering businesses. Together with numerous criminal leaders he arranged the uncontrolled export of raw materials to Europe on demping prices and bought food for St.Petersburg at overrated prices.The City Council deputies launched an anticorruption investigation against V.Putin and his criminal team, accusing him and his friends of stealing about 1bln. dollars, but his influencial friends in the government structures in Moscow and St.Petersburg made him immune against any serious allegations in corruption and the legal persecution was stalled.

        6. How successful was 1996 A.Sobchak's governor's election campaign led and administered by V.Putin and why? As a matter ofact it was partly successful: A. Sobchak won in the first tour and lost just 1.7%  to the  front-runner in the second tour to the opposition coalition led by his deputy V.Yakovlev. Apart from the other insignificant causes of A.Sobchak's failure was the main one- the Gordiav knot of unsolved problems of the megapolice: difficult economic sityation and squalid living conditioms of most of its citizens.So, St.Peterspurgers wanted prompt positive changes that V.Yakovlev promised. Besides, A.Sobchak had recently lost B.Eltsin's personal, political and administrative support when he recommended B.Eltsins to step aside because the latter's deteriorating health and choose a proper succesor for the presidential elections.V.Putin could hardly ever do anything more for his chief's victory and resigned after the negative results of the elections. By that time he had gained a vast experience in practical management of the megapolice's routine everyday life

       7.How did it happen that V.Putin was invited to Moscow to work in Eltsin's administration? First and foremost, A.Sobchak, being B.Eltsin closest democratic ally and supporter, had already sent some of St.Petersburg's top government officers to the presidential administration at Eltsin's request, such as A.Chubaic and A.Kudrin, who had been actively involved in V.Putin' criminal corruptive schemes  and they, in turn, tipped B.Eltsin on V.Putin's engagement to become a member of their team. 

       8. Why did V.Putin demonstrate such a perfect career growth in 1996-1999? He showed himself as a very talanted administrator and a teamleader. That's why, in 1996 he worked as the presidential law department chief, then in 1997 - as the presidential controllling department chief, in 1998 he headed FSB and in 1999 became prime minister. V.Putin proved to be not only a brilliant administrator, but he also acted as a ma of loyality principle to his former boss A.Sobchak and managed to arrange his escape from St.Petersburg so as not to be convicted and jailed.He also helped Eltsin's family eliminate all their opponents and ,thus, proved his loyalty once again So B.Eltsin's resined on 31, December, 1999 and his final choice fell on V.Putin as his only successor and caretaker before the 2000 presidential elections in Russia. 

      9. What helped unknown and unpopular V.Putin's gain popularity and become president? Even before that, in August -October he won the second Chechen war with Wachabbits who invaded in Dagestan.The then Chechen president Dgokhar Dudaev asked Moscow authorities for help against the Wachabbits, but instead, B.Eltsin desided to take a chance and returned so-called Ichkeriya back to the Russian Federation. In August,1999 V.Putin was appointed Prime Minister and began shelling and bombing Chechen capital Grozny. At the same time a series of terrorist explosions was arranged in Moscow and other Russian cities. Hundreds of people were killed and a thousand were wounded causing the wave of anger and horror all over Russia. But the Chechen terrorists who after bombing and shelling of Groshy and other towns and villages in Chechnya later arranged  numerous terrorist actions in Russia didn't take responsibility for those particular cases. Unfortunately all journalists and politicians who tried to investigate the matter were mysteriously killed. But V.Putin's and The United Russia party'sraitings soared up and they managed to win December,1999 and March,2000 presidential elections.

      10. What were Putin's first steps as  President? First of all, he issued a decree of security guarantees for B.Eltsin's family and pleased them very much by that. At the same time he brought his team to fully control the executive branch of powerand take the grasp over FSB, Interiour minstry and the army. But the legislative power, the State Duma and the Council of Federation were mostly in opposition to V.Putin. So, a new biil was passed to appoint the governors' representatives to constantly work in the body. But the regional governors were included into the State Council - a new body to strengthen the ties between the president and the regional elites. Gradually, a favourable trade balance and high oil and gas prices helped a new party The United Russia win the leadership in Duma after 2003 parliamentary elections. Special president's representative controlled now all the regions of Russia to eliminate separatism and allign the federal and regional legislature.

      11. How did V.Putin submit the whole judiciary system of Russia? To eliminate his opponents and the opponents of his close friends at all levels in every region of Russia V.Putin gradually appointed his loyal people mostly connected to FSB make the judiciary system fully controllable and obedient.Those judges who were against it were discharged.By 2003 he took an overall judiciary power  and was ready to start a series of political persecutions.

      12. How did V.Putin deal with the oligarchs? Actually, he didn't want to be under their control and began to take back their assets accusing them of all crimes they had commited in B,Eltsin's time and building up new accusations. So, one by one the former oligarchs were replaced by the new ones, V.Putin's close friends.It also led to a significant growth of the state budget revenues, and, in combination with utterly favourable world oil and gas prices, stimulated 30% GDP growth from 2000 to 2004 and helped to boost some social programms. 

      13. Why  did V.Putin take control over mass media? He realised that mass media is the so-called fourth power and is extremely influential in forming up public opinion. As most leading mass media, including all the main TV channels belonged to the oligarchs, they began to fiercely criticised V.Putin for depriving them of their wealth and making his friends new oligarch elite. That's why, V.Putin soon submitted all main mass media and installed a strong harsh censorship. On the wave of fast economic growth  in Russia and overall hatred to the oligarchs few voices were raised against these antidemocratic measures and V.Putin easily won 2004 presidential elections with 71% of votes.

      14. What was Putin's foreign policy in 2000-2004? He tried to buid up good long-term relations with a;; the countries and it paid back: Russia became welcome everywhere in the world.The favourable polititical climate induced a powerful flow of investments into all the spheres of Russian economy, especially in resources industries.Thousands and thousands of Western firms set up their offices in Russia bringing foreign specialists and money. Russia not only significantly boosted trade with the former Soviet republics, but also became one of their main investors. At the same time, the fast growing Russian economy provided with work about 10 mln migrants from these countries.

       15.How did the economy grow in the second Putin's term 2004-2008 and why? As The world's oil prices soared from 30 dol.per barrel in 2000 to 143 dol. per barrel in 2008 the growth of the Russian GDP was almost 30%. Only the industrial spheres connectd with natural resources extraction, processing and transporting were swiftly developing, Instead, hundreds billions dollars of recource revenues drifted abroad from Russia and such industries as machinery metal processing and electronics remained at a stall or even deteriorated because of the harsh competiton with Chinese and Western goods. That's why V.Putin initiated creation of several state corporations to develop high-tech industries.Unfortunately, it gave little if no positive results as all these structures severely suffered from all-penetrating corruption and nepotism and were headed by FSB people. 

      16.What was happening to the Russian civil society in 2004-2008? All Duma's political parties and regional governors gradually fell under V.Putin's total control as well as elections, courts of all levels, FSB, army, interior ministry as well as the mass media and were headed by Putin's friends and present or former FSB officers. Actually, everything was done to strengthen V.Putin's authoritarian monopoly.It is known thar power corrupts and the absolute power corrupts absolutely. The initially weak Russian civil society couldn't stop these processes and its leaders were under a heavy administrative pressure. 

       17. What was V.Putin's foreign policy in 2004-2008? The growing economic and political power of the Russian elite prompted V.Putin to gradually turn to an imperial policy.He realised that an authoritarian and corruptive Russia wouldn't be a lure for the former Soviet republics and decided to subjugate them in economic, political and even military way.Thus, he set up market export prices on the Russian energy resources, created ODKB military union and provoked a 6-day Russian-Georgian conflict when Gergia attempted to return the iself-independent South Osethia under control of Tbilisi.Before that, in 2007 at Munich peace conference V.Putin delivered a speech against NATO expanding to the East and the American hegemony in the world and called for the breaking of it. That was accepted by the Western leaders as a call for the new cold war and a sheer U-turn in the Russian foreign policy. Former pro-Soviet East European countries aspired to join NATO not just because of the latter's imperial policy, but, no less than that, because of Russia's imperial policy in the past and present. On the other hand,in case of deploying NATO nuclear weapons on their territory Russia could have given an adequte pesponse like in October,1962 during the Carribean crisis.

        18. Why did V.Putin decide to step down from the 2008 presidential elections? He was sure that all the political, administrative financial and mlitary resources would remain under his total control and the reiatively favourable economic situation would also strengthen his power. So, he exchanged his seat with the  prime minister D.Medvedev, who got more than 70% voters support.All the opposition candidates were weak and unpopular and represented and propagated either wild capitalism or  violent communism models that had proven bancrupt.At the same time, the smartly directed media propaganda took the public attention away from the cardinal processes of the overwhelming degradation of the Russian economy, social and educational systems.

        19. What was D.Medvedev's presidency marked with? Having declared  that freedom is better than its absence, D.Medvedev attempted to improve the social and economic situation providing more freedom for business and mass media, welcoming innovations and scientific breakthrough, social welfare state and so on and so forth, but being under V.Putin's total control, he managed to change next to nothing. All-penetrating corruption and rapid degradation of all spheres of political, economic and social life just gained momentum: the presidential term was alongated up to 6 years, the deputates could now stay for 5 years, half of the old corruptive regional governors were changed for the new ones, even more corruptive. The war with Georgia demonstrated the growth of the Russian imperial ambitions. The only positive step was made in foreign policy- SNV treaty with the USA to reduce strategic nuclear warheads by 1/3.

        20. Why didn't V.Putin obstain from the third presidential term in 2012? Frankly speaking, he was afraid for his future securiy and decided to hold grip on power to the end. After 2011 parlliamentory elections when The United Russia party got the majority of votes, mass protests broke out all over Russia as numerous frauds and violations of law were registered by many independent election watchdogs. The so-called 'unjust victory' of The United Russia agitated the most advanced part of the Russian society. The violations in voting at the 2012 presidential elections gave a further boost to the people's indignation.The social justice requirements clearly prevailed over the political democratisation ones  as most people in Russia wanted to come back to the USSR stability of 1955-1985 and didn't realise that the demise of the Soviet Union was the direct result of the Soviet political and economic system, the result of the Cpmmunist patry imperial foreign policy. Still, the authorities had to step back in terms of election fraud and recognise some outragious mistakes.

        21.How did Russia develop in the 2012-2018 V.Putin's presidency? Gradual slowdown of the GDP from 3.5% in 2012 to 0.7% in 2014, when oil prices were still exorbitantly high at the level of up to 130 dol. per barrel, changed to a total -4% slump in 2015 because of the Western sanctions after the including Crumea into Russia and agression in Donbass. In the result, the oveall GDP growth in 2012-2018 was just mere 6%. Besides, Russia spent 50 bln dol. on 2014 Sochi Olympic games (more than had been spent on all the previous 20+ Olympiades), about 50 bln. dol. was invested into the Crimean transport, energy and social infrustrure.But the biggest losses of more than 100 bln. dol. were caused by Western sanctions restricting Russian export and import to and from Europe. Foreign investments also sharply reduced and netto capital drift out of the country in 2012-2018 exceeded 500 bln.dol.

        22. Why did Russia pursue imperial policy? Since coming to power in 2000, V. Putin had been following the  imperial policy of the USSR and, previously, tsarist Russia, which had been exercising such policy for the last 600 years. The ruling elite of the country had been using it as the main tool to hold its authoritarian grip on power in such a paternalistic country as Russia. V.Putin supported separatist regions of Georgia such as South Osetia and Abkhasia instead of facilitating their unufication with Georgia as its autonomies. On the contrary, he provoked the 2008 war with Georgia. Russia also strongly supported the loyal Kazakh  pro-Russian president N.Nazarbayev to make him follow antiWestern policy, but gradually Kazakhstan drifted towards Western world and in 2018 a new Western-oriented president J.Tokaev replaced him.

         23. Why did Russia take Crimea and Dobass away from Ukraine in 2014? Willing to restore the Soviet Union, the Russian political elite realised that it was impossible to reach this goal without Ukraine. That's why Russia had spent money, political and ideological resources to promote its creatures as elite and presidents of Ukraine throughout the postSoviet period. While having friendly feelings towards the Russian people, being in long-term historical and family relations with many of them, most Ukranians who suffered a lot from corruptive Ukranian elite still wanted to be fully politically and economically integrated with Europe. That's why when president V.Yanukovitch refused to sign a Ukraine-EU treaty of integration, mostly young people in many Ukranian cities took to the streets to protest. Of course, the USA ruling class tried to take use of it and helped establish the new power in the country. And so did the ultra-nationalistic groups. But in reality it was a social revolution as it had happened in Russia in August, 1991.Most people in Ukraine supported it and the new president V.Poroshenko was elected in May 2014 by the majority of 54%, while the nationalistic candidate got only 1.2%.

         24. How did "the Russian spring' of 2014 begin in Crimea and why? As most of the peninsula population was politically inert in February, 2014, so at the end of February and early March, 2014 special Russian troops were transported to Crimea. They encircled the Ukranian army units and airbases, took under control Crimean airpors and ports and blocked the work of the parliament and police, then made parliamentaries vote for the declaration of the independance from Ukraine and creating the Crimean Republic. The proRussian political elite of Crimea helped the Russian troops a lot  a lot, as they had foreseen new limitless political and financial benefits for them. At the same time, the new Ukranian authorities didn't give any orders to resist the Russian troops and neither a new Defence minister nor a new Chief of the General Staff were appointed yet.

           25. Why did the Crimean population support the integration with Russia at the 2014 referendum? Concerning the support of the 67% Russian population of Crimea the integration with Russia, it had been diminishing throughout the whole post-Soviet history of the peninsula. Thus, in 1994 almost 58% of the Crimean deputies supported the unification with Russia while in 2010 such support slumped to just 8%. In 2008  more than 70% of Crimean residents supported the idea of integration with Russia and in January, 2014 their number reduced to 40%. More and more Crimeans were fed up with the corruption in Ukraine and didn't see any alternative in the Russian corruption. More than 90% of schools, institutes and 100% of colleges gave education in Russian. But the Russian propaganda zombied Crimeans about the ongoing Ukrofascist ethnic clensings, official ban of the Russian language and promised Crimeans tripled salaries and pensions and billions and billions of the Russian dollar investments into the local infrastructure and developement. Hence, most people believed the proRussian propaganda and voted for the integration with Russia.

          26. How did Donbass fall under the Russian control in 2014? After such a successful taking of Crimea, V.Putin, supported by the Kremlin imperial clan, decided to occupy the whole of Ukraine and proRussian Donbass regions looked as the most conducive for it to start from. Thus, in April,2014 a group of some 50 paramilitaries, headed by former FSB colonel I.Girkin, went from Crimea to Donbass to provoke the local population to capture the whole of Eastern Ukraine.Initially, they had some money and bought military equipment from the Ukranian corruptive army units commanders. Later on, some regular Russian troops appeared to back them up.In the result of severe battles between Russian and Ukranian forces, about 16 000 sq. km of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions with about 8 mln. citizens were occupied by proRussian separatists that caused a real economic chaos.By 2022 the production rate in these regions had almost halved.

          27. Did Russia try to capture other proRussian regions in Ukraine? Yes, it did try to agitate Kherson, Nikolaev, Odessa, Kharkov and other regions of Ukraine, but the growing antiRussian movement all over Ukraine broke those plans after tragic clashes in Odessa and Mariupol.So, eventually, Minsk treaty was signed to gradually return Donbass regions to Ukraine, but under the Russian military and political control. No side wanted to implement the contradictive articles of the Minsk treaty and still, it was better than  the full-scale war and the number of civil casualtes in reciprocal clashes drastically reduced from 2500 in 2014 to 7 in 2021.

          28. Was Ukraine the fascist ultranationalistic country in the early 2022? No, despite the flagrant Russian propaganda, it was not. According to the results of 2019 parliamentary elections in Ukraine ultranationalistic parties received less than 2% of votes and 0 (!) places in Rada(parliament). In 2015 a special law, condemning fascist and comunist propaganda and forbidding any Nazi symbols, was adopted. Besides, Russian language is actively used by the most of Ukranians even in the West of Ukraine. Still, there are nationalists in Ukraine as in Russia and in any other country and the corruptive political elites together with the shameless rascal oligarchs had been pedalling nationalistic anti-Russian hystery since 1991 and even before that time to gain profits from the NATO countries which were interested in the anti-Russian policy of Ukraine. Nevertheless, the Ukranians traditionally showed positive feelings towards the Russians and only the Russian aggressive behaviour brought this support to the lowest level in history: from 93% in 2010 to 30 % in 2015 and to just 12 % in early-2024.

       29. What are the roots of the Ukranian nationalism? Being a crossroad of many trade roots, Ukraine has suffered a violent history of incessant subjugations of this region by Mongols,Poles,Rech Pospolitans,Turks,Russians and Austro-Hungerians.No wonder, the Ukranian language and nation has been formed as a mixture of multinational cultures and traditions. Thus, it was only in late-XVIII-early-XIX centuries that the Ukranian national identity began to forge.The confrontation between powerful Russian an Austro-Hungerian Impires exacserbated the tzarist pressure upon the Ukranian national identity. The Russian government denied the existence of both the Ukranian lannguage and the Ukranian nation,religious and public literature in Ukranian was forbidden and the active propagators of Ukranian identity were exiled to Siberia. All these measures only triggered  the Ukranian national movement that culminated in forming the first Ukranian state in 1918 after the October revolution in Russia.

       30. How did the Bolsheviks settle the problem of Ukranian nationalism? After the stablishing of the Soviet power in Ukraine in 1920, it was decided to give the 'right-bank' Ukraine also the territories of the 'left-bank' Malorossia and also Taganrog and Belgorod regions  with its mostly Russian population to diminish the influence of Ukranian nationalists.But the Ukranian communist leaders began to actively Ukranize the whole population of Ukraine and in 1926 Taganrog and Belgorod were returned back to Russia.Meanwhile, in Western Ukraine the nationalist movement grew from strenght to strength and they anonimously supported Hitler's invasion, as they hoped to establish an independent nationalistic Ukranian state. In 1945-1985 Ukraine became one of the most developed Soviet republics in economy, education, science and culture.It was the golden age of Ukraine.But with the overall degradation of the Soviet Union, Ukraine was also sinking into the economic crisis and that's why more than 70% of its citizens vote on December,1, 1991 for the independence of Ukraine.

                                                                        30.SPECIAL MILITARY OPERATION - THE WAR OF RUSSIA AGAINST UKRAINE.

      

         1. Why didn't V.Putin attack Ukraine before 24,February, 2022?  After failing to subjugate Ukraine in a proxi-war in 2014 and within Minsk treaty,and seeing that most former Soviet republics moved  Westward economically, politically and military with their rapidly developing cooperation with NATO, V.Putin took this decision.Besides, he had his popularity rating at the lowest level of 40% at the beginning of 2022, because of the growing social problems in the country. On the other hand, the ruling FSB ,Defence ministry, Intelligence and oligarchs elites were forever misinforming V.Putin about the strongest willingness of grassroot Ukranians to unite with Russia and fight together against  the heignous Ukranian fascist regime. The high-ranking military generals told him about  the impeckabale invincibility of the Russian army. Thus, the short victorious war was utterly desirable for the Russian ruling elite. 

       2. How did V.Putin prepare the invasion into Ukraine? His agents in Ukraine tried to form and support proRussion opposition at all levels of the Ukranian power structures, headed by V.Medvedchuk, the oligarch, political leader and V.Putin's  relative and friend. To support the corruptive V.Yanukovich's regime V.Putin financed his government and later financed, equipped and trained Donbass paramilitaries. At the beginning of 2021 a series of massive all-Russian military trainings along the Ukrainian border began and continued up to the moment of the invasion.In November, 2021 the CIA director R.Birnes came to Moscow and was told about the future invasion. He was also pesuaded about the short duration of this military operation.All Russian officials and state propaganda kept assuring the world about merely peaceful plans of Russia towards Ukraine. But on February,21, 2022 V.Putin recognised the status of independent states for the pro-Russion Donetsk and Lugansk republics and they were instantly incorporated into Russia as new administrative federal territories.

       3. Was the the first stage of the Russian invasion successful and why? Yes and no. On the one hand, the Ukranian leadership was taken aback, as they couldn't even imagine a military agression of Russia against the brotherly nation.That's why, about 7 more percent of Ukranian territory was occupied in the first 3 weeks of the Russian offensive. As a result, about 20% of the Ukraine's territory was now under the Russian occupation and  about 8 mln. Ukrainians became  refugees (almost 25% of its population). On the other hand, the Russian army sustained heavy losses in that first 3 weeks of war,  because the pure training of commanders and troops, lack of ammunition and high-quality military equipment alongside with rapidly growing Ukranian  militaty resistance, the Russian offensive was stopped by mid-March,2022.Numerous crimes and acts of violence were commited by the Russian troops on the occupied territories even in that first month of war.

       4. Why weren't the March,2022 Stambul Russian-Ukrainian talks successful? The Ukranian leadership had no choice, but to accept the occupation of Crimea,Donbass and some other territories by Russia, as the Ukranian army was very weak, almost without weapons and amunition. Western countries condemned the Russian invasion and promised to impose severe economic sanctions against Russia, but were not yet ready to give Ukraine massive military support and shied away from any military confrontation with such a nuclear power as Russia.On the other hand, the Ukrainian stalwart resistanse to the Russian army was seen by many in Ukraine as a miracle, so Western countries decided to moderately help Ukraine not to lose the war.Therefore,being supported by NATO promises of military help and by the Ukranian society, appalled by the Russian violence in Bucha and Irpen, the leadership of the country said no to the Stambul treaty. 

        5. Why hasn't Russia prevailed after 2 years of war and numerous everyday attacks on Ukraine's military, industrial, energy and civil infrustructure? It just hasn't had sufficient material and human resources for it. Because of the deep-penetraiting corruption in the Russian state , the Russian army, especially, the commanders, happened to be badly trained, poorly equipped and utterly dependent on hi-tech Western electronics that was now under sanctions. Although, the Russian military industry was mainly revived, it  can't provide sufficient ammunition and weapons to the army and straightforward so-called 'meat-storms' of Ukrainian positions are inefficient.  

         6. Why couldn't Ukraine win this war and return all its 1991 territories? First and foremost, the Ukrainian political class had never before 2022 considered Russia as a full-scale agressor, but rather, as an instigator of anti-Ukraine separatist movements. According to 1995 Budapest memorandum, Ukraine, under strong American pressure, gave all its 1800 nuclear warheads and missails away to Russia which alongside with USA, Britain, and later, France and China, guaranteed the Ukrainian state territorial sovereignty within its 1991 legitimate borders. Russia also promised lavish economic benefits to Ukraine. That's why, Ukraine didn't have any strong military industry and even the meagre investments into the country's defence sphere were severely robbed by the corruptive Ukrainian officials and swindling oligarchs at even a greater scale than in Russia. 

         7.Why couldn't  Ukrainian Western allies provide the Ukrainian army with everything to win this war? The Western military industry, producing conventional weaponry, was mostly in decline since late-1980-th because of the crush of the communist block and the Warsaw Treaty organisation. Thus, though the international conventional  weaponry market was gradually growing in1990-2020, still, it  was too small to cater for the Ukraine's demand to repel the Russian invasion.A significant part of the Western arsenals had become obsolete and they were not replenished.So, after the first 100 bln. dol. of military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine and deteriorating social and economic situation in the Western countries, they held their deliveries to a grind.

         8. Why weren't  the Western countries interested in the Ukrainian victory in the war? On the one hand, they realised that if V.Putin won and occupied Ukraine he wouldn't stop. Moldova, Baltic states, Georgia and Kazakhstan might be next in line, followed by all the former Warsaw Treaty states.On the other hand, the full-scale offensive of the Ukrainian army with returnung Crimea and Donbass could provoke Russiian nuclear strikes on the territory of Ukraine and, later, on its Western allies,including UK and USA. And in the worst case scenario, the failure of Russia in the war might be followed by a military coup against V.Putin with even more extrimist and unpredictable political groups taking power and control over nuclear weapons.

          9. How well did the Russian economy sustain the unprecedented overwhelming Western sanctions imposed on Russia after its invasion into Ukraine and why? Even though, some 20 000 sanctions had been imposed on Russia by the Western countries in 2022-2024, still they were put in action gradually and, initially, caused panic and shock at the global commodity markets with exorbitantly jumping prices on everything from oil, gas and grain to machinery, electronics and vehicles. The Eurozone annual inflation rate had risen up to 7%, in Russia - up to 14% and, at the same time, Russia got historically highest oil and gas revenues in 2022 to finance its high expenditures. As a result, the overall drop of GDP was just 2%. Later, in 2023-2024, all the main Russian export trade routes were redispatched from the West to the East.Military industry received extraordinally high investments and together with high salaries of the soldiers at war the most depressive Russian regions got a great influx of money flows boosting consumery demand.

     10. Why was V. Putin supported by the majority of voters at the presidential elections  in March, 2024? It was a combination of factors that helped him to win. Although, the consumer prices on most popular goods had almost doubled in 2022-2024, because of Western sanctions and devaluation of the rouble, people, business and state spent money lavishly. Those mass expenditures were financed from the Welfare fund, state loans and mortgage credits and almost 3 mln new previously unemployed workers were engaged now into different sectors of economy. That's why, the GDP grew by 3.5% in 2023 (the highest rate for the decade) and social tentions mainly calmed. Besides, the mass media propaganda really zombied almost 80% of the Russian population supporting the war in Ukraine. And the last, but not the least, no opposition leaders were not admitted to the elections, many of them were persecuted and some were killed.

                                                                                                            31.RUSSIA: WHAT LIES AHEAD.


         1. What is the principal idiosincrasy of the Russian historical way and why? The new Russian state has been forming for more than 500 years as a permanently expanding empire from the small Moscow principality in the XIII century to the Moscow state in the XVI century and the Russian and Soviet empires in the XVIII-XX centuries.This perrenial territorial belligerent expantion has been, for the rulers of Russia, the onlly way to crush both foreign and domestic opposite forces and hold the dictatorial grip on power.Such centralised system of power has always given an extraordinary strength to the Russian state and an awful oppression and humiliation to the peoples of Russia. Without a proper civil and political education and political practice the people of Russia have always been deprived of both freedom and responsibility.Such a society has always wanted to be ruled by a despotic leader, who will always take away from them any obligations to make cardinal political, social and economic decisions. Hence, taking away the people's responsibility, the rulers of Russia have freely violated each and every right of their subjects including their right for life itself. But it doesn't continue forever:time comes for every empire to disintergrate.

         2. Why didn't Peter the Great reforms bring social freedom to the Russian society?PeterI had been raised in the atmosphere of boyar clans' violence and intrigues that could be eliminated by a strict dictatorship only.Therefore, he created a new subordinate and supporting military class of dvoryans, that is serfs' owners, fully dependent on the central despotic power. To have a strong and well-equiped army and navy, Peter educated this new class and in less than a century the Russian heavy industry, science, art  and culture reached advanced European positions, making, at the same time, the gap between the 10 000 masters and 40 mln. ignorant illiterate slaves greater than ever before.All the later European-educated Russian rulers realised that economic, political and social freedom for peasants meant the death of the dvoryan class and the end of tsarism in Russia.

          3.  Why didn't Alexander II' reforms make the Russian society free? Actually, they did a lot for the economic, political and social liberation of the Russian society causing, at the same time, strong resistance from the most archaic social institutes, such as dvoryans and peasant communities.On the other hand, badly economically and politically educated socialist extremists-terrorists wanted fanatically to destroy any authorities in Russia and provoked the end of reforms after the assasination of Alexander II in 1881. It brought a fateful 25-year period of political and social degradation of the Russian society, also drawing it into a total financial dependence on France and England whose elites later pushed Russia into the pernicious war with Germany against the core interests of Russia.

         4. Why didn't Stolyipin's reforms give Russia a chance for a prosperous development? By that time, Russia had already been an economic and political hostage of Britain and France and couldn't escape the oncoming imperial world war. Besides, the highest Russian elite was against such reforms as they brought to power  a new ruling class, a class of big industrialists, and this meant the end of the era of dvoryans. So,the dvoryan elite hoped to accumulate their wealth and strengthen their grip on power in the short, victorious war while P.Stolyipin, on the contrary, called for a 20-year peaceful development for Russia. But, as a matter of fact, the long bloody war inevitably terminated the monarchy in Russia.

         5. Why didn't the February,1917 revolution bring Russia political, economic and social freedom and prosperity? The real capitalist leaders of the February revolution didn't fulfill the main demands of the revolution: they didn't end the exhausitng war and didn't give the dvoryans' land to peasants. Actually, they wanted the war to be continued as long as possible, as lavish military orders made them richer and, besides,they were heavily tied by the multiple financial and political obligations of Russia to England, France and even the USA business elites.

         6.Why didn't October revolution turn Russia into a democratic and wealthy country? It, eventually, made Russia a strong industrial and much better educated country with rapidly developing since and art, but the non-market administrative economy and repressive non-democratic political system brought such sufferings and cost numerous victims to the peoples of Russia, that they had never seen before since the Mongol invasion.And, though, that system of terror and violation helped the Soviet Union mobilise and accumulate its resources to stand in the Great Patriotic war, defeat fascism and promptly restore the country from ruins after the war, still, it gradually became more and more inefficient, noncompetitive and agressive and, finally, bancrupted and collapsed in 1991.

         7. Why couldn't M.Gorbachev's Perestroyka reform the country successfully? It had no chance, as not only M.Gorbachev, E.Legachev and even high-ranking Soviet economists were not competent and professional enough to understand  the algorithm of successful economic, social and political reforms to be undertaken a country with sych a militarised economy. The Soviet people,though, well- technically and culturally educated, were utterly ignorant economically and politically, stupified by the Soviet communist propaganda. And the last, but not the least, the Soviet political, military and economic elite didn't want any really democratic reforms in the country as it meant the partial or total loss of power for them. That's why, Perestroyka led to the destruction of the old Soviet faintly socially oriented system and creation of much more corruptive, aggressive and, evidently, anti-socially  oriented  state.

         8. Why didn't Eltsin's epoch put Russia on the track of sustainable democratic and efficient development? The gang of robbers of all kinds, from high-ranking party, Soviet, KGB officials, industrial plants directors  was joined by easy-money smugglers and just crimimals, who easily took the power in the country without any strong civil society. They quickly eliminated all those few honest progressive politicians, journalists, generals  and other public leaders who tried to turn Russia into a free democratic state. Taking a total control over mass media and zombiing the population, they set up a regime of all-penetrating violence and called it democracy. No wonder, they, finally, brought to power a corruptive criminal community, headed by a former KGB colonel V.Putin.

         9. Why was Putiin's epoch the time of a total degradation of Russia? The main objective of V.Putin's clan was to make their fabulous fortunes as soon as possible at the expence of the Russian people. Not only didn't  they want, but they were unable to positively reform any economic, political and social sphere in Russia, because the executives at all levels helped them to rob the country, taking an active personal part in this corruptive process.They also neither wanted nor were able to do anything positive at their official posts.Moreover, V.Putin and his so-called 'friends' annihilated any opposition and destroyed the whole constitutional system in Russia to silence those who standed against the tyrany.

          10. Has Russia been doomed to be constantly shaken by geopolitical, social and economic catastrophies and why? As the world's biggest empire, Russia has been on the wane since 1991 when it reached its historical peak, then lost  all the former Soviet republics and its communist satellite states in Eastern Europe and South-East Asia. And now the corruptive elite clan's foreign and domestic policy is pushing Russia forward to further all-national collapses, when the night is even darker before the inevitable dawn of forming a neither internally nor externally imperial, butl democratic state, acting in cooperation with all countries, conducting its foreign and domestic policy in compliance with the UN principles of peaceful, sustainable, political, social and economic  development towards the resurrection of a new prosperous Russia. .

 

        

 

         

        

       

      

     

      

 

    

 

      

 

          

 

 

 

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