The Russian State
During the Ninth Century, the Vikings sailed their ships up the rivers of Russia. The name "Russia" derives from the Vikings, who had russet colored hair. The Vikings intermarried with the indigenous Slavic population. This mixture produced a culture centered on Kiev, which marked the beginning of Russian civilization. The Kievan Rus state had become formally Orthodox Christian in 987, prospered considerably afterward, and reached its high point in the first half of the 11th century. The city of Kiev numbered about 20 to 30,000, making it larger than any contemporary European city. The Russian landed nobility were called the boyars. By the 12th century, the Kievan state began to disintegrate. Novgorod, a rival city state, freed itself from Kiev's control in 1136. Moscow first mentioned in a chronicle in 1147. Kiev sacked by north Russian princes in 1169.
For over two centuries from 1240 onward, Russia was under the dominion of the Mongols. Several Russian principalities existed under the Mongol overlordship. The Duchy of Muscovy was the most important of these. The Grand Dukes of Muscow became the tax collectors for the Mongols and ultimately managed to free themselves from the Mongol yoke. Ivan III may be viewed as the first national ruler of Russia. He married the niece of the last Byzantine Emperor and thereby laid claim to the idea that Moscow was the Third Rome. He also assumed the title of Tsar or Czar, deriving the title from Caesar. In 1480, Ivan III defeated the Mongols and ended their domination over Muscovy. During the Mongol period, Russia was cut off from Western Europe and did not share in the cultural developments of the Italian Renaissance or the Reformation Period. The modern history of Russia may be said to have begun with Ivan III, the Great.
Ghenghis Khan ~1162 - 1227
Alexander Nevsky ~1220 - 1263.Collected taxes for Mongols; received title of grand prince.
Mongol (Tartar) Domination of Russia 1240 - 1480
Rulers of Russia
Ivan III the Great, 1462-1505
Time of Troubles, 1584 -1613
Theodore I, 1584-1598
Soviet Union, 1917-1991
First Secretary of the Community Party
Vladimir Lenin, 1917 - 1924
Russian Republic, 1991 -
Boris Yeltsin (b.1 February 1931 – d. 23 April 2007; first popularly elected
on June 12, 1991; confrontation with Parliament in 1993; assumed dictatorial
powers; re-elected in July 1996 ; resigned on December 31, 1999; Yeltsin's prime
minister, Vladimir Putin, becomes Acting President.
Updated August 30, 2010