Russia from 1450-present

Absolutism in Russia

Ivan III & Ivan IV

  • Before 1480, Russian states were forced to pay tribute to the Mongols

  • In 1480, Ivan III of the Muscovy State (present-day Russia) declared independence from Mongols

  • Ivan III's son, Ivan IV (Ivan the Terrible) took over after

    • Added lots of territories to Mongol empire, used some serfs to help him

    • Executed all dissidents

    • Many serfs revolted against cruel rule & formed warrior bands (cossacks)

    • Ivan IV responded by decreasing rights of serfs & tying them closer to landlords

  • In 1584, Ivan IV died, leading to the Time of Troubles (1584-1613), where multiple lords competed for power

    • Cossacks revolted for more food & better treatment but were easily crushed​

  • Ivan IV's grandson, Michael Romanov, took the throne in 1613, start of Romanov dynasty (1613-1917)

    • Gave landlords full rights over serfs, extended serfdom to all peasants​

    • Crushed the largest serf rebellion in 1671

Cossacks-top.jpg

Reforms of Peter I (Peter the Great)

  • Sought to Westernize Russia

    • Led Russian army into Western European capitals to learn about Western military techniques​

    • Forced Russians to wear Western clothes, shave their beards, etc.

  • Sought to gain access to Baltic Sea

    • Entered Secret alliance with Poland & Denmark to take some Baltic coastline from Sweden

    • Swedish army defeated Russians, sparking Great Northern War (1700-1721)

    • Peter I westernized Russian army & strengthened it to defeat Swedish in 1721 & gain access to Baltic Sea

    • Peter I built St. Petersburg on the Baltic Sea

GettyImages-531733757-5948a0cb5f9b58d58a

Catherine the Great of Russia (Enlightened Absolutism)

  • She became empress of Russia after murdering her husband, Peter III

    • Peter III ruled Russia during 7 years' war & was in a coalition against Prussia

    • Peter III wanted to withdraw his troops from the war, making him unpopular, so Catherine easily killed him & became empress of Russia

  • Sought to impose Western standards in Russia (just like Peter I)

    • Brought western architects & intellectuals

    • Patronized Enlightenment thinkers

  • Imposed enlightenment principles in Russia

    • Put a new law code with Enlightenment reforms

    • Imposed educational reforms

  • After a serf, Yemelian Pugachev, led a huge serf rebellion (1773-1774), she tightened control over serfs

    • Gave nobles more control over serfs & liberated nobles from state service & taxes

59ce08aa85600a794b540a15.jpg

Napoleon invaded Russia in 1812 because Alexander I renounced British blockade. He burned Moscow, but Russian wintertime caused his troops to suffer & die

Modernization of Russian Empire under Alexander II & III

  • After losing Crimean War, Russia felt like it was behind other nations & needed better weapons

    • Russia wanted to expand in Crimea, but a coalition of Britain, France, Ottomans defeated Russia

    • Tsar Alexander II realized Russia needed better weapons & more industrialization

  • Tsar Alexander II freed all serfs in 1861 so they could contribute to economy

    • Still, most lived poor lives on shared farms, which was similar to serfdom

  • Tsar Alexander II made some governmental changes

    • Established zemstvo, a local government council ​that dealt with local problems

      • This was subordinate to the state

    • Established courts, equality before law

    • Relaxed censorship laws

    • Gave some liberation to Russian Jews

  • Promoted railroad development

    • Gave loans to private rail companies

    • Made it easier to transport grain

  • Expanded more territory, suppressed nationalist movements of minorities

  • In 1884, a group of anarchists from "The People's Will" assassinated him

  • His son, Alexander III, promoted industrialization

    • Count Sergei Witte helped him industrialize

    • Encouraged Europeans to help Russians build railroads and factories

unnamed (2).jpg

Modernization of Russian Empire under Nicholas II

Tsar Nicholas II (took over in 1894) wanted to distract Russia from domestic issues. Sought to expand eastward into Manchuria & Korea

Japan was also expanding there, sparking Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905). Russia lost

Peasants & urban factory workers wanted more reforms as they gained little in Alexander II's reforms

WHAP Website Logo 2.png

Russian army shot & killed 130 of them (Bloody Sunday Massacre)

In Jan 1905, massive crowd of workers marched to Winter Palace in St. Peterburg to ask for reforms

Russian army couldn't suppress the peasants as it was already devastated from Russo-Japanese War

WHAP Website Logo 2.png

After workers went on strike in Oct 1905, Nicholas II issued October Manifesto: Gave full civil rights to everyone, created Duma, a parliamentary body

Duma met in 1906, drafted constittion called Fundamental Laws. However, tsar had absolute authority & appointed the Duma members 

Nicholas II later rewrote constitution, dismissed the Duma, increased rights to conservative property owners

Start of World War 1

Archduke Francis Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary was visiting Sarajevo, capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina province

Gavrilo Princip, member of Serbian independence terrorist group, shot Ferdinand

Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia after Serbia refused to allow Austria-Hungary to investigate the crime

WHAP Website Logo 2.png

Germany refused to respect Belgian neutrality, so Britain declared war on Germany

Germany declared war on Russia & its ally, France. Wanted to attack France through Belgium

Russia declared war on Austria-Hungary to protect the Slavs. Later declared war on Germany as it allied with Austria-Hungary

German Battle on Eastern Front with Russia

Germany & Austria-Hungary invaded Balkans

Russia invaded Prussia to help Balkans

Germans invaded Russia, causing Russia to lose miserably

Germany acquired many Russian-occupied territories (present-day Poland, Belarus, Baltic nations). Russia still continued to fight

Russian Revolution

Fall of Tsarist Regime & Creation of Provisional Government

Germany defeated Russia in WW1, causing Russians to lose a lot of resources. Russia had weak leadership as tsar Nicholas II fled to battlefield, leaving his wife, Alexandria, in charge

In Mar 1917, Russians marched in St. Petersburg, wanting more food. WW1 wasted many resources, causing food shortages. Russian soldiers were ordered to attack the protestors but instead joined them

Duma (parliament) wanted more power, so Alexander Kerensky declared a provisional Russian government, and Nicholas II abdicated. Established basic civil liberties & supported participation in WW1

Ordered Summer Offensive (Jul 1917) against Germany (last Russian attack in WW1). Russia lost miserably, peasant soldiers were seizing land upon return, creating an anarchy

Soviets put military power in ordinary soldiers instead of officers, decreasing military power

A rival government, Petrograd Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies (Soviets) opposed participation in WW1. Acted as a parallel gov, weakened power of provisional gov

Lenin, Bolshevik Revolution, Russian Civil War

Lenin supported socialism & wanted to impose it in Russia. Wanted a violent socialist revolution with efficient human leadership

Other communists (Mensheviks "minority group") believed revolution should be led by a large group. Lenin's peers (Bolsheviks "majority group") believed revolution should be led by small group of elites

Lenin was exiled in Switzerland. Went to Russia & mounted coup on Russian provisional gov. Appealed to peasants & soldiers with promises of peace, land, bread

Allowed peasants to seize property & reform land. In Nov 1917 elections, Bolsheviks didn't win majority in Constituent Assembly, so Lenin declared Bolshevik dictatorship

At Congress of Soviets, Bolshevik majority put Lenin as leader. Lenin became leader due to efficient leadership, appeal to peasants, and Russian anarchy

Leon Trotsky led Bolsheviks against other communists. Built Bolshevik army, took over buildings in St. Petersburg, arrested members of provisional gov

Lenin signed Treaty of Brest-Litovsk (1918) w/ Germany, removing Russia from WW1. Gave Western territories (Poland, Belarus, etc) to Germany

Some Russians (White Army) hated Bolsheviks (Red Army), started Russian Civil War (1917-1922). Reds had strong army, "Red Terror" campaign executed all dissidents. Whites failed to receive efficient foreign aid

Reds initiated "War Communism," an economic policy mobilizing the entire home front for the civil war (nationalized all business). Reds won in Spring 1920, gained many territories previously ceded to Germany

Rise of Stalin in Communist Russia

Lenin instituted New Economic Policy, allowing small businesses to be private

Lenin's death in 1924 led to struggle for power between Stalin & Trotsky: Stalin was good organizer & bad speaker, but Trotsky planned Bolshevik revolution & civil war victory

Stalin became Bolshevik's Central Committee's general secretary in 1922. Believed Russia could build communism on its own, while Trotsky believed rest of Europe also needed communism

Peasants revolted against collectivization of agriculture, so Stalin allowed families to own small plots of land for their own food

Created First Five-Year Plan. Promoted collectivization of agriculture (no private ownership of land) and heavy industry (steel, iron)

Stalin's view of communism (Russia could build communism on its own) appealed to Russians, so Stalin ordered his allies to crush Trotsky. Stalin gained power in 1927

Life During Stalin's Regime & "Great Purge" in Communist Russia

  • Stalin was very cruel in his reign

    • Suppressed labor unions, forced peasants to work in the cities (if not needed in farms)

    • Suppressed all dissidents

  • Life in cities was very bad

    • Families lacked housing, few families had one room for the entire family

    • Workers got social welfare benefits

    • Workers liked this lifestyle as they believed capitalism was bad

  • Skilled laborers had an advantage as their skills were needed

    • Often got higher salaries than unskilled factory workers

  • Women had equality but were still exploited

    • Women were regarded as equal to men

    • Women were still required to work as men's wages weren't enough for a family

  • All political dissidents were tortured, especially during "Great Purge" (1936-1938)

    • Sometimes used false evidence to accuse people

    • Tried 6 million people, murdered 1-2 million

ukrainian-famine-gettyimages-170981325-f

German Attack on Russia in World War 2

  • Stalin & Hitler signed a nonaggression pact in 1939

  • In 1941, Hitler broke his pact with Stalin and invaded Russia

    • Germany conquered Leningrad, Moscow, Ukraine

      • Known as Operation Barbarossa

    • After conquering Moscow, Hitler's army wasn't prepared for Russian wintertime, causing many German soldiers to die of cold & starvation

Injuries-buildings-bombing-London-Battle

Russian & Allied Victory in WW2

  • On D-Day (6/6/1944), US & British troops landed in Normandy, France

    • 2 million troops & 500,000 army vehicles from Allies pushed the German front lines all the way to the German border

    • By 1945, the Allies forces had crossed the Rhine into Germany

    • Also, Allies forces pushed Germans out of Italy in 1945​

      • The same year, Italian communists executed Mussolini

  • Meanwhile, Russian forces defeated Germans & pushed westward into Germany

    • In 1944, the Polish underground army took over Warsaw (Warsaw Uprising), but Soviets didn't enter Warsaw as they predicted the uprising

    • Thus, Germans crushed the Warsaw Uprising & allowed Soviets to freely advance

    • Soviets took over Yugoslavia, Romania, Hungary

    • Soviets entered Germany from the east in Jan 1925 & met US & British forces there

  • Germans were forced to surrender on May 8, 1945

    • Hitler committed suicide a week earlier

germany-surrenders-wwii-og.jpg

Cold War:

Origins of Cold War

Legacy of World War 2 & Peace Settlement

  • After World War 2, the 4 Allies (USSR, UK, US, France) would occupy Germany & Austria to prevent them from becoming powerful again

    • USSR was ruthless & confiscated all industrial machinery & railroads & sent it to the USSR

    • The 4 Allies held the Nuremberg Trials (1945-1946) where they tried high-ranking Nazi officials for war crimes, often sentencing them for year in jail

  • In Feb 1945, US, UK and USSR met in Yalta in Crimea to discuss post-war peace settlement

    • US & UK sought to hold off on peace settlement until this time because they didn't want conflict with communist Stalin

    • The 3 Allies decided that USSR will occupy nations in Eastern Europe & impose free elections

      • Known as Yalta Compromise

  • Later, Yalta Compromise started falling apart​​

    • Communist regimes started taking root in some Eastern European nations

    • At Postdam Conference (Jul 1945), Stalin changed his mind about Yalta Compromise

      • Stalin sought to impose communism in the other Eastern European nations

    • US sought to prevent the spread of communism & impose capitalism (free elections) there

  • This was the start of the Cold War: An indirect war between US & USSR over spreading capitalism vs communism

gettyimages-515586328-2.jpg

Developments in the East Bloc (USSR & its Allies)

  • Stalin sought to promote the spread of communism, sometimes by force

  • Stalin initiated COMECON (Council for Mutual Economic Assistance), an organization giving aid to East Bloc nations

    • Allowed Eastern European nations to recover their economies

    • Similar to Marshall Plan of the US

  • Created Warsaw Pact (1955), a treaty organization of all communist nations of Eastern Europe

    • Included USSR as well as 7 other communist nations in Eastern Europe

      • These nations included Albania, Poland, Romania, Hungary, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria

  • Communist nations in East Bloc were formed when minority communist parties consolidated power & created one-party dictatorships

default.jpg

Divided Germany

  • As part of the Yalta Compromise, Germany would be divided among US, France, UK, and USSR to prevent it from becoming powerful & starting another war

  • US, UK, and France (West Bloc) took over West Germany while USSR (East Bloc) took over East Germany

  • Additionally, Berlin was completely surrounded by East Germany but was also divided among the West & East Bloc

    • Thus, West Germany was completely surrounded by East Germany​

    • To get to West Germany, one had to travel through East Germany

  • USSR issued a blockade of West Germany, preventing people from accessing West Germany by traveling through East Germany

    • Thus, West Bloc members had to airlift supplies (e.g. food) to West Germany

  • Many East Germans crossed the border into West Germany to escape communist rule

    • Thus, a wall was built (Berlin Wall) to surround West Germany, preventing people from migrating there

    • The wall had multiple layers of barbed wire & many checkpoints that shoot anyone who crosses

Mapcolora_edited-1.png

Indirect Battles of the Cold War

Nuclear Arms Race

  • US & USSR had an indirect competition of building powerful nuclear weapons

    • Both nations sought to build more powerful weapons than the other nation

    • Eventually, they developed the nuclear bomb

    • Both nations had enough weapons to destroy the entire world

      • Known as Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD), where both nations can destroy each other​

    • Developed missiles, spy satellites, nuclear submarines, nuclear bombs, etc. 

  • Nuclear race also spread into space

    • In 1957, USSR launched Sputnik, the first man-made satellite to orbit the Earth

    • USSR sent first astronaut to orbit the Earth in 1960

    • US created NASA in 1958 to beat the USSR in the space race

      • Sent first man to moon in 1969

  • Development of more sophisticated computers helped with developing advanced aeronautical & military tech

    • Invention of transistor in 1947 made computers much less bulky

  • Scientific innovations also were useful for ordinary public

    • Green R​evolution was an agricultural revolution that used genetic modification to increase crop yields

    • Transistors made radios & kitchen appliances less bulky & cheaper, allowing more people to buy them

5d0a686a97ad7633d2577f35 (1).jpeg

Life in the East Bloc

  • Stalin was very cruel in his governance

    • Put down all uprisings & revolts

    • Imprisoned political dissidents

    • Gave no civil liberties

    • Censored all anti-Soviet & Western press, literature, art, etc.

  • Stalin used force to establish & maintain communist dictatorships in East Bloc nations

    • Sometimes arrested disloyal communist leaders​

    • Yugoslavia resisted USSR domination as there was no USSR army present there

      • Yugoslavia still had a communist dictatorship​

  • East Bloc nations used five-year plans to boost their economies

    • Promoted heavy industry (iron, steel) over consumer goods

    • Promoted collectivization of agriculture

    • Stalin only allowed Poland to have private agricultural plots as Poland often rebelled, compromising USSR's stability

    • Neglected consumer goods as they promote individualism (bad for communist state)

  • Working conditions were very bad in East Bloc

    • People lacked household necessities as the state only promoted heavy industry

    • People worked long hours for little pay

5b589b9415e9f95549725787.jpg

De-Stalinization & Khrushchev's Reforms

  • After Stalin died in 1953, there were debates as to who should succeed him

    • Everyone wanted to reduce the cruelty of Stalin's rule

    • Conservatives wanted a gradual transition to a less cruel regime

    • Nikita Khrushchev wanted a radical transition to a less cruel regime

  • Khrushchev took power in 1955 & began program of de-Stalinization (removal of Stalin's cruelties)

    • Promoted agriculture & consumer goods more than heavy industry

    • Allowed more people to buy consumer goods (cars, TVs, radios, etc.)

    • Relaxed workplace rules, allowing people to live more freely

    • This all led to a higher standard of living

    • Many authors wrote about life during de-Stalinization as censorship was eased

  • Khrushchev sought to ease relations with the West (known as detente)

    • Gave independence to Austria (which was neutral in Cold War) after 10 years of Allied control (1955)

    • Provided economic aid to Africa & Asia

  • Other East Bloc nations responded differently to Khrushchev's de-Stalinization

    • Poland didn't want de-Stalinization & followed initial Warsaw Pact, giving it more autonomy from USSR

    • In Hungary, Imre Nagy became new PM & promoted a democratic government (1956)

      • USSR crushed this & restored communism there

  • As Khrushchev's stability was decreasing due to de-Stalinization, he sought to tighten control of his subjects

    • After many people crossed from East to West Berlin, he built the Berlin Wall (1961)

    • Secretly put nuclear missile test sites in Communist Cuba, led by Fidel Castro (1962)

      • US president JFK found out & ordered USSR to remove them, so Khrushchev agreed

      • US also agreed to remove its missiles from Turkey

  • Many hated Khrushchev's lenient policies, so Leonid Brezhnev mounted a coup & took over in 1964

    • Began re-Stalinization, launched massive arms buildings, suppressed all dissidents, etc.​

GettyImages-1181070865-1024x683.jpg

Decline in East Bloc

Detente & Student Protests

  • In 1960s, many Western European nations became more left-wing, bringing them closer to socialism

    • This allowed for more peace between Western Europe & East Bloc​

    • In 1970, former West German chancellor Willy Brandt went to Poland to sign peace agreements

      • Apologized for poor treatment of Jews

      • Negotiated with some East Bloc nations to accept existing national borders

        • Agreed that force cannot be used to change national borders

  • US & USSR also agreed to limit nuclear arms race

  • This relaxation of Cold War tensions was known as detente

  • US, USSR, Canada, & most European Nations signed Helsinki Accord (1975)

    • Agreed that existing national borders cannot be changed by force

    • Decreased Cold War tensions & gave some civil liberties to its citizens

  • Meanwhile, many people (especially students) protested involvement in the Cold War

    • Believed the war was useless & costly

    • In France, a protest in May 1968 coincided with a strike

      • Known as "May Events," caused economy to slow down significantly

      • Protestors took over factories but police clashed with protestors

      • President Charles de Gaulle initiated some workplace reforms, but the needs of student protestors still weren't fully met

      • Majority conservative members were elected to French Parliament, furthering the conflict

june-1968-france-lg.jpg

Protests in East Bloc & Brezhnev Doctrine (1968)

  • East Bloc economies always lagged behind the West

    • In 1960s, some East Bloc nations initiated reforms to slightly privatize the economy

    • Hungary & East Germany initiated some reforms, allowing their economies to be a bit successful

    • Nations diverted resources to consumer goods instead of heavy industry, allowing more people to have TVs

  • Some authors in communist nations published works criticizing the communist regime

    • This was allowed as nations relaxed censorship

    • Still, states suppressed these works, so authors created a secret network of books passed among dissidents

  • Leonid Brezhnev created Brezhnev Doctrine (1968), allowing him to intervene if any nation abolishes communism

    • Many communist nations protested against the communist regime

    • In Czechoslovakia, the Communist party outvoted the Stalinist leader in favor of liberal communist leader Alexander Dubcek

      • Dubcek initiated liberal reforms, relaxing censorship and ​slightly privatizing industry

      • Brezhnev ordered USSR army to crush the liberal regime in Prague (Prague Spring, 1968)

      • After this, Brezhnev created Brezhnev Doctrine (1968), stating that he can intervene if any East Bloc nation threatens communism

troops-Czechs-Soviet-Prague-forces-Czech

Crisis in East Bloc & Repeal of Detente

  • Energy crisis of 1970s hurt East Bloc economies, causing dissent in East Bloc

    • East Bloc nations required lots of cheap energy as industrial factories needed energy to function

    • West Bloc nations developed into post-industrial & advanced tech societies that evaded the energy crisis

    • East Bloc nations couldn't adopt post-industrial tech economy without compromising communist principles, so East Bloc nations struggled during the energy crisis

  • In Czechoslovakia & Poland, people revolted against communist regime

    • In Czechoslovakia​, Vaclav Havel criticized the Czech communist regime for not giving the civil liberties outlined in the Helsinki Accord

    • In Poland, after many worker strikes due to stagnating economy, gov adopted Gdansk Agreement (1980)

      • Stated that communist gov would rule on behalf of proletariat & support the workers

  • Polish reformer Lech Walesa organized anti-communist movement called Solidarity

    • Practiced idea of moderation, only giving the civil liberties outlined in Gdansk Agreement (1980)

    • Solidarity gained lots of power, so he got many concessions from Polish gov

    • Later, economic crisis undermined support for Solidarity as people believed Solidarity movement caused the crisis

    • In 1981, some Solidarity leaders were arrested, but the movement grew again in late 1980s as the Polish gov was unwilling to launch full campaigns against the movement

  • Later, US believed Brezhnev violated peace agreements in Helsinki Accord & started rebuilding his military power

    • Soviets invaded Afghanistan to save a communist regime there, which alarmed the US​ (1979)

    • US believed Soviets would spread communism to Afghanistan & later to oil-rich nations of Middle East 

    • US later started rebuilding its own military power & rebuilt its alliances with Western Europe

Poland-Solidarity-e1479502342920.jpg

Gorbachev's Reforms

  • East Bloc economy was stagnating, so Mikhail Gorbachev (new USSR leader who took power in 1983) initiated reforms

    • Arms race was straining East Bloc's economy, wanted more peaceful relations with west​

  • First reform program was perestroika

    • Privatized some industries, eased government control on industry and prices

    • This failed because it was closer to capitalism, where people had to accumulate more wealth to gain higher social status

      • Many didn​'t like this because of the new social order

  • Second reform was glasnost

    • This was a relaxation of censorship, giving more openness to the government & media

      • He even allowed free speech

    • Many authors with banned works could now publish their works

    • This led may people to openly criticize the Soviet regime

  • Gorbachev also created a small congress with free elections

    • Known of Congress of People's Deputies, created in 1989

    • Many anti-communist people were elected, promoting anti-communist ideas

  • Gorbachev also withdrew troops from Afghanistan & halted the arms race

  • Replaced Brezhnev Doctrine with Sinatra Doctrine (1989), allowing East Bloc nations to govern themselves & reform their own government

1988_CPA_5942.jpg

End of Cold War

Collapse of Communism in East Bloc

  • East Bloc nations never fully recovered from economic crisis of 1970s, so anti-communist movements were inevitable

  • In Poland, Solidarity movement gained momentum again

    • In 1988, Polish economy was collapsing because many workers (who were Solidarity members) were on strike

    • In 1989, Poland legalized Solidarity, allowed some representatives to be chosen with free elections

      • Still, communists would be guaranteed a majority

    • Lech Walesa (Solidarity leader) made alliances with other communist parties, thus winning a majority

    • In 1989, Tadeusz Mazowiecki (member of Solidarity) became Polish Prime Minister

    • Mazowiecki made radical democratic changes to Poland

  • Hungary also abolished communism after revolts

    • In 1956, Hungarian communist leader allowed privatized economies after an uprising​

    • In 1988, as there were more uprisings due to bad economy, Hungarian Communist party put a reform-minded man as the leader so the Communist party could maintain power

    • Many hated this  leader, so the Hungarian Communist party agreed to hold free elections in 1989

      • Communists thought they could easily win the majority of seats here, but that wasn't true later on

    • To strengthen the support for Hungarian Communist party, they opened the border w/ East Germany & Austria

      • Many East Germans crossed to West Germany via Hungary & Austria

  • In Czechoslovakia, protests forced Communist party to resign, put Vaclav Havel as president in 1990 (Velvet Revolution)

    • Split into Czech Republic & Slovakia (Velvet Divorce) (1993)

  • In Romania, dictator Nicolau Ceausescu ordered secret polish to crush the anti-communist protests

    • His own court killed him and his wife, putting a democratic government in place

prague-1.jpg

Collapse of USSR

Gorbachev's reform programs led to decreased economic production, so many nations declared independence

Baltic Nations (Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia) started in Aug 1991. 12 other nations declared independence afterward

Gorbachev then abolished Communist party's monopoly on political power & gave some sovereignty to the Congress of People's Deputies

WHAP Website Logo 2.png

Gorbachev's popularity was basically gone due to his failed reforms, so Yeltsin just took control & created Russian Federation. Former USSR nations formed Commonwealth of Independent States (1991)

A group of conspirators attacked Gorbachev while in Crimea. Yeltsin crushed the rebellion

Boris Yeltsin created Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic (Russia)

Economic Shock of Russia & Russia under Vladimir Putin

  • After 1991, Boris Yeltsin made rapid economic reforms

    • Decreased government control of prices​

    • Made rapid privatization of industry

    • Gave people money so they could buy stocks in these new privatized industry

  • Yeltsin's reforms failed as a group of wealthy people (Oligarchs) concentrated all the wealth

    • Since USSR previously had a few giant factories that specialized in heavy industry, ​the owners of those factories had all the power now

    • These factory owners could raise prices & limit production to maximize profits

    • Overall, prices increased & production decreased

  • Yeltsin's reforms led to a lower standard of living

    • Life expectancy declined, many fell into poverty

    • Social welfare benefits lost their value

  • In 2000, Vladimir Putin became Russian president

    • He reinstated little government control of prices

    • Removed some privileges of the Oligarchs

    • He ruled somewhat autocratically, allowing for economic reform

    • He put high prices on important exports (oil, natural gas), allowing for economic prosperity

  • Putin also ruled very aggressively

    • Gave civil liberties, but arrested those who oppose the state​

    • Mostly just suppressed the independent media & supported pro-government media

    • When Chechnya (a Southern Russian region with high Muslim population) declared independence, Putin's troops invaded it

    • When South Ossetia (part of Georgia) declared independence from Georgia, Putin supporting South Ossetian troops

  • In 2008, Putin became Prime Minister, but he became president again in 2012

20141211114337373734_20.jpg