|Police officers stand guard during a rally in support of jailed Russian opposition activist Alexey Navalny in the centre of Moscow, Russia. © Sputnik; (inset) Alexei Navalny © AFP / KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV|
From a story on RT by Glenn Diesen, Professor at the University of South-Eastern Norway:
Russia’s turbulent history has largely been defined by revolutionary change. The past millennium has been siloed into fragmented periods – from the Kievan Rus, the Mongol state, Muscovite Russia, Peter the Great’s Cultural Revolution, the Great Reforms following the Crimean War, the democratic change of 1905, the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, and the liberal success in 1991. The fragmented history has been disruptive and destructive as each period made a break with the former. The enduring legacy has been competing visions of Russia’s future and the reliance on authoritarian governance for stability.
This reminds me that I don't know much about the history of Russia. I knew that the Bolshevik revolution happened in the early 20th century, the Tsar and his family were executed, and there was some kind of civil war between the Red army and the White army. I saw Dr. Zhivago so I know it's cold and it's good to have furs when it's cold. There was some dude named Rasputin who exerted an evil influence over the Tsar. I read about Peter the Great in Neal Stephenson's Baroque Trilogy. There was the Charge of the Light Brigade where a British cavalry charge in Crimea was destroyed. I put up a post about a naval battle fought in the Black Sea between Russia and Turkey sometime in the 19th century. I saw One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich so I know about harsh conditions in Gulags. I've seen nearly all of the James Bonds movies so I know that KGB agents are vicious and ruthless. I watched several episodes of The Americans which portrayed Soviet spies as even more ruthless, so ruthless I had to stop watching it.
Ok, so I know a little more than I thought, but these are just highlights (or low lights). But I don't have a big picture view.