History of Russia Part 1

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Russia Part 1 traces the origins of modern Russia and Ukraine among Slavic tribes, Viking raiders, and the medieval kingdom of Kievan Rus. Mongol hordes brought death and destruction, but under the first Tsars, a strong Russian state slowly emerged.

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A note on ‘Ivan the Terrible’ – in Russia Ivan IV has the epithet ‘Гро́зный’, meaning ‘Great’ or ‘Formidable’. So why is he called Ivan ‘the Terrible’ in this video? Because he was evil or useless? No, it is because ‘Гро́зный’ was first translated into English many years ago as ‘Terrible’, when the word commonly meant awesome or formidable (see definitions 3 & 4 here: And in English, Ivan IV has been known as Ivan the Terrible ever since.

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Recommended general histories of Russia (as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases):
Martin Sixsmith, Russia: A 1000 Year Chronicle of the Wild East
Orlando Figes, Natasha’s Dance: A Cultural History of Russia
Robert Service, The Penguin History of Modern Russia: From Tsarism to the Twenty-first Century

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40 COMMENTS

  1. And please stay away from the Greek and the recent British ones. They are mostly fabricated. Nothing about the Greek history is ancient of one knows what ancient actually means beyond the Christian time measuring system.

  2. If you want to find the actual world history, try the Indian or Chinese old books and traveler diaries type records…..

  3. Novgorod never conquest Kyiv. A.Nevskiy was tatarian and never won battle against tewtonian. It was no any Kulikov battle. Ivan was a tsar of Moskovia, not Russia. Moskovia named himself Russia after won a battle against swedish and Ukrainian (near Poltava) in 1721, before that all historical maps showing us Moskovia, is not any country by name Russia…. Everything in this video is Russian propaganda!

  4. Russians had their revenge, they conquered the Tartar completely (Mongolia) and nowadays the Mongolian country writes in cyrilic

  5. look the book kingdom of slavs from Mavro Orbini , and look the old kalendar, look jaro who is this, and i talkuju to you : in r,asia we say bevor girliza to girl
    and you know hura, germa hura ,ros ura Brather bruder brat, sister sestra schwesta, very diverend for so urban words, and you know lon don, don au in germany and don in rossia

  6. Ivan the Terrible, at least in the first period of the rule, made some importante reforms which strengthened the foundation of russia state. The repressions of boyars were due not only violent paranoia of Ivan. Boyars would show at "The time of troubles" their own true colors. When people discuss Ivan i am incliend to belive that some of them lose sight of religion background those times – Ivan was the first who got title "Tsar" (Caesar). He was responsible for lands which inherit the only one true religion from Rome and he descibed his authority like one ot the ways to serve God.

    So it was a pretty complicated person in quite difficult times

  7. Rus is not russia!!!!!!
    Russian are mixed of Mongols and Russ, it's became a new nation russian !!!
    So Ukrainian and russian are not the same!!!!! Ukrainian never were russian and never will be!!! They were rusyn!!! And it is not Kiev Rus it's Kyiv Rus! The Polianians were the largest and most developed of the tribes; according to the Rus’ Primary Chronicle, their prince Kyi founded the city of Kyiv in the 6th century.
    Kyivan Rus’ [Київська Русь; Kyivska Rus]. (Map: Kyivan Rus'.) The first state to arise among the Eastern Slavs. It took its name from the city of Kyiv, the seat of the grand prince from about 880 until the beginning of the 13th century. At its zenith, it covered a territory stretching from the Carpathian Mountains to the Volga River, and from the Black Sea to the Baltic Sea. The state's rapid rise and development was based on its advantageous location at the intersection of major north-south and east-west land and water trade routes with access to two major seas, and favorable local conditions for the development of agriculture. In the end, however, the state's great size led to the development of centrifugal tendencies and local interests that limited its political and social cohesion. This, and its proximity to the Asian steppes, which left it vulnerable to invasions of nomadic hordes, eventually contributed to the decline of Kyivan Rus’.

    The city
    of Moscow gradually grew around the Moscow Kremlin, beginning in the 14th century. It was the capital of the Grand Duchy of Moscow (or Muscovy), from 1340 to 1547 and in 1713 renamed as the Tsardom of Russia by Peter I "the Great" (when the capital was moved to Saint Petersburg).

  8. Ivan TERRIBLE ** I don't think Russian would like it that way shaming their own king,, western people distort everything as they like it

  9. The Russian government has always been the enemy of its own people.
    Tsars did that, communists did that and now the oligarchy under Putin is also abusing power and ripping off Russians and making Russians' lives a living hell.
    it will continue to do so because the people in the power are never punished for their crimes against people.
    most Russians do not know that Putin has accumulated over $200,000,000,000 in foreign banks.
    if Russians hang Vladimir Putin in public square, it will send the stark message to all government officials and they will stop ripping off their own people.

  10. This is British version of " Russian History " which keep repeating non existing Country name as " Ukrania " to please ukranian fascists , also repeating names which british invented " Ivan the terrible " " mass Exucutions " which any King or Queen that days regularly butcher millions of people in order to keep their power , even modern days we see this practices . I like to read " Russian " version of History what Really Happaned ?

  11. Very poorly made-straight from the russian propaganda books. Missing the history of the actual Rus(Ruthenia):Ukraine, Belarus. Conveniently avoiding the subject of Moscovites wedging wars on Novgorod,Pskov,Tver, the fact that the muscovites completely decimiated the population of Novgorod. Presenting the territory as a unified "russia" when in reality these were different people with different dialects and sometimes completely differebt nations. Forgetting about finnic locals which were conquered or assimilited by the slavs . Omitting the fact that Moscow was mongol vassal state which functioned as they agent in opressing the territories, towns and nations, attacking and burning places like Pskov or Tver that rose against the mongols. Appropriating the history of neighbour states of Ukraine,Belarus, Lithiania etc etc. Very bad. In short,medieval Russia had two major devastating events which completely altered its history and culture: mongol invasion and the muscovites expansion.

  12. Nickname "Terrible" is incorrect translation of russian word "Grozny". The actual nickname of Ivan IV was "Ivan the Formidable" or "Ivan the Fearsome". And none of the historians of that time called him that. The addition "Grozny" appeared for the first time in the chronicles of Russia written by Tatischev, 100 years after Ivan IV death. The scale of executions in his reign is exaggerated – he wasn't worse than literally any of his ancestors. Vladimir the Saint alone slaughtered thousands slavic pagans that refused to take christianity. The rumors of Tsarevich's murder by his father has no historical proof at all. Most likely he was poisoned by one of the royal court – the expertise of his body revealed that the contains of mercury in the bones was 32 times higher than normal, as well as arsenic and lead.

  13. Iam studying my enemy imperial Russia. I hate them and I can't wait we will conquer moskva and cut putin throat ,feed his head to our lions.

  14. Big difference. Nevskiy is not rus but moskovian hero, mongol servant. Later, Moskovy – mongols creature, hardly destoed avrything left from Rus. Why chenel just shere moscov propaganda history? its simplier?

  15. О какой Украине речь? Она появилась только в 20 веке,как и Белоруссия,о какой Киевской Руси речь? Такого государства вообще не существовало,много конечно вранья

  16. So slavs just showed up out of nowhere in 650 and started to live there, the whole size of eastern europe? Cmon, something is not right there

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