The history of Russia begins from the year 862 AD.
People have lived in the region known as Russia for many millennia; however, the traditional history of the country dates back to the year 862 when a beginning was made towards the unification of the region in a single country with the election of Rurik, a Scandinavian Norseman, as the leader of Novgorod. In 882, Kievan Rus was founded under the rule of the Rurik dynasty. It was the first East Slavic state. Kievan Rus flourished for around 400 years during which it became an economically prosperous region and had numerous achievements in the field of architecture and literature. By 1240, Kievan Rus had disintegrated due to the Mongol invasions.
The end of the 13th century witnessed the rise of the Grand Duchy of Moscow. Established in 1283, the Grand Duchy of Moscow was the predecessor to Tsardom of Russia.
In 1547, Ivan IV established a centralized Russian state known as the Tsardom of Russia. It was a regional power and had little contact with the Western world. However, during the long reign of Peter the Great (1682 to 1725), the kingdom was transformed into a great European power. During the end of his reign, Peter the Great proclaimed the Russian Empire, which came into existence in 1721.
The Russian Empire was among the largest in the world. The Russian Empire has had many capable monarchs that ruled the Empire in its nearly 200 years, but Catherine the Great’s reign can be considered as the best. She ruled the Empire from 1762 to 1796 and her reign was marked by conquest and colonization along with modernization. But, by the beginning of the 20th century, the Empire began to witness economic and social problems which led to the February Revolution of 1917, and ultimately its collapse and the overthrow of Tsar Nicholas II.
The fall of the Empire led to the establishment of the short-lived Russian Republic. Following the 1917 October Revolution, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic was formed and in 1918, the Tsar and his family were executed. The new communist state of Russian SFSR continued as an independent state for five years and in 1922 a confederation of Russia, Ukraine, Belorussia, and the Transcaucasian Federation led to the formation of the communist state of the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union lasted until 1991, and notable events during its existence were, the Second World War, the Cold War, the Space Race, the Soviet-Afghan War of 1979, to name a few. It was a major economic and military power. However, during the end of the 20th century, its economy began to stagnate, and the political system began to crumble. These and other causes led to the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 and its dissolution in 15 independent Republics.
With the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Russian Federation became an independent nation. It is the largest country in the world covering an area of 6,612,100 square miles. Today, Russia is the twelfth largest economy in the world by GDP.