Публикация №1188909214 04 сентября 2007 / Научная библиотека Порталус - Climate
Most of the country has a continental climate, with long, cold winters and brief summers. There is a wide range of summer and winter temperatures and relatively low precipitation. January temperatures are in the range of 6°c (45°f) on the southeastern shore of the Black Sea. A record low temperature of -71°c (-96°f) was recorded in 1974 at the northeast Siberian village of Oymyakon, the lowest temperature ever recorded anywhere in the world for an inhabited region. In many areas of Siberia the soil never thaws for more than a foot...
Публикация №1188909156 04 сентября 2007 / Научная библиотека Порталус - Topography
From west to east, the country can be roughly divided into five large geographic regions: the Great European Plain, the Ural Mountains, the West Siberian Plain, the Central Siberian Plateau, and the mountains of the northeast and southeast. The Great European and West Siberian Plains contain a variety of terrain, including grasslands and farmlands as well as forests, swamps, and large regions of tundra. The Caucasus Mountains, located between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea at the southwest of the Great European Plain, are divided into two chains separated by lowlands. The Caucasus Mountains form the border with Russia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia and mark the boundary between Asia to the south and Europe to the north. The highest peak in the Caucasus Mountains is the extinct volcano Mt. Elbrus (5,642 m/18,510 ft); this is also the highest peak in Russia and Europe. The lowest point in Russia is at the Caspian Sea, 28 m (92 ft) below sea level. The Caspian Sea is the world's largest lake...
Moscow Kremlin, Art and Architecture
Публикация №1188909037 04 сентября 2007 / Научная библиотека Порталус CULTURE
Major building began in the Moscow Kremlin only after the wooden fortifications were replaced by stone walls in the 1360's. The present towers were added during the late fifteenth century by Italian architects, although the preserved tower roofs date only from the seventeenth century...
Tsar Nicholas II and World War I
Публикация №1188908984 04 сентября 2007 / Научная библиотека Порталус - Imperial Russia
Russian tsar Nicholas II left the newly renamed city of Petrograd (formerly St. Petersburg) in 1915 to assume personal command of the armies at the front. He did so against the urgent advice of his ministers, who argued that an already disrupted administration would be strained to the collapsing point if the autocrat ultimately responsible for decision making was five hundred miles out of touch. They contended that it was foolish to take such a step after the series of defeats Russia had suffered during the summer: setbacks resulting in the loss of Warsaw, the sacrifice of two million casualties, and the virtual exhaustion of Russian reserves of weapons and ammunition. Instead of being the rallying point of the Russian people at war, the monarchy would become their scapegoat by accepting de facto responsibility for anything else that might go wrong with the conduct of operations.
Nicholas was adamant. Since August 1914 he had wanted to take the field at the head of his troops. He spent as much time as possible at army headquarters, frequently accompanied by his son, playing the roles of a loving father and an interested spectator. His own military skills were best illustrated by his personally testing a new design of uniform and pack in a nine-hour march before the war. If Tsar Nicholas manifested the virtues of a storekeeper, as a soldier he showed the qualities of a supply sergeant. Nor did the tsar possess the force of character to impress the senior staff officers who now did the real work of command. None of the military decisions made between his assumption of command and his abdication in 1916 owed anything to his input. Instead, familiarity bred neglect. The tsar was no longer a figure of awe and mystery--just the unassuming middle-aged man in an unpretentious uniform who waited every day for the regular letters from his wife.
Nicholas's gesture had international consequences. The French and British governments interpreted it as nailing the flag to the mast: the tsar's government would stand or fall with the outcome of the war. Germany too processed the decision as a signifier, ending any possibility of a negotiated peace. The real significance of Nicholas's decision, however, was as his advisers predicted. His physical removal from Petrograd left the threads of government hanging. They were taken up by the tsarina. German-born and lacking the intellectual development to shape her driving energy, which was increasingly in thrall to her sinister adviser monk, Grigory Rasputin, Alexandra would complete the catastrophe of the empire...
Russia-NATO Relations in the Post-Cold War World: Rethinking the Future of Collective Security
Публикация №1188908898 04 сентября 2007 / Научная библиотека Порталус ARMED FORCES
Ten west European countries joined with the United States and Canada to form NATO in 1949 as a military alliance intended to provide collective defense in the event of an attack by the Soviet Union. During the Cold War, NATO was countered by a similar alliance among the communist countries of Eastern Europe, which joined with the Soviet Union to form the Warsaw Pact. With the collapse of communist governments in the Soviet bloc between 1989 and 1991 and the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, however, observers questioned NATO's mission in a post-Cold War world...
NATO and Russia Sign Historic Partnership Agreement, May 14, 2002
Публикация №1188908758 04 сентября 2007 / Научная библиотека Порталус ARMED FORCES
In a move that would have been inconceivable just a few years earlier, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) approved a partnership agreement with Russia on May 14, 2002. The meeting took place in the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik, where presidents Reagan and Gorbachev in 1986 engaged in arms-control talks that helped bring about the end of the cold war. The location only added to the symbolic importance of the event. But the agreement also raised many questions as to just how NATO-Russia cooperation would work--and how far it would extend.
Публикация №1188907661 04 сентября 2007 / Научная библиотека Порталус - Soviet Russia (1917-53)
World War I doomed Imperial Russia. By March 1917 its armies were suffering defeat, its internal order was collapsing, and its monarchy had fallen. The Provisional Government that assumed power failed to solve the country's many problems, and within just a few months it teetered on the verge of collapse. On 7 November 1917 revolutionary forces of the radical Bolshevik party seized power in the capital, Petrograd (formerly St. Petersburg). In the weeks and months that followed, the Bolsheviks spread and consolidated their authority over much of Russia. By late 1920 they were the undisputed masters of most of the territory of the Russian Empire...
World War I and the Russian Revolutions of 1917
Публикация №1188907609 04 сентября 2007 / Научная библиотека Порталус - Soviet Russia (1917-53)
Whether Russia could have avoided revolutionary upheaval by staying out of World War I remains one of the most tantalizing questions of twentieth-century history. As Russia suffered one defeat after another in the field and severe shortages of food and crucial supplies, its soldiers and civilians became disaffected. The capital and institutions of state fell from the control of the tsarist system, and the Provisional Government that replaced it lasted less than a year. Many problems associated with the revolutionary upheaval of 1917--including massive inflation, dwindling food supplies, strained infrastructure, distracted government, and long-term commitment to unpopular foreign interests--were intimately related to the war. Many historians believe that, in their absence, the total collapse of state and society seems to have been unlikely...
Russia's World War I Alliances
Публикация №1188907564 04 сентября 2007 / Научная библиотека Порталус - Imperial Russia
Russia's pre-World War I alliance with France, in effect since 1892, and its looser alignment with Britain, effective after 1907, were cornerstones of early-twentieth-century European and world diplomacy. Sharing an interest in countering German power, the three nations established a relationship that prefigured the Allied camp in World War I. Indeed, some historians believe that the alliances set in place before 1914 were fundamental causes of the conflict, which was created--according to conventional European diplomatic history--by a belligerent Germany that threatened the interests of most other great powers...
Russia in World War I: Was Russia a viable combatant in World War I?
Публикация №1188907509 04 сентября 2007 / Научная библиотека Порталус - Imperial Russia
Russia was one of the biggest losers in World War I. Its victories were few and fleeting, while its defeats were tremendous and lasting. Germany occupied much of the most productive Russian territory. During the first year of the war alone, Russia suffered four million casualties. In 1917 social, political, and economic strains associated with the conflict caused the collapse of two systems of government in succession and ushered in a massive social revolution. A third system of government, the Bolshevik regime, took power in November 1917 and extricated the nation from the war, but with massive territorial losses, by signing the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk in March 1918...
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