Russian history begins with the pre-sovereign Manchuria Empire in 1571.The country is considered part of eastern Siberia, north of Korea, and borders Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to the east. It is bordered by China in the south-west and Japan in the west. Its capital is Moscow. To the east lies the United States.The first contact with the Russians was during the late 19th century when a number of European powers, including Britain, France and Russia, made attempts to establish an independent Russian empire.At the start of World War I, Russian troops fought on their own side in the Caucasus region as part of the Wounded Tigers’ Army. In 1881, Napoleon Bonaparte invaded Russia and conquered Saint Petersburg before retreating to Germany.After this invasion, Russian forces were constantly defeated. With time, they began using conscripts to fight back.By 1941, Russian soldiers had been forced into the territory of East Prussia, but were outnumbered and overrun by German troops and then Soviet units in 1942.The Soviets then occupied the city of Volgograd in 1942.Following the defeat of Operation Barbarossa, the Red Army finally managed to capture Moscow in 1943, and Soviet troops took control of much of the other three cities of the capital.During these difficult circumstances, many people died. A significant portion of Moscow’s population were killed during the Battle of Leningrad in 1945.Some historians have linked the death toll to the Battle of Stalingrad in October 1941, a few months after it had begun. This battle led to the liberation of most of the country from Nazi occupation. Under the command of Vyacheslav Molotov, who became commander-in-chief of the Eastern Front following the war, the Red Army recaptured all of Stalingrad in July 1941, where they held out against fierce resistance from Nazi troops near Lake Povanovo until November.Despite being surrounded at several times, the Nazis failed to surrender or take any further action. They were eventually forced into a last-minute surrender in July 1944.After the Germans surrendered in April 1945, the Soviets began rebuilding infrastructure and public services as the new government promised them. There was widespread opposition among the political class, as well as large demonstrations in support of anti-fascism and communist policies. Stalin declared martial law in June 1946, which effectively banned all foreign political activity and established an alliance with Britain and other European nations to defend the USSR from the West. Mao Zedong, chairman of the Politburo, immediately seized the opportunity to seize power. He put forward his proposal that he should become president; the rest of the party quickly agreed. He proposed replacing the president with Vladimir Lenin, leader of the Bolsheviks and successor to Joseph Stalin through a new constitution, although some members opposed him on constitutional grounds due to his alleged lack of leadership.Mao claimed to have won a landslide victory in September 1949 with about 90% of voting districts. He was able to force concessions from the Soviet government and received full control on March 1. He declared himself leader of Russia through a New Economic Policy in 1953. The state economy grew rapidly. However, Mao faced increasing criticism from within. For example, the People’s Commissariat for Cultural Heritage noted “The cultural heritage of the Soviet Union has fallen to the level of national heritage. We regard its preservation as the main task on our agenda – to make it one of the world’s oldest museums. […] the Communist Party must raise its standards and make this museum a centre of culture”. In 1952, Stalin announced that a second term in office would be possible if the Communists won the next presidential election. This allowed Stalin to claim full authority on an interim basis.When the 1956 elections were held, the communists chose Vladimir Bukovsky, one of Stalin’s closest allies, as deputy prime minister.He advocated civil rights and economic liberalisation.As a result, the communists lost several seats in the 1958 parliamentary elections and the former premier decided to return to private business.In 1959, in response to Stalin’s plans to reform the economy and introduce communism, Mao formed the Central Committee of the CPC (Chinese Communist Party). Before the creation of the committee, Mao issued his famous ‘Little Proletarian Cultural Revolution’ in 1955, attacking the country’s traditional Chinese culture.His aim was to purify the Chinese language and transform itself into socialism.These ideas were later rejected by students, workers and intellectuals.The movement was opposed by the local intellectuals and artists who often gathered together in public parks in defiance of social codes. Many people were injured during the protests.The violent actions resulted in over 200 deaths and hundreds of injuries during the Cultural Revolution, including casualties on both sides of the fighting.There was also a substantial loss to property; more than 50 million tonnes of scrap iron and 6 million tons of silke metals were burnt or damaged, along with 7,000 houses, 10,000 shops and around 300,000 hectares of land.In 1961–62, Mao launched a series of ideological campaigns aimed specifically against the establishment of a single ruling class. He called for peasants to overthrow landowners in favour of common ownership, for greater access to good education and healthcare, for the mass media to be repressed, and for industrial and scientific development of the countryside to be geared towards production rather than consumption.He argued that socialism could best be achieved without bloodshed. Although the regime met stiff opposition, Mao survived and ruled the country until he died in 1976.In 1981, Gorbachev began a major programme of reforms, which included free elections. However, Soviet security forces continued to clash frequently with rebels. On October 7, 1985, 4 000 protesters marched toward the Kremlin and entered the White House. An armed confrontation ensued.One year later the Khrushchev Doctrine was published, a series of proposals designed to promote non-military, non-sectarian social and political life.Later, a secret plan that was leaked to a newspaper by Gennady Yablonsky, Chairman of Greenpeace and member of the U. S. Council on Foreign Relations, stated a plan for the fall of communism with a long list of specific goals.Maoist traditions have survived in the form of two distinct schools of thought.Both include aspects of modern Marxist theory of historical materialism and Marxism. Traditions developed under Mao are widely popular. According to tradition, Mao is said to have founded the Communist parties of Japan and South Korea (KAPJ) while trying to gain aid from the Soviet Union. Historians consider that KAPJ and Maoists share similarities in ideology, such as Mao’s ideal socialist society,and the rejection of capitalist capitalism and the failure of the British to protect India under the British rule. However, different interpretations exist regarding how the two groups arose.In 1762–63, Russian Emperor Peter the Great annexed Crimea, leaving it under Russian monarch George III. After years of internal strife, with some parts still under Russian monarchs, Russia ended the Crimean Civil Wars with the Treaty of Paris, which restored Russian Imperial status. This brought the end of the Russo-Russian War of Independence. The republic was renamed the United Russian Empire after the First World War and incorporated in Switzerland and Finland in 1905.In 1917, Soviet revolutionary Leon Trotsky created a paper in German. He wrote a series of essays arguing for Marx’s Theory of Surplus Value. Eventually, he became expelled from the Communist Party for his work and was jailed in 1922 on charges of counter-revolutionaries and sabotage. The essay series was eventually edited by Georg Lukacs and translated into English by Malcolm Smith. In 1933, when the German Democratic Republic took a similar course, it proclaimed its right to appoint the head of the German Republic’s central council. In 1939, the Soviet Union called the newly united nation into service to join the League of Nations. Thus, the USSR officially became a member of NATO.In 1941, Winston Churchill asked Stalin for permission of Greece to enter the EASA union. On April 14, 1941, a formal request was sent by King George VI. On the same day, Stalin responded with a firm refusal.Over the course of April and May 1941, many countries asked for assistance from the Allies. In August 1941, Italy joined the Allied Forces.This marked the beginning of the Second World War.In 1943, General Charles De Gaulle attacked the German forces for the attack on Antwerp. This led to numerous attacks throughout the northern part of Europe, with the greatest number happening during the invasion of Normandy, southern England. Due to heavy casualties on the ground of this attack, the Allies called off the operation and forced General Hitler into retreat. As a result, the Allies declared Germany guilty of war on the Eastern Front and ordered the release from prison of the leaders of the so-called Hindenburg Line.Early in 1942, Adolf Hitler tried to invade Russia (see February 1942 bombing of the Baltic coast with the purpose of invading the Barents Sea).