A Russian ruler was known as a tsar, and the last tsar to rule was Tsar Nicholas II, who abdicated, and was subsequently executed, in 1917. As of April 2015, Vladimir Putin rules Russian as its president.
Since Tsar Nicholas II's abdication, Russia has been ruled by political heads of state, starting with the Bolshevik Party, led by Vladimir Lenin, who took control of the government. In 1922, Russia was renamed the Soviet Union, and when Lenin died in 1924, Joseph Stalin became the dictator of the Soviet Union. Power changed hands to the more liberal leader Nikita Khrushchev in 1953, and again to Mikhail Gorbachev during the 1980s. His resignation in 1991 resulted in the dissolution of the U.S.S.R.
After the collapse of the U.S.S.R., the Russian Federation was formed and a president, Boris Yeltsin, was elected to control the country.