Russia has had many dictators throughout its history, including Ivan the Terrible, Peter the Great, Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin. Most Westerners consider Russian President Vladimir Putin a dictator as well.Continue Reading
Ivan the Terrible (1530-1584) centralized the Russian government and greatly expanded Russia's empire through a ruthless series of military conquests. He was the first man crowned "Tsar of all the Russians."
Peter the Great (1672-1725) might be classified as a benevolent dictator due to his efforts to open the nation to Enlightenment ideas and reforms. Under Peter's rule, Russia became a true world power.
Vladimir Lenin (1870-1924) was a socialist revolutionary who overthrew the old Tsarist regime, effectively ushering in the Soviet era of Russian history. Lenin's nationalization of private land, industry and business led to decades of suffering under Communist despotism.
Joseph Stalin (1878-1953) is a name synonymous with dictatorship. Although effective in guiding his country to victory over Nazi Germany in WWII, Stalin would visit untold horrors on his own people in the form of mass imprisonments, forced labor internment and political purges.
Vladimir Putin (1952-) is Russia's current autocrat as of 2014. A former KGB official, Putin has orchestrated a series of sham elections and undemocratic power grabs in order to ensure himself permanent control over the Russian state. His rule has marked the end of the democratic hope that existed for Russia in the wake of the Soviet Union's collapse. His tenure as Russia's leader has been characterized by an increasingly confrontational stance toward the Western world and an aggressively expansionist policy aimed at restoring the old Soviet sphere of influence.Learn more about Modern History
Peter the Great is famous for his efforts to make Russia a great nation. He created new administrative systems and territorial divisions to enhance governance throughout Russia.Full Answer >
Peter the Great's first military expedition, a disastrous declaration of war against Turkey in 1695, is the failure or mistake that ultimately defined his reign as Czar of Russia. In spite of this failure, Peter the Great claimed the territories of Finland, Latvia and Estonia in his bid to expand the Russian nation.Full Answer >
Some of the elements of Peter the Great's modernization of Russia were his modernization of the military, centralization of government, cultural reforms and updating of domestic and foreign policy. These reforms took Russia out of its previous somewhat static state, helping it to become a major player on the world stage.Full Answer >
Vladimir Lenin came to power after the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, also known as the October Revolution. He denounced Russia's government and called for a Soviet government instead. This revolution led to three years of civil war that ended when Lenin's Soviet forces were victorious.Full Answer >