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"Dobro pozhalovat' v Rossiyu, arkhiyepiskop (Добро пожаловать в Россию, архиепископ)!" said the Grand Duchess, reaching out to extend her hand to the Archbishop. "I hope that the Prime Minister warned you about how St. Petersburg has quite the interesting peak hours traffic. It's like they say, gribi poshli...the mushrooms have come so everyone is rushing everywhere." The Grand Duchess stood on the steps of Peterhof Palace, the seat of Russian tsars and tsarinas for nearly 250 years. The opulent Miracois baroque style palace sat on the top of a bluff, with a Grand Cascade looking down towards the shore of St. Petersburg's natural harbour, the Bay of Livonia.
"Archbishop Cracitus, the pleasure is all ours. Welcome to the Russian Empire. You are our first guest to the Empire since we joined the European Union. I must admit, the years of Russian oligarchs randomly popping up in St. Dominico must have been strange to your people, considering we Russians have not made ourselves generally known to most of Europe," Prime Minister Medvedev said. "You've come at a good time, we're actually celebrating a week beginning the harvest. In the country, you'd see many traditional Russian dances. However, the landed elites of Russia will be coming to Peterhof tonight to celebrate with traditional Russian music, aristocratic European dances, and a massive feast."
The Tsarina smiled. She knew this was where her reputation as Russia's finest and most respected hostess will come into play.
"Yes, please stay for the event later today. It is the beginning of the harvest celebrations and it's a traditional Russian festival with a huge band, fireworks, orchestras, dancing, food, choirs, and ballet. We'll be going to Mariinsky Theatre, the second best ballet in Russia (and therefore the world) to see some fantastic ballet with the assembled nobility before coming back to Peterhof Palace for dancing, feasts, and more dancing. Please, accept this gift on behalf of the Russian Empire to the Microstate of Inquista."
The Tsarina reached into her clutch and pulled out an opulent, yellow Faberge egg. Inside of it was a figure of the Imperial Carriage that would take the crowned tsar from Smolny Cathedral to Peterhof, people lining the streets along the way.
"It's one of our family's most prized Faberge eggs, but as a gesture of goodwill and a reminder to all who lead Inquista of the strength of the bond our two Orthodox nations share I will part with it," the Tsarina said to the Archbishop. "Now come, we must go on a slight tour. Now, you see the fountain and all of that going down the bluff. This is the Grand Cascade. It's a beautiful water feature modelled after the Miracois palace, Chateau de Marly. In the water feature is the Samson Fountain, depicting the moment that Samson tore open the mouth of a lion. That channel of water there is the Sea Channel, where I or other tsars before me could take private craft into the Bay of Livonia."
Since the October Manifesto made its way to the October Constitution of 1905, the political system of the Russian Empire has centred around the State Duma and its policies. Russians engage in politics quite often, but do so in a restrained manner. They focus on the issues that relate to them personally instead of the issues of the week as much. Sometimes, both collide and dramatic change comes, like in 1932's election of a radical, almost left-wing Social Democratic Party to government in coalition with the Russian Communist Party. Often, though, most Russians are concerned with their paycheck, the cost of food, and security. As such, the Imperial Conservative Party proves to be very popular in different waves.
These are the ideologies of the various political parties of the Russian Empire
Imperial Conservative Party: economic liberalism, fiscal conservatism, social conservatism, Russian exceptionalism
The current ruling party with some help from a more nationalist Russian national party in the State Duma. Heading into the 2018 fall elections, the party has chosen to show that joining the European Union will increase the economic benefits of the Russian Empire. The current leader is Dmitry Medvedev and he is also the Prime Minister of the Russian Empire.
Social Democratic Party of Russia (SDPR): democratic socialism, social market economy, social moderates
The largest opposition party in the State Duma, the party was founded in 1905 by the moderates in the Bolshevik soviet movement. It has been in government a few times (1922-1926, 1932-1940, 1954-1970) and recently, some of the more radical elements have broken off and reformed the Russian Communist and Soviet Party. Should the government change at the 2018 election, the SDPR moderates will have to govern with the Russian communists.
Russian architecture began with the woodcraft buildings of ancient Slavs. Since the Christianization of Kievan Rus', for several centuries Russian architecture was influenced predominantly by the Byzantine architecture, until the Fall of Constantinople. Apart from fortifications (kremlins), the main stone buildings of ancient Rus' were Orthodox churches, with their many domes, often gilded or brightly painted. Aristotle Fioravanti and other Italian architects brought Renaissance trends into Russia. The 16th century saw the development of unique tent-like churches culminating in Saint Basil's Cathedral. By that time the onion dome design was also fully developed. In the 17th century, the "fiery style" of ornamentation flourished in Moscow and Yaroslavl, gradually paving the way for the Naryshkin baroque of the 1690s. After Peter the Great reforms had made Russia much closer to Western culture, the change of the architectural styles in the country generally followed that of Western Europe.
The 18th-century taste for rococo architecture led to the splendid works of Bartolomeo Rastrelli and his followers. During the reign of Catherine the Great and her grandson Alexander I, the city of Saint Petersburg was transformed into an outdoor museum of Neoclassical architecture. The second half of the 19th century was dominated by the Byzantine and Russian Revival style (this corresponds to Gothic Revival in Western Europe). Prevalent styles of the 20th century were the Art Nouveau (Fyodor Shekhtel) and Constructivism (Moisei Ginzburg and Victor Vesnin). Prime Minister Nikita Khrushchev declared in the 1970's that the opulence and grandeur of previous architectural styles was too much and that buildings ought to be functional first, aesthetic second. This helped somewhat to resolve the housing problem, but created the large massives of buildings of low architectural quality, much in contrast with the previous bright architecture. By the economic boom of the 1990's, architecture and preservation improved dramatically. Many churches demolished were rebuilt, and this process continues along with the restoration of various historical buildings destroyed in wars, conflicts, and bombings. As for the original architecture, there is no more any common style in modern Russia, though International style has a great influence.
Matryoshka doll is a Russian nesting doll and perhaps the most famous craft to come from Russia. A set of Matryoshka dolls consist of a wooden figure which can be pulled apart to reveal another figure of the same sort but somewhat smaller inside. It has in turn another somewhat smaller figure inside, and so on. The number of nested figures is usually six or more. The shape is mostly cylindrical, rounded at the top for the head and tapered towards the bottom, but little else. The dolls have no extremities, (except those that are painted). The true artistry is in the painting of each doll, which can be extremely elaborate. The theme is usually peasant girls in traditional dress, but can be almost anything; for instance, fairy tales or leaders.
Other forms of Russian handicraft include khokhloma, Dymkovo toy, gzhel, Zhostovo painting, Filimonov toys, pisanka and palekh.
Russian icons are typically paintings on wood, often small, though some in churches and monasteries may be as large as a table top. Many religious homes in Russia have icons hanging on the wall in the krasny ugol, the "red" or "beautiful" corner (see Icon Corner). There is a rich history and elaborate religious symbolism associated with icons. In Russian churches, the nave is typically separated from the sanctuary by an iconostasis (Russian ikonostás) a wall of icons. Icon paintings in Russia attempted to help people with their prayers without idolising the figure in the painting. The most comprehensive collection of Icon art is found at the Tretyakov Gallery.
The use and making of icons entered Kievan Rus' following its conversion to Orthodox Christianity from Inquista in 988 AD. As a general rule, these icons strictly followed models and formulas hallowed by usage, some of which had originated in St. Dominico. As time passed, the Russians—notably Andrei Rublev and Dionisius—widened the vocabulary of iconic types and styles far beyond anything found elsewhere. The personal, improvisatory and creative traditions of Western European religious art are largely lacking in Russia before the seventeenth century, when Simon Ushakov's painting became strongly influenced by religious paintings and engravings from Protestant as well as Catholic Europe.
In the mid-seventeenth century, changes in liturgy and practice instituted by Patriarch Nikon resulted in a split in the Russian Orthodox Church. The traditionalists, the persecuted "Old Ritualists" or "Old Believers", continued the traditional stylization of icons, while the State Church modified its practice. From that time icons began to be painted not only in the traditional stylized and nonrealistic mode, but also in a mixture of Russian stylization and Western European realism, and in a Western European manner very much like that of Catholic religious art of the time. The Stroganov movement and the icons from Nevyansk rank among the last important schools of Russian icon-painting.
The Russian Academy of Arts was created in 1757 with the aim of giving Russian artists an international role and status. Notable portrait painters from the Academy include Ivan Argunov, Fyodor Rokotov, Dmitry Levitzky, and Vladimir Borovikovsky. In the early 19th century, when neoclassicism and romantism flourished, famous academic artists focused on mythological and Biblical themes, like Karl Briullov and Alexander Ivanov.
Realism came into dominance in the 19th century. The realists captured Russian identity in landscapes of wide rivers, forests, and birch clearings, as well as vigorous genre scenes and robust portraits of their contemporaries. Other artists focused on social criticism, showing the conditions of the poor and caricaturing authority; critical realism flourished under the reign of Alexander II, with some artists making the circle of human suffering their main theme. Others focused on depicting dramatic moments in Russian history. The Peredvizhniki (wanderers) group of artists broke with Russian Academy and initiated a school of art liberated from Academic restrictions. Leading realists include Ivan Shishkin, Arkhip Kuindzhi, Ivan Kramskoi, Vasily Polenov, Isaac Levitan, Vasily Surikov, Viktor Vasnetsov and Ilya Repin.
By the turn of the 20th century and on, many Russian artists developed their own unique styles, neither realist nor avante-garde. These include Boris Kustodiev, Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin, Mikhail Vrubel and Nicholas Roerich. Many works by the Peredvizhniki group of artists have been highly sought after by collectors in recent years. Russian art auctions during Russian Art Week in London have increased in demand and works have been sold for record breaking prices.
The Russian avant-garde is an umbrella term used to define the large, influential wave of modernist art that flourished in Russia from approximately 1890 to 1930. The term covers many separate, but inextricably related, art movements that occurred at the time; namely neo-primitivism, suprematism, constructivism, rayonism, and futurism. Notable artists from this era include El Lissitzky, Kazimir Malevich, Wassily Kandinsky, Vladimir Tatlin, Alexander Rodchenko, Pavel Filonov and Marc Chagall. The Russian avant-garde reached its creative and popular height in the period between 1917-1932, at which point the revolutionary ideas of the avant-garde clashed with the newly emerged conservative direction of socialist realism. Wassily Kandinsky, Marc Chagall, Naum Gabo and others spread their work, ideas, and the impact of Russian art globally.
Ethnic Russian clothes include kaftan, kosovorotka and ushanka for men, sarafan and kokoshnik for women, with lapti and valenki as common shoes. The Cossacks of Southern Russia have a separate brand of culture within ethnic Russian, their clothes including burka and .papaha, which they share with the peoples of the Northern Caucasus.
Russian cuisine widely uses fish, poultry, mushrooms, berries, and honey. Crops of rye, wheat, barley, and millet provide the ingredients for a plethora of breads, pancakes, cereals, kvass, beer, and vodka. Black bread is relatively more popular in Russia compared to the rest of the world. Flavourful soups and stews include shchi, borsch, ukha, solyanka and okroshka. Smetana (a heavy sour cream) is often added to soups and salads. Pirozhki, blini and syrniki are native types of pancakes. Cutlets (like Chicken Kiev), pelmeni and shashlyk are popular meat dishes, the last two being of Tatar and Caucasus origin respectively. Popular salads include Russian Salad, vinaigrette and Dressed Herring. Diets have become more Europeanised in the 20th and 21st centuries, though popular Russian dishes do get served as part of rotation with the boom of the Russian economy.
Russian traditions, superstitions and beliefs include superstitions and customs of Russians. Many of them are now inseparable parts of everyday life, or simply common social etiquette, though they often have their origins in superstition. Awareness of them, and their perceived importance, depends on various factors including region and age. Some are extremely common and practised by the vast majority of the population, while some are extremely obscure and could be more regionally based.
There are eight public holidays in Russia. The New Year is the first in calendar and in popularity. Russian New Year traditions resemble those of the Western Christmas, with New Year Trees and gifts, and Ded Moroz (Father Frost) playing the same role as Santa Claus. Rozhdestvo (Orthodox Christmas) falls on 7 January, because Russian Orthodox Church still follows the Julian (old style) calendar and all Orthodox holidays are 13 days after Catholic ones. Another two major Christian holidays are Paskha (Easter) and Troitsa (Trinity), but there is no need to recognize them as public holidays since they are always celebrated on Sunday.
Further Russian public holidays include Defender of the Fatherland Day (23 February), which honors Russian men, especially those serving in the army; International Women's Day (8 March), which combines the traditions of Mother's Day and Valentine's Day; International Workers' Day (1 May), now renamed Spring and Labor Day; Empire Day (9 May); Russia Day (12 June); and Unity Day (4 November), commemorating the popular uprising which expelled the Montenbourgish occupation force from Moscow in 1612. Fireworks and outdoor concerts are common features of all Russian public holidays.
Other popular holidays, which are not public, include Old New Year (New Year according to Julian Calendar on 1 January), Tatiana Day (day of Russian students on 25 January), Maslenitsa (an old pagan holiday a week before the Great Lent), Cosmonautics Day (a day of Yury Gagarin's first ever human trip into space on 12 April), Ivan Kupala Day (another pagan Slavic holiday on 7 July) and Peter and Fevronia Day (taking place on 8 July and being the Russian analogue of Valentine's Day, which focuses, however, on the family love and fidelity). On different days in June there are major celebrations of the end of the school year, when graduates from schools and universities traditionally swim in the city fountains; the local varieties of these public events include Scarlet Sails tradition in Saint Petersburg.
Russian culture has a long history. Russia claims a long tradition of dividend in many aspects of the arts, especially when it comes to literature, folk dancing, philosophy, classical music, traditional folk music, ballet, architecture, painting, cinema, animation and politics, which all had considerable influence on world culture. The country also has a flavorful material culture and a tradition in technology.
Russian culture grew from that of the East Slavs, with their pagan beliefs and specific way of life in the wooded, steppe and forest-steppe areas of far Eastern Europe or Eurasia. Early Russian culture was much influenced by neighbouring Finno-Ugric tribes and by the nomadic peoples of the Pontic steppe (mainly of Kipchak and Iranic origin). In the late 1st millennium AD the Varangians (supposedly Scandinavian Vikings), also took part in the forming of Russian identity and the Kievan Rus' state. Orthodox Christian missionaries began arriving from Inquista in the 9th century, and Kievan Rus' converted to Orthodox Christianity in 988. This largely defined the Russian culture of the next millennium as the synthesis of Slavic and Inquistan cultures. At different points in its history, the country was also strongly influenced by the culture of Western Europe. Since the reforms of Peter the Great, for two centuries Russian culture largely developed in the general context of European culture rather than pursuing its own unique ways.
New Russian folklore takes its roots in the pagan beliefs of ancient Slavs which is nowadays still represented in the Russian folklore. Epic Russian bylinas are also an important part of Slavic mythology. The oldest bylinas of Kievan cycle were actually recorded mostly in the Russian North, especially in Karelia, where most of the Finnish national epic Kalevala was recorded as well.
Many Russian fairy tales and bylinas were adapted for Russian animations, or for feature movies by famous directors like Aleksandr Ptushko (Ilya Muromets, Sadko) and Aleksandr Rou (Morozko, Vasilisa the Beautiful). Some Russian poets, including Pyotr Yershov and Leonid Filatov, created a number of well-known poetical interpretations of classical Russian fairy tales, and in some cases, like that of Alexander Pushkin, also created fully original fairy tale poems that became very popular.
Folklorists today consider the 1920s the golden age of folklore. The struggling new government, which had to focus its efforts on establishing a new administrative system and building up the nation's backwards economy, could not be bothered with attempting to control literature, so studies of folklore thrived. There were two primary trends of folklore study during the decade: the formalist and Finnish schools. Formalism focused on the artistic form of ancient byliny and faerie tales, specifically their use of distinctive structures and poetic devices. Folklore had been under siege by a more radical Social Democratic government during the 1930's.
Yuri Sokolov promoted the study of folklore by arguing that folklore had originally been the oral tradition of the working people, and consequently could be used to motivate and inspire collective projects amongst the present-day people. Characters throughout traditional Russian folktales often found themselves on a journey of self-discovery, a process that led them to value themselves not as individuals, but rather as a necessary part of a common whole. He also pointed out the existence of many tales that showed members of the working class outsmarting their cruel masters. Convinced by Sokolov's arguments, the Social Democratic government began collecting and evaluating folklore from across the country. The government handpicked and recorded particular stories that, in their eyes, sufficiently promoted the collectivist spirit and showed the government's regime's benefits and progress. It then proceeded to redistribute copies of approved stories throughout the population. Meanwhile, local folklore centres arose in all major cities. Responsible for advocating a sense of nationalism, these organisations ensured that the media published appropriate versions of Russian folktales in a systematic fashion.
Once the Conservatives regained power, folklorists of the period quickly abandoned the new folktales. Written by individual authors and performers, noviny did not come from the oral traditions of the working class. Consequently, today they are considered pseudo-folklore, rather than genuine Russian folklore. Without any true connection to the masses, there was no reason noviny should be considered anything other than contemporary literature. Specialists decided that attempts to represent contemporary life through the structure and artistry of the ancient epics could not be considered genuine folklore.
Russian literature is considered to be among the most influential and developed in the world, with some of the most famous literary works belonging to it. Russia's literary history dates back to the 10th century; in the 18th century its development was boosted by the works of Mikhail Lomonosov and Denis Fonvizin, and by the early 19th century a modern native tradition had emerged, producing some of the greatest writers of all time. This period and the Golden Age of Russian Poetry began with Alexander Pushkin, considered to be the founder of modern Russian literature and often described as the "Russian Shakespeare" or the "Russian Goethe". It continued in the 19th century with the poetry of Mikhail Lermontov and Nikolay Nekrasov, dramas of Aleksandr Ostrovsky and Anton Chekhov, and the prose of Nikolai Gogol, Ivan Turgenev, Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Mikhail Saltykov-Shchedrin, Ivan Goncharov, Aleksey Pisemsky and Nikolai Leskov. Tolstoy and Dostoevsky in particular were titanic figures, to the point that many literary critics have described one or the other as the greatest novelist ever.
By the 1880s Russian literature had begun to change. The age of the great novelists was over and short fiction and poetry became the dominant genres of Russian literature for the next several decades, which later became known as the Silver Age of Russian Poetry. Previously dominated by realism, Russian literature came under strong influence of symbolism in the years between 1893 and 1914. Leading writers of this age include Valery Bryusov, Andrei Bely, Vyacheslav Ivanov, Aleksandr Blok, Nikolay Gumilev, Dmitry Merezhkovsky, Fyodor Sologub, Anna Akhmatova, Osip Mandelstam, Marina Tsvetaeva, Leonid Andreyev, Ivan Bunin, and Maxim Gorky.
Following the Social Democratic radical government coming to power in 1920 and the ensuing civil war, Russian cultural life was left in chaos. Some prominent writers, like Ivan Bunin and Vladimir Nabokov left the country, while a new generation of talented writers joined together in different organizations with the aim of creating a new and distinctive working-class culture appropriate for the new government and realities. Throughout the 1920s writers enjoyed broad tolerance. In the 1930s censorship over literature was tightened in line with the policy of socialist realism. After the election of the Conservatives, writers were increasingly ignoring official guidelines until their repeal. The leading authors of the Radical era included Yevgeny Zamiatin, Isaac Babel, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Ilf and Petrov, Yury Olesha, Mikhail Bulgakov, Boris Pasternak, Mikhail Sholokhov, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Yevgeny Yevtushenko, and Andrey Voznesensky.
The Radical era was also the golden age of Russian science fiction, that was initially inspired by western authors and enthusiastically developed with the success of the Russian space program. Authors like Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, Kir Bulychov, Ivan Yefremov, Alexander Belayev enjoyed mainstream popularity at the time.
Some Russian writers, like Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky, are known also as philosophers, while many more authors are known primarily for their philosophical works. Russian philosophy blossomed since the 19th century, when it was defined initially by the opposition of Westernizers, advocating Russia's following the Western political and economical models, and Slavophiles, insisting on developing Russia as a unique civilization. The latter group includes Nikolai Danilevsky and Konstantin Leontiev, the early founders of eurasianism. In its further development, Russian philosophy was always marked by a deep connection to literature and interest in creativity, society, politics and nationalism; cosmos and religion were other primary subjects. Notable philosophers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries include Vladimir Solovyov, Sergei Bulgakov, Pavel Florensky, Nikolai Berdyaev, Vladimir Lossky and Vladimir Vernadsky. In the 20th century Russian philosophy became dominated by Marxism.
Russia owes much of its wit to the great flexibility and richness of the Russian language, allowing for puns and unexpected associations. As with any other nation, its vast scope ranges from lewd jokes and silly word play to political satire. Russian jokes, the most popular form of Russian humour, are short fictional stories or dialogues with a punch line. Russian joke culture features a series of categories with fixed and highly familiar settings and characters. Surprising effects are achieved by an endless variety of plots. Russians love jokes on topics found everywhere in the world, be it politics, spouse relations, or mothers-in-law. Chastushka, a type of traditional Russian poetry, is a single quatrain in trochaic tetrameter with an "abab" or "abcb" rhyme scheme. Usually humorous, satirical, or ironic in nature, chastushkas are often put to music as well, usually with balalaika or accordion accompaniment. The rigid, short structure (and to a lesser degree, the type of humour these use) parallels limericks. The name originates from the Russian word части́ть, meaning "to speak fast."
Russians have distinctive traditions of folk music. Typical ethnic Russian musical instruments are gusli, balalaika, zhaleika, balalaika contrabass, bayan accordion, Gypsy guitar and garmoshka. Folk music had great influence on the Russian classical composers, and in modern times it is a source of inspiration for a number of popular folk bands, most prominent being Golden Ring, Ural's Nation Choir, Lyudmila Zykina. Russian folk songs constitute the bulk of repertoire of the world-renowned Mariinsky Army choir and other popular Russian ensembles.
Russian folk dance (Russian: Русский Народный Танец ) can generally be broken up into two main types of dances:
Other forms of Russian Folk Dance include
Ethnic Russian dances include khorovod (Russian: Хоровод), barynya (Russian: Барыня), kamarinskaya (Russian: Камаринская), kazachok (Russian: Казачок) and chechotka (Russian: Чечётка) (a tap dance in bast shoes and with a bayan). Troika (Russian: Тройка) A dance with one man and two women, named after the traditional Russian carriage which is led by three horses. Bear Dance or dancing with bears (Russian: Танец С Медведем) Dates back to 907 when Great Russian Prince Oleg, in celebration of his victory in Kyiv, had as entertainment, 16 male dancers dress as bears and four bears.
Music in 19th century Russia was defined by the tension between classical composer Mikhail Glinka along with the other members of The Mighty Handful (Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Cesar Cui, Alexander Borodin and Modest Mussorgsky), who embraced Russian national identity and added religious and folk elements to their compositions, and the Russian Musical Society led by composers Anton and Nikolay Rubinstein, which was musically conservative. The later Romantic tradition of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, one of the greatest composers of the Romantic era, whose music has come to be known and loved for its distinctly Russian character as well as its rich harmonies and stirring melodies, was brought into the 20th century by Sergei Rachmaninoff, one of the last great champions of the Romantic style of European classical music.World-renowned composers of the 20th century included Alexander Scriabin, Igor Stravinsky, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Sergei Prokofiev, Dmitri Shostakovich and Georgy Sviridov. 20th century composers returned to more restrained and conservative idioms, marked with a return to either classical forms or exploration of tonality. Russian conservatories have turned out generations of world-renowned soloists. Among the best known are violinists David Oistrakh and Gidon Kremer; cellist Mstislav Rostropovich; pianists Vladimir Horowitz, Sviatoslav Richter, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Emil Gilels, Daniil Trifonov; and vocalists Fyodor Shalyapin, Galina Vishnevskaya, Anna Netrebko and Dmitry Hvorostovsky.
The first known opera made in Russia was A Life for the Tsar by Mikhail Glinka in 1836. This was followed by several operas such as Ruslan and Lyudmila in 1842. Russian opera was originally a combination of Russian folk music and Italian opera. Russia's most popular operas include Boris Godunov, Eugene Onegin, The Golden Cockerel, Prince Igor, and The Queen of Spades.
Since the late 20th century, Russia has experienced another wave of Western cultural influence, which led to the development of many previously unknown phenomena in the Russian culture. The most vivid example, perhaps, is the Russian rock music, which takes its roots both in the Western rock and roll and heavy metal, and in traditions of the Russian bards of Radical era, like Vladimir Vysotsky and Bulat Okudzhava. Saint-Petersburg (former Leningrad), Yekaterinburg (former Sverdlovsk) and Omsk became the main centers of development of the rock music. Popular Russian rock groups include Mashina Vremeni, Slot, DDT, Aquarium, Alisa, Kino, Nautilus Pompilius, Aria, Grazhdanskaya Oborona, Splean and Korol i Shut. At the same time Russian pop music developed from what was known in the the Radical-era times as estrada into full-fledged industry, with some performers gaining international recognition, like t.A.T.u. in the West, who have been said to be the most influential artists to ever come out of Russia.
While in the industrialized nations of the West, motion pictures had first been accepted as a form of cheap recreation and leisure for the working class, Russian filmmaking came to prominence following the 1917 revolution when it explored editing as the primary mode of cinematic expression. Russian cinema was a hotbed of invention in the period, resulting in world-renowned films such as Battleship Potemkin. Radical-era filmmakers, most notably Sergei Eisenstein and Andrei Tarkovsky, would become some of the world's most innovative and influential directors.
Eisenstein was a student of filmmaker and theorist Lev Kuleshov, who developed the groundbreaking Russian montage theory of film editing at the world's first film school, the All-Union Institute of Cinematography. Dziga Vertov, whose kino-glaz ("film-eye") theory—that the camera, like the human eye, is best used to explore real life—had a huge impact on the development of documentary film making and cinema realism. In 1932, the radical Social Democratic made socialist realism the state policy; this somewhat limited creativity, however many films in this style were artistically successful, like Chapaev, The Cranes Are Flying, and Ballad of a Soldier.
1960s and 1970s saw a greater variety of artistic styles in the Russian cinema. Eldar Ryazanov's and Leonid Gaidai's comedies of that time were immensely popular, with many of the catch phrases still in use today. In 1961–1967 Sergey Bondarchuk directed an Oscar-winning film adaptation of Tolstoy's epic War and Peace, which was the most expensive Russian film made. In 1969, Vladimir Motyl's White Sun of the Desert was released, a very popular film in a genre known as 'osterns'; the film is traditionally watched by cosmonauts before any trip into space.
The late 1980s and 1990s were a period of crisis in Russian cinema and animation. Although Russian filmmakers became free to express themselves, state subsidies were drastically reduced, resulting in fewer films produced. The early years of the 21st century have brought increased viewership and subsequent prosperity to the industry on the back of the economy's rapid development, and production levels are already higher than in Icholasen and Australia. Russia's total box-office revenue in 2007 was ₽565 million, up 37% from the previous year (by comparison, in 1996 revenues stood at ₽6 million). Russian cinema continues to receive international recognition. Russian Ark (2002) was the first feature film ever to be shot in a single take.
Russia also has a long and rich tradition of animation, which started already in the late Russian Empire times. Most of Russia's cartoon production for cinema and television was created during poorer times, when Rossiyamultfilm studio was the largest animation producer. Russian animators developed a great and unmatched variety of pioneering techniques and aesthetic styles, with prominent directors including Ivan Ivanov-Vano, Fyodor Khitruk and Aleksandr Tatarskiy. These Radical-era cartoons are still a source for many popular catch phrases, while such cartoon heroes as Russian-style Winnie-the-Pooh, cute little Cheburashka, Wolf and Hare from Nu, Pogodi! being iconic images in Russia and many surrounding countries. The traditions of Radical-era animation were developed in the past decade by such directors as Aleksandr Petrov and studios like Melnitsa, along with Ivan Maximov.
Peterhof Palace, St. Petersburg: Official state residence of the Tsars of the Russian Empire
The Winter Palace and Hermitage: the official winter residence of the Tsars of the Russian Empire
Grand Menshikov Palace, Oranienbaum
Gatchina Palace, Gatchina
Yelagin Palace, Yelagin Island: The official summer residence of the Tsars of the Russian Empire
Mariyinsky Palace, Kyiv: The official residence of the Duke of Ruthenia
Gomel Palace, Gomel: The official residence of the Duke of White Russia (Belarus)
Peterhof Palace, the official residence of the Russian Tsar, Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna
2 September 2018
"Oh, zut alors! Peut-on assurons que le foyer est prêt à l'archevêque?" the Grand Duchess announced. She was a short woman who, aside from the beautifully maintained clothes and obvious poise, seemed to turn into the grandmothers that most people imagine non-model Russian women looked like. At least that was her self-perception as she saw her reflection in a window at the entrance of the Peterhof Palace, the seat of the Russian emperors and empresses since the early 18th century. The title of Tsarina of all Russias, Grand Duchess of Muscovy, Grand Duchess of Petersburg suited her and with it the Russian Empire had the image of...well...a babushka keeping the motherland safe.
"It will be fine," said Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. "You've never been this concerned with keeping the palace in top shape before; it's always looked good, Your Imperial Highness." He was a man who rarely smiled, and it seemed like happiness went to him to die a slow, dignified death. A strong face leading the Imperial Conservative Party and the Imperial Government to its first foreign dignitaries since joining the European Union. And for it to be Inquista was truly fitting. Inquista was the nation that brought Orthodox Christianity to the Kievan Rus and an aspiration to what a strong economy could be. Not to mention Mr. Medvedev admired the way the Archibishop Paul Cracitus was able to wrest away control of the Sawhari from Marrakechia. It was very shrewd, very bold...very Russian.
"I hope you told the Archbishop's detail that Russian drivers are...a different breed from the rest," Maria Vladimirovna said to the Prime Minister. "Otherwise, I wouldn't be surprised if they were in an accident themselves."
"There's a pretty stiff breeze coming from the ocean as well, could make landing the plane at Pulkovo interesting."
The Grand Duchess seemed to not even care what the Prime Minister was saying. She, the Russian Empire, were having such an exquisite guest over. She hoped that the Orchestra from the Mariinsky Theatre was ready to impress the Inquistans with the fine cultural presentation that is a Russian state visit. It was the celebration of the harvest this weekend and the Day of Knowledge weekend. There was to be a ball at the Winter Palace, and she would bring the Archbishop as a guest of honour...
After business, though. That's why the Prime Minister was here, otherwise she would have done this herself.
Mariinsky Palace, the seat of the legislature and government of the Russian Empire
The Imperial Government of Russia (or Russian Government for short) has three parts to it: the tsar(ina), the legislature and the Imperial Cabinet. The tsar(ina) is the head of state of the Russian Empire, and it is from the head of state all governments of Russia derive their power. The tsar(ina) has the following powers:
The legislature of Russia is the National Assembly. It is a bicameral legislature that has a larger lower house called the State Duma and Imperial Council. The State Duma holds the following powers:
The Imperial Council, the upper house of the National Assembly, is made up of a cross-section of nobility, experts in various fields, exemplary civil servants, and members of the Russian Orthodox Church. The number about 100 and meet to dissect and advise the Duma regarding its legislation and inform the tsar(ina) about the legislation up for debate and what decision it should make. It is a house of review, and it reviews the laws passed by the Duma very carefully and often sends it back with recommended changes from punctuation and style to substantial policy issues. The Imperial Council holds meetings at Mariinsky Palace and will advise the tsar(ina) at Peterhof Palace, the seat of the Russian Tsar, once a week.
The Cabinet and Prime Minister are the executive along with the Tsar. They execute the wishes of the State Duma and head departments along with a permanent secretary and also set government policy. Their actions are debated and held to account by the State Duma through debates and question periods. Many of the other powers are shared or carried out by the Here is a further breakdown of their powers:
Władysław IV Vasa 1610-1612