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The Capitals of Russia

Interesting facts about the capitals of Russia.

We have made a short video, which shows the capitals of Russia and their different locations for almost one thousand years.

New Moscow 1937

New Moscow (1937). Yuri Pimenov

It may come as quite a surprise, but some cities – centres for the development of Russia – are currently located outside its territory.

Fortunately, all capitals of Russia are present on its modern map and continue their development, attracting many tourists. They were spared a gloomy fate of former capitals, which were practically reduced to powder in some countries.

Today numerous transfers of Russian capitals seem to be unnecessary. For instance, the foundation of a new northern city Saint Petersburg and its further transformation into the capital of Russia. Thousands of its builders were buried in a swamp. Modern Saint Petersburg, a former capital of Russia, is an open-air museum and one of the world-largest cultural centres. But was it worth the lives of so many people?

Other transfers of Russian capitals were quite reasonable. For example, Moscow acquired the status of the capital of Russia, because it became the consolidation centre of the Russian principalities, which had suffered constant attacks either from East or from West. First of all, the Princes of Moscow made a deal with invaders, and two generations of Russians lived in peace. Meanwhile Russian people were gaining strength and eventually they managed to stand up to foreign enemies.

What were the names of the Russian capitals a thousand years ago or even earlier? Nowadays it is hard to give precise information.

Written sources are insufficient and contradictory, as well as archeological evidences. The remains of former Russian capitals lay under modern megalopolises. Thus, archeologists cannot get full access to it. Besides, some ancient Russian cities and cultural centres, mentioned in chronicles, are still not found. For this reason, their real status and the degree of influence on the Russian lands are hard to define.

Taking into account all these facts, we cannot say for sure how the formation of the Russian state went more than one thousand years ago.

More likely, these questions will be properly answered by future scientists and researchers.

Our video on the capitals of Russia sets you a thousand years back, when two political centers Veliky Novgorod and Kiev were solidifying their positions:

Our video about the capitals of Russia is based on the works of the following Russian historians:

  • Vasily Klyuchevsky
  • Sergei Solovyov
  • George Vernadsky
  • Anatoly Shikman

and some others.

We took information from such historical documents as “The address of the Provincial Government to the citizens of Russia declaring the formation of the Russian republic” (1917), “The second decree of the all-Russia congress of Soviets on peace” (1917) and some others.

While making this video, we used digital copies of Russian paintings, which recreate the image of the capitals of Russia. They belong to the following Russian artists:

  • Viktor Vasnetsov
  • Apollinaris Vasnetsov
  • Andrew Ryabushkin
  • Nicholas Roerich
  • Vasily Hudoyarov
  • Valentin Serov
  • Vasily Surikov
  • Igor Popov
  • Sergei Andriyaka

In addition, we included in the video old photos of the capitals of Russia, taken by unknown photographers, as well as modern ones, shot by Alexey Gureev.

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