Throughout their history, the Serbs have also looked up to a distant but great Slavic Orthodox empire.
When the Moscow Prince Ivаn the Terrible was crowned in 1547 as Tsar of all Russia, the new Moscow state took over the aristocracy and the state insignia modelled after the Byzantine Empire.
During the period of Peter the Great (1672–1725) Russia was victorious in the Baltic conflicts, thus extending the territory to the Baltic coast. The Russian history of that period was marked by the Peter’s plan to reform the country according to the Western model. The new capital, Saint Petersburg was placed at the doors of Europe. The rulers to come, of the Romanov Dynasty, were balancing between the appealing aspects of the European civilisation and the national feelings, which they tried to establish by implementing authoritarian policy. The Russian Empire was destroyed in the early 20th century by the inner opposition, lost wars and finally, the communist revolution. At the beginning of the First World War, Nicholas II, the last Russian tsar, sided with Serbia, leading Russia unprepared into the war. He and his family were executed by the Russian communists.
RELIGION AND TRADITION
The state religion of the Russian Empire was the Orthodox Christian faith.
After the fall of the Byzantine Empire, Russia was considered its successor as the centre of the Orthodox world. Throughout history, Russia was sending help to the Church of subjugated Serbia.
Russian borders: to the north the Arctic Ocean, to the south the Black Sea and the Caucasus mountains; to the west it used to border with German state of Prussia, Austrian Galicia and Romania; to the east it the vast area of northern and central Asia; a natural border between the European and Asian parts of Russia was the Ural mountains. In the late 19th century the total area of Russia was 22 million km2, which one third of all the land on Earth. In the east-west direction, the empire was 10,000 km wide (11 time zones). More than a hundred different nations lived in Russia, and the Russians themselves made a little less than half of the total population.