Spouse of Nicholas II who was known for her notorious friendship with Rasputin.
A naughty urban legend says that the death of this ruler is because of a sexual incident involving a horse!
Catherine the Great
This 16th century ruler was the first to be crowned as Czar of All Russia; his well-known English sobriquet means something closer to 'Severe' in Russian and carries connotations of strictness rather than cruelty.
Ivan the Terrible
While Prince of Novgorod in the 13th century, he achieved legendary status for his victories over German and Swedish invaders; the subject of an Eisenstein movie that had music by Prokofiev.
Ioseb Besarionis dze Jughashvili's better known name.
The 1604 invasion against this czar and adviser to Ivan the Terrible marked the start of the 'Time of Troubles'; the subject of a drama by Pushkin and Mussorgsky's only completed opera.
He was the Emperor when Napoleon invaded in 1812.
Alexander I (1801-25)
Known as 'Czar Liberator' for emancipating serfs, this emperor was assassinated in 1881.
In Russian history, this is 'anxious' term given to a period of early 17th century in which the country did not have a stable ruler.
Time of Troubles
Carried out modernization and expansion that transformed Russia into a major European power; built a new capital on the Baltic Coast.
Peter the Great
This 'battleship' minister who was a favorite of Catherine the Great purportedly erected fake settlements to impress her.
His eighteen-year term as General Secretary was one of the longest, second only to that of Joseph Stalin.
This leader is most associated with the Naevus flammeus.
(the port wine birthmark on the head)
This General Secretary of the Communist Party in the 80s was also the Chairman of KGB and played a key role in crushing the Prague Spring and in the invasion of Afghanistan.
Michael I, who became a czar in 1613, was the founder of this dynasty that lasted until 1917.