Russia is a nation whose homeland lies at the end of Eastern Europe, bounded by the Ural Mountains, but which has since expanded all the way to the Pacific coast of Asia. As a result, it is the largest country in the world by area, with a history bound to its possession of the vast wilderness of Siberia.
Historically, the Russian civilization began in 882 as a federation of states historiographically known as Kievan Rus' which fell under the leadership of the Varangian Rurik dynasty. This system collapsed in 1240 upon the Mongol invasions. To protect their people and preserve autonomy, the principalities submitted to the Mongol Golden Horde as their overlords. By the time that Mongol rule began to wane, one of these principalities, the Grand Duchy of Moscow had risen as the new regional power, a development that led the Assassins from as far as Italy to eye its rulers with caution.
Under Ivan IV, Muscovy consumed the other principalities, uniting them into one kingdom, the Tsardom of Russia for the first time in 1547. In a few generations, Russia would grow into the Russian Empire, a major power which nonetheless was plagued by its underdevelopment and social stagnation in the 19th century.
These troubles bred secret societies, often anarchic or communistic, which threatened the monarchy with assassinations and terrorism. Elements of these organizations became intertwined with the Russian Brotherhood who had connections with Vladimir Lenin, leader of the revolutionary Marxist faction called the Bolsheviks. In 1917, the crisis erupted into two revolutions, one after another, which culminated in the seizure of power by the Bolsheviks, the execution of the last Tsar's family, and the founding of the Soviet Union.
During the 15th century, the Italian Brotherhood of Assassins sent several of its members, including Pietro Antonio Solari and Ridolfo "Aristotele" Fioravant, to Moscow, where they were recruited by Tsar Ivan III Vasilevich as architects to work on the Kremlin. Unbeknownst to Ivan, they secretly kept an eye on his activities and ambitions, reporting back to the Assassins in Italy. However, in 1493, Ivan found out that Solari and Aristotele were spies, and had Solari killed. Aristotele, realizing Ivan was close to uncovering who they worked for, turned himself into the culprit for the murder. Additionally, he began creating rumors about a revival of the Strigolniki Sect.
In 1881, the Nardodnaya Volya made numerous attempts to assassinate the Tsar Alexander II, who's regime was influenced by Templars. On 13 March, the Assassins successfully eliminated the Tsar with a bomb attack with the help of Ignacy Hryniewiecki.
With Alexander II's death, his son Alexander III succeeded him as the next Tsar. The Assassins repeatedly attempted to assassinate him, with one such instance in 1888 which the Assassin Nikolai Orelov was sent alone to kill the Tsar. In the ensuing fight, the train that they were on derailed, causing the Borki train disaster. However, Nikolai was unable to kill the Tsar, as Alexander was in possession of the Russian Imperial Sceptre, a Staff of Eden, to which he easily defeated the Assassin. However, the Tsar spared Nikolai.
In 1908, the Russian Assassins were involved in the Tunguska event, where they enlisted the aid of scientist Nikola Tesla to broadcast electricity to the Tunguska facility where the Templars were holding another artifact. However, just as Nikolai was to grab the Imperial Sceptre – stolen from the Russian royal family by Grigori Rasputin – Tesla proceeded with the plan, destroying the area and ultimately leaving Orelov as the only survivor, though Nikolai sustained various wounds.
During the Russian Revolution, the Russian Assassins supported the Bolsheviks, but eventually lost their control of the revolution.
During the early 20th century, the Russian Empire was involved in the First World War. Towards the end of the conflict, the country was thrown into a revolution following Nicholas II's loss of the Imperial Sceptre, which not only damaged the Tsar's influence, but plunged the country into a period of severe economic inflation due to the war's expense. The populace then rebelled against the Tsarist regime, and since Nicholas was left with no other choice, he stood down from power and a new Provisional government was formed.
Eight months later, the former Russian Empire was thrown into yet another revolution when Russian Socialist leader Vladimir Lenin ignited his own Communist Revolution against the Provisional government. Lenin's Bolsheviks seized power over the country and formed the Russian Soviet-State Republic, as well as declaring peace with the German Empire, which took Russia out of the First World War.
Following the end of the war, some loyalists to the old regime instigated Russia into a counter-revolution, which then escalated into a civil war, following the secession of some eastern Federal provinces. The Tsarists were supported by countries of major nations such as the United States, Britain, France and Japan, but the hope of restoring the country into a monarchy was destroyed when the Bolsheviks executed the former Tsar and his family. Eventually, the Bolsheviks prevailed and took full power of Russia.
With Lenin in control, he offered a select few buildings and locations to the Assassins, with the goal of using these buildings to further their cause and research. One such complex was located a short distance outside of Moscow, and was devoted to scientific experiments conducted by the Assassins and their allies.
After Vladimir Lenin's death in 1924, Joseph Stalin would eventually come into power of the Soviet Union. Stalin was secretly controlled by the Templar Order. Under his rule, the Soviet Union became a totalitarian, corrupt and decrepit state, presenting the capitalistic economies of the Western powers – a system created by the Templars – in a more positive light. However, on 5 March 1953, Joseph Stalin was eventually killed by the Assassins, ending his thirty-one year rule.
In 1977, the American Assassin William Miles was working in Moscow, where he stole the blueprints for an early Animus model. These prints were passed onto an Assassin scientist in the city, who eventually was able to construct her own version of the machine.
Dissolution of the Soviet Union
During the late 1980s and early 1990s, the head of state of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, wanted to reform the country through his policy of "perestroika". The Templars realized that Gorbachev did not share their interests, so they had the British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, contact Boris Yeltsin, after which Yeltsin began to stand up to communism and gain popularity. In December 1991, the Templars called a secret meeting in Belavezhskaya Forest, and later that month, Gorbachev was unseated and Yeltsin became the head of the newly-formed Russian Federation.
In March 2014, Galina Voronina, a Russian Assassin contacted the Assassin Gavin Banks and his crew of Altaïr II to request asistance in eliminating her mother Medeya, who had become insane from the effects of the Bleeding Effect. Returning to the Assassin facility in Protvino with backup, Galina and the Assassins successfully eliminated the deranged Assassins and her mother, putting them of their misery.