The history of Russia is a long and complex one, with the first recorded settlements dating back to the 9th century. Over the centuries, Russia has been ruled by a variety of different empires, governments, and leaders, and has gone through many periods of expansion and contraction.
In the early years of its history, Russia was a collection of small principalities and city-states, with the Kievan Rus' state being the most powerful. In the 13th century, the Mongols invaded and established the Golden Horde, which ruled over much of Russia for several centuries.
In the late 14th and early 15th centuries, Moscow emerged as the dominant power in Russia, and the Russian state began to expand, annexing territory from neighboring countries and building a powerful military.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Russia underwent a period of rapid industrialization and modernization, and became one of the world's major powers. During this time, Russia was ruled by the Tsars, who maintained a strict authoritarian regime.
In 1917, the Russian Revolution overthrew the Tsarist government and established the Soviet Union, a socialist state that would last until its collapse in 1991. After the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia became a democratic republic, but has faced many challenges in the transition to a market economy and the building of democratic institutions.