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An ex-Soviet security officer, and head of the revived Russian federal security service under Yeltsin, Putin inspired with his charismatic personality russian patriotism, and was able to consolidate the positive spirit of the country, however has been much condemned by the old Western countries.
Having served his constitutionally limited terms (2000-2008), Putin stepped down as President, endorsing another candidate, Dmitry Medvedev, who won the 2008 election.
Yeltsin was a weak leader but widely supported by the West, however his government proved to be unstable.
A wave of economic hardship put Russia's economy in ruins and left the military underfunded and undisciplined.
One of Russia's most charismatic and forceful leaders, Peter built the foundations of empire on a centralized political culture and promoted "westernization" of the nation.
A brutal civil war between the "Red Army" of the communist leadership and the "White Army" largely consisting of foreign interventionists back by Britain, Germany and France lasted until late 1920.
The revolutionary state was not directly ruled by the officials in titular control of the government, which was established in the name of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).
Following Lenin's death in 1924, a power struggle among the Bolshevik leadership ensued, with Josef Stalin emerging as the new leader of the Communist Party and of the USSR.
Tsar Nicholas II and his wife, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria, proved to be feckless, weak, and distracted by personal tragedies and the burdens of the war.
The government proved unable to hold back the Russian Revolutions of 1917.