5 Countries That Dared to Invade Russia

Throughout history, Russia suffered three major invasions despite being involved in numerous conflicts. Most famously, Adolf Hitler tried to conquer an oversight similar to Napoleon’s. Here are some historical examples of those who dared to stand up to today’s Russia. 

Mongol Invasion of Russia

Genghis Khan dreamed of conquering Russian territory. In 1237, he sent his grandson Batu Khan, the ruler of the Golden Horde, to the mission. The Mongols were somewhat successful, and by 1240, they took down the so-called Kievan Rus, or  the “Rus’ land.” The Mongols gave the Russians a choice of who should rule the area, though they formally had to pay respects to the Golden Horde. 

This led to the creation of the Tatar-Mongol Yoke system, which greatly influenced Russian culture. However, In 1380, at the Battle of Kulikovo, the Russian army defeated the Mongol Horde. The victory led to the removal of the Mongols from Russia, and Russia slowly reclaimed territory controlled by the Golden Horde.

Swedish invasion of Russia

Sweden decided to invade Russia in 1708 under King Charles XII. During the Great Northern War, the Swedish army conquered then-Russian Belarus and tried to get to Saint Petersburg. After a while, the army attempted to invade Ukraine, leading to Poltava’s battle. At the battle, Peter the Great, who led the Russian military, defeated King Charles XII and forced him into exile to the Ottoman Empire. 

The Swedish king wanted the Ottomans to conquer Russia, but Peter bribed them. Previously, in 1611, the Swedish army occupied Novgorod, which lasted only six years. 

French invasion of Russia 

French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte led the Grande Armée across the River Neman and started the invasion of Russia through today’s Poland. Bonaparte’s army had over 600,000 soldiers, but it still failed. First, distributing goods among the French soldiers was difficult, and second, it was not prepared for the Russian winters.

The invasion only had one battle—the Battle of Borodino. While the Imperial Russian Army was defeated, the French lost the war. The invasion ended after six months, with 200,000 dead on Russia’s side and 300,000 on the French. 

Nazi invasion of Russia 

In 1939, Hitler and Stalin signed the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. This allowed Stalin to force  Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania to sign the “Pact of Defence and Mutual Assistance” and to turn his sights on Finland. Stalin’s and Hitler’s ambitions clashed, and in 1941, Operation Barbarossa started. 

The occupation started from all sides, and despite having 4 million soldiers, the Nazis were forced out of then-USSR in 1943. They, too, suffered from freezing temperatures and a lack of supplies, and the conflict was finalized when The Russian Red Arm entered Berlin in 1945.

The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth invasion 

The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth occupied Moscow between 1610 and 1612. Poland first mentioned the Polish–Lithuanian–Muscovite Commonwealth in the XVI century. The idea of this state lasted until the XVIII century, when the last Polish king, Stanisław August Poniatowski, tried to save the state by proposing a marriage between himself and Russian Empress Catherine the Great.

The Polish army was initially victorious, but it did not last long. After the Russians took over Moscow, the Romanovs were installed as emperors. The successors were a communist party of the Soviet Union. Later, in 1991, the dissolution of the Soviet Union led to the birth of 15 republics: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. 

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