Russia's Empires explores the dynamics of Russia's past through time and space, from the nameless adventurers who first penetrated this vast, inhospitable terrain to a cast of dynamic characters that includes Ivan the Terrible, Catherine the Great and Stalin. The narrative takes in the magnficent, historic cities of Kiev, Moscow and St. Petersburg; it stretches to Alaska in the east, to the Black Sea and the Ottoman Empire to the south, to the Baltic in the west and to Archangel and the Artic Ocean to the north. The book asks such tantalizing questions as: Who are the Russians and what is the source of their imperialistic culture? Why was Russia so driven to colonize and conquer? From Kievan Rus'-the first ever Russian state, which collapsed with the invasion of the Monguls in the thirteenth century-to ruthless Muscovy, the Russian Empire of the eighteenth century and finally the Soviet period, this groundbreaking study analyzes the growth and dissolution of each vast empire as it gives way to the next.