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Empire rankRussia
Primary culture
Russian (East Slavic)

Capital province
Moskva (295)

Feudal MonarchyGovernment monarchy.png

State religion

Technology group
EasternEastern technology group
Muscovite ideas
Traditions.png Traditions:
+25% National manpower modifier
−20% Infantry cost

Core-creation cost.png Sudebnik

−15% Core-creation cost

Land forcelimit.png Found the Streltsy

+50% Land force limit modifier

Manpower recovery speed.png Oprichnina

+10% Manpower recovery speed
−20% Culture conversion cost

Production efficiency.png Abolish the Mestnichestvo

+10% Production efficiency

Auto explore adjacent to colony.png Siberian Frontier

Adjacent provinces of a colony are revealed.
+1 Colonists

Army tradition.png The Table of Ranks

+0.5 Yearly army tradition

Technology cost.png Broathen the curriculum of the Cadet Corps

−10% Technology cost

Idea bonus.png Ambitions:

+50% National manpower modifier
For the region, see Russia (region).

Russia does not exist at the beginning of the Grand Campaign; it is a formable country. Historically, the Tsardom of Russia was formed by the Grand Principality of Muscovy on 1 April 1503, and Muscovy will usually form Russia in most campaigns. It is also possible (but more challenging) to form Russia as Novgorod and even more challenging to form it as Tver.[1]

Anyone fighting them should be aware of the vast amounts of manpower and very cheap foot soldiers that Russia have. If the player starts moving the troops onto Russian territory, the infamous winter attrition poses yet another challenge. All in all this leads to a daunting war every single time the player fights them.

Russia in 1508


Execute decision.pngForm Russian Nation

Through conquest and diplomacy Russia has managed to transform from a mere settlement into a dominant principality. After several eastern expeditions the Mongol hordes have finally been subdued and a centralized Russian state, ruled under the suzerainty of the Tsar, is emerging. Influences from Western Europe are helping us modernize and reform our nation and Western style of education is being adopted.

Potential Requirements

This country:

If this country is controlled by the AI, then it:

  • has at least 3 cities.
  • is not a former colonial nation.

This country:

  • has an administrative technology of at least level 10.
  • is not a subject nation.
  • is not at war.
  • is not a nomad nation.
  • owns its core provinces Moskva (295) and Novgorod (310).
  • owns and cores either Smolensk (293) or Ryazan (301).
  • owns and cores either Tver (294) or Yaroslavl (308).
  • owns and cores either Nizhny Novgorod (306) or Vladimir (307).

Russia Russia does not exist.


This country:

  • changes to Russia Russia.
  • gets Empire rank empire government rank.
  • gains a permanent claim on all not owned provinces of the regions: Russia and Crimea and the areas of: Saratov and Bashkiria.
  • gains Prestige.png25 prestige.
  • gets the modifier “Increased Centralization” for 20 years with the following effects:
    • Autonomy.png−0.05 monthly autonomy change,
    • National unrest.png+1 national unrest.
  • removes all provinces from the HRE if it is a member but not an elector or the emperor.


Main article: Russian missions


Main article: Russian events

Russia has a rich and interesting history, represented by several dynamic historical events, including the rise of the Romanov dynasty.

The Pomjestija Reform[edit]

Russia shares The Pomjestija Reform event with Muscovy, an event that grants reduced technology cost for 10 years.

Time of Troubles[edit]

Russia runs the risk of running into their Time of Troubles at any point between 1550 and 1650 if its stability is below 2. This event series gives neighbours opportunities to back pretenders to the Russian throne, which will further extend Russia's internal chaos. To bring an end to the Time of Troubles, Russia (or Muscovy) must not be at war, have a war exhaustion less than 3, no revolts going on, positive stability and not have the Usurper on the Throne modifier. Once all these conditions have been met, the mean time for the End of the Time of Troubles event to fire is 24 months.

The Grand Embassy[edit]

The Grand Embassy event is modelled after Peter the Great's accomplishments in the late 17th century. If Russia has not westernised, its monarch has good stats, and the date is late enough it is possible for the monarch to travel around Europe, learning various things for his country and increasing relations with neutral nations.


Execute decision.pngMake St. Petersburg the Capital

As a more western oriented state, Russia must have their capital in the west, and St. Petersburg will be our glorious beacon!

Potential Requirements
  • Owns Neva
  • Capital is not Neva
  • Has not enacted this decision before
  • Has core on Neva
  • Is not at war
  • Technology group is Western technology group Western

  • Lose Gold Icon.png ducats equal to 1 year's worth of income
  • Change capital to Neva
  • Gain Prestige.png 100 prestige
  • Neva:
    • Change name to St. Petersburg
    • Change province capital name to St. Petersburg
    • Gain Tax Base Icon.png 6 base tax
    • Gain Manpower.png 3 manpower
    • Change Culture icon.png culture to Muscovite

Execute decision.pngEstablish Russian Patriarchate

Constantinople is no longer the bastion and defense of Christianity. We need to pick up the mantle and establish a third Rome.

Potential Requirements
  • Country is Russia Russia
  • Religion is Orthodoxy Orthodox
  • Has not enacted this decision before
  • Is not at war
  • Constantinople is not owned by Byzantium Byzantium
  • Prestige.png Prestige is at least +2
  • Has fewer than 3 Innovative idea group.png Innovative ideas

  • Adds the modifier "Russian Patriarchate" for the rest of the campaign:
    • War exhaustion cost.png -20% Cost of reducing war exhaustion


Early Years (1500-1600)[edit]

Historically,[2] Russia was formed in 1503. At this point, the player's main rivals are the Scandinavian Kalmar Union to the North, the Commonwealth Commonwealth of Poland-Lithuania to the west, and various steppe hordes, the remnants of the Mongol Empire, to the south. Russia Russia may have to westernise at some point or another if its neighbours begin to westernise which is likely if Poland Poland takes Danzig from the Teutonic Order Teutonic Order, or perhaps even declare war to prevent them from surviving westernisation. It is inadvisable to westernise between 1550-1650 as dropping below 2 stability will trigger the Time of Troubles disaster, which hampers with stability and expansion and may be fatal to an unprepared player. If the player decides to westernise before the 1550–1650 time frame, one should avoid researching technologies to save monarch points and to achieve the required eight technologies behind a western neighbour, which at this point in the game is likely Sweden Sweden to the north. One should avoid reaching a low legitimacy or prestige, as huge chain revolts of Russian pretenders may occur, quickly draining the player's manpower and westernisation effort. With the sixth national idea, Russia Russia can probably avoid westernising entirely, and allying a neighbouring western power and keeping relations above +150 will ensure even cheaper technology through the western arms trade modifier; the eastern technology malus penalties can be eliminated entirely. Historically, Sweden Sweden leaves the Kalmar Union in 1523, provoking a war with Denmark Denmark. While the bulk of Sweden Sweden's forces are fighting in Denmark, it is possible to exploit this and declare war against Sweden Sweden, seizing a major city such as Stockholm and enacting Western Focus decision, instantly changing government rank to Empire and giving free westernisation.

Expanding Eastward[edit]

Russia Russia, at the end of the campaign, extends from the Baltic to the Pacific. Should the player decide to pursue this path, he must choose whether they will take Expansion ideas or Exploration ideas.

Exploration ideas: Uses Dip points, allows recruiting conquistadors, which are used for the exploration of terra incognita. Provides two colonists and various colonization bonuses, events are focused only on colonization, and once complete gives a automatic casus belli against Native Americans, winch is useful if lucky enough to find an unconquered Mexico or Peru, yet useless in any other case. If the player chooses Religious ideas, they still get a casus belli against all pagans/heretics.

It's a good idea for quick expansion into Siberia (Providing the player is constantly colonizing, by 1650 it's all Russian) and later on to the Americas, or if playing as Novgorod Novgorod and wish to colonize Siberia. Late game it's a good idea do discard it as it is too focused on colonization.

Expansion ideas: Uses Adm points. Muscovite fifth national idea allows automatic discovering of terra incognita bordering provinces, so that makes up for the conquistadors (Although Novgorod doesn't have this). Provides one colonist and one merchant (Which helps to colonize earlier as he helps with the trade income), some colonization bonuses, one more Diplomatic relation slot, lowers shipbuilding time and lowers recruitment time, and once complete gives a automatic casus belli against Hordes, Asian and Sub-Saharan nations.

It's good for Russian minors and Novgorod, so they can colonize, or Muscovy players that want to start colonizing Siberia right away and then expand into America as well.

Middle Years[edit]

By now, Russia Russia should be the powerhouse of Eastern Europe and Siberia. If the player has gotten exploration or expansion ideas and has advanced in diplomatic technology far enough to have Africa discovered with a Baltic port under their belt, it is time to play the eastern colonization game. It is wise to get a foot hold in Africa, then immediately start towards the Indies, where there are large amounts of valuable trade goods, high base tax provinces, and most European colonizing nations are battling out in the New World, not here. A path could be blazed towards western North America by grabbing Australia or by receiving fleet basing rights from a country such as Japan Japan or Korea Korea. It is advisable to go for Alaska and/or California if one has finished with Siberia.

All of this colonization will require a large fleet and make the French the greatest threat. The large amount of colonies can provide a huge income, letting the player build a navy with a lot of heavy ships to match France's. By allying Castile Castile/Spain Spain, England England, or both, the player can easily prevent French ambitions. If France has a lot of African colonies, an option can be to annex them, especially The Cape, which is a centre of trade and produces either ivory or gold.

Russian winter military strategy[edit]

In most games, Russia Russia, once formed, will own by far the most northern provinces where winter might start already in October and last till April. The majority of Russia's provinces will be affected by severe winter. This allows the 'Russian winter' strategy of letting enemy armies come into the country and forcing them to take massive loses due to attrition. If the enemy has a superior number of troops, the Russian armies can retreat and avoid combat. If the enemy then keeps their regiments stacked together, the losses suffered due to attrition will be massive. If they split up into detachments to siege a province, the Russian armies can destroy them with superior numbers one by one, it is not only useful against western European nations, but also against the Ottomans, should they evolve into a major military power.

This strategy benefits greatly from the +33% bonus to fort defence and additional attrition provided by the respective defensive ideas. The +25% defensiveness bonus provided by the Novgorod national ideas is also helpful in the case Russia was formed by Novgorod.


  1. Theoretically, any other of the small Russian-culture nations in Eastern Europe (Ryazan, Tver, Pskov, Yaroslavl) could also form Russia, but since these are extremely weak, this is very difficult.
  2. Historically, the official date is 16 January 1547 — coronation of Ivan IV Vasilyevich.
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