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Empire rankRussia
Primary culture
Muscovite (East Slavic)

Capital province
Moskva (295)

TsardomGovernment monarchy.png

State religion

Technology group
EasternEastern technology group
Russian ideas
Traditions.png Traditions:
+33% National manpower modifier
−10% Core-creation cost

Aggressive expansion impact.png Land of the Rus

−10% Aggressive expansion impact

Auto explore adjacent to colony.png Siberian Frontier

Automatically discover adjacent when a colony is built.
+1 Colonists

Artillery cost.png Russian Artillery Yard

−10% Artillery cost
+10% Artillery combat ability

Land force limit modifier.png Life-Long Conscription

+50% Land force limit modifier

Yearly corruption.png Abolish the Mestnichestvo

−0.10 Yearly corruption

Army tradition.png The Table of Ranks

+0.25 Yearly army tradition
−10% Advisor costs

Morale of armies.png Broaden the curriculum of the Cadet Corps

+5% Morale of armies
−10% Fire damage received

Idea bonus.png Ambition:

+1 Yearly legitimacy
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 16 January 1547 when Ivan IV the Terrible crowned himself the "Tsar and Grand Duke of all Rus'", 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.


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

The country:

If the country is AI-controlled, then it:


The country:

Flag of Russia Russia does not exist.


The country:

  • changes to Flag of Russia Russia.
  • gets Empire rank empire government rank.
  • gains a permanent claim on all unowned settled provinces in the regions:
  • 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.

If the country:

  • has Veche Republic or Russian Principality government
    • then it becomes a Tsardom.
  • is a member of the Holy Roman Empire but not the emperor or an elector
    • then all its provinces are removed from the HRE.
  • does not have custom ideas


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 0. 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

The country:

  • is Flag of Russia Russia.
  • owns Neva (33).
  • does not have Neva (33) as capital.
  • does not have enacted this decision before.

Flag of Russia Russia:

  • has a core on Neva (33).
  • is not at war.


Flag of Russia Russia:

  • loses Gold Icon.png ducats equal to 1 year's worth of income.
  • moves its capital to Neva (33).
  • gains Prestige.png 100 prestige.

Neva (33):

  • changes its name to St. Petersburg (with province capital St. Petersburg).
  • gains Tax Base Icon.png6 base tax.
  • gains Manpower.png3 base manpower.
  • changes its 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

The country:

  • is Flag of Russia Russia.
  • is OrthodoxyOrthodox.
  • does not have enacted this decision before.

Flag of Russia Russia:

Constantinople (151) is not owned by Flag of Byzantium Byzantium.


Flag of Russia Russia:

  • gets the modifier “Russian Patriarchate” for the rest of the campaign with the following effect:
    • Cost of reducing war exhaustion.png -20% cost of reducing war exhaustion.


Early Years (1500-1600)[edit]

Historically,[2] Russia was formed in 1547. At this point, the player's main rivals are the Scandinavian Kalmar Union to the North, the Flag of Commonwealth Commonwealth of Poland-Lithuania to the west, and various steppe hordes, the remnants of the Mongol Empire, to the south. It is advisable to keep stability high 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. One should avoid reaching a low legitimacy or prestige, as huge chain revolts of Russian pretenders may occur, quickly draining the player's manpower. Historically, Flag of Sweden Sweden leaves the Kalmar Union in 1523, provoking a war with Flag of Denmark Denmark. While the bulk of Flag of Sweden Sweden's forces are fighting in Denmark, it is possible to exploit this and declare war against Flag of Sweden Sweden, making it easier to remove a major rival in the North & allowing the player to secure Finland, and reducing Sweden's power in the Novgorod trade node.

Expanding Eastward[edit]

Flag of Russia Russia, at the end of the campaign, extends from the Baltic to the Pacific. Should the player decide to pursue this path, he can choose to 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 allows claim fabrication in otherwise ineligible New World provinces, which is useful if lucky enough to find an unconquered Mexico or Peru, yet useless in any other case. Note that the "Holy War" CB from Religious Ideas only applies to provinces that border Russia itself, not its colonial nations; as a result, even with Religious Ideas, this can be valuable for helping said nations expand.

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 Flag of 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. The second national idea of Russia/Muscovy allows automatic discovery of terra incognita bordering settled provinces, and grants access to the "Cossack Exploration Expedition" Estate interaction, but this may not compensate for the lack of sea exploration depending on the player's ultimate goals. Provides one colonist and some colonization bonuses, one more Diplomatic relation slot, lowers shipbuilding time and lowers recruitment time, and once complete allows claim fabrication in otherwise ineligible Asian and Sub-Saharan provinces.

It's good for Russian minors and Novgorod which have not changed to Russian national ideas, so they can colonize, or Muscovy players that want to start colonizing Siberia right away and then expand into America as well.

Note that, as of the recent expansions and patches, you can now switch out your idea groups later in the game should you so choose, so there is nothing really stopping a player from choosing both Exploration and Expansion idea groups. This allows for lightning-fast colonization of Siberia and Alaska; once you are done, simply switch out one of them (probably Exploration) for something more useful.

Alternately, a player opting for a more passive Siberian game can use the Siberian Frontiers available in Third Rome to slowly colonize the region without need to take a colonization-focused idea group. This frees an early idea slot for Administrative, Influence, or another idea group the player finds useful

Middle Years[edit]

By now, Flag of 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 Flag of Japan Japan or Flag of 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 Flag of Castile Castile/Flag of Spain Spain, Flag of 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, Flag of 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.


Flag of Russia Russia is in a typically terrible place for institution spread so it is generally advised that you kick-start the earlier Institutions such as the Renaissance, Colonialism & Printing Press in your relatively low Development farmlands & grasslands to allow the institution spread and save Monarch power, otherwise the Technology penalties can quickly become out of hand, especially when another institution arrives and you haven't embraced the previous one. Alternatively you can hope that Flag of Sweden Sweden has embraced them before you (especially Printing press as they tend to go Protestant), improve relations with them, and allow the spread to happen faster. However, even with institution spread bonuses there is still much land for institutions to spread across. Careful management & planning are key to efficient technology management.


All belongs to Mother Russia icon
All belongs to Mother Russia
Start as a country of Russian culture and form Russia.
Relentless Push East icon
Relentless Push East
Starting as a Russian nation, By 1600 own the East Siberian Coastline.


  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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