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This article is considered accurate for the current version of the game.

Primary culture
Russian (East Slavic cultural union)

Capital province
Moskva (295)

Feudal MonarchyGovernment monarchy.png

State religion

Technology group
Ideas and traditions

Notes: Russia will use Novgorod's Ideas instead if formed by them.

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

Auto-exploration of all territory adjacent to owned home territory.
+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

Russia does not exist at the beginning of the Grand Campaign; it is a formable country. In the historical campaign, Russia is formed by Muscovy on the 1st April 1503, and Muscovy will also form Russia in most player's campaigns. It is also possible (but more challenging) to form Russia as Novgorod.[1]

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

Russia in 1508

Formation requirements[edit]

Form Russian Nation[edit]


  • Russia does not exist
  • Country is not The Papal State
  • Country is not Holy Roman Empire
  • Primary culture is Russian
  • Any of the following:
    • Is not AI controlled
    • All of the following:
      • Is AI controlled
      • Has at least 3 provinces
  • Is not a colonial nation
  • Any of the following:
    • Is not a former colonial nation
    • All of the following:
      • Is a former colonial nation
      • Is not AI controlled


  • Administrative technology is at least 10
  • Is not a vassal
  • Is not at war
  • Owns core province Moskva
  • Owns core province Novgorod
  • Any of the following:
    • Owns core province Tver
    • Owns core province Yaroslavl
  • Any of the following:
    • Owns core province Ryazan
    • Owns core province Smolensk
  • Any of the following:
    • Owns core province Nizhny Novgorod
    • Owns core province Vladimir


  • Changes country to Russia
  • Russian Region:
    • Limited to:
      • The province is not owned by our country
    • Adds claim to Russia
  • steppes:
    • Limited to:
      • The province is not owned by our country
    • Adds claim to Russia
  • Adds the modifier "Increased Centralization" for 20 years:
    • global_autonomy = -0.05
    • +1 global unrest
  • Changes prestige by 25


Main article: Russian missions


Main article: Russian events

Russia has a rich and interesting history, represented by several dynamic historical events.

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 neighbors 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]

This event is modeled after Peter the Great's accomplishments in the late 17th century. If Russia has not westernized, 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.


Make St. Petersburg the Capital[edit]


  • Country is Russia
  • Owns Neva
  • Capital is not Neva
  • Does not have the country flag relocated_capital_st_petersburg


  • Has core on Neva
  • Is not at war
  • Technology group is Western


  • Sets the country flag relocated_capital_st_petersburg
  • Modifies treasury by -1 years worth of income
  • Sets capital to Neva
  • Changes prestige by 100
  • Neva:
    • Changes province name to St. Petersburg
    • Changes province capital name to St. Petersburg
    • Changes base tax by 6
    • Changes province manpower by 3
    • Changes culture to Russian

Establish Russian Patriarchate[edit]


  • Country is Russia
  • Does not have the country modifier "Russian Patriarchate"
  • Follows the Orthodox religion


  • Is not at war
  • Constantinople:
    • The province is not owned by Byzantium
  • 2 prestige
  • Has less than 3 Innovative ideas


  • Adds the modifier "Russian Patriarchate" for the rest of the campaign:
    • -20% war exhaustion cost


Early Years (1500-1600)[edit]

Historically[2], Russia was formed in 1503. At this point, the player's main rivals are the Kalmar Union to the North, Poland-Lithuania to the west, and various Hordes to the south. Russia may have to westernize at some point or another if its neighbors begin to westernize, or perhaps even declare war to prevent them from surviving westernization. It is inadvisable to westernize from 1550-1650 as dropping below 2 stability will trigger the modifier Time of Troubles, which hampers with your stability and expansion. If the player decides to westernize 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 neighbor, which at this point in the game is likely 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 westernization effort. With the sixth national idea, Russia can probably avoid westernizing entirely, and allying a neighboring western power and keeping relations above +150 will ensure even cheaper technology through the western arms trade modifier; and with a University, the eastern tech malus penalties can be eliminated entirely. Historically, Sweden leaves the Kalmar Union in 1523. While the bulk of Sweden's forces are fighting in Denmark, it is possible to exploit this and declare war against Sweden.

Expanding Eastward[edit]

Russia, at the end of the campaign, extends from the Baltic to the Pacific. Should the player decide to pursue this path, Expansion ideas are a wiser choice than Exploration ideas. Although Exploration ideas allow recruiting conquistadors, which may be used for exploration of terra incognita, Expansion ideas, in addition to providing a colonist, once completed give a permanent casus bellis against Asian nations. Expansion ideas, being an administrative idea group, may be supplemented with Exploration ideas eventually, as Exploration ideas are part of the diplomatic ideas group.

Middle Years (1600-1750)[edit]

By now, Russia should be the powerhouse of Eastern Europe and Siberia. If the player has gotten exploration or expansion ideas and has advanced in diplomatic tech far enough to have Africa discovered with a Baltic port under their belt, it is time you can 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 tax base provinces, and most European 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 or Korea.

All of this colonization will require a large fleet and make the French Empire your 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 either Castile/Spain, England, or both, the player can easily give France a blow to their ambitions. If France has a lot of African colonies, an option can be to annex them, especially The Cape.

Russian winter military strategy[edit]

In most games, 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 splits up 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 case Russia was formed by Novgorod).


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