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The Russian Federation, or Russia, is a country that bridges the continents of Europe and Asia. It is also the former center of the Russian Empire, and the United Soviet Socialist Republic, a political repressive communist regime that lasted from 1917 to 1991.
The Russian Empire was the ally of Britain, France and Serbia during World War I, fighting the Austro-Hungarian and German Empires. Russia signed a peace treaty with Germany after it lost too much territory and the government collapsed, exiting the war.
In 1917, a revolution overthrew the monarchy, which was organized by the German Empire to take it out of the war. A communist Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic was established. In 1922, it joined with other communist states to create the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, or Soviet Union. Joseph Stalin's regime was marred with political genocide and state terrorism.
In 1939, the Soviet Union signed a neutrality pact with Nazi Germany during World War II. But in 1941, Adolf Hitler broke the pact and invaded Russia. While the German Army managed to come a few miles from the capital of Moscow, the Nazis were severely defeated at Stalingrad and the tide of the war had turned.
After the end of the war, the Soviet Union became a severe rival of the United States to achieve dominance in the world, especially the "arms race" and the race to land on the Moon. While the Soviets were the first to launch a satellite and astronaut in space, the U.S. were the first to land man on the moon.
A nuclear war nearly erupted in 1962 between the Soviet Union and US during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Russia was discovered to have been arming Cuba, a fellow communist state, with nuclear missiles. US President John F. Kennedy threatened Russia to withdraw the missiles, and a war was avoided.
The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and subsequent turmoil caused thousands of people to emigrate to the United States, especially to New York City, so naturally the detectives of the NYPD have dealt with Russian immigrants.
In 1993, a Russian mail-order bride was suspected in the murder of the owner of a meat company. (L&O: "The Pursuit of Happiness") A year later, the Chief Financial Officer at a baby food company was murdered, and the initial suspects were the Russian mob. (L&O: "Old Friends")2004, the Major Case Squad investigated the beheading of the daughter of a jailed Russian mob boss, Ilana Yushka. (CI: "Maledictus")
In 2008, Detective Elliot Stabler infiltrated a smuggling ring run by Russian-born Andre Bushido. The brutal Bushido had already killed 12 other people and during the course of his excursion undercover, Stabler nearly became victim number thirteen when Bushido shot him twice in the chest and arm. (SVU: "Wildlife")