The Russian Federation emerged from the Soviet Union during the turbulent events of 1990-91. The first leader of the newly formed nation was Boris Yeltsin, who rose to power by standing up to an attempted putsch. Yeltsin largely succeeded in transferring control over the country from the old Soviet elite to a newly formed cabinet of ministers. Yeltsin was a weak leader but widely supported by the West, however his government proved to be unstable. A wave of economic hardship put Russia's economy in ruins and left the military underfunded and undisciplined. During this time, Russian society was plagued by organized crime and great instability with many people having left the country.
Ivan IV emerged in 1547 as a powerful, autocratic ruler - giving himself the title of "Tsar" - he was known for his ruthlessness, and strengthened the position of the monarch to an unparalleled degree.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs may grant a sanctions permit authorising an activity that would otherwise contravene these prohibitions if the Minister is satisfied that it would be in the national interest to do so.
The ancestors of modern Russians are the Slavic tribes , whose original home is thought by some scholars to have been the wooded areas of the Pinsk Marshes .  The East Slavs gradually settled Western Russia in two waves: one moving from Kiev toward present-day Suzdal and Murom and another from Polotsk toward Novgorod and Rostov . From the 7th century onwards, the East Slavs constituted the bulk of the population in Western Russia  and assimilated the native Finno-Ugric peoples , including the Merya , the Muromians , and the Meshchera .
June 14, 2017 3:35 .: This article was updated to include news of special counsel's investigation into Trump for possible obstruction of justice.
RUSSIAN RIVER CRUISES
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Oleg Matsnev contributed reporting from Moscow, Hana de Goeij from Prague, and Miroslava Germanova from Bratislava, Slovakia.
An overview and timeline of the EU restrictive measures or 'sanctions' against the Russian Federation in response to the crisis in Ukraine.