Online course: Russian History: from Lenin to Putin

Dates: any time

Duration: 12 hours

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 out of 493 ratings (see top rating courses here)

Participating countries: any country

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Organizer: University of California, Santa Cruz at Coursera


  • FREE
  • $49 with sharable certificate

Russian History: from Lenin to Putin

In this course, Peter Kenez, Professor Emeritus at UC Santa Cruz, explains the events of modern Russian history and introduces its most significant actors—from Vladimir Lenin to Vladimir Putin.



WEEK 1: 4 hours to complete

The 9th Century to the 1920s

Introduction to the Course
Formation of the Russian State
The Industrial Revolution
The February Revolution
The Provisional Government
The October Revolution
Consequences of the Revolution
The One-Party State
Economy, society, & culture of the 1920s

WEEK 2: 3 hours to complete

The Great Patriotic War: Before and After

Prelude to the Great Patriotic War
The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
German Invasion of the Soviet Union
Partisans, Collaborators, & Racial Distinction
The Soviet Union and the Allies
Dissipation of Hope
Material Devastation
Life without Stalin

WEEK 3: 5 hours to complete

Reform, Stagnation, Collapse, Rebirth?

Khrushchev’s Reforms
“We will bury you!”
Adventures in Foreign Policy
Andropov, Chernenko, and Gorbachev
Changing the Soviet Stance
The Collapse of the Soviet Union
Shock Therapy
The Rise of the Oligarchs
Why Putin?
The New Political Order
Putin’s Foreign Policy
Understanding Russians