BLOOMBERG NEWS—“German Chancellor Angela Merkel has a portrait on her desk of Russian empress Catherine the Great, the Prussian-born princess who went on to expand Russia’s territory to the west and the south, including Crimea.

As President Vladimir Putin tests Europe’s resolve during the crisis over Ukraine, Merkel’s admiration for Catherine hints at the complex ties binding Germany and Russia together that give her sway over Putin yet constrain her response.

Merkel, who once told German television that Catherine had “accomplished many things under difficult circumstances,” has telephoned with Putin at least three times in the past week alone.

That diplomacy reflects her role as the key conduit between east and west.

“The German government wants to avoid drastic EU measures or sanctions on Russia,” Fredrik Erixon, director of the European Centre for International Political Economy in Brussels, said in an interview. “The main casualties of such moves would be German companies exporting to Russia or those in Russia.”

WB7–Damn, now ain’t dat some reaaaal politique!




“Yekaterina Alexeevna or Catherine II, also known as Catherine the Great , Yekaterina II Velikaya; German: Katharina die Große; 2 May [O.S. 21 April] 1729 – 17 November [O.S. 6 November] 1796), was the most renowned and the longest-ruling female leader of Russia, reigning from 9 July [O.S. 28 June] 1762 until her death in 1796 at the age of sixty-seven.

Her reign was called Russia’s golden age. She was born in Stettin, Pomerania, Prussia as Sophie Friederike Auguste von Anhalt-Zerbst-Dornburg, and came to power following a coup d’état and the assassination of her husband, Peter III, at the end of the Seven Years’ War.

Russia was revitalized under her reign, growing larger and stronger than ever and becoming recognized as one of the great powers of Europe.
In both her accession to power and in rule of her empire, Catherine often relied on her noble favourites, most notably Grigory Orlov and Grigory Potemkin. Assisted by highly successful generals such as Pyotr Rumyantsev and Alexander Suvorov, and admirals such as Fyodor Ushakov, she governed at a time when the Russian Empire was expanding rapidly by conquest and diplomacy. In the south, the Crimean Khanate was crushed following victories over the Ottoman Empire in the Russo-Turkish wars, and Russia colonised the vast territories of Novorossiya along the coasts of the Black and Azov Seas.

In the west, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, ruled by Catherine’s former lover, king Stanis?aw August Poniatowski, was eventually partitioned, with the Russian Empire gaining the largest share.

In the east, Russia started to colonise Alaska, establishing Russian America.

Catherine reformed the administration of Russian guberniyas, and many new cities and towns were founded on her orders. An admirer of Peter the Great, Catherine continued to modernise Russia along Western European lines. However, military conscription and economy continued to depend on serfdom, and the increasing demands of the state and private landowners led to increased levels of reliance on serfs.

This was one of the chief reasons behind several rebellions, including the large-scale Pugachev’s Rebellion of cossacks and peasants.

The period of Catherine the Great’s rule, the Catherinian Era, is often considered the Golden Age of the Russian Empire and the Russian nobility.”

From Wikipedia


Ask any Pole what he or she thinks of Catherine the Great.

History Quiz:

And where do you think the land of the Cossacks is?





The Russian Empire circa 1801




The United States Circa 1908





If Russians knew how to read, they would write me off.–Catherine The Great.

WB7–Don’t worry, they most certainly know how to read.




Bloomberg Link: Here


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