Imperial Russia (1721-1917)
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until overthrown by the February Revolution in 1917. At the time Russia was the third largest empire in world history, stretching over three continents, the Russian Empire was surpassed in landmass only by the British and Mongol empires.
The decline of neighboring rival powers, the Swedish, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Persia and the Ottoman Empire gave Russia Empire the rise. This helped the empire in the overcoming Napoleon's control of Europe and its expansion westward and southward in 1812-14.
It was an absolute monarchy ruled by Russian emperors known as "Tsars". They were members of the House of Romanov.
In the years 1762-1769 Katharina ruled the Great Russia. Under her rule, other areas were conquered. After her, Russia took supremacy until the mid-19th century. But Russia was still a backward country. In 1853, the Crimean War against the Ottoman Empire followed, hoping to expand the territories further.
Russia lost the Crimean War. After that The emancipation reform of 1861 was that freed the serfs was the single most important event in 19th-century Russian history, and the beginning of the end for the landed aristocracy's monopoly of power.
In 1914 starts the first World War, it was with its allies, France, UK, US, Japan, Italy and a dozen other states! It was Russia vs. the Central Powers: Germany, Austria, Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria.
The Bolsheviks took the control about Russia. It is known as the October Revolution in 1917. After that Russia was a communist state. The execution of the Romanov family at the hands of Bolsheviks followed in 1918.
Viktor Kempf, Regimental Badges of Imperial Russia
Robert Werlich, Russian Orders, Decorations and Medals Including Those of Imperial Russia The Provisional Government The Civil War and the Soviet Union (Washington D.C., Quaker Press, 1981)
Prince Dimitri Romanov, The Orders, Medals and History of Imperial Russia (Engvej Denmark, Balkan Heritage, 2000)
Paul Mcdaniel and Paul J. Schmitt, The Comprehensive Guide to Soviet Orders and Medals (Arlington Virginia, Historical Research, 1997)
Orders, decorations and medals of Russia, Wikipedia,
Orders, decorations and medals of the Soviet Union, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orders,_decorations,_and_medals_of_the_Soviet_Union
Category: Orders, decorations and medals of the Russian Empire, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Orders,_decorations,_and_medals_of_the_Russian_Empire
See also the list of general sources here: https://www.medalbook.com/general-sources