Participants wave communist flags near a statue of Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin during an International Worker's Day parade in Donetsk, east Ukraine, May 2014. 
Marko Djurica / REUTERS

Russia was for many centuries separated, geographically and politically, from the development of Western civilization and culture, and thus came late into what, for most of Europe, would be called the modern age.1 But the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, witnessing as they did an extensive overcoming of these earlier barriers, permitted a very considerable progress in the modernization of Russian society. By the time the country was overtaken by the First World War, its situation was not entirely discouraging. Industrialization was proceeding at a level only two or three decades behind that of the United States. There was under implementation

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