Russian territorial expansion from the 11th to the 19th century:
the conquest of Turanian (Ural-Altaic) lands

The Russian colonial empire which still exists today as the so-called "Russian Federation" has committed genocidal, ethnocidal, and environmental crimes on a massive scale since the Russian state began its expansion in the Middle Ages, destroying indigenous peoples, their culture and their natural environment.

Russian expansion into the Turanian lands began in the 11th c., when Russian tribes began to encroach upon the Finnish lands North of the Upper Volga, from the Eastern Baltic to the Urals, and to the White Sea. Russian rule brought great suffering to the Finnish peoples. The Finnish settlements were devastated, and their inhabitants slaughtered, enslaved, or relocated. The Russian conquest and oppression of the Finnish peoples has continued since.

Russian expansion also began towards the East in the 16th c., as Russia conquered the Finnic and Turkic peoples of the Volga-Ural region and Siberia. Towards the South and Southeast, Russia expanded into the lands North of the Black Sea and the Caucasus, and into Turkestan. All these regions had been previously inhabited and ruled by Turanians for thousands of years: Scythians, Huns, and Turkic peoples.

As a result of the acquisition of all these Turanian lands and peoples, the population of Russia not only became highly heterogenous, but furthermore, the Russians themselves assimilated many Turanian ethnolinguistic and cultural elements, so that the Russian language, folklore and culture show significant Turanian influences. Large numbers of Turanians have also been forcibly assimilated ("Russified"), and the Russian ethnolinguistic group itself consists essentially of a mixture of Slavic and Turanian peoples.

Currently, Russia isn't showing any willingness to respect the human rights of the indigenous Turanian ethnic groups living on the territories it has conquered during the previous centuries, and the regime in power in the Kremlin clearly manifests dictatorial tendencies and an eagerness to incite and exploit anti-minority and xenophobic Russian nationalism and imperialistic ambitions.

Maps of Russian expansion (click on thumbnails below to view larger maps) [Source: Hammond Historical Atlas]
11th c.13th c.14th-16th c.16th c.17th-18th c.18th c.19th c.