History of Russia
In the 19th century, Russia controlled Poland, which was at one point taken over by Napoléon Bonaparte. In 1812, Bonaparte invaded Russia in anticipation of a Russian attempt to retake Poland, but was defeated by the Russians. The First Doctor met Napoleon in Russia during that time (AUDIO: Mother Russia, A Thousand Tiny Wings) whereas the renegade Time Lady Iris Wildthyme later claimed to have done so.
In the late 1830s, Russia began expanding in Central Asia. The British feared that this expansion would pose a threat to their rule in India and so they occupied areas of Afghanistan to halt the Russian growth in the region. This sparked hostilities between the British and the Afghans which lasted until 1842. (PROSE: Mire and Clay)
By the end of the 19th century, Russia was ruled by Tsar Alexander. According to one account, he set up the organisation later known as KVI to combat alien threats after he learned of the establishment of the British Torchwood Institute by Queen Victoria. (AUDIO: The Torchwood Archive)
In 1903, Nicholas II was the Tsar of Russia. At that time, the First Doctor, Ian Chesterton, Barbara Wright and Susan Foreman travelled to Zarechny, Siberia, where they met Grigori Rasputin. After receiving a wealth of information from the future, Rasputin foresaw the Russian Revolution of 1917. (AUDIO: The Wanderer)
On 30 June 1908, the energy created by the meteor strike which later became known as the Tunguska Event caused the Great Divide to open in Russia, allowing some of the Charrl to enter that time period. (PROSE: Birthright)
During World War I, Bertie Stopford was the United Kingdom ambassador to the Russian Empire. He worked in British Intelligence with Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart, the paternal grandfather of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart.
On 7 November 1917, the October Revolution, part of the Russian Revolution of 1917, took place. At the ceremony held in honour of the 50th anniversary of the Revolution in Red Square in Moscow on 7 November 1967, the Seventh Doctor explained to his companion Ace that the celebration of the October Revolution was held in November as Russia was still using the Julian calendar, which was eleven days behind the Gregorian calendar, in 1917. (AUDIO: Thin Ice)
During the Cyberman invasion in collaboration with International Electromatics there was a communications blackout, meaning UNIT Captain Jimmy Turner had to travel to Russia by hypersonic jet in order to get them to fire a missile at a the Cybermen's spaceship. The missile was fired and the ship destroyed. (TV: The Invasion)
In a parallel universe visited by the Third Doctor, White Russia was led by Joseph Stalin and was a close ally of the fascist Republic of Great Britain. Europe was divided between these two vast spheres of influence. This state of affairs meant that World War II never happened as Russia and the British Republic were able to crush Nazi Germany by intimidating Adolf Hitler into backing down from his sabre-rattling. The Russian-British alliance, which still existed in the 1970s, was one of Stalin's greatest legacies. White Russia was a member of the Conclave, a super cabinet designed to ensure world peace which was composed of the leaders of Earth's five continents. (PROSE: The Face of the Enemy)
During the Year That Never Was, the Master made Russia the topmost shipyard of weaponry for the Time Lord Empire. According to Martha Jones, the shipyards spanned all across Russia, "from the Baltic to the Bering Straits." (TV: Last of the Time Lords)
Behind the scenes
To describe events throughout the second half of the 20th century, the names "Russia" and "Soviet Union" are often used interchangeably, but are in fact separate. Although the biggest by far, Russia was only one of several republics that formed the Union.
In the real world, the Soviet Union was created in 1922 and dissolved in 1991.