With Russia frequently in the news and with articles full of opinions, I wanted to understand the real story behind Russia’s influence in world politics. In order to do this, I felt the need to look at the recent history of Russia and try to understand Putin’s rise and what drives the country today as a global force. In reference to the 100-year anniversary in 2017 of the Russian Revolution, I look back at the preceding five decades. What seemed like a march toward democracy in the 1980’s, Russia took a different turn. This project hopes to identify connections between Russia’s economy, culture, politics and war to help us understand the entire story.