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Back to Russian History: from Lenin to Putin

Learner Reviews & Feedback for Russian History: from Lenin to Putin by University of California, Santa Cruz

688 ratings

About the Course

In this course, Peter Kenez, Professor Emeritus at UC Santa Cruz, explains the events of modern Russian history and introduces its most significant actors—from Vladimir Lenin to Vladimir Putin....

Top reviews


Sep 14, 2020

I found that course had a central theme, the incompatibility of the Communist structures with an increase in the standard of living, that was well documented from the time of Lenin to that of Putin.


Jul 18, 2022

Very informative and well presented. Professor Kenez gives a thorough explanation of why Russia is what it is. It's the history from the Czarist regime to the common era. Thank you, Professor!

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126 - 150 of 260 Reviews for Russian History: from Lenin to Putin

By Marie K

May 10, 2019

Great lecture, thanks a lot!

By Li W Y

May 6, 2018

interesting course!!!

By Diego P

Jun 8, 2018

Very good, thank you

By Marty D A

May 1, 2020

Outstanding Course!

By Julie W

Oct 18, 2019

It is very helpful!

By Obozekhai E E

Jul 16, 2020

Exceptional course

By Julian M

Sep 7, 2019

Excellent course

By Paul K

Apr 26, 2018

Отличный курс!

By Roberto M R

Sep 23, 2019

Great course!

By Clifton L

Jun 20, 2019

Great Course

By Chisom I

Jul 16, 2020


By Арестов Н И

Nov 5, 2019


By Жаппарбекова А Т

Feb 1, 2023


By Куц Д П

Dec 26, 2019


By Willem

May 5, 2018

Thank you very much Professor Peter Kenez for the instructive and interesting course which I have almost finished only the essay and reviewing peers are remaining. I wish I had been taught the history of Russia up till the time of me going to primary school when I was young.

Indeed, the Russian people have suffered a lot and it is no wonder that they see Putin as their rescuer, whether he really is there rescuer will be shown in the future. I am not very optimistic.

On the other hand, the communist system which created shortages asked for corruption and I think that not one Russian has not misused the system in the past, it has become part of life. That a few people, the oligarchs exploited the new situation is in no way defendable but was the outcome of a rotten system.

What I missed in the course is any talk about the Vory, the Russian mafia which was there even in Stalin’s period and which is at the moment in command in Russia according to the book” The Vory” from Mark Galeotti. Especially in the lesson “Shock therapy” I think the Vory should have been mentioned because of the crimes they committed during that time.

By Alvaro L

Jul 23, 2020

Es un curso excelente dictado por un experto de quien se aprende mucho.

Observé dos errores:


El expositor menciona al final la Conferencia de Berlin en 1945. Debe corregirse por Conferencia de Postdam en Julio /45.


Menciona el profesor que con el comienzo de 1991, empezó la era Yeltsin. Febe corregirse por 1992.


Hay temss muy relevantes en este periodo de la historia que debieron tocarse a mayor profundidad en el curso como por ejemplo la Importancia de Lenin en la Unión Sovietica.

El sonido de las grabaciones es muy bajo en la mayoría de los videos.

Mil gracias

By Adriana D

Sep 11, 2018

It was a very good course! The topics were relevant and the explanations were very clear. The only thing was that at the end the professor said he intended to show how Russians view the world; however, I believe that goal wasn't completely achieved since most of the content was historical facts, which are important but don't necessarily show how Russians see their history of the world. Perhaps there could be Russian guests who can talk about Russian history from different standpoints. Having said that, I really enjoyed the course and the professor.

By Nicole L A

Mar 5, 2020

I learned so much from this course! The timeline of 3 weeks was kind-of fast-paced, in my opinion. I wish that "Week 3" could have been split into "Week 3" and "Week 4." I also wish that the transcripts were a little clearer, as some of the translation could have been improved. Lastly, some suggested supplemental materials would have been helpful. Basically, I used Google to figure out topics with which I was not familiar. Overall, I think it was a great class, and I learned a lot from Dr. Kenez.

By Ronald H

Apr 5, 2018

Very informative. Gave me a different insight into Russian thought especially in current administration of Putin. It seems that the Russians have been more afraid o the USA than the USA has been of them.

Units one and three are too long. Unit one should be divided into three units. Unit three should be divided into two units.

By Kristin P

Apr 13, 2020

This was an interesting class. The professor is very knowledgeable but sometimes difficult to understand, as his voice trails off at the end of sentences. I also found the class set up in a way that made it hard to take notes. Overall, though, an interesting class. I learned a lot. Thank you!

By Andrey

Apr 12, 2020

Great course, although cannot escape the feeling that some important topics like Khruschev's reforms, Perestroika, the Yeltsin times were not given sufficient detail and corresponding lectures were somewhat superficial. Otherwise, I enjoyed the course immensely! Thank you, Professor Kenez!

By Pratyush P S

Apr 20, 2020

The course is good if one wants to know an outline of russian history.Most of the views presented were neutral(thats a good thing) but some points were debatable.Overall the course is recommended for who ever is new to russian history and just wants to get a gist of the last 100 years.

By Jeff M

Jun 22, 2020

The instructor for the course transforms the Russian/Soviet history into a fine narrative that I would encourage anyone interested in Communism or Russia to listen too. My only reservations for the course are with the final project being too broad, and the course only being 3 weeks.

By Steve R

Jun 12, 2018

Exellent course, maybe a bit too short for the subject. I liked the professor who spoke to the camera without notes. Maybe a bit more use of contemporary film would have bought course to life (photos were used)

By Dave M

May 2, 2020

Really enjoyed the course, Prof. Kenez really gave us a valuable understanding of Russian history from his unique perspective -- very glad I took part, thanks ...