The area of Russia has had a long a tumultuous history. What is now known as the Russian Federation emerged in the 12th century but was quickly under Mongolian control until the late 15th century. Modern Russian history began with the Romanov Empire, which not only vastly expanded Russian territory but westernized both its culture and structure of government. After the Communist revolution of the early 20th century the U.S.S.R existed for the majority of the century. Today Russia is the largest geographic country in the world extending from the Baltic to Bering seas. The Russian Federation is bordered by Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Finland to the West. Georgia borders the country to the southwest; finally Kazakhstan and Mongolia, China and North Korea border the Russian Federation from the south. Today Russia has forgone democratic ambitions for a semi-authoritarian state headed by Vladimir Putin.