Modern Russia can be included in a group of countries of the so-called catching-up type. Russia's communication with Europe was conditioned by its position as a great power, what depended on its ability to accomplish the process of modernisation. During the 19th century the nature of modernising processes in Europe had changed. Russia was loosing its status and power, what culminated in the First World War and the revolutionary events of 1917. The fundamental result of 1917 and the ensuing civil war was the destruction of the old Russian state and social system as a whole.