"the end of the world"
Russian philosopher Vladimir Solovyov
Public DomainRussian philosopher Vladimir Solovyov
 The end of the world is a common theme in Russian literature and philosophy. From about the fifteenth century (the time of the Mongol invasion) onwards, Russia underwent bouts of believing that the apocalypse was imminent. The belief was widespread among Russian peasants at times of crisis, influencing the way Russians thought about philosophy and their own national identity. The invasion of Napoleon led to a resurgence of these eschatological ('orientated towards the end of time') preoccupations. When the world failed to end at this time, eschatological feelings subsided, only to build up once more towards the end of the nineteenth century towards the time of the Russian Revolutions.

Though it sounds counterintuitive, the apocalypse can actually present itself as a comforting thought in times of stress. Peasants who found themselves threatened by the invasion of a foreign power, or simply oppressed by their own autocratic government, looked to the end of the world as a time of redemption of their suffering and of revenge against their oppressors. It was a sign of the enormous powerlessness felt by the people of Russia that they felt change could only come in such a dramatic way.

Examples of eschatological Russian philosophy can be found in the work of Sergei Bulgakov, Nikolai Fyodorov, and Vladimir Solovyov.