During the 15th century, the Italian Assassins sent several of its members, including Pietro Antonio Solari and Ridolfo "Aristotele" Fioravant, to Moscow, where they were recruited by Tsar Ivan III Vasilevich as architects to work on the Kremlin. Unbeknownst to Ivan, they secretly kept an eye on his activities and ambitions, reporting back to the Assassins in Italy. However, in 1493, Ivan found out that Solari and Aristotele were spies, and had Solari killed. Aristotele, realizing Ivan was close to uncovering who they worked for, turned himself into the culprit for the murder. Additionally, he began creating rumors about a revival of the Strigolniki Sect.
While the Assassin presence in Russia continued throughout the Russian Empire, in the late 19th century, the Russian Assassins became known to the public as the Narodnaya Volya. They repeatedly attempted the assassination of Tsar Alexander III, with one such instance including the Assassin Nikolai Orelov, who was sent alone to kill the Tsar. In the ensuing fight, the train that they were on derailed, causing the Borki train disaster. However, Nikolai was unable to kill the Tsar, as Alexander was in possession of the Russian Imperial Sceptre, a Staff of Eden, to which he easily defeated the Assassin. However, the Tsar spared Nikolai.
In 1908, the Russian Assassins were involved in the Tunguska event, where they enlisted the aid of scientist Nikola Tesla to broadcast electricity to the Tunguska facility where the Templars were holding another artifact. However, just as Nikolai was to grab the Imperial Sceptre – stolen from the Russian royal family by Grigori Rasputin – Tesla proceeded with the plan, destroying the area and ultimately leaving Orelov as the only survivor, though Nikolai sustained various wounds.
During the Russian Revolution, the Russian Assassins supported the Bolsheviks, but eventually lost their control of the revolution.
During the early 20th century, the Russian Empire was involved in the First World War. Towards the end of the conflict, the country was thrown into a revolution following Nicholas II's loss of the Imperial Sceptre, which not only damaged the Tsar's influence, but plunged the country into a period of severe economic inflation due to the war's expense. The populace then rebelled against the Tsarist regime, and since Nicholas was left with no other choice, he stood down from power and a new Provisional government was formed.
Eight months later, the former Russian Empire was thrown into yet another revolution when Russian Socialist leader Vladimir Lenin ignited his own Communist Revolution against the Provisional government. Lenin's Bolsheviks seized power over the country and formed the Russian Soviet-State Republic, as well as declaring peace with the German Empire, which took Russia out of the First World War.
Following the end of the war, some loyalists to the old regime instigated Russia into a third revolution, which then escalated into a civil war, following the secession of some eastern Federal provinces. The Tsarists were supported by countries of major nations such as the United States, Britain, France and Japan, but the hope of restoring the country into a monarchy was destroyed when the Bolsheviks executed the former Tsar and his family. Eventually, the Bolsheviks prevailed and took full power of Russia.
After Vladimir Lenin's death in 1924, Joseph Stalin would eventually come into power of the Soviet Union, who was secretly controlled by the Templar Order. Under the rule of Stalin, the Soviet Union became a totalitarian, corrupt and decrepit state, presenting the capitalistic economies of the Western powers – a system created by the Templars – in a more positive light.
However, on 5 March 1953, Joseph Stalin was eventually killed by the Assassins, ending his thirty-one year rule.
During the late 1980s and early 1990s, the head of state of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, wanted to reform the country through his policy of "perestroika". The Templars realized that Gorbachev did not share their interests, so they had the British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, contact Boris Yeltsin, after which Yeltsin began to stand up to communism and gain popularity. In December 1991, the Templars called a secret meeting in Belavezhskaya Forest, and later that month, Gorbachev was unseated and Yeltsin became the head of the newly-formed Russian Federation.
There was one known Assassin team located in Moscow, who were chasing a potential lead on a Piece of Eden.