During the French Invasion, Tsar Alexander had everything worth pillaging burned in Moscow. This was done so the French would arrive to nothing when reaching Moscow. This shows how Russia outsmarted Napoleon and proceeded to reduce his troops and drive them back to France.
In the 1820s, Russia took interest in Turkey and the Balkan region in order to expand this empire, leading to the Crimean war. However, Russia was extremely unprepared for the Crimean War with Britain and France due to their inferior weaponry and technology. This would later lead to Russia experiencing their own Industrial Revolution to catch up to the rest of Europe.
Following his many reforms, Tsar Alexander II freed the serfs in 1861. He believed that Russia could not progress to an industrial society with serfs. However, this was met with protests by Russian landowners who benefited from serfs. Sure enough, the Russian economy crashed with little agricultural activity.
Tsar Alexander II built the Trans Siberian Railroad in 1891 over the course of his reforms. The railroad network extended across Russia and reached across Manchuria. This railroad helped open up more land to industrialization and economic activity, but Russia's economy was still ruined from the emancipation of serfs. This led to marxist ideas.
During his rule, Tsar Alexander II was killed by revolutionaries by a bomb being thrown in his carriage. These revolutionaries committed this political crime because they believed they Russia needed revolution in order to help the people. This was only the beginning of the political uprising against tsarist rule.
As Russia quickly decided to try and take over Korea and Manchuria in 1904, they came into conflict with Japan. This led to the Russo-Japanese War in which Russia was quickly defeated. This led to domestic unrest and ignited the Russian Revolution in 1917.