Who is the Father?
Historians believe none of Catherine's children were illegitimate. meaning they were not fathered by Peter. Peter is Catherine's husband. The first 8 years of the marriage she did not have any children. It is assumed that Peter might have been infertile and that one of Catherine's lovers was indeed the father.
Catherine the Great wasn't very fond of her husband and during her life she had a lover of the name Gregory Orlov. He was a Russian lieutenant. It was known that she had quite the sexual appetite.
Documentary Films: Getting to Know the Real Catherine the Great
Ways of Ruling
Catherine believed in absolute rule but she also made some efforts for social and political reforms. She put together the "Nakaz" which is a document stating how the country's legal system should run. She wasn't in favor for capital punishment and torture and made sure it was outlawed.
Catherine the Great (Екатерина II Великая) - Part 1
Catherine the Great (Екатерина II Великая) - Part 2
Catherine was interested in arts, and sponsored cultural projects. She also established a boarding school for girls from noble families. In honor of Catherine, she was made into a statue.