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Russia

This article is about the Russian Federation. For other uses, see Russia (disambiguation).

Coordinates:60°N90°E /60°N 90°E /60; 90

Russia (Russian:Россия, Rossiya, Russian pronunciation: ), or the Russian Federation, is a transcontinental country spanning Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. It is the largest country in the world by area, covering over 17 million square kilometres (6.6×10^6 sq mi), and encompassing more than one-eighth of Earth's inhabited land area. Russia extends across eleven time zones, and has the most borders of any country in the world, with sixteen sovereign nations. It has a population of 146.2 million; and is the most populous country in Europe, and the ninth-most populous country in the world. Moscow, the capital, is the largest city in Europe, while Saint Petersburg is the nation's second-largest city and cultural centre. Russians are the largest Slavic and European nation; they speak Russian, the most spoken Slavic language, and the most spoken native language in Europe.

Russian Federation
Российская Федерация
Anthem:
"State Anthem of the Russian Federation"
Государственный гимн Российской Федерации
Land controlled by Russia shown in dark green; land controlled but unrecognized shown in light green.
Capital
and largest city
Moscow
55°45′N37°37′E /55.750°N 37.617°E /55.750; 37.617
Official language
and national language
Russian
Recognizednational languagesSee Languages of Russia
Ethnic groups
(2010)
Religion
(2017)
Demonym(s)Russian
GovernmentFederal semi-presidential constitutional republic
Vladimir Putin
Mikhail Mishustin
Valentina Matviyenko
Vyacheslav Volodin
Vyacheslav Lebedev
LegislatureFederal Assembly
Federation Council
State Duma
Formation
862
879
1283
16 January 1547
2 November 1721
15 March 1917
30 December 1922
12 December 1991
12 December 1993
18 March 2014
4 July 2020
Area
• Total
17,098,246 km2 (6,601,670 sq mi) 17,125,191 km2(including Crimea) (1st)
• Water (%)
13(including swamps)
Population
• 2021 estimate
  • 146,171,015
  • (including Crimea)
  • 143,759,445
  • (excluding Crimea)
(9th)
• Density
8.4/km2 (21.8/sq mi) (181st)
GDP (PPP)2021 estimate
• Total
$4.328 trillion (6th)
• Per capita
$29,485 (55th)
GDP (nominal)2021 estimate
• Total
$1.710 trillion (11th)
• Per capita
$11,654 (64th)
Gini (2018) 37.5
medium · 98th
HDI (2019) 0.824
very high · 52nd
CurrencyRussian ruble () (RUB)
Time zoneUTC+2 to +12
Driving sideright
Calling code+7
ISO 3166 codeRU
Internet TLD

The East Slavs emerged as a recognisable group in Europe between the 3rd and 8th centuries AD. The medieval state of Rus' arose in the 9th century. In 988, it adopted Orthodox Christianity from the Byzantine Empire, beginning the synthesis of Byzantine and Slavic cultures that defined Russian culture for the next millennium. Rus' ultimately disintegrated until it was finally reunified by the Grand Duchy of Moscow in the 15th century. By the 18th century, the nation had greatly expanded through conquest, annexation, and exploration to become the Russian Empire, the third-largest empire in history. Following the Russian Revolution, the Russian SFSR became the largest and leading constituent of the Soviet Union, the world's first constitutionally socialist state, which had a one-party system throughout most of its existence. The Soviet Union played a decisive role in the Allied victory in World War II, and emerged as a superpower and rival to the United States during the Cold War. The Soviet era saw some of the most significant technological achievements of the 20th century, including the world's first human-made satellite and the launching of the first human in space. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Russian SFSR reconstituted itself as the Russian Federation. In the aftermath of the constitutional crisis of 1993, a new constitution was adopted, and Russia has since been governed as a federal semi-presidential republic. Vladimir Putin has dominated Russia's political system since 2000, and his government has been accused of authoritarianism, numerous human rights abuses, and corruption.

Russia is a great power, and is considered a potential superpower. It is ranked 52nd in the Human Development Index, with a universal healthcare system, and a free university education. Russia's economy is the world's eleventh-largest by nominal GDP and the sixth-largest by PPP. It is a recognized nuclear-weapons state, possessing the world's largest stockpile of nuclear weapons, with the world's second-most powerful military, and the fourth-highest military expenditure. Russia's extensive mineral and energy resources are the world's largest, and it is one of the leading producers of oil and natural gas globally. It is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, a member of the G20, the SCO, the Council of Europe, the APEC, the OSCE, the IIB and the WTO, as well as the leading member of the CIS, the CSTO, and the EAEU. Russia is also home to the ninth-greatest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Contents

Main articles: Rus' people and Rus' (name)

The name Russia is derived from Rus', a medieval state populated primarily by the East Slavs. However, the proper name became more prominent in later history, and the country typically was called by its inhabitants "Русская земля" (Russkaya zemlya), which can be translated as "Russian land". In order to distinguish this state from other states derived from it, it is denoted as Kievan Rus' by modern historiography. The name Rus' itself comes from the early medieval Rus' people, a group of Norse merchants and warriors who relocated from across the Baltic Sea and founded a state centred on Novgorod that later became Kievan Rus'.

A Medieval Latin version of the name Rus' was Ruthenia, which was used as one of several designations for East Slavic and Eastern Orthodox regions, and commonly as a designation for the lands of Rus'. The current name of the country, Россия (Rossiya), comes from the Byzantine Greek designation of the Rus', Ρωσσία Rossía—spelled Ρωσία (Rosía pronounced ) in Modern Greek.

The standard way to refer to the citizens of Russia is "Russians" in English. There are two words in Russian which are commonly translated into English as "Russians"—one is "русские" (russkiye), which most often refers to ethnic Russians—and the other is "россияне" (rossiyane), which refers to citizens of Russia, regardless of ethnicity.

Main article: History of Russia

Early history

One of the first modern human bones of over 40,000 years old were found in Southern Russia, in the villages of Kostyonki and Borshchyovo situated on the banks of the Don River.

Nomadic pastoralism developed in the Pontic–Caspian steppe beginning in the Chalcolithic. Remnants of these steppe civilizations were discovered in places such as Ipatovo, Sintashta, Arkaim, and Pazyryk, which bear the earliest known traces of horses in warfare. In classical antiquity, the Pontic-Caspian Steppe was known as Scythia.

In late 8th century BCE, Ancient Greek traders brought classical civilization to the trade emporiums in Tanais and Phanagoria.

In the 3rd to 4th centuries AD, the Gothic kingdom of Oium existed in Southern Russia, which was later overrun by Huns. Between the 3rd and 6th centuries AD, the Bosporan Kingdom, which was a Hellenistic polity that succeeded the Greek colonies, was also overwhelmed by nomadic invasions led by warlike tribes such as the Huns and Eurasian Avars. The Khazars, who were of Turkic origin, ruled the lower Volga basin steppes between the Caspian and Black Seas until the 10th century.

The ancestors of modern Russians are the Slavic tribes, whose original home is thought by some scholars to have been the wooded areas of the Pinsk Marshes, one of the largest wetlands in Europe. The East Slavs gradually settled Western Russia in two waves: one moving from Kiev towards present-day Suzdal and Murom and another from Polotsk towards Novgorod and Rostov. From the 7th century onwards, the East Slavs constituted the bulk of the population in western Russia, and slowly but peacefully assimilated the native Finnic peoples, including the Merya, the Muromians, and the Meshchera.

Kievan Rus'

Kievan Rus' in the 11th century

The establishment of the first East Slavic states in the 9th century coincided with the arrival of Varangians, the Vikings who ventured along the waterways extending from the eastern Baltic to the Black and Caspian Seas. According to the Primary Chronicle, a Varangian from the Rus' people, named Rurik, was elected ruler of Novgorod in 862. In 882, his successor Oleg ventured south and conquered Kiev, which had been previously paying tribute to the Khazars. Rurik's son Igor and Igor's son Sviatoslav subsequently subdued all local East Slavic tribes to Kievan rule, destroyed the Khazar Khaganate, and launched several military expeditions to Byzantium and Persia.

In the 10th to 11th centuries, Kievan Rus' became one of the largest and most prosperous states in Europe. The reigns of Vladimir the Great (980–1015) and his son Yaroslav the Wise (1019–1054) constitute the Golden Age of Kiev, which saw the acceptance of Orthodox Christianity from Byzantium, and the creation of the first East Slavic written legal code, the Russkaya Pravda.

In the 11th and 12th centuries, constant incursions by nomadic Turkic tribes, such as the Kipchaks and the Pechenegs, caused a massive migration of the East Slavic populations to the safer, heavily forested regions of the north, particularly to the area known as Zalesye.

The age of feudalism and decentralization had come, marked by constant in-fighting between members of the Rurikid Dynasty that ruled Kievan Rus' collectively. Kiev's dominance waned, to the benefit of Vladimir-Suzdal in the north-east, Novgorod Republic in the north-west and Galicia-Volhynia in the south-west.

Ultimately Kievan Rus' disintegrated, with the final blow being the Mongol invasion of 1237–40, that resulted in the destruction of Kiev, and the death of about half the population of Rus'. The invaders, later known as Tatars, formed the state of the Golden Horde, which pillaged the Russian principalities and ruled the southern and central expanses of Russia for over two centuries.

Galicia-Volhynia was eventually assimilated by the Kingdom of Poland, while the Novgorod Republic and Mongol-dominated Vladimir-Suzdal, two regions on the periphery of Kiev, established the basis for the modern Russian nation. The Novgorod Republic escaped Mongol occupation and together with Pskov retained some degree of autonomy during the time of the Mongol yoke; they were largely spared the atrocities that affected the rest of the country. Led by Prince Alexander Nevsky, Novgorodians repelled the invading Swedes in the Battle of the Neva in 1240, as well as the Germanic crusaders in the Battle of the Ice in 1242.

Grand Duchy of Moscow

Main article: Grand Duchy of Moscow

The most powerful state to eventually arise after the destruction of Kievan Rus' was the Grand Duchy of Moscow, initially a part of Vladimir-Suzdal. While still under the domain of the Mongol-Tatars and with their connivance, Moscow began to assert its influence in the Central Rus' in the early 14th century, gradually becoming the leading force in the process of the Rus' lands' reunification and expansion of Russia. Moscow's last rival, the Novgorod Republic, prospered as the chief fur trade centre and the easternmost port of the Hanseatic League.

Times remained difficult, with frequent Mongol-Tatar raids. Agriculture suffered from the beginning of the Little Ice Age. As in the rest of Europe, plague was a frequent occurrence between 1350 and 1490. However, because of the lower population density and better hygiene—widespread practicing of banya, a wet steam bath—the death rate from plague was not as severe as in Western Europe, and population numbers recovered by 1500.

Led by Prince Dmitry Donskoy of Moscow and helped by the Russian Orthodox Church, the united army of Russian principalities inflicted a milestone defeat on the Mongol-Tatars in the Battle of Kulikovo in 1380. Moscow gradually absorbed the surrounding principalities, including formerly strong rivals such as Tver and Novgorod.

Ivan III ("the Great") finally threw off the control of the Golden Horde and consolidated the whole of Central and Northern Rus' under Moscow's dominion, and was the first Russian ruler to take the title title "Grand Duke of all Rus'". After the fall of Constantinople in 1453, Moscow claimed succession to the legacy of the Eastern Roman Empire. Ivan III married Sophia Palaiologina, the niece of the last Byzantine Emperor Constantine XI, and made the Byzantine double-headed eagle his own, and eventually Russia's, coat-of-arms.

Tsardom of Russia

Main article: Tsardom of Russia
Tsar Ivan the Terrible, 19th-century evocation by Viktor Vasnetsov, 1897

In development of the Third Rome ideas, the Grand Duke Ivan IV (the "Terrible") was officially crowned first Tsar of Russia in 1547. The Tsar promulgated a new code of laws (Sudebnik of 1550), established the first Russian feudal representative body (Zemsky Sobor), curbed the influence of the clergy, and introduced local self-management in rural regions.

During his long reign, Ivan the Terrible nearly doubled the already large Russian territory by annexing the three Tatar khanates (parts of the disintegrated Golden Horde): Kazan and Astrakhan along the Volga, and the Siberian Khanate in southwestern Siberia. Thus, by the end of the 16th century, Russia expanded east of the Ural Mountains, thus east of Europe, and into Asia, being transformed into a transcontinental state.

However, the Tsardom was weakened by the long and unsuccessful Livonian War against the coalition of Poland, Lithuania, Sweden, Denmark, and Norway for access to the Baltic coast and sea trade. At the same time, the Tatars of the Crimean Khanate, the only remaining successor to the Golden Horde, continued to raid southern Russia. In an effort to restore the Volga khanates, Crimeans and their Ottoman allies invaded central Russia and were even able to burn down parts of Moscow in 1571. But in the next year the large invading army was thoroughly defeated by the Russians in the Battle of Molodi, forever eliminating the threat of an Ottoman–Crimean expansion into Russia. The slave raids of Crimeans, however, did not cease until the late 17th century though the construction of new fortification lines across Southern Russia, such as the Great Abatis Line, constantly narrowed the area accessible to incursions.

Kuzma Minin appeals to the people of Nizhny Novgorod to raise a volunteer army against the Polish invaders

The death of Ivan's sons marked the end of the ancient Rurik Dynasty in 1598, and in combination with the famine of 1601–03, led to a civil war, the rule of pretenders, and foreign intervention during the Time of Troubles in the early 17th century. The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth occupied parts of Russia, extending into even Moscow. In 1612, the Poles were forced to retreat by the Russian volunteer corps, led by two national heroes, merchant Kuzma Minin and Prince Dmitry Pozharsky. The Romanov Dynasty acceded to the throne in 1613 by the decision of Zemsky Sobor, and the country started its gradual recovery from the crisis.

Russia continued its territorial growth through the 17th century, which was the age of Cossacks. In 1648, the peasants of Ukraine joined the Zaporozhian Cossacks in rebellion against Poland-Lithuania during the Khmelnytsky Uprising in reaction to the social and religious oppression they had been suffering under Polish rule. In 1654, the Ukrainian leader, Bohdan Khmelnytsky, offered to place Ukraine under the protection of the Russian Tsar, Aleksey I. Aleksey's acceptance of this offer led to another Russo-Polish War. Ultimately, Ukraine was split along the Dnieper River, leaving the western part, right-bank Ukraine, under Polish rule and the eastern part (Left-bank Ukraine and Kiev) under Russian rule. Later, in 1670–71, the Don Cossacks led by Stenka Razin initiated a major uprising in the Volga Region, but the Tsar's troops were successful in defeating the rebels.

In the east, the rapid Russian exploration and colonisation of the huge territories of Siberia was led mostly by Cossacks hunting for valuable furs and ivory. Russian explorers pushed eastward primarily along the Siberian River Routes, and by the mid-17th century, there were Russian settlements in Eastern Siberia, on the Chukchi Peninsula, along the Amur River, and on the coast of the Pacific Ocean. In 1648, Fedot Popov and Semyon Dezhnyov, two Russian explorers, discovered the Bering Strait, and became the first Europeans to sail to North America.

Imperial Russia

Main article: Russian Empire
Peter the Great, Tsar of All Russia in 1682–1721 and the first Emperor of All Russia in 1721–1725

Under Peter the Great, Russia was proclaimed an Empire in 1721, and became one of the European great powers. Ruling from 1682 to 1725, Peter defeated Sweden in the Great Northern War (1700−1721), forcing it to cede West Karelia and Ingria (two regions lost by Russia in the Time of Troubles), as well as the Governorate of Estonia and Livonia, securing Russia's access to the sea and sea trade. In 1703, on the Baltic Sea, Peter founded Saint Petersburg as Russia's new capital. Throughout his rule, sweeping reforms were made, which brought significant Western European cultural influences to Russia.

The reign of Peter I's daughter Elizabeth in 1741–62 saw Russia's participation in the Seven Years' War (1756–63). During this conflict, Russia annexed East Prussia and even reached the gates of Berlin. However, upon Elizabeth's death, all these conquests were returned to the Kingdom of Prussia by pro-Prussian Peter III of Russia.

Catherine II ("the Great"), who ruled in 1762–96, presided over the Age of Russian Enlightenment. She extended Russian political control over the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and incorporated most of its territories into Russia during the Partitions of Poland, pushing the Russian frontier westward into Central Europe, and thus making Russia the most populous country in Europe. In the south, after the successful Russo-Turkish Wars against the Ottoman Empire, Catherine advanced Russia's boundary to the Black Sea, defeating the Crimean Khanate. As a result of victories over Qajar Iran through the Russo-Persian Wars, by the first half of the 19th century, Russia also made significant territorial gains in Transcaucasia and the North Caucasus. Catherine's successor, her son Paul, was unstable and focused predominantly on domestic issues. Following his short reign, Catherine's strategy was continued with Alexander I's (1801–25) wresting of Finland from the weakened Sweden in 1809, and of Bessarabia from the Ottomans in 1812. While in North America, the Russians became the first Europeans to reach and colonize Alaska.

Russian expansion and territorial evolution between the 14th and 20th centuries.

In 1803–1806, the first Russian circumnavigation was made, later followed by other notable Russian sea exploration voyages. In 1820, a Russian expedition discovered the continent of Antarctica.

During the Napoleonic Wars, Russia joined alliances with various other European empires, and fought against France. The French invasion of Russia at the height of Napoleon's power in 1812 reached Moscow, but eventually failed miserably as the obstinate resistance in combination with the bitterly cold Russian winter led to a disastrous defeat of invaders, in which more than 95% of the pan-European Grande Armée perished. Led by Mikhail Kutuzov and Barclay de Tolly, the Imperial Russian Army ousted Napoleon from the country and drove throughout Europe in the war of the Sixth Coalition, finally entering Paris. Alexander I controlled Russia's delegation at the Congress of Vienna, which defined the map of post-Napoleonic Europe.

Monument to Mikhail Kutuzov in front of the Kazan Cathedral in Saint Petersburg. The Kazan Cathedral and the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow were built to commemorate Napoleon's defeat.

The officers who pursued Napoleon into Western Europe brought ideas of liberalism back to Russia with them and attempted to curtail the tsar's powers during the abortive Decembrist revolt of 1825. At the end of the conservative reign of Nicholas I (1825–55), a zenith period of Russia's power and influence in Europe, was disrupted by defeat in the Crimean War. Between 1847 and 1851, around one million people died across the country due to cholera.

Nicholas's successor Alexander II (1855–81) enacted significant changes throughout the country, including the emancipation reform of 1861. These reforms spurred industrialisation, and modernized the Imperial Russian Army, which liberated much of the Balkans from Ottoman rule in the aftermath of the 1877–78 Russo-Turkish War. During most of the 19th and early 20th century, Russia and Britain vied to fill the power vacuums that had been left by the declining Ottoman Empire, Qajar Iran, and the Qing dynasty. This rivalry between the two major European empires came to be known as "The Great Game".

The late 19th century saw the rise of various socialist movements in Russia. Alexander II was killed in 1881 by revolutionary terrorists, and the reign of his son Alexander III (1881–94) was less liberal but more peaceful. The last Russian Emperor, Nicholas II (1894–1917), was unable to prevent the events of the Russian Revolution of 1905, triggered by the unsuccessful Russo-Japanese War and the demonstration incident known as Bloody Sunday. The uprising was put down, but the government was forced to concede major reforms (Russian Constitution of 1906), including granting the freedoms of speech and assembly, the legalisation of political parties, and the creation of an elected legislative body, the State Duma.

February Revolution and Russian Republic

Emperor Nicholas II of Russia and his family were murdered by the Bolsheviks in 1918.

In 1914, Russia entered World War I in response to Austria-Hungary's declaration of war on Russia's ally Serbia, and fought across multiple fronts while isolated from its Triple Entente allies. In 1916, the Brusilov Offensive of the Imperial Russian Army almost completely destroyed the Austro-Hungarian Army. However, the already-existing public distrust of the regime was deepened by the rising costs of war, high casualties, and rumors of corruption and treason. All this formed the climate for the Russian Revolution of 1917, carried out in two major acts.

The February Revolution forced Nicholas II to abdicate; he and his family were imprisoned and later executed in Yekaterinburg during the Russian Civil War. The monarchy was replaced by a shaky coalition of political parties that declared itself the Provisional Government. On 1 September (14), 1917, upon a decree of the Provisional Government, the Russian Republic was proclaimed. On 6 January (19), 1918, the Russian Constituent Assembly declared Russia a democratic federal republic (thus ratifying the Provisional Government's decision). The next day the Constituent Assembly was dissolved by the All-Russian Central Executive Committee.

Russian Civil War

White émigré propaganda poster, circa 1932.

An alternative socialist establishment co-existed, the Petrograd Soviet, wielding power through the democratically elected councils of workers and peasants, called Soviets. The rule of the new authorities only aggravated the crisis in the country instead of resolving it, and eventually, the October Revolution, led by Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the Provisional Government and gave full governing power to the Soviets, leading to the creation of the world's first socialist state.

Following the October Revolution, the Russian Civil War broke out between the anti-Communist White movement and the new Soviet regime with its Red Army. Bolshevist Russia lost its Ukrainian, Polish, Baltic, and Finnish territories by signing the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk that concluded hostilities with the Central Powers of World War I. The Allied powers launched an unsuccessful military intervention in support of anti-Communist forces. In the meantime, both the Bolsheviks and White movement carried out campaigns of deportations and executions against each other, known respectively as the Red Terror and White Terror. By the end of the civil war, Russia's economy and infrastructure were heavily damaged. There were an estimated 7–12 million casualties during the war, mostly civilians. Millions became White émigrés, and the Russian famine of 1921–22 claimed up to five million victims.

Soviet Union

Vladimir Lenin and other Bolveshik leaders inspecting Vsevobuch troops on the Red Square, 1919.

On 30 December 1922, Lenin and his aides formed the Soviet Union, by merging the Russian SFSR with the Ukrainian, Byelorussian, and the Transcaucasian SFSR. Eventually the union grew larger to compass 15 republics, out of which, the largest in size and population was the Russian SFSR, which dominated the union for its entire history politically, culturally, and economically.

Following Lenin's death in 1924, a troika was designated to take charge. Eventually Joseph Stalin, the General Secretary of the Communist Party, managed to suppress all opposition factions and consolidate power in his hands to become the country's dictator by the 1930s. Leon Trotsky, the main proponent of world revolution, was exiled from the Soviet Union in 1929, and Stalin's idea of Socialism in One Country became the official line. The continued internal struggle in the Bolshevik party culminated in the Great Purge, a period of mass repressions in 1937–38, during which hundreds of thousands of people were executed, including original party members and military leaders forced to confess to nonexistent plots.

Under Stalin's leadership, the government launched a command economy, industrialisation of the largely rural country, and collectivisation of its agriculture. During this period of rapid economic and social change, millions of people were sent to penal labor camps, including many political convicts for their suspected or real opposition to Stalin's rule; millions were deported and exiled to remote areas of the Soviet Union. The transitional disorganisation of the country's agriculture, combined with the harsh state policies and a drought, led to the Soviet famine of 1932–1933, The Soviet Union made the costly transformation from a largely agrarian economy to a major industrial powerhouse in a short span of time.

World War II

The Battle of Stalingrad, the largest and bloodiest battle in the history of warfare, ended in 1943 with a decisive Soviet victory against the German Army.
World War II casualties in Europe by theatre and by year. The Soviet effort was essential in defeating the Axis powers.

On 22 June 1941, Nazi Germany broke the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact; and invaded the ill-prepared Soviet Union with the largest and most powerful invasion force in human history, opening the largest theater of World War II. The German Hunger Plan foresaw the starvation and extinction of a great part of the Soviet population, and Generalplan Ost called for the elimination of over 70 million Russians for Lebensraum.

Nearly 3 million Soviet POWs in German captivity were murdered in just eight months of 1941–42. Although the Wehrmacht had considerable early success, their attack was halted in the Battle of Moscow. Subsequently, the Germans were dealt major defeats first at the Battle of Stalingrad in the winter of 1942–43, and then in the Battle of Kursk in the summer of 1943. Another German failure was the Siege of Leningrad, in which the city was fully blockaded on land between 1941 and 1944 by German and Finnish forces, and suffered starvation and more than a million deaths, but never surrendered. Under Stalin's administration and the leadership of such commanders as Georgy Zhukov and Konstantin Rokossovsky, Soviet forces steamrolled through Eastern and Central Europe in 1944–45 and captured Berlin in May 1945. In August 1945, the Soviet Army ousted the Japanese from China's Manchukuo and North Korea, contributing to the Allied victory over Japan.

The 1941–45 period of World War II is known in Russia as the Great Patriotic War. The Soviet Union together with the United States, the United Kingdom and China were considered as the Big Four of Allied powers in World War II, and later became the Four Policemen which was the foundation of the United Nations Security Council. During this war, which included many of the most lethal battle operations in human history, Soviet civilian and military death were about 26-27 million, accounting for about a third of all World War II casualties. The full demographic loss of Soviet citizens was even greater. The Soviet economy and infrastructure suffered massive devastation, which caused the Soviet famine of 1946–47. Nonetheless, the Soviet Union emerged as a global superpower in the aftermath.

Cold War

After World War II, Eastern and Central Europe, including East Germany and eastern parts of Austria were occupied by Red Army according to the Potsdam Conference. Dependent communist governments were installed in the Eastern Bloc satellite states. After becoming the world's second nuclear power, the Soviet Union established the Warsaw Pact alliance, and entered into a struggle for global dominance, known as the Cold War, with the rivaling United States and NATO.

After Stalin's death in 1953 and a short period of collective rule, the new leader Nikita Khrushchev denounced Stalin's many crimes and atrocities and launched the policy of de-Stalinization, releasing many political prisoners from the Gulag labor camps. The general easement of repressive policies became known later as the Khrushchev Thaw. At the same time, Cold War tensions reached its peak when the two rivals clashed over the deployment of the United States Jupiter missiles in Turkey and Soviet missiles in Cuba.

Sputnik 1 was the world's first artificial satellite.

In 1957, the Soviet Union launched the world's first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1, thus starting the Space Age. Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human to orbit the Earth, aboard the Vostok 1 manned spacecraft on 12 April 1961. Following the ousting of Khrushchev in 1964, another period of collective rule ensued, until Leonid Brezhnev became the leader. The era of the 1970s and the early 1980s was later designated as the Era of Stagnation, a period when economic growth slowed and social policies became static. The 1965 Kosygin reform aimed for partial decentralisation of the Soviet economy and shifted the emphasis from heavy industry and weapons to light industry and consumer goods but was stifled by the conservative Communist leadership. In 1979, after a Communist-led revolution in Afghanistan, Soviet forces invaded the country, ultimately starting the Soviet–Afghan War. The occupation drained economic resources and dragged on without achieving meaningful political results. Finally, the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan in 1989 due to international opposition, persistent anti-Soviet guerrilla warfare, and a lack of support by Soviet citizens.

Mikhail Gorbachev in one-to-one discussions with Ronald Reagan in the Reykjavík Summit, 1986.

From 1985 onwards, the last Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, who sought to enact liberal reforms in the Soviet system, introduced the policies of glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring) in an attempt to end the period of economic stagnation and to democratize the government. This, however, led to the rise of strong nationalist and separatist movements across the country. Prior to 1991, the Soviet economy was the world's second-largest, but during its final years, it was afflicted by shortages of goods in grocery stores, huge budget deficits, and explosive growth in the money supply leading to inflation.

By 1991, economic and political turmoil began to boil over as the Baltic states chose to secede from the Soviet Union. On 17 March, a referendum was held, in which the vast majority of participating citizens voted in favour of changing the Soviet Union into a renewed federation. In June 1991, Boris Yeltsin became the first directly elected president in Russian history when he was elected President of the Russian SFSR. In August 1991, a coup d'état attempt by members of Gorbachev's government, directed against Gorbachev and aimed at preserving the Soviet Union, instead led to the end of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. On 25 December 1991, following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, along with contemporary Russia, fourteen other post-Soviet states emerged.

Post-Soviet Russia (1991–present)

Vladimir Putin takes the oath of office as president on his first inauguration, with Boris Yeltsin looking over, 2000.

The economic and political collapse of the Soviet Union led Russia into a deep and prolonged depression. During and after the disintegration of the Soviet Union, wide-ranging reforms including privatisation and market and trade liberalisation were undertaken, including radical changes along the lines of "shock therapy" as recommended by the United States and the International Monetary Fund.

The privatisation largely shifted control of enterprises from state agencies to individuals with inside connections in the government, which led to the rise of the infamous Russian oligarchs. Many of the newly rich moved billions in cash and assets outside of the country in an enormous capital flight. The depression of the economy led to the collapse of social services; the birth rate plummeted while the death rate skyrocketed, and millions plunged into poverty. The 1990s also saw extreme corruption and lawlessness, as well as the rise of criminal gangs and violent crime.

In late 1993, tensions between Yeltsin and the Russian parliament culminated in a constitutional crisis which ended after military force. During the crisis, Yeltsin was backed by Western governments, and over 100 people were killed. In December, a referendum was held and approved, which introduced a new constitution, giving the president enormous powers.

Dmitry Medvedev and Barack Obama after signing the New START nuclear reduction treaty, 2010.

The 1990s were plagued by armed conflicts in the North Caucasus, both local ethnic skirmishes and separatist Islamist insurrections. From the time Chechen separatists declared independence in the early 1990s, an intermittent guerrilla war was fought between the rebel groups and Russian forces. Terrorist attacks against civilians were carried out by separatists, claiming thousands of lives.

Russia took up the responsibility for settling the Soviet Union's external debts, even though its population made up just half of it at the time of its dissolution. In 1992, most consumer price controls were eliminated, causing extreme inflation and significantly devaluing the ruble. With a devalued ruble, the Russian government struggled to pay back its debts to internal debtors, as well as to international institutions. Despite significant attempts at economic restructuring, Russia's debt outpaced GDP growth. High budget deficits coupled with increasing capital flight and inability to pay back debts, caused the 1998 Russian financial crisis, and resulted in a further GDP decline.

Putin era

On 31 December 1999, President Yeltsin unexpectedly resigned, handing the post to the recently appointed prime minister and his chosen successor, Vladimir Putin. Yeltsin left office widely unpopular, with an approval rating as low as 2% by some estimates. Putin then won the 2000 presidential election, and suppressed the Chechen insurgency. As a result of high oil prices, a rise in foreign investment, and prudent economic and fiscal policies, the Russian economy grew significantly; dramatically improving Russia's standard of living, and increasing its influence in global politics. Putin went on to win a second presidential term in 2004.

On 2 March 2008, Dmitry Medvedev was elected president while Putin became prime minister, as the constitution barred Putin from serving a third consecutive presidential term. Putin returned to the presidency following the 2012 presidential elections, and Medvedev was appointed prime minister. This four year joint leadership by the two was coined "tandemocracy" by foreign media.

In 2014, after President Viktor Yanukovych of Ukraine fled as a result of a revolution, Putin requested and received authorisation from the Russian parliament to deploy Russian troops to Ukraine, leading to the takeover of Crimea. Following a Crimean referendum in which separation was favoured by a large majority of voters, the Russian leadership announced the accession of Crimea into Russia, though this and the referendum that preceded it were not accepted internationally. The annexation of Crimea led to sanctions by Western countries, after which the Russian government responded with counter-sanctions against a number of countries.

In September 2015, Russia started military intervention in the Syrian Civil War in support of the Syrian government, consisting of airstrikes against militant groups of the Islamic State, al-Nusra Front (al-Qaeda in the Levant), the Army of Conquest and other rebel groups. In March 2018, Putin was elected for a fourth presidential term overall.

In January 2020, substantial amendments to the constitution were proposed, and the entire Russian government resigned, leading to Mikhail Mishustin becoming the new prime minister. It took effect in July following a national vote, allowing Putin to run for two more six-year presidential terms after his current term ends. In April 2021, Putin signed the constitutional changes into law.

Main article: Geography of Russia
Topographic map of Russia

Russia is a transcontinental country stretching vastly over both Europe and Asia. Russia's border neighbors are Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia and North Korea. It spans the northernmost corner of Eurasia, and has the world's fourth-longest coastline, at 37,653 km (23,396 mi). Russia lies between latitudes 41° and 82° N, and longitudes 19° E and 169° W, and is larger than three continents: Oceania, Europe, and Antarctica, while having the same surface area as Pluto.

Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia's westernmost part along the Baltic Sea, is about 9,000 km (5,592 mi) apart from its easternmost part, Big Diomede Island in the Bering Strait. Russia has nine major mountain ranges, and they are found along the southern regions, which share a significant portion of the Caucasus Mountains (containing Mount Elbrus, which at 5,642 m (18,510 ft) is the highest peak in Russia and Europe); the Altai and Sayan Mountains in Siberia; and in the East Siberian Mountains and the Kamchatka Peninsula in the Russian Far East (containing Klyuchevskaya Sopka, which at 4,750 m (15,584 ft) is the highest active volcano in Eurasia). The Ural Mountains, running north to south through the country's west, are rich in mineral resources, and form the traditional boundary between Europe and Asia.

Russia borders three, oceans, when including its links with over thirteen marginal seas. Russia's major islands and archipelagos include Novaya Zemlya, Franz Josef Land, Severnaya Zemlya, the New Siberian Islands, Wrangel Island, the Kuril Islands, and Sakhalin. The Diomede Islands are just 3.8 km (2.4 mi) apart, and Kunashir Island is just 20 km (12.4 mi) from Hokkaido, Japan.

Russia, home to over 100,000 rivers, has one of the world's largest surface water resources, with its lakes containing approximately one-quarter of the world's liquid fresh water. Lake Baikal, the largest and most prominent among Russia's fresh water bodies, is the world's deepest, purest, oldest and most capacious fresh water lake, containing over one-fifth of the world's fresh surface water. Ladoga and Onega in northwestern Russia are two of the largest lakes in Europe. Russia is second only to Brazil by total renewable water resources. The Volga, widely seen as Russia's national river due to its historical importance, is the longest river in Europe. The Siberian rivers of Ob, Yenisey, Lena and Amur are among the world's longest rivers.

Climate

Main article: Climate of Russia

The sheer size of Russia and the remoteness of many areas from the sea result in the dominance of the humid continental climate, which is prevalent in all parts of the country except for the tundra and the extreme southwest. Mountains in the south and east obstruct the flow of warm air masses from the Indian and Pacific oceans, while the plain of the west and north makes the country open to Arctic and Atlantic influences. Most of Northwest Russia and Siberia has a subarctic climate, with extremely severe winters in the inner regions of Northeast Siberia (mostly Sakha, where the Northern Pole of Cold is located with the record low temperature of −71.2 °C or −96.2 °F), and more moderate winters elsewhere. Russia's vast stretch of land along the Arctic Ocean and the Russian Arctic islands have a polar climate.

The coastal part of Krasnodar Krai on the Black Sea, most notably Sochi, and some coastal and interior strips of the North Caucasus possess a humid subtropical climate with mild and wet winters. In many regions of East Siberia and the Russian Far East, winter is dry compared to summer; while other parts of the country experience more even precipitation across seasons. Winter precipitation in most parts of the country usually falls as snow. The westernmost parts of Kaliningrad Oblast on the Vistula Spit, and some parts in the south of Krasnodar Krai and the North Caucasus have an oceanic climate. The region along the Lower Volga and Caspian Sea coast, as well as some southernmost silvers of Siberia, possess a semi-arid climate.

Throughout much of the territory, there are only two distinct seasons—winter and summer—as spring and autumn are usually brief periods of change between extremely low and extremely high temperatures. The coldest month is January (February on the coastline); the warmest is usually July. Great ranges of temperature are typical. In winter, temperatures get colder both from south to north and from west to east. Summers can be quite hot, even in Siberia.

Biodiversity

Yugyd Va National Park in the Komi Republic is the largest national park in Europe.

Russia, owing to its gigantic size, has diverse ecosystems, including polar deserts, tundra, forest tundra, taiga, mixed and broadleaf forest, forest steppe, steppe, semi-desert, and subtropics. About half of Russia's territory is forested, and it has the world's largest forest reserves, which are known as the "Lungs of Europe"; coming second only to the Amazon rainforest in the amount of carbon dioxide it absorbs.

Russian biodiversity includes 12,500 species of vascular plants, 2,200 species of bryophytes, about 3,000 species of lichens, 7,000-9,000 species of algae, and 20,000-25,000 species of fungi. Russian fauna is composed of 320 species of mammals, over 732 species of birds, 75 species of reptiles, about 30 species of amphibians, 343 species of freshwater fish (high endemism), approximately 1,500 species of saltwater fishes, 9 species of cyclostomata, and approximately 100–150,000 invertebrates (high endemism). Approximately 1,100 of rare and endangered plant and animal species are included in the Russian Red Data Book.

Russia's entirely natural ecosystems are conserved in nearly 15,000 specially protected natural territories of various statuses, occupying more than 10% of the country's total area. They include 45 UNESCO biosphere reserves, 64 national parks, and 101 nature reserves. Russia still has many ecosystems which are still untouched by man—mainly in the northern taiga areas and the subarctic tundra of Siberia. Over time the country has been having improvement and application of environmental legislation, development and implementation of various federal and regional strategies and programmes, and study, inventory and protection of rare and endangered plants, animals, and other organisms, and including them in the Russian Red Data Book.

Main article: Politics of Russia

According to the Constitution of Russia, the country is an asymmetric federation and semi-presidential republic, wherein the president is the head of state, and the prime minister is the head of government. The Russian Federation is fundamentally structured as a multi-party representative democracy, with the federal government composed of three branches:

The president is elected by popular vote for a six-year term (eligible for a second term, but not for a third consecutive term). Ministries of the government are composed of the premier and his deputies, ministers, and selected other individuals; all are appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister (whereas the appointment of the latter requires the consent of the State Duma).

Political divisions

According to the constitution, the Russian Federation is composed of 85 federal subjects. In 1993, when the new constitution was adopted, there were 89 federal subjects listed, but some were later merged. The federal subjects have equal representation—two delegates each—in the Federation Council, the upper house of the Federal Assembly. They do, however, differ in the degree of autonomy they enjoy.

Federal subjects Governance
The most common type of federal subject with a governor and locally elected legislature. Commonly named after their administrative centres.
Each is nominally autonomous; home to a specific ethnic minority, and has its own constitution, language, and legislature, but is represented by the federal government in international affairs.
For all intents and purposes, krais are legally identical to oblasts. The title "krai" ("frontier" or "territory") is historic, related to geographic (frontier) position in a certain period of history. The current krais are not related to frontiers.
Occasionally referred to as "autonomous district", "autonomous area", and "autonomous region", each with a substantial or predominant ethnic minority.
Major cities that function as separate regions (Moscow, Saint Petersburg, and Sevastopol).
1 autonomous oblast
The only autonomous oblast is the Jewish Autonomous Oblast.

Federal districts

Federal subjects are grouped into eight federal districts, each administered by an envoy appointed by the President of Russia. Unlike the federal subjects, the federal districts are not a subnational level of government but are a level of administration of the federal government. Federal districts' presidential envoys have the power to implement federal law and to coordinate communication between the president and the regional governors.

Foreign relations

Putin with G20 counterparts in Osaka, 2019.

As of 2019[update], Russia has the fifth-largest diplomatic network in the world; maintaining diplomatic relations with 190 United Nations member states, two partially-recognized states, and three United Nations observer states; with 144 embassies. It is considered a potential superpower; and is a historical great power, an important regional power, and one of five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. Russia is a member of the G20, the Council of Europe, the OSCE, and the APEC, and takes a leading role in organisations such as the CIS, the EAEU, the CSTO, the SCO, and BRICS.

Russia maintains positive relations with other countries of SCO, EAEU, and BRICS, especially with neighbouring Belarus, which is in the Union State, a supranational confederation of the latter with Russia. Serbia has been a historically close ally of Russia since centuries, as both countries share a strong mutual cultural, ethnic, and religious affinity. In the 21st century, Sino-Russian relations have significantly strengthened bilaterally and economically—the Treaty of Friendship, and the construction of the ESPO oil pipeline and the Power of Siberia gas pipeline formed a special relationship between the two. India is the largest customer of Russian military equipment, and the two countries share a historically strong strategic and diplomatic relationship since the Soviet times.

Military

Main article: Russian Armed Forces

The Russian Armed Forces are divided into the Ground Forces, the Navy, and the Aerospace Forces—and there are also two independent arms of service: the Strategic Missile Troops and the Airborne Troops. As of 2019[update], the military had around one million active-duty personnel, which is the world's fourth-largest. Additionally, there are over 2.5 million reservists, with the total number of reserve troops possibly being as high as 20 million. It is mandatory for all male citizens aged 18–27 to be drafted for a year of service in Armed Forces.

Russia boasts the world's second-most powerful military, and is among the five recognized nuclear-weapons states, with the world's largest stockpile of nuclear weapons. More than half of the world's 13,500 nuclear weapons are owned by Russia. The country possesses the second-largest fleet of ballistic missile submarines, and is one of the only three states operating strategic bombers, with the world's most powerful ground force, the second-most powerful air force, and the third-most powerful navy fleet. Russia has the world's fourth-highest military expenditure, spending $65.1 billion in 2019. It has a large and fully indigenous arms industry, producing most of its own military equipment, and is the world's second-largest exporter of arms, behind only the United States.

Human rights and corruption

Russia's human rights management has been increasingly criticized by leading democracy and human rights watchdogs. In particular, such organisations as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch consider Russia to have not enough democratic attributes and to allow few political rights and civil liberties to its citizens. Since 2004, Freedom House has ranked Russia as "not free" in its Freedom in the World survey. Since 2011, the Economist Intelligence Unit has ranked Russia as an "authoritarian regime" in its Democracy Index, ranking it 124th out of 167 countries for 2020. In regards to media freedom, Russia was ranked 149th out of 180 countries in Reporters Without Borders' Press Freedom Index for 2020.

Russia was the lowest rated European country in Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index for 2020; ranking 129th out of 180 countries. Corruption is perceived as a significant problem in Russia, impacting various aspects of life, including the economy, business, public administration, law enforcement, healthcare, and education. The phenomenon of corruption is strongly established in the historical model of public governance, and attributed to general weakness of rule of law in the country.

Main article: Economy of Russia
Moscow is a major financial hub in Europe, and has one of the world's largest urban economies.
Russia's GDP growth by purchasing power parity (PPP) during 1991–2019 in international dollars

Russia has a mixed economy, with enormous natural resources, particularly oil and natural gas. It has the world's eleventh-largest economy by nominal GDP and the sixth-largest by PPP. In 2017, the large service sector contributed to 62% of the total GDP, the industrial sector 32%, and the small agricultural sector roughly 5%. Russia has a low unemployment rate of 4.5%, and a relatively low poverty rate of 12.6%. More than 70% of its population is categorized as middle class officially, which has been disputed by some experts. Russia foreign exchange reserves are worth $604 billion, and are world's fifth-largest. It has a labour force of roughly 70 million, which is the world's sixth-largest. Russia's large automotive industry ranks as the world's tenth-largest by production.

Russia is the world's fourteenth-largest exporter. In 2016, the oil-and-gas sector accounted for 36% of federal budget revenues. In 2019, the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry estimated the value of natural resources to 60% of the country's GDP. Russia has one of the lowest external debts among major developed countries, and ranked high among the "very easy" countries in the 2019 Ease of Doing Business Index. It has a flat tax rate of 13%, and has the world's second-most attractive personal tax system for single managers after the United Arab Emirates. However, extreme inequality of household income and wealth in the country has also been noted.

Infrastructure

Railway transport in Russia is mostly under the control of the state-run Russian Railways. The total length of common-used railway tracks is the world's third-longest, and exceeds 87,157 km (54,157 mi). As of 2016[update], Russia has 1,452.2 thousand km of roads, and its road density is among the world's lowest. Russia's inland waterways are the world's second-longest, and total 102,000 km (63,380 mi). Among Russia's 1,218 airports, the busiest is Sheremetyevo International Airport in Moscow, which is also the fifth-busiest airport in Europe.

The Trans-Siberian Railway is the longest railway line in the world, connecting Moscow to Vladivostok.

Russia's largest port is the Port of Novorossiysk in Krasnodar Krai along the Black Sea. It is the world's sole country to operate nuclear-powered icebreakers, which advance the economic exploitation of the Arctic continental shelf of Russia, and the development of sea trade through the Northern Sea Route.

Russia has been widely described as an energy superpower; as it has the world's largest natural gas reserves, the second-largest coal reserves, the eighth-largest oil reserves, and the largest oil shale reserves in Europe. It is the world's leading natural gas exporter, the second-largest natural gas producer, and the second-largest oil exporter, and producer. Fossil fuels cause most of the greenhouse gas emissions by Russia. The country is the world's fourth-largest electricity producer, and the ninth-largest renewable energy producer in 2019. Russia was also the world's first country to develop civilian nuclear power, and to construct the world's first nuclear power plant. In 2019, It was the world's fourth-largest nuclear energy producer.

Agriculture and fishery

Russia's agriculture sector contributes about 5% of the country's total GDP, although the sector employs about one-eighth of the total labour force. It has the world's third-largest cultivated area, at 1,265,267 square kilometres (488,522 sq mi). However, due to the harshness of its environment, about 13.1% of its land is agricultural, and only 7.4% of its land is arable. The main product of Russian farming has always been grain, which occupies considerably more than half of the cropland. Russia is the world's largest exporter of wheat, and is the largest producer of barley, buckwheat, oats, and rye, and the second-largest producer of sunflower seed. Various analysts of climate change adaptation foresee large opportunities for Russian agriculture during the rest of the 21st century as arability increases in Siberia, which would lead to both internal and external migration to the region.

More than one-third of the sown area is devoted to fodder crops, and the remaining farmland is devoted to industrial crops, vegetables, and fruits. Owing to its large coastline along three oceans, Russia maintains one of the world's largest fishing fleets, ranking sixth in the world in tonnage of fish caught; capturing 4,773,413 tons of fish in 2018. It is also home to the world's finest caviar (the beluga), and produces about one-third of all canned fish, and some one-fourth of the world's total fresh and frozen fish.

Science and technology

Mikhail Lomonosov (1711–1765), polymath scientist, inventor, poet and artist

Russia's research and development budget is the world's ninth-highest, with an expenditure of approximately 422 billion rubles on domestic research and development. In 2019, Russia was ranked tenth worldwide in the number of scientific publications. Russia was ranked 47th in the Global Innovation Index in 2020, down from 46th in 2019.

Since 1904, Nobel Prize were awarded to twenty-six Soviets and Russians in physics, chemistry, medicine, economy, literature and peace. Mikhail Lomonosov proposed the law of conservation of matter preceding the energy conservation law. Since the time of Nikolay Lobachevsky (the "Copernicus of Geometry" who pioneered the non-Euclidean geometry) and a prominent tutor Pafnuty Chebyshev, Russian mathematicians became among the world's most influential. Dmitry Mendeleev invented the Periodic table, the main framework of modern chemistry. Nine Soviet/Russian mathematicians were awarded with the Fields Medal. Grigori Perelman was offered the first ever Clay Millennium Prize Problems Award for his final proof of the Poincaré conjecture in 2002. Alexander Popov was among the inventors of radio, while Nikolai Basov and Alexander Prokhorov were co-inventors of laser and maser. Many famous Russian scientists and inventors were émigrés, among them are Igor Sikorsky, and Vladimir Zworykin, while many foreign ones lived and worked in Russia for a long time, such as Leonard Euler, and Alfred Nobel. Russian discoveries and inventions include the transformer, electric filament lamp, the aircraft, the safety parachute, electrical microscope, colour photos, caterpillar tracks, track assembly, electrically powered railway wagons, videotape recorder, the helicopter, the solar cell, probiotics (found in some yoghurts), the television, petrol cracking, synthetic rubber, and grain harvester.

Mir, Soviet and Russian space station that operated in low Earth orbit from 1986 to 2001.

Roscosmos is Russia's national space agency; while Russian achievements in the field of space technology and space exploration are traced back to Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, the father of theoretical astronautics, whose works had inspired leading Soviet rocket engineers, such as Sergey Korolyov, Valentin Glushko, and many others who contributed to the success of the Soviet space program in the early stages of the Space Race and beyond.

In 1957, the first Earth-orbiting artificial satellite, Sputnik 1, was launched. In 1961, the first human trip into space was successfully made by Yuri Gagarin. Many other Soviet and Russian space exploration records ensued, including the first spacewalk performed by Alexei Leonov. Vostok 6 was the first human spaceflight to carry a woman into space (Valentina Tereshkova). Luna 9 was the first spacecraft to land on the Moon, Sputnik 2 was the first spacecraft to carry an animal (Laika), Zond 5 brought the first Earthlings (two tortoises and other life forms) to circumnavigate the Moon, Venera 7 was the first spacecraft to land on another planet (Venus), and Mars 3 was the first spacecraft to land on Mars. Lunokhod 1 was the first space exploration rover, and Salyut 1 was the world's first space station.

Russia is among the world's largest satellite launchers, and has completed the GLONASS satellite navigation system. It is developing its own fifth-generation jet fighter (Sukhoi Su-57), and has built the world's first floating nuclear power plant. Luna-Glob is a Russian Moon exploration programme, with its first mission scheduled to launch in July 2022 (Luna 25). To replace the ageing Soyuz, Roscosmos is also developing the Orel spacecraft, which could conduct its first crewed fight in 2025. In February 2019, it was announced that Russia is intending to conduct its first crewed mission to land on the Moon in 2031. In April 2021, Roscosmos declared that it is planning to quit the ISS, and will create its own space station with the aim of launching it into orbit by 2030. In June 2021, Roscosmos and China National Space Administration announced that they are jointly developing a lunar base, which is planned to be utilized from 2036.

Tourism

Main article: Tourism in Russia

According to the World Tourism Organization, Russia was the sixteenth-most visited country in the world, and the tenth-most visited country in Europe, in 2018, with over 24.6 million visits. Russia was ranked 39th in the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2019. According to Federal Agency for Tourism, the number of inbound trips of foreign citizens to Russia amounted to 24.4 million in 2019. Russia's international tourism receipts in 2018 amounted to $11.6 billion. In 2020, tourism accounted for about 4% of country's GDP. Major tourist routes in Russia include a journey around the Golden Ring of Russia, a theme route of ancient Russian cities, cruises on large rivers such as the Volga, and journeys on the famous Trans-Siberian Railway. Russia's most visited and popular landmarks include Red Square, the Peterhof Palace, the Kazan Kremlin, the Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius and Lake Baikal.

Main articles: Demographics of Russia and Russians
Ethnic groups in Russia of more than 1 million people according to the 2010 Census.

Russia is one of the world's most sparsely populated and urbanized countries, and had a population of 142.8 million according to the 2010 census, which rose to 146.2 million as of 2021. It is the most populous country in Europe, and the world's ninth-most populous country, with a population density of 9 inhabitants per square kilometre (23 per square mile).

Since the 1990s, Russia's death rate has exceeded its birth rate, which has been called by analysts as a demographic crisis. In 2018, the total fertility rate across Russia was estimated to be 1.6 children born per woman, which is below the replacement rate of 2.1, and is one of the world's lowest fertility rates. Subsequently, the nation has one of the world's oldest populations, with a median age of 40.3 years. In 2009, it recorded annual population growth for the first time in fifteen years; and since the 2010s, Russia has seen increased population growth due to declining death rates, increased birth rates and increased immigration. However, since 2020, due to excessive deaths from the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia's population has been decreasing considerably.

Russia is a multinational state, home to over 193 ethnic groups nationwide. In the 2010 Census, roughly 81% of the population were ethnic Russians, and the remaining 19% of the population were ethnic minorities, and roughly 85% of Russia's population was of European descent, of which the vast majority were Slavs, with a substantial minority of Finnic and Germanic peoples. According to the United Nations, Russia's immigrant population is the world's third-largest, numbering over 11.6 million; most of which are from post-Soviet states, mainly Ukrainians.

Language

Minority languages across Russia

Russian is the official and the predominantly spoken language in Russia. It is the most spoken native language in Europe, the most geographically widespread language of Eurasia, as well as the world's most widely spoken Slavic language. Russian is the second-most used language on the Internet after English, and is one of two official languages aboard the International Space Station, as well as one of the six official languages of the United Nations.

Besides Russian, approximately over 100 minority languages are spoken across Russia. According to the Russian Census of 2002, 142.6 million across the country spoke Russian, 5.3 million spoke Tatar, and 1.8 million spoke Ukrainian. The constitution gives the country's individual republics the right to establish their own state languages in addition to Russian, as well as guarantee its citizens the right to preserve their native language and to create conditions for its study and development.

Religion

Main article: Religion in Russia
Saint Basil's Cathedral in Red Square of Moscow is the most popular icon of Russia.

Russia is a secular state by constitution, and its largest religion is Christianity. It has the world's largest Orthodox population, and according to different sociological surveys on religious adherence, between 41% to over 80% of Russia's population adhere to the Russian Orthodox Church.

In 2017, a survey made by the Pew Research Center showed that 73% of Russians declared themselves as Christians—out of which 71% were Orthodox, 1% were Catholic, and 2% were Other Christians, while 15% were unaffiliated, 10% were Muslims, and 1% followed other religions. According to various reports, the proportion of Atheists in Russia is between 16% and 48% of the population.

Islam is the second-largest religion in Russia, and it is the traditional religion amongst the bulk of the peoples of the North Caucasus, and amongst some Turkic peoples scattered along the Volga-Ural region. Buddhists are home to a sizeable population in the three Siberian regions: Buryatia, Tuva, Zabaykalsky Krai, and in Kalmykia; the only region in Europe where Buddhism is the most practised religion.

Education

Main article: Education in Russia
Moscow State University, the most prestigious educational institution in Russia.
The Petrozavodsk State University in Petrozavodsk, Republic of Karelia.

Russia has a free education system, which is guaranteed for all citizens by the constitution. The Ministry of Education of Russia is responsible for primary and secondary education, and vocational education; while the Ministry of Education and Science of Russia is responsible for science and higher education. Regional authorities regulate education within their jurisdictions within the prevailing framework of federal laws. Russia has the world's highest college-level or higher graduates in terms of percentage of population, at 54%.

Pre-school education in Russia is highly developed, some four-fifths of children aged 3 to 6 attend day nurseries or kindergartens. Schooling is compulsory for nine years. It starts from age 6 to 7 and leads to a basic general education certificate. An additional two or three years of schooling are required for the secondary-level certificate, and some seven-eighths of Russian students continue their education past this level. Admission to an institute of higher education is selective and highly competitive: first-degree courses usually take five years. The oldest and largest universities in Russia are Moscow State University and Saint Petersburg State University. There are also ten highly prestigious federal universities across the country. According to a UNESCO report in 2014, Russia is the world's sixth-leading destination for international students.

Health

Main article: Healthcare in Russia

Russia, by constitution, guarantees free, universal health care for all Russian citizens, through a compulsory state health insurance program. The Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation oversees the Russian public healthcare system, and the sector employs more than two million people. Federal regions also have their own departments of health that oversee local administration. A separate private health insurance plan is needed to access private healthcare in Russia.

According to the World Bank, Russia spent 5.32% of its GDP on healthcare in 2018. It has one of the world's most female-biased sex ratios, with 0.859 males to every female. In 2019, the overall life expectancy in Russia at birth is 73.2 years (68.2 years for males and 78.0 years for females), and it had a very low infant mortality rate (5 per 1,000 live births). The principle cause of death in Russia are cardiovascular diseases. Obesity is a prevalent health issue in Russia. In 2016, 61.1% of Russian adults were overweight or obese. However, Russia's historically high alcohol consumption rate is the biggest health issue in the country, as it remains one of the world's highest, despite a stark decrease in the last decade.

Main article: Russian culture

Russian culture has been formed by the nation's history, its geographical location and its vast expanse, religious traditions, and Western influence. Russian writers and philosophers have played an important role in the development of European thought. Russians have also greatly influenced classical music, ballet, sport, architecture, painting, and cinema. The nation has made pioneering contributions to science and technology and space exploration, and is home to 30 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, 19 out of which are cultural. The large global Russian diaspora has also played a major role in spreading Russian culture throughout the world.

Art and architecture

Early Russian painting is represented in icons and vibrant frescos. In the early 15th-century, the master icon painter Andrei Rublev created some of Russia's most treasured religious art. The Russian Academy of Arts, which was established in 1757, to train Russian artists, brought Western techniques of secular painting to Russia. In the 18th century, academicians Ivan Argunov, Dmitry Levitzky, Vladimir Borovikovsky became influential. The early 19th century saw many prominent paintings by Karl Briullov and Alexander Ivanov, both of whom were known for Romantic historical canvases. In the 1860s, a group of critical realists (Peredvizhniki), led by Ivan Kramskoy, Ilya Repin and Vasiliy Perov broke with the academy, and portrayed the many-sided aspects of social life in paintings. The turn of the 20th century saw the rise of symbolism; represented by Mikhail Vrubel and Nicholas Roerich. The Russian avant-garde flourished from approximately 1890 to 1930; and globally influential artists from this era were El Lissitzky, Kazimir Malevich, Natalia Goncharova, Wassily Kandinsky, and Marc Chagall. Notable sculptures from the Soviet era include Vera Mukhina, Yevgeny Vuchetich, and Ernst Neizvestny.

The Winter Palace, which served as the official residence of the Emperor of Russia, is an architectural symbol of Saint Petersburg.

The history of Russian architecture begins with early woodcraft buildings of ancient Slavs, and the architecture of Kievan Rus'. Following the Christianization of Kievan Rus', for several centuries it was influenced predominantly by the Byzantine Empire. Aristotle Fioravanti and other Italian architects brought Renaissance trends into Russia. The 16th-century saw the development of the unique tent-like churches; and the onion dome design, which is a distinctive feature of Russian architecture. In the 17th-century, the "fiery style" of ornamentation flourished in Moscow and Yaroslavl, gradually paving the way for the Naryshkin baroque of the 1690s. After the reforms of Peter the Great, Russia's architecture became influenced by Western European styles. The 18th-century taste for Rococo architecture led to the splendid works of Bartolomeo Rastrelli and his followers. During the reign of Catherine the Great, Saint Petersburg was transformed into an outdoor museum of Neoclassical architecture. During Alexander I's rule, Empire style became the de facto architectural style, and Nicholas I opened the gate of Eclecticism to Russia. The second half of the 19th-century was dominated by the Neo-Byzantine and Russian Revival style. In early 20th-century, Russian neoclassical revival became a trend. Prevalent styles of the late 20th-century were the Art Nouveau, Constructivism, and Socialist Classicism.

Music

Main article: Music of Russia
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840–1893), composer

Until the 18th-century, music in Russia consisted mainly of church music and folk songs and dances. In the 19th-century, it was defined by the tension between classical composer Mikhail Glinka along with other members of The Mighty Handful, and the Russian Musical Society led by composers Anton and Nikolay Rubinstein. The later tradition of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, one of the greatest composers of the Romantic era, was continued into the 20th century by Sergei Rachmaninoff, one of the last great champions of the Romantic style of European classical music. World-renowned composers of the 20th century include Alexander Scriabin, Alexander Glazunov, Igor Stravinsky, Sergei Prokofiev, Dmitri Shostakovich, Georgy Sviridov and Alfred Schnittke.

Soviet and Russian conservatories have turned out generations of world-renowned soloists. Among the best known are violinists David Oistrakh and Gidon Kremer, cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, pianists Vladimir Horowitz, Sviatoslav Richter, and Emil Gilels, and vocalist Galina Vishnevskaya.

During the Soviet times, popular music also produced a number of renowned figures, such as the two balladeersVladimir Vysotsky and Bulat Okudzhava, and performers such as Alla Pugacheva. Jazz, even with sanctions from Soviet authorities, flourished and evolved into one of the country's most popular musical forms. The Ganelin Trio have been described by critics as the greatest ensemble of free-jazz in continental Europe. By the 1980s, rock music became popular across Russia, and produced bands such as Aria, Aquarium, DDT, and Kino. Pop music in Russia has continued to flourish since the 1960s, with globally famous acts such as t.A.T.u.. In the recent times, Little Big, a rave band, has gained popularity in Russia and across Europe.

Literature and philosophy

Leo Tolstoy is regarded as one of the greatest authors of all time, with works such as War and Peace.

Russian literature is considered to be among the world's most influential and developed. It can be traced to the Middle Ages, when epics and chronicles in Old East Slavic were composed. By the Age of Enlightenment, literature had grown in importance, with works from Mikhail Lomonosov, Denis Fonvizin, Gavrila Derzhavin, and Nikolay Karamzin. From the early 1830s, during the Golden Age of Russian Poetry, literature underwent an astounding golden age in poetry, prose and drama. Romanticism permitted a flowering of poetic talent: Vasily Zhukovsky and later his protégé Alexander Pushkin came to the fore. Following Pushkin's footsteps, a new generation of poets were born, including Mikhail Lermontov, Nikolay Nekrasov, Aleksey Konstantinovich Tolstoy, Fyodor Tyutchev and Afanasy Fet.

The first great Russian novelist was Nikolai Gogol. Then came Ivan Turgenev, who mastered both short stories and novels. Fyodor Dostoevsky and Leo Tolstoy soon became internationally renowned. Ivan Goncharov is remembered mainly for his novel Oblomov. Mikhail Saltykov-Shchedrin wrote prose satire, while Nikolai Leskov is best remembered for his shorter fiction. In the second half of the century Anton Chekhov excelled in short stories and became a leading dramatist. Other important 19th-century developments included the fabulist Ivan Krylov, non-fiction writers such as the critic Vissarion Belinsky, and playwrights such as Aleksandr Griboyedov and Aleksandr Ostrovsky. The beginning of the 20th century ranks as the Silver Age of Russian Poetry. This era had poets such as Alexander Blok, Anna Akhmatova, Boris Pasternak, Konstantin Balmont, Marina Tsvetaeva, Vladimir Mayakovsky, and Osip Mandelshtam. It also produced some first-rate novelists and short-story writers, such as Aleksandr Kuprin, Nobel Prize winner Ivan Bunin, Leonid Andreyev, Yevgeny Zamyatin, Dmitry Merezhkovsky and Andrei Bely.

After the Russian Revolution of 1917, Russian literature split into Soviet and white émigré parts. In the 1930s, Socialist realism became the predominant trend in Russia. Its leading figure was Maxim Gorky, who laid the foundations of this style. Mikhail Bulgakov was one of the leading writers of the Soviet era. Nikolay Ostrovsky's novel How the Steel Was Tempered has been among the most successful works of Russian literature. Various émigré writers, such as novelist Vladimir Nabokov continued to write in exile. Some writers dared to oppose Soviet ideology, such as Nobel Prize-winning novelist Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, who wrote about life in the gulag camps.

Russian philosophy has been greatly influential, with philosophers such as Alexander Herzen, who is called the "father of Russian socialism"; Mikhail Bakunin, who is referred to as the father of anarchism; Mikhail Bakhtin, Helena Blavatsky, Vladimir Lenin, who is one of the world's most popular revolutionaries, and developed the political ideology of Leninism; Leon Trotsky, who is the founder of Trotskyism; and Petr Chaadaev, who influenced both the Westernizers and the Slavophiles. Notable Russian philosophers of the late 19th and 20th centuries including Vladimir Solovyov, Alexander Zinoviev, Sergei Bulgakov, Pavel Florensky, Lev Shestov, and Nikolai Berdyaev.

Cuisine

See also: Russian cuisine
Kvass is an ancient and traditional Russian beverage.

Russian cuisine has been formed by climate, cultural and religious traditions, and the vast geography of the nation; and it shares many similarities with the cuisines of its neighbouring countries. Crops of rye, wheat, barley, and millet provide the ingredients for various breads, pancakes and cereals, as well as for many drinks. Bread is very popular in Russia. Flavourful soups and stews include shchi, borsch, ukha, solyanka, and okroshka. Smetana (a heavy sour cream) is often added to soups and salads. Pirozhki, blini, and syrniki are native types of pancakes. Beef Stroganoff, Chicken Kiev, pelmeni, and shashlyk are popular meat dishes. Other meat dishes include stuffed cabbage rolls (golubtsy) usually filled with meat. Salads include Olivier salad, vinegret, and dressed herring.

Russia's national non-alcoholic drink is Kvass, and the national alcoholic drink is vodka; its creation in the nation dates back to the 14th century. The country has the world's highest vodka consumption, but beer is the most popular alcoholic beverage in Russia. Wine has become popular in Russia in the last decade, and the country is becoming one of the world's largest wine producers. Tea has also been a historically popular beverage in Russia.

Media

Poster of Battleship Potemkin (1925) by Sergei Eisenstein, which was named the greatest film of all time at the Brussels World's Fair in 1958.

Russia has almost 37 thousand media outlets, 35 thousand newspapers, and over 12 thousand magazines. The largest internationally operating news agencies in Russia are TASS, RIA Novosti, and Interfax. Television is the most popular media in Russia, as 99% of the Russian population receives at least one television channel, and roughly 60% of Russians watch television on a daily basis. Popular nationwide radio stations in Russia include Radio Rossii, Echo of Moscow, Radio Mayak, Radio Yunost, and Russkoye Radio. Some popular newspapers include Komsomolskaya Pravda, Kommersant, Novaya Gazeta, Rossiyskaya Gazeta, Izvestia, and The Moscow Times. Russia has the largest video gaming market in Europe, with over 65 million players nationwide.

Russian and later Soviet cinema was a hotbed of invention, resulting in world-renowned films such as The Battleship Potemkin. Soviet-era filmmakers, most notably Sergei Eisenstein and Andrei Tarkovsky, would go on to become among of the world's most innovative and influential directors. Eisenstein was a student of Lev Kuleshov, who developed the groundbreaking Soviet montage theory of film editing at the world's first film school, the All-Union Institute of Cinematography. Dziga Vertov's "Kino-Eye" theory had a huge impact on the development of documentary filmmaking and cinema realism. Many Soviet socialist realism films were artistically successful, including Chapaev, The Cranes Are Flying, and Ballad of a Soldier.

The 1960s and 1970s saw a greater variety of artistic styles in Soviet cinema. The comedies of Eldar Ryazanov and Leonid Gaidai of that time were immensely popular, with many of the catchphrases still in use today. In 1961–68 Sergey Bondarchuk directed an Oscar-winning film adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's epic War and Peace, which was the most expensive film made in the Soviet Union. In 1969, Vladimir Motyl's White Sun of the Desert was released, a very popular film in a genre of ostern; the film is traditionally watched by cosmonauts before any trip into space. In 2002, Russian Ark became the first feature film ever to be shot in a single take. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the Russian cinema industry suffered large losses—however, since the late 2000s, it has seen growth once again, and continues to expand.

Sports

Main article: Sport in Russia
Maria Sharapova, former world No. 1 tennis player, was the world's highest-paid female athlete for 11 consecutive years.

Football is the most popular sport in Russia. The Soviet Union national football team became the first European champions by winning Euro 1960, and reached the finals of Euro 1988. In 1956 and 1988, the Soviet Union won gold at the Olympic football tournament. Russian clubs CSKA Moscow and Zenit Saint Petersburg won the UEFA Cup in 2005 and 2008. The Russian national football team reached the semi-finals of Euro 2008. Russia was the host nation for the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, and the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Ice hockey is very popular in Russia, and the Soviet national ice hockey team dominated the sport internationally throughout its existence. Bandy is Russia's national sport, and it has historically been the highest-achieving country in the sport. The Russian national basketball team won the EuroBasket 2007, and the Russian basketball club PBC CSKA Moscow is among the most successful European basketball teams. The annual Formula One Russian Grand Prix is held at the Sochi Autodrom in the Sochi Olympic Park.

Historically, Russian athletes have been one of the most successful contenders in the Olympic Games, ranking second in an all-time Olympic Games medal count. Russia is the leading nation in rhythmic gymnastics; and Russian synchronized swimming is considered to be the world's best. Figure skating is another popular sport in Russia, especially pair skating and ice dancing. Russia has produced a number of famous tennis players. Chess is also a widely popular pastime in the nation, with many of the world's top chess players being Russian for decades. The 1980 Summer Olympic Games were held in Moscow, and the 2014 Winter Olympics and the 2014 Winter Paralympics were hosted in Sochi.

  1. Crimea, which was annexed by Russia in 2014, remains internationally recognized as a part of Ukraine.
  2. Russian:Российская Федерация, tr. Rossiyskaya Federatsiya, IPA:
  3. Russia shares land borders with fourteen sovereign nations, and has maritime boundaries with the United States and Japan, and borders the two partially recognized breakaway states of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
  4. Most notably the Budyonnovsk hospital hostage crisis, the Russian apartment bombings, the Moscow theater hostage crisis, and the Beslan school siege.
  5. Russia has an additional 850 km (530 mi) of coastline along the Caspian Sea, which is the world's largest inland body of water, and has been variously classified as a sea or a lake.
  6. Russia borders, clockwise, to its west: the Baltic Sea, to its southwest: the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, to its north: the Barents Sea, the Kara Sea, the Laptev Sea, the Pechora Sea, the White Sea, and the East Siberian Sea, to its northeast: the Chukchi Sea and the Bering Sea, and to its southeast: the Sea of Okhotsk and the Sea of Japan.
  7. Including the disputed Republic of Crimea, and the federal city of Sevastopol.
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    Russia
Russia Language Watch Edit This article is about the Russian Federation For other uses see Russia disambiguation Coordinates 60 N 90 E 60 N 90 E 60 90 Russia Russian Rossiya Rossiya Russian pronunciation rɐˈsʲije or the Russian Federation b is a transcontinental country spanning Eastern Europe and Northern Asia It is the largest country in the world by area covering over 17 million square kilometres 6 6 10 6 sq mi and encompassing more than one eighth of Earth s inhabited land area Russia extends across eleven time zones and has the most borders of any country in the world with sixteen sovereign nations c It has a population of 146 2 million and is the most populous country in Europe and the ninth most populous country in the world Moscow the capital is the largest city in Europe while Saint Petersburg is the nation s second largest city and cultural centre Russians are the largest Slavic and European nation they speak Russian the most spoken Slavic language and the most spoken native language in Europe Russian FederationRossijskaya FederaciyaFlag Coat of armsAnthem State Anthem of the Russian Federation Gosudarstvennyj gimn Rossijskoj Federacii source source track track track track track track track track track track track track track track track track Land controlled by Russia shown in dark green land controlled but unrecognized shown in light green a Capitaland largest cityMoscow 55 45 N 37 37 E 55 750 N 37 617 E 55 750 37 617Official language and national languageRussian 2 Recognized national languagesSee Languages of RussiaEthnic groups 2010 3 80 9 Russian3 9 Tatar1 4 Ukrainian1 1 Bashkir1 0 Chuvash1 0 Chechen10 7 OthersReligion 2017 4 73 Christianity 70 Russian Orthodoxy 3 Other Christian15 No religion10 Islam2 OthersDemonym s RussianGovernmentFederal semi presidential constitutional republic 5 PresidentVladimir Putin Prime MinisterMikhail Mishustin Speaker of the Federation CouncilValentina Matviyenko Speaker of the State DumaVyacheslav Volodin Chief JusticeVyacheslav LebedevLegislatureFederal Assembly Upper houseFederation Council Lower houseState DumaFormation Rurikids founded862 Kievan Rus 879 Duchy of Moscow1283 Tsardom of Russia16 January 1547 Russian Empire2 November 1721 Monarchy abolished15 March 1917 Soviet Union30 December 1922 Russian Federation12 December 1991 Current constitution12 December 1993 Last polity admitted18 March 2014 Last amendments4 July 2020Area Total17 098 246 km2 6 601 670 sq mi 6 17 125 191 km2 including Crimea 7 1st Water 13 8 including swamps Population 2021 estimate146 171 015 including Crimea 9 143 759 445 excluding Crimea 9 9th Density8 4 km2 21 8 sq mi 181st GDP PPP 2021 estimate Total 4 328 trillion 10 6th Per capita 29 485 10 55th GDP nominal 2021 estimate Total 1 710 trillion 10 11th Per capita 11 654 10 64th Gini 2018 37 5 11 medium 98thHDI 2019 0 824 12 very high 52ndCurrencyRussian ruble RUB Time zoneUTC 2 to 12Driving siderightCalling code 7ISO 3166 codeRUInternet TLD ru rf The East Slavs emerged as a recognisable group in Europe between the 3rd and 8th centuries AD The medieval state of Rus arose in the 9th century In 988 it adopted Orthodox Christianity from the Byzantine Empire beginning the synthesis of Byzantine and Slavic cultures that defined Russian culture for the next millennium Rus ultimately disintegrated until it was finally reunified by the Grand Duchy of Moscow in the 15th century By the 18th century the nation had greatly expanded through conquest annexation and exploration to become the Russian Empire the third largest empire in history Following the Russian Revolution the Russian SFSR became the largest and leading constituent of the Soviet Union the world s first constitutionally socialist state which had a one party system throughout most of its existence The Soviet Union played a decisive role in the Allied victory in World War II and emerged as a superpower and rival to the United States during the Cold War The Soviet era saw some of the most significant technological achievements of the 20th century including the world s first human made satellite and the launching of the first human in space Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 the Russian SFSR reconstituted itself as the Russian Federation In the aftermath of the constitutional crisis of 1993 a new constitution was adopted and Russia has since been governed as a federal semi presidential republic Vladimir Putin has dominated Russia s political system since 2000 and his government has been accused of authoritarianism numerous human rights abuses and corruption Russia is a great power and is considered a potential superpower It is ranked 52nd in the Human Development Index with a universal healthcare system and a free university education Russia s economy is the world s eleventh largest by nominal GDP and the sixth largest by PPP It is a recognized nuclear weapons state possessing the world s largest stockpile of nuclear weapons with the world s second most powerful military and the fourth highest military expenditure Russia s extensive mineral and energy resources are the world s largest and it is one of the leading producers of oil and natural gas globally It is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council a member of the G20 the SCO the Council of Europe the APEC the OSCE the IIB and the WTO as well as the leading member of the CIS the CSTO and the EAEU Russia is also home to the ninth greatest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites Contents 1 Etymology 2 History 2 1 Early history 2 2 Kievan Rus 2 3 Grand Duchy of Moscow 2 4 Tsardom of Russia 2 5 Imperial Russia 2 6 February Revolution and Russian Republic 2 7 Russian Civil War 2 8 Soviet Union 2 8 1 World War II 2 8 2 Cold War 2 9 Post Soviet Russia 1991 present 2 9 1 Putin era 3 Geography 3 1 Climate 3 2 Biodiversity 4 Government and politics 4 1 Political divisions 4 1 1 Federal districts 4 2 Foreign relations 4 3 Military 4 4 Human rights and corruption 5 Economy 5 1 Infrastructure 5 2 Agriculture and fishery 5 3 Science and technology 5 4 Tourism 6 Demographics 6 1 Language 6 2 Religion 6 3 Education 6 4 Health 7 Culture 7 1 Art and architecture 7 2 Music 7 3 Literature and philosophy 7 4 Cuisine 7 5 Media 7 6 Sports 8 See also 9 Notes 10 References 11 Further reading 12 External linksEtymologyMain articles Rus people and Rus name See also Russian disambiguation The name Russia is derived from Rus a medieval state populated primarily by the East Slavs 13 However the proper name became more prominent in later history and the country typically was called by its inhabitants Russkaya zemlya Russkaya zemlya which can be translated as Russian land 14 In order to distinguish this state from other states derived from it it is denoted as Kievan Rus by modern historiography The name Rus itself comes from the early medieval Rus people a group of Norse merchants and warriors who relocated from across the Baltic Sea and founded a state centred on Novgorod that later became Kievan Rus 15 A Medieval Latin version of the name Rus was Ruthenia which was used as one of several designations for East Slavic and Eastern Orthodox regions and commonly as a designation for the lands of Rus 16 The current name of the country Rossiya Rossiya comes from the Byzantine Greek designation of the Rus Rwssia Rossia spelled Rwsia Rosia pronounced roˈsia in Modern Greek 17 The standard way to refer to the citizens of Russia is Russians in English 18 There are two words in Russian which are commonly translated into English as Russians one is russkie russkiye which most often refers to ethnic Russians and the other is rossiyane rossiyane which refers to citizens of Russia regardless of ethnicity 19 HistoryMain article History of Russia Early history Further information Scythia Ancient Greek colonies Early Slavs East Slavs Huns Turkic expansion and Prehistory of Siberia See also Proto Indo European and Proto Uralic One of the first modern human bones of over 40 000 years old were found in Southern Russia in the villages of Kostyonki and Borshchyovo situated on the banks of the Don River 20 21 The Kurgan hypothesis places southern Russia as the urheimat of the Proto Indo Europeans 22 Nomadic pastoralism developed in the Pontic Caspian steppe beginning in the Chalcolithic 23 Remnants of these steppe civilizations were discovered in places such as Ipatovo 23 Sintashta 24 Arkaim 25 and Pazyryk 26 which bear the earliest known traces of horses in warfare 24 In classical antiquity the Pontic Caspian Steppe was known as Scythia 27 In late 8th century BCE Ancient Greek traders brought classical civilization to the trade emporiums in Tanais and Phanagoria 28 In the 3rd to 4th centuries AD the Gothic kingdom of Oium existed in Southern Russia which was later overrun by Huns 13 Between the 3rd and 6th centuries AD the Bosporan Kingdom which was a Hellenistic polity that succeeded the Greek colonies 29 was also overwhelmed by nomadic invasions led by warlike tribes such as the Huns and Eurasian Avars 30 The Khazars who were of Turkic origin ruled the lower Volga basin steppes between the Caspian and Black Seas until the 10th century 31 The ancestors of modern Russians are the Slavic tribes whose original home is thought by some scholars to have been the wooded areas of the Pinsk Marshes one of the largest wetlands in Europe 32 The East Slavs gradually settled Western Russia in two waves one moving from Kiev towards present day Suzdal and Murom and another from Polotsk towards Novgorod and Rostov 31 From the 7th century onwards the East Slavs constituted the bulk of the population in western Russia 31 and slowly but peacefully assimilated the native Finnic peoples including the Merya 33 the Muromians 34 and the Meshchera 35 Kievan Rus Main articles Rus Khaganate Kievan Rus and List of early East Slavic states Kievan Rus in the 11th century The establishment of the first East Slavic states in the 9th century coincided with the arrival of Varangians the Vikings who ventured along the waterways extending from the eastern Baltic to the Black and Caspian Seas 36 According to the Primary Chronicle a Varangian from the Rus people named Rurik was elected ruler of Novgorod in 862 13 In 882 his successor Oleg ventured south and conquered Kiev 37 which had been previously paying tribute to the Khazars 31 Rurik s son Igor and Igor s son Sviatoslav subsequently subdued all local East Slavic tribes to Kievan rule destroyed the Khazar Khaganate 38 and launched several military expeditions to Byzantium and Persia 39 40 In the 10th to 11th centuries Kievan Rus became one of the largest and most prosperous states in Europe 41 The reigns of Vladimir the Great 980 1015 and his son Yaroslav the Wise 1019 1054 constitute the Golden Age of Kiev which saw the acceptance of Orthodox Christianity from Byzantium and the creation of the first East Slavic written legal code the Russkaya Pravda 13 In the 11th and 12th centuries constant incursions by nomadic Turkic tribes such as the Kipchaks and the Pechenegs caused a massive migration of the East Slavic populations to the safer heavily forested regions of the north particularly to the area known as Zalesye 42 The Baptism of Kievans by Klavdy Lebedev The age of feudalism and decentralization had come marked by constant in fighting between members of the Rurikid Dynasty that ruled Kievan Rus collectively Kiev s dominance waned to the benefit of Vladimir Suzdal in the north east Novgorod Republic in the north west and Galicia Volhynia in the south west 13 Ultimately Kievan Rus disintegrated with the final blow being the Mongol invasion of 1237 40 that resulted in the destruction of Kiev and the death of about half the population of Rus 43 The invaders later known as Tatars formed the state of the Golden Horde which pillaged the Russian principalities and ruled the southern and central expanses of Russia for over two centuries 44 Galicia Volhynia was eventually assimilated by the Kingdom of Poland while the Novgorod Republic and Mongol dominated Vladimir Suzdal two regions on the periphery of Kiev established the basis for the modern Russian nation 13 The Novgorod Republic escaped Mongol occupation and together with Pskov retained some degree of autonomy during the time of the Mongol yoke they were largely spared the atrocities that affected the rest of the country Led by Prince Alexander Nevsky Novgorodians repelled the invading Swedes in the Battle of the Neva in 1240 45 as well as the Germanic crusaders in the Battle of the Ice in 1242 46 Grand Duchy of Moscow Main article Grand Duchy of Moscow Sergius of Radonezh blessing Dmitry Donskoy in Trinity Sergius Lavra before the Battle of Kulikovo depicted in a painting by Ernst Lissner The most powerful state to eventually arise after the destruction of Kievan Rus was the Grand Duchy of Moscow initially a part of Vladimir Suzdal 47 While still under the domain of the Mongol Tatars and with their connivance Moscow began to assert its influence in the Central Rus in the early 14th century gradually becoming the leading force in the process of the Rus lands reunification and expansion of Russia 48 Moscow s last rival the Novgorod Republic prospered as the chief fur trade centre and the easternmost port of the Hanseatic League 49 Times remained difficult with frequent Mongol Tatar raids Agriculture suffered from the beginning of the Little Ice Age As in the rest of Europe plague was a frequent occurrence between 1350 and 1490 50 However because of the lower population density and better hygiene widespread practicing of banya a wet steam bath the death rate from plague was not as severe as in Western Europe 51 and population numbers recovered by 1500 50 Led by Prince Dmitry Donskoy of Moscow and helped by the Russian Orthodox Church the united army of Russian principalities inflicted a milestone defeat on the Mongol Tatars in the Battle of Kulikovo in 1380 52 Moscow gradually absorbed the surrounding principalities including formerly strong rivals such as Tver and Novgorod 47 Ivan III the Great finally threw off the control of the Golden Horde and consolidated the whole of Central and Northern Rus under Moscow s dominion and was the first Russian ruler to take the title title Grand Duke of all Rus 47 After the fall of Constantinople in 1453 Moscow claimed succession to the legacy of the Eastern Roman Empire 47 Ivan III married Sophia Palaiologina the niece of the last Byzantine Emperor Constantine XI and made the Byzantine double headed eagle his own and eventually Russia s coat of arms 53 Tsardom of Russia Main article Tsardom of RussiaSee also Moscow third Rome Tsar Ivan the Terrible 19th century evocation by Viktor Vasnetsov 1897 In development of the Third Rome ideas the Grand Duke Ivan IV the Terrible was officially crowned first Tsar of Russia in 1547 The Tsar promulgated a new code of laws Sudebnik of 1550 established the first Russian feudal representative body Zemsky Sobor curbed the influence of the clergy and introduced local self management in rural regions 54 During his long reign Ivan the Terrible nearly doubled the already large Russian territory by annexing the three Tatar khanates parts of the disintegrated Golden Horde Kazan and Astrakhan along the Volga and the Siberian Khanate in southwestern Siberia 54 Thus by the end of the 16th century Russia expanded east of the Ural Mountains thus east of Europe and into Asia being transformed into a transcontinental state 55 However the Tsardom was weakened by the long and unsuccessful Livonian War against the coalition of Poland Lithuania Sweden Denmark and Norway for access to the Baltic coast and sea trade 56 At the same time the Tatars of the Crimean Khanate the only remaining successor to the Golden Horde continued to raid southern Russia 57 In an effort to restore the Volga khanates Crimeans and their Ottoman allies invaded central Russia and were even able to burn down parts of Moscow in 1571 54 But in the next year the large invading army was thoroughly defeated by the Russians in the Battle of Molodi forever eliminating the threat of an Ottoman Crimean expansion into Russia 58 The slave raids of Crimeans however did not cease until the late 17th century though the construction of new fortification lines across Southern Russia such as the Great Abatis Line constantly narrowed the area accessible to incursions 59 Kuzma Minin appeals to the people of Nizhny Novgorod to raise a volunteer army against the Polish invaders The death of Ivan s sons marked the end of the ancient Rurik Dynasty in 1598 and in combination with the famine of 1601 03 led to a civil war the rule of pretenders and foreign intervention during the Time of Troubles in the early 17th century 56 The Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth occupied parts of Russia extending into even Moscow 47 In 1612 the Poles were forced to retreat by the Russian volunteer corps led by two national heroes merchant Kuzma Minin and Prince Dmitry Pozharsky 60 The Romanov Dynasty acceded to the throne in 1613 by the decision of Zemsky Sobor and the country started its gradual recovery from the crisis 61 Russia continued its territorial growth through the 17th century which was the age of Cossacks 47 In 1648 the peasants of Ukraine joined the Zaporozhian Cossacks in rebellion against Poland Lithuania during the Khmelnytsky Uprising in reaction to the social and religious oppression they had been suffering under Polish rule 62 In 1654 the Ukrainian leader Bohdan Khmelnytsky offered to place Ukraine under the protection of the Russian Tsar Aleksey I Aleksey s acceptance of this offer led to another Russo Polish War Ultimately Ukraine was split along the Dnieper River leaving the western part right bank Ukraine under Polish rule and the eastern part Left bank Ukraine and Kiev under Russian rule 47 Later in 1670 71 the Don Cossacks led by Stenka Razin initiated a major uprising in the Volga Region but the Tsar s troops were successful in defeating the rebels 63 In the east the rapid Russian exploration and colonisation of the huge territories of Siberia was led mostly by Cossacks hunting for valuable furs and ivory 47 Russian explorers pushed eastward primarily along the Siberian River Routes and by the mid 17th century there were Russian settlements in Eastern Siberia on the Chukchi Peninsula along the Amur River and on the coast of the Pacific Ocean 55 In 1648 Fedot Popov and Semyon Dezhnyov two Russian explorers discovered the Bering Strait and became the first Europeans to sail to North America 64 Imperial Russia Main article Russian Empire Peter the Great Tsar of All Russia in 1682 1721 and the first Emperor of All Russia in 1721 1725 Under Peter the Great Russia was proclaimed an Empire in 1721 and became one of the European great powers Ruling from 1682 to 1725 Peter defeated Sweden in the Great Northern War 1700 1721 forcing it to cede West Karelia and Ingria two regions lost by Russia in the Time of Troubles as well as the Governorate of Estonia and Livonia securing Russia s access to the sea and sea trade In 1703 on the Baltic Sea Peter founded Saint Petersburg as Russia s new capital Throughout his rule sweeping reforms were made which brought significant Western European cultural influences to Russia 65 The reign of Peter I s daughter Elizabeth in 1741 62 saw Russia s participation in the Seven Years War 1756 63 During this conflict Russia annexed East Prussia and even reached the gates of Berlin However upon Elizabeth s death all these conquests were returned to the Kingdom of Prussia by pro Prussian Peter III of Russia 65 Catherine II the Great who ruled in 1762 96 presided over the Age of Russian Enlightenment She extended Russian political control over the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth and incorporated most of its territories into Russia during the Partitions of Poland pushing the Russian frontier westward into Central Europe and thus making Russia the most populous country in Europe In the south after the successful Russo Turkish Wars against the Ottoman Empire Catherine advanced Russia s boundary to the Black Sea defeating the Crimean Khanate As a result of victories over Qajar Iran through the Russo Persian Wars by the first half of the 19th century Russia also made significant territorial gains in Transcaucasia and the North Caucasus 65 Catherine s successor her son Paul was unstable and focused predominantly on domestic issues Following his short reign Catherine s strategy was continued with Alexander I s 1801 25 wresting of Finland from the weakened Sweden in 1809 and of Bessarabia from the Ottomans in 1812 While in North America the Russians became the first Europeans to reach and colonize Alaska 66 Russian expansion and territorial evolution between the 14th and 20th centuries 67 In 1803 1806 the first Russian circumnavigation was made later followed by other notable Russian sea exploration voyages 68 In 1820 a Russian expedition discovered the continent of Antarctica 69 During the Napoleonic Wars Russia joined alliances with various other European empires and fought against France The French invasion of Russia at the height of Napoleon s power in 1812 reached Moscow but eventually failed miserably as the obstinate resistance in combination with the bitterly cold Russian winter led to a disastrous defeat of invaders in which more than 95 of the pan European Grande Armee perished Led by Mikhail Kutuzov and Barclay de Tolly the Imperial Russian Army ousted Napoleon from the country and drove throughout Europe in the war of the Sixth Coalition finally entering Paris Alexander I controlled Russia s delegation at the Congress of Vienna which defined the map of post Napoleonic Europe 66 Monument to Mikhail Kutuzov in front of the Kazan Cathedral in Saint Petersburg The Kazan Cathedral and the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow were built to commemorate Napoleon s defeat The officers who pursued Napoleon into Western Europe brought ideas of liberalism back to Russia with them and attempted to curtail the tsar s powers during the abortive Decembrist revolt of 1825 At the end of the conservative reign of Nicholas I 1825 55 a zenith period of Russia s power and influence in Europe was disrupted by defeat in the Crimean War 66 Between 1847 and 1851 around one million people died across the country due to cholera 70 Nicholas s successor Alexander II 1855 81 enacted significant changes throughout the country including the emancipation reform of 1861 These reforms spurred industrialisation and modernized the Imperial Russian Army which liberated much of the Balkans from Ottoman rule in the aftermath of the 1877 78 Russo Turkish War During most of the 19th and early 20th century Russia and Britain vied to fill the power vacuums that had been left by the declining Ottoman Empire Qajar Iran and the Qing dynasty This rivalry between the two major European empires came to be known as The Great Game 71 The late 19th century saw the rise of various socialist movements in Russia Alexander II was killed in 1881 by revolutionary terrorists and the reign of his son Alexander III 1881 94 was less liberal but more peaceful The last Russian Emperor Nicholas II 1894 1917 was unable to prevent the events of the Russian Revolution of 1905 triggered by the unsuccessful Russo Japanese War and the demonstration incident known as Bloody Sunday The uprising was put down but the government was forced to concede major reforms Russian Constitution of 1906 including granting the freedoms of speech and assembly the legalisation of political parties and the creation of an elected legislative body the State Duma 71 February Revolution and Russian Republic Main articles February Revolution Russian Provisional Government and Russian Republic See also 1917 Russian Constituent Assembly election and Russian Democratic Federative Republic Emperor Nicholas II of Russia and his family were murdered by the Bolsheviks in 1918 In 1914 Russia entered World War I in response to Austria Hungary s declaration of war on Russia s ally Serbia 72 and fought across multiple fronts while isolated from its Triple Entente allies 73 In 1916 the Brusilov Offensive of the Imperial Russian Army almost completely destroyed the Austro Hungarian Army 74 However the already existing public distrust of the regime was deepened by the rising costs of war high casualties and rumors of corruption and treason All this formed the climate for the Russian Revolution of 1917 carried out in two major acts 75 The February Revolution forced Nicholas II to abdicate he and his family were imprisoned and later executed in Yekaterinburg during the Russian Civil War 61 The monarchy was replaced by a shaky coalition of political parties that declared itself the Provisional Government 76 On 1 September 14 1917 upon a decree of the Provisional Government the Russian Republic was proclaimed 77 On 6 January 19 1918 the Russian Constituent Assembly declared Russia a democratic federal republic thus ratifying the Provisional Government s decision 75 The next day the Constituent Assembly was dissolved by the All Russian Central Executive Committee 75 Russian Civil War Main articles October Revolution Russian Civil War and White movement See also Soviet Russia Constitution of 1918 White emigre propaganda poster circa 1932 An alternative socialist establishment co existed the Petrograd Soviet wielding power through the democratically elected councils of workers and peasants called Soviets The rule of the new authorities only aggravated the crisis in the country instead of resolving it and eventually the October Revolution led by Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin overthrew the Provisional Government and gave full governing power to the Soviets leading to the creation of the world s first socialist state 75 Following the October Revolution the Russian Civil War broke out between the anti Communist White movement and the new Soviet regime with its Red Army Bolshevist Russia lost its Ukrainian Polish Baltic and Finnish territories by signing the Treaty of Brest Litovsk that concluded hostilities with the Central Powers of World War I 75 The Allied powers launched an unsuccessful military intervention in support of anti Communist forces 78 In the meantime both the Bolsheviks and White movement carried out campaigns of deportations and executions against each other known respectively as the Red Terror and White Terror 79 By the end of the civil war Russia s economy and infrastructure were heavily damaged There were an estimated 7 12 million casualties during the war mostly civilians 80 Millions became White emigres 81 and the Russian famine of 1921 22 claimed up to five million victims 82 Soviet Union Main articles Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic Soviet Union and History of the Soviet Union See also Treaty on the Creation of the USSR Vladimir Lenin and other Bolveshik leaders inspecting Vsevobuch troops on the Red Square 1919 On 30 December 1922 Lenin and his aides formed the Soviet Union by merging the Russian SFSR with the Ukrainian Byelorussian and the Transcaucasian SFSR Eventually the union grew larger to compass 15 republics out of which the largest in size and population was the Russian SFSR which dominated the union for its entire history politically culturally and economically 83 Following Lenin s death in 1924 a troika was designated to take charge Eventually Joseph Stalin the General Secretary of the Communist Party managed to suppress all opposition factions and consolidate power in his hands to become the country s dictator by the 1930s Leon Trotsky the main proponent of world revolution was exiled from the Soviet Union in 1929 and Stalin s idea of Socialism in One Country became the official line 84 The continued internal struggle in the Bolshevik party culminated in the Great Purge a period of mass repressions in 1937 38 during which hundreds of thousands of people were executed including original party members and military leaders forced to confess to nonexistent plots 85 Under Stalin s leadership the government launched a command economy industrialisation of the largely rural country and collectivisation of its agriculture During this period of rapid economic and social change millions of people were sent to penal labor camps including many political convicts for their suspected or real opposition to Stalin s rule millions were deported and exiled to remote areas of the Soviet Union The transitional disorganisation of the country s agriculture combined with the harsh state policies and a drought led to the Soviet famine of 1932 1933 The Soviet Union made the costly transformation from a largely agrarian economy to a major industrial powerhouse in a short span of time 86 World War II The Battle of Stalingrad the largest and bloodiest battle in the history of warfare ended in 1943 with a decisive Soviet victory against the German Army World War II casualties in Europe by theatre and by year The Soviet effort was essential in defeating the Axis powers 87 On 22 June 1941 Nazi Germany broke the Molotov Ribbentrop Pact and invaded the ill prepared Soviet Union with the largest and most powerful invasion force in human history 88 opening the largest theater of World War II 89 The German Hunger Plan foresaw the starvation and extinction of a great part of the Soviet population 90 and Generalplan Ost called for the elimination of over 70 million Russians for Lebensraum 91 Nearly 3 million Soviet POWs in German captivity were murdered in just eight months of 1941 42 92 Although the Wehrmacht had considerable early success their attack was halted in the Battle of Moscow 93 Subsequently the Germans were dealt major defeats first at the Battle of Stalingrad in the winter of 1942 43 94 and then in the Battle of Kursk in the summer of 1943 95 Another German failure was the Siege of Leningrad in which the city was fully blockaded on land between 1941 and 1944 by German and Finnish forces and suffered starvation and more than a million deaths but never surrendered 94 Under Stalin s administration and the leadership of such commanders as Georgy Zhukov and Konstantin Rokossovsky Soviet forces steamrolled through Eastern and Central Europe in 1944 45 and captured Berlin in May 1945 96 In August 1945 the Soviet Army ousted the Japanese from China s Manchukuo and North Korea contributing to the Allied victory over Japan 97 The 1941 45 period of World War II is known in Russia as the Great Patriotic War 98 The Soviet Union together with the United States the United Kingdom and China were considered as the Big Four of Allied powers in World War II 99 and later became the Four Policemen which was the foundation of the United Nations Security Council 100 During this war which included many of the most lethal battle operations in human history Soviet civilian and military death were about 26 27 million accounting for about a third of all World War II casualties 101 The full demographic loss of Soviet citizens was even greater 102 The Soviet economy and infrastructure suffered massive devastation which caused the Soviet famine of 1946 47 103 Nonetheless the Soviet Union emerged as a global superpower in the aftermath 104 Cold War After World War II Eastern and Central Europe including East Germany and eastern parts of Austria were occupied by Red Army according to the Potsdam Conference 105 Dependent communist governments were installed in the Eastern Bloc satellite states 106 After becoming the world s second nuclear power 107 the Soviet Union established the Warsaw Pact alliance 108 and entered into a struggle for global dominance known as the Cold War with the rivaling United States and NATO 109 After Stalin s death in 1953 and a short period of collective rule the new leader Nikita Khrushchev denounced Stalin s many crimes and atrocities and launched the policy of de Stalinization releasing many political prisoners from the Gulag labor camps 110 The general easement of repressive policies became known later as the Khrushchev Thaw 111 At the same time Cold War tensions reached its peak when the two rivals clashed over the deployment of the United States Jupiter missiles in Turkey and Soviet missiles in Cuba 112 Sputnik 1 was the world s first artificial satellite In 1957 the Soviet Union launched the world s first artificial satellite Sputnik 1 thus starting the Space Age 113 Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human to orbit the Earth aboard the Vostok 1 manned spacecraft on 12 April 1961 114 Following the ousting of Khrushchev in 1964 another period of collective rule ensued until Leonid Brezhnev became the leader The era of the 1970s and the early 1980s was later designated as the Era of Stagnation a period when economic growth slowed and social policies became static The 1965 Kosygin reform aimed for partial decentralisation of the Soviet economy and shifted the emphasis from heavy industry and weapons to light industry and consumer goods but was stifled by the conservative Communist leadership 115 In 1979 after a Communist led revolution in Afghanistan Soviet forces invaded the country ultimately starting the Soviet Afghan War 116 The occupation drained economic resources and dragged on without achieving meaningful political results 117 Finally the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan in 1989 due to international opposition persistent anti Soviet guerrilla warfare and a lack of support by Soviet citizens 118 Mikhail Gorbachev in one to one discussions with Ronald Reagan in the Reykjavik Summit 1986 119 From 1985 onwards the last Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev who sought to enact liberal reforms in the Soviet system introduced the policies of glasnost openness and perestroika restructuring in an attempt to end the period of economic stagnation and to democratize the government 120 This however led to the rise of strong nationalist and separatist movements across the country 121 Prior to 1991 the Soviet economy was the world s second largest 122 but during its final years it was afflicted by shortages of goods in grocery stores huge budget deficits and explosive growth in the money supply leading to inflation 123 By 1991 economic and political turmoil began to boil over as the Baltic states chose to secede from the Soviet Union 124 On 17 March a referendum was held in which the vast majority of participating citizens voted in favour of changing the Soviet Union into a renewed federation 125 In June 1991 Boris Yeltsin became the first directly elected president in Russian history when he was elected President of the Russian SFSR 126 In August 1991 a coup d etat attempt by members of Gorbachev s government directed against Gorbachev and aimed at preserving the Soviet Union instead led to the end of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union 127 On 25 December 1991 following the dissolution of the Soviet Union along with contemporary Russia fourteen other post Soviet states emerged 128 Post Soviet Russia 1991 present Main articles History of Russia 1991 present Russia and the United Nations and 1993 Constitution of Russia See also Commonwealth of Independent States War of Laws and 1993 Russian constitutional crisis Vladimir Putin takes the oath of office as president on his first inauguration with Boris Yeltsin looking over 2000 The economic and political collapse of the Soviet Union led Russia into a deep and prolonged depression 129 During and after the disintegration of the Soviet Union wide ranging reforms including privatisation and market and trade liberalisation were undertaken 130 including radical changes along the lines of shock therapy as recommended by the United States and the International Monetary Fund 131 The privatisation largely shifted control of enterprises from state agencies to individuals with inside connections in the government which led to the rise of the infamous Russian oligarchs 132 Many of the newly rich moved billions in cash and assets outside of the country in an enormous capital flight 133 The depression of the economy led to the collapse of social services the birth rate plummeted while the death rate skyrocketed and millions plunged into poverty 134 The 1990s also saw extreme corruption and lawlessness as well as the rise of criminal gangs and violent crime 135 In late 1993 tensions between Yeltsin and the Russian parliament culminated in a constitutional crisis which ended after military force During the crisis Yeltsin was backed by Western governments and over 100 people were killed In December a referendum was held and approved which introduced a new constitution giving the president enormous powers 136 Dmitry Medvedev and Barack Obama after signing the New START nuclear reduction treaty 2010 137 The 1990s were plagued by armed conflicts in the North Caucasus both local ethnic skirmishes and separatist Islamist insurrections 138 From the time Chechen separatists declared independence in the early 1990s an intermittent guerrilla war was fought between the rebel groups and Russian forces 139 Terrorist attacks against civilians were carried out by separatists claiming thousands of lives d Russia took up the responsibility for settling the Soviet Union s external debts even though its population made up just half of it at the time of its dissolution In 1992 most consumer price controls were eliminated causing extreme inflation and significantly devaluing the ruble With a devalued ruble the Russian government struggled to pay back its debts to internal debtors as well as to international institutions Despite significant attempts at economic restructuring Russia s debt outpaced GDP growth High budget deficits coupled with increasing capital flight and inability to pay back debts caused the 1998 Russian financial crisis and resulted in a further GDP decline 144 Putin era Main article Russia under Vladimir Putin On 31 December 1999 President Yeltsin unexpectedly resigned handing the post to the recently appointed prime minister and his chosen successor Vladimir Putin 145 Yeltsin left office widely unpopular with an approval rating as low as 2 by some estimates 146 Putin then won the 2000 presidential election 147 and suppressed the Chechen insurgency 148 As a result of high oil prices a rise in foreign investment and prudent economic and fiscal policies the Russian economy grew significantly dramatically improving Russia s standard of living and increasing its influence in global politics 149 Putin went on to win a second presidential term in 2004 150 Vladimir Putin third left Sergey Aksyonov first left Vladimir Konstantinov second left and Aleksei Chalyi right sign the Treaty on Accession of the Republic of Crimea to Russia in 2014 On 2 March 2008 Dmitry Medvedev was elected president while Putin became prime minister as the constitution barred Putin from serving a third consecutive presidential term 151 Putin returned to the presidency following the 2012 presidential elections 152 and Medvedev was appointed prime minister 153 This four year joint leadership by the two was coined tandemocracy by foreign media 154 In 2014 after President Viktor Yanukovych of Ukraine fled as a result of a revolution Putin requested and received authorisation from the Russian parliament to deploy Russian troops to Ukraine leading to the takeover of Crimea 155 Following a Crimean referendum in which separation was favoured by a large majority of voters 156 the Russian leadership announced the accession of Crimea into Russia though this and the referendum that preceded it were not accepted internationally 157 The annexation of Crimea led to sanctions by Western countries after which the Russian government responded with counter sanctions against a number of countries 158 In September 2015 Russia started military intervention in the Syrian Civil War in support of the Syrian government consisting of airstrikes against militant groups of the Islamic State al Nusra Front al Qaeda in the Levant the Army of Conquest and other rebel groups 159 In March 2018 Putin was elected for a fourth presidential term overall 160 In January 2020 substantial amendments to the constitution were proposed 161 and the entire Russian government resigned 162 leading to Mikhail Mishustin becoming the new prime minister 163 It took effect in July following a national vote allowing Putin to run for two more six year presidential terms after his current term ends 164 In April 2021 Putin signed the constitutional changes into law 165 GeographyMain article Geography of Russia Topographic map of Russia Russia is a transcontinental country stretching vastly over both Europe and Asia 166 Russia s border neighbors are Norway Finland Estonia Latvia Lithuania Poland Belarus Ukraine Georgia Azerbaijan Kazakhstan China Mongolia and North Korea It spans the northernmost corner of Eurasia and has the world s fourth longest coastline at 37 653 km 23 396 mi e 168 Russia lies between latitudes 41 and 82 N and longitudes 19 E and 169 W and is larger than three continents Oceania Europe and Antarctica 169 while having the same surface area as Pluto 170 Kaliningrad Oblast Russia s westernmost part along the Baltic Sea is about 9 000 km 5 592 mi apart from its easternmost part Big Diomede Island in the Bering Strait 171 Russia has nine major mountain ranges and they are found along the southern regions which share a significant portion of the Caucasus Mountains containing Mount Elbrus which at 5 642 m 18 510 ft is the highest peak in Russia and Europe 5 the Altai and Sayan Mountains in Siberia and in the East Siberian Mountains and the Kamchatka Peninsula in the Russian Far East containing Klyuchevskaya Sopka which at 4 750 m 15 584 ft is the highest active volcano in Eurasia 172 173 The Ural Mountains running north to south through the country s west are rich in mineral resources and form the traditional boundary between Europe and Asia 174 Russia borders three 166 oceans when including its links with over thirteen marginal seas f 171 Russia s major islands and archipelagos include Novaya Zemlya Franz Josef Land Severnaya Zemlya the New Siberian Islands Wrangel Island the Kuril Islands and Sakhalin 175 176 The Diomede Islands are just 3 8 km 2 4 mi apart 177 and Kunashir Island is just 20 km 12 4 mi from Hokkaido Japan Russia home to over 100 000 rivers 166 has one of the world s largest surface water resources with its lakes containing approximately one quarter of the world s liquid fresh water 173 Lake Baikal the largest and most prominent among Russia s fresh water bodies is the world s deepest purest oldest and most capacious fresh water lake containing over one fifth of the world s fresh surface water 178 Ladoga and Onega in northwestern Russia are two of the largest lakes in Europe 166 Russia is second only to Brazil by total renewable water resources 179 The Volga widely seen as Russia s national river due to its historical importance is the longest river in Europe 180 The Siberian rivers of Ob Yenisey Lena and Amur are among the world s longest rivers 180 Climate Main article Climate of Russia Koppen climate classification of Russia 181 The sheer size of Russia and the remoteness of many areas from the sea result in the dominance of the humid continental climate which is prevalent in all parts of the country except for the tundra and the extreme southwest Mountains in the south and east obstruct the flow of warm air masses from the Indian and Pacific oceans while the plain of the west and north makes the country open to Arctic and Atlantic influences Most of Northwest Russia and Siberia has a subarctic climate with extremely severe winters in the inner regions of Northeast Siberia mostly Sakha where the Northern Pole of Cold is located with the record low temperature of 71 2 C or 96 2 F 175 and more moderate winters elsewhere Russia s vast stretch of land along the Arctic Ocean and the Russian Arctic islands have a polar climate 182 The coastal part of Krasnodar Krai on the Black Sea most notably Sochi and some coastal and interior strips of the North Caucasus possess a humid subtropical climate with mild and wet winters In many regions of East Siberia and the Russian Far East winter is dry compared to summer while other parts of the country experience more even precipitation across seasons Winter precipitation in most parts of the country usually falls as snow The westernmost parts of Kaliningrad Oblast on the Vistula Spit and some parts in the south of Krasnodar Krai and the North Caucasus have an oceanic climate The region along the Lower Volga and Caspian Sea coast as well as some southernmost silvers of Siberia possess a semi arid climate 181 Throughout much of the territory there are only two distinct seasons winter and summer as spring and autumn are usually brief periods of change between extremely low and extremely high temperatures 182 The coldest month is January February on the coastline the warmest is usually July Great ranges of temperature are typical In winter temperatures get colder both from south to north and from west to east Summers can be quite hot even in Siberia 183 Biodiversity Main articles List of ecoregions in Russia List of mammals of Russia List of birds of Russia List of freshwater fish of Russia and Wildlife of Russia Yugyd Va National Park in the Komi Republic is the largest national park in Europe 174 Russia owing to its gigantic size has diverse ecosystems including polar deserts tundra forest tundra taiga mixed and broadleaf forest forest steppe steppe semi desert and subtropics 184 About half of Russia s territory is forested 5 and it has the world s largest forest reserves 185 which are known as the Lungs of Europe coming second only to the Amazon rainforest in the amount of carbon dioxide it absorbs 186 Russian biodiversity includes 12 500 species of vascular plants 2 200 species of bryophytes about 3 000 species of lichens 7 000 9 000 species of algae and 20 000 25 000 species of fungi Russian fauna is composed of 320 species of mammals over 732 species of birds 75 species of reptiles about 30 species of amphibians 343 species of freshwater fish high endemism approximately 1 500 species of saltwater fishes 9 species of cyclostomata and approximately 100 150 000 invertebrates high endemism 187 Approximately 1 100 of rare and endangered plant and animal species are included in the Russian Red Data Book 184 Russia s entirely natural ecosystems are conserved in nearly 15 000 specially protected natural territories of various statuses occupying more than 10 of the country s total area 184 They include 45 UNESCO biosphere reserves 188 64 national parks and 101 nature reserves 189 Russia still has many ecosystems which are still untouched by man mainly in the northern taiga areas and the subarctic tundra of Siberia Over time the country has been having improvement and application of environmental legislation development and implementation of various federal and regional strategies and programmes and study inventory and protection of rare and endangered plants animals and other organisms and including them in the Russian Red Data Book 185 Government and politicsMain article Politics of Russia Vladimir Putin President Mikhail Mishustin Prime Minister According to the Constitution of Russia the country is an asymmetric federation and semi presidential republic wherein the president is the head of state 190 and the prime minister is the head of government The Russian Federation is fundamentally structured as a multi party representative democracy with the federal government composed of three branches 191 Legislative The bicameral Federal Assembly of Russia made up of the 450 member State Duma and the 170 member Federation Council adopts federal law declares war approves treaties has the power of the purse and the power of impeachment of the president Executive The president is the commander in chief of the Armed Forces can veto legislative bills before they become law and appoints the Government of Russia Cabinet and other officers who administer and enforce federal laws and policies Judiciary The Constitutional Court Supreme Court and lower federal courts whose judges are appointed by the Federation Council on the recommendation of the president interpret laws and can overturn laws they deem unconstitutional The president is elected by popular vote for a six year term eligible for a second term but not for a third consecutive term 192 Ministries of the government are composed of the premier and his deputies ministers and selected other individuals all are appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister whereas the appointment of the latter requires the consent of the State Duma Political divisions Main article Subdivisions of Russia See also Oblasts of Russia and Republics of Russia Further information Political status of Crimea and Sevastopol and Annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation According to the constitution the Russian Federation is composed of 85 federal subjects g In 1993 when the new constitution was adopted there were 89 federal subjects listed but some were later merged The federal subjects have equal representation two delegates each in the Federation Council 193 the upper house of the Federal Assembly They do however differ in the degree of autonomy they enjoy 194 Federal subjects Governance 46 oblasts The most common type of federal subject with a governor and locally elected legislature Commonly named after their administrative centres 22 republics Each is nominally autonomous 195 home to a specific ethnic minority and has its own constitution language and legislature but is represented by the federal government in international affairs 196 9 krais For all intents and purposes krais are legally identical to oblasts The title krai frontier or territory is historic related to geographic frontier position in a certain period of history The current krais are not related to frontiers 4 autonomous okrugs Occasionally referred to as autonomous district autonomous area and autonomous region each with a substantial or predominant ethnic minority 3 federal cities Major cities that function as separate regions Moscow Saint Petersburg and Sevastopol 1 autonomous oblast The only autonomous oblast is the Jewish Autonomous Oblast 197 Federal districts Federal subjects are grouped into eight federal districts each administered by an envoy appointed by the President of Russia 198 Unlike the federal subjects the federal districts are not a subnational level of government but are a level of administration of the federal government Federal districts presidential envoys have the power to implement federal law and to coordinate communication between the president and the regional governors 199 Foreign relations Main article Foreign relations of Russia Putin with G20 counterparts in Osaka 2019 As of 2019 update Russia has the fifth largest diplomatic network in the world maintaining diplomatic relations with 190 United Nations member states two partially recognized states and three United Nations observer states with 144 embassies 200 It is considered a potential superpower and is a historical great power an important regional power and one of five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council Russia is a member of the G20 the Council of Europe the OSCE and the APEC and takes a leading role in organisations such as the CIS the EAEU the CSTO the SCO and BRICS Russia maintains positive relations with other countries of SCO 201 EAEU 202 and BRICS 203 especially with neighbouring Belarus which is in the Union State a supranational confederation of the latter with Russia 204 Serbia has been a historically close ally of Russia since centuries as both countries share a strong mutual cultural ethnic and religious affinity 205 In the 21st century Sino Russian relations have significantly strengthened bilaterally and economically the Treaty of Friendship and the construction of the ESPO oil pipeline and the Power of Siberia gas pipeline formed a special relationship between the two 206 India is the largest customer of Russian military equipment and the two countries share a historically strong strategic and diplomatic relationship since the Soviet times 207 Military Main article Russian Armed Forces Sukhoi Su 57 a fifth generation fighter of the Russian Air Force 208 The Russian Armed Forces are divided into the Ground Forces the Navy and the Aerospace Forces and there are also two independent arms of service the Strategic Missile Troops and the Airborne Troops 5 As of 2019 update the military had around one million active duty personnel which is the world s fourth largest 209 Additionally there are over 2 5 million reservists with the total number of reserve troops possibly being as high as 20 million 210 It is mandatory for all male citizens aged 18 27 to be drafted for a year of service in Armed Forces 5 Russia boasts the world s second most powerful military 211 and is among the five recognized nuclear weapons states with the world s largest stockpile of nuclear weapons 212 More than half of the world s 13 500 nuclear weapons are owned by Russia 212 The country possesses the second largest fleet of ballistic missile submarines 213 and is one of the only three states operating strategic bombers 214 with the world s most powerful ground force 215 the second most powerful air force 216 and the third most powerful navy fleet 217 Russia has the world s fourth highest military expenditure spending 65 1 billion in 2019 218 It has a large and fully indigenous arms industry producing most of its own military equipment and is the world s second largest exporter of arms behind only the United States 5 Human rights and corruption Main articles Human rights in Russia and Corruption in Russia Russia s human rights management has been increasingly criticized by leading democracy and human rights watchdogs In particular such organisations as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch consider Russia to have not enough democratic attributes and to allow few political rights and civil liberties to its citizens 219 220 Since 2004 Freedom House has ranked Russia as not free in its Freedom in the World survey 221 Since 2011 the Economist Intelligence Unit has ranked Russia as an authoritarian regime in its Democracy Index ranking it 124th out of 167 countries for 2020 222 In regards to media freedom Russia was ranked 149th out of 180 countries in Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Index for 2020 223 Russia was the lowest rated European country in Transparency International s Corruption Perceptions Index for 2020 ranking 129th out of 180 countries 224 Corruption is perceived as a significant problem in Russia 225 impacting various aspects of life including the economy 226 business 227 public administration 228 229 law enforcement 230 healthcare 231 and education 232 The phenomenon of corruption is strongly established in the historical model of public governance and attributed to general weakness of rule of law in the country 225 EconomyMain article Economy of RussiaSee also Economic history of the Russian Federation and Taxation in Russia Moscow is a major financial hub in Europe and has one of the world s largest urban economies Russia s GDP growth by purchasing power parity PPP during 1991 2019 in international dollars Russia has a mixed economy 233 with enormous natural resources particularly oil and natural gas 234 It has the world s eleventh largest economy by nominal GDP and the sixth largest by PPP In 2017 the large service sector contributed to 62 of the total GDP the industrial sector 32 and the small agricultural sector roughly 5 5 Russia has a low unemployment rate of 4 5 235 and a relatively low poverty rate of 12 6 236 More than 70 of its population is categorized as middle class officially 237 which has been disputed by some experts 238 239 Russia foreign exchange reserves are worth 604 billion and are world s fifth largest 240 It has a labour force of roughly 70 million which is the world s sixth largest 241 Russia s large automotive industry ranks as the world s tenth largest by production 242 Russia is the world s fourteenth largest exporter 243 In 2016 the oil and gas sector accounted for 36 of federal budget revenues 244 In 2019 the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry estimated the value of natural resources to 60 of the country s GDP 245 Russia has one of the lowest external debts among major developed countries 246 and ranked high among the very easy countries in the 2019 Ease of Doing Business Index 247 It has a flat tax rate of 13 and has the world s second most attractive personal tax system for single managers after the United Arab Emirates 248 However extreme inequality of household income and wealth in the country has also been noted 249 250 Infrastructure Main articles Transport in Russia and Energy in Russia Railway transport in Russia is mostly under the control of the state run Russian Railways 251 The total length of common used railway tracks is the world s third longest and exceeds 87 157 km 54 157 mi 252 As of 2016 update Russia has 1 452 2 thousand km of roads 253 and its road density is among the world s lowest 254 Russia s inland waterways are the world s second longest and total 102 000 km 63 380 mi 255 Among Russia s 1 218 airports 256 the busiest is Sheremetyevo International Airport in Moscow which is also the fifth busiest airport in Europe The Trans Siberian Railway is the longest railway line in the world connecting Moscow to Vladivostok 257 Russia s largest port is the Port of Novorossiysk in Krasnodar Krai along the Black Sea 258 It is the world s sole country to operate nuclear powered icebreakers which advance the economic exploitation of the Arctic continental shelf of Russia and the development of sea trade through the Northern Sea Route 259 Russia has been widely described as an energy superpower 260 as it has the world s largest natural gas reserves 261 the second largest coal reserves 262 the eighth largest oil reserves 263 and the largest oil shale reserves in Europe 264 It is the world s leading natural gas exporter 265 the second largest natural gas producer 266 and the second largest oil exporter 267 and producer 268 Fossil fuels cause most of the greenhouse gas emissions by Russia 269 The country is the world s fourth largest electricity producer 270 and the ninth largest renewable energy producer in 2019 271 Russia was also the world s first country to develop civilian nuclear power and to construct the world s first nuclear power plant 272 In 2019 It was the world s fourth largest nuclear energy producer 273 Agriculture and fishery Main articles Agriculture in Russia and Fishing industry in Russia A combine harvester in Rostov Oblast Russia s agriculture sector contributes about 5 of the country s total GDP although the sector employs about one eighth of the total labour force 274 It has the world s third largest cultivated area at 1 265 267 square kilometres 488 522 sq mi However due to the harshness of its environment about 13 1 of its land is agricultural 5 and only 7 4 of its land is arable 275 The main product of Russian farming has always been grain which occupies considerably more than half of the cropland 274 Russia is the world s largest exporter of wheat 276 and is the largest producer of barley 277 buckwheat oats 278 and rye 279 and the second largest producer of sunflower seed 280 Various analysts of climate change adaptation foresee large opportunities for Russian agriculture during the rest of the 21st century as arability increases in Siberia which would lead to both internal and external migration to the region 281 More than one third of the sown area is devoted to fodder crops and the remaining farmland is devoted to industrial crops vegetables and fruits 274 Owing to its large coastline along three oceans Russia maintains one of the world s largest fishing fleets ranking sixth in the world in tonnage of fish caught capturing 4 773 413 tons of fish in 2018 282 It is also home to the world s finest caviar the beluga and produces about one third of all canned fish and some one fourth of the world s total fresh and frozen fish 274 Science and technology Main articles Timeline of Russian inventions and technology records Science and technology in Russia List of Russian scientists and List of Russian inventors Mikhail Lomonosov 1711 1765 polymath scientist inventor poet and artist Russia s research and development budget is the world s ninth highest with an expenditure of approximately 422 billion rubles on domestic research and development 283 In 2019 Russia was ranked tenth worldwide in the number of scientific publications 284 Russia was ranked 47th in the Global Innovation Index in 2020 down from 46th in 2019 285 286 287 288 Since 1904 Nobel Prize were awarded to twenty six Soviets and Russians in physics chemistry medicine economy literature and peace 289 Mikhail Lomonosov proposed the law of conservation of matter preceding the energy conservation law 290 Since the time of Nikolay Lobachevsky the Copernicus of Geometry who pioneered the non Euclidean geometry and a prominent tutor Pafnuty Chebyshev Russian mathematicians became among the world s most influential 291 Dmitry Mendeleev invented the Periodic table the main framework of modern chemistry 290 Nine Soviet Russian mathematicians were awarded with the Fields Medal 292 Grigori Perelman was offered the first ever Clay Millennium Prize Problems Award for his final proof of the Poincare conjecture in 2002 293 Alexander Popov was among the inventors of radio 294 while Nikolai Basov and Alexander Prokhorov were co inventors of laser and maser 295 Many famous Russian scientists and inventors were emigres among them are Igor Sikorsky 296 and Vladimir Zworykin 297 while many foreign ones lived and worked in Russia for a long time such as Leonard Euler 298 and Alfred Nobel 299 Russian discoveries and inventions include the transformer electric filament lamp the aircraft the safety parachute electrical microscope colour photos 300 caterpillar tracks track assembly electrically powered railway wagons videotape recorder the helicopter the solar cell probiotics found in some yoghurts the television petrol cracking synthetic rubber and grain harvester 301 Mir Soviet and Russian space station that operated in low Earth orbit from 1986 to 2001 302 Roscosmos is Russia s national space agency 303 while Russian achievements in the field of space technology and space exploration are traced back to Konstantin Tsiolkovsky the father of theoretical astronautics whose works had inspired leading Soviet rocket engineers such as Sergey Korolyov Valentin Glushko and many others who contributed to the success of the Soviet space program in the early stages of the Space Race and beyond 304 In 1957 the first Earth orbiting artificial satellite Sputnik 1 was launched 113 In 1961 the first human trip into space was successfully made by Yuri Gagarin 114 Many other Soviet and Russian space exploration records ensued including the first spacewalk performed by Alexei Leonov 305 Vostok 6 was the first human spaceflight to carry a woman into space Valentina Tereshkova 306 Luna 9 was the first spacecraft to land on the Moon 307 Sputnik 2 was the first spacecraft to carry an animal Laika 308 Zond 5 brought the first Earthlings two tortoises and other life forms to circumnavigate the Moon 309 Venera 7 was the first spacecraft to land on another planet Venus 310 and Mars 3 was the first spacecraft to land on Mars 311 Lunokhod 1 was the first space exploration rover 312 and Salyut 1 was the world s first space station 313 Russia is among the world s largest satellite launchers 314 and has completed the GLONASS satellite navigation system It is developing its own fifth generation jet fighter Sukhoi Su 57 208 and has built the world s first floating nuclear power plant 315 Luna Glob is a Russian Moon exploration programme with its first mission scheduled to launch in July 2022 Luna 25 316 To replace the ageing Soyuz Roscosmos is also developing the Orel spacecraft which could conduct its first crewed fight in 2025 317 In February 2019 it was announced that Russia is intending to conduct its first crewed mission to land on the Moon in 2031 318 In April 2021 Roscosmos declared that it is planning to quit the ISS and will create its own space station with the aim of launching it into orbit by 2030 319 In June 2021 Roscosmos and China National Space Administration announced that they are jointly developing a lunar base which is planned to be utilized from 2036 320 Tourism Main article Tourism in Russia Peterhof Palace in Saint Petersburg a UNESCO World Heritage Site According to the World Tourism Organization Russia was the sixteenth most visited country in the world and the tenth most visited country in Europe in 2018 with over 24 6 million visits 321 Russia was ranked 39th in the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2019 322 According to Federal Agency for Tourism the number of inbound trips of foreign citizens to Russia amounted to 24 4 million in 2019 323 Russia s international tourism receipts in 2018 amounted to 11 6 billion 321 In 2020 tourism accounted for about 4 of country s GDP 324 Major tourist routes in Russia include a journey around the Golden Ring of Russia a theme route of ancient Russian cities cruises on large rivers such as the Volga and journeys on the famous Trans Siberian Railway 325 Russia s most visited and popular landmarks include Red Square the Peterhof Palace the Kazan Kremlin the Trinity Lavra of St Sergius and Lake Baikal 326 DemographicsMain articles Demographics of Russia and Russians Ethnic groups in Russia of more than 1 million people according to the 2010 Census 327 Russia is one of the world s most sparsely populated and urbanized countries 5 and had a population of 142 8 million according to the 2010 census 328 which rose to 146 2 million as of 2021 9 It is the most populous country in Europe 329 and the world s ninth most populous country 330 with a population density of 9 inhabitants per square kilometre 23 per square mile 331 Since the 1990s Russia s death rate has exceeded its birth rate which has been called by analysts as a demographic crisis 332 In 2018 the total fertility rate across Russia was estimated to be 1 6 children born per woman which is below the replacement rate of 2 1 and is one of the world s lowest fertility rates 333 Subsequently the nation has one of the world s oldest populations with a median age of 40 3 years 5 In 2009 it recorded annual population growth for the first time in fifteen years and since the 2010s Russia has seen increased population growth due to declining death rates increased birth rates and increased immigration 334 However since 2020 due to excessive deaths from the COVID 19 pandemic Russia s population has been decreasing considerably 335 336 337 Russia is a multinational state home to over 193 ethnic groups nationwide 327 In the 2010 Census roughly 81 of the population were ethnic Russians 327 and the remaining 19 of the population were ethnic minorities 3 and roughly 85 of Russia s population was of European descent 3 of which the vast majority were Slavs 338 with a substantial minority of Finnic and Germanic peoples 339 340 According to the United Nations Russia s immigrant population is the world s third largest numbering over 11 6 million 341 most of which are from post Soviet states mainly Ukrainians 342 Language Main articles Russian language and Languages of Russia Minority languages across Russia Altaic Uralic and Yukaghir languages spoken across Russia Ethnolinguistic groups in the Caucasus 356 Russian is the official and the predominantly spoken language in Russia 2 It is the most spoken native language in Europe 357 the most geographically widespread language of Eurasia 358 as well as the world s most widely spoken Slavic language 358 Russian is the second most used language on the Internet after English 359 and is one of two official languages aboard the International Space Station 360 as well as one of the six official languages of the United Nations 361 Besides Russian approximately over 100 minority languages are spoken across Russia 362 According to the Russian Census of 2002 142 6 million across the country spoke Russian 5 3 million spoke Tatar and 1 8 million spoke Ukrainian 363 The constitution gives the country s individual republics the right to establish their own state languages in addition to Russian as well as guarantee its citizens the right to preserve their native language and to create conditions for its study and development 364 Religion Main article Religion in Russia Saint Basil s Cathedral in Red Square of Moscow is the most popular icon of Russia 365 Russia is a secular state by constitution and its largest religion is Christianity It has the world s largest Orthodox population 366 367 and according to different sociological surveys on religious adherence between 41 to over 80 of Russia s population adhere to the Russian Orthodox Church 368 369 370 In 2017 a survey made by the Pew Research Center showed that 73 of Russians declared themselves as Christians out of which 71 were Orthodox 1 were Catholic and 2 were Other Christians while 15 were unaffiliated 10 were Muslims and 1 followed other religions 4 According to various reports the proportion of Atheists in Russia is between 16 and 48 of the population 371 Islam is the second largest religion in Russia and it is the traditional religion amongst the bulk of the peoples of the North Caucasus and amongst some Turkic peoples scattered along the Volga Ural region 372 Buddhists are home to a sizeable population in the three Siberian regions Buryatia Tuva Zabaykalsky Krai and in Kalmykia the only region in Europe where Buddhism is the most practised religion 373 Education Main article Education in Russia Moscow State University the most prestigious educational institution in Russia 374 The Petrozavodsk State University in Petrozavodsk Republic of Karelia Russia has a free education system which is guaranteed for all citizens by the constitution 375 The Ministry of Education of Russia is responsible for primary and secondary education and vocational education while the Ministry of Education and Science of Russia is responsible for science and higher education 376 Regional authorities regulate education within their jurisdictions within the prevailing framework of federal laws Russia has the world s highest college level or higher graduates in terms of percentage of population at 54 377 Pre school education in Russia is highly developed some four fifths of children aged 3 to 6 attend day nurseries or kindergartens Schooling is compulsory for nine years It starts from age 6 to 7 and leads to a basic general education certificate An additional two or three years of schooling are required for the secondary level certificate and some seven eighths of Russian students continue their education past this level Admission to an institute of higher education is selective and highly competitive first degree courses usually take five years 378 The oldest and largest universities in Russia are Moscow State University and Saint Petersburg State University 379 There are also ten highly prestigious federal universities across the country According to a UNESCO report in 2014 Russia is the world s sixth leading destination for international students 380 Health Main article Healthcare in Russia Russia by constitution guarantees free universal health care for all Russian citizens 381 through a compulsory state health insurance program The Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation oversees the Russian public healthcare system and the sector employs more than two million people Federal regions also have their own departments of health that oversee local administration A separate private health insurance plan is needed to access private healthcare in Russia 382 According to the World Bank Russia spent 5 32 of its GDP on healthcare in 2018 383 It has one of the world s most female biased sex ratios with 0 859 males to every female 5 In 2019 the overall life expectancy in Russia at birth is 73 2 years 68 2 years for males and 78 0 years for females 384 and it had a very low infant mortality rate 5 per 1 000 live births 385 The principle cause of death in Russia are cardiovascular diseases 386 Obesity is a prevalent health issue in Russia In 2016 61 1 of Russian adults were overweight or obese 387 However Russia s historically high alcohol consumption rate is the biggest health issue in the country 388 as it remains one of the world s highest despite a stark decrease in the last decade 389 CultureMain article Russian culture Russian culture has been formed by the nation s history its geographical location and its vast expanse religious traditions and Western influence 390 Russian writers and philosophers have played an important role in the development of European thought 391 392 Russians have also greatly influenced classical music 393 ballet 394 sport 395 architecture 396 painting 397 and cinema 398 The nation has made pioneering contributions to science and technology and space exploration 399 and is home to 30 UNESCO World Heritage Sites 19 out of which are cultural 400 The large global Russian diaspora has also played a major role in spreading Russian culture throughout the world Art and architecture Main articles Russian artists Russian architecture and List of Russian architects Andrei Rublev Trinity 1425 Karl Bryullov The Last Day of Pompeii 1833 Early Russian painting is represented in icons and vibrant frescos In the early 15th century the master icon painter Andrei Rublev created some of Russia s most treasured religious art 401 The Russian Academy of Arts which was established in 1757 to train Russian artists brought Western techniques of secular painting to Russia 65 In the 18th century academicians Ivan Argunov Dmitry Levitzky Vladimir Borovikovsky became influential The early 19th century saw many prominent paintings by Karl Briullov and Alexander Ivanov both of whom were known for Romantic historical canvases 402 403 In the 1860s a group of critical realists Peredvizhniki led by Ivan Kramskoy Ilya Repin and Vasiliy Perov broke with the academy and portrayed the many sided aspects of social life in paintings 401 The turn of the 20th century saw the rise of symbolism represented by Mikhail Vrubel and Nicholas Roerich 404 405 The Russian avant garde flourished from approximately 1890 to 1930 and globally influential artists from this era were El Lissitzky 406 Kazimir Malevich 407 Natalia Goncharova 408 Wassily Kandinsky 409 and Marc Chagall 410 Notable sculptures from the Soviet era include Vera Mukhina 411 Yevgeny Vuchetich and Ernst Neizvestny 412 The Winter Palace which served as the official residence of the Emperor of Russia is an architectural symbol of Saint Petersburg 413 The history of Russian architecture begins with early woodcraft buildings of ancient Slavs 414 and the architecture of Kievan Rus 415 Following the Christianization of Kievan Rus for several centuries it was influenced predominantly by the Byzantine Empire 416 Aristotle Fioravanti and other Italian architects brought Renaissance trends into Russia 417 The 16th century saw the development of the unique tent like churches and the onion dome design which is a distinctive feature of Russian architecture 418 In the 17th century the fiery style of ornamentation flourished in Moscow and Yaroslavl gradually paving the way for the Naryshkin baroque of the 1690s 396 After the reforms of Peter the Great Russia s architecture became influenced by Western European styles 419 The 18th century taste for Rococo architecture led to the splendid works of Bartolomeo Rastrelli and his followers 420 During the reign of Catherine the Great Saint Petersburg was transformed into an outdoor museum of Neoclassical architecture 421 During Alexander I s rule Empire style became the de facto architectural style and Nicholas I opened the gate of Eclecticism to Russia The second half of the 19th century was dominated by the Neo Byzantine and Russian Revival style 396 In early 20th century Russian neoclassical revival became a trend 419 Prevalent styles of the late 20th century were the Art Nouveau 396 Constructivism 422 and Socialist Classicism 423 Music Main article Music of Russia Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky 1840 1893 composer Until the 18th century music in Russia consisted mainly of church music and folk songs and dances 424 In the 19th century it was defined by the tension between classical composer Mikhail Glinka along with other members of The Mighty Handful and the Russian Musical Society led by composers Anton and Nikolay Rubinstein 393 The later tradition of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky one of the greatest composers of the Romantic era was continued into the 20th century by Sergei Rachmaninoff one of the last great champions of the Romantic style of European classical music 425 World renowned composers of the 20th century include Alexander Scriabin Alexander Glazunov Igor Stravinsky Sergei Prokofiev Dmitri Shostakovich Georgy Sviridov and Alfred Schnittke 424 Soviet and Russian conservatories have turned out generations of world renowned soloists Among the best known are violinists David Oistrakh and Gidon Kremer 426 427 cellist Mstislav Rostropovich 428 pianists Vladimir Horowitz 429 Sviatoslav Richter 430 and Emil Gilels 431 and vocalist Galina Vishnevskaya 432 During the Soviet times popular music also produced a number of renowned figures such as the two balladeers Vladimir Vysotsky and Bulat Okudzhava 433 and performers such as Alla Pugacheva 434 Jazz even with sanctions from Soviet authorities flourished and evolved into one of the country s most popular musical forms 433 The Ganelin Trio have been described by critics as the greatest ensemble of free jazz in continental Europe 435 By the 1980s rock music became popular across Russia and produced bands such as Aria Aquarium 436 DDT 437 and Kino 438 439 Pop music in Russia has continued to flourish since the 1960s with globally famous acts such as t A T u 440 In the recent times Little Big a rave band has gained popularity in Russia and across Europe 441 Literature and philosophy Main articles Russian literature Russian philosophy Russian poets Russian playwrights Russian novelists and Russian science fiction and fantasy Leo Tolstoy is regarded as one of the greatest authors of all time with works such as War and Peace 442 Russian literature is considered to be among the world s most influential and developed 391 It can be traced to the Middle Ages when epics and chronicles in Old East Slavic were composed 443 By the Age of Enlightenment literature had grown in importance with works from Mikhail Lomonosov Denis Fonvizin Gavrila Derzhavin and Nikolay Karamzin 391 From the early 1830s during the Golden Age of Russian Poetry literature underwent an astounding golden age in poetry prose and drama 444 Romanticism permitted a flowering of poetic talent Vasily Zhukovsky and later his protege Alexander Pushkin came to the fore 445 446 Following Pushkin s footsteps a new generation of poets were born including Mikhail Lermontov Nikolay Nekrasov Aleksey Konstantinovich Tolstoy Fyodor Tyutchev and Afanasy Fet 447 The first great Russian novelist was Nikolai Gogol 448 Then came Ivan Turgenev who mastered both short stories and novels 449 Fyodor Dostoevsky and Leo Tolstoy soon became internationally renowned 450 451 Ivan Goncharov is remembered mainly for his novel Oblomov 452 Mikhail Saltykov Shchedrin wrote prose satire 453 while Nikolai Leskov is best remembered for his shorter fiction 454 In the second half of the century Anton Chekhov excelled in short stories and became a leading dramatist 455 Other important 19th century developments included the fabulist Ivan Krylov 456 non fiction writers such as the critic Vissarion Belinsky 457 and playwrights such as Aleksandr Griboyedov and Aleksandr Ostrovsky 458 459 The beginning of the 20th century ranks as the Silver Age of Russian Poetry This era had poets such as Alexander Blok Anna Akhmatova Boris Pasternak Konstantin Balmont 460 Marina Tsvetaeva Vladimir Mayakovsky and Osip Mandelshtam 447 It also produced some first rate novelists and short story writers such as Aleksandr Kuprin Nobel Prize winner Ivan Bunin Leonid Andreyev Yevgeny Zamyatin Dmitry Merezhkovsky and Andrei Bely 447 After the Russian Revolution of 1917 Russian literature split into Soviet and white emigre parts In the 1930s Socialist realism became the predominant trend in Russia Its leading figure was Maxim Gorky who laid the foundations of this style 461 Mikhail Bulgakov was one of the leading writers of the Soviet era 462 Nikolay Ostrovsky s novel How the Steel Was Tempered has been among the most successful works of Russian literature Various emigre writers such as novelist Vladimir Nabokov continued to write in exile 463 Some writers dared to oppose Soviet ideology such as Nobel Prize winning novelist Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn who wrote about life in the gulag camps 464 Russian philosophy has been greatly influential with philosophers such as Alexander Herzen who is called the father of Russian socialism Mikhail Bakunin who is referred to as the father of anarchism Mikhail Bakhtin Helena Blavatsky Vladimir Lenin who is one of the world s most popular revolutionaries and developed the political ideology of Leninism Leon Trotsky who is the founder of Trotskyism and Petr Chaadaev who influenced both the Westernizers and the Slavophiles 392 Notable Russian philosophers of the late 19th and 20th centuries including Vladimir Solovyov 465 Alexander Zinoviev 466 Sergei Bulgakov 467 Pavel Florensky 468 Lev Shestov 469 and Nikolai Berdyaev 470 Cuisine See also Russian cuisine Kvass is an ancient and traditional Russian beverage Russian cuisine has been formed by climate cultural and religious traditions and the vast geography of the nation and it shares many similarities with the cuisines of its neighbouring countries 471 Crops of rye wheat barley and millet provide the ingredients for various breads pancakes and cereals as well as for many drinks 472 Bread is very popular in Russia 473 Flavourful soups and stews include shchi borsch ukha solyanka and okroshka Smetana a heavy sour cream is often added to soups and salads 474 Pirozhki blini and syrniki are native types of pancakes Beef Stroganoff Chicken Kiev pelmeni and shashlyk are popular meat dishes Other meat dishes include stuffed cabbage rolls golubtsy usually filled with meat Salads include Olivier salad vinegret and dressed herring 472 Russia s national non alcoholic drink is Kvass 475 and the national alcoholic drink is vodka its creation in the nation dates back to the 14th century 476 The country has the world s highest vodka consumption 477 but beer is the most popular alcoholic beverage in Russia 478 Wine has become popular in Russia in the last decade 479 480 and the country is becoming one of the world s largest wine producers 478 481 Tea has also been a historically popular beverage in Russia 471 Media Main articles Media of Russia and Cinema of Russia Poster of Battleship Potemkin 1925 by Sergei Eisenstein which was named the greatest film of all time at the Brussels World s Fair in 1958 482 Russia has almost 37 thousand media outlets 35 thousand newspapers 483 and over 12 thousand magazines 484 The largest internationally operating news agencies in Russia are TASS RIA Novosti and Interfax 485 Television is the most popular media in Russia as 99 of the Russian population receives at least one television channel 483 and roughly 60 of Russians watch television on a daily basis 486 Popular nationwide radio stations in Russia include Radio Rossii Echo of Moscow Radio Mayak Radio Yunost and Russkoye Radio 484 Some popular newspapers include Komsomolskaya Pravda Kommersant Novaya Gazeta Rossiyskaya Gazeta Izvestia and The Moscow Times 484 Russia has the largest video gaming market in Europe with over 65 million players nationwide 487 Russian and later Soviet cinema was a hotbed of invention resulting in world renowned films such as The Battleship Potemkin 488 Soviet era filmmakers most notably Sergei Eisenstein and Andrei Tarkovsky would go on to become among of the world s most innovative and influential directors 489 490 Eisenstein was a student of Lev Kuleshov who developed the groundbreaking Soviet montage theory of film editing at the world s first film school the All Union Institute of Cinematography 491 Dziga Vertov s Kino Eye theory had a huge impact on the development of documentary filmmaking and cinema realism 492 Many Soviet socialist realism films were artistically successful including Chapaev The Cranes Are Flying and Ballad of a Soldier The 1960s and 1970s saw a greater variety of artistic styles in Soviet cinema 398 The comedies of Eldar Ryazanov and Leonid Gaidai of that time were immensely popular with many of the catchphrases still in use today 493 494 In 1961 68 Sergey Bondarchuk directed an Oscar winning film adaptation of Leo Tolstoy s epic War and Peace which was the most expensive film made in the Soviet Union 398 In 1969 Vladimir Motyl s White Sun of the Desert was released a very popular film in a genre of ostern the film is traditionally watched by cosmonauts before any trip into space 495 In 2002 Russian Ark became the first feature film ever to be shot in a single take 496 After the dissolution of the Soviet Union the Russian cinema industry suffered large losses however since the late 2000s it has seen growth once again and continues to expand 497 Sports Main article Sport in Russia Maria Sharapova former world No 1 tennis player was the world s highest paid female athlete for 11 consecutive years 498 Football is the most popular sport in Russia 390 The Soviet Union national football team became the first European champions by winning Euro 1960 499 and reached the finals of Euro 1988 500 In 1956 and 1988 the Soviet Union won gold at the Olympic football tournament Russian clubs CSKA Moscow and Zenit Saint Petersburg won the UEFA Cup in 2005 and 2008 501 502 The Russian national football team reached the semi finals of Euro 2008 503 Russia was the host nation for the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup 504 and the 2018 FIFA World Cup 505 Ice hockey is very popular in Russia and the Soviet national ice hockey team dominated the sport internationally throughout its existence 506 Bandy is Russia s national sport and it has historically been the highest achieving country in the sport 507 The Russian national basketball team won the EuroBasket 2007 508 and the Russian basketball club PBC CSKA Moscow is among the most successful European basketball teams 509 The annual Formula One Russian Grand Prix is held at the Sochi Autodrom in the Sochi Olympic Park 510 Historically Russian athletes have been one of the most successful contenders in the Olympic Games 511 ranking second in an all time Olympic Games medal count 512 Russia is the leading nation in rhythmic gymnastics and Russian synchronized swimming is considered to be the world s best 513 Figure skating is another popular sport in Russia especially pair skating and ice dancing 514 Russia has produced a number of famous tennis players 515 Chess is also a widely popular pastime in the nation with many of the world s top chess players being Russian for decades 516 The 1980 Summer Olympic Games were held in Moscow 517 and the 2014 Winter Olympics and the 2014 Winter Paralympics were hosted in Sochi 518 519 See also Russia portal Outline of RussiaNotes Crimea which was annexed by Russia in 2014 remains internationally recognized as a part of Ukraine 1 Russian Rossijskaya Federaciya tr Rossiyskaya Federatsiya IPA rɐˈsʲijskeje fʲɪdʲɪˈratsɨje Russia shares land borders with fourteen sovereign nations and has maritime boundaries with the United States and Japan and borders the two partially recognized breakaway states of South Ossetia and Abkhazia Most notably the Budyonnovsk hospital hostage crisis the Russian apartment bombings the Moscow theater hostage crisis and the Beslan school siege 140 141 142 143 Russia has an additional 850 km 530 mi of coastline along the Caspian Sea which is the world s largest inland body of water and has been variously classified as a sea or a lake 167 Russia borders clockwise to its west the Baltic Sea to its southwest the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov to its north the Barents Sea the Kara Sea the Laptev Sea the Pechora Sea the White Sea and the East Siberian Sea to its northeast the Chukchi Sea and the Bering Sea and to its southeast the Sea of Okhotsk and the Sea of Japan Including the disputed Republic of Crimea and the federal city of Sevastopol References Taylor amp Francis 2020 Republic of Crimea The Territories of the Russian Federation 2020 Routledge ISBN 978 1 003 00706 7 Note The territories of the Crimean peninsula comprising Sevastopol City and the Republic of Crimea remained internationally recognized as constituting part of Ukraine following their annexation by Russia in March 2014 a b Chapter 3 The Federal Structure Constitution of Russia Retrieved 22 April 2015 1 The Russian language shall be a state language on the whole territory of the Russian Federation a b c VPN 2010 perepis 2010 ru Archived from the original on 18 January 2012 a b Religious Belief and National Belonging in Central and Eastern Europe Pew Research Center 10 May 2017 Retrieved 9 September 2017 a b c d e f g h i j k Russia The World Factbook Central Intelligence Agency Retrieved 26 December 2007 World Statistics Pocketbook 2016 edition PDF United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Statistics Division Retrieved 24 April 2018 Information about availability and distribution of land in the Russian Federation as of 1 January 2017 by federal subjects of Russia Svedeniya o nalichii i raspredelenii zemel v Rossijskoj Federacii na 1 January 2017 v razreze subektov Rossijskoj Federacii Rosreestr The Russian federation general characteristics Federal State Statistics Service Archived from the original on 28 July 2011 Retrieved 5 April 2008 a b c Ocenka chislennosti postoyannogo naseleniya na 1 yanvarya 2021 g i v srednem za 2020 g Estimated population as of 1 January 2021 and on the average for 2020 XLS Russian Federal State Statistics Service in Russian Retrieved 6 April 2021 a b c d World Economic Outlook Database April 2021 IMF org International Monetary Fund Retrieved 17 April 2020 GINI index World Bank estimate Russian Federation World Bank Retrieved 22 March 2020 Human Development Report 2020 PDF United Nations Development Programme 15 December 2020 Retrieved 15 December 2020 a b c d e f Curtis Glenn E 1998 Russia Early History Washington D C Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress Retrieved 29 June 2021 Kuchkin V A Russian land Ancient Russia in the medieval world Institute of General History of the Russian Academy of Sciences Ed E A Melnikova V Ya Petrukhina M Ladomir 2014 S 697 698 Duczko Wladyslaw 2004 Viking Rus Brill Publishers pp 10 11 ISBN 978 90 04 13874 2 Nazarenko Aleksandr Vasilevich 2001 1 Imya Rus v drevnejshej zapadnoevropejskoj yazykovoj tradicii XI XII veka The name Rus in the old tradition of Western European language XI XII centuries Drevnyaya Rus na mezhdunarodnyh putyah mezhdisciplinarnye ocherki kulturnyh torgovyh politicheskih svyazej IX XII vekov Old Rus on international routes Interdisciplinary Essays on cultural trade and political ties in the 9th 12th centuries in Russian Languages of the Rus culture pp 40 42 45 49 50 ISBN 978 5 7859 0085 1 Archived from the original on 14 August 2011 Milner Gulland R R 1997 The Russians The People of Europe Blackwell Publishing pp 1 4 ISBN 978 0 631 21849 4 Definition of Russian Merriam Webster Retrieved 21 September 2016 Merridale Catherine 2003 Redesigning History in Contemporary Russia Journal of Contemporary History 38 1 13 28 doi 10 1177 0022009403038001961 JSTOR 3180694 S2CID 143597960 The era of the great European cultures of the Northern type hunters www iabrno cz Czech Academy of Sciences the Institute of Archaeology in Brno The Center for Paleolithic and Paleoethnological Research Retrieved 13 May 2021 Kostenki 12 a memorial to Upper Paleolithic culture in Eastern Europe Institute of History of Material Culture RAS Archived from the original on 12 July 2006 Retrieved 13 May 2021 Anthony David W Ringe Don 1 January 2015 The Indo European Homeland from Linguistic and Archaeological Perspectives Annual Review of Linguistics 1 1 199 219 doi 10 1146 annurev linguist 030514 124812 ISSN 2333 9683 a b Belinskij Andrej Harke Heinrich 1999 The Princess of Ipatovo Archeology 52 2 Archived from the original on 10 June 2008 Retrieved 26 December 2007 a b Drews Robert 2004 Early Riders The beginnings of mounted warfare in Asia and Europe New York Routledge p 50 ISBN 978 0 415 32624 7 Koryakova L Sintashta Arkaim Culture The Center for the Study of the Eurasian Nomads CSEN Retrieved 13 May 2021 1998 NOVA documentary Ice Mummies Siberian Ice Maiden Transcript Retrieved 13 May 2021 Sinor Denis 1990 The Cambridge History of Early Inner Asia Cambridge University Press ISBN 978 0 521 24304 9 Jacobson E 1995 The Art of the Scythians The Interpenetration of Cultures at the Edge of the Hellenic World Brill p 38 ISBN 978 90 04 09856 5 Tsetskhladze G R 1998 The Greek Colonisation of the Black Sea Area Historical Interpretation of Archaeology F Steiner p 48 ISBN 978 3 515 07302 8 Turchin P 2003 Historical Dynamics Why States Rise and Fall Princeton University Press pp 185 186 ISBN 978 0 691 11669 3 a b c d Christian D 1998 A History of Russia Central Asia and Mongolia Blackwell Publishing pp 286 288 ISBN 978 0 631 20814 3 For a discussion of the origins of Slavs see Barford P M 2001 The Early Slavs Cornell University Press pp 15 16 ISBN 978 0 8014 3977 3 Paszkiewicz H K 1963 The Making of the Russian Nation Darton Longman amp Todd p 262 McKitterick R 15 June 1995 The New Cambridge Medieval History Cambridge University Press p 497 ISBN 978 0 521 36447 8 Mongaĭt A L 1959 Archeology in the U S S R Foreign Languages Publishing House p 335 Obolensky D 1994 Byzantium and the Slavs St Vladimir s Seminary Press p 42 ISBN 978 0 88141 008 2 Thompson J W Johnson E N 1937 An Introduction to Medieval Europe 300 1500 W W Norton amp Co p 268 ISBN 978 0 415 34699 3 Plokhy Serhii 2006 The Origins of the Slavic Nations Premodern Identities in Russia Ukraine and Belarus Cambridge University Press p 13 ISBN 978 0 521 86403 9 Obolensky Dimitri 1971 Byzantium amp the Slavs pp 75 108 ISBN 978 0 88141 008 2 Logan Donald F 1992 The Vikings in History 2nd Edition Routledge ISBN 978 0 415 08396 6 Vernadsky George 1973 Kievan Russia Yale University Press p 430 ISBN 978 0 300 01647 5 Klyuchevsky V 1987 The course of the Russian history 1 Myslʹ ISBN 978 5 244 00072 6 Hamm Michael F 1993 Kiev A Portrait 1800 1917 Princeton University Press p 328 ISBN 978 0 691 02585 8 Halperin Charles J 1987 Russia and the Golden Horde The Mongol Impact on Medieval Russian History Indiana University Press p 192 ISBN 978 0 253 20445 5 Battle of the Neva Encyclopedia Britannica Retrieved 22 June 2021 Ostrowski Donald 2006 Alexander Nevskii s Battle on the Ice The Creation of a Legend Russian History 33 2 4 289 312 doi 10 1163 187633106X00186 JSTOR 24664446 a b c d e f g h Curtis Glenn E 1998 Russia Muscovy Washington D C Federal Research Division of the Library 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Eizo The Crimean Tatars and their Russian Captive Slaves PDF Mediterranean Studies Group at Hitotsubashi University Archived from the original PDF on 1 May 2011 Retrieved 4 May 2013 Tucker Spencer C 2009 A Global Chronology of Conflict From the Ancient World to the Modern Middle East ISBN 978 1 85109 672 5 Williams Brian Glyn 2013 The Sultan s Raiders The Military Role of the Crimean Tatars in the Ottoman Empire PDF The Jamestown Foundation p 27 Archived from the original PDF on 21 October 2013 Dunning Chester S L 2004 Russia s First Civil War The Time of Troubles and the Founding of the Romanov Dynasty Pennsylvania State University Press ISBN 978 0 271 02465 3 a b Montefiore Simon Sebag 2016 The Romanovs 1613 1918 Vintage Books p 784 ISBN 978 0 307 28051 0 Kohut Zenon E 2003 The Khmelnytsky Uprising the Image of Jews and the Shaping of Ukrainian Historical Memory Jewish History 17 2 141 63 doi 10 1023 A 1022300121820 JSTOR 20101495 S2CID 159708538 Avrich Paul 1972 Russian Rebels 1600 1800 Schocken Books p 320 ISBN 978 0 393 00836 4 Fisher R H 1981 The Voyage of Semen Dezhnev in 1648 Bering s precursor London Hakluyt Society ISBN 978 0 904180 07 7 a b c d Curtis Glenn E 1998 Russia Early Imperial Russia Washington D C Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress Retrieved 25 June 2021 a b c Glenn E Curtis ed 1998 Russia Ruling the Empire Washington D C Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress Retrieved 25 June 2021 Chew Allen F 2009 An Atlas of Russian History Eleven Centuries of Changing Borders Yale University Press ISBN 978 0 300 01445 7 McCartan E F 1963 The Long Voyages Early Russian Circumnavigation The Russian Review 22 1 30 37 doi 10 2307 126593 JSTOR 126593 Bonhomme Brian 2012 Russian Exploration from Siberia to Space A History McFarland amp Company p 232 ISBN 978 0 7864 6687 0 Hosking Geoffrey 2001 Russia and the Russians A History Harvard University Press p 9 ISBN 978 0 674 00473 3 a b Curtis Glenn E 1998 Russia Transformation of Russia in the Nineteenth Century Washington D C Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress Retrieved 25 June 2021 How The World Went To War In 1914 Imperial War Museum Retrieved 30 May 2021 Tomaszewski Fiona K 2002 A Great Russia Russia and the Triple Entente 1905 1914 Greenwood Publishing Group pp 19 ISBN 978 0 275 97366 7 Schindler John 2003 Steamrollered in Galicia The Austro Hungarian Army and the Brusilov Offensive 1916 War in History 10 1 27 59 doi 10 1191 0968344503wh260oa JSTOR 26061940 S2CID 143618581 a b c d e Curtis Glenn E 1998 Russia Revolutions and Civil War Washington D C Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress Retrieved 26 June 2021 Swain Geoffrey 2014 Trotsky and the Russian Revolution Routledge p 15 ISBN 978 1 317 81278 4 The first government to be formed after the February Revolution of 1917 had with one exception been composed of liberals Provozglashena Rossijskaya respublika Prezidentskaya biblioteka imeni B N Elcina 7 February 2017 Carley M 1989 Allied Intervention and the Russian Civil War 1917 1922 The International History Review 11 4 689 700 Retrieved June 26 2021 Blakemore Erin 2 September 2020 How the Red Terror set a macabre course for the Soviet Union National Geographic Retrieved 26 June 2021 Mawdsley Evan 2007 The Russian Civil War New York City p 287 ISBN 978 1 68177 009 3 Hassell James E 1992 Russian Refugees in France and the United States Between the World Wars Transactions of the American Philosophical Society p 96 ISBN 978 0 87169 817 9 Haller Francis 8 December 2003 Famine in Russia the hidden horrors of 1921 Le Temps International Committee of the Red Cross Retrieved 26 July 2021 USSR Established History Retrieved 26 June 2021 Bensley Michael 2014 Socialism in One Country A Study of Pragmatism and Ideology in the Soviet 1920s PDF University of Kent Retrieved 26 June 2021 Abbott Gleason 2009 A Companion to Russian History Wiley Blackwell ISBN 978 1 4051 3560 3 Shepley Nick 2015 Stalin the five year plans and the Gulags Slavery and Terror 1929 53 ISBN 978 1 78333 087 4 Burns J H Document The Executive of the President s Soviet Protocol Committee to the President s Special Assistant August 10 1943 TeachingAmericanHistory org Ashbrook Center at Ashland University Chapple Amos 22 June 2021 Operation Barbarossa The Nazi Invasion Of The U S S R 80 Years Ago Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty Retrieved 2 July 2021 Nazi Germany led the largest ever ground invasion force in an attack on the Soviet Union in 1941 that unleashed a brutal conflict that cost the lives of millions of people Taylor Alan 18 September 2011 World War II The Eastern Front The Atlantic Retrieved 2 July 2021 Blakemore Erin 21 February 2017 The Nazis Nightmarish Plan to Starve the Soviet Union JSTOR Retrieved 2 July 2021 Mineau Andre 2004 Operation Barbarossa Ideology and Ethics Against Human Dignity Rodopi p 180 ISBN 978 90 420 1633 0 Jones Adam 2010 Genocide A Comprehensive Introduction 2nd ed Routledge p 271 ISBN 978 0 415 48619 4 The large majority of POWs some 2 8 million were killed in just eight months of 1941 42 a rate of slaughter matched to my knowledge only by the 1994 Rwanda genocide Braithwaite Rodric 2006 Moscow 1941 A City and Its People at War London Profile Books ISBN 978 1 86197 759 5 a b Hellbeck Jochen 2015 Stalingrad The City That Defeated The Third Reich New York PublicAffairs ISBN 978 1 61039 496 3 Clark Lloyd 2011 Kursk The Greatest Battle Eastern Front 1943 London Headline ISBN 978 0 7553 3638 8 Kagan Neil Hyslop Stephen 7 May 2020 The Soviet victory in the Battle of Berlin finished Nazi Germany National Geographic Retrieved 29 May 2021 Goldman Stuart D 28 August 2012 The Forgotten Soviet Japanese War of 1939 The Diplomat Retrieved 29 May 2021 Russia s Monumental Tributes To The Great Patriotic War Radio Free Europe 8 May 2020 Retrieved 29 May 2021 It is known in Russia as the Great Patriotic War and there are a number of imposing monuments across the country to mark the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II Brinkley Douglas 2003 The New York Times Living History World War II 1942 1945 The Allied Counteroffensive Macmillan ISBN 978 0 8050 7247 1 Urquhart Brian 16 July 1998 Looking for the Sheriff The New York Review of Books Retrieved 27 July 2021 Tharoor Ishaan 8 May 2015 Don t forget how the Soviet Union saved the world from Hitler The Washington Post Retrieved 27 July 2021 The Red Army was the main engine of Nazism s destruction writes British historian and journalist Max Hastings in Inferno The World at War 1939 1945 The Soviet Union paid the harshest price though the numbers are not exact an estimated 26 million Soviet citizens died during World War II including as many as 11 million soldiers At the same time the Germans suffered three quarters of their wartime losses fighting the Red Army Hosking Geoffrey 2006 Rulers and victims the Russians in the Soviet Union Harvard University Press p 242 ISBN 978 0 674 02178 5 Harrison Mark 14 April 2010 The Soviet Union after 1945 Economic Recovery and Political Repression PDF University of Warwick Cite journal requires journal help Reiman Michael 2016 The USSR as the New World Superpower About Russia Its Revolutions Its Development and Its Present Peter Lang pp 169 176 ISBN 978 3 631 67136 8 JSTOR j ctv2t4dn7 14 Neiberg Michael 2015 Potsdam The End of World War II and the Remaking of Europe Basic Books p 368 ISBN 978 0 465 04062 9 Frucht Richard C 2003 Encyclopedia of Eastern Europe From the Congress of Vienna to the Fall of Communism Taylor amp Francis Group ISBN 978 0 203 80109 3 Holloway David 1994 Stalin and the Bomb The Soviet Union and Atomic Energy 1939 1956 Yale University Press p 505 ISBN 978 0 300 06056 0 Mastny Vojtech Malcolm Byrne 2005 A Cardboard Castle An Inside History of the Warsaw Pact 1955 1991 Budapest Central European University Press ISBN 978 963 7326 07 3 Wagg Stephen Andrews David 2012 East Plays West Sport and the Cold War Routledge p 11 ISBN 978 1 134 24167 5 Jones Polly 7 April 2006 The Dilemmas of De Stalinization Negotiating Cultural and Social Change in the Khrushchev Era Routledge pp 2 4 ISBN 978 1 134 28347 7 Taubman William 1990 Khrushchev The Man and His Era W W Norton amp Company and Simon amp Schuster p 871 ISBN 978 0 393 32484 6 Fuelling Cody To the Brink Turkish and Cuban Missiles during the Height of the Cold War International Social Science Review University of North Georgia 93 3 Retrieved 28 May 2021 a b Brzezinski Matthew B 2007 Red Moon Rising Sputnik and the Hidden Rivalries That Ignited the Space Age New York City Henry Holt and Company ISBN 978 0 8050 8147 3 a b Jenks Andrew L 2012 The Cosmonaut Who Couldn t Stop Smiling The Life and Legend of Yuri Gagarin Northern Illinois University Press ISBN 978 0 87580 447 7 Bacon Edwin Sandle Mark 2002 Brezhnev Reconsidered Palgrave Macmillan ISBN 978 0 230 50108 9 Arnold Anthony 1985 Afghanistan The Soviet Invasion in Perspective Hoover Institution Press p 157 ISBN 978 0 8179 8213 3 Ezoza Nomazova Faye O Prichard The Role of Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan in the Breakdown of the USSR Virginia Commonwealth University Retrieved 25 June 2021 Gates Robert 2007 From the Shadows The Ultimate Insider s Story of Five Presidents and How They Won the Cold War Simon amp Schuster p 604 ISBN 978 1 4165 4336 7 Brownell Richard 12 October 2018 Reagan and Gorbachev s First Brush with Peace Medium Retrieved 17 July 2021 Taubman William 2017 Gorbachev His Life and Times New York City Simon amp Schuster ISBN 978 1 4711 4796 8 Beissinger Mark R Nationalism and the Collapse of Soviet Communism PDF Princeton University Retrieved 25 June 2021 Hanson Philip 2003 The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Economy Routledge p 292 ISBN 978 0 582 29958 0 Russia Unforeseen Results of Reform The Library of Congress Country Studies CIA World Factbook Retrieved 10 March 2008 Dahlburg John Thor Marshall Tyler 7 September 1991 Independence for Baltic States Freedom Moscow formally recognizes Lithuania Latvia and Estonia ending half a century of control Soviets to begin talks soon on new relationships with the three nations Los Angeles Times Archived from the original on 3 June 2021 Retrieved 28 September 2021 CS1 maint unfit URL link Parks Michael 19 March 1991 Vote Backs Gorbachev but Not Convincingly Soviet Union His plan to preserve federal unity is supported but so is Yeltsin s for a Russian presidency Los Angeles Times Retrieved 30 May 2021 Remnick David 14 June 1991 YELTSIN ELECTED PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA The Washington Post Retrieved 6 June 2021 Bonnell Victoria E Cooper Ann Freidin Gregory 1994 Russia at the Barricades Eyewitness Accounts of the August 1991 Coup New York Times Routledge p 384 ISBN 978 1 315 70099 1 Plokhy Serhii 2014 The Last Empire The Final Days of the Soviet Union p 520 ISBN 978 1 78074 646 3 Glenn E Curtis ed 1998 Russia Economic Conditions in Mid 1996 Washington D C Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress Retrieved 1 August 2021 Russian Federation PDF Organisation for Economic Co operation and Development OECD Retrieved 24 February 2008 Sciolino E 21 December 1993 U S is abandoning shock therapy for the Russians The New York Times Retrieved 20 January 2008 Watson Joey 2 January 2019 The rise of Russia s oligarchs and their bid for legitimacy ABC News Retrieved 28 May 2021 The Russian ultra rich amassed their wealth during the economic and social turmoil following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the introduction of the market economy Johnson Scott 12 March 2019 Capital Flight From Russia Carries 750 Billion Price Tag Bloomberg L P Retrieved 1 August 2021 Milanovic Branko 1998 Income Inequality and Poverty During the Transformation from Planned to Market Economy The World Bank ISBN 978 0 8213 3994 7 Satter David 2003 Darkness at Dawn Yale University Press ISBN 978 0 300 10591 9 Who Was Who The Key Players In Russia s Dramatic October 1993 Showdown Radio Free Europe 2 October 2018 Retrieved 28 May 2021 Lee Carol E 8 April 2010 Obama Medvedev sign START treaty Politico Retrieved 8 July 2021 Perovic Jeronim 2006 The North Caucasus on the Brink PDF International Relations and Security Network Retrieved 6 June 2021 Hockstader Lee 12 December 1995 CHECHEN WAR REVEALS WEAKNESSES IN YELTSIN RUSSIA S NEW DEMOCRACY The Washington Post Retrieved 6 June 2021 Wesolowsky Tony Kotlyar Yevgenia 13 June 2020 After 25 Years Budyonnovsk Hostage Crisis Seen As Horrific Harbinger Of Terror Radio Free Europe Retrieved 3 June 2021 Anderson Scott 30 March 2017 None Dare Call It a Conspiracy GQ Retrieved 3 June 2021 Oetgen Albert Balmforth Tom 23 October 2012 The Dubrovka Theater Siege in Moscow a Decade Later The Atlantic Retrieved 3 July 2021 Phillips Timothy 2007 Beslan The Tragedy of School Number 1 Granta p 291 ISBN 978 1 86207 927 4 Owen David Robinson David O 2003 Russia Rebounds International Monetary Fund ISBN 978 1 4519 2073 4 Bohlen Celestine 1 January 2000 YELTSIN RESIGNS THE OVERVIEW Yeltsin Resigns Naming Putin as Acting President To Run in March Election The New York Times Retrieved 30 May 2021 Tran Mark 23 April 2007 A bold buffoon The Guardian Retrieved 5 July 2021 Wines Mark 27 March 2000 ELECTION IN RUSSIA THE OVERVIEW Putin Wins Russia Vote in First Round But His Majority Is Less Than Expected The New York Times Retrieved 30 May 2021 Crossette Barbara 28 February 2002 Russia Using Brutality to Suppress Chechens Rights Group Says The New York Times Retrieved 30 May 2021 Guriev Sergei Tsyvinski Aleh 2010 Challenges Facing the Russian Economy after the Crisis In Aslund Anders Guriev Sergei Kuchins Andrew C eds Russia After the Global Economic Crisis Peterson Institute for International Economics Centre for Strategic and International Studies New Economic School pp 12 13 ISBN 978 0 88132 497 6 Mydans Seth 15 March 2004 As Expected Putin Easily Wins a Second Term in Russia The New York Times Retrieved 30 May 2021 Harding Luke 8 May 2008 Putin ever present as Medvedev becomes president The Guardian Retrieved 6 June 2021 Lally Kathy Englund Will 4 March 2012 Putin wins election as Russian president opponents claim widespread fraud The Washington Post Retrieved 6 June 2021 Putin and Medvedev in role swap DW News Retrieved 6 June 2021 Harding Luke 15 January 2020 Dmitry Medvedev the rise and fall of the Robin to Putin s Batman The Guardian Retrieved 16 July 2021 Ousted Ukrainian President Asked For Russian Troops Envoy Says NBC News 3 March 2014 Retrieved 21 March 2014 Ukraine crisis Crimea parliament asks to join Russia BBC 6 March 2014 Retrieved 27 April 2015 General Assembly Adopts Resolution Calling upon States Not to Recognize Changes in Status of Crimea Region United Nations 27 March 2014 Retrieved 5 July 2021 Russia Extends Western Food Imports Embargo to End 2021 The Moscow Times 21 November 2020 Retrieved 28 May 2021 Petkova Mariya 1 October 2020 What has Russia gained from five years of fighting in Syria Al Jazeera Retrieved 30 May 2021 Hodge Nathan Fox Kara Dewan Angela 19 March 2018 Putin tightens grip on power with overwhelming Russian election win CNN Retrieved 6 June 2021 Constitutional change in Russia PDF European Parliament Retrieved 17 July 2021 Reevell Patrick 16 January 2020 Russian government resigns as Putin proposes constitutional changes ABC News Retrieved 17 July 2021 Who is Russia s new prime minister Mikhail Mishustin NBC News 17 January 2020 Retrieved 17 July 2021 Putin strongly backed in controversial Russian reform vote BBC 2 July 2020 Retrieved 18 July 2021 Roth Andrew 5 April 2021 Vladimir Putin passes law that may keep him in office until 2036 The Guardian Retrieved 7 May 2021 a b c d Russia National Geographic Kids National Geographic 21 March 2014 Retrieved 26 May 2021 Is the Caspian a sea or a lake The Economist 16 August 2018 Retrieved 27 June 2021 Like many lakes it does not feed into an ocean but it is sea like in its size and depth Coastline The World Factbook Central Intelligence Agency Retrieved 27 June 2021 Taylor Callum 2 April 2018 Russia is huge and that s about the size of it Medium Retrieved 6 July 2021 Russia takes up 17 098 250 square kilometres roughly one eighth of the world s total land mass That s larger than the entire continent of Antarctica Clark Stuart 28 July 2015 Pluto ten things we now know about the dwarf planet The Guardian Retrieved 20 June 2021 Pluto s diameter is larger than expected at 2 370 kilometres across This is about two thirds the size of Earth s moon giving Pluto a surface area comparable to Russia a b Glenn E Curtis ed 1998 Global Position and Boundaries Washington D C Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress Retrieved 8 July 2021 Klyuchevskoy Global Volcanism Program Smithsonian Institution Retrieved 24 July 2021 a b Glenn E Curtis ed 1998 Topography and Drainage Washington D C Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress Retrieved 8 July 2021 a b The Ural Mountains NASA Earth Observatory NASA 13 July 2011 Retrieved 27 May 2021 a b Russia The Arctic Institute Center for Circumpolar Security Studies Retrieved 27 June 2021 Aziz Ziryan 28 February 2020 Island hopping in Russia Sakhalin Kuril Islands and Kamchatka Peninsula Euronews Retrieved 27 June 2021 Diomede Islands Russia Atlas Obscura Retrieved 27 June 2021 Lake Baikal A Touchstone for Global Change and Rift Studies United States Geological Survey Retrieved 26 December 2007 Total renewable water resources The World Factbook Central Intelligence Agency Retrieved 9 July 2021 a b Russia s Largest Rivers From the Amur to the Volga The Moscow Times 15 May 2019 Retrieved 26 May 2021 a b Beck Hylke E Zimmermann Niklaus E McVicar Tim R Vergopolan Noemi Berg Alexis Wood Eric F 30 October 2018 Present and future Koppen Geiger climate classification maps at 1 km resolution Scientific Data 5 180214 Bibcode 2018NatSD 580214B doi 10 1038 sdata 2018 214 ISSN 2052 4463 PMC 6207062 PMID 30375988 a b Glenn E Curtis ed 1998 Climate Washington D C Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress Retrieved 10 July 2021 Drozdov V A Glezer O B Nefedova T G Shabdurasulov I V 1992 Ecological and Geographical Characteristics of the Coastal Zone of the Black Sea GeoJournal 27 2 169 doi 10 1007 BF00717701 S2CID 128960702 a b c Russian Federation Main Details Convention on Biological Diversity Retrieved 27 June 2021 a b Biodiversity in Russia Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe Retrieved 23 October 2019 Walsh Nick Paton 19 September 2003 It s Europe s lungs and home to many rare species But to Russia it s 100bn of wood The Guardian London Retrieved 26 December 2007 Forest makes up 70 of Russia s territory and spans 12 time zones It is known as Europe s lungs and is second only to the Amazon in the amount of carbon dioxide it absorbs and is home to many rare species Species richness of Russia Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe Retrieved 27 June 2021 Russian Federation UNESCO June 2017 Retrieved 7 June 2021 Look Inside Russia s Wildest Nature Reserves Now Turning 100 National Geographic 11 January 2017 Retrieved 28 June 2021 Russia s tumultuous history includes one legacy little known outside its borders a vast system of protected lands that conservationists have fought for decades to study and protect Some are so remote and guarded that few of Russia s own citizens have ever stepped foot in them The Constitution of the Russian Federation Article 80 1 Retrieved 27 December 2007 DeRouen Karl R Heo Uk 2005 Defense and Security A Compendium of National Armed Forces and Security Policies ABC CLIO p 666 ISBN 978 1 85109 781 4 The Constitution of the Russian Federation Article 81 3 Retrieved 27 December 2007 The Constitution of the Russian Federation Article 95 2 Retrieved 27 December 2007 KARTASHKIN V amp ABASHIDZE A 2004 Autonomy in the Russian Federation Theory and Practice International Journal on Minority and Group Rights 10 3 203 220 Retrieved June 26 2021 Saunders R A 2019 Historical Dictionary of the Russian Federation Historical Dictionaries of Europe Rowman amp Littlefield p 232 ISBN 978 1 5381 2048 4 Retrieved 7 July 2021 Orttung Robert Lussier Danielle Paetskaya Anna 2000 The Republics and Regions of the Russian Federation A Guide to Politics Policies and Leaders New York City EastWest Institute pp 523 524 ISBN 978 0 7656 0559 7 Gessen Masha 2016 Where the Jews Aren t The Sad and Absurd Story of Birobidzhan Russia s Jewish Autonomous Region Schocken a, wikipedia, wiki, book,

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