About Russian Federation
|Official Name||Russian Federation|
|Short form/ Abbreviation||Russia|
|Religion(s)||Orthodox Christianity; Islam; Judaism and Buddhism|
|Independence Day||Late 1991|
|National Emblem||Coat of Arms of Russia|
|National Anthem||State Anthem of the Russian Federation|
|National Animal||Russian Bear|
|National Bird||Double-headed Eagle|
|Time Zone(s)||UTC +3 to +12|
Top Ten Russian Cities
- St Petersburg
- Nizjnij Novgorod
|Top Ten Russian Museums
- Museum of Modern Art
- Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts
- The Russian Museum
- State Hermitage
- The state historical museum
- The State Darwin Museum
- Tretyakov Gallery
- Menshikov Palace
- Kremlin Armoury
|Top Ten Russian Tourist Spots
- Valley of the Geysers
- Kizhi Island
- St Sophia Cathedral, Novogorod
- Lake Baikal
- Winter Palace
- St Isaac's Cathedral
- Peterhof Museum
- Trans- Siberian Railway
- Volga River
|Top Ten Russian Landmarks
- State Hermitage Museum
- Kazan Kremlin
- Red Square
- Cathedral of St. Sophia
- Mount Elbrus
- Stalin Gothic Skyscrapers
- Kolomenskoye Museum Reserve
- Palace Square
- St. Basil's Cathedral
- Gorky Park
|Top Ten Russian Dishes
- Beef Stroganov
- Dressed Herring
|Top Ten Russian Drinks
- Stavlenniy myod
- Sovietkskoye Champagne
- Baltika beer
|Top Ten Russian Brands
- Zelenaya Marka
|Top Ten Russian Russian Destinations
- Crocus City Mall
- Esders and Scheefhaals building
- Galeria (Saint Petersburg)
- MEGA Family Shopping Center
- Moscow Gostiny Dvor
- Cherkizovsky Market
Physical Geography and Location
Russia is located in northern Eurasia. The geographical coordinates are 55 degrees and 45 minutes and 37 degrees and 37 minutes. The nation shares its boundaries with Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Ukraine, Kazhakhstan, Mongolia and North Korea. It is also bound to the American state of Alaska across the Bering Strait. Russia spans 9 time zones ranging from UTC +3 to +12.
The largest country in the world, Russia covers an area of 17,075,400 square kilometers. Russian topography is predominated by vast plains which stretch out to the steppe in the south, heavy forests in the north, and tundra in along the northern coast. The Russian borders are speckled with mountain ranges like the Caucasus and the Altai along the south, the Verkhoyansk Range in the east. The divide between Europe and Asia is formed by the Ural Mountain range.
Russia predominantly experiences humid continental climate. This is seen almost across the country except for the tundra region and the extreme southeast. Warm winds from the Indian Ocean are hindered by the mountain ranges in the south and because of the plains in the north and the west, there is unrestricted Arctic and Antarctic influence. North European Russia has a predominantly sub arctic climate with extremely severe winters. Siberia is part of this region. When compared to summers, winters in Russia are rather dry. January is the coldest month of the year, while July is the warmest.
Russia has one of the most extensive surface water resources, with thousands of rivers and water bodies. About a quarter of the world’s fresh water is contained in the lakes of Russia. Lake Baikal in Russia is the world’s oldest and deepest fresh water lake. It is also considered to be the purest lake on the planet. Russia ranks second in volume of renewable resources of water after Brazil. The river Volga, the longest river in Europe is also located here.
Demography and Population
The total population of Russia is 143,500,000, according to an official estimate in 2013. The male to female ratio is 0.86. The birth rate is 13.3 births/ 1,000 population (2012) and death rate is 13.3 deaths/ 1,000 population (2012). The infant mortality rate is 7.2 deaths/1,000 live births.
The growth rate of the population has been 0.23% in the year 2012. Russia is one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world with a population density of 8.4 people per sq km. The population consists of ethnic Russians (81%); Tatars (3.9%), Ukrainians (1.4%); Bakhshirs (1.1%), Chuvash (1%); Chechens (1%) and Armenians (0.9%). Rural population comprised about 26% of the entire population.
The main religion followed in Russia is Eastern Orthodox Christianity, with a major proportion of the people- about 73% being Orthodox. Muslims comprise 6% of the population.
The overall literacy rate of Russia is 99.4% (2002), with the literacy rate in the male and the female population being 99.7% and 99.2%, respectively.
The main religion Russian religions have traditionally been Orthodox Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Buddhism. The dominance of Russian Orthodoxy traces as far back in history as the 10th century, with the minority of Christian churches consisting of Catholics, Armenian Gregorians and Protestants. According to 2013 data, 79% of the Russians belong the Russian Orthodox Church. The most religious and celebrated festival of Russia is Easter, with Easter eggs and Easter cakes adorning the day.
Russian Muslims are concentrated in the Volga-Ural region as well as Caucasus, St Petersburg, Moscow and west Siberia. Buddhists in Russia are found around Buryatia, Tuva and Kalmykia.
With Russia being the country to cover the most area in the world, it is hardly a surprise that the cuisine here is extremely diverse. The foundation of Russian eating habits is derived from the peasant culture. The food includes fish, poultry, mushrooms, honey and berries. Crops like wheat, rye, barley and millet also played an important role, serving as ingredients for various types of breads, cereals, beer and vodka.
Russian cuisine is seen to contain a lot of meat and fish. Among vegetables used are potato, cabbage and cold greens.
Russia has various forms of music, which evolved through the rich and culturally diverse history of the nation. The music here is a mix of extremes, ranging from ritual folk songs to sacred notes of the Russian Orthodox Church. The world renowned Russian Classical Music came into being in the 19th century. The 20th century saw the rise of several composers such as Igor Stravinsky and also the modern forms of music including Russian rock and Russian pop.
Russian art is a kaleidoscope of icon painting, classical, realist, and modern painting. Icon painting is typically done on icons made of wood, generally small but some churches have pretty large and elaborate paintings done as well. Religious symbolism is associated with this form of art, which made its way into Russia around 988 AD. By the mid-seventeenth century, a split in religious beliefs led to the practice being discontinued by several religious sub-groups of the Orthodox church.
Russian classical painting was at its peak in the early 19th century with neoclassicism and romanticism flourishing under the guidance of the Russian Academy of Arts, which was founded in 1757. Notable artists from this academy Ivan Argunov and Vladimir Borovikovsky. The focus of this art form was on Biblical and mythological themes.
By the 19th century, realism had begun earning popularity among the artists of Russia. The themes commonly captured in Russian realist paintings were landscapes of forests and rivers, as well as social criticism which gave an honest portrait of the social conditions of the-then Russia. Some others shifted their focus to critical realism and also the important moments in Russian history. Notable artists from this period are Ivan Shishkin, Isaac Levitan, Arkhip Kuindzi among others.
Russian avant-garde is the term given to the wave of modernist art that took over Russia from the period of 1890-1930 approximately. This includes neo-primitivism, constructivism, suprematism, futurism and rayonism. Notable avant-garde artists include El Lissitzky, Kazimir Malevich and Vladimir Tatlin.
The roots of Russian architecture trace back to the woodcraft buildings of the ancient Slavs. Later, after the nation was Christianized, the face of architecture began to reflect Byzantine influences. The stone buildings of churches were constructed with brightly painted domes, which have become the signature of Russian architecture. This style of building continued till the 17th century, with ornamentation flourishing.
The 18th century saw the advent of rococo architecture and with it, the marvels of Bartolomeo Rastrelli. Neoclassicism also flourished during this period. By the 19th century, the dominant architectural forms were byzantine and Russian revival. Art Noveau, constructivism and the Stalin Empire Style took prominence.
Reflecting its history, literature in U.S.A. has two distinct segments, one of the colonial era writings and the other of the post-Revolutionary writings when the evolution of American poetry, fiction and drama began. Nine Americans have been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature they are Sinclair Lewis, Eugene O'Neill, Pearl Buck, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck, Saul Bellow, Issac Bashevis Singer and Toni Morrison.
Russian cinema is globally recognized and internationally acclaimed. The first cinema in Russia was brought in by the Lumiere brothers and the first film made in Russia was the coronation of Nicholas II at the Kremlin. Russia has given the world of cinema hits such as House of Fools, Brother and Night Watch. Nika Awards are the national annual film award in Russia.
Russia is one of the most accomplished countries in the field of sports, regularly finishing at top in the Olympic Games. Since the Helsinki Olympics of 1952, Russia has never gone below third place in the Olympic Games. The most popular games in Russia are basketball, bandy, football and ice hockey as well as weightlifting, gymnastics, boxing, martial arts, rugby union and skiing. Winter Olympics are being held in Sochi in February, 2014.
The Russian economy ranks eighth in the world in terms of nominal value and sixth/fifth in terms of purchasing power parity. The Russian fiscal year is the same as the calendar year.
The main industries in Russia include a lot of mining and extracting activities of resources of coal, gas, oil and metals as well as machine building such as high performance aircraft and space vehicles, rolling mills etc. Also, manufacturing of advanced electronic components, road and rail transportation equipment, agricultural machinery, construction equipment form a major part of the local industries of Russia.
The fishing industry of Russia is the world’s fourth largest, tailing Japan, United States, and China. Also, Russian forests make up for more than one-fifth of the world’s entire forests, making it the largest forest nation on the planet.
Russia is abundant with natural resources such as oil, coal, gas and timber. The Ural Mountains are packed with natural resources, as are Siberia and the far east. However, the remoteness and climatically unfavorable conditions of these locations make it difficult to access and exploit the minerals to their full potential. Natural resources are the major export products of Russia.
Russia also has high reserves of diamonds, being the largest diamond producing nation in the world, contributing to 25% of the global diamond production.
The export industry of Russia is estimated to be worth $542.5 billion according to 2012 data. The major goods that are exported from Russia are petroleum and petroleum products, metals, natural gas, wooden products as well as wood itself, and civilian and military manufactures.
Russian import industry is worth $358.1 billion (2012 est), with the imported goods being machinery, vehicles, plastic, semi-finished metal products, pharmaceutical products, fruits and nuts, meat, iron, steel etc.
Russian tourism has grown tremendously since the end of the Soviet Union and this expansion has been both in terms of internal and external tourism. The natural landscape and rich heritage of the country has ensured for it to become one of the most sought after tourist destinations in the world. There are 23 UNESCO world heritage sites in Russia which prove to be prime tourist spots. Important tourist trails include a trip around the Golden Ring of the nation, cruises on the picturesque Volga and journeying on the Trans- Siberian Railway. Other tourist destinations include St Petersburg, Moscow, Moscow Kremlin, Sochi, Lake Baikal etc.
Transport and Communication
Russia has about 933,000 km of roads, 755,000 km of which are paved. Generally, the roadways of Russia aren’t very developed or well-maintained resulting in several accidents each year.
* For more see our Russian roadways map
Russian railways are the second largest in the world, following the United States. Russia has a total track length of 87, 157 km (as of 2011), out of which 86,200 km runs on broad gauge and 957 km on narrow gauge.
* For more see our Russian railways map
The total number of airports In Russia is 2,743. Of these, 630 have paved runways whereas 1887 have unpaved runways.
Russia has quite an extensive waterway system. The major ports of Russia are Novorossiysk, Rostov-on-Don, Sochi, Tuapse on the Black Sea; Baltiysk, Kaliningrad, Primorsk, St.Petersburg, on the Baltic Sea; Arkhangelsk, Igarka, Vitino, etc., on the White Sea and other seas of the Arctic Ocean; Kholmsk, Nevelsk, Vladivostok, etc., on the seas of the Pacific Ocean and Makhachkala and Astrakhan on the Caspian Sea.
Telephone/ Mobile network
3G network was introduced in 2008 and became widespread in Russia by 2010. Today, mobile network is widespread in all parts of the country and the industry is ruled by three giants, also known as the Big 3, namely MTS, Beeline, and MegaFon. These three companies are jointly responsible for providing all 2G and 3G related services in Russia.
Internet is becoming widespread and easily accessible in Russia with more and more customers logging online for shopping.
One of the countries to introduce radio and television, Russia ranks number one in the number of TV channels in the world. The Ministry of Communications and Mass Media oversees this industry in Russia. Radio Rossii and the Voice of Russia are the most popular radio stations whereas Channel One or Pervy kanal is the local TV channel which is preferred.
Urban and Rural settlements
Russia has a predominantly urban population, with three-fourths of its people living in urban cities. As of 2012, 74% of Russians were inhabiting cities. St Petersburg and Moscow are two of the most populous Russian Cities.
the large forest area that Russia covers ensures that it encumbers a wide variety of wildlife. In all, there are about 11,400 species of plants in Russia and more than 1400 vertebrae species in Russia, of which 320 are mammals, 732 are birds, 75 reptiles and 269 are fish. The national animal of Russia is the brown bear.
There are 41 national parks in Russia, which in totality cover about 71,700 sq kms of area. The first national parks of Russia are Sochinsky and Losiny Ostrov which opened in 1983. The Russian national parks are rather structured and are divided into zones depending on their functions. There is a highly protected area of the park known as the zapovednik, as well as zones dedicated to recreation where tourism is permitted.
The history of Russia dates back to 862 AD when the state of Garðaríki was established by Rurik. By 988, Russians adopted Christianity from the Byzantine empire.
The country adopted Moscow as its cultural center by the 13th century and by the advent of the 18th century, the mighty Russian Empire had set into place, starting from The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and stretching till the Pacific Ocean. By the time World War I started, there were major changes in the Russian economy. The Russian Revolution of 1917 was caused due to a socio-economic crisis including poor economy, war weariness as well displeasure with the Tsar autocracy.
The Soviet Union was a major part of Russia, its history merging with Russian history till its disintegration in the late 1980s. Officially, the history of the Russian Federation began in January 1972. Soon after the Russian Federation came into being, Russia lost its superpower status due to facing serious challenges in bringing into place a new political and economic society.
The ruling body of Russia is the Government of the Russian Federation. The chairman of the government is the Prime Minister and the other members are the deputy prime ministers and the federal ministers. It was formed in 1993. The constitution of the Russian Federation serves as the legal basis for the same. The president appoints the prime minister of Russia.
The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation is overseen by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation. The nominal head of all the Armed Forces is the Russian Minister of Defense. The main ministry building was built in the 1980s and is located on Arbatskaya Square, near Arbat Street.
Sergey Shoigu is the current Russian minister of Defense.
Human Development Index (HDI)
Life Expectancy – The life expectancy of an average Russian is 70.3 years according to 2011. The expectancy of males in Russia is 64.3 years and that of females is 76.1 years as of 2011.
Literacy rate - The overall literacy rate of Russia is 99.6% (2010 est) and that in males is 99.7% and that in females is 99.5%.
Per Capita National Income
The gross national income per capita is US$ 14,039.