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Russia Map

Russia Map: The Russian Federation or Russia, is a country situated in northern Eurasia. Dissected by the Arctic Circle, it is a federal semi-presidential republic. Being the largest land mass in the world, it is bordered by fourteen countries including Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia, and North Korea. Russia also shares maritime borders with Japan by the Sea of Okhotsk, and the United States by the Bering Strait.

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Russia Map

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Russian History


The Rurik Dynasty, beginning in 862, founded the first East Slavic State, Kievan Rus. Through Kiev's trade relations with Scandinavia and the Byzantine Empire, Kiev began to be influenced by these surrounding regions. Byzantine and Slavic cultures fused, and a Slavic version of the Eastern Orthodox religion formed. As the Norse grew in size, their influence grew in the region of Kiev as well, overtaking the Slav culture and absorbing the Greek Christian influences over the tenth century.

In an attempt to unify Russia in 988, Prince Vladimir of Kiev decided to adopt a central religion. After thorough research conducted by emissaries who traveled to nearby regions to learn about other religions, Vladimir selected Christianity. His emissaries had traveled to Constantinople and saw Christianity's strong unifying effects there, and decided to convert.

The eleventh century in Kiev was the golden age of the Eastern Slavs, with the emergence of a thriving culture. The adoption of religion led to the beautification of cities and growth of culture, with music and churches, like the Cathedral of Saint Sophia. The Eastern Slavs worshipped in the form of art, building ornate churches, and creating golden mosaics in the Byzantine style.

Moscow was founded in 1147 as a defense outpost. The Kremlin in Moscow was fortified in 1156, forming a complex of cathedrals and palaces, and was the residence of the tsars.

In the thirteenth century, the Mongol Golden Horde invaded Kiev, and Kievan Rus disintegrated as a state in 1240. Muscovite Prince Dmitry Donskoy successfully defeated the Mongols in Moscow in 1380, in an important victory. The Mongols ruled Russia for more than 200 years, in the thirteenth through fifteenth centuries. In 1480, Prince Ivan III (Ivan the Great) renounced Russia's allegiance to the Mongols.

Ivan IV, who became known as Ivan the Terrible, expanded Russia and increased the popularity of religion in Russia. Ivan the Terrible was the first ruler in Russia to call himself "Tsar," and increased his own powers accordingly. He led aggressive military conquests and with the death of his son, Fedor, marking the end of the hereditary dynastic line of Rurik, the Time of Troubles began in 1598. Boris Godunov was elected to rule, but during his reign, the people of Russia suffered from famine and the Poles invaded Russia.

The election of 1613 brought in a new line of rulers, the Romanovs, marking the end of the Time of Troubles. Sixteen-year-old Mikhail Romanov became the new tsar, and under the Romanov rule, Russia enjoyed stability and expansion.

The Old Believer's schism in 1667 was a dispute over styles of worship in the Orthodox church. This led to Russia becoming a secular state, which it continues to be today, with a minority of the population active in religious organizations.

Peter the Great came to power and changed Russian life fundamentally, making the power of the state absolute, becoming the Russian Empire. Russia began increasing knowledge in the key fields of technology, science and linguistics, looking up to European countries for influences to westernize Russian ideas and art. During his reign, he established St. Petersburg as Russia's capital city on the edge of Europe.

The French army, led by Napoleon, invaded Russia in June 1812, in the Battle of Borodino. Napoleon entered the Kremlin, but the Russians continued to fight. Moscow was burnt to the ground, but finally the French were defeated and forced out of Russia.

In 1904 and 1905, Russia and Japan went to war over territorial disputes. Russia's defeat came as a shock to much of the world, including Russia, leading to political unrest. A demonstration on January 22, 1905, now known as Bloody Sunday, was part of a labor strike in protest of working conditions. The tsarist government responded to the peaceful protest by shooting down somewhere between a hundred and a few thousand protesters, killing many of them. Bloody Sunday was a major factor leading to the Russian Revolution. In 1917, a series of revolutions overthrew Nicholas II, who was the last Russian Emperor before the Soviet Union (USSR) was created as the world's first socialist state.

Soviet Russia was ruled by Vladimir Lenin, then Joseph Stalin, and became a major world power with a significant role in both World War II and the Cold War. Despite a treaty made between Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia during World War II, Germany attacked Russia, and in order to defend its territory, Russia fought back, joining the war on the side of the Allies. Russia emerged from the war as a superpower. During the Cold War, Soviet Russia signed the Warsaw Pact, a defense treaty, on May 14, 1955 along with the communist countries of Eastern Europe.

Mikhail Gorbachev was the last Soviet leader, but with political unrest and a suffering economy, Gorbachev was overthrown, marking the end of communist rule, and the dissolution of the USSR into many nations in 1991. Boris Yeltsin was elected President of the Russian Federation that year, bringing many changes to the nation, but also poverty and corruption. Yeltsin resigned in 1999, and Vladimir Putin then took over, though his government was also said to be corrupt. Putin became Prime Minister in 2008 when Dmitry Medvedev was elected President, but the two swapped roles again after the 2012 elections.

Geography
Physical Geography and Location
Location
LocationRussia 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.

Physiography
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.

Climate
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.

Hydrology
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
Population
Russia PopulationThe 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..

Social Attributes
Social AttributesThe 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.

Culture
Cuisine
Russia FoodWith 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.

Music
MusicRussia 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.

Art and Painting
Art and PaintingRussian 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.

Design and Architecture
Design and Architecture
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.

Literature
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.

Cinema
CinemaRussian 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.
Sports
SportsRussia 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.

Economy
Russia EconomyThe 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.

Resources
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.

International Trade
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.

Travel and Tourism
Travel and TourismRussian 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
Roadways
RoadwaysRussia 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.

Railroads
RailroadsRussian 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.

Airways
AirwaysThe total number of airports In Russia is 2,743. Of these, 630 have paved runways whereas 1887 have unpaved runways.

Waterways
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
Telephone/ Mobile network3G 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
Internet is becoming widespread and easily accessible in Russia with more and more customers logging online for shopping.

Wireless & Communication
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.

Environmental Geography
Biodiversity
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.

National Parks
National ParksThere 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.

State and Polity
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.

Defense
DefenseThe 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)
Health
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.
Education
Literacy rate - Russian education, which is managed by the Ministry of Education through regional administrators, is free for the citizens of the country. The education system comprises both private and public schools. After completing their schooling, students enroll in universities for further education. 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.

Trivia
  • Russia is often called Mother Russia or the Motherland.
  • The Russian language uses the Cyrillic script as its alphabet.
  • Around 160 ethnic groups are found around Russia.
  • Vodka is considered Russia's national drink - the word vodka is derived from the word for water. More Russia Fact...

Last Updated on: April 21, 2017

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