Flag of Russia

Destination Russia, a Nations Online Project Profile of the world’s largest country. The country, officially the Russian Federation, which is commonly referred to as Russia, is located partly in Eastern Europe and partly in North Asia; it borders the Arctic Ocean to the north.

Russia is bordered by 14 countries, Azerbaijan, Belarus, China, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Kazakhstan, North Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Mongolia, Norway, Poland, and Ukraine. It also shares maritime borders with Japan, Sweden, Turkey, and the United States.

With an area of 17,098,242 km², the country is more than twice the size of the contiguous United States. It is the largest country in the world (by area) and covers more than 11% of the Earth’s landmass. However, vast regions of the country were uninhabited or uninhabitable.

Russia is a country with a low population density (8.5 people/km², compared with Germany 226 people/km², and the USA about 33 people/km²). But still, Russia has a population of 146.8 million people (in 2020), it is the number 9 in the Top 10 of the most populous countries. Most Russians live in the westernmost fifth of the country in the European part of Russia.
The capital and largest city is Moscow, the core of political power and the center of culture and trade. St. Petersburg, the former imperial capital, is Russia’s second-largest city and an important Russian port on the Baltic Sea.       

The double-headed
eagle is the State Seal
of the Russian Federation.

   Background:
The defeat of the Russian Empire in World War I led to the seizure of power by communists and the formation of the USSR.

The brutal rule of Josef STALIN (1924-53) strengthened Russian dominance of the Soviet Union at the cost of tens of millions of lives. The Soviet economy and society stagnated in the following decades until General Secretary Mikhail GORBACHEV (1985-91) introduced glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring) in an attempt to modernize communism. However, his initiatives inadvertently released forces that by December 1991 splintered the USSR into 15 independent republics.

Since then, Russia has struggled in its efforts to build a democratic political system and a market economy to replace the strict social, political, and economic controls of the communist period. Russia shifted toward a centralized authoritarian state under President Vladimir PUTIN (2000-2008, 2012-present) in which the regime seeks to legitimize its rule through managed elections, populist appeals, and a foreign policy focused on enhancing the country’s geopolitical influence. The most recent example of this is Russia’s role in the Libyan Civil War, where it played all sides to get a seat at the negotiating table. Libyan and U.S. officials accuse Russia of deploying fighters through a private security contractor, the Wagner Group, to key battleground areas in Libya in the past months.


Country Profile
Official Name:
Rossiyskaya Federatsiya
short form: Rossiya
int’l long form: Russian Federation
int’l short form: Russia
former: Russian Empire, Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic

ISO Country Code: RU, RUS
Actual Time:
Moscow, Saint-Petersburg:
Local Time = UTC +3h
Daylight Saving Time (DST) March – October

Country Calling Code: +7

Capital City: Moscow (pop. 12.5 million)


Other Cities:
St. Petersburg (4.6 million), Novosibirsk (1.4 million), Nizhniy Novgorod (1.3 million)

Government:
Federation.
Independence: August 24, 1991.

Geography:
Location: Northern Asia, bordering the Arctic Ocean, between Eastern Europe and the North Pacific Ocean (the Russian portion west of the Urals belongs to Europe).
Area: 17 million km² (6.5 million sq. mi.); about 1.8 times the size of the United States.
Terrain: Broad plain with low hills west of the Urals; vast coniferous forest and tundra in Siberia; uplands and mountains (Caucasus range) along southern borders.

Climate: Northern continental, from subarctic to subtropical.

People:
Nationality: Russian(s).
Population: (2016) 146 million.
Ethnic groups: Russian 81%, Tatar 4%, Ukrainian 3%, other 12%.
Religion: Russian Orthodox, Islam, Judaism, Roman Catholicism, Protestant, Buddhist, other.
Language: Russian (official); more than 140 other languages and dialects.
Literacy: 98%.

Natural resources: Petroleum, natural gas, timber, furs, precious and nonferrous metals.

Agriculture products: Grain, sugar beets, sunflower seed, vegetables, fruits, beef, and milk.

Industries: Complete range of mining and extractive industries producing coal, oil, gas, chemicals, and metals. All forms of machine building from rolling mills to high-performance aircraft, space vehicles, and shipbuilding. Road and rail transportation equipment; communications equipment; agricultural machinery, tractors, and construction equipment; electric power generating and transmitting equipment; medical and scientific instruments; consumer durables, textiles, foodstuffs, and handicrafts.

Exports – commodities: petroleum and petroleum products, natural gas, metals, wood and wood products, chemicals, and a wide variety of civilian and military manufactures. Russia is the second-largest conventional arms exporter after the United States .

Exports partners: China 10.9%, Netherlands 10%, Germany 7.1%, Belarus 5.1%, Turkey 4.9% (2017)

Imports – commodities: machinery, vehicles, pharmaceutical products, plastic, semi-finished metal products, meat, fruits and nuts, optical and medical instruments, iron, steel.

Imports partners: China 21.2%, Germany 10.7%, USA 5.6%, Belarus 5%, Italy 4.5%, France 4.2% (2017)

Currency: Russian Ruble (RUR)

Political system
Russia is a federal republic and, in theory, a multi-party representative democracy, wherein the President is the head of state, and the Prime Minister is the head of government. The President is also the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. Russia’s legislature is the bi-cameral Federal Assembly of Russia (parliament), which consists of the State Duma (lower house), and the Federation Council (upper house), headed by the Chairman of the Federation Council (speaker).


Administrative Map of Russian Federation



Russian Federation | Rossiyskaya Federatsiya
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