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The Far Eastern Federal District
The Privolzhsky Federal District
The North-Western Federal District
The Siberian Federal District
The Ural Federal District
The Central Federal District
The Southern Federal District

The Russian Federation

Saint Basil's Cathedral. MoscowDulevo toyEco-tourism in RussiaKul Sharif mosque in Kazan KremlinTverskaya  region, river  Volga.Saransk. Monument to the family.Big Gatchina PalaceVladimir region,  river  Volga.Grand Choral Synagogue in St. PetersburgVolgograd.Mamaev mound.Big Gatchina PalaceTemple of the Pure Land in Ivolginsk datsanEco-tourism in RussiaChrist the Saviour CathedralMonument
Area: 17 075 400 km2
Population: 141 370 000 persons.

Emblem of the Russian Federation
Emblem of the Russian Federation

Flag of  the  Russian Federation
Flag of the Russian Federation


Russia (The Russian Federation) is a country in Eastern Europe and Northern Asia (occupies larger parts of their territories); it borders with Korea, China, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Norway.

Total area makes up 17075,4 km2 (first place in the world);

The population - 141,37 million people (2007, eighth place in the world);

Includes 1095 cities, 2270 settlements of urban type (2007).

Capital - Moscow (10,5 million);

Major cities: Saint-Petersburg (4,7 million), Novosibirsk, Nizhniy Novgorod, Yekaterinburg, Samara, Omsk, Kazan, Ufa, Chelyabinsk, Rostov-on-Don, Perm, Volgograd.


The Russians belong to the eastern branch of the great Slavic tribe. Their ancestors, the eastern Slavs (the Polanes, the Drevlyans, the Krivichi), in the 5th century settled along with the Turks, the Khazars and other tribes who had settled there in the 1st century B.C. (Bosporan kingdom and Scythia, the Turk and Khazar khaganate, the Volga Bulgaria (10-14 centuries.)). The healthy and tall Slavs, with fair hair, grey eyes and rosy faces, were brave, good-natured and hospitable.The Slavs acquired statehood in the 9th century creating the Old Russian state with the capital city in Kiev.

In the 12-14 centuries the Novgorod Republic, Vladimir-Suzdal, Kingdom of Galicia–Volhynia and other principalities were formed. In the 13th century the Russian principalities and Volga Bulgaria suffered from the Mongol and Tatar invasion (1237—1242), from the Swedish and German aggressions (the Battle of the Neva, 1240; the Battle of the Ice, 1242). The Mongol and Tatar raids lasted almost 250-years and ended with the expulsion of the invaders by combined forces of the Russian land (the Battle of Kulikovo, 1380; ”The Great Standoff on the Ugra river”, 1480).In the 14-16th centuries the Russian Centralized State formed around Moscow which included all North-East and North-West Russian lands. Ivan the Terrible played a significant role in unification of separate Russian principalities and creation of an integral state. In the beginning of the 17th century Russia repelled the Polish-Lithuanian and Swedish interventions. In the middle of the 17th century Ukraine became a part of the Russian state.

Reforms of the Russian Tsar Peter the Great (late 17th- first quarter 18th century) promoted social, economic and cultural development of the country, victory in the Great Northern War of 1700-1721 which gave access to the Baltic Sea. At the entry of the Neva a new city of Saint-Petersburg which became the capital of Russia in 1712, had been erected. In 1762 Catherine II, also known as Catherine the Great, came to the throne. Period of her rule is considered to be the Golden Age of the Russian Empire. Science, culture and education took a brand new path of development. Then Russia acquired access to the Black sea. In the 16-19 centuries in the result of accession of the territories of North, the Volga region, Ural, Siberia, the Far East new nations entered into Russia forming a multinational state.

In the war of 1812 Russia had repelled the invasion of the French army led by Napoleon I. In 1825 Nicholas I became the Emperor of the Russian state. His accession to the throne was marked by tragic events connected with the uprising at the Senate Square on the 14th(26th) of December. During the reign of Nicholas I Russia started construction of railways.

In 1861, during the reign of the Emperor Alexander II, Russia had abolished serfdom, and conducted a number of liberal reforms. In the late 19th century Russia is a multiparty country (the Cadets, socialist-revolutionaries, etc.).

On the 14th (26th ) of May 1896 the coronation of Nicholas II, the last Tsar of Russia, took place. On the 6th of August 1905 the State Duma was set up by the Emperor's Manifesto .

Russian-Japanese War of 1904-1905 contributed to the beginning of the Revolution of 1905 in Russia. Russia’s participation in the First World War in 1914-1918 ended with defeat, due to the February Revolution and October Revolution of 1917, which dethroned autocracy and undermined internal strength of the state. The power of workers, soldiers and peasants deputies’ power soviets was declared. Simultaneously, a violent liquidation of some political parties took place, which led to the establishment of monopoly of the political power of the Communist party, which gradually merged with a centralized state machine. The Civil War and military intervention of 1917-1922 helped establishing the society’s military and communistic principles, manufacture and distribution systems (“Military communism”).

In January, 1918 the Russian Soviet Federal Socialist Republic (RSFSR) was formed, later on the 30th of December, 1922, RSFSR together with Ukraine (USSR), Belarus (BSSR) and the Transcaucasia republics (TSFSR) formed the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).

In 1941, the Great Patriotic War against Nazi Germany, which claimed millions of human lives (according to some estimation, about 30 million people), began.. After the end of the war in May 1945 the restoration of the ruined national economy began.

On the 12th of April, 1961 in the Soviet Union conducted the first manned flight into space, it was Yuri Gagarin, the Number One astronaut, who did it.

In 1985-1991 the country reorganization policy directed at radical social and economic transformations was conducted. However, the reorganization purposes were not reached. In 1991 the USSR collapsed.

A year before the collapse on June 12, 1990 the Congress of People's Deputies of the Russian SFSR adopted the Declaration about the Sovereignty of the Russian Federation. On March 17, 1991 at the Russian referendum, the post of the President of the Russian Federation was founded (the same year the first president B. N. Yeltsin was elected). Since December 1991, Russia entered into the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

In December 1993 the Constitution of the Russian Federation was adopted and elections to the Federal Assembly were held. The 12th of June was declared as a National holiday, the Day of Russia.


Political System

Russia is a democratic, federative state with the republican form of government. The current Russian Constitution is approved at nationwide referendum on December 12, 1993. The head of the state is a president of the Russian Federation who is elected directly by the Russian citizens for four years on the basis of the general equal and a direct voting by secret ballot. The president is the Supreme Commander of the Russian Federation Armed Forces. The representative and legislative branch of the Russian Federation (its parliament) is the Federal Meeting, which consists of two chambers: the State Duma and the Federation Council. The executive power is carried out by the government of the Russian Federation led by chairman who is appointed by the president with consent of the State Duma. The Russian Federation includes (2007): 85 federal subjects, 21 republics, 8 territories, 47 regions, 2 cities of federal value — Moscow and Saint-Petersburg, an autonomous region and 6 autonomous districts. All territories are divided into seven federal districts. Agreements between the Russian Federation and federal subjects represent bilateral or multilateral domestic, regulatory agreements between the federal government authorities of the Russian Federation and federal subjects authorities of the Russian Federation and regulate federal relations within the limits established by the Constitution of the Russian Federation. The possibility of conclusion of such contracts is provided in the Constitution of the Russian Federation. Constitutional provisions permitting the mutual delegation of powers between executive authorities and the local ones of the Russian Federation represent a legal basis for conclusion of the intra-federal contracts, if it does not contradict the Constitution of the Russian Federation and federal laws.

Demography, Population

The Russians (116 million) make 80 % (according to 2002-year census); Between 156 nations live in Russia the biggest (more than one million) are the Tatars, the Ukrainians, the Bashkirs, the Chuvash, the Chechens, the Germans. The urban population makes 106,4 million (73 % according to 2002 year census), rural — 38,8 million people. One- fifth of all population lives in cities of over one million people. Average age of the population — 37,7 years (2002).


The official language throughout the Russian Federation - Russian. The nations of the Russian Federation shall be guaranteed the right to preserve their native language.

Culture and Art


The main religion –Orthodox Christianity (90 % believers), the others - Muslims, Buddhists, etc. Population density - 8,5 persons on sq. km ( larger part of Far North regions and related to them territories 70 % are unsuitable for life , only 8 % of the population live there ).


Larger part of European Russia is located within East European plain. There are northern slopes of the Caucasus in the south, in the northwest -the Khibiny Mountains. To the east from the Urals Mountains is the West Siberian plain bordered in the south with mountains of Southern Siberia (Altai, Sayan, mountains of Pribaikalia, Transbaikalia, etc.). Between the Yenisei and Lena there is the Central Siberian plateau, between the Lena and the Pacific Ocean North-East Asia ridges and uplands are located. The climate varies from arctic in the far north to subtropical in the south and monsoonal in the Far East. Average January temperatures are from 0 to-50 °С, July from +1 to +25 °С. Precipitation ranging from 150 to 2 000 mm per year. In many areas of Siberia and Far East, there is a long-term frigidity. The largest rivers are the Lena, Irtysh, Yenisei, Ob, Volga, Amur; the largest lakes — the Caspian (sea), Baikal, Ladoga, Onega. In Russia (from north to south) there are zones: arctic desert, tundra, forest-tundra, wood, forest-steppe, steppe, semi desert (Caspian lowland).

Monetary Unit 

The official currency in the Russian Federation- the ruble. One ruble consists of 100 kopecks. Monetary issue is carried out exclusively by Central Bank of the Russian Federation. Introduction and emission of other currencies will be permitted in the Russian Federation.

Time Zones

The territory of Russia is in nine time zones (from 2nd within 11th inclusive, except for the 4th) with identical time within each time zone. Time is established as zone time plus 1 extra annual hour clock forward of clockwise in last Sunday of March at 2:00 and last Sunday of October at 3:00 back. Time in Moscow — the time zone 0 (GMT+3), while in Kaliningrad — Moscow time zone 1 hour (GMT+2), in Samara and Izhevsk —Moscow time zone +1 hour (GMT+4). Time in Yekaterinburg –Moscow time zone 2 hours (GMT+5), Novosibirsk, Omsk – Moscow time zone 3 hours (GMT+6), Krasnoyarsk and Novokuznetsk – Moscow time zone 4 hours (GMT+7). In Irkutsk - time zone +5 (GMT+8), Yakutsk and Chita — Moscow time zone 6 hours (GMT+9), Khabarovsk and Vladivostok — Moscow time zone 7 hours (GMT+10), Magadan — Moscow time zone 8 hours (GMT+11), Kamchatka — Moscow time zone 9 hours (GMT+12). GMT — Greenwich Mean Time.

Official Holidays

Official holidays or non-working days in the Russian Federation are:

• January 1- 5— New Year holidays;

• January 7 — Orthodox Christmas;

 • February 23 — Defender of the Motherland Day;

 • March 8 — International Women's Day;

• May 1 — Labor Day;

 • May 9 — Victory Day;

• June 12 — Day of Russia;

 • November 4 — National Unity Day.

 Useful information for foreign tourists: During official holidays all institutions, cultural centers are closed.

Emergency Phones

 Fire - 01

Police - 02

Ambulance - 03

 Emergency - (495) 937-9911

 An emergency call – 112

 The rules of setting international numbers 8 + an access code to the network operator's long-distance (international) + country code + area code + phone number.

 Dialing Rules within the country 8 + an access code to the network operator's long distance (toll) + area code + phone number.