Росси́йская Федерaция ("Russian)
and largest city
|Recognised national languages||See "Languages of Russia|
|"Ethnic groups (2010)|
|Religion||"See Religion in Russia|
|"Government||"Federal "semi-presidential "constitutional republic|
• "Upper house
• "Lower house
• "Kievan Rus'
|January 16, 1547|
|October 22, 1721|
|September 14, 1917|
|September 23, 1918|
• "Russian SFSR
|"November 7 (October 25, OS), 1917|
• "Soviet Union
|"December 30, 1922|
|"June 12, 1990|
|December 8, 1991b|
• Russian SFSR renamed into the Russian Federation
|December 25, 1991b|
|December 12, 1993|
|17,075,200 km2 (6,592,800 sq mi) ("1st)|
• Water (%)
|13 (including swamps)|
• 2018 estimate
|144,526,636  (without Crimea) ("9th)|
|8.4/km2 (21.8/sq mi) ("217th)|
|"GDP ("PPP)||2018 estimate|
|$4.152 trillion ("6th)|
• Per capita
|"GDP (nominal)||2018 estimate|
|$1.522 trillion ("12th)|
• Per capita
|"Gini (2015)|| 37.7
medium · "98
|"HDI (2015)|| 0.804
very high · "49th
|Currency||"Russian ruble ("₽) ("RUB)|
|Time zone||("UTC+2 to +12)|
|"Drives on the||right|
|"ISO 3166 code||"RU|
Russia ("Russian: Росси́я, "tr. Rossiya, IPA: "[rɐˈsʲijə]), also officially known as the Russian Federation (Russian: Росси́йская Федерaция, "tr. Rossiyskaya Federatsiya, IPA: "[rɐˈsʲijskəjə fʲɪdʲɪˈratsɨjə]), is a "sovereign country in "Eurasia. At 17,125,200 square kilometres (6,612,100 sq mi), Russia is the "largest country in the world by area, covering more than one-eighth of the Earth's inhabited land area, and the "ninth most populous, with over 144 million people at the end of December 2017. The European western part of the country is much more populated and "urbanised than the eastern; about 77% of the population live in "European Russia. Russia's capital "Moscow is one of the "largest cities in the world; other major "urban centers include "Saint Petersburg, "Novosibirsk, "Yekaterinburg and "Nizhny Novgorod.
Extending across the entirety of "Northern Asia and much of "Eastern Europe, Russia spans "eleven time zones and incorporates a wide range of "environments and landforms. From northwest to southeast, Russia "shares land borders with "Norway, "Finland, "Estonia, "Latvia, "Lithuania and "Poland (both with "Kaliningrad Oblast), "Belarus, "Ukraine, "Georgia, "Azerbaijan, "Kazakhstan, "China, "Mongolia and "North Korea. It shares "maritime borders with "Japan by the "Sea of Okhotsk and the "U.S. state of "Alaska across the "Bering Strait.
The "East Slavs emerged as a recognizable group in "Europe between the 3rd and 8th centuries AD. Founded and ruled by a "Varangian warrior elite and their descendants, 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 into a number of smaller states; most of the Rus' lands were overrun by the "Mongol invasion and became tributaries of the nomadic "Golden Horde in the 13th century. The "Grand Duchy of Moscow gradually reunified the surrounding Russian principalities, achieved independence from the Golden Horde, and came to dominate the cultural and political legacy of "Kievan Rus'. By the 18th century, the nation had greatly expanded through conquest, annexation, and "exploration to become the "Russian Empire, which was the third "largest empire in history, stretching from "Poland on the west to "Alaska on the east.
Following the "Russian Revolution, the "Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic became the largest and leading constituent of the "Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the world's first constitutionally "socialist state. The Soviet Union played "a decisive role in the "Allied victory in "World War II, and emerged as a recognized "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 humans in space. By the end of 1990, the "Soviet Union had the world's second largest economy, largest standing military in the world and the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction. Following the "dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, twelve independent republics emerged from the USSR: Russia, "Ukraine, "Belarus, "Kazakhstan, "Uzbekistan, "Armenia, "Azerbaijan, "Georgia, "Kyrgyzstan, "Moldova, "Tajikistan, "Turkmenistan and the Baltic states regained independence: "Estonia, "Latvia, "Lithuania; the "Russian SFSR reconstituted itself as the Russian Federation and is recognized as the continuing legal personality and sole "successor state of the "Soviet Union. It is governed as a "federal "semi-presidential republic.
The "Russian economy ranks as the "twelfth largest by "nominal GDP and "sixth largest by "purchasing power parity in 2015. Russia's extensive mineral and energy resources are the largest such reserves in the world, making it one of the leading "producers of oil and "natural gas globally. The country is one of the five "recognized "nuclear weapons states and possesses the "largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction. Russia is a "great power as well as a "regional power and has been characterised as a "potential superpower. It is a "permanent member of the "United Nations Security Council, as well as a member of the "G20, the "Council of Europe, the "Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the "Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), the "Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), and the "World Trade Organization (WTO), as well as being the leading member of the "Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the "Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and one of the five members of the "Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), along with "Armenia, "Belarus, "Kazakhstan and "Kyrgyzstan.
The name Russia is derived from "Rus', a medieval state populated mostly by the "East Slavs. However, this proper name became more prominent in the later history, and the country typically was called by its inhabitants "Русская Земля" (russkaja zemlja), which can be translated as "Russian Land" or "Land of Rus'". 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, "Swedish merchants and warriors who relocated from across the Baltic Sea and founded a state centered on "Novgorod that later became "Kievan Rus.
An old Latin version of the name Rus' was "Ruthenia, mostly applied to the western and southern regions of Rus' that were adjacent to Catholic Europe. The current name of the country, Россия (Rossija), comes from the "Byzantine Greek designation of the "Rus', Ρωσσία Rossía—spelled Ρωσία (Rosía pronounced "[roˈsia]) in "Modern Greek.
The standard way to refer to citizens of Russia is ""Russians" in English and rossiyane ("Russian: россияне) in Russian. There are two "Russian words which are commonly translated into English as "Russians". One is "русские" (russkiye), which most often means "ethnic "Russians". Another is "россияне" (rossiyane), which means ""citizens of Russia, regardless of ethnicity". Translations into other languages often do not distinguish these two groups.
In "classical antiquity, the Pontic Steppe was known as "Scythia. Beginning in the 8th century BC, "Ancient Greek traders brought their civilization to the trade emporiums in "Tanais and "Phanagoria. Ancient Greek explorers, most notably "Pytheas, even went as far as modern day "Kaliningrad, on the Baltic Sea. "Romans settled on the western part of the "Caspian Sea, where their "empire stretched towards the east.["dubious ] In the 3rd to 4th centuries AD a semi-legendary Gothic kingdom of "Oium existed in Southern Russia until it was overrun by "Huns. Between the 3rd and 6th centuries AD, the "Bosporan Kingdom, a Hellenistic polity which succeeded the Greek colonies, was also overwhelmed by nomadic invasions led by warlike tribes, such as the Huns and "Eurasian Avars. A "Turkic people, the "Khazars, 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. The East Slavs gradually settled Western Russia in two waves: one moving from "Kiev toward present-day "Suzdal and "Murom and another from "Polotsk toward "Novgorod and "Rostov. From the 7th century onwards, the East Slavs constituted the bulk of the population in Western Russia and assimilated the native "Finno-Ugric peoples, including the "Merya, the "Muromians, and the "Meshchera.
The establishment of the first East Slavic states in the 9th century coincided with the arrival of "Varangians, the traders, warriors and settlers from the Baltic Sea region. Primarily they were "Vikings of "Scandinavian origin, who ventured along the waterways extending from the eastern Baltic "to the Black "and Caspian Seas. According to the "Primary Chronicle, a Varangian from "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, founding Kievan Rus'. Oleg, 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 Slavic populations to the safer, heavily forested regions of the north, particularly to the area known as "Zalesye.
The age of "feudalism and decentralization was marked by constant in-fighting between members of the "Rurik 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 invading Mongol elite, together with their conquered Turkic subjects (Cumans, Kipchaks, Bulgars), became known as "Tatars, forming the state of the "Golden Horde, which pillaged the Russian principalities; the Mongols ruled the "Cuman-Kipchak confederation and "Volga Bulgaria (modern-day southern and central expanses of Russia) for over two centuries.
Galicia-Volhynia was eventually assimilated by the "Kingdom of Poland, while the Mongol-dominated Vladimir-Suzdal and Novgorod Republic, two regions on the periphery of Kiev, established the basis for the modern Russian nation. The Novgorod together with "Pskov retained some degree of autonomy during the time of the "Mongol yoke and 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, breaking their attempts to colonize the Northern Rus'.
The most powerful state to eventually arise after the destruction of Kievan Rus' was the "Grand Duchy of Moscow ("Muscovy" in the Western chronicles), 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.["citation needed] Moscow's last rival, the "Novgorod Republic, prospered as the chief "fur trade center 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. He was also the first to take the title "Grand Duke of all the Russias". 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.
In development of the "Third Rome ideas, the Grand Duke "Ivan IV (the "Terrible") was officially crowned first "Tsar (""Caesar") of Russia in 1547. The Tsar "promulgated a new code of laws ("Sudebnik of 1550), established the first Russian feudal representative body ("Zemsky Sobor) and introduced local self-management into the 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 River, and the "Siberian Khanate in southwestern Siberia. Thus, by the end of the 16th century Russia was transformed into a "multiethnic, "multidenominational and "transcontinental state.
However, the Tsardom was weakened by the long and unsuccessful "Livonian War against the coalition of Poland, Lithuania, and Sweden 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 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.
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 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, including 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. Cossacks were warriors organized into military communities, resembling "pirates and "pioneers of the New World. 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. Finally, 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 Pacific coast. In 1648, the "Bering Strait between Asia and North America was passed for the first time by "Fedot Popov and "Semyon Dezhnyov.
Under "Peter the Great, Russia was proclaimed an Empire in 1721 and became recognized as a world power. Ruling from 1682 to 1725, Peter defeated Sweden in the "Great Northern War, forcing it to cede West "Karelia and "Ingria (two regions lost by Russia in the "Time of Troubles), as well as "Estland and "Livland, securing Russia's access to the sea and sea trade. On the "Baltic Sea Peter founded a new capital called "Saint Petersburg, later known as Russia's "Window to Europe". "Peter the Great's reforms brought considerable 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 for a while and even took Berlin. However, upon Elisabeth'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. In the south, after successful "Russo-Turkish Wars against "Ottoman Turkey, 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, forcing the former to irrevocably cede what is nowadays "Georgia, "Dagestan, "Azerbaijan and "Armenia to Russia. This continued with "Alexander I's (1801–25) wresting of Finland from the weakened kingdom of Sweden in 1809 and of "Bessarabia from the Ottomans in 1812. At the same time, Russians "colonized Alaska and even founded settlements in California, such as "Fort Ross.
In alliances with various European countries, Russia fought against "Napoleon's 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 Russian army ousted Napoleon from the country and drove through Europe in the "war of the Sixth Coalition, finally entering Paris. Alexander I headed Russia's delegation at the "Congress of Vienna that defined the map of post-Napoleonic Europe.
The officers of the "Napoleonic Wars 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 "Nicolas 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, about one million people died of Asiatic "cholera.
Nicholas's successor "Alexander II (1855–81) enacted significant changes in the country, including the "emancipation reform of 1861. These Great Reforms spurred industrialization and modernized the Russian army, which had successfully liberated Bulgaria from Ottoman rule in the "1877–78 Russo-Turkish War.
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 legalization of political parties, and the creation of an elected legislative body, the "State Duma of the Russian Empire. The "Stolypin agrarian reform led to a massive peasant migration and settlement into "Siberia. More than four million settlers arrived in that region between 1906 and 1914.
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 Russian Army almost completely destroyed the military of "Austria-Hungary. 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 September 1 (14), 1917, upon a decree of the Provisional Government, the Russian Republic was proclaimed. On January 6 (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.
An alternative socialist establishment existed alongside, 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. 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, a "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 "