Russia, officially the Russian Federation, is a
country in Eurasia. With a territory of 17,125,200 square
kilometers, Russia is the largest country in the world in terms of
area, covering more than one eighth of the Earth’s territory, as
well as the ninth largest population, with a population of over 144
million people as of December 2017, with the exception of the
Crimea. About 77% of the population lives in the western, European
part of the country. The Russian capital, Moscow is one of the
largest cities in the world; other major cities include St.
Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg and Nizhny Novgorod.
Stretching across northern Asia and most of Eastern Europe, Russia
covers eleven time zones and includes a wide range of conditions and
landforms. From the north-west to the south-east, Russia borders
with Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland (in the
Kaliningrad region), Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan,
Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia and North Korea. Russia shares the
maritime borders with Japan by the Sea of Okhotsk and Alaska, a US
state through the Bering Strait.
Eastern Slavs lived in
Europe between the 3rd and 8th centuries AD. Founded and controlled
by the elite of the Varangian warrior Rurik and their descendants,
the medieval state of Russia arose in the 9th century. By the way,
the Y chromosomes, which are transmitted from father to son, are
present in 5% of Russian men, that belong to the haplogroup of
Rurik; in other words, they are simply the direct descendants of
Rurik or his relatives on the paternal line. In 988, Russia adopted
Orthodox Christianity from the Byzantine Empire, starting the
synthesis of Byzantine and Slavic cultures, which determined Russian
culture for the next millennium. Russia eventually fell apart into
several smaller states; most of the lands of Russia were seized by
the Mongolian state and became part of the nomadic Golden Horde in
the XIII century. The Grand Duchy of Moscow gradually reunited the
surrounding Russian principalities, achieving independence from the
Golden Horde. By the 18th century, the nation expanded significantly
due to conquest, becoming the Russian Empire, which was the third
largest empire in history, stretching from Poland in the west to
Alaska and California in the east.
After the Russian
revolution, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic became
the largest and leading component of the Union of Soviet Socialist
Republics, the first constitutional socialist state in the world.
The Soviet Union played a decisive role in the Allied victory in
World War II and became a recognized superpower and rival of the
United States during the Cold War. In the Soviet era, some of the
most important technological advances of the 20th century were
noted, including the first man-made satellite in the world and the
launch of the first humans into space. By the end of 1990, the
Soviet Union had the second largest economy in the world, it had the
largest standing army in the world and the largest stockpile of
weapons of mass destruction. After the collapse of the Soviet Union
in 1991, 15 independent republics emerged from the USSR: Russia,
Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan,
Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and the
Baltic countries gained independence: Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia;
The Russian RSFSR has reconstructed itself as the Russian Federation
and is recognized by the continuing legal personality and legal
successor of the Soviet Union. Russia is governed as a federal
The Russian economy ranks twelfth
at nominal GDP and ranks sixth at purchasing power parity in 2015.
The world's largest oil and energy reserves are the largest in the
world, making it one of the leading producers of oil and natural gas
in the world. The country is one of the five recognized nuclear
weapon states and has the largest stock of weapons of mass
destruction. Russia is a great power, as well as a regional power,
and is characterized as a potential superpower. He is a permanent
member of the United Nations Security Council and an active ASEAN
global partner, as well as a member of the Group of Twenty, the
Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the Council of Europe,
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the Organization for
Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the World Trade
Organization (WTO), as well as being a leading member of the
Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the Collective Security
Treaty Organization (CSTO) and one of five members of the Eurasian
Economic Commission the Union of Onoms (EEC), along with Armenia,
Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.
Russia is a federal legal state with a republican
form of government. The area of the country is 17.1 million km2,
Russia is the largest state in the world by area. The territory of
Russia is located in 11 time zones: from UTC + 2 to UTC + 12. The
climate is varied: from subtropical (Sochi) to arctic (Norilsk), and
from marine monsoon in coastal areas to sharply continental in
Siberia. Most of the country is located in the temperate climate
zone. The lowest temperature is recorded in Verkhoyansk (−67.6 ° C).
About 200 nationalities and ethnic groups live in Russia. The
state language is Russian, it is understood throughout the country,
and the majority of the population speaks it on daily basis. English
is not common in Russia, although it is taught through the secondary
Russia has a huge road network, but many
regional roads are of very poor quality. Railway transport is also
widespread in Russia - a trip by train for less than a day is
Household electrical network in Russia
220V / 50Hz. Two-prong Soviet-style sockets, or type F ground
sockets widely used in Western Europe. The Soviet sockets are
partially compatible with Type F sockets. At present, all Russian
institutions and organizations are allowed to use only Type F
sockets; but it does not create any significant problems.
The territory of Russia is unevenly extended from
west to east, and to date it occupies most of the territory of
Eastern Europe and the whole of North Asia. The Ural Mountains are
defined by the conditional border of the European and Asian parts.
The Asian part of the country is several times larger than the
European one. The total length of the territory of Russia from west
to east is about 10,000 kilometers, from north to south more than
The relief in the western part of the
country is predominantly flat, while in the eastern part it is
largely mountainous. About 70% of the territory of Russia consists
of plains and lowlands.
About half of the territory is
covered by forests, and more than half of the territory is
The territory of Russia is limited to:
the west - Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, the Gulf of
Finland, the Baltic Sea, Finland and a small section of the border
with Norway near the coast of the Arctic Ocean; in the north -
the border of Russia passes through the Arctic Ocean; in the east
- across the Pacific Ocean, the Bering Strait separates Russia from
the Alaska Peninsula (USA), the straits separate Sakhalin and the
Kuril Islands from Japan, in the south, a short section of the
border with North Korea, except for this by China, Mongolia,
Kazakhstan, the Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Abkhazia, South
Ossetia, and the coast of the Black and Azov seas. In addition,
the Russian exclave, the Kaliningrad Region, is located between
Poland and Lithuania, and has access to the Baltic Sea.
Russia has the longest land and the largest maritime border in the
How to get there
Visa Citizens of most countries need a visa to
visit Russia. Visa-free entry for 72 hours is allowed for passengers
of cruise liners of certain lines. In practice, this only makes
sense for St. cruises. Peter Line from Helsinki to St. Petersburg.
Formally, visa-free tourists are allowed only in the region of
arrival, but in fact it is impossible to verify this.
By plane The main international airports of the country are
located in the suburbs of Moscow, it is Sheremetyevo, Domodedovo and
Vnukovo, as well as in St. Petersburg - Pulkovo-2 (International).
The same airports are hubs for flights throughout the country.
International terminals are available in almost all large and not
very regional airports.
Now there is a system for buying
e-tickets, and for boarding a plane, it’s enough to present a
passport, but it’s good to make a paper printout of the ticket.
By train You can travel to Russia by train without
change from Austria, Germany, France, Italy, Hungary, Poland, the
Czech Republic, Bulgaria, the Netherlands, Serbia, Slovakia,
Switzerland, Finland, as well as China, Mongolia, the DPRK and
neighboring countries (i.e. countries formerly in the USSR). It
should be noted that in most foreign countries (with the exception
of Finland, some parts of Poland, formerly part of the Russian
Empire and Mongolia), a railway track with a width of 1,435
millimeters is used, whereas in Russia and the countries of the
former USSR its width is 1520 millimeters, which makes it somewhat
difficult for trains to cross the state border of Russia
(rearrangement of wheel pairs of cars is carried out, which takes
Domestic railways link almost all more or less
large cities in Russia, with the exception of the extreme north and
By car Road border crossings exist on the
border with Kazakhstan (many!), Norway (two), Poland (four), China
(17), Finland (many!), Georgia (four), Azerbaijan (four), Ukraine
(many!), Estonia (four), Lithuania (four), Latvia (eight).
Crossing the border by car is a separate story. In different places,
this process can vary greatly, and can take from 20-30 minutes to
infinity, sometimes accompanied by hostility, outright extortion.
By bus Bus tours are possible from
Finland, Ukraine, China, CIS countries, etc. In the opposite
direction, organized bus trips are more developed - bus tours are
offered to many EU countries, to Georgia, Turkey, China, etc.
Ship Cruise ports In Russia, cruise liners accept the
on the Black Sea - Sochi on the Baltic
Sea - St. Petersburg, Vyborg Sea of Japan - Vladivostok
Barents Sea - Murmansk Ferry ports
Ferry crossings: On
the border with China: Khabarovsk-Fuyuan, Ushakovo-Hum (car),
Poyarkovo-Syunke (car), Pashkovo-Jyayin (car),
Nizhneleninskoe-Tongjiang (car), Konstantinovka-Sunu (car),
Jalinda-Mohe (car), Blagoveshchensk-Heihe (automobile),
On the border with Lithuania:
Sovetsk-Rusne, Sovetsk-Yurbarkas, Rybachy-Nida.
On the border
with South Korea: Vladivostok-Donghe (car)