|Anthem: Государственный гимн Российской Федерации(Russian)
Gosudarstvenny gimn Rossiyskoy Federatsii(transliteration)
State Anthem of the Russian Federation
(and largest city)
|Official language(s)||Russian official throughout the country; 27 others co-official in various regions|
|Ethnic groups||Russians 79.8%, Tatars 3.8%, Ukrainians 2%, Bashkirs 1.2%, Chuvashes 1.1%, Chechens 0.9%, Armenians 0.8%, other 10.4%|
|Government||Federal semi-presidential republic|
|-||Prime Minister||Vladimir Putin (Independent, but leader of UR)|
|-||Chairman of the Federation Council||Sergey Mironov (FR)|
|-||Chairman of the State Duma||Boris Gryzlov (UR)|
|-||Upper House||Federation Council|
|-||Lower House||State Duma|
|-||Grand Duchy of Moscow||1283|
|-||Tsardom of Russia||1547|
|-||Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic||7 November 1917|
|-||Union of Soviet Socialist Republics||10 December 1922|
|-||Russian Federation||26 December 1991|
|-||Total||17,075,400 km2 (1st)
6,592,800 sq mi
|-||Water (%)||13 (including swamps)|
|-||2010 estimate||141,927,297 (9th)|
|GDP (PPP)||2010 estimate|
|GDP (nominal)||2010 estimate|
|Gini (2008)||42.3 (high)|
|HDI (2010)||0.719 (high) (65th)|
|Time zone||(UTC+2 to +11 (exc. +4))|
|-||Summer (DST)||(UTC+3 to +12 (exc. +5))|
|Drives on the||right|
|Internet TLD||.ru, .su, .рф|
Russia (; ), officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation (), is a state in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects. From northwest to southeast, Russia shares borders with Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland (both via Kaliningrad Oblast), Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, the People's Republic of China, Mongolia, and North Korea. It also has maritime borders with Japan by the Sea of Okhotsk, and the United States by the Bering Strait. At , Russia is the largest country in the world, covering more than a ninth of the Earth's land area. Russia is also the ninth most populous nation with 142 million people. It extends across the whole of northern Asia and 40% of Europe, spanning 9 time zones and incorporating a wide range of environments and landforms. Russia has the world's largest reserves of mineral and energy resources. It has the world's largest forest reserves and its lakes contain approximately one-quarter of the world's freshwater.
The nation's history began with that of the East Slavs, who 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 first East Slavic state, Kievan Rus', arose in the 9th century and adopted Orthodox Christianity from the Byzantine Empire in 988, beginning the synthesis of Byzantine and Slavic cultures that defined Russian culture for the next millennium. Kievan Rus' ultimately disintegrated into a number of smaller states; most of the Rus' lands ultimately were overrun by the Mongol invasion and became tributaries of the nomadic Golden Horde. 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 in Europe to Alaska in North America.
Russia established worldwide power and influence from the times of the Russian Empire to being the largest and leading constituent of the Soviet Union, the world's first constitutionally socialist state and a recognized superpower, that played a decisive role in the Allied victory in World War II. The Soviet era saw some of the greatest technology achievements of the 20th century, such as the world's first human spaceflight. The Russian Federation was founded following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, but is recognized as the continuing legal personality of the Soviet state. Russia has the world's 10th largest economy by nominal GDP or the 6th largest by purchasing power parity, with the 5th largest nominal military budget. It is one of the five recognized nuclear weapons states and possesses the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction. Russia is a great power and a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, a member of the G8, G20, the Council of Europe, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Eurasian Economic Community, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and is the leading member of the Commonwealth of Independent States.
The country's original name was Русь (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" (russkaya zemlya) which could 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.
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 (Rossiya), comes from the Greek version of Rus', spelled Ρωσία [rosˈia], which was the denomination of Kievan Rus in the Byzantine Empire.
One of the first modern human bones of the age of 35 000 years was found in Russia, in Kostenki on the Don River banks. In prehistoric times the vast steppes of Southern Russia were home to tribes of nomadic pastoralists. Remnants of these steppe civilizations were discovered in such places as Ipatovo, Sintashta, Arkaim, and Pazyryk, which bear the earliest known traces of mounted warfare, a key feature in nomadic way of life.
In classical antiquity, the Pontic Steppe was known as Scythia. Since the 8th century BC, Ancient Greek traders brought their civilization to the trade emporiums in Tanais and Phanagoria. Between the 3rd and 6th centuries AD, the Bosporan Kingdom, a Hellenistic polity which succeeded the Greek colonies, was 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 8th 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 slowly but peacefully assimilated the native Finno-Ugric peoples, including the Merya, the Muromians, and the Meshchera.