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Russia (Listeni /?r???/; Russian: ??????, tr. Rossiya, IPA: [r??s?ij?] (13px-Speaker_Icon.svg.png listen)), officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation[7] (Russian:?????????? ?????????, tr. Rossiyskaya Federatsiya, IPA: [r??s?ijsk?j? f??d???rats?j?] (13px-Speaker_Icon.svg.png listen)), is a state in northern Eurasia.Dell Studio XPS 1640 Battery

It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects. From northwest to southeast, Russia shares borders with Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuaniaand Poland (both via Kaliningrad Oblast), Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, the People's Republic of China, Mongolia, and North Korea. Dell Latitude D830 Battery

It also has maritime borders with Japan by the Sea of Okhotsk, and the United States by the Bering Strait. At 17,075,400 square kilometres (6,592,800 sq mi), Russia is the largest country in the world, covering more than one eighth of the Earth's inhabited land area. Russia is also the ninth most populous nation with 143 million people.Toshiba Satellite M65 battery

It extends across the whole of northern Asia and 40% of Europe, spanning nine 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 fresh water.Toshiba NB100 Battery

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 medieval state of Rus arose in the 9th century. Toshiba Satellite P10 Battery

In 988 it adopted Orthodox Christianityfrom the Byzantine Empire, 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 were overrun by the Mongol invasion and became tributaries of the nomadic Golden Horde.Sony VGP-BPS13B/B Battery

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, Sony VGN-FW11S Battery

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.

Following the Russian Revolution, Russia became the largest and leading constituent of the Soviet Union, the world's first constitutionally socialist stateand a recognized superpower,Hp pavilion dv6000 battery

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.Sony Vaio VGN-FZ31S battery

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.Sony Vaio VGN-FZ31S battery

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 Organisation, the Eurasian Economic Community, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and is the leading member of the Commonwealth of Independent States.HP NX8200 battery

Etymology

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 "??????? ?????" (russkaya zemlya) which could be translated as "Russian Land" or "Land of Rus'".HP NX7400 battery

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 Rus people, a group of Varangians (possibly Swedish Vikings)[21][22] who founded the state of Rus (????).HP NW8440 battery

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, ?????? (Rossiya), comes from the Greek version of Rus', spelled ????? [ros?ia], which was the denomination of Kievan Rus in the Byzantine Empire.HP NW8200 battery

Early periods

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.HP NC6400 battery

Remnants of these steppe civilizations were discovered in such places asIpatovo, 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. HP NC6200 battery

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.HP NC6100 battery

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.HP NC6000 battery

The East Slavs gradually settled Western Russia in two waves: one moving from Kiev toward present-day Suzdal and Murom and another fromPolotsk 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.HP 6710B battery

Kievan Rus'

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. HP 6530B battery

Primarily they were Vikings of Scandinavian origin, who ventured along the waterways extending from the eastern Baltic to the Black and CaspianSeas. According to the Primary Chronicle, a Varangian from Rus' people, named Rurik, was elected ruler of Novgorod in 862. HP 6510B battery

His successor Oleg of Novgorod moved south and conquered Kiev in 882, which had been previously paying tribute to the Khazars; so the state of Kievan Rus' started. Oleg, Rurik's son Igor and Igor's son Sviatoslav subsequently subdued all East Slavic tribes to Kievan rule, destroyed the Khazar khaganate and launched several military expeditions to Byzantium.HP Pavilion DV6-1020ED Battery

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 I 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.Dell Latitude E6400 battery

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.Apple A1281 battery

The age of feudalism and decentralization had come, 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.Apple A1280 battery

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 invaders, later known as Tatars, formed the state of the Golden Horde, which pillaged the Russian principalities and ruled the southern and central expanses of Russia for over three centuries.Dell LATITUDE D800 battery

Galicia-Volhynia was eventually assimilated by the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, while the Mongol-dominated Vladimir-Suzdal and Novgorod Republic, two regions on the periphery of Kiev, established the basis for the modern Russian nation.Dell Inspiron 6400 AC Adapter

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'.Sony Vaio VGN-CR190E/L Battery

Grand Duchy of Moscow

The most powerful successor state to Kievan Rus' was the Grand Duchy of Moscow ("Moscovy" 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 Western Russia in the early 14th century.HP 448007-001 battery

Those were hard times, with frequent Mongol-Tatar raids and agriculture suffering from the beginning of the Little Ice Age. Like in the rest of Europe, plagues hit Russia somewhere once every five or six years from 1350 to 1490. However, due to the lower population density and better hygiene (widespread practicing of banya, the wet steam bath),Sony VGP-BPS11 battery

the population loss caused by plagues was not so severe as in the Western Europe, and the pre-Plague populations were reached in Russia as early as 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. HP Pavilion DV6-1223EO Battery

Moscow gradually absorbed the surrounding principalities, including the formerly strong rivals, such as Tver and Novgorod. This way Moscow became the main leading force in the process of Russia's reunification and expansion.

Ivan III (the Great) finally threw off the control of the Golden Horde, Compaq CQ35-100 battery

consolidated the whole of Central and Northern Rus' under Moscow's dominion, and was 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,HP DV9700 battery

the niece of the last Byzantine emperor Constantine XI, and made the Byzantinedouble-headed eagle his own, and eventually Russian, coat-of-arms.

Tsardom of Russia

In development of the Third Rome ideas, the Grand Duke Ivan IV (the "Awesome" or "the Terrible") was officially crowned the first Tsar ("Caesar") of Russia in 1547. Sony VGP-BPS13 battery

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 IV nearly doubled the already large Russian territory by annexing the three Tatar khanates HP Pavilion DV8 battery

(parts of disintegrated Golden Horde): Kazan andAstrakhan along the Volga River, and Sibirean Khanate in South Western Siberia. Thus by the end of the 16th century Russia was transformed into a multiethnic, multiconfessional and transcontinental state.Compaq CQ50 battery

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.HP Pavilion DV7 battery

In 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 next year the large invading army was thoroughly defeated by Russians in the Battle of Molodi, forever eliminating the threat of the Ottoman-Crimean expansion into Russia.Ibm THINKPAD X200 Battery

The raids of Crimeans, however, didn't 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, Ibm THINKPAD X200 Battery

and in combination with the famine of 1601–03 led to the civil war, the rule of pretenders and foreign intervention during the Time of Troubles in the early 17th century. Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth occupied parts of Russia, including Moscow. In 1612 the Poles were forced to retreat by the Russian volunteer corps, Ibm THINKPAD X200 Battery

led by two national heroes, merchant Kuzma Minin and Prince Dmitry Pozharsky. The Romanov Dynasty acceded 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.SONY VAIO VGN-FW21E Battery

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 theKhmelnytsky Uprising, because of the social and religious oppression they suffered under Polish rule. Asus M52N Battery

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 (1654–1667). Finally, Ukraine was split along the Dnieper River, leaving the western part (or Right-bank Ukraine) under Polish rule and eastern part Dell Latitude E6400 ATG Battery

(Left-bank Ukraine and Kiev) under Russian. 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. SONY VAIO VGN-FW21L Battery

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 Popovand Semyon Dezhnyov.SONY VAIO VGN-FW21M Battery

Imperial Russia

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 theGreat 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.SONY VAIO VGN-FW21Z Battery

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 Elisabeth in 1741–62 saw Russia's participation in the Seven Years War (1756–63). SONY VAIO VGN-FW33GW Battery

During this conflict Russia annexed Eastern Prussia for a while and even took Berlin. However, upon Elisabeth's death, all these conquests were returned to Kingdom of Prussia by pro-Prussian Peter III of Russia.Dell XPS M1210 Battery

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. Dell KM958 battery

In the south, after successful Russo-Turkish Wars against the Ottoman Empire, Catherine advanced Russia's boundary to the Black Sea, defeating the Crimean Khanate. As a result of victories over the Ottomans, by the early 19th century Russia also made significant territorial gains in Transcaucasia. Dell Studio 1555 battery

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, like Fort Ross.Sony VGP-BPS13 battery

In 1803–06 the first Russian circumnavigation was made, later followed by other notable Russian sea exploration voyages. In 1820 a Russian expedition discovered the continent of Antarctica.

In alliances with various European countries, Russia fought against Napoleon's France.Sony VGP-BPS13/S battery

The French invasion of Russia at the height of Napoleon's power in 1812 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.Sony VGP-BPS13A/B battery

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.Sony VGP-BPS13B/B battery

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 abortiveDecembrist 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 a massive wave of Asiatic cholera swept over Russia, claiming about one million lives. Sony VGP-BPL9 battery

Nicholas's successor Alexander II (1855–81) enacted significant changes in the country, including the emancipation reform of 1861. These Great Reformsspurred industrialization and modernized the Russian army, which had successfully liberated Bulgaria from Ottoman rule in 1877–78 Russo-Turkish War.Sony VGP-BPS13B/B battery

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, however, Sony VGP-BPL15 battery

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, including granting the freedoms of speech and assembly, HP Pavilion dv6000 Battery

the legalization of political parties, and the creation of an elected legislative body, the State Duma of the Russian Empire. Migration to Siberia increased rapidly in the early 20th century, particularly during the Stolypin agrarian reform. Between 1906 and 1914 more than 4 million settlers arrived here.HP Pavilion dv8000 battery

In 1914 Russia entered World War I in response to Austria'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. HP PAVILION DV6000 Battery

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; HP PAVILION DV8000 Battery

he and his family were imprisoned and later executed during the Russian Civil War. The monarchy was replaced by a shaky coalition of political parties that declared itself the Provisional Government. An alternative socialist establishment existed alongside, the Petrograd Soviet,SONY VAIO VGN-FZ Battery

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 created the world’s first socialist state.HP Pavilion DV6000 battery

Soviet Russia

Following the October Revolution, a civil war broke out between the anti-communist White movement and the new regime with its Red Army. Russia lost its Ukrainian, Polish, Baltic, and Finnish territories by signing the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk that concluded hostilities with the Central Powers in World War I. HP Pavilion DV8000 battery

The Allied powers launched an unsuccessful military intervention in support of anti-Communist forces, while both the Bolsheviks and White movement carried out campaigns of deportations and executions against each other, known respectively as the Red Terrorand White Terror. HP Pavilion DV6000 battery

By the end of the civil war the Russian economy and infrastructure were heavily damaged. Millions became White émigrés, and the Povolzhye famine claimed up to 5 million victims.

The Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (called Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic at the time)HP Pavilion DV8000 battery

together with three other Soviet republics formed the Soviet Union, or USSR, on 30 December 1922. Out of the 15 republics of the USSR, the Russian SFSR was the largest in terms of size, and making up over half of the total USSR population, dominated the union for its entire 69-year history.SONY VAIO VGN-FZ18 Battery

Following Lenin's death in 1924, Joseph Stalin, an elected General Secretary of the Communist Party, managed to put down all opposition groups within the party and consolidate much power in his hands. Leon Trotsky, the main proponent of the world revolution, SONY VAIO VGN-FZ21E Battery

was exiled from the Soviet Union in 1929, and Stalin's idea of socialism in one country became the primary line. The continued internal struggle in the Bolshevik partyculminated in the Great Purge, a period of mass repressions in 1937–38, in which hundreds of thousands of people were executed, including military leaders convicted in coup d'état plots.SONY VAIO VGN-FW31J Battery

The government launched a planned economy, industrialisation of the largely rural country, and collectivization of its agriculture. During this period of rapid economical and social changes, millions of people were sent to penal labor camps, including many political convicts, and millions were deported and exiled to remote areas of the Soviet Union.SONY VAIO VGN-FW31J Battery

The transitional disorganisation of the country's agriculture, combined with the harsh state policies and a drought, led to the famine of 1932–33. However, though with a heavy price, the Soviet Union was transformed from a largely agrarian economy to a major industrial powerhouse in a short span of time.SONY VAIO VGN-FW21E Battery

The Appeasement policy of Great Britain and France towards Adolf Hitler's annexations of Ruhr, Austria and finally of Czechoslovakia enlarged the might of Nazi Germany and put a threat of war to the Soviet Union. Around the same time the German Reich allied with the Empire of Japan, a rival of the USSR in the Far East and an open enemy in the Soviet–Japanese Border Wars in 1938–39.SONY VAIO VGN-NR11S/S Battery

In August 1939, after another failure of attempts to establish a counter-Nazism alliance with Britain and France, the Soviet government agreed to conclude the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact with Germany, pledging non-aggression between the two countries and dividing their spheres of influence in Eastern Europe. SONY VAIO VGN-NR11M/S Battery

While Hitler conquered Poland, France and other countries acting on single front at the start of the World War II, the USSR was able to build up its military and regain some of the former territories of the Russian Empire during the Soviet invasion of Poland and the Winter War.SONY VAIO VGN-NR11Z/S Battery

On 22 June 1941, Nazi Germany broke the non-aggression treaty and invaded the Soviet Union with the largest and most powerful invasion force in human history, opening the largest theater of the Second World War. Although the German army had considerable success early on, their onslaught was halted in the Battle of Moscow. Sony VAIO VGN-FW21E Battery

Subsequently the Germans were dealt major defeats first at the Battle of Stalingrad in the winter of 1942–43,[64] and then in the Battle of Kursk in the summer of 1943. Another German failure was the Siege of Leningrad, in which the city was fully blockaded on land between 1941–44 by German and Finnish forces, Sony VAIO VGN-NR11S/S Battery

suffering starvation and more than a million deaths, but never surrendering. Under Stalin's administration and the leadership of such commanders as Georgy Zhukovand Konstantin Rokossovsky, Soviet forces drove through Eastern Europe in 1944–45 and captured Berlin in May 1945. Sony VAIO VGN-NR11Z/S Battery

In August 1945 the Soviet Army ousted Japanese from China's Manchukuo and North Korea, contributing to the allied victory over Japan.

The 1941–45 period of World War II is known in Russia as the Great Patriotic War.Sony VAIO VGN-NR11M/S Battery

In this conflict, which included many of the most lethal battle operations in human history, Soviet military and civilian deaths were 10.6 million and 15.9 million respectively,[66]accounting for about a third of all World War II casualties. The full demographic loss to the Soviet peoples was even greater.Sony VAIO VGN-NR11Z/T Battery

The Soviet economy and infrastructure suffered massive devastation[68] but the Soviet Union emerged as an acknowledged superpower.

The Red Army occupied Eastern Europe after the war, including East Germany. SONY VAIO VGN-FZ180E Battery

Dependent socialist governments were installed in the Eastern bloc satellite states. Becoming the world's second nuclear weapons power, the USSR established the Warsaw Pact alliance and entered into a struggle for global dominance, known as the Cold War, with the United States and NATO. SONY VAIO VGN-FZ220E Battery

The Soviet Union exported its Communist ideology to newly formed People's Republic of China and North Korea, and later into Cuba and many other countries. Significant amounts of the Soviet resources were allocated in aid to the other socialist states. SONY VAIO VGN-FZ340E Battery

After Stalin's death and a short period of collective rule, new leader Nikita Khrushchev denounced the cult of personality of Stalin and launched the policy of de-Stalinization. Penal labor system was reformed and many prisoners were released and rehabilitated.[70]The general easement of repressive policies became known later as the Khrushchev thaw. SONY VAIO VGN-FZ460E Battery

At the same time, tensions with the United States heightened when the two rivals clashed over the deployment of the U.S. Jupiter missiles in Turkey and Soviet missiles in Cuba.

In 1957 the Soviet Union launched the world's first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1, thus starting the Space Age. SONY VAIO VGN-FZ480E Battery

Russiancosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human to orbit the Earth aboard Vostok 1 manned spacecraft on 12 April 1961.

Following the ousting of voluntarist and erratic Khrushchev in 1964, another period of collective rule ensued, until Leonid Brezhnev became the leader. SONY VAIO VGN-FZ31E Battery

The era of 1970s and the early 1980s was designated later as the Era of Stagnation, a period when the economic growth slowed and social policies became static. The Kosygin reform, aimed into partial decentralization of the Soviet economy and shifting the emphasis from heavy industry and weapons to light industry and consumer goods, was stifled by the conservative Communist leadership.SONY VAIO VGN-FZ31B Battery

In 1979 the Soviet forces entered Afghanistan at the request of its communist government. The occupation drained economic resources and dragged on without achieving meaningful political results. SONY VAIO VGN-FZ31J Battery

Ultimately the Soviet Army was withdrawn from Afghanistan in 1989 because of international opposition, persistent anti-Soviet guerilla warfare (enhanced by the U.S.), and a lack of support from Soviet citizens.SONY VAIO VGN-FZ31M Battery

From 1985 onwards, the last Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev introduced the policies of glasnost (openness) and perestroika(restructuring) in an attempt to modernize the country and make it more democratic. However, this led to the rise of strong nationalist and separatist movements.SONY VAIO VGN-FZ31Z Battery

Prior to 1991, the Soviet economy was the second largest in the world, but during its last years it was afflicted by shortages of goods in grocery stores, huge budget deficits, and explosive growth in money supply leading to inflation.

In August 1991, an unsuccessful military coup, SONY VAIO VGN-FZ38M Battery

directed against Gorbachev and aimed at preserving the Soviet Union, instead led to the end of socialist rule. The USSR was dissolved into 15 post-Soviet states in December 1991.

Russian Federation

Boris Yeltsin was elected the President of Russia in June 1991, in the first direct presidential election in Russian history. SONY VGP-BPS8 Battery

During and after the Soviet disintegration, wide-ranging reforms including privatisation and market and trade liberalization were being undertaken, including the radical changes along the lines of "shock therapy" as recommended by the United States and International Monetary Fund.Sony VGP-BPS8 Battery

All this resulted in a major economy crisis, characterized by 50% decline of both GDP and industrial output between 1990-95.

The privatization largely shifted control of enterprises from state agencies to individuals with inside connections in the government system. SONY VGP-BPS13/S Battery

Many of the newly rich businesspeople took billions in cash and assets outside of the country in an enormous capital flight. The depression of state and economy led to the collapse of social services; the birth rate plummeted while the death rate skyrocketed. Millions plunged into poverty, from 1.5% level of poverty in the late Soviet era, to 39–49% by mid-1993.SONY VGP-BPS13A/B Battery

The 1990s saw extreme corruption and lawlessness, rise of criminal gangs and violent crime.

The 1990s were plagued by armed conflicts in the Northern Caucasus, both local ethnic skirmishes and separatist Islamist insurrections. SONY VGP-BPS13B/B Battery

Since theChechen separatists had declared independence in the early 1990s, an intermittent guerrilla war was fought between the rebel groups and the Russian military. Terrorist attacks against civilians carried out by separatists, most notably the Moscow theater hostage crisis and Beslan school siege, caused hundreds of deaths and drew worldwide attention.SONY VGP-BPS13A/S Battery

Russia took up the responsibility for settling the USSR's external debts, even though its population made up just half of the population of the USSR at the time of its dissolution. High budget deficits caused the 1998 Russian financial crisis[80] and resulted in further GDP decline.SONY VGP-BPS13AS Battery

On 31 December 1999 President Yeltsin resigned, handing the post to the recently appointed Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, who then won the 2000 presidential election. Putin suppressed the Chechen insurgency, although sporadic violence still occurs throughout the Northern Caucasus. Dell Inspiron 1320n Battery

High oil prices and initially weak currency followed by increasing domestic demand, consumption and investments has helped the economy grow for nine straight years, improving the standard of living and increasing Russia's influence on the world stage.SONY VGP-BPS13AS Battery

While many reforms made during the Putin presidency have been generally criticized by Western nations as un-democratic, Putin's leadership over the return of order, stability, and progress has won him widespread popularity in Russia.

On 2 March 2008, Dmitry Medvedev was elected President of Russia, whilst Putin became Prime Minister.Dell Inspiron 1320n Battery

Politics

According to the Constitution of Russia, the country is a federation and semi-presidential republic, wherein the President is the head of state[84] and the Prime Minister is the head of government. The Russian Federation is fundamentally structured as a multi-party representative democracy, with the federal government composed of three branches:Dell Studio 1450 Battery

  • Legislative: The bicameral Federal Assembly, made up of the 450-member State Duma and the 166-member Federation Council, adopts federal law, declares war, approves treaties, has the power of the purse and the power of impeachment of the President.Dell Studio 1457 Battery
  • Executive: The President is the commander-in-chief of the military, can veto legislative bills before they become law, and appoints the Cabinet and other officers, who administer and enforce federal laws and policies.Dell Latitude D610 Battery
  • Judiciary: The Constitutional Court, Supreme Court, Supreme Court of Arbitration and lower federal courts, whose judges are appointed by the Federation Council on the recommendation of the President, interpret laws and can overturn laws they deem unconstitutional.Dell Studio 1457 Battery

The president is elected by popular vote for a six-year term (eligible for a second term, but not for a third consecutive term).Ministries of the government are composed of the Premier and his deputies, ministers, and selected other individuals; Toshiba Satellite M60 battery

all are appointed by the President on the recommendation of the Prime Minister (whereas the appointment of the latter requires the consent of the State Duma). Leading political parties in Russia include United Russia, the Communist Party, theLiberal Democratic Party of Russia, and Fair Russia.Dell Latitude D830 Battery

Western observers have raised questions as to how much of Russia's political system corresponds to Western liberal democratic ideals. Academics have often complained about the difficulty of classifying Russia's political system. According Steve White, Dell Latitude D620 Battery

during the Putin presidency Russia made clear that it had no intention of establishing a "second edition" of the American or British political system, but rather a system that was closer to Russia's own traditions and circumstances. Dell Inspiron Mini 10 Battery

Richard Sakwa wrote that the Russian government is undoubtedly considered legitimate by the great majority of the Russian people and seeks to deliver a set of public goods without appealing to extra-democratic logic to achieve them, but whether the system was becoming an illiberal or delegative democracy was more contentious. Sony VGN-FW11S Battery

Foreign relations

The Russian Federation is recognized in international law as successor state of the former Soviet Union. Russia continues to implement the international commitments of the USSR, and has assumed the USSR's permanent seat in the UN Security Council,Sony VGN-FW11M Battery

membership in other international organisations, the rights and obligations under international treaties, and property and debts. Russia has a multifaceted foreign policy. As of 2009, it maintains diplomatic relations with 191 countries and has 144 embassies. The foreign policy is determined by the President and implemented by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia.Sony VGN-FW139E/H battery

As the successor to a former superpower, Russia's geopolitical status has been often debated, particularly in relation to unipolar and multipolar views on the global political system. While Russia is commonly accepted to be a great power, in recent years it has been characterized by a number of world leaders, Dell Latitude E5400 Battery

scholars, commentators and politicians as a currently reinstating or potential superpower. However, such a characterization has been disputed by others.

An important aspect of Russia's relations with the West is the criticism of Russia's political system and human rights management by the Western governments,Dell Latitude E4200 Battery

the mass media and the leading democracy and human rights watchdogs. In particular, such organisations as the Amnesty International andHuman Rights Watch consider Russia to have not enough democratic attributes and to allow few political rights and civil liberties to its citizens.Dell Inspiron 300M Battery

US-funded international organisation Freedom House ranks Russia as "not free", citing "carefully engineered elections" and "absence" of debate. Russian authorities dismiss these claims and especially criticise Freedom House. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia has called the 2006 Freedom in the World Report "prefabricated", Dell Studio 1737 battery

stating that the human rights issues have been turned into a political weapon in particular by the U. S. The ministry also claims that such organisations as Freedom House and Human Rights Watch use the same scheme of voluntary extrapolation of "isolated facts that of course can be found in any country" into "dominant tendencies".Dell Inspiron E1505 battery

As one of five permanent members of the UN Security Council, Russia plays a major role in maintaining international peace and security. The country participates in the Quartet on the Middle East and the Six-party talks with North Korea. Russia is a member of the Group of Eight (G8) industrialized nations, the Council of Europe, OSCE and APEC.Dell RM791 battery

Russia usually takes a leading role in regional organisations such as the CIS, EurAsEC, CSTO, and the SCO.Former President Vladimir Putin had advocated a strategic partnership with close integration in various dimensions including establishment of EU-Russia Common Spaces.Acer Aspire One battery 10400mAh

Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Russia has developed a friendlier, albeit volatile relationship with NATO. The NATO-Russia Council was established in 2002 to allow the 26 Allies and Russia to work together as equal partners to pursue opportunities for joint collaboration.Dell Precision M70 Battery

Russia maintains strong and positive relations with other BRIC countries. In recent years, the country has sought to strengthen ties especially with thePeople's Republic of China by signing the Treaty of Friendship as well as building the Trans-Siberian oil pipeline geared toward growing Chinese energy needs.SONY VGN -FZ210CE Battery

Military

The Russian military is divided into the Ground Forces, Navy, and Air Force. There are also t

hree independent arms of service: Strategic Rocket Forces, Military Space Forces, and the Airborne Troops. In 2006, the military had 1.037 million personnel on active duty.Toshiba Satellite L305 Battery

It is mandatory for all male citizens aged 18–27 to be drafted for a year of service in Armed Forces.

Russia has the largest stockpile of nuclear weapons in the world. It has the second largest fleet of ballistic missile submarines and is the only country apart from the U.S. with a modern strategic bomber force.Toshiba Satellite T4900 Battery

Russia's tank force is the largest in the world, its surface navy and air force are among the largest ones.

The country has a large and fully indigenous arms industry, producing most of its own military equipment with only few types of weapons imported. Toshiba PA3399U-2BRS battery

Russia is the world's top supplier of arms, a spot it has held since 2001, accounting for around 30% of worldwide weapons sales and exporting weapons to about 80 countries.Sony VGP-BPS10 battery

Official government military spending for 2008 was $58 billion, the fifth largest in the world, though various sources have estimated Russia’s military expenditures to be considerably higher. Currently, a major equipment upgrade worth about $200 billion is on its way between 2006 and 2015.Sony VGP-BPS9 battery

Administrative divisions

Federal subjects

The Russian Federation comprises 83 federal subjects. These subjects have equal representation—two delegates each—in the Federation Council. However, they differ in the degree of autonomy they enjoy.Sony VGP-BPS11 battery

  • 46 oblasts (provinces): most common type of federal subjects, with federally appointed governor and locally elected legislature.Sony VGP-BPS22 battery
  • 21 republics: nominally autonomous; each has its own constitution, president, and parliament. Republics are allowed to establish their own official language alongside Russian but are represented by the federal government in international affairs. Republics are meant to be home to specific ethnic minorities.Sony VGP-BPL8 battery
  • 9 krais (territories): essentially the same as oblasts. The "territory" designation is historic, originally given to frontier regions and later also to administrative divisions that comprised autonomous okrugs or autonomous oblasts.Sony VGP-BPS14 battery
  • 4 autonomous okrugs (autonomous districts): originally autonomous entities within oblasts and krais created for ethnic minorities, their status was elevated to that of federal subjects in the 1990s. With the exception of Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, all autonomous okrugs are still administratively subordinated to a krai or an oblast of which they are a part.Sony VGP-BPS21 battery
  • 1 autonomous oblast (the Jewish Autonomous Oblast): originally autonomous oblasts were administrative units subordinated to krais. In 1990, all of them except the Jewish AO were elevated in status to that of a republic.
  • 2 federal cities (Moscow and St. Petersburg): major cities that function as separate regions.Toshiba Satellite A200 Battery
Federal districts

Federal subjects are grouped into 8 federal districts, each administered by an envoy appointed by the President of Russia. Unlike the federal subjects, the federal districts are not a subnational level of government, but are a level of administration of the federal government.Toshiba Satellite M300 Battery

Federal districts' envoys serve as liaisons between the federal subjects and the federal government and are primarily responsible for overseeing the compliance of the federal subjects with the federal laws.

Geography

Russia is the largest country in the world; its total area is 17,075,400 square kilometres (6,592,800 sq mi).Toshiba Satellite 1200 Battery

There are 23 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Russia, 40 UNESCO biosphere reserves, 40 national parks and 101 nature reserve. It lies between latitudes 41° and 82° N, and longitudes 19° E and 169° W.

Russia has a wide natural resource base, including major deposits of timber, petroleum, natural gas, coal, ores and other mineral resources.SONY VGP-BPS13A/Q Battery

Topography

The two widest separated points in Russia are about 8,000 km (4,971 mi) apart along a geodesic line. These points are: the boundary with Poland on a 60 km (37 mi) long Vistula Spit separating the Gda?sk Bay from the Vistula Lagoon; and the farthest southeast of the Kuril Islands. SONY VGP-BPS13A/Q Battery

The points which are furthest separated in longitude are 6,600 km (4,101 mi) apart along a geodesic line. These points are: in the west, the same spit; in the east, the Big Diomede Island. The Russian Federation spans 9 time zones.

Most of Russia consists of vast stretches of plains that are predominantly steppe to the south and heavily forested to the north, with tundra along the northern coast. SONY VGP-BPS13/Q Battery

Russia possesses 10% of the world'sarable land. Mountain ranges are found along the southern borders, such as the Caucasus (containing Mount Elbrus, which at 5,642 m (18,510 ft) is the highest point in both Russia and Europe) and the Altai (containing Mount Belukha, which at the 4,506 m (14,783 ft) is the highest point of Siberia outside of the Russian Far East);SONY VGP-BPS13/Q Battery

and in the eastern parts, such as the Verkhoyansk Range or the volcanoes of Kamchatka Peninsula (containing Klyuchevskaya Sopka, which at the 4,750 m (15,584 ft) is the highest active volcano in Eurasia as well as the highest point of Asian Russia). The Ural Mountains, rich in mineral resources, form a north-south range that divides Europe and Asia.SONY VGP-BPS21A/B Battery

Russia has an extensive coastline of over 37,000 km (22,991 mi) along the Arctic and Pacific Oceans, as well as along the Baltic Sea, Sea of Azov, Black Sea and Caspian Sea. The Barents Sea, White Sea, Kara Sea, Laptev Sea, East Siberian Sea, Chukchi Sea, Bering Sea, Sea of Okhotsk, and the Sea of Japan are linked to Russia via the Arctic and Pacific.SONY VGP-BPS21/S Battery

Russia's major islands and archipelagos include Novaya Zemlya, the Franz Josef Land, the Severnaya Zemlya, the New Siberian Islands, Wrangel Island, the Kuril Islands, and Sakhalin. The Diomede Islands (one controlled by Russia, the other by the U.S.) are just 3 km (1.9 mi) apart, and Kunashir Island is about 20 km (12.4 mi) from Hokkaid?, Japan.SONY VGP-BPS21B Battery

Russia has thousands of rivers and inland bodies of water providing it with one of the world's largest surface water resources. The largest and most prominent of Russia's bodies of fresh water is Lake Baikal, the world's deepest, purest, oldest and most capacious fresh water lake.SONY VGP-BPS21A Battery

Baikal alone contains over one fifth of the world's fresh surface water.Other major lakes include Ladoga and Onega, two of the largest lakes in Europe. Russia is second only to Brazil in volume of the total renewable water resources. SONY VGP-BPS21 Battery

Of the country's 100,000 rivers, the Volga is the most famous, not only because it is the longest river in Europe, but also because of its major role in Russian history. The Siberian rivers Ob, Yenisey, Lena and Amur are among the very longest rivers in the world.Sony VGP-BPS21A/B Battery

Climate

The enormous size of Russia and the remoteness of many areas from the sea result in the dominance of the humid continental climate, which is prevalent in all parts of the country except for the tundra and the extreme southeast.Sony VGP-BPS21/S Battery

Mountains in the south obstruct the flow of warm air masses from the Indian Ocean, while the plain of the west and north makes the country open to Arctic and Atlantic influences.

Most of Northern European Russia and Siberia has a subarctic climate, with extremely severe winters in the inner regions of Northeast Siberia Sony VGP-BPS21A Battery

(mostly theSakha Republic, where the Northern Pole of Cold is located with the record low temperature of ?71.2 °C/?96.2 °F), and more moderate elsewhere. The strip of land along the shore of the Arctic Ocean, as well as the Russian Arctic islands, have a polar climate.Sony VGP-BPS21 Battery

The coastal part of Krasnodar Krai on the Black Sea, most notably in Sochi, possesses a humid subtropical climate with mild and wet winters. Winter is dry compared to summer in many regions of East Siberia and the Far East, while other parts of the country experience more even precipitation across seasons. SONY VAIO VGN-FW31J Battery

Winter precipitation in most parts of the country usually falls as snow. The region along the Lower Volga and Caspian Sea coast, as well as some areas of southernmost Siberia, possesses a semi-arid climate.

Throughout much of the territory there are only two distinct seasons—winter and summer; spring and autumn are usually brief periods of change between extremely low temperatures and extremely high.SONY VAIO VGN-FW31E Battery

The coldest month is January (February on the coastline), the warmest usually is July. Great ranges of temperature are typical. In winter, temperatures get colder both from south to north and from west to east. Summers can be quite hot, even in Siberia.[118]The continental interiors are the driest areas.SONY VAIO VGN-FW31B Battery

Biodiversity

From north to south the East European Plain, also known as Russian Plain, is clad sequentially in Arctic tundra, coniferous forest (taiga), mixed and broad-leaf forests, grassland (steppe), and semi-desert (fringing the Caspian Sea), as the changes in vegetation reflect the changes in climate. SONY VAIO VGN-FW31M Battery

Siberia supports a similar sequence but is largely taiga. Russia has the world's largest forest reserves, known as "the lungs of Europe",[119] second only to the Amazon Rainforest in the amount of carbon dioxide it absorbs.

There are 266 mammal species and 780 bird species in Russia. SONY VAIO VGN-FW31Z Battery

A total of 415 animal species have been included in the Red Data Book of the Russian Federation as of 1997[120] and are now protected.

Economy

Russia has a market economy with enormous natural resources, particularly oil and natural gas.Dell Inspiron 6400 AC Adapter

It has the 10th largest economy in the world by nominal GDP and the6th largest by purchasing power parity (PPP). Since the turn of the 21st century, higher domestic consumption and greater political stability have bolstered economic growth in Russia. The country ended 2008 with its ninth straight year of growth, averaging 7% annually. Dell LATITUDE D800 battery

Growth was primarily driven by non-traded services and goods for the domestic market, as opposed to oil or mineral extraction and exports. The average salary in Russia was $640 per month in early 2008, up from $80 in 2000. Approximately 13.7% of Russians lived below the national poverty line in 2010, Dell Inspiron Mini 12 battery

significantly down from 40% in 1998 at the worst of the post-Soviet collapse.Unemployment in Russia was at 6% in 2007, down from about 12.4% in 1999.The middle class has grown from just 8 million persons in 2000 to 55 million persons in 2006.

Oil, natural gas, metals, and timber account for more than 80% of Russian exports abroad.Dell Inspiron 1720 battery

Since 2003, however, exports of natural resources started decreasing in economic importance as the internal market strengthened considerably. Despite higher energy prices, oil and gas only contribute to 5.7% of Russia's GDP and the government predicts this will drop to 3.7% by 2011.Dell Inspiron 1564 battery

Oil export earnings allowed Russia to increase its foreign reserves from $12 billion in 1999 to $597.3 billion on 1 August 2008, the third largest foreign exchange reserves in the world. The macroeconomic policy under Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin was prudent and sound, with excess income being stored in the Stabilization Fund of Russia.Dell Inspiron 1464 battery

In 2006, Russia repaid most of its formerly massive debts, leaving it with one of the lowest foreign debts among major economies.The Stabilization Fund helped Russia to come out out of the global financial crisis in a much better state than many experts had expected. Dell XPS 1340 battery

A simpler, more streamlined tax code adopted in 2001 reduced the tax burden on people and dramatically increased state revenue.Russia has a flat tax rate of 13 percent. This ranks it as the country with the second most attractive personal tax system for single managers in the world after the United Arab Emirates.Dell INSPIRON 9100 battery

According to Bloomberg, Russia is considered well ahead of most other resource-rich countries in its economic development, with a long tradition of education, science, and industry. The country has more higher education graduates than any other country in Europe.Dell Inspiron N4010 battery

The economic development of the country has been uneven geographically with the Moscow region contributing a very large share of the country's GDP.Another problem is modernisation of infrastructure, ageing and inadequate after years of being neglected in 1990s; the government has said $1 trillion will be invested in development of infrastructure by 2020.Dell N3010 battery

Agriculture

The total area of cultivated land in Russia was estimated as 1,237,294 km2 in 2005, the fourth largest in the world. In 1999–2009, Russia's agriculture demonstrated steady growth, and the country turned from a grain importer to the third largest grain exporter after EU and USA.HP Pavilion DV6-1210SA battery

The production of meat has grown from 6,813,000 tonnes in 1999 to 9,331,000 tonnes in 2008, and continues to grow.

This restoration of agriculture was supported by credit policy of the government, helping both individual farmers and large privatized corporate farms, that once were Soviet kolkhozes and still own the significant share of agricultural land.HP Pavilion DM4 battery

While large farms concentrate mainly on the production of grain andhusbandry products, small private household plots produce most of the country's yield of potatoes, vegetables and fruits.

With access to three of the world's oceans—the Atlantic, Arctic, and Pacific—Russian fishing fleets are a major contributor to the world's fish supply.HP Pavilion DM3 battery

The total capture of fish was at 3,191,068 tons in 2005. Both exports and imports of fish and sea products grew significantly in the recent years, reaching correspondingly $2,415 and $2,036 millions in 2008.

Energy

In recent years, Russia has frequently been described in the media as an energy superpower.Compaq CQ35-100 battery

The country has the world's largest natural gas reserves, the 8th largest oil reserves, and the second largest coal reserves.Russia is the world's leading natural gas exporter and leadingnatural gas producer,while also the second largest oil exporter and largest oil producer, though Russia interchanges the latter status with Saudi Arabia from time to time.HP DV9700 battery

On 1 January 2011, Russia said it had begun scheduled oil shipments to China, with the plan to increase the rate up to 300,000 barrels per day in 2011.

Russia is the 3rd largest electricity producer in the world and the 5th largest renewable energy producer, the latter due to the well-developedhydroelectricity production in the country. HP Compaq 491278-001 battery

Large cascades of hydropower plants are built in European Russia along big rivers like Volga. The Asian part of Russia also features a number of major hydropower stations, however the gigantic hydroelectric potential of Siberia and the Russian Far East largely remains unexploited.HP Compaq HSTNN-LB51 battery

Russia was the first country to develop civilian nuclear power and to construct the world's first nuclear power plant. Currently the country is the 4th largestnuclear energy producer, with all nuclear power in Russia being managed by Rosatom State Corporation.HP Pavilion ZD8227 battery

The sector is rapidly developing, with an aim of increasing the total share of nuclear energy from current 16.9% to 23% by 2020. The Russian government plans to allocate 127 billion rubles ($5.42 billion) to a federal program dedicated to the next generation of nuclear energy technology. HP Compaq Business Notebook TC4400 battery

About 1 trillion rubles ($42.7 billion) is to be allocated from the federal budget to nuclear power and industry development before 2015.

Transport

Railway transport in Russia is mostly under the control of the state-run Russian Railways monopoly. HP Pavilion DV7-2085EL battery

The company accounts for over 3.6% of Russia’s GDP and handles 39% of the total freight traffic (including pipelines) and more than 42% of passenger traffic.The total length of common-used railway tracks exceeeds 85,500 km, second only to the U.S. Compaq Presario 300 battery

Over 44,000 km of tracks are electrified, which is the largest number in the world, and additionally there are more than 30,000 km of industrial non-common carrier lines. Railways in Russia, unlike in the most of the world, use broad gauge of1,520 mm (4 ft 11 5?6in), with the exception of 957 km on Sakhalin Island using narrow gauge of 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in). HP Compaq Business Notebook 6735S battery

The most renown railway in Russia is Trans-Siberian (Transsib), spanning a record 7 time zones and serving the longest single continuous services in the world, Moscow-Vladivostok (9,259 km, 5,753 mi), Moscow–Pyongyang (10,267 km, 6,380 mi) and Kiev–Vladivostok (11,085 km, 6,888 mi).HP Pavilion DV2820EA battery

As of 2006 Russia had 933,000 km of roads, of which 755,000 were paved. Some of these make up the Russian federal motorway system. With a large land area the road density is the lowest of all the G8 and BRIC countries.

102,000 km of inland waterways in Russia mostly go by natural rivers or lakes. HP Pavilion DV6373EA battery

In the European part of the country the network of channels connects the basins of major rivers. Russia's capital, Moscow, is sometimes called "the port of the five seas", due to its waterway connections to the Baltic, White, Caspian, Azov and Black Seas.HP Compaq 572190-001 battery

Major sea ports of Russia include Rostov-on-Don on the Azov Sea, Novorossiysk on the Black Sea, Astrakhan and Makhachkala on the Caspian, Kaliningrad and St Petersburg on the Baltic, Arkhangelsk on the White Sea, Murmansk on the Barents Sea, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky and Vladivostok on the Pacific Ocean.Compaq Presario CQ50-105EL battery

In 2008 the country owned 1448 merchant marine ships. The world's only fleet of nuclear icebreakers advances the economic exploitation of the Arctic continental shelf of Russia and the development of sea trade through the Northern Sea Route between Europe and East Asia.HP Pavilion DV7-1290EO battery

By total length of pipelines Russia is second only to the U.S. Currently many new pipeline projects are being realized, including Nord Stream and South Stream natural gas pipelines to Europe, and the Eastern Siberia – Pacific Ocean oil pipeline (ESPO) to the Russian Far East and China.Compaq Presario CQ71 battery

Russia has 1216 airports,[164] the busiest being Sheremetyevo, Domodedovo, and Vnukovo in Moscow, and Pulkovo in St Petersburg. The total length of runways in Russia exceeds 600,000 km.HP Pavilion DV6000 battery

Typically, major Russian cities have well-developed and diverse systems of public transport, with the most common varieties of exploited vehicles being bus,trolleybus and tram. Seven Russian cities, namely Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Samara, Yekaterinburg and Kazan, have undeground metros, while Volgograd features a metrotram.Compaq Presario CQ70 battery

Total length of metros in Russia is 465.4 km. Moscow Metro and Saint Petersburg Metro are the oldest in Russia, opened in 1935 and 1955 respectively. These two are among the fastest and busiest metro systems in the world, and are famous for rich decorations and unique designs of their stations, which is a common tradition on Russian metros and railways.HP Compaq 491278-001 battery

Science and technology

Science and technology in Russia blossomed since the Age of Enlightenment, when Peter the Great founded the Russian Academy of Sciences and Saint Petersburg State University, and polymathMikhail Lomonosov established the Moscow State University, paving the way for a strong native tradition in learning and innovation. HP TouchSmart TX2-1150EG battery

In the 19th and 20th centuries the country produced a large number ofnotable scientists and inventors.

The Russian physics school began with Lomonosov who proposed the law of conservation of matter preceding the energy conservation law. HP 520 battery

Russian discoveries and inventions in physics include the electric arc, electrodynamical Lenz's law, space groups of crystals, photoelectric cell, Cherenkov radiation, electron paramagnetic resonance, heterotransistors and 3D holography.Asus ADP-36EH C Adapter

Lasers and masers were co-invented by Nikolai Basov and Alexander Prokhorov, while the idea of tokamak for controlled nuclear fusion was introduced by Igor Tamm, Andrei Sakharov and Lev Artsimovich, leading eventually the modern international ITER project, where Russia is a party.Dell PA-10 Adapter

Since the time of Nikolay Lobachevsky (a Copernicus of Geometry who pioneered the non-Euclidean geometry) and a prominent tutor Pafnuty Chebyshev, the Russian mathematical school became one of the most influential in the world.Delta ADP-90FB Adapter

Chebyshev's students included Aleksandr Lyapunov, who founded the modern stability theory, and Andrey Markov who invented the Markov chains. In the 20th century Soviet mathematicians, such as Andrey Kolmogorov, Israel Gelfand and Sergey Sobolev, made major contributions to various areas of mathematics. http://www.battery-pack.co.uk/

Nine Soviet/Russian mathematicians were awarded with Fields Medal, a most prestigious award in mathematics. Recently Grigori Perelman was offered the first ever Clay Millennium Prize Problems Award for his final proof of the Poincaré conjecture in 2002.Delta ADP-90FB Adapter

Russian chemist Dmitry Mendeleev invented the Periodic table, the main framework of modern chemistry. Aleksandr Butlerov was one of the creators of the theory ofchemical structure, playing a central role in organic chemistry. Russian biologists include Dmitry Ivanovsky who discovered viruses, Dell PA-10 Adapter

Ivan Pavlov who was the first to experiment with the classical conditioning, and Ilya Mechnikov who was a pioneer researcher of the immune system and probiotics.

Many Russian scientists and inventors were émigrés, like Igor Sikorsky, who built the first airliners and modern-type helicopters; Vladimir Zworykin, often called the father of TV;Dell PA-12 Adapter

chemist Ilya Prigogine, noted for his work on dissipative structures and complex systems; Nobel Prize-winning economists Simon Kuznets and Wassily Leontief; physicist Georgiy Gamov (an author of the Big Bang theory) and social scientist Pitirim Sorokin. Many foreigners worked in Russia for a long time, like Leonard Euler and Alfred Nobel.Asus ADP-36EH C Adapter

Russian inventions include the arc welding by Nikolay Benardos, further developed by Nikolay Slavyanov, Konstantin Khrenov and other Russian engineers. Gleb Kotelnikov invented the knapsack parachute, while Evgeniy Chertovsky introduced the pressure suit.Dell Inspiron 6400 Adapter

Alexander Lodygin and Pavel Yablochkov were pioneers ofelectric lighting, and Mikhail Dolivo-Dobrovolsky introduced the first three-phase electric power systems, widely used today. Sergei Lebedev invented the first commercially viable and mass-produced type of synthetic rubber. Dell Inspiron 1520 Adapter

The first ternary computer, Setun, was developed by Nikolay Brusentsov,Russian achievements in the field of space technology and space exploration are traced back to Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, the father of theoretical austronautics.His works had inspired leading Soviet rocket engineers, such as Sergey Korolyov, Dell Inspiron 1525 Charger

Valentin Glushko and many others who contributed to the success of the Soviet space program on early stages of the Space Race and beyond. In 1957 the first Earth-orbiting artificial satellite, Sputnik 1, was launched; in 1961 the first human trip into space was successfully made by Yury Gagarin; HP Pavilion DV6000 Adapter

and many other Soviet and Russian space exploration records ensued, including the first spacewalk performed byAlexey Leonov, the first space exploration rover Lunokhod-1 and the first space station Salyut 1. Nowadays Russia is the largest satellite launcher[169]and the only provider of transport for space tourism services.Dell Latitude D820 Charger

In the 20th century a number of prominent Soviet aerospace engineers, inspired by the fundamental works of Nikolai Zhukovsky, Sergei Chaplygin and others, designed many hundreds of models of military and civilian aircraft and founded a number of KBs (Construction Bureaus) that now constitute the bulk of Russian United Aircraft Corporation.HP Pavilion DV9000 AC Adapter

Famous Russian aircrafts include the civilian Tu-series, Su and MiG fighter aircrafts, Ka and Mi-series helicopters; many Russian aircraft models are on the list of most produced aircraft in history.

Famous Russian battle tanks include T-34, the best tank design of World War II, Sony VGP-BPS8 Battery

and further tanks of T-series, including the most produced tank in history, T-54/55. The AK-47 and AK-74 by Mikhail Kalashnikov constitute the most widely used type of assault rifle throughout the world—so much so that more AK-type rifles have been manufactured than all other assault rifles combined.Sony VGP-BPS9 Battery

With all these achievements, however, since the late Soviet era Russia was lagging behind the West in a number of technologies, mostly those related to energy conservation and consumer goods production. The crisis of 1990-s led to the drastic reduction of the state support for science and a brain drain migration from Russia.Sony VGP-BPS12 Battery

In 2000-s, on the wave of a new economic boom, the situation in the Russian science and technology has improved, and the government launched a campaign aimed into modernisation and innovation. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev formulated top 5 priorities for the country's technological development: efficient energy use, Dell Inspiron 6400 Battery

IT (including both common products and the products combined withspace technology), nuclear energy and pharmaceuticals.Currently Russia is completing GLONASS (the only global satellite navigation system apart from American GPS), as well as developing its own fifth-generation jet fighter and constructing the first serial mobile nuclear plant.Dell Inspiron 1525 Battery

Demographics

Ethnic Russians comprise 79.8% of the country's population; however the Russian Federation is also home to several sizeable minorities. In total, 160 different other ethnic groups and indigenous peoples live within its borders. Though Russia's population is comparatively large, its density is low because of the country's enormous size. Dell XPS M1530 Battery

Population is densest in European Russia, near the Ural Mountains, and in southwest Siberia. 73% of the population lives in urban areas while 27% in rural ones. The preliminary results of the 2010 Census show a total population of 142,905,200. Dell Inspiron 6000 Battery

Russian population peaked at 148,689,000 in 1991, just before the breakup of the Soviet Union. It began to experience a rapid decline starting in the mid-90s.[177] The decline has slowed to near stagnation in recent years due to reduced death rates, increased birth rates and increased immigration.Dell Inspiron 9400 Battery

In 2009 Russia recorded annual population growth for the first time in 15 years, with total growth of 10,500.[178] 279,906 migrants arrived to the Russian Federation the same year, of which 93% came from CIS countries.[178] The number of Russian emigrants steadily declined from 359,000 in 2000 to 32,000 in 2009.Dell latitude D600 Battery

There are also an estimated 10 million illegal immigrants from the ex-Soviet states in Russia.[179] Roughly 116 million ethnic Russians live in Russia[175] and about 20 million more live in other former republics of the Soviet Union,[180] mostly in Ukraine and Kazakhstan.Dell Inspiron 8600 Battery

Russia's birth-rate is higher than that of most European countries (12.6 births per 1000 people in 2010[178] compared to the European Union average of 9.90 per 1000),while the death rate is substantially higher (in 2010, Russia's death rate was 14.3 per 1000 people[178] compared to the EU average of 10.28 per 1000).Dell Latitude D610 Battery

However, the Russian Ministry of Health and Social Affairs predicts that by 2011 the death rate will equal the birth rate due to increase in fertility and decline in mortality. The government is implementing a number of programs designed to increase the birth rate and attract more migrants. Dell Inspiron 1520 Battery

Monthly child support payments were doubled to US$55, and a one-time payment of US$9,200 was offered to women who had a second child since 2007. In 2009 Russia saw the highest birth rate since the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Language

Russia's 160 ethnic groups speak some 100 languages.Dell XPS M1710 Battery

According to the 2002 census, 142.6 million people speak Russian, followed by Tatar with 5.3 million and Ukrainian with 1.8 million speakers.[189] Russian is the only official state language, but the Constitution gives the individual republics the right to make their native language co-official next to Russian.Dell XPS M1330 Battery

Despite its wide dispersal, the Russian language is homogeneous throughout Russia. Russian is the most geographically widespread language of Eurasia and the most widely spoken Slavic language. It belongs to the Indo-European language family and is one of the living members of the East Slavic languages; the others being Belarusian and Ukrainian (and possibly Rusyn).Dell XPS M1210 Battery

Written examples of Old East Slavic (Old Russian) are attested from the 10th century onwards.

The Russian Language Center says a quarter of the world's scientific literature is published in Russian. Apple A1185 Battery

It is also applied as a means of coding and storage of universal knowledge—60–70% of all world information is published in the English and Russian languages.[193] Russian is one of the six official languages of the UN.Apple Powerbook G4 Battery

Religion

Orthodox Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Judaism are Russia’s traditional religions, legally a part of Russia's "historical heritage".[195] Estimates of believers widely fluctuate among sources, and some reports put the number of non-believers in Russia at 16–48% of the population.Apple MacBook Pro 17 inch Battery

Easter is the most popular religious festival in Russia, celebrated by more than 90% of all Russian citizens, including large number of non-religious. More than three-fourth of the Russians celebrate Easter by making traditional Easter cakes, coloured eggs and paskha.Asus EEE PC Battery

Traced back to the Christianization of Kievan Rus' in the 10th century, Russian Orthodoxy is the dominant religion in the country; approximately 100 million citizens consider themselves Russian Orthodox Christians. 95% of the registered Orthodox parishes belong to the Russian Orthodox Church while there are a number of smaller Orthodox Churches.Compaq V6000 Battery

However, the vast majority of Orthodox believers do not attend church on a regular basis. Smaller Christian denominations such as Catholics, Armenian Gregorians, and various Protestants exist.

Estimates of the number of Muslims in Russia range from 7–9 million by the local sources to 15–20 million by Western and Islamic sources.HP 6715B Battery

Also there are 3 to 4 million temporary Muslim migrants from the post-Soviet states. Most Muslims live in the Volga-Ural region, as well as in the Caucasus, Moscow, St. Petersburg and Western Siberia.

Buddhism is traditional for three regions of the Russian Federation: Buryatia, Tuva, and Kalmykia.HP 6910P Battery

Some residents of the Siberian and Far Eastern regions, such as Yakutia and Chukotka, practiceshamanist, pantheistic, and pagan rites, along with the major religions. Induction into religion takes place primarily along ethnic lines. Slavs are overwhelmingly Orthodox Christian, Turkic speakers are predominantly Muslim, and Mongolic peoples are Buddhists. HP NX6325 Battery

Health

The Russian Constitution guarantees free, universal health care for all citizens.[204] In practice, however, free health care is partially restricted due to propiskaregime.HP NC6400 Battery

While Russia has more physicians, hospitals, and health care workers than almost any other country in the world on a per capita basis,[206]since the dissolution of the Soviet Union the health of the Russian population has declined considerably as a result of social, economic, and lifestyle changes;HP NX6110 Battery

he trend has been reversed only in the recent years, with average life expectancy having increased 2.4 years for males and 1.4 years for females between 2006-09.[178]

As of 2009, the average life expectancy in Russia was 62.77 years for males and 74.67 years for females.HP DV6000 Battery

The biggest factor contributing to the relatively low male life expectancy for males is a high mortality rate among working-age males from preventable causes (e.g., alcohol poisoning, smoking, traffic accidents, violent crime).HP DV9000 Battery

As a result of the large gender difference in life expectancy and because of the lasting effect of high casualties in World War II, the gender imbalance remains to this day and there are 0.859 males to every female.HP Pavilion ZE4400 Battery

Education

Russia has a free education system guaranteed to all citizens by the Constitution, however an entry to higher education is highly competitive.[210] As a result of great emphasis on science and technology in education, Russian medical, mathematical, scientific, and aerospace research is generally of a high order.[ibm x60s battery

Since 1990 the 11-year school training has been introduced. Education in state-owned secondary schools is free; first tertiary (university level) education is free with reservations: a substantial share of students is enrolled for full pay (many state institutions started to open commercial positions in the last years).ibm t60 battery

In 2004 state spending for education amounted to 3.6% of GDP, or 13% of consolidated state budget.[213] The Government allocates funding to pay the tuition fees within an established quota or number of students for each state institution. In the higher education institutions, students are paid a small stipend and provided with free housing.ibm z60t battery

The oldest and largest Russian universities are Moscow State University and Saint Petersburg State University. In 2000s, in order to create higher education and research institutions of comparable scale in the Russian regions, the government launched the program of establishing the federal universities, Sony VGP-BPS2 Battery

mostly by merging the existing large regional universities and research institutes and providing them with a special funding. These new institutions include Southern Federal University, Siberian Federal University, Kazan Volga Federal University, North-Eastern Federal University and Far Eastern Federal University.Sony VGP-BPS5 Battery

Folk culture and cuisine

There are over 160 different ethnic groups and indigenous peoples in Russia. Ethnic Russians with their Slavic Orthodox traditions, Tatars and Bashkirswith their Turkic Muslim culture, Buddhist nomadic Buryats and Kalmyks, Sony VGP-BPS3 Battery

Shamanistic peoples of the Extreme North and Siberia, highlanders of the Northern Caucasus, Finno-Ugric peoples of the Russian North West and Volga Region all contribute to the cultural diversity of the country.

Handicraft, like Dymkovo toy, khokhloma, gzhel and palekh miniature represent an important aspect of Russian folk culture.Toshiba PA3465U-1BRS Battery

Ethnic Russian clothes includekaftan, kosovorotka and ushanka for men, sarafan and kokoshnik for women, with lapti and valenki as common shoes. The clothes of Cossacks from Southern Russia include burka and papaha, which they share with the peoples of the Northern Caucasus.Toshiba PA3331U-1BRS Battery

Russian cuisine widely uses fish, poultry, mushrooms, berries, and honey. Crops of rye, wheat, barley, and millet provide the ingredients for various breads,pancakes and cereals, as well as for kvass, beer and vodka drinks. Black bread is rather popular in Russia, compared to the rest of the world. Toshiba PA3399U-1BRS Battery

Flavourful soups and stews include shchi, borsch, ukha, solyanka and okroshka. Smetana (a heavy sour cream) is often added to soups and salads. Pirozhki, blini andsyrniki are native types of pancakes. Chicken Kiev, pelmeni and shashlyk are popular meat dishes, the last two being of Tatar and Caucasus origin respectively. Toshiba PA3166U-1BRS Battery

Other meat dishes include stuffed cabbage rolls (golubtsy) usually filled with meat. Salads include Russian salad, vinaigrette and Dressed Herring.

Russia's large number of ethnic groups have distinctive traditions of folk music. Typical ethnic Russian musical instruments are gusli, balalaika, zhaleika andgarmoshka.Toshiba PA3479U-1BRS Battery

Folk music had great influence on Russian classical composers, and in modern times it is a source of inspiration for a number of popular folk bands, including Melnitsa. Russian folk songs, as well as patriotic Soviet songs, constitute the bulk of repertoire of the world-renown Red Army choir and other popular ensembles.Canon LP-E5 Battery

Russians have many traditions, including the washing in banya, a hot steam bath somewhat similar to sauna.[42] Old Russian folklore takes its roots in the pagan Slavic religion. Many Russian fairy tales and epic bylinas were adaptated for animation films, or for feature movies by the prominent directors like Aleksandr PtushkoCanon EOS 450D Battery

(Ilya Muromets, Sadko) and Aleksandr Rou (Morozko, Vasilisa the Beautiful). Russian poets, including Pyotr Yershov and Leonid Filatov, made a number of well-known poetical interpretations of the classical fairy tales, and in some cases, like that of Alexander Pushkin, also created fully original fairy tale poems of great popularity.Canon MV700 Battery 

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