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Rossiya, also officially known as the Russian Federation (Russia)
At 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. Extending across the whole of northern Asia and most of eastern Europe, Russia spans nine time zones and incorporates a wide range of environments and landforms.
- Russia has the world’s largest reserves of mineral and energy resources and is the largest producer of oil and natural gas globally.
- 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.
- 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.
- Following the Russian Revolution, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic became the largest and leading constituent of the Soviet Union, the world’s first constitutionally socialist state and a recognized superpower, which played a decisive role in the Allied victory in World War II.
- The Soviet era saw some of the most significant technological achievements of the 20th century, including 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.
- However, this proper name became more prominent in the later history, and the country typically was called by its inhabitants “Русская Земля” which could be translated as “Russian Land” or “Land of 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.
- In 1648, the peasants of Ukraine joined the Zaporozhian Cossacks in rebellion against Poland-Lithuania during the Khmelnytsky Uprising, because of the social and religious oppression they suffered under Polish rule.
- In 1648 the Bering Strait between Asia and North America was passed for the first time by Fedot Popov and Semyon Dezhnyov.
- On the Baltic Sea Peter founded a new capital called Saint Petersburg, later known as Russia’s Window to Europe.
- The uprising was put down, but the government was forced to concede major reforms, including granting the freedoms of speech and assembly, the legalization of political parties, and the creation of an elected legislative body, the State Duma of the Russian Empire.
- The Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic together with the Ukrainian, Byelorussian, and Transcaucasion Soviet Socialist Republics, formed the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), or Soviet Union, on 30 December 1922.
- In August 1945 the Soviet Army ousted Japanese from China’s Manchukuo and North Korea, contributing to the allied victory over Japan.
- The depression of state and economy led to the collapse of social services; the birth rate plummeted while the death rate skyrocketed.
- While many reforms made during the Putin presidency have been generally criticized by Western nations as un-democratic, Putin’s leadershipover the return of order, stability, and progress has won him widespread popularity in Russia.
- According Steve White, 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.
- 46 oblasts (provinces): most common type of federal subjects, with federally appointed governor and locally elected legislature.
- These new institutions include Southern Federal University, Siberian Federal University, Kazan Volga Federal University, North-Eastern Federal University and Far Eastern Federal University.
- Since the Christianization of Kievan Rus’ for several ages Russian architecture was influenced predominantly by the Byzantine architecture.
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