General information about Russia


Russia is the largest country in the world. Its area is 17 098.242 thousand sq. km. the State is located in the Eastern part of Europe and Northern Asia.

From North to South the country stretches over 4000 km and from West to East for almost 10,000 km, Russia shares borders with 16 countries. In the South-East - with North Korea (DPRK), on the South by China, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Georgia, in the South-West - with Ukraine, in the West with Belarus, Latvia, Estonia, Finland and Norway, the Kaliningrad region borders with Lithuania and Poland.


  • Government: Federal Republic
  • Head of state: President
  • Head of government: Prime Minister
  • Legislature: Bicameral Parliament (the State Duma and the Federation Council).
  • Capital city: Moscow
  • Symbols: Flag and Emblem
  • Administrative divisions:

    In the Russian Federation 89 equal subjects, including 22 in the Republic, 50 regions, 10 districts, 6 territories and 2 Federal cities - Moscow and St. Petersburg, one Autonomous oblast and 10 Autonomous districts. The whole territory is divided into 7 Federal districts.

  • Size: 17 098.242 thousand sq. km.
  • Population: About 143,800 million people.
  • Official language: Russian;
  • Religion: Christianity (Orthodox)
  • Monetary unit: Ruble
  • Largest cities
    • Moscow
    • St. Petersburg
    • Novosibirsk
    • Nizhny Novgorod
    • Yekaterinburg
    • Samara
    • Omsk
    • Chelyabinsk
    • Kazan
    • Perm
    • Ufa
    • Rostov
    • Volgograd

Russia is a country situated on two continents, in Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. The largest country in the world - 17 125 422 sq/km or 1/9 of the total land area of the Earth, which is twice more than second-placed Canada.

Russia borders with 19 countries (the largest number in the world), from them on land with the following countries: Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania - in the North-West, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine - in the West, Abkhazia, Georgia, South Ossetia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan in the South, China, Mongolia, North Korea - in the South-East; and on the sea with Turkey in the South-West, with Japan and USA in the East. In addition, Kaliningrad region, Russia's enclave on the Baltic sea, bordered by Poland and Lithuania on the East side.

Russia also belong to the island of Novaya Zemlya, Severnaya Zemlya, Vaigach, the archipelago of Franz Josef, new Siberian Islands, Wrangel island in the Arctic ocean to the North, the Kuril Islands (some of which is still disputed by Japan) and Sakhalin island in the Pacific ocean on the East.

In the East Russia is washed by the Japan, Okhotsk and Bering seas and the Bering Strait; on the North - the Laptev sea and the White, Barents, Kara, Chukchi and East Siberian seas; on the West by the Baltic sea and the Gulf of Finland; in the South - the Black, Azov and Caspian seas.

After the collapse of the USSR in late 1991, the Russian Federation was recognized by the international community as the Republic and the Federal structure adopted in the UN Security Council and other international organizations. The independence of the Russian Federation was declared on 24 August 1991. The head of state is the President (select 1 every 6 years), Executive power is vested in the government headed by Prime Minister (appointed by Parliament on representation of the President).

The State Duma and the Federation Council form a bicameral Parliament. The lower House, the State Duma - 450 deputies, elections are held 1 time per 5 years. The upper House, the Federation Council - 170 senators are appointed by regional parliaments.

Russian Federation comprises 22 of the Republic, one Autonomous oblast (Jewish), 4 Autonomous districts, 9 territories and 46 provinces. Moscow, St. Petersburg and Sevastopol have a direct Federal subordination and city of Federal significance. Just for 2015 in the Russian Federation has 85 subjects.

Capital of Russia - Moscow. The largest city in Russia with a population of 12 197 596 people. The Heart Of Russia - Moscow Kremlin.

On the territory of Russia there are 15 cities, the largest cities with populations over 1 million people. This is Moscow, St.-Petersburg (over 5 million); Novosibirsk, Ekaterinburg (1.5 million people); Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan, Samara, Chelyabinsk, Omsk, Rostov-on-don, Ufa, Krasnoyarsk, Perm, Volgograd, Voronezh.

Only Russia covers 11 time zones with a difference from +2 to +12 hours relative to UTC.

The Population was 146 293 111 (2014). Most people in Russia (about 80%) lives in European part (Central, southern, North Caucasian, Northwest, Volga and Urals Federal districts). The remaining 20% in the Asian part of Russia (Siberian, far Eastern districts). The majority of the population lives in urban areas - 75%.

In Russia there live representatives of more than 200 nationalities. The largest ethnic group - the Russians - 80% of the population. Tatars - 4%, Ukrainians 3%, Chuvashs, Bashkirs, Belarusians, Mordvins, Chechens, Armenians, Avars and other ethnic groups make up 1% or less.

The Peoples of Russia speak more than 100 languages and dialects. Russian is the native language for about 130 million citizens (92% of Russia's population). It is the state language of the Russian Federation. Also, common Ukrainian, Tatar, Armenian and other languages.

In Russia are Christians (mainly Orthodox), Muslims, Buddhists (mainly in Buryatia, Kalmykia and Tuva - Siberia), Jews, pagans and members of other religious denominations. The share of Russian citizens are Orthodox Christians, about 70% of all people in the country. The number of Muslims is 15% of the population. Staunch atheists make up 6% of the population.

Russia has the world's largest reserves of mineral and energy resources, large reserves of various minerals, the most important of which is oil, gas, coal, gold and other strategic minerals. Russia ranks first in the world's forests, which cover 45% of the country, has approximately 1/5 of the world reserves of wood. Also, Russia is the largest number of lakes containing about a quarter of the world's unfrozen freshwater reserves.

Despite the vastness of the territory, agriculture is a relatively small portion of the land is arable land covers only 8% of the country. A significant part of the territory is the permafrost zone.

About 3/4 of the country is composed of plains. In the West, extends East European plain is one of the largest plains of the world, which is almost all the European part of Russia. In the South are the Northern slopes of the Caucasus mountains, where the highest point of the country and Europe - mount Elbrus (5.642 meters). In the East the plain is limited to low old Ural mountains up to 2,000 meters. And to the East of the Urals lies the West Siberian plain with vast swampy areas, bordered on the South-East of the Altai mountains up to 4.500 meters. Closer to the coast of the Pacific ocean in the East is a region of mountain ranges and plateaus of northeast Asia. So, the Eastern part of the country, except in the valleys of large rivers, is a mountainous countryside. On the Kamchatka Peninsula is located 120 volcanoes, 23 of which are current. The highest of them, Kluchevskaya Sopka, the height of 4.750 metres. The largest river of the country - Volga, Northern Dvina, don, Irtysh, Ob, Angara, Yenisei, Lena, Amur. Largest lakes: lake Baikal (South-East) - the deepest and largest in the world by volume, lake Ladoga, lake Onega (North-East).

Most of the country is within the temperate climatic zone. The extreme Northern areas and the Northern Islands belong to the Arctic zone, and some southern areas close to the tropics. The climate of the whole territory of the country is continental, which is particularly evident in the large seasonal amplitude of temperatures and scarcity of rainfall. On most of the territory winter is long. Particularly severe frosts occur in Eastern Yakutia (-45..-50 degrees). In the European part of Russia winter temperature ranges from 0 to -10 degrees. In summer the average temperature is +15..+25 degrees. In the warm half of the year from may to October falls and the bulk of precipitation.

The Difference climatic zones are characterized by a variety of natural areas. In Arctic deserts of the far North mosses, Arctic poppies, buttercups; in the tundra to these types added dwarf birch, willow, alder. Typical for taiga spruce, fir, cedar, larch. South and West begins a zone of broad-leaved forests of oak, maple, lime, hornbeam. Also, in the country you can find a lot of rare species: Mongolian oak, Manchurian maple, elm, walnut. In forest-steppe and steppe parts of the country - oak forest, motley grass, cereals. In the black sea subtropics is dominated by forests of pubescent oak, juniper, boxwood, alder. On the coast - eucalyptus, Palma.

A rich and diverse fauna of the country. In tundra and Arctic areas: Arctic Fox, reindeer, Arctic hare, seals, walruses, polar bear. In the forest inhabited by bear, lynx, elk, wolverines, elk, sable, ermine, Chipmunk, squirrel; nest of the wood grouse, hazel grouse, black grouse, woodpecker, Nutcracker. In addition, for the taiga is characterized by the presence of a huge number of mosquitoes. In deciduous forests there are wild boar, deer, mink, and numerous birds, lizards. In the forests of the Far East - a rare Ussuri tigers, bears, deer. Among the animals of the steppe zone is dominated by small rodents, a lot of saigas, badgers, foxes, and large steppe birds (great bustard, common crane, little bustard). In the desert there are gazelles, jackals, sand cat, and numerous rodents. Many reptiles, turtles. In the Caucasus region is home to mountain goats, Caucasian deer, porcupine, leopard, hyena, bear, and also a large number of reptiles.


It is believed that the Slavic tribes migrated to the territory of modern Russia from the West in the fifth century ad the First Slavic state on this territory appeared in the IX century with its center in Novgorod. Kievan Rus is the cradle of the Russian nation, where the formation of the Russian nation in IX - XI centuries. In the XII century there were two strong States Vladimir-Suzdal Principality and Novgorod Republic. In the XIII century the Principality of Novgorod repulsed the invasion of the Swedes and Germans (battle of the Neva in 1240 and the battle of the Ice 1242 year). East of the Principality at this time was subjected to the Mongol invasion and almost 250 years, were in vassalage of the khans of the Golden Horde. In the XIV century the Moscow Principality began to develop a centralized state, the formation of which actually ended in 1547, when Ivan IV the terrible was crowned Tsar. In XVI - XVII centuries Russia expanded its borders and in the Russian Kingdom became the Volga region, the Urals, Western Siberia.In the West, the appetites of Russia were less satisfied with: the war with the Commonwealth that killed almost half the population of the Great Lithuanian Principality, Moscow was able to purchase only a small area. In the middle of XVII century the Tsar of Russia was Alexei Mikhailovich, the first Romanov dynasty which ruled the state for 1917. At the end of XVII century on the throne of Russia went up Peter 1, whose leadership has fundamentally changed the destiny of Russia. The country received access to the Baltic sea and further expanded its influence in the region. In 1721 Russia was proclaimed an Empire.Among the many historical events before 1917, it should be noted the reign of Catherine II the great, which is considered the heyday of the Russian Empire; the Patriotic war of 1812 and the expulsion of Napoleon from Russia, which ended with the fall of the French Empire; the reform of 1861 which abolished serfdom in Russia; the revolution of 1905, which led to the creation of a first Russian Parliament - Duma, which existed till 1918.In the years of the highest prosperity (1914) Russian Empire occupied about 22000000 square kilometres and is divided into four main regions: Russia, which included all of Eastern Europe, the Grand Duchy of Finland and most of Poland; the Caucasus; all of Northern Asia, or Siberia; Russian Central Asia. After the revolution of 1917, Russia went through a Civil war, collectivization, repressions of the 1930-ies. The great Patriotic war. After the collapse of the USSR in December 1991, Russia became an independent state.Russia is a member of the UN, ILO, IMF, UNESCO, who, Council of Europe, CIS.


a Large part of Russia lies in the temperate continental climatic zone, Islands of the Arctic ocean and Northern continental areas are in the Arctic and subarctic zones. The black sea coast of Caucasus is located in a fairly hot subtropical zone. The climate is almost everywhere continental, with cold winters with prolonged snow cover and hot summers. The coldest place of Northern hemisphere (with the minimal January temperature up to -72 C) - the town of Oymyakon in Eastern Siberia. In the South the Far East the climate is temperate monsoon with average January temperatures from 0 C to -5 C. the Highest rainfall occurs in the mountains of Caucasus and Altai (up to 2000 mm. per year), the most droughty region is the Caspian lowland (about 150 mm of precipitation per year).


Russia has a visa regime. For citizens of member States of the CIS and have signed the agreement on visa-free regime, the entrance is free. For getting visa it is necessary to submit to the Russian Consulate passport, an invitation (if it is not sent by telex), 3-4 passport photos in standard sizes and fill in the questionnaire. The above requirements are common to all Russian consular posts, each Consulate can make changes and additions to these requirements without any prior notice. In most Russian consulates for visa are required to present the original passport. The invitation, which issued the entry visa to Russia is issued only by the Consular service of the MFA of Russia. The right to issue invitations possess only those Russian companies, which registered in Ministry of foreign Affairs. If you plan to visit Moscow, it is better not to use the invitations issued by the regional firms - to register this visa at the Moscow office of visas and registrations will not be easy. Children under 16 are not necessarily to individual visa if their names appear in the passport and visa of the accompanying parent or guardian. Persons intending to stay in Russia longer than 90 days, a visa must present a certificate of absence of HIV infection, valid at the time of its presentation (the validity of the certificate is defined as 30 days from the date of issue). Tourist visa is issued as single entry for a period not exceeding 25 days. To obtain a private visa need the original invitation ("notice"), which can be obtained in the district Office of visas and registration (OVIR) of the Ministry of internal Affairs of Russia. The procedure of registration of the notice is 45 days. Private visas are issued for single trips to Russia and are only valid at the place of issue of the notice. In addition to one-time tourist visas are also issued a business visa (single, double and multiple, are drawn in the first place). The MFA prepares a multiple-entry visa within 21 working days. The children's names in a multiple-entry visa shall not be paid, and the visa they need to apply separately. Accompanying family members can also receive multiple-entry business visa. Multiple entry visas for periods ranging from 3 to 12 months are most convenient for multiple trips to Russia. Russian transit visa is valid for up to 72 hours and issued to persons transiting through Russia to a third country. In accordance with the laws of the Russian Federation, must register your visa within 72 hours from the date of entry into the territory of Russia. Single or double entry visa can be registered at the place of accommodation (multiple - for a period not exceeding 90 days).

Background information

January 1-2 (New Year) 7 January (Christmas) 23 February (Defender of the Fatherland Day), March 8 (international Women's Day), 1-2 may (Spring and Labour), 9 may (Victory Day), June 12 (Independence Day), 4 November (Day of Accord and Reconciliation).

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