Russia

Russia i/ˈrʌʃə/ or /ˈrʊʃə/ (Russian: Россия, Rossiya; ), also officially known as the Russian Federation (Russian: Российская Федерация, Rossiyskaya Federatsiya; ), is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects. From northwest to southeast, Russia shares borders with Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland (both via Kaliningrad Oblast), Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia, and North Korea. It also has maritime borders with Japan by the Sea of Okhotsk, and the U.S. state of Alaska across 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 world's ninth most populous nation with 143 million people as of 2012. Extending across the whole of northern Asia, 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. Russia has the world's largest forest reserves and its lakes contain approximately one-quarter of the world's fresh water.

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. In 988 it adopted Orthodox Christianity from the Byzantine Empire, beginning the synthesis of Byzantine and Slavic cultures that defined Russian culture for the next millennium. 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. 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 became the successor state of the Russian SFSR following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, and is recognized as the continuing legal personality of the All-Union state.

The Russian economy is the world's ninth largest by nominal GDP and sixth largest by purchasing power parity, with the 3rd largest nominal military budget. Russia is one of the world's fastest growing major economies. It is one of the five recognized nuclear weapons states and possesses the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction. Russia is a great power and a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, a member of the G8, G20, the Council of Europe, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, the Eurasian Economic Community, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the World Trade Organisation (WTO), and is the leading member of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

Read more about RussiaEtymology, Politics, Geography, Economy, Demographics

Other articles related to "russia":

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... in 1492, a merchant fleet laden with grain and carrying ambassadors of Ivan III of Russia sailed to Denmark, marking the establishment of the first ... Returning from Russia in 1554, Chancellor brought a detailed description of Moscow and the Russian north, which were largely unknown to Europe, as ... In 1555, Queen Mary issued a charter authorising the Muscovy Company to trade with Russia via the White Sea route ...
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... Tourism in Russia has seen rapid growth since the late Soviet times, first domestic tourism and then international tourism, fueled by the rich cultural heritage and great natural variety of the country ... Major tourist routes in Russia include a journey around the Golden Ring of ancient cities, cruises on the big rivers like the Volga, and long journeys on the famous Trans-Siberian Railway ... The most visited destinations in Russia are Moscow and Saint Petersburg, the current and the former capitals of the country ...

Famous quotes containing the word russia:

    In Russia there is an emigration of intelligence: émigrés cross the frontier in order to read and to write good books. But in doing so they contribute to making their fatherland, abandoned by spirit, into the gaping jaws of Asia that would like to swallow our little Europe.
    Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900)

    ... gathering news in Russia was like mining coal with a hatpin.
    Mary Heaton Vorse (1874–1966)

    ... from Russia I didn’t bring out a single happy memory, only sad, tragic ones. The nightmare of pogroms, the brutality of Cossacks charging young Socialists, fear, shrieks of terror ...
    Golda Meir (1898–1978)