Country Briefs: The largest country in the world, the land caressed by nature and embellished by its culture, tradition, historical monuments, vibrant events and the modesty of its inhabitants, Russia is a place worth visiting.
Spreading over an area of 17,075,200 square kilometers, Russia stretches over a vast expanse of Europe and Asia. Russia shares its borders with Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia and North Korea.
An approximate population of 142,800,000 people makes Russia the 8th most populous country of the world. The capital city of Russia is its city with maximum population, Moscow. Moscow is a wonderful city that keeps mesmerizes all the visitors with its wonderful lures such as the Red Square, the Kremlin, and Saint Basil?s Cathedral etc.
Like its large area, the history of Russia too is a long and intricate story. It commences with the distribution of the Russian land into different tribes that were variously ruled by the Goths, Huns and Turkish Avars.
Around 8th century a group of Scandinavians, the Varangians came to prominence and established a capital at the Slavic city of Novgorod. The Varangians fused into the Slavs that constituted maximum population at that time.
During their prosperous reign, the Varangians affiliated with the Byzantines and they moved the capital to Kiev. However during the 11th century the nomadic Turkish people Kipchaks invaded several parts of southern Russia and founded a nomadic state there.
Near 13th century the southern and central regions of Europe were invaded and plundered by the Tatars (Turkic people of eastern Europe and central Asia) whereas the western part of Russia was included under the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The northern Russia was largely affected by the Mongol invasion till 14th century.
In 1571 Moscow suffered large-scale devastation due to the Crimean War. In 1469 Ivan the Great married the Byzantine Princess, Sophia Paleologue and became the "grand duke of all the Russias".
At the end of 16th century Russian Cossacks established fist settlements in Western Serbia. By 17th century Eastern Siberia also witnessed Russian settlements. In 1648 when the Cossack Semyon Dzhnev discovered the strait between America and Asia, a greater Russian empire was born.
Russia further progressed a lot under the reign of Catherine the Great. Catherine did not just establish Russia as a significant Asian power but also put it parallel to Britain, France and Germany. She also augmented the Russian empire by Partitions of Poland. Russian territory also enhanced due to the Russian Turkish Wars.
In 1812 Russia faced an attack from napoleon armies. In 1813 Russian army and its allies successfully defeated French armies at the Battle of Leipzig. Russia also won the War of 1877-1878 that led to the recognition of independence of Romania, Serbia, Montenegro and Bulgaria.
But Russian side was badly wrecked during the First World War. The gradual decay of the economy led to widespread rioting in the major cities of the Russian Empire and the deposition of the Romanovs.
When the 1917 Russian Revolution ended, St. Petersburg acquired control over Bolsheviks (who later changed their name to the Communist Party) and Moscow went under the governance of Vladimir Lenin. After Lenin?s death in 1924, Stalin came to power.
In 1941 Germany and its allies invaded Soviet Union. In 1943 the historic Battle of Stalingrad took place in which the Soviet troops ruined the German army and other Axis powers in and around the city. The Soviet victory at Stalingrad marked the commencement of liberation of Soviet Union.
In 1980 Mikhail Gorbachev came to power and introduced policies of glasnost and perestroika. But these policies caused immense chaos in the government of Soviet Union. Finally due to the ongoing turmoil and disputes USSR disintegrated into 15 independent republics and so Russia acquired independence.
Boris Yeltsin was declared the president of Russia before its separation from USSR. However Yeltsin remained in power till 1990 after whom Vladimir Putin was elected the president in 2000. Under Putin's presidency Russia witnessed significant development in each and every area.
- Tp: b = autonomous region, a = autonomous province, g = federal city, k = territory, o = region, r = republic.
- HASC: Hierarchical administrative subdivision codes.
- ISO: Province codes from ISO 3166-2. For full identification in a global context, prefix "RU-" to the code (ex:RU-TUL represents Tula).
- FIPS: Codes from FIPS PUB 10-4.
- Reg: Federal okrug containing the subject. For key, see table below.
- Post: First three digits of typical postal code (usually the capital).
- TZ: Time zone (hours offset from GMT during standard time; all areas observe DST). Some divisions are in more than one time zone.
- Population: 2002-10-09 census, preliminary results.