EtymologyThe name ''Russia'' is derived from Rus', a medieval state populated primarily by the . However, the proper name became more prominent in later history, and the country typically was called by its inhabitants "Русская земля" (''Russkaya zemlya''), which can be translated as "Russian land". In order to distinguish this state from other states derived from it, it is denoted as '' '' by modern historiography. The name ''Rus'' itself comes from the early medieval , a group of merchants and warriors who relocated from across the and founded a state centred on that later became Kievan Rus'. A version of the name Rus' was , which was used as one of several designations for East Slavic and regions, and commonly as a designation for the lands of Rus'. The current name of the country, Россия (''Rossiya''), comes from the designation of the Rus', Ρωσσία ''Rossía''spelled Ρωσία (''Rosía'' ) in . The standard way to refer to the citizens of Russia is "Russians" in English. There are two words in Russian which are commonly translated into English as "Russians"one is "русские" (''russkiye''), which most often refers to and the other is "россияне" (''rossiyane''), which refers to citizens of Russia, regardless of ethnicity.
Early historyOne of the first bones of over 40,000 years old were found in Southern Russia, in the villages of Kostyonki and Borshchyovo situated on the banks of the . developed in the beginning in the . Remnants of these steppe civilizations were discovered in places such as Ipatovo, , and Pazyryk, which bear the earliest known traces of . In , the Pontic-Caspian Steppe was known as . In late 8th century BCE, traders brought classical civilization to the trade emporiums in and Phanagoria. In the 3rd to 4th centuries AD, the kingdom of existed in Southern Russia, which was later overrun by Huns. Between the 3rd and 6th centuries AD, the Bosporan Kingdom, which was a Hellenistic polity that succeeded the Greek colonies, was also overwhelmed by nomadic invasions led by warlike tribes such as the Huns and Pannonian Avars, Eurasian Avars. The Khazars, who were of Turkic peoples, Turkic origin, ruled the lower Volga basin steppes between the Caspian and Black Seas until the 10th century. The ancestors of modern are the List of ancient Slavic peoples, Slavic tribes, whose original home is thought by some scholars to have been the wooded areas of the Pinsk Marshes, one of the largest wetlands in Europe. The East Slavs gradually settled Western Russia in two waves: one moving from Kiev towards present-day Suzdal and Murom and another from Polotsk towards 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 Finnic peoples, including the Volga Finns#Merya, Merya, the Volga Finns#Muroma, Muromians, and the Volga Finns#Meshchera, Meshchera.
Kievan Rus'The establishment of the first East Slavic states in the 9th century coincided with the arrival of ''Varangians'', the Vikings who ventured along the waterways extending from the eastern Baltic From the Varangians to the Greeks, to the Black and Volga trade route, Caspian Seas. According to the ''Primary Chronicle'', a Varangian from the , named Rurik, was elected ruler of in 862. In 882, his successor Oleg of Novgorod, Oleg ventured south and conquered Kiev, which had been previously paying tribute to the Khazars. Rurik's son Igor of Kiev, Igor and Igor's son Sviatoslav I of Kiev, Sviatoslav subsequently subdued all local East Slavs, East Slavic tribes to Kievan rule, destroyed the Khazar Khaganate, and launched several military expeditions to Paphlagonian expedition of the Rus', Byzantium and Caspian expeditions of the Rus', Persia. 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 the Wise (1019–1054) constitute the Golden Age of Kiev, which saw Christianisation of Kievan Rus', the acceptance of Orthodox Christianity from Byzantine Empire, Byzantium, and the creation of the first East Slavic written legal code, the ''Russkaya Pravda''. In the 11th and 12th centuries, constant incursions by nomadic Turkic tribes, such as the Kipchaks and the Pechenegs, caused a massive migration of the East Slavic populations to the safer, heavily forested regions of the north, particularly to the area known as Zalesye. The age of feudalism and decentralization had come, marked by constant in-fighting between members of the Rurikid 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. Ultimately Kievan Rus' disintegrated, with the final blow being the Mongol invasion of Kievan Rus', 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 two centuries. Galicia-Volhynia was eventually assimilated by the Kingdom of Poland (1025–1385), Kingdom of Poland, while the Novgorod Republic and Mongol-dominated Vladimir-Suzdal, two regions on the periphery of Kiev, established the basis for the modern Russian nation. The Novgorod Republic escaped Mongol occupation and together with Pskov retained some degree of autonomy during the time of the Mongol yoke; they 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 Northern Crusades, Germanic crusaders in the Battle of the Ice in 1242.
Grand Duchy of MoscowThe most powerful state to eventually arise after the destruction of Kievan Rus' was the , 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 the Central Rus' in the early 14th century, gradually becoming the leading force in the process of the Rus' lands' reunification and expansion of Russia. Moscow's last rival, the Novgorod Republic, prospered as the chief fur trade centre and the easternmost port of the Hanseatic League. Times remained difficult, with frequent Mongol-Tatar raids. Agriculture suffered from the beginning of the Little Ice Age. As in the rest of Europe, plague (disease), plague was a frequent occurrence between 1350 and 1490. However, because of the lower population density and better hygiene—widespread practicing of banya (sauna), banya, a wet steam bath—the death rate from plague was not as severe as in Western Europe, and population numbers recovered by 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. Moscow gradually absorbed the surrounding principalities, including formerly strong rivals such as Principality of Tver, Tver and Novgorod Republic, Novgorod. Ivan III ("the Great") finally threw off the control of the Golden Horde and consolidated the whole of Central and Northern Rus' under Moscow's dominion, and was the first Russian ruler to take the title title "Grand Duke of all Rus'". After the fall of Constantinople in 1453, Moscow Third Rome, claimed succession to the legacy of the Eastern Roman Empire. Ivan III married Sophia Palaiologina, the niece of the last Byzantine Emperor Constantine XI, and made the Byzantine double-headed eagle his own, and eventually Russia's, coat-of-arms.
Tsardom of RussiaIn development of the Moscow, third Rome, Third Rome ideas, the Grand Duke Ivan IV (the "Terrible") was officially crowned first Tsardom of Russia, ''Tsar'' of Russia in 1547. The ''Tsar'' Promulgation, promulgated a new code of laws (Sudebnik of 1550), established the first Russian feudal representative body (Zemsky Sobor), curbed the influence of the clergy, and introduced local self-management in rural regions. During his long reign, Ivan the Terrible nearly doubled the already large Russian territory by annexing the three Tatar khanates (parts of the disintegrated Golden Horde): Khanate of Kazan, Kazan and Astrakhan Khanate, Astrakhan along the Volga, and the Siberian Khanate in southwestern Siberia. Thus, by the end of the 16th century, Russia expanded east of the Ural Mountains, thus east of Europe, and into Asia, being transformed into a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental state. However, the Tsardom was weakened by the long and unsuccessful Livonian War against the coalition of the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland, Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (later the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth), the History of Sweden (1523–1611), Kingdom of Sweden, and Denmark–Norway 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. In an effort to restore the Volga khanates, Crimeans and their Ottoman Empire, Ottoman allies Russo-Crimean Wars, invaded central Russia and were even able to Fire of Moscow (1571), burn down parts of Moscow in 1571. However, in the following year, the large invading army was thoroughly defeated by the Russians in the crucial Battle of Molodi, forever eliminating the threat of an Ottoman–Crimean expansion into Russia. The Crimean-Nogai raids into East Slavic lands, slave raids of Crimeans, however, did not 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, and in combination with the Russian famine of 1601–03, famine of 1601–03, led to a civil war, the rule of pretenders, and foreign intervention during the Time of Troubles in the early 17th century. The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth occupied parts of Russia, extending into the capital Moscow. In 1612, the Poles were forced to retreat by the Russian volunteer corps, led by two national heroes, merchant Kuzma Minin and Prince Dmitry Pozharsky. The Romanov Dynasty acceded to 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 the Cossacks. In 1648, the peasants of Ukraine joined the Zaporozhian Cossacks in rebellion against the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth during the Khmelnytsky Uprising. 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), Russo-Polish War. Ultimately, Ukraine was split along the Dnieper River, leaving the western part, right-bank Ukraine, under Polish rule and the eastern part (Left-bank Ukraine and Kiev) under Russian rule. 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 vast Siberia was led mostly by the Cossacks, hunting for valuable furs and ivory. List of Russian explorers, 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 coast of the Pacific Ocean. In 1648, Semyon Dezhnyov, a Russian explorer, became the first European to navigate through the Bering Strait.
Imperial RussiaUnder Peter the Great, Russia was proclaimed an Empire in 1721, and became one of the European great powers. Ruling from 1682 to 1725, Peter defeated Sweden in the Great Northern War (1700−1721), forcing it to cede western Karelia and Ingria (two regions lost by Russia in the Time of Troubles), as well as the Governorate of Estonia and Livonia, securing Russia's access to the sea and sea trade. In 1703, on the Baltic Sea, Peter founded as Russia's new capital. Throughout his rule, Government reform of Peter the Great, sweeping reforms were made, which brought significant Western European cultural influences to Russia. The reign of Peter I's daughter Elizabeth of Russia, Elizabeth in 1741–62 saw Russia's participation in the Seven Years' War (1756–63). During this conflict, Russia annexed East Prussia and even reached the gates of Berlin. However, upon Elizabeth's death, all these conquests were returned to the Kingdom of Prussia by pro-Prussian Peter III of Russia. Catherine the Great, 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, and thus making Russia the most populous country in Europe. In the south, after the 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 Qajar dynasty, Qajar Iran through the Russo-Persian Wars, by the first half of the 19th century, Russia also made significant territorial gains in Transcaucasia and the North Caucasus. Catherine's successor, her son Paul I of Russia, Paul, was Personality and reputation of Paul I of Russia, unstable and focused predominantly on domestic issues. Following his short reign, Catherine's strategy was continued with Alexander I of Russia, Alexander I's (1801–25) Finnish War, wresting of Finland from the weakened Sweden in 1809, and of Bessarabia from the Ottomans in 1812. While in North America, the Russians became the first Europeans to Russian America, reach and colonize Alaska. In 1803–1806, the first Russian circumnavigation was made, later followed by other notable Russian sea exploration voyages. In 1820, Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen#First Russian Antarctic expedition, a Russian expedition discovered the continent of Antarctica. During the Napoleonic Wars, Russia joined alliances with various other European nations, and fought against First French Empire, France. The French invasion of Russia at the height of Napoleon's power in 1812 reached Moscow, but eventually 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. Led by Mikhail Kutuzov and Barclay de Tolly, the Imperial Russian Army ousted Napoleon from the country and drove throughout Europe in the war of the Sixth Coalition, finally entering Paris. Alexander I controlled Russia's delegation at the Congress of Vienna, which defined the map of post-Napoleonic Europe. The officers who pursued Napoleon into Western Europe brought ideas of liberalism back to Russia with them and attempted to curtail the Tsar's powers during the abortive Decembrist revolt of 1825. At the end of the conservative reign of Nicholas I of Russia, Nicholas I (1825–55), a zenith period of Russia's power and influence in Europe, was disrupted by defeat in the Crimean War. Nicholas's successor Alexander II of Russia, Alexander II (1855–81) enacted significant changes throughout the country, including the emancipation reform of 1861. These reforms spurred industrialisation, and modernized the Imperial Russian Army, which liberated much of the Balkans from Ottoman rule in the aftermath of the 1877–78 Russo-Turkish War. During most of the 19th and early 20th century, Russia and British Empire, Britain colluded over Emirate of Afghanistan, Afghanistan and its neighboring territories in Central Asia, Central and South Asia; the rivalry between the two major European empires came to be known as The Great Game. The late 19th century saw the rise of various socialist movements in Russia. Alexander II was assassinated in 1881 by revolutionary terrorists. The reign of his son Alexander III of Russia, Alexander III (1881–94) was less liberal but more peaceful. The last Russian Emperor, Nicholas II (1894–1917), was unable 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 (1905), Bloody Sunday. The uprising was put down, but the government was forced to concede major reforms (Russian Constitution of 1906), including granting the freedom of speech, freedoms of speech and freedom of assembly, assembly, the legalisation of political parties, and the creation of an elected legislative body, the State Duma (Russian Empire), State Duma.
February Revolution and Russian RepublicIn 1914, Russia entered World War I in response to Austria-Hungary's declaration of war on Russia's ally Kingdom of Serbia, Serbia, and fought across multiple fronts while isolated from its Triple Entente allies. In 1916, the Brusilov Offensive of the Imperial Russian Army almost completely destroyed the Austro-Hungarian Army. However, the already-existing public distrust of the regime was deepened by the rising costs of war, World War I casualties, high casualties, and rumors of corruption and treason. All this formed the climate for the of 1917, carried out in two major acts. The February Revolution forced Nicholas II of Russia, Nicholas II to abdicate; he and his family were imprisoned and Shooting of the Romanov family, later executed in Yekaterinburg during the Russian Civil War. The monarchy was replaced by a shaky coalition of political parties that declared itself the Russian Provisional Government, Provisional Government. On 1 September (14), 1917, upon a decree of the Provisional Government, the Russian Republic was proclaimed. On 6 January (19), 1918, the Russian Constituent Assembly declared Russia a democratic federal republic (thus ratifying the Provisional Government's decision). The next day the Constituent Assembly was dissolved by the All-Russian Central Executive Committee.
Russian Civil WarAn alternative socialist establishment co-existed, the Petrograd Soviet, wielding power through the democratically elected councils of workers and peasants, called ''Soviet (council), Soviets''. The rule of the new authorities only aggravated the crisis in the country instead of resolving it, and eventually, the October Revolution, led by Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the Provisional Government and gave full governing power to the Soviets, leading to the creation of the world's first . Following the October Revolution, the Russian Civil War broke out between the anti-Communist White movement and the new Workers' council, Soviet regime with its Red Army. In the aftermath of signing the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, the first diplomatic treaty ever filmed, that concluded hostilities with the Central Powers of World War I; Bolshevist Russia surrendered most of its western territories, which spanned over , and hosted a third of its population—about 55 million. The territory was also home to over 54% of its industries, about 32% of its agricultural land, and roughly 90% of its coal mines. The Allies of World War I, Allied powers launched an unsuccessful Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War, military intervention in support of anti-Communist forces. In the meantime, both the Bolsheviks and White movement carried out campaigns of deportations and executions against each other, known respectively as the Red Terror and White Terror (Russia), White Terror. By the end of the civil war, Russia's economy and infrastructure were heavily damaged. There were an estimated 7–12 million casualties during the war, mostly civilians. Millions became White émigrés, and the Russian famine of 1921–22 claimed up to five million victims.
Soviet UnionOn 30 December 1922, Lenin and his aides Treaty on the Creation of the USSR, formed the , by merging the with the Ukrainian SSR, Ukrainian, Byelorussian SSR, Byelorussian, and the Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, Transcaucasian SFSR. Eventually the union grew larger to compass republics of the Soviet Union, 15 republics, out of which, the largest in size and population was the Russian SFSR, which dominated the union for its entire history politically, culturally, and economically. Following Death and state funeral of Vladimir Lenin, Lenin's death in 1924, a List of leaders of the Soviet Union#List of troikas, troika was designated to take charge. Eventually Joseph Stalin, the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, General Secretary of the Communist Party, managed to suppress all opposition factions and consolidate power in his hands to become the country's dictator by the 1930s. Leon Trotsky, the main proponent of world revolution, was exiled from the Soviet Union in 1929, and Stalin's idea of Socialism in One Country became the official line. The continued internal struggle in the Bolshevik party culminated in the Great Purge, a period of mass repressions in 1937–38, during which hundreds of thousands of people were executed, including Old Bolshevik, original party members and military leaders forced to confess to nonexistent plots. Under Stalin's leadership, the government launched a command economy, Industrialization in the USSR, industrialisation of the largely rural country, and Collectivization in the USSR, collectivisation of Agriculture in the USSR, its agriculture. During this period of rapid economic and social change, millions of people were sent to Gulag, penal labor camps, including many political convicts for their suspected or real opposition to Stalin's rule; millions were population transfer in the Soviet Union, deported and exiled to remote areas of the Soviet Union. The transitional disorganisation of the country's agriculture, combined with the harsh state policies and a drought, led to the Soviet famine of 1932–1933; and the Soviet Union made the costly transformation from a largely agrarian economy to a major industrial powerhouse within a short span of time.
World War IIOn 22 June 1941, Nazi Germany broke the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact; and Operation Barbarossa, invaded the ill-prepared Soviet Union with the largest and most powerful invasion force in human history, opening the Eastern Front (World War II), largest theater of World War II. The German Hunger Plan foresaw the starvation and extinction of a great part of the Soviet population, and Generalplan Ost called for the elimination of over 70 million Russians for Lebensraum. Nearly 3 million German mistreatment of Soviet prisoners of war, Soviet POWs in German captivity were murdered in just eight months of 1941–42. Although the Wehrmacht had considerable early success, their attack was halted in the Battle of Moscow. Subsequently, the Germans were dealt major defeats first at the Battle of Stalingrad in the winter of 1942–43, 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 and 1944 by German and Finnish forces, and suffered starvation and more than a million deaths, but never surrendered. Under Stalin's administration and the leadership of such commanders as Georgy Zhukov and Konstantin Rokossovsky, Soviet forces steamrolled through Eastern and Central Europe in 1944–45 and Battle of Berlin, captured Berlin in May 1945. In August 1945, the Soviet Army Soviet–Japanese War, ousted the 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 (term), Great Patriotic War. The Soviet Union together with the United States, the United Kingdom and China were considered as the Big Four in World War II, Big Four of Allied powers in World War II, and later became the Four Policemen which was the foundation of the . During this war, which included many of the List of battles by casualties, most lethal battle operations in human history, World War II casualties of the Soviet Union, Soviet civilian and military death were about 26-27 million, accounting for about a third of all World War II casualties. The full demographic loss of Soviet citizens was far greater, as at least 60% of Soviets lost a member of their nuclear family to the war. The Economy of the Soviet Union, Soviet economy and infrastructure suffered massive devastation, which caused the Soviet famine of 1946–47. However, at the expense of a large sacrifice, the Soviet Union emerged as a global .
Cold WarAfter World War II, parts of Eastern and Central Europe, including East Germany and eastern parts of Austria were occupied by Red Army according to the Potsdam Conference. Dependent communist governments were installed in the Eastern Bloc satellite states. After becoming the world's second Russia and weapons of mass destruction, nuclear power, the Soviet Union established the Warsaw Pact alliance, and entered into a struggle for global dominance, known as the , with the rivaling United States and NATO. After Death and state funeral of Joseph Stalin, Stalin's death in 1953 and a short period of Collective leadership, collective rule, the new leader Nikita Khrushchev denounced On the Cult of Personality and Its Consequences, Stalin's many crimes and atrocities and launched the policy of de-Stalinization, releasing many political prisoners from the Gulag labor camps. The general easement of repressive policies became known later as the Khrushchev Thaw. At the same time, Cold War tensions reached its peak when the two rivals clashed over the deployment of the United States PGM-19 Jupiter, Jupiter missiles in Turkey and Soviet Cuban Missile Crisis, missiles in Cuba. In 1957, the Soviet Union launched the world's first artificial satellite, ''Sputnik 1'', thus starting the Space Age. Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human to orbit the Earth, aboard the ''Vostok 1'' manned spacecraft on Cosmonautics Day, 12 April 1961. Following the ousting of Khrushchev in 1964, another period of Collectivity of leadership, collective rule ensued, until Leonid Brezhnev became the leader. The era of the 1970s and the early 1980s was later designated as the Era of Stagnation, a period when economic growth slowed and social policies became static. The 1965 Kosygin reform aimed for partial decentralisation of the Soviet economy and shifted the emphasis from heavy industry and weapons to light industry and consumer goods but was stifled by the conservative Communist leadership. In 1979, after a Communist-led revolution in Afghanistan, Soviet forces invaded the country, ultimately starting the Soviet–Afghan War. The occupation drained economic resources and dragged on without achieving meaningful political results. Finally, the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan in 1989 due to international opposition, persistent anti-Soviet guerrilla warfare, and a lack of support by Soviet citizens. From 1985 onwards, the last Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, who sought to enact liberal reforms in the Soviet system, introduced the policies of ''glasnost'' (openness) and ''perestroika'' (restructuring) in an attempt to end the Era of Stagnation, period of economic stagnation and to Demokratizatsiya (Soviet Union), democratize the government. This, however, led to the rise of strong nationalist and separatist movements across the country. Prior to 1991, the Soviet economy was the world's second-largest, but during its final years, it was afflicted by shortages of goods in grocery stores, huge budget deficits, and explosive growth in the money supply leading to inflation. By 1991, economic and political turmoil began to boil over as the Baltic states chose to secede from the Soviet Union. On 17 March, a 1991 Soviet Union referendum, referendum was held, in which the vast majority of participating citizens voted in favour of changing the Soviet Union into a Union of Sovereign States, renewed federation. In June 1991, Boris Yeltsin became the first directly elected president in Russian history when he was elected President of the Russian SFSR. In August 1991, 1991 Soviet coup d'état attempt, a coup d'état attempt by members of Gorbachev's government, directed against Gorbachev and aimed at preserving the Soviet Union, instead led to the end of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. On 25 December 1991, following the , along with contemporary Russia, fourteen other post-Soviet states emerged.
Post-Soviet Russia (1991–present)The economic and political collapse of the Soviet Union led Russia into a deep and prolonged depression. During and after the disintegration of the Soviet Union, wide-ranging reforms including Privatization in Russia, privatisation and free trade, market and trade liberalisation were undertaken, including radical changes along the lines of "shock therapy (economics), shock therapy". The privatisation largely shifted control of enterprises from state agencies to individuals with inside connections in the government, which led to the rise of the infamous Russian oligarchs. Many of the newly rich moved billions in cash and assets outside of the country in an enormous capital flight. The depression of the economy led to the collapse of social services; the birth rate plummeted while the death rate skyrocketed, and millions plunged into poverty—while extreme corruption and lawlessness, as well as criminal gangs and violent crime rose significantly. In late 1993, tensions between Yeltsin and the Russian parliament culminated in a 1993 Russian constitutional crisis, constitutional crisis which ended after military force. During the crisis, Yeltsin was backed by Western governments, and over 100 people were killed. In December, a 1993 Russian constitutional referendum, referendum was held and approved, which introduced a new constitution, giving the president enormous powers. The 1990s were plagued by armed conflicts in the North Caucasus, both local ethnic skirmishes and separatist Islamist insurrections. From the time Chechnya, Chechen separatists declared independence in the early 1990s, an First Chechen War, intermittent guerrilla war was fought between the rebel groups and Russian forces. Terrorism in Russia, Terrorist attacks against civilians were carried out by separatists, claiming thousands of lives. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Russia took up the responsibility for settling the latter's external debts. In 1992, most consumer price controls were eliminated, causing extreme inflation and significantly devaluing the ruble. With a devalued ruble, the Russian government struggled to pay back its debts to internal debtors, as well as to international institutions. Despite significant attempts at economic restructuring, Russia's debt outpaced GDP growth. High budget deficits coupled with increasing capital flight and inability to pay back debts, caused the 1998 Russian financial crisis, which resulted in a further GDP decline.
Putin eraOn 31 December 1999, President Yeltsin unexpectedly resigned, handing the post to the recently appointed prime minister and his chosen successor, . Yeltsin left office widely unpopular, with an approval rating as low as 2% by some estimates. Putin then won the 2000 Russian presidential election, 2000 presidential election, and Second Chechen War, suppressed the Chechen insurgency. As a result of Price of petroleum, high oil prices, a rise in foreign investment, and prudent economic and fiscal policies, the Russian economy grew significantly; dramatically improving Russia's standard of living, and increasing its influence in global politics. Putin went on to win a 2004 Russian presidential election, second presidential term in 2004. On 2 March 2008, Dmitry Medvedev was 2008 Russian presidential election, elected president while Putin became prime minister, as the constitution barred Putin from serving a term limit, third consecutive presidential term. Putin returned to the presidency following the 2012 Russian presidential election, 2012 presidential elections, and Medvedev was appointed prime minister. This four year joint leadership by the two was coined "tandemocracy" by foreign media. In 2014, after President Viktor Yanukovych of Ukraine fled as a result of a 2014 Ukrainian revolution, revolution, Putin requested and received authorisation from the Russian parliament to 2014 Russian military intervention in Ukraine, deploy Russian troops to Ukraine, leading to the takeover of Crimea. Following a 2014 Crimean status referendum, Crimean referendum in which separation was favoured by a large majority of voters, the Russian leadership announced the accession of Crimea into Russia, though this and the referendum that preceded it were Political status of Crimea, not accepted internationally. The annexation of Crimea International sanctions during the Ukrainian crisis, led to sanctions by Western countries, following which the Russian government responded with counter-sanctions against the latter. In September 2015, Russia started Russian military intervention in the Syrian Civil War, military intervention in the Syrian Civil War in support of the Syrian government, consisting of airstrikes against militant groups of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Islamic State, al-Nusra Front (al-Qaeda in the Levant), the Army of Conquest and other rebel groups. In March 2018, Putin was elected for a 2018 Russian presidential election, fourth presidential term overall. In January 2020, substantial 2020 amendments to the Constitution of Russia, amendments to the constitution were proposed, and the entire Russian government resigned, leading to Mikhail Mishustin becoming the new prime minister. It took effect in July following a 2020 Russian constitutional referendum, national vote, allowing Putin to run for two more six-year presidential terms after his current term ends. In April 2021, Putin signed the constitutional changes into law.
GeographyRussia is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country stretching vastly over two continents, Europe and Asia. It spans the northernmost edge of Eurasia; and has the world's List of countries by length of coastline, fourth-longest coastline, of over . Russia lies between latitudes 41st parallel north, 41° and 82nd parallel north, 82° N, and longitudes 19th meridian east, 19° E and 169th meridian west, 169° W; and most of it lies within an area that extends from north to south, and some east to west. Even along a geodesic, some non-contiguous parts of Russia are about apart from each other. Russia is larger than three continents of the world, and has the same surface area as Pluto. Russia has nine major mountain ranges, and they are found along the Southern Russia, southern regions, which share a significant portion of the Caucasus Mountains (containing Mount Elbrus, which at is the List of elevation extremes by region, highest peak in Russia and Europe); the Altai Mountains, Altai and Sayan Mountains in Siberia; and in the East Siberian Mountains and the Kamchatka Peninsula in the Russian Far East (containing Klyuchevskaya Sopka, which at is the highest active volcano in Eurasia). The Ural Mountains, running north to south through the country's west, are rich in mineral resources, and form the Boundaries between the continents of Earth#Europe and Asia, traditional boundary between Europe and Asia. Russia, as one of the world's only two countries List of countries bordering on two or more oceans, bordering three oceans, has links with a great number of seas. Its major islands and archipelagos include Novaya Zemlya, Franz Josef Land, Severnaya Zemlya, the New Siberian Islands, Wrangel Island, the Kuril Islands, and Sakhalin. The Diomede Islands, administered by Russia and the United States, are just apart; and Kunashir Island in the extreme southeast of Russia is just from Hokkaido, Japan. Russia, home to over 100,000 rivers, has one of the world's largest surface water resources, with its lakes containing approximately one-quarter of the world's liquid fresh water. Lake Baikal, the largest and most prominent among Russia's fresh water bodies, is the world's deepest, purest, oldest and most capacious fresh water lake, containing over one-fifth of the world's fresh surface water. Lake Ladoga, Ladoga and Lake Onega, Onega in Northwest Russia, northwestern Russia are two of the List of largest lakes of Europe, largest lakes in Europe. Russia is second only to Brazil by List of countries by total renewable water resources, total renewable water resources. The Volga in European Russia, western Russia, widely regarded as Russia's national river, is the List of rivers of Europe#Rivers of Europe by length, longest river in Europe; while the rivers of Ob River, Ob, Yenisey, Lena River, Lena, and Amur River, Amur in Siberia are among the List of rivers by length, longest rivers in the world.
ClimateThe sheer size of Russia and the remoteness of many of its areas from the sea result in the dominance of the humid continental climate throughout most of the country, except for the tundra and the extreme southwest. Mountain ranges in the south and east obstruct the flow of warm air masses from the Indian Ocean, Indian and Pacific oceans, while the European Plain spanning its west and north opens it to influence from the Alantic and Arctic oceans. Most of northwest Russia and Siberia have a subarctic climate, with extremely severe winters in the inner regions of northeast Siberia (mostly Sakha, where the Northern Pole of Cold is located with the record low temperature of ), and more moderate winters elsewhere. Russia's vast coastline along the Arctic Ocean and the Russian Arctic islands have a polar climate. The coastal part of Krasnodar Krai on the Black Sea, most notably Sochi, and some coastal and interior strips of the North Caucasus possess a humid subtropical climate with mild and wet winters. In many regions of East Siberia and the Russian Far East, winter is dry compared to summer; while other parts of the country experience more even precipitation across seasons. Winter precipitation in most parts of the country usually falls as snow. The westernmost parts of Kaliningrad Oblast and some parts in the south of Krasnodar Krai and the North Caucasus have an oceanic climate. The region along the Lower Volga and Caspian Sea coast, as well as some southernmost slivers of Siberia, possess a semi-arid climate. Throughout much of the territory, there are only two distinct seasons, winter and summer; as spring and autumn are usually brief periods of change between extremely low and extremely high temperatures. The coldest month is January (February on the coastline); the warmest is usually 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.
BiodiversityRussia, owing to its gigantic size, has diverse ecosystems, including polar deserts, tundra, forest tundra, taiga, Temperate broadleaf and mixed forests, mixed and broadleaf forest, forest steppe, steppe, semi-desert, and subtropics. About half of Russia's territory is forested, and it has the world's largest forest reserves, which are known as the "Lungs of Europe"; coming second only to the Amazon rainforest in the amount of carbon dioxide it absorbs. Russian biodiversity includes 12,500 species of vascular plants, 2,200 species of bryophytes, about 3,000 species of lichens, 7,000-9,000 species of algae, and 20,000-25,000 species of fungi. Russian fauna is composed of 320 species of mammals, over 732 species of birds, 75 species of reptiles, about 30 species of amphibians, 343 species of freshwater fish (high endemism), approximately 1,500 species of saltwater fishes, 9 species of cyclostomata, and approximately 100–150,000 invertebrates (high endemism). Approximately 1,100 of rare and endangered plant and animal species are included in the Red Data Book of the Russian Federation, Russian Red Data Book. Russia's entirely natural ecosystems are conserved in nearly 15,000 specially protected natural territories of various statuses, occupying more than 10% of the country's total area. They include 45 biosphere reserves, 64 National parks of Russia, national parks, and 101 Zapovednik, nature reserves. Russia still has many ecosystems which are still untouched by man; mainly in the northern taiga areas, and the subarctic tundra of Siberia. Russia had a Forest Landscape Integrity Index mean score of 9.02 in 2019, ranking 10th out of 172 countries; and the first ranked major nation globally.
Government and politicsAccording to the Constitution of Russia, the country is an asymmetric federalism, asymmetric federation and semi-presidential republic, wherein the president is the head of state, and the Prime Minister of Russia, prime minister is the head of government. The Russian Federation is fundamentally structured as a Multi-party system, multi-party representative democracy, with the federal government composed of three branches: * Legislative: The bicameral Federal Assembly of Russia, made up of the 450-member State Duma and the 170-member Federation Council, adopts federal law, declaration of war, declares war, approves treaties, has the power of the purse and the power of impeachment of the president. * Executive: The President of Russia, president is the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, commander-in-chief of the Russian Armed Forces, Armed Forces, can veto legislative bills before they become law, and appoints the Government of Russia (Cabinet) and other officers, who administer and enforce federal laws and policies. * Judiciary of Russia, Judiciary: The Constitutional Court of Russia, Constitutional Court, Supreme Court of Russia, Supreme Court 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. 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; 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).
Political divisionsAccording to the constitution, the Russian Federation is composed of 85 Federal subjects of Russia, federal subjects. In 1993, when the new constitution was adopted, there were 89 federal subjects listed, but Federal subjects of Russia#Mergers, splits and internal territorial changes, some were later merged. The federal subjects have equal representation—two delegates each—in the Federation Council (Russia), Federation Council, the upper house of the Federal Assembly of Russia, Federal Assembly. They do, however, differ in the degree of autonomous area, autonomy they enjoy.
Federal districtsThe federal districts of Russia, federal districts of Russia were established by president Vladimir Putin in 2000 to facilitate the federal government's task of controlling the then 89 federal subjects across the country. Originally seven, currently there are eight federal districts, each headed by a presidential envoy appointed by the president. Federal districts are not mentioned in the nation's constitution, and do not have competences of their own and do not manage regional affairs. They exist solely to monitor consistency between the federal and regional bodies of law, and ensuring governmental control over the civil service, judiciary, and federal agencies, operating in the regions.
Foreign relations, Russia has the world's fifth-largest diplomatic network, maintaining diplomatic relations with 190 member states of the United Nations, United Nations member states, two List of states with limited recognition, partially-recognized states, and three Member states of the United Nations#Observers and non-members, United Nations observer states; with Russian embassies, 144 embassies. It is one of the Permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, five permanent members of the ; and is considered a potential superpower, and has historically been a great power and an important regional power. Russia is a member of the G20, the , the , and the , and takes a leading role in organisations such as the , the , the Collective Security Treaty Organisation, CSTO, the SCO, and . Russia maintains positive relations with other countries of SCO, EAEU, and BRICS, especially Belarus–Russia relations, with neighbouring Belarus, which is in the Union State, a supranational confederation of the latter with Russia. Serbia has been a Russia–Serbia relations, historically close ally of Russia, as both countries share a strong mutual cultural, ethnic, and religious affinity. In the 21st century, Sino-Russian relations since 1991, Sino-Russian relations have significantly strengthened bilaterally and economically; due to shared political interests. India is the largest customer of Russian military equipment, and the two countries share a strong India–Russia relations, strategic and diplomatic relationship since the Soviet era.
MilitaryThe Russian Armed Forces are divided into the Russian Ground Forces, Ground Forces, the Russian Navy, Navy, and the Russian Aerospace Force, Aerospace Forces—and there are also two independent arms of service: the Strategic Missile Troops and the Russian Airborne Troops, Airborne Troops. , the military have around a million active-duty personnel, which is the world's List of countries by number of military and paramilitary personnel, fifth-largest, and about 2-20 million Military reserve force, reserve personnel. It is mandatory for all male citizens aged 18–27 to be conscription, drafted for a year of service in the Armed Forces. Russia boasts the world's Military, second-most powerful military. It is among the five Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, recognized List of states with nuclear weapons, nuclear-weapons states, with the world's largest stockpile of nuclear weapons; over half of the world's nuclear weapons are owned by Russia. Russia possesses the second-largest fleet of ballistic missile submarines, and is one of the only three countries operating strategic bombers. It has the world's most powerful ground force, and the second-most powerful air force and navy fleet. Russia maintains the world's List of countries by military expenditures, fourth-highest military expenditure, spending $61.7 billion in 2020. It is the world's Arms industry#World's largest arms exporters, second-largest arms exporter, and has a large and entirely indigenous Defense industry of Russia, defence industry, producing most of its own military equipment.
Human rights and corruptionRussia is widely considered to be an Authoritarianism#Examples, authoritarian state. Its human rights in Russia, human rights management has been increasingly criticized by leading democracy and human rights wikt:watchdog, watchdogs. In particular, organisations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch consider Russia to have not enough democratic attributes and to allow few political rights and civil liberties to its citizens. Putin, in response, has argued Western liberalism has become "obsolete" in Russia, while maintaining that the country is still democratic. Since 2004, Freedom House has ranked Russia as "not free" in its ''Freedom in the World'' survey. Since 2011, the Economist Intelligence Unit has ranked Russia as an "authoritarian regime" in its Democracy Index, ranking it 124th out of 167 countries for 2020. In regards to media freedom in Russia, media freedom, Russia was ranked 149th out of 180 countries in Reporters Without Borders' Press Freedom Index for 2020. Justly, the Russian government has been widely criticized for Elections in Russia, unfair elections, crackdowns on Opposition to Vladimir Putin in Russia, opposition political parties and protests, persecution of non-governmental organisations and independent journalists, and Censorship in the Russian Federation, censorship of media and Internet censorship in Russia, internet. In 2017, Jehovah's Witnesses were labelled as "extremist" and were outlawed in Russia, facing persecution ever since. Russia has been described as a kleptocracy. It was the lowest rated European country in Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index for 2020, ranking 129th out of 180 countries. The phenomenon of corruption in Russia has been strongly established in the historical model of public governance, and is perceived as a significant problem. It impacts various aspects of life, including the economy, business, Government of Russia, public administration, Law enforcement in Russia, law enforcement, Healthcare in Russia, healthcare, and Education in Russia, education.
EconomyRussia has a mixed economy, with enormous natural resources, particularly Russian oil industry, oil and Natural gas in Russia, natural gas. It has the world's List of countries by GDP (nominal), eleventh-largest economy by nominal GDP and the List of countries by GDP (PPP), sixth-largest by purchasing power parity, PPP. In 2017, the large Tertiary sector of the economy, service sector contributed to 62% of the total GDP, the industrial sector 32%, and the small agricultural sector roughly 5%. Russia has a low List of countries by unemployment rate, unemployment rate of 4.5%, and a relatively low List of countries by percentage of population living in poverty, poverty rate of 12.6%. More than 70% of its population is categorized as middle class officially. Russia's foreign exchange reserves are worth $622 billion, and are the world's List of countries by foreign-exchange reserves, fifth-largest. It has a labour force of roughly 70 million, which is the world's List of countries by labour force, sixth-largest. Russia's large Automotive industry in Russia, automotive industry ranks as the world's List of countries by motor vehicle production, tenth-largest by production. Russia is the world's List of countries by exports, fourteenth-largest exporter. In 2016, the oil-and-gas sector accounted for 36% of federal budget revenues. In 2019, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (Russia), Natural Resources and Environment Ministry estimated the value of natural resources to 60% of the country's GDP. Russia has one of the List of countries by external debt, lowest external debts among major developed countries, and ranked high among the "very easy" countries in the 2019 ease of doing business index, Ease of Doing Business Index. It has a flat tax rate of 13%, and has the world's second-most attractive personal tax system for single managers after the United Arab Emirates. However, List of countries by income equality, inequality of household income and wealth in the country has also been noted.
Transport and energyRail transport in Russia, Railway transport in Russia is mostly under the control of the state-run Russian Railways. The total length of common-used railway tracks is the world's List of countries by rail transport network size, third-longest, and exceeds . , Russia has the world's List of countries by road network size, fifth-largest road network, with some 1,452.2 thousand km of roads, while its road density is among the world's lowest. Russia's inland waterways are the world's List of countries by waterways length, second-longest, and total . Among List of airports in Russia, Russia's 1,218 airports, the List of the busiest airports in Russia, busiest is Sheremetyevo International Airport in Moscow, which is also the List of the busiest airports in Europe, fifth-busiest airport in Europe. Russia's largest port is the Port of Novorossiysk in Krasnodar Krai along the Black Sea. It is the world's sole country which constructs nuclear-powered icebreakers; as the latter advances the economic exploitation of the Arctic continental shelf of Russia, and the development of sea trade through the Northern Sea Route. Russia has been widely described as an energy superpower. It has the world's largest List of countries by natural gas proven reserves, proven gas reserves, the second-largest coal reserves, the eighth-largest oil reserves, and the largest oil shale reserves in Europe. Russia is also the world's List of countries by natural gas exports, leading natural gas exporter, the List of countries by natural gas production, second-largest natural gas producer, and the second-largest oil List of countries by oil production, producer and List of countries by oil exports, exporter. Russia is committed to the Paris Agreement, after joining the pact formally in 2019. It is the world's List of countries by greenhouse gas emissions, fourth-largest greenhouse gas emitter. Russia is the world's fourth-largest electricity producer, and the ninth-largest List of countries by renewable electricity production, renewable energy producer in 2019. It was also the world's first country to develop civilian nuclear power, and to construct the world's Obninsk Nuclear Power Plant, first nuclear power plant. Russia was also the world's fourth-largest Nuclear power by country, nuclear energy producer in 2019.
Agriculture and fisheryRussia's agriculture sector contributes about 5% of the country's total GDP, although the sector employs about one-eighth of the total labour force. It has the world's Land use statistics by country, third-largest cultivated area, at . However, due to the harshness of its environment, about 13.1% of its land is agricultural land, agricultural, and only 7.4% of its land is arable land, arable. The main product of Russian farming has always been grain, which occupies considerably more than half of the cropland. Russia is the world's List of countries by wheat exports, largest exporter of wheat, and is the largest producer of barley, buckwheat, oats, and rye, and the second-largest producer of sunflower seed. Various analysts of climate change adaptation foresee large opportunities for Russian agriculture during the rest of the 21st century as arability increases in Siberia, which would lead to both internal and external migration to the region. More than one-third of the sown area is devoted to fodder crops, and the remaining farmland is devoted to Nonfood crop, industrial crops, vegetables, and fruits. Owing to its large coastline along three oceans, Russia maintains one of the world's Fishing industry by country, largest fishing fleets, ranking sixth in the world in tonnage of fish caught; capturing 4,773,413 tons of fish in 2018. It is also home to the world's finest caviar (the Beluga (sturgeon), beluga), and produces about one-third of all canned fish, and some one-fourth of the world's total fresh and frozen fish.
Science and technologyRussia's research and development budget is the world's List of countries by research and development spending, ninth-highest, with an expenditure of approximately 422 billion rubles on domestic research and development. In 2019, Russia was ranked tenth worldwide in the number of scientific publications. Russia ranked 45th in the Global Innovation Index in 2021. Since 1904, List of Nobel laureates by country, Nobel Prize were awarded to twenty-six Soviets and Russians in Nobel Prize in Physics, physics, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, chemistry, Nobel Prize in medicine, medicine, Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, economy, Nobel Prize in Literature, literature and Nobel Peace Prize, peace. Mikhail Lomonosov proposed the law of conservation of matter preceding the energy conservation law. Since the time of Nikolay Lobachevsky (the "Copernicus of Geometry" who pioneered the non-Euclidean geometry) and a prominent tutor Pafnuty Chebyshev, Russian List of Russian mathematicians, mathematicians became among the world's most influential. Dmitry Mendeleev invented the Periodic table, the main framework of modern chemistry. Nine Soviet/Russian mathematicians were awarded with the Fields Medal. Grigori Perelman was offered the first ever Clay Millennium Prize Problems Award for his final proof of the Poincaré conjecture in 2002. Alexander Stepanovich Popov, Alexander Popov was among the invention of radio, inventors of radio, while Nikolai Basov and Alexander Prokhorov were co-inventors of laser and maser. Many famous Russian scientists and inventors were émigrés, among them are Igor Sikorsky, and Vladimir Zworykin, while many foreign ones lived and worked in Russia for a long time, such as Leonard Euler, and Alfred Nobel. Russian discoveries and inventions include the transformer, Incandescent light bulb, electric filament lamp, the aircraft, the safety parachute, electrical microscope, Color photography, colour photos, caterpillar tracks, track assembly, electrically powered Railroad car, railway wagons, Video tape recorder, videotape recorder, the helicopter, the solar cell, probiotics (found in some yogurts), the television, petrol Cracking (chemistry), cracking, synthetic rubber, and Combine harvester, grain harvester. Roscosmos is Russia's national space agency; while Russian achievements in the field of space technology and space exploration are traced back to Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, the father of theoretical astronautics, whose works had inspired leading Soviet rocket engineers, such as Sergey Korolyov, Valentin Glushko, and many others who contributed to the success of the Soviet space program in the 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 Yuri Gagarin. Many other Soviet and Russian space exploration records ensued, including the first spacewalk performed by Alexei Leonov. Vostok 6 was the first human spaceflight to carry a woman into space (Valentina Tereshkova). Luna 9 was the first spacecraft to land on the Moon, Sputnik 2 was the first spacecraft to carry an animal (Laika), Zond 5 brought the first Earthlings (two tortoises and other life forms) to circumnavigate the Moon, Venera 7 was the first spacecraft to land on another planet (Venus), and Mars 3 was the first spacecraft to land on Mars. ''Lunokhod-1, Lunokhod 1'' was the first space exploration rover, and ''Salyut 1'' was the world's first space station. Russia is among the world's largest satellite launchers, and has completed the GLONASS satellite navigation system. It is developing its own fifth-generation jet fighter (Sukhoi Su-57), and has built the world's first Russian floating nuclear power station, floating nuclear power plant. Luna-Glob is a Russian Moon exploration programme, with its first mission scheduled to launch in July 2022 (Luna 25). To replace the ageing Soyuz (spacecraft), Soyuz, Roscosmos is also developing the Orel (spacecraft), Orel spacecraft, which could conduct its first crewed fight in 2025. In February 2019, it was announced that Russia is intending to conduct its first crewed mission to land on the Moon in 2031. In April 2021, Roscosmos declared that it is planning to quit the International Space Station, ISS, and will create its own space station with the aim of launching it into orbit by 2030. In June 2021, Roscosmos and China National Space Administration announced that they are jointly developing a International Lunar Research Station, lunar base, which is planned to be utilized from 2036.
TourismAccording to the World Tourism Organization, Russia was the sixteenth-most visited country in the world, and the tenth-most visited country in Europe, in 2018, with over 24.6 million visits. Russia was ranked 39th in the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2019. According to Federal Agency for Tourism (Russia), Federal Agency for Tourism, the number of inbound trips of foreign citizens to Russia amounted to 24.4 million in 2019. Russia's international tourism receipts in 2018 amounted to $11.6 billion. In 2020, tourism accounted for about 4% of country's total GDP. Major tourist routes in Russia include a journey around the Golden Ring of Russia, a theme route of ancient Russian cities, cruises on large rivers such as the Volga, hikes on mountain ranges such as the Caucasus Mountains, and journeys on the famous Trans-Siberian Railway. Russia's most visited and popular landmarks include Red Square, the Peterhof Palace, the Kazan Kremlin, the Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius and Lake Baikal. In the Russian Far East, the Kamchatka Peninsula is famed for its natural landscape and volcanoes. The Republic of Karelia, in northwestern Russia, is home to numerous lakes, and Kizhi Island—which houses Kizhi Pogost, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with the republic's Petroglyphs of Lake Onega and the White Sea, petroglyphs, which date back to the Neolithic. , the nation's cosmopolitan capital and historic core, is a bustling megacity. It retains its classical and Soviet-era architecture; while boasting high art, world class ballet, and Moscow International Business Center, modern skyscrapers. , the Imperial capital, is famous for its classical architecture, cathedrals, museums and theatres, White Nights Festival, white nights, criss-crossing rivers and numerous canals. Russia is famed worldwide for its rich museums, such as the Russian Museum, State Russian, the Hermitage Museum, State Hermitage, and the Tretyakov Gallery; and for theatres such as the Bolshoi Theatre, Bolshoi, and the Mariinsky Theatre, Mariinsky. The Moscow Kremlin and the Saint Basil's Cathedral are among the cultural landmarks of Russia. List of metro systems in the Soviet Union, Soviet-era metro stations across the country, due to their lavish and ornate architecture, are also a famous tourist spot.
DemographicsRussia is one of the world's List of countries and dependencies by population density, most sparsely populated and Urbanization by country, urbanized countries, with the vast majority of its population concentrated within its European Russia, western part. It had a population of 142.8 million according to the Russian Census (2010), 2010 census, which rose to 146.2 million as of 2021. Russia is the most populous country in Europe, and the world's ninth-most populous country, with a list of countries by population density, population density of 9 inhabitants per square kilometre (23 per square mile). Since the 1990s, Russia's death rate has exceeded its birth rate, which has been called by analysts as a Demographic crisis of Russia, demographic crisis. In 2018, the total fertility rate across Russia was estimated to be 1.6 children born per woman, which is below the replacement rate of 2.1, and is one of the world's List of sovereign states and dependencies by total fertility rate, lowest fertility rates. Subsequently, the nation has one of the world's List of countries by median age, oldest populations, with a median age of 40.3 years. In 2009, it recorded annual population growth for the first time in fifteen years; and since the 2010s, Russia has seen increased population growth due to declining death rates, increased birth rates and increased immigration. However, since 2020, due to excessive deaths from the COVID-19 pandemic in Russia, COVID-19 pandemic, Russia's population has underwent its largest peacetime decline in history. Russia is a multinational state, home to over Ethnic groups in Russia, 193 ethnic groups nationwide. In the 2010 Census, roughly 81% of the population were ethnic , and the remaining 19% of the population were ethnic minorities; while roughly 85% of Russia's population was of Ethnic groups of Europe, European descent, of which the vast majority were Slavs, with a substantial minority of Finnic peoples, Finnic and Germanic peoples, Germanic peoples. According to the United Nations, Russia's Immigration to Russia, immigrant population is the world's third-largest, numbering over 11.6 million; most of which are from post-Soviet states, mainly Ukrainians in Russia, Ukrainians.
Languageis the official language, official and the predominantly spoken language in Russia. It is the most spoken first language, native language in Europe, the most geographically widespread language of Eurasia, as well as the world's most widely spoken . Russian is the second-most used language on the Internet after English language, English, and is one of two official languages aboard the International Space Station, as well as one of the six official languages of the United Nations. Besides Russian, approximately over 100 minority languages are spoken across Russia. According to the Russian Census (2002), Russian Census of 2002, 142.6 million across the country spoke Russian, 5.3 million spoke Tatar language, Tatar, and 1.8 million spoke Ukrainian language, Ukrainian. The constitution gives the country's individual republics the right to Languages of Russia#Official languages, establish their own state languages in addition to Russian, as well as guarantee its citizens the right to preserve their native language and to create conditions for its study and development.
ReligionRussia is a secular state by constitution, and its largest religion is Christianity in Russia, Christianity. It has the world's Eastern Orthodoxy by country, largest Orthodox population, and according to different sociological surveys on religious adherence, between 41% to over 80% of Russia's population adhere to the Russian Orthodox Church.There is no official census of religion in Russia, and estimates are based on surveys only. In August 2012
EducationRussia has a free education system, which is guaranteed for all citizens by the constitution. The Ministry of Education (Russia), Ministry of Education of Russia is responsible for primary and secondary education, and vocational education; while the Ministry of Science and Higher Education (Russia), Ministry of Education and Science of Russia is responsible for science and higher education. Regional authorities regulate education within their jurisdictions within the prevailing framework of federal laws. Russia has the world's highest college-level or higher graduates in terms of percentage of population, at 54%. Pre-school education in Russia is highly developed, some four-fifths of children aged 3 to 6 attend day nurseries or kindergartens. Schooling is compulsory for nine years. It starts from age 6 to 7 and leads to a basic general education certificate. An additional two or three years of schooling are required for the secondary-level certificate, and some seven-eighths of Russian students continue their education past this level. Admission to an institute of higher education is selective and highly competitive: first-degree courses usually take five years. The oldest and largest List of institutions of higher education in Russia, universities in Russia are Moscow State University and Saint Petersburg State University. There are also ten highly prestigious Template:Federal universities of Russia, federal universities across the country. According to a UNESCO report in 2014, Russia is the world's sixth-leading destination for international students.
HealthRussia, by constitution, guarantees free, universal health care for all Russian citizens, through a compulsory state health insurance program. The Ministry of Health (Russia), Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation oversees the Russian public healthcare system, and the sector employs more than two million people. Federal regions also have their own departments of health that oversee local administration. A separate private health insurance plan is needed to access private healthcare in Russia. According to the World Bank, Russia spent 5.32% of its GDP on healthcare in 2018. It has one of the world's most female-biased human sex ratio, sex ratios, with 0.859 males to every female. In 2019, the overall List of countries by life expectancy, life expectancy in Russia at birth is 73.2 years (68.2 years for males and 78.0 years for females), and it had a very low Infant mortality, infant mortality rate (5 per 1,000 live birth (human), live births). The principle cause of death in Russia are cardiovascular diseases. Obesity is a prevalent health issue in Russia. In 2016, 61.1% of Russian adults were overweight or obese. However, Russia's historically high Alcohol consumption in Russia, alcohol consumption rate is the biggest health issue in the country, as it remains List of countries by alcohol consumption per capita, one of the world's highest, despite a stark decrease in the last decade. The country's List of countries by suicide rate, high suicide rate, although Suicide in Russia, on the decline, remains a significant social issue.
Culturehas been formed by the nation's history, its geographical location and its vast expanse, religious and social traditions, and Western culture, Western influence. Russian Russian literature, writers and Russian philosophy, philosophers have played an important role in the development of European thought. The Russians have also greatly influenced classical music, Russian ballet, ballet, Sport in Russia, sport, Russian architecture, architecture, List of Russian artists, painting, and Cinema of Russia, cinema. The nation has made pioneering contributions to Timeline of Russian inventions and technology records, science and technology and space exploration, and is home to 30 World Heritage Sites, 19 out of which are cultural; while 27 more sites lie on the tentative list. The large global Russian diaspora has also played a major role in spreading Russian culture throughout the world.
Art and architectureEarly Russian painting is represented in Russian icons, icons and vibrant frescos. In the early 15th-century, the master icon painter Andrei Rublev created some of Russia's most treasured religious art. The Russian Academy of Arts, which was established in 1757, to train Russian artists, brought Western techniques of secular painting to Russia. In the 18th century, academicians Ivan Argunov, Dmitry Levitzky, Vladimir Borovikovsky became influential. The early 19th century saw many prominent paintings by Karl Briullov and Alexander Andreyevich Ivanov, Alexander Ivanov, both of whom were known for Romanticism, Romantic historical canvases. In the 1860s, a group of critical Realism (arts), realists (Peredvizhniki), led by Ivan Kramskoy, Ilya Repin and Vasiliy Perov broke with the academy, and portrayed the many-sided aspects of social life in paintings. The turn of the 20th century saw the rise of Symbolism (arts), symbolism; represented by Mikhail Vrubel and Nicholas Roerich. The Russian avant-garde flourished from approximately 1890 to 1930; and globally influential artists from this era were El Lissitzky, Kazimir Malevich, Natalia Goncharova, Wassily Kandinsky, and Marc Chagall. Notable sculptures from the Soviet era include Vera Mukhina, Yevgeny Vuchetich, and Ernst Neizvestny. The history of Russian architecture begins with early woodcraft buildings of ancient Slavs, and the architecture of Kievan Rus'. Following the Christianization of Kievan Rus', for several centuries it was influenced predominantly by the . Aristotle Fioravanti and other Italian architects brought Renaissance trends into Russia. The 16th-century saw the development of the unique tent-like churches; and the onion dome design, which is a distinctive feature of Russian architecture. In the 17th-century, the "fiery style" of ornamentation flourished in Moscow and Yaroslavl, gradually paving the way for the Naryshkin baroque of the 1690s. After the reforms of Peter the Great, Russia's architecture became influenced by Western European styles. The 18th-century taste for Rococo architecture led to the splendid works of Bartolomeo Rastrelli and his followers. During the reign of Catherine the Great, Saint Petersburg was transformed into an outdoor museum of Neoclassical architecture. During Alexander I of Russia, Alexander I's rule, Empire style became the ''de facto'' architectural style, and Nicholas I of Russia, Nicholas I opened the gate of Eclecticism to Russia. The second half of the 19th-century was dominated by the Neo-Byzantine architecture in the Russian Empire, Neo-Byzantine and Russian Revival style. In early 20th-century, Russian neoclassical revival became a trend. Prevalent styles of the late 20th-century were the Art Nouveau architecture in Russia, Art Nouveau, Constructivism (art), Constructivism, and Stalinist architecture, Socialist Classicism.
MusicUntil the 18th-century, music in Russia consisted mainly of church music and folk songs and dances. In the 19th-century, it was defined by the tension between classical composer Mikhail Glinka along with other members of The Mighty Handful, and the Russian Musical Society led by composers Anton Rubinstein, Anton and Nikolay Rubinstein. The later tradition of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, one of the greatest composers of the Romantic music, Romantic era, was continued into the 20th century by Sergei Rachmaninoff, one of the last great champions of the Romantic style of European classical music. World-renowned composers of the 20th century include Alexander Scriabin, Alexander Glazunov, Igor Stravinsky, Sergei Prokofiev, Dmitri Shostakovich, Georgy Sviridov and Alfred Schnittke. Soviet and Russian conservatories have turned out generations of world-renowned soloists. Among the best known are violinists David Oistrakh and Gidon Kremer, cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, pianists Vladimir Horowitz, Sviatoslav Richter, and Emil Gilels, and vocalist Galina Vishnevskaya. During the Soviet times, popular music also produced a number of renowned figures, such as the two Bard (Soviet Union), balladeers—Vladimir Vysotsky and Bulat Okudzhava, and performers such as Alla Pugacheva. Jazz, even with sanctions from Soviet authorities, flourished and evolved into one of the country's most popular musical forms. The Vyacheslav Ganelin, Ganelin Trio have been described by critics as the greatest ensemble of free-jazz in continental Europe. By the 1980s, Rock music in Russia, rock music became popular across Russia, and produced bands such as Aria (band), Aria, Aquarium (band), Aquarium, DDT (band), DDT, and Kino (band), Kino. Russian pop, Pop music has continued to flourish in Russia since the 1960s, with globally famous acts such as t.A.T.u.. In the recent times, Little Big (band), Little Big, a rave music, rave band, has gained popularity in Russia and across Europe.
Literature and philosophyRussian literature is considered to be among the world's most influential and developed. It can be traced to the Middle Ages, when epics and chronicles in Old East Slavic were composed. By the Age of Enlightenment, literature had grown in importance, with works from Mikhail Lomonosov, Denis Fonvizin, Gavrila Derzhavin, and Nikolay Karamzin. From the early 1830s, during the Golden Age of Russian Poetry, literature underwent an astounding golden age in poetry, prose and drama. Romanticism permitted a flowering of poetic talent: Vasily Zhukovsky and later his protégé Alexander Pushkin came to the fore. Following Pushkin's footsteps, a new generation of poets were born, including Mikhail Lermontov, Nikolay Nekrasov, Aleksey Konstantinovich Tolstoy, Fyodor Tyutchev and Afanasy Fet. The first great Russian novelist was Nikolai Gogol. Then came Ivan Turgenev, who mastered both short stories and novels. Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Fyodor Dostoevsky and Leo Tolstoy soon became internationally renowned. Ivan Goncharov is remembered mainly for his novel Oblomov. Mikhail Saltykov-Shchedrin wrote prose satire, while Nikolai Leskov is best remembered for his shorter fiction. In the second half of the century Anton Chekhov excelled in short stories and became a leading dramatist. Other important 19th-century developments included the fabulist Ivan Krylov, non-fiction writers such as the critic Vissarion Belinsky, and playwrights such as Aleksandr Griboyedov and Aleksandr Ostrovsky. The beginning of the 20th century ranks as the Silver Age of Russian Poetry. This era had poets such as Alexander Blok, Anna Akhmatova, Boris Pasternak, Konstantin Balmont, Marina Tsvetaeva, Vladimir Mayakovsky, and Osip Mandelshtam. It also produced some first-rate novelists and short-story writers, such as Aleksandr Kuprin, Nobel Prize winner Ivan Bunin, Leonid Andreyev, Yevgeny Zamyatin, Dmitry Merezhkovsky and Andrei Bely. After the Russian Revolution of 1917, Russian literature split into Soviet and white émigré parts. In the 1930s, Socialist realism became the predominant trend in Russia. Its leading figure was Maxim Gorky, who laid the foundations of this style. Mikhail Bulgakov was one of the leading writers of the Soviet era. Nikolay Ostrovsky's novel How the Steel Was Tempered has been among the most successful works of Russian literature. Various émigré writers, such as novelist Vladimir Nabokov continued to write in exile. Some writers dared to oppose Soviet ideology, such as Nobel Prize-winning novelist Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, who wrote about life in the gulag camps. Russian philosophy has been greatly influential—with contributions from Alexander Herzen, who is known as the "father of Russian socialism"; Mikhail Bakunin, who is referred to as the father of anarchism; Peter Kropotkin, Mikhail Bakhtin, Helena Blavatsky, Vladimir Lenin, who is one of the world's most popular revolutionaries, and developed the political ideology of Leninism; Leon Trotsky, who is the founder of Trotskyism; and Petr Chaadaev, who influenced both the Westernizers and the Slavophiles. Notable Russian philosophers of the late 19th and 20th centuries including Vladimir Solovyov (philosopher), Vladimir Solovyov, Alexander Zinoviev, Sergei Bulgakov, Pavel Florensky, Lev Shestov, and Nikolai Berdyaev.
CuisineRussian cuisine has been formed by climate, cultural and religious traditions, and the vast geography of the nation; and it shares many similarities with the cuisines of its neighbouring countries. Crops of rye, wheat, barley, and millet provide the ingredients for various breads, pancakes and cereals, as well as for many drinks. Bread in Europe#Finland and Russia, Bread is very popular in Russia. Flavourful soups and stews include shchi, borsch, ukha, solyanka, and okroshka. Smetana (dairy product), Smetana (a heavy sour cream) is often added to soups and salads. Pirozhki, blini, and syrniki are native types of pancakes. Beef Stroganoff, Chicken Kiev, pelmeni, and shashlyk are popular meat dishes. Other meat dishes include stuffed cabbage rolls ''(golubtsy)'' usually filled with meat. Salads include Olivier salad, vinegret, and dressed herring. Russia's List of national drinks, national non-alcoholic drink is kvass, and the national alcoholic drink is vodka; its creation in the nation dates back to the 14th century. The country has the world's highest vodka consumption, while Beer in Russia, beer is the most popular alcoholic beverage. Russian wine, Wine has become increasingly popular in Russia in the 21st century, as the country is becoming one of the world's largest wine producers. Russian tea culture, Tea has also been a historically popular beverage in Russia.
Mass media and cinemaRussia has a large and diverse media industry; with over 80 thousand media outlets, and some 22-35 thousand newspapers. There are 1,552 news agencies in Russia, among which the largest internationally operating are TASS, RIA Novosti, Sputnik (news agency), Sputnik, and Interfax. Television in Russia, Television is the most popular media in Russia, as 99% of the Russian population receives at least one television channel, and roughly 60% of Russians watch television on a daily basis. Among the 3,000 licensed radio stations nationwide, popular ones include Radio Rossii, Vesti FM, Echo of Moscow, Radio Mayak, and Russkoye Radio. Leading newspapers include Argumenty i Fakty, Komsomolskaya Pravda, Rossiyskaya Gazeta, Izvestia, and Moskovskij Komsomolets. State-run Channel One Russia, Channel One and Russia-1 are the leading news channels, while RT (TV network), RT is the flagship of Russia's international media operations. Russia has the Video games in Russia, largest video gaming market in Europe, with over 65 million players nationwide. Russian and later Soviet cinema was a hotbed of invention, resulting in world-renowned films such as ''The Battleship Potemkin'', which was named the List of films considered the best, greatest film of all time at the Expo 58, Brussels World's Fair in 1958. Soviet-era filmmakers, most notably Sergei Eisenstein and Andrei Tarkovsky, would go on to become among of the world's most innovative and influential directors. Eisenstein was a student of Lev Kuleshov, who developed the groundbreaking Soviet montage theory of film editing at the world's first film school, the Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography, All-Union Institute of Cinematography. Dziga Vertov's "Kino-Eye" theory had a huge impact on the development of documentary filmmaking and cinema realism. Many Soviet socialist realism films were artistically successful, including ''Chapaev (film), Chapaev'', ''The Cranes Are Flying'', and ''Ballad of a Soldier''. The 1960s and 1970s saw a greater variety of artistic styles in Soviet cinema. The comedies of Eldar Ryazanov and Leonid Gaidai of that time were immensely popular, with many of the catchphrases still in use today. In 1961–68 Sergey Bondarchuk directed an Academy Award, Oscar-winning War and Peace (film series), film adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's epic ''War and Peace'', which was the most expensive film made in the Soviet Union. In 1969, Vladimir Motyl's ''White Sun of the Desert'' was released, a very popular film in a genre of ostern; the film is traditionally watched by cosmonauts before any trip into space. In 2002, ''Russian Ark'' became the first feature film ever to be shot in a single take. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the Russian cinema industry suffered large losses—however, since the late 2000s, it has seen growth once again, and continues to expand.
SportsAssociation football, Football is the most popular sport in Russia. The Soviet Union national football team became the first European champions by winning Euro 1960, and reached the finals of Euro 1988. Russian clubs PFC CSKA Moscow, CSKA Moscow and Zenit Saint Petersburg won the UEFA Cup in 2005 and 2008. The Russian national football team reached the semi-finals of Euro 2008. Russia was the host nation for the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, and the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Ice hockey in Russia, Ice hockey is very popular in Russia, and the Soviet Union men's national ice hockey team, Soviet national ice hockey team dominated the sport internationally throughout its existence. Bandy is Russia's national sport, and it has historically been the highest-achieving country in the sport. The Russian national basketball team won the EuroBasket 2007, and the Russian basketball club PBC CSKA Moscow is among the most successful European basketball teams. The annual Formula One Russian Grand Prix is held at the Sochi Autodrom in the Sochi Olympic Park. Historically, Russia at the Olympics, Russian athletes have been one of the most successful contenders in the Olympic Games, ranking second in an All-time Olympic Games medal table, all-time Olympic Games medal count. Russia is the leading nation in rhythmic gymnastics; and Russian synchronized swimming is considered to be the world's best. Figure skating is another popular sport in Russia, especially pair skating and ice dancing. Russia has produced numerous prominent tennis players. Chess is also a widely popular pastime in the nation, with many of the world's top chess players being Russian for decades. The 1980 Summer Olympic Games were held in Moscow, and the 2014 Winter Olympics and the 2014 Winter Paralympics were hosted in Sochi.
See also* Outline of Russia
Further reading* Bartlett, Roger P. ''A History Of Russia'' (2005