Russian Federation (English)

Российская Федерация (Russian)

Rossiyskaya Federatsiya
Timeline: The Fires of God
Flag of Russia.svg Coat of Arms of the Russian Federation.svg
Coat of arms
"State Anthem of the Russian Federation"
Russia Fires of God.png
Russia (in green) and neighbouring countries as of 2015. Russian-claimed territories are in light green
(and largest city)
Official languages Russian
Regional Languages Finnish, Norwegian, Persian and 35 other regional languages
Ethnic groups  80% Russian, 8% Finnish, 1.5% Ukrainian, 1% Bashkir, 1% Persian, 1% Chechen, 1% Chuvash, 0.5% Norwegian, 5% other or unspecified
Demonym Russian
Government Single-party dictatorship
 -  President Vladimir Putin
 -  Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev
Legislature National Assembly
 -  Upper house National Council
 -  Lower house State Duma
 -  Arrival of Rurik, considered a founding event by the Russian government 862 
 -  Grand Duchy of Moscow 1283 
 -  Russian Empire 1721 
 -  Abolition of the monarchy 1918 
 -  Russian Federation 1990 
 -   estimate 150,000,000 
Currency Russian Ruble

Russia, officially known as the Russian Federation, is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a single-party autocratic state governed by the United Russia party, and is the largest country in the world by area. Extending across the entirety of northern Asia and much of Eastern Europe, Russia spans nine time zones and incorporates a wide range of environments and landforms. From northwest to southeast, Russia shares land borders with Norway, Sweden, Poland, Ukraine, Persia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, China and North Korea. It shares maritime borders with Japan by the Sea of Okhotsk and Alaska across the Bering Strait.

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 one of the largest empires in history, stretching from Poland in Europe to Alaska in North America.

Russian Empire greatest exent Fires of God

The greatest extent of the Russian Empire (in green) and its sphere of influence (light green), c. 1950

Following the Russian Revolution, the Russian Empire became a single-party autocratic republic and a recognized superpower, which played a decisive role in the Allied victory in World War II. The Republican-Imperial era saw some of the most significant technological achievements of the 20th century, including the world's first human-made satellite, and the first man in space. Following the dissolution of the empire in 1991, Russia reconstituted itself as the Russian Federation and is recognized as the continuing legal personality (the sole successor state) of the Imperial state. Russia is a recognised nuclear power, was a founding member of the United Nations and occupies a permanent place on the Security Council.