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|Language:||Russian, Ukrainian, Belarussian, Kazahk, others|
The Greater Russian Union, informally referred to as Russia, is the largest country in the world, consisting of more than nineteen million sq km of territory in Asia and Europe. It is a federal republic and a liberal democracy, with a strong central government operating in conjunction with 63 Oblasts (states), each of which has considerable powers. The Russian imperial dynasty was overthrown in 1917 and replaced with a republic, until a counter-revolution by Communist leader V.I. Lenin established the world's first Communist state as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. In 1977 the U.S.S.R. officially reorganised into the Greater Russian Union and established a multiparty democracy which has persisted to this day. The Russian government is modelled to a certain extent on that of the United States, though with somewhat clearer distinctions between executive and legislative power. Standards of democracy have risen dramatically in the past decade, and the country is now considered a progressive and prosperous democratic republic, though crime remains a problem.
The current President of Russia is Ukrainan Yulia Tymoshenko, elected in 2005. Tymoshenko is the country's youngest-ever President and the first woman to hold the position. She represents the socially liberal Union Party of Russia, which also holds a majority in the Duma (Parliament). The main opposition party is the conservative Russian Democratic Party, led by former President Vladimir Zhirinovsky.