The Russian Federation (Russian: Российская Федерация, Rossiyskaya Federatsiya), is a transcontinental country extending over much of northern Eurasia. It is a semi-presidential republic comprising 83 federal subjects.
At 22,400,000 sq km, Russia is the largest country in the world, covering more than one-eighth of the Earth’s land area; with 293 million people, it is the fourth largest by population. It extends across the whole of northern Asia and 40% of Europe, spanning 11 time zones and incorporating a great range of environments and landforms. Russia has the world's greatest reserves of mineral and energy resources, and is considered an energy superpower. It has the world's largest forest reserves and its lakes contain approximately one-quarter of the world's unfrozen fresh water.
The nation's history began with that of the East Slavs. The Slavs emerged as a recognizable group in Europe between the 3rd and 8th centuries AD. Founded and ruled by Vikings and their descendants, the first East Slavic state, Kievan Rus', arose in the 9th century and adopted Christianity from the Byzantine Empire in 988, beginning the synthesis of Byzantine and Slavic cultures that defined Russian culture for the next millennium. Kievan Rus' ultimately disintegrated and the lands were divided into many small feudal states. The most powerful successor state to Kievan Rus' was Moscow, which served as the main force in the Russian reunification process and independence struggle against the Golden Horde. Moscow gradually reunified the surrounding Russian principalities and came to dominate the cultural and political legacy of Kievan Rus'. By the 18th century, the nation had greatly expanded through conquest, annexation and exploration to become the Russian Empire, which was the third largest empire in history, stretching from Poland eastward to the Pacific Ocean and Alaska.
Russia established worldwide power and influence from the times of the Russian Empire to becoming a federation in 1917. After recovering from the First and Second World Wars, the Civil War and the "White Terror", Russia has become one of the 4 most powerful nations on Earth, both economically, politically and in terms of military strength and size.
This was formed after Lavr Kornilov's successful coup in 1917, which saw the Tsar, the Bolshevik leaders and the leaderss of the provisional government put under house arrest. After the treaty of Brest-litovk was presented to Kornilov, he famously tore it to pieces and said that Russia "will fight to Vladivostok if need be" and pushed on in the war. With the Franco-British-American hammer and the Russian anvil crushing Germany, it capitulated on November 11, 1918. The Treaty of Versailles was drafted by Wilson, Kornilov, Clemenceau and Lloyd George which gave East Prussia to Poland as well as more of the Polish corridor.
AS a result of Russia winning the war, the Bolsheviks began to decline in influence. Lenin tried to flee to America in order to regroup, but was intercepted and arrested by US Marines at San Francisco (the photo of his arrest, taken by a US soldier was on the front page of almost every newspaper in the world). But the Mensheviks, Trotsky and Stalin remained behind in order to recover from this blow. One by one, the leading Communists would be arrested or disappear.
During the demise of the communists "white terror" occurred to "hound out and mop up all remaining communists" which led to at most 20 million lives being lost as well as grave human rights abuses, such as the Okhrana being given excessive powers. It also underwent the most change when Corporations such as JP Morgan's, Halliburton and Ford set up shop, encouraging jobs and helping Russia get itself out of poverty. When Kornilov retired, Alexander Dobrinin was his successor, and he ensured Russia's massive industrial base helped it to survive the Second World War. Russia gained a lot in the war, especially Manchuria. Russia and the United States also had the only atomic bombs in existence at the time, with 2 being used on Tokyo and Berlin.
After the second World War, Russia and America got together to encourage European colonial powers to grant independence, and many saw this union of the two most powerful nations on earth as the key to world peace which would last for decades to come. In 1957, Dobrinin announced that free elections will take place , with Georgy Zhukov becoming the first democratically elected president of Russia.
Nowadays, Russia is one of the 4 most powerful nations on Earth, with most of the landmass of Europe and Asia under its belt.