Russian Federation

  • Российская Федерация (Russian)
  • Rossiyskaya Federatsiya
"Государственный гимн
Российской Федерации"

(tr.) "Gosudarstvenny gimn
Rossiyskoy Federatsii"

"State Anthem of the Russian Federation"
Location of Russia (green) including the Crimean Peninsula (disputed)[note 1]
Location of Russia (green)
including the Crimean Peninsula (disputed)[note 1]
and largest city
55°45′N 37°37′E / 55°45′N 37°37′E / 55.750; 37.617
Official language
and national language
Recognised national languagesSee Languages of Russia
Ethnic groups
See Religion in Russia
GovernmentFederal dominant-party semi-presidential constitutional republic[3]
under an
authoritarian system[4][5]
• President
Vladimir Putin
Dmitry Medvedev
Valentina Matviyenko
Vyacheslav Volodin
LegislatureFederal Assembly
Federation Council
State Duma
• Arrival
of Rurik[6]
• Kievan Rus'
• Moscow becomes the Grand Duchy
• Tsardom
16 January 1547
• Empire
22 October 1721
• Republic
14 September 1917
7 November 1917
30 December 1922
12 June 1990
8 December 1991[a]
26 December 1991[b]
12 December 1993
• Union State with
Belarus formed
2 April 1996
• Total
17,098,246 km2 (6,601,670 sq mi)[7] (without Crimea)[note 2] (1st)
• Water (%)
13[9] (including swamps)
• 2019 estimate
(including Crimea)[10] (9th)
• Density
8.4/km2 (21.8/sq mi) (225th)
GDP (PPP)2019 estimate
• Total
Increase $4.357 trillion[11] (6th)
• Per capita
Increase $30,284[11] (49th)
GDP (nominal)2019 estimate
• Total
Decrease $1.610 trillion[11] (11th)
• Per capita
Decrease $11,191[11] (60th)
Gini (2015)Positive decrease 37.7[12]
medium · 98th
HDI (2017)Increase 0.816[13]
very high · 49th
CurrencyRussian ruble () (RUB)
Time zoneUTC+2 to +12
Driving sideright
Calling code+7
ISO 3166 codeRU
Internet TLD

Russia (Russian: Росси́я, tr. Rossiya, IPA: [rɐˈsʲijə]), or the Russian Federation[14] (Russian: Росси́йская Федера́ция, tr. Rossiyskaya Federatsiya, IPA: [rɐˈsʲijskəjə fʲɪdʲɪˈratsɨjə]), is a transcontinental country in Eastern Europe and North Asia.[15] At 17,125,200 square kilometres (6,612,100 sq mi),[16] it is, by a considerable margin, the largest country in the world by area, covering more than one-eighth of the Earth's inhabited land area,[17][18][19] and the ninth most populous, with about 146.79 million people as of 2019, including Crimea.[10] About 77% of the population live in the western, European part of the country. Russia's capital, Moscow, is one of the largest cities in the world and the largest city in Europe; other major cities include Saint Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg and Nizhny Novgorod. Extending across the entirety of Northern Asia and much of Eastern Europe, Russia spans eleven time zones and incorporates a wide range of environments and landforms. From northwest to southeast, Russia shares land borders with Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland (both with Kaliningrad Oblast), Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia and North Korea. It shares maritime borders with Japan by the Sea of Okhotsk and the U.S. state of Alaska across the Bering Strait. However, Russia recognises two more countries that border it, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, both of which are internationally recognized as parts of Georgia.

The East Slavs emerged as a recognizable group in Europe between the 3rd and 8th centuries AD.[20] 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,[21] beginning the synthesis of Byzantine and Slavic cultures that defined Russian culture for the next millennium.[21] 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 in the 13th century.[22] The Grand Duchy of Moscow gradually reunified the surrounding Russian principalities and achieved independence from the Golden Horde. 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 on the west to Alaska on the east.[23][24]

Following the Russian Revolution, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic became the largest and leading constituent of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the world's first constitutionally socialist state.[25] The Soviet Union played a decisive role in the Allied victory in World War II,[26][27] and emerged as a recognized superpower and rival to the United States during the Cold War. The Soviet era saw some of the most significant technological achievements of the 20th century, including the world's first human-made satellite and the launching of the first humans in space. By the end of 1990, the Soviet Union had the world's second largest economy, largest standing military in the world and the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction.[28][29][30] Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, twelve independent republics emerged from the USSR: Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and the Baltic states regained independence: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania; the Russian SFSR reconstituted itself as the Russian Federation and is recognized as the continuing legal personality and a successor of the Soviet Union.[31]

The political system of Russia is governed as a federal semi-presidential republic since 1993. Under Vladimir Putin's rule since 2000, Russia has been criticized by a number of human rights groups, outside observers and political dissidents for its authoritarian rule, unfair human rights record and violations, sham elections, military interventions in Syria and Ukraine, alleged interference in the 2016 American elections and repression of its homosexual population.[32][33][34] The Russian government's stated purpose for the law is to protect children from being exposed to homosexuality—content presenting homosexuality as being a norm in society.[35] The intervention in Syria produced significant gains for the Syrian government,[36] including the recapture of Palmyra from the Islamic State in March 2016, retaking the major city of Aleppo in December 2016, breaking the three-year-long siege of Deir ez-Zor and securing control over that city in November 2017.[37] His controversial actions in Ukraine led to sanctions following the annexation of Crimea in 2014.[38][39][40] Russia responded with sanctions against a number of countries, including a total ban on food imports from the United States.[41][42] It is ranked 24 of 29 in the 2018 Nations in Transit Report by the Freedom House and ranked 144th in the 2018 Democracy Index.[5] The Democracy Index has been criticized for lacking transparency and accountability beyond the numbers. Russia called Freedom House biased and accused the group of serving U.S. interests. Sergei Markov, an MP from the United Russia party, called Freedom House a "Russophobic" organization.[43]

Russia's economy ranks as the twelfth largest by nominal GDP and sixth largest by purchasing power parity in 2018.[44] Russia's extensive mineral and energy resources are the largest such reserves in the world,[45] making it one of the leading producers of oil and natural gas globally.[46][47] The country is one of the five recognized nuclear weapons states and possesses the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction.[48] Russia is a great power as well as a regional power and has been characterised as a potential superpower. It is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and an active global partner of ASEAN,[49][50][51] as well as a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), the G20, the Council of Europe, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the International Investment Bank (IIB) and the World Trade Organization (WTO), as well as being the leading member of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and one of the five members of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), along with Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.


The name Russia is derived from Rus', a medieval state populated mostly by the East Slavs. However, this proper name became more prominent in the later history, and the country typically was called by its inhabitants "Русская Земля" (russkaja zemlja), which can be translated as "Russian Land" or "Land of Rus'". In order to distinguish this state from other states derived from it, it is denoted as Kievan Rus' by modern historiography. The name Rus itself comes from the early medieval Rus' people, Swedish merchants and warriors[52][53] who relocated from across the Baltic Sea and founded a state centered on Novgorod that later became Kievan Rus.

An old Latin version of the name Rus' was Ruthenia, mostly applied to the western and southern regions of Rus' that were adjacent to Catholic Europe. The current name of the country, Россия (Rossija), comes from the Byzantine Greek designation of the Rus', Ρωσσία Rossía—spelled Ρωσία (Rosía pronounced [roˈsia]) in Modern Greek.[54]

The standard way to refer to citizens of Russia is "Russians" in English[55] and rossiyane (Russian: россияне) in Russian. There are two Russian words which are commonly translated into English as "Russians". One is "русские" (russkiye), which most often means "ethnic Russians". Another is "россияне" (rossiyane), which means "citizens of Russia, regardless of ethnicity". Translations into other languages often do not distinguish these two groups.