Founded in the 12th century, the Principality of Muscovy was able to emerge from over 200 years of Mongol domination (13th-15th centuries) and to gradually conquer and absorb surrounding principalities. In the early 17th century, a new ROMANOV Dynasty continued this policy of expansion across Siberia to the Pacific. Under PETER I (ruled 1682-1725), hegemony was extended to the Baltic Sea and the country was renamed the Russian Empire. During the 19th century, more territorial acquisitions were made in Europe and Asia. Defeat in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05 contributed to the Revolution of 1905, which resulted in the formation of a parliament and other reforms. Repeated devastating defeats of the Russian army in World War I led to widespread rioting in the major cities of the Russian Empire and to the overthrow in 1917 of the imperial household. The communists under Vladimir LENIN seized power soon after and formed the USSR. The brutal rule of Iosif STALIN (1928-53) strengthened communist rule and Russian dominance of the Soviet Union at a cost of tens of millions of lives. After defeating Germany in World War II as part of an alliance with the US (1939-1945), the USSR expanded its territory and influence in Eastern Europe and emerged as a global power. The USSR was the principal adversary of the US during the Cold War (1947-1991). The Soviet economy and society stagnated in the decades following Stalin’s rule, until General Secretary Mikhail GORBACHEV (1985-91) introduced glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring) in an attempt to modernize communism, but his initiatives inadvertently released forces that by December 1991 splintered the USSR into Russia and 14 other independent republics.
Following economic and political turmoil during President Boris YELTSIN’s term (1991-99), Russia shifted toward a centralized authoritarian state under the leadership of President Vladimir PUTIN (2000-2008, 2012-present) in which the regime seeks to legitimize its rule through managed elections, populist appeals, a foreign policy focused on enhancing the country’s geopolitical influence, and commodity-based economic growth. Russia faces a largely subdued rebel movement in Chechnya and some other surrounding regions, although violence still occurs throughout the North Caucasus.
The Best of Russia...
Russia's Most Popular Sights...
Here is a list of some of the most interesting and visited places. Cities or areas listed will always have more than just one thing see and do. With the popular cities or areas we list some of the best known, which should go on everyone’s, must see list when they visit.
The Golden Ring
Saint Nicolas Cathedral
St. Basil’s Cathedral
Mt. Elbrus & The Caucasus
The Hermitage & Winter Palace
Peter Paul Fortress
Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood
The Motherland Calls’ Sculpture
Battlefields of Volgograd
Areas of the Russian Federation…
Federal semi-presidential constitutional republic
Russian Ruble (Pуб.)
total: 17,098,242 km2 water: 720,500 km2 land: 16,377,742 km2 ranked 1st
142,355,415 (July 2016 est.) ranked 10th
Russian (official) 85.7%, Tatar 3.2%, Chechen 1%, other 10.1% note: data represent native language spoken (2010 est.)
Russian Orthodox 15-20%, Muslim 10-15%, other Christian 2% (2006 est.) note: estimates are of practicing worshipers; Russia has large populations of non-practicing believers and non-believers, a legacy of over seven decades of Soviet rule; Russia officially recognizes Orthodox Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and Buddhism as traditional religions
230V, 50Hz (European plug)
UTC+3 (Europe area only)
Drives on the
“Государственный гимн Российской Федерации” “Gosudarstvenny gimn Rossiyskoy Federatsii” (transliteration) “State Anthem of the Russian Federation”