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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. The Soviet economy and society stagnated in the following decades 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. Since then, Russia has struggled in its efforts to build a democratic political system and market economy to replace the social, political, and economic controls of the Communist period. While some progress has been made on the economic front, and Russia's management of its windfall oil wealth has improved its financial standing, recent years have seen a recentralization of power under Vladimir PUTIN and democratic institutions remain weak. Russia has severely disabled the Chechen rebel movement, although sporadic violence still occurs throughout the North Caucasus.

Languages & Population

Approximate Population: 141,377,752

Nationality (Noun): Russian(s)

Nationality (Adjective): Russian

Official Language(s): Russian

Major Languages Spoken: Estonian, Kirghiz, Mongolian, Ossetian, Russian, Yiddish

Map of Russia

Country Facts

Country Name (long form): Russian Federation

Country Name (short form): Russia

Country Name (local long form): Rossiyskaya Federatsiya

Country Name (local short form): Rossiya

Name of Capital: Moscow

UTC Time Difference (from capital): UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Countries Near by, and Bordering Russia: Ukraine, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea (North), Latvia, Mongolia, Norway, Poland, Lithuania, United States, Azerbaijan, Belarus, China, Estonia, Finland, Georgia

Land Area: 16995800 sq km

Water Area: 79400 sq km

Comparative Area: approximately 1.8 times the size of the US

Total Land Boundry: 20,096.5 km

Coastline: 37,653 km

National Holiday: Russia Day, 12 June (1990)

International Phone Code: 7

Currency Code: Russian ruble (RUR)

Internet Country Code: .ru

US Embassy Location: Bolshoy Deviatinskiy Pereulok No. 8, 121099 Moscow

US Embassy Mailing Address: PSC-77, APO AE 09721


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