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Russia (the Russian Federation) – is a state in the eastern part of Europe and in the northern part of Asia. Total area is about 17 075.4 thousands sq. km. Population is 147.5 mln. people (as for 01.01.97), urban population is 73%. Russians are 81.5% (the census of 1989); besides, more than 100 other nations live here. The most part of be-lievers are Christians, the Orthodox mostly, others are Moslems, Buddhists and so on. There are 1066 cities in Russia, 2270 towns (as for 01.01.1994). Moscow is the capital of the country.
Russia is democratic federative state with the republican form of board. The working Constitution of Russia was adopted at the national referendum 12.12.1993. The Russian Federation consists of subjects of federation – republics (21), territories (6), re-gions (49), federal status cities Moscow and Saint-Petersburg, autonomous region and autonomous districts (10). The state language on the whole territory of the country is Russian. All the nations of the Russian Federations are guaranteed the right to keep and use their language.
The head of the state – the President of the Russian Federation is elected by the Russian people for a period of four years on the basis of the general equal and direct elective franchise with secret vote. The President is also the Supreme Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.
The main legislative body of the Russian Federation (its Parliament) is the Fed-eral Assembly, which consists of two chambers: the State Duma and Council of Federa-tion. The executive authority is realized by the government of the Russian Federation led by the chairman appointed by the President with the consent of the State Duma.
The most part of the European territory of Russia is located within the limits of East European plain. In the south - northern slopes of Caucasus, in northwest - Hibiny Mountains. To the east from Urals Mountains is West Siberian plain bordered in the south by mountains of Southern Siberia (Altai, Sayan mountains, mountains of Pribaika-lye, Transbaikalia, etc.). Between Yenisey and Lena there is the Central Siberian pla-teau, between Lena and Pacific Ocean ridges and uplands Northeastern Asia are lo-cated. The climate changes from sea in extreme northwest up to sharply continental in Siberia and monsoonal on the Far East. Average temperatures of January varies from 0 up to - 50°С, in July from 1 up to 25°С. Rainfalls usually from 150 up to 2000 mm per year. There is a long-term frozen ground in many areas of Siberia and in the Far East. The largest rivers are Lena, Irtysh, Yenisei, Ob, Volga, Amur; the largest lakes are - Caspian (sea), Baikal, Ladoga, Onega. The following climate zones are in the territory of Russia (from north to south): the Arctic desert, tundra, forest-tundra, wood, forest-steppe, steppe, semidesertic (Prikaspijskaja lowland). Oil fields, natural gas, coal, iron ores, apatites, potash salts, phosphorites, ores of color, rare and precious metals, dia-monds etc. There are 85 reserves in Russia and 25 natural national parks (as for 1993).
On a part of territory of Russia in the first millenium b.c. there was a Bosporskoe state and Scythia. In 552-745 part of territory of Russia was occupied by the state of the breeding union of turkis, so called Turkic Kaganat. In the middle 7 - the end of 10 centu-ries in the Bottom Volga region, Northern Caucasus and area near Azovskoe Sea the state Hazarsky Kaganat was settled down. In the beginning of 8 century - 926 on the Far East there was a state Bohai. In 10-14 centuries on the average the Volga region and area near Kama river was Bulgaria Volzhsko-Kamskaya. In 9 century the old Rus-sian state was formed. In about 988 year the Christianity was accepted as the state re-ligion of Russia. In 12-14 centuries there existed the Novgorod republic, Vladimirsko-Suzdalskoe, Galitsko-Volynskoe and other princedoms. In the 13 century Russian princedoms, Volzhsko-Kamskaya Bulgaria have undergone to Mongolian-Tatar invasion (1237-1242), the Swedish and German aggression (the Neva fight, 1240; Ice slaughter, 1242). Almost 250-years Mongolian-Tatar yoke was finished with the exile of aggres-sors by the united forces of Russia (Kulikovskaya fight, 1380; The Standing on Ugra River, 1480). In 14-16 centuries the Russian centralized state was formed around Mos-cow which had included all the lands of Northeast and Northwest Russia. At the end of 16 - middle of 17 centuries the serfdom was issued. In the beginning of 17 century Rus-sia has reflected the Polish-Lithuanian and Swedish interventions. In middle of 17 cen-turies Ukraine became the part of the Russian state. The increasing serfdom caused revolts and country wars (the beginning of 17 century, 1670-71, 1707-09, and 1773-75). Reforms of Peter I (the end 17 – first quarter of 18 century) promoted social and eco-nomic and cultural development of the country, a victory in Northern war 1700-21 that has given a way to the Baltic Sea. In 16-19 centuries many territories of the North, the Volga region, Ural, Siberia, the Far East were joined to Russia and so the multinational state was formed. Russia has reflected the invasion of Napoleon in the war of 1812. The reform of 1861 has cancelled the serfdom, promoted social and economic devel-opment. In 1898 RSDRP was created, and many other political parties and trade unions appeared in the beginning of 20 century; then the State Duma was created. The Rus-sian-Japanese war of 1904-05 promoted Revolution of 1905-07 in Russia. Russia has taken part in the First World War in 1914-18. During February revolution of 1917 the au-tocracy was thrown down. 25.10. (7.11). 1917 there was the October revolution of 1917. The authority of Councils of workers, soldiers and country deputies was proclaimed. Simultaneously there was a violent liquidation of some the political parties, resulted in a monopoly of political authority of the communist Party which has gradually merged with the centralized machinery of state. Civil war and military intervention of 1917-22 pro-moted the statement of military-communistic principles of organization of society, sys-tem of manufacture and distribution (so called “Military Communism”). In January 1918 the Russian Soviet Federal Socialist Republic (RSFSR) was formed. In 1921 the new economic policy was accepted. December, 30 1922 RSFSR together with Ukraine (USSR), Byelorussia (BSSR) and republics of Transcaucasia (ZSFSR) have formed the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics (the USSR). The further development of Russia is inextricably related to the USSR. On June, 12 1990 the Congress of People's Depu-ties of RSFSR has adopted the Declaration on the state sovereignty of the Russian Federation. On March, 17 1991 after the Russian referendum the post of the President of the Russian Federation (in the same year the first president was elected - B.N.Yeltsin) was founded. Since December 1991 Russia is a part of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). In December 1993 the Constitution of the Russian Federa-tion was adopted; the elections to the Federal Assembly were carried out. In Russia the gradual movement to democracy and market economy is currently carried out.
Russia is the industrial-agrarian country, the whole territory is divided into 12 large economic regions (Northern, Northwest, Central, Volgo-Vyatskiy, Central Black Earth, Volga region, North Caucasian, Ural, West-Siberian, East-Siberian, Far East, the Kaliningrad region). The structure of the national income is as follows (1993, %): indus-try 44,5, agriculture 10,0, construction 11,5, transport and communication, logistics, preparations etc. - 34,0. The extraction (as for 1993) petroleums (including a gas con-densate) is 354 million tons (mainly West-Siberian and Volgo-Ural provinces), natural gas 619 billion m3, coal 305 million tons (Kuznetsk, Pechora, Kansko-Achinskiy, South-Yakut fields etc.), iron ore 76 million tons (Kursk magnetic anomaly, deposits of Ural, West Siberia etc.). Large black (stell sucelt 58,3 million tons, pig-iron 40,5 million tons - Magnitogorsk, Chelyabinsk, Nizhni Tagil, Novokuznetsk, Cherepovets, Lipetsk etc.) and color (Norilsk, Krasnoyarsk, Irkutsk etc.) metallurgy. Deposits of diamonds in Yakutia are being actively developed. Mechanical engineering (heavy, common, average, manufacture of devices, exact machines and tools etc.); the large centers are: Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Ural, the Volga region, West Siberia. The chemical and petrochemical industry (manufacture of plastic, mineral fertilizers, chemical fibers, autotire covers etc.); The major areas of the chemical industry are: Central, Northwest, the Volga region and Ural. The wood industry is well developed in northern and eastern areas of the country. Manufacture of building materials, easy (mainly textile) and the food-processing industry is also developed. Manufacture of the electric power 957 billion kWt-h (1993). On the territory of Russia the many incorporated power systems are functioning: of the Centre, Northwest, the Volga region, North Caucasus, Ural, Siberia and the Far East, the coun-tries; all of them are included in the Uniform power system of the country. Alongside with numerous thermal power stations, Volzhsko-Kamskiy and the Angaro-Yeniseiskiy hydropower cascades are operating, also there are many atomic power stations.
Agricultural lands make (1992, one million hectare) 222,3, including an arable land 132,0 (near 60 %), haymakings 23,2, pastures 64,7. More than 4/5 arable lands is in the Volga region, Central and Central Black Earth regions, North Caucasus, Ural and West Siberia. Husbandry gives 36% of the gross output of agriculture, cattle-breeding gives over 60%. In 1993 the area under crops of agricultural crops was 111,8 million hectares. The basic agricultural crops are: grain, sugar beet, sunflower, potato, flax. Gross gathering (1993, one million tons): grain 99,1, sugar beet 25,5, sunflower 7,8, po-tato 37,7, flax fiber 0,06. The cultivation regions are: for wheat - the Volga region, North Caucasus, West Siberia, Ural and Central Black Earth region; for flax – Central and Northwest region; for sunflowers – North Caucasus, the Volga region and Central Black Earth region; for sugar beet - Central Black Earth region and North Caucasus. The area of irrigated lands is 5,7 million hectares in 1993 (mainly North Caucasus and the Volga region), drained lands take the area of 7,6 million hectares. Meat-and-milk and meat-woolen cattle-breeding. Livestock (1994, one million): cattle livestock 48,9, pigs 28,6, sheep and goats 43,7. The operational length of (1993, thousand kms) railways 87, mo-torways 934, including those with firm covering 725, main pipelines 206, internal water-ways 101. Water systems: the Belomorsko-Baltic channel, the Moscow channel, the Volga-Don channel, the Volga-Baltic waterway. The major seaports are Saint Peters-burg, Vanino, Novorossiysk, Murmansk, Kaliningrad. The major cities of auto service are Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Khabarovsk, Adler, Mineral Waters. In Russia there are over 100 resorts. The all-Russian value resorts are situated at the Black Sea coast of Caucasus (Sochi etc.), group of resorts of the Caucasian Mineral Waters etc.
The main monetary unit is Russian rouble.

Useful links:

http://www.president.kremlin.ru   Site of President of Russia
http://www.government.ru/government The Government of Russian Federation
http://www.council.gov.ru The Council of Federation
http://www.duma.gov.ru The State Duma
http://www.gov.ru/main/page10.html The legislation authority
http://www.mchs.gov.ru MCHS
http://www.fsb.ru FSB
http://www.mvdinform.ru MVD

 

 
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