Monday, June 21, 2010

RUSSIA - Country profile

The defeat of the Russian Empire in World War I
led to the seizure of power by the communists and the formation of the USSR. The brutal rule of Josef STALIN (1924-53) strengthened 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 15 independent republics. Since then, Russia has struggled in its efforts to build a democratic political system and market economy to replace the strict social, political, and economic controls
of the communist period.

Flag of RUSSIA

The flag of Russia (Russian: Флаг России, Flag Rossii), or officially, the State Flag of the Russian Federation (Russian: Государственный Флаг Российской Федерации) is a tricolourflag of three equal horizontal fields, white on the top, blue in the middle and red on the bottom. The flag was first used as an ensign for merchant and war ships and only became official in 1896. The flag continued to be used by the Russian Provisional Government even after the Tsar was toppled in the February Revolution and was not replaced until the October Revolution which established a Bolshevik government. From that time period, a red flag charged with communist symbols was favoured over the tricolour. It was not until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 that the tricolour was brought back as the official flag of the new Russian Federation. The modern era flag underwent a slight change in 1993 and has been official since 2000.

National Anthem of RUSSIA :

"Gosudarstvenny Gimn Rossiyskoy Federatsii" (Russian: Государственный гимн Российской Федерации) is the national anthem of Russia. The song is an adaptation of the anthem of the Soviet Union that was used from 1944 until 1990, with music originally composed by Alexander Alexandrov. The lyrics were revised for the anthem of the Russian Federation by Sergey Mikhalkov, who also wrote lyrics for versions of the Soviet anthem in 1943 and 1977.

In 1990, Russia needed a new anthem to distance itself from the Soviet past. Although "God Save The Tsar!" was used before the overthrow of the Tsar in 1917, President of the Russian SFSR, Boris Yeltsin, decided to select the song "Patrioticheskaya pesnya" by Mikhail Glinka. Composed without words and discovered after Glinka's death, the anthem, without lyrics, was decreed official in 1993. Due to the lack of lyrics, the anthem was not popular. In addition, it did not inspire some Russian athletes during international competitions. A few contests were then sponsored by the government to include lyrics in the anthem, however none were adopted. Because of this, President Vladimir Putin decided that Alexandrov's music was to be restored, and that new lyrics should be written for it. The anthem was created and adopted in late 2000, and became the second anthem used by Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The public perception of the anthem is mixed amongst Russians. To some, the anthem is a reminder of the best days of Russia and honors the past sacrifices. The Russian government contends that the anthem is a symbol of unity of the people and respects the past. To others, the anthem reminds them of the acts of violence that occurred under the rule of Joseph Stalin.

Lyrics :

Russian :

Россия — священная наша держава,
Россия — любимая наша страна.
Могучая воля, великая слава —
Твоё достоянье на все времена!

Припев :
Славься, Отечество наше свободное,
Братских народов союз вековой,
Предками данная мудрость народная!
Славься, страна! Мы гордимся тобой!

От южных морей до полярного края
Раскинулись наши леса и поля.
Одна ты на свете! Одна ты такая —
Хранимая Богом родная земля!


Широкий простор для мечты и для жизни
Грядущие нам открывают года.
Нам силу даёт наша верность Отчизне.
Так было, так есть и так будет всегда!


English :

Russia — our holy nation,
Russia — our beloved country.
A mighty will, great glory —
These are yours for all time !

Chorus :
Be glorious, our free Fatherland,
Age-old union of fraternal peoples,
Popular wisdom given by our forebears !
Be glorious, our country! We are proud of you !

From the southern seas to the polar lands
Spread our forests and fields.
You are unique in the world, one of a kind —
Native land protected by God !


Wide spaces for dreams and for living
Are opened for us by the coming years
Our loyalty to our Fatherland gives us strength.
Thus it was, thus it is and always will be !


Location :

Northern Asia (the area west of the Urals is considered part of Europe), bordering the Arctic Ocean, between Europe and the North Pacific Ocean.

Map :

Area :

Total : 17 098 242 sq km
Land : 16 377 742 sq km
Water : 720 500 sq km

Elevation extremes :

Lowest point : Caspian Sea -28 m
Highest point : Gora El'brus 5 633 m

Terrain :

Ranges from steppes in the south through humid continental in much of European Russia ; subarctic in Siberia to tundra climate in the polar north; winters vary from cool along Black Sea coast to frigid in Siberia; summers vary from warm in the steppes to cool along Arctic coast.

Natural resources :

Wide natural resource base including major deposits of oil, natural gas, coal, and many strategic minerals, timber.

Climate :

Current weather : ranges from steppes in the south through humid continental in much of European Russia; subarctic in Siberia to tundra climate in the polar north; winters vary from cool along Black Sea coast to frigid in Siberia; summers vary from warm in the steppes to cool along Arctic.

Population :

139 390 205 (Estimation 2010)

Nationality :

Demonym : Russian

Ethnic groups :

Russian 79.8%, Tatar 3.8%, Ukrainian 2%, Bashkir 1.2%, Chuvash 1.1%, other or unspecified 12.1% (2002 census).

Religions :

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.

Languages :

Russian, many minority languages.

Country name :

Conventional long form : Russian Federation
Conventional short form : Russia
Local long form : Rossiyskaya Federatsiya
Local short form : Rossiya
Former : Russian Empire, Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic

ISO country code :


Government type :


Capital :

Moscow (population : 10 562 099 - estimation 2010)

Other major cities :

St. Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Nizhniy Novgorod.

Administrative divisions :

46 oblasts (oblastey, singular - oblast), 21 republics (respublik, singular - respublika), 4 autonomous okrugs (avtonomnykh okrugov, singular - avtonomnyy okrug), 9 krays (krayev, singular - kray), 2 federal cities (goroda, singular - gorod), and 1 autonomous oblast (avtonomnaya oblast') :

Oblasts : Amur (Blagoveshchensk), Arkhangel'sk, Astrakhan', Belgorod, Bryansk, Chelyabinsk, Irkutsk, Ivanovo, Kaliningrad, Kaluga, Kemerovo, Kirov, Kostroma, Kurgan, Kursk, Leningrad, Lipetsk, Magadan, Moscow, Murmansk, Nizhniy Novgorod, Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Orenburg, Orel, Penza, Pskov, Rostov, Ryazan', Sakhalin (Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk), Samara, Saratov, Smolensk, Sverdlovsk (Yekaterinburg), Tambov, Tomsk, Tula, Tver', Tyumen', Ul'yanovsk, Vladimir, Volgograd, Vologda, Voronezh, Yaroslavl'.

Republics : Adygeya (Maykop), Altay (Gorno-Altaysk), Bashkortostan (Ufa), Buryatiya (Ulan-Ude), Chechnya (Groznyy), Chuvashiya (Cheboksary), Dagestan (Makhachkala), Ingushetiya (Magas), Kabardino-Balkariya (Nal'chik), Kalmykiya (Elista), Karachayevo-Cherkesiya (Cherkessk), Kareliya (Petrozavodsk), Khakasiya (Abakan), Komi (Syktyvkar), Mariy-El (Yoshkar-Ola), Mordoviya (Saransk), North Ossetia (Vladikavkaz), Sakha [Yakutiya] (Yakutsk), Tatarstan (Kazan'), Tyva (Kyzyl), Udmurtiya (Izhevsk).

Autonomous okrugs : Chukotka (Anadyr'), Khanty-Mansi (Khanty-Mansiysk), Nenets (Nar'yan-Mar), Yamalo-Nenets (Salekhard).

Krays : Altay (Barnaul), Kamchatka (Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy), Khabarovsk, Krasnodar, Krasnoyarsk, Perm', Primorskiy [Maritime] (Vladivostok), Stavropol', Zabaykal'sk (Chita)
federal cities: Moscow [Moskva], Saint Petersburg [Sankt-Peterburg].

Autonomous oblast : Yevrey [Jewish] (Birobidzhan).

Note : administrative divisions have the same names as their administrative centers (exceptions have the administrative center name following in parentheses).

Independance :

24 August 1991 (from the Soviet Union).

National holiday :

Russia Day, 12 June (1990)

Constitution :

Adopted 12 December 1993.

Executive branch :

Chief of state : President Dmitriy Anatolyevich MEDVEDEV (since 7 May 2008).

Head of government : Prime Minister, Vladimir Vladimirovich PUTIN (since 8 May 2008).

Cabinet : Ministries of the Government or "Government" are composed of the premier and his deputies, ministers, and selected other individuals ; all are appointed by the president.

Elections : president elected by popular vote for a four-year term (eligible for a second term) ; election last held 2 March 2008 (next to be held in March 2012) ; note - the term length was extended to six years in late 2008, to go into effect following the 2012 presidential election ; there is no vice president ; if the president dies in office, cannot exercise his powers because of ill health, is impeached, or resigns, the premier serves as acting president until a new presidential election is held, which must be within three months ; premier appointed by the president with the approval of the Duma.

Election results : Dmitriy MEDVEDEV elected president ; percent of vote - Dmitriy MEDVEDEV 70.2%, Gennady ZYUGANOV 17.7%, Vladimir ZHIRINOVSKY 9.4%, Andrey BOGDANOV 1.3%.

Legislative branch :

Bicameral Federal Assembly or Federalnoye Sobraniye consists of an upper house, the Federation Council or Sovet Federatsii (168 seats; as of July 2000, members appointed by the top executive and legislative officials in each of the 84 federal administrative units - oblasts, krays, republics, autonomous okrugs and oblasts, and the federal cities of Moscow and Saint Petersburg; members to serve four-year terms) and a lower house, the State Duma or Gosudarstvennaya Duma (450 seats; as of 2007, all members elected by proportional representation from party lists winning at least 7% of the vote; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms).

Judicial branch :

Constitutional Court ; Supreme Court ; Supreme Arbitration Court ; judges for all courts are appointed for life by the Federation Council on the recommendation of the president.

Currency :

Russian Ruble (RUR)

Agriculture products :

Grain, sugar beets, sunflower seed, vegetables, fruits, beef, milk.

Industries :

Complete range of mining and extractive industries producing coal, oil, gas, chemicals, and metals ; all forms of machine building from rolling mills to high-performance aircraft and space vehicles; defense industries including radar, missile production, and advanced electronic components, shipbuilding; road and rail transportation equipment ; communications equipment ; agricultural machinery, tractors, and construction equipment ; electric power generating and transmitting equipment ; medical and scientific instruments ; consumer durables, textiles, foodstuffs, handicrafts.

Exports partners :

Netherlands 12.2%, Italy 9%, Germany 6.9%, Turkey 5.9%, Ukraine 5%, China 4.5%, Poland 4.3% (2008).

Imports partners :

China 12.9%, Germany 12.6%, Japan 6.9%, Ukraine 6%, US 5.1%, Italy 4.1% (2008).

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