- Country name : Russia
- Official name : Russian Federation.
- System of government : federation.
- National anthem :
- Area : 17 075 400 km².
- Capital : Moscow.
- Border countries : Azerbaijan, Belarus, China, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Kazakhstan, North Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Mongolia, Norway, Poland, Ukraine.
- Population : 144, 9 millions (2002).
- Language(s) : Russian (official).
- Religions : Russian Orthodox, Muslim, others.
>After the dissolution of the USSR in 1991, Russia is still making efforts to move from an centrally planned economy to a marked-oriented one.
>The country has a wide natural resource base, including major deposits of oil, natural gas, coal, timber and many strategic minerals. Mining and energy are of vital importance to the Russian economy.
>The products of the Russian industries are diversified, ranging from oil, gas, chemicals and metals to industrial machines of all sorts, transport and communications equipment, agricultural machinery and space vehicles. However, the Russian industry needs to modernize its capital stock in order to increase productivity and reduce its costs.
>Agriculture (grain, potatoes…), livestock, forestry and fishing are still important sectors for the Russian economy.
>Tourism continues to be an important source of business.
>Pre-Christian era : the north of the vast territory that became Russia was inhabited by tribes, later known as Slaves. Later the territory of Russia was occupied by a succession of peoples : Cimmerians, Scythians, Sarmatians, Goths, Huns, Avars, Mongols, Celts…
>9th cent. AD : the origin of the Russian state coincides with the arrival of Scandivian traders and warriors, the Varangians (or Rus). From the Rus came the name "Russia", the "land of the Rus".
>13th - 15th cent. : the Mongols armies of Gengis Khan invaded Russia. In South and East Russia, they established the empire of the Golden Horde, which lasted until 1480.
>1462-1598 : The Mongol domination ended under the reign of Grand Prince Ivan III who expanded the Muscovite state. His grandson Ivan IV the Terrible was the first to be formally crowned as "tsar".
>1613-1917 : After the "Time of Troubles" (political crisis), Russia was modernized and became a major European power under the Romanov dynasty.
>1917 : the disastrous and unpopular Russo-Japanese War, that led to the Revolution of 1905 and the outbreak of World War I (1914) finally resulted in the abdication of Nicholas II, the last tsar. After the October Revolution, led by Lenin, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR) was proclaimed.
>1922 : Russia was united with Ukrainian, Belorussian and Transcaucasian republics to form the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
>1939-1963 : after World War II, the rivalry between the two superpowers, the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), divided the globe and caused intense economic and diplomatic struggles.
>1985-1991 : General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev introduced glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring) in an attempt to modernize communism.
>1991 : the Russian Federation was created and established the Commonwealth of Independent States, with Ukraine and Belarus.