Russia, officially the Russian Federation, is a vast country that extends across two continents. It borders 14 countries, including Finland and China. Its capital city is Moscow. It was ruled by czars from the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries, with a brief period of Westernization under czar Peter the Great in the eighteenth century. The Soviet Union ruled the nation from 1917 until 1991, after which Russia made a difficult transition toward democracy and a market economy. The Russians are a people of diverse ethnicity, but generosity and resilience are common traits.
The largest country in the world, Russia extends from Eastern Europe to Siberia. It is bounded by the Arctic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, with an area of 17,715,900 square miles (51,700,000 km2). The entire nation has eight time zones.
Despite its immense size, Russia has a relatively low population of 142 million. It is also home to a wide variety of cultures and a storied history.
A notable feature of Russia is the Ural Mountains which serve as a geographic divide between its European and Asian sections. The rocky mountains form an arch that extends over thousands of miles, making it one of the most prominent mountain chains in the world.
Another notable feature of Russia is its natural beauty. Its landscape is rich with forests, rivers, and lakes. It also has many glaciers, ranging in size from large sheets of ice to icy ponds. The landscape also includes many lowland areas, including swamps and marshes.
The Russians are a proud and patriotic people. They have a strong sense of family and closeness to their friends. For many, a sincere friend might be considered more valuable than a blood relative. The Russians are also well known for their discipline in their exercise and beauty regimes, as demonstrated by Irina Shayk, who was a model and public figure known for her appearance in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.
The Russian people are also known for their love of music. Pyotr Tchaikovsky was a famous Russian composer during the 19th century and his melodies are renowned for their emotion, drama, and gloominess. His most popular pieces include Swan Lake and The Nutcracker.
During the time of the Soviet Union, many Russians were sent to live abroad in other countries. This contributed to the diversity of Russian culture, which is reflected today in its languages, cuisines, and art.
The most important event that shaped Russia’s current political structure was the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991. This allowed Russia to make a more difficult transition toward democracy and a market economy. Although this has been a successful endeavor, many challenges still remain. The government is led by President Vladimir Putin, a man with an authoritarian style of rule and strong ties to the Orthodox Church. Many Russians fear that his leadership will lead to a return to Soviet-style repression and a decline in global standing. The rouble continues to lose value, and inflation is high.