Geographic and Governmental Profile of Russia

Background
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 shifted its post-Soviet democratic ambitions in favor of a centralized semi-authoritarian state in which the leadership seeks to legitimize its rule through managed national elections, populist appeals by former President PUTIN, and continued economic growth. Russia has severely disabled a Chechen rebel movement, although violence still occurs throughout the North Caucasus.
Location
North Asia bordering the Arctic Ocean, extending from Europe (the portion west of the Urals) to the North Pacific Ocean
Geographic coordinates
60 00 N, 100 00 E
Continent / Subcontinent
Asia
Area
total:
17,098,242 sq km
rank:
1
land:
16,377,742 sq km
water:
720,500 sq km
Area - comparative
approximately 1.8 times the size of the US
Land boundaries
total:
20,241.5 km
border countries:
Azerbaijan 284 km, Belarus 959 km, China (southeast) 3,605 km, China (south) 40 km, Estonia 290 km, Finland 1,313 km, Georgia 723 km, Kazakhstan 6,846 km, North Korea 17.5 km, Latvia 292 km, Lithuania (Kaliningrad Oblast) 227 km, Mongolia 3,441 km, Norway 196 km, Poland (Kaliningrad Oblast) 432 km, Ukraine 1,576 km
Coastline
37,653 km
Maritime claims
territorial sea:
12 nm
contiguous zone:
24 nm
exclusive economic zone:
200 nm
continental shelf:
200 m depth or to the depth of exploitation
Climate
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
Terrain
broad plain with low hills west of Urals; vast coniferous forest and tundra in Siberia; uplands and mountains along southern border regions
Elevation extremes
lowest point:
Caspian Sea -28 m
highest point:
Gora El'brus 5,633 m
Natural resources
wide natural resource base including major deposits of oil, natural gas, coal, and many strategic minerals, reserves of rare earth elements, timber
formidable obstacles of climate, terrain, and distance hinder exploitation of natural resources
Land use
arable land:
7.17%
permanent crops:
0.11%
other:
92.72% (2005)
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Irrigated land
43,460 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources
4,498 cu km (1997)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
total:
76.68 cu km/yr (19%/63%/18%)
per capita:
535 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards
permafrost over much of Siberia is a major impediment to development; volcanic activity in the Kuril Islands; volcanoes and earthquakes on the Kamchatka Peninsula; spring floods and summer/autumn forest fires throughout Siberia and parts of European Russia
volcanism:
significant volcanic activity on the Kamchatka Peninsula and Kuril Islands; the peninsula alone is home to some 29 historically active volcanoes, with dozens more in the Kuril Islands; Kliuchevskoi (elev. 4,835 m), which erupted in 2007 and 2010, is Kamchatka's most active volcano; Avachinsky and Koryaksky volcanoes, which pose a threat to the city of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy, have been deemed "Decade Volcanoes" by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior, worthy of study due to their explosive history and close proximity to human populations; other notable historically active volcanoes include Bezymianny, Chikurachki, Ebeko, Gorely, Grozny, Karymsky, Ketoi, Kronotsky, Ksudach, Medvezhia, Mutnovsky, Sarychev Peak, Shiveluch, Tiatia, Tolbachik, and Zheltovsky
Environment - current issues
air pollution from heavy industry, emissions of coal-fired electric plants, and transportation in major cities; industrial, municipal, and agricultural pollution of inland waterways and seacoasts; deforestation; soil erosion; soil contamination from improper application of agricultural chemicals; scattered areas of sometimes intense radioactive contamination; groundwater contamination from toxic waste; urban solid waste management; abandoned stocks of obsolete pesticides
Environment - international agreements
party to:
Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified:
Air Pollution-Sulfur 94
Geography - note
largest country in the world in terms of area but unfavorably located in relation to major sea lanes of the world; despite its size, much of the country lacks proper soils and climates (either too cold or too dry) for agriculture; Mount El'brus is Europe's tallest peak
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
Government type
federation
Capital
name:
Moscow
geographic coordinates:
55 45 N, 37 36 E
time difference:
UTC+4 (9 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time:
+1hr; note - Russia has announced that it will remain on daylight saving time permanently, which began on 27 March 2011
Russia is divided into 9 time zones
Administrative divisions
46 provinces (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)
administrative divisions have the same names as their administrative centers (exceptions have the administrative center name following in parentheses)
Independence
24 August 1991 (from the Soviet Union); notable earlier dates: 1157 (Principality of Vladimir-Suzdal created); 16 January 1547 (Tsardom of Muscovy established); 22 October 1721 (Russian Empire proclaimed); 30 December 1922 (Soviet Union established)
National holiday
Russia Day, 12 June (1990)
Constitution
adopted 12 December 1993
Legal system
civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts
International law organization participation
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
Suffrage
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch
chief of state:
President Vladimir Vladimirovich PUTIN (since 7 May 2012)
head of government:
Dmitriy Anatolyevich MEDVEDEV (since 8 May 2012); First Deputy Premier Igor Ivanovich SHUVALOV (since 12 May 2008); Deputy Premiers Arkadiy Vladimirovich DVORKOVICH (since 21 May 2012), Olga Yuryevna GOLODETS (since 21 May 2012), Aleksandr Gennadiyevich KHLOPONIN (since 19 January 2010), Dmitriy Nikolayevich KOZAK (since 14 October 2008), Dmitriy Olegovich ROGOZIN (since 23 December 2011), Vladislav Yuryevich SURKOV (since 27 December 2011)
cabinet:
the "Government" is composed of the premier, his deputies, and ministers; all are appointed by the president, and the premier is also confirmed by the Duma
there is also a Presidential Administration (PA) that provides staff and policy support to the president, drafts presidential decrees, and coordinates policy among government agencies; a Security Council also reports directly to the president
elections:
president elected by popular vote for a six-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held 4 March 2012 (next to be held in March 2018); note - the term length was extended from four to six years in late 2008 and went into effect after the 2012 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:
Vladimir PUTIN elected president; percent of vote - Vladimir PUTIN 63.6%, Gennady ZYUGANOV 17.2%, Mikhail PROKHOROV 8%, Vladimir ZHIRINOVSKY 6.2%, Sergey MIRONOV 3.9%, other 1.1%; Dmitriy MEDVEDEV approved by Duma 299 to 144
Legislative branch
bicameral Federal Assembly or Federalnoye Sobraniye consists of an upper house, the Federation Council or Sovet Federatsii (166 seats; members appointed by the top executive and legislative officials in each of the 83 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)
elections:
State Duma - last held on 4 December 2011 (next to be held in December 2015)
election results:
State Duma - United Russia 49.6%, CPRF 19.2%, Just Russia 13.2%, LDPR 11.7%, other 6.3%; total seats by party - United Russia 238, CPRF 92, Just Russia 64, LDPR 56
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
Political parties and leaders
A Just Russia [Sergey MIRONOV]; Communist Party of the Russian Federation or CPRF [Gennadiy Andreyevich ZYUGANOV]; Liberal Democratic Party of Russia or LDPR [Vladimir Volfovich ZHIRINOVSKIY]; Patriots of Russia [Gennadiy SEMIGIN]; Right Cause [Andrey DUNAYEV, acting]; United Russia [Dmitriy Anatolyevich MEDVEDEV]; Yabloko Party [Sergey Sergeyevich MITROKHIN]
Political pressure groups and leaders
Association of Citizens with Initiative of Russia (TIGR); Confederation of Labor of Russia (KTR); Federation of Independent Labor Unions of Russia; Freedom of Choice Interregional Organization of Automobilists; Glasnost Defense Foundation; Golos Association in Defense of Voters' Rights; Greenpeace Russia; Human Rights Watch (Russian chapter); Institute for Collective Action; Memorial (human rights group); Movement Against Illegal Migration; Pamjat (preservation of historical monuments and recording of history); PARNAS; Russian Orthodox Church; Russian Federation of Car Owners; Russian-Chechen Friendship Society; Solidarnost; SOVA Analytical-Information Center; Union of the Committees of Soldiers' Mothers; World Wildlife Fund (Russian chapter)
International organization participation
APEC, Arctic Council, ARF, ASEAN (dialogue partner), BIS, BRICS, BSEC, CBSS, CE, CERN (observer), CICA, CIS, CSTO, EAEC, EAPC, EAS, EBRD, FAO, FATF, G-20, G-8, GCTU, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAIA (observer), MIGA, MINURSO, MONUSCO, NAM (observer), NSG, OAS (observer), OECD (accession state), OIC (observer), OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, PFP, SCO, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNISFA, UNITAR, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNOCI, UNSC (permanent), UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer), ZC
Diplomatic representation in the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador Sergey Ivanovich KISLYAK
chancery:
2650 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007
telephone:
[1] (202) 298-5700, 5701, 5704, 5708
FAX:
[1] (202) 298-5735
consulate(s) general:
Houston, New York, San Francisco, Seattle
Diplomatic representation from the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador Michael A. MCFAUL
embassy:
Bolshoy Deviatinskiy Pereulok No. 8, 121099 Moscow
mailing address:
PSC-77, APO AE 09721
telephone:
[7] (495) 728-5000
FAX:
[7] (495) 728-5090
consulate(s) general:
Saint Petersburg, Vladivostok, Yekaterinburg
Flag description
three equal horizontal bands of white (top), blue, and red
the colors may have been based on those of the Dutch flag; despite many popular interpretations, there is no official meaning assigned to the colors of the Russian flag; this flag inspired other Slav countries to adopt horizontal tricolors of the same colors but in different arrangements, and so red, blue, and white became the Pan-Slav colors
National symbol(s)
bear; double-headed eagle
National anthem
name:
"Gimn Rossiyskoy Federatsii" (National Anthem of the Russian Federation)
lyrics/music:
Sergei Vladimirovich MIKHALKOV/Alexandr Vasilievich ALEXANDROV
in 2000, Russia adopted the tune of the anthem of the former Soviet Union (composed in 1939); the lyrics, also adopted in 2000, were written by the same person who authored the Soviet lyrics in 1943
Data source 1: All Above textual data, maps and flags were extracted from The World Factbook which was prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency and made available on the following link: The World Factbook. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsered or affiliated, in any way, by the US Central Intelligence Agency
Data source 2: Plots and Charts are constructed using the world bank public data catalog which can be viewed by visiting the following link: World Bank Data Catalog. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsored or affiliated, in any way, by the worldbank

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