50 Fascinating Facts about Russia

Russia is a massive country that is located in northern Eurasia. The country is so large that it is a part of both the European and Asian continents. Russia shares borders with fourteen different countries including Finland, Estonia, Poland, Norway, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, China, Mongolia and North Korea. It can also be connected to Japan through the Sea of Okhotsk, and to Russia through the Bering Strait. The official language of the country is Russian, although there are 27 other recognized languages spoken throughout the country. Russia recognizes four religions as their official religions, Orthodox Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Judaism. The population of Russia is 143.4 million people, while its capital city Moscow is home to 11.5 million citizens. The country’s flag is comprised of 3 horizontal stripes, white, blue and red, and the country uses Russian ruble as their currency.

Russia Facts

1
Russia runs under a federal semi-presidential constitutional republic with both a president and a Prime Minister.
2
The nominal total GDP of the country is $2.02 trillion, while its nominal per capita GDP is $14,247.
3
Russia has undergone major economic growth since the beginning of the 21st century due to political stability and a larger need for domestic products.
4
The major exports of Russia include natural gas, timber and metals, and its imports include food products, pharmaceuticals and textiles.
5
The economic development of Russia has been very uneven in terms of geography. Moscow has grown considerably, while some of the more rural areas of the country are still very poor.
6
Russian students go to school for exactly ten years. They usually start around age 6 or 7, and will be finished by 16 or 17. School curriculums focus on math and science. Once kids leave school each day, they can attend classes focused on the arts, participate in sports or music.
7
Most Russians live in apartments in the cities, and most family homes include grandparents.
8
Traditional Russian foods include fish, potatoes and vegetables. Borscht is also a popular soup that is made from beets.
9
The Trans-Siberian Railway is the best way to see most of Russia. If you get on the train at Moscow, it will take you six days to reach the Pacific Coast.
10
Hockey and soccer are the most popular sports in Russia.
11
Russia is a leader in the arts. The National Russian Ballet is known throughout the world for their excellence. The country has also produced top-notch authors and musicians include Tchaikovsky and Dostoyevsky.
12
Chess is a historically popular game in Russia. Legend has it that people used to play chess to pass the time during the long winter nights.
13
Folk dancing is a huge tradition in Russia, and can sometimes even be seen on the Russian city streets.
14
Santa Claus is known as Baboushka in Russia. Children wait for Baboushka each Christmas Eve. Another Christmas tradition is to decorate your house. Russian houses often are decorated with beautiful lights during the holiday season.
15
New Years is celebrated twice in Russia. Once on January 1st, and again on the 14th of January. The 14th of January is known as the Orthodox Stule New Year.
16
Most of Russia has extremely cold temperatures during the winter. Due to this, many parts of the country are sparsely populated. Siberia is the coldest part of the country, and once was -45 degrees Fahrenheit during the winter.
17
Russians will never shake hands if they are standing under a doorway. They believe it is bad luck, and will lead to arguments between the two citizens.
18
Moscow is home to 74 billionaires. This is more than any other city in the world.
19
St. Petersburg has been renamed three times in its history. It was known as Petrograd in the early 1900s, Leningrad after Lenin in the late 1900s, and has been known as St. Petersburg since 1991.
20
9 million passengers ride Moscow's Metro system each day.
21
The entire country of Russia covers 1/7th of the world.
22
Russia is the largest country in the world.
23
Siberia takes up about three-quarters of Russia's total land area.
24
Russia has about 100,000 rivers -- including some of the longest and strongest rivers in the world. It also has the two largest lakes in Europe.
25
There are approximately 120 ethnic groups that live in Russia, and over 100 languages are spoken throughout the country.
26
About 80% of Russians are descendents of Slavs, who came to the area 1,500 years ago.
27
The country has 86 republics, provinces, territories, and districts.
28
Even though it takes up so much of Russia's land, Siberia is only inhabited by about 20% of the population.
29
As expected from its size, Russia has nine time zones.
30
One-quarter of the world's fresh water can be found in Russia.
31
During Subbotnik, Russians volunteer to clean up the city streets.
32
This country is one of the top producers of natural gas and oil in the world.
33
The Trans-Siberian Railway is the longest railway in the world, spanning 5,700 miles.
34
The world's largest McDonald's Restaurant is located in Russia. The restaurant seats 700 diners.
35
Russia sold Alaska to the United States in 1867 for $7.2 million.
36
A peace treaty between Russia and Japan to end World War II has not been signed to this day. This is because there is still conflict in Kuril Islands.
37
There are nine to ten million more women in Russia than men. The gap between the sexes is likely due to the lost lives during World War II.
38
Beer was not classified as alcoholic in Russia until 2013.
39
Russia has more nuclear weapons than any other country, with approximately 8,400.
40
Adrenaline junkies may get their fix by walking across Russia's SkyBridge, one of the world's highest (and scariest) walkways in the world.
41
Russia is home to Klyuchevskaya Sopka, the largest active volcano in the world.
42
It is rumored that Russia has at least 15 secret cities. No one knows their names or locations. A secret metro is also rumored to exist.
43
The largest medieval fortress is located in Russia. It is the Moscow Kremlin.
44
One of the most popular games in the world, Tetris, was invented by Alexey Pazhitnov of Russia.
45
The Russian Public Library is the second largest library in the world.
46
There are more than 820 glaciers in the city of Altai.
47
To emphasize just how big Russia is, its area is larger than that of Pluto.
48
Russia's population is projected to ecline by over 10% by the year 2050.
49
Suzdal is one of Russia's smallest cities in both area and population but has over 50 churches.
50
There are over 40 national parks and over 100 wildlife reserves located in Russia.

Russia is a beautiful country that encompasses a large part of the world. It is the largest country in the world by land mass only, and is the 9th largest country in the world in terms of population. The country has thrived economically since the beginning of the 21st century, and continues to become a greater economic force in the world. Tourism isn’t huge in Russia, however many people do visit St. Petersburg and Moscow each year in order to eat traditional Russian food, interact with the locals, and see the gorgeous historical architecture in both cities.

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