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Russia

Geography

The Russian Federation is the largest of 21 republics which are a part of the Commonwealth of Independent States. It occupies the most part of Eastern Europe and Northern Asia, stretching from the Baltic Sea in the West to the Pacific Ocean in the east, and from the Arctic Ocean to the Black Sea and the Caucasus in the south in the north. It borders on Norway and Finland in the northwest; with Estonia, Latvia, Belarus, Ukraine, Poland and Lithuania in the West; with Georgia and Azerbaijan in the southwest; and with Kazakhstan, Mongolia, China and North Korea along the southern border.

Form of government

Constitutional federation.

History

The legend says that the Prince Rurik came to Russia in 862 and based the first Russian dynasty in Novgorod. Various tribes were united by distribution of Christianity in the 10th and 11th centuries; Vladimir Svyatoslavich was baptized in 988. During the 11th century grand dukes of Kiev owned the various existing power. In 1240 Kiev was destroyed by Mongols, and the territory of Russia was divided into numerous small principalities. Early princes of Moscow extended the power to other cities of Russia thanks to their duty of collecting a tribute for Mongols and therefore that Moscow played a role of administrative and shopping center.

At the end of the 15th century the prince Ivan III conqured Novgorod and Tver and overthrew the Mongolian yoke. It is considered that Ivan IV Grozny (1533-1584), the first Moscow tsar, founded the Russian state. It could overcome the rivals - princes and boyars (large landowners), but Russia remained substantially medieval before Peter the Great's reign (1689-1725), the grandson first tsar Romanov, Mikhail (1613-1645). Pyotr made the extensive reforms directed on a westernisation and after defeat of the king of Sweden Karl XII in the Poltava fight in 1709, it expanded borders of Russia in the West. Catherine the Great (1762-1796) continued the program of a westernisation of Pyotr, and too broadened the territory of Russia, having got the Crimea, Ukraine and part of Poland. During Alexander I's board (1801-1825), Napoleon's attempts to subordinate to itself Russia suffered defeat (1812-1813), and new territories, including Finland were won (1809) and Bessarabia (1812). Alexander gave rise to Holy Alliance which for a while suppressed revolt of the liberal movement in Europe.

Alexander II (1855-1881) expanded borders of Russia to the Pacific Ocean and in Central Asia. In 1861 the serfdom was cancelled, but rigid restrictions were imposed on the released class. The revolutionary strikes which followed defeat of Russia in war with Japan compelled Nicholas II (1894-1917) to give material support to the representative national authority (Duma) which is chosen strictly limited number of votes. The first meeting took place 1906, but had not enough influence on Nicolay.


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List of top cities of Russia (9)

City Picture Info Page
Chelyabinsk Chelyabinsk Chelyabinsk
Kazan Kazan Kazan
Moscow Moscow Moscow
Nizhniy Novgorod Nizhniy Novgorod Nizhniy Novgorod
Novosibirsk Novosibirsk Novosibirsk
Omsk Omsk Omsk
Rostov Na Donu Rostov Na Donu Rostov Na Donu
Saint Petersburg Saint Petersburg Saint Petersburg
Yekaterinburg Yekaterinburg Yekaterinburg