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Quick Facts About Russia

  • Russia has the largest landmass in the world with a total of 17,075,200 sq km
  • The capital of Russia, Moscow is Europe’s largest city with a population of 10 million
  • Russia was ruled by autocrats and dictators for its entire history until 1991
  • Russia has an estimated 6 million illegal drug users
  • Unemployment in Russia is as high as 50% of it’s population

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The country of Russia has the largest landmass in the world with approximately 37,653 km of coastland. In spite of Russia’s broad vistas and large supply of natural resources like oil and natural gas, much of the land is challenging to develop and the resources difficult to exploit. The subartic temperatures and permafrost across Russia’s northern expanse is a major hinderance to growth and expansion. Much of Russia’s inhabitable land is suffering from years of agricultural and industrial pollution.


Russia’s capital city, Moscow, is the largest city in Europe, home to 10 million people. Moscow is home to the second highest number of billionaries in the world and is the most expensive city in the world to live in.


Russia currently has the 8th largest population (140, 702, 096 – July 2008) in the world. This population includes over 130 different ethnic groups including Tartars, Ukrainians, Jews, Bashkirs, Belorussians, Moldavians and many others. With as much as 50% of this population living below the poverty level and high unemployment, many social and economic problems have developed. It is estimated that Russia has between 5 and 6 million illegal drug users, an industry worth billions of dollars annually. Currently, Russia’s death rate that exceeds their birth rate, they have an HIV infection rate four times as high as in Canada, and their infant mortality rate is twice as high as in Canada.


Slavic peoples first began to inhabit western Russia in the 7th Century. By the 9th Century Varangians (or Vikings as they are known is western Europe), began to venture into this area and eventually formed and ruled the state of Kievan Rus’ throughout what is now Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus.

By the 12th Century, invasion by Turkic tribes caused a massive migration of Slavs to the north. These territories were soon invaded by the Mongols and half of the Russian population was killed. The Mongols ruled this area with an iron fist for over three hundred years.

By the early 14th Century, the Grand Duchy of Moscow had been formed and began to fight their Mongol invaders. Ivan the Great was instrumental in defeating the Mongols and was then named the first “Grand Duke of all the Russias”. His son, Ivan the Terrible was crowned the first tsar of Imperial Russia in 1547. For three hundred and seventy years, the tsars ruled Russia making the empire a true world power invading and adding to their territory.

In 1917, in protest of the high number of casualties during the First World War, there were a series of organized uprisings by workers and peasants throughout the country, many led by the Soviet party. The Russian monarchy was overthrown and a couple of months later Vladimir Lenin created the world’s first socialist country. The country was immediately plunged into civil war lasting for the next four years. By the end of the Civil War, 20 million had died. After Lenin died, Joseph Stalin assumed power and proceeded with a policy of rapid industrialization and policies which resulted in millions of deaths, many of them Christians.

In December 1991, the USSR was officially dissolved and the massive empire that spanned two continents finally broke into fifteen independent republics.

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