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Portal:Russia

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Russia, or the Russian Federation, is a transcontinental country located in Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. Covering an area of 17,125,200 square kilometres (6,612,100 sq mi), it is the largest country in the world by area, spanning more than one-eighth of the Earth's inhabited land area, stretching eleven time zones, and bordering 16 sovereign nations. The territory of Russia extends from the Baltic Sea in the west to the Pacific Ocean in the east, and from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Black Sea and the Caucasus in the south. With 146.7 million inhabitants living in the country's 85 federal subjects, Russia is the most populous nation in Europe and the ninth-most populous nation in the world. Russia's capital and largest city is Moscow; other major urban areas include Saint Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan, Chelyabinsk and Samara.

The East Slavs emerged as a recognisable group in Europe between the 3rd and 8th centuries AD. The medieval state of Rus' arose in the 9th century. In 988 it adopted Orthodox Christianity from the Byzantine Empire, beginning the synthesis of Byzantine and Slavic cultures that defined Russian culture for the next millennium. Rus' ultimately disintegrated into a number of smaller states, until it was finally reunified by the Grand Duchy of Moscow in the 15th century. By the 18th century, the nation had greatly expanded through conquest, annexation, and exploration to become the Russian Empire, which became a major European power, and the third-largest empire in history, stretching from Norway on the west to Canada on the east. Following the Russian Revolution, the Russian SFSR became the largest and leading constituent of the Soviet Union, the world's first constitutionally socialist state. The Soviet Union played a decisive role in the Allied victory in World War II, and emerged as a recognised superpower and rival to the United States during the Cold War. The Soviet era saw some of the most significant technological achievements of the 20th century, including the world's first human-made satellite and the launching of the first humans in space. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Russian SFSR reconstituted itself as the Russian Federation and is recognised as the continuing legal personality and a successor of the USSR.

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Kamianets-Podilskyi

Kamianets-Podilskyi

Credit: Nicolas de Fer

A 1691 French map of Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine, depicting the city's old town neighborhood and castle, surrounded by the winding Smotrych River. It was originally part of Kievan Rus' and annexed into the First Polish Republic, but at the time of the map's creation, the city was part of the Ottoman Empire. It shortly returned to Poland and later became part of the Russian Empire with the Second Partition of Poland in 1793.

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The Battle of Kulikovo by Blinov

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Kurnik 1.jpg

Kurnik (Russian: курник; "chicken pirog"), also known as wedding pirog or tsar pirog, is a dome-shaped savoury Russian pirog usually filled with chicken or turkey, eggs, onions, kasha or rice, and other optional components. Sometimes filled with boiled rooster combs, this pirog originated in Southern Russia, especially in Cossack communities, and was used as a "wedding pirog" in the rest of the country. It is dome-shaped, unlike any other non-sweet pirog. In special cases, it was served to tsar himself. Even today, this pirog is served on special occasions in most of Russia. Read more...

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Shostakovich, c. 1950
Shostakovich's signature

Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich (Russian: Дмитрий Дмитриевич Шостакович, tr. Dmitriy Dmitrievich Shostakovich, pronounced [ˈdmʲitrʲɪj ˈdmʲitrʲɪjɪvʲɪtɕ ʂəstɐˈkovʲɪtɕ]; (25 September [O.S. 12 September] 1906 – 9 August 1975) was a Soviet-Russian composer and pianist. He is regarded as one of the major composers of the 20th century, with a unique harmonic language and a historic importance due to his years of work under Stalin.


Shostakovich achieved fame in the Soviet Union under the patronage of Soviet chief of staff Mikhail Tukhachevsky, but later had a complex and difficult relationship with the government. Nevertheless, he received accolades and state awards and served in the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR (1947) and the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union (from 1962 until his death). Read more...

In the news

19 September 2020 – United States sanctions against Iran
The United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declares the 2015 nuclear accord with Iran as no longer in force. He also warns that the United States "is prepared to use our domestic authorities to impose consequences" for other countries that do not enforce the sanctions. Britain, France, Germany, China, and Russia oppose the snapback sanctions. (The New York Times) (Al Jazeera)
16 September 2020 – International reactions to the 2020 Belarusian presidential election and protests
The head of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), Sergey Naryshkin, accuses the United States of "working behind the scenes" in Belarus towards another "colour revolution", funding bloggers and training activists through NGO's against the interests of Belarusian citizens. Minister of Defence Sergey Shoygu flies to Minsk after disputed Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said he had asked Russian President Vladimir Putin for weapons during a meeting in Moscow on Monday. Minister of Finance Anton Siluanov says Russia will, before the end of the year, disburse the first $1-billion tranche of a loan that was agreed also on Monday, to help Belarus' financial stability. (Reuters)
15 September 2020 – Poisoning of Alexei Navalny
Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny issues his first public statement since his poisoning via Instagram, having been taken off the ventilator the previous day. (AFP via RTL Today)
11 September 2020 – COVID-19 pandemic
The Brazilian state of Bahia is expected to conduct phase III trails of Russia's Gam-COVID-Vac vaccine and buy 50 million doses. (Reuters)
9 September 2020 – Russian interference in the 2020 United States elections
Former Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Intelligence and Analysis Brian Murphy claims in a whistleblower reprisal complaint that Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf had instructed officials at the department to fabricate intelligence assessments regarding the threat of Russian interference in the U.S. elections, which he claims is an effort by the Trump administration to understate the threat. (The Guardian)
8 September 2020 – Aftermath of the poisoning of Alexei Navalny, Germany–Russia relations
Russia summons the German ambassador to Moscow over statements by the German government concerning Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny. Foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova accused Germany of "bluffing". (Reuters)

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You know, I never planned to leave. I was not extremely patriotic about Mother Russia. You know, I played their game, pretending, of course. You have to deal with, you know, party people, KGB... Horrifying.

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