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Russia, or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe and North Asia. It is the largest country in the world by area, extending across eleven time zones and sharing land borders with fourteen countries. It is the world's ninth-most populous country and Europe's most populous country. Russia is a highly urbanised country including 16 population centres with over a million inhabitants. Its capital as well as its largest city is Moscow. Saint Petersburg is Russia's second-largest city and its cultural capital.

The East Slavs emerged as a recognised group in Europe between the 3rd and 8th centuries CE. The first East Slavic state, Kievan Rus', arose in the 9th century, and in 988, it adopted Orthodox Christianity from the Byzantine Empire. Rus' ultimately disintegrated, with the Grand Duchy of Moscow growing to become the Tsardom of Russia. By the early 18th century, Russia had vastly expanded through conquest, annexation, and the efforts of Russian explorers, developing into the Russian Empire, which remains the third-largest empire in history. However, with the Russian Revolution in 1917, Russia's monarchic rule was abolished and eventually replaced by the Russian SFSR—the world's first constitutionally socialist state. Following the Russian Civil War, the Russian SFSR established the Soviet Union with three other Soviet republics, within which it was the largest and principal constituent. At the expense of millions of lives, the Soviet Union underwent rapid industrialisation in the 1930s and later played a decisive role for the Allies in World War II by leading large-scale efforts on the Eastern Front. With the onset of the Cold War, it competed with the United States for ideological dominance and international influence. The Soviet era of the 20th century saw some of the most significant Russian technological achievements, including the first human-made satellite and the first human expedition into outer space. (Full article...)

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Yevgeny Samoylov

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Sviatoslav depicted in artwork by Ivan Akimov

Çibörek and ayran in a Turkish cafe

Cheburek (plural: Chebureki) are deep-fried turnovers with a filling of ground or minced meat and onions. A popular street dish, they are made with a single round piece of dough folded over the filling in a crescent shape. They have become widespread in the former Soviet-alligned countries of Eastern Europe in the 20th century.

Chebureki is a national dish of Crimean Tatar cuisine. They are popular as a snack and street food throughout the Caucasus, West Asia, Central Asia, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Ukraine, Russia, Eastern Europe, as well as in Turkey, Greece and Romania. (Full article...)

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Shostakovich in 1950

Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich (25 September [O.S. 12 September] 1906 – 9 August 1975) was a Soviet-era Russian composer and pianist who became internationally known after the premiere of his First Symphony in 1926 and thereafter was regarded as a major composer.

Shostakovich achieved early fame in the Soviet Union, but had a complex relationship with its government. His 1934 opera Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk was initially a success but later condemned by the Soviet government, putting his career at risk. In 1948 his work was denounced under the Zhdanov Doctrine, with professional consequences lasting several years. Even after his censure was rescinded in 1956, performances of his music were occasionally subject to state interventions, as with his Thirteenth Symphony (1962). Nevertheless, Shostakovich was a member of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR (1947) and the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union (from 1962 until his death), as well as chairman of the RSFSR Union of Composers (1960–1968). Over the course of his career, he earned several important awards, including the Order of Lenin, from the Soviet government. (Full article...)

In the news

12 July 2024 – Russian invasion of Ukraine
Eastern Ukraine campaign
Six people are killed and at least 19 others are injured in Russian attacks across Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine. (The Kyiv Independent)
12 July 2024 – Gazpromavia Flight 9608
A Gazpromavia Sukhoi Superjet 100 crashes near Kolomna, Moscow Oblast, Russia, killing the crew of three people. (Reuters)
12 July 2024 – Finland–Russia relations, Finland–Russia border barrier
The Parliament of Finland passes a law allowing border guards to restrict trafficked asylum seekers from crossing the Finland–Russia border. (CNN)
11 July 2024 –
CNN reports that American and German intelligence agents foiled a plan by Russia to assassinate Armin Papperger, the CEO of German defence company Rheinmetall. (CNN) (Politico)
10 July 2024 – Russian invasion of Ukraine
Two Ukrainians are killed by Russian drone and missile attacks on a port in southern Odesa Oblast, Ukraine, which damaged port infrastructure, an energy facility, and a civilian ship. (Reuters)

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