Where is it?:
Stretching from Eastern Europe eastward to the North Pacific Ocean, northward to the Arctic Ocean and pressing southward on China, Mongolia, and Kazakhstan. The Russian Federation is about 1.8 times the size of the United States.
Moscow, which is also one of the largest urban sprawls in the world. It was also the capital when Russia was the Soviet Union.
The "Hymn of the Russian Federation" is the national anthem. The presidential seal, flag, coat of arms, and capital of Moscow are also considered to be national symbols.
Russian (about 80 percent of citizens are ethnic Russian) is the official language, but dozens of minority languages are also spoken.
More than 141 million people, but Russia has a declining birthrate, which has spurred the government to offer cash incentives for couples to have children. President Vladimir Putin once warned that the population was falling by about 700,000 a year, thus endangering the future of the Russian state.
The first predecessor of the modern Russian state was founded in 862. Mongol invaders overran Kievan Rus in the 13th century. After their 15th century defeat, subsequent Russian rulers -- including the infamous Ivan the Terrible, 1530-1584 -- expanded Russian territory. Czars Peter the Great and Catherine the Great would continue expansion and modernization. In 1917, Vladimir Lenin led the Bolsheviks to oust Czar Nicholas II and conquer new territory to establish the USSR in 1922. The fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 led to Boris Yeltsin becoming the first president of the Russian Federation.
Investment and oil prices have helped drive up growth about 7 percent each year since 1998. Currency is the ruble. Mining, the defense industry, shipbuilding, and other industrial sectors continue to prove profitable.
Russia has Ground Forces (SV), Navy (VMF), Air Forces (Voyenno-Vozdushniye Sily, VVS); Airborne Troops (VDV), Strategic Rocket Troops (RVSN), and Space Troops (KV). Boys must register for the draft at age 17. More than 71 million men and women available for military service.
Type of government:
A federal semi-presidential republic, where both the president and prime minister are active in running the government from day to day.