Broad plain with low hills west of Urals; vast coniferous forest and tundra in Siberia; uplands and mountains along southern border regions
Ranges from steppes in the south through humid continental in much of European Russia; subarctic in Siberia to tundra climate in the polar north; winters vary from cool along Black Sea coast to frigid in Siberia; summers vary from warm in the steppes to cool along Arctic coast
Nationality: Russian (s)
Population: 142,500,482 (July 2013 est.)
Language: Russian (official); many minority languages
Life as a Teenager in Moscow (1:28)
The Russian Military (1:21)
Russian Orthodox 15-20%, Muslim 10-15%, other Christian 2% (2006 est.) Note: estimates are of practicing worshipers; Russia has large populations of non-practicing believers and non-believers, a legacy of over seven decades of Soviet rule.
1970’s Discrimination Against Jews (1:32)
Russia has undergone significant changes since the collapse of the Soviet Union, moving from a globally-isolated, centrally-planned economy to a more market-based and globally-integrated economy. Economic reforms in the 1990s privatized most industry, with notable exceptions in the energy and defense-related sectors. The protection of property rights is still weak and the private sector remains subject to heavy state interference.
Russian Oil & Gas As a Political Tool (1:07)
Post 1991 Economic Reforms & Corruption (1:07)
TOP OIL EXPORTING COUNTRIES (1:21)
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russians have been confronted with many of the old social problems that existed during the Soviet era, as well as with a new set of problems brought about by the rapid changes in society. The change to private ownership created new opportunities but also resulted in high unemployment in many areas. Because of high inflation and economic instability, many elderly persons who live on a government pension are now very poor.
Curtailed Freedoms (2:04)
US Military Presence/Support
Nuclear Arms Reduction Treaty w/U.S. (1:27)