The largest country in the world, 17,125,200 square kilometres (6,612,100 sq mi), Russia is the largest country in the world by area, covering more than one-eighth of the Earth’s inhabited land area, and the ninth most populous, Russia is a conundrum wrapped up in an enigma, which has been shaken, twisted and stirred over the centuries. There are so many contradictions in the country, that it is often hard to say anything is absolute in Russia. Still, here are a few things that you should know and might just surprise you.
1. Each year, the President of Russia has a press conference with journalist held for two hours on live television. No other leader in the world is required to do this nor does.
2. Founded in the 12th century, the Principality of Muscovy, was dominated for over 200 years by the Mongols.
3. Under Peter the Great, 1682 to 1725, Russia was extended to the Baltic Sea and the country was renamed the Russian Empire.
4. In 1917, The Communists under Vladimir Lenin seized power and formed the USSR.
5. Following the death of Lenin, Iosef Stalin became the supreme ruler of Russia. He killed more of his own citizens than the Nazis terminated in World War II.
6. General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev tried to put severe limits on the amount of vodka sold in the country, but gave up after Russians started brewing their own.
7. Russians beer contains varying degrees of vodka.
8. Russia has massive naturally resources including oil, diamonds, natural gas, coal, gold and timber.
9. The population of Russia was estimated in 2005 to be 143,420,309. The population is stagnating and the government now offers financial incentives to couples that have children. (Over 144 million people as of December 2017, excluding Crimea)
10. There are approximately 10 million more woman than men in Russia.
Two really understand Russia, one need only look at the flag of the country. It is adorned with a two headed eagle, with one head looking to the west and one to the east. Practically speaking, this is demonstrative of Russias geography. Being so very large, the country is really many in one. The areas found in the west such as Moscow and St. Petersburg look to and are influenced by Europe. The areas in the Far East such as Vladivostok have a much more Asian feel.
Anyway you slice it, Russia is an amazing country. If the opportunity presents itself to take a trip to the country, you should snap it up.