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Study in Russia

About Russia | Facts about Russia | Culture of Russia | History of Russia | Russian Federation | USSR | Study in Russia

 

BASIC FACTS ABOUT RUSSIA

Official Name: Russian Federation
Population: 146 million (2014)
Capital: Moscow
Area: 17,101,670 km²(largest country of the world):Bigger than Pluto
Major language: Russian
Minor languages: English, Finnish, German, French.
Major religions: Christianity, Islam, Buddism, Judaism
Life expectancy: 59 years (men), 73 years (women)
Monetary unit: 1 rouble = 100 kopecks
Internet domain: .ru, .su, .rf, .рф
International dialing code: +7
Borders: China, Japan, North Korea, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Ukraine, Belarus, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, Finland and Norway.
Time Zone: Russia has 9 time zones

      
OTHER FACTS:

  • Russia has a wide range of natural resources and is one of the world’s largest producers of oil.
  • The world’s first satellite, named Sputnik, was launched by the Soviet Union in 1957.
  • The Soviet Union (USSR) was a socialist state that occupied much of Northern Asia and Eastern Europe from 1922 until it was dissolved in 1991. Former Soviet states include Lithuania, Georgia, Latvia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and others.
  • The official residence of the Russian president is the Kremlin in Moscow. The name “Kremlin” means “fortress”.
  • Russia is one of 5 permanent members of the UN Security Council, along with the US, UK, China and France.
  • Russia has over 40 national parks and 100 wildlife reserves.
  • Lake Baikal is the largest freshwater lake in the world. It reaches 1642 metres (5,387 feet) in depth and contains around 20% of the world’s unfrozen fresh water.
  • Mount Elbrus is the highest mountain in Russia (and Europe), it reaches a height of 5642 metres (18,510 feet).
  • Russia’s Volga River is the longest in Europe, with a length of around 3690 kilometres (2293 miles).
  • Russia has the world’s largest area of forests.
  • Russia produces a large amount of renewable energy thanks to its well developed hydropower stations.


Brief History

Tradition says the Viking Rurik came to Russia in 862 and founded the first Russian dynasty in Novgorod. The various tribes were united by the spread of Christianity in the 10th and 11th centuries; Vladimir “the Saint” was converted in 988. During the 11th century, the grand dukes of Kiev held such centralizing power as existed. In 1240, Kiev was destroyed by the Mongols, and the Russian territory was split into numerous smaller dukedoms.

In the late 15th century, Duke Ivan III acquired Novgorod and Tver and threw off the Mongol yoke. Ivan IV—the Terrible (1533–1584), first Muscovite czar—is considered to have founded the Russian state. He crushed the power of rival princes and boyars (great landowners), but Russia remained largely medieval until the reign of Peter the Great (1689–1725), grandson of the first Romanov czar, Michael (1613–1645). Peter made extensive reforms aimed at westernization and, through his defeat of Charles XII of Sweden at the Battle of Poltava in 1709, he extended Russia's boundaries to the west. Catherine the Great (1762–1796) continued Peter's westernization program and also expanded Russian territory, acquiring the Crimea, Ukraine, and part of Poland. During the reign of Alexander I (1801–1825), Napoléon's attempt to subdue Russia was defeated (1812–1813), and new territory was gained, including Finland (1809) and Bessarabia (1812). Alexander originated the Holy Alliance, which for a time crushed Europe's rising liberal movement.

Alexander II (1855–1881) pushed Russia's borders to the Pacific and into central Asia. Serfdom was abolished in 1861, but heavy restrictions were imposed on the emancipated class.

World War I demonstrated czarist corruption and inefficiency, and only patriotism held the poorly equipped army together for a time. Disorders broke out in Petrograd (renamed Leningrad and now St. Petersburg) in March 1917, and defection of the Petrograd garrison launched the revolution. Nicholas II was forced to abdicate on March 15, 1917, and he and his family were killed by revolutionaries on July 16, 1918. A provisional government under the successive prime ministerships of Prince Lvov and a moderate, Alexander Kerensky, lost ground to the radical, or Bolshevik, wing of the Socialist Democratic Labor Party. On Nov. 7, 1917, the Bolshevik Revolution, engineered by Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky, overthrew the Kerensky government, and authority was vested in a Council of People's Commissars, with Lenin as prime minister.

Emergence of the USSR

The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was established as a federation on Dec. 30, 1922.

In 1939 second world war was start by Hittler against USSR and was ended after long battle in Leningrad in 1943 with Hittler defeat. Stalin died on March 6, 1953.

The new power emerging in the Kremlin was Nikita S. Khrushchev (1958–1964), first secretary of the party. Khrushchev formalized the eastern European system into a Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (Comecon) and a Warsaw Pact Treaty Organization as a counterweight to NATO. The Soviet Union exploded a hydrogen bomb in 1953, developed an intercontinental ballistic missile by 1957, sent the first satellite into space (Sputnik I) in 1957, and put Yuri Gagarin in the first orbital flight around Earth in 1961.

On Oct. 15, 1964, Khrushev was replaced by Leonid I. Brezhnev as first secretary of the party and Aleksei N. Kosygin as premier.

U.S. president Jimmy Carter and Brezhnev signed the SALT II treaty in Vienna on June 18, 1979, setting ceilings on each nation's arsenal of intercontinental ballistic missiles. The U.S. Senate refused to ratify the treaty because of the invasion of Afghanistan by Soviet troops on Dec. 27, 1979. On Nov. 10, 1982, Leonid Brezhnev died. Yuri V. Andropov, who had formerly headed the KGB, became his successor but died less than two years later, in Feb. 1984. Konstantin U. Chernenko, a 72-year-old party stalwart who had been close to Brezhnev, succeeded him. After 13 months in office, Chernenko died on March 10, 1985. Chosen to succeed him as Soviet leader was Mikhail S. Gorbachev, who led the Soviet Union in its long-awaited shift to a new generation of leadership. Unlike his immediate predecessors, Gorbachev did not also assume the title of president but wielded power from the post of party general secretary.

In 1991 Gorbachev signed the Independence of Soviet Socilaists republics.

In June 1991, Boris Yeltsin became the first directly elected President in Russian history when he was elected President of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, which became the independent Russian Federation in December of that year.

On 31 December 1999, President Yeltsin unexpectedly resigned, handing the post to the recently appointed Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, who then won the 2000 presidential election.

On 2 March 2008, Dmitry Medvedev was elected President of Russia while Putin became Prime Minister. Putin returned to the presidency following the 2012 presidential elections, and Medvedev was appointed Prime Minister.


CLIMATE:

Most of the country has a continental climate, with long, cold winters and brief summers. There is a wide range of summer and winter temperatures and relatively low precipitation. January temperatures are in the range of 6° C (45 ° F ) on the southeastern shore of the Black Sea. A record low temperature of -71° C (-96 ° F ) was recorded in 1974 at the northeast Siberian village of Oymyakon, the lowest temperature ever recorded anywhere in the world for an inhabited region. In many areas of Siberia the soil never thaws for more than a foot.

Annual precipitation decreases from about 64–76 cm (25–30 in) in the European region to less than 5 cm (2 in) a year in parts of Central Asia. The tundra has long winters, with summers lasting one or two months, and receives from 8 to 12 months of snow or rain. The far northern forest, like most of the country, has long severe winters, short summers, and extremely short springs and autumns. Precipitation is low but falls throughout the year, varying from 53 cm (21 in) at Moscow to between 20 and 25 cm (8–10 in) in eastern Siberia. The steppes have very cold winters and hot, dry summers.


CULTURE:

Russia has a long and rich cultural history, steeped in literature, ballet, painting and classical music. While outsiders may see the country as drab, Russia has a very visual cultural past, from its colorful folk costumes to its religious symbols. Here is a brief overview of Russian customs and traditions.

Russia is land of different cultures and nations.

Russian culture is the culture associated with the country of Russia and, sometimes, specifically with Russians. It has a long history and can claim a long tradition of dividend in many aspects of the arts, especially when it comes to literature and philosophy, classical music and ballet, architecture and painting, cinema and animation, which all had considerable influence on world culture. The country also has a rich material culture and a tradition in technology.

Russian culture started from that of the East Slavs, with their pagan beliefs and specific way of life in the wooded areas of Eastern Europe. Early Russian culture was much influenced by neighbouring Finno-Ugric tribes and by nomadic, mainly Turkic, peoples of the Pontic steppe. In the late 1st millennium AD the Scandinavian Vikings, or Varangians, also took part in the forming of Russian identity and Kievan Rus' state. Kievan Rus' had accepted Orthodox Christianity from the Eastern Roman Empire in 988, and this largely defined the Russian culture of next millennium as the synthesis of Slavic and Byzantine cultures. After the fall of Constantinople in 1453, Russia remained the largest Orthodox nation in the world and claimed succession to the Byzantine legacy in the form of the Third Rome idea. At different points in its history, the country was also strongly influenced by the culture of Western Europe. Since Peter the Great's reforms for two centuries Russian culture largely developed in the general context of European culture rather than pursuing its own unique ways. The situation changed in the 20th century, when the Communist ideology became a major factor in the culture of the Soviet Union, where Russia, or Russian SFSR, was the largest and leading part.

Nowadays, Russian cultural heritage is ranked seventh in the Nation Brands Index, based on interviews of some 20,000 people mainly from Western countries and the Far East. Due to the relatively late involvement of Russia in modern globalization and international tourism, many aspects of Russian culture, like Russian jokes and the Soviet Art, remain largely unknown to foreigners.



SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY:

Russia has the largest number of Nobel Prize winners in Science and Technology than any other country in the world.

Science and technology in Russia developed rapidly since the Age of Enlightenment, when Peter the Great founded the Russian Academy of Sciences and Saint Petersburg State University and polymath Mikhail Lomonosov founded the Moscow State University, establishing a strong native tradition in learning and innovation.

In the 19th and 20th centuries the country produced a large number of notable scientists, making important contributions into physics, astronomy, mathematics, computing, chemistry, biology, geology and geography. Russian inventors and engineers excelled in such areas as electrical engineering, shipbuilding, aerospace, weaponry, communications, IT, nuclear technology and space technology.

RUSSIAN SCIENTISTS HAVE GREAT made a great contribution TO THE PRESENT WORLD IN ALL FIELDS OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY.

Government of the Russian Federation always allot funds to different research institutes, laboratories and universities for new innovations and technologies in the science and technology to be developed. In the 2000s, on the wave of an economic boom, Government launched a new campaign aimed at modernization and innovation. Current priorities for the country's technological development include energy efficiency, IT (including both common products and the products combined with space technology), nuclear energy and pharmaceuticals.


SPACE EXPLORATION:

The Soviet space program comprised the rocketry and space exploration programs conducted by the USSR from the 1930s until its dissolution in 1991. Over its sixty-year history, this primarily classified military program was responsible for a number of pioneering accomplishments in space flight, including the first intercontinental ballistic missile (R-7), first satellite (Sputnik-1), first animal in space (the dog Laika on Sputnik 2), first human in space and Earth orbit (cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin on Vostok 1), first woman in space and Earth orbit (cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova on Vostok 6), first spacewalk (cosmonaut Alexey Leonov on Voskhod 2), first spacecraft launched to the Moon (Luna 2), first image of the far side of the moon (Luna 3) and unmanned lunar soft landing (Luna 9), first space rover (Lunokhod 1), first sample of lunar soil automatically extracted and brought to Earth (Luna 16), and first space station (Salyut 1). Further notable records included the first interplanetary probes: Venera 1 and Mars 1 to fly by Venus and Mars, respectively, Venera 3 and Mars 2 to impact the respective planet surface, and Venera 7 and Mars 3 to make a soft landing on these planets.

The rocket and space program of the USSR, initially boosted by the assistance of scientists from the advanced German rocket program, was performed mainly by Soviet engineers and scientists after 1955, and was based on some unique Soviet and Imperial Russian theoretical developments, many derived by Konstantin Edwardovich Tsiolkovskiy,often called “ the father of theoretical astronautics”. Sergey Korolyov was the head of the principal design group; his official post was "chief designer". Unlike an American competitor in the "space race", which had NASA as a single coordinating agency, the USSR's program was split among several competing design groups led by Korolyov, Mikhail Yangel, Valentin Glushko, and Vladimir Chelomei.

Because of the program's peculiar status, and for propaganda value, announcement of the outcome of missions was delayed until success was certain, and failures were sometimes kept secret. Ultimately, as a result of Mikhail Gorbachev's policy of glasnost in the 1980s, many facts about the space program were declassified. Notable setbacks included the deaths of Korolyov, Vladimir Komarov (in the Soyuz 1 crash), and Yuri Gagarin (on a routine fighter jet mission) between 1966 and 1968, and disastrous experiences with the huge N-1 rocket intended to power a manned lunar landing, and which exploded shortly after launch on each of four unmanned tests.

With the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia and Ukraine inheirited the program. Russia created the Russian Aviation and Space Agency, now known as the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos).

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