Russia, a country-continent, country of extremes and diversity, whose influence was prominent in the 20th century.

This plug is dense enough and maybe a bit complex for the youngest, but the Russia is a complex country, not easy to synthesize!

Where is the Russia?

Its flag:


General data

Capital: Moscow.
Area: 17 098 400 km²
Population: 143.5 million inhabitants.
Density: 8.4 inhab/km².
Life expectancy: 64.3 years for men and 76 years for women.
Language: Russian.
Currency: the ruble (1 euro = approximately 57 ruble)
Nature of the State: Federal Republic.
President of the Federation: 3rd mandate for Vladimir Poutine (elected in March 2012).
Prime Minister: Dmitry Medvedev.
-Lag: different according to regions: from + 1 to + 11 h!

A few of the Unesco World Heritage sites:
In Moscow, and in its immediate vicinity: the Kremlin and red square, the ensemble of the Novodevichy Convent, Church of the Ascension, Kolomenskoye and the architectural ensemble of the Lavra of Trinity-Saint Sergius at Sergiev Posad.
In Saint-Petersburg: the historic centre and the annexes monumental ensembles.
Other sites in the Federation of Russia: the Virgin Komi forests; Lake Baikal; the volcanoes of Kamchatka; Golden mountains of Altai; the western Caucasus; the whole of the Ferrapontov Monastery; the UVs Nuur basin; the Citadel, the old town and the fortress of Derbent; the historic centre of the city of Yaroslavl; The Putorana plateau...


The history of the Russia is rich in events, particularly during the last millennium. Russia, through many wars, is passed small Principality in the largest country in the world.

May 7, 1682, Peter I of Russia or Pierre le Grand ascended to the throne. He built St. Petersburg which became in 1712 the capital. November 2, 1712, he proclaimed himself "Emperor". In the early 1800s, the Russian Empire plays a large role in the Napoleonic wars. The Empire began large settlements.

The first world war : The Russian empire entered the war to defend its ally, Serbia, against the Germany and the empire of Austria-Hungary. She retired from the conflict in 1917 because of the Russian Revolution.

Russian revolution of 1917: In 1917, live in Russia was very hard. Poverty was not uncommon and the people had had enough. February : In Petrograd (now St. Petersburg), demonstrations began. The people were tired of the tsars who were opposed to any change. Tsar Nicolas II wanted to send soldiers, but they refused to go. He then began to make some reforms, but to the annoyance of the people, he continued the war. October : The Bolsheviks (Communist =) seized power and quickly took steps to satisfy the people. But some Russians was dissatisfied with communism and wanted the return of the tsars.

Russian civil war : it lasted 6 years, 1917 a 1923. It opposed the White Army (monarchists seeking the return of the Czars) to Red Army (Bolsheviks aimed to completely overthrow the tsars)

Late 1922, the Bolsheviks had regained most of the territory that became the USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics(, Federal State of 15 Soviet republics). The country spent under the Communist dictatorship of Stalin in 1929.

The USSR during the second World War: Before the war, on August 23, 1939, Stalin had signed a non-aggression pact with Hitler. It was broken on June 22, 1941 by the Nazi invasion in the Soviet Union. Initially, army Soviet, not ready, stepped back. Then after the long battle of Stalingrad, the Soviets regained lost ground, then continued taking the nazis from the countries of Eastern Europe.

Cold war : In 1946, while the old European great powers have collapsed, there are two superpowers: the USSR and the United States. The two countries are radically different from a political, economic and cultural point of view. The Soviet Union is a Communist dictatorship, while the United States is a capitalist democracy. The two major powers will not directly compete because of fear of nuclear war, but by proxy country, as in Afghanistan or Vietnam.
However, from 1963, international relations relax. But the cold war ends really than in 1991, when the collapse of the USSR.


Given the huge size of the country, necessarily it has common borders with many countries!

  • Northwest: la Norway and the Finland
  • to the West: the Estonia, the Latvia, the Belarus and the Ukraine
  • South: la Georgia, the Azerbaijan, the Kazakhstan, the China, the Mongolia
  • The Russia has also a small portion of territory between the Lithuania and the Poland (Kaliningrad)

The 17 million km2 of the Russia extend from West to East. From North to South, include:

-the Tundracovered with ice in the winter, and that leaves in the summer push the lichen which feed the reindeer.

-the Taigawhich is the largest forest area in the world;

-the mixed forest where deforestation started from the 12th century have allowed the development of agriculture in Central Russia;

- then the steppe, and a few stretches of desert North of the former Central Asian republics.

The Lake Baikal

In Russia, we will spend some time around this famous Lake, it is necessary to say a few words.

It is located in the South of Siberia, Eastern Russia. It represents the most large reserve of fresh water liquid surface in the world (approx. 23 500 km3). Its transparency is unique and the visibility perfect up to 40 metres deep. It is sometimes nicknamed la «Pearl of Siberia "..


Russians have an extremely sentimental relationship with their land. The creation of the first nature reserve dates back to 1916 (there now 101), and the Russia today has some 40 national parks.

But the Ministry of the environment established in 1988 under Gorbachev... was dissolved in 2000 by Putin. As a cold country, the Russia has not directly interest to act against the warming of the planet. A degree more in average annual temperatures can significantly reduce her heating Bill. The Government agreed to sign the Kyoto Protocol in 2004 - its application that may become a source of profit for her - however, in 2012, he refused to engage in the 2nd phase of the Protocol.

Customs and beliefs


The Orthodox Christians are the most numerous (41%) and the Church is very present in people's lives.

Russian Orthodox chants, the churches with very busy decorations and the icons are probably the most striking things when we discuss religion in Russia.

THEIslam comes in 2nd (6.5%).

Manners and customs

It is clear that human relationships in public space are not apparently warm. They turn yet at all in private space, where the masks fall more easily.

Different superstitions

For example, it is not the hand of someone through a door threshold: because the traditional threshold is a boundary protecting the isba (traditional wooden house) of the evil forces of the outside world.

But these superstitions tend to have less less than importance today.


Zakouski (entries)

There is as well the caviarthe true, the 'black', but also the 'red' (salmon eggs) and the other 'caviars', eggplant or Zucchini. But also a multitude of (raw or cooked) smoked fish or salted.

And the Russians are also masters in salads ; particularly the seliodka pod chouboy (the "herring under his cloak"): what serves as "cloak" for small pieces of salted herring is a mixture of beets and grated carrots, potato and mayonnaise. The "dressing")viniegriet) in Russian is in fact a salad in which we mix beet and potato.

Piervoye (soup)

The soup is a virtually mandatory component of a full meal. It is not also called soup, but piervoye (the first). Borsch : a soup of beet; generally to meat, it includes a mixture of vegetables and spices that makes a dish that is really worth a visit.

Vtaroye (dish)

The dish, called, logically, vtaroye (the second).

A few examples:

-The goloubtsi are the stuffed cabbage, but it also stuffs the zucchini.

-The pielmeni and the varienniki (literally: "boiled") are different kinds of appetizers consisting of meat and chopped onions in fresh pasta envelopes, which shall be either grill or boil - in clear, kind of ravioli.

-The Beef Stroganoff, thin strips of cooked meat in a sauce with cream and onions, essential in traditional restaurants menus.

Konfiety (sweets)

The Russians love of klioukvas (Cranberry)These berries that come from the North. They prefer it is eating icing sugar-coated taking tea (like poppy seed biscuits).


Revenues of the State related to the production and the trade of alcohol are a major budgetary source. However, an evolution is perhaps now taking place. In large cities, the younger generations are vodka for the benefit of the beer. The 'new Russians' have launched the fashion of the wine.

Wine: At the end of the 19th century, the church adopted for its needs a cooked, originally imported from Cahors wine, and then produced in the Crimea. This local Cahors (Kagor), cheap, is still one of the favorite bottles of the Russians on the holiday dining table. Always at the end of the 19th century, prince Lev Sergeevich Golitsyn reports in Russia the recipe for champagne. This Champanskoye is a sweet sparkling wine just as cheap as the vodka, much appreciated by the fairer sex.


In Russia, it is the food that accompanies the vodka and not the opposite... It can be perfectly pure, slightly softened with the addition of some aromas of plants, either still prepared with red fruits or pickled chilli. In this case, one speaks of nastoiki. In any case, it is always drunk dry ass!


We can't talk about the Russia not to mention culture: cinema, literature, Ballet...


Russian cinema has a history eventful, closely linked to the policy of the country and different events.

The first film school in the world was created in Moscow, in 1919, with the VGIKan institution which also explains the dynamism of the Russia in this area (and the theoretical quality of the works).

Some names over the ages...

The Russia is the country of Sergei Eisenstein)Battleship Potemkin), Vsevolod Pudovkin)The mother), Alexander Dovzhenko)The Earth) and Dziga Vertov (whose The man with the camera has influenced generations of filmmakers). It is the revolutionary ideological impetus that inspired these masters of world cinema, like many artists in the 1920s.

Then, World War II has provided a source of infinite inspiration. There are names of Sergei Bondarchuk, Grigori Chukhrai, and especially André Tarkovski.

When the cranes are flying by Mikhail Kalatozov marked in 1957 the return of Soviet cinema on the world stage (Grand Prize at Cannes).

In the 1970s appears Nikita Mikhalkov, son of Sergei Mikhalkov, author of the Soviet anthem. It is now probably one of the best-known Russian filmmakers and one of the more commercial.


It is often by Pushkin, Dostoyevsky, Gogol or Tolstoy names that some of us have heard of the Russia. Russian literature, music and painting, is largely global. There are Russian literature of front Alexander Pushkin (1799-1837), little known, and that according to Pushkin, appreciated around the world. The writer or the Russian poet is more than an artist: he was a social, political and moral consciousness and fulfilled the role of an often banned political opposition, both under tsarism than under the Soviet regime.


The country has seen rise to important figures in the history of music. We can mention...

Pyotr Tchaikovsky (1840-1893), Serge Rachmaninov (1872-1943), Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971), Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953), Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975)

The Ballets russes

Ballets russes is a famous ballet company founded in 1907 by Serge Diaghilev. This is undoubtedly to the genius of Stravinsky and Prokofiev Serge Diaghilev ballet company has flourished. The first performances of the Ballets russes were held in 1909. For 20 years, the European scenes are fan. Choreographies are still today part of the repertoires of theatre of the Bolshoi in Moscow and the Mariinsky in Saint Petersburg.

Human rights

The situation of the rights of man in Russia has worsened in recent years. After the events of Russian civic movements After the elections of December 2011, many thought that emerged then a protest movement that would enable the voice of civil society. The power of elsewhere seemed surprised by the scale of the protests. Subsequently, the power "took things in hand"...

Justice, on the order of power, frequently harasses opponentsor their entourage. Side legislature, the Duma adopted a law on the Russian Internet, which, behind commendable objectives, as the fight against paedophilia, could, according to some opponents, be used to limit the action of bloggers who are often the most visible face of the opposition to power.

It still exists in Russia and penal coloniesfrom real labour camps where living conditions are very difficult. But daily, and away from the cameras or media concerns, the Russia human rights activists are often worried, or even threatened or harassed.


The functioning of the Russian economy has undergone radical transformations as a result of the reforms initiated by Gorbachev in the second half of the 1980s. And this evolution has allowed Russia to be part of 10 world leading economies. Only here, geopolitics has caught up with the economy: the year 2014 saw the Russia reconnect with an adventurous policy which is expensive for the country, for what is its image, but much more in the proper sense, the economy of the country being strongly impacted.

World's leading producer of hydrocarbons, the Russia lives in the short term: when the price of a barrel of crude comes to fall too sharply and too durable, the difficulties of the Russian economy become dramatic. Because the Russia does not have many other trump cards up his sleeve. Of course, it remains the World's largest exporter of weapons, but the low productivity, the seniority of the industrial area and under-investment remain the main problems of the Russian economy. The economic sanctions the West's weight also.

We see therefore the country turn its back on the West. The Russia is now looking to China : a gas agreement was signed in 2014, allowing the Siberian gas to be routed in the Chinese partner. The contract spans 30 years. Another attempt: the creation of a Eurasian union, gathering at the moment that the Russia, the Belarus and the Kazakhstan, pending the Armenia and Kyrgyzstan, and which should be translated, by 2025, with the creation of a single market.

The disparities are huge in the country, great poverty rubs shoulders with very large wealth... Wealth is concentrated in a few favoured regions: Moscow and Saint Petersburg, the Siberian regions where are located the hydrocarbon deposits, and some industrial areas. Medical care are often reserved for the rich, education is neglected or delivered to the private sector.

The Russian economy is in a period of strong turbulence recently.

Thank you The backpacker and Vikidia !