Useful Notes: Russia
The President of the United States is being given a tour of Hell, and he is shown a cave with three huge cauldrons in it, each full of damned souls and boiling pitch. The devil stops at the first cauldron, surrounded by dozens of demonic guards. "This is where we keep the Jews, Mr President. They're a tricky bunch — every time one of them tries to escape, the rest all follow him, so they keep us very busy." The devil points to the next cauldron, which has fewer guards: "The Poles are in that one, but they don't give us so much trouble — every time one of them tries to escape, the rest just ignore him." The President then asks who is in the final cauldron, which has no guards at all. "Oh," says Satan, "that's where we keep the Russians. They couldn't be easier — every time one of them tries to escape, the others all say "'where do you think you're going?'" and pull him back in!Russia (Russian: Россия, Rossiya), also known as the Russian Federation (Russian: Российская Федерация, Rossiyskaya Federatsiya), is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects and two territories disputed with Ukraine. From northwest to southeast, Russia shares land borders with Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland (both with Kaliningrad Oblast), Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia, and North Korea. It shares maritime borders with Japan by the Sea of Okhotsk and the U.S. state of Alaska across the Bering Strait. At 17,075,400 square kilometres (6,592,800 sq mi), Russia is the largest country in the world, covering more than one-eighth of the Earth's inhabited land area. Russia is also the world's ninth most populous nation with 143 million people as of 2012. Extending across the entirety of northern Asia and much of Eastern Europe, Russia spans eleven time zones and incorporates a wide range of environments and landforms. The nation's history began with that of the East Slavs, who emerged as a recognizable group in Europe between the 3rd and 8th centuries AD. Founded and ruled by a Varangian warrior elite and their descendants, the medieval state of Rus arose in the 9th century. In 988 it adopted Orthodox Christianity from the Byzantine Empire, beginning the synthesis of Byzantine and Slavic cultures that defined Russian culture for the next millennium. Rus' ultimately disintegrated into a number of smaller states; most of the Rus' lands were overrun by the Mongol invasion and became tributaries of the nomadic Golden Horde. The Grand Duchy of Moscow gradually reunified the surrounding Russian principalities, achieved independence from the Golden Horde, and came to dominate the cultural and political legacy of Kievan Rus'. By the 18th century, the nation had greatly expanded through conquest, annexation, and exploration to become the Russian Empire, which was the third largest empire in history, stretching from Poland in Europe to Alaska in North America. Following the Russian Revolution, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic became the largest and leading constituent of the Soviet Union, the world's first constitutionally socialist state and a recognized superpower, which played a decisive role in the Allied victory in World War II. The Soviet era saw some of the most significant technological achievements of the 20th century, including the world's first spacecraft, and the first astronaut. The Russian Federation became the successor state of the Russian SFSR following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, and is recognized as the continuing legal personality of the Union state. The Russian economy ranks as the eighth largest by nominal GDP and sixth largest by purchasing power parity. Russia's extensive mineral and energy resources, the largest reserves in the world, have made it one of the largest producers of oil and natural gas globally. The country is one of the five recognized nuclear weapons states and possesses the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction. Russia is a great power and a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, a member of the G8 (currently suspended), G20, BRICS, the Council of Europe, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, the Eurasian Economic Union, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the World Trade Organisation (WTO), and the leading member of the Commonwealth of Independent States. Rossiyane and Russkie There are two words in Russian that mean "Russians:"
- Rossiyane — Citizens of the Russian Federation and the RSFSR before that. An unpopular label in Russia, mostly used in government propaganda and thought by most as an example of Political Correctness Gone Mad. Most Russians draw a sharp distinction between ethnic Russian and minority, and it goes even sharper with time as ethnonationalistic sentiments rise.
- Russkie — Ethnic Russians. Were called "Great Russians" (Velikorossy) before 1917 (not used today, except for historical purposes).
- Old generalized distinctive terms are: Great Russia (now just "Russia,") Small Russia ("Malorossia," now "Ukraine,") White Russia (verbatim: "Belorussia,") and New Russia ("Novorossia," now Southern Russia and some parts of eastern and south Ukraine, including an unrecognized rebel confederacy of this very name). Derivative terms refers to inhabitants of those territories. E.g. even if semi-nomadic Don Cossacks ethnically were not exactly the same as their neighbours, they still lived in "Small Russia" (Nikolai Gogol who lived there used this common term when it was relevant). This is why the tsar was referred to as "Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias."
open/close all folders
- Kievan Rus
- Tsarist Russia
- Tsar Tsar Autocrats - A list of Tsars for the entirety of the country's history as a monarchy.
- The Russian Revolutions
- Soviet Russia, Ukraine, and So On (A basic guide to the USSR)
- The New Russia
- Russian Heads of State
Mythology and Religion
Traditions and Customs
Traditions and Customs
- Post-Soviet Educational System
- Russian Fashion
- Russian Holidays
- Russian Humour
- Russian Reading
- Russian Relaxing
- Russian Roulette (Note: Might not be actually Russian.)
- Socialist Realism
- That Russian Squat Dance
The Russian flag
After the fall of the USSR, Russia reused the colors of Tsarist Russia, which had no specific meanings.