Form of Government: Federal republic
Area: 17 125 200 sq km
Population: 146 748 600 inhab. (estimate 2020)
Density: 8.57 inhab./sq km
Coordinates: lat. 81° - 42° N; long. 19°-180° E - 169° W
Capital: Moscow=Moskva (capital) 12 678 100 inhab. (2020);
Currency: Russian rouble (100 kopeks)
Human development index: 0.824 (rank: 52)
President: Vladimir Putin (ER), elected 4 March 2012, re-elected 18 March 2018
Prime Minister: Michail Mishustin (independent), since 16 January 2020
State Duma: seats (August 2021 update): ER (United Russia, nationalist), 334; KPRF (Communist Party), 43; LDPR (Liberal Democratic Party, populist-nationalist), 40; SR (A Just Russia), 23; others, 2, vacant, 8
Internet: www.gks.ru (Federal State Statistics Service)
Member of APEC, CIS, Council of Europe, EAEU, EBRD, OAS observer, OIC observer, OSCE, SCO, UN, WTO
International license plate code RUS
International dialling code 007
Travel vaccinations requirement yellow fever (required only if traveling from a country with risk of transmission)
Electricity (Voltage) 220
Driving side rigth
Internet code .ru
GMT Moscow +4; Kaliningrad +3; Samara +4; Ekaterinburg +6; Omsk +7; Krasnojarsk +8; Irkutsk +9; Jakutsk +10; Vladivostok +11; Magadan +12; Kam-atka/Anadyr +12
DST Moscow not applied; Kaliningrad not applied; Samara not applied; Ekaterinburg not applied; Omsk not applied; Krasnojarsk not applied; Irkutsk not applied; Jakutsk not applied; Vladivostok not applied; Magadan not applied; Kam-atka/Anadyr not applied
Annual average temperature (°C) Moscow 5.1; Irkutsk 0.6; Kaliningrad 7.4; Murmansk 0.1; Omsk 1.5; Perm’ 2.2; Rostov-na-Donu 10; Saint Petersburg 5; Soči 14.7; Vladivostok 5.1
Average temperature in January/July (°C) Moscow -9/18; Irkutsk -18/18; Kaliningrad -3.5/17.5; Murmansk -11.5/13; Omsk -17.5/20; Perm’ -15/18.5; Rostov-na-Donu -5/23.5; Saint Petersburg -8/18; Soči 6.5/22.5; Vladivostok -11/18.5
Daily sunshine hours in June/December (average) Moscow 9/1; Irkutsk 8/2; Kaliningrad 9/1; Murmansk 6/0; Omsk 10.5/2; Perm’ 10/0.5; Rostov-na-Donu 9.5/1; Saint Petersburg 9/0.5; Soči 9/3; Vladivostok 5/6
Annual average precipitation (mm) Moscow 695; Irkutsk 468; Kaliningrad 805; Murmansk 483; Omsk 405; Perm’ 615; Rostov-na-Donu 560; Saint Petersburg 645; Soči 1540; Vladivostok 796
Days of rainfall (annual average) Moscow 123; Irkutsk 77; Kaliningrad 130; Murmansk 111; Omsk 79; Perm’ 124; Rostov-na-Donu 86; Saint Petersburg 120; Soči 115; Vladivostok 79
Politics and current affairs
Vladimir Putin’s Russia continues with its geopolitical projection, often in contrast with western interests. In November 2020, after the end of the war in Nagorno-Karabakh, Russia launched a peacekeeping mission, deploying almost 2000 soldiers on the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The country continues to support Lukašènka’s regime in Belarus, providing diplomatic backing after the hijacking of the Ryanair plane to arrest dissident journalist Protasevich. In spring 2021, Russia increased pressure on the Ukraine by deploying tens of thousands of soldiers along the border (later withdrawn). In August, Russia did not evacuate its diplomatic staff in Afghanistan, opening a dialogue with the reinstalled Taliban regime. Russia has faced several waves of COVID-19, introducing restrictions to control the pandemic. Although the country has developed its own vaccine (Sputnik-V), in the first few months of 2021, Russian efforts were mainly focused on exporting and donating vaccines for geopolitical gain rather than immunizing its own people. On 22 August 2021, fewer than 30% of the Russian population had received a first dose. The Sputnik-V vaccine has been approved for use in almost 70 countries. On 17 January 2021, the dissident Alexey Navalny was arrested on his return to Moscow; his state of health gives cause for concern. Russia continues to be accused by many western countries for launching cyber attacks and spreading fake news on social media.
Bordering from south-east to south-west North Korea, China, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Georgia, from south-west to north-west the Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland and Norway. The northern coastline lies on the Arctic Ocean, eastern coastline on the Bering Sea, the Okhotsk Sea and the Japan Sea (Pacific Ocean). To the south-west lies the Caspian Sea, the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea; to the north-west the Baltic Sea. There are vast geographical differences within Russia. From west to east lie the East European Plain, the West Siberian Plain, the Central Siberian Plateau and the Russian Far East. The East European Plain covers a large part of European Russia, with a series of higher areas towards the middle (the Valdai Hills, the Central Russian Upland, the Don Upland and the Volga Plateau), ending with the Urals Mountains in the east. The main river is the River Volga, which flows into the Caspian Sea, as does the River Ural, the upper stretch of which flows through Russia. The other main rivers flow into the Sea of Azov, including the River Don and its tributary the River Donets. To the north-west between Fennoscandia and Karelia there are two great lakes, Lake Ladoga and Lake Onega. Between the Urals and the west there are the Kazakh Uplands and the River Yenisey to the south, meanwhile further the east the great West Siberian Plain begins, with the course of the River Ob, with its tributary the River Irtysh, which follows the Central Siberian Plateau. Beyond the River Lena lies the north-eastern Asian arc, which mainly consists of mountain ranges. In the southern part lie the Caucasus Mountains, the Altay, Sayan, Yablonovy, Stanovoy, Sikhote-Alin and Dzhugdzhur mountains. The largest of the many lakes is Lake Baikal. The climate is broadly speaking continental, with hot summers and rather long, cold winters.
After the “October Revolution” in 1917, Russia in its current form was the main republic within the USSR, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics which was created on 30 December 1922 and included the lands which were formerly part of the Tsarist empire. The political reforms of the second half of the 1980s (perestrojka), started by Mikhail Gorbachev, led to the dissolution of the Soviet Union (25 December 1991). In 1990, under Boris Yeltsin, Russia declared its independent sovereignty from the USSR, and on the 31 March 1992, the country, adopted a federal system, made up of various states. The Constitution, which was approved by referendum on 12 December 1993, amended in 2020, gives wide-ranging powers to the Federal President who is elected for a six year term by direct suffrage and for not more than two consecutive terms. The President appoints the Prime Minister, is responsible for foreign policy, heads the national security and intelligence services, and has the power to dissolve parliament and hold new elections. The highest legislative power is the Federal Assembly, which consists of the Duma (450 members elected for four years) and the Federation Council (166 members elected by the highest offices of the individual administrative units). Two institutional reforms (in 2000 and 2004) have re-defined the power of the regional governors, who were appointed directly by the central authorities until the new reform of 2012.
As President from 2000 onwards, Vladimir Putin led the central government to regain control over the powerful economic-financial bodies which had sprung up after the privatization of the large formerly state-run industries. Unable to stand for re-election in 2008, Putin proposed Dmitry Medvedev as presidential candidate, assuming the office of Prime Minister himself and keeping firm control over the regime. At the 2012 presidential elections, Putin ran for and kept his office, then being re-elected in 2018.
The authoritarian management of power takes place through the authorities’ tight control over the opposition and the media: the independent press is marginalized and its representatives are often subjected to threats and violence.
Chechnya, a republic with an Islamic majority, proclaimed its independence in 1991, but it was not recognized by the government in Moscow. There were then two bitter wars in the 1990s, with military campaigns, air raids and terrorist atrocities which caused thousands of civilian casualties. The region continues to be unstable today.
In 2014, Russia intervened in Ukraine in support of the Russian-speaking minority and to defend Russian interests in Crimea. In 2019, the country was, however, readmitted to the Council of Europe.
Russian presence abroad is increasing, including in Africa (first ever Russia-Africa Summit held in Sochi on 23-24 October 2019). Armed forces are tackling a modernization program aimed at supporting the policy of great power promoted by Putin.
On 2 February 2019, Russia announced the suspension of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty following the USA’s own withdrawal. The peacekeeping mission in Nagorno-Karabakh started in November 2020.
The legal system is based on continental European law. Since 5 May 1998, with the ratification of the European Convention of Human Rights, Russian citizens have had access to the European Court in Strasbourg. In 2019, a law was approved that allows authorities also to pursue individuals (and NGOs) as “foreign agents”.
|Moscow=Moskva||12 678 100||inhab.||2020|
|Saint Petersburg||5 398 100||inhab.||2020|
|Population by age and gender (% - 2020)|
The number of inhabitants reached its peak in 1993 (148.5 million). The results of the new population census are expected in 2021.
In 2020, the Russian economy had several shocks: falling oil prices, at a record low for 18 years; the effects of quarantine measures; and reduced export of mining products. As a result, the GDP fell by 3.1%. The global economic recovery is expected to result in a return to growth for the Russian economy in 2021 (+3.8%).
|Agricultural prod. index (2004-06=100)||138.78||index||2016|
|Agricultural prod. index (2014-16=100)||109.95||index||2019|
|Active population||74 832 770||units||2020|
|Active population, Females||48.7||%||2020|
|Unemployment rate, Females||48.2||%||2020|
|Expenses||20 067 700||M LCU||2020|
|Revenues||18 606 500||M LCU||2020|
|Currency in circulation||13 419.606||BN LCU||2020|
|International reserves||596 769.863||M US$||2020|
Despite the vast farming areas, the country imports agricultural products. Huge state investments are made in the farming sector.
The main crop is wheat, followed by barley, potatoes, rye, oats, sunflower seeds and sugar beet.
Forestry provides the basis for some of the most significant industries: sawmills (Archangel is the main centre of this), furniture production, wood pulp, cellulose, newspaper, paper.
Animal husbandry is sizeable yet insufficient for domestic needs. Reindeer and animals bred for their fur are found in Siberia.
Fishing plays an important role in meeting the demand for food and supplies the food conservation industry. The Arctic Coast is particularly heavily fished (herring and cod); in the Lower Volga, sturgeon (which caviar comes from) is widely fished.
The main fishing ports are on the Pacific, on the White Sea, on the Barents Sea and on the Caspian Sea.
|barley||20 489.088||1000 t||2019|
|cereals, total||117 868.242||1000 t||2019|
|potatoes||22 074.874||1000 t||2019|
|roots and tubers, total||22 074.874||1000 t||2019|
|cabbages||2 623.23||1000 t||2019|
|carrots and turnips||1 558.866||1000 t||2019|
|beans, dry||5.715||1000 t||2019|
|broad beans, dry||8.044||1000 t||2019|
|castor oil seed||0.319||1000 t||2019|
|rapeseed||2 060.32||1000 t||2019|
|mustard seed||164.857||1000 t||2019|
|sugar beet||54 350.115||1000 t||2019|
|flax fibre and tow||38.464||1000 t||2019|
|hemp tow waste||1.187||1000 t||2019|
|apples||1 950.8||1000 t||2019|
|citrus fruits||0.075||1000 t||2019|
|barley||8 536.675||1000 ha||2019|
|maize||2 506.247||1000 ha||2019|
|potatoes||1 238.575||1000 ha||2019|
|carrots and turnips||48.702||1000 ha||2019|
|beans, dry||3.406||1000 ha||2019|
|broad beans, dry||5.465||1000 ha||2019|
|castor oil seed||0.468||1000 ha||2019|
|rapeseed||1 426.241||1000 ha||2019|
|mustard seed||292.837||1000 ha||2019|
|sugar beet||1 133.253||1000 ha||2019|
|flax fibre and tow||44.437||1000 ha||2019|
|hemp tow waste||3.102||1000 ha||2019|
|citrus fruits||0.02||1000 ha||2019|
|timber||218 400 000||m³||2019|
|cattle||18 151.394||1000 heads||2019|
|cattle and buffaloes||18 157.729||1000 heads||2019|
|pigs||23 726.56||1000 heads||2019|
|sheep||21 136.4||1000 heads||2019|
|goats||1 992.896||1000 heads||2019|
|asses and mules||7.909||1000 heads||2019|
|birds||530 787||1000 heads||2019|
|crustaceans and molluscs||279 608||t||2019|
|freshwater fishes||301 776||t||2019|
There are many different mineral resources in Russia. The main coal deposits in the European part of Russia are found in the Pechora basin, on the eastern edge of the Donbass, in the Moscow area (lignite at Borodino), and in the Urals; in Siberia, coal deposits are exploited in the Kuznetsk Basin, in Kansk-Achinsk, Yakutia, Kamchatka and the island of Sakhalin. The largest oilfields are those in the Western Siberia and in the Ob River basin. Other deposits can be found in the Northern Caucasus, in the Volga basin, in the Urals and on Sakhalin island; the potential of the Arctic fields is growing. The price of oil collapsed in 2020 due to the economic crisis and the oil price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia. The difference was corrected by an OPEC agreement, which calls for a 10% cut in the global oil supply. By September 2022, the cut will be progressively revoked.
Natural gas (of which Gazprom is a global player) is extracted in the Northern Caucasus, in the Komi Republic, in the Volga basin, in the Urals and especially in the Western Siberia. Russia is one of the leading exporters of fossil fuels to Europe, thanks to a long network of pipelines, including the Druzhba pipeline which transports crude oil to Central and Eastern Europe. The gas pipeline network is also well developed: in addition to those that cross Ukraine, it includes the Yamal-Europe (towards Germany), Blue Stream and TurkStream (towards Turkey passing under the Black Sea and avoiding third countries) and Power of Siberia (towards China, opened in 2019) pipelines. Nord Stream, a Russian-German gas pipeline, passes for a long stretch under the Baltic Sea avoiding Ukraine, Poland and the Baltic states. Thanks to the political support of Germany, the disputed works to double the capacity of Nord Stream are nearing completion. After initial opposition, the US supported the project in 2021. Iron ore is mined in the Urals, in the Moscow region and in Central Siberia. Other minerals mined in the country include manganese, nickel, chromite, uranium, tin, platinum, gold, copper, bauxite, apatite, asbestos, potash, diamonds, mercury and magnesite. Many of these resources are exploited in the Urals and in the vast northern and Siberian territories.
In addition to widespread thermo-electric plants, there are important hydro-electric plants at Samara and Volgograd on the Volga, at Bratsk, Boguchany and Ust-Ilimsk on the Angara, at Krasnoyarsk and at Sayan, on the Yenisey. There are 38 nuclear reactors in operation, with 3 more being built (a renewal policy has been launched to replace the old ones).
The main operational nuclear power plants are Balakovo, Beloyarsk, Bilibino, Kalinin, Kola, Kursk, Leningrad, Novovoronezh, Rostov and Smolensk. The first floating nuclear power plant was inaugurated in the Arctic. The country is one of the most active in exports and in the construction of nuclear plants abroad.
Iron and steel works, many of which are also obsolete, are concentrated in three areas: the central area of European Russia, in the Urals and in Siberia. Metal-working plants are widespread (aluminium, copper, lead and zinc, magnesium and nickel). The main oil refineries, many operated by the giants Rosneft and Lukoil, are found at Achinsk, Angarsk, Khabarovsk, Yaroslavl, Kirishi, Komsomolsk, Kstovo, Kuybyshev, Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Novokuybyshevsk, Omsk, Orsk, Perm, Ryazan, Salavat, Saratov, Syzran, Tuapse, Ufa, Ukhta and Volgograd. A liquefied natural gas terminal is active on the island of Sakhalin, with others planned in the Baltic Sea area and on the northern coasts. The chemical industry is relevant: noteworthy productions are artificial fibres, plastics, rubber, tyres and pharmaceuticals. The mechanics industry produces in particular tractors, agricultural machinery, cars and railway equipment.
The aeronautical industry has its headquarters at Moscow, Rybinsk, Nizhny Novgorod, Samara, Volgograd and Voronezh; the main shipbuilding centres are at Saint Petersburg, Archangel and Murmansk. Arms production is currently undergoing renewal and expansion: Russia is one of the major exporters. The space industry is based at the Baikonur/Bayqongyr Cosmodrome (in Kazakhstan); other missile bases are at Plesetsk and Kapustin Yar (near Volgograd). Moscow and Saint Petersburg are also important for the electronics and precision engineering industries. The digital industry sector is growing. The textiles industry is widespread throughout the country. Other important industries include cement, tobacco and food processing.
|coal||354 820.6||1000 t||2019|
|coal, total||399 770.6||1000 t||2020|
|bauxite||6 100||1000 t||2020|
|kaolin||1 530||1000 t||2019|
|diamonds||24 000||1000 ct||2020|
|diamonds, gemstones and industrial||43 000||1000 ct||2020|
|- thermal||665 469.24||M kWh||2019|
|- nuclear||195 535||M kWh||2019|
|- thermal||190 200||1000 kW||2018|
|- hydro||52 580||1000 kW||2019|
|total net generation||1 057 620.48||M kWh||2019|
|total installed capacity||272 498.22||1000 kW||2018|
|alumina||2 800||1000 t||2020|
|aluminium||3 600||1000 t||2020|
|bikes||1 300 000||no.||2018|
|cars||1 260 517||no.||2020|
|watches and clocks||2 129 000||no.||2016|
|air conditioners||102 000||no.||2016|
|bitumen||6 912.1||1000 t||2018|
|petrol||60 100.3||1000 t||2014|
|ammonia||15 000||1000 t||2020|
|artificial tow||18.5||1000 t||2018|
|carpets||23 400||1000 m²||2018|
|cotton fabrics||771||M m²||2018|
|footwear||121 000 000||pairs||2018|
|beer of barley||7 769.97||1000 t||2018|
|fish, frozen||4 028.7||1000 t||2016|
|cigarettes||476 000||M units||2018|
|cigars and cigarettes||476 000||M units||2018|
|chemical pulp||5 876||1000 t||2019|
|chemi-mechanical pulp||8 227||1000 t||2019|
|cement||56 000||1000 t||2020|
|sheet glass||109 700||1000 m²||2018|
|chemicals production||32 080.772||M US$||2018|
|food, beverages and tobacco production||35 231.771||M US$||2018|
The export of hydrocarbons is an essential part of the country’s trading balance.
Main exports (M US$ - 2017) crude oil 93 306, petroleum products 58 544, iron and steel 22 203, coal and its products 15 725, machinery 8 541, timber 7 902, fertilizers 7 217, aluminium 6 673, chemicals 6 609, wheat 5 791, natural gas 4 721, refined copper 4 709, diamonds 4 700, electric and electronic equipment 4 322, fish and crustaceans 3 482, vehicles and parts thereof 3 435, platinum 3 279, synthetic rubber and tyres 3 138, metal ores 3 070, gold and jewels 3 069, plastics 2 814
Finance & banking.
The Federal Russian Bank acts as a central bank.
There are stock exchanges in Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Vladivostok and Novosibirsk. Tensions with the West have slowed down the growth in financial activities.
|fuels||51.952||% of goods exports||2019|
|manufactures||19.581||% of goods exports||2019|
|China||49 146||M US$||2020|
|Netherlands||24 819||M US$||2020|
|China||54 913||M US$||2020|
|Germany||23 384||M US$||2020|
Tourism. Tourism is mostly confined to the cities (Moscow, Saint Petersburg) and currently does not have the facilities to cope with the increasing in tourist numbers.
|Expenditures||40 611||M US$||2019|
|Number of arrivals||24 419 000||units||2019|
The main transport network connecting European Russia, Siberia and the Far East is Trans-Siberian railway (9300 km between Moscow and Vladivostok), which accounts for a 20% of all rail traffic. A high-speed network links Saint Petersburg to Moscow since 2009, extended in 2010 as far as Nizhny Novgorod. Saint Petersburg is connected to Helsinki by a medium-speed line. A railway bridge between Russia and Crimea was inaugurated in 2019. The network of canals is also important for the movement of goods around the country, using the River Volga and the “five seas” which links the Baltic, the White Sea, the Caspian Sea, the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea.
The road network is underdeveloped, however, a plan has been launched to build 900 000 km of roads by 2025. In 2018, a new bridge linking Russia and the Crimean peninsula was completed. Air transport is the main means of transport in Siberia and for long distance travel.
Media and telecommunication.
The telecommunications sector is developing rapidly, although some of the necessary infrastructures are lacking. The country has started a project to develop a “sovereign” internet network.
|Civil aviation, km flown||694 400 000||km flown||2004|
|Civil aviation, passengers carried||115 482.7||1000 units||2019|
|Broadband subscribers||225.249||per 1000 pop.||2019|
|Computers||133.3||per 1000 pop.||2008|
Social and welfare
Education, culture & research.
Education is compulsory between the ages of 7 and 17 years, including three years of primary school and two periods spent at secondary school (lasting five and two years respectively).
Social security and health.
The social welfare fund (financed by businesses and by workers) provides cover for sickness and maternity pay, whereas old-age pensions and disabilities are covered by the pensions fund; the federal fund for workers covers unemployment benefit. Basic healthcare is provided for all citizens.
|Expected years of schooling||15.707||years||2018|
|Students, primary level||6 927 980||units||2018|
|Students, secondary level||10 242 404||units||2018|
|Social protection spending||31.555||% of total expenses||2019|
|Hospital beds||7.12||per 1000 pop.||2018|
|Physicians||4.09||per 1000 pop.||2018|
|HIV||1.2||% of adults||2017|
|Museums, visitors||113 800 000||units||2018|
|Research and development spending||1.03||% of GDP||2019|
|Access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking||90.1||%||2019|
|Access to electricity||100||%||2019|