Russia: Key Facts

By: Carolina Herrera

Area: 17,100,000 sq km (6, 602, 347 sq miles)

Population: 144,300,000 (2016)

Capital: Moscow

Major Cities: Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Vladivostok

Government: Federal Republic

Head of State: President Vladimir Putin since 2012

Head of Government: Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev since 2012

Currency: The Russian ruble or rouble (RUB) is the currency of the Russian Federation

Exchange Rate Reference


Russia, also known as the Russian Federation, spans over a vast majority of Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. Prior to becoming an independent country after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in December 1991, Russia was a part of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), which is commonly known as the Soviet Union. It is the world’s largest country, extending across the whole of northern Asia and the eastern third of Europe. As a result, Russia’s territory spans eleven different time zones, as well as a wide variety of environments and landforms. Most of the Russian population is concentrated in the European portion of the country, especially in the regions surrounding Moscow, the capital of Russia. Both Moscow and St. Petersburg are the two most important cultural and financial centers in Russia.

Much of Russia’s history has been the bleak narrative of the very wealthy and powerful minority ruling over a poor and powerless majority. The Russian republic was established immediately after the Russian Revolution of 1917 and became a union republic in 1922. The Soviet Union played a determining role in the Allied victory in World War II, and during the Post-World War II era, Russia emerged as a global superpower along with the United States, two powers that became rivals during the Cold War.

During the Soviet era, there were major technological achievements, such as sending the first humans into space, and “by the end of 1990, it has the world’s second largest economy, largest standing military in the world, and the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction,” as a result of the arms race with the U.S. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Russia joined twelve other former Soviet republics and formed a loose coalition, named the Commonwealth of Independent States.

The fall of Soviet-style communism ushered in an overwhelming amount of political and economic changes. In the post-communist era, there was the formation of a large middle class, but for a majority of this era, Russians “had to endure a generally weak economy, high inflation, and complex of social ills.” Nevertheless, Russia has showed promise of achieving its potential as a world superpower once again, and hosting the 2018 World Cup is definitely one way to show their power on a global stage.



“Football is more than a game. For host countries, the World Cup has become a chance to showcase national achievement with the whole world looking on. The championship is an excellent stimulus for renovation as preparations require stadium construction, promoting football, and boosting tourism; improving transportation, hospitality infrastructure, and telecommunications technology; and establishing various social programs”
Russia 2018: The Tournament of Dreams 




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Dewdney, John C., Edward Louis Keenan, Sergey Arsentyevich Vodovozov, Richard Taruskin, Olga L. Medvedkov, and Marc Raeff. “Russia.” Encyclopædia Britannica. February 10, 2018. Accessed April 21, 2018.

“Russia.” World Travel Guide. Accessed April 20, 2018.

“Russia Profile – Timeline.” BBC News. March 20, 2018. Accessed April 24, 2018.

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