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Writing About Travel

Travel to Russia:
Russia tourist information with details about travel to and around the country. Where to stay and what to see is made easier with insider tips and hand-selected Russia links, by dedicated editors and visitors to TravelNotes.org - The Online Guide to Travel.

Map of Russia

Map of Russia

The capital of Russia is Moscow.

Buy a Map of Russia.

Russia Flag

Russia Flag

The flag of Russia is three equal horizontal bands of white (top), blue, and red.

Russia - Background Information

Founded in the 12th century, the Principality of Muscovy, was able to emerge from over 200 years of Mongol domination (13th-15th centuries) and to gradually conquer and absorb surrounding principalities.

In the early 17th century, a new Romanov Dynasty continued this policy of expansion across Siberia to the Pacific. Under Peter I (ruled 1682-1725), hegemony was extended to the Baltic Sea and the country was renamed the Russian Empire.

During the 19th century, more territorial acquisitions were made in Europe and Asia.

Repeated devastating defeats of the Russian army in World War I led to widespread rioting in the major cities of the Russian Empire and to the overthrow, in 1917, of the imperial household.

The Communists under Vladimir Lenin seized power soon after and formed the USSR. The brutal rule of Iosif Stalin (1928-53) strengthened communist rule and Russian dominance of the Soviet Union at a cost of tens of millions of lives.

The Soviet economy and society stagnated in the following decades until General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev (1985-91) introduced glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring) in an attempt to modernise Communism, but his initiatives inadvertently released forces that by December 1991 splintered the USSR into Russia and 14 other independent republics (CIS).

Since then, Russia has struggled in its efforts to build a democratic political system and market economy to replace the social, political, and economic controls of the Communist period. While some progress has been made on the economic front, and Russia's management of its windfall oil wealth has improved its financial standing, recent years have seen a decentralisation of power under Vladimir Putin and democratic institutions remain weak.

Russia has severely weakened the Chechen rebel movement, and has shifted its focus to socio-economic development in the depressed North Caucasus region.

Geographically

Northern Asia (the area west of the Urals is considered part of Europe) - bordering the Arctic Ocean, between Europe and the North Pacific Ocean.

Administrative Divisions

Administrative divisions have the same names as their administrative centers (exceptions have the administrative center name following in parentheses).

2 federal cities:
(goroda, singular - gorod)

Moscow (Moskva); Saint Petersburg (Sankt-Peterburg).

7 krays:
(krayev, singular - kray)

Altay (Barnaul); Khabarovsk; Krasnodar; Krasnoyarsk; Permskiy; Primorskiy (Vladivostok); Stavropol'

9 autonomous okrugs:
(avtonomnykh okrugov, singular - avtonomnyy okrug)

Aga Buryat (Aginskoye); Chukotka (Anadyr'); Evenk (Tura); Khanty-Mansi; Koryak (Palana); Nenets (Nar'yan-Mar); Taymyr [Dolgano-Nenets] (Dudinka); Ust'-Orda Buryat (Ust'-Ordynskiy); Yamalo-Nenets (Salekhard)

21 republics:
(respublik, singular - respublika)

Adygeya (Maykop); Altay (Gorno-Altaysk); Bashkortostan (Ufa); Buryatiya (Ulan-Ude); Chechnya (Groznyy); Chuvashiya (Cheboksary); Dagestan (Makhachkala); Ingushetiya (Magas); Kabardino-Balkariya (Nal'chik); Kalmykiya (Elista); Karachayevo-Cherkesiya (Cherkessk); Kareliya (Petrozavodsk); Khakasiya (Abakan); Komi (Syktyvkar); Mariy-El (Yoshkar-Ola); Mordoviya (Saransk); North Ossetia (Vladikavkaz); Sakha [Yakutiya] (Yakutsk); Tatarstan (Kazan'); Tyva (Kyzyl); Udmurtiya (Izhevsk).

48 oblasts:
(oblastey, singular - oblast)

Amur (Blagoveshchensk); Arkhangel'sk; Astrakhan'; Belgorod; Bryansk; Chelyabinsk; Chita; Irkutsk; Ivanovo; Kaliningrad; Kaluga; Kamchatka (Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy); Kemerovo; Kirov; Kostroma; Kurgan; Kursk; Leningrad; Lipetsk; Magadan; Moscow; Murmansk; Nizhniy Novgorod; Novgorod; Novosibirsk; Omsk; Orenburg; Orel; Penza; Pskov; Rostov; Ryazan'; Sakhalin (Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk); Samara; Saratov; Smolensk; Sverdlovsk (Yekaterinburg); Tambov; Tomsk; Tula; Tver'; Tyumen'; Ul'yanovsk; Vladimir; Volgograd; Vologda; Voronezh; Yaroslavl'.

1 autonomous oblast (avtonomnaya oblast')

Yevrey [Jewish] (Birobidzhan).

Independence

24th August, 1991 (from Soviet Union).

National Holiday

Russia Day, 12th June.

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