Russia

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GENERAL INFORMATION

 

Population - Local time - Languages - Religion - Political context - Climate - Tourism - Food


Population


Total population (millions): 142.8
Source : World Bank - World Development Indicators

Urban population: 73%
Source : World Bank - World Development Indicators

Average annual population growth: -0.4%
Source : World Bank - World Development Indicators

Surface area (km²) : 17,075,400


Population origin

Origin of the population% Of the population
Russian 81.3
Tartar 3.7
Ukrainian3
Other12



Main Cities Population
Moscow 10 425 075
Saint-Petersburg 4 580 620
Novosibirsk 1 397 015
Jekaterinburg 1 308 441
Niznij Novgorod 1 283 553
Samara 1 143 346



Local time

It is  %T:%M %A  in Moscow, Kazan, Saint Petersburg (GMT+3 in winter, GMT+4 in summer).
It is  %T:%M %A  in Perm, Chelyabinsk (GMT+5 in winter, GMT+6 in summer).
It is  %T:%M %A  in Novosibirsk, Omsk (GMT+6 in winter, GMT+7 in summer).
It is  %T:%M %A  in Kigali (GMT+2 ).
Summer time from March to October



Languages
Official language: Russian.
However, more than 150 languages are spoken in the Russian Federation. Some of them are official according to the state.
Business languages: Russian and English.

Free translation tools

Systran
Free English-Russian-English translator of texts and web pages

Tranexp
Free English-Russian-English translator of texts and web pages

Ectaco
English-Russian-English Dictionary





Religion
Religious practises : Russian orthodox religion is the dominant religion in Russia.


Political context

Russia is a federal republic state based on parliamentary democracy. Russia (official name: Russian Federation) has a strong presidential government after adopting a new constitution in December 1993.
President is the chief of the state and is elected by popular vote for four-year term. President is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces and is the real power centre in the country. Prime Minister is the head of the government and is appointed by the President with the approval of the lower house of the parliament. The executive power is split between President and the Prime Minister. President can initiate referendums, promulgate federal laws and decide domestic & foreign policy of the government. The executive powers of the Prime Minister include implementation of the law and running the day-to-day affairs in the country. President appoints the cabinet including deputy-Prime Ministers on the advice of the Prime Minister.
The legislature in Russia is bicameral. The parliament called Federal Assembly consists of: Federation Council (the upper house) having 78 seats with its members appointed by regional governors and legislative bodies to serve four-year terms and the State Duma (the lower house) having 450 seats with its members elected by direct, popular vote from party lists to serve four-year terms. Under several prescribed conditions, the President's position is superior to the legislature, for example he can dissolve the Federal Assembly if he wishes. The people of Russia have very limited political rights.
Judiciary is not independent in Russia. It suffers from corruption, inadequate funding, and a lack of qualified personnel. The main source of the law is the constitution of December 1993. The country's legal system is based on civil law system and judicial reviews of various legislative acts. The judicial language used in the country is Russian; having an interpreter is possible.
Russia is weakly ruled by law. Because of the conflict with the separatist region of Chechnya, a lot of restrictions on basic human rights and freedom of speech have been imposed in the country. Foreign nationals cannot expect an impartial trial from the country's judicial system. A high degree of corruption exists in the country, especially in the government and business world.


Major political parties

Russia is a one-party dominant state with United Russia (a centrist political party) in power. Opposition parties are allowed, but have no real chance of gaining power. Other important political parties in the country are:
- CPRF (Communist Party of the Russian Federation) – a nationalist and communist party;
- Rodina (Motherland-National Patriotic Union) – a coalition of left-wing groups having nationalist & socialist ideology;
- LDPR (Liberal Democratic Party of Russia) - a far-right nationalist political party;
- SPS (Union of Rightist Forces) - associated with free market reforms and privatization, support western-style capitalism.


Major political leaders

President: Vladimir Vladimirovich PUTIN (since May 2000, re-elected in March 2004) – United Russia
Prime Minister: Mikhail Yefimovich FRADKOV (since 5 March 2004) – non-partisan


Next political election dates

Presidential: March 2008
State Duma: December 2007




Climate

 

 

 


Tourism


Number of visitors in Russia 2004 2005 2006 World rank
Number of visitors (1000) 9,164 19,940 20,199 11
Source : World Tourisme Organization, data available in November 2005

 

Tourist sites
- Moscow: the Kremlin, the Red Square, the Carousel Place, the Poutchkine's museum.
- Saint Petersbourg: the St Paul fortress, the Arts Place, the Hermitage, the Winter palace.
- The Caucasian chains, valleys and villages.
- The Volga, which is the longest river in Europe (it is another way of discovering the country's heart and soul since it is indeed navigable nearly all the way through).

For more information about tourism in Russia , check out the following web site(s) :
Russian Tourism Board



Food


Traditional dishes
Blinis, sure cream , Caviar and Vodka: It is the perfect marriage of the Czar times of Great Russia, who took those eggs over to the tables of France and elsewhere. The Russian fishermen were used to harvest the sturgeons while they were swimming upstream the rivers of Russia.
Blinis are black wheat pancakes; blinis are very often served with appetizers, smoked fish. They are piled up on a very warm clay plate .


Last modified on December 2006

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