Independence Year : 1991
Population : 146934000
Life Expectancy : 67.2
Capital : 3580
GNP : 276608.00
GNP Old : 442989.00
Local Name : Rossija
Government Form : Federal Republic
Location : Northern Asia (that part west of the Urals is included with Europe), bordering the Arctic Ocean, between Europe and the North Pacific Ocean.
Terrain : Broad plain with low hills west of Urals; vast coniferous forest and tundra in Siberia; uplands and mountains (Caucasus range) along southern borders.
Climate : Northern continental, from subarctic to subtropical.
Ethnic Group : Russian 81%, Tatar 4%, Ukrainian 3%, other 12%.
Religions : Russian Orthodox, Islam, Judaism, Roman Catholicism, Protestant, Buddhist, other
Official Website : www.gov.ru
Genral Information - Russian Federation
The defeat of the Russian Empire in World War I led to the seizure of power by the communists and the formation of the USSR. The brutal rule of Josef STALIN (1924-53) strengthened 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 modernize communism, but his initiatives inadvertently released forces that by December 1991 splintered the USSR into 15 independent republics. Since then, Russia has struggled in its efforts to build a democratic political system and market economy to replace the strict social, political, and economic controls of the communist period. A determined guerrilla conflict still plagues Russia in Chechnya.
(Source: CIA - The World Factbook)