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Surface, 3.149.800 km²
Population, 130.542.082 h (2017)
Capital, Moskva (Moscow)
Languages: Russian (official), Ukrainian, Bashkiro, Tataro, Chuvasho, Belarusian, Udmurt.
Ethnic composition: Russians 81.4%, Tatar 3.9%, Ukrainians 1.4%, Bashkiros 1.1%, Chuvashs 1.05%, Chechens 1.04%, Armenians 0.8%, Other groups (Udmurts, komis) 9.7%.
Religions: Russian Orthodox 50%, Muslim 6.9%, others (Armenian Apostolic, Buddhist, Catholic, and mainly non-religious) 43.1%.
Literacy rate, 99.7%
Human Development Index (HDI), 0.816 (UN-2016) (49th in the world).
Political system, presidential republic
St. Basil’s Cathedral built in the sixteenth century, on the Red Square in Moscow, capital of Russia.
Birth rate, 12.9 ‰
Mortality rate, 13.6 ‰
Vegetative growth, -0.7%
Life expectancy at birth: men, 65.8 years; women, 76.9 years (2018).
Agriculture: cereals, potatoes, legumes, sugar beet, fruits (citrus), sunflower, soybean, castor, flax, hemp, cotton, tobacco.
Livestock: swine, sheep, cattle, poultry.
Fishing: crustaceans, molluscs, herring, cod, hake, salmon, sturgeon.
Silviculture: pines, firs, birches, poplars.
Mining: coal, lignite, peat, petroleum, natural gas, iron, manganese, bauxite, nickel, chromium, lead, copper, zinc, mercury, phosphates, potash, sulfur, rock salt, gold, silver, platinum.
Industry: steel, mechanical, chemical, naval, armament, automotive, aeronautics, electronics, textiles, paper, cement, glass, food.
PIB per capita, 10.743 dollars (2017)
Sectoral distribution of PIB
· Agriculture, 4.0%
· Industry, 30.0%
· Services, 56.2% (2017)
· Exports: petroleum, natural gas, metals, chemical products, machinery, transport equipment, wood, paper.
312,957,4 million euros
· Imports: machinery and equipment, consumer goods, medicines, food products (meat, grains, sugar), semi-finished metal products.
210,786,9 million euros (2017)
HISTORY (XX-XXI centuries)
1904-05: Russian-Japanese War, because of the Russian expansion in Manchuria, with the Russian loss of the south of the island of Sakhalin.
1905: Revolution: military disasters of the Russian army, restrictive policy of liberties, discontent of the peasants and agitation of the workers.
1914: Germany declared war on Russia, allying itself with France and Great Britain. Turkey’s entry into the conflict hindered Russia’s foreign supply. Due to criticism, the Tsar appeared before the Duma and assumed the direct command of the troops. Grigori Y. Rasputin died assassinated in 1916, attack that was considered the prologue of the Revolution.
1917: The Russian Revolution. Provisional Government presided over by Prince Lvov and the Soviet of Workers ‘and Soldiers’ Deputies. The Bolsheviks seized power led by Lenin, who replaced the apparatus of the Tsarist state with the new communist system.
1918: Treaty of peace with Germany in Brest-Litovsk, losing Russia the Baltic provinces of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and part of Belarus. Killed the last Tsar Nicholas II.
1918-22: Civil War between the Red Army headed by L. Trotski and the White Army supported by foreign forces; final victory of the Red Army, which allowed a strict control of the Bolshevik Party over the political and economic life of Russia.
1922: The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) was created.
1924: Lenin died, who for his succession had alerted the Central Committee about the risks of the election of J. Stalin.
1928: The rise of Stalin was a way of conceiving the Revolution against other possible, and the creation of a personal power that deformed its initial objectives. Expelled from the XVI Party Congress, Trotsky was defeated, and assassinated in Mexico in 1940.
1928-33: First five-year plan for the development of big industry, forced collectivization of the countryside, rigid orthodoxy in the cultural field and respect, above all dissent, for the figure of Stalin.
1936-38: The Great Terror: purging all elements suspected of disloyalty to Stalin, who were tried and sentenced to death. The trials continued until 1938, and its consequence was the execution of leaders of the Revolution and millions of people imprisoned or deported.
1939: The German-Soviet non-aggression pact was signed. Poland was invaded by the Soviet army and later incorporated into its territory Ukraine and Belarus.
1940: The USSR seized the Baltic states and invaded Finland.
1941-45: Germany invaded the Soviet Union, reached the approaches to Moscow and advanced on Stalingrad, where in 1943 a German army of more than 200,000 men was captured and completely annihilated. The Soviet army entered Berlin in May 1945.
1949: Soviet scientists achieved their first atomic bomb. In the XIX Congress of the party, Stalin was replaced by Georgi M. Malenkov.
1953: Stalin died, in disputed circumstances. Malenkov was appointed prime minister, and shortly after replaced by Nikita Khrushchev, who split in two the absolute power of Stalin at the head of the party and the government.
1955: The Warsaw Pact was created. Malenkov resigned from his post, which passed to the Party vice-president, N. Bulganin.
1956: N. Khrushchev enunciated in his report to the XX Congress, in which, in secret session, revealed the excesses and arbitrariness committed in the Stalinist stage. The Hungarian insurrection was crushed by the Soviet forces.
1956-58: Khrushchev dispossessed, among others, Malenkov and Vyacheslav M. Molotov, and affirmed his authority, officially confirmed in 1958.
1960: Ideological controversy between the USSR and China.
1964: L. Brezhnev replaced Khrushchev as first secretary of the party, and Alexei Kosiguin as prime minister.
1968: Military intervention of the USSR in Czechoslovakia, in response to the new socialist conception of «socialism in freedom».
1970-77: Coexistence policy: signing of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, bilateral arms limitation talks with the United States, four-party talks on Berlin, new relations with France, etc.
1977: Appointed Brézhnev president of the Supreme Soviet, thus accumulating maximum power. A new Constitution was made public.
1979: Invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviet troops; the fight would continue until the withdrawal of the army ten years later.
1982: He died L. Brezhnev and was appointed to replace him Yuri Andropov, who had been president of the KGB for years; in domestic policy initiated a strategy against corruption and absenteeism.
1984: After the death of Andropov, K. Chernenko, old and sick, dies the following year.
1985: Mikhail Gorbachev succeeded Chernenko as secretary of the CPSU; in his first speech before the Central Committee of the Party he would sum up the main lines of his political action with two emblematic words: perestroika (restructuring) and glasnot (transparency).
1986: The serious accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant would put the reality of glasnot to the test.
1988: At the XIX National Conference of the CPSU the crimes of Stalinism were officially denounced and it was decided to amend the Constitution.
1989: Elections for the Congress of People’s Deputies, the Soviets went for the first time to a free election. Withdrawal of the Red Army from Afghanistan. End of the communist dictatorships in the countries satellited by Moscow and the end of the so-called cold war.
1990: The Soviet deputies elected M. Gorbachev for the office of president of the Union. Elections for the parliaments of the republics and city councils; the CPSU saw the support of the population sink, while the nationalist or reformist candidates triumphed. The Supreme Soviet of the Russian Federation elected Boris Yeltsin as its president. The XVIII Congress of the CPSU was held in Moscow, M. Gorbachev was reelected as general secretary. The Supreme Soviet approved the final draft of a Treaty of the Union and decided to submit it to a national referendum.
1991: In a referendum on «the maintenance of a renewed Union», the yes triumphed with 76% of the votes cast. The Georgians approved in their turn, in a referendum as illegal as the Baltics, the independence of that Transcaucasian republic. Attempt of coup d’etat by the immobilist sector of the CPSU; the Soviet president resigned as general secretary of the party and the Supreme Soviet agreed to his self-dissolution. The failed putsch ended with the end of the Communist Party and the independence of the republics. A new political entity, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), was created in Minsk, and the USSR ceased to exist.
1992: Aggravation of the economic crisis and generalization of ethnic and inter-republican conflicts.
1993: A referendum held in April did not unblock the institutional paralysis; in fact, the president of Parliament, R. Jasbulátov, managed to consolidate his status as a virtual counter-power of Yeltsin; he opted to appeal again to the voters: he dissolved Parliament and called for legislative elections. Jasbulátov did not accept the dissolution of his power body and accused Yeltsin of violating the Constitution; With the support of the armed forces and the police, Yeltsin blocked the Parliament building and proclaimed the state of emergency in the capital; the balance of the battle of Moscow will be more than a hundred victims.
1994: The unilateral proclamation of independence of the republic of Chechnya led to a real war that would last two years, with a balance of more than 50,000 victims.
1995: Elections to the two chambers of Parliament, with an abstention rate of 35.5%; Yeltsin was able to keep the prime minister, V. Chernomirdin, making only a small adjustment in the government.
1996: Yeltsin delegated to the retired general A. Lebed, the negotiation of a peace agreement with the Chechen secessionists. In the presidential elections, Yeltsin won the first place, with 35.8% of the votes cast.
1997: Russian troops left the Chechen territory, setting a deadline of five years to reach a definitive agreement on the status of Chechnya.
1998: Yeltsin dismissed Prime Minister Chernomirdin and was replaced by engineer Kiriyenko; months later he dismissed Kiriyenko completely and accepted the appointment of Y. Primakov as the new prime minister; Primakov announced that the privatization reforms would continue at a slower pace. Russia was a «guest» member of Group-7. Poor economic situation: deceleration of economic growth, skyrocketing inflation, state debt.
1999: B. Yeltsin changed his prime minister, appointing Vladimir Putin, who would resume hostilities in Chechnya on a large scale.
2000: In the elections for the presidency, V. Putin won the victory over the communist candidate G. Zyuganov, thus assuming the four-year ordinary mandate 2000-04. The Russian army entered Grozny, the capital of the Chechen Republic, although it did not end the new phase of the war in the Caucasus. The federal districts were added as a new national subdivision.
2001-02: The media NTV, TV6 and TVS were taken over by communication groups favorable to Putin.
2002: Chechen terrorists seized the Dubrovka theater in Moscow taking more than 700 people hostage and around 115 lost their lives. The government canceled the withdrawal of troops from Chechnya.
2004: Chechen guerrilla operations increased and Chechen President Ajmat Kadýrov was assassinated. In the massacre of the Beslan school, 1,300 hostages were apprehended. Vladimir Putin won the presidential elections without any significant competitor. Russia opposed the second expansion of NATO to the Baltic countries.
2005: The Chechen separatist leader Aslan Maskhadov was killed by Russian forces.
2006: The president authorized the surveillance of non-governmental organizations and their suspension in the event of a threat to national security. The most wanted man in Russia, Shamil Basayev, was killed by military forces.
2007: In the legislative elections the conservative and nationalist United Russia party won 64.3% of the votes. It was desigando International Year of the Russian Language.
2008: Russia unilaterally recognized the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, beginning the different attacks between Georgia and Russia. In the presidential elections the candidate of United Russia, Dmitry Medvedev, supported by President V. Putin, won the elections. The constitution was modified and the presidential mandates became six years.
2009: Russia stopped supplying gas to Ukraine and ended the anti-terrorist operation in Chechnya.
2012: In the new presidential elections Vladimir Putin was presented as a candidate of United Russia and was re-elected president for a period of 6 years.
2013: The presidential appointment of the regional governors who were elected by direct suffrage was suppressed.
2014: The Russian Federation joined the Crimean Republic to the national territory and the city of Sevastopol. The General Assembly of the United Nations formulated a resolution in response to the Crimean crisis, to recognize it as part of Ukraine.
2015: Russia intervened militarily in the Syrian conflict in support of the government of Bashar al Assad. Turkey shot down a Russian aircraft in Syria, as a result of which Russia imposed an economic blockade on Turkey.
2016: In the parliamentary elections United Russia returned to take over the majority.
2017: An attack on the St. Petersburg metro ended the lives of 13 people. The EU extended the sanctions to Russia for six more months because of the conflict with Ukraine.
2018: Vladimir Putin was re-elected with 76.7% of the votes in the presidential elections.