For poets and writers, Russia is a huge country with birches and endless steppes. The famous poet Alexander Pushkin argued that Russia “cannot be understood with the mind.” Perhaps, in order to “understand” Russia, you need to visit it. Tourists will see beautiful nature in Russia, numerous churches and monasteries, fortresses, unique sights, and, of course, hospitable people. Also, do not forget that in Russia there are many balneological, ski and beach resorts.
Geography of Russia
Russia is located in Eastern Europe, at the crossroads of Europe and Asia. Russia borders Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia and North Korea from northwest to southeast. The Sea of Okhotsk separates Russia from Japan, and the Bering Strait from the US state of Alaska. The total area of the country is 17,098,246 sq. km, including the islands, and the total length of the state border is 20,241 km.
Most of Russia is occupied by plains – steppes in the south and dense forests in the north. In the south of Russia there are mountain ranges – the Caucasus and Altai. The Ural Mountains divide Russia into two parts. The highest peak in the country is Mount Elbrus, whose height reaches 5,642 m.
Russia includes many islands and archipelagos. The largest of them are Novaya Zemlya, Franz Josef Land, Severnaya Zemlya, Wrangel Island, the Kuril Islands, etc.
There are a lot of rivers and lakes in Russia. The largest Russian rivers are the Volga, Ob, Yenisei, Ural, Lena, Kolyma and Amur. It is in Russia that the largest freshwater lake in the world, Baikal, is located.
According to itypejob.com, the capital of Russia is the city of Moscow, which now has a population of more than 11.7 million people. An urban settlement on the territory of modern Moscow already existed in the first half of the 12th century.
The official language in Russia is Russian, belonging to the Slavic group of the Indo-European language family.
The majority of the Russian population (more than 90%) professes Orthodox Christianity. However, there are many Muslims and Buddhists in the country.
State structure of Russia
According to computerminus.com, Russia is a federal presidential republic governed by a President elected by direct universal suffrage for a term of 6 years.
The bicameral parliament in Russia is called the Federal Assembly. The Parliament consists of the Federation Council and the State Duma.
The main political parties are United Russia, Just Russia, the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (communists) and the Liberal Democratic Party.
Climate and weather
The climate in Russia is very diverse, due to its vast territory and geographical location. Russia has a temperate climate zone, as well as arctic and even subtropical climate zones. The average annual air temperature is +4C. The highest average air temperature is observed in July (+24C), and the lowest in January (-14C). The average annual rainfall is 575 mm.
Seas and oceans
The shores of Russia are washed by the waters of twelve seas, which belong to three oceans – the Pacific, Atlantic and Arctic Oceans. Also, one should not forget about the inland Caspian Sea.
Rivers and lakes in Russia
It is possible that more rivers flow through Russia than in any other country in the world. Most of them are short, but some are huge. The largest Russian rivers are the Volga, Ob, Yenisei, Ural, Lena, Kolyma and Amur.
There are no less lakes in Russia than rivers. It is in Russia that the largest freshwater lake in the world, Baikal, is located. Tourists are advised to pay attention to Ladoga, Onega and Elton lakes, as well as Goose Lake in the Far East, where lotuses grow.
People on the territory of modern Russia appeared a very long time ago. In prehistoric times, numerous tribes of pastoralists roamed the steppes of southern Russia. The most famous of these tribes are the Scythians, Huns, Avars, Khazars, Pechenegs, Polovtsy.
Around the middle of the 9th century, part of the territory of modern Russia became part of the Old Russian state, which historians call Kievan Rus. It consisted of many principalities – Polotsk, Turov-Pinsk, Pereyaslav, Muromo-Ryazan, Vladimir-Suzdal, Smolensk, Novgorod Republic, etc.
The disintegration of Kievan Rus into specific principalities began in the 1130s, and finally ended “thanks to” the Tatar-Mongol invasion of the first half of the 13th century. For more than 100 years, the Russian lands paid tribute to the Golden Horde (the so-called “Tatar-Mongol yoke”).
The principality of Moscow is considered to be the successor of Kievan Rus, around which all Russian lands gradually united. Only during the reign of the Grand Duke of Moscow Ivan III (at the end of the 15th century) did Moscow stop paying tribute to the Golden Horde.
The first Moscow prince to take the title “Tsar” is Ivan IV the Terrible (this happened in 1547). Since 1630, the Romanov dynasty ruled the Moscow state, this continued until 1917.
Gradually, the Muscovite state annexes new lands, and becomes the Russian Empire. True, this was preceded by numerous wars, raids by the Tatars and battles with the Crusaders and Turks. The reign of Tsar Peter I had a huge impact on Russian history. Also of great importance to Russian history was the reign of Tsar Alexander I, who at the beginning of the 19th century managed to successfully resist the invasion of a large army led by Napoleon, Emperor of France.
By the end of the 19th century, the serf system, which provided for the personal ownership of peasants by Russian nobles, was abolished in Russia, and the country began to play a major political role in the world.
True, the absolute monarchy of the Romanovs had outlived itself by the beginning of the 20th century, and its modernization was required. However, the Romanovs failed to modernize the political system, entered the First World War, and all this together led to the February Revolution of 1917. Tsar Nicholas II abdicates the throne and the Russian Republic is formed.
In October 1917, the October Revolution takes place, the driving force of which was the Bolshevik Communist Party, led by Vladimir Lenin. As a result, the Russian Soviet Republic was formed, and after the end of the bloody Civil War, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
In 1941, the USSR had to enter the Second World War – the Great Patriotic War began. No matter how they treat Joseph Stalin, but thanks to him the USSR managed to defeat Germany and win the war. Although, this required great sacrifices and self-sacrifice from the Soviet people.
After the end of World War II, the USSR strengthened its political influence in the world – a number of states friendly to the Soviet Union were formed. Countries in which a socialist or communist system of life was established had to enter into the so-called. “cold war”, which was unleashed by the developed capitalist countries – the USA and Great Britain.
The USA, Great Britain and other countries actively interfered in the internal affairs of the USSR and other socialist countries. Thus, the peoples of the USSR were called to “gaining independence.” Unlike the capitalist countries, the USSR did not interfere in their internal affairs, and did not send, for example, its agents to Ulster with a call to fight against England.
In 1990-91, with the active participation of Mikhail Gorbachev, who was actually supposed to lead the USSR, this state broke up into separate independent countries. As a result, a new state appeared on the world map – the Russian Federation.
The culture of Russia has very ancient traditions, it is rich and diverse. Russian culture has a huge impact on the cultures of neighboring countries, and even on the cultural traditions of states on other continents.
Thanks to Russia, the world has received a lot of brilliant writers, artists, philosophers and scientists:
– Literature (Alexander Pushkin, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Anton Chekhov, Mikhail Lermontov, Nikolai Gogol, Alexander Blok, Mikhail Saltykov-Shchedrin, Konstantin Batyushkov, Afanasy Fet);
– Classical music (Mikhail Glinka, Modest Mussorgsky, Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov);
– Art (Ivan Aivazovsky, Ilya Repin, Ivan Shishkin, Isaac Levitan, Mikhail Vrubel, Ilya Glazunov);
– Philosophy (Pyotr Chaadaev, Nicholas Roerich, Vladimir Odoevsky, Nikolai Lossky, Alexei Losev, Nikolai Berdyaev);
– Science (Mikhail Lomonosov, Dmitry Mendeleev, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, Dmitry Pavlov, Nikolai Vavilov, Sergei Korolev).
Most holidays in Russia are of a religious nature or have their origins in the Christian tradition. The most popular of them are Christmas, Maslenitsa, Easter, and New Year (it is not of a religious nature).
Many tourists, having arrived in Russia, are pleasantly surprised by the variety and taste of Russian traditional dishes. Many peoples live on the territory of modern Russia, so the cuisine in this country is very diverse.
First of all, Russian cuisine is known for borscht, a kind of beetroot soup with vegetables and meat. For residents of Western Europe, it may seem strange to make soup from beets, but for Russians it turns out very tasty. Borscht with sour cream is especially good.
If we are already talking about first courses in Russian cuisine, then we definitely advise tourists to try “okroshka” (made with kvass with sausage, meat or fish), “pickle”, “hodgepodge”, cabbage soup, and, of course, fish soup. There are dozens of cooking options for all these first courses, depending on the region of Russia.
So, fish soup “ukha” is sometimes prepared from several types of fish. Ukha can be “black”, “white”, “red” – depending on the fish from which it is cooked. Especially delicious fish soup is the one that is cooked near the river on a fire from different types of fish. A little vodka is sometimes added to such an ear.
Pancakes are known far beyond the borders of Russia – they are served with various fillings (cottage cheese, meat, jam, etc.), dumplings, pies with fillings (fruit, jam, cottage cheese, meat, fish), barbecue.
We also recommend that tourists definitely try stuffed pike, mushroom pate, baked stuffed zucchini, cabbage rolls with sour cream, mixed meat okroshka, Stroganoff pork, village hodgepodge, kulichiki, rum woman in Russia.
Non-alcoholic drinks in Russia are tea, coffee, mineral water, compote (a decoction of fruits and berries) and kvass.
Tourists are advised to try in Russia, but in moderation, the traditional local alcoholic drink – wheat vodka, with a strength of 40 degrees.
Sights of Russia
The rich history of Russia has led to the presence in this country of a huge number of attractions. At the moment in Russia there are several tens of thousands of monuments of architecture, history and culture. Many of them are on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The top ten attractions in Russia, in our opinion, include:
- Red Square and Kremlin in Moscow
- Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg
- Peterhof Palace in Saint Petersburg
- Museum-Reserve “Kolomenskoye”
- Museum-Reserve “Kizhi”
- Pskov Kremlin
- Mansi stone pillars in Komi
- Novodevichy Convent
- Izborsk fortress near Pskov
- Valdai Monastery
Cities and resorts
Derbent in Dagestan is considered the most ancient city in Russia, where people lived already at the end of the 4th millennium BC, and the oldest ancient Russian city is Veliky Novgorod, formed in the middle of the 9th century AD.
The largest Russian cities are St. Petersburg, Chelyabinsk, Novosibirsk, Ufa, Yekaterinburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan, Samara, Rostov-on-Don, Volgograd, Krasnoyarsk, Perm, Voronezh, and, of course, Moscow. The population of each of these cities exceeds 1 million people.
Due to its geographical position and large territory, Russia has balneological, ski and beach resorts.
Beach Russian resorts are located on the coast of the Black, Azov and Baltic Seas. So, on the Black Sea, tourists are waiting for Sochi, Tuapse, Anapa and Gelendzhik, on the Sea of Azov – Yeysk, Primorsko-Akhtarsk, Taganrog, Taman, and on the Baltic Sea – the Curonian Spit, Zelenogradsk and Svetlogorsk.
The main Russian ski resorts are located in the Caucasus and the Urals, although there are ski slopes in the Moscow region, near St. Petersburg, in the Volga region, in the Murmansk region, and also in the Baikal region.
In the Caucasus, the most popular ski resorts are Cheget, Dombay, Lago-Naki, Krasnaya Polyana, Elbrus, and in the Urals – Solnechnaya Dolina, Gubakha, Abzakovo, Adzhigardak, Iset, Minyar, Nechkino, etc.
The skiing season in the ski resorts of the Caucasus lasts from November to May, and in the Urals – from November to April.
As for the balneological, balneotherapeutic and balneo-mud resorts in Russia, they are located in various regions – in the Caucasus (Caucasian Mineralnye Vody), in the Magadan, Chelyabinsk, Chita, Tver and Novosibirsk regions, in Karelia, Buryatia, Bashkiria, Udmurtia. Tatarstan, near St. Petersburg, in the Moscow region, in the Urals, near Kostroma and even not far from Arkhangelsk.
Tourists from Russia usually bring handicrafts, dolls in folk Russian costumes, nesting dolls, Cheburashka dolls, jewelry boxes, Gzhel porcelain products, earflaps, attributes of the USSR era, wooden saucers, cups, spoons with Khokhloma painting, Dymkovo toy, products from amber, Vologda lace, Easter eggs, samovars, jewelry, fur coats, black caviar, chocolates and chocolate, and, of course, vodka.
Ukrainians do not need to apply for a visa to visit Russia (if the trip does not exceed 90 days).
The Russian ruble (international designation RUB) is the official currency of Russia. Credit cards are widely used in the country.
You can import foreign currency into Russia without restrictions (the amount of more than 10 thousand dollars is subject to declaration). Paintings and other art objects can only be taken out of Russia with a special permit from the Russian Ministry of Culture.
It is forbidden to export more than 250 grams of black or red caviar. In addition, please note that more than 5 kilograms of fish or seafood cannot be taken out of Russia (this rule does not apply to shrimp and lobster). It is also forbidden to export rare breeds of animals and rare species of plants from Russia.
Useful phone numbers and addresses
Address of the Russian Embassy in Ukraine:
Postcode: 03049, Kiev, Povitroflotsky prospect, 27
244-09-61 mail: [email protected]
Address of the Embassy of Ukraine in Russia:
Postcode: 103009, Moscow, Leontievsky pereulok, 18
229-10-79 mail: [email protected]
01 – call the Fire Brigade
02 – call the Police
03 – call the Ambulance
112 – all Emergencies
Time in Russia
The time difference in Russia in summer is +1 hour, and in winter – +2 hours. This means that if in Moscow, for example, in the summer it is 09:00 am, then in Kyiv it is 08:00 am.
Tipping in Russia is usually 10-15% of the bill.
No mandatory vaccinations are required to enter Russia. Please note that in the forests of Russia there is a danger of infection with tick-borne encephalitis.
It cannot be said that the level of crimes in Russia is low. However, violent crimes against foreign tourists are rare in this country. Most often, foreigners become victims of pickpockets. Don’t show off your wealth.