Spanning two continents and sprawling over an astounding 17,075,400 kilometers, Russia is the largest country in the world and a great power. But size is not the only thing that’s impressive about Russia. Swift economic recovery after the collapse of the Soviet Union and superior military capabilities are complemented by an enigmatic and fascinating culture.
Russia is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and one of the five recognized nuclear weapons states.It is also the leading nation of the Commonwealth of Independent States, a member of the G8 as well as other international organizations.
The capital of Russia is Moscow.Located on the Moskva River, Moscow is also the country's principal political,economic,financial,educational,and transportation center. It is also the site of the famous Kremlin,which now serves as the ceremonial residence of the President of Russia.
A Brief History of Russia
Over the centuries, numerous people invaded Russia including the Germanic Goths, the Asian Huns, and the Turkic Avars. By the 9th C, the Eastern Slavs had settled in many parts of Russia.The origin of the Russians state coincides with the arrival of Scandinavian traders and warriors, the Varangians. Under their reign, the Eastern Slavs were united. Christianity was made the state religion by Vladimir I (reigned 980–1015), who adopted the Greek Orthodox rite. So the Byzantine cultural influence became predominant. In 1237–40, the Mongols (or Tatars) under Batu Khan invaded Russia and destroyed most of the chief Russian cities. Their empire of the Golden Horde lasted until 1480 until Dmitri Donskoi won over the Tatars at Kulikovo in 1380.
Russia in the 17th C was still medieval in culture and outlook. The nobles were compensated with land grants and with increasing rights over the peasants. Thus, serfdom became a legal institution in Russia in 1649, included growing numbers of persons and became increasingly oppressive. The process of enserfment, which reached its peak in the 18th C resulted in several violent peasant revolts, notably those led by Stenka Razin (1667–71) and by Pugachev (1773–75).The disastrous and unpopular Russo-Japanese War (1904–5) led to the Revolution of 1905. Nicholas II was forced to grant a constitution and a parliament (duma) was established. In 1917, Russia was officially proclaimed the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic, which in 1922 was united with the Ukrainian, Belorussian, and Transcaucasian republics to form the see Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
After more than seven decades of Soviet rule, the regime of President Gorbachev marked the end of repressive political controls and permitted nationalist movements to arise in the constituent republics of the USSR. In 1990, Boris Yeltsin and other nationalists and reformers were elected to the Russian parliament; Yeltsin was subsequently chosen Russian president.Yeltsin and the leaders of eight other republics reached a power-sharing agreement with Gorbachev, but its imminent signing provoked a coup attempt by Soviet hard-liners. In the aftermath, the USSR disintegrated. With Ukraine and Belarus, Russia established the Commonwealth of Independent States. When Gorbachev resigned, Yeltsin had already taken control of most of the central government, and Russia assumed the USSR's UN seat.
The Culture of Russia
Russia’s great distance from western civilizations, severe climatic extremes, vast land mass and myriad ethnic communities have given rise to a culture that is unique, distinct and wholly unlike anything you are likely to have experienced before. After the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Russia has been trying to restore the old art, architecture, churches and other cultural symbols and artifacts from the pre-Soviet era.
Literature has always been at the forefront in Russia. In the nineteenth century. Russian literature went through a golden age and it is then that literary greats like Pushkin, Leo Tolstoy and Fyodor Dostoevsky sprang onto the world stage. Although Russian literature declined under the Soviet regime, dissidents like Solzhenitsyn and Boris Pasternak continued this great tradition.Russian icon painting, inherited from the art of the Byzantine churches, can be found at the Tretyakov Gallery. Russian Avant Garde art is also well known. Architecture has blossomed in recent years leading to the mushrooming of both skyscrapers as well as buildings in the Stalinist style.
Religion in Russia
Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Judaism are Russia’s traditional religions, deemed part of Russia's "historical heritage" in a law passed in 1997. Estimates of believers widely fluctuate between sources, and some reports put the number of non-believers in Russia as high as 24–48% of the population. Russian Orthodoxy is the dominant religion in Russia. 95% of the registered Orthodox parishes belong to the Russian Orthodox Church while there is a number of smaller Orthodox Churches.
The Languages spoken in Russia
The official language of Russia is Russian, the most geographically widespread language of Eurasia and the most widely spoken of the Slavic languages. Russian belongs to the family of Indo-European languages and is one of three living members of the East Slavic languages, the others being Bela Rusian and Ukrainian. About 97% of all Russians receive their education mostly or completely in Russian. A number of dialects exist in Russia, which show distinct and non-standard features of pronunciation and intonation, vacabulary, and grammar.
Climate in Russia
Russia is such a vast country that it encompasses wide extremes ranging from Siberian frosts to the heat of the European south. With no discernible spring or autumn, Russia has a dry continental climate. Daytime summer temperatures over the nation may only vary from 20 to 30°C (68-86°F), in winter it is more like 10 to -50°C (51 to -58°F). Major towns like Moscow and St Petersburg share similar pleasant summer temperatures, both averaging around 24°C (75°F).
Note: Please be informed that the admission process has already started in most of the universities. From worldover, there is a large quantum of applicants and the seats are limited in all the universities, therefore, candidates will be absorbed on "first cum first basis". At this juncture, we would suggest you to expedite to make up your mind for higher education in Russia.