Russia – History, flag, map, economy, culture and curiosities

The Russia , officially the Russian Federation , is a nation located in northern Eurasia, whose capital is Moscow .

With the largest area on the planet, Russia is also the ninth most populous country.

With a semi-presidential republic regime, Vladimir Putin has been its president since 2012.

Index [ hide ]

  • History
  • End of the USSR
  • Russian Federation
  • USA vs. Russia
  • Civil rights
    • Homosexuals and LGBT’s
    • Jehovah’s Witnesses
  • Flag
    • Meaning of the colors of the Russian flag
  • Russia map
  • economy
  • Culture
    • Arts and painting
    • Architecture and crafts
    • Music
    • Dance
    • Cinema and Literature
    • Religion
  • Curiosities


In the year 1547, the Grand Duchy of Moscow was seen as a notorious regional power and Prince Ivan had also been the first to be crowned Tsar (Caesar) .

After the reign, the Russians overtook the Ural Mountains, beginning their expansion into Asian territory.

After a historic moment, termed the “time of trouble”, the Russians appointed a prince of the Romanov dynasty as monarch.

Therefore, it will be the 19th century as one of greatest relevance for Russia. In view of that, the nation won the Napoleonic Wars and conquered many territories, such as Finland, Turkestan and China.

However, the Russian Empire began its decline with the reign of Tsar Nicholas II.

Although it extinguished serfdom and made improvements to the population, its performance in the wars against Japan and the First World War reduced its popularity.

Therefore, his reign lasted only until 1917, when he abdicated in the face of pressure by the Russian Revolution . Shortly thereafter, he was murdered by his family by the Socialists.

In the 1920s, in the face of Lenin’s death and Stalin’s strict leadership , Russia became the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) .

Through rigorous methods, Stalin reached the country as an industrial, agricultural and military power.

Even during this period, it was when the nation was ready for World War II , even managing to face the German army.

Coming out as an allied power of the United Kingdom and the United States, the Red Army wins and the USSR expands its influence throughout Eastern Europe.

The polarity between capitalism and socialism is softened in the years after the Cold War .

However, at this point, the USSR and USA started a battle.

End of the USSR

In the 1980s, when faced with the promotion of Mikhail Gorbachev the secretary of the Communist Party, a new moment for the Soviet Union began.

It was during this period that Gorbachev began a conversation with President Ronald Reagan and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, whose aim was to ensure that Perestroika and Glasnost’s policies were approved internationally. Thus, it would provide a smooth transition to the Soviet Union.

However, the scenario was different, considering that the nationalist pressure intensified.

As a result, many countries took the opportunity to proclaim independence and break ties with Russia. Likewise, the capitalist powers did not present any financial aid to the country.

Russian Federation

After the rupture of the Soviet Union, Russia gained a new name, just the Russian Federation, and returned with the old flag of 1917, also promoting free elections.

Russia suggested the creation of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) , in the interest of maintaining the influence and contact of the former Soviet Republics.

Internally, and through a coup, President Boris Yeltsin closes Parliament (the Duma) and applies the transition from the system of socialism to neoliberalism.

The transition was extremely complicated, due to the lack of regulation, in addition to the corruption of the Russian oligarchy . Another negative factor was the fighting in Chechnya and Kosovo.

With the absence of popular and party support, Yeltsin resigned his presidency on December 31, 1999.

On that occasion, Vice President Vladimir Putin took over and configured himself as a respected personality in Russian politics, during the first two decades of the 21st century.

USA vs. Russia

Russia’s political weight is something that cannot be questioned. However, its relationship with the United States remains somewhat complex, because nations are claiming supremacy in Asia. A similar scenario is attributed to the war and nuclear arsenal.

The disputes between the countries come since the beginning of the War in Syria , in 2011.

On the scene, the Russians have taken the lead in sending their troops. But they do show support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whose person has become a “persona non-grata” to the West.

Another debatable point is the fact that President Vladimir Putin was accused of interference in American internal affairs, one example being the election of Donald Trump in 2015.

Civil rights

Russia is considered a democratic country, because it promotes elections and acts in favor of the abolition of censorship. However, some civil rights are still not fully respected.

According to Amnesty International, there is still discrimination, racism and murders of members of ethnic minorities in the country.

In 2013, in the Freedom in the World report,  the American organization Freedom House described Russia as a non-free country. This is because there are still differences in the guarantee of political rights and civil liberties.

Even earlier, in 2006, The Economist  had published a democracy ranking of 162 nations and Russia had taken 102nd place.

The country is classified as a hybrid regime, providing control of the media and other civil liberties.

Cases include the murder of journalist Anna Politkovskaya in 2006 and the arrest of Nikolai Alexeev during a protest in Moscow.

Homosexuals and LGBT’s

Homosexuals and LGBT’s have also faced limitations on their rights on Russian territory.

An example was the restriction granted by the Moscow Superior Court in 2012. According to this, no gay parade could be carried out in the city for the next 100 years.

In addition, a year later, in 2013, the government passed a federal bill that restricted the distribution of “non-traditional sex advertising” to minors. And the legislation imposed high fines on those who violated the rules.

Jehovah’s Witnesses

During Stalinism in the USSR, Jehovah’s witnesses were persecuted. About 10,000 are believed to have been arrested or deported.

Upon returning to democracy , it was thought that everything had been resolved. However, in 2004, a Moscow court accused members of inciting some people to commit suicide and the community had to be disbanded.

Later, in 2017, the Russian Supreme Court of Justice categorized the actions of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Russian Federation as extremists.

In this way, their properties were seized. In addition, if they are seen distributing materials or at a meeting, the religious can be sentenced to up to ten years in prison.

The restricted measures have been the subject of protests across the globe.


Russian Federation Flag

The Russian flag is tricolor, with three horizontal lines in white, blue and red.

Its origin is remote in the 18th century, being later replaced by the flag of the USSR, from 1917 to 1991.

Flag of the Soviet Union

At the end of the USSR, the Russian Parliament took over the old tricolor flag.

Meaning of the colors of the Russian flag

The colors of the Russian flag have changed over time. In the period of the monarchy, the white symbolized God; the blue, the king; and red, the people.

After the end of the USSR and the rise of the Russian Federation, other meanings were attributed to colors. White transmitted purity and Christian faith; the blue, the truth and the mother of God (Mary); and red, strength.

Russia map

The Russian Federation is the country with the largest land area in the world (17,075,400 km²). The country covers almost half of Europe and a third of Asia.

The nation borders the Arctic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean to the north and east, respectively.

Nowadays, the Russian Federation borders 17 countries and has 11 different time zones. They are: Finland, Norway, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Belarus, Moldova, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, China, North Korea, Japan and the United States (water borders).


The Russian Federation’s economy is marked by the presence of important natural and human resources, which place it in an important position of economic development.

Holder of the largest reserve of natural gas in the world, it is also one of the largest reserves of coal and oil.

In addition, the nation is characterized by a strong military, industrial and scientific sector.

The enormous war potential allows it to sell military weapons to multiple countries, such as China, India, Vietnam and many others. In addition, there is the scientific capacity, placing it as one of the first space powers and part of the nuclear club.

After the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Russia faced an economic contraction. This happened through the implementation of the reforms, but establishing a modern market economy.

Throughout the 2000s, the Russian Federation reached a high level in economic growth rates, consolidating it as one of the largest economies in the world.

The increase in oil and gas benefited it, causing the payment of a large part of its external debt and, consequently, increased its international monetary reserves.

Given this, the middle class is growing and, proportionally, poverty reduces.

Russia is one of the members of the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) area, in addition to being part of the BRICS economic bloc , which includes the countries: Brazil, Russia, India, China and, in 2011, entered Africa southern.

In the year 2050, according to economic estimates, these countries will be classified among the five largest economies on the planet.


Because it is the result of a multi-ethnic society, Russian culture reflects this.

Arts and painting

Russian kings sponsored the arts, buying a large number of works in order to impress their neighbors.

Not surprisingly, their artists are known as the best in the world. The Tretyakov Gallery is located in Moscow, in Moscow; the Russian Museum and the Hermitage Museum, both in St. Petersburg.

Descendants of Byzantine Art , Russian painting was developed in conjunction with the religiosity and spirituality of religious icons.

Of the names of painters, one of the most influential in the 20th century was Wassily Kandinsky, providing new possibilities through the expressionism and abstraction of his paintings.

After the Russian Revolution, socialist realism was the art school that prevailed in Russia. The main purpose of his works was to highlight the world that had been built by the socialists.

Architecture and crafts

Russian architecture and crafts received intervention from the conversion to orthodox Christianity, as well as from Byzantine art and architecture.

The Orthodox Church has always been at the center of Russian life, its icons being recognized throughout the world.

There are multiple styles of traditional decorative art, such as gzhel, khokhloma, palekh.

Rich in details and with embroidered clothes, as a sign of distinction to the Japanese, this is Russian craftsmanship. Among its objects, the most popular are the “matriochkas” – a series of dolls in increasing size.

In addition, 25 Russian cities are classified as World Heritage, a title attributed by UNESCO. Among them are: Derbente, Bogar or the historic center of St. Petersburg.


Also rich and diverse is Russian music, from classic to rock, from novels to pop.

With an extensive tradition, their instrumentalists are among the best in the world.

Of the names, composers like Alexander Borodin, Igor Stravinski, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Modeste Moussorgski and Mikhail Glinka stand out.


Not only folkloric dances are the strength of the Russians, with ballet, even though it originated in Italy, being consecrated as a Russian marvel and the height of inspiration.

The Bolshoi Theater, in Moscow, and the Mariinski Theater, in St. Petersburg are centers of the outstanding ballet and dream of many dancers around the world.

In 2000, a single branch of the Bolshoi Theater was installed in the city of Joinville, in Santa Catarina.

Cinema and Literature

Known for cinema, which, mainly in the Soviet era, received numerous international awards, marking the memory of art lovers.

Some composers deserve to be highlighted, such as Tchaikovski, Rachmaninoff and Rimsky-Korsakov.

Literature, then, is worthy of humanity’s heritage.

Great writers are from the nation: Leon Tolstoy, Fiodor Dostoïevski, Anton Chekhov, Vladimir Maïakovski and Alexander Pushkin.

It is from the Russian Federation, also, notorious books, such as War and Peace, Anna Karenina, Crime and Punishment, Brothers Karamazov.


Christianity was joined by the Russians in 988, to the Grand Prince of Kiev and of all Russia, Vladimir I, to insert the religion of the Byzantine Empire.

As such, the majority of the population is of the Orthodox Catholic religion.

The decision also influenced the adoption of the Cyrillic and non-Latin alphabet.


  • The Russian population has a much higher number of women than men, with more than nine million more women.
  • Although they adopt the Gregorian calendar, the Russian Orthodox Church follows the old calendar, justifying the celebration of Christmas in January.
  • In the capital Moscow, any private car can be a taxi. To do this, simply indicate the signal and agree on the price of the race between the parties.
  • The Russians have some superstitions and one of them is about the bouquet. For them, it is in bad taste to present a bouquet whose numbering of the flowers is even, as this would bring bad luck. On the contrary, only an arrangement containing 5.7 or 9 flowers would be welcome.
  • The Russian Federation has a reputation for having its curious situations propagated on the internet. For this reason, Paraná has been called “Brazilian Russia”, due to the strange events that have occurred and being posted on social networks.


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