Russia Overview

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The scientific cooperation between Germany and Russia can look back on a centuries-old tradition. The “German-Russian Roadmap for Cooperation in Education, Science, Research and Innovation” agreed in 2018 forms a comprehensive basis for continuing the cooperation in the present and future.

russia population - fertility rate

Population / geography

Country name Rossiyskaya FederatsiyaRussian Federation

Short form: Rossija / Russia

Land area 17,098,200 km²
Population 142.12 million(Estimate July 2018)
Growth of population -0.11%(2018 estimate)
Life expectancy Women: 77.3 yearsMen: 65.6 years

(2018 estimate)

Age structure 0-14 years: 17.21%15-64 years: 68.13%

65 years and older: 14.66%

(2018 estimate)

Population groups 80.9% Russians,3.9% Tatars,

1.4% Ukrainians,

1.2% Bashkirs,

1.1% Chuvash,

0.8% Armenians,

a total of about 160 ethnic groups

(According to the last general census from 2010)

Languages: Mother tongues:Russian 85.7 percent,

Tatar 3.2 percent,

Chechen 1 percent,

other 10.1 percent

(According to the last general census from 2010).

At the last census, 96.2% of all residents of Russia stated that they spoke the official language of Russian. Only 5.3% said they had a command of English, which is the most widely spoken foreign language, followed by German at 1.4%.

Religions The traditional religion of the Russians is Orthodoxy. Among the Russian Christians there are also Catholics (mainly Poles and Lithuanians living in Russia and some Germans and Latvians), but numerically they are significantly behind the Protestants, among whom there are a particularly large number of Baptists.The second strongest religion in Russia is Islam. There are also Jews and Buddhists. Part of the population is not a believer.
National day June 12 – Independence Day (declaration of sovereignty of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic in 1990), since 2001 “Day of Russia”
Currency 1 ruble RUB / 100 kopecksCurrent exchange rate at currency converter (see links below)
Prefix +7


With an area of ​​over 17 million km² the Russian Federation is the largest country in the world. It stretches more than 9,000 km from the Baltic Sea to the Pacific Ocean across 10 time zones.

The Eastern European lowlands, the traditional heartland of Russia, are bordered by the 2,000 km long Ural Mountains, which in its north-south extension also form the border with Asia. The Volga, with over 3,500 km in length the most water-rich river in Europe, flows in this area and flows into the Caspian Sea.

The West Siberian lowlands extend east of the Urals , dominated by the Ob and Yenisei rivers. This is followed by the Central Siberian mountainous region , which is bordered by the Lena. In the north-east stretch the East Siberian Mountains, the volcanic Kamchatka Peninsula, the Kuril Islands and Sakhalin, the largest island in Russia, and mark the easternmost borders of the country.

The north Siberian coast has numerous larger islands and archipelagos – Novaya Zemlya, Severnaya Zemlya, New Siberian Islands. From the north-south perspective , the tundra zone, dominated by shrub vegetation, extends south of the Arctic Coast, which becomes wider to the east due to the increasing continental climate. To the south follows the taiga, with extensive forest areas and soils poor in humus and minerals, which only become more fertile at the southern edge.

In the European part – and also in the Far East – the taiga is followed by the forest and steppe country dominated by deciduous forests , which could not develop in the Siberian part of Russia because of the great winter cold. This area is not particularly fertile and there are no raw material stocks worth mentioning. However, it is the heartland of late medieval Russia. Moscow and Saint Petersburg, the largest industrial agglomerations and at the same time the two traditional Russian capitals, are located here. In the following forest steppe zone further south, the moisture of the woodland combines with the summer warmth, a long vegetation period and the humus-rich soils of the steppe.

At its southern borders, Russia is bordered by the Caucasus mountain range (with the highest mountain in the country, the 5,642 m high Elbrus), the hilly regions of the Kazakh threshold, the mountain ranges of the Altai and the Sayans – and finally by the mountain systems of eastern Siberia . On the western edge of these mountains, Lake Baikal is embedded in a north-south direction , at 1,637 m the deepest lake on earth.

Politics / Administration

Form of government Presidential republic, federal state structure
Head of state President Vladimir Vladimirovich PutinAppointed on May 7, 2012, from May 7, 2018 for the new 2018-24 term (previously President from 2000 – 2008 and Prime Minister from 2008 – 2012)
Head of government Mikhail Vladimirovich MishustinChairman of the Government of the Russian Federation

since January 16, 2020

Foreign Minister Sergei Viktorovich Lavrovsince March 9, 2004
Minister of Education Sergei Sergeevich Kravtsovsince January 21, 2020
Science and University Minister Valery Nikolayevich Falkowsince January 21, 2020
Houses of Parliament The Russian parliament consists of two chambers, the State Duma (representation of the people) and the Federation Council (representation of federal subjects):1st State Duma: 449 deputies, chairman: Vyacheslav Viktorovich Volodin (“United Russia”)

Composition: “United Russia” (341 seats), Communist Party of Russia (43 seats), “Liberal Democratic Party of Russia” (40 seats), “Just Russia” (23 seats), “Civic Platform” (1 seat)

2nd Federation Council: 170 senators (two delegated from the 85 federal subjects (including the internationally unrecognized federal subjects Crimea and Sevastopol)), chairman: Valentina Ivanovna Matwienko

Ruling parties Jedinaja Rossija / Единая Россия / United RussiaParty close to the government
Opposition parties The following parties do not form a real opposition, but partially support the government:

  • KPRF – Kommunistitscheskaja Partija Rossiiskoj Federatsii / Коммунистическая партия российской федерации / Communist Party of the Russian Federation (43 seats)
  • LDPR – Liberalno Demokratitscheskaja Partija Rossij / Либерально-демократическая партия России / Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (40 seats)
  • SR – Spravedlivaja Rossija – СПРАВЕДЛИВАЯ РОССИЯ / Fair Russia (23 seats)
  • Graschdanskaja Platforma / Гражданская Платформа / Citizens’ Platform (represented by a direct candidate)

Results of the State Duma elections on September 18, 2016.

Administrative structure 85 federal subjects (republics, autonomous areas, autonomous counties, regions, areas as well as Moscow and St. Petersburg) including the internationally not recognized federation subjects Crimea and Sevastopol, eight federal districts, as well as local governments in districts, cities and municipalities.

State-building / domestic politics

The Russian Federation is the largest country in the world. It is a nuclear power and a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.

Russia consists of 83 federal subjects. The annexation of the Ukrainian Crimea and the city of Sevastopol by Russia in 2014 is not internationally recognized. Federal subjects have their own legislative and executive branches, but are largely dependent on the federal center.

The Federation Assembly consists of two chambers. There are two representatives from each subject on the Federation Council. In addition, there are representatives of the Russian Federation appointed by the President, whose share may not exceed ten percent. The State Duma consists of 450 members who are elected by elections. OSCE election observers have repeatedly confirmed irregularities in the conduct of elections.

The separation of powers provided for in the constitution contrasts with the de facto central role of the president, which dominates all areas. He can dismiss the government and has far-reaching powers in foreign and security policy (source: Foreign Office).

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