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CULTURE
     
  RUSSIA

Saturday, July 24

The Russian Federation is a country in northern Eurasia. Russia is by far the largest country in the world, covering more than a ninth of the Earth's land area. It is the ninth most populous nation in the world with 142 million people. Russia extends across the whole of northern Asia and 40% of Europe, spanning nine time zones. It has the world's largest reserves of mineral and energy resources, and forest reserves.   Its lakes contain approximately one-quarter of the world's fresh water.

Russia’s history began with the East Slavs, who emerged between the 3rd and 8th centuries AD. Founded by a noble Viking warrior class, the first East Slavic state, Kievan Rus', arose in the 9th century. Its most powerful successor state was Moscow. By the 18th century, the nation had greatly expanded to become the Russian Empire, the third largest empire in history, stretching from Poland in Europe to Alaska in North America.

Russia established worldwide power and influence as the leading constituent of the Soviet Union, the world's first constitutionally socialist state and a recognized superpower, that played a decisive role in the Allied victory in World War II. The Russian Federation was founded following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.

There are over 160 ethnic groups and indigenous peoples in Russia, encompassing Slavic Orthodox culture, Turkic Muslim culture, Buddhist nomadic culture, Shamanistic peoples, highlanders of the Northern Caucasus, and Finno-Ugric peoples.  All contribute to the country’s rich and diverse culture.

A recent wave of Western cultural influence has led to many previously unknown phenomena in the Russian culture. Russia has easily adopted a number of these cultural techniques, while providing its own content.

     
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