Russia, or Russian Federation, is a country that includes Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. It is the largest country in the world by area and it covers more than 17 million square kilometers and encompasses more than an eighth of the earth’s surface. Russia is 1.8 times larger than the United States and is slightly larger than Pluto, which is only 6.1 million square miles (16.6 square km).
Russia’s greatest museum – The Hermitage in St Petersburg – is home to around 70 cats, which guard its treasures against rodents.
Moscow, the capital city of Russia, is home to 78 billionaires, the most of any other city in the world.
Russia is the leading exporter of oil and natural gas, and 60% of Russian export is oil.
Russians are the world’s fourth biggest drinkers, according to WHO statistics, behind Belarus, Moldova and Lithuania. Britain comes 25th.
Russia’s oil and gas pipelines could wrap around the Earth 6 times.
The word “vodka” derives for the word “voda”, which means “water”.
About 17 million people live below the poverty line in Russia, with more than 12% of the population making less than $220 per month.
The male life expectancy in Russia is just 65, lower than it is in North Korea or Iraq. Russian women, on the other hand, can expect to live to 76.
Alcohol poisoning kills 40,000 Russians per year. For Russian males, 1 out of 5 deaths is alcohol related.
Russia has more time zones (11) than any other country, but since 2011 has only used nine.
Beer was not considered an alcoholic beverage in Russia until 2013.
Russia has one of the world’s most terrifying walkways: the 439-metre SkyBridge.
In July of 2013, Putin banned adoption of Russian children to anyone who lives in a country where marriage equality exists in any way.
Russia is home to Europe’s longest river, the Volga, at 3,690km (2,293 miles).
The Russian State Library in Moscow is the largest library in Europe and the 2nd largest library in the world, after the Library of Congress.
Around 10,000 British tourists visit Russia each year, and over 90 per cent of them go only to Moscow and/or St Petersburg.
Lake Baikal is the largest body of freshwater at 25 million years and 5,315 feet deep is also the oldest and deepest lake in the world.
In 1908 the Russian Olympic team arrived in London 12 days late because it was still using the Julian calendar.
Oymyakon, Russia, in Siberia is the coldest recorded spot on Earth, with a record low temperature of -160 degrees Fahrenheit.
Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin was the first human in space. He orbited the earth in a 108-minute flight in 1961.
Russia has a homicide rate of 9.7 deaths per 100,000 people, which is higher than the United State’s rate of 4.7 deaths per 100,000 people.
In 1967 Russia launched the world’s first satellite, Sputnik.
In the 1700s, a Russian woman gave birth to 16 sets of twins, 7 sets of triplets, and 4 sets of quadruplets all fathered by the same man in a period of 40 years.
Russia is home to some 20 percent of the world’s trees.
A 2010 census shows that a third of Russia’s 153,000 villages have a population of fewer than 10 residents.
One-fifth of the world’s freshwater is in Lake Baikal.
Russia has the world’s largest divorce rate, with 5 out of every 1,000 couples being divorced.
The first Tsar or emperor of Russia, Ivan IV, better known now as Ivan the Terrible, was crowned in 1547. The last was Tsar Nicholas II who was executed in 1918.
On average, 14,000 Russian women die from domestic violence each year.
The official language is Russian and it is the first and only language of just over 80 percent of the population.
Russian women outnumber Russian men by 10 million.
Russia has the biggest nuclear arsenal in the world with an estimated 7,700 warheads, it holds just under half of all the nuclear weapons in existence.
Under Stalin’s communist rule, Russian children were taught in school that Vladimir Lenin, the founder of communism, was the grandfather of Russians, while Joseph Stalin was the father, and Russia the “Motherland.”
The world’s largest collection of squirrel-related items belongs to Russian Pavel Gerasimov. He has over 1,100 items including a solid gold squirrel statuette.
Under the 70 years of Russian communist rule, historians estimate anywhere from 12.5 to 20 million or more Russians died from execution, famine, and imprisonment.
The village of Suzdal is only 15 square kilometers but has an incredible 53 churches.
In 1991, the Soviet Union collapsed, replacing the communist rule in Russia with a democracy.
St. Petersburg has three times as many bridges as Venice.
Vladimir Putin served as the president of Russia from 1999 until 2008. After being denied the ability to run for a third term, the next president, Dmitri Mendenev, chose Putin as his Prime Minister. Putin then successfully ran for president again in 2012.
Moscow has the 3rd busiest metro in the world. There are 12 lines and more than 6 million people ride the Moscow Metro daily.
The corpse of Vladimir Lenin, the founder of communism in Russia, is on display in a tomb in Moscow’s Red Square.