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Russia (Russian: Россия, romanizedRossiya, [rɐˈsʲijə]), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. It is the largest country in the world by area, extending across eleven time zones. It shares land boundaries with fourteen countries. It is the world's ninth-most populous country and Europe's most populous country. The country's executive, legislative and judicial capital as well as its largest city is Moscow. Saint Petersburg is Russia's second-largest city and cultural capital where the Constitutional Court of Russia resides. Other major urban areas in the country include Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Chelyabinsk, Krasnoyarsk, Kazan, Krasnodar and Rostov-on-Don.

The East Slavs emerged as a recognised group in Europe between the 3rd and 8th centuries CE. The first East Slavic state, Kievan Rus', arose in the 9th century, and in 988, it adopted Orthodox Christianity from the Byzantine Empire. Rus' ultimately disintegrated, with the Grand Duchy of Moscow growing to become the Tsardom of Russia. By the early 18th century, Russia had vastly expanded through conquest, annexation, and the efforts of Russian explorers, developing into the Russian Empire, which remains the third-largest empire in history. However, with the Russian Revolution in 1917, Russia's monarchic rule was abolished and eventually replaced by the Russian SFSR—the world's first constitutionally socialist state. Following the Russian Civil War, the Russian SFSR established the Soviet Union with three other Soviet republics, within which it was the largest and principal constituent. At the expense of millions of lives, the Soviet Union underwent rapid industrialisation in the 1930s and later played a decisive role for the Allies in World War II by leading large-scale efforts on the Eastern Front. With the onset of the Cold War, it competed with the United States for global ideological influence. The Soviet era of the 20th century saw some of the most significant Russian technological achievements, including the first human-made satellite and the first human expedition into outer space. (Full article...)

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A Pozharsky cutlet served with mashed potatoes, mushroom sauce and sliced cucumber
A Pozharsky cutlet (Russian: пожарская котлета, pozharskaya kotleta, plural: пожарские котлеты, pozharskie kotlety; also spelled Pojarski) is a breaded ground chicken or veal patty that is typical of Russian cuisine. A distinct feature of this cutlet is adding butter to minced meat, which results in an especially juicy and tender consistency. The dish was created in the beginning of the 19th century in Russia and later adopted by French haute cuisine. (Full article...)

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Chekhov in 1889

Anton Pavlovich Chekhov[b] (Russian: Антон Павлович Чехов, IPA: [ɐnˈton ˈpavləvʲɪtɕ ˈtɕexəf]; 29 January 1860 – 15 July 1904) was a Russian playwright and physician who is considered to be one of the greatest writers of all time. His career as a playwright produced four classics, and his best short stories are held in high esteem by writers and critics. Along with Henrik Ibsen and August Strindberg, Chekhov is often referred to as one of the three seminal figures in the birth of early modernism in the theatre. Chekhov was a physician by profession. "Medicine is my lawful wife", he once said, "and literature is my mistress."

Chekhov renounced the theatre after the reception of The Seagull in 1896, but the play was revived to acclaim in 1898 by Konstantin Stanislavski's Moscow Art Theatre, which subsequently also produced Chekhov's Uncle Vanya and premiered his last two plays, Three Sisters and The Cherry Orchard. These four works present a challenge to the acting ensemble as well as to audiences, because in place of conventional action Chekhov offers a "theatre of mood" and a "submerged life in the text". The plays that Chekhov wrote were not complex, but easy to follow, and created a somewhat haunting atmosphere for the audience. (Full article...)

In the news

23 February 2024 – Russian invasion of Ukraine
Ukraine claims responsibility for the downing of a Russian Beriev A-50 over Krasnodar Krai, Russia, which is their second downing of an A-50 this year. (Kyiv Independent)
20 February 2024 – Russian invasion of Ukraine
Military aid to Ukraine during the Russo-Ukrainian War
Sweden donates its largest military aid package to Ukraine to date with a further $680 million in aid. (Reuters)
The Russian Federal Security Service arrests Ksenia Karelina, a dual Russian-American citizen, on suspicion of treason. (The Guardian) (The Moscow Times)
18 February 2024 – Russian invasion of Ukraine
Military aid to Ukraine during the Russo-Ukrainian War
Prime Minister of Denmark Mette Frederiksen announces that the country will donate all of its artillery shells to Ukraine. (The Telegraph)

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Mikhail Kalashnikov
I would have preferred to have invented a machine that people could use and that would help farmers with their work - for example, a lawn-mower.

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