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Russia (Russian: Россия, tr. Rossiya, pronounced [rɐˈsʲijə]), officially the Russian Federation (RF), is a transcontinental country spanning Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. It is the largest country in the world by area, covering over 17,098,246 square kilometres (6,601,670 sq mi), and encompassing one-eighth of Earth's inhabitable landmass. Russia extends across eleven time zones and borders fourteen countries by land (the most in the world, tied with China). Russia also shares narrow maritime boundaries with two countries. It is the ninth-most populous country in the world and the most populous country in Europe, with a population of 146 million. The country's capital and largest city is Moscow, the largest city entirely within Europe. Saint Petersburg is Russia's cultural centre and second-largest city. Other major urban areas include Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg, Nizhny Novgorod and Kazan.

The East Slavs emerged as a recognisable group in Europe between the 3rd and 8th centuries CE. The medieval state of Kievan Rus' arose in the 9th century, and in 988 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 exploration to become the Russian Empire, the third-largest empire in history. The monarchy was abolished following the Russian Revolution in 1917, and the Russian SFSR became the world's first constitutionally socialist state. Following a civil war, the Russian SFSR established the Soviet Union with three other republics, as its largest and the principal constituent. The country underwent a period of rapid industrialisation at the expense of millions of lives. The Soviet Union played a decisive role in the Allied victory in World War II, and was a superpower and rival to the United States during the Cold War. The Soviet era saw some of the most significant technological achievements of the 20th century, including the world's first human-made satellite and the launching of the first human into space. (Full article...)

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The Battle of Kulikovo by Blinov

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Prepared stroganina on a table
Stroganina (Russian строганина, literally "shavings") is a dish of the indigenous people of northern Arctic Siberia consisting of raw, thin, long-sliced frozen fish. Around Lake Baikal, the dish is referred to as raskolotka. Traditional stroganina is made with freshwater whitefish salmonids found in the Siberian Arctic waters such as nelma, muksun, chir, and omul. Rarely, it is made with sturgeon. This dish is popular with native Siberians, and is present in Yakutian cuisine, Eskimo cuisine, Komi cuisine and Yamal cuisine. It is often paired with vodka. (Full article...)

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Olga Alexandrovna aged 28
Olga Alexandrovna c. 1910

Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna of Russia (Russian: О́льга Алекса́ндровна; 13 June [O.S. 1 June] 1882 – 24 November 1960) was the youngest child of Emperor Alexander III of Russia and younger sister of Emperor Nicholas II.

Olga was raised at the Gatchina Palace outside Saint Petersburg. Olga's relationship with her mother, Empress Marie, the daughter of King Christian IX of Denmark, was strained and distant from childhood. In contrast, she and her father were close. He died when she was 12, and her brother Nicholas became emperor. In 1901, at 19, she married Duke Peter Alexandrovich of Oldenburg, who was privately believed by family and friends to be homosexual. Their marriage of 15 years remained unconsummated, and Peter at first refused Olga's request for a divorce. The couple led separate lives and their marriage was eventually annulled by the Emperor in October 1916. The following month Olga married cavalry officer Nikolai Kulikovsky, with whom she had fallen in love several years before. During the First World War, Olga served as an army nurse and was awarded a medal for personal gallantry. At the downfall of the Romanovs in the Russian Revolution of 1917, she fled with her husband and children to Crimea, where they lived under the threat of assassination. Her brother Nicholas and his family were shot by revolutionaries. (Full article...)

In the news

26 September 2022 – Russo-Ukrainian War
2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine
2022 Russian mobilization
2022 anti-war protests in Russia, 2022 North Caucasian protests
26 September 2022 –
Russian oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin, a close ally of Vladimir Putin, publicly admits for the first time that he founded the Wagner Group, a private military company accused of war crimes in places where they had been deployed. Prigozhin had previously denied any involvement with the organization. (The Guardian)
26 September 2022 – Kazakhstan–Russia relations
Kazakhstan says that it will not recognize the results of the ongoing annexation referendums in Russian-occupied Ukraine. (Reuters)
26 September 2022 – Izhevsk school shooting
A man kills 17 people and injures 24 others in a mass shooting at a school in Izhevsk, Russia, before killing himself. (BBC News)

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Leon Trotsky
Let a man find himself, in distinction from others, on top of two wheels with a chain — at least in a poor country like Russia — and his vanity begins to swell out like his tires. In America it takes an automobile to produce this effect.

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