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Russia (Russian: Росси́я, Rossiya), officially the Russian Federation (Russian: Росси́йская Федера́ция, Rossiyskaya Federatsiya), is a transcontinental country extending over much of northern Eurasia (Europe and Asia). It shares borders with Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, North Korea and China. It is close to the American state of Alaska across the narrow Bering Strait), to Sweden (over the Baltic Sea) and to Japan (over the La Pérouse Strait). With an area of over 17 million km², Russia is the largest country in the world. It was also the largest Soviet republic within the former Soviet Union.

Russia's capital and largest city is Moscow. Other large cities include Saint Petersburg, Chelyabinsk, Kazan, Novosibirsk, Nizhny Novgorod, Omsk, Perm, Rostov-on-Don, Samara, Ufa, Volgograd.


In a major demographic catastrophe, population indicators in Russia dramatically worsened after 1990: the number of deaths exceeds the number of births, life expectancy is drastically decreasing, the number of suicides has increased, and there are 240 abortions per 100 live births. Every year since 1992 the country has lost 400,000 to 650,000 population and the current total of 142 million is projected to fall to 100 million by 2050.

In the 1990s, life expectancy in Russia fell an astonishing six years. Statistical analysis indicates that one-quarter of the increase in mortality was due to an increase in alcohol consumption and one-quarter was a consequence of stress due to economic uncertainty.[1].


  1. Elizabeth Brainerd, and David M. Cutler, "Autopsy On An Empire: Understanding Mortality in Russia and the Former Soviet Union." Journal Of Economic Perspectives 2005 19(1): 107-130. Issn: 0895-3309 Fulltext: in Ebsco