Photos of Russia

A volcano in the Kuril Islands. This volcano appears to have been formed after a volcanic collapse forming a caldera, similar to Wizard Island in Crater Lake, Oregon. Photo courtesy of NOAA / Anatoly Gruzevich.



Founded in the 12th century, the Principality of Muscovy emerged from over 200 years of Mongol domination (13th-15th centuries) and gradually conquered and absorbed surrounding principalities. In the early 17th century, a new ROMANOV dynasty continued this policy of expansion across Siberia to the Pacific. Under PETER I (1682-1725), hegemony was extended to the Baltic Sea and the country was renamed the Russian Empire. During the 19th century, more territorial acquisitions were made in Europe and Asia. Defeat in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05 contributed to the Revolution of 1905, which resulted in the formation of a parliament and other reforms. Devastating defeats and food shortages in World War I led to widespread rioting in the major cities of the Russian Empire and to the overthrow of the ROMANOV Dynasty in 1917. The communists under Vladimir LENIN seized power soon after and formed the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).

The brutal rule of Iosif STALIN (1928-53) strengthened communist control and Russian dominance of the Soviet Union at a cost of tens of millions of lives. After defeating Germany in World War II as part of an alliance with the US (1939-1945), the USSR expanded its territory and influence in Eastern Europe and emerged as a global power. The USSR was the principal US adversary during the Cold War (1947-1991). The Soviet economy and society stagnated in the decades following Stalin's rule, until General Secretary Mikhail GORBACHEV (1985-91) introduced glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring) in an attempt to modernize communism. His initiatives inadvertently released political and economic forces that by December 1991 led to the dissolution of the USSR into Russia and 14 other independent states. In response to the ensuing turmoil during President Boris YELTSIN's term (1991-99), Russia shifted toward a centralized authoritarian state under President Vladimir PUTIN (2000-2008, 2012-present) in which the regime seeks to legitimize its rule through managed elections, populist appeals, a foreign policy focused on enhancing the country's geopolitical influence, and commodity-based economic growth.

In 2014, Russia purported to annex Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula and occupied large portions of two eastern Ukrainian oblasts. In sporadic fighting over the next eight years, more than 14,000 civilians were killed or wounded as a result of the Russian invasion in eastern Ukraine. On 24 February 2022, Russia escalated its conflict with Ukraine by invading the country on several fronts in what has become the largest conventional military attack on a sovereign state in Europe since World War II. The invasion received near-universal international condemnation, and many countries imposed sanctions on Russia and supplied humanitarian and military aid to Ukraine. In September 2022, Russia unilaterally declared its annexation of four Ukrainian oblasts -- Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk, and Zaporizhzhia -- even though none were fully under Russian control. The annexations remain unrecognized by the international community. 

Visit the Definitions and Notes page to view a description of each topic.



North Asia bordering the Arctic Ocean, extending from Eastern Europe (the portion west of the Urals) to the North Pacific Ocean

Geographic coordinates

60 00 N, 100 00 E


total: 17,098,242 sq km

land: 16,377,742 sq km

water: 720,500 sq km

comparison ranking: total 1

Area - comparative

approximately 1.8 times the size of the US

Area comparison map:
Area comparison map

Land boundaries

total: 22,407 km

border countries (14): Azerbaijan 338 km; Belarus 1,312 km; China (southeast) 4,133 km and China (south) 46 km; Estonia 324 km; Finland 1,309 km; Georgia 894 km; Kazakhstan 7,644 km; North Korea 18 km; Latvia 332 km; Lithuania (Kaliningrad Oblast) 261 km; Mongolia 3,452 km; Norway 191 km; Poland (Kaliningrad Oblast) 209 km; Ukraine 1,944 km


37,653 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation


ranges from steppes in the south through humid continental in much of European Russia; subarctic in Siberia to tundra climate in the polar north; winters vary from cool along Black Sea coast to frigid in Siberia; summers vary from warm in the steppes to cool along Arctic coast


broad plain with low hills west of Urals; vast coniferous forest and tundra in Siberia; uplands and mountains along southern border regions


highest point: Gora El'brus (highest point in Europe) 5,642 m

lowest point: Caspian Sea -28 m

mean elevation: 600 m

Natural resources

wide natural resource base including major deposits of oil, natural gas, coal, and many strategic minerals, bauxite, reserves of rare earth elements, timber; note - formidable obstacles of climate, terrain, and distance hinder exploitation of natural resources

Land use

agricultural land: 13.1% (2018 est.)

arable land: 7.3% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0.1% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 5.7% (2018 est.)

forest: 49.4% (2018 est.)

other: 37.5% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land

43,000 sq km (2012)

Major lakes (area sq km)

fresh water lake(s): Lake Baikal - 31,500 sq km; Lake Ladoga - 18,130 sq km; Lake Onega - 9,720 sq km; Lake Khanka (shared with China) - 5,010 sq km; Lake Peipus - 4,300 sq km (shared with Estonia); Ozero Vygozero - 1,250 sq km; Ozero Beloye - 1,120 sq km

salt water lake(s): Caspian Sea (shared with Iran, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan) - 374,000 sq km; Ozero Malyye Chany - 2,500 sq km; Curonian Lagoon (shared with Lithuania) - 1,620 sq km
note - the Caspian Sea is the World's largest lake

Major rivers (by length in km)

Yenisey-Angara - 5,539 km; Ob-Irtysh - 5,410 km;  Amur river mouth (shared with China [s] and Mongolia) - 4,444 km; Lena - 4,400 km; Volga - 3,645 km; Kolyma - 2,513 km; Ural river source (shared with Kazakhstan [m]) - 2,428 km; Dnepr (Dnieper) river source (shared with Belarus and Ukraine [m]) - 2,287 km; Don - 1,870 km; Pechora - 1,809 km
note – [s] after country name indicates river source; [m] after country name indicates river mouth

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Arctic Ocean drainage: Kolyma (679,934 sq km), Lena (2,306,743 sq km), Ob (2,972,493 sq km), Pechora (289,532 sq km), Yenisei (2,554,388 sq km)
Atlantic Ocean drainage: (Black Sea) Don (458,694 sq km), Dnieper (533,966 sq km)
Pacific Ocean drainage: Amur (1,929,955 sq km)
Internal (endorheic basin) drainage: (Caspian Sea basin) Volga (1,410,951 sq km)

Major aquifers

Angara-Lena Basin, Pechora Basin, North Caucasus Basin, East European Aquifer System, West Siberian Basin, Tunguss Basin, Yakut Basin

Population distribution

population is heavily concentrated in the westernmost fifth of the country extending from the Baltic Sea, south to the Caspian Sea, and eastward parallel to the Kazakh border; elsewhere, sizeable pockets are isolated and generally found in the south

Natural hazards

permafrost over much of Siberia is a major impediment to development; volcanic activity in the Kuril Islands; volcanoes and earthquakes on the Kamchatka Peninsula; spring floods and summer/autumn forest fires throughout Siberia and parts of European Russia

volcanism: significant volcanic activity on the Kamchatka Peninsula and Kuril Islands; the peninsula alone is home to some 29 historically active volcanoes, with dozens more in the Kuril Islands; Kliuchevskoi (4,835 m), which erupted in 2007 and 2010, is Kamchatka's most active volcano; Avachinsky and Koryaksky volcanoes, which pose a threat to the city of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, have been deemed Decade Volcanoes by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior, worthy of study due to their explosive history and close proximity to human populations; other notable historically active volcanoes include Bezymianny, Chikurachki, Ebeko, Gorely, Grozny, Karymsky, Ketoi, Kronotsky, Ksudach, Medvezhia, Mutnovsky, Sarychev Peak, Shiveluch, Tiatia, Tolbachik, and Zheltovsky; see note 2 under "Geography - note"

Geography - note

note 1: largest country in the world in terms of area but unfavorably located in relation to major sea lanes of the world; despite its size, much of the country lacks proper soils and climates (either too cold or too dry) for agriculture

note 2: Russia's far east, particularly the Kamchatka Peninsula, lies along the Ring of Fire, a belt of active volcanoes and earthquake epicenters bordering the Pacific Ocean; up to 90% of the world's earthquakes and some 75% of the world's volcanoes occur within the Ring of Fire

note 3: Mount El'brus is Europe's tallest peak; Lake Baikal, the deepest lake in the world, is estimated to hold one fifth of the world's fresh surface water

note 4: Kaliningrad oblast is an exclave annexed from Germany following World War II (it was formerly part of East Prussia); its capital city of Kaliningrad - formerly Koenigsberg - is the only Baltic port in Russia that remains ice free in the winter

People and Society


total: 140,820,810

male: 65,496,805

female: 75,324,005 (2024 est.)

comparison rankings: female 9; male 9; total 9


noun: Russian(s)

adjective: Russian

Ethnic groups

Russian 77.7%, Tatar 3.7%, Ukrainian 1.4%, Bashkir 1.1%, Chuvash 1%, Chechen 1%, other 10.2%, unspecified 3.9% (2010 est.)

note: nearly 200 national and/or ethnic groups are represented in Russia's 2010 census


Russian (official) 85.7%, Tatar 3.2%, Chechen 1%, other 10.1%; note - data represent native language spoken (2010 est.)

major-language sample(s):
Книга фактов о мире – незаменимый источник базовой информации. (Russian)

The World Factbook, the indispensable source for basic information.

Russian audio sample:


Russian Orthodox 15-20%, Muslim 10-15%, other Christian 2% (2006 est.)

note: estimates are of practicing worshipers; Russia has large populations of non-practicing believers and non-believers, a legacy of over seven decades of official atheism under Soviet rule; Russia officially recognizes Orthodox Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and Buddhism as the country's traditional religions

Age structure

0-14 years: 16.5% (male 11,956,284/female 11,313,829)

15-64 years: 65.7% (male 45,007,073/female 47,518,221)

65 years and over: 17.8% (2024 est.) (male 8,533,448/female 16,491,955)

2023 population pyramid:
2023 population pyramid

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 50

youth dependency ratio: 26.6

elderly dependency ratio: 23.4

potential support ratio: 4.3 (2021 est.)

Median age

total: 41.9 years (2024 est.)

male: 39.4 years

female: 44.5 years

comparison ranking: total 48

Population growth rate

-0.49% (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 221

Birth rate

8.4 births/1,000 population (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 209

Death rate

14 deaths/1,000 population (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 9

Net migration rate

0.8 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 68

Population distribution

population is heavily concentrated in the westernmost fifth of the country extending from the Baltic Sea, south to the Caspian Sea, and eastward parallel to the Kazakh border; elsewhere, sizeable pockets are isolated and generally found in the south


urban population: 75.3% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 0.11% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

Major urban areas - population

12.680 million MOSCOW (capital), 5.561 million Saint Petersburg, 1.695 million Novosibirsk, 1.528 million Yekaterinburg, 1.292 million Kazan, 1.251 million Nizhniy Novgorod (2023)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.52 male(s)/female

total population: 0.87 male(s)/female (2024 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

25.2 years (2013 est.)

Maternal mortality ratio

14 deaths/100,000 live births (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: 138

Infant mortality rate

total: 6.5 deaths/1,000 live births (2024 est.)

male: 7.2 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 5.8 deaths/1,000 live births

comparison ranking: total 162

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 72.3 years (2024 est.)

male: 67.4 years

female: 77.4 years

comparison ranking: total population 164

Total fertility rate

1.52 children born/woman (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 199

Gross reproduction rate

0.74 (2024 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

68% (2011)

note: percent of women aged 15-44

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 99.1% of population

rural: 93.1% of population

total: 97.6% of population

unimproved: urban: 0.9% of population

rural: 6.9% of population

total: 2.4% of population (2020 est.)

Current health expenditure

7.6% of GDP (2020)

Physician density

3.82 physicians/1,000 population (2020)

Hospital bed density

7.1 beds/1,000 population (2018)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 95.2% of population

rural: 72.3% of population

total: 89.4% of population

unimproved: urban: 4.8% of population

rural: 27.7% of population

total: 10.6% of population (2020 est.)

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: intermediate (2023)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea

vectorborne diseases: Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, tickborne encephalitis

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

23.1% (2016)

comparison ranking: 70

Alcohol consumption per capita

total: 7.29 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

beer: 3.04 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

wine: 0.97 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

spirits: 3.16 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

other alcohols: 0.12 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: total 56

Tobacco use

total: 26.8% (2020 est.)

male: 40.8% (2020 est.)

female: 12.8% (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: total 41

Child marriage

women married by age 15: 0.3%

women married by age 18: 6.2% (2017 est.)

Education expenditures

3.7% of GDP (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: 132


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 99.7%

male: 99.7%

female: 99.7% (2018)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 16 years

male: 16 years

female: 16 years (2019)


Environment - current issues

air pollution from heavy industry, emissions of coal-fired electric plants, and transportation in major cities; industrial, municipal, and agricultural pollution of inland waterways and seacoasts; deforestation; soil erosion; soil contamination from improper application of agricultural chemicals; nuclear waste disposal; scattered areas of sometimes intense radioactive contamination; groundwater contamination from toxic waste; urban solid waste management; abandoned stocks of obsolete pesticides

Environment - international agreements

party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulphur 85, Antarctic-Environmental Protection, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping-London Convention, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Sulfur 94


ranges from steppes in the south through humid continental in much of European Russia; subarctic in Siberia to tundra climate in the polar north; winters vary from cool along Black Sea coast to frigid in Siberia; summers vary from warm in the steppes to cool along Arctic coast

Land use

agricultural land: 13.1% (2018 est.)

arable land: 7.3% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0.1% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 5.7% (2018 est.)

forest: 49.4% (2018 est.)

other: 37.5% (2018 est.)


urban population: 75.3% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 0.11% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

Revenue from forest resources

0.29% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 81

Revenue from coal

0.53% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 11

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 8.88 micrograms per cubic meter (2019 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 1,732.03 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 851.52 megatons (2020 est.)

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 60 million tons (2012 est.)

municipal solid waste recycled annually: 2.7 million tons (2012 est.)

percent of municipal solid waste recycled: 4.5% (2012 est.)

Major lakes (area sq km)

fresh water lake(s): Lake Baikal - 31,500 sq km; Lake Ladoga - 18,130 sq km; Lake Onega - 9,720 sq km; Lake Khanka (shared with China) - 5,010 sq km; Lake Peipus - 4,300 sq km (shared with Estonia); Ozero Vygozero - 1,250 sq km; Ozero Beloye - 1,120 sq km

salt water lake(s): Caspian Sea (shared with Iran, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan) - 374,000 sq km; Ozero Malyye Chany - 2,500 sq km; Curonian Lagoon (shared with Lithuania) - 1,620 sq km
note - the Caspian Sea is the World's largest lake

Major rivers (by length in km)

Yenisey-Angara - 5,539 km; Ob-Irtysh - 5,410 km;  Amur river mouth (shared with China [s] and Mongolia) - 4,444 km; Lena - 4,400 km; Volga - 3,645 km; Kolyma - 2,513 km; Ural river source (shared with Kazakhstan [m]) - 2,428 km; Dnepr (Dnieper) river source (shared with Belarus and Ukraine [m]) - 2,287 km; Don - 1,870 km; Pechora - 1,809 km
note – [s] after country name indicates river source; [m] after country name indicates river mouth

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Arctic Ocean drainage: Kolyma (679,934 sq km), Lena (2,306,743 sq km), Ob (2,972,493 sq km), Pechora (289,532 sq km), Yenisei (2,554,388 sq km)
Atlantic Ocean drainage: (Black Sea) Don (458,694 sq km), Dnieper (533,966 sq km)
Pacific Ocean drainage: Amur (1,929,955 sq km)
Internal (endorheic basin) drainage: (Caspian Sea basin) Volga (1,410,951 sq km)

Major aquifers

Angara-Lena Basin, Pechora Basin, North Caucasus Basin, East European Aquifer System, West Siberian Basin, Tunguss Basin, Yakut Basin

Total water withdrawal

municipal: 17.15 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)

industrial: 29.03 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)

agricultural: 18.64 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)

Total renewable water resources

4.53 trillion cubic meters (2020 est.)


total global geoparks and regional networks: 1

global geoparks and regional networks: Yangan-Tau (2023)


Country name

conventional long form: Russian Federation

conventional short form: Russia

local long form: Rossiyskaya Federatsiya

local short form: Rossiya

former: Russian Empire, Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic

etymology: Russian lands were generally referred to as Muscovy until PETER I officially declared the Russian Empire in 1721; the new name sought to invoke the patrimony of the medieval eastern European Rus state centered on Kyiv in present-day Ukraine; the Rus were a Varangian (eastern Viking) elite that imposed their rule and eventually their name on their Slavic subjects

Government type

semi-presidential federation


name: Moscow

geographic coordinates: 55 45 N, 37 36 E

time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

daylight saving time: does not observe daylight savings time (DST)

time zone note: Russia has 11 time zones, the largest number of contiguous time zones of any country in the world; in 2014, two time zones were added and DST dropped

etymology: named after the Moskva River; the origin of the river's name is obscure but may derive from the appellation "Mustajoki" given to the river by the Finno-Ugric people who originally inhabited the area and whose meaning may have been "dark" or "turbid"

Administrative divisions

46 provinces (oblasti, singular - oblast), 21 republics (respubliki, singular - respublika), 4 autonomous okrugs (avtonomnyye okrugi, singular - avtonomnyy okrug), 9 krays (kraya, singular - kray), 2 federal cities (goroda, singular - gorod), and 1 autonomous oblast (avtonomnaya oblast')

oblasts: Amur (Blagoveshchensk), Arkhangelsk, Astrakhan, Belgorod, Bryansk, Chelyabinsk, Irkutsk, Ivanovo, Kaliningrad, Kaluga, Kemerovo, Kirov, Kostroma, Kurgan, Kursk, Leningrad (Gatchina), Lipetsk, Magadan, Moscow, Murmansk, Nizhniy Novgorod, Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Orenburg, Orel, Penza, Pskov, Rostov, Ryazan, Sakhalin (Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk), Samara, Saratov, Smolensk, Sverdlovsk (Yekaterinburg), Tambov, Tomsk, Tula, Tver, Tyumen, Ulyanovsk, Vladimir, Volgograd, Vologda, Voronezh, Yaroslavl

republics: Adygeya (Maykop), Altay (Gorno-Altaysk), Bashkortostan (Ufa), Buryatiya (Ulan-Ude), Chechnya (Groznyy), Chuvashiya (Cheboksary), Dagestan (Makhachkala), Ingushetiya (Magas), Kabardino-Balkariya (Nal'chik), Kalmykiya (Elista), Karachayevo-Cherkesiya (Cherkessk), Kareliya (Petrozavodsk), Khakasiya (Abakan), Komi (Syktyvkar), Mariy-El (Yoshkar-Ola), Mordoviya (Saransk), North Ossetia (Vladikavkaz), Sakha [Yakutiya] (Yakutsk), Tatarstan (Kazan), Tyva (Kyzyl), Udmurtiya (Izhevsk)

autonomous okrugs: Chukotka (Anadyr'), Khanty-Mansi-Yugra (Khanty-Mansiysk), Nenets (Nar'yan-Mar), Yamalo-Nenets (Salekhard)

krays: Altay (Barnaul), Kamchatka (Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy), Khabarovsk, Krasnodar, Krasnoyarsk, Perm, Primorskiy [Maritime] (Vladivostok), Stavropol, Zabaykalsk [Transbaikal] (Chita)

federal cities: Moscow [Moskva], Saint Petersburg [Sankt-Peterburg]

autonomous oblast: Yevreyskaya [Jewish] (Birobidzhan)

note 1: administrative divisions have the same names as their administrative centers (exceptions have the administrative center name following in parentheses)

note 2: the United States does not recognize Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the municipality of Sevastopol, nor their redesignation as the "Republic of Crimea" and the "Federal City of Sevastopol"; it similarly does not recognize the annexation of the Ukrainian oblasts Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson


25 December 1991 (from the Soviet Union; Russian SFSR renamed Russian Federation); notable earlier dates: 1157 (Principality of Vladimir-Suzdal created); 16 January 1547 (Tsardom of Muscovy established); 22 October 1721 (Russian Empire proclaimed); 30 December 1922 (Soviet Union established)

National holiday

Russia Day, 12 June (1990); note - commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of State Sovereignty of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR)


history: several previous (during Russian Empire and Soviet era); latest drafted 12 July 1993, adopted by referendum 12 December 1993, effective 25 December 1993

amendments: proposed by the president of the Russian Federation, by either house of the Federal Assembly, by the government of the Russian Federation, or by legislative (representative) bodies of the Federation's constituent entities; proposals to amend the government’s constitutional system, human and civil rights and freedoms, and procedures for amending or drafting a new constitution require formation of a Constitutional Assembly; passage of such amendments requires two-thirds majority vote of its total membership; passage in a referendum requires participation of an absolute majority of eligible voters and an absolute majority of valid votes; approval of proposed amendments to the government structure, authorities, and procedures requires approval by the legislative bodies of at least two thirds of the Russian Federation's constituent entities; amended several times, last in 2020 (major revisions)

Legal system

civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt


citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Russia

dual citizenship recognized: yes

residency requirement for naturalization: 3-5 years


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Vladimir Vladimirovich PUTIN (since 7 May 2012)

head of government: Premier Mikhail Vladimirovich MISHUSTIN (since 16 January 2020)

cabinet: the government is composed of the premier, his deputies, and ministers, all appointed by the president; the premier is also confirmed by the Duma

elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 6-year term (2020 constitutional amendments allow a second consecutive term); election last held on 15 to 17 March 2024 (next to be held 2030)

election results:
2024: Vladimir PUTIN reelected president; percent of vote - Vladimir PUTIN (independent) 88.5%, Nikolay KHARITONOV (Communist Party) 4.4%, Vladislav DAVANKOV (New People party) 3.9%, Leonid SLUTSKY (Liberal Democrats) 3.2%

2018: Vladimir PUTIN reelected president; percent of vote - Vladimir PUTIN (independent) 77.5%, Pavel GRUDININ (CPRF) 11.9%, Vladimir ZHIRINOVSKIY (LDPR) 5.7%, other 4.9%; Mikhail MISHUSTIN (independent) approved as premier by Duma; vote - 383 to 0

Vladimir PUTIN elected president; percent of vote - Vladimir PUTIN (United Russia) 63.6%, Gennadiy ZYUGANOV (CPRF) 17.2%, Mikhail PROKHOROV (CP) 8%, Vladimir ZHIRINOVSKIY (LDPR) 6.2%, Sergey MIRONOV (A Just Russia) 3.9%, other 1.1%; Dmitriy MEDVEDEV (United Russia) approved as premier by Duma; vote - 299 to 144

note: there is also a Presidential Administration that provides staff and policy support to the president, drafts presidential decrees, and coordinates policy among government agencies; a Security Council also reports directly to the president

Legislative branch

description: bicameral Federal Assembly or Federalnoye Sobraniye consists of:
Federation Council or Sovet Federatsii (170 seats statutory, 169 as of April 2023; 2 members in each of the 83 federal administrative units (see note below) - oblasts, krays, republics, autonomous okrugs and oblasts, and federal cities of Moscow and Saint Petersburg - appointed by the top executive and legislative officials; members serve 4-year terms)
State Duma or Gosudarstvennaya Duma (450 seats (see note below); as of February 2014, the electoral system reverted to a mixed electoral system for the 2016 election, in which one-half of the members are directly elected by simple majority vote and one-half directly elected by proportional representation vote; members serve 5-year terms)

elections: State Duma - last held 17 - 19 September 2021 (next to be held in September 2026)

election results: Federation Council - composition - men 137, women 32, percentage women 18.9%

State Duma - percent vote by party - United Russia 50.9%, CPRF 19.3%, LDPR 7.7%, A Just Russia 7.6%, New People 5.3% other minor parties and independents 9.2%; seats by party - United Russia 324, CPRF 57, LDPR 21, A Just Russia 27, New People 13; Rodina 1, CP 1, Party of Growth 1, independent 5; composition - men 376, women 74, percentage women 16.4%; total Federal Assembly percentage women 17.1%

note 1: the State Duma now includes 3 representatives from the "Republic of Crimea," while the Federation Council includes 2 each from the "Republic of Crimea" and the "Federal City of Sevastopol," both regions that Russia occupied and attempted to annex from Ukraine and that the US does not recognize as part of Russia

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Supreme Court of the Russian Federation (consists of 170 members organized into the Judicial Panel for Civil Affairs, the Judicial Panel for Criminal Affairs, and the Military Panel); Constitutional Court (consists of 11 members, including the chairperson and deputy); note - in February 2014, Russia’s Higher Court of Arbitration was abolished and its former authorities transferred to the Supreme Court, which in addition is the country’s highest judicial authority for appeals, civil, criminal, administrative, and military cases, and the disciplinary judicial board, which has jurisdiction over economic disputes

judge selection and term of office: all members of Russia's 3 highest courts nominated by the president and appointed by the Federation Council (the upper house of the legislature); members of all 3 courts appointed for life

subordinate courts: regional (kray) and provincial (oblast) courts; Moscow and St. Petersburg city courts; autonomous province and district courts; note - the 21 Russian Republics have court systems specified by their own constitutions

Political parties and leaders

A Just Russia or SRZP [Sergey MIRONOV]
Civic Platform or GP [Rifat SHAYKHUTDINOV]
Communist Party of the Russian Federation or KPRF [Gennadiy ZYUGANOV]
Liberal Democratic Party of Russia or LDPR [Leonid SLUTSKY]
New People NL [Alexey NECHAYEV]
Party of Growth PR [Boris TITOV]
Rodina [Aleksei ZHURAVLYOV]
United Russia ER [Dmitriy MEDVEDEV]

International organization participation

APEC, Arctic Council, ARF, ASEAN (dialogue partner), BIS, BRICS, BSEC, CBSS, CD, CE, CERN (observer), CICA, CIS, CSTO, EAEC, EAEU, EAPC, EAS, EBRD, FAO, FATF, G-20, GCTU, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAIA (observer), MIGA, MINURSO, MONUSCO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OIC (observer), OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, PFP, SCO, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNISFA, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNOCI, UN Security Council (permanent), UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, Wassenaar Arrangement, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Anatoly Ivanovich ANTONOV (since 8 September 2017)

chancery: 2650 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007

telephone: [1] (202) 298-5700

FAX: [1] (202) 298-5735

email address and website:

consulate(s) general: Houston, New York

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Lynne M. TRACY (30 January 2023)

embassy: 55,75566° N, 37,58028° E

mailing address: 5430 Moscow Place, Washington DC  20521-5430

telephone: [7] (495) 728-5000

FAX: [7] (495) 728-5090

email address and website:

consulate(s) general: Vladivostok (suspended status), Yekaterinburg (suspended status)

Flag description

three equal horizontal bands of white (top), blue, and red

note: the Russian flag was created when Russia built its first naval vessels, and was used mostly as a naval ensign until the nineteenth century; the colors may have been based on those of the Dutch flag; despite many popular interpretations, there is no official meaning assigned to the colors of the Russian flag; the flag inspired several other Slavic countries to adopt horizontal tricolors of the same colors but in different arrangements, and so red, blue, and white became the Pan-Slav colors

National symbol(s)

bear, double-headed eagle; national colors: white, blue, red

Coat of Arms of Russia:
Coat of Arms of Russia

National anthem

name: "Gimn Rossiyskoy Federatsii" (National Anthem of the Russian Federation)

lyrics/music: Sergey Vladimirovich MIKHALKOV/Aleksandr Vasilyevich ALEKSANDROV

note: in 2000, Russia adopted the tune of the anthem of the former Soviet Union (composed in 1939); the lyrics, also adopted in 2000, were written by the same person who authored the Soviet lyrics in 1943

National heritage

total World Heritage Sites: 31 (20 cultural, 11 natural)

selected World Heritage Site locales: Kremlin and Red Square, Moscow (c); Historic Saint Petersburg (c); Novodevichy Convent (c); Historic Monuments of Novgorod (c); Trinity Sergius Lavra in Sergiev Posad (c); Volcanoes of Kamchatka (n); Lake Baikal (n); Central Sikhote-Alin (n); Historic Derbent (c); Kazan Kremlin (c)


Economic overview

natural resource-rich Eurasian economy; leading energy exporter to Europe and Asia; decreased oil export reliance; endemic corruption, Ukrainian invasion, and lack of green infrastructure limit investment and have led to sanctions

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$4.027 trillion (2022 est.)
$4.112 trillion (2021 est.)
$3.894 trillion (2020 est.)

note: data in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 6

Real GDP growth rate

-2.07% (2022 est.)
5.61% (2021 est.)
-2.65% (2020 est.)

note: annual GDP % growth based on constant local currency

comparison ranking: 204

Real GDP per capita

$27,500 (2022 est.)
$28,100 (2021 est.)
$26,600 (2020 est.)

note: data in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 76

GDP (official exchange rate)

$2.24 trillion (2022 est.)

note: data in current dollars at official exchange rate

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

6.69% (2021 est.)
3.38% (2020 est.)
4.47% (2019 est.)

note: annual % change based on consumer prices

comparison ranking: 104

Credit ratings

Fitch rating: BBB (2019)

Moody's rating: Baa3 (2019)

Standard & Poors rating: BBB- (2018)

note: The year refers to the year in which the current credit rating was first obtained.

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 4.7% (2017 est.)

industry: 32.4% (2017 est.)

services: 62.3% (2017 est.)

comparison rankings: services 105; industry 64; agriculture 130

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 52.4% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 18% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 21.6% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 2.3% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 26.2% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -20.6% (2017 est.)

Agricultural products

wheat, sugar beets, milk, barley, potatoes, sunflower seeds, maize, soybeans, chicken, pork (2022)

note: top ten agricultural products based on tonnage


complete range of mining and extractive industries producing coal, oil, gas, chemicals, and metals; all forms of machine building from rolling mills to high-performance aircraft and space vehicles; defense industries (including radar, missile production, advanced electronic components), shipbuilding; road and rail transportation equipment; communications equipment; agricultural machinery, tractors, and construction equipment; electric power generating and transmitting equipment; medical and scientific instruments; consumer durables, textiles, foodstuffs, handicrafts

Industrial production growth rate

-0.17% (2022 est.)

note: annual % change in industrial value added based on constant local currency

comparison ranking: 164

Labor force

73.799 million (2022 est.)

note: number of people ages 15 or older who are employed or seeking work

comparison ranking: 8

Unemployment rate

3.87% (2022 est.)
4.72% (2021 est.)
5.59% (2020 est.)

note: % of labor force seeking employment

comparison ranking: 78

Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 16.9% (2021 est.)

male: 15.7%

female: 18.4%

comparison ranking: total 102

Population below poverty line

12.1% (2020 est.)

note: % of population with income below national poverty line

Gini Index coefficient - distribution of family income

36 (2020 est.)

note: index (0-100) of income distribution; higher values represent greater inequality

comparison ranking: 87

Average household expenditures

on food: 29% of household expenditures (2021 est.)

on alcohol and tobacco: 7.3% of household expenditures (2021 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 3.1%

highest 10%: 29% (2020 est.)

note: % share of income accruing to lowest and highest 10% of population


0.15% of GDP (2022 est.)
0.53% of GDP (2021 est.)
0.66% of GDP (2020 est.)

note: personal transfers and compensation between resident and non-resident individuals/households/entities


revenues: $604.135 billion (2019 est.)

expenditures: $571.465 billion (2019 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-1.4% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

comparison ranking: 88

Public debt

20.94% of GDP (2021 est.)
22.99% of GDP (2020 est.)
17.28% of GDP (2019 est.)

note: central government debt as a % of GDP

comparison ranking: 185

Taxes and other revenues

11.65% (of GDP) (2021 est.)

note: central government tax revenue as a % of GDP

comparison ranking: 174

Current account balance

$237.883 billion (2022 est.)
$122.114 billion (2021 est.)
$35.373 billion (2020 est.)

note: balance of payments - net trade and primary/secondary income in current dollars

comparison ranking: 2


$640.688 billion (2022 est.)
$549.9 billion (2021 est.)
$381.49 billion (2020 est.)

note: balance of payments - exports of goods and services in current dollars

comparison ranking: 15

Exports - partners

China 21%, India 8%, Germany 6%, Turkey 5%, Italy 5% (2022)

note: top five export partners based on percentage share of exports

Exports - commodities

crude petroleum, natural gas, refined petroleum, coal, fertilizers (2022)

note: top five export commodities based on value in dollars


$347.375 billion (2022 est.)
$379.946 billion (2021 est.)
$304.837 billion (2020 est.)

note: balance of payments - imports of goods and services in current dollars

comparison ranking: 24

Imports - partners

China 39%, Germany 8%, Turkey 5%, Kazakhstan 5%, South Korea 3% (2022)

note: top five import partners based on percentage share of imports

Imports - commodities

packaged medicine, broadcasting equipment, cars, garments, plastic products (2022)

note: top five import commodities based on value in dollars

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$581.71 billion (2022 est.)
$632.242 billion (2021 est.)
$596.77 billion (2020 est.)

note: holdings of gold (year-end prices)/foreign exchange/special drawing rights in current dollars

comparison ranking: 4

Debt - external

$479.844 billion (2019 est.)
$484.355 billion (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 26

Exchange rates

Russian rubles (RUB) per US dollar -

Exchange rates:
68.485 (2022 est.)
73.654 (2021 est.)
72.105 (2020 est.)
64.738 (2019 est.)
62.668 (2018 est.)


Electricity access

electrification - total population: 100% (2022 est.)

electrification - urban areas: 99.1%

electrification - rural areas: 100%


installed generating capacity: 301.123 million kW (2022 est.)

consumption: 1.026 trillion kWh (2022 est.)

exports: 18.582 billion kWh (2022 est.)

imports: 1.532 billion kWh (2022 est.)

transmission/distribution losses: 95.804 billion kWh (2022 est.)

comparison rankings: transmission/distribution losses 207; imports 67; exports 16; consumption 4; installed generating capacity 5

Electricity generation sources

fossil fuels: 60.3% of total installed capacity (2022 est.)

nuclear: 19.6% of total installed capacity (2022 est.)

solar: 0.2% of total installed capacity (2022 est.)

wind: 0.3% of total installed capacity (2022 est.)

hydroelectricity: 19.2% of total installed capacity (2022 est.)

biomass and waste: 0.3% of total installed capacity (2022 est.)

Nuclear energy

Number of operational nuclear reactors: 36 (2023)

Number of nuclear reactors under construction: 4 (2023)

Net capacity of operational nuclear reactors: 26.8GW (2023 est.)

Percent of total electricity production: 18.4% (2023 est.)

Number of nuclear reactors permanently shut down: 11 (2023)


production: 508.19 million metric tons (2022 est.)

consumption: 310.958 million metric tons (2022 est.)

exports: 220.306 million metric tons (2022 est.)

imports: 23.074 million metric tons (2022 est.)

proven reserves: 162.166 billion metric tons (2022 est.)


total petroleum production: 10.727 million bbl/day (2023 est.)

refined petroleum consumption: 3.684 million bbl/day (2022 est.)

crude oil estimated reserves: 80 billion barrels (2021 est.)

Natural gas

production: 617.83 billion cubic meters (2022 est.)

consumption: 472.239 billion cubic meters (2022 est.)

exports: 176.056 billion cubic meters (2022 est.)

imports: 8.129 billion cubic meters (2022 est.)

proven reserves: 47.805 trillion cubic meters (2021 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions

1.84 billion metric tonnes of CO2 (2022 est.)

from coal and metallurgical coke: 517.718 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2022 est.)

from petroleum and other liquids: 414.253 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2022 est.)

from consumed natural gas: 907.83 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2022 est.)

comparison ranking: total emissions 4

Energy consumption per capita

225.235 million Btu/person (2022 est.)

comparison ranking: 16


Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 23.864 million (2021 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 16 (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 11

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 245.267 million (2022 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 169 (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 5

Telecommunication systems

general assessment:

the telecom market is the largest in Europe, supported by a population of about 143 million; the overall market is dominated by the western regions, particularly Moscow and St Petersburg which are the main cities and economic centers; many other regions in the east and north of the country were settled during the Soviet period; the telecommunication companies continue to deploy and modernize fixed-line network infrastructure to offer improved broadband services as well as a range of IP-delivered content; the number of Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) connections continues to decrease as subscribers are migrated to fiber; the development of 5G services has been hindered by the lack of frequencies; the 3.4GHz range commonly used for 5G in Europe has been restricted for use in Russia by the military and intelligence agencies; the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) have an equal share in a joint venture, New Digital Solutions, aimed at developing a strategy to deploy 5G using a shared network


domestic: 16 per 100 for fixed-line and mobile-cellular is 169 per 100 persons (2022)

international: country code - 7; landing points for the Far East Submarine Cable System, HSCS, Sakhalin-Kuril Island Cable, RSCN, BCS North-Phase 2, Kerch Strait Cable and the Georgia-Russian submarine cable system connecting Russia, Japan, Finland, Georgia and Ukraine; satellite earth stations provide access to Intelsat, Intersputnik, Eutelsat, Inmarsat, and Orbita systems (2019)

Broadcast media

13 national TV stations with the federal government owning 1 and holding a controlling interest in a second; state-owned Gazprom maintains a controlling interest in 2 of the national channels; government-affiliated Bank Rossiya owns controlling interest in a fourth and fifth, while a sixth national channel is owned by the Moscow city administration; the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian military, respectively, own 2 additional national channels; roughly 3,300 national, regional, and local TV stations with over two-thirds completely or partially controlled by the federal or local governments; satellite TV services are available; 2 state-run national radio networks with a third majority-owned by Gazprom; roughly 2,400 public and commercial radio stations

Internet country code

.ru; note - Russia also has responsibility for a legacy domain ".su" that was allocated to the Soviet Union and is being phased out

Internet users

total: 132 million (2021 est.)

percent of population: 88% (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total 6

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 33,893,305 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 23 (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: total 6


National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 32 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 958

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 99,327,311 (2018)

annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 6,810,610,000 (2018) mt-km


904 (2024)

comparison ranking: 7


383 (2024)


177,700 km gas, 54,800 km oil, 19,300 km refined products (2017)


total: 85,494 km (2019)

narrow gauge: 957 km

comparison ranking: total 3


total: 1,283,387 km

paved: 927,721 km (includes 39,143 km of expressways)

unpaved: 355,666 km (2012)

comparison ranking: total 5


102,000 km (2009) (including 48,000 km with guaranteed depth; the 72,000-km system in European Russia links Baltic Sea, White Sea, Caspian Sea, Sea of Azov, and Black Sea)

comparison ranking: 1

Merchant marine

total: 2,910 (2023)

by type: bulk carrier 15, container ship 20, general cargo 976, oil tanker 387, other 1,512

comparison ranking: total 9


total ports: 67 (2024)

large: 4

medium: 5

small: 19

very small: 38

size unknown: 1

ports with oil terminals: 32

key ports: Arkhangels'k, De Kastri, Dudinka, Kaliningrad, Murmansk, Novorossiysk, Sankt-Peterburg, Vladivostok, Vyborg

Transportation - note

Russia operates the largest polar-class icebreaker fleet in the world with 52 vessels, seven of which are the world's only nuclear-powered heavy icebreakers; the primary mission includes keeping open ports, terminals, and shipping lanes along the Northern Sea Route (see Arctic Ocean map), in the Baltic Sea, and in the Russian Far East, including the Sea of Okhotsk

Russian icebreaker Yamal:
Russian icebreaker Yamal

Military and Security

Military and security forces

Armed Forces of the Russian Federation: Ground Troops (Sukhoputnyye Voyskia, SV), Navy (Voyenno-Morskoy Flot, VMF), Aerospace Forces (Vozdushno-Kosmicheskiye Sily, VKS); Airborne Troops (Vozdushno-Desantnyye Voyska, VDV), and Missile Troops of Strategic Purpose (Raketnyye Voyska Strategicheskogo Naznacheniya, RVSN) referred to commonly as Strategic Rocket Forces, are independent "combat arms," not subordinate to any of the three branches

Federal National Guard Troops Service of the Russian Federation (FSVNG, National Guard, Russian Guard, or Rosgvardiya)

Federal Security Services (FSB): Federal Border Guard Service (includes land and maritime forces) (2023)

note 1: the Air Force and Aerospace Defense Forces were merged into the VKS in 2015; VKS responsibilities also include launching military and dual‐use satellites, maintaining military satellites, and monitoring and defending against space threats

note 2: the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Federal Security Service, Investigative Committee, Office of the Prosecutor General, and National Guard are responsible for law enforcement; the Federal Security Service is responsible for state security, counterintelligence, and counterterrorism, as well as for fighting organized crime and corruption; the national police force, under the Ministry of Internal Affairs, is responsible for combating all crime

note 3: the National Guard was created in 2016 as an independent agency for internal/regime security, combating terrorism and narcotics trafficking, protecting important state facilities and government personnel, and supporting border security; it also participates in armed defense of the country’s territory in coordination with the Armed Forces; forces under the National Guard include the Special Purpose Mobile Units (OMON), Special Rapid Response Detachment (SOBR), and Interior Troops (VV); these troops were originally under the command of the Interior Ministry (MVD); also nominally under the National Guard’s command are the forces of Chechen Republic head Ramzan KADYROV

Military expenditures

4% of GDP (2022 est.)
4% of GDP (2021 est.)
4% of GDP (2020 est.)
3.8% of GDP (2019 est.)
3.7% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 19

Military and security service personnel strengths

prior to Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, approximately 900,000 active-duty troops (350,000 Ground Troops; 40,000 Airborne Troops; 150,000 Navy; 160,000 Aerospace Forces; 70,000 Strategic Rocket Forces; approximately 20,000 special operations forces; approximately 100,000 other uniformed personnel (command and control, cyber, support, logistics, security, etc.); estimated 350,000-plus Federal National Guard Troops (2023)

note 1: in December 2022, the Russian Government announced a target level of 1.15 million total troops and subsequently announced further plans to expand the size of the armed forces to 1.5 million by 2026

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the Russian Federation's military and paramilitary services are equipped with domestically produced weapons systems, although in recent years Russia has imported considerable amounts of military hardware from external suppliers such as Iran and North Korea; the Russian defense industry is capable of designing, developing, and producing a full range of advanced air, land, missile, and naval systems; Russia is the world's second largest exporter of military hardware (2023)

Military service age and obligation

18-27 years of age for compulsory service for men; 18-40 for voluntary/contractual service; women and non-Russian citizens (18-30) may volunteer; men are registered for the draft at 17 years of age; 12-month service obligation (Russia offers the option of serving on a 24-month contract instead of completing a 12-month conscription period); reserve obligation for non-officers to age 50 (Russian men who have completed their compulsory service to re-enter the army up to the age of 55); enrollment in military schools from the age of 16 (2023)

note 1: in May 2022, Russia's parliament approved a law removing the upper age limit for contractual service in the military; in November 2022, President Vladimir PUTIN signed a decree allowing dual-national Russians and those with permanent residency status in foreign countries to be drafted into the army for military service

note 2: the Russian military takes on about 260,000 conscripts each year in two semi-annual drafts (Spring and Fall); as of 2021, conscripts comprised an estimated 30% of the Russian military's active duty personnel and most reserve personnel were former conscripts; in April of 2019, the Russian Government pledged its intent to end conscription as part of a decade-long effort to shift from a large, conscript-based military to a smaller, more professional force; an existing law allows for a 21-month alternative civil service for conscripts in hospitals, nursing homes and other facilities for those who view military duty as incompatible with their beliefs, but military conscription offices reportedly often broadly ignore requests for such service

note 3: as of 2020, women made up about 5% of the active-duty military

note 4: since 2015, foreigners 18-30 with a good command of Russian have been allowed to join the military on 5-year contracts and become eligible for Russian citizenship after serving 3 years; in October 2022, the Interior Ministry opened up recruitment centers for foreigners to sign a 1-year service contract with the armed forces, other troops, or military formations participating in the invasion of Ukraine with the promise of simplifying the process of obtaining Russian citizenship

Military deployments

information varies and may not reflect troops transferred to support Russian military operations in Ukraine; approximately 3,000 Armenia; up to 5,000 Belarus; up to 10,000 Georgia; approximately 500 Kyrgyzstan; approximately 1,500 Moldova (Transnistria); estimated 2,000-5,000 Syria; approximately 3-5,000 Tajikistan (2023)

note 1: in February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine with an estimated 150,000 troops, some of which were staged out of Belarus; prior to the invasion, it maintained an estimated 30,000 troops in areas of Ukraine occupied since 2014; in 2024, the Russian Government claimed to have nearly 700,000 troops in the occupied portions of Ukraine

note 2: as of 2023, Russia was assessed to have thousands private military contractors conducting military and security operations in Africa and the Middle East, including in Burkina Faso, the Central African Republic, Libya, Mali, Niger, Sudan, and Syria

Military - note

the Russian military is a mixed force of conscripts and professionals (contract servicemen) that is capable of conducting the full range of air, land, maritime, and strategic missile operations; it is also active in the areas of cyber warfare, electronic warfare, and space; in addition to protecting Russia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, the military supports Moscow’s national security objectives, which include maintaining and projecting influence and power outside Russia, particularly in the former Soviet republics, and deterring perceived external threats from the US and NATO

in recent years, the Russian military has conducted combat operations in both Ukraine and Syria; in February 2022, Russia launched an unprovoked full-scale invasion of Ukraine, and the military continues to be heavily engaged there in what is the largest war in Europe since World War II ended in 1945; Russia has occupied Ukraine’s province of Crimea and backed separatist forces in the Donbas region of Ukraine since 2014 with arms, equipment, and training, as well as special operations forces and troops, although Moscow denied their presence prior to 2022; Russia intervened in the Syrian civil war at the request of the ASAD government in September 2015 in what was Moscow’s first overseas expeditionary operation since the Soviet era; Russian assistance has included air support, arms and equipment, intelligence, military advisors, private military contractors, special operations forces, and training

prior to its military operations in Syria and Ukraine, Russia seized the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia by force in 2008 (2023)


Space agency/agencies

State Space Corporation of the Russian Federation (Roscosmos); Roscosmos was established in 2015 from a merger of the Federal Space Agency and the state-owned United Rocket and Space Corporation; began as the Russian Space Agency (RSA or RKA) in 1992 and restructured in 1999 and 2004 as the Russian Aviation and Space Agency and then the Federal Space Agency); the Russian Space Forces (Kosmicheskie voyska Rossii, KV) are part of the Russian Aerospace Forces (Vozdushno-Kosmicheskiye Sily, VKS) (2024)

note: Russia’s space strategy is defined jointly by Roscosmos and the Ministry of Defense; prior to the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, the USSR’s space program was dispersed amongst several civil and military organizations

Space launch site(s)

Baikonur Cosmodrome (Kazakhstan); Vostochny Cosmodrome (Amur Oblast); Plesetsk Cosmodrome (Arkhangel'sk Oblast); Kapustin Yar (Astrakhan Oblast); Yasny Launch Base (Orenburg Oblast) (2024)

note 1: the Baikonur cosmodrome and the surrounding area are leased and administered by Russia until 2050 for approximately $115 million/year; the cosmodrome was originally built by the Soviet Union in the mid-1950s and is the site of the World's first successful satellite launch (Sputnik) in 1957; it is also the largest space launch facility in the World, comprising 15 launch pads for space launch vehicles, four launch pads for testing intercontinental ballistic missiles, more than 10 assembly and test facilities, and other infrastructure 

note 2: in 2018, Kazakhstan and Russia agreed that Kazakhstan would build, maintain, and operate a new space launch facility (Baiterek) at the Baikonur space center (estimated to be ready for operations in 2025)

Space program overview

has one of the world’s largest space programs and is active across all areas of the space sector; builds, launches, and operates rockets/space launch vehicles (SLVs), satellites, space stations, interplanetary probes, and manned, robotic, and re-usable spacecraft; has astronaut (cosmonaut) training program and conducts human space flight; researching and developing a broad range of other space-related technologies; participates in international space programs such as the International Space Station (ISS); prior to Russia’s 2022 full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Russia had relations with dozens of foreign space agencies and commercial entities, including those of China, the European Space Agency (ESA), India, Japan, and the US; Roscosmos and its public subsidiaries comprise the majority of the Russian space industry; Roscosmos has eight operating areas, including manned space flights, launch systems, unmanned spacecraft, rocket propulsion, military missiles, space avionics, special military space systems, and flight control systems; private companies are also involved in a range of space systems, including satellites, telecommunications, remote-sensing, and geo-spatial services (2024)

note: further details about the key activities, programs, and milestones of the country’s space program, as well as government spending estimates on the space sector, appear in Appendix S


Terrorist group(s)

Terrorist group(s): Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS)

note: details about the history, aims, leadership, organization, areas of operation, tactics, targets, weapons, size, and sources of support of the group(s) appear(s) in Appendix-T

Transnational Issues

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 1,212,585 (Ukraine) (as of 30 June 2023)

IDPs: 7,500 (2022)

stateless persons: 56,960 (mid-year 2021); note - Russia's stateless population consists of Roma, Meskhetian Turks, and ex-Soviet citizens from the former republics; between 2003 and 2010 more than 600,000 stateless people were naturalized; most Meskhetian Turks, followers of Islam with origins in Georgia, fled or were evacuated from Uzbekistan after a 1989 pogrom and have lived in Russia for more than the required five-year residency period; they continue to be denied registration for citizenship and basic rights by local Krasnodar Krai authorities on the grounds that they are temporary illegal migrants

Trafficking in persons

tier rating: Tier 3 — Russia does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so, therefore, Russia remained on Tier 3; despite the lack of significant efforts, the government facilitated the return of Russian children from Syria, some of whom may have been trafficking victims; however, a government policy or pattern of trafficking of Ukrainian citizens and North Korean workers continued; officials reportedly forced, deceived, or coerced foreign national adults to fight in Russia’s war against Ukraine or subjected some to forced labor in detention; the government continued to perpetuate North Korea’s imposition of forced labor on North Korean workers and circumvented UN Security Council resolutions prohibiting North Korean overseas labor; officials did not identify any trafficking victims, and efforts to prosecute and convict traffickers decreased; the government offered no funding or programs to provide services for trafficking victims and routinely penalized victims for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked; officials did not draft a national strategy or assign roles and responsibilities within the government to combat human trafficking; the government's forced transfer of thousands of Ukrainian children to Russia—including separating some children from parents or guardians—greatly increased their vulnerability to trafficking; Russia’s war against Ukraine has created millions of Ukrainian refugees and internally displaced persons who are highly vulnerable to trafficking (2023)

Illicit drugs

a destination country for heroin and other Afghan opiates; a transit country for cocaine from South America, especially Ecuador to Europe, Belgium and Netherlands; synthetic drugs are produced in clandestine drug laboratories throughout the country; marijuana cultivated in Russian Far East and the North Caucasus; the majority of hashish is smuggled in from Northern Africa