Photos of Russia

Introduction

Background

Founded in the 12th century, the Principality of Muscovy was able to emerge from over 200 years of Mongol domination (13th-15th centuries) and to gradually conquer and absorb surrounding principalities. In the early 17th century, a new ROMANOV Dynasty continued this policy of expansion across Siberia to the Pacific. Under PETER I (ruled 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 in 1917 of the ROMANOV Dynasty. The communists under Vladimir LENIN seized power soon after and formed the USSR. The brutal rule of Iosif STALIN (1928-53) strengthened communist rule 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 adversary of the US 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, but his initiatives inadvertently released forces that by December 1991 led to the dissolution of the USSR into Russia and 14 other independent states.

Following economic and political 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. Russia faces a largely subdued rebel movement in Chechnya and some other surrounding regions, although violence still occurs throughout the North Caucasus.

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

Geography

Location

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

Geographic coordinates

60 00 N, 100 00 E

Area

total: 17,098,242 sq km

land: 16,377,742 sq km

water: 720,500 sq km

country comparison to the world: 1

Area - comparative

approximately 1.8 times the size of the US

Land boundaries

total: 22,408 km

border countries (14): Azerbaijan 338 km, Belarus 1312 km, China (southeast) 4133 km and China (south) 46 km, Estonia 324 km, Finland 1309 km, Georgia 894 km, Kazakhstan 7644 km, North Korea 18 km, Latvia 332 km, Lithuania (Kaliningrad Oblast) 261 km, Mongolia 3452 km, Norway 191 km, Poland (Kaliningrad Oblast) 210 km, Ukraine 1944 km

Coastline

37,653 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

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

Climate

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

Terrain

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

Elevation

mean elevation: 600 m

lowest point: Caspian Sea -28 m

highest point: Gora El'brus (highest point in Europe) 5,642 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% (2011 est.)

arable land: 7.3% (2011 est.)

permanent crops: 0.1% (2011 est.)

permanent pasture: 5.7% (2011 est.)

forest: 49.4% (2011 est.)

other: 37.5% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land

43,000 sq km (2012)

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"

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-Sulfur 85, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Sulfur 94

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

Nationality

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

Languages

Russian (official) 85.7%, Tatar 3.2%, Chechen 1%, other 10.1% (2010 est.)

note: data represent native language spoken

Religions

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: 17.24% (male 12,551,611/female 11,881,297)

15-24 years: 9.54% (male 6,920,070/female 6,602,776)

25-54 years: 43.38% (male 30,240,260/female 31,245,104)

55-64 years: 14.31% (male 8,808,330/female 11,467,697)

65 years and over: 15.53% (male 7,033,381/female 14,971,679) (2020 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 51.2

youth dependency ratio: 27.8

elderly dependency ratio: 23.5

potential support ratio: 4.3 (2020 est.)

Median age

total: 40.3 years

male: 37.5 years

female: 43.2 years (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 52

Birth rate

10 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 190

Death rate

13.4 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 7

Net migration rate

1.7 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 51

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

Urbanization

urban population: 74.8% of total population (2020)

rate of urbanization: 0.18% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)

Major urban areas - population

12.538 million MOSCOW (capital), 5.468 million Saint Petersburg, 1.664 million Novosibirsk, 1.504 million Yekaterinburg, 1.272 million Kazan, 1.258 million Nizhniy Novgorod (2020)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female

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

15-24 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 0.97 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.77 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.47 male(s)/female

total population: 0.86 male(s)/female (2020 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

25.2 years (2013 est.)

Maternal mortality rate

17 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 130

Infant mortality rate

total: 6.5 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 7.3 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 5.6 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 162

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 71.9 years

male: 66.3 years

female: 77.8 years (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 158

Contraceptive prevalence rate

68% (2011)

note: percent of women aged 15-44

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 98.6% of population

rural: 94.2% of population

total: 97.1% of population

unimproved: urban: 1.4% of population

rural: 5.8% of population

total: 2.9% of population (2017 est.)

Physicians density

4.01 physicians/1,000 population (2016)

Hospital bed density

8.1 beds/1,000 population (2017)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 94.8% of population

rural: 78.1% of population

total: 90.5% of population

unimproved: urban: 5.2% of population

rural: 21.9% of population

total: 9.5% of population (2017 est.)

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: intermediate (2020)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea

vectorborne diseases: Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, tickborne encephalitis

note: widespread ongoing transmission of a respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is occurring throughout the Russia; as of 8 December 2020, Russia has reported a total of 2,460,770 cases of COVID-19 or 16,862 cumulative cases of COVID-19 per 1 million population with 296 cumulative deaths per 1 million population

Literacy

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 (2018)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 17%

male: 16.2%

female: 17.9% (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 78

Government

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

Capital

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

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), Arkhangel'sk, Astrakhan', Belgorod, Bryansk, Chelyabinsk, Irkutsk, Ivanovo, Kaliningrad, Kaluga, Kemerovo, Kirov, Kostroma, Kurgan, Kursk, Leningrad, 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', Ul'yanovsk, 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', Zabaykal'sk [Transbaikal] (Chita)

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

autonomous oblast: Yevreyskaya [Jewish] (Birobidzhan)

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

note: 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"

Independence

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)

Constitution

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 2008, 2014, 2020

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

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

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

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

head of government: Premier Mikhail MISHUSTIN (since 16 January 2020); First Deputy Premier Andrey Removich BELOUSOV (since 21 January 2020); Deputy Premiers Yuriy TRUTNEV (since 31 August 2013), Yuriy Ivanovich BORISOV, Tatiana Alekseyevna GOLIKOVA (since 18 May 2018), Dmitriy Yuriyevich GRIGORENKO, Viktoriya Valeriyevna ABRAMCHENKO, Aleksey Logvinovich OVERCHUK, Marat Shakirzyanovich KHUSNULLIN, Dmitriy Nikolayevich CHERNYSHENKO (since 21 January 2020), Aleksandr NOVAK (since 10 November 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 18 March 2018 (next to be held in March 2024); note - for the 2024 presidential election, previous presidential terms are discounted; there is no vice president; premier appointed by the president with the approval of the Duma

election results: Vladimir PUTIN reelected president; percent of vote - Vladimir PUTIN (independent) 77.5%, Pavel GRUDININ (CPRF) 11.9%, Vladimir ZHIRINOVSKIY (LDPR) 5.7%, other 5.8%; Mikhail MISHUSTIN (independent) approved as premier by Duma; vote - 383 to 0

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; 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 on 18 September 2016 (next to be held in fall 2021)

election results:
Federation Council (members appointed); composition - men 145, women 25, percent of women 14.7%

State Duma - United Russia 54.2%, CPRF 13.3%, LDPR 13.1%, A Just Russia 6.2%, Rodina 1.5%, CP 0.2%, other minor parties 11.5%; seats by party - United Russia 343, CPRF 42, LDPR 39, A Just Russia 23, Rodina 1, CP 1, independent 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

note 2: seats by party as of December 2018 - United Russia 341, CPRF 43, LDPR 39, A Just Russia 23, independent 2, vacant 2; composition as of October 2018 - men 393, women 57, percent of women 12.7%; note - total Federal Assembly percent of women 13.2%

Judicial branch

highest courts: 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 [Sergey MIRONOV]
Civic Platform or CP [Rifat SHAYKHUTDINOV]
Communist Party of the Russian Federation or CPRF [Gennadiy ZYUGANOV]
Liberal Democratic Party of Russia or LDPR [Vladimir ZHIRINOVSKIY]
Rodina [Aleksei ZHURAVLYOV]
United Russia [Dmitriy MEDVEDEV]

note: 64 political parties are registered with Russia's Ministry of Justice (as of September 2018), but only four parties maintain representation in Russia's national legislature

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, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC

Diplomatic representation in the US

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

chancery: 2650 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007

telephone: [1] (202) 298-5700, 5701, 5704, 5708

FAX: [1] (202) 298-5735

consulate(s) general: Houston, New York, Seattle

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Jon M. HUNTSMAN, Jr. (since 3 October 2017)

telephone: [7] (495) 728-5000

embassy: Bolshoy Deviatinskiy Pereulok No. 8, 121099 Moscow

mailing address: PSC-77, APO AE 09721

FAX: [7] (495) 728-5090

consulate(s) general: Saint Petersburg, Vladivostok, Yekaterinburg

Flag description

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

note: 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; this flag inspired several other Slav 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

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

Economy

Economic overview

Russia has undergone significant changes since the collapse of the Soviet Union, moving from a centrally planned economy towards a more market-based system. Both economic growth and reform have stalled in recent years, however, and Russia remains a predominantly statist economy with a high concentration of wealth in officials' hands. Economic reforms in the 1990s privatized most industry, with notable exceptions in the energy, transportation, banking, and defense-related sectors. The protection of property rights is still weak, and the state continues to interfere in the free operation of the private sector.

Russia is one of the world's leading producers of oil and natural gas, and is also a top exporter of metals such as steel and primary aluminum. Russia is heavily dependent on the movement of world commodity prices as reliance on commodity exports makes it vulnerable to boom and bust cycles that follow the volatile swings in global prices. The economy, which had averaged 7% growth during the 1998-2008 period as oil prices rose rapidly, has seen diminishing growth rates since then due to the exhaustion of Russia’s commodity-based growth model.

A combination of falling oil prices, international sanctions, and structural limitations pushed Russia into a deep recession in 2015, with GDP falling by close to 2.8%. The downturn continued through 2016, with GDP contracting another 0.2%, but was reversed in 2017 as world demand picked up. Government support for import substitution has increased recently in an effort to diversify the economy away from extractive industries.

GDP real growth rate

1.34% (2019 est.)

2.54% (2018 est.)

1.83% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 161

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

4.4% (2019 est.)

2.8% (2018 est.)

3.7% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 176

Credit ratings

Fitch rating: BBB (2019)

Moody's rating: Baa3 (2019)

Standard & Poors rating: BBB- (2018)

GDP (purchasing power parity) - real

$3,596,444,000,000 (2019 est.)

$3,548,823,000,000 (2018 est.)

$3,461,039,000,000 (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$1,702,361,000,000 (2019 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP)

$12,842 (2019 est.)

$12,684 (2018 est.)

$12,388 (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars

country comparison to the world: 100

Gross national saving

26.5% of GDP (2017 est.)

25.9% of GDP (2016 est.)

26.8% of GDP (2015 est.)

country comparison to the world: 48

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 4.7% (2017 est.)

industry: 32.4% (2017 est.)

services: 62.3% (2017 est.)

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.)

Agriculture - products

grain, sugar beets, sunflower seeds, vegetables, fruits; beef, milk

Industries

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

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 9.4%

industry: 27.6%

services: 63% (2016 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 2.3%

highest 10%: 32.2% (2012 est.)

Budget

revenues: 258.6 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 281.4 billion (2017 est.)

Public debt

15.5% of GDP (2017 est.)

16.1% of GDP (2016 est.)

note: data cover general government debt and include debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intragovernmental debt; intragovernmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment, debt instruments for the social funds are not sold at public auctions

country comparison to the world: 194

Fiscal year

calendar year

Current account balance

$65.311 billion (2019 est.)

$115.68 billion (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 6

Exports

$551.128 billion (2019 est.)

$564.314 billion (2018 est.)

$534.657 billion (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 14

Exports - partners

China 10.9%, Netherlands 10%, Germany 7.1%, Belarus 5.1%, Turkey 4.9% (2017)

Exports - commodities

petroleum and petroleum products, natural gas, metals, wood and wood products, chemicals, and a wide variety of civilian and military manufactures

Imports

$366.919 billion (2019 est.)

$355.022 billion (2018 est.)

$345.926 billion (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 19

Imports - commodities

machinery, vehicles, pharmaceutical products, plastic, semi-finished metal products, meat, fruits and nuts, optical and medical instruments, iron, steel

Imports - partners

China 21.2%, Germany 10.7%, US 5.6%, Belarus 5%, Italy 4.5%, France 4.2% (2017)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$432.7 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$377.7 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 6

Debt - external

$539.6 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$434.8 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 22

Exchange rates

Russian rubles (RUB) per US dollar -

73.7569 (2020 est.)

63.66754 (2019 est.)

66.2 (2018 est.)

60.938 (2014 est.)

38.378 (2013 est.)

Energy

Electricity access

electrification - total population: 100% (2020)

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 31,171,043

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 21.96 (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 7

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 233,342,795

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 164.39 (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 5

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: telecom sector impacted by sanctions related to the annexations in Ukraine; the estimated number of mobile subscribers jumped from fewer than 1 million in 1998 to 255 million in 2016; fixed-line service has improved but a large demand remains; Russia with low broadband penetration is one of Europe's fastest growing markets for fiber-based broadband and moving from DSL to fiber; use by the population of multiple SIM cards; regulator ended roaming charges and works to bring down prices; 4 major operators in the mobile market; deployment of LTE support mobile broadband and data services, mobile on the cusp of 5G (2020)

domestic: cross-country digital trunk lines run from Saint Petersburg to Khabarovsk, and from Moscow to Novorossiysk; the telephone systems in 60 regional capitals have modern digital infrastructures; cellular services, both analog and digital, are available in many areas; in rural areas, telephone services are still outdated, inadequate, and low-density; 22 per 100 for fixed-line and mobile-cellular 164 per 100 persons (2019)

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)

note: the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite - has moderated

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: 114,920,477

percent of population: 80.86% (July 2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 5

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 32,062,780

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 23 (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 5

Transportation

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 mt-km (2018)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 594 (2017)

over 3,047 m: 54 (2017)

2,438 to 3,047 m: 197 (2017)

1,524 to 2,437 m: 123 (2017)

914 to 1,523 m: 95 (2017)

under 914 m: 125 (2017)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 624 (2013)

over 3,047 m: 4 (2013)

2,438 to 3,047 m: 13 (2013)

1,524 to 2,437 m: 69 (2013)

914 to 1,523 m: 81 (2013)

under 914 m: 457 (2013)

Heliports

49 (2013)

Pipelines

177700 km gas, 54800 km oil, 19300 km refined products (2016)

Railways

total: 87,157 km (2014)

narrow gauge: 957 km 1.067-m gauge (on Sakhalin Island) (2014)

broad gauge: 86,200 km 1.520-m gauge (40,300 km electrified) (2014)

note: an additional 30,000 km of non-common carrier lines serve industries

country comparison to the world: 3

Roadways

total: 1,283,387 km (2012)

paved: 927,721 km (includes 39,143 km of expressways) (2012)

unpaved: 355,666 km (2012)

country comparison to the world: 5

Waterways

102,000 km (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) (2009)

country comparison to the world: 2

Merchant marine

total: 2,739

by type: bulk carrier 16, container ship 13, general cargo 899, oil tanker 404, other 1,407 (2019)

country comparison to the world: 9

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Kaliningrad, Nakhodka, Novorossiysk, Primorsk, Vostochnyy

oil terminal(s): Kavkaz oil terminal

container port(s) (TEUs): Saint Petersburg (1,848,700) (2017)

LNG terminal(s) (export): Sakhalin Island

river port(s): Saint Petersburg (Neva River)

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 (National Guard, Russian Guard, or Rosgvardiya): 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; forces include Interior Troops that formerly belong to the Interior Ministry, special police units, rapid response units, and other air, ground, maritime, and police forces

Federal Security Services Border Troops (includes land and maritime forces) (2019)

Military expenditures

3.9% of GDP (2019)

3.8% of GDP (2018)

4.2% of GDP (2017)

5.5% of GDP (2016)

4.9% of GDP (2015)

country comparison to the world: 14

Military and security service personnel strengths

size estimates for the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation vary; approximately 900,000 total active duty troops (400,000 Ground Troops, including 40,000 Airborne Troops; 150,000 Navy; 200,000 Aerospace Forces; 60,000 Strategic Rocket Forces; 90,000 other uniformed personnel (special forces, command and control, support, etc.); est. 200,000 Federal National Guard Troops (2019 est.)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the Russian Federation's military and paramilitary services are equipped with domestically-produced weapons systems, although since 2010 Russia has imported limited amounts of military hardware from Czechia, France, Israel, Italy, Turkey, and Ukraine; the Russian defense industry is capable of designing, developing, and producing a full range of advanced air, land, missile, and naval systems (2019)

Military deployments

est. 3,000-5,000 Armenia; est. 1,500 Belarus; est. 7,000-10,000 Georgia; Central African Republic (est. 300-500); est. 500 Kyrgyzstan; est. 1,500 Moldova; est. 4,000-5,000 Syria; est. 5,000-7,000 Tajikistan; est. 25,000-31,000 Ukraine; contributes approximately 8,000 personnel to CSTO's Rapid Reaction Force (2020)

as of the Fall of 2020, it was assessed that there were approximately 2,000 personnel from a Russian Government-backed private military company in Libya supporting Libyan National Army forces; in addition, there were approximately 2,000 Russian-backed Syrian fighters in Libya

Military service age and obligation

18-27 years of age for compulsory or voluntary military service; males are registered for the draft at 17 years of age; one-year service obligation (Russia offers the option of serving on a two-year contract instead of completing a one-year conscription period); reserve obligation for non-officers to age 50; enrollment in military schools from the age of 16, cadets classified as members of the armed forces (2019)

note: in April of 2019, the Russian government pledged its intent to end conscription

Terrorism

Terrorist group(s)

Aum Shimrikyo (AUM/Aleph); Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham; Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham – Caucasus Province (2019)

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

Disputes - international

Russia remains concerned about the smuggling of poppy derivatives from Afghanistan through Central Asian countries; China and Russia have demarcated the once disputed islands at the Amur and Ussuri confluence and in the Argun River in accordance with the 2004 Agreement, ending their centuries-long border disputes; the sovereignty dispute over the islands of Etorofu, Kunashiri, Shikotan, and the Habomai group, known in Japan as the "Northern Territories" and in Russia as the "Southern Kurils," occupied by the Soviet Union in 1945, now administered by Russia, and claimed by Japan, remains the primary sticking point to signing a peace treaty formally ending World War II hostilities; Russia's military support and subsequent recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia independence in 2008 continue to sour relations with Georgia; Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Russia ratified Caspian seabed delimitation treaties based on equidistance, while Iran continues to insist on a one-fifth slice of the sea; Norway and Russia signed a comprehensive maritime boundary agreement in 2010; various groups in Finland advocate restoration of Karelia (Kareliya) and other areas ceded to the Soviet Union following World War II but the Finnish Government asserts no territorial demands; Russia and Estonia signed a technical border agreement in May 2005, but Russia recalled its signature in June 2005 after the Estonian parliament added to its domestic ratification act a historical preamble referencing the Soviet occupation and Estonia's pre-war borders under the 1920 Treaty of Tartu; Russia contends that the preamble allows Estonia to make territorial claims on Russia in the future, while Estonian officials deny that the preamble has any legal impact on the treaty text; Russia demands better treatment of the Russian-speaking population in Estonia and Latvia; Russia remains involved in the conflict in eastern Ukraine while also occupying Ukraine’s territory of Crimea; Lithuania and Russia committed to demarcating their boundary in 2006 in accordance with the land and maritime treaty ratified by Russia in May 2003 and by Lithuania in 1999; Lithuania operates a simplified transit regime for Russian nationals traveling from the Kaliningrad coastal exclave into Russia, while still conforming, as an EU member state with an EU external border, where strict Schengen border rules apply; preparations for the demarcation delimitation of land boundary with Ukraine have commenced; the dispute over the boundary between Russia and Ukraine through the Kerch Strait and Sea of Azov is suspended due to the occupation of Crimea by Russia; Kazakhstan and Russia boundary delimitation was ratified on November 2005 and field demarcation should commence in 2007; Russian Duma has not yet ratified 1990 Bering Sea Maritime Boundary Agreement with the US; Denmark (Greenland) and Norway have made submissions to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) and Russia is collecting additional data to augment its 2001 CLCS submission

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 41,251 (Ukraine) (2019)

stateless persons: 68,209 (2019); 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

current situation: Russia is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children who are subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; with millions of foreign workers, forced labor is Russia’s predominant human trafficking problem and sometimes involves organized crime syndicates; workers from Russia, other European countries, Central Asia, and East and Southeast Asia, including North Korea and Vietnam, are subjected to forced labor in the construction, manufacturing, agricultural, textile, grocery store, maritime, and domestic service industries, as well as in forced begging, waste sorting, and street sweeping; women and children from Europe, Southeast Asia, Africa, and Central Asia are subject to sex trafficking in Russia; Russian women and children are victims of sex trafficking domestically and in Northeast Asia, Europe, Central Asia, Africa, the US, and the Middle East

tier rating: Tier 3 - Russia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making a significant effort to do so; prosecutions of trafficking offenders remained low in comparison to the scope of Russia’s trafficking problem; the government did not develop or employ a formal system for identifying trafficking victims or referring them to protective services, although authorities reportedly assisted a limited number of victims on an ad hoc basis; foreign victims, the largest group in Russia, were not entitled to state-provided rehabilitative services and were routinely detained and deported; the government has not reported investigating reports of slave-like conditions among North Korean workers in Russia; authorities have made no effort to reduce the demand for forced labor or to develop public awareness of forced labor or sex trafficking (2015)

Illicit drugs

limited cultivation of illicit cannabis and opium poppy and producer of methamphetamine, mostly for domestic consumption; government has active illicit crop eradication program; used as transshipment point for Asian opiates, cannabis, and Latin American cocaine bound for growing domestic markets, to a lesser extent Western and Central Europe, and occasionally to the US; major source of heroin precursor chemicals; corruption and organized crime are key concerns; major consumer of opiates