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[2006-07-27] There 49 oblasts (oblastey, singular - oblast), 21 republics ........
.......... (respublik, singular - respublika), 10 autonomous okrugs (avtonomnykh okrugov, singular - avtonomnyy okrug), 6 krays (krayev, singular - kray), 2 federal cities (singular - gorod), and 1 autonomous oblast (avtonomnaya oblast') : oblasts: Amur (Blagoveshchensk), Arkhangel'sk, Astrakhan', Belgorod, Bryansk, Chelyabinsk, Chita, Irkutsk, Ivanovo, Kaliningrad, Kaluga, Kamchatka (Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy), Kemerovo, Kirov, Kostroma, Kurgan, Kursk, Leningrad, Lipetsk, Magadan, Moscow, Murmansk, Nizhniy Novgorod, Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Orenburg, Orel, Penza, Perm', Pskov, Rostov, Rya [...]
[2006-07-27] Life expectancy at birth in Russia
Total population: 67.66 years; Russian Male: 62.46 years; Russian Female: 73.11 years (2003 est.) [...]
[2006-07-27] Ethnic groups that make up the population
Russian 81.5%, Tatar 3.8%, Ukrainian 3%, Chuvash 1.2%, Bashkir 0.9%, Belarusian 0.8%, Moldavian 0.7%, other 8.1% (1989) [...]
[2006-07-27] Literacy rate (Definition: age 15 and over can read and write):
Total population: 99.6%; Male: 99.7%; Female: 99.5% (2003 est.) [...]
[2006-07-27] Major Russia Industries list
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; 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 [...]
[2006-07-27] School system:
Russian children go to school at the age between 6 and 7. They attend school for 10 years and then finish it at 16 (or17). If one does not perform properly during the acadenic year and one's grades are below satisfactory, he or she can be forced to study the failed year again ('to be left for the second year' as it is said here in Russia). They usually spend all the ten years in one building as all the three schools are in the same building. [...]
[2006-07-27] Agriculture:
grain, sugar beets, sunflower seed, vegetables, fruits; beef, milk GDP: purchasing power parity - $1.409 trillion (2002 est.) GDP per capita: purchasing power parity - $9,700 (2002 est.) Currency: Russian ruble (RUR) [...]
[2006-07-27] Family unit (role of women and children):
Women and old women are much respected. It’s considered polite if while being in the metro and seeing a woman or an old woman coming in and there’re no free seats, man offers her his seat. Women make 46.9% of the employed population in Russia . The greatest proportion of working women are in public health service (85%), education (81%), credit and finance (78%), information and accounting services (75%), whilst the lowest share is in the construction industry (22%). The Russian population is increasingly abandoning a tradition of maintaining large, extended families--a family form that was q [...]
[2006-07-27] Misc. interesting facts:
It is the 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; Mount Elbrus is Europe 's tallest peak. Independence Day: 24 August 1991 (from Soviet Union) National Holiday: Russia Day, 12 June (1990) Radio Broadcast stations: AM 420, FM 447, shortwave 56 [...]
[2006-07-27] Handicrafts
Matryoshka – the traditional Russian doll has symbolized Russian folk art since the end of the 19th century; Woodburn or Pokerwork dolls are the distinctive plain wooden dolls that have designs burned into the wood using a hot poker; Other crafts are: shawls, brooches, lacquer boxes, enamel jewelry, wooden toys, and metal trays [...]
[2006-07-27] Mysteries & Secrets - Ivan the Terrible
Ivan IV was only three years old when he succeeded his father, Basil III, as grand prince of Moscow in 1533, and for five years his mother served as regent while the boy was educated in statecraft. But when she died, possibly a poison victim, he became the center of a power struggle among several factions of boyars, or noblemen. At the age of 13 he made a decisive move, ordering one of the rivals arrested in his presence and later executed. It was a cruel age. Fortunately, there was a restraining influence in the person of the metropolitan Makary of the Russian Orthodox Church. At 16, Iva [...]
[2006-07-27] The first USSR stamps were released in 192
The were devoted to the First All-Russian agricultural and handicraft exhibition. The artist – G.Pashkov. The first RF stamps were released on January 14 1992. The first Russian stamps were devoted to the Winter Olympic Games in Albervillew. The artist – Yu.Artsimenev. The RF post miniature is valued both in this country and abroad.We have a lot of international awards. The first commemorative series containing 17 stamps was released in 1913 and marked the 300th anniversary of the Romanovs. The first Russian charitable postage stamps with the extra charge in favor of soldiers' orphans were [...]
[2006-07-27] Instead of a Birthday Cake...............
............... many Russian children are given a Birthday Pie!Instead of using icing to spell a message, Russian Birthday Pies have the message carved into the pie crust. [...]
[2006-07-27] Music During the Soviet Regime
Shostakovich's Fifth Symphony, 4th Movement I first became fully aware of and appreciative of Shostakovich's music when I was a junior in High School, in 1972. I played clarinet in the concert band and was on my way to All-State. One of the pieces we played was the final movement to Shostakovich's Fifth Symphony. It was not an easy piece, but one of the most stirring I'd played before or since. Curiosity prompted me to find out more about this, still living, Soviet composer. Like many other aspects of life, composers were not immune to Soviet restrictions and demands. While they were seen as [...]
[2006-07-27] Origins of the Slavic Cross
is common knowledge that the Cross is the primarily symbol of Christianity. It represents Christ's execution for the sins of humanity. The use of the Cross to identify Christianity and Christians was started by the Emperor Constantine. When he made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire, he replaced the eagles, which symbolized the god Caesar, with the Cross of Christ. Different Christian traditions have developed a variety of Cross designs over the two millennium since Christ's death. One such Cross is the Slavic Cross used by the Russian Orthodox Church. The Slavic Cross i [...]
[2006-07-27] Russian Spas
The mineral springs of Stavropolsky krai, known as the Russian Baden-Baden, have opened their 2006 season. Four major resorts there - Kislovodsk, Pyatigorsk, Essentuki and Zheleznovodsk - are filling up fast, despite their proximity to Chechnya and the other less-troubled, but still somewhat "rugged" republics in Russia's Caucasus region. Holiday-travelers come here for three weeks of bliss in 1980s-era resort centers, to repair their health with mineral baths and drinks, and to stroll around the four cities' magnificent parks. It's hard to scare Russians away, when they set their minds on ta [...]
[2006-07-27] Ded Moroz
Pere Noel, Weihnachtsmann, Sinterklaas, Shakhta Babah, Santa Clausa, Ded Moroz . . . Whatever you call him, the Gift Giver of Christmas owes his existence and spirit of generosity to St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra. Nicholas' Feast Day is December 6 and has been observed in Russia for centuries where St. Nicholas was once known as Father Christmas. St. Nicholas is, also, a Saint in the Roman Catholic Church. During the Soviet Era, the celebration of the Nativity of Christ was forbidden. But, the spirit of St. Nicholas endured in the person of Ded Moroz, Grandfather Frost. The Russian Orthodox C [...]
[2006-07-27] Mealtime in Russia
As in many cultures, the kitchen is the favorite or central spot of the home. Russia is not different. It is where families gather for meals, friends get together to chat over a cup of tea and welcomed guests feel the warmth of Russian hospitality. Depending on where you are from, we refer to the three meals of the day differently. To most Americans, these are breakfast, lunch and dinner or supper. Russians start the day with breakfast or zavtrak. It is a hearty meal, unlike most Americans who either skip breakfast or just grab a quick bagel. A Russian breakfast will include a protein such a [...]
[2006-07-27] Mealtime in Russia
As in many cultures, the kitchen is the favorite or central spot of the home. Russia is not different. It is where families gather for meals, friends get together to chat over a cup of tea and welcomed guests feel the warmth of Russian hospitality. Depending on where you are from, we refer to the three meals of the day differently. To most Americans, these are breakfast, lunch and dinner or supper. Russians start the day with breakfast or zavtrak. It is a hearty meal, unlike most Americans who either skip breakfast or just grab a quick bagel. A Russian breakfast will include a protein such a [...]
[2006-07-27] Wine Embargo
Russia may face another politically-induced deficit. This time it is wines. Reds and whites from Georgia and Moldova became non grata in Russia, after consumer rights watchdog Gennady Onishchenko called for a suspension of wine imports from the two countries on health and sanitation grounds. Georgian and Moldovan wines were found to contain high levels of pesticides and heavy metals, Onishchenko said. Both countries stood up to defend the quality of their wines, saying it was political, not ecological concerns that were at issue. Russia's ban on wine was soon followed by bans on champagne an [...]
[2006-07-27] Blini
Blini (BLEE-nee) are small, leavened buckwheat pancakes which are traditionally served with sour cream, caviar or smoked salmon. The singular for blini is blin. Blini is, traditionally, eaten during Shrovetide, an ancient Russian festival, which originated to celebrate the beginning of spring and the god Volos (Veles). Volos was the god of animals, pets and especially cattle. With the introduction of Christianity, Shrovetide marked the onset of Lent and was closely watched by the Church. The pagan god, Volos, was replaced with St. Blasius, patron saint of domesticated animals. While its orig [...]
[2006-07-27] Demographic Woes
Russia's natural population decline, which could total 30 percent by 2035, according to the grimmest forecasts, is being partially offset through immigration. But Russian legislators did not seem to see the silver lining on this grey cloud as they set about discussing Russia's new law on migration. Over 20 million persons migrate to Russia each year, half of them illegally, Federal Migration Service head Konstantin Romodanovsky told Duma deputies, as reported by RIAN. This post-Soviet immigration wave is carrying in ethnic Russians, stuck in other republics after collapse of the USSR, where t [...]
[2006-07-27] Drinking in Russia
What do you drink or not drink in Russia? Let's start with the water. We have noted that it is not the norm to find ice in soft drinks, etc. This is typical of many European countries. Hotels and restaurants, which cater to tourists, will offer ice. But, take caution. Scientists consider about a fourth of Russia's water to be unsafe. Some areas are tainted by a parasite which will cause most unpleasant results. In short, the best thing to do is consume bottled water. If the water is not considered safe, then, neither is the ice! Tea was introduced in Russia by the Mongols in the 1600's. It is [...]
[2006-07-27] Drinking in Russia
What do you drink or not drink in Russia? Let's start with the water. We have noted that it is not the norm to find ice in soft drinks, etc. This is typical of many European countries. Hotels and restaurants, which cater to tourists, will offer ice. But, take caution. Scientists consider about a fourth of Russia's water to be unsafe. Some areas are tainted by a parasite which will cause most unpleasant results. In short, the best thing to do is consume bottled water. If the water is not considered safe, then, neither is the ice! Tea was introduced in Russia by the Mongols in the 1600's. It is [...]
[2006-07-27] One million Russia lives were lost.........
......... but, Hitler was turned back and Russia can be credited with changing the tide of WWII in Europe. Hitler redirected his 4th Panzer Army to Stalingrad in July of 1942. Stalingrad, renamed Volgograd (1961), sprawls thirty miles along the banks of the Volga River in south-western Russia. To find Volgograd, look directly down from Moscow to the band of land separating the Black and Caspian Seas. Here you will find this industrial city at the crossroads between Ukraine and Kazakh. Today, Volgograd is a beautiful, prospering city. But, in 1942, she was the scene of one of the bloodiest batt [...]
[2006-07-27] Russian Ladies in Space
On July 25, 1984, Svetlana Savitskaya became the first woman to walk in space. She, along with fellow cosmonaut, Vladimir Dzhanibekov, conducted experiments on the Salyut 7 space station. The walk lasted 3.58 hours and was part of the Soyuz T-12 mission, Savitskaya's last. Igor Petrovich Volk rounded out this 3 person crew. After returning to Earth on July 29, 1984, Savitskaya was slated to command an all female Soyuz crew to the space station in commemoration of National Women's Day. The mission was scrubbed due to the lack of Soyuz T availability and various troubles with the space station [...]
[2006-07-27] Matryoshka ~ Soul of Russia
At one time or another, most of us have been fascinated with the colorfully painted matryoshka (ma-TRYOSH-ka; plural ma-TRYOSH-kee}or nesting dolls. They come in a variety of sizes, characters and number of dolls nested one inside the other. How did the matryoshka come to be and why? First of all, the name, also spelled matriosha, was a popular name for girls. It is believed that it was derived from the Latin word, mater, which means mother or, more to the point, grandmother. A peasant mother of old Russia often tended to a large family. The largest doll is the grandmother with future generati [...]
[2006-07-27] Did you know...
...just to what extent climate and geography controlled everyday life? Of course it still does, but for us, in the heat of summer, it's a matter of flicking the A/C on, or taking refuge in the library, or in a nice neighborhood pool without waves or treacherous currents, and with some nice lifeguards on duty . Or in the winter, we all have efficient furnaces without bothersome smoke, fireplaces that are almost as safe as electric radiators. In 12th-century Russia, in Novgorod, the climate was not unlike that of the upper Midwest today. The winters were long: the first frost probably ca [...]
[2006-07-27] To Go or Not to Go?
Did you know that in Russia, spring and fall were the worst times of year for travel, and that the best time was not summer, but winter? Most of the territory of Russia was (er, still is, actually) very rich in rivers. With a rather wet climate (heavy snowfall, abundant rain), it was muddy, marshy and boggy for a good part of the year. Spring with its run-off from the melting snow made it impossible to travel by land, and the breaking-up of the ice made it too dangerous to navigate the rivers. Fall, with its rainfall, was also too muddy. The short summer was devoted to planting and harve [...]
[2006-07-27] If You Are Hungry...
Did you know what foods were eaten in medieval Russia? It is simple enough to deduce what foods were not part of the diet, since some staples of modern Russian cuisine are New World foods: potatoes, tomatoes, corn, green peppers. And some standard foodstuffs are as old as the land (or almost): rye, wheat, millet, barley, oats. These grains were used predominantly to prepare sourdough bread. Buckwheat was introduced only in the XV century, but as we know, it has become one of the most common foods in Russian cuisine. Grains were also used to prepare a variety of porridges ("kasha" [...]
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