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Russia (Russian: Россия, Rossiya, Russian pronunciation:  [rɐˈsʲijə]), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. It is the largest country in the world, covering over 17 million square kilometres (6.6×10^6 sq mi), and encompassing more than one-eighth of Earth's inhabited land area. Russia extends across eleven time zones, and has borders with sixteen sovereign nations. It has a population of 146.2 million; and is the most populous country in Europe, and the ninth-most populous country in the world. Moscow, the capital, is the largest city in Europe, while Saint Petersburg is the nation's second-largest city and cultural centre. Russians are the largest Slavic and European nation; they speak Russian, the most spoken Slavic language, and the most spoken native language in Europe.

The East Slavs emerged as a recognisable group in Europe between the 3rd and 8th centuries AD. The medieval state of Rus' arose in the 9th century. In 988, it adopted Orthodox Christianity from the Byzantine Empire, beginning the synthesis of Byzantine and Slavic cultures that defined Russian culture for the next millennium. Rus' ultimately disintegrated until it was finally reunified by the Grand Duchy of Moscow in the 15th century. By the 18th century, the nation had greatly expanded through conquest, annexation, and exploration to become the Russian Empire, the third-largest empire in history. Following the Russian Revolution, the Russian SFSR became the largest and leading constituent of the Soviet Union, the world's first constitutionally socialist state, which was a one-party state throughout most of its existence. The Soviet Union played a decisive role in the Allied victory in World War II, and emerged as a superpower and rival to the United States during the Cold War. The Soviet era saw some of the most significant technological achievements of the 20th century, including the world's first human-made satellite and the launching of the first human in space. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Russian SFSR reconstituted itself as the Russian Federation. In the aftermath of the constitutional crisis of 1993, a new constitution was adopted, and Russia has since been governed as a federal semi-presidential republic. Vladimir Putin has dominated Russia's political system since 2000, and his government has been accused of authoritarianism, numerous human rights abuses, and corruption. ( Full article...)

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Salt Riot, by E. Lissner

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Ukrainian oladky

Oladyi ( Russian: оладьи pl., diminutive: оладушки, oladushki, sg. оладья, oladya; Ukrainian: оладки, oladky, sg. оладок, oladok or оладка, oladka) are small thick pancakes or fritters common in Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian cuisines. The batter for oladyi is made from wheat or (nowadays more rarely) buckwheat flour, eggs, milk, salt and sugar with yeast or baking soda. The batter may also be based on kefir, soured milk or yoghurt. It may contain various additions, such as apple or raisins.

Oladyi are usually served with smetana ( sour cream), as well as with sweet toppings such as varenye, jam, powidl, honey etc. Savoury versions may be served with caviar, similarly to blini. ( Full article...)

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Nikita Khrushchev in East Berlin in June 1963 observing East German leader Walter Ulbricht's 70th birthday

Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev (15 April [ O.S. 3 April] 1894 – 11 September 1971) led the Soviet Union as the First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964 and as chairman of the country's Council of Ministers from 1958 to 1964. During his rule, Khrushchev stunned the communist world with his denunciation of Stalin's crimes and began de-Stalinization. He sponsored the early Soviet space program, and enactment of relatively liberal reforms in domestic policy. After some false starts, and a narrowly avoided nuclear war over Cuba, he conducted successful negotiations with the United States to reduce Cold War tensions. His proclivity toward recklessness led the Kremlin leadership to strip him of power, replacing him with Leonid Brezhnev as First Secretary and Alexei Kosygin as Premier.

Khrushchev was born in 1894 in a village in western Russia. He was employed as a metal worker during his youth, and he was a political commissar during the Russian Civil War. Under the sponsorship of Lazar Kaganovich, he worked his way up the Soviet hierarchy. He supported Joseph Stalin's purges and approved thousands of arrests. In 1938, Stalin sent him to govern the Ukrainian SSR, and he continued the purges there. During what was known in the Soviet Union as the Great Patriotic War ( Eastern Front of World War II), Khrushchev was again a commissar, serving as an intermediary between Stalin and his generals. Khrushchev was present at the bloody defense of Stalingrad, a fact he took great pride in throughout his life. After the war, he returned to Ukraine before being recalled to Moscow as one of Stalin's close advisers. ( Full article...)

In the news

18 June 2021 – COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 pandemic in Russia
Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin closes the Euro 2020 fan zone due to an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the Russian capital. (DW)
17 June 2021 – COVID-19 pandemic
Kyrgyzstan receives a shipment of 80,000 doses of the Russian Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine. (
16 June 2021 – 2021 Russia–United States summit, Russia–United States relations
U.S. President Joe Biden meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a summit meeting in Geneva. (CBS News)
14 June 2021 – Russia–United States relations
Russian President Vladimir Putin defends himself from accusations of hacking and suppressing dissent, saying that the United States also does the same. (Yahoo! News)
14 June 2021 –
American intelligence specialist Reality Winner, who was convicted in 2018 for leaking an NSA report on Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections to news site The Intercept, is released from prison. (CNBC)


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Garry Kasparov
I think Russian people are learning that democracy is not an alien thing; it's not a western invention. It's probably the most affordable mechanism to solve problems inside the country, inside the society because Putin proved to all of us that democracy has a world of alternatives, security forces and police and power abuse and that's why I think eventually the people of Russia will embrace democracy as the least costly institution to help them to solve their daily problems.
Garry Kasparov, 2005

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