Russia

BY: Samuel Rucks

Russia on a Map

Population: 143,300,000
Capitol: Moscow
Currency: Ruble
GDP: $3.015 trillion

History

Tradition says the Viking Rurik came to Russia in 862 and founded the first Russian dynasty in Novgorod. The various tribes were united by the spread of Christianity in the 10th and 11th centuries; Vladimir “the Saint” was converted in 988. During the 11th century, the grand dukes of Kiev held such centralizing power as existed. In 1240, Kiev was destroyed by the Mongols, and the Russian territory was split into numerous smaller dukedoms. Early dukes of Moscow extended their dominion over other Russian cities through their office of tribute collector for the Mongols and because of Moscow's role as an administrative and trade center

Culture

Russia has 160 ethnic groups speak some 100 languages. According to the 2002 census, 142.6 million people speak Russian, followed by Tatar with 5.3 million and Ukrainian  with 1.8 million speakers. Russian is the only official state language, but the Constitution gives the individual republics  the right to make their native language co-official next to Russian. Despite its wide dispersal, the Russian language is homogeneous throughout Russia. Russian is the most geographically widespread language of Eurasia and the most widely spoken slavik language.

Religion

Out of 142,800,000 58,800,000 are Russian Orthodox, 9,400,000 are Muslims, 5,900,000 are unaffiliated Christians, 2,100,000 of other Orthodox Christians, 1,700,000 are Pagans, 700,000 are Buddhists, 400,000 are Orthodox Old Believers, 300,000 Protestants, 140,000 are including Hindus, 140,000 are Catholics, 140,000 are Jews. The remaining population is made up of 36,000,000 "spiritual but not religious" people, 18,600,000 atheist people and 7,900,000 people or 5.5% of the total population who have deemed themselves "undecided"