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TOTAL AREA - 17,075,200 sq km (The largest country in the world)

POPULATION - 145,470,197 (8.5 per sq km. 40% are below poverty line)

CAPITAL CITY - Moscow (population 10,126,424)

TEMP - West: -8c to 17c. East: -12c to 20c. Extreme: -42c to 36c.

TERRAIN - West of Urals: plains, low hills. Siberia: plains, vast forests, tundra. South: uplands, mountains.

LAND USE - Forest 46%, Arable land 8%, Permanent pasture 4%, Permanent crops 0%

LARGEST REGION - Siberia (Larger than the 2nd largest country in the world which is Canada)

ETHNIC GROUPS - Russian 81.5%, Tatar 3.8%, Ukrainian 3%, Other 11.7%
LANGUAGE / RELIGION - Russian / Russian Orthodox, Muslim

CURRENCY / INFLATION - Russian Ruble (RUR) / Inflation 10.5%

EXPORTS - Petroleum, Natural Gas, Timber, Metals, Chemicals

LABOUR FORCE - Services 55%, Industry 30%, Agriculture 15%

RAILWAYS - 149,000 km (86,000 common use + 63,000 specific industries)

WATERWAYS - 95,900 km (total routes in general use)

HIGHWAYS - 952,000 km (336,000 paved + 616,000 unpaved)

1237 : Russia invaded by Mongols destroying major cities
1240 : Mongol Golden Horde empire ruled by Mongol Tatars in south
1552 : Tatars ousted by Ivan the Terrible in Volga region
1581 : Infiltration of Siberia started by the Cossacks
1613 : Tsar Michael Romanov elected, the family ruled to 1917
1689 : Armed forces setup by Peter the Great, who also rules the church
1772 : Expansion to Crimea, Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldavia, Georgia
1812 : Russia defeats Napoleons invasion assisting in his downfall
1834 : Bid to annex North Caucasus leads to war with the Chechens
1853 : Crimean War with Turkey and their allies France, Britain, Austria
1860 : Serfdom ended by introduction of Emancipation Edict
1862 : Industrialisation leads to growth of working class and revolution
1865 : Area of Central Asian republics is annexed
1877 : Russo-Turk war in the Balkans, another bid to expand to the Med
1891 : Work starts on the Trans-Siberian Railway
1897 : Social Democratic Party founded
1900 : Trans-Siberian Railway, Moscow to Vladivostok via Baikal opened
1903 : SDP splits into Bolshevik and Menshevik factions
1904 : War with Japan following Russian expansion into Manchuria
1905 : Revolution forces Tsar Nicholas II to form parliament
1914 : Conflict with Austria in Balkans leads to World War I
1916 : Trans-Siberian Railway, Moscow direct to Vladivostok is opened
1917 : Bolsheviks overthrow government in October Revolution
1917 : Winter Palace captured, Tsar Nicholas Romanov is killed
1918 : Treaty ends war with Germany, but Russian Empire collapses
1920 : Civil War between Red Army and White Russian anti-communists
1922 : Formation of Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
1941 : Germany invades Russia bringing them into World War II
1990 : USSR collapses, Russia and all other states become independent
1995 : Communist Party win largest share of vote in new elections
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