History of Russia 3
Hymn, flag, emblem 3
Geographic Landmarks 4
The Russians 5
The tourism and rate in Russia 8
Russia is situated in the North part of Eurasian continent and has the area of 17,1 million square kilometres. About 1/3 of the Russian territory is situated in Europe, and occupies the main part of the Russian (East-Europe) plain, and also Ural, Pre-Caucasus and north slope of the Big Caucasus. The Asiatic part of Russia is 2/3 of the territory and it includes Siberia and Far East. Russia has outlets to the seas of the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic Oceans.
The west extremity of Russia is near Kaliningrad city (in longitude 19'38» West), and the east extremity is in the Bering Sea, Ratmanov Island (east boundary of Russia with the USA). Because of the huge length of the country by longitude, there is the great difference in time between the west and east parts of the country (there are 11 time zones there). The north extremity is on the Rudolf island in Frans-Iosif land archipelago (in latitude 81'49» North), and the south extremity in on the ridge of the Main Caucasus Ridge (in latitude 41'12» South). And the highest point of Russia is also situated on Caucasus Elbrus Mountain (5642 metres).
Russia has the origin in Kiev Russia, which many lands of Northwest and Central Russia belonged to. Moscow principality arose in XIII XV centuries, which was the first core of forming the new state, the territory of which was from Baltic Sea to the Pacific to the beginning of XVIII century. In the middle of XIII century Russia was under the Mongol-Tatar yoke, and Russia was fighting for its overthrow for 250 years. In XVI–XVII centuries Russia started to be multinational: nations of Volga region, Ural, Siberia became the part of it. During XVII–XVIII centuries Russia tried to return lands, which were lost before and got the outlet to the Baltic Sea and secured its south boundaries. In 1654 Russia was consolidated with Ukraine.
With the dissolution of the Soviet Union there has been an enormous resurgence of interest in Russia's pre-Soviet past, as well as a great deal of debate and reconsideration of the Soviet era itself. This shift has not resulted in a simple vilification of everything Soviet or a naive embrace of all that preceded it, but it has spurred an unprecedented effort to regain the ancient Russian national heritage. Churches are being restored all across the country, great Russian writers and artists whose works were banned are once again being honored, and the individual character of ancient cities and communities is once again becoming established. Next year, the city of Moscow is celebrating its 850th Anniversary, a celebration that will mark the recovery, as well as the commemoration, of its glorious past.
For most western visitors, the bulk of Russia's history is nothing more than a compendium of hazy legends and sensationalist rumours–from scurrilous stories about Catherine the Great to tabloid television reports of the miraculous survival of the children of Nicholas II. However, the factual history of the country is no less compelling than its fabulous history, and even a brief introduction to the great and not-so-great figures of its past make a visit far more rewarding.
The State Emblem of Russian Empire since XV century had been a double eagle. Its shape changed lots of times & the last variant (1883) was close to the Russian Federation Emblem that is in force nowadays (with significant difference – there were emblems of provinces on the eagle's wings).
At the time of Provisional Government (from March till November of 1917) the Emblem had been a double eagle without the symbols of royal power (now it is on the coins of 1, 2 & 5 rubles value). The State Emblem of Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (picture of golden Sickle & Hummer crisscross, their shafts down, in the red background, in the sun rays, in the setting of ears, with the legend 'RSFSR' & 'Proletarians of all countries unite!', with the five-point star on the top of the Emblem) was confirmed by the Constitution of RSFSR accepted on the 10th of July, 1918, that came into force on the 19th of July, 1918; then it was described in the RSFSR Constitutions of 1937 & 1978 (the 'RSFSR' legend was changed to 'Russian Federation' by the amendments to the Constitution of the 21st of April, 1992).
In fact, since the 3rd of December, 1993 the Emblem (the golden double eagle on the red shield, topped with three crowns, with the scepter & orb in its clutches, with the horseman striking the dragon, on the red shield on his breast), confirmed by the B.N. Yeltsin decree N2050 of the 30th of November, 1993 (in the period of 'step-by-step constitutional reform'). The shield with the double eagle (in force since 1993) was confirmed by the federal constitutional law 'About State Emblem of Russian Federation' of the 27th of December, 2000; it was published & came into force on the 27th of December, 2000.
As the world's largest country, Russian has a very diverse geography.
Northern Russian extends into the Arctic Circle. This area is primarily tundra and forests, with thousands of lakes.
Russia has many mountain areas. The Ural mountains cover 2,500 miles of eastern Russia. The Caucasus mountains cross the southern part of Russia, from the Black Sea to the Caspia Sea.
From the western boarder to the Ural mountains is the North European Plain. This is a large rolling plain with rich soil and grasslands.
Three quarters of the Russian population lives in the cities and towns of western Russia. About 25% of the population still live in rural areas.
Russian nation is the basic population of the Russian Federation (119865,9 thousand people), the most numerous of Slavic tribes. Outside the Russian Federation they live in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Byelorussia, Kirghizia, Latvia, Moldova, Estonia, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Lithuania, Turkmenistan, Georgia, Armenia, and also in USA, Canada, the countries of the Western Europe etc. The Russian Language is of east group of Slavic languages of Indo-European family of languages. Writing is on the basis of the Russian alphabet which is going back to Cyrillic. Religion is basically orthodox.
The history of the Russians is very much a history of territorial and ethnic expansion.
In the pre-Christian era, the region that is today called Russia, was inhabited by a variety of nomadic tribes. The Slavic tribes resided in the north. In the 6th c., they started migrating. Gradually they evolved into three basic groups, from which with time different with sub-groups would evolve; the western Slavs (Poles, Slovaks, Czechs), southern Slavs (Slovenes, Croats, Serbs, Bulgars) and eastern Slavs (Belarusians, Russians, Ukrainians). The eastern Slavs expanded easily from the Baltic to the Black Sea, with Kiev and Novgorod as the most important centres.
According to Russian tradition, the first Russian dynasty began as warring Slavic tribes in 862 invited Rurik, a Scandinavian leader, to rule over them. Under the Rurik dynasty, Russia expanded northeast and northwest. Kiev soon became the centre of what is known as Kievan Rus', which reached its imperial peak in the middle of the 11th c. In 988, Prince Vladimir of the Kievan Rus' had decided to convert the empire to Byzantine Orthodox Christianity instead of Roman Catholisism. This contributed to isolate Russia from the West. This isolation was furthered by the Mongol invasion which began in 1223. The Mongols controlled Russia during the two centuries when the Renaissance, the Reformation and the commercial revolution spread across Western Europe. Mongol rule also made the westernmost Russians flee farther to the West to escape. These people eventually became known as Belarusians. The people of Kiev also developed a separate culture and evolved into Ukrainians.
Russian, as well as Ukrainians and Byelorussians, came from the ancient Russian nationality (9–13 centuries), existent from East Slavic tribes during the period of disintegration of tribe relations and creation of the ancient Russian state around Kiev. In opinion of many researchers, the name 'Russian' goes back to the name of one of Slavic tribe – Rodii, Rossy, or Rusy. Alongside with the ancient self-name in 19 – beginning of 20 centuries the name Velikorusy or Velikorossy was used.
Formation of Russian, or Great Russian, nationality took place in severe struggle against the hardest Tatar yoke and during the creation of the Russian centralized state around Moscow in 14–15 centuries. In 16–17 centuries borders of Russian state considerably extended; at this time Russians began to occupy the Lower Volga region, Ural, Northern Caucasus and Siberia. In 18–19 centuries the further expansion of borders of the state was accompanied by moving Russian into the Baltic, Black Sea region, Transcaucasia, Central Asia, Kazakhstan, Far East. Russians came into close contact with peoples living here, influenced them economically and culturally and perceived achievements of their culture and skills of economy.
The Russian empire had now stretched beyond the original «Russian» areas and included many other nationalities. This triggered a series of Russification campaigns under Nicholas I and his successor Alexander II with the slogan «Autocracy, Orthodoxy and Nationality». In 1839 the Uniate church of Ukraine and Belorussia was suppressed, and in the 1860s, the state ordered that all teaching in public schools be conducted in Russian and prohibited non-Russian newspapers and magazines. In the second half of the century, Russian expansion in Caucasus and Central Asia began again. By the mid 1860s, the Caucasians were defeated, and 20 years later the Russians also controlled Central Asia.
In the Far East, the city of Vladivostok was established in 1860 on the coast near the Korean border, after Russia gained the territory between the Amur river and the Korean border through the Treaty of Beijing the same year. The cost of these operations led the tsar to sell Alaska to the USA for a ridiculously low amount of money.
With World War I and the Bolshevik revolution, Russia lost control of Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland, Ukraine, and parts of the Caucasus, as established in the 1918 Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. As the Bolsheviks gained the upper hand in 1919, they by force established Soviet republics in Belarus, Ukraine (both in 1919), Azerbaijan, Armenia (1920) and Georgia (1921). With World War II, the Soviet Union regained most of the lost territories and pushed its sphere of influence further west than ever before.
In the beginning of 20 century on fragments of Russian Empire, the new state Soviet Union, united set of various nationalities, was created. The most numerous nation, however, remained Russians. In 1991 the USSR ceased its existence.
By virtue of specific conditions of development in different areas of the country, in the middle of 19 century there was a number of ethnographic groups among Russians. Largest of them, differing in dialects of language and features in buildings, clothes, some ceremonies etc., – northern and southern Velikorussy. A link between them – middle great Russian group occupying the central area – part of the Volga-Oka rivers land (including Moscow) and the Volga region; it had in its language and culture both north and south great Russian features. Smaller ethnographic groups of Russians – Pomors (on the coast of the White sea), Meshera (in the northern part of Ryazanskaya oblast), various groups of Cossacks and their descendants (on the rivers of Don, Kuban, Ural, Terek, and also in Siberia); old believe groups – «Polyaks» (in Altai), Semeyskiye (in Transbaikalia), «Kamenshiki» (on the river Buhtarma in Kazakhstan); Russians make up special groups in Far North (on the rivers Anadyrs, Indigirka, Kolyma), apprehending many features of environmental peoples. Now these ethnographic groups in many respects have lost the unique features, because of a number of historic and political reasons.
The man never stay at one place. At all times there were travellers that discovered new lands, animals, minerals. They studied our planet for their descendants to know all about it.
As known from historic sources, in the antiquity our ancestors travelled to other countries. So, groups of Krivichi (in the structure of teams of the Kiev princes) went to Tsargrad, i.e. to the Byzantian empire; this reflected in the annals.
Peculiarities of Russian tourism development.
The aspiration to «enlargement of horizon» was initially peculiar to inhabitants of Russia. «The desire to change of places» as a feature of Russian national character was inherent to representatives of different layers of the society.
Because of prevalence of agricultural population over Russia, for a long time there were no conditions for development of mass cognitive tourism. Practically the only kind of travels remained pilgrimage.
Only since Peter's I time it is possible to speak about formation of the all-European tradition of travels in Russia. It is considered, that exactly Peter I, having visited with the purpose of treatment mineral sources of Spa in Belgium, became the first Russian health-resort visitor.
During the reign of Catherine the Great each nobleman had the right to go abroad and return at any time.
From the beginning of XIX century, it is possible to speak about travels abroad as about the usual form of leisure of aristocracy. At this time Russian cultural tradition of travels responded to all leading ideological currents of Europe. Close communications with Germany (because of geographical affinity and traditions) were characteristic. Many figures of Russian culture studied at German universities.
Dynastic communications of Russian imperial family with German ruling houses played the great role in tourist preferences of aristocracy.
Trip abroad was perceived, first of all, by nobiliary youth as a way to escape from class norms and decencies. It was not simple to go abroad at that time. One of memoirists of that time wrote: «Passport for travel abroad costs 500 roubles in silver, it was permitted to go abroad only on business or with the purpose of medical treatment, and in the first case the guarantee of trading firms in reliability of the traveller was required».
To go to travel was possible only under the special sanction of the Emperor, i.e. travel became a symbol of freedom. The German innkeeper from frontier city noticed, that Russians, leaving Russia, are happy «as schoolboys sent on vacation, and coming back, they are sad as people which had a misfortune».
From the beginning of Alexander II reign, to go abroad became much easier, and resort tourism ceased to be the privilege of aristocracy. Travels abroad were included in culture of leisure of the educated and solvent public.
In the whole scale of the international tourism in Russia was significant. At the end of XIX – the beginning of XX century Russians made a considerable part of having a rest on the French sea resorts. The prices there were at that time quite accessible to the average-income person. The same as now, rest abroad frequently was cheaper, than in Yalta. Local tourist business was guided by Russian tourists. In Nice a newspaper in Russian was issued.
Trips abroad were more distributed, than travels over Russia and were more comfortable.
In Russia the first tourist organization appeared in St. Petersburg in 1885. It was «Enterprise for Public Travels to All World Countries» which acquainted compatriots with European countries. It had commercial character and was engaged in the organization of collective trips abroad, creation of hotels for tourists.
The most mass tourist organization in pre-revolutionary Russia became Russian Touring-Club in St. Petersburg, based in 1895 and later transformed in the Russian Society of Tourists. The organization was a member of the international tourist league and united about 5 thousand persons. Magazine «Russian tourist» was issued.
After the first Russian revolution, in the country the period of relatively political stability and economic growth came. The public organizations engaged in socially focused tourism appeared.
After 1917 tourist and excursion activity in the country was continued, but its submission to the purposes and problems of the state became a characteristic feature of Russian tourism. Up to the end of 80th years the distributive system of trips abroad (at which people did not have free choice) operated.
«Shopping-tourism» – old tradition.
The opportunity (which has appeared in the last years) of free choice of route forms usual for the majority of the European countries culture of mass tourism which assumes variety of kinds of tourism on purposes, functions and motives. The increasing number of people get the opportunity of choice of travels to their taste. Influence of tourism on people, economy and environment has got such scales, that it is possible to speak about tourist revolution.
Russian has a rich history. It has a wealth of natural resources including oil, natural gas, minerals and timber. Moscow is the center for many manufacturing industries including cars, steel and other heavy manufacturing.
The southwest has rich farm land. Crops include wheat, barley, oats, potatoes and sunflowers. Some areas include cattle farming. Russia also has a large ocean fishing fleet. Many of these ships have full capabilities to clean, freeze and process the catch.
From the 1500s, Russia was under control of Tsars. In 1917, communist revolutionaries overthrew the Tsar to establish the Soviet Union. Russia was the largest republic in the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union went through considerable political turmoil, and in 1991 abandoned communism for a capitalist style of government. Old state industries were replaced by private enterprise.
The majority of Russians live in the area between St. Petersburg and Moscow. Southeast Russia is also heavily populated.
Russia has a broad mix of ethnic groups.
Russia's large geographical territory gives it a very diverse climate. Its northern coastline borders on the Arctic Ocean, which gives it severe winters. In the south, Russia has hot desert areas.
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Russia after the Fall/Ed. by A.C. Kuchins. – Washington: Carnegia Endowment, 2007