World War II
World War II known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries; the major participants threw their entire economic and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China, it included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, the only use of nuclear weapons in war. Japan, which aimed to dominate Asia and the Pacific, was at war with China by 1937, though neither side had declared war on the other. World War II is said to have begun on 1 September 1939, with the invasion of Poland by Germany and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by France and the United Kingdom.
From late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or controlled much of continental Europe, formed the Axis alliance with Italy and Japan. Under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union partitioned and annexed territories of their European neighbours, Finland and the Baltic states. Following the onset of campaigns in North Africa and East Africa, the fall of France in mid 1940, the war continued between the European Axis powers and the British Empire. War in the Balkans, the aerial Battle of Britain, the Blitz, the long Battle of the Atlantic followed. On 22 June 1941, the European Axis powers launched an invasion of the Soviet Union, opening the largest land theatre of war in history; this Eastern Front trapped most crucially the German Wehrmacht, into a war of attrition. In December 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack on the United States as well as European colonies in the Pacific. Following an immediate U. S. declaration of war against Japan, supported by one from Great Britain, the European Axis powers declared war on the U.
S. in solidarity with their Japanese ally. Rapid Japanese conquests over much of the Western Pacific ensued, perceived by many in Asia as liberation from Western dominance and resulting in the support of several armies from defeated territories; the Axis advance in the Pacific halted in 1942. Key setbacks in 1943, which included a series of German defeats on the Eastern Front, the Allied invasions of Sicily and Italy, Allied victories in the Pacific, cost the Axis its initiative and forced it into strategic retreat on all fronts. In 1944, the Western Allies invaded German-occupied France, while the Soviet Union regained its territorial losses and turned toward Germany and its allies. During 1944 and 1945 the Japanese suffered major reverses in mainland Asia in Central China, South China and Burma, while the Allies crippled the Japanese Navy and captured key Western Pacific islands; the war in Europe concluded with an invasion of Germany by the Western Allies and the Soviet Union, culminating in the capture of Berlin by Soviet troops, the suicide of Adolf Hitler and the German unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945.
Following the Potsdam Declaration by the Allies on 26 July 1945 and the refusal of Japan to surrender under its terms, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August respectively. With an invasion of the Japanese archipelago imminent, the possibility of additional atomic bombings, the Soviet entry into the war against Japan and its invasion of Manchuria, Japan announced its intention to surrender on 15 August 1945, cementing total victory in Asia for the Allies. Tribunals were set up by fiat by the Allies and war crimes trials were conducted in the wake of the war both against the Germans and the Japanese. World War II changed the political social structure of the globe; the United Nations was established to foster international co-operation and prevent future conflicts. The Soviet Union and United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the nearly half-century long Cold War. In the wake of European devastation, the influence of its great powers waned, triggering the decolonisation of Africa and Asia.
Most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic expansion. Political integration in Europe, emerged as an effort to end pre-war enmities and create a common identity; the start of the war in Europe is held to be 1 September 1939, beginning with the German invasion of Poland. The dates for the beginning of war in the Pacific include the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 July 1937, or the Japanese invasion of Manchuria on 19 September 1931. Others follow the British historian A. J. P. Taylor, who held that the Sino-Japanese War and war in Europe and its colonies occurred and the two wars merged in 1941; this article uses the conventional dating. Other starting dates sometimes used for World War II include the Italian invasion of Abyssinia on 3 October 1935; the British historian Antony Beevor views the beginning of World War II as the Battles of Khalkhin Gol fought between Japan and the fo
Italy the Italian Republic, is a country in Southern Europe. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Austria and the enclaved microstates San Marino and Vatican City. Italy covers an area of 301,340 km2 and has a temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. With around 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth-most populous EU member state and the most populous country in Southern Europe. Due to its central geographic location in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean, Italy has been home to a myriad of peoples and cultures. In addition to the various ancient peoples dispersed throughout modern-day Italy, the most famous of which being the Indo-European Italics who gave the peninsula its name, beginning from the classical era and Carthaginians founded colonies in insular Italy and Genoa, Greeks established settlements in the so-called Magna Graecia, while Etruscans and Celts inhabited central and northern Italy respectively; the Italic tribe known as the Latins formed the Roman Kingdom in the 8th century BC, which became a republic with a government of the Senate and the People.
The Roman Republic conquered and assimilated its neighbours on the peninsula, in some cases through the establishment of federations, the Republic expanded and conquered parts of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. By the first century BC, the Roman Empire emerged as the dominant power in the Mediterranean Basin and became the leading cultural and religious centre of Western civilisation, inaugurating the Pax Romana, a period of more than 200 years during which Italy's technology, economy and literature flourished. Italy remained the metropole of the Roman Empire; the legacy of the Roman Empire endured its fall and can be observed in the global distribution of culture, governments and the Latin script. During the Early Middle Ages, Italy endured sociopolitical collapse and barbarian invasions, but by the 11th century, numerous rival city-states and maritime republics in the northern and central regions of Italy, rose to great prosperity through shipping and banking, laying the groundwork for modern capitalism.
These independent statelets served as Europe's main trading hubs with Asia and the Near East enjoying a greater degree of democracy than the larger feudal monarchies that were consolidating throughout Europe. The Renaissance began in Italy and spread to the rest of Europe, bringing a renewed interest in humanism, science and art. Italian culture flourished, producing famous scholars and polymaths such as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Machiavelli. During the Middle Ages, Italian explorers such as Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci, John Cabot and Giovanni da Verrazzano discovered new routes to the Far East and the New World, helping to usher in the European Age of Discovery. Italy's commercial and political power waned with the opening of trade routes that bypassed the Mediterranean. Centuries of infighting between the Italian city-states, such as the Italian Wars of the 15th and 16th centuries, left the region fragmented, it was subsequently conquered and further divided by European powers such as France and Austria.
By the mid-19th century, rising Italian nationalism and calls for independence from foreign control led to a period of revolutionary political upheaval. After centuries of foreign domination and political division, Italy was entirely unified in 1871, establishing the Kingdom of Italy as a great power. From the late 19th century to the early 20th century, Italy industrialised, namely in the north, acquired a colonial empire, while the south remained impoverished and excluded from industrialisation, fuelling a large and influential diaspora. Despite being one of the main victors in World War I, Italy entered a period of economic crisis and social turmoil, leading to the rise of a fascist dictatorship in 1922. Participation in World War II on the Axis side ended in military defeat, economic destruction and the Italian Civil War. Following the liberation of Italy and the rise of the resistance, the country abolished the monarchy, reinstated democracy, enjoyed a prolonged economic boom and, despite periods of sociopolitical turmoil became a developed country.
Today, Italy is considered to be one of the world's most culturally and economically advanced countries, with the sixth-largest worldwide national wealth. Its advanced economy ranks eighth-largest in the world and third in the Eurozone by nominal GDP. Italy owns the third-largest central bank gold reserve, it has a high level of human development, it stands among the top countries for life expectancy. The country plays a prominent role in regional and global economic, military and diplomatic affairs. Italy is a founding and leading member of the European Union and a member of numerous international institutions, including the UN, NATO, the OECD, the OSCE, the WTO, the G7, the G20, the Union for the Mediterranean, the Council of Europe, Uniting for Consensus, the Schengen Area and many more; as a reflection
A balcony is a platform projecting from the wall of a building, supported by columns or console brackets, enclosed with a balustrade above the ground floor. The traditional Maltese balcony is a wooden closed balcony projecting from a wall. By contrast, a'Juliet balcony' does not protrude out of the building, it is part of an upper floor, with a balustrade only at the front, like a small Loggia. Modern Juliet balconies involve a metal barrier placed in front of a high window which can be opened. Juliet balconies are named after Shakespeare's Juliet, who, in traditional stagings of the play Romeo and Juliet, is courted by Romeo while she is on her balcony—though the play itself, as written, makes no mention of a balcony, but only of a window at which Juliet appears. Various types of balcony have been used in depicting this famous scene; the Julian Balcony is a larger version of the well-known Juliet Balcony, protruding from the wall, unlike the smaller Juliet balcony, spanning at least two windows rather than one.
Sometimes balconies are adapted for ceremonial purposes, e.g. that of St. Peter's Basilica at Rome, when the newly elected pope gives his blessing urbi et orbi after the conclave. Inside churches, balconies are sometimes provided for the singers, in banqueting halls and the like for the musicians. A unit with a regular balcony will have doors that open up onto a small patio with railings, a small Patio garden or Skyrise greenery. A French balcony is a false balcony, with doors that open to a railing with a view of the courtyard or the surrounding scenery below. In theatres, the balcony was a stage-box, but the name is now confined to the part of the auditorium above the dress circle and below the gallery. Balconies are part of the sculptural shape of the building allowing for irregular facades without the cost of irregular internal structures. One of the most famous uses of a balcony is in traditional stagings of the scene that has come to be known as the "balcony scene" in William Shakespeare's tragedy and Juliet.
Manufacturers' names for their balcony designs refer to the origin of the design, e.g. Italian balcony, Spanish balcony, Mexican balcony, Ecuadorian balcony, they refer to the shape and form of the pickets used for the balcony railings, e.g. knuckle balcony. Deck Jharokha Loggia Mashrabiya Mezzanine Minstrel's gallery Patio Porch Verandah Balconing Media related to Balconies at Wikimedia Commons "Balcony". Encyclopædia Britannica. 1911
Sofia is the capital and largest city of Bulgaria. The city is at the foot of Vitosha Mountain in the western part of the country. Being in the centre of the Balkan peninsula, it is midway between the Black Sea and the Adriatic Sea, closest to the Aegean Sea. Sofia has been an area of human habitation since at least 7000 BC; the recorded history of Sofia begins with the attestation of the conquest of Serdica by the Roman Republic in 29 BC from the Celtic tribe Serdi, raided by Huns in 343-347 AD and 447 AD, conquered by Visigoths in 376-382 AD, conquered by Avars and Slavs in 617 AD, on 9th April, 809 Serdica was surrendered to Krum of Bulgaria. In 1018, the Byzantines ended Bulgarian rule; the town was conquered by the Pechenegs in 1048 and 1078, by the Magyars and Serbs in 1183, by the Crusaders in 1095 and 1190. The rule of the Second Bulgarian Empire lasted from 1194 until its conquest by the Ottomans in 1382.. From 1520 to 1836, Sofia was the regional capital of Rumelia Eyalet, the Ottoman Empire's key province in Europe.
Bulgarian rule was restored in 1878. During World War II Sofia was bombarded by the UK and US Air Forces and at the end of the war, it was seized by the Soviet Army. Being Bulgaria's primate city, Sofia is a hometown of many of the major local universities, cultural institutions and commercial companies. Sofia is one of the top 10 best places for start-up businesses in the world in information technologies, according to Bulgarian National Television. Sofia was Europe's most affordable capital to visit in 2013; the population of Sofia declined down from 70,000 in the late 18th century, through 19,000 in 1870, to 11,649 in 1878 and began increasing. Sofia hosts some 1.23 million residents within a territory of 492 km2, a concentration of 17.5% of the country population within the 200th percentile of the country territory. The urban area of Sofia hosts some 1.54 million residents within 5723 km², which comprises Sofia City Province and parts of Sofia Province and Pernik Province, representing 5.16% of the country territory.
The metropolitan area of Sofia is based upon one hour of car travel time, stretches internationally and includes Dimitrovgrad in Serbia. Unlike most European metropolitan areas, it is not to be defined as a functional metropolitan area, but is of the type with "limited variety of functions"; the metropolitan region of Sofia is inhabited by a population of 1.68 million and is made up of the whole provinces Sofia City and Pernik, comprising more than 10,000 km². For the longest time the city possessed a Thracian name, derived from the tribe Serdi, who were either of Thracian, Celtic, or mixed Thracian-Celtic origin; the emperor Marcus Ulpius Traianus gave the city the combinative name of Ulpia Serdica. It seems that the first written mention of Serdica was made during his reign and the last mention was in the 19th century in a Bulgarian text. Other names given to Sofia, such as Serdonpolis and Triaditza, were mentioned by Byzantine Greek sources or coins; the Slavic name Sredets, related to "middle" and to the city's earliest name, first appeared on paper in an 11th-century text.
The city was called Atralisa by the Arab traveller Idrisi and Strelisa, Stralitsa or Stralitsion by the Crusaders. The name Sofia comes from the Saint Sofia Church, as opposed to the prevailing Slavic origin of Bulgarian cities and towns; the origin is in the Greek word sophia "wisdom", which may derive from the Egyptian word sbÅ "teach, learn or wise" provided b oftentimes turns into ph in Egyptian to Greek translations. The earliest works where this latest name is registered are the duplicate of the Gospel of Serdica, in a dialogue between two salesmen from Dubrovnik around 1359, in the 14th-century Vitosha Charter of Bulgarian tsar Ivan Shishman and in a Ragusan merchant's notes of 1376. In these documents the city is called Sofia, but at the same time the region and the city's inhabitants are still called Sredecheski, which continued until the 20th century; the city became somehow popular to the Ottomans by the name Sofya. In 1879 there was a dispute about what the name of the new Bulgarian capital should be, when the citizens created a committee of famous people, insisting for the Slavic name.
A compromise arose, officialisation of Sofia for the nationwide institutions, while legitimating the title Sredets for the administrative and church institutions, before the latter was abandoned through the years. The city's name is pronounced by Bulgarians with a stress on the'o', in contrast with the tendency of foreigners to place the stress on'i'; the female given name "Sofia" is pronounced by Bulgarians with a stress on the'i'. Sofia City Province has an area of 1344 km2. Sofia's development as a significant settlement owes much to its central position in the Balkans, it is situated in western Bulgaria, at the northern foot of the Vitosha mountain, in the Sofia Valley, surrounded by the Balkan mountains to the north. The valley has an average altitude of 550 metres. Unlike most European capitals, Sofia does not have any large rivers or bridges, but is surrounded by comparatively high mountains on all sides. Three mountain passes lead to the city, which have been key roads since antiquity, Vitosha being the watershed between Black and Aegean Seas.
A number of l
Grosseto is a city and comune in the central Italian region of Tuscany, the capital of the Province of Grosseto. The city lies 14 kilometres from the Tyrrhenian Sea, in the Maremma, at the centre of an alluvial plain on the Ombrone river, it is the most populous city in Maremma, with 82,284 inhabitants. The comune of Grosseto includes the frazioni of Marina di Grosseto, the largest one, Principina a Mare, Principina Terra, Braccagni, Istia d'Ombrone, Batignano and Rispescia; the origins of Grosseto can be traced back to the High Middle Ages. It was first mentioned in 803 as a fief of the Counts Aldobrandeschi, in a document recording the assignment of the church of St. George to Ildebrando degli Aldobrandeschi, whose successors were counts of the Grossetana Mark until the end of the 12th century. Grosseto grew in importance, owing to the decline of Rusellae and Vetulonia until it was one of the principal Tuscan cities. In 1137 the city was besieged by German troops, led by Duke Heinrich X of Bavaria, sent by the emperor Lothair III to reinstate his authority over the Aldobrandeschi.
In the following year the bishopric of Roselle was transferred to Grosseto. In 1151 the citizens swore loyalty to the Republic of Siena, in 1222 the Aldobrandeschi gave the Grossetani the right to have their own podestà, together with three councilors and consuls. In 1244 the city was reconquered by the Sienese, its powers, together with all the Aldobrandeschi's imperial privileges, were transferred to Siena by order of the imperial vicar. Thereafter Grosseto shared the fortunes of Siena, it became an important stronghold, the fortress, the walls and bastions can still to be seen. In 1266 and in 1355, Grosseto tried in vain to win freedom from the overlordship of Siena. While Guelph and Ghibelline parties struggled for control of that city and Aldobrandino Aldobrandeschi tried to regain Grossetto for their family; the Sienese armies were, victorious, in 1259 they named a podestà from their city. But Grosseto gained its freedom and in the following year and fought alongside the Florentine forces in the Battle of Montaperti.
Over the next 80 years Grosseto was again occupied, excommunicated by Pope Clement IV, freed in a republic led by Maria Scozia Tolomei, besieged by emperor Louis IV and by the antipope Nicholas V in 1328, until it submitted to its more powerful neighbour, Siena. The pestilence of 1348 struck Grosseto hard and by 1369 its population had been reduced to some hundred families, its territory, was ravaged, notably in 1447 by Alfons V of Sicily and in 1455 by Jacopo Piccinino. Sienese rule ended in 1559, when Charles V handed over the whole duchy to Cosimo I de Medici, first grand duke of Tuscany. In 1574 the construction of a line of defensive walls was begun, which are still well preserved today, while the surrounding swampy plain was drained. Grosseto, remained a minor town, with only 700 inhabitants at the beginning of the 18th century. Under the rule of the House of Lorraine, Grosseto flourished, it was given the title of capital of the new Maremma province. The walls were begun by Francesco I de Medici in 1574, replacing those from the 12th-14th centuries, as part of his policy of making Grosseto a stronghold to protect his southern border.
The design was by Baldassarre Lanci, the construction took 19 years, being completed under Grand Duke Ferdinando I. Until 1757 the exterior was surrounded by a ditch with an earthen moat. There were Porta Reale on the south; the walls are now used as walking area. The Romanesque cathedral, the main monument of the city, is named for its patron St. Lawrence, was begun at the end of the 13th century, by architect Sozzo Rustichini of Siena. Erected over the earlier church of Santa Maria Assunta, it was only finished in the 15th century; the façade of alternate layers of white and black marble is Romanesque in style, but is entirely the result of 16th century and 1816–1855 restorations: it retains decorative parts of the originary buildings, including Evangelists' symbols. The layout consists with transept and apse; the interior has a nave with two aisles, separated by cruciform pilasters. The main artworks are a wondrously carved baptismal font from 1470–1474 and the Madonna delle Grazie by Matteo di Giovanni.
The campanile was finished in 1402, restored in 1911. Church of San Francesco. Situated in its homonymous square, it was built in the 13th-century an important Benedectine Franciscan convent; the complex underwent several restorations and reconstructions: the bell was rebuilt in the first half of the 20th century. Characteristic is the wooden tabernacle that stands on the front and inside there are works of art from various historical periods. At the center of the cloister stands the characteristic Pozzo della Bufala in travertine. Convent of Clarisse. Located on strada Vinzaglio, the convent is annexed to the Church of Bigi; the convent of Clarisse and the church of Bigi are now desecrated. The entire complex is characterized by the probable medieval origins, followed by a series of restorations in Baroque style in the 17th century. Today the convent hosts the university. Church of San Pietro; the oldest religious building in town, it was built along the stretch of the Via Aurelia that crossed the center and was a plebeian and stational church along the old consular road.
Church of Misericordia. It belo
Thessaloniki (regional unit)
Thessaloniki is one of the regional units of Greece. It is part of the Region of Central Macedonia and its capital is the city of Thessaloniki; the regional unit stretches from the Thermaic Gulf in the southwest to the Strymonic Gulf in the east. Two bodies of water are located in the north, Lake Koroneia in the heart of the regional unit and Lake Volvi in the east. There are farmlands throughout the west and southwest, with fewer in the northeast and along the Axios River valley. Mountainous areas include the Chortiatis in the west-central part, the Vertiskos in the north and parts of the Kerdylio mountains in the northeast; the regional unit borders on the Imathia regional unit to the southwest, Pella to the west, Kilkis to the north, Serres to the east and Chalkidiki to the south. Its climate includes hot Mediterranean summers and cool to mild winters in low-lying areas and plains. Winter weather is common in areas 500m above sea level and into the mountains; the area, to become the Thessaloniki regional unit was annexed by Greece in 1912, during the First Balkan War.
The area was struck by an earthquake in 1978, by flooding due to rainfall in October 2006. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, founder of modern Turkey, was born in Salonica, the name for the city of Thessaloniki when it was part of the Ottoman Empire; the Thessaloniki regional unit is subdivided into 14 municipalities. These are: Ampelokipoi-Menemeni Chalkidona Delta Kalamaria Kordelio-Evosmos Lagkadas Neapoli-Sykies Oraiokastro Pavlos Melas Pylaia-Chortiatis Thermaikos Thermi Thessaloniki Volvi The Thessaloniki Prefecture was created when the area was annexed by Greece during the First Balkan War in 1913. At that time, its area was the largest prefecture in the country, covering about 7% of the total land. The prefectures of Pella and Kilkis were split off in 1930 and 1937 and after World War II in 1947, Imathia and Pieria were additionally created from land belonging to the Thessaloniki Prefecture; as a part of the 2011 Kallikratis government reform, the prefecture was transformed into a regional unit within the Central Macedonia region, without any change in boundaries.
At the same time, the municipalities were reorganised, according to the table below. Province of Thessaloniki Province of LagkadasNote: Provinces no longer hold any legal status in Greece; the regional unit of Thessaloniki is connected with the following highways. Motorways: A1/E75 A2/E90 A25/Ε79 A25 National Roads: ΕΟ2/Ε86 W ΕΟ12/Ε79 Ν ΕΟ16, SW ΕΟ65, Ν Until the A1/E75 motorway and the A2/E90 motorway were constructed, GR-1 and GR-2 were the main road links connecting the regional unit of Thessaloniki with other parts of the country. Furthermore, parts of GR-67 linking Chalkidiki, GR-65 linking Kilkis, were converted into motorways during the 2000s. Public transport services are provided by the Thessaloniki Urban Transport Organization Thessaloniki Metro Most of the stations are in the city. Here are list of stations outside the city: Thermi TV - Thermi Iraklis Aris PAOK Apollon Kalamarias Agrotikos Asteras List of settlements in the Thessaloniki regional unit Macedonia
Russia the Russian Federation, is a transcontinental country in Eastern Europe and North Asia. At 17,125,200 square kilometres, Russia is by far or by a considerable margin the largest country in the world by area, covering more than one-eighth of the Earth's inhabited land area, the ninth most populous, with about 146.77 million people as of 2019, including Crimea. About 77 % of the population live in the European part of the country. Russia's capital, Moscow, is one of the largest cities in the world and the second largest city in Europe. Extending across the entirety of Northern Asia and much of Eastern Europe, Russia spans eleven time zones and incorporates a wide range of environments and landforms. From northwest to southeast, Russia shares land borders with Norway, Estonia, Latvia and Poland, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, China and North Korea, it shares maritime borders with Japan by the Sea of Okhotsk and the U. S. state of Alaska across the Bering Strait. However, Russia recognises two more countries that border it, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, both of which are internationally recognized as parts of Georgia.
The East Slavs emerged as a recognizable group in Europe between the 3rd and 8th centuries AD. Founded and ruled by a Varangian warrior elite and their descendants, 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' disintegrated into a number of smaller states; the Grand Duchy of Moscow reunified the surrounding Russian principalities and achieved independence from the Golden Horde. By the 18th century, the nation had expanded through conquest and exploration to become the Russian Empire, the third largest empire in history, stretching from Poland on the west to Alaska on the east. Following the Russian Revolution, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic became the largest and leading constituent of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the world's first constitutionally socialist state; the Soviet Union played a decisive role in the Allied victory in World War II, emerged as a recognized 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 humans in space. By the end of 1990, the Soviet Union had the world's second largest economy, largest standing military in the world and the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, twelve independent republics emerged from the USSR: Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and the Baltic states regained independence: Estonia, Lithuania, it is governed as a federal semi-presidential republic. Russia's economy ranks as the twelfth largest by nominal GDP and sixth largest by purchasing power parity in 2018. Russia's extensive mineral and energy resources are the largest such reserves in the world, making it one of the leading producers of oil and natural gas globally; the country is one of the five recognized nuclear weapons states and possesses the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction.
Russia is a great power as well as a regional power and has been characterised as a potential superpower. It is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and an active global partner of ASEAN, as well as a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, the G20, the Council of Europe, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Trade Organization, as well as being the leading member of the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Collective Security Treaty Organization and one of the five members of the Eurasian Economic Union, along with Armenia, Belarus and Kyrgyzstan; the name Russia is derived from Rus', a medieval state populated by the East Slavs. However, this proper name became more prominent in the history, the country was called by its inhabitants "Русская Земля", which can be translated as "Russian Land" or "Land of Rus'". In order to distinguish this state from other states derived from it, it is denoted as Kievan Rus' by modern historiography.
The name Rus itself comes from the early medieval Rus' people, Swedish merchants and warriors who relocated from across the Baltic Sea and founded a state centered on Novgorod that became Kievan Rus. An old Latin version of the name Rus' was Ruthenia applied to the western and southern regions of Rus' that were adjacent to Catholic Europe; the current name of the country, Россия, comes from the Byzantine Greek designation of the Rus', Ρωσσία Rossía—spelled Ρωσία in Modern Greek. The standard way to refer to citizens of Russia is rossiyane in Russian. There are two Russian words which are commonly