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Portal:Russia

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Introduction

Coat of Arms of the Russian Federation.svg

Russia (Russian: Росси́я, tr. Rossiya, IPA: [rɐˈsʲijə]), officially the Russian Federation (Russian: Росси́йская Федера́ция, tr. Rossiyskaya Federatsiya, IPA: [rɐˈsʲijskəjə fʲɪdʲɪˈratsɨjə]), is a country in Eurasia. At 17,125,200 square kilometres (6,612,100 sq mi), Russia is the largest country in the world by area, covering more than one-eighth of the Earth's inhabited land area, and the ninth most populous, with over 144 million people , excluding Crimea. About 77% of the population live in the western, European part of the country. Russia's capital, Moscow, is the largest metropolitan area in Europe proper and one of the largest cities in the world; other major cities include Saint Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg and Nizhny Novgorod.

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, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland (both with Kaliningrad Oblast), Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia 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.

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A Scene from the Caucasian War, by Franz Roubaud (1856–1928)
The Russian–Circassian War was the period of hostilities between the Russian Empire and the inhabitants of Circassia during the Russian invasion and occupation of the Circassian region. Circassia was a region in Caucasia which consisted of the coastline and most of the interior of the current territory of Krasnodar Krai and Adygea. The historical region, now mainly North Ossetia–Alania, was named after the traditional inhabitants, the Circassians, Adyghe or Adiga, along with a number of smaller ethnic groups and tribes. The Russian–Circassian conflict began with the initial arrival of Russian occupation forces in 1763, and ended with the signing of several Russian loyalty oaths by Circassian leaders on June 2, 1864 (May 21, O.S.). While the Russian–Circassian War began as an isolated conflict, Russian expansion through the entire region soon brought it into conflict with a number of other nations in what later became known as the Caucasian War, and of which the Russian–Circassian War became a part. Both came to an end with the signing of the loyalty oaths to Russia, and with the total occupation of the region by Russian forces, which involved the mass migration of millions of indigenous Circassians to areas of the Ottoman Empire (modern Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Kosovo), with some Circassian historians citing that up to 4,000,000 civilians perished during the exodus.

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Ivan Tsarevich
Credit: Viktor Vasnetsov

A painting depicting Ivan Tsarevich, one of the main heroes of folklore of Russia, riding a magic carpet after having captured the Firebird, which he keeps in a cage. This work was Viktor Vasnetsov's first attempt at illustrating Russian folk tales and inaugurated a famous series of paintings on the themes drawn from Russian folklore.

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Alexander II of Russia

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Siege of Kazan (1552)

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Mosaic of Manuel I
Manuel I Comnenus was a Byzantine Emperor of the 12th century who presided over a crucial turning point in the history of Byzantium and the Mediterranean. Eager to restore his empire to its past glories as the superpower of the Mediterranean world, Manuel pursued an energetic and ambitious foreign policy. In the process he made alliances with the Pope and the resurgent west, invaded Italy, successfully handled the passage of the dangerous Second Crusade through his empire, and established a Byzantine protectorate over the Crusader kingdoms of Outremer. Facing the Islamic jihad in the Holy Land, he made common cause with the Kingdom of Jerusalem and participated in a combined invasion of Fatimid Egypt. Manuel reshaped the political map of the Balkans and the east Mediterranean, placing the kingdoms of Hungary and Outremer under Byzantine hegemony and campaigning aggressively against his neighbours both in the west and in the east. However, towards the end of his reign Manuel's achievements in the east were compromised by an embarrassing defeat at Myriokephalon, which in large part resulted from his arrogance in attacking a well-defended Turkish position.

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Leon Trotsky
Let a man find himself, in distinction from others, on top of two wheels with a chain — at least in a poor country like Russia — and his vanity begins to swell out like his tires. In America it takes an automobile to produce this effect.

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