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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 as of December 2017, excluding Crimea. About 77% of the population live in the western, European part of the country. Russia's capital, Moscow is 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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Polish defences at Miłosna, near Warsaw
The Battle of Warsaw (Russian: Варшáвское сражéние, Polish: Bitwa Warszawska; sometimes referred to as the Miracle at the Vistula, Polish: Cud nad Wisłą) was the decisive battle of the Polish–Soviet War, which began soon after the end of World War I in 1918 and lasting until the Treaty of Riga (1921). The Battle of Warsaw was fought from 13 to 25 August 1920 as Red Army forces commanded by Mikhail Tukhachevsky approached the Polish capital of Warsaw and nearby Modlin Fortress. On August 16, Polish forces commanded by Józef Piłsudski counterattacked from the south, forcing the Russian forces into a disorganised withdrawal eastward and behind the Niemen River. Estimated Bolshevik losses were 10,000 killed, 500 missing, 10,000 wounded and 66,000 taken prisoner, compared with Polish losses of some 4,500 killed, 10,000 missing and 22,000 wounded. Before the Polish victory at the Vistula, both the Bolsheviks and the majority of foreign experts considered Poland to be on the verge of defeat. The stunning, unexpected Polish victory crippled the Bolshevik forces. In the following months, several more Polish victories secured Poland's independence and eastern borders.

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Mohammed Alim Khan, Emir of Bukhara, 1911
Credit: Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky

An early colour photograph of the Emir of Bukhara, Mohammed Alim Khan, in 1911, taken by Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky as part of his work to document the Russian Empire from 1909 to 1915. Alim Khan, a direct descendant of Genghis Khan, was the last emir of the Manghud dynasty. He reigned from 1911 to 1920, fleeing to Afghanistan when the Bolsheviks annexed Bukhara and proclaimed the Bukharan People's Soviet Republic.

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NASA soil target on Mars named after Laika
Laika was one of the Russian space dogs and the first living being to enter orbit, as a passenger on Sputnik 2, a Soviet spacecraft. Some classify her as the first animal to enter space, although other animals had entered space during sub-orbital flights on previous missions. Laika was found as a stray wandering the streets of Moscow, a female part-Samoyed terrier weighing approximately 6 kg (13 lb). Laika died on November 4, 1957, a few hours after launch, due to stress and overheating. Her true cause of death was not made public until years after the flight, with officials always stating that she was either euthanized by poisoned food or died when the oxygen supply ran out. Russian officials have since expressed regret for allowing Laika to die; to this date, Laika is the only living passenger ever to have been launched into space without the intention of retrieval.

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You know, I never planned to leave. I was not extremely patriotic about Mother Russia. You know, I played their game, pretending, of course. You have to deal with, you know, party people, KGB... Horrifying.

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