Abdur Rahman Khan
Abdur Rahman Khan was Emir of Afghanistan from 1880 to 1901. He is known for getting the country together after years of internal fighting, he is known for signing the controversial Durand Line Agreement with British India. Abdur Rahman Khan was the first child and only son of Mohammad Afzal Khan, grandson of Dost Mohammad Khan. Abdur Rahman Khan re-established the writ of the Afghan government after the disarray that followed the second Anglo-Afghan war, he became known as The Iron Amir because his government was a military despotism resting upon a well-appointed army administered through officials subservient to an inflexible will and controlled by a widespread system of espionage. Before his death in Herat, on June 9, 1863, Abdur Rahman's grandfather, Dost Mohammad Khan, nominated his third son, Sher Ali Khan, as his successor, passing over the two elder brothers, Afzal Khan and Azam Khan. At first, the new Amir was recognized, but after a few months, Afzal Khan raised an insurrection in the north of the country, where he had been governing when his father died.
This began a fierce internecine conflict for power between Dost Mohammad's sons, which lasted for nearly five years. The Musahiban are descendants of Sultan Mohammad Khan. Described by the American scholar and explorer Eugene Schuyler as "a tall well-built man, with a large head, a marked Afghan Jewish, face", Abdur Rahman distinguished himself for his ability and energetic daring. Although his father, Afzal Khan came to terms with the Amir Sher Ali, Abdur's behaviour in the northern province soon excited the Amir's suspicion and, when he was summoned to Kabul, fled across the Oxus into Bukhara. Sher Ali threw Afzal Khan into prison, a revolt followed in southern Afghanistan; the Amir had scarcely suppressed it by winning a desperate battle when Abdur Rahman's reappearance in the north was a signal for a mutiny by troops stationed in those parts and a gathering of armed bands to his standard. After some delay and desultory fighting, he and his uncle, Azam Khan, occupied Kabul in March 1866; the Amir Sher Ali marched up against them from Kandahar.
Notwithstanding the new Amir's incapacity, some jealousy between the real leaders, Abdur Rahman and his uncle, they again routed Sher Ali's forces, occupied Kandahar in 1867. When Afzal Khan died at the end of the year, Azam Khan became the new ruler, with Abdur Rahman installed as governor in the northern province, but towards the end of 1868, Sher Ali's return and a general rising in his favour resulted in Abdur Rahman and Azam Khan's defeat at Tinah Khan on January 3, 1869. Both sought refuge to the east in Central Asia, where Abdur Rahman placed himself under Russian protection at Samarkand. Azam died in Kabul in October 1869. Abdur Rahman lived in exile in Tashkent; the governor-general of Tashkent sent for Abdur Rahman and motivated him by bringing up the blessing of Jacob, Abdur's patriarch. He was being told to cross the Oxus and claim throne for Amir. In March 1880, a report reached India. After some negotiations, an interview with Lepel Griffin, the diplomatic representative at Kabul of the Indian government.
Griffin described Abdur Rahman as a man of middle height, with an exceedingly intelligent face and frank and courteous manners and able in conversation on the business in hand. At the durbar on July 22, 1880, Abdur Rahman was recognized as Amir, granted assistance in arms and money, promised, in case of unprovoked foreign aggression, such further aid as might be necessary to repel it, provided that he align his foreign policy with the British; the British evacuation of Afghanistan was settled on the terms proposed, in 1881, the British troops handed over Kandahar to the new Amir. However, Ayub Khan, one of Sher Ali Khan's sons, marched upon that city from Herat, defeated Abdur Rahman's troops, occupied the place in July 1880; this serious reverse roused the Amir. Instead, Ayub Khan was defeated in Kandahar by the British General Frederick Roberts on 1 September 1880. Ayub Khan was forced to flee into Persia. From that time Abdur Rahman was seated firm on the throne at Kabul, thanks to the unwavering British protections in terms of giving large supplies of arms and money.
In the course of the next few years, Abdul Rahman consolidated his grip over all Afghanistan, suppressing insurrection by a relentless and brutal use of his despotic authority. The powerful Ghilzai revolted against the severity of his measures several times. In that same year, Ayub Khan made a fruitless inroad from Persia. In 1885, at the moment when the Amir was in conference with the British viceroy, Lord Dufferin, in India, the news came of a skirmish between Russian and Afghan troops at Panjdeh, over a disputed point in the demarcation of the northwestern frontier of Afghanistan. Abdur Rahman's attitude at this critical juncture is a good example of his political sagacity. To one, a man of war from his youth, who had won and lost many fights, the rout of a detachment and the forcible seizure
Marco Polo was an Venetian merchant and writer, born in the Republic of Venice. His travels are recorded in Livre des merveilles du monde, a book that described to Europeans the wealth and great size of China, its capital Peking, other Asian cities and countries. Marco learned the mercantile trade from his father and his uncle, Niccolò and Maffeo, who travelled through Asia and met Kublai Khan. In 1269, they returned to Venice to meet Marco for the first time; the three of them embarked on an epic journey to Asia, returning after 24 years to find Venice at war with Genoa. He was released in 1299, became a wealthy merchant and had three children, he was buried in the church of San Lorenzo in Venice. Though he was not the first European to reach China, Marco Polo was the first to leave a detailed chronicle of his experience; this book inspired many other travellers. There is a substantial literature based on Polo's writings. Marco Polo was born in 1254 in the Republic of Venice, though the exact date and place of birth are archivally unknown.
Marco Polo's birthplace is considered to be Venice, but some claimed Constantinople and the island of Korčula as his birth place. There is dispute as to whether the Polo family is of Venetian origin, as Venetian historical sources considered them to be of Dalmatian origin; the lack of evidence makes the Korčula theory as a specific birthplace disputed, some Croatian scholars consider it invented. In 1168, his great-uncle, Marco Polo, commanded a ship in Constantinople, his grandfather, Andrea Polo of the parish of San Felice, had three sons, yet another Marco, the traveller's father Niccolò. This genealogy, described by Ramusio, is not universally accepted as there is no additional evidence to support it, his father, Niccolò Polo, a merchant, traded with the Near East, becoming wealthy and achieving great prestige. Niccolò and his brother Maffeo set off on a trading voyage before Marco's birth. In 1260, Niccolò and Maffeo, while residing in Constantinople the capital of the Latin Empire, foresaw a political change.
According to The Travels of Marco Polo, they passed through much of Asia, met with Kublai Khan, a Mongol ruler and founder of the Yuan dynasty. Their decision to leave Constantinople proved timely. In 1261 Michael VIII Palaiologos, the ruler of the Empire of Nicaea, took Constantinople, promptly burned the Venetian quarter and re-established the Eastern Roman Empire. Captured Venetian citizens were blinded, while many of those who managed to escape perished aboard overloaded refugee ships fleeing to other Venetian colonies in the Aegean Sea. Nothing is known about the childhood of Marco Polo until he was fifteen years old, excepting that he spent part of his childhood in Venice. Meanwhile, Marco Polo's mother died, an aunt and uncle raised him, he received a good education, learning mercantile subjects including foreign currency and the handling of cargo ships. His father married Floradise Polo. In 1269, Niccolò and Maffeo returned to their families in Venice, meeting young Marco for the first time.
In 1271, during the rule of Doge Lorenzo Tiepolo, Marco Polo, his father, his uncle set off for Asia on the series of adventures that Marco documented in his book. They returned to Venice in 1295, 24 years with many riches and treasures, they had travelled 15,000 miles. Marco Polo returned to Venice in 1295 with his fortune converted into gemstones. At this time, Venice was at war with the Republic of Genoa. Polo armed a galley equipped with a trebuchet to join the war, he was caught by Genoans in a skirmish in 1296, off the Anatolian coast between Adana and the Gulf of Alexandretta and not during the battle of Curzola, off the Dalmatian coast. The latter claim is due to a tradition recorded by Giovanni Battista Ramusio, he spent several months of his imprisonment dictating a detailed account of his travels to a fellow inmate, Rustichello da Pisa, who incorporated tales of his own as well as other collected anecdotes and current affairs from China. The book soon spread throughout Europe in manuscript form, became known as The Travels of Marco Polo.
It depicts the Polos' journeys throughout Asia, giving Europeans their first comprehensive look into the inner workings of the Far East, including China and Japan. Polo was released from captivity in August 1299, returned home to Venice, where his father and uncle in the meantime had purchased a large palazzo in the zone named contrada San Giovanni Crisostomo. For such a venture, the Polo family invested profits from trading, many gemstones they brought from the East; the company continued its activities and Marco soon became a wealthy merchant. Marco and his uncle Maffeo financed other expeditions, but never left Venetian provinces, nor returned to the Silk Road and Asia. Sometime before 1300, his father Niccolò died. In 1300, he married the daughter of Vitale Badoèr, a merchant, they had three daughters, Fantina and Moreta. In 1305 he is mentioned in a Venetian document among lo
A ruby is a pink to blood-red colored gemstone, a variety of the mineral corundum. Other varieties of gem-quality corundum are called sapphires. Ruby is one of the traditional cardinal gems, together with amethyst, sapphire and diamond; the word ruby comes from Latin for red. The color of a ruby is due to the element chromium; some gemstones that are popularly or called rubies, such as the Black Prince's Ruby in the British Imperial State Crown, are spinels. These were once known as "Balas rubies"; the quality of a ruby is determined by its color and clarity, along with carat weight, affect its value. The brightest and most valuable shade of red called blood-red or pigeon blood, commands a large premium over other rubies of similar quality. After color follows clarity: similar to diamonds, a clear stone will command a premium, but a ruby without any needle-like rutile inclusions may indicate that the stone has been treated. Ruby is the traditional birthstone for July and is pinker than garnet, although some rhodolite garnets have a similar pinkish hue to most rubies.
The world's most valuable ruby is the Sunrise Ruby. Rubies have a hardness of 9.0 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. Among the natural gems only moissanite and diamond are harder, with diamond having a Mohs hardness of 10.0 and moissanite falling somewhere in between corundum and diamond in hardness. Sapphire and pure corundum are α-alumina, the most stable form of Al2O3, in which 3 electrons leave each aluminum ion to join the regular octahedral group of six nearby O2− ions; when a chromium atom replaces an occasional aluminum atom, it too loses 3 electrons to become a chromium3+ ion to maintain the charge balance of the Al2O3 crystal. However, the Cr3 + ions have electron orbitals in different directions than aluminum; the octahedral arrangement of the O2− ions is distorted, the energy levels of the different orbitals of those Cr3+ ions are altered because of the directions to the O2− ions. Those energy differences correspond to absorption in the ultraviolet and yellow-green regions of the spectrum.
If one percent of the aluminum ions are replaced by chromium in ruby, the yellow-green absorption results in a red color for the gem. Additionally, absorption at any of the above wavelengths stimulates fluorescent emission of 694-nanometer-wavelength red light, which adds to its red color and perceived luster. After absorbing short-wavelength light, there is a short interval of time when the crystal lattice of ruby is in an excited state before fluorescence occurs. If 694-nanometer photons pass through the crystal during that time, they can stimulate more fluorescent photons to be emitted in-phase with them, thus strengthening the intensity of that red light. By arranging mirrors or other means to pass emitted light through the crystal, a ruby laser in this way produces a high intensity of coherent red light. All natural rubies have imperfections in them, including color impurities and inclusions of rutile needles known as "silk". Gemologists use these needle inclusions found in natural rubies to distinguish them from synthetics, simulants, or substitutes.
The rough stone is heated before cutting. These days all rubies are treated in some form, with heat treatment being the most common practice. Untreated rubies of high quality command a large premium; some rubies show a three-point or six-point asterism or "star". These rubies are cut into cabochons to display the effect properly. Asterisms are best visible with a single-light source and move across the stone as the light moves or the stone is rotated; such effects occur. This is one example. Furthermore, rubies can show color changes—though this occurs rarely—as well as chatoyancy or the "cat's eye" effect. Gemstone-quality corundum in all shades of red, including pink, are called rubies. However, in the United States, a minimum color saturation must be met to be called a ruby. Drawing a distinction between rubies and pink sapphires is new, having arisen sometime in the 20th century; the distinction between ruby and pink sapphire is not clear and can be debated. As a result of the difficulty and subjectiveness of such distinctions, trade organizations such as the International Colored Gemstone Association have adopted the broader definition for ruby which encompasses its lighter shades, including pink.
The Mogok Valley in Upper Myanmar was for centuries the world's main source for rubies. That region has produced some exceptional rubies, however in recent years few good rubies have been found. In central Myanmar, the area of Mong Hsu began producing rubies during the 1990s and became the world's main ruby mining area; the most found ruby deposit in Myanmar is in Namya located in the northern state of Kachin. Rubies have been mined in Thailand, in the Pailin and Samlout District of Cambodia, as well as in Afghanistan, Brazil, India, Namibia and Scotland. In Sri Lanka, lighter shades of rubies are more found; the Republic of Macedonia is the only country in mainland Europe to have occurring rubies. They can be found around the city of
Shighnan District is one of the 28 districts of the Badakhshan Province in eastern Afghanistan. It's part of the history region of Shighnan, today divided between Afghanistan and Tajikistan; the district borders the Panj River and Tajikistan in the northeast, the Maimay district to the west, the Raghistan district in the southwest, the Kohistan, Arghanj Khwa, Shuhada districts in the south, the Ishkashim district in the southeast. The Khowar, Tajiks and Pamiris are the major ethnic groups. Pashto and Persian are spoken; this District has a population of 27,750 >Shighnan District
The town of Khorugh is the capital of the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region in Tajikistan. It is the capital of the Shughnon District of Gorno-Badakhshan, it has a population of 28,000. Khorugh is 2,200 metres above sea level in the Pamir Mountains at the confluence of the Gunt and Panj rivers; the city is bounded to the south and to the north by the deltas of the Shakhdara and Gunt, respectively. The two rivers merge in the eastern part of the city flow through the city, dividing it evenly until its delta in the Panj River being known as Amu Darya, or in antiquity the Oxus) on the border with Afghanistan. Khorugh is known for its poplar trees; until the late 19th century, Khorugh was in an area disputed between the Emir of Bukhara, Shah of Afghanistan and Britain. The Russians emerged the winners of the region after The Great Game, which fixed the current northern border of Afghanistan on the Panj River and established the territory of Russian Pamir around Khorugh. Before 1896, when the Russians arrived and built a fort, the main town in the area was Kala-i Bar Panj somewhat downriver on the Afghan side.
Following the fall of czarist Russia and the rise of the Soviet Union, Khorugh became the capital of Gorno-Badakhshan in 1925. Soviet leaders encouraged the migration of settlers to the area with promises of pay and automobiles, but with no industry and little arable land, the effort was not successful. Migration is playing an important role in the life of Khorugh. Migration was part of Soviet policy for development. In the early 1950s the Soviet government encouraged migration of residents of Rushan district of Gorno Badakhshan to other parts of Tajikistan to the area of Qumsangir, situated in the southern part of today's Khatlon region as the area needed workforce; this policy of migration is still encouraged by the present government of Tajikistan with the hope of creating better environment for the inhabitants and, to some extent, regulate the population density and land use within the country. With regard to Khorugh, migration plays a key role in its development. Although the youth has a tendency to go to Russia, they do come back or send resources back to build new houses.
As a result of remittances and new migration from rural areas, though still tiny, Khorugh is expanding in many directions. One sign of this intense migration is that the gap, once existed between Khorugh and village Tem is now filled with newly built houses; the same is true about the gap between village village Porshinev. Khorugh occupied headlines in July 2012 due to a government forces clash with guerrillas. Over 40 people, including 12 soldiers were killed; the country’s security forces moved in to arrest suspects in the murder of secret services General Abdullo Nazarov. The alleged criminals were linked to former guerrilla leader-turned-border patrol commander Tolib Ayombekov. Ayombekov is alleged to have been involved in drug trafficking and the smuggling of tobacco and precious stones for many years. Modern Khorugh is one of the poorest areas of Tajikistan, with the charitable organization Aga Khan Foundation providing the only source of cash income. However, the city does have its own university, founded in 1992), twelve schools, several hospitals.
There is a museum, the Khorog Regional Museum, the second highest botanical garden in the world, the Pamir Botanical Garden. Khorugh is host to one of three campuses of the University of Central Asia; the University was founded in 2000 by the governments of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan, The Aga Khan. It is the world’s first internationally chartered institution of higher education; the UCA operates a School of Professional and Continuing Education, with a School of Arts and Sciences and a Graduate School of Development in the process of being established. The Khorog Campus is will launch in September 2017 and will offer Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees in Economics and Earth and Environmental Sciences. Aga Khan Lycée, Khorugh University of Central Asia Khorugh State University There is a bridge to the Afghan side of the river. Khorugh is situated along the Pamir Highway at the point where it leaves the Panj valley and heads east up the Gunt valley; the Pamir highway is the main road in Gorno-Badakhshan and connects the Tajik capital of Dushanbe toward the west to the Republic of Kyrgyzstan to the northeast.
The highway is difficult to pass in both directions during winter and spring. Khorugh has a small airport, which can accommodate small capacity airplanes like AN-28 turboprop and the Yakovlev YAK-40 jet operated by Tajik Air from Dushanbe or helicopters. Flights are cancelled due to adverse cloud cover; the Pamir Highway was connected to the Karakorum Highway of China and Pakistan. Khorugh experiences a semi-arid climate with cold wet winters and hot, dry summers. Khorugh is the location of highest altitude. Gorgâni, Tirdâd."Welcome to Xoroq". Tourist Information Office in Khorog Pamirs Tourism Association A great homepage on the Tajik Pamirs Airport of Khorugh. A Bird's Eye View of Khorog
Sir Marc Aurel Stein, was a Hungarian-born British archaeologist known for his explorations and archaeological discoveries in Central Asia. He was a professor at Indian universities. Stein was an ethnographer, geographer and surveyor, his collection of books and manuscripts taken from Dunhuang caves is important for the study of the history of Central Asia and the art and literature of Buddhism. He wrote several volumes on his expeditions and discoveries which include Ancient Khotan and Innermost Asia. Stein was born to Nathan Stein and Anna Hirschler, a Jewish couple residing in Budapest in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, his parents and his sister retained their Jewish faith but Stein and his brother, Ernst Eduard, were baptised as Lutherans to free them from the anti-semitism which would have denied them access to education and advancement. At home the family spoke German and Hungarian, the language of Hungarian nationalist revival in the 19th century, Stein was proud of this heritage for the rest of his life.
He attended Catholic and Lutheran gymnasiums in Budapest, where he mastered Greek, Latin and English before going on for advanced study at Universities of Vienna, Leipzig and Tübingen. He graduated in Sanskrit and Persian and received his Ph. D. from Tübingen in 1883. In 1884 he went to England to study oriental languages and archaeology, he made his famous expeditions with British sponsorship. In 1887, Stein went to India. Between 1888 and 1899, he was the Principal of Oriental College, Lahore. Stein was influenced by Sven Hedin's 1898 work Through Asia. Realizing the importance of Central Asian history and archaeology he sent a proposal to the government to explore and study the people of Central Asia. In May 1900 he received the approval to lead an expedition to Chinese Turkestan, strategically located in High Asia where the Russians and Germans were taking interest. Stein made four major expeditions to Central Asia—in 1900–1901, 1906–1908, 1913–1916 and 1930, he brought to light the hidden treasure of a great civilization which by was lost to the world.
One of his significant finds during his first journey during 1900–1901 was the Taklamakan Desert oasis of Dandan Oilik where he was able to uncover a number of relics. During his third expedition in 1913–1916, he excavated at Khara-Khoto; the British Library's Stein collection of Chinese and Tangut manuscripts, Prakrit wooden tablets, documents in Khotanese, Uyghur and Eastern Turkic is the result of his travels through central Asia during the 1920s and 1930s. Stein discovered manuscripts in the lost Tocharian languages of the Tarim Basin at Miran and other oasis towns, recorded numerous archaeological sites in Iran and Balochistan; when Stein visited Khotan he was able to render in Persian a portion of the Shahnama after he came across a local reading the Shahnama in Turki. During 1901 Stein was responsible for exposing forgeries of Islam Akhun. Stein's greatest discovery was made at the Mogao Caves known as "Caves of the Thousand Buddhas", near Dunhuang in 1907, it was there that he discovered a printed copy of the Diamond Sutra, the world's oldest printed text, dating to AD 868, along with 40,000 other scrolls.
He took 4 cases of paintings and relics. He was knighted for his efforts, but Chinese nationalists dubbed him a burglar and staged protests against him, his discovery inspired other French, Russian and Chinese treasure hunters and explorers who took their toll on the collection. During his expedition of 1906–1908 while surveying in the Kunlun Mountains of western China, Stein suffered frostbite and lost several toes on his right foot; when he was resting from his extended journeys into Central Asia, he spent most of his time living in a tent in the spectacularly beautiful alpine meadow called Mohanmarg which lies at the mouth atop the Sind Valley where from he translated Rajatarangini from Sanskrit to English. Stein was a lifelong bachelor, but was always accompanied by a dog named "Dash"; the fourth expedition to Central Asia, ended in failure. Stein did not publish any account, but others have written of the frustrations and rivalries between British and American interests in China, between Harvard's Fogg Museum and the British Museum, between Paul J. Sachs and Langdon Warner, the two Harvard sponsors of the expedition.
Stein is buried in Kabul's British Cemetery. Stein, as well as his rivals Sven Hedin, Sir Francis Younghusband and Nikolai Przhevalsky, were active players in the British-Russian struggle for influence in Central Asia, the so-called Great Game, their explorations were supported by the British and Russian Empires as they filled in the remaining "blank spots" on the maps, providing valuable information and creating "spheres of influence" for archaeological exploration as they did for political influence. The art objects he collected are divided between the British Museum, the British Library, the Srinagar Museum, the National Museum, New Delhi. Stein received a number of honours during his career. In 1909, he was awarded the Founder's Medal by the Royal Geographical Society'for his extensive explorations in Central Asia, in particular his archaeological work'. In 1909, he was awarded the first Campbell Memorial Gold Medal by the Royal Asiatic Society of Bombay, he was awarded a number of other Gold Medals: the Gold Medal of the Société de Géographie in 1923.
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