The Soviet Union the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, its government and economy were centralized; the country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centres were Leningrad, Minsk, Alma-Ata, Novosibirsk, it spanned over 10,000 kilometres east to west across 11 time zones, over 7,200 kilometres north to south. It had five climate zones: tundra, steppes and mountains; the Soviet Union had its roots in the 1917 October Revolution, when the Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the Russian Provisional Government which had replaced Tsar Nicholas II during World War I. In 1922, the Soviet Union was formed by a treaty which legalized the unification of the Russian, Transcaucasian and Byelorussian republics that had occurred from 1918. Following Lenin's death in 1924 and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s.
Stalin committed the state's ideology to Marxism–Leninism and constructed a command economy which led to a period of rapid industrialization and collectivization. During his rule, political paranoia fermented and the Great Purge removed Stalin's opponents within and outside of the party via arbitrary arrests and persecutions of many people, resulting in at least 600,000 deaths. In 1933, a major famine struck the country. Before the start of World War II in 1939, the Soviets signed the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, agreeing to non-aggression with Nazi Germany, after which the USSR invaded Poland on 17 September 1939. In June 1941, Germany broke the pact and invaded the Soviet Union, opening the largest and bloodiest theatre of war in history. Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the effort of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad and Kursk; the territories overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Soviet Union.
The post-war division of Europe into capitalist and communist halves would lead to increased tensions with the United States-led Western Bloc, known as the Cold War. Stalin died in 1953 and was succeeded by Nikita Khrushchev, who in 1956 denounced Stalin and began the de-Stalinization; the Cuban Missile Crisis occurred during Khrushchev's rule, among the many factors that led to his downfall in 1964. In the early 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed with the Soviet–Afghan War in 1979. In 1985, the last Soviet premier, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost and perestroika, which caused political instability. In 1989, Soviet satellite states in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist governments; as part of an attempt to prevent the country's dissolution due to rising nationalist and separatist movements, a referendum was held in March 1991, boycotted by some republics, that resulted in a majority of participating citizens voting in favor of preserving the union as a renewed federation.
Gorbachev's power was diminished after Russian President Boris Yeltsin's high-profile role in facing down a coup d'état attempted by Communist Party hardliners. In late 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union met and formally dissolved the Soviet Union; the remaining 12 constituent republics emerged as independent post-Soviet states, with the Russian Federation—formerly the Russian SFSR—assuming the Soviet Union's rights and obligations and being recognized as the successor state. The Soviet Union was a powerhouse of many significant technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus; the country had the largest standing military in the world. The Soviet Union was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states and possessed the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction, it was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Pact.
The word "Soviet" is derived from a Russian word сове́т meaning council, advice, harmony and all deriving from the proto-Slavic verbal stem of vět-iti, related to Slavic věst, English "wise", the root in "ad-vis-or", or the Dutch weten. The word sovietnik means "councillor". A number of organizations in Russian history were called "council". For example, in the Russian Empire the State Council, which functioned from 1810 to 1917, was referred to as a Council of Ministers after the revolt of 1905. During the Georgian Affair, Vladimir Lenin envisioned an expression of Great Russian ethnic chauvinism by Joseph Stalin and his supporters, calling for these nation-states to join Russia as semi-independent parts of a greater union, which he named as the Union of Soviet Republics of Europe and Asia. Stalin resisted the proposal, but accepted it, although with Lenin's agreement changed the name of the newly proposed sta
Europe is a continent located in the Northern Hemisphere and in the Eastern Hemisphere. It is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Mediterranean Sea to the south, it comprises the westernmost part of Eurasia. Since around 1850, Europe is most considered to be separated from Asia by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas and the waterways of the Turkish Straits. Although the term "continent" implies physical geography, the land border is somewhat arbitrary and has been redefined several times since its first conception in classical antiquity; the division of Eurasia into two continents reflects East-West cultural and ethnic differences which vary on a spectrum rather than with a sharp dividing line. The geographic border does not follow political boundaries, with Turkey and Kazakhstan being transcontinental countries. A strict application of the Caucasus Mountains boundary places two comparatively small countries and Georgia, in both continents.
Europe covers 2 % of the Earth's surface. Politically, Europe is divided into about fifty sovereign states of which the Russian Federation is the largest and most populous, spanning 39% of the continent and comprising 15% of its population. Europe had a total population of about 741 million as of 2016; the European climate is affected by warm Atlantic currents that temper winters and summers on much of the continent at latitudes along which the climate in Asia and North America is severe. Further from the sea, seasonal differences are more noticeable than close to the coast. Europe, in particular ancient Greece, was the birthplace of Western civilization; the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD and the subsequent Migration Period marked the end of ancient history and the beginning of the Middle Ages. Renaissance humanism, exploration and science led to the modern era. Since the Age of Discovery started by Portugal and Spain, Europe played a predominant role in global affairs. Between the 16th and 20th centuries, European powers controlled at various times the Americas all of Africa and Oceania and the majority of Asia.
The Age of Enlightenment, the subsequent French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars shaped the continent culturally and economically from the end of the 17th century until the first half of the 19th century. The Industrial Revolution, which began in Great Britain at the end of the 18th century, gave rise to radical economic and social change in Western Europe and the wider world. Both world wars took place for the most part in Europe, contributing to a decline in Western European dominance in world affairs by the mid-20th century as the Soviet Union and the United States took prominence. During the Cold War, Europe was divided along the Iron Curtain between NATO in the West and the Warsaw Pact in the East, until the revolutions of 1989 and fall of the Berlin Wall. In 1949 the Council of Europe was founded, following a speech by Sir Winston Churchill, with the idea of unifying Europe to achieve common goals, it includes all European states except for Belarus and Vatican City. Further European integration by some states led to the formation of the European Union, a separate political entity that lies between a confederation and a federation.
The EU originated in Western Europe but has been expanding eastward since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. The currency of most countries of the European Union, the euro, is the most used among Europeans. In classical Greek mythology, Europa was a Phoenician princess; the word Europe is derived from her name. The name contains the elements εὐρύς, "wide, broad" and ὤψ "eye, countenance", hence their composite Eurṓpē would mean "wide-gazing" or "broad of aspect". Broad has been an epithet of Earth herself in the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European religion and the poetry devoted to it. There have been attempts to connect Eurṓpē to a Semitic term for "west", this being either Akkadian erebu meaning "to go down, set" or Phoenician'ereb "evening, west", at the origin of Arabic Maghreb and Hebrew ma'arav. Michael A. Barry, professor in Princeton University's Near Eastern Studies Department, finds the mention of the word Ereb on an Assyrian stele with the meaning of "night, sunset", in opposition to Asu " sunrise", i.e. Asia.
The same naming motive according to "cartographic convention" appears in Greek Ἀνατολή. Martin Litchfield West stated that "phonologically, the match between Europa's name and any form of the Semitic word is poor." Next to these hypotheses there is a Proto-Indo-European root *h1regʷos, meaning "darkness", which produced Greek Erebus. Most major world languages use words derived from Europa to refer to the continent. Chinese, for example, uses the word Ōuzhōu. In some Turkic languages the Persian name Frangistan is used casually in referring to much of Europe, besides official names such as Avrupa or Evropa; the prevalent definition of Europe as a geographical term has been in use since the mid-19th century. Europe is taken to be bounded by large bodies of water
Italy national basketball team
The Italian national basketball team is administered by the Federazione Italiana Pallacanestro. Italy has won 2 gold medals, 4 silver medals and 4 bronze medals at the EuroBasket, 2 silver medals at the Summer Olympics. Italy has participated at 37 EuroBaskets, 8 World Cups, 11 Summer Olympic Games. Italy is one of the founding members of the International Federation of Basketball, has one of the world's longest basketball traditions; the first match of the Italian national basketball team was played on 4 April 1926 in Milan, it ended with a victory over France by 23–17. Italy's first participation in the Olympic Games was at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, placing seventh out of twenty-one teams. At the EuroBasket 1937 Italy placed second behind Lithuania, after being beaten by just one point in the final game; the silver medal was repeated at EuroBasket 1946. Following the end of World War II the Azzurri went through difficult times and not only failed to qualify for two Summer Olympics and three consecutive world championships but struggled in Europe as well.
This was reflected at the technical level with the alternation of several head coaches within only a few years. Of special importance was Italy's decision not to compete at the EuroBasket 1949, to mourn for the victims of the Superga air disaster, it was the first time. In 1957 as Nello Paratore took the head coach position Italy made only slight improvements from the previous decade. At the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome Italy showed its most impressive performance to this point where it placed fourth, only behind USA, USSR and Brazil. Curiously, the organizational expenses of the Olympics in Rome resulted in the decision not to participate in the EuroBasket 1961. In 1969, Giancarlo Primo became Italy's coach. Under his leadership Italian national team grew stronger, claiming a place among the world's best teams. Under Primo, the Azzuri won two European bronze medals and earned two fourth places at FIBA World Championship. Further, Italy finished fourth at the 1972 Summer Olympics where it lost the match for third place to Cuba by only one point.
Among the leading players of the national team were the young Meneghin, Marzorati and Bariviera. In 1979 Sandro Gamba replaced Primo, leading Italy to its biggest triumphs till then: a silver at the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, a gold at EuroBasket 1983 in Nantes, a bronze at the EuroBasket 1985 in Stuttgart; as in the years before, Meneghin and Villalta were the cornerstones of the team, complemented by players such as Riva and Brunamonti. This episode in time stands out to this day as the most successful in the history of the Italian national team. Following these outstanding accomplishments was another period of crisis, first under Coach Valerio Bianchini, another six years of modest success where the biggest accomplishment was silver at the EuroBasket 1991 in Rome, called to end Ettore Messina, who took over in 1992. In the same year Enrico Vinci stepped down as President of the Italian Basketball Federation after 16 years; the place was taken over by Giovanni Petrucci. Ettore Messina became Italy's coach in 1992.
This medal was the main accomplishment of coach Messina, who served the team for five years and failed to qualify for the Olympic Games and the World Championship. A great disappointment was suffered at the 1998 FIBA World Championship in Athens when a team with Fučka, Myers and Meneghin was believed to aspire to the podium but only finished sixth. Bogdan Tanjević replaced Messina, leading Italy to the triumph at EuroBasket 1999, the first gold medal in 16 years; the second gold medal at a European Basketball Championship arrived after beating Spain in the final game. After a ninth place at EuroBasket 2001, held in Turkey, Carlo Recalcati was called to replace Tanjević. Recalcati could count on Italy's top talents Gregor Fučka and Carlton Myers, as well as valuable contributors such as Basile and Chiacig. At EuroBasket 2003, Italy showed a strong performances and defeated Germany and Greece but was kicked out by Spain in the semifinals; the victory against France in the bronze medal game guaranteed the team's qualification at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens.
Italy was stopped only in the final game by Argentina. Most important, this silver seemed to be worth much more than that of the 1980 Olympics in Moscow where several top teams, including the United States and Canada were absent for a boycott. Since the Azzurri experienced years of only skimpy satisfaction: after the Summer Olympics in Greece, the team collected three ninth places, two at the EuroBasket and one at the 2006 World Cup. Subsequently, the team failed to qualify for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, for the 2009 EuroBasket and the World Championship the following year. Despite the increasing internationalization of the NBA and a steady presence of Italian players, the national team performed poorly in these years; the reasons for this phenomenon are simple: low contribution of NBA athletes, ageing guards and the lack of young talent. The reason for the seeming lack of talent were caused by the difficulty that Italian talents had in the national championships Serie A. There, they faced strong competition from American and European players.
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Netherlands national basketball team
The Dutch national basketball team is the basketball team that represents the Netherlands in international competitions. It is administered by the NMT, an organisation for the national team; when it qualified for the FIBA EuroBasket, team Netherlands played quite competitive at some of the tournaments. The team proceeded to the playoffs several times. However, its last appearance was in 1989. Since 1991, the team has had some tough years, overshadowed by lack of both money and support from fans and media. In the 2015 tournament they made their first appearance in 25 years, only two years after it had been proposed that the team should be dissolved; the team represents itself as the Orange Lions. The Netherlands were one of the teams that played in the 1946, 1947, 1949 and 1951 EuroBasket tournaments; the 5th place in 1949 was the best performance of the team. Oranje qualified for three EuroBaskets in a row from 1961 till 1967. After two missed tournaments, the Netherlands had another 3-EuroBasket appearances streak.
In 1977, the Netherlands' star player Kees Akerboom, Sr. shone during the tournament. He got a place in the All-Tournament Team. In 1983, the Netherlands had its biggest success in history under head coach Vladimir Heger: the team achieved fourth place at the EuroBasket tournament. In the third-place game it lost to the Soviet Union. From 1991 until 2012, the Netherlands did not qualify for a EuroBasket tournament. Star player Francisco Elson, former NBA-champion, represented the team on several occasions but the team never came close to qualifying. In this period, notable Dutch players like Dan Gadzuric were not willing to play for the team. Home games were played at the Topsportcentrum in Almere and had little to no media attention or fan support in the Netherlands. In December 2012, it was announced that the Netherlands team would be dissolved for 2 years, because the national federation NBB was not willing to invest money in it. After a campaign by Dutch players who played in the Dutch Basketball League, the national team was saved.
Sports broadcaster Sport1 became the main sponsor and DBL-teams invested in the team, which started playing again. During August 2013, the Netherlands was on its way to qualification for FIBA EuroBasket 2015, but lost two games 20–0 because the team played with two players – Mohamed Kherrazi and Sean Cunningham – who were identified as foreign players by the FIBA; the NBB believed that both were eligible players, was upset that the attention came up after the Netherlands won 2 games. At the start of the second 2015-qualification round, things looked bad for Oranje; the DBL-teams didn't have any more money to invest in the team and the NBB wasn't ready to take the team back. Head coach Toon van Helfteren, who worked as volunteer, still did prepare for the qualifying games, he invited 42 players to play for the national team, but after most players rejected the offer, he started his first training with 7 players. The team shocked the world, by beating heavy favorite Montenegro in the group to get the second place in the group.
On 27 August 2014, the Dutch national team qualified for EuroBasket for the first time in 25 years. The national team left the NBB and FEB, from 2015 the team was run by the NMT. Van Helfteren extended his contract with the national team. In contrast to the summer of 2014, big name players from foreign leagues applied to play for the national team. In the first game at EuroBasket 2015, the Dutch beat Georgia 73–72 behind Charlon Kloof's 22 and Worthy de Jong's 16 points; the Netherlands remaining four games were lost, but only with single digits to power houses such as Croatia and Greece. Roster for the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup qualification. Official website FIBA profile EuroBasket.com Archived records
The 1969 FIBA European Championship called FIBA EuroBasket 1969, was the sixteenth FIBA EuroBasket regional basketball championship, held by FIBA Europe. Soviet Union Yugoslavia Czechoslovakia Poland Spain Italy Bulgaria Hungary Romania Greece Israel Sweden 1. Soviet Union: Sergei Belov, Alexander Belov, Modestas Paulauskas, Gennadi Volnov, Priit Tomson, Anatoly Polivoda, Zurab Sakandelidze, Vladimir Andreev, Aleksander Kulkov, Aleksander Boloshev, Sergei Kovalenko, Vitali Zastukhov 2. Yugoslavia: Krešimir Ćosić, Ivo Daneu, Nikola Plećaš, Vinko Jelovac, Damir Šolman, Rato Tvrdić, Ljubodrag Simonović, Trajko Rajković, Dragutin Čermak, Dragan Kapičić, Vladimir Cvetković, Zoran Marojević 3. Czechoslovakia: Jiří Zídek Sr. Vladimir Pistelak, Jiří Zedníček, Frantisek Konvicka, Jiri Ruzicka, Jiri Ammer, Jan Bobrovsky, Robert Mifka, Karel Baroch, Jiri Konopasek, Petr Novicky, Jan Blažek 4. Poland: Bohdan Likszo, Edward Jurkiewicz, Bolesław Kwiatkowski, Włodzimierz Trams, Andrzej Seweryn, Grzegorz Korcz, Waldemar Kozak, Henryk Cegielski, Jan Dolczewski, Marek Ladniak, Adam Niemiec, Krzysztof Gula
France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War; the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon, which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona
Finland the Republic of Finland, is a country in Northern Europe bordering the Baltic Sea, Gulf of Bothnia, Gulf of Finland, between Norway to the north, Sweden to the northwest, Russia to the east. Finland is situated in the geographical region of Fennoscandia; the capital and largest city is Helsinki. Other major cities are Espoo, Tampere and Turku. Finland's population is 5.52 million, the majority of the population is concentrated in the southern region. 88.7% of the population is Finnish and speaks Finnish, a Uralic language unrelated to the Scandinavian languages. Finland is the eighth-largest country in Europe and the most sparsely populated country in the European Union; the sovereign state is a parliamentary republic with a central government based in the capital city of Helsinki, local governments in 311 municipalities, one autonomous region, the Åland Islands. Over 1.4 million people live in the Greater Helsinki metropolitan area, which produces one third of the country's GDP. Finland was inhabited when the last ice age ended 9000 BCE.
The first settlers left behind artefacts that present characteristics shared with those found in Estonia and Norway. The earliest people were hunter-gatherers; the first pottery appeared in 5200 BCE. The arrival of the Corded Ware culture in southern coastal Finland between 3000 and 2500 BCE may have coincided with the start of agriculture; the Bronze Age and Iron Age were characterised by extensive contacts with other cultures in the Fennoscandian and Baltic regions and the sedentary farming inhabitation increased towards the end of Iron Age. At the time Finland had three main cultural areas – Southwest Finland and Karelia – as reflected in contemporary jewellery. From the late 13th century, Finland became an integral part of Sweden through the Northern Crusades and the Swedish part-colonisation of coastal Finland, a legacy reflected in the prevalence of the Swedish language and its official status. In 1809, Finland was incorporated into the Russian Empire as the autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland.
In 1906, Finland became the first European state to grant all adult citizens the right to vote, the first in the world to give all adult citizens the right to run for public office. Following the 1917 Russian Revolution, Finland declared itself independent. In 1918, the fledgling state was divided by civil war, with the Bolshevik-leaning Red Guard supported by the new Soviet Russia, fighting the White Guard, supported by the German Empire. After a brief attempt to establish a kingdom, the country became a republic. During World War II, the Soviet Union sought to occupy Finland, with Finland losing parts of Karelia, Kuusamo and some islands, but retaining their independence. Finland established an official policy of neutrality; the Finno-Soviet Treaty of 1948 gave the Soviet Union some leverage in Finnish domestic politics during the Cold War era. Finland joined the OECD in 1969, the NATO Partnership for Peace in 1994, the European Union in 1995, the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council in 1997, the Eurozone at its inception, in 1999.
Finland was a relative latecomer to industrialisation, remaining a agrarian country until the 1950s. After World War II, the Soviet Union demanded war reparations from Finland not only in money but in material, such as ships and machinery; this forced Finland to industrialise. It developed an advanced economy while building an extensive welfare state based on the Nordic model, resulting in widespread prosperity and one of the highest per capita incomes in the world. Finland is a top performer in numerous metrics of national performance, including education, economic competitiveness, civil liberties, quality of life, human development. In 2015, Finland was ranked first in the World Human Capital and the Press Freedom Index and as the most stable country in the world during 2011–2016 in the Fragile States Index, second in the Global Gender Gap Report, it ranked first on the World Happiness Report report for 2018 and 2019. A large majority of Finns are members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, freedom of religion is guaranteed under the Finnish Constitution.
The earliest written appearance of the name Finland is thought to be on three runestones. Two have the inscription finlonti; the third was found in Gotland. It dates back to the 13th century; the name can be assumed to be related to the tribe name Finns, mentioned at first known time AD 98. The name Suomi has uncertain origins, but a candidate for a source is the Proto-Baltic word *źemē, meaning "land". In addition to the close relatives of Finnish, this name is used in the Baltic languages Latvian and Lithuanian. Alternatively, the Indo-European word * gʰm-on "man" has been suggested; the word referred only to the province of Finland Proper, to the northern coast of Gulf of Finland, with northern regions such as Ostrobothnia still sometimes being excluded until later. Earlier theories suggested derivation from suomaa or suoniemi, but these are now considered outdated; some have suggested common etymology with saame and Häme, but that theory is uncertain