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
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army shortened to Red Army was the army and the air force of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, after 1922, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The army was established after the 1917 October Revolution; the Bolsheviks raised an army to oppose the military confederations of their adversaries during the Russian Civil War. Beginning in February 1946, the Red Army, along with the Soviet Navy, embodied the main component of the Soviet Armed Forces; the Red Army provided the largest land force in the Allied victory in the European theatre of World War II, its invasion of Manchuria assisted the unconditional surrender of Imperial Japan. During operations on the Eastern Front, it accounted for 75–80% of casualties the Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS suffered during the war and captured the Nazi German capital, Berlin. In September 1917, Vladimir Lenin wrote: "There is only one way to prevent the restoration of the police, and, to create a people's militia and to fuse it with the army."
At the time, the Imperial Russian Army had started to collapse. 23% of the male population of the Russian Empire were mobilized. The Tsarist general Nikolay Dukhonin estimated that there had been 2 million deserters, 1.8 million dead, 5 million wounded and 2 million prisoners. He estimated the remaining troops as numbering 10 million. While the Imperial Russian Army was being taken apart, "it became apparent that the rag-tag Red Guard units and elements of the imperial army who had gone over the side of the Bolsheviks were quite inadequate to the task of defending the new government against external foes." Therefore, the Council of People's Commissars decided to form the Red Army on 28 January 1918. They envisioned a body "formed from the class-conscious and best elements of the working classes." All citizens of the Russian republic aged 18 or older were eligible. Its role being the defense "of the Soviet authority, the creation of a basis for the transformation of the standing army into a force deriving its strength from a nation in arms, furthermore, the creation of a basis for the support of the coming Socialist Revolution in Europe."
Enlistment was conditional upon "guarantees being given by a military or civil committee functioning within the territory of the Soviet Power, or by party or trade union committees or, in extreme cases, by two persons belonging to one of the above organizations." In the event of an entire unit wanting to join the Red Army, a "collective guarantee and the affirmative vote of all its members would be necessary." Because the Red Army was composed of peasants, the families of those who served were guaranteed rations and assistance with farm work. Some peasants who remained at home yearned to join the Army. If they were turned away they would prepare care-packages. In some cases the money they earned would go towards tanks for the Army; the Council of People's Commissars appointed itself the supreme head of the Red Army, delegating command and administration of the army to the Commissariat for Military Affairs and the Special All-Russian College within this commissariat. Nikolai Krylenko was the supreme commander-in-chief, with Aleksandr Myasnikyan as deputy.
Nikolai Podvoisky became the commissar for Pavel Dybenko, commissar for the fleet. Proshyan, Steinberg were specified as people's commissars as well as Vladimir Bonch-Bruyevich from the Bureau of Commissars. At a joint meeting of Bolsheviks and Left Socialist-Revolutionaries, held on 22 February 1918, Krylenko remarked: "We have no army; the demoralized soldiers are fleeing, panic-stricken, as soon as they see a German helmet appear on the horizon, abandoning their artillery and all war material to the triumphantly advancing enemy. The Red Guard units are brushed aside like flies. We have no power to stay the enemy; the Russian Civil War occurred in three periods: October 1917 – November 1918: From the Bolshevik Revolution to the First World War Armistice, developed from the Bolshevik government's nationalization of traditional Cossack lands in November 1917. This provoked the insurrection of General Alexey Maximovich Kaledin's Volunteer Army in the River Don region; the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk aggravated Russian internal politics.
The situation encouraged direct Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War, in which twelve foreign countries supported anti-Bolshevik militias. A series of engagements resulted, amongst others, the Czechoslovak Legion, the Polish 5th Rifle Division, the pro-Bolshevik Red Latvian Riflemen. January 1919 – November 1919: Initially the White armies advanced: from the south, under General Anton Denikin; the Whites defeated the Red Army on each front. Leon Trotsky reformed and counterattacked: the Red Army repelled Admiral Kolchak's army in June, the armies of General Denikin and General Yudenich in October. By mid-Nove
The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
The Tuvans or Tuvinians are an indigenous people of Siberia/Central Asia. They speak a Turkic language, they are regarded in Mongolia as one of the Uriankhai peoples. Tuvans have been cattle-herding nomads, tending to herds of goats, camels, reindeer and yaks for the past thousands of years, they have traditionally lived in yurts covered by felt or chums covered with birch bark or hide that they relocate seasonally as they move to newer pastures. Traditionally, the Tuvans were divided into nine regions called khoshuun, namely the Tozhu, Oyunnar, Khaasuut, Nibazy and Choodu, Beezi; the first four were ruled by Uriankhai Mongol princes, while the rest were administered by Borjigin Mongol princes. Besides prehistoric rock-carvings to be found along the Yenisei banks, the first internationally important archaeological findings have been near Arzhan, in the north central Tuva. Here, Scythian kurgan burials are being researched, revealing the earliest and easternmost remains of these people who spread all the way to Europe.
Their story and fantastic gold treasures can be appreciated in the National Museum in Kyzyl. The Xiongnu ruled over the area of Tuva prior to 200 AD. At this time, a people known to the Chinese as Dingling 丁零 inhabited the region; the Chinese recorded the existence of a tribe of Dingling origin named Dubo in the eastern Sayans. This name is recognized as being associated with the Tuvan people and is the earliest written record of them; the Sibes （Xianbei 鮮卑 or Tunghu 東胡 in Chinese) attacked and defeated the Huns and they, in turn, were defeated by the Rouran 柔然. From around the end of the 6th century, the Göktürks held dominion over Tuva up until the 8th century when the Uyghurs Turks took over. Tuvans were subjects of the Uyghur Khanate during the 9th centuries; the Uyghurs established several fortifications within Tuva as a means of subduing the population. There are plans being discussed to restore the remains of one of these fortresses, Por-Bazhyn in lake Tere-Khol in the southeast of the country.
The memory of Uyghur occupation could still be seen up until the end of the 19th century due to the application of the name Ondar Uyghur for the Ondar Tuvans living near the Khemchik river in the southwest. Uyghur dominance was broken by the Yeniseian Kyrgyz in 840 AD, who came from the upper reaches of the Yenisei. In 1207, the Oirat prince Quduqa-Beki led Mongol detachments under Jochi to a tributary of the Kaa-Khem river, they encountered the Tuvan Keshdims and Teleks. This was the beginning of Mongol suzerainty over the Tuvans. After the collapse of the Naiman Khanate, Tuvans moved to modern Mongolia and some Naimans moved to modern Kazakhstan territory. Tuvans came to be ruled for most of the 17th century by Khalka Mongol leader Sholoi Ubashi's Altan-Khan Khanate, it was at this time in 1615 that the first Russians, Vasily Tyumenets and Ivan Petrov, visited Tuva as emissaries to the Altan-Khan. Russian documents from this time record information about different tribal groups that contributed to the composition of modern Tuvans.
Tyumenets and Petrov describe the Maads, who became Russian subjects in 1609, living in the Bii-Khem basin, 14 days' ride from Tomsk. The Maads travelled to the area of the Khemchik and Ulug-Khem next to the lands of the Altan-Khan near the lake Uvs Nuur; the ambassadors described the Sayan raising reindeer with the Tochi from the Sayan to the Altai mountain ranges. The descendants of the Ak-Sayan and Kara-Sayan live around Tere-Khol rayon; the state of the Altan-Khan disappeared due to constant warring between the Oirats and the Khalka of Jasaghtu Khan aimag. The Tuvans became part of the Dzungarian state ruled by the Oirats; the Dzungars ruled over all of the Sayano-Altay Plateau until 1755. It was during this time of Dzungarian rule that many tribes and clans broke up, moved around, intermingled. Groups of Altayan Telengits settled in western Tuva on the Khemchik and Barlyk rivers and in the region of Bai-Taiga; some Todzhans and Mingats ended up in the Altay. The Siberians established Manchu-Qing Dynasty migrated other Tuvans north across the Sayan range and they became known as Beltirs.
The languages of the Beltirs and Tuvans still contain common words not found in the language of the other Khakas. Other Russian documents mention Yeniseian Kyrgyz and Kuchugets moving into Tuva from the north. Besides the Turkic tribes mentioned above, there is indication that modern Tuvans are descended from Mongolic and Yeniseian groups of peoples. Of the extinct Southern Samoyed groups, Koibal and Karagas were assimilated into the eastern Tuvans such as the Todzhins, Tofalars and Dukha; the Irgit tribe is suggested as being from Samoyedic ancestors. The Tuvan name for the Yenisei river may stem from an ancient Samoyedic name. Tribes such as Tumat, Mingat and Salchak are recognized as having a Mongolic origin. According to Ilya Zakharov of Moscow's Vavilov Institute of General Genetics, genetic evidence suggests that the modern Tuvan people are the closest genetic relatives to the indigenous peoples of the Americas. A recent study claims that Tuvans and some other Siberian Turkic groups are descedants of the Yeniseian people and related to the Paleo-Eskimo groups.
There does not seem to exist a clear ethnic delineation for the application of the name Uriankhai. Mongols applied this name to all tribes of Forest People; this name has been applied to Tuvans. In Mongolia there are peoples known by this name. A variation of
Olkhon is the fourth-largest lake-bound island in the world. It is by far the largest island in Lake Baikal in eastern Siberia, with an area of 730 km2. Structurally, it acts as the southwestern margin of Academician Ridge; the island measures 20.8 km in width. There are two versions regarding the origin of the name of the island and both are derived from the language of the Buryats, the indigenous people of Olkhon; the first is that the island's name comes from the word oyhon – “woody”, the second is that it comes from olhan – “dry”. It is still debated which of the two is the actual origin of the name Olkhon as both words describe the island perfectly. Much of the island is still covered by forests and the amount of precipitation is low – about 240 mm per year. Olkhon is rich in archaeological landmarks. Steep mountains line its eastern shore, at 1,276 m above sea level, Mount Zhima is the highest point on the island, peaking at 818 m above the water level of Lake Baikal; the island is large enough to have its own lakes, features a combination of taiga, steppe and a small desert.
A deep strait separates the island from the land. The island's appearance is a result of millions of years of tectonic movement resulting in the hollowing of the channel between the land and the block of stone forming the island; the steep slopes of the mountains show the vertical heave of the earth. The population of the island is less than 1,500 and consists of Buryats, the island's aboriginal people. There are several settlements and five villages on the island: Yalga, Khuzhir and Ulan-Khushin; the village of Khuzhir is the administrative capital of Olkhon, designated as such in April 1987 when the Soviet government issued a comprehensive decree protecting Lake Baikal. Khuzhir boasts a museum of local nature and history. Most residents are farmers, or cattle-ranchers. Due to an increasing number of tourists from all over the world, many residents work in this sector as well, tourism has become an important part of the economy in Olkhon; the indigenous Buryats, adherents of shamanism, believe the island to be a spiritual place.
On the western coast, close to Khuzhir, is Baikal's most famous landmark, the Shamanka, or Shaman's Rock. Natives believe that Burkhan, a modern religious cult figure of the Altai peoples, lives in the cave in this rock; the rock is one of nine most sacred places in Asia. Olkhon is considered a centre of Kurumchinskay culture of the 6th–10th centuries; the museum at Olkhon, named after Revyakin, has exhibits on the nature and ethnography of the island, including pipe-smoking and a samovar collection. The island has a long history of human habitation; the original indigenous people were the Kurykans, forefathers of two ethnic groups: the Buryats and the Yakuts. Russian explorers first visited during the 17th century. Khuzhir is the main village on Olkhon Island and contains and homestays; the National History Museum of Revyakin N. M in Khuzhir contains collections of historical items linked to the life and culture of the people of Olkhon from Neolithic times to the present day. Here, visitors can see various items such as stone arrowheads, badges of Mongolian soldiers, materials used in cremation rituals, can learn about life on this island of political exiles in the Soviet era, as well as the unique flora and fauna that can only be found on Olkhon Island.
The Revyakin Museum was named after a famous geologist, paleontologist and writer of science fiction, Obruchev. However, it was named after its founder, a teacher of geography, N. M. Revyakin. Peschanaya Village is an abandoned settlement famous for its picturesque sand dunes and the unique appearance of the trees found here – stilted trees with their roots exposed above the sand; the constant winds that blow from the sea towards land move the sand away from the shore and form high sand hills, which are called "moving sands", as these sand dunes change location depending on the direction of the wind. This strong wind has resulted in the exposure of roots of trees near the shore, giving the trees the appearance of a standing person, thus earning them the name "walking trees". Furthermore, there used to be a gulag fish factory. However, after Stalin's death, these prisoners were released, the factory has been abandoned since the 1950s. Three Brothers Rock, or Sagaan-Khushun Cape, is one of Baikal's natural monuments and another popular tourist sightseeing spot.
It is recognised as three big rocks standing in a row overlooking Lake Baikal. According to an old Buryatian legend, there once lived three brothers on Olkhon Island whose father had supernatural powers. Once, their father turned them into eagles but only on the condition that they would not eat dead meat; the brothers were happy with their newly gained freedom as eagles and decided to fly around the island after promising not to eat dead meat. However, when they were flying around the island, they found a dead animal. Despite their promises to their father, they ate this dead animal; when their father learned about it, he was furious and turned them into the three rocks that we see today. Khoboy Cape is the most northern point of Olkhon island; the name comes from an old Buryat word meaning "fang" because of its shape, a vertically oriented marble rock, appearing m
The reindeer known as the caribou in North America, is a species of deer with circumpolar distribution, native to Arctic, sub-Arctic, tundra and mountainous regions of northern Europe and North America. This includes both migratory populations. Rangifer herd size varies in different geographic regions; the Taimyr herd of migrating Siberian tundra reindeer in Russia is the largest wild reindeer herd in the world, varying between 400,000 and 1,000,000. What was once the second largest herd is the migratory boreal woodland caribou George River herd in Canada, with former variations between 28,000 and 385,000; as of January 2018, there are fewer than 9,000 animals estimated to be left in the George River herd, as reported by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. The New York Times reported in April 2018 of the disappearance of the only herd of southern mountain caribou in the lower 48 states, with an expert calling it "functionally extinct" after the herd's size dwindled to a mere three animals.
Rangifer varies in size and colour from the smallest, the Svalbard reindeer, to the largest, the boreal woodland caribou. The North American range of caribou extends from Alaska through Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut into the boreal forest and south through the Canadian Rockies and the Columbia and Selkirk Mountains; the Barren-ground caribou, Porcupine caribou, Peary caribou live in the tundra, while the shy boreal woodland caribou prefer the boreal forest. The Porcupine caribou and the barren-ground caribou form large herds and undertake lengthy seasonal migrations from birthing grounds to summer and winter feeding grounds in the tundra and taiga; the migrations of Porcupine caribou herds are among the longest of any mammal. Barren-ground caribou are found in Kitaa in Greenland, but the larger herds are in Alaska, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut; some subspecies are rare and at least one has become extinct: the Queen Charlotte Islands caribou of Canada. The range of the sedentary boreal woodland caribou covered more than half of Canada and into the northern States in the U.
S. Woodland caribou have disappeared from most of their original southern range and were designated as threatened in 2002 by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. Environment Canada reported in 2011 that there were 34,000 boreal woodland caribou in 51 ranges remaining in Canada.. Siberian tundra reindeer herds are in decline, Rangifer tarandus is considered to be vulnerable by the IUCN. Arctic peoples have depended on caribou for food and shelter, such as the Caribou Inuit, the inland-dwelling Inuit of the Kivalliq Region in northern Canada, the Caribou Clan in Yukon, the Inupiat, the Inuvialuit, the Hän, the Northern Tutchone, the Gwich'in. Hunting wild reindeer and herding of semi-domesticated reindeer are important to several Arctic and sub-Arctic peoples such as the Duhalar for meat, antlers and transportation; the Sami people have depended on reindeer herding and fishing for centuries. In Lapland, reindeer pull pulks. Male and female reindeer can grow antlers annually, although the proportion of females that grow antlers varies between population and season.
Antlers are larger on males. In traditional festive legend, Santa Claus's reindeer pull a sleigh through the night sky to help Santa Claus deliver gifts to good children on Christmas Eve. Carl Linnaeus chose the name Rangifer for the reindeer genus, which Albertus Magnus used in his De animalibus, fol. Liber 22, Cap. 268: "Dicitur Rangyfer quasi ramifer". This word may go back to the Saami word raingo. Linnaeus chose the word tarandus as the specific epithet, making reference to Ulisse Aldrovandi's Quadrupedum omnium bisulcorum historia fol. 859–863, Cap. 30: De Tarando. However and Konrad Gesner – thought that rangifer and tarandus were two separate animals. In any case, the tarandos name goes back to Theophrastus; the use of the terms Reindeer and caribou for the same animal can cause confusion, but the IUCN delineates the issue: "The world's Caribou and Reindeer are classified as a single species Rangifer tarandus. Reindeer is the European name for the species while in North America, the species is known as Caribou."
The word rein is of Norse origin. The word deer was broader in meaning, but became more specific over time. In Middle English, der meant a wild animal of any kind, in contrast to cattle; the word caribou comes through French, from the Mi'kmaq qalipu, meaning "snow shoveler", referring to its habit of pawing through the snow for food. Because of its importance to many cultures, Rangifer tarandus and some of its subspecies have names in many languages. Inuktitut is spoken in the eastern Arctic, the caribou is known by the name tuktu; the Gwich’in people have over two dozen distinct caribou-related words. The species' taxonomic name, Rangifer tarandus, was defined by Carl Linnaeus in 1758; the woodland caribou subspecies' taxonomic name Rangifer tarandus caribou was defined by Gmelin in 1788. Based on Banfield's often-cited A Revision of the Reindeer and Caribou, Genus Rangifer, R. t. caboti, R. t. osborni and R. t. terraenovae were considered invalid and included in R. t. caribou. Some recent authorities have considered them all valid suggesting that they are quite distinct.
In their book entitled Mammal Species of the World, American zoologist Don E. Wilson and DeeAnn Reeder agree with Valerius Geist, specialist on large North American mammals, that
The Trans-Siberian Railway is a network of railways connecting Moscow with the Russian Far East. With a length of 9,289 kilometres, from Moscow to Vladivostok, it is the longest railway line in the world. There are connecting branch lines into Mongolia and North Korea, it has connected Moscow with Vladivostok since 1916, is still being expanded. It was built between 1891 and 1916 under the supervision of Russian government ministers appointed by Tsar Alexander III and his son, the Tsarevich Nicholas. Before it had been completed, it attracted travellers who wrote of their adventures; the railway is associated with the main transcontinental Russian line that connects hundreds of large and small cities of the European and Asian parts of Russia. At a Moscow–Vladivostok track length of 9,289 kilometres, it spans a record eight time zones. Taking eight days to complete the journey, it is the third-longest single continuous service in the world, after the Moscow–Pyongyang 10,267 kilometres and the Kiev–Vladivostok 11,085 kilometres services, both of which follow the Trans-Siberian for much of their routes.
The main route of the Trans-Siberian Railway begins in Moscow at Yaroslavsky Vokzal, runs through Yaroslavl, Omsk, Irkutsk, Ulan-Ude and Khabarovsk to Vladivostok via southern Siberia. A second primary route is the Trans-Manchurian, which coincides with the Trans-Siberian east of Chita as far as Tarskaya, about 1,000 km east of Lake Baikal. From Tarskaya the Trans-Manchurian heads southeast, via Harbin and Mudanjiang in China's Northeastern Provinces, joining with the main route in Ussuriysk just north of Vladivostok; this is the oldest railway route to Vladivostok. While there are no traverse passenger services on this branch, it is still used by several international passenger services between Russia and China; the third primary route is the Trans-Mongolian Railway, which coincides with the Trans-Siberian as far as Ulan-Ude on Lake Baikal's eastern shore. From Ulan-Ude the Trans-Mongolian heads south to Ulaan-Baatar before making its way southeast to Beijing. In 1991, a fourth route running further to the north was completed, after more than five decades of sporadic work.
Known as the Baikal Amur Mainline, this recent extension departs from the Trans-Siberian line at Taishet several hundred miles west of Lake Baikal and passes the lake at its northernmost extremity. It crosses the Amur River at Komsomolsk-na-Amure, reaches the Tatar Strait at Sovetskaya Gavan. On 13 October 2011, a train from Khasan made its inaugural run to North Korea. In the late 19th century, the development of Siberia was hampered by poor transport links within the region, as well as with the rest of the country. Aside from the Great Siberian Route, good roads suitable for wheeled transport were rare. For about five months of the year, rivers were the main means of transport. During the cold half of the year and passengers travelled by horse-drawn sledges over the winter roads, many of which were the same rivers, but ice-covered; the first steamboat on the River Ob, Nikita Myasnikov's Osnova, was launched in 1844. But early beginnings were difficult, it was not until 1857 that steamboat shipping started developing on the Ob system in a serious way.
Steamboats started operating on the Yenisei in 1863, on the Lena and Amur in the 1870s. While the comparative flatness of Western Siberia was at least well served by the gigantic Ob–Irtysh–Tobol–Chulym river system, the mighty rivers of Eastern Siberia—the Yenisei, the upper course of the Angara River, the Lena—were navigable only in the north-south direction. An attempt to remedy the situation by building the Ob-Yenisei Canal was not successful. Only a railway could be a real solution to the region's transport problems; the first railway projects in Siberia emerged after the completion of the Saint Petersburg–Moscow Railway in 1851. One of the first was the Irkutsk–Chita project, proposed by the American entrepreneur Perry Collins and supported by Transport Minister Constantine Possiet with a view toward connecting Moscow to the Amur River, to the Pacific Ocean. Siberia's governor, Nikolay Muravyov-Amursky, was anxious to advance the colonisation of the Russian Far East, but his plans could not materialise as long as the colonists had to import grain and other food from China and Korea.
It was on Muravyov's initiative. Before 1880, the central government had ignored these projects, because of the weakness of Siberian enterprises, a clumsy bureaucracy, fear of financial risk. By 1880, there were a large number of rejected and upcoming applications for permission to construct railways to connect Siberia with the Pacific, but not Eastern Russia; this made connecting Siberia with Central Russia a pressing concern. The design process lasted 10 years. Along with the route constructed, alternative projects were proposed: Southern route: via Kazakhstan, Barnaul and Mongolia. Northern route: via Tyumen, Tomsk and the modern Baikal Amur Mainline or through Yakutsk; the line was divided into seven sections, on all or mo