Russia Country File

Understand the basics of Russia's geography, history, economy and politics at a glance...

Russia, or the Russian Federation as it is officially known, is the largest country in the world, stretching 8,000 Km from Europe in the west across the length of the Asian continent. Its 143 million inhabitants make it the world’s ninth most populated nation. The main language spoken is Russian, but there are many regional ethnic groups with their own languages.

The capital is Moscow, located in the far west of the country, which has a population of 11.5 million. The city dominates Russia’s economy and provides the most opportunities and jobs for western expats. St Petersburg is the second-biggest city, with a population of almost five million. Outside the main cities, Russia has vast areas of wilderness, including some of the world’s richest reserves of oil, gas, coal, timber and minerals.