Russia 1998Russia

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Russia - Introduction 1998
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Background: The defeat of the Russian Empire in World War I led to the seizure of power by the communists and the formation of the USSR. The brutal rule of Josef STALIN (1924-53) strengthened Russian dominance of the Soviet Union at a cost of tens of millions of lives. The Soviet economy and society stagnated in the following decades until General Secretary Mikhail GORBACHEV (1985-91) introduced glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring) in an attempt to modernize communism but his initiatives inadvertently released forces that by December 1991 broke up the USSR into 15 independent republics. Since then Russia has struggled in its efforts to build a democratic political system and market economy to replace the strict social political and economic controls of the communist period.

Russia - Geography 1998
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Location: Northern Asia (that part west of the Urals is sometimes included with Europe), bordering the Arctic Ocean, between Europe and the North Pacific Ocean

Geographic coordinates: 60 00 N, 100 00 E

Map referenceAsia

Total: 17,075,200 km²
Land: 16,995,800 km²
Water: 79,400 km²
Comparative: slightly less than 1.8 times the size of the US

Land boundaries
Total: 19,917 km
Border countries: (14) Azerbaijan 284 km; , Belarus 959 km; , China (southeast) 3,605 km; , China (south) 40 km; , Estonia 294 km; , Finland 1,313 km; , Georgia 723 km; , Kazakhstan 6,846 km; , North Korea 19 km; , Latvia 217 km; , Lithuania (Kaliningrad Oblast) 227 km; , Mongolia 3,441 km; , Norway 167 km; , Poland (Kaliningrad Oblast) 206 km; , Ukraine 1,576 km

Coastline: 37,653 km

Maritime claims
Continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
Exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: ranges from steppes in the south through humid continental in much of European Russia; subarctic in Siberia to tundra climate in the polar north; winters vary from cool along Black Sea coast to frigid in Siberia; summers vary from warm in the steppes to cool along Arctic coast

Terrain: broad plain with low hills west of Urals; vast coniferous forest and tundra in Siberia; uplands and mountains along southern border regions

Extremes lowest point: Caspian Sea -28 m
Extremes highest point: Mount El'brus 5,633 m

Natural resources: wide natural resource base including major deposits of oil, natural gas, coal, and many strategic minerals, timber
Note: formidable obstacles of climate, terrain, and distance hinder exploitation of natural resources
Land use

Land use
Arable land: 8%
Permanent crops: 0%
Permanent pastures: 4%
Forests and woodland: 46%
Other: 42% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 40,000 km² (1993 est.)

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards: permafrost over much of Siberia is a major impediment to development; volcanic activity in the Kuril Islands; volcanoes and earthquakes on the Kamchatka Peninsula

Note: largest country in the world in terms of area but unfavorably located in relation to major sea lanes of the world; despite its size, much of the country lacks proper soils and climates (either too cold or too dry) for agriculture

Russia - People 1998
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Population: 146,861,022 (July 1998 est.)
Growth rate: -0.31% (1998 est.)

Noun: Russian(s)
Adjective: Russian

Ethnic groups: Russian 81.5%, Tatar 3.8%, Ukrainian 3%, Chuvash 1.2%, Bashkir 0.9%, Byelorussian 0.8%, Moldavian 0.7%, other 8.1%

Languages: Russian, other

Religions: Russian Orthodox, Muslim, other

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years: 20% (male 14,756,787; female 14,189,564)
15-64 years: 68% (male 48,138,173; female 51,366,412)
65 years and over: 12% (male 5,699,334; female 12,710,752) (July 1998 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate: -0.31% (1998 est.)

Birth rate: 9.57 births/1000 population (1998 est.)

Death rate: 14.89 deaths/1000 population (1998 est.)

Net migration rate: 2.21 migrant(s)/1000 population (1998 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: air pollution from heavy industry, emissions of coal-fired electric plants, and transportation in major cities; industrial and agricultural pollution of inland waterways and sea coasts; deforestation; soil erosion; soil contamination from improper application of agricultural chemicals; scattered areas of sometimes intense radioactive contamination
International agreements party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulphur 85, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Wetlands
International agreements signed but not ratified: Air Pollution-Sulphur 94

Air pollutants

Sex ratio
At birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.93 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.44 male(s)/female (1998 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 23.26 deaths/1000 live births (1998 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 64.97 years
Male: 58.61 years
Female: 71.64 years (1998 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.34 children born/woman (1998 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access


Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 98%
Male: 100%
Female: 97% (1989 est.)

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Russia - Government 1998
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Country name
Conventional long form: Russian Federation
Conventional short form: Russia
Local long form: Rossiyskaya Federatsiya
Local short form: Rossiya
Former: Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic

Government type: federation

Capital: Moscow

Administrative divisions: oblasts (oblastey, singular_oblast'), 21 autonomous republics* (avtonomnyk respublik, singular_avtonomnaya respublika), 10 autonomous okrugs**(avtonomnykh okrugov, singular_avtonomnyy okrug), 6 krays*** (krayev, singular_kray), 2 federal cities (singular_gorod)****, and 1 autonomous oblast*****(avtonomnaya oblast'); Adygeya (Maykop)*, Aginskiy Buryatskiy (Aginskoye)**, Altay (Gorno-Altaysk)*, Altayskiy (Barnaul)***, Amurskaya (Blagoveshchensk), Arkhangel'skaya, Astrakhanskaya, Bashkortostan (Ufa)*, Belgorodskaya, Bryanskaya, Buryatiya (Ulan-Ude)*, Chechnya (Groznyy)*, Chelyabinskaya, Chitinskaya, Chukotskiy (Anadyr')**, Chuvashiya (Cheboksary)*, Dagestan (Makhachkala)*, Evenkiyskiy (Tura)**, Ingushetiya (Nazran')*, Irkutskaya, Ivanovskaya, Kabardino-Balkariya (Nal'chik)*, Kaliningradskaya, Kalmykiya (Elista)*, Kaluzkskaya, Kamchatskaya (Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy), Karachayevo-Cherkesiya (Cherkessk)*, Kareliya (Petrozavodsk)*, Kemerovskaya, Khabarovskiy***, Khakasiya (Abakan)*, Khanty-Mansiyskiy (Khanty-Mansiysk)**, Kirovskaya, Komi (Syktyvkar)*, Koryakskiy (Palana)**, Kostromskaya, Krasnodarskiy***, Krasnoyarskiy***, Kurganskaya, Kurskaya, Leningradskaya, Lipetskaya, Magadanskaya, Mariy-El (Yoshkar-Ola)*, Mordoviya (Saransk)*, Moskovskaya, Moskva****, Murmanskaya, Nenetskiy (Nar'yan-Mar)**, Nizhegorodskaya, Novgorodskaya, Novosibirskaya, Omskaya, Orenburgskaya, Orlovskaya (Orel), Penzenskaya, Permskaya, Komi-Permyatskiy (Kudymkar)**, Primorskiy (Vladivostok)***, Pskovskaya, Rostovskaya, Ryazanskaya, Sakha (Yakutsk)*, Sakhalinskaya (Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk), Samarskaya, Sankt-Peterburg****, Saratovskaya, Severnaya Osetiya-Alaniya (Vladikavkaz)*, Smolenskaya, Stavropol'skiy***, Sverdlovskaya (Yekaterinburg), Tambovskaya, Tatarstan (Kazan')*, Taymyrskiy (Dudinka)**, Tomskaya, Tul'skaya, Tverskaya, Tyumenskaya, Tyva (Kyzyl)*, Udmurtiya (Izhevsk)*, Ul'yanovskaya, Ust'-Ordynskiy Buryatskiy (Ust'-Ordynskiy)**, Vladimirskaya, Volgogradskaya, Vologodskaya, Voronezhskaya, Yamalo-Nenetskiy (Salekhard)**, Yaroslavskaya, Yevreyskaya*****; note_when using a place name with an adjectival ending 'skaya' or 'skiy,' the word Oblast' or Avonomnyy Okrug or Kray should be added to the place name
Note: the autonomous republics of Chechnya and Ingushetiya were formerly the autonomous republic of Checheno-Ingushetia (the boundary between Chechnya and Ingushetia has yet to be determined); the cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg are federal cities; administrative divisions have the same names as their administrative centers (exceptions have the administrative center name following in parentheses)

Dependent areas

Independence: 24 August 1991 (from Soviet Union)

National holiday: Independence Day, June 12 (1990)

Constitution: adopted 12 December 1993

Legal system: based on civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts

International law organization participation


Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state: President Boris Nikolayevich YEL'TSIN (since 12 June 1991): ead of
Government: Premier and Chairman of the Russian Federation Government Sergey Vladilenovich KIRIYENKO (since 23 March 1998), Deputy Premiers and Deputy Chairmen of the Government Viktor Borisovich KHRISTENKO (since 28 April 1998), Boris Yefimovich NEMTSOV (since 28 April 1998), Oleg Nikolayevich SYSUYEV (since 17 March 1997)
Cabinet: Ministries of the Government or "Government" appointed by the president
Note: there is also a Presidential Administration that drafts presidential edicts and provides staff and policy support to the entire executive branch; a Security Council that was originally established as a presidential advisory body in June 1991 with responsibility for managing individual and state security; a Defense Council and a Foreign Policy Council formed in July 1996 and October 1996 respectively
Elections: president elected by popular vote for a four-year term; election last held 16 June 1996 with runoff election on 3 July 1996 (next to be held NA June 2000); note_no vice president; if the president dies in office, cannot exercise his powers because of ill health, is impeached, or resigns, the premier succeeds him; the premier serves as acting president until a new presidential election is held, which must be within three months; premier and deputy premiers appointed by the president with the approval of the Duma
Election results: Boris Nikolayevich YEL'TSIN elected president; percent of vote in runoff - YEL'TSIN 54%, Gennadiy Andreyevich ZYUGANOV 40%

Legislative branch: bicameral Federal Assembly or Federal'noye Sobraniye consists of the Federation Council or Sovet Federatsii (178 seats, filled ex-officio by the top executive and legislative officials in each of the 89 federal administrative units_oblasts, krays, republics, autonomous okrugs and oblasts, and the cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg; members serve four-year terms) and the State Duma or Gosudarstvennaya Duma (450 seats, half elected in single-member districts and half elected from national party lists; members are elected by direct popular vote to serve four-year terms)
Elections: State Duma_last held 17 December 1995 (next to be held NA December 1999)
Election results: State Duma_percent of vote received by parties clearing the 5% threshold entitling them to a proportional share of the 225 party list seats_Communist Party of the Russian Federation 22.3%, Liberal Democratic Party of Russia 11.2%, Our Home Is Russia 10.1%, Yabloko Bloc 6.9%; seats by party_Communist Party of the Russian Federation 157, independents 78, Our Home Is Russia 55, Liberal Democratic Party of Russia 51, Yabloko Bloc 45, Agrarian Party of Russia 20, Russia's Democratic Choice 9, Power To the People 9, Congress of Russian Communities 5, Forward, Russia! 3, Women of Russia 3, other parties 15

Judicial branch: Constitutional Court, judges are appointed for life by the Federation Council on recommendation of the president; Supreme Court, judges are appointed for life by the Federation Council on recommendation of the president; Superior Court of Arbitration, judges are appointed for life by the Federation Council on recommendation of the president

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: BIS (pending member), BSEC, CBSS, CCC, CE, CERN (observer), CIS, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, ESCAP, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO, ITU, LAIA (observer), MINUGUA, MINURSO, MTCR, NSG, OAS (observer), OSCE, PCA, PFP, UN, UN Security Council, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIKOM, UNITAR, UNMIBH, UNMOP, UNOMIG, UNPREDEP, UNTSO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO (applicant), ZC

Diplomatic representation
In the us chief of mission: Ambassador Yuliy Mikhaylovich VORONTSOV
In the us chancery: 2,650 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20,007
In the us telephone: [1] (202) 298-5,700 through 5,704
In the us fax: [1] (202) 298-5,735
In the us consulates general: New York, San Francisco, and Seattle
From the us chief of mission: Ambassador James F. COLLINS
From the us embassy: Novinskiy Bul'var 19/23, Moscow
From the us mailing address: APO AE 9,721
From the us telephone: [7] (095) 252-24-51 through 59
From the us fax: [7] (095) 956-42-61
From the us consulates general: St. Petersburg, Vladivostok, Yekaterinburg

Flag descriptionflag of Russia: three equal horizontal bands of white (top), blue, and red

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Russia - Economy 1998
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Economy overview: Russia, a vast country with a wealth of natural resources, a well-educated population, and a diverse, but declining, industrial base, continues to experience formidable difficulties in moving from its old centrally planned economy to a modern market economy. After seven consecutive years of contraction 1990-96 in which GDP fell by one-third, GDP grew by 0.4% in 1997, according to official statistics. Moscow continued to make strides in its battle against inflation, which fell to 11%, half the 1996 rate. The central government made good on most back wages owed public-sector employees_including the military_although the stock of wage arrears to employees of private enterprises remained large. Privatization revenues increased significantly, largely on the strength of a few high-profile tenders, such as that of telecommunications giant Svyazinvest. On the downside, Moscow continued to struggle with a severe fiscal imbalance. Lagging tax collections led the government to adopt a revised budget in spring 1997 that cut spending by about 20% despite protests from the legislature. Russia's traditional trade surplus continued to contract_largely because of soft international commodity prices_and Moscow's WTrO accession made only halting progress. Although President YEL'TSIN brought in a new economic team early in 1997, key structural reform initiatives continue to move slowly. A revised tax code remains stuck in the Duma, while little progress is being made on agricultural land reform. Small business development has lagged. Prospects for a return to robust growth have been set back by the spillover from Asia's financial turmoil, which hit Russia hard during the last quarter of 1997. Moscow at first tried to both support the ruble and keep interest rates down, but this policy proved unsustainable, and in early December 1997 the Central Bank let interest rates rise sharply. As the year ended, Russian authorities were attempting to put the best face on the financial situation, while at the same time scaling back their previous optimistic growth projections for 1998 to 1%-2%. Because of Russia's severe macroeconomic constraints, resources allocated to the military sector have declined sharply since the implosion of the USSR in December 1991.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: 0.4% (1997 est.)

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin
Agriculture: 7%
Industry: 39%
Services: 54% (1996)

Agriculture products: grain, sugar beets, sunflower seed, vegetables, fruits (because of its northern location does not grow citrus, cotton, tea, and other warm climate products; meat, milk

Industries: complete range of mining and extractive industries producing coal, oil, gas, chemicals, and metals; all forms of machine building from rolling mills to high-performance aircraft and space vehicles; shipbuilding; road and rail transportation equipment; communications equipment; agricultural machinery, tractors, and construction equipment; electric power generating and transmitting equipment; medical and scientific instruments; consumer durables, textiles, foodstuffs, handicrafts

Industrial production growth rate: 1.9% (1997 est.)

Labor force
Total: 66 million (1997)
By occupation: NA
Labor force

Unemployment rate: 9% (1997 est.) with considerable additional underemployment

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $59 billion
Expenditures: $70 billion, including capital expenditures of $N/A (1997 est.)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

Exports: total value:$86.7 billion (1997)
Commodoties: petroleum and petroleum products, natural gas, wood and wood products, metals, chemicals, and a wide variety of civilian and military manufactures
Partners: Europe, North America, Japan, Third World countries

Imports: total value:$66.9 billion (1997)
Commodoties: machinery and equipment, consumer goods, medicines, meat, grain, sugar, semifinished metal products
Partners: Europe, North America, Japan, Third World countries

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $135 billion (yearend 1996)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: rubles per US$1_5,941 (December 1997), 5,785 (1997), 5,121 (1996), 4,559 (1995), 2,191 (1994), 992 (1993)

Russia - Energy 1998
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 834 billion kWh (1997)

Electricity consumption
Per capita: 5,508 kWh (1995)

Electricity exports

Electricity imports

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Russia - Communication 1998
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system: total pay phones for long distant calls 34,100; enlisting foreign help, by means of joint ventures, to speed up the modernization of its telecommunications system; in 1992, only 661,000 new telephones were installed compared with 855,000 in 1991, and in 1992 the number of unsatisfied applications for telephones reached 11,000,000; expanded access to international electronic mail service available via Sprint network; the inadequacy of Russian telecommunications is a severe handicap to the economy, especially with respect to international connections
Domestic: NMT-450 analog cellular telephone networks are operational and growing in Moscow and St. Petersburg; intercity fiber-optic cable installation remains limited
International: international traffic is inadequately handled by a system of satellites, landlines, microwave radio relay, and outdated submarine cables; much of this traffic passes through the international gateway switch in Moscow which carries most of the international traffic for the other countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States; a new Russian Intersputnik satellite will link Moscow and St. Petersburg with Rome from whence calls will be relayed to destinations in Europe and overseas; satellite earth stations_NA Intelsat, 4 Intersputnik (2 Atlantic Ocean region and 2 Indian Ocean region), NA Eutelsat, 1 Inmarsat (Pacific Ocean region), and NA Orbita

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Russia - Military 1998
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $NA
Dollar figure note: the Intelligence Community estimates that defense spending in Russia fell by about 10% in real terms in 1996, reducing Russian defense outlays to about one-sixth of peak Soviet levels in the late 1980s (1997 est.)
Percent of gdp: NA%

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Russia - Transportation 1998
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 2,517 (1994 est.)
With paved runways total: 630
With paved runways over 3047 m: 54
With paved runways 2438 to 3047 m: 202
With paved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 108
With paved runways 914 to 1523 m: 115
With paved runways under 914 m: 151 (1994 est.)
With unpaved runways total: 1,887
With unpaved runways over 3047 m: 25
With unpaved runways 2438 to 3047 m: 45
With unpaved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 134
With unpaved runways 914 to 1523 m: 291
With unpaved runways under 914 m: 1,392 (1994 est.)

Airports with paved runways
Total: 630
Over 3047 m: 54
2438 to 3047 m: 202
15-24 to 2437 m: 108
914 to 1523 m: 115
Under 914 m: 151 (1994 est.)

Airports with unpaved runways
Total: 1,887
Over 3047 m: 25
2438 to 3047 m: 45
15-24 to 2437 m: 134
914 to 1523 m: 291
Under 914 m: 1,392 (1994 est.)


Pipelines: crude oil 48,000 km; petroleum products 15,000 km; natural gas 140,000 km (30 June 1993)

Total: 154,000 km; note_87,000 km in common carrier service (38,000 km electrified); 67,000 km serve specific industries and are not available for common carrier use
Broad gauge: 154,000 km 1.520-m gauge (1 January 1994)


Waterways: total navigable routes in general use 101,000 km; routes with navigation guides serving the Russian River Fleet 95,900 km; routes with night navigational aids 60,400 km; man-made navigable routes 16,900 km (1 January 1994)

Merchant marine
Total: 540 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 4,531,937 GRT/6,253,940 DWT
Ships by type: barge carrier 1, bulk 18, cargo 291, combination bulk 21, combination ore/oil 12, container 24, multifunction large-load carrier 2, oil tanker 107, passenger 2, passenger-cargo 4, refrigerated cargo 20, roll-on/roll-off cargo 28, short-sea passenger 9, specialized tanker 1
Note: Russia owns an additional 176 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 3,240,776 DWT operating under the registries of The Bahamas, Cambodia, Cyprus, Honduras, Liberia, Malta, Panama, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Singapore (1997 est.)

Ports and terminals

Russia - Transnational issues 1998
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Disputes international: two disputed sections of the boundary with China remain to be settled; islands of Etorofu, Kunashiri, and Shikotan and the Habomai group occupied by the Soviet Union in 1945, now administered by Russia, claimed by Japan; Caspian Sea boundaries are not yet determined among Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkmenistan; Estonian and Russian negotiators reached a technical border agreement in December 1996 which has not been ratified; Estonia claimed over 2,000 km² of territory in the Narva and Pechora regions of Russia - based on boundary established under the 1920 Peace Treaty of Tartu; based on the 1920 Treaty of Riga, Latvia had claimed the Abrene/Pytalovo section of border ceded by the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic to Russia in 1944; draft treaty delimiting the boundary with Latvia has not been signed; has made no territorial claim in Antarctica (but has reserved the right to do so) and does not recognize the claims of any other nation; 1997 border agreement with Lithuania not yet ratified; Svalbard is the focus of a maritime boundary dispute in the Barents Sea between Norway and Russia

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs: limited cultivation of cannabis and opium poppy, mostly for domestic consumption; government has active eradication program; increasingly used as transshipment point for Southwest and Southeast Asian opiates and cannabis and Latin American cocaine to Western Europe, the US, and growing domestic market

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