Russia 2003Russia

 Russia | | | | | |
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World Nomads

Russia - Introduction 2003
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Background: Repeated devastating defeats of the Russian army in World War I led to widespread rioting in the major cities of the Russian Empire and to the overthrow in 1917 of the 300-year old Romanov Dynasty. The Communists under Vladimir LENIN seized power soon after and formed the USSR. The brutal rule of Josef STALIN (1928-53) 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 splintered 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. A determined guerrilla conflict still plagues Russia in Chechnya.

Russia - Geography 2003
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Location: Northern Asia (that part west of the Urals is 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
Water: 79,400 km²
Land: 16,995,800 km²
Comparative: approximately 1.8 times the size of the US

Land boundaries
Total: 19,990 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 3,485 km; , Norway 196 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: Gora El'brus 5,633 m

Natural resources
Note: formidable obstacles of climate, terrain, and distance hinder exploitation of natural resources
Land use

Land use
Arable land: 7.46%
Permanent crops: 0.11%
Other: 92.43% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land: 46,630 km² (1998 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; spring floods and summer/autumn forest fires throughout Siberia and parts of European Russia

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; Mount Elbrus is Europe's tallest peak

Russia - People 2003
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Population: 144,526,278 (July 2003 est.)
Growth rate: -0.3% (2003 est.)
Below poverty line: 25% (37,622 est.)

Noun: Russian
Adjective: Russian

Ethnic groups: Russian 81.5% Tatar 3.8% Ukrainian 3% Chuvash 1.2% Bashkir 0.9% Belarusian 0.8% Moldavian 0.7% other 8.1% (1989)

Languages: Russian other

Religions: Russian Orthodox Muslim other

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years: 16% (male 11,815,360; female 11,335,715)
15-64 years: 70.4% (male 49,399,322; female 52,367,194)
65 years and over: 13.6% (male 6,394,411; female 13,214,276) (2003 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age
Total: 37.6 years
Male: 34.7 years
Female: 40.3 years (2002)

Population growth rate: -0.3% (2003 est.)

Birth rate: 10.09 births/1000 population (2003 est.)

Death rate: 13.99 deaths/1000 population (2003 est.)

Net migration rate: 0.91 migrant(s)/1000 population (2003 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 municipal and agricultural pollution of inland waterways and seacoasts; deforestation; soil erosion; soil contamination from improper application of agricultural chemicals; scattered areas of sometimes intense radioactive contamination; groundwater contamination from toxic waste; urban solid waste management; abandoned stocks of obsolete pesticides
International agreements party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulphur 85, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, 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, Whaling
International agreements signed but not ratified: Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Persistent Organic Pollutants

Air pollutants

Sex ratio
At birth: 1.05 male/female
Under 15 years: 1.04 male/female
15-64 years: 0.94 male/female
65 years and over: 0.48 male/female
Total population: 0.88 male/female (2003 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate
Total: 19.51 deaths/1000 live births
Female: 17.4 deaths/1000 live births (2003 est.)
Male: 21.53 deaths/1000 live births

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 67.66 years
Male: 62.46 years
Female: 73.11 years (2003 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.33 children born/woman (2003 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access

Adult prevalence rate: 0.9% (2001 est.)
People living with hivaids: 700,000 (2001 est.)
Deaths: 9,000 (2001 est.)

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: 99.6%
Male: 99.7%
Female: 99.5% (2003 est.)

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Russia - Government 2003
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Country name
Conventional long form: Russian Federation
Conventional short form: Russia
Local long form: Rossiyskaya Federatsiya
Former: Russian Empire, Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic
Local short form: Rossiya

Government type: federation

Capital: Moscow

Administrative divisions
Note: 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: Russia Day 12 June (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 Vladimir Vladimirovich PUTIN (acting president since 31 December 1999, president since 7 May 2000)
Head of government: Premier Mikhail Mikhaylovich KASYANOV (since 7 May 2000); Deputy Premiers Viktor Borisovich KHRISTENKO (since 31 May 1999), Aleksey Leonidovich KUDRIN (since 18 May 2000), Aleksey Vasilyevich GORDEYEV (since 20 May 2000), Boris Sergeyevich ALESHIN (since 24 April 2003), Galina Nikolayevna KARELOVA (since 24 April 2003), Vladimir Anatolyevich YAKOVLEV (since 16 June 2003)
Cabinet: Ministries of the Government or 'Government' composed of the premier and his deputies, ministers, and selected other individuals; all are appointed by the president
Note: there is also a Presidential Administration (PA) that provides staff and policy support to the president, drafts presidential decrees, and coordinates policy among government agencies; a Security Council also reports directly to the president
Election results: Vladimir Vladimirovich PUTIN elected president; percent of vote - Vladimir Vladimirovich PUTIN 52.9%, Gennadiy Andreyevich ZYUGANOV 29.2%, Grigoriy Alekseyevich YAVLINSKIY 5.8%
Elections: president elected by popular vote for a four-year term; election last held 26 March 2000 (next to be held March 2004); 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 appointed by the president with the approval of the Duma

Legislative branch
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 - United Russia 37.1%, KPRF 12.7%, LDPR 11.6%, Motherland 9.1%; seats by party - United Russia 222, KPRF 53, LDPR 38, Motherland 37, People's Party 19, Yabloko 4, Union of Rightist Forces 2, other 7, independents 65, repeat election required 3
Elections: State Duma - last held 7 December 2003 (next to be held NA December 2007)

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

Political parties and leaders: Communist Party of the Russian Federation or KPRF [Gennadiy Andreyevich ZYUGANOV]; Liberal Democratic Party of Russia or LDPR [Vladimir Volfovich ZHIRINOVSKIY]; Motherland Bloc (Rodina) [Sergey GLAZYEV and Dmitriy ROGOZIN]; People's Party [Gennadiy RAYKOV]; Union of Rightist Forces or SPS [Anatoliy Borisovich CHUBAYS Yegor Timurovich GAYDAR Irina Mutsuovna KHAKAMADA Boris Yefimovich NEMTSOV]; United Russia [Boris Vyacheslavovich GRYZLOV]; Yabloko Party [Grigoriy Alekseyevich YAVLINSKIY]


Diplomatic representation
In the us chief of mission: Ambassador Yuriy Viktorovich USHAKOV
In the us chancery: 2,650 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20,007
In the us consulates general: New York, San Francisco, and Seattle
In the us fax: [1] (202) 298-5,735
In the us telephone: [1] (202) 298-5,700, 5,701, 5,704, 5,708
From the us chief of mission: Ambassador Alexander VERSHBOW
From the us embassy: Bolshoy Devyatinskiy Pereulok No. 8, 121,099 Moscow
From the us mailing address: PSC-77, APO AE 9,721
From the us telephone: [7] (095) 728-5,000
From the us fax: [7] (095) 728-5,090
From the us consulates general: Saint 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 2003
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Economy overview: A decade after the implosion of the Soviet Union in December 1991 Russia is still struggling to establish a modern market economy and achieve strong economic growth. In contrast to its trading partners in Central Europe - which were able within 3 to 5 years to overcome the initial production declines that accompanied the launch of market reforms - Russia saw its economy contract for five years as the executive and legislature dithered over the implementation of many of the basic foundations of a market economy. Russia achieved a slight recovery in 1997 but the government's stubborn budget deficits and the country's poor business climate made it vulnerable when the global financial crisis swept through in 1998. The crisis culminated in the August depreciation of the ruble a debt default by the government and a sharp deterioration in living standards for most of the population. The economy subsequently has rebounded growing by an average of more than 6% annually in 1999-2002 on the back of higher oil prices and the 60% depreciation of the ruble in 1998. These GDP numbers along with a renewed government effort to advance lagging structural reforms have raised business and investor confidence over Russia's prospects in its second decade of transition. Yet serious problems persist. Oil natural gas metals and timber account for more than 80% of exports leaving the country vulnerable to swings in world prices. Russia's industrial base is increasingly dilapidated and must be replaced or modernized if the country is to maintain vigorous economic growth. Other problems include a weak banking system a poor business climate that discourages both domestic and foreign investors corruption local and regional government intervention in the courts and widespread lack of trust in institutions. In 2003 President PUTIN further tightened his control over the 'oligarchs' especially in the realm of political expression.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: 4.3% (2002 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: 5.8%
Industry: 34.6%
Services: 59.6% (2002 est.)

Agriculture products: grain sugar beets sunflower seed vegetables fruits; beef 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: 3.7% (2002 est.)

Labor force: 71.8 million (2002 est.)
By occupation agriculture: 12.3%
By occupation industry: 22.7%
By occupation services: 65% (2002 est.)
Labor force

Unemployment rate: 7.9% plus considerable underemployment (2002)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line: 25% (37,622 est.)

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share
Lowest 10: 5.9%
Highest 10: 47% (2001)

Distribution of family income gini index: 39.9 (2001)

Revenues: $70 billion
Expenditures: $62 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2002 est.)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices: 15% (2002 est.)

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: $104.6 billion (2002 est.)
Commodities: petroleum and petroleum products natural gas wood and wood products metals chemicals and a wide variety of civilian and military manufactures
Partners: Germany 7.5% Italy 6.9% Netherlands 6.7% China 6.3% US 6.1% Ukraine 5.5% Belarus 5.4% Switzerland 5% (2002)

Imports: $60.7 billion (2002 est.)
Commodities: machinery and equipment consumer goods medicines meat sugar semifinished metal products
Partners: Germany 14.3% Belarus 8.9% Ukraine 7.1% US 6.4% China 5.2% Italy 4.8% Kazakhstan 4.3% France 4.1% (2002)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $153.5 billion (yearend 2002)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates
Note: the post-1 January 1998 ruble is equal to 1,000 of the pre-1 January 1998 rubles

Russia - Energy 2003
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 846.5 billion kWh (2001)
By source fossil fuel: 64.3%
By source hydro: 20.5%
By source other: 0.4% (2001)
By source nuclear: 14.8%

Electricity consumption: 773 billion kWh (2001)

Electricity exports: 21.16 billion kWh (2001)

Electricity imports: 7 billion kWh (2001)

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas
Production: 580.8 billion m³ (2001 est.)
Consumption: 408.1 billion m³ (2001 est.)
Exports: 205.4 billion m³ (2001 est.)
Imports: 32.7 billion m³ (2001 est.)
Proved reserves: 47.86 trillion m³ (37,257)

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Russia - Communication 2003
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular: 19 million (January 2003)

Telephone system
General assessment: the telephone system has undergone significant changes in the 1990s; there are more than 1,000 companies licensed to offer communication services; access to digital lines has improved, particularly in urban centers; Internet and e-mail services are improving; Russia has made progress toward building the telecommunications infrastructure necessary for a market economy; however, a large demand for main line service remains unsatisfied
Domestic: cross-country digital trunk lines run from Saint Petersburg to Khabarovsk, and from Moscow to Novorossiysk; the telephone systems in 60 regional capitals have modern digital infrastructures; cellular services, both analog and digital, are available in many areas; in rural areas, the telephone services are still outdated, inadequate, and low density
International: Russia is connected internationally by three undersea fiber-optic cables; digital switches in several cities provide more than 50,000 lines for international calls; satellite earth stations provide access to Intelsat, Intersputnik, Eutelsat, Inmarsat, and Orbita systems

Broadcast media

Internet country code: .ru; Russia also has responsibility for a legacy domain '.su' that was allocated to the Soviet Union its legal status and ownership are contested by the Russian Government ICANN and several Russian commercial entities

Internet users: 18 million (2002)

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Russia - Military 2003
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $NA
Percent of gdp: NA%

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Russia - Transportation 2003
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 2,743 (2002)
With paved runways total: 471
With paved runways over 3047 m: 56
With paved runways 2438 to 3047 m: 178
With paved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 76
With paved runways 914 to 1523 m: 69
With paved runways under 914 m: 92 (2002)
With unpaved runways total: 2,272
With unpaved runways over 3047 m: 28
With unpaved runways 2438 to 3047 m: 118
With unpaved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 204
With unpaved runways 914 to 1523 m: 324
With unpaved runways under 914 m: 1,598 (2002)

Airports with paved runways
Total: 471
Over 3047 m: 56
2438 to 3047 m: 178
15-24 to 2437 m: 76
914 to 1523 m: 69
Under 914 m: 92 (2002)

Airports with unpaved runways
Total: 2,272
Over 3047 m: 28
2438 to 3047 m: 118
15-24 to 2437 m: 204
914 to 1523 m: 324
Under 914 m: 1,598 (2002)


Pipelines: gas 135,771 km; oil 70,833 km; refined products 11,536 km; water 23 km (2003)

Total: 87,157 km
Broad gauge: 86,200 km 1.520-m gauge (40,300 km electrified)
Narrow gauge: 957 km 1.067-m gauge (on Sakhalin Island)
Note: an additional 30,000 km of non-common carrrier lines serve industries (2002)


Note: 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 (January 1994)

Merchant marine
Total: 933 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 4,495,122 GRT/5,490,103 DWT
Ships by type: barge carrier 1, bulk 22, cargo 553, chemical tanker 12, combination bulk 21, combination ore/oil 36, container 30, multi-functional large-load carrier 1, passenger 38, passenger/cargo 3, petroleum tanker 167, refrigerated cargo 21, roll on/roll off 20, short-sea passenger 7, specialized tanker 1
Note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Belize 1, Cambodia 1, Cyprus 9, Denmark 1, Estonia 4, Greece 3, Honduras 1, Latvia 4, Lithuania 3, Moldova 3, Netherlands 1, South Korea 1, Turkey 18, Turkmenistan 2, Ukraine 10, UK 5, US 1 (2002 est.)

Ports and terminals

Russia - Transnational issues 2003
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Disputes international: China continues to seek a mutually acceptable solution to the disputed alluvial islands at the confluence of the Amur and Ussuri rivers and a small island on the Argun River as part of the 2001 Treaty of Good Neighborliness Friendship and Cooperation; the islands of Etorofu Kunashiri Shikotan and the Habomai group identified by the Russians as the 'Southern Kurils' and by Japan as the 'Northern Territories' occupied by the Soviet Union in 1945 now administered by Russia claimed by Japan; boundary with Georgia has been largely delimited but not demarcated with several small strategic segments remaining in dispute and OSCE observers monitoring volatile areas such as the Pankisi Gorge in the Akhmeti region and the Argun Gorge in Abkhazia; equidistant seabed treaties have been signed with Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan in the Caspian Sea but no resolution on dividing the water column among any of the littoral states; Russia and Norway dispute their maritime limits in the Barents Sea and Russia's fishing rights beyond Svalbard's territorial limits within the Svalbard Treaty zone; Russia continues to reject signing and ratifying the joint 1996 technical border agreement with Estonia; the Russian Parliament refuses to consider ratification of the boundary treaties with Estonia and Latvia but in May 2003 ratified land and maritime boundary treaty with Lithuania which ratified the 1997 treaty in 1999 legalizing limits of former Soviet republic borders; discussions are still ongoing among Russia Lithuania and the EU concerning a simplified transit document for residents of the Kaliningrad coastal exclave to transit through Lithuania to Russia; land delimitation with Ukraine is ratified but maritime regime of the Sea of Azov and Kerch Strait is unresolved; delimitation with Kazakhstan is scheduled for completion in 2003; Russian Duma has not yet ratified 1990 Maritime Boundary Agreement with the US in the Bering Sea

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs: limited cultivation of illicit cannabis and opium poppy and producer of methamphetamine mostly for domestic consumption; government has active illicit crop eradication program; used as transshipment point for Asian opiates cannabis and Latin American cocaine bound for growing domestic markets to a lesser extent Western and Central Europe and occasionally to the US; major source of heroin precursor chemicals; corruption and organized crime are key concerns; heroin increasingly popular in domestic market

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