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XYZ facts and figures !

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Basic thing about the country and culture. (1 page) !

BASIC COUNTRY FACTS

Official Name

Population

Russian Federation

142.9 millions

Official Name Population Russian Federation 142.9 millions
Official Name Population Russian Federation 142.9 millions

Ranking in the world by population

Size (sq. km.)

Ranking in the world by size

Capital City

Official Language

Number of cities with over one million inhabitants

Number of Regions

GDP (2014)

GDP Growth Rate

Currency

President

Prime Minister

Current Constitution

Government

Inflation Rate

Number of Holidays

Main Religion

Literacy Rate

Time zones

9th

17,098,242 square kilometers

1st

Moscow

Russian

15

83

2118 (USD billions)

0.6% as of 2014

Russian Rouble (RUB)

Vladimir Putin

Dmitry Medvedev

The Constitution of the Russian Federation (valid since 1993)

Federation and semi-presidential*.

11.36%

12

Orthodox Christianity (75% of the population)

99.7%

11 (from UTC +2:00 to UTC +12:00)

11.36% 12 Orthodox Christianity (75% of the population) 99.7% 11 (from UTC +2:00 to UTC +12:00)
11.36% 12 Orthodox Christianity (75% of the population) 99.7% 11 (from UTC +2:00 to UTC +12:00)
11.36% 12 Orthodox Christianity (75% of the population) 99.7% 11 (from UTC +2:00 to UTC +12:00)
! ! *Regarding the government, the President is the Head of State and holds the
!
!
*Regarding the government, the President is the Head of State and holds the reins of power in
Russia’s presidential - parliamentary system. This person is also in charge of nominating the Prime
Minister and the rest of the ministers, but the Duma can reject it or accept it. The president is
elected every six years and reelection is possible only once.!
The Upper Chamber of the Russian Parliament, also known as the Federation Council consists of
two members from each of the 83 regions. Half of the representatives are appointed by the
president and the other is elected by regional legislatures. !
!
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sponsored/rbth/politics/8926401/Russias-political-system.html!
!

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history in brief. (1 page) !

One must go back about a thousand years in world’s history to understand what Russia is today. It all began around the early ninth century, when the viking Rurik, leader of the scandinavia tribe known as the Varangians, founded the Novgorod dynasty, but it was his successor, Oleg, who extended the power of the city towards the south and gained control over Kiev, a then slavic city that was economically important, for it was the connection between Scandinavia and Constantinople. This marked the appearance of the Kievan Rus, as the ruling empire for the next 300 years. !

Oleg’s great-grandson ruled the kingdom that extended to as far as south as the Black Sea. He also decided to adopt the Greek Orthodoxy as main faith, for it was thought to be a genuine, indispensable characteristic of Christianity widely and equally accepted both in the eastern and western world. Yaroslav succeeded Oleg but he failed to maintain the empire’s supremacy and, upon his death, his children turn the Kievan Rus into several regional power centres. !

The Mongols began invading the Kievan Rus around 1237, destroying all of the big cities except for Novgorod) and taking control over the empire. Moreover, Moscow began to rise as an important city for it became known as the provincial capital and the centre of the Christian Orthodox Church. After years of war and attempts for freedom, Ivan the Great was able to tear down the Mongol supremacy and take control over the entire country. His grandson, Ivan the Terrible, is considered to have founded the Russian state but soon the Romanov family appeared in the 15th century and they ruled the country for over three centuries.!

Peter the Great was the grandson of the first Romanov tsar (Michael) and he did extensive reforms aimed at transforming the Russia into a country that fitted the western standards. Peter has a questionable image as his reforms were never good enough to transform Russia into an European power, unlike his successor, Catherine the Great, who became a very powerful sovereign and expanded the Russian territory through the acquisition of what is now known as Crimea, Ukraine and part of Poland; also, she stressed on arts and literature,turning Russia into a country where great art and literature figures would later appear. !

After Napoleon’s failed attempts to invade Russia in 1812, it was clear that the country was very powerful. Towards the nineteenth century, the Decembrist Revolt took place as a group of young reformist tried to force the adoption of a monarchy by preventing the rise of Nicholas I, for the tsarist regime granted the nobles power over the serfs, who were treated more like slaves rather than peasants. However, Nicholas I came to power in 1825 and was succeeded in 1861 by Alexander II, who abolished serfdom but this reform did not bring any significant changes for the social state of country. !

During the infamous reign of the last tsar Nicholas II, Russia was defeated by Japan in 1905 in a war that appeared due to the strong Russian presence in the far east, as a result, Nicholas II was forced to create a national representative body or Duma. Also, the large concentration of workers throughout the country led to the apparition of local political councils or soviets, who joint together to create the powerful Social Democratic party. !

The World War I made evident how weak and unprepared the country was, resulting in severe food shortages and an economic collapse. The Duma approved a Provisional Government that left a powerless Nicholas II out of the political scenario. Vladimir Lenin led the radical Bolsheviks to gain increasing support from a frustrated folk. After a civil war that followed after the end of World War I, the Bolsheviks gained overall control of Russia in 1920. !

After the intense civil war between the ‘red’ and the ‘white’ army that took place from 1917 to 1921, Lenin stablished the New Economic Policy (NEP) that installed the community as owners of land and property. However, as Lenin died in 1924, Joseph Stalin took over the power replaced the NEP

with a very strict economic plan: state-run farms, a massive improvement in the industrial activities, a tight control on arts and literature, strong repression of any religious activities. !

! With the outbreak of World War II, the then-called Soviet Union found itself unprepared
!
With the outbreak of World War II, the then-called Soviet Union found itself unprepared and Stalin
gave the industrial production a heavy military focus. Although the Soviets were friendly to the
Germans at the beginning of the war, Hitler’s army bombed the Russian territory and atuomiatcially
became Stalin’s enemy. He kept the German army from invading Moscow in 1942 and the Soviets
remained on attack with the Germans until 1944. As the war ended, the Soviet Union became one
of the two main world players, together with the United States of America. Several eastern
european countries were annexed to the Soviet Union forming a geographic belt known as the Iron
Curtain. !
!
The ongoing cold war between the communist and ‘western’ nations characterised the second half
of the 20th Century. The atomic race and other technological milestones, such as developing the
first human-made satellite and sending the first man on space, reinforced Russian industry and
scientific capacities. Nonetheless, the country faced several hers of political instability and
economic deterioration, as each ruler had massively different views on the way the Soviet Union
should be ruled. In 1985, Mikhail Gorbachov became general secretary and marked the final era
for the Soviet Union. The Union was under international pressure for several events like the
Chernobyl catastrophe or the mismanagement of the country resources. Gorbachov marked
history when the first presidential elections in over 70 years were held. In 1990, the Soviet
Republics began to issue declarations of independence showing the unstable situation in which
Gorbachov found himself, having the demands for more radical reforms on one side and the re-
imposition of strict controls on the other. He resigned and, after being reinstated with almost no
control, the Soviet Union disappeared in 1991. !
!
Having an industry that strongly relied on military instruments was one of the biggest problems
once the Soviet Union disappeared, for finding new markets and retraining the workers for new
activities hit production plants hard. This resulted as well in a drop in the employment rates and
lack of competent human capital. It took the ex-Soviet countries over 10 to 15 years to stabilise
their economies and become relevant in the international context, although these countries still
face a lot of challenges. !
!
The whole 1990’s were synonym of transformation and instability for Russia, mainly because of the
getting the folk used to a new economic system and civil conflicts like the Chechnya war that took
place towards the beginning of the decade. Since year 2000, Vladimir Putin has been the Prime
Minister of the Russian Federation. The economy has experienced annual economic growth rates
of 4-9% since 1999. !
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Brief explanation of Ukraines conflict!
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geography. (haf a page) !
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In terms of territory, Russia is the largest country in the world, with a total area that exceeds the 17
million square kilometres. Is one of the few countries whose area is divided into two continents
(Eastern Europe and Northern Asia) which explains its extremely diverse climate: towards the most
populous areas of European Russia the climate is more standard, whereas northern regions like
Siberia are well known for a subarctic climate with long and cold winters; on the other side, the
southern part, like the coasts of the Black Sea, has humid and hot summers given the subtropical
position. This extreme conditions have hindered the country’s development through the nineteenth
century, high levels of rainfall, short growing seasons and a poor infrastructure created a bad
suited for agricultural activities. !
!

The country size gives Russia a big advantage in terms of natural resources for it has all of the world’s vegetation zones except for the tropical rain forest. On the other hand, such a large country demands a flawless administration that ensures safety and equivalent development for all of the areas of the country. Some sources affirm that Russia is (and has been) very vulnerable to invasion from other nations given the ease of access due to the number of border with neighbouring countries. Perhaps, this is an explanation to Russia’s persistent imperialistic attitudes. !

As it was mentioned before, Russian territory is characterised by its abundant availability of natural resources. Although the industrial development was hindered until the 20th Century, the country has followed a successful path that has led it to be the producer of 20% of the world’s natural gas, with considerable industrial presence in oil product as well. Having a close economy for more than 80 years boosted the economy towards self-sufficiency mostly in industrial raw materials. !

The Russian topography is known for plain landforms There are three kinds of soil present in Russia:!

The tundra (10% of the territory), that is found to the north of the Arctic Circle. Given the fact that the subsoil is permanently frozen, vegetation is almost non existing here, and so is human life. !

The taiga (around 60% of the territory), that is mainly characterised by coniferous forests. Is a territory with short wet summers and long winters. The plant and vegetation variety is rather low. !

In the steppe (30% of the territory), no trees grow unless they are planted and only grass occurs naturally. This is the heart of the Russian agriculture. !

Regarding the infrastructure, it has been a major weakness that has defined Russia’s development. As of today, the transportation networks are still underdeveloped, for the transport is heavily centred on Moscow. Also, there is a poor integration of the systems, for 90% of the commercial transportation is rail-based. Roads are not designed for carrying heavy loads for long distances. ! After years of low maintenance investment in the railway network, the country struggles to create an efficient infrastructure. Only the 35% of the roads are paved and only the half of the railway system are for common carrier use. According to Doing Business, Russia’s major priorities are the modernisation of its overall infrastructure, including an overhauling of public transportation system in big cities and developing a network of ports, airports and rail links.!

http://www.softschools.com/facts/biomes/taiga_biome_facts/162/!

Economic state:!

Russia belongs to the four economies that Jim O’Neill, in 2001, affirmed would be more powerful than the G7 economies. The projections on when will this happen vary widely, nonetheless is important to take into account that these four countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) own the 40% of the world’s population they accounted for only one quarter of the world national income in 2010. For each of these countries, there are big challenges n terms of economic development if they want to comply with the projections made for the next 40 years.!

Regarding Russia, the country is placed at 53rd position in the Global Competitiveness Report (GCR) of 2014 - 2015. It belongs, together with other 23 economies, to the groups of countries that is transitioning from efficiency driven towards innovation driven countries. Then, if Russia wants to

finish the transition, it must start producing new and different products using sophisticated production processes combined with strong innovation activities. !

The World Economic Forum, the authority in charge of writing the GCR, assures that Russia has made some improvements in therms to efficiency of goods markets, ICT use and business sophistication. However, the Federation has yet some issues to solve before moving forward into the development of its economy: the weak and inefficient institutional framework strongly contributes to a corrupt environment full of favouritism. It is said that Russia is characterised by a high and increasing inequality among the society. Going to Moscow is, perhaps, the best evidence to prove this statement, since the streets are full of high-end luxury cars parked next to soviet- connected Ladas that have failed to develop a competitive advantage as a car manufacturer. The country also needs to undergo a diversification process, specially in the SME sector; together with a strengthen of the financial system. !

Although Russia’s Gross Domestic Product as of 2013 is of 2118 billion dollars, the macroeconomic environment shows a decreasing trend. The inflation rates for the 2015 were predicated to be of 7.5%, but given the economic and political instability, it may rise up to a 16%. The failing rouble is also a sign of the unstable economic state Russia is facing. Many affirm that the depreciation of the country’s currency is an effect of the decrease of Russia’s national foreign reserves. But this is not what is rely causing the Russian economy to slowly collapse. One must take into account the following factors in order to understand the failing macroeconomic environment:!

• Many experts have described the rouble as a petrocurrency, which means that as the oil prices decreases and has a direct effect on the stability of the country’s currency. The Central Bank of Russia has used its reserves to support the falling rouble. Some experts are certain about the fact that if a country’s currency is to fall, then it must be allowed to do so. The problem with Russia relies more on the fact that the economy is strongly dependent on oil, which means that it desperately need to diversify and explore new activities. !

• The ongoing and growing conflict with Ukraine has led political encounters between world leaders and the Russian Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin. Ever since Russia annexed Crimea into its territory, the tension between east and west has increased to reach a point in which possible sanctions from the biggest western economies (the European Union and USA) towards Russia might mean yet another factor that will hinder the Russian economy. !

Total Russian exports (2014)

Crude Petroleum

Refined Petroleum

Petroleum Gas

Others

35% 39%
35%
39%
Crude Petroleum Refined Petroleum Petroleum Gas Others 35% 39% 1 0 % 15%

10% 15%

Crude Petroleum Refined Petroleum Petroleum Gas Others 35% 39% 1 0 % 15%

Total Russian imports (2014)

Cars

Packaged Medicaments

Vehicles Parts

Delivery Trucks

Computer Parts

Other

83%
83%

2%

1%

3%

3%

7%

The previous graph shows the total Russian exports and imports as of 2014. After briefly analysing both figures, one can conclude that the export is heavily focused on fossil fuels, for almost the half of the exported good are crude petroleum. On the other side, the imports are extremely diverse, being the cars the most imported product (7.3%), and dividing the rest of the total into several categories. The main destination of the exports are: the Netherlands (9.2%), China (8.1%), Germany (6.5%), Ukraine (5.7%) and Belarus (5.4%). On the other hand, the five main countries of origin of the imports are: China (15%), Germany (14%), Ukraine (5.5%), Belarus (4.6%) and Japan

(4.4%).!

General culture:!

Since it was known as the Russian Empire, through the cold years of the Soviet Union until today; Russia has always been a powerful and unique country. The cities are not as eclectic as other European places, neither is the people comparable to the Asian folk. Russia is a nation between two big continents that contain different cultures and a very diverse cultural background. Perhaps, being in the middle of two worlds has shaped this divergent society into a very special one. Analysing the Russian culture is difficult given the vast size of its country, which is translated into a lot of ethnicities living within the same territory. Nonetheless, there are some common factors among the diverse population.!

Russians are perceived to be hardworking, friendly and hospitable. They stress on friendship and take their time to know the people they want to be surrounded by. Also, the Russians see the family as a very important figure that cannot be underestimated. As it was said before, the society is strongly oriented towards the hierarchy and inequality; which means that those occupying high positions in the society, as well as the elderly, will be respected. For instance, it is going to be difficult to see situation in which an employee questions the manager. !

The degree of centralisation is high, for almost two thirds of all foreign investments go into Moscow and, according to Geert Hofstede’s analysis of the country, the 80% of all financial potential is concentrated. Given the big discrepancy between the most and the least powerful, most of the behaviours should reflect and represent the status roles mainly in the business interactions. !

Not only will most of the decisions be made exclusively at the top level, but also the orientation is mostly towards relationship rather than results. Then, it is more important to establish a good relation with co-workers in order to estimate a very comfortable working environment. As a consequence, separating the private from the business life is something rarely seen in Russia. There is very little room for individualistic behaviours, because team spirit is essential. !

However, Hofstede proved that Russians feel threatened by ambiguous situations, and a clear example is the strong bureaucracy they have built. In the working environment, once the relationship is strong enough to work, all the presentations, for example, will be very detailed and well prepared. When a Russian is interacting with a strange, they might also avoid uncertainty by treating the other person in a formal and distant way. !

Despite the fact of being a society that gives importance to the status, the Russians are perceived as a ‘feminine’ culture, which means that they stress on quality of life and ‘standing out from the crowd’ is not admirable. This is rather connected to the high power distance, for a Russian would understate its own personal achievements or capacities when meeting a stranger or at the workplace. Then, they are expected to be modest and prudent. !

One of Russia’s most defining characteristics is the fact that it is, nowadays, a place where two generations collide. On one side, there are the people who grew up in the Soviet Union and still preserve several costumes and behaviours from those days; on the other, there is a hong generation that was born towards the end (or after) the fall of the Soviet Union and is no longer

influence by this regime, but also has a lot of contact with the global environment. Then, a rebelling youth has began to take over the still-conservative Russia and this cultural and generational crashes characterise Russia’s actual state. A clear example of this is the Pussy Riot, a feminist protest music group based in Moscow whose songs include among several themes the LBGT rights and the opposition to the president Vladimir Putin, claiming that the country is under his ‘dictatorship’ and to his links with the Russian Orthodox Church. !

Conclusion material:!

These extreme climatic conditions partly explains several turning points in the Russian history, for instance, the Germans were never ready to stand the extreme temperatures, giving the Russian army yet another advantage over their enemies. On the other hand, haven !

Even though Russia reported a surplus in their trade balance of 16.535 million dollars in 2015, the country still needs to diversify to make its way into the glorious innovation status. !

Capability to adapt to chaining environment.!

Despite her westerly stance, Russia has generally held an ambiguous attitude towards Europe. In the nineteenth century, Russian Slavophiles prized Orthodoxy as just one example of Russian superiority. Despite this, Russian rulers from Peter the Great through to Josef Stalin and Mikhail Gorbachev have all looked to the West for inspiration, example or justification. This is perhaps due to Russia’s location on the north-eastern edge of Europe. - See more at: http://www.historytoday.com/john-etty/

russia%E2%80%99s-climate-and-geography#sthash.0WuduQbv.dpuf

Time zones.!

Size.!

Resources.!

 

- Geographical advantages.!

- Size of the country and it’s pros and cons.!

- INfrastructure coverage !

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economical state (comparison between how it was in the soviet times and how it is now). (half a page) !

- main economic activities.!

- status according to the word economic forum !

- Gini index !

- Main exports and import products !

- Main export and import countries !

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general culture. (half a page) !

- ultima parte de slides !