Russia: Country and Foreign Investment
History, Population, Language and Culture
The name 'Russia' comes from the Kievan 'Rus' people who lived in the Dnieper valley region around the 9th century AD. Historians suppose that the Rus were Vikings who invaded the rivers of the early East Slavic states, and by the 10th to 11th centuries, during the reign of Vladimir the Great, the Land of the Rus had become very prosperous and influential.
Between 1223 and 1480, the Land of the Rus was subjected to invasion from Mongol and Tatar peoples. But the decline of the Mongol Empire resulted in Russia seeing huge increases in its Asian territory during the 16th and 17th centuries as, under rulers like Ivan "the Terrible", they seized control of numerous khanates. By the reign of Peter the Great, following victory over Sweden in the 18th century's 'Great Northern War', Russia had become a major European power. This position was further bolstered by the rule of Catherine "the Great", who greatly increased Russia's influence in Central Europe.
The late 19th century saw an increase in Russia's industrial development and the rise of various socialist movements, culminating in the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the creation of the world's first socialist state. This would have a marked effect on world history throughout the 20th century, until the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. The Russian Federation was the largest of the fifteen republics that made up the Soviet Union and was widely accepted as the Soviet Union's successor state in diplomatic affairs, assuming the USSR's permanent membership and veto in the UN Security Council.
Russia's current population of 143.7 million people makes it the world's ninth most populous nation. Russian is the only official state language, though Russia also has 5.3 million Tatar speakers and 1.8 million Ukrainian speakers.