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National Anthem of Russia

National Anthem of Russia

Russia (Russian: Россия, Rossiya), also the Russian Federation (Rossiyskaya Federatsiya), is a Eurasian country extending over much of northern Eurasia. It is a semi-presidential republic comprising 85 federal subjects. From northwest to southeast, Russia shares borders with Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland (both via Kaliningrad Oblast), Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia, and North Korea. It also has maritime borders with Japan by the Sea of Okhotsk, Iran through the Caspian Sea, and the U.S. state of Alaska by the Bering Strait.

At 17,075,400 square kilometers, Russia is by far the largest country in the world, covering more than an eighth of the Earth’s land area; with 143 million people, it is the eighth largest by population. It extends across the whole of northern Asia and 40% of Europe, spanning 11 time zones and incorporating a great range of environments and landforms. Russia has the world's greatest reserves of mineral and energy resources, and is considered an energy superpower. It has the world's largest forest reserves and its lakes contain approximately one-quarter of the world's unfrozen fresh water.

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Bezhin Meadow is a 1937 Soviet Union film, directed by Sergei Eisenstein, which is renowned for having been suppressed and believed destroyed before its completion. It tells the story of a young farm boy whose father attempts to betray the government for political reasons by sabotaging the year's harvest, the son's efforts to stop his own father to protect the Soviet state, and culminates in the boy's murder and a social uprising. The film draws its title from a story by Ivan Turgenev, but is based on the life of Pavlik Morozov, a young Russian boy who became a political martyr following his death in 1932, after he denounced his father to Soviet government authorities and subsequently died at the hands of his family. The boy was immortalized in school programs, poetry, music, and in film. Commissioned by a Communist youth group, the film's production ran from 1935 to 1937, until it was halted by the central Soviet government for alleged artistic, social, and political failures in the film's content. Some, however, blamed the failure of Bezhin Meadow on government interference and policies, extending all the way to Joseph Stalin himself. In the wake of the film's failure, Eisenstein publicly recanted his work as an error. Individuals were arrested during and after the ensuing debacle and, in one case, a government official was executed as an alleged foreign spy.

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Sukhoi Su-27
Credit: Dmitry A. Mottl

Sukhoi Su-27 from the Russian Knights aerobatic team on landing, Kubinka, Russia

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Sviatoslav's meeting with Emperor John by Klavdiy Lebedev
Sviatoslav I of Kiev was the warrior prince (or konung) of Kievan Rus'. The son of Igor of Kiev and Olga, Sviatoslav is famous for his incessant campaigns in the east and south, which precipitated the collapse of two great powers of Eastern Europe — Khazaria and the First Bulgarian Empire; he also subdued the Volga Bulgars, the Alans, and numerous East Slavic tribes, and at times was allied with the Pechenegs and Magyars. His decade-long reign over Rus was marked by rapid expansion into the Volga River valley, the Pontic steppe and the Balkans. By the end of his short life, Sviatoslav carved out for himself the largest state in Europe, eventually moving his capital from Kiev to Pereyaslavets on the Danube in 969. In contrast with his mother's conversion to Christianity, Sviatoslav remained a staunch pagan all of his life. Due to his abrupt death in combat, Sviatoslav's conquests, for the most part, were not consolidated into a functioning empire, while his failure to establish a stable succession led to civil war among his successors.

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Yakov Smirnoff
In Russia we only had two TV channels. Channel One was propaganda. Channel Two consisted of a KGB officer telling you: Turn back at once to Channel One.

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