Spanning 11 time zones and two continents, Russia is the world's largest country with a geography of tundra, forests, steppe
and high mountain ranges
. The mighty Ural
separates European from Asian Russia.
Homo Erectus, Neanderthals and Denesovans
left their marks here well before modern Homo Sapiens arrived.
Most Europeans descend from male Yamnayas
who roamed the wide
steppes north of the Black Sea, 5000 years ago. Today's European Russians descend from medieval Slavic tribes of the Kievan
Rus who were ruled by Vikings.
After a vicious civil war the
communists won and created the communist Soviet Union (USSR) in 1922.
WW II drew a heavy toll on the Russian population
with an estimated 27 million casualties.
The annexation of several East European countries started the Cold War
, which ended
with the soft implosion of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Most of the former occupied countries left the Union as quickly as possible
and what remained became the new Russian Federation under president Yeltsin.
Today, Russia's surprisingly small economy is
heavily based on export of gas and oil.
seems obsessed with Making Russia Great Again, using
sneaky covert military operations that in 2022 culminated in the brutal invasion of Ukraine. Somebody better stops him before
he sets the world in flames...