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Guide for living and working in Russia
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Political Status
Russia is a Federal Republic with a multi-party regime. There is a Federal Assembly made up of two legislative chambers : the State Duma and the Federal Council. The official name of the country is Rossiyskaya Federatsiya, shortened to Rossiya and previously the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

The constitution dating from 12/12/1993 allows for :
- a President elected for a four year term of office by general election who can be re-elected only once. The present President is Vladimir Poutine, who took office on the 16th August 1999.
The President of the Russian Federation is the head of the army, he nominates the Prime Minister, supervises foreign policy and decides on referendums. He can dissolve the State Duma, proclaim martial law and emergency measures, and refute government decisions if he does not agree with them. He can only be removed from office on a 2/3 majority vote in each chamber.

- the Prime Minister, who is Mikhail Kassianov since the 17th May 2000. The Prime Minister is chosen by the President, but the nomination must be approved by the Duma.
He leads the Council of Ministers, who are appointed by the President.

- a Parliament, made up of
a Federation Council (the upper chamber), which has 178 members elected for a 4 year term of office (2 members for each of the 89 territorial entities).
a State Duma (the lower chamber) which has 450 seats who are elected by universal adult suffrage (50% by majority vote, 50% by proportional vote) for four years.

The voting age is 18.
The legal system is based on civil law, with judiciary revision of legislative acts.
Judiciary power is held by the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court (criminal, civil and administrative affairs) and the Higher Court of Arbitration (ruling in economic disputes).

There are 21 autonomous republics, 3 of which have declared their independence (which has not been officially recognized), 6 autonomous territories (Krai), 49 regions (Oblasts), 10 autonomous municipalities (Okrougs), 1 autonomous region (Birobidjan : a Jewish region) and 2 autonomous cities (Moscow and St Petersburg).

Administrative Subdivisions
1- The Republic of Adyghes. There are149,000 inhabitants in its capital Maikop. It covers 7,600 km2 , with a total population of 437,400, of which 120,000 are Tcherkesses.

2-The Republic of Bachkortostan, Oufa the capital has a population of 1,097,000 habitants. It covers 143,600 km2 with a total population of 3,983,900 (Bachkirs 25%, Russians 40%, Tatars 25%). Annexed in 1557, it has been a republic since 1919.

3- The Republic of Bouriatie has 1,056,000 inhabitants (Bouriates 23%, Russians 72%). the capital is Ulan Udé, with a population of 353,000. It covers 362,400 km2.

4- The Republic of Carelie has 799,400 inhabitants (Carelians 11%, Russians 71%). It covers 172,400 km2; the capital is Petrozavodsk with 270,000 inhabitants.

5- The Republic of Daghestan, the capital is Makhatchkala, (315,000 inhabitants). It covers 50,300 km2 and has a population of 1,854,200. It has over 30 different ethnic groups, 80% of which are Muslim. Taken from Persia in 1723, annexed in 1859, it has been a republic since 1921.

6- The Republic of Gorno Altaïsk, the capital is Gorno Altaisk (40,000 inhabitants) has a total population of 196,600. It covers 92,600 km2.

7 - The Republic of Ingouchie

8- The Republic of Kabardie-Balkarie, which covers 12,500 km2, has a total population of 777,700.
The capital Naltchik has 235,000 inhabitants. It was annexed in 1557 and has been an autonomous region since 1921.

9- The Republic of Kalmoukie (capital Elista, 81 000 inhabs.). It covers 76,100 km2 and has a total population of 350,000. It became part of Russia in 1994.

10- The Republic of Karatchaio-Tcherkessie (capital Tcherkess, 113,000 inhabitants). It covers 14,100 km2, and has 427,100 inhabitants of which 100,000 are Tcherkesses.

11- The Republic of Khakassie, (capital Abakan, 154,000 inhabitants). It covers 61,900 km2 and has a population of 577,100. It has been autonomous since 1930

12- The Republic of Komis (capital Syktyvkar, 233,000 inhabitants). It covers 415,900 km2 and has a population of 1,264,700.

13- The Republic of Mariis (capital Iochkar Ola, 242,000 inhabitants ). It covers 23,200 km2 and has a population of 1,264,700 habitants

14- The Republic of Mordovie (capital Saransk 347,000 inhabitants). It covers 26,200 km2 and has a population of 964,000.

15- The Republic of North Ossetie (capital Vladikavkaz, 300,000 inhabitants ). It covers 8,000 km2 and has a population of 642,500.

16- The Republic of Oudmourtie, (capital Ijevsk, 646,800 inhabitants ). It covers 42,100 km2 and has a population of 1,628,300.

17- The Republic of Iakoutie (capital Iakoutsk, 187,000 inhabitants ). It covers 3,103,200 km2 and has a population of 1,108,600. It produces gold and diamonds. There is a risk of secession

18- The Republic of Tatarstan (capital Kazan, 1,107,000 inhabitants ). It covers 68,100 km2 and has a population of 3,679,400.

19- The Republic of Tchétchénie Ingouchie (capital Groznyi, 401,400 inhabitants ). It covers 19,300 km2 and has a population of 1,306,800.

20- The Republic of Tchouvachie (capital Tcheboksary, 449,300 inhabitants ). It covers 18,300 km2 and has a population of 1,346,200.

21- The Republic of Touvas (capitale Kyzyl, 75,000 inhabitants). It covers 170,500 km2 and has a population of 306,600.

New republics have been created : Primoria (Vladivostok), Sverdlovsk (Iekaterinbourg), Vologda (Vologda)

Historical outline :

- 4000 B.C. The plains and the steppes of Russia are occupied by Indo-Europeans. A civilization of warlords evolved on fortified hills.
- 2000 B.C. The land from Iran to the Atlantic is conquered and the steppes to the north of the Caspian Sea are inhabited by the Cimmerians.
- 1000 B.C. The Scythes conquer the Cimmerian territory.
- Vth-VIIth century : Slav conquest in Ukraine. Creation of Kiev, Beloozeo, Novgorod, Ladoga, Polotsk, Smolensk
- IXth century : Novgorod and Kiev are organized as military principalities by the Waringers who came from Sweden.
- 862 Princes of Novgorod and Kiev
- 912 Grand Dukes of Kiev
- 1157 Grand Dukes and Grand Princes of Vladimir
- 1317 Grand Princes of Moscow
- 1505 Grand Princes of Russia
- 1547 Czars : Ivan IV the Terrible (1530/1584), Fedor (1557-1598)
- 1598 Up-risings led by Boris Godounov ; Fedor II, Dimitri V
- 1613 Beginning of the Romanov dynasty with Michael III
- 1645 Czar Alexis
- 1676 Czar Fedor III
- 1682 Czar Ivan V
- 1696 -1725 Peter the Great who built St Petersburg and created a fleet. Prosperous reign.
- 1725 Catherine I
- 1727-30 Peter II
- 1730 -1855 Anne, Ivan VI, Elisabeth, Peter III,
- 1762-1796 Catherine II the Great, then Paul I, Nicholas I
- 1812 Russia is attacked by Napoleon
- 1854-55 the Crimean War, a Russian defeat
- 1855-1918 Alexander II,
- Alexander III,
- Nicholas II
- 1904-05 Russian-Japanese war. The czarist regime is shaken by the defeat and Raspoutine becomes extremely powerful. The way is opened for revolutionary movements.
- 1917 The Russian Revolution : the direct causes are the weakening of the imperial regime due to the losses in the war, the Duma's maladjustment to the new social conditions and Czar Nicholas II's incompetence. The royal family were deported to Iakaterinaburg (Sverlosk) in Siberia and assassinated on 17th July 1918 on order of Lenin, who organized the Russian Revolution.
- 1918-1922 Civil war, Bolchevik power was consolidated, an executive of the Council of the people's representatives was created, the Sovnarkom
- 1922 Creation of the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republic. The Allies, worried by the Russian actions in the Komintern and the communist attemps in Germany and Hungary, reinforced the « sanitary cordon » (Finland, the Baltic States, Poland, Rumania) to avoid communism spreading in Europe
- 1924 Death of Lenin. Beginning of the Stalin and Trotsky eras. Between 1918 and 1928, after Maksudov, the revolution caused about 10 million deaths.
- 1941 Stalin, editor of the Pravda, was made Superintendent of War in 1941, Soviet Field Marshal in 1943, General in Chief in 1945. He died in 1953
- 1945 During the war 1710 towns were destroyed as well as 70,000 villages, and 65,000 kms of railway line. The war caused 28,000,000 deaths, of which 8,668,000 were soldiers.
- 1948 Beginning of the Berlin blockade
- 1953 George Malenkov, Stalin's secretary in 1925, is responsible for the purges in the Moscow trials
- 1955 Nicholas Boulganine (engineer, head of the secret police), is removed from office in 1958
- 1958 Nikita Khroutchev (1894/1971) becomes Chairman of the Council of Ministers. Son of a Ukranian miner, in the mines himself, he learned to read at age 20. He starts deStalinisation and demands the revision of the statute of West Berlin, which should have been transformed into a free town.
- 1962 the Cuban crisis
- 1964 Leonid Brejnev (son of Ukranian metallurgy workers) elected President, he had entered the Komsomol in 1923
- 1985 Mikhail Gorbatchev is elected President, university professor from 1957 to 1961, member of the Central Committee from 1971
- 1989 The Pravda announces the collective rehabilitation of the victims of Stalinism.
- 1991 Boris Yeltsin elected as President
- 1996 Russia becomes a member of the Council of Europe
- 16th August 1999 Vladimir Poutine becomes President.

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