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
- 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
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
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).
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
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
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
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
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
12- The Republic
of Komis (capital Syktyvkar, 233,000 inhabitants).
It covers 415,900 km2 and has a population of
13- The Republic
of Mariis (capital Iochkar Ola, 242,000 inhabitants
). It covers 23,200 km2 and has a population of
14- The Republic
of Mordovie (capital Saransk 347,000 inhabitants).
It covers 26,200 km2 and has a population of
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
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
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
have been created : Primoria (Vladivostok),
Sverdlovsk (Iekaterinbourg), Vologda
- 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
- Vth-VIIth century : Slav conquest in Ukraine.
Creation of Kiev, Beloozeo, Novgorod, Ladoga,
- IXth century : Novgorod and Kiev are organized as
military principalities by the Waringers who came
- 862 Princes of Novgorod and Kiev
- 912 Grand Dukes of Kiev
- 1157 Grand Dukes and Grand Princes of
- 1317 Grand Princes of Moscow
- 1505 Grand Princes of Russia
- 1547 Czars : Ivan IV the Terrible (1530/1584),
- 1598 Up-risings led by Boris Godounov ; Fedor II,
- 1613 Beginning of the Romanov dynasty with
- 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
- 1725 Catherine I
- 1727-30 Peter II
- 1730 -1855 Anne, Ivan VI, Elisabeth, Peter
- 1762-1796 Catherine II the Great, then Paul 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 16th August 1999 Vladimir Poutine becomes