Russia

Just in case you mistakenly heard that it was all ice and snow in Russia, take a peek at the Big Bikini Exposition. This is right on the river Moskva in Moscow!

Moscow has been the capital of Russia for almost its entire history. The exception is during the period of the Russian Empire, which lasted from 1721 until the Russian Revolution 1917. For these two centuries the capital was St. Petersburg. The Russian Empire was the second largest contiguous Empire in world memory; only the Mongol Empire had been greater.

Check out what's happening north of Mongolia these days, in Chita

Although you may not have heard of Sochi, on the Black Sea, they're building up quickly and hope to host the 2014 Olympics.

Other periods of Russian history include the Tsardom of Russia, from Ivan IV to Peter the Great, and the Grand Duchy (14th-16th centuries).

The earliest period of Russian history was ruled by the Novgorod Republic and Kievan Rus, which was the first Russian state dating back to 800AD in Kiev.

Modern Russia remains one of the world's superpowers. They launched the earth's second satellite, called Sputnik 1, and were the first country to put a human being into orbit around earth. (The first one is called the Moon.)

After the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia became a federal republic of 83 states.

Text by Steve Smith.

Ilya Yakunin
Там, где река Волчина впадает в реку Молога. ч.2
"alexander-karpov"
Village Caltiki
"alexander-karpov"
The Village Of The Lowlands
Михаил Шишов
Group 0 Img 9878 Img 9894 17 Images
Михаил Шишов
Аллея из Лиственниц
Sergey Kalinin
Graffiti
Sergey
The beginning of winter.
Koshelev
Village of Mikhaylovskoye. Село Михайловское. Горбатый мостик
Koshelev
Village of Mikhaylovskoye. At Semyon Geychenko's house. Михайловское. Дом С. Гейченко
Евгений Чембарцев
december sunset
Andrey Gorlachev
Camp near the lake
Anton Gulya-Yanovskiy
Санкт-Петербург. Особняк барона А.Л. Штиглица. Голубой зал (Saint-Petersburg Shtiglits's mansion. Blue room)
Anton Gulya-Yanovskiy
Ораниенбаум. Китайский дворец. Розовая гостиная. (Oranienbaum. Chinese palace. Rose drawing-room)
Chebaldin Vladimir
Old "Colt" planes. Yalutorovsk Airfield.
Константин Клюшин
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Михаил Шишов
радуга Архангельск
Кирилл Вячеславович
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Pavel Antropov
Когалым Церковь
Sergey Kalinin
winter crossing, the River Pechora