Russia is, to put it bluntly, massive. It not only spans two continents, Europe and Asia, but it also covers 17.13 million square kilometers. That makes it even bigger than Pluto, the renowned ex-planet, which has a surface area of only 16.7 million square kilometers.
Did you know that Russia welcomed almost 5 million tourists in 2019? While this may appear to be a large number of individuals, Russia is a country that few people have ever visited.
If you haven’t already, it’s an underappreciated place that you should add to your bucket list. Russia is the ideal holiday destination for those seeking delectable cuisine, fascinating culture, and stunning architecture.
Are you considering a trip to Russia? If that’s the case, there are a few things you should know before you go. Continue reading for interesting facts about Russia that will make you want to hop on a plane as soon as possible.
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1. Russians were the first to enter space
In 1961, cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first person to travel into space. If you’re unsure about the distinction between an astronaut and a cosmonaut, look no further.
The Russian Space Agency trains cosmonauts, while NASA, the European Space Agency, the Canadian Space Agency, and the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency train astronauts.
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2. The Red Square is unrelated to communism
That’s correct, the well-known Moscow square is named after its appearance rather than any political affiliations. Old Church Slavonic, which was Moscow’s official literary language until the late 1600shas had a significant influence on Russia.
3. There was mafia gang warfare in Russia
Local mafiosos formed the infamous Uralmash gang in search of financial gain. They began by owning minor businesses in Yekaterinburg but climbed to prominence swiftly when the USSR disintegrated, causing widespread chaos.
The city was soon engulfed in bloody turf conflicts. The Central Gang was the Uralmash gang’s main adversary. Each gang buried their dead in different cemeteries on opposite sides of town.
You may now pay a visit to the gravesites of once-famous mafia figures, whose gravestones are etched with hyper-realistic portraits and inscribed with their distinguishing characteristics.
4. In 1918, Russia changed its calendar
In the late 16th century, most European countries abandoned the Julian calendar. However, Russia did not transition to the Gregorian calendar until February 1918, which it now uses to commemorate its numerous holidays and anniversaries. The Russian Empire was reportedly 12 days late for the 1908 Olympic Games in London due to the use of the Julian calendar.
5. Russia was the site of the bloodied siege ever
While St Peterburg was still known as Leningrad during WWII, German forces encircled the city, cutting off all access and exit options. After conquering the city, Hitler planned to have a celebratory banquet at the Astoria Hotel. Despite all difficulties, he was never able to achieve.
For nearly 900 days, people were starving and surviving in subzero conditions with no access to water or electricity. Despite the fact that millions of residents died, they were resolute to defend their city till the end.
The sound of a ticking metronome was broadcast on local radio stations to remind residents that their city’s heart was still beating. The city’s pulsing heart may still, be heard beneath ” The Monument to the Heroic Defenders of Leningrad.”
6. Russia has the world’s longest railway system
The Trans-Siberian Railroad is the world’s longest, covering 9,289 kilometers (5,772 miles) and passing through eight time zones. You’d have to spend around a week on a train to travel the entire railroad.
7. Russia has the world’s coldest inhabited settlement
Oymyakon, in the Yakutia area of Siberia, is regarded as one of the world’s coldest inhabited cities. The record-breaking coldest temperature was -77.8°C (-108°F) in 1938. The average temperature in December and January is -50°C(-58°F), which is not much warmer.
8. There are 11 time zones in Russia
Did you know that Russia has 11 different time zones due to its size? Despite the fact that Russia has 11 time zones, it is not the country with the most. Because of all the little islands that make up France, it has the most time zones.
While Russia does not have the most time zones, it does have a large number of them. If you travel across Russia, you can get jet lag before you even leave the country!
9. The world’s largest collection of squirrel-related objects belongs to a Russian
10. Tetris is a game that was created in Russia
Many people are unaware that Tetris was developed in Russia. Alexey Pajitnov created the original Tetris game for the Electronika 60 computer in 1984. The game immediately gained popularity and spread across Russia. The game was released in Europe and North America in 1987, and it quickly became one of the world’s most popular computer games.
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Russia may not appear to be an obvious choice for an ex-pat. There are numerous obstacles, ranging from harsh weather to the frequent volatile political situation.
Many ex-pats in Russia, on the other hand, report unparalleled warmth and hospitality from the locals, particularly when learning Russian. You will most likely have made friends within a few months of arriving. Who will show you about your new city, invite you to tea, and toast with you at their birthday parties?