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Lake Baikal, Eastern Siberia, Russia

The European part of Russia has 7 major lakes, each having the area of more than 1000 square km. The largest in Asia lake - Baikal is situated in the Asian part of Russia. Baikal lake area is 31.5 thousand sq km. Lake Baikal measures 5,315 feet (1,620 meters) deep. The Baikal is the deepest lake in the world, it is a large reservoir for fresh water.

Dachas are very common in Russia, and are also widespread in most parts of the former Soviet Union. It is estimated that about 50% of Russian families living in large cities have dachas.

Mortgage lending continues its resurgence in Russia following the collapse of the housing market in 2009. During the first three quarters of 2011, Russians took out loans for housing totaling 396.6 billion rubles ($13 billion), which is double the figure of a year ago.

The average price per square meter to buy apartment in Moscow city centre is 10,505.55 $ The average price per square meter to buy apartment outside Moscow city centre is 4,542.89 $ The rent per month makes 1,566.24 $ for apartment (1 bedroom) in city centre; 886.88 $ for apartment (1 bedroom) outside the centre; 3,571.46 $ for apartment (3 bedrooms) in city centre; 1,604.85 $ for apartment (3 bedrooms) outside the centre Square meter in expensive cottages cost in average 16.9 thousand USD. The average budget of top 100 in countryside cottages makes up 26 million USD. The most expensive budget is 70 million USD. The cheapest option of the top 100 costs 16 million USD. There are 99 secondary market houses and only one primary market cottage. All the objects are located in the prestigious western direction, 90% of the houses are located in Rublevo-Uspenskoye shosse, 5% in Novorizhskoye et 2% in Minskoye shosse. Total areas of the most expensive mansions in Moscow area vary from 400 to 3400 sq.m, the average total area is 1500 sq.m.

The Russian military is divided into the Ground Forces, Navy, and Aerospace Defence Forces. There are also three independent arms of service: Strategic Rocket Forces, Military Space Forces, and the Airborne Troops. It is mandatory for all male citizens aged 18-27 to be drafted for a year of service in Armed Forces.
The average number of children per family in Russia is 1.59 (2011), compared with 1.9 in 1990. More than 30pc of Russian children are born out of wedlock. Russia is still a world leader in the number of abortions, with 60pc of pregnancies terminated. About 31pc of Russians do not want to have children because of financial difficulties and insufficient state support for families. One in every five young women between 24 and 35 chooses not to marry or give birth for the sake of her career.

Moscow leads cities with most billionaires. The Russian capital boasts 79 billionaires. That more than edges out No. 2 New York, with 59 billionaires, and No.3 London with 41. Other cities in the top 15 include such rising stars as Mumbai, Taipei, Sao Paolo and Istanbul. Los Angeles manages a tie for No. 8.

Moscow is the most populous city in Europe, and the sixth largest city proper in the world. Its population, according to the preliminary results of the 2010 census, is 11,514,330

Russian graduation student
Education in Russia is provided predominantly by the state and is regulated by the federal Ministry of Education and Science. Education is split into a compulsory Basic Education, (free and obligatory) and ongoing Higher Education. The public educational system in Russia includes pre-schools, general schools, specialised secondary and higher education. At the moment the higher education is provided by the following types of educational institutions: university, institute, technical university and conservatory.

Higher education in Russia is provided by state and non-state higher education institutions. Approximately half of their students pay for their studies. In non-state institutions all students have to pay tuition fees. Higher education is within the Ministry of Education and Science's jurisdiction. There are three levels of higher education: 1) incomplete higher education (2 years at least); 2) 4-year programs leading to the Bakalavr's degree, the first final university degree; 3) postgraduate studies with duration of 1-2 years leading to the Specialist Diploma or the Magistr degree. Higher education institutions are authorized to award the Magistr's degree after the completion of 2 years of study or the Specialist Diploma after 1 year of study following upon the Bakalavr's degree. Scientific degrees in Russia traditionally include two levels of doctoral degrees: the Candidate of Sciences (the first level, equivalent to PhD) and the Doctor of Sciences (the second, highest level).

Over a period of 40 years after 1960, about 400,000 African students from various countries moved to Russia to pursue higher studies, including many Black Africans. Afro-Russians are Russians of Black African descent, including Black people who have settled in Russia and their mixed-race children. There are 40,000-70,000 Afro-Russians in the country according to various statistics sources. The Metis Foundation estimates that there are about 40,000 mixed-race Russians. Another source states that Afro-Russians number only 14,000 out of 146 million, which is only one-hundredth of 1% of the country population.

Today, 60% of residents of Ukraine consider Ukrainian to be their native language. As for the language of everyday usage everyday usage, 53.3% of the general population speaks Ukrainian, and 44.5% Russian. Most native Ukrainian speakers know Russian as a second language. 2011 RBD poll revealed that at home, 47% spoke Ukrainian, 37% Russian, and 15% spoke both languages. In terms of the language used at school or at work, 45% said Ukrainian, 35% Russian, and 18% both languages. Russian is widely spoken, especially in eastern and southern Ukraine. In the Autonomous Republic of Crimea in Ukraine, Russian is recognized as a regional language. 20% of the school students of in Ukraine receive their education only or mostly in Russian. According to 2010 research made by Kiev International Institute of Sociology Russian is an informal spoken language for 43-46% of Ukrainian population. This makes a bigger portion of the Ukraine's population. George Gallup's American Institute of Public Opinion conducted a research offering to choose questionnaires either in Russian or in Ukrainian. 83 % of Ukrainian respondents chose the form in Russian.

Ethnic Russians make 27,4% of population in Latvia. Many of them some are non-citizens as in other Baltic States as Estonia and Lithuania. After adoption of the Declaration On the Restoration of Independence of the Republic of Latvia in 1990, Latvian SSR became Republic of Latvia. Citizenship was not automatically extended to former Soviet citizens who settled in Latvia during the Soviet times or to their subsequent offspring.

Ethnic Russians make 25.5% of population in Estonia. Russian is spoken as a native language by 29.7% of Estonian population. According to the surveys only 5% of the Russian community has thought of turning back to Russia in the near future. Estonian Russians have developed their own identity - more than half of the respondents recognized that Estonian Russians differ noticeably from the Russians in Russia.

Ethnic Russians make 5.4% in Lithuania. 8.2% of Lithuanian population is native speakers of Russian. More than 60% are fluent in Russian

Russian-language schooling is available in Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania. However, due to recent high school reforms in Latvia (whereby the government pays a substantial sum to a school to teach in the national language), the number of subjects taught in Russian has been reduced in the country.

According to the United States Census, in 2007 Russian was the primary language spoken in the homes of over 850,000 individuals living in the United States. The Russian language is frequently spoken in areas of Alaska, Los Angeles, Seattle, Spokane, Miami, San Francisco, New York City, Philadelphia, and Chicago. The largest Russian-speaking neighborhoods in the United States are found in Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island in New York City (specifically the Brighton Beach area of Brooklyn), parts of Los Angeles, particularly West Los Angeles and West Hollywood, parts of Philadelphia, particularly the Far Northeast and, parts of Miami like Sunny Isles Beach.

New York City is a home for 1.23% of native Russians. Sizable Russian-speaking communities also exist Philadelphia, Boston, Los Angeles, Nashville, San Francisco, Seattle, Spokane, Toronto, Baltimore, Miami, Chicago, Denver and Cleveland. In total Russian Diaspora population in the USA is 2,652,214 people.

Today largest ethnic Russian diasporas outside of Russia live in former Soviet states such as Ukraine (about 8 million), Kazakhstan (about 4.5 million), Belarus (about 1.2 million), Latvia (about 620,000), Uzbekistan (about 650, 000) and Kyrgyzstan (about 600,000).Sizable Russian diasporas live in Canada (500,600), the United Kingdom(300,000), Germany (178,600), Italy (132,120) and France (115,000).

Russian Americans are primarily Americans who traces their ancestry to Russia. The Russian American population is reported to be 3.13 million. 750,000 Russian Americans were ethnic Russians according to 1990 survey. Some of Russian immigrants that became famous American citizens or residents are American novelist Ayn Rand, Google co-founder Sergey Brin, ballet stars Mikhail Baryshnikov and Alexander Godunov, inventor, engineer, and pioneer of television technology Vladimir Zworykin, tennis stars Maria Sharapova and Anna Kournikova, pioneer of aviation Igor Sikorsky, composer, pianist, and conductor Sergei Rachmaninoff, expert in plasma physics Roald Sagdeev, novelist Vladimir Nabokov, violinist Jasha Heifetz and others.
American movie stars Helen Mirren, Dustin Hoffman, Milla Jovovich, Natalie Wood, Natalie Portman have Russian ancestry.

Larissa Latynina, Russia's oldest and best Gymnast and the only woman who has won the most Olympic gold medals. In her career as a gymnast she won a total of 18 Olympic medals, 9 gold, 5 silver and 4 bronze.

Alexei Nemov is one of the most medaled gymnasts, male or female, of all time. He has won 12 Olympic medals, including more Olympic bronze medals (six) than any other athlete.

AK-47, widely known as a Kalashnikov, an "AK", or in Russian slang, Kalash, was one of the first true "assault rifles" to be manufactured, after the original Sturmgewehr 44. Designed in 1945 the model and its variants remain the most widely used and popular assault rifles in the world because of their durability, low production cost, and ease of use. Over 70 million AK-47 rifles have been produced since then. The AK-47 was the basis for developing many other types of individual and crew-served firearms. More AK-type rifles have been produced than all other assault rifles combined.

More than the half of the territory of Russia is covered with deep-frozen soil. Most of Russian waters, rivers and lakes are frozen most of the year. Northern Siberia is the coldest region of Russia. January temperatures there average below -50ºF (-46ºC) and drop below -90ºF (-68ºC). Snow covers more than half of Russia six months a year. Some parts of Siberia receive the heaviest snowfall, up to 4 feet (120 centimeters) a year. Summers can be quite hot and humid, even in Siberia. A small part of Black Sea coast around Sochi has a subtropical climate. Because of its vast size Russian climate differs drastically depending on where you are located

The forests make up more than 1/2 of the Russian territory. There are 1/5 of all worlds forests and 1/2 of all worlds coniferous forests. There are 266 mammal species and 780 bird species in Russia. There are 35 national parks and 84 reserved areas in Russia. Russia has the world's largest forest reserves, known as "the lungs of Europe", second only to the Amazon Rainforest in the amount of carbon dioxide it absorbs.

The first state reserve was created 95 years ago in 1916. There are 102 reserves at the moment, 62 national parks and 69 federal wildlife sanctuaries spread out from the Kurshsky plait In the Baltic to Commander Islands in the pacific ocean. Their total area makes more then 2% of the Russian land. Apart from the federal natural sites protected by the government, there are thousands of local reserves and unique natural complexes.

Invading Mongols controlled Russia from 1240 to 1380 (Tatar-Mongol yoke). In 1547 Ivan IV 'the Terrible' (1530-1584), a Muscovite prince, adopted the ancient title of Caesar (Tsar aka Tzar or Czar in Russian). He and his successors unified fragmented lands and began taking the region of today's Siberia.

Literacy rate in Russian for the people aged from 9 to 49 y.o. make 99,8 %. 2002 statistics rate show that 133 out of 1000 people over 15 have university degrees, 18 individuals have an associates degree, 219 posses specialized secondary education, 285 individuals have general secondary education, 202 individuals got post-basic education, 100 individuals have primary education and 43 individuals have no primary education

Sevastopol counts more then 2 thousand historical and cultural monuments. A part of which are complexes which include hundreds of monuments more. The 1st erected monument was a monument to lieutenant Kazarskiy, the commander of brig "Mercury" in 1834.
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