Essential Info for Russia
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Population: About 144 million
Capital city: Moscow
Neighbouring countries: Russia is bordered by Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Belarus and Ukraine to the west and by Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia and North Korea to the south.
Geography: Russia is the biggest country in the world, with various geographical features. Most of the country consists of vast stretches of plains, with grasslands and mountain ranges to the south and is heavily forested to the north. The Ural Mountains form north-south ranges that divide Europe and Asia. Russia has an extensive coastline, bordering the Arctic and Pacific Oceans, as well as a number of seas.
Political system: Federal semi-presidential constitutional republic
Major religions: Orthodox Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Buddhism
Main languages: Russian is the official language. English, French and German are sometimes spoken but are far less common than in European destinations. In total there are over 100 languages and dialects spoken in Russia. The country's most common minority language is Tatar.
Money: The Ruble (RUB), divided into 100 kopecks. ATMs are available in most major cities and expats should not have trouble accessing banking services while in the country.
Tipping: A 10 to 15 percent gratuity is expected by service staff in most restaurants
Time: GMT+3 to GMT+12 (omitting GMT+5) moving from west to east. Moscow and St Petersburg are GMT +3.
Electricity: 220 volts, 50 Hz. Round, two-pin plugs are used in Russia.
Internet domain: .ru, .su, .рф
International dialling code: +7
Emergency contacts: 112
Transport and driving: Cars in Russia drive on the right-hand side of the road. Russia has an extensive public transport system and expats living in the major cities are not likely to need a car. Traffic congestion is a constant problem and all road signs are in Cyrillic, so navigating Russian roads can be difficult.