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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Russian Language: Home

Coat of Arms

The Russian Coat of Arms is described by the Embassy of Russia to the United States as "a state symbol two-headed eagle first appeared in Russia, those times Moscovia, in the XV-th century. It came from Visantium with Sophia Paleolog, member of the last Visantium Emperor dynasty, who became the wife of Ivan III, the Great Duke of Moscow.

Two-headed eagle remained the symbol of Russian Monarchy and Russian State for more than four hundred years, till the October Revolution of 1917, and regained it's status in 1993 according to the order of President Boris Yeltsin of November 30, 1993.

There are different interpretations of this symbol. The most common version says that two heads of the eagle symbolize that Russia consists of two parts - European and Asian, and they are of equal importance for the country.

The State insignia survived some changes during the pre-revolutionary history of Russia, though these changes were not too significant. When the old Rurik dynasty ended in the XVII-th century and Romanovs came to power, the two-headed eagle remained as the symbol of Russia, though three crowns were added above the eagle. They were to embody the unity of three nations - Russian, Ukrainian and Belorussian."

Here is a description of the Russian flag.

Intensive Language Programs

The American Association for Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages (AATSEEL) website has a page that describes intensive programs in Slavic and East European languages as well as in the languages of the Republics of the former Soviet Union. The listings include those programs offered in U.S. (and some Canadian) colleges and universities as well as in programs abroad. This is a free service provided by AATSEEL to such programs.

Each language has its own page, and programs are divided into the following categories: Summer Programs in the U.S., Summer Programs Abroad, and Semester/Year Programs Abroad. Information is added to this page as it is received, so check frequently for updates.

The website has a table which allows you to click on the language you are interested in, and it directs you to links to the program/school websites teaching the language.


Рисунок Государственного герба Российской Федерации в многоцветном варианте


North Asia bordering the Arctic Ocean, extending from Europe (the portion west of the Urals) to the North Pacific Ocean

Geographic coordinates:

60 00 N, 100 00 E

Map references:



total: 17,098,242 sq km
land: 16,377,742 sq km
water: 720,500 sq km

Area - comparative:

approximately 1.8 times the size of the US

Land boundaries:

total: 22,408 km
border countries: Azerbaijan 338 km, Belarus 1312 km, China (southeast) 4133 km, China (south) 46 km, Estonia 324 km, Finland 1309 km, Georgia 894 km, Kazakhstan 7644 km, North Korea 18 km, Latvia 332 km, Lithuania (Kaliningrad Oblast) 261 km, Mongolia 3452 km, Norway 191 km, Poland (Kaliningrad Oblast) 210 km, Ukraine 1944 km


37,653 km

Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation


ranges from steppes in the south through humid continental in much of European Russia; subarctic in Siberia to tundra climate in the polar north; winters vary from cool along Black Sea coast to frigid in Siberia; summers vary from warm in the steppes to cool along Arctic coast


broad plain with low hills west of Urals; vast coniferous forest and tundra in Siberia; uplands and mountains along southern border regions

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Caspian Sea -28 m
highest point: Gora El'brus 5,633 m

Natural resources:

wide natural resource base including major deposits of oil, natural gas, coal, and many strategic minerals, timber
note: formidable obstacles of climate, terrain, and distance hinder exploitation of natural resources

Land use:

agricultural land: 13.1% (2011 est.)

arable land: 7.3% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 0.1% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 5.7% (2011 est.)

forest: 49.4% (2011 est.)

other: 37.5% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land:

43,000 sq km (2012 est.)

Natural hazards:

permafrost over much of Siberia is a major impediment to development; volcanic activity in the Kuril Islands; volcanoes and earthquakes on the Kamchatka Peninsula; spring floods and summer/autumn forest fires throughout Siberia and parts of European Russia

Environment - international agreements:

party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Sulfur 94

Geography - note:

largest country in the world in terms of area but unfavorably located in relation to major sea lanes of the world; despite its size, much of the country lacks proper soils and climates (either too cold or too dry) for agriculture; Mount El'brus is Europe's tallest peak

Information from CIA Factbook, accessed 3/21/2019

Russian Government

  • Pres.
    Vladimir Vladimirovich PUTIN
  • Premier
    Dmitriy Anatolyevich MEDVEDEV
  • First Dep. Premier
    Anton Germanovich SILUANOV
  • Dep. Premier
    Maksim Alekseyevich AKIMOV
  • Dep. Premier
    Yuriy Ivanovich BORISOV
  • Dep. Premier
    Konstatin Anatolyevich CHUYCHENKO
  • Dep. Premier
    Tatyana Alekseyevna GOLIKOVA
  • Dep. Premier
    Olga Yuryevna GOLODETS
  • Dep. Premier
    Aleksey Vasilyevich GORDEYEV
  • Dep. Premier
    Dmitriy Nikolayevich KOZAK
  • Dep. Premier
    Vitaliy Leontyevich MUTKO
  • Dep. Premier
    Yuriy Petrovich TRUTNEV
  • Min. of Agriculture
    Dmitriy Nikolayevich PATRUSHEV
  • Min. of Civil Defense, Emergencies, & Natural Disasters
    Yevgeniy Nikolayevich ZINICHEV
  • Min. of Construction
    Vladimir Vladimirovich YAKUSHEV
  • Min. of Culture
    Vladimir Rostislavovich MEDINSKIY
  • Min. of Defense
    Sergey Kuzhugetovich SHOYGU
  • Min. of Digital Development, Communications, & Mass Media
    Konstantin Yuryevich NOSKOV
  • Min. of Economic Development
    Maksim Stanislavovich ORESHKIN
  • Min. of Education
    Olga Yuryevna VASILYEVA
  • Min. of Energy
    Aleksandr Valentinovich NOVAK
  • Min. of Far East Development
    Aleksandr Aleksandrovich KOZLOV
  • Min. of Finance
    Anton Germanovich SILUANOV
  • Min. of Foreign Affairs
    Sergey Viktorovich LAVROV
  • Min. of Health
    Veronika Igoryevna SKVORTSOVA
  • Min. of Industry & Trade
    Denis Valentinovich MANTUROV
  • Min. of Internal Affairs
    Vladimir Aleksandrovich KOLOKOLTSEV
  • Min. of Justice
    Aleksandr Vladimirovich KONOVALOV
  • Min. of Labor & Social Protection
    Maksim Anatolyevich TOPILIN
  • Min. of Natural Resources & Ecology
    Dmitriy Nikolayevich KOBYLKIN
  • Min. of North Caucasus Affairs
    Sergey Viktorovich CHEBOTAREV
  • Min. of Science & Higher Education
    Mikhail Mikhaylovich KOTYUKOV
  • Min. of Sport
    Pavel Anatolyevich KOLOBKOV
  • Min. of Transportation
    Yevgeniy Ivanovich DITRIKH
  • Dir., Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR)
    Sergey Yevgenyevich NARYSHKIN
  • Dir., Federal Security Service (FSB)
    Aleksandr Vasilyevich BORTNIKOV
  • Sec., Security Council
    Nikolay Platonovich PATRUSHEV
  • Procurator Gen.
    Yuriy Yakovlevich CHAYKA
  • Chmn., Central Bank of Russia
    Elvira Sakhipzadovna NABIULLINA
  • Ambassador to the US
    Anatoliy Ivanovich ANTONOV
  • Permanent Representative to the UN, New York
    Vasiliy Alekseyevich NEBENZYA




Information from CIA Factbook, accessed 3/21/2019