Your guide to being an expatriate in Russia

Caffeinate Your Russia Expat Journey: Find Essential Info and Connect with Expatriates Today!

Spanning over 17 million square kilometers, Russia is the world's largest country by land area. With a history dating back over a thousand years, Russia has evolved into a major economic and political power, and is home to a diverse population of over 146 million people.


Expat destinations in Russia

Demographics of Russia:

Ethnic groups

Mari: 0.5%

Other: 8.1%

Tatar: 3.8%

Ingush: 0.5%

Nenets: 0.5%

Bashkir: 1.1%

Chechen: 1.0%

Chuvash: 1.0%

Mordvin: 0.6%

Russian: 79.2%

Dagestani: 0.6%

Ukrainian: 1.4%

Belarusian: 0.7%


Russian: 100%

Religion Overview

Russia is a predominantly Orthodox Christian country, with the Russian Orthodox Church being the largest religious organization. Other major religions in Russia include Islam, Buddhism, and Judaism.

Major Religions


Russia has a vast territory, with distinct climates in many regions, ranging from severe continental in Siberia to oceanic in the far northwest. Winters are long and cold, with summers being relatively short and mild in most areas.

Economy Overview

Russia's economy is the 12th largest in the world, with a nominal GDP of $1.46 trillion in 2021. Exports include oil and gas, machinery, metals, and chemicals, while main trading partners include China, Germany, and the Netherlands.

Key Industries

  • Oil and Gas
  • Machinery
  • Metals and Mining
  • Chemicals
  • Construction
  • Retail
  • Transport and Logistics
  • Finance and Banking
  • IT and Telecommunications
  • Tourism
  • Agriculture

Major Companies

  • Gazprom
  • Rosneft
  • Sberbank
  • Russian Railways
  • Russian Post
  • MPS Group
  • Lukoil
  • PJSC Rostec
  • Sochi-Krasnaya Polyana Resort
  • Yandex

Culture and Language Overview

Russia has a rich cultural heritage, with ballet, opera, and classical music being particularly celebrated. Traditional Russian cuisine includes dishes such as blini, borsch, and pelmeni, while traditional clothing includes the kokoshnik for women and the ushanka for men.

Cultural Highlights

  • St. Petersburg's museum and art scene
  • The colorful architecture and intricate ornate buildings of Moscow
  • The annual Maslenitsa festival marking the end of winter
  • The distinctive symbolism of the onion domes found in Russia's historic Orthodox churches
  • Spectacular views of the Aurora Borealis in the northernmost regions of Russia

Geography and Landmarks Overview

Russia spans 11 time zones, with many spectacular landscapes ranging from the imposing snow-capped peaks of the Caucasus Mountains, to the vastness of Lake Baikal, one of the world's deepest and oldest lakes.

Notable Landmarks

  • The iconic Red Square in Moscow, home to the St. Basil's Cathedral
  • The magnificent Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, now known as the Hermitage Museum
  • The regal Spasskaya Tower, located in the Kremlin
  • The captivating views and scenery surrounding the Baikal Ice Festival
  • The heritage-listed pastel-hued neoclassical facades of the Yeliseyevsky Passage in Moscow

National Holidays

  • New Year's Day (January 1)
  • Old New Year's Day (January 14)
  • Defender of the Fatherland Day (February 23 formerly Men's Day)
  • International Women's Day (March 8)
  • Spring (March 21)
  • Victory Day (May 9)
  • Russia Day (June 12)
  • Day of the Transfer of the New Jerusalem Patriarchal Cathedral to the Russian Orthodox Church (July 16)
  • Russian Navy Day (July 28)
  • Day of National Unity (November 4)
  • Constitution Day (December 12)

Political Stability

Russia is a federal semi-presidential republic, with Vladimir Putin serving as President since 2012. The major political issues in Russia include corruption, economic inequality, and political freedom, particularly regarding press freedom and freedom of assembly.

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