Russia and dating culture

Some historians believe that "Rus" derives from an ancient name for the Volga River.

People ethnically identified as Russians have been politically and culturally dominant in a vast area for five hundred years of tsarist and Soviet imperial expansion.

Average life expectancy for both men and women has declined since the 1980s.

These environmental factors have affected the demographic profile and shaped cultural, social, and political institutions, influencing colonizing projects, settlement patterns, household configurations, village politics, agricultural systems, and military technologies.

Bold defiance of these natural limitations include Peter the Great's founding of Saint Petersburg on northern swamplands in 1703, and the twentieth-century plan to reverse the northerly flow of some of Siberia's rivers to facilitate the movement of natural resources.

These factors limit agricultural production and account for the frequency of crop failures; what is produced requires substantial labor.

The huge forests provide for foraging, hunting, and logging.

The current figure includes several million immigrants and refugees from newly independent former Soviet republics.

Since 1991, a stark drop in the birthrate has combined with a dramatic rise in the mortality rate.

However, despite repression of their cultural autonomy, minority cultures have survived within the Russian Federation; including the peoples of the North Caucasus, numerous indigenous groups in Siberia, the Tatars in the Volga region, and the East Slavic Ukrainians and Belorusians.

The last three groups are widely dispersed throughout the federation.

The capital, Moscow, is in the center of this region, where much agriculture has been located despite the thin, poor soil.

A line of mixed forest and prairie with more arable soil characterizes the central areas, followed by Russia's "breadbasket," the black earth belt that constitutes less than a tenth of the national territory.

European Russia, the most densely populated, urbanized, and industrialized region, lies between the Ukraine-Belarus border and the Ural Mountains.

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