Welcome to Russia

Kremlin from the river © G Raisman


Name in Local Language : Москва
Geographical Location :
On the Moskva River in the Central Federal District of European Russia.

Population : 11,503,501
Interesting Facts :
TAccording to Forbes 2011, Moscow has the largest community of billionaires in the world. The first reference to Moscow dates from 1147. The Moscow City Duma is the city council (local parliament) and all local laws must be approved by it.
Main Sites :
St. Basil's Cathedral, Spasskaya Clocktower, Kotelnicheskaya Embankment building, the Kremlin, Monument to Minin and Pozharsky, Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, Moscow Monorail, Moscow International Business Center, Novodevichy Convent, Bolshoi Theatre.
Russian Flag  Trinity Church © G Raisman


Name in Local Language : Оде́сса
Geographical Location :
In Ukraine on the Northwestern shore of the Black Sea.

Population : 1,003,705
Interesting Facts :
A major warm water seaport and at the beginning of the 20th century the biggest city in the Ukraine with special independent jurisdiction. Port Yuzhne in the city is an important oil terminal.  Historical architecture more mediterranean than Russian, heavily influenced by Italian and French.
Main Sites :
Prıvoz market, Opera House, Odessa Philharmonic, Al-Salam Mosque, Volontsov Lighthouse, Numismatics Museum.

Baroque © G Raisman


Name in Local Language : Новосибирск
Geographical Location :
Southwest Siberia on the Ob River.
Population : 1,523,801
Interesting Facts :
Informally known as the capital of Siberia.  Trans-Siberian and Turkestan-Siberian Railways pass through making connections to Central Asia and the Caspian Sea.  Rapid growth and industrialisation under Stalin gave the city the nickname the "Chicago of Siberia".
Main Sites :
Trans-Siberian railway bridge completed in 1897.  Lenin Square. Novosibirsk Regional Puppet Theater. Novosibirsk Circus. Novosibirsk State Academic Opera and Ballet Theater. Novosibirsk Zoo, which is one of the largest in Russia.



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Languages Spoken

Official Language : Russian
Other recognised languages :
Abaza (Northwest Caucasian; in the Karachay-Cherkessia Karachay–Cherkess Republic)
Adyghe (Northwest Caucasian; in the Adygea Republic of Adygea)
Altay (Turkic; in the Altai Republic Altai Republic)
Lezgi (Northeast Caucasian); and Azerbaijani (Turkic in the DagestanRepublic of Dagestan)
Avar (Northeast Caucasian); and Azerbaijani (Turkic in the DagestanRepublic of Dagestan)
Bashkir (Turkic; in the Bashkortostan Republic of Bashkortostan)
Buryat (Mongolic; in Agin-Buryat Okrug and the Buryatia Buryat Republic)
Chechen (Northeast Caucasian; in the Chechnya Chechen Republic)
Chuvash (Turkic; in the Chuvashia Chuvash Republic)
Erzya (Uralic; in the Mordovia Republic of Mordovia)
Ingush (Northeast Caucasian; in the Ingushetia Republic of Ingushetia)
Kabardian (Northwest Caucasian; in the Kabardino-Balkaria Kabardino-Balkar Republic and Karachay-Cherkessia Karachay–Cherkess Republic)
Kalmyk (Mongolic; in the Kalmykia Republic of Kalmykia) Karachay-Balkar (Turkic; in the Kabardino-Balkaria Kabardino-Balkar Republic and Karachay-Cherkessia Karachay–Cherkess Republic[3])
Khakas (Turkic; in the Khakassia Republic of Khakassia) Komi-Zyrian (Uralic; in the Komi Republic Komi Republic)
Mansi (Uralic; in Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug Khanty–Mansi Autonomous Okrug)
Mari (Uralic; in the Mari ElMari El Republic)
Moksha (Uralic; in the MordoviaRepublic of Mordovia)
Nogai (Turkic; in the Karachay-Cherkessia Karachay–Cherkess Republic)[3]
Ossetic (Iranian; in the North Ossetia–Alania Republic of North Ossetia–Alania)
Tatar (Turkic; in the Tatarstan Republic of Tatarstan)
Tuvаn (Turkic; in the TuvaTuva Republic)
Udmurt (Uralic; in the Udmurtia Udmurt Republic)
Yakut (Turkic; in the Sakha Republic Sakha Republic)

Find Out More About Russia

Country Name in Local Language : Россия
Currency : Ruble
Capital City : Moscow
Official Language : Russian
Official Written Script : Cyrillic
Population : 143,200,000
Total Area Covered : 17,098,200 km²
Highest Point : Mount Elbrus (5,642 m)
Telephone Calling Code : +7
Internet TLD : .ru
National Food : Shchi and Kasha, Pelmeni
National Flower : Chamomile / Silver Birch

See a Sample of Russian Text

Все счастли́вые се́мьи похо́жи друг на дру́га, ка́ждая несчастли́вая семья́ несчастли́ва по-сво́ему.
Анна Каренина
Лев Николаевич Толстой#

Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.
Anna Karenina
Leo Tolstoy

Potential Translation Pitfalls

Cyrillic characters are normally interpreted correctly by modern software applications, but DTP (typesetting) applications such as Quark Xpress do not handle fonts in the same way as a regular operating system, so for more elaborate layout it is sometimes necessary to have professional typesetters with appropriate fonts and software to carry out the work. 

Creation of pdfs from Word files can also be a problem depending on the font type used, leading to pages of ??? instead of cyrillic characters.  It is rare for an individual character to become corrupt, more likely it will be the whole character set.

Samples of Mistranslation
In the early 1960s, an apocryphal tale went around about a computer that the CIA had built to translate between English and Russian: to test the machine, the programmers decided to have it translate a phrase into Russian and then translate the result back into English, to see if they'd get the same words they started with.

The director of the CIA was invited to do the honours; the programmers all gathered expectantly around the console to watch as the director typed in the test words: "Out of sight, out of mind." The computer silently ground through its calculations. Hours passed. Then, suddenly, magnetic tapes whirred, lights blinked, and a printer clattered out the result: "Invisible insanity."  

Likewise, the phrase "The spirit was willing, but the flesh was weak" resulted in: "The vodka was good, but the meat was rotten."

Tips for doing business in Russia

Ten Tips for Doing Business in Russia

1. With the country in a state of total flux, Russian attitudes to business can vary widely from sector to sector and from region to region. Are you dealing with a new-style entrepreneur or an old-school Soviet bureaucrat?

2. Law-breaking and rule avoidance have been promoted to an art-form in a country where the state has, for centuries, been seen as the enemy.

3. In a country where the rule of law has all but broken down, the only thing that can be relied upon in a business context is the strength of the relationships upon which the business is based. Do not underestimate the importance of relationship building - or the time taken in the process.

4. Contracts are only as valid as a combination of your ability to enforce the law and the importance placed upon the relationship. Trying to enforce an unpopular clause in a contract could prove virtually impossible.

5. Russian companies are often driven and directed by one strong, central character. Without the approval of this individual, very few decisions will be taken and any that are would probably prove invalid.

6. Don't waste time trying to get decisions out of middle and junior managers - go straight to the top if possible.

7. Companies tend to take a short-term view of any given business opportunity. In a country as volatile and uncertain as Russia, who knows what lies around the corner?

8. Managers are expected to manage and this means giving precise and detailed instructions to subordinates. Inclusive, 'caring' management styles might be viewed as weak.

9. Meetings tend to be used to disseminate information or to give direct instruction - do not expect a great deal of open debate or disagreements in front of senior managers.

10. Smaller, more informal meetings often occur behind closed doors where senior management might canvas opinion or seek other opinions.

Thanks to http://www.worldbusinessculture.com

Zagorsk in Spring © G Raisman

St Petersburg

Name in Local Language : Санкт-Петербург
Geographical Location :
On the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea.
Population : 4,879,566
Interesting Facts :
In 1914 the name of the city was changed to Petrograd , in 1924 to Leningrad and in 1991 back to Saint Petersburg. Often described as the most Western city of Russia. The Revolution of 1905 began in Saint Petersburg.
Main Sites :
Saint Isaac's Cathedral, Peter and Paul Fortress on Zayachy Island, Palace Square with the Alexander Column, Petergof, Nevsky Prospekt, Winter Palace, Hermitage.

Novgorod © G Raisman

Nizhny (Nizhni) Novgorod

Name in Local Language : Нижний Новгород
Geographical Location :  Economic and cultural centre of the Volga-Vyatka economic region.
Population : 1,250,615
Interesting Facts :
Fifth largest city in Russia, known as 'Gorky' from 1932 to 1990, after the writer Maxim Gorky who was born there, seat of the medieval princes (c1220).
Main Sites :
Kremlin, Pechersky Monastery, Smolenskaya and Rozhdestvenskaya Churches.

Zagorsk Market © G Raisman

Sergiyev Posad (Zagorsk)

Name in Local Language : Сергиев Посад
Geographical Location :  Moscow Oblast
Population : 111,179
Interesting Facts :
The town grew in the 15th century around one of the greatest of Russian monasteries, the Trinity Lavra established by St. Sergius of Radonezh. Town status was granted to Sergiyev Posad in 1742. Renamed Zagorsk in 1930 in memory of Vladimir Zagorksy, the original name was restored in 1991.
Main Sites :
Trinity Lavra of St Sergius, town walls.

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VISIT OUR COUNTRY PAGES for useful information and to see more of Prof Raisman's photos

Xi'an Bell Tower © G Raisman

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Lake Titicaca © G Raisman
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