Russia: Andrei Podolskij
Background Information The Russian Federation (Russia) covers one-eighth of the earth’s surface, stretching from Europe to Asia, and is easily the world’s largest country. The country has a tremendous wealth of natural resources, producing 17% of the world’s crude oil, 25-30% of its natural gas, and 10-20% of all nonferrous, rare, and noble metals mined across the globe. It contains some 130 nations and ethnic groups, including the following: Russian 82%, Tatar 4%, Ukrainian 3%, Chuvash 1%, Bashkir 1%, Byelorussian 1%, Moldavian 1%, and other 8%. The total population is approximately 145 million. At birth the life expectancy is 59 years for males, and 73 years for women (2009).