Russiacountry that stretches over a vast expanse of eastern Europe and northern Asia. Once the preeminent republic of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (U.S.S.R.; commonly known as the Soviet Union), Russia became an independent country after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in December 1991.


Russia is a land of superlatives. By far the world’s largest country, it covers nearly twice the territory of Canada, the second largest. It extends across the whole of northern Asia and the eastern third of Europe, spanning 11 time zones and incorporating a great range of environments and landforms, from deserts to semiarid steppes to deep forests and Arctic tundra. Russia contains Europe’s longest river, the Volga, and its largest lake, Ladoga. Russia also is home to the world’s deepest lake, Baikal, and the country recorded the world’s lowest temperature outside the North and South poles.


The economy of Russia has gradually transformed from a planned economy into a market-oriented economy. It has enormous natural resources, particularly oil and natural gas. As of 2021, it was the fifth-largest economy in Europe, the world’s eleventh-largest economy by nominal GDP, and the sixth-largest by PPP.

Russia‘s vast geography is an important determinant of its economic activity, with the country holding a large share of the world’s natural resources. It has been widely described as an energy superpower; as it has the world’s largest natural gas reserves, the second-largest coal reserves, the eighth-largest oil reserves, and the largest oil shale reserves in Europe. It is the world’s leading natural gas exporter, the second-largest natural gas producer, and the second-largest oil exporter, and producer. Russia’s foreign exchange reserves are the world’s fifth-largest. It has a labour force of roughly 70 million people, which is the world’s sixth-largest. Russia has a large and sophisticated arms industry, capable of designing and manufacturing high-tech military equipment, and is the world’s second-largest exporter of arms. Russia also has the world’s fifth-largest number of billionaires.

The oil and gas sector accounted up to roughly 40% of Russia’s federal budget revenues, and up to 60% of its exports in 2019. In 2019, the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry estimated the value of natural resources to 60% of the country’s GDP. Russia has one of the lowest external debts among major economies, although its inequality of household income and wealth remains comparatively high.[46] Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022, the country has faced several sanctions and boycotts from the Western world and its allies, a move described as an “all-out economic and financial war” to isolate the Russian economy from the global financial system. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has estimated the damage done by the sanctions triggered “the greatest supply shock since at least the early 1970s”, and will retract Russia’s economy by 10% in 2022. Since early 2022 many official economic statistics are no longer published.


Tourism in Russia has seen rapid growth since the late Soviet times, first domestic tourism and then international tourism as well. Rich cultural heritage and natural variety place Russia among the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Not including Crimea, the country contains 23 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, while many more are on UNESCO’s tentative lists.

Major tourist routes in Russia include a travel around the Golden Ring of ancient cities, cruises on the big rivers including the Volga, and long journeys on the Trans-Siberian Railway. Diverse regions and ethnic cultures of Russia offer different foods and souvenirs, and show a great variety of traditions, including Russian MaslenitsaTatar Sabantuy, or Siberian shamanist rituals. In 2013, Russia was visited by 33 million tourists, making it the ninth-most visited country in the world and the seventh-most visited in Europe.

After the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, several governments, including the US, France, the UK, Australia, and Canada have issued travel advisories calling on their nationals to avoid travel to Russia


Russia is also home to private schools, some of which are international schools that cater to children of various nationalities. These are highly popular among expats as they provide a multicultural environment and enable children to study the same curriculum they would back home and in their first language. That said, they often charge high tuition fees and have long waiting lists, which can make it difficult to secure a place for your child unless you apply far in advance and have sufficient financial means.

The three stages of education in Russia

Education in Russia is divided into three stages: primary, basic general, and secondary. Primary education begins at the age of six or seven and lasts for four years. This is followed by five years of basic general education, and two to three years of secondary education. Students can choose to complete secondary education at a regular school or opt to attend a vocational training college for that period.

Subjects and grades

At the end of secondary education, all students must pass the Unified State Examination (EGE) (Единый государственный экзамен, Yediny gosudarstvenny ekzamen) if they wish to continue to higher education. Exams in Russian and mathematics are mandatory, while other subjects, including sciences, foreign languages, and humanities, are optional.

The Russian Ministry of Education sets the study program in schools and unlike in many Western countries, students have no say in the subjects they study until they take the Unified State Examination (EGE). Students are graded on a five-step scale, with 5 being ‘excellent’ and 1 being a sign of extreme failure. Teachers rarely assign a grade 1, and most of the time, students receive grades between 2 and 5.

The schools year and holidays

The school year in Russia traditionally starts on September 1, which is known as Knowledge Day (День знаний, Den znaniy). This day also marks the end of the summer and the beginning of autumn. A traditional First Bell ceremony usually takes place for children coming to school for the first time. Pupils and parents also give flowers to the teachers to thank them.


The following documents should be submitted to the Russian Embassy or Consulate to obtain visa to enter Russia.


The Russian consulates located in Europe take 3 to 10 business days for the visa processing. In addition, Russian visas issued by the consulates in Europe may have a five day “waiting period” on entering Russia, i.e. the person can not travel to Russia for at least 5 days after the visa is issued.
However, this rule is applied sporadically and largely depends on the local consul’s decretion. If your travel plans are urgent, we strongly recommend you to contact the Russian consulate you plan to collect your visa at and make sure that your visa will be available in time.

Russian Tourist Visa

  1. Your original passport with at least 2 blank visa-designated pages (passport must be valid for at least 6 months after intended departure date from Russia).
  2. Two copies of Russian visa application form, completed and signed.
  3. ONE passport-size photo signed on the back.
  4. If Tour Group or Cruise Passenger: Letter from tour company or cruise line confirming itinerary and including a copy of the confirmation from authorized Russian travel company which shows the reference number and confirmation number for the visa.
  5. If Individual Travel: Confirmation of hotel arrangements from authorized Russian travel company, or directly from the Russian hotel, showing reference number and confirmation number for the visa.


For assistance with expedited Russian Tourist Visa Invitations see Russian Visa Support Authorizations

Russian Business Single, Double and Multiple-Entry Visa

  1. Your original passport with at least 2 blank visa-designated pages (passport must be valid for at least 6 months after intended departure date from Russia).
  2. Two copies of Russian visa application form, completed and signed.
  3. ONE passport-size photo signed on the back.
  4. For stay exceeding 3 months, or multi entry visa, a HIV test required.
  5. Official invitation from an organization authorized to invite business visitors to Russia.


Business invitations to Russia are processed by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Federal Migration Service. Nationals of several countries may also obtain a business visa using an invitation issued by an authorized Russian company. The letter must contain: official seal and legal address of the agency, signature and name of official authorized to invite foreigners to Russia. The Embassy reserves the right to request the original invitation.
For assistance with expedited Russian Business Single, Double and Multiple-Entry Visa Invitations see Russian Visa Support Authorizations

Russian Private or Homestay Visa

  1. Your original passport with at least 2 blank visa-designated pages (passport must be valid for at least 6 months after intended departure date from Russia).
  2. Two copies of Russian visa application form, completed and signed.
  3. ONE passport-size photo signed on the back.
  4. Visa entitlement certificate (IZVESHENIYE) from the local FMS in Russia. Your host must obtain this certificate for you and send the original certificate to you. Your host will need to know:

Your Full Name;
Passport Number and Date of Birth;
Your Date of Arrival/Departure in Russia.
(The cost of FMS application is about USD$35. Allow 4-6 weeks for FMS approval).
For assistance with expedited Russian Visa Invitations see Russian Visa Support Authorizations

Need help? Customer care consultants are standing by.
Call us 7.495.665 5424 or US and Canada toll free 1 800 324 0492.
You can also send us an e-mail message and we will get back to you within the following business day.

Please note that our working languages are English and Russian.


The Russian visa support is provided according to the requirements of the Federal Law of the Russian Federation No. 115. The service cost includes all the required official fees needed for the processing the visa support at the local office of the FMS or MFA by a Russian legal entity.


Name of Organization / ProgrammeWebsite Link

Ministry of Education & Science of the Russian Federation (RMES)


Ministry of Healthcare of the Russian Federation

Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation

Ministry of Communications and Mass Communications of Russian Federation

Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation,

Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation

Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring (ROSHYDOMET)

Federal Service for Supervision of Education and Sciences (ROSOBRNADZOR)

Federal Service On Customers’ Rights Protection And Human Well-Being Surveillance (ROSPOTREBNADZOR)

Federal Service on Surveillances in Healthcare and Social Development

Federal Service for Supervision of Natural Resources

The Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Communications (Roskomnadzor)

The Federal Service for Ecological, Technological and Nuclear Supervision (GOSNADZOR)

Federal Medical-Biological Agency

Federal Agency for Water Resources

Federal Agency for Subsoil Use

Federal Communications Agency (ROSSVYAZ)

Federal Technical Regulating and Metrology Agency (Rosstandart)

Federal Space Agency (ROSCOSMOS)

Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies (RUSNANO) 

Russian Foundation for Fundamental Research (RFBR) 

Russian Scientific Fund (RSF)


Federal Agency for Scientific Organisations (FASO Russia)

Foundation for Assistance to Small Innovative Enterprises (FASIE)

Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) 

Far Eastern Branch of RAS 

Siberian Branch of RAS 

Ural Branch of RAS 

Russian Academy of Engineering

The Kurchatov Institute

National Research Center “Institute of Immunology” 

Network of Russian Nanotechnology 

All-Russian Mathematical Portal

The International Centre for Scientific and Technical Information (ICSTI)

Indo-Russian Science and Technology Centre (IRSTC), Moscow Branch 

International Centre for Innovations in Science, Technology and Education (ICISTE)

Joint Institute For Nuclear Research (JINR)

Steklov Mathematical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences

P.N. Lebedev Physical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences 

Schmidt Institute of Physics of the Earth of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IPE RAS)

St. Petersburg State Electrotechnical University “LETI”

Resource Center “Russia-India: Education, Science, Innovation”

Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU) 

Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT)

National Research Technological University “Moscow Institute for Steel and Alloys” (MISiS)

National Research University “Higher School of Economics” (HSE)


National Research Nuclear University “Moscow Engineering Physics Institute” (MePhI)

Saint-Petersburg National Research University ITMO

Bauman Moscow State Technical University

People’s Friendship University of Russia

Moscow Automobile and Road Construction University

Russian Union of the Scientific and Engineering Organizations (RUSEA)

Skolkovo Science & Technology Institute (Skoltech) 

Saint Petersburg State University (SPbU)

Peter the Great Saint-Petersburg Polytechnic University

Kazan (Volga region) Federal University

Ural Federal University named after the first President of Russia                                               B. N. Yeltsin

National Research Tomsk State University

National Research Tomsk Polytechnic University

Lobachevsky State University of Nizhni Novgorod

Novosibirsk National Research State University

Novosibirsk State Technical University

Samara State Aerospace University

Pacific National University

Tyumen State Oil and Gas University

Magnitogorsk State Technical University

Far Eastern Federal University