Stretching over 6 million miles across eastern Europe and northern Asia, Russia is the largest country in the world. Russia borders 14 countries and spans 10 time zones.

  • Population: 142,958,000
  • Life Expectancy: 70 years
  • Access to Safe Water: 97%
  • School Enrollment: 94%
  • Land Mass: 6,601,668 sq. mi.
  • Literacy Rate: 90%
  • Under Age 5 Mortality Rate: 12/1000
  • Average Annual Income (GNI): 9,910

Facts about Russia

Economic Development

While about 8 percent of people are unemployed, about 13 percent of Russians still live below the poverty line.


The HIV and AIDS prevalence rate in Russia is only 1 percent, but with such a large population, there are more than 940,000 people living with the virus.

Child Protection

Human trafficking is a major issue in Russia. Women are especially vulnerable and are trafficked to more than 50 different countries.

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World Vision in Russia Today

World Vision is committed to partnering with the people of Russia to improve their lives today and to help enact sustainable solutions for the future of their children, families, and communities. Highlights of current programs include:

  • Raising awareness of HIV and AIDS among youth and providing counseling services for the most vulnerable.
  • Training teachers in Ingushetia and Chechnya in child protection.
  • Offering activities in communities where children can safely play, learn, and interact.
  • Providing healthcare and medicine to a medical center in Ingushetia to help thousands of displaced Russians.

World Vision History in Russia

World Vision involvement in Russia began in the late 1980s when it assisted children and families following an explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Since then, some major accomplishments include:

  • Offering training to leaders of religious charitable organizations and improving education for nurses in the late 1980s and into the early 1990s.
  • Providing medical supplies, winter clothing, hospital equipment, books, and more supplies to displaced Chechens in the North Caucasus since the late 1990s.
  • Delivering medical supplies and equipment to hospitals treating children and adults wounded in the 2004 Beslan school hostage crisis.
  • Improving healthcare for families and supplying hot meals to schoolchildren affected by war and poverty in Chechnya since the beginning of the 21st century.
  • Providing people with income generation, psychosocial rehabilitation, and peace-building programs in the 21st century.

Geography & People

Geography and people

Stretching over 6 million miles across eastern Europe and northern Asia, Russia is the largest country in the world. Russia borders 14 countries and spans 10 time zones.

Variety fills Russia’s landscapes, ranging from forests to mountains to plains. The northern region of Siberia has mainly forests, with tundra in the north and steppes in the south. The Volga, Europe’s longest river, runs through central Russia.

Russia’s climate varies from humid weather in the European regions to arctic conditions in Siberia and the northern tundra areas.

Natural resources include oil, natural gas, diamonds, coal, timber, and the largest mineral reserves in the world.

Over 120 ethnic groups live in Russia, including Tatars, Ukrainians, and Bashkirs. The largest group is Russian, making up about 80 percent of the population. The official language is Russian, but people also speak over 140 other languages and dialects.


The Principality of Muscovy, established in the 12th century, moved past more than 200 years of Mongol rule and gradually conquered its surrounding territories. By the late 1800s, Tsar Alexander II had pushed Russia’s borders to the Pacific Ocean.

The Russian army’s repeated defeats in World War I led to widespread rioting and the overthrow of the imperial household in 1917. Vladimir Lenin seized power a few years later and established the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (U.S.S.R.), beginning nearly 70 years of communist rule.

Mikhail Gorbachev, president of the Soviet Union from 1985 to 1991, introduced political and economic reforms and began establishing warmer relations with the West. These steps led to the disintegration of the U.S.S.R. into Russia and 14 other independent republics in December 1991.

Russians elected their first president in 1993. Free elections continue today. Also, tension continues between Russia and neighboring Georgia after their conflict in 2008.

Prayer Requests for Russia

  • Please pray for the people of Russia and for peace and stability in their country.