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Territory in eastern Europe and northern Asia, ruled since 1991 by the Rossiyskaya Federatsiya

Russia (Russian: Росси́я, tr. Rossiya), officially the Russian Federation (Russian: Росси́йская Федера́ция, tr. Rossiyskaya Federatsiya), is a country in Eurasia. At 17,125,200 square kilometers, Russia is the largest country in the world by area, covering more than one-eighth of the Earth's inhabited land area, and the ninth most populous, with over 144 million people as of December 2017, excluding Crimea. About 77% of the population live in the western, European part of the country. Russia's capital, Moscow is one of the largest cities in the world; other major cities include Saint Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg and Nizhny Novgorod.

Geographical type: Territory

Latitude: 60° N — Longitude: 90° E

Area: 17,098,200 km²

ISO 3166-2 code: RU

Birthplace of

Ayn Rand, Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum, in Saint Petersburg, on 2 Feb 1905
Leo Tolstoy, in Yasnaya Polyana, on 9 Sep 1828

Home To

Russian Libertarian Movement, Moscow (2003-2006)

Deathplace of

Leo Tolstoy, in Astapovo, on 20 Nov 1910

Measures of Freedom

Human Freedom Index [PDF], The Human Freedom Index 2021
2019: 6.23, Rank: 126, Personal Freedom: 5.9, Economic Freedom: 6.7
Level of Economic Freedom, Economic Freedom of the World
2014: 6.66, Rank: 102
Russia | Freedom House, Freedom in the World 2022
2016: Status: Not Free, Aggregate Score: 22, Political Rights: 6, Civil Liberties: 6
Russia's economy continued to deteriorate in 2015, and the Kremlin worked to preempt potential domestic discontent through the distraction of foreign interventions. With the conflict in eastern Ukraine settling into a stalemate, President Vladimir Putin sent Russian aircraft to Syria in September and began bombing the opponents of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, directly engaging the Russian military outside the former Soviet Union for the first time since Soviet troops left Afghanistan.


10 Things You Never Knew About Orwell's 1984, by Anna Mathews, 13 Jul 2017
Ten brief items that most people are unlikely to know about Orwell and his novel
The slogan '2 + 2 = 5' originated from Russia, where the Communist regime used it as a motto of sorts in an effort to help them accomplish the goals of their five-year plan in only four years. Though the slogan is still used to point out the ills of totalitarian brainwashing today, it was not coined by Orwell.
Along Pennsylvania Avenue, by Aubrey Herbert, Faith and Freedom, Jan 1956
Contrasts the attitudes of U.S. participants in the 1955 Geneva Summit with those of their Soviet counterparts; becomes encouraged by the rejection of multiple ballot measures asking for funds for various government programs
Russia asked for changes which are proper between governments: freer trade being the prime example ... [T]he State Department may have fallen for its own propaganda: that Russia was on the brink of revolt, that ten years of cold war had stirred up the Russian people, and that Russian peace overtures were simply signs of grave weakness instead of rational pursuit of peace. The State Department should have heeded Senator George "Molly" Malone's warning of this summer. Travelling the length and breadth of Russia, Malone (R., Nev.) pointed out that he saw no signs of revolution in Russia ...
Related Topics: Democratic Party, Taxation
The American Disease, by Sheldon Richman, The Goal Is Freedom, 21 Mar 2014
Explains how U.S. government meddling in foreign countries (citing contemporaneous examples in the Ukraine and Russia) is generally counterproductive, even when genuinely attempting to advance liberty
[Stephen F.] Cohen is one of the few prominent and knowledgeable commentators urging us to look at the full context of what is going on with Ukraine, Crimea, Russia, the United States, and NATO, rather than reflexively demonizing President Vladimir Putin and Russia ... the Russian LGBT propaganda law, passed by the Duma and signed by Putin last year, ... criminalizes the distribution of "propaganda" in support of "non-traditional sexual relationships" to minors ... The American officials who loudly protested and snubbed Putin at the Olympics, Cohen said, did not help the gay community in Russia, whatever their intentions ...
American Hawks Risk Escalating the Ukrainian Crisis, by Sheldon Richman, 5 Mar 2014
Discusses the potential expansion of the 2014 Ukrainian conflict due to those who advocate a "get tough" on Russia stance while claiming the U.S. has "retreated from the world"
What's most worrisome is not what Russian President Vladimir Putin is doing in Crimea and threatening to do in eastern Ukraine ... U.S. regimes from George H.W. Bush onward have done their utmost to demean Russia and its rulers ... But despite these aggressive U.S. actions, Putin should not have escalated the Ukrainian conflict by sending troops to Crimea or obtaining his parliament's authorization to invade the rest of Ukraine ... [A]mong the most fearful components of government is the military. Thus Putin's moves toward mobilization are to be condemned by all who love peace and oppose war.
Related Topics: Foreign entanglements, War
Benjamin Tucker, Individualism, & Liberty: Not the Daughter but the Mother of Order, by Wendy McElroy, Literature of Liberty, 1981
Bibliographical essay covering the people and radical movements that influenced Tucker in his founding and publishing of Liberty, its major themes and contributors
[Liberty] was broad enough in its interests ... to feature a portrait of Sophie Perovskaya, a Russian nihilist martyr, in the center of its front page ... Although Tucker exhibited great interest in Russian nihilism and the assassination of the Czar (1881), few Russian periodicals were mentioned in Liberty. Victor Yarros who had fled Russia to avoid arrest was probably the only associate of Liberty with enough background to appreciate and translate the various periodicals. There is, however, no evidence that he did so. Liberty did, nevertheless, follow the career of Leo Tolstoi.
Did Team Obama Blunder or Conspire in Ukraine?, by Sheldon Richman, 20 Mar 2014
Further analysis of the 2014 Ukraine and Russia situation after the latter annexed Crimea, considering whether this was engineered by the Obama administration purposely or with unwanted consequences, as an example of U.S. meddling in foreign nations
Anyone with a smidgen of knowledge about Russian history would know that these things would eventually produce a nationalist response. The retaking of Crimea was the most predictable response ... The only question is whether they wanted that response. It seems so. To what benefit? Putin may have Crimea, but the rest of Ukraine is likely to move hard into the European camp (even though the EU's economic offer to Ukraine was less generous than Russia's). And Putin's ham-handed moves present new opportunities for demonizing him, perhaps increasing the American regime's stock ...
Related Topics: Foreign entanglements, Ukraine
Economic Fascism and the Bailout Economy, by Gary North, 7 Feb 2009
Discusses the fascist roots of the U.S. political system and events since September 2008 to extend government control of private institutions
There are old-line anti-Communists who still insist ... that the Communists are still running the show in Russia. They do not understand the difference between fascism and Communism. The Russian system is fascist to the core: State-run capitalism ... Some [conspiracy worshippers] probably think that Communists still run Russia. Ex-Communists do: bureaucrats, mobsters, and KGB agents. But Communism is dead. How do I know? Look at a map of Russia. Look for the old names: Stalingrad and Leningrad. Gone. Maps tell a great deal about a civilization. Russian maps tell us that Communism is dead.
Foreign Policy Failure Everywhere, by Sheldon Richman, 17 Feb 2015
Examines the results of several decades of American intervention in the Middle East, Europe and elsewhere
Meanwhile in Europe, the U.S.-instigated coup in Ukraine, following the in-your-face expansion of NATO to the Russian border, has not had the intended effect of making Russian President Putin skulk to his corner in fear of the global hegemon. Instead, Putin capitalized on the explicit provocation to engineer the dubious annexation of Crimea and to aid separatists (or perhaps federalists) in eastern Ukraine, who are fighting neo-Nazis among others. Despite the current ceasefire, a war between nuclear powers Russia and the United States is not impossible.
How Americans Can Help Ukrainians, by Sheldon Richman, 13 Mar 2014
Suggests opening U.S. borders to allow Ukrainians (and others) to immigrate and thus help defuse the situation in their country with respect to Russia and the Crimea
Given its long history and, consequently, the temperament of its leaders (and a good part of its population), Russia for the foreseeable future will be a regional power with an attitude. Thus it will ever be concerned with what happens on its borders ... America can't change this situation, though it surely can exacerbate it. And it has—by pushing NATO, the Cold War anti-Soviet alliance, up to Russia's borders; by talking about putting interceptor missiles in former Soviet-allied nations in central Europe; by dangling NATO membership before former Soviet republics Ukraine and Georgia ...
Related Topics: Free trade, Ukraine
The Idea of Liberty is Western, by Ludwig von Mises, American Affairs, Oct 1950
Argues that the "idea of liberty is and has always been peculiar to the West", beginning in ancient Greece and moving westward to Europe and America, and discusses "liberty" as viewed by Harold Laski, contrasting life under Stalin with Italy under fascism
Professor Laski ... told us that "no doubt in Soviet Russia a Communist has a full sense of liberty ... The truth is that a Russian is free to obey all the orders issued by the great dictator. But as soon as he deviates a hundredth of an inch from the correct way of thinking as laid down by the authorities, he is mercilessly liquidated. All those politicians, office-holders, authors, musicians, and scientists who were "purged" were—to be sure—not anticommunists ... [Their] only offense ... was [not being] quick enough in adjusting their ideas ... to the latest ... ideas and tastes of Stalin.
Let's Have Candor from the NATO Summit, by Sheldon Richman, 4 Sep 2014
Comments on the article "Why the Ukraine Crisis Is the West's Fault" by foreign policy scholar John Mearsheimer, about the 2013-2014 Ukrainian crisis
But Mearsheimer is no fringe character or fan of Russian President Vladimir Putin ... As Mearsheimer points out, Russia was provoked, (as many had warned, for nearly 20 years, that it would be). After the demise of the Soviet empire and Warsaw Pact, the Russian leadership did not object to NATO's continued existence, he writes. In fact, the Russians counted on NATO to restrain Germany. But they "did not want NATO to grow any larger and assumed that Western diplomats understood their concerns ... Thanks to Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, NATO moved east to Russia's border ...
Related Topic: Ukraine
NATO's Balkans Disaster and Wilsonian Warmongering, Part 2, by Doug Bandow, Freedom Daily, Aug 1999
Considers possible justifications for war vis-à-vis NATO's involvement in the conflict between Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) and the Kosovo Liberation Army
[I}ntervention in the Balkans risks losing the far more important game involving Russia. Moscow's future development remains uncertain and worrisome. Yet NATO's attack on Yugoslavia, which shares long-standing Slavic ties with Russia, has greatly exacerbated tensions already inflamed by the expansion of NATO. Of even greater concern, America's willingness to meddle in areas of serious, if not vital, interest to Russia (including the Transcaucasus) risks inflaming domestic nationalism, thereby encouraging development of a less cooperative regime in Moscow.
Related Topics: Balkans, Europe, Serbia, War
Obama Plays with Fire in Ukraine, by Sheldon Richman, 23 Apr 2014
Discusses Obama's decision to send troops to Poland and Baltic states in addition to sanctions on Russia over the 2014 Crimea crisis and the implications of having the continued existence and expansion of the NATO alliance
One might have expected NATO to disappear along with the Soviet Union ... The so-called defensive alliance not only remained in existence; it moved aggressively eastward toward Russia by inducting former Soviet allies and republics as members ... The U.S. government's and news media's demonization of Putin (who's no saint) should not be allowed to overshadow the fact that America's rulers have needlessly provoked the Russians, the coup in Kiev being just the latest example. In 1998, the architect of the postwar containment policy, George Kennan, warned that humiliating Russia by expanding NATO "is a tragic mistake."
Obama Should Steer Clear of Ukraine, by Sheldon Richman, 26 Feb 2014
Discusses the situation in Ukraine in early 2014, including pronouncements from Barack Obama and the effects of further potential intervention by Europe, NATO, Russia or the U.S.
The hostile push of NATO up to the doorstep of Russia (along with other threatening measures) has not gone unnoticed in Moscow ... America's rulers did much more than spike the football when the Soviet Union peacefully disintegrated ... They humiliated Russia's leadership, apparently not caring that it would never passively accept the insult ... One thing we can know for sure—and one need not be an admirer of Russian president Vladimir Putin to see it ... It is none of the U.S. government's business whether [Ukraine] is economically closer to Russia or the European Union (EU).
Russian Libertarian Movement Founded, Freedom Network News, 9 Sep 2003
Socialism, by Robert Heilbroner, The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics
Describes socialism by reviewing policies in the USSR from the 1917 revolution to the perestroika of 1987 and then discussing the central planning arguments between Mises, Hayek and Lange
The true architect of a socialist order was Lenin, who first faced the practical difficulties ... [He] began from the long-standing delusion that economic organization would become less complex once the profit drive and the market mechanism had been dispensed with ... In fact, ... economic life ... became so disorganized that within four years of the 1917 revolution, Soviet production had fallen to 14 percent of its prerevolutionary level ... [I]n 1927 after Stalin instituted the process of forced collectivization that was to mobilize Russian resources for its leap into industrial power.
War in Georgia Shows U.S. Foreign Policy Is a Bust, by Sheldon Richman, 15 Aug 2008
Examines how NATO and the U.S. implicitly encouraged the Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili to suppress secessionists in South Ossetia
Let us stipulate that the Russian government would undoubtedly be interested in having Georgia in its camp even if NATO did not exist. The Russian elite has always seen itself destined for a major role in world events, and that dream of course included a large sphere of influence where friendly regimes saw things the Russian way ... Nevertheless, NATO ... is a major aggravating factor in the tensions between Russia and its neighbors ... NATO was ostensibly created to counter the Soviet Union ... how could expanding the organization up to the Russian border not be provocative? What was the point, except to show the Russians who's boss?
Related Topic: Georgia


Interview with Adam Smith [via Edwin West], by E. G. West, The Region, Jun 1994
Professor Edwin G. West stands in for Adam Smith and answers questions from the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis banking and policy issues magazine
Region: ... [W]hat are the prospects for Russia?
Smith: ... Compared with Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary, Russia has been much further and longer away from the ideology just described. It will, therefore, be much more difficult to establish in that country a fully fledged market economy. Russian leaders, in fact, still see "reforms" as top-down engineering programs ... The worst example of it is the present attempt of Mr. Gerashchenko at the central bank to inflate the Russian economy to provide cash bailouts to defunct industries that make goods no one wants to buy.
Interview with Chris Matthew Sciabarra, by Chris Matthew Sciabarra, Peter Jaworski, 22 Apr 2002
Topics discussed include: Ayn Rand as a dialectical thinker, dialectics (context-keeping), Murray Rothbard, Russia, Mauritania, Rand's feminism, the future of Objectivism and Sciabarra's 2001 cyberseminar "Dialectics and Liberty"
One must never drop the larger context: the fact ... that certain social-psychological and cultural preconditions are necessary if one is to sustain freedom. Take a look at Russia - where the move away from socialism has not yet brought about the kinds of institutional changes that are necessary to support freedom. Sheila Fitzpatrick, in her book, Everyday Stalinism, shows how a culture in which individuals shift responsibility to others, a culture that does not recognize the importance of individual initiative, self-esteem, and voluntary cooperation, is one of the prerequisites for totalitarianism.

The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "Russia" as of 14 Sep 2018, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.