Russia's official name is the Russian Federation, which came into effect in 1991 when the Soviet Union split into 15 geo-political parts.
Russia is a transcontinental country covering half the northern hemisphere - that is what I call spreading out!
Russian Orthodox is the main religion.
With regards to ‘meeting etiquette’, the typical greeting is a firm, almost bone-crushing handshake while maintaining direct eye contact and giving the appropriate greeting for the time of day.
When men shake hands with women, the handshake is less firm.
When female friends meet, they kiss on the cheek three times, starting with the left and then alternating.
When close male friends meet, they may pat each other on the back and hug.
Back to some basics: Russia boasts some of the finest in cultural arts and entertainment. In St. Petersburg alone, there are 221 museums, 2,000 libraries and over 80 theaters. Feel like seeing a concert? St. Petersburg has 100 concert establishments. Is art more your style? Then you can visit one of 45 galleries.