2007 Exhibition‎ > ‎


Official Name:  Russian Federation
The Russian Federation was originally part of the USSR, which broke up into 15 republics in 1991. These changes saw Russia move from communism to a free market system. During this time many Russians immigrated to New Zealand. Member countries in Europe that were part of the former USSR, including Russia: Belarus, Estonia (from WW2), Latvia (from WW2), Lithuania (from WW2), Moldova (from WW2) and Ukraine. Member countries from Asia were: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. On December 8 1991, heads of three of the Soviet Union's 15 republics, led by Russia's Boris Yeltsin,met to sign documents abolishing the 74-year-old state.

Population: 142.9 million (2006 est.)

Capital: Moscow.

Ethnic Groups: Russian 79.8%,Tatar 3.8%, Ukrainian 2%, other 14.4%.

Religion: 75%of Christians belong to the Russian Orthodox Church; others,Roman Catholic,Muslim, Jewish, Protestant, Buddhist.

Languages: Russian (official);more than 140 other languages and dialects.

Climate: Russia's large geographical territory gives it a diverse climate. Its northern coastline borders on the Arctic Ocean, which gives it severe winters. In the south, Russia has hot desert areas.

Terrain: broad plain with low hills west of Urals; vast coniferous forest and tundra in Siberia; uplands and mountains along southern border regions.

Government: Federal.

Natural Resources: Petroleum, natural gas, timber, furs, precious and nonferrous metals.

Numbers of Russian-speakers in New Zealand: 11,000 – 12,000 (estimate). Many have come from the former Soviet Republics.The biggest communities are in Christchurch and Auckland.Wellington has a lively Russian Club.

In 2005, the Russian Embassy installed a memorial plaque on Wellington’s waterfront to commemorate New Zealanders who ran Arctic convoys delivering goods to the former Soviet Union inWorldWar 2.

Cuisine: Russia has a long cold winter so food needs to supply energy and warmth. The essential components of Russian cuisine are those that provide more carbohydrates and fat rather than proteins. Fresh fruits and vegetables are rarely used in food. The top five components of a Russian
meal are: 
  • Potato (boiled, fried, baked, potato chips, potato pancakes, potato soup, smashed potato).
  • Bread (bread, toast, bread-crumbs).
  • Eggs (boiled, fried).
  • Meat (pork and beef – chops, steak).
  • Butter (usually added in all meals and spread on bread).
  • Cabbage,milk, sour cream, curd,mushrooms, lard, cucumbers, tomatoes, apples, berries, honey, garlic, onions are also popular.
Did you know?
  • Russia is the world’s largest country (16,995,800 square kilometres).
  • Lake Baikal in Siberia is one of the oldest and deepest of the world's lakes.
  • Moscow, the capital of the Federation of Russia, is over eight hundred and fifty years old.
  • St Petersburg is sometimes called the "Venice of the North" as it has many canals and hundreds of bridges.
  • Queen Victoria's granddaughter married the last Czar, Nicholas II.
  • Russian is the fourth most widely spoken language in the world.
  • Russian uses the Cyrillic alphabet, which is based on Greek.
Subpages (1): Recipes from Russia