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Western Russia

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flag of Russia
Tsar Peter the Great visited the Netherlands in order to modernize the Russian navy, and in 1699 he chose a Dutch-influenced flag for Russian ships. The flag soon became popular on land as well. After the Russian Revolution it was replaced by the communist red banner, but the tricolor again became official on Aug. 21, 1991.

Location of Russia Ethnic Composition

Official name: Rossiyskaya Federatsiya (Russian Federation).

Form of government: federal multiparty republic with a bicameral legislative body (Federal Assembly comprising a Federation Council [178] and a State Duma [450]).

Head of state: President.

Head of government: Prime Minister.

Population (1998): 146,861,000.

Population projection: (2000) 145,905,000; (2010) 143,918,000.

Natural increase rate per 1,000 population (1995): -5.7 (world avg. 15.7).

Gross national product (1996): U.S.$356,030,000,000 (U.S.$2,410 per capita).

Land use (1994): forest 44.9%; pasture 5.2%; agriculture 7.7%; other 42.2%.

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