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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Russia has been in the news a lot lately, what with fixing elections and hacking emails, but what is some of the real history behind this huge, often mysterious, often bizarre country?

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Today's Random Fact:

Russia is the largest country by land mass in the world. At 6.5 million square miles (17 million square km), Russia is 1.8 times larger than the United States and is slightly larger than Pluto.

The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, is comprised of 6 buildings with 3 million exhibits. If you spent 2 minutes at each exhibit, it would take 6 years to see everything. The museum is also home to about 70 cats as part of a decree first instated in 1745 by Empress Elizabeth, daughter of Peter the Great, to protect the priceless displays from rodents.

The Russian State Library in Moscow is the largest library in Europe and the 2nd largest library in the world, after the Library of Congress.

Bonus Fact:

In 1917, the monarchy system of Russia was overthrown and a civil war between monarchists and communists under the rule of Vladimir Lenin ensued. In 1922, Lenin succeeded in winning the civil war and established the Soviet Union, the first communist country in the world.

Under the 70 years of Russian communist rule, historians estimate anywhere from 12.5 to 20 million or more Russians died from execution, famine, and imprisonment.

Russia is the 4th largest consumer of alcohol per capita in the world after Moldova, Czech Republic, and Hungary. Russians drink about 5 gallons of pure alcohol per year.

Russia has a homicide rate of 9.7 deaths per 100,000 people, which is higher than the United State's rate of 4.7 deaths per 100,000 people.

About 25,000 Russian women per year participate in Mail Order Bride programs in hope of bettering their situation by marrying a wealthy foreigner. In 2014, American men spent about US$45 million on the programs alone, and an average of 10,000 mail order bride marriages occur in the United States each year.

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