59 amazing facts about Russia

To mark the 25th anniversary of the collapse of the Soviet Union, we began to unearth strange facts about countries, including Belarus, Latvia and Moldova, and to remember the most amazing things about the Soviet Union, including the incredible experimental bus stop.


Our ode to the region continues. Here are 59 things you didn’t know about Russia.


1. Hitler had planned to give a dinner on the occasion of the capture of Leningrad in Astoria.


2. The great Russian Museum, the Hermitage, is home to more than 70 cats who protect its treasures from rodents. The tradition dates back to published in 1745 decree of Empress Elizabeth, daughter of Peter the Great. The total length of the marble corridors of the Museum is about 14 miles (about 22 kilometers).


© RIA Novosti, Igor Russak | go to fotobanka in the basement of the Hermitage during the annual action “day of the Hermitage cat”

3. Saturday is a day when the inhabitants of Russian cities voluntarily take to the streets to sweep up and put them in order. The Saturdays appeared after the revolution, but continues to this day.


4. The name “Red square” has nothing to do with communism. It comes from the word “Krasny”, which once meant “beautiful”.


5. Icicles hanging from the rooftops in Moscow in the winter, so large that can kill you falling on your head. Therefore, the sidewalks in front of buildings fenced.


© RIA Novosti, Alexey Danichev | go to fotobounce on houses in Saint-Petersburg

6. At the metro station “Revolution Square” is a bronze dog with a shiny nose. The nose shines, as it is believed that touching it brings good luck.


7. This is not the only dog sculpture in Russia. There is also a monument to Laika, first dog in space, went there in 1957.


8. Soup from chicken legs (jelly) is considered a delicacy.


9. They love the locker room. Once you sign in to a restaurant, Museum, bar or gallery, as you will be asked to take the robe and the bag in the closet. The best dressing effectively manage a team of grandmothers.


© RIA Novosti Maxim Blinov | go to photovacation “Art”cinema

10. Giving flowers to the local residents subject to subtle rules of etiquette. You have to make sure that you give odd number of flowers. An even number, you should bring to the funeral.


11. Under the bridge leading to the Peter and Paul fortress in St. Petersburg, a figure of a hare. It is installed in the memory of the many rabbits that lived on the island and struggling with a constant scourge in the form of floods. It is believed that if you throw a coin into the statue, you will have good luck.


12. The farther from the capital the number of cars in Russia is sharply reduced, and the styling just keeps getting weirder.


13. The Russians occupy the fourth place in the world for drunkenness, behind Belarus, Moldova and Lithuania, according to the who. The UK in 25th place.


14. The word “vodka” comes from the word “water”.


© AFP 2016, Alexander NemenovПродажа of vodka in one of the stalls in Moscow

15. Life expectancy of men is 63 years, which is lower than North Korea or Iraq. Life expectancy of women at the same time — 75 years.


16. On the island Itygran is the so-called “Alley of whale skeletons” (Whale alley), where neatly arranged remains of marine mammals.


17. Moscow subway-probably the most beautiful in the world.


18. According to popular belief, there is another, secret subway “Metro-2” connecting military bunkers.


19. They marinated all — cucumbers, beets and former leaders.


20. In Moscow you can see locks hung with trees. Hang a pair of these locks as proof of his love.


© RIA Novosti, Ruslan Krivobok | go to photosangelina pair on luskova bridge

21. In the crypt Museum under the Monument to the heroic defenders of Leningrad is playing only one sound — the sound of the metronome. During the siege local radio was broadcasting the sound of the metronome to the residents knew that the city was still alive.


22. It is believed that only weak down the ears of his fur cap if the temperature drops below -20 degrees Celsius.


23. Traffic in Moscow is so terrible that the rich Russians hire fake ambulances to cut through traffic.


24. In the Moscow Park of fallen monuments (Art Park) put up a lot of old sculptures of the Soviet era, as well as examples of modern art.


© RIA Novosti, Sergey Pyatakov | go to fotobanka to Joseph Stalin in a Moscow Park arts “Museon”

25. Women in Russia about 11 million more than men.


26. Presumably, 50% of police take bribes.


27. In Moscow there is a restaurant, all the staff whom are twins.


28. It’s not just the tundra and the taiga, you can walk in and by volcanoes.


29. In many tourist sites for foreigners higher entrance fees. It’s unfair, but nothing can be done, and complaining is pointless. Better just to laugh, imagining how Roman Abramovich pays five times less you, using the discount for Russian citizens.


30. Postnik Yakovlev, is known primarily as the architect of St. Basil’s Cathedral. Legend has it that Tsar Ivan the terrible blinded him after the completion of construction, so that Yakovlev was no longer able to create anything similar.


© RIA Novosti, Kirill Kallinikov | go to fotomontaje rest on the scaffolding on the background of the Pokrovsky Cathedral on red square

31. Russia has more timezones than any other country — 11.


32. Although the situation has improved in many respects, but the Russian police is still a well known fact that foreigners shake “violation of securities”. Always carry all your documents.


33. One of the biggest secrets of world war II is the fate of the Amber room, decorated with amber plates with gold leaf and mirrors. Once she was in the Catherine Palace in Tsarskoye Selo. The Nazis stole her and moved to Konigsberg for restoration. The further fate of the Amber room is unknown.


34. Olkhon island, the largest in lake Baikal, is the centre of shamanism. On its southern shore is shaman rock.


35. Western leaders are not happy at least in one duty free shop at the airport.


36. On the mantelpiece in the White dining room at the Hermitage stand watch. They stopped at 2:10 am on 25 October 1917 when the Bolsheviks arrested who was in power after the February revolution, the provisional government of Kerensky. At this point Russia went to communism.


37. Mikhail Gorbachev recorded an album of romantic ballads. Vladimir Putin has released a DVD-ROM on the topic of judo.


38. Thanks to Russia the company “Pepsi” in a short period in the 1990s, the years owned a number of submarines (one of the largest submarine fleets in the world).


39. Not applying for a visa, you can visit Helsinki in a short cruise by ferry from St. Petersburg.


40. In Russia, it is one of the most terrifying bridges in the world — the 439-metre-long sky bridge.


41. In St. Petersburg there is a beach near the Peter and Paul fortress. The so-called “walruses”, believe that bathing in icy water has a healing effect, going there to swim in the winter.


© RIA Novosti, Igor Russak | go to Photobacterium in the baptismal font at the Peter and Paul fortress in Saint-Petersburg

42. On Vasilevsky island in St. Petersburg is concentrated rather odd collection of attractions, including a pair of Egyptian sphinxes of the XV century on the waterfront and a Museum of biological oddities, where the skeleton and heart of a giant — personal servant of Peter the Great.


43. 1800 skiers and snowboarders in bikinis gathered on the slopes of Sheregesh this year to get into the Guinness Book of records.


44. There is an ambitious plan for the construction of highway with length of 20 thousand kilometers between the Pacific and the Atlantic ocean.


45. In Russia is the longest river of Europe — Volga, whose length is 3690 kilometers. It runs more than 200 tributaries, and the total length together with the Volga — 357 thousand kilometers.


46. Russian hard labor camps, known as gulags, may soon become a “tourist bases”. Controversial plan to attract tourists last year announced the regional Department of tourism of the Republic of Sakha in Eastern Siberia.


© RIA Novosti | go to fotoreceptorilor labor camp in Vorkuta

47. Every year the country receives approximately 10 thousand British tourists. Most of them go only to Moscow and Saint Petersburg.


48. In Uglich, about 200 kilometers from Moscow, a red-and-white Church on the river Volga marks the spot where, in 1591, was killed eight-year-old Tsarevich Dmitry, son of Ivan the terrible and the last representative of the Rurik dynasty. Presumably, he was killed on the orders of Boris Godunov. To calm the unrest, Moscow has sent investigators, and they found that the Prince accidentally fell on a knife and stabbed (“And so seven times,” — said with irony).


49. Russia is the coldest inhabited place in the world — Oymyakon. 6 February 1933 there was was the temperature of -67,7 degrees Celsius.


50. The Russians once built a round warship.


© public domain, Krasovskii N. P. The arrival of Popovka “Novgorod” in Sevastopol

51. In 1908 Russian Olympic team arrived at the Olympics in London 12 days later, as the country still used the Julian calendar.


52. Terek-Sami language on the Kola Peninsula is on the brink of extinction. It is spoken by only two people.


53. Old stamps you can buy in a small tobacco shop on the street.


54. According to the biography of Peter the Great, written by Henri troyat, the king was so fond of his toy soldiers that were executed by hanging the rat that bit the head off of one of them. It also established a tax on beards.


55. There is a network of Russian cafe where everything is free, but you pay for the time spent in the institution. A few years ago a branch of this network has appeared in London.


© RIA Novosti, Vladimir Astapkovich | go to photosangelina playing Board games in Antibase TimeTerria in Moscow

56. Lake Karachay, a nuclear waste dump, is so radioactive that you will surely perish, having beside him at least an hour.


57. One Museum in St. Petersburg claims that among its exhibits there is a cut of the penis of Rasputin, placed in a glass jar. Experts doubt its authenticity.


58. Russian love DVRs.


59. And, apparently, build a ski resort military subjects.