European Russia

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Russia in Europe and Asia with current administrative divisions (de facto boundaries[note 1]).

European Russia, the western part of the Russian Federation, is a part of Eastern Europe. With a population of 110 million people, European Russia has about 77% of Russia's population, but covers less than 25% of Russia's territory. European Russia includes Moscow and Saint Petersburg, the two largest cities in Russia.

The boundaries between continents are almost exclusively determined by geography, with the one exception being that the eastern boundary of Europe is generally considered, by convention, to run along the Ural Mountains, the Ural River, the Caucasus Mountains, the Turkish Straits.[citation needed] The southern part of European Russia has some small areas that lie geographically south of the Caucasus Mountain range, and therefore are geographically in Asia; this territory includes the city of Sochi.

The other, eastern, part of the Russian Federation forms part of northern Asia, and is known as North Asia, also called Asian Russia or Siberia. Europe also forms a subcontinent within Eurasia,[1] making all of Russia a part of the Eurasian continent.


Ethnic map of the European Russian Empire prior to the outbreak of World War I

Russia is not proportionately populated between its larger Asian portion, which contains about 23% of the country's population, and its smaller European portion, which contains about 77%. The European portion contains about 110 million people out of Russia's total population of about 144 million in an area covering nearly 4,000,000 km2 (1,500,000 sq mi); (making it by far the largest European country) an average of 27.5 people per kilometre2 (70 per sq mi).[2]:6[2]:10

The eastern portion of Russia, mostly encompassing Siberia, is part of Asia and makes up more than 75% of the territory with 22% of the country's population at 2.5 people per kilometre2 (6.5 per sq mi).[2]:6


Some theories say that early Eastern Slavs arrived in modern-day western Russia (also in Ukraine and Belarus) sometime during the middle of the first millennium AD.[3] Around the middle of the first millenium the population in todays European Russia was composed of Slavic, Finno-Ugric, Turkic, Caucasian, Scandinavian, Baltic, Finnic, Khazarian, Hungarian and Norse peoples.[4] One of the first Rus' regions was according to the Sofia First Chronicle Veliky Novgorod in 859. In late 8th and early-to-mid-9th centuries AD the Rus' Khaganate was formed in todays western Russia. The region was a place of operations for Varangians, eastern Scandinavian adventurers, merchants, and pirates. From the late 9th to the mid-13th century a large section of todays European Russia was part of Kievan Rus'. Many sources say that Ryazan, Kolomna, Moscow, Vladimir and Kiev were destroyed by the Mongol invasion. After the Mongol invasion the Muscovite Rus' arose and formed over time today's Russia. Over all this time, western Russia and the various Rus' regions had strong cultural contacts with the Byzantine Empire, while the Slavic culture was cultivated all the time.[5] The elements of East Slavic paganism and Christianity overlapped each other and sometimes produced even double faith in Muscovite Rus'.[6] The synthesis of Orthodox faith and Slavic paganism is still part of Russian culture.

Alignment with administrative divisions

The administrative districts (on a large scale called federal districts) of the Russian Federation do not exactly line up with European Russia, but they are decent approximations, depending on exactly how Europe is defined. There are two major trends, one to use administrative divisions north of the mouth of the Ural River and one to draw a line of falseness from the Ural River, through the town of Yekaterinburg.[citation needed]

The following administrative districts are overwhelmingly European:

Name of district Area
2017 population
Population density Continent notes
Central Federal District 650,200 39,209,582[7] 59.658 Europe
North Caucasian Federal District 170,400 9,775,770[7] 56.58 Europe
Northwestern Federal District 1,687,000 13,899,310[7] 8.25 Europe
Southern Federal District[note 1] 447,900 16,428,458[7] 33.46 Europe
Volga Federal District 1,037,000 29,636,574[7] 28.63 Predominantly Europe
Ural Federal District 1,818,500 12,345,803[7] 6.86 Predominantly Asia
Sum of 6 Federal Districts[note 2] 3,992,500 108,949,694[7] 27.22 Predominantly Europe
  1. ^ a b Includes the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol which are de facto administrated by Russia but considered part of Ukraine by most other states.
  2. ^ Does not account for the following:
    Volga Federal District has 4 raions entirely in Asia, one raion mostly in Asia, one raion bisected between Europe and Asia, two cities bisected between Europe and Asia and one settlement fully in Asia, which amount to 280,000 people living in 30,000 km² in Asia (as defined as east of the Ural River).
    Ural Federal District has roughly 200,000 people living in 1,700 km² in Europe (west of the Ural River).

See also


  1. ^ Compare: Hans Slomp (2011). Europe: A Political Profile. Retrieved 2014-09-10. Russia occupies the eastern parts of the European subcontinent and the northern part of Asia.
  2. ^ a b c Vishnevsky, Anatoly (15 August 2000). "Replacement Migration: Is it a solution for Russia?" (PDF). EXPERT GROUP MEETING ON POLICY RESPONSES TO POPULATION AGEING AND POPULATION DECLINE /UN/POP/PRA/2000/14. United Nations Population Division, Department of Economic and Social Affairs. pp. 6, 10. Retrieved 2008-01-14.
  3. ^ "Early East Slavic Tribes in Russia". Retrieved 2018-12-19.
  4. ^ "Khazar | people". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2018-12-19.
  5. ^ Orthodox Russia : belief and practice under the tsars. Kivelson, Valerie A. (Valerie Ann), Greene, Robert H., 1975-. University Park, Pa.: Pennsylvania State University Press. 2003. ISBN 027102349X. OCLC 50960735.
  6. ^ Orthodox Russia : belief and practice under the tsars. Kivelson, Valerie A. (Valerie Ann), Greene, Robert H., 1975-. University Park, Pa.: Pennsylvania State University Press. 2003. p. 146. ISBN 027102349X. OCLC 50960735.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g "Population 1 January 2015 Estimate – Federal State Statistics Service Russia". Federal State Statistics Service Russia.

Coordinates: 55°N 40°E / 55°N 40°E / 55; 40

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