CLICK HERE for Country Information and History

AREA: (approximately 1.8 times the size of the US) total: 17,098,242 sq km (6,601,668 sq miles), land: 16,377,742 sq km ( 6,323,482 sq miles), water: 720,500 sq km (278,187 sq miles)

Population: 142,355,415 (July 2016 est.)

Population growth rate: -0.06% (2016 est.)

Capital City: Moscow

Independence Day: 24 August 1991 (from the Soviet Union); notable earlier dates: 1157 (Principality of Vladimir-Suzdal created); 16 January 1547 (Tsardom of Muscovy established); 22 October 1721 (Russian Empire proclaimed); 30 December 1922 (Soviet Union established)

Ethnic Groups: Russian 77.7%, Tatar 3.7%, Ukrainian 1.4%, Bashkir 1.1%, Chuvash 1%, Chechen 1%, other 10.2%, unspecified 3.9%  note: more than 190 ethnic groups are represented in Russia’s 2010 census (2010 est.)

Languages: Russian (official) 85.7%, Tatar 3.2%, Chechen 1%, other 10.1%

Life Expectancy at Birth: total population: 70.8 years / male: 65 years / female: 76.8 years (2016 est.)

Religious Groups:

  • Russian Orthodox 15-20%
  • Muslim 10-15%
  • other Christian 2% (2006 est.)

note: estimates are of practicing worshipers; Russia has large populations of non-practicing believers and non-believers, a legacy of over seven decades of Soviet rule

Founded in the 12th century, the Principality of Muscovy was able to emerge from over 200 years of Mongol domination (13th-15th centuries) and to gradually conquer and absorb surrounding principalities. In the early 17th century, a new ROMANOV Dynasty continued this policy of expansion across Siberia to the Pacific. Under PETER I (ruled 1682-1725), hegemony was extended to the Baltic Sea and the country was renamed the Russian Empire. During the 19th century, more territorial acquisitions were made in Europe and Asia. Defeat in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05 contributed to the Revolution of 1905, which resulted in the formation of a parliament and other reforms. Repeated devastating defeats of the Russian army in World War I led to widespread rioting in the major cities of the Russian Empire and to the overthrow in 1917 of the imperial household. The communists under Vladimir LENIN seized power soon after and formed the USSR. The brutal rule of Iosif STALIN (1928-53) strengthened communist rule and Russian dominance of the Soviet Union at a cost of tens of millions of lives. After defeating Germany in World War II as part of an alliance with the US (1939-1945), the USSR expanded its territory and influence in Eastern Europe and emerged as a global power. The USSR was the principal adversary of the US during the Cold War (1947-1991). The Soviet economy and society stagnated in the decades following Stalin’s rule, until General Secretary Mikhail GORBACHEV (1985-91) introduced glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring) in an attempt to modernize communism, but his initiatives inadvertently released forces that by December 1991 splintered the USSR into Russia and 14 other independent republics.
Following economic and political turmoil during President Boris YELTSIN’s term (1991-99), Russia shifted toward a centralized authoritarian state under the leadership of President Vladimir PUTIN (2000-2008, 2012-present) in which the regime seeks to legitimize its rule through managed elections, populist appeals, a foreign policy focused on enhancing the country’s geopolitical influence, and commodity-based economic growth. Russia faces a largely subdued rebel movement in Chechnya and some other surrounding regions, although violence still occurs throughout the North Caucasus.

SOURCE: The CIA Factbook provides information on the history, people, government, economy, energy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 267 world entities.

EEMN Serving in Russia

10th Year at Kondopoga, Russia! – 2016 EEMN Russia Team


Every team that prepares for cross-cultural missions work experiences push-back from the Devil. It is to be expected and serves as confirmation that God is about to do something amazing through the ordinary saints he calls to travel overseas and share the love, grace, and mercy of God in Christ Jesus. However, sometimes it is not the Devil working against us, rather it is a clear message from the Lord that we should take a step back and rest in him, for a season. This was the message discerned by the entire 2017 EEMN Russia team and our ministry partners in Russia. It was with heavy hearts but also in the confidence of God’s good timing that we announced the cancellation of the 2017 Friendship English Language Schools in Kondopoga and Petrozavodsk, Karelia, Russia.
UPDATE: In 2018, God has provided a new opportunity for EEMN to return to Russia, with a small veteran group of good-will ambassadors. Due to the nature and sensitivity of our work and relationships was cannot provide any details, here, but please know and pray that the Lord will use this new opportunity to His glory!
The vast majority of the ministries and leaders with whom EEMN partners in Russia are, in some way, connected with the Ingrian Lutheran Church in Russia (ELCIR). However, the ministries themselves are as unique as the communities they serve. Additionally, EEMN partners with other, ecumenical ministries in the region of Karelia, Russia.

Team Leader Debra Parks; Tatiana I.; Principal Elena; and Pr. David Breidenbach (2016)

The key partners in this close-knit community, along with our long-time volunteer team leader, Debra Parks, worked together as a well-oiled machine that blessed not only the students who participated in the language schools, but also the local orphanage and surrounding community. The English Language Schools have been a highlight for this town and the community, which responded with open doors and open hearts to the group of Americans that visited every year. In fact, 2016 was the 10th year celebration of EEMN teams blessing Kondopoga!

Pr. Aleksei and Nadia  Krongolm

Pr. Aleksie and Nadia Krongolm are the dynamic ministry duo that serves the city of Petrozavodsk through the ministries they lead at Holy Spirit Lutheran Church. They have been partners of EEMN since before accepting their call to full-time parish ministry.
The Krongolms are also writing the next chapter in the 20+ year history of support by EEMN friends in ministry, Vision Petrozavodsk. This accompaniment in ministry includes prayer, exchange visits, short-term educational courses, mentoring, and the financial support needed as Holy Spirit Lutheran Church works toward becoming more self-sustaining.




Pr. David with church partners at Pitkyranta Lutheran Church, Karelia (2016)

EEMN is blessed to work together with the Ingrian Lutheran Church & Seminary  in reaching the Karelia region of Russia with the Gospel! Visit the EEMN Support page, today, and help by donating to Area of Most Need!