100 Interesting Facts About Russia

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76Jospeh Stalin

Although Joseph Stalin officially killed around 2.9 million Russians during his reign, historians think that number may have been as high as 30 million, or around 22% of the population.

77. While the Russian Tsar Bomb is the largest nuclear device ever detonated, it was the ‘cleanest’ nuclear bomb ever detonated. Its modifications removed 97% of its fallout.

78. Russian Railways president Vladimir Yakunin wants to build a bridge across the Bering Strait from Russia to Alaska. This would make possible an almost 13,000-mile road trip from New York to London.

79. In 2006, Russia gifted USA a 9/11 memorial monument, which was erected in Bayonne, New Jersey.

80. When the US imposed sanctions against Russia’s space program, the Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin tweeted “After reviewing the sanctions against our space industry, I suggest that the United States deliver their astronauts to the ISS using a trampoline.”

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81Convertible shotgun

In 2009, Russian Cosmonauts on the International Space Station were banned by their officials from using the ‘luxurious’ U.S. model Astro-loo toilet and were only allowed to use the Russian-built toilet.

82. Russia remains the 6th largest holder of slaves, estimated at 516,000 in 2013.

83. Russian cosmonauts carried a convertible shotgun which doubled as an ax and machete into space. The shotgun was kept to kill bears in case the crew landed in a remote area in the Taiga region of Russia.

84. In 1991, a fake Russian TV program convinced many citizens that Lenin consumed a lot of psychedelic mushrooms, eventually even becoming a mushroom himself. The Leningrad Communist Party responded that “Lenin could not have been a mushroom because a mammal cannot be a plant.”

85. Grigori Perelman, a Russian mathematician, successfully proved the Poincaré conjecture (one of the seven Millennium problems) in papers made available in 2002 and 2003. When his work survived review, he was offered a Fields Medal and the $1,000,000 Millennium Prize, both of which he turned down

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86DEFCON 3 during 9/11

During 9/11, the Russian government canceled military exercises in the North Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic Oceans, in order to avoid provoking the US, which had raised its military alert readiness to DEFCON 3.

87. A 1999 Russian book named The Last Ringbearer re-tells Lord of The Rings from Sauron’s perspective with Gandalf and the fellowship as the villains.

88. In the late 1910's during some Russian civil war, there was a group of Czechoslovakians trapped in Russia who needed to get back home. However, battle lines were drawn directly over the path home west and neither side liked them. So they decided to go east instead since the world is round. There were a lot of them and their revolt brought down Bolshevik power across the entire Siberia and them for some time controlled the entire Trans-Siberian railroad. Once they made it to the Pacific Ocean by train they got a boat and sailed to the States. From there they trekked across America, sailed to Europe, and headed straight back to Czechoslovakia. This took about 1.5 years.

89. At a sound check before the address, Ronald Reagan made the following joke to the radio technicians: “My fellow Americans, I’m pleased to tell you today that I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.”

90. 48 countries including the US and Russia have signed an international treaty that bans the use of weather control in times of war.

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91Harald Hadrada

Harald Hadrada, a Viking who fled from his native Norway to Russia, then went on to become an elite guardsman in Eastern Roman Empire and fought in Iraq. He then went back to Russia to marry a princess and arrived back in Norway as a king, and finally invaded England with his army.

92. Mark Spitz, nine-time Olympic champion, jokingly told the Russian swim team coach in 1972 that his mustache increased his speed in the water, deflecting water away from his mouth. The next year, every Russian swimmer was sporting one.

93. Russians have built an anti-ship cruise missile that is meant to be fired in groups of about 8. On the way to the target, they all fly very low to hide from radar, except one. One will fly higher up, acting as a spotter and guide and use its radar to look for ships and will guide the others. If it is destroyed (because it flying higher and easier to detect) another missile in the group will rise up and take over the role of guide. And if it is destroyed another and so on. The guiding missile will also make an assessment of the targets if it finds multiple ships, prioritizes and then designate the targets for the other missiles. If a ship is destroyed it will reassign targets. They were designed to take out carrier task forces. They’ve been operational since 1985. Basically, the Russians have had suicidal, swarming, co-operating drones for thirty years.

94. During WWII, the Russians used a biplane (Polikarpov Po - 2) on the Eastern Front that was so slow, German planes couldn’t target it without potentially stalling.

95. If a child is found abandoned on Russian territory and the parents remain unknown for more than 6 months, that child gains Russian citizenship.

96Norilsk city

Norilsk is a city in Russia where the pollution is so severe that mining the topsoil is now economically feasible because it contains so many heavy metals.

97. In 2013, an entire Russian family was nearly killed by the fumes of rotting potatoes in their basement.

98. A man in Russia domesticated foxes that now sell for $9000. Curiously, the friendly gene came attached to some other physical genes that made the foxes look like other domestic animals: curly tails, white faces, droopy ears. It took only about 35 years to completely domesticate the species.

99. When Russia banned the sale of vodka during World War I, the government immediately lost a third of its income.

100. In 2014, Russia sent 5 geckos to space. Russia was studying reproduction in space. Complications during the experiment sent the shuttle back to earth early. The geckos froze to death a week prior to the landing. Despite the failure of the gecko experiment, fruit flies on the shuttle reproduced.


  1. Wow, thanks!
    It was really pleasing to find out most of those facts are actual facts! Well, there are, of course, several inaccuracies, such as “Cult of Gadget” and “Lenin the mushroom”, which are more like jokes =)
    Magnitogorsk is a city (like mentioned ChelyabinSK, NorilSK, and others), mountin itself called Magnitnaya (Magnet). And some cruel things which i’m not sure are real.
    Would be great to read about slaves liberating, internationalism, women rights, abortions, etc.. Killing the family of princess Anastasiya was not the only summary of Civil war.
    There are also a lot of fun facts about propaganda. E.g. i noticed in my favourite books that communists and capitalists were blamed each other for homosexualities at the very same time =) Same about rock music)))
    My other favorite fun fact is that most of things we call “Only in Russia” so loved by russian Stand-up comics you may also find as “only in US/UK” and even “Kenya” – all according to local Stand-ups)

    And – with no comments, just source. Just think it up.

    Sorry for grammar and punctuation!


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