Russia Country Profile

Passport Ranking
Passport Score
Visa-free Countries
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Capital City

Largest City
Russian rouble

Russian, local languages
145.1 million

Life Expectancy
72.4 years
GDP (nominal)
$2.1 trillion

Cost of Living
English Proficiency
Very cheap (2/7)
Bearable (4/5)
Average (4/7)
Average (3/5)
Moderate (3/5)

Taxation Type: Residence-based

Sovereign Research's take:

Belarus and Russia form the Union State, allowing their citizens to live and work in either country.
Europe is a combination of dozens of nation states with various languages and customs.

But Russia has always been different… removed, if you will, from the rest of Europe. Russia has always been a bit unwieldy… just too big, too populated, and too powerful. 

And it was never exactly shy about flexing its muscles, getting involved in every major European conflict, including in the 21st century. 

More recently, Russia’s war on Ukraine has shocked the world, and led to Western countries imposing severe economic sanctions on the country.

But none of this is new. The rest of Europe has never trusted the Russians, and probably never will.

Frankly, it is hard to call Russia Europe, anyway, since about 70% of its territory is located in Asia (although the bulk of its population does live on the smaller European side).

Huge stretches of land east of the Ural Mountains remain largely unpopulated. And the Chinese, without a doubt, are eyeing these unused lands.

National identity remains a challenge for Russians – they don’t quite know what they are.

The collapse of the Soviet Union caused a bit of an identity crisis in people’s minds. But it seems that they are on the way to redefining themselves as an “alternative Europe” – a Europe that’s much more traditional, conservative, and family oriented.

To this day, for example, there has never been even a single gay parade in Moscow. In 2012, a Moscow court actually enacted a 100-year ban on gay parades in the city.

Russia probably won’t work well as a retirement destination, either. Most of the country suffers long and harsh winters.

It can be a fantastic place to visit, however. Moscow and Saint Petersburg are amazingly beautiful cities. 

And considering the periodic troubles with the West, and subsequent sanctions and ruble devaluations, Russia remains cheap.

One of the biggest unknowns for Russia is its leadership. The country is largely held together by the indisputable authority of Vladimir Putin, who has been in power since 2000.

What will happen to Russia after he is finally gone, remains to be seen.

But while Putin is still at the helm, you definitely wouldn’t want to be living in Russia while vocally opposing his policies..

Articles featuring Russia

Trends & News

Guess which precious metal is controlled by the Russians...

March 24, 2014 Bali, Indonesia Palladium is like the Rodney Dangerfield of precious metals. It never gets any respect. If you ask someone about precious metals, in fact, just about everyone has heard of gold and silver. And occasionally platinum. But palladium is one of those obscure precious metals that few people think about, or […]

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US plan to drop Russia from global banking system hilariously backfires

March 11, 2015 Panama City, Panama If Vladimir Putin is remotely capable of laughter (the jury is out on that one…) then he’s probably doing so right now. Russia is once again Arch-Enemy of the United States. It’s like living through a really bad James Bond movie, complete with cartoonish villains. And for the last […]

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Russians and Chinese are ditching the dollar as Europeans start using renminbi in their reserves

October 17, 2014 New York, USA At present, US dollar accounts for roughly 61% of the world’s foreign exchange reserves. It’s still a safe bet for most, not because the currency is actually strong, but because so many others are already so reliant on it. Between those with reserves in and pegs to the US […]

Trends & News

Former intelligence officer on the bogus Russian hack

If there’s one thing that’s certain in the intelligence business, it’s that there’s rarely any certainty. That’s pretty much the first thing they teach you at spy school. Back in the early days of my intelligence career, I had one instructor who explained it in a way that I’ll never forget. “If you present your […]

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