A blend of cultures and religions
Russia has one of the world's most diverse societies – as many as 160 ethnic groups live there. The population of about 142 million may look like a lot but its density is low because of the country's vast size. It's also very unevenly spread, with most people clustered in European Russia, near the Ural Mountains and in southwest Siberia.
Most Russians are an urban breed – three-quarters of them live in cities. The two major ones are the capital Moscow with more than 10 million people, and St. Petersburg with more than four million. Roughly 80 per cent of the population is ethnic Russian. The rest is a mix of other ethnic groups, with the Tatars and Ukrainians making the largest minorities.