Occupying about 1/10 of all land on Earth, Russia is the largest country in the world with an area of about 6,592,772 square miles.
Geographically: Russia has coasts on three different oceans: The Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic. Its landscape varies from desert to frozen coastlines, tall mountains to large marshes, rolling plains to sprawling pine forests, etc. It also consists of over 100,000 rivers.
Historically: In 1917, Russians overthrew their tsar (leader) and formed an elected government, but within a few months, a communist group called the Bolsheviks seized power and created the U.S.S.R. They fought alongside the U.S. in World War II but the allies strained following the war, leading to the Cold War. This then broke up the Soviet Union and ended in 1991.
The Constitution of the Russian Federation was ratified on December 12, 1993.
The U.S and the Russian constitutions appear to be similar on many levels. In both, federal supremacy is provided within specified spheres of federal authority. (U.S. Article VI and Russian Articles 4, 5, 15, 71, 76, and 77). However, both define that sphere quite differently.
The U.S. gives the federal government preeminent authority in matters of interstate and international commerce, national defense, and international relations. Also, gives federal courts power to settle disputes between states and foreign government. All of these are used to enforce a nationwide uniformity of law and policy.
The Russian constitution is granted a more expansive role. It establishes organization and procedures for the three branches of federal government, determines policy and program among the structure, economy, environment, social, cultural, and national development of Russia, creates federal power grids, law courts and criminal procedure, protection of environment and ecological safety, etc. Their federal government is very controlling of many of these matters and more.
Current Russian president, Vladimir Putin.
Like the U.S., Russia has two main political parties: The United Russia (a creation of Vladimir Putin and supports him in the Duma and the Federation Council) and the Communist Party of the Russian Federation. These parties are based on the member's beliefs but they are centered around what they want, not what would be best for the citizens. This is what makes the U.S. and Russian political parties.
In Russia, the presidential election is done in a two-round process. If no candidate obtains the majority of the votes in round one, then exactly three weeks later, the top two candidates go through a second rough. In the U.S., we use the electoral college system to determine the winner of the election.
Structure of Russia's legislative branch.
Federal Assembly: This is the Russian Parliament and is the highest national legislative body. (The U.S. does not have a Parliament). It has two chambers: State Duma, which is the lower chamber, and the Council of the Federation, which is the upper chamber and is similar to the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate. These chambers operate separately but meet to hear the presidents messages, messages from foreign countries, and Constitution Court messages.
The Regional Legislative is just the Legislative Assembly.
The Russian federal executive power's superior body is the Government of the Russian Federation, unlike the U.S., who has a whole branch dedicated to executive powers.
The Presidential Executive Office supports the president's work, including the preparation of draft laws for the president to submit to the State DUma as legislative initiatives.
There are three levels of court in the system. The Municipal is the lowest, it is in cities and hears 90% of all civil and criminal cases, very much similar to that of the U.S. district courts. The Regional courts are one level higher and are similar to that of the U.S. circuit courts. The highest level of court is the Supreme Court, a lot like the Supreme Court of the U.S.
Arbitration courts hear property and commercial disputes. High Court of Arbitration is the highest court that solves economic disputes. The Constitutional court decided is laws and presidential actions are constitutional. Finally, the Judges of the Constitutional Court, Supreme Court, and Higher Arbitration Court are appointed by the Federation Council, much like the U.S. justices being appointed by the president.
Russia has been accused of hacking the United States Presidential Election.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was directly involved, ordered an influence campaign with the specific goal of harming Hillary Clinton. However, Trump is skeptical about Russia's involvement but said said that the hacking has no effect on the outcome of the election.
Obama said that the U.S. would take action when we choose to do so. It has not been proven that the hacking changes the actual vote in favor of either candidate, but that it only influenced the public vote for trump.
As of fall, the U.S. government had blamed Russia for hacking but thought that the motive was only to undermine faith in the voting process. In winter, the U.S. government came out that the ultimate goal of the hacking was, indeed, to help trump win.