Russia (the Russian Federation) is geographically the largest nation on earth with the world's ninth-largest population, consisting of 145 million people as of 2012. The country is the largest of the 15 nations that rose from the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. During the 1990s the transformation from the communist era to the nation's present state produced significant economic, political, and social disruption. With a significant drop in gross domestic product (GDP), high inflation, and political uncertainty, the number of people living in poverty ballooned to nearly 40 percent of the population. Beginning in 1999, when Boris Yeltsin resigned as president and was replaced with Vladimir Putin, the country stabilized and as a consequence social order and economic growth returned.

While GDP growth ...

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