World Factbook: Russia
Russia National Travel Guide
I hereby grant the National Etiquette Award to Russia, because it is customary in that country to remove shoes when entering homes.
Russia is very important to Europe because of its gas supply. Britain is heavily dependant on Russia for natural gas, which suppies most of our energy. There was a bit of diplomatic squabbling earlier this week after the government expressed concerns about attempts by the Russian state owned gas monopoly to take over the distribution of natural gas in the UK. Not a good sign.
I have always been fascinated by the history of Russia, particularly the Russian Empire before the revolution. Much as I aspire to be a Modernist with only contempt for the past, I get very nostalgic thinking about reading books about Russian history. I like history a lot more than I generally admit.
Nevertheless, it does not take much reading of Russian history to discover the human misery that both the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union were built upon.
Putin, the current president of Russia, is a pretty scary chap. He served in the KGB and seems to have only a minimal concept of democracy in his mind.
I like Russian people, they are very serious, like Finnish people (though don't go telling any Finns that I have compared them to Russians).
I have mixed feelings about serving as a missionary in Russia. It would be a very interesting place to serve, but I would be fearful of going to a place where gangster rule has such incredible power. It must be a very bleak place.
I know a guy who went on a brief mission tour in Russia to the nomadic people in Siberia. He was a loner who loved wildlife. He felt a calling to witness to nomads. He is currently witnessing among the nomads of Niger in northern Africa. It is wonderful how God so often calls people to what suits their personality and interests.
An organisation dedicated to building up the Church in Eastern Europe is the Slavic Gospel Association. I would recommend visiting their website.