Russia is not proportionately populated between its larger Asian portion and its smaller European portion. The European portion contains about 110 million people out of Russia's total population of about 144 million in an area covering nearly 4,000,000 km2 (1,500,000 sq mi); (making it by far the largest European country) an average of 27.5 people per kilometre2 (70 per sq mi).:6:10 The Asian portion of Russia, mostly encompassing Siberia, makes up more than 75% of the country's territory with 22% of its population at 2.5 people per kilometre2 (6.5 per sq mi).:6
Some theories say that some early Eastern Slavs arrived in modern-day western Russia (also in Ukraine and Belarus) sometime during the middle of the first millennium AD. The Eastern Slavic tribe of the Vyatichis was native to the land around the Oka river. Finno-Ugric, Baltic and Turkic tribes were also present in the area (although large parts of the Turkic and Finno-Ugric people were absorbed by the Slavs, there are great minorities in the European Russia today). The western region of Central Russia was inhabited by the Eastern Slavic tribe of the Severians.
One of the first Rus' regions according to the Sofia First Chronicle was Veliky Novgorod in 859. In late 8th and early-to-mid-9th centuries AD the Rus' Khaganate was formed in modern western Russia. The region was a place of operations for Varangians, eastern Scandinavian adventurers, merchants, and pirates. From the late 9th to the mid-13th century a large section of today's European Russia was part of Kievan Rus'. The lands of Rus' Khaganate and Kievan Rus' were important trade routes and connected Scandinavia, Byzantine Empire, Rus' people and Volga Bulgaria with Khazaria and Persia. According to old Scandinavian sources among the 12 biggest cities of Kievan Rus' or Ancient Rus' were Novgorod, Kiev, Polotsk, Smolensk, Murom and Rostov.
In the fourteenth century Muscovite Russia served as the intermediary in the trade between Europe and Persia as well as Turkey. During all this time, Russian culture had not only strong cultural links and exchanges with Central Europe and Asia, but also with its many ethnic minorities which exist until today in Russia, like Tatars, Ukrainians, Finno-Ugrics, Bashkirs and Chuvashs. While Russia evolved over periods of time with a balanced European influence, it was tsarPeter the Great who wanted to reform Russia and bring it up to a true Western standards and way of life. Peter the Great was able to change Russian society partly, resistance existed among peasants, the traditionalists and Old Believers within the Orthodox Church. With the Soviet Union, Russia was cut off from Western culture. In the nineties, the Russian political elites hoped to integrate Russia into the West. The Russian culture was shaped for centuries by the Orthodox faith, Slavic traditions, the Cyrillic script, the geographical location between Europe and Asia, with significant Swedish, Dutch, French, Polish, Lithuanian and German influences, from 1500-1945. Significant cultural influence came also from Tatars, Caucasians, Iran, Mongolia, Ottoman Empire and other Central- and Western Asian cultures. Despite all these influences from the Western and Asian-Oriental cultures and many common traditions with Russia, Russian culture was repeatedly exposed to longer isolations which created a independent, different kind of culture, which differed in many elements from both Western cultures and Eastern cultures and created its own Russian otherness.
In the age of globalization, the Russian elite seeks a development in which Russia, as a sovereign state with its own culture, traditions and identity, can participate in global cooperation.
The administrative districts (on a large scale called federal districts) of the Russian Federation do not exactly line up with European Russia, but they are decent approximations, depending on exactly how Europe is defined. There are two major trends, one to use administrative divisions north of the mouth of the Ural River and one to draw a line of falseness from the Ural River, through the town of Yekaterinburg.
The following administrative districts are overwhelmingly European:
^Does not account for the following:
Volga Federal District has 4 raions entirely in Asia, one raion mostly in Asia, one raion bisected between Europe and Asia, two cities bisected between Europe and Asia and one settlement fully in Asia, which amount to 280,000 people living in 30,000 km² in Asia (as defined as east of the Ural River).
Ural Federal District has roughly 200,000 people living in 1,700 km² in Europe (west of the Ural River).
Vishnevsky, Anatoly (15 August 2000). "Replacement Migration: Is it a solution for Russia?"(PDF). EXPERT GROUP MEETING ON POLICY RESPONSES TO POPULATION AGEING AND POPULATION DECLINE /UN/POP/PRA/2000/14. United Nations Population Division, Department of Economic and Social Affairs. pp. 6, 10. Retrieved 2008-01-14.
Reuter, Timothy (2015). The New Cambridge medieval history. Fouracre, Paul,, McKitterick, Rosamond,, Reuter, Timothy,, Luscombe, D. E. (David Edward),, Riley-Smith, Jonathan, 1938-2016,, Abulafia, David (First paperback ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 497–500. ISBN9781107449060. OCLC945367493.
^Orthodox Russia : belief and practice under the tsars. Kivelson, Valerie A. (Valerie Ann), Greene, Robert H., 1975-. University Park, Pa.: Pennsylvania State University Press. 2003. ISBN027102349X. OCLC50960735.
CS1 maint: others (link)
^Orthodox Russia : belief and practice under the tsars. Kivelson, Valerie A. (Valerie Ann), Greene, Robert H., 1975-. University Park, Pa.: Pennsylvania State University Press. 2003. p. 146. ISBN027102349X. OCLC50960735.
CS1 maint: others (link)
English, Robert David; Svyatets, Ekaterina (Kate) (2014-03-04). "Soviet elites and European integration: from Stalin to Gorbachev". European Review of History: Revue européenne d'histoire. 21 (2): 219–233. doi:10.1080/13507486.2014.888710. ISSN1350-7486.