European Russia (Russian: Европейская Россия) are the western and most populated parts of Russia, which are geographically situated in Europe, as opposed to its sparsely populated eastern parts, which are in Asia. European Russia extends from Central to Eastern Europe, spanning roughly 40% of Europe's total land area, with over 15% of its total population—leading to Russia dominating the continent by both geography and demographics.
Area and demographics
European Russia is home to 80% or 4/5th of Russia's total population. It covers an area of over 3,995,200 square kilometres (1,542,600 sq mi), with a population of 113 million—making Russia the largest and most populous country in Europe. European Russia is the densest region of Russia, with a population density of 27.5 people per km2 (70 per sq mi).
All three federal cities of Russia lie within European Russia. These cities are Moscow, the nation's capital and largest city, which is the most populous city in Europe; Saint Petersburg, the cultural capital and the second-most populous city in the country; and Sevastopol, located within the disputed territory of Crimea.
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 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.
Through trade and cultural contact with Byzantine Empire, the Slavic culture of the Rus' adopted gradually the Eastern Orthodox religion. Many sources say that Ryazan, Kolomna, Moscow, Vladimir and Kiev were destroyed by the Mongol Empire. After the Mongol invasion the Muscovite Rus' arose, over all this time, western Russia and the various Rus' regions had strong cultural contacts with the Byzantine Empire, while the Slavic culture was cultivated all the time. The elements of East Slavic paganism and Christianity overlapped each other and sometimes produced even double faith in Muscovite Rus'.
Alignment with administrative divisions
The following Federal districts of Russia are overwhelmingly European:
|Name of district||Area
||Population density||Continent notes|
|Central Federal District||650,200||39,209,582||59.658||Europe|
|North Caucasian Federal District||170,400||9,775,770||56.58||Europe|
|Northwestern Federal District||1,687,000||13,899,310||8.25||Europe|
|Southern Federal District[note 1]||447,900||16,428,458||33.46||Europe|
|Volga Federal District||1,037,000||29,636,574||28.63||Predominantly Europe|
|Ural Federal District||1,818,500||12,345,803||6.86||Predominantly Asia|
|Sum of 6 Federal Districts[note 2]||3,995,200||108,949,694||27.22||Predominantly Europe|
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