Russian Language Blog

Seven Things about Russia You Didn’t Know Posted by on Sep 16, 2014 in Uncategorized

Many of you know so much about Russia! Some of you were fortunate enough to go there, others spent a lot of time reading about it.  Whatever the case, I hope the information below fuels your curiosity even more and propels you to dive deeper into the culture and history of this country, a country so big that it has 9 time zones. What follows are some interesting bits of information that might catch you by surprise!

1. The Russian language doesn’t contain “the” and “a” in it (we do not have articles). Perhaps this is why you will often hear a native Russian speaker, while speaking in English, say “I want to go to store” or “Please give me cup of coffee.” Though it may take longer to say certain phrases and words in Russian, it isn’t because we have too many unnecessary words.

2. Many of you know that Moscow has many McDonald’s restaurants but did you know that the biggest one can seat 700 people? A large movie theater in America might be able to accommodate that many patrons. Imagine making enough food to feed all of those people at once. The store is located in Pushkinsklaya Square and has seen lines stretched out around many blocks. This store can also seat 200 people outside.

3. We all love to celebrate New Years – Russians love it so much that some do it twice. That’s right, once on January 1 and then again on January 13th. The latter is for the Eastern Orthodox Church. I suppose it is a good idea to have 13 days between them both so you can have time to rest and recover from the first one.

4. Do you remember the planet Pluto? Did you know that Russia is roughly one million square miles larger than what used to be the smallest of the nine planets in our Solar System?

5. Palm trees do exist in Russia! This means that there must be parts of Russia that have tropical-like climate. Far from the cold stereotypes of how people view Russian weather, the Krasnodar region sees little to no snowfall and in the summertime temperatures can reach 40-43C. I have been to the Black Sea growing up and absolutely loved the climate!

6. In Russia, it is not only the lowly drug addict that can be found getting high; it turns out that some bears also enjoy the feeling. Sniffing jet fuel is a favorite and dangerous past time for many bears. They get addicted to the vapors and then pass out. Being that bears can weigh so much, this has been known to cause trouble in some airports. I wonder if they get the munchies too?

7. Though it has already come and gone, September 12th is known as the “Day of Conception” in Russia. Couples will get a half day at work so that they can go home and procreate in hopes of having a baby on June 12th. I wonder if many people get paid for the half of the day they spend at home? Seems like Russians really put a priority on increasing the number of citizens. Perhaps they should speak with China or India to find out what they did to grow so much 🙂 .

As always, I welcome your thoughts and opinions. As vast as Russia is in size, there is no shortage of “things we didn’t know” about it. Should you have any interesting bits of information, please share in the comment section.

Всего хорошего!




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About the Author: Jenya

Born in Russia, I spent the first twenty years of my life in Orenburg, Russia and Mogilev, Belarus. For the last eleven years, I've lived in New Hampshire and Michigan, US. While I continue to absorb and adapt to American culture, I am always thrilled to share my Russian heritage with those who find it interesting. Travel, photography and art play a special part in my life. Twitter: @iamnx2u


  1. Deepak:

    Good info 🙂

  2. larrie veith:

    Jenya, all four of Moscow’s McDonalds were closed by Putin on Aug. 20. The ones in Sevastopol, Feodosia and Yalta in the Crimea are gone too. Also, Russia needs more than a,”day of conception”. They need many more “days without abortions”. Russia ranks second in the world’s countries in abortions with 44.7% of all pregnancies ending in abortion. By contrast the US is ranked at number 30 with a rate less than half of Russia’s. Tropical areas of any country are amazing, but one of the most amazing things about Russia’s Southwest Siberia is how cold the winter is yet it turns into a garden in the summer with beautiful wild flowers everywhere making it hard to imagine it would ever be cold again. But come late September the cold reality sinks in again. LOL

    • Jenya:

      @larrie veith Larrie, thank you very much for sharing. I definitely were not aware that the McDonalds were closed. The Day of Conception was introduced with the hopes of increasing population; it is very sad that the abortion rate there is so high but I believe this is because people don’t think they can adequately provide for more than 1 or 2 children.

  3. Sarah:

    Larry is not quite correct when he says, “all four of Moscow’s McDonalds were closed by Putin on Aug. 20.” Most McDonald’s branches remain open… how can you think there are only four here? There are dozens! And we had something from the Tverskaya branch last week. 🙂

    Also, it wasn’t Putin. They were closed temporarily by order of the court for breaching food safety rules. Guess what- I believe them. The McDOnald’s in my English town was closed temporarily a few years back for the same reason (cockroaches), and no one was bleating about sanctions or politics, thank God. 🙂

  4. Sarah:

    ^but I believe this is because people don’t think they can adequately provide for more than 1 or 2 children.^

    Too right. Try raising a large family in an odnushka, in a town where you ccan’t get registered so your kid don’t qualify for free kindergarten, and… it goes on.

  5. Anna:

    >>all four of Moscow’s McDonalds were closed by Putin on Aug. 20

    I happen to live in Moscow and I walk past a McDonald’s twice a week (near Tretyakovskaya metro station) when I go to my evening classes. It is functioning as usual, it hasn’t been closed.

    As for “all four of Moscows McDonald’s”, it might have been the case in mid 90s. Now I would rather estimate a hundred McDonald’s in Moscow (the official site says it is 444, but I think that is in Russia, not only Moscow), and a quick look at Google Maps proves my guess:,37.6288524,13z
    The bigger circles are those that have more reviews, but all the small red dots are also McDonalds (the four closed ones are small dots, too).
    So we are not talking about “closing all McDonalds” but rather about “closing 4 McDonalds out of a hundred”.

  6. Лео:


  7. Lena:

    Wtf I’m Russian and I have no idea about number 7!

  8. Sasha:

    I am Russian and I have never heard of number 7, I googled it just in case and haven’t found anything either.

    • Jenya:

      @Sasha Sasha, спасибо! Perhaps, this day is not a national but rather a regional holiday. Here is just one of the many links available online if you do a google search for “day of conception Russia”: