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I've noticed that many officials in both Russia and Ukraine prefer to speak of "the Russian Federation" rather than more simply "Russia". (I believe most outside the former USSR would simply speak of "Russia".)

Why? (Are there any historical reasons for doing this? Any subtext/nuances? For example one uneducated guess of mine would be that some Russians might want to distinguish between the current Russian Federation and some sort of "Greater Russia". But this wouldn't explain why Ukrainian officials also use "Russian Federation".)

Note that Russians and Ukrainians very often use the full name "the Russian Federation" instead of "Russia", but rarely ever use full names of other countries (e.g. they usually say "Poland", not "the Republic of Poland", and say "Belarus", not "the Republic of Belarus"). A good answer should explain this discrepancy.

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    I feel like “America” versus “United States of America” (or just “United States”) is a good analogy, and I wonder why none of the answers have used it yet! Commented Nov 15, 2022 at 16:37
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    @TimPederick the difference is that "America" as an informal name for the USofA is imprecise, because America is a continent with many countries, but "Russia" as a country name means exactly "Russian Federation", nothing more, nothing less. A more exact analogy would be "République française" vs simply "France"
    – IMil
    Commented Nov 16, 2022 at 0:32
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    @JoL and others: The auto-move-to-chat link hasn’t triggered, but I think this “America” discussion is a prime candidate for chat rather than comments, so I’ve created a chat for it. Would you care to join in there? Commented Nov 18, 2022 at 9:08
  • 11 answers and I still don't see any explanation of why Ukrainians very often use the full name "the Russian Federation" instead of "Russia", but rarely ever use full names of other countries (e.g. they usually say "Poland", not "the Republic of Poland", and say "Belarus", not "the Republic of Belarus").
    – michau
    Commented Dec 10, 2022 at 14:49
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    @michau I started to watch Ukrainian TV in 2014. Then they were saying "Russia" mostly. Maybe 3 years ago I noticed that "Russian Federation" thing. You should realize how much Russia and Ukraine are interconnected. A big percentage of Ukrainians have relatives in Russia. And vice versa. Ukrainians watch Russian TV shows and bloggers on internet. Russians watch Ukrainian TV shows and bloggers on internet, they converse with each other even during the war. And so on. So linguistic borrowings happen all the time. I don't know what they feel when saying "Russian Federation" instead of Russia.
    – CITBL
    Commented Dec 13, 2022 at 18:55

12 Answers 12

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The other answer has attracted a lot of downvotes despite being essentially correct. I attribute that to its use of an analogy with the United Kingdom and England that distracts unnecessarily from the question at hand. This answer attempts to analyze the question on its own merits.

First, the country's constitution is the Constitution of the Russian Federation (Конституция Российской Федерации). The constitution provides that "Russian Federation" and "Russia" are equivalent.

Why does it call itself a federation? See article 5:

  1. The Russian Federation consists of republics, territories, regions, cities of federal importance, an autonomous region and autonomous areas - equal subjects of the Russian Federation.

  2. A republic (State) shall have its own constitution and legislation. A territory, region, city of federal importance, autonomous region, and autonomous area shall have its charter and legislation.

See also article 65, paragraph 1, the beginning of the chapter on federal structure:

The Russian Federation includes the following subjects of the Russian Federation:

the Republic of Adygeya (Adygeya), the Republic of Altai, the Republic of Bashkortostan, the Republic of Buryatia, the Republic of Daghestan, the Republic of Ingushetia, the Kabardino-Balkarian Republic, the Republic of Kalmykia, the Karachayevo-Circassian Republic, the Republic of Karelia, the Komi Republic, the Republic of Crimea, the Republic of Marii El, the Republic of Mordovia, the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania, the Republic of Tatarstan (Tatarstan), the Republic of Tuva, the Udmurtian Republic, the Republic of Khakassia, the Chechen Republic, the Chuvash Republic - Chuvashia;

the Altai Territory, the Zabaykalsky Territory, the Kamchatka Territory, the Krasnodar Territory, the Krasnoyarsk Territory, the Perm Territory, the Primorie Territory, the Stavropol Territory, and the Khabarovsk Territory;

the Amur Region, the Archangel Region, the Astrakhan Region, the Belgorod Region, the Bryansk Region, the Vladimir Region, the Volgograd Region, the Vologda Region, the Voronezh Region, the Ivanovo Region, the Irkutsk Region, the Kaliningrad Region, the Kaluga Region, the Kemerovo Region, the Kirov Region, the Kostroma Region, the Kurgan Region, the Kursk Region, the Leningrad Region, the Lipetsk Region, the Magadan Region, the Moscow Region, the Murmansk Region, the Nizhni Novgorod Region, the Novgorod Region, the Novosibirsk Region, the Omsk Region, the Orenburg Region, the Orel Region, the Penza Region, the Pskov Region, the Rostov Region, the Ryazan Region, the Samara Region, the Saratov Region, the Sakhalin Region, the Sverdlovsk Region, the Smolensk Region, the Tambov Region, the Tver Region, the Tomsk Region, the Tula Region, the Tyumen Region, the Ulyanovsk Region, the Chelyabinsk Region, and the Yaroslavl Region;

Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sevastopol — cities of federal importance;

the Jewish Autonomous Region;

the Nenets Autonomous Area, the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area - Yugra, the Chukotka Autonomous Area, and the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area.

Now there are lots of things one can say about this, most of which are probably controversial, so I won't go into that in too much detail, but note that "the republics were originally created as nation states to represent areas of non-Russian ethnicity."

Regardless, it's certainly true that "Russian Federation" reflects the name of the country more precisely. Whether anyone using the term "Russian Federation" in preference to "Russia" is doing so simply for that reason or for some other reason of political spin is something you'd need to look at case by case. My guess is that they're mostly just trying to be proper.

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    @DavidHammen among other reasons, that analogy is wrong because there is no component of the Russian Federation called "Russia" (if it's possible to define such a component of the federation, it must itself be composed of several of the federation's political subdivisions). Perhaps also because "England" isn't part of the UK's formal name. But any discussion of England's identity invariably descends into a debate about the "true" meaning of the word "country" (often by people who are well aware that "state" has multiple senses, one meaning "subdivision" and the other "sovereign entity").
    – phoog
    Commented Nov 15, 2022 at 12:12
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    @phoog there is at least some informal definition of "Russia" as a component of Russian Federation, that would be territories of Russian Empire not included in any of the federation's other participants. During USSR there was a "RSFSR" declared federative republic as part of USSR, formed as whatever territories of Russian Empire remained under control after 1917-1922 civil war(s), but it already had autonomous regions included. So "Russia" is indeed a subset of Russian Federation's regions and areas excluding "republics" and "autonomous" designated regions.
    – Vesper
    Commented Nov 15, 2022 at 13:30
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    @phoog to my knowledge there are none, except probably disputed territory of Kuril islands (vs Japan) as they have been annexed/occupied past WWII, thus have no direct connection to "historically owned" land of Russia-controlled Far East. Kaliningrad and its area could be another example, as it was annexed past WWII by USSR and subsequently inhabited by Soviet people. Yet here in Russian Federation both of these territories are deemed belonging to "Russia" as a whole, but not to "historical Russ-land" as in "land where Russians live". You probably meant this distinction.
    – Vesper
    Commented Nov 15, 2022 at 14:12
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    @wrod: could you expand on that a bit? I'm not sure what you mean by "a devolution"; but in any case, having devolved government - in addition to a central, federal, one - is a standard feature of federations, is it not? Commented Nov 15, 2022 at 16:56
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    Russian federation is what people in Russia call their country, while some non-russian speakers would say Russia for shorthand. A more apt comparison would be China (and the peoples republic of China).
    – uberhaxed
    Commented Nov 15, 2022 at 20:42
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Think of the United Kingdom. It's official name is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. "United Kingdom" and "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland" refer to the same country. Unless people are being very formal everyone refers to that country as the United Kingdom (or just Britain). The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is too wordy.

Similarly, the formal name of Russia is Russian Federation (after being translated to English). Ukraine is of the formal opinion that they are at war with the Russian Federation (which they are), so they speak formally of that country. Russia is of the formal opinion that this is a "special military operation", so they speak formally about themselves.

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    Perhaps an easier to understand example would be "Germany" vs "Federal Republic of Germany", or "Sweden" vs "Kingdom of Sweden".
    – wonderbear
    Commented Nov 16, 2022 at 4:39
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I think most answers overcomplicate things, partly by drawing parallels with other names which are not entirely correct.

In the end, even in the official parlance, it's a linguistic issue.

To get the official part out of the way, I should mention that the Russian Constitution explicitly declares the two names to be equivalent:

1.2. The names Russian Federation and Russia are equipollent.

So, legally speaking, in the official usage (as the question asks), there must be no difference. This is somewhat unique compared even to the more similar situations like "Sweden" vs. "the Kingdom of Sweden", where the full name is the actual official one, even if 99% usage is the short one.

Still, why do the officials often prefer the longer, more awkward name? Simply because it sounds more formal - even though legally it isn't. The officials like to sound official, just like many scientists like to sound smart - even if it doesn't add anything but the flavour. It's just that simple.

Following that principle, common people use formal modes of speech when they want to sound more formal and official: longer names, bureaucratic periphrases, etc., sometimes to a comical effect ("please deliver two (2) burgers to the premises").

This is somewhat similar to people's names: the fuller name sounds more formal and respectful, and so is used in the situations where the speaker wants to convey this. Tchaikovsky is OK, Pyotr Tchaikovsky sounds like merely disambiguation, but Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky - now that's something! People tend to use this full form in many situations when the person is clearly identified by a shorter form anyway.

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    Apparently "equipollent" is archaic (FWIW, I'm a native English speaker, and I've never heard the word before). Might "equivalent" be a better translation? Commented Nov 16, 2022 at 9:52
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    @Steve, I also had to google it, but this is how it's given in the Wikisource from phoog's answer. Initially I even replaced it with "equivalent", but changed back at the last moment: it's a legal document, who knows...
    – Zeus
    Commented Nov 16, 2022 at 11:19
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Other answers have correctly stated that in Russia's constitution terms "Russia" and "Russian Federation" are interchangeable.

However, as I see it, the former is fuzzy and may have different meaning depending on the context, including some politically charged ones, while the latter means one legal thing, and the legal thing only.

"Russian Federation" ("Российская Федерация", Rossiyskaya Federatsia) has exactly one meaning - the current country in Eurasia, a legal entity. It is unambiguous and, as a bonus, sounds very formal.

"Russia" ("Россия", Rossiya) is much more fuzzy. It may mean the same as "Russian Federation"; the country; the legal entity. It may mean a geographic region. It may mean either USSR as a whole or RSFSR (a part of USSR) specifically, depending on the speaker. It may even mean a brand of chocolate, a hotel, or an airline.

Note that I did not use the word "Russian" here, as it can be translated to Russian in at least two slightly different ways: "российский" (as in Russian-of-the-country) and "русский" (as in Russian-of-the-nation). So, "российский" sounds less ambiguous for me, while "русский" may mean anything depending on the speaker. It's not clear-cut, though, one can translate e.g. "Russian passport" with either word, even though it's a legal entity. Same with "Russian people": one may use "русский" to align with "the ethnicity", or use "российский" to align with "the country", or just use either randomly without any subtext.

A similar thing in English would be "Google Search" vs "Google". The former is the search engine created by Google, Inc. Very formal and unambiguous. The latter can mean Google the company, Google the search engine, Google the website, Google the ecosystem of services, Google X, DeepBrain, Google's office, and even be a verb meaning "to search something with a free-text-input search engine".

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    I find it very interesting that “of Russian ethnicity” and “of the Russian state” are different in Russian (and likely in Ukrainian?) It also seems highly relevant to the question as posed: why are Russians and Ukrainians choosing one over the other? As much as there can ever be a single reason for somebody’s language choice, I daresay that might be the answer. Commented Nov 17, 2022 at 4:26
  • This is the best explanation although it's all opinion based. Until 1917 Russia was an informal name for the Russian empire, and later it was used informally for the USSR. So it can refer to many different entities with vastly different boundaries, especially if you're a historian or old enough to remember to Soviet Union. Russian Federation sounds more precise.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Nov 18, 2022 at 10:24
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Likely the term "The Russian Federation" is used to distinguish the Political Entity of the Nation of Russia from the people of Russia and more importantly, the people who are Russian Ethnically.

It's important to note that that throughout history, what was part of "Russia" has changed and included at some point Finland, Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, and other nations. Part of Putin's justification for war is the bring Russian ex-patriots who are living in the Ukraine back under the governernance of the Russian Federation. What's more, the Russian people are an ethnicity of Eastern Slavic peoples. Historically, there are three ethnicities of Russians, though today, the political correctness of this is in dispute. The historical peoples are Greater Russians (Or Red Russians), White Russians, and Little Russians (Or Black Russians). Due to this being in part political propaganda, it's considered more polite by Eastern Slavic people in general to the think of the three ethnicities as Russian, Belarussian, and Ukrainian respectively.

To further confuse matters, there is a large number of ethnic Russians (Red) living in the Ukraine who may not have ever been Citizens of the Russian Federation. And again, while polite, not everyone in the Ukraine consider Ukrainian as an ethnicity and instead seem them the subset of Russian people.

Remember, the war is over who controls regions of Ukraine that culturally identify more with Russia than their own country... and the opinions are not entirely universally accepted in that region either.

So, the reason people in the region will refer to the nation as The Russian Federation is to distinguish the Government of the Nation from the people of the ethnicity who's loyalties both sides want to be sympathetic too as well as the people of Russian Citizenship, who may or may not be Ethnically Russian and many of whom oppose the war. When discussing the actions of the government, simply saying "Russia" is not specific enough (or too likely to be twisted by propaganda into meaning something unintended) while "Russian Federation" specifically refers to the government.

As for why they use the "Russian Federation", it's because that's the official name of the Nation-State commonly called Russia. Almost every nation in the world has an official name that is shortened and in diplomatic circles, it's considered polite to introduce official government representatives as "The [title] of [official name of nation]" or similar (i.e. "The President of the United States of America" vs. The President of America... in fact in the spanish speaking world, especially Latin America, they don't like to refer to people of the U.S.A as "Americans" because that refers to people of both continents... so they refer to Americans as "Estadounidense" which basically means "United Statesians." Likely the only people in Latin America that do not do this are the Mexicans... because this ignores the fact that the official title of their nation is "The United States of Mexico." In fact, "United States" is a possible title used by Federal Nations (Mexico and America are the only two extant ones, but Colombia and Indonesia both used their histories, so calling the people of the U.S.A that is a misnomer along the lines of calling the people of France "Republicans" instead of French because officially France is "The Republic of France".)

So the next logical follow on question is why don't we do the same with Ukraine and refer to it by it's official name rather than just "Ukraine"? Well, that's simple. The official name of Ukraine is "Ukraine". Lots of nations forgo an official name because either they don't care, the name is distinct enough. In the case of Japan, which is officially "Japan", referring to it as The Empire of Japan is considered rude, as it refers to a period in their history from 1865 (the start of the Meiji Period, which the nation rapidly modernized) to 1945 (Specifically the surrender of Japan to the United States that ended WWII) when the Emperor had more political power than in any point prior or since. As they are still have the Emperor, they can't refer to themselves as "The Republic" which means "A nation without a Monarch" and "The Nation of Japan" is too informal.

Most nations tend to be fine with being known by their common name and its acceptable that under less formal conditions, refering to a nation by it's common name is acceptable. In fact, it's a running joke that the more you insist upon using the titles, the more likely those titles are questionable at best. As noted in the show Archer, "The Glorious Democratic People's Republic of North Korea" is none of those things (Rules as written... technically the official title of North Korea is truthful... rules as written, they are a socialist (People's) state that has no monarch (by a bizarre logic that the rightful ruler is a dead guy and his offspring are merely keeping the chair warm for him... no seriously) and they have democratic elections (no one said they had to be a LIBERAL democracy. The difference between a liberal and and an illiberal democracy is largely noted by what happens if you vote in opposition of the current political powers that be). It never claimed to be "glorious", that was just made up by a show writer to sell the joke.

EDIT: TL;DR: The Russia Federation is used to distinguish the speaker is talking about the nation's government, not necessarily the citizens of that nation or the ethnic peoples that share a name with the nation and have a large diaspora from the geographical region and government body, with the vast majority of the dispora living in the Ukraine and their status as Russian citizens and their loyalty to Russia both culturally and politically are one of the central reasons Russia invaded the Ukraine. The Ukraine does not get this treatment because it's official name is "Ukraine" while the official name of Russia is "Russian Federation"

P.S. I'm no Russian speaker or Linguist, but I believe leaving the word "the" out of "Russian Federation" is, I believe, from the fact that Russia has no article words like "The" or "A/An" in English.

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It's the name of the country. It's like the difference between "England" and "United Kingdom."

There is no such country as "England." But there is a succession of entities which can collectively be called that. The same is true of Russia.

I always prefer "the Russian Federation." Especially right now since the character of what is or isn't Russia is a subject of dispute.

It doesn't help that in the US too many people still think that the Russian Federation is the same country as the USSR, which used to be called "Russia" for short.

But colloquially, Russia can be the name of any of the the entities which anyone ever thinks of as Russia. The Russian Empire was also called "Russia" for short. But it clearly was not the same country as the USSR. Nor is the Russian Federation the same thing as the USSR, despite the comment which will insist on pointing out that "RF is the successor state to the USSR."

If you really stretch the definition, then the Belarus can also (by itself) be called "Russia."

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    This answer is incorrect, England is the name of a single country while the United Kingdom is a group of countries that also includes England. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom
    – Joe W
    Commented Nov 15, 2022 at 2:12
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    @JoeW not in the US sense of the word "country." "England" is not sovereign. United Kingdom is the state. The "country" of England has roughly the same relationship to the UK as the "Russian Republic" had to the USSR. They are administrative units without sovereignty, but which (for historic reasons) had a defining influence on shaping the sovereign state which contains them. This answer is absolutely correct.
    – wrod
    Commented Nov 15, 2022 at 2:20
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    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation about whether or not England is a country has been moved to chat.
    – Philipp
    Commented Nov 18, 2022 at 11:54
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This is purely an opinion, not fact-based. But I think perhaps aside from what others already mentioned (basically, trying to sound more formal), they are trying to subtly support the idea that Russia is a federation of republics with some degree of autonomy, and not just a dictatorship effectively ruled by one man.

(Note how it is the most undemocratic of countries that insists on calling itself the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.)

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It is frequently beneficial to make the strict separation between ethnic Russians and Russian federation as a country. This allows to avoid the ethnic clashes and have personal friends, co-workers between Russians without much approving of that Russian Federation does. Most you may need, ban politics from the talks.

"Russians" cannot be hostile or bad in general, when Russians are named bad it is called racism. "Russians" should not be fought against, this would be called street hooliganism if on a small scale and genocide if on large. I am afraid of nuclear weapons V.Putin is threatening with - russophobia or not?

But Russian Federation is a different story. Russia Federation can be named hostile and be fought against as required. "Russians" should not receive any sanctions, but citizens of Russian Federation can. And not all citizens of Russian Federation are Russians, there are 100+ ethnic groups in this country.

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I think it's due to historic reasons and to avoid confusion.

Tsardom of Russia was also "Russia" Russian Empire / Imperial Russia was also "Russia" USSR was often called "Russia" too. All four have different structure, slighlty different territories and so on (Finland/Poland was part of Empire but not USSR/Federation. Ukraine/Belarus/Kazahkstan/Baltic States were part of Empire and USSR but not part of Federation. Ukraine/Belorus become part of USSR on it's initial formation. Baltic States were integrated much later and they consider themselves occupied by USSR).

USSR also didn't consider itself successor state of Russian Empire.

Also, inside of Russia, term Russian Federation sometimes used by people to refer to current State. "Russia" - without referring to current state. So it's wouldn't be correct to say things like "Finland/Poland was part of Russian Federation" but it would be correct unclear to say "Finland/Poland was part of Russia"(because they were part of Russian Empire)

Some people who doesn't like current goverment even use derogatory version of "Russian Federation" - Rashka Federashka when refering to current State.

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Because the Russian Ethnicity is not the same as the Russian Federation

In the Medieval period, Eastern Europe's dominant demographic were the Rus, and the region was called Ruthenia.

enter image description here

It is from this demographic that the Russia got its name, but as you might notice from the map, Ukraine was also part of this group. To this day, the ethnic group "Rus" is still used to refer to people in this part of the world even though Ruthenia was conquered in 1242CE and no longer exists. But this is no different than how we still use ethnic names like "Jew" after Judea which fell in 70CE and "Gaelic" after Gaul which fell in 51BCE.

So calling a place Russia (meaning "of Rus") right next door to a place with with a dominantly Rus population is confusing.

To complicate things even more, Ukraine also has a significant population of Russian Immigrants. Theses are ethnically Russian in every since of the word, but not citizens of the Russian Federation, so this group even further makes things complicated to distinguish.

So, while it is debatable as to what exact cross section of Ukrainians could be called "Russian", it's all very confusing if you don't clarify between the ethnicity and nationality; so, by saying Russian Federation, you are being clear that you mean the country and not the people.

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    "Rus" weren't Russian. They were vikings. The Rus who settled in Kyiv were all killed by the Mongols.
    – wrod
    Commented Nov 15, 2022 at 22:48
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    "In the early Medieval period, Central Europe's dominant demographic were the Franks, and the region was called the Duchy of Franconia: upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/16/… It is from this demographic that France got its name, but as you might notice from the map, Germany and Belgium are also part of the Franconian Duchy. So, it's not inaccurate to call people from France, Belgium, and Germany "French" even though they are not part of the French Republic." – what this illustrates is that history isn't necessarily a very compelling argument.
    – Schmuddi
    Commented Nov 16, 2022 at 6:08
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    @wrod The Kievian Rus were conquered by the Mongols, but far from killed off. The rulership was temporary, but they continued to call themselves Rus after the Mongolian influence waned. The Mongols never kept a significant population here, and by the 1600s, only 15% of noble families were of Mongolian descent.
    – Nosajimiki
    Commented Nov 16, 2022 at 14:51
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    @Schmuddi Rus is not a Nation as it once was but it's still an ethnicity used to this day. For comparison, Judea has not been a nation for nearly 2000 years, yet Jews are still a commonly identified ethnicity.
    – Nosajimiki
    Commented Nov 16, 2022 at 15:10
  • I fail to get the point of your comment: The Duchy of Franconia is not a nation as it once was either, but French is still an ethnicity used to this day. What does this mean for the status of former Franconian regions such as Belgium or Germany? The answer is: Nothing, really. If you think the history of the Kievian Rus somehow justifies calling Ukrainians "Russians", your answer doesn't really get this point across yet.
    – Schmuddi
    Commented Nov 16, 2022 at 15:27
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For psychological reasons that have historic basis. The Communist regime headquartered in the same geography referred to itself as the Soviet Union so that member states, territories, autonomous regions and so on can be incorporated more or less transparently without ruffling too many feathers in the international scene. This MO has a recent precedent in the 2014 annexation of Crimea and in the current operations to annex Ukrainian territories. On the other hand, a sovereign nation named as such going around and overtly conquering other sovereign nations sounds too many alarm bells in Western minds, like Germany invading and assimilating Poland. Since the Russian nation is already so large, and also by masking its ambitions and dominion under the cloak of a federation, it can grow and move its borders outwards in the name of "reunification" (Putin's express doctrine on the subject) while cleverly avoiding the Western knee-jerk objection to so-called "nationalism". Also, "Federation" gives the illusion of voluntary solidarity when in fact it is a form of enticement towards consolidation. In this way they are employing a similar psychological strategy as China in their referring to Hong Kong under their "one country, two systems" doctrine, despite repeated failures to honor national and international agreements to respect sovereignty. The naming provides a diplomatic bargaining chip to invite other countries to form alliances or mergers while intimidating potential dissidents at the same time because of the enormity and influence of what is effectively an empire. It is very likely a recurring manifestation of the historic manifest destiny doctrine of Sovietism.

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It's simply emphasizing the status of the state. It's an emphasis on that Russia is a united state of regions. It indicates that multi-nationality and democracy are spelled out in the constitution.

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    "Federation" need not imply democracy or even multi-nationality, it only implies some level of self governance of the constituent parts. Commented Nov 18, 2022 at 0:12
  • The composition of the parts from who? (spoiler - from different regions, each with its own ethnic group) <- multi-nationality. Self-management parts? (yes, power has a gradation, which means it belongs to people depending on their place in society) <-democracy. You contradict yourself. Commented Nov 18, 2022 at 12:33
  • places in society people get as a result of public and open voting <- democracy Commented Nov 18, 2022 at 12:42
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    "Federation" does not describe the government type of the constituent parts or the whole. You could have a federation of dictatorships or monarchies. It does not describe the origins of the constituent parts, which can just as easily be, for example, geographic rather than ethnic. Commented Nov 18, 2022 at 15:07
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    I think the sophistry is on the other side. Whether Russia is democratic is not impacted by the label "federation". Whether Russia is multiethnic is not impacted by the label "federation". It could be both of those things and yet not be a federation; it could be neither of those things and yet be a federation. The logical error in your answer is the implication that federation means multi-nationality and democracy; it does not mean those things. Commented Nov 18, 2022 at 16:35

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