Russia #1s

Military, aerospace, nuclear, technology

  • World's first and only floating nuclear power plant

Source: Rosatom

  • Most time spent in space by an individual (as of June 5, 2024)

Source: MT/AFP

  • World's largest exporter of nuclear reactors in recent decades

Source: Wall Street Journal

  • First full-length movie shot in space, 2021

Source: New York Times

  • Largest neutrino telescope in the Northern Hemisphere, 2021

Source: TASS

  • World's first experimental demonstration power unit featuring a lead-cooled fast neutron reactor (under construction), 2021

Source: World Nuclear News

  • World's most powerful source of neutrons, 2021

Source: TASS

  • World's first telescope to do a complete x-ray survey of the sky, launched 2019 (completion set for 2025)

Source: AP

  • World’s largest nuclear icebreaker, 2017 and 2019

Source: TASS cited by The Independent; Russia’s Atomflot cited by RBTH; World Nuclear News

  • World’s largest number of nuclear warheads, 2016

Source: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute

  • World’s largest ICBM, 2016 (made in Soviet Ukraine)

Source: The National Interest

  • World’s largest submarine, 2015

Source: International Business Times

  • World’s largest producer of space debris, 2013

Source: Russia’s Central Research Institute for Engineering cited by Interfax/The Moscow Times

  • World's biggest gamma telescope (under construction), 2013

Source: Irkutsk State University Astrophysical Center cited by Interfax/RBTH

  • World’s sharpest satellite imaging of Earth, 2012

Source: Gizmodo

  • World’s largest number of satellites launched, 2012

Source: Roscosmos cited by Interfax/RBTH


  • World's most sanctioned country, 2022

Source: Axios

  • World's top exporter of semi-finished iron, 2020

Source: OEC 

  • World's top exporter of non-fillet frozen fish, 2020

Source: OEC 

  • World's top exporter of raw nickel, 2020

Source: OEC 

  • World's top exporter of pig iron, 2020

Source: OEC 

  • World's most unequal economy, 2019

Source: Credit Suisse Research Institute review cited by The Moscow Times

  • World's biggest buyer of gold, 2018

Source: Wall Street Journal

  • World’s top exporter of wheat, 2017, 2018, 2020 and 2021

Source: BloombergWall Street Journal, OEC and Financial Times

  • Best country to start a career, 2017

Source: U.S. News ranking

  • World’s largest energy exporter, 2016 and 2017

Source: Bloomberg and Bloomberg

  • Fastest growing number of dollar millionaires, 2016

Source: World Wealth Report cited by The Moscow Times

  • World's best performing national currency, 2016

Source: Bloomberg

  • First in income inequality among 38 countries holding majority of the world’s wealth, 2016

Source: Credit Suisse Research Institute cited by The Moscow Times

  • World’s largest producer of beet sugar, 2016

Source: Russian Ministry of Agriculture cited by RBTH

  • World's largest producer of oil, February 2018

Source: Reuters

  • World’s highest representation of females among senior executives, 2014 and 2015

Source: Grant Thornton, "a professional services provider," cited by the Financial Times and The Moscow Times

  • World's largest producer of oil and natural gas combined, 2013

Source: Wall Street Journal

  • World’s largest shale oil reserves, 2013

Source: U.S. Energy Information Agency statistics cited by

  • More protectionist policies than any other country, 2013

Source: Global Trade Alert data cited by Reuters

  • Europe’s largest economy in terms of GDP PPP, 2012

Source: World Bank, as reported in July 2013

  • Europe’s leader in number of bank takeovers, 2009-2013

Source: SNL Financial cited by the Wall Street Journal

  • Europe’s biggest shopping mall market, 2012

Source: Cushman & Wakefield real estate consultancy cited by The Moscow Times

  • Europe’s largest mobile phone market, 2012

Source: The Moscow Times

  • World's largest producer of natural gas, 2011

Source: International Energy Agency cited by the Wall Street Journal

  • World’s most profitable company (Gazprom), 2011

Source: Fortune magazine cited by Huffington Post

  • Europe’s largest car market, 2008

Source: PricewaterhouseCoopers

Demographics, geography, environment, health

  • Biggest temperature difference in a single country (since 1954), 2021

Source: The Moscow Times

  • Most suicides among men, 2019

Source: Rosbalt

  • Top source of methane emissions from oil-and-gas industry

Source: Wall Street Journal

  • Most heavily forested country in the world

Source: The Moscow Times

  • First to develop coronavirus vaccine for animals, 2021

Source: New York Times

  • World's largest gold mine by proven reserves (Sukhoi Log mine)

Source: Financial Times

  • Highest gas flaring volume, 2018

Source: World Bank as cited by The Wall Street Journal

  • World’s largest country

Source: World Bank

  • Most of world's amber reserves (Kaliningrad)

Source: Financial Times

  • Highest percentage of women in senior business roles, 2016

Source: Grant Thornton Women in Business Report

  • Europe’s most populous country, 2015

Source: World Bank

  • Largest gap between male and female life expectancy, 2015

Source: WHO as cited by the World Economic Forum

  • World’s biggest number of non-working days, 2013

Source: cited by Russian edition of Esquire magazine

  • Highest percentage of deaths attributable to alcohol among 40 countries tracked by the WHO, 2012

Source: Quartz

  • World leader in heroin consumption, 2012

Source: Russian edition of Esquire magazine

  • World’s largest net forest loss, 2002-2012

Source: University of Maryland research cited by Climate Home

  • Highest share of individuals with college degrees among 44 countries reviewed by the OECD, 2012

Source: Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development data as reported by USA Today

  • World’s highest share of smokers in population, 2010

Source: World Health Organization cited by Moscow Times

  • World’s coldest city and coldest inhabited area (Yakutsk and the village of Oymyakon)...

Source: The Weather Channel

  • ...And world’s coldest marathon, 2022

Source: The Siberian Times


  • World’s largest source of cyber attacks, 2014

Source: Deutsche Telecom as cited by The Moscow Times

  • World’s only computer program to pass the Turing Test, 2014

Source: The Washington Post

  • Europe’s largest Internet market, 2012

Source: The Economist

  • Europe’s largest online audience, 2012

Source: Report by East-West Digital News, comScore, Ernst and Young and others cited by RBTH

  • #1 worldwide in time spent on social networking sites, 2010

Source: ComScore


  • World's biggest yacht by tonnage, allegedly owned by Alisher Usmanov

Source: RFE/RL

  • Biggest ferris wheel in Europe, 2022

Source: Meduza

  • Most profitable FIFA World Cup championship, 2018 

Source: The Moscow Times 

  • Biggest European market for movie tickets, 2017

Source: European Audiovisual Observatory

  • Highest rate of incarceration in Europe (434 prisoners per 100,000 people vs. 143 in UK, 130 in Spain, 101 in France, 92 in Italy, 76 in Germany), 2017

Source: Carnegie Moscow Center

  • Largest number of inmate deaths / largest number of inmates convicted of murder among 47 European countries, 2013

Source: Council of Europe cited by The Moscow Times

  • Highest percentage of cat owners among 52 countries surveyed, 2017

Source: Dalia Research

  • Europe’s tallest building, 2016

Source: Bloomberg Businessweek

  • World’s most expensive Olympics, 2014

Source: International Business Times

  • World’s worst traffic jams (Moscow), 2012 and 2018

Source: Tomtom GPS cited by Russian edition of Esquire magazine, INRIX study cited by The Moscow Times

  • World’s highest death toll from air accidents, 2011

Source: Flight Safety Foundation cited by Russian edition of Esquire magazine

  • World’s largest ice rink (Moscow), 2016

Source: World Record Academy’s Commission cited by Russia Beyond The Headlines