Russia is a multinational state. Due to continual territorial expansion from the XV century onwards, more and more nationalities have been pouring into Russia.
The Russian Federation is one of the most multicultural countries in the world - representatives of more than 180 nationalities inhabit the country.
Russia is ranked seventh in the world by population after China, India, USA, Indonesia, Brazil and Pakistan.
The mentality of the Russian people has been developing for many years and is closely linked with the nature, history, culture and society.
S.N. Bulgakov wrote that the continental climate is probably to blame for the controversity of the Russian character that combines thirst for absolute freedom and slave-like obedience, religion and atheism - these feaures of the Russian mentality are not understandable for Europeans, so Russia has an aura of mystery, enigma, inscrutability.
Living in the area where winter lasts for about six months, the Russians have developed the tremendous willpower and perseverance in the struggle for survival in the cold climate. Low temperatures during most months of the year have affected the temperament of the nation. The breadth of the Russian soul allows it to accommodate all human feelings and qualities.
The harsh Russian winter has had a strong influence on the traditions of Russian hospitality. To refuse shelter to a wayfarer in Russia's winter conditions means to condemn him to death from cold. Therefore hospitality could not be perceived by Russians other than as a self-evident duty. The severity and avarice of the nature taught the Russians to be patient and obedient, while struggling persistently against the harsh nature.
Apart from farming, the Russians had to deal with all kinds of crafts. This explains the practical orientation, agility and rationality of their mind.
The only way to survive in such unpredictable conditions, when the result of one's labor depends on the vagaries of nature, is inexhaustible optimism.
In the ranking of national traits, compiled from a survey of the Reader's Digest, conducted in 18 European countries in February 2001, the Russians ranked first in optimism. 51%, of the Russian respondents declared to be optimists, while only 3% cofessed to be pessimistic.
Diligence, observation, thoughtfulness, concentration and contemplation are the qualities that Russian landscapes have brought up in the Russian soul.