What's the "een" in Halloween?
1530s, from Medieval Latin Russi "the people of Russia," from Rus, the native name of the people and the country (cf. Arabic Rus, Medieval Greek Rhos), originally the name of a group of Swedish merchant/warriors who established themselves around Kiev 9c. and founded the original Russian principality; perhaps from Ruotsi, the Finnish name for "Sweden," from Old Norse Roþrslandi, "the land of rowing," old name of Roslagen, where the Finns first encountered the Swedes. This is from Old Norse roðr "steering oar," from Proto-Germanic *rothra- "rudder," from PIE *rot-ro-, from root *ere- (1) "to row" (see row (v.)).
Derivation from the IE root for "red," in reference to hair color, is considered less likely. Russian city-states were founded and ruled by Vikings and their descendants. The Russian form of the name, Rossiya, appears to be from Byzantine Greek Rhosia. Russification is from 1842.
A vast nation that stretches from eastern Europe across the Eurasian land mass. It was the most powerful republic of the former Soviet Union; ethnic Russians composed about half of the population. It is the world's largest country. Its capital and largest city is Moscow.
Note: Russia was ruled by czars of the Romanov family from the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries.
Note: Peter the Great, a czar who reigned in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, attempted to westernize Russian government and culture.
Note: During the Russian Revolution of 1917, the Bolsheviks, under Lenin, took control of the government; communists governed from 1917 until 1991.
Note: Russia now occupies the seat on the Security Council of the United Nations formerly held by the Soviet Union.