Within about a year of the revolution, the state expropriated all church property, including the churches themselves, and in the period from to , 28 Russian Orthodox bishops and more than 1, priests were killed. Many more were persecuted.
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After the collapse of the Soviet Union there has been a renewal of religions in Russia, and among Slavs various movements have emerged besides Christianity, including Rodnovery Slavic Native Faith , Assianism , and other ethnic Paganisms, Roerichism , Ringing Cedars' Anastasianism , Hinduism ,  Siberian shamanism  or Tengrism , and other religions. In the research organization Sreda, in cooperation with the census and the Ministry of Justice, published the Arena Atlas, a detailed enumeration of religious populations and nationalities in Russia, based on a large-sample country-wide survey.
The results showed that Orthodox Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Paganism either preserved or revived are recognised by law as Russia's traditional religions, marking the country's "historical heritage".
Easter is the most popular religious holiday in Russia, celebrated by a large segment of the Russian population, including large numbers of those who are non-religious. More than three-quarters of the Russian population celebrate Easter by making traditional Easter cakes, coloured eggs and paskha. Islam is the second largest religion in Russia after Russian Orthodoxy. Buddhism is traditional in three republics of Russia: Buryatia , Tuva , and Kalmykia , the latter being the only region in Europe where Buddhism is the most practiced religion.
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In cultural and social affairs, Vladimir Putin has collaborated closely with the Russian Orthodox Church. Patriarch Kirill of Moscow , head of the Church, endorsed his election in Steven Myers reports, "The church, once heavily repressed, had emerged from the Soviet collapse as one of the most respected institutions Now Kiril led the faithful directly into an alliance with the state. The decision was taken in response to the move made by the Patriarchate of Constantinople a few days prior that effectively ended the Moscow Patriarchate's jurisdiction over Ukraine and promised autocephaly to Ukraine.
On 26 April , for the first time, the U. Commission on International Religious Freedom classified Russia as one of the world's worst violators of religious liberty, recommending in its annual report that the U. The report states, "—it is the sole state to have not only continually intensified its repression of religious freedom since USCIRF commenced monitoring it, but also to have expanded its repressive policies Saint Basil's Cathedral , Moscow.
Moscow Cathedral Mosque. Atsaysky datsan Buddhist monastery in Buryatia. The Russian Constitution guarantees free, universal health care for all its citizens. Due to the ongoing Russian financial crisis since , major cuts in health spending have resulted in a decline in the quality of service of the state healthcare system. Waiting times for treatment have increased, and patients have been forced to pay for more services that were previously free.
As of [update] , the average life expectancy in Russia was Deaths mostly occur from preventable causes, including alcohol poisoning, smoking, traffic accidents and violent crime. Since , the year school education has been introduced. Education in state-owned secondary schools is free. University level education is free, with exceptions. A substantial share of students is enrolled for full pay many state institutions started to open commercial positions in the last years.
In the s, in order to create higher education and research institutions of comparable scale in Russian regions, the government launched a program of establishing "federal universities", mostly by merging existing large regional universities and research institutes and providing them with a special funding. There are over different ethnic groups and indigenous peoples in Russia. Handicraft , like Dymkovo toy , khokhloma , gzhel and palekh miniature represent an important aspect of Russian folk culture.
Ethnic Russian clothes include kaftan , kosovorotka and ushanka for men, sarafan and kokoshnik for women, with lapti and valenki as common shoes. The clothes of Cossacks from Southern Russia include burka and papaha , which they share with the peoples of the Northern Caucasus. Russian cuisine widely uses fish, caviar, poultry, mushrooms, berries, and honey.
Crops of rye , wheat, barley , and millet provide the ingredients for various breads, pancakes and cereals, as well as for kvass , beer and vodka drinks. Black bread is rather popular in Russia, compared to the rest of the world. Flavourful soups and stews include shchi , borsch , ukha , solyanka and okroshka.
Smetana a heavy sour cream is often added to soups and salads. Pirozhki , blini and syrniki are native types of pancakes. Chicken Kiev , pelmeni and shashlyk are popular meat dishes, the last two being of Tatar and Caucasus origin respectively. Other meat dishes include stuffed cabbage rolls golubtsy usually filled with meat. Russia's large number of ethnic groups have distinctive traditions regarding folk music. Typical ethnic Russian musical instruments are gusli , balalaika , zhaleika , and garmoshka.
Folk music had a significant influence on Russian classical composers, and in modern times it is a source of inspiration for a number of popular folk bands , like Melnitsa.
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Russian folk songs , as well as patriotic Soviet songs , constitute the bulk of the repertoire of the world-renowned Red Army choir and other popular ensembles. Russians have many traditions , including the washing in banya , a hot steam bath somewhat similar to sauna. Many Russian fairy tales and epic bylinas were adapted for animation films, or for feature movies by the prominent directors like Aleksandr Ptushko Ilya Muromets , Sadko and Aleksandr Rou Morozko , Vasilisa the Beautiful. Russian poets, including Pyotr Yershov and Leonid Filatov , made a number of well-known poetical interpretations of the classical fairy tales, and in some cases, like that of Alexander Pushkin , also created fully original fairy tale poems of great popularity.
Since the Christianization of Kievan Rus' for several ages Russian architecture was influenced predominantly by the Byzantine architecture. Apart from fortifications kremlins , the main stone buildings of ancient Rus' were Orthodox churches with their many domes , often gilded or brightly painted.
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Aristotle Fioravanti and other Italian architects brought Renaissance trends into Russia since the late 15th century, while the 16th century saw the development of unique tent-like churches culminating in Saint Basil's Cathedral. After the reforms of Peter the Great the change of architectural styles in Russia generally followed that in the Western Europe. The 18th-century taste for rococo architecture led to the ornate works of Bartolomeo Rastrelli and his followers.
The second half of the 19th century was dominated by the Neo-Byzantine and Russian Revival styles.
Prevalent styles of the 20th century were the Art Nouveau , Constructivism , and the Stalin Empire style. With the change in values imposed by communist ideology , the tradition of preservation was broken. Independent preservation societies, even those that defended only secular landmarks such as Moscow-based OIRU were disbanded by the end of the s. A new anti-religious campaign, launched in , coincided with collectivization of peasants; destruction of churches in the cities peaked around A number of churches were demolished, including the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow.
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In Moscow alone losses of — are estimated at over notable buildings including to listed buildings, out of a total inventory of 3, — some disappeared completely, others were replaced with concrete replicas. In , a new Soviet leader, Nikita Khrushchev , condemned the "excesses" of the former academic architecture,  and the late Soviet era was dominated by plain functionalism in architecture. This helped somewhat to resolve the housing problem, but created a large quantity of buildings of low architectural quality, much in contrast with the previous bright styles.
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In Nikita Khrushchev launched his anti-religious campaign. By over 10 thousand churches out of 20 thousand were shut down mostly in rural areas and many were demolished. Of 58 monasteries and convents operating in , only sixteen remained by ; of Moscow's fifty churches operating in , thirty were closed and six demolished.
Early Russian painting is represented in icons and vibrant frescos , the two genres inherited from Byzantium. As Moscow rose to power, Theophanes the Greek , Dionisius and Andrei Rublev became vital names associated with a distinctly Russian art. The Russian Academy of Arts was created in  and gave Russian artists an international role and status.
Ivan Argunov , Dmitry Levitzky , Vladimir Borovikovsky and other 18th-century academicians mostly focused on portrait painting. In the early 19th century, when neoclassicism and romantism flourished, mythological and Biblical themes inspired many prominent paintings, notably by Karl Briullov and Alexander Ivanov. In the midth century the Peredvizhniki Wanderers group of artists broke with the Academy and initiated a school of art liberated from academic restrictions.
Some artists focused on depicting dramatic moments in Russian history, while others turned to social criticism , showing the conditions of the poor and caricaturing authority; critical realism flourished under the reign of Alexander II. The turn of the 20th century saw the rise of symbolist painting, represented by Mikhail Vrubel , Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin , and Nicholas Roerich. The Russian avant-garde was a large, influential wave of modernist art that flourished in Russia from approximately to The term covers many separate, but inextricably related art movements that occurred at the time, namely neo-primitivism , suprematism , constructivism , rayonism , and Russian Futurism.
Since the s the revolutionary ideas of the avant-garde clashed with the newly emerged conservative direction of socialist realism. Soviet art produced works that were furiously patriotic and anti-fascist during and after the Great Patriotic War. Multiple war memorials, marked by a great restrained solemnity, were built throughout the country.