Despite shedding the shackles of the old Soviet Union back in 1991, Russia still remains a bit of a mystery to many people in the rest of the world. So is it all Russian troll factories, oligarchs and impromptu visits to see the sights of charming English cathedral cities over there, or is there more to Russia than meets the eye? Here we take a look at twenty fascinating facts about Russia that you might not know.

There’s An Overabundance Of Woman

There are about 10.5 million more women in Russia than men. This peculiar imbalance seems strange as, just like the rest of the world, there is a fairly even split between the number of boys and girls born in Russia every year. So why the discrepancy? Well, it turns out Russian men start dying off many years earlier than women. Around the age of thirty, considerably more men than women die from things such as industrial accidents, war and alcohol abuse. Still, for those who don’t die, getting a date must be easier. Every cloud …

Russians Have A Cavalier Attitude To Booze

It’s no secret that Russians like a tipple or two, but that doesn’t come close to covering the country’s rampant alcohol problem. Russians’ love of vodka in particular – which is usually slugged down neat in one gulp – has led to an average of $400 per person being spent on the drink in just the holiday season alone. 23,000 Russians die every year from alcohol poisoning and alcohol-related illnesses, and crimes and suicides caused by alcohol are the highest of any country in the world. Hey, maybe lay off the booze a bit, Russians!