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The last three groups are widely dispersed throughout the federation.All but the youngest citizens share a Soviet cultural experience, since under Communist Party rule the state shaped and controlled daily life and social practice.
Some historians believe that "Rus" derives from an ancient name for the Volga River.
With the exception of the black earth belt, Russia has fairly poor soil, a short growing season, low precipitation, and large arid steppe regions unfit for agriculture except with extensive irrigation.
These factors limit agricultural production and account for the frequency of crop failures; what is produced requires substantial labor.
People ethnically identified as Russians have been politically and culturally dominant in a vast area for five hundred years of tsarist and Soviet imperial expansion.
However, despite repression of their cultural autonomy, minority cultures have survived within the Russian Federation; including the peoples of the North Caucasus, numerous indigenous groups in Siberia, the Tatars in the Volga region, and the East Slavic Ukrainians and Belorusians.