Russia is a multi-national state with over 185 ethnic groups designated as nationalities; the populations of these groups vary enormously, from millions (e.g., Russians and Tatars) to under 10,000 (e.g., Samis and Kets).
Among the 85 subjects which constitute Russia, there are 21 national republics (meant to be home to a specific ethnic minority), 5 autonomous okrugs (usually with substantial or predominant ethnic minority) and 1 autonomous oblast.
Language and culture
Although the constitution of Russia recognizes Russian as the official language, the individual republics may declare one or more official languages. Most of subjects have at least two — Russian and the language of the "eponymous" nationality. There is a lively minority language scene in most subjects of the country, with more than 1,350 newspapers and magazines, 300 TV channels and 250 radio stations in over 50 minority languages. Moreover, new legislation allows usage of minority languages in federal radio and TV broadcasting.
In 2007, there were 6,260 schools which provided teaching in altogether 38 minority languages, and over 75 minority languages were taught as a discipline in 10,404 schools. Ministers of Council of Europe has noted efforts to improve the supply of minority language textbooks and teachers, as well as greater availability of minority language teaching. However, as Ministers has noted, there remain shortcomings in the access to education of persons belonging to certain minorities.
There are more than 2,000 national minorities' public associations and 560 national cultural autonomies, however the Committee of Ministers has noted that in many regions amount of state support for the preservation and development of minority cultures is still inadequate. There's a significant difference between "eponymous" ethnic groups and nationalities without their own national territory, as resources of the last are relatively limited.
Russia is also home of a particular category of minority peoples, i.e. small indigenous peoples of the North and Far East, who maintain very traditional lifestyles, often in a hazardous climatic environment, while adapting to the modern world. After the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia passed legislation to protect rights of small northern indigenous peoples.
Gil-Robles has noted agreements between indigenous representatives and oil companies, which are to compensate potential damages on peoples habitats due to oil exploration. As Committee of Ministers of Council of Europe noted in 2007, despite some initiatives for development, the social and economic situation of numerically small indigenous peoples was affected by recent legislative amendments at the federal level, removing some positive measures as regards their access to land and other natural resources.