1) The Russian Empire was a very large one. It may not be as clear in modern times.
2) It was also a large economy based on GDP.
3) Space Capsule Landing: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/48030438/ns/technology_and_science-space/.
4) It may be more technical in spite of any listing as developing countries. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Developing_countries.