Russia also officially known as the Russian Federation is the largest country in the world. It occupies about one seventh of the earth’s surface. It covers the eastern part of Europe and the northern part of Asia. Its total area is about 17 million square kilometers. The country is washed by 12 seas of 3 oceans: the Pacific, the Arctic and the Atlantic. In the south Russia borders on China, Mongolia, Korea, Kazakhstan, Georgia and Azerbaijan. In the west it borders on Norway, Finland, the Baltic States, Belorussia, the Ukraine. It also has a sea border with the USA. Russia is also the world's ninth most populous nation with nearly 144 million people as of 2014.
Despite its comparatively high population, Russia has a low average population density due to its enormous size. The Russian Federation is home to as many as 160 different ethnic groups and indigenous peoples.The Russian language is the only official state language, but the individual republics have often made their native language co-official next to Russian.
Extending across the entirety of northern Asia and much of Eastern Europe, Russia spans nine time zones and incorporates a wide range of environments and landforms.
There is hardly a country in the world where such a variety of scenery and vegetation can be found. We have steppes in the south, plains and forests in the midland, tundra and taiga in the north, highlands and deserts in the east. There are several mountain chains on the territory of the country: the Urals, the Caucasus, the Altai and others. The largest mountain chain, the Urals, separates Europe from Asia.
On the vast territory of the country there is a variety of climate, from arctic in the north to subtropical in the south. It is very cold in the North even in summer. The central part of the country has mild climate: winters are cold, springs and autumns are warm or cool, summers are hot and warm. In the South the temperature is usually above zero all year round, even in winter. Summer is really hot, the climate is very favourable. The climate of Siberia is continental: summers are hot and dry, winters are very cold.
There are over two million rivers in Russia. Europe’s biggest river, the Volga, flows into the Caspian Sea. The main Siberian rivers – the Ob, the Yenisei and the Lena – flow from the south to the north. The Amur in the Far East flows into the Pacific Ocean.
Russia is rich in beautiful lakes. The world’s deepest lake (1.600 meters) is Lake Baikal. It is much smaller than the Baltic Sea, but there is much more water in it than in the Baltic Sea. The water in the lake is so clear that if you look down you can count the stones on the bottom.
Russia has one-sixth of the world’s forests. They are concentrated in the European north of the country, in Siberia and in the Far East.
The capital of Russia is Moscow. It is its largest political, scientific, cultural and industrial center. It is one of the oldest Russian cities. The population of this great city consists of about fifteen million locals plus several million foreign people, who work, travel and vacation in this city constantly or only for a few days. There are also big cities in the Russian Federation besides Moscow – Saint Petersburg with the population about five million people and Novosibirsk with the population of two million people.
Welcome to visit Russia and appreciate its rich history, culture and wonderful nature.