General Information about Russia.
Russia is a country which is situated on two continents, in Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. The largest country in the world - 17 125 422 sq/km or 1/9 of the total land area of the Earth, which is twice more than the second biggest country - Canada.
Russia borders with 19 countries (the largest number in the world), of which
- by land with the following countries: Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania - in the North-west;
Poland, Belarus, Ukraine - in the West;
Abkhazia, Georgia, South Ossetia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan - in the South;
China, Mongolia, North Korea - in the South-East;
- by sea with Turkey - in the South-West, with Japan and the USA - in the East.
Russia also owns the islands of Novaya Zemlya, Severnaya Zemlya, Vaigach, the archipelago of Franz Joseph, new Siberian Islands, Wrangel island in the Arctic ocean in the North, the Kuril Islands (some of which are still disputed by Japan) and Sakhalin island in the Pacific ocean in the East.
After the collapse of the USSR in the end of the 1991, the Russian Federation was recognized by the international community as the Republic of Federal structure and adopted in the UN Security Council and other international organizations. The independence of the Russian Federation was declared on the 24th of August in 1991. The head of state is the President (chosen 1 times in 6 years), Executive power is vested to the government headed by the Prime Minister (appointed by the Parliament upon the proposal of the President).
The State Duma and the Federation Council form a bicameral Parliament.
The lower House, the State Duma has 450 deputies, elections are held 1 time in 5 years.
The upper House, the Federation Council - 170 senators, which are appointed by the regional parliaments.
The Russian Federation consists of 22 republics, one Autonomous region (Jewish), 4 Autonomous okrugs, 9 territories and 46 regions.
Moscow, St. Petersburg and Sevastopol have a direct Federal subordination and are the cities of Federal significance. All together, there are 85 subjects in Russian Federation for 2015.
From the point of view of the demographic situation in the Russian Federation, the most significant event in March 2014 has become the de facto reunification of the Crimean Peninsula with the territory of the Russian state.
The Capital Of Russia - Moscow. The largest city in Russia with a population of 12 197 596 people.
The Heart Of Russia - Moscow Kremlin.
Only in Russia, there are 15 largest cities with populations over 1 million people. These are Moscow, St. Petersburg (more then 5 million people); Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg (more than 1.5 million people); Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan, Samara, Chelyabinsk, Omsk, Rostov-on-Don, Ufa, Krasnoyarsk, Perm, Volgograd, Voronezh.
All together Russia spans 11 time zones with a difference from +2 to +12 hours relative to GMT.
Population - 146 293 111 (for 2014). The majority of the Russian population (about 80%) live in the European part (Central, Southern, North Caucasus, North-Western, Volga, Urals Federal districts). The remaining 20% - in the Asian part of Russia (Siberia, the far Eastern Federal district). The majority of the population (about 75%) lives in urban areas.
In Russia there live representatives of more than 200 nationalities. The largest ethnic group - Russian - is 80% of the population. Tatars - 4%, Ukrainian - 3%, Chuvash, Bashkir, Belarusian, Mordovians, Chechens, Armenians, Avars and other nationalities - 1% or less.
The people of Russia speak more than 100 languages and dialects. Russian is the native language for approximately 130 million citizens (92% of Russia's population). And it is the state language of the Russian Federation. Also, Ukrainian, Tatar, Armenian and other languages are common.
In Russia live Christians (mainly Orthodox), Muslims, Buddhists (mainly in Buryatia, Kalmykia and Tuva - Siberia), Jews, Gentiles, and representatives of other religious confessions. The proportion of Russian citizens are Orthodox Christians is 70% of all people in the country. The procent of Muslims is 15% of the population. Staunch atheists make up 6% of the population.
The national currency is the Russian Ruble (~60 RUB = 1 USD).
Russia has the world's largest reserves of mineral and energy resources, large reserves of various minerals, the most important of which are oil, gas, coal, gold and other strategic minerals. Russia ranks first in the world's forests, which cover 45% of the country, has about 1/5 of the world timber resources. Also, Russia has the largest number of lakes which is containing about a quarter of the world's reserves of non-frozen fresh water.
Despite the vastness of the territory, agriculture is a relatively small portion of the land and arable lands occupy only 8% of the country. A significant part of the site falls in the permafrost zone.
About 3/4 of the country is composed of plains. To the West the East European plain stretches. It is one of the largest plains in the world and occupies almost all of the European part of Russia. In the South the Northern slopes of the Caucasus mountains are situated, with the highest point of the country and Europe - the mount Elbrus (5.642 metres in a height). In the East the plain is limited by the low old Ural mountains up to 2,000 meters in a height. And to the East of the Ural mountains the West Siberian plain lies with extensive marshy spaces, bordered on the South-East by the Altai mountains up to 4.500 meters in a height. Closer to the coast of the Pacific ocean in the East there is a region of mountain ranges and plateaus of North-East Asia. Thus, the Eastern part of the country, except the large rivers valleys, is a mountainous terrain. On the Kamchatka Peninsula there are 120 volcanoes, 23 of which are active. The highest of them is Klyuchevskaya Sopka 4.750 meters in a height. The largest rivers of the country - the Volga, the Northern Dvina, Don, Irtysh, Ob, the Angara, Yenisei, Lena, Amur. Largest lakes: lake Baikal (in the South-East) - the deepest and the largest in the world by volume, Ladoga, Onega lake (in the North-East).
The majority of the country is within the temperate climatic zone. Extreme areas of the North and the Northern Islands belong to the Arctic zone, and some Southern areas are close to the subtropics. The climate almost throughout the country is continental, which reveales itself especially in the large amplitude of the seasonal temperatures and scarcity of rainfall. In most parts of the territory the winter is long. Especially severe frosts are observed in Eastern Yakutia (-45..-50 degrees). In the European part of Russia winter temperature ranges from 0 to -10 degrees. In summer the average temperature is +15..+25 degrees. In the warm half of the year from May to October - the bulk precipitation falls.
The distinction climatic zones are characterized the variety of natural areas. In Arctic deserts of the far North the mosses, arctic poppies, buttercups are growing; the dwarf birch, willow, alder are added to these types in Tundra. The spruce, fir, cedar, larch are typical for Taiga. To the South and West the zone of deciduous forests of oak, maple, linden, hornbeam begins. Also, in the country you can find lots of rare breeds: Mongolian oak, Manchurian maple, elm, walnut. In steppe and forest-steppe part of the country oak forests, grasses, cereals are growing. In the black sea subtropics the forests of pubescent oak, juniper, boxwood, black alder are dominated. On the soath coast - eucalyptus, palm.
The fauna of the country is rich and diverse. In the Arctic and Tundra zones: the arctic fox, caribou, arctic hare, seals, walruses, polar bear are living. The bear, lynx, red deer, wolverine, elk, sable, weasel, chipmunk, squirrel are living in the forest of Taiga; the wood grouse, hazel grouse, black grouse, woodpecker, nutcracker are nesting. In addition, taiga is characterized by the presence of a huge number of mosquitoes. The deciduous forests are home to wild boar, deer, mink, numerous birds, lizards. In the forests of the Far East - a rare Ussuri tigers, bears, deers are living. Among the animals of the steppe zone the small rodents, lots of antelopes, badgers, foxes, large steppe birds (bustard, crane, little bustard) are dominated. In the desert there are gazelles, jackals, sand cat, and numerous rodents. Many reptiles, turtles. The Caucasus region is a home to mountain goats, Caucasian deer, porcupine, leopard, hyena, bear, and also, a large number of reptiles.