Russia is located in the north-east of Eurasia, the largest continent of our planet, and occupies the third part of its territory, being located in two parts of the world – Europe and Asia at the same time.
With 17,1 million square kilometers Russia is bigger than all the European countries taken together. Russian territory is more comparable to entire continents rather than to separated countries. Russian area is bigger than Australia’s and Antarctica’s areas and is second only to South America (18,2 square kilometers). Russia exceeds in space the largest countries in the world: Canada, The USA and China, by 1,6-1,8 times.
The territory of Russia is divided into 11 time zones. The western part of Russia is located in Kaliningrad with +2 hours according to Greenwich time and the eastern part is on Kamchatka Peninsula and Chukotka Peninsula with +12 hours. Therefore, when people enjoy a sunset in European part of Russia, a new day starts in the Far East.
The climate of Russia varies from subtropical on the Black sea coast to continental in the south of Siberia and from arctic in the Far North to marine climate on the coast of the Baltic sea and monsoons on the Far East. The Russian weather is famous for its temperature fluctuations from intense heat to severe cold. The North-Eastern Siberia is the coldest region of Russia with an average winter temperature equal to -46 °C. Summer temperature can reach 38 °C. There is no other country in the world with such temperature fluctuations. While a beach season is beginning on the coast of the Black sea, there are snowfalls in the East Siberia.
Russia is a federal state consisting of 85 equal subjects of the Federation.
The largest cities of the country are Moscow, the capital of Russia with population over 12 mln. people, and Saint-Petersburg, the second largest city, also called ‘the northern capital’, with population about 5 mln. people. There are 10 other large cities with population over 1 mln. people, namely: Novosibirsk, Ekaterinburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Samara, Omsk, Kazan, Chelyabinsk, Rostov-on-Don, Ufa and Volgograd.
Russia is the most natural resources abundant country with its cost estimation being over 75 trillion USA dollars. The country possesses the world’s largest reserves of natural gas (47,8 trillion cubic meters), largest wood reserves (8,1 mln. square kilometers, that is approximately 24% of the world reserves) and largest reserves of fresh water (the Baikal lake alone contains about 20% of the world’s freshwater resources and total length of Russian rivers exceeds 2,3 mln. Kilometers). Moreover, the country is in the list of the largest owners of oil, coal and metals.
Russia possesses over 10% of the total world arable lands. Over 4/5 of all the Russian arable lands are located in the Central Volga region, the North Caucasus, Ural and the West Siberia.