Geographic facts about Russia
The largest country in the world, Russia constitutes one-seventh of the world’s landmass and spans eight time zones. This expansive area allows it to neighbor more countries than anywhere else on earth, as well as touch twenty-two bodies of water and hold twelve seas within its borders. Its vast and complicated array of landscapes has created a diverse blend of forty national parks alongside its forty UNESCO Biosphere Reserves. Here you can find the oldest mountains in the world, the Urals, and the deepest lake in the world, Lake Baikal. Travel from the tundra to the steppes, the desert to the glaciers, the valleys to the volcanoes without ever needing a new visa.
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You can find more geographic facts about Russia on our Map of Russia.
Climatic facts about Russia
Because of its size, Russia presents a drastically different atmosphere depending on your location. Most of the country has a continental climate with distinct periods of warm and cold weather that increases as you travel east. Temperatures for Moscow and St. Petersburg range from highs of 32 C in the summer to lows of -25 C in the winter.
Demographic facts about Russia
Russia has a population of 145.5 million people, 80% of whom reside in Western Russia and two-thirds of whom live in cities. Moscow alone claims eleven million citizens, standing as the largest city in Europe. St. Petersburg boasts less than half that, with a mere five million residents. 1 in 4 Russians is retired, with the average age being 30 years old and growing every year. The normal Russian family consists of three people.
Economic facts about Russia
Given its vast supply of natural resources, Russia depends heavily on mining. It is the world’s leading producer of energy and military technologies. Some of the fastest growing sectors in the Russian economy include telecommunications, finance, construction, and energy production. The economy is still transitioning from a command to a market structure, and although most enterprises have been privatized, domestic prices on energy are not established by market forces.
Russian living standards plunged after the collapse of the Soviet Union. In 2007 standards climbed to the level of 90 and continue to improve as Russia closes the gap with developed countries. Many attribute this spectacular recovery to petrodollars.
Language facts about Russia
The official language in Russia is (shockingly) Russian. This language uses the Cyrillic alphabet instead of Latin and is one of the five most spoken languages in the world.
Cultural facts about Russia
Most Russian cities have social lives comparable to New York City’s vibrant scene. In regard to the arts, Russia has always occupied a prominent spot on the world scene. The Bolshoi Theater and Pushkin Art Gallery in Moscow, the Mariinsky Theater and the Hermitage in St. Petersburg – these are considered to be some of the best art institutions in the world. In St. Petersburg alone there are 2,000 libraries, 221 museums, 80 theaters, 100 concert halls, 45 art galleries, 62 movie theaters, and 80 nightclubs, and over 100 concerts, shows and festivals each year. If that isn’t enough to occupy your time, Russians place great importance on friends and family, resulting in anniversary and birthday celebrations that will blow you away.
Russia is home to more than 100 ethnic groups and indigenous people. Slavs account for about 75% of the total population. The densest areas of Russia are near the Ural Mountains and in southwestern Siberia.
Religious facts about Russia
Russian Orthodox is the official religion in Russia. 20% of Russians practice Islam while Catholicism, Protestantism, and Judaism are not wide spread but have small roles in Russian culture. Many of Russia's most famous sites are former or present churches, signifying the important role that religion has played in the past. The Russian Orthodox Church, diminished during the Soviet period, has in recent years begun to recover in popularity and strength.
Moscow and St. Petersburg are three hours ahead of London time and eight hours ahead of New York City. Vladivostok is seven hours ahead of Moscow. It takes about nine hours to fly from New York City to Moscow, three-and-a-half hours from London to Moscow, and ten-and-a-half hours from Tokyo.
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