Map of Russia - the largest country on earth
How big is Russia?
Russian territory totals 17,075,200 sq km (which is about 1.8 times the size of the United States). Its land boundaries stretch for 20,017 km neighboring more countries than any other country on the planet. The sun literally never sets on Russia: when it is evening in St. Petersburg, it is already a next day on Russia's Pacific shores. Just look at the map of Russia below and consider this: it borders Japan in the East and Poland in the West, the Arctic circle in the North and China in the South. It takes 10 hours flying to get from Moscow to Vladivostok, Russia's port in the Pacific. If you are going by train, it will take you about 7 days.
|Map of Russia||Map of Siberia|
|Map of Moscow||Map of Saint Petersbrg|
How did Russia get so big?
Actually, Russia today is smaller than anytime in its history in the past 300 years. Russian Empire rapidly expanded in all directions for the past 4 centuries. In the 17th century it started colonization of Siberia. In 18th century it expanded to the North following the victory in the Seven Year War with Sweden, to the South following the defeat of Turkey and to North America with its distant colony in Alaska. In 1860s Russia sold Alaska but acquired new lands in the Far East from China (now known as the Russian Far East). Russia also colonized colonized Manchuria (Northern China) and Central Asia reaching as far as Afghanistan. This process of rapid expansion was reverted in early 20th century. Russia gave up Sakhalin Islands, Finland and Poland. In 1991, Russia lost 1/4 of its territories as a result of the dissolution of the USSR, including its some of its historical lands such as Ukraine and Belarus. When looking at the map of Russia below, consider this - once century ago Russia was 30% larger than it is now.
The square on this map of Russia shows the western Russia where Russian language, culture, tradition and empire have originated. The Western Russia stretches to the Ural mountains in the East which divide Eurasia to Europe and Asia. The blue narrow body of water on this map of Russia indicates the word's largest body of fresh water - Lake Baikal. The city of Novosibirsk that you can see in the middle of this map of Russia is considered a capital of Siberia.