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Russia is the biggest country in the world and stretches from Eastern Europe to Northern Asia. The country is located on both the European and Asian continents.
Russia borders fourteen countries and is about 1.8 times as big as the USA. Russia
occupies one-tenth of all of the land on Earth, and almost half of the country is covered in forests. Unfortunately, only 14% of these forests are suitable for agricultural land due to the harsh climate, which ranges from steppe in the South, to subarctic in Siberia, and tundra in the polar North. Russia is also home to the Caspian Sea, the world's largest lake, and the deepest lake in the world, Lake Baikal.
Russia has a population of roughly 142 million people. Russia’s capital and largest city is Moscow, with 12.5 million inhabitants. Most of the Russian population lives in the westernmost part of the country that belongs to the European continent, and three out of four people in Russia live in urban areas.
Due to the harsh climate in many regions in Russia, wildlife is limited. The tundra landscape is covered in snow for more than nine months per year. Large mammals such as reindeer can survive in the tundra. Arctic foxes and polar bears can be seen in the far north, while whales and seals swim in the Arctic waters. Steppe (grassland) mammals in southern Russia include wild boars and various antelope species. There are also several bear species such as the brown bears in the Caucasus and the Asian black bears which live in the Russian far-east. The Siberian tiger and the Amur leopard are among the most endangered species in Russia.
Russia's government is considered a semi-presidential federation, with its president being Vladimir Putin. Russia's history as a democracy is short. The country's first election, in 1917, was quickly reversed, and it wasn't until the 1991 election of Boris Yeltsin that democracy took hold.Russia is a federation of 86 republics, provinces, territories, and districts, all controlled by the government in Moscow.
Russia is among the ten largest economies in the world and the world's third biggest gold producer. Russia is also one of the leading producers of natural gas and oil as well as metals. The main agricultural products are grains, sugar beets, sunflower seeds, vegetables, fruits, beef, milk, oil, coal, iron ore, gold, and aluminum. The country's main trading partners are China, Germany, Netherlands, Belarus, and the USA.
The currency in Russia is called ‘ruble,’ and one ruble is equal to 0.013 of a United States dollar.
The Armed Forces is one of the biggest in the world, with about 1,200,000 active troops. Russia also makes its own weapons. The Armed Forces has 6 branches: Russian Air Force, Russian Ground Forces, Russian Navy, Strategic Missile Troops, Russian Space Troops and the Russian Airborne Troops.
There are about 120 ethnic groups in Russia who speak more than a hundred languages. Russian is a Slavic language and it is the most widely spoken Slavic language in the world. It is spoken in Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan. Russian is also spoken by many people as a second language in much of Eastern Europe and the Baltics, as well as in the Caucasus and Central Asia. Russian is the eighth most spoken language in the world, but is the second most dominant language on the internet. Russian is also one of the six working languages spoken at the United Nations.
The Russian language is written with the Cyrillic alphabet, which consists of 33 letters. Some letters are similar to the Latin alphabet, but some are different. For example: 'P' in Russian is pronounced 'R' in English, 'C' is pronounced as 'S', and 'Y' is 'U.'
The religion is Russia consists of the following:
Many Russians are atheist.
Children start school when they turn six years old, and typically go to school for ten years. After 11th grade, students can go to study at university if they choose.
General education in Russia has three stages: primary education, which lasts for four years; basic general education lasting for five years, and secondary education which lasts for two to three years. Russian general education focuses on the intellectual, emotional, moral, and physical development of the student. It aims to develop the abilities that allow a student to adapt to life in society.
General education normally consists of 34 weeks of study per year, and 27 to 36 hours of study per week. In general, the academic year runs from September 1st to the beginning of June. School examinations are in June.
The Russian main dishes contain pork and beef, lamb, chicken, fish, potatoes, root vegetables, porridge, and bread. Sour cream also accompanies many dishes. Vegetable soups and stews play an important role in Russian cuisine, and Russian food is full of flavor and very diverse.
Here are some examples of Russian meals:
One of the rarest and most costly caviar comes from the Beluga sturgeon of the Caspian Sea, and costs up to 5,000 US dollar per pound.
Soccer, which is referred to as 'Futbol', is a very popular sport in Russia, followed by ice hockey. Russia also has its own version of Disneyland, referred to as ‘VDNKh.’ Moscow State Puppet Theatre is also a popular attraction, as this theater is the oldest puppet theater in Moscow and the largest in the world.