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The Russian Federation occupies one eighth of the worlds landmass and is the worlds largest state. It is located on the eastern edge of Europe, south of the Arctic Ocean. To the east it is bounded by the Pacific Ocean, to the west by the Baltic Sea. In the southwest it extends to the Caspian, the Black and the Azov seas. Russias territory is 6,592,812 square miles in size. It spans 11 time zones, with its furthermost western and eastern points being 5,625 miles apart. Russia borders on Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia, and North Korea. 

45 percent of Russias territory is covered by forests, 4 percent by water, 13 percent by farmlands, 19 percent by reindeer pasturelands, and 19 percent by other types of land. Species of flora and fauna that can be found in Russia are characteristic of its various climatic zones. In the harsh conditions of the territories above the Arctic Circle only sedge and cotton grass can grow. To the south, sparse birch tree, fir and larch forests pear. Further south, dense forests begin, occupying 40 percent of the countrys territory. Most forests are situated in the Asian part of the country. the south of the forest tundra is the taiga that extends to the southern limit of Siberia. The taiga forests feature mainly firs, pines, cedars, and larches.  

In the central part of the East European Plain the forests are mostly mixed, with pine trees prevailing in the northern rs and oaks and birch trees in the south. Mid forests also predominate in the southern areas of the Far East, where the Korean cedar, fir and the Amur cork tree grow. Russias forests are inhabited by numerous and varied fauna, including many species of fur-bearing animals. Further south, the frest zone gradually changes into partially wooded steppe and then into steppe covered with thick grass vegetation. In the Caspian lowland this turns into a semi-desert featuring sagebrush, barillas, and steppe cereals.  

Most of European Russia lies on the East European Plain. To the south, it gives way to the northern slopes of the Caucasus and, to the north, the Khibin Mountains. The Ural Mountains to the east serve as a natural border between the European and Asian parts of the country. The continental divide continues from the southern end of the Ural Mountains through the Caspian Sea and along the Caucasus Mountains. The West Siberian Plain, fringed with the Altai Mountains in the southeast, lie to the east of the Urals. The Middle Siberian Plateau is situated between the Yenisei and Lena rivers, with the Sayan Mountains flanking it to the south. Further east, the mountain ridges and tablelands of northeastern Asia lie between the Lena River and the Pacific. 


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