WTF from Russia
Russia, also officially known as the Russian Federation (Russian: Российская Федерация, tr. Rossiyskaya Federatsiya, is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects. Russia shares borders with the following countries (from northwest to southeast): Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland (both via Kaliningrad Oblast), Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia, and North Korea. It also has maritime borders with Japan (by the Sea of Okhotsk) and the United States (by the Bering Strait).
At 17,075,400 square kilometres (6,592,800 sq mi), Russia is by far the largest country in the world, covering more than a ninth of the Earth’s land area. Russia is also the ninth most populous nation in the world with 142 million people. It extends across the whole of northern Asia and 40% of Europe, spanning 9 time zones and incorporating a wide range of environments and landforms. Russia has the world’s largest reserves of mineral and energy resources, and is considered an energy superpower. It has the world’s largest forest reserves and its lakes contain approximately one-quarter of the world’s fresh water.
The nation’s history began with that of the East Slavs, who emerged as a recognizable group in Europe between the 3rd and 8th centuries AD. Founded and ruled by a noble Viking warrior class and their descendants, the first East Slavic state, Kievan Rus’, arose in the 9th century and adopted Orthodox Christianity from the Byzantine Empire in 988, beginning the synthesis of Byzantine and Slavic cultures that defined Russian culture for the next millennium. Kievan Rus’ ultimately disintegrated and the lands were divided into many small feudal states.
The most powerful successor state to Kievan Rus’ was Moscow, which served as the main force in the Russian reunification process and independence struggle against the Golden Horde. Moscow gradually reunified the surrounding Russian principalities and came to dominate the cultural and political legacy of Kievan Rus’. By the 18th century, the nation had greatly expanded through conquest, annexation, and exploration to become the Russian Empire, which was the third largest empire in history, stretching from Poland in Europe to Alaska in North America.
Russia established worldwide power and influence from the times of the Russian Empire to being the largest and leading constituent of the Soviet Union, the world’s first constitutionally socialist state and a recognized superpower, that played a decisive role in the allied victory in World War II. The Soviet era saw some of the greatest technology achievements of the nation, such as the world’s first human spaceflight.
The Russian Federation was founded following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, but is recognized as the continuing legal personality of the Soviet state. Russia has the world’s 12th largest economy by nominal GDP or the seventh largest by purchasing power parity, with the fifth largest nominal military budget. It is one of the five recognized nuclear weapons states and possesses the world’s largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction.
Russia is a great power and a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, a member of the G8, G20, the Council of Europe, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the Eurasian Economic Community, the OSCE, and is the leading member of the Commonwealth of Independent States.
Russia is the largest country in the world; its total area is 17,075,400 square kilometres (6,592,800 sq mi). The country contains 23 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, 40 UNESCO Biosphere reserves, 40 National Parks and 101 nature reserves. Russia has a wide natural resource base, including major deposits of timber, petroleum, natural gas, coal, ores and other mineral resources.
Topography of Russia.
The two widest separated points in Russia are about 8,000 km (4,971 mi) apart along a geodesic line. These points are: the boundary with Poland on a 60 km (37 mi) long spit of land separating the Gulf of Gdańsk from the Vistula Lagoon; and the farthest southeast of the Kuril Islands, a few miles off Hokkaidō Island, Japan. The points which are furthest separated in longitude are 6,600 km (4,101 mi) apart along a geodesic. These points are: in the west, the same spit; in the east, the Big Diomede Island (Ostrov Ratmanova). The Russian Federation spans 9 time zones. With access to three of the world’s oceans — the Atlantic, Arctic, and Pacific — Russian fishing fleets are a major contributor to the world’s fish supply. The Caspian is the source of what is considered one of the finest caviar in the world.
Most of Russia consists of vast stretches of plains that are predominantly steppe to the south and heavily forested to the north, with tundra along the northern coast. Russia possesses 10% of the world’s arable land. Mountain ranges are found along the southern borders, such as the Caucasus (containing Mount Elbrus, which at 5,642 m (18,510 ft) is the highest point in both Russia and Europe) and the Altai (containing Mount Belukha, which at the 4,506 m (14,783 ft) is the highest point of Asian Russia); and in the eastern parts, such as the Verkhoyansk Range or the volcanoes on Kamchatka. The Ural Mountains, rich in mineral resources, form a north-south range that divides Europe and Asia. Russia has an extensive coastline of over 37,000 km (22,991 mi) along the Arctic and Pacific Oceans, as well as along the Baltic Sea, Sea of Azov, Black and Caspian seas.