Russia is truly gigantic. It is located in two parts of the world – in Europe and in Asia. It is interesting that most of the territory of Russia lies in Asia and most of the population lives in the European part of Russia.
From north to south Russia stretches for 4,000 kilometers and from east to west – for 10,000 kilometers. Russia is washed by three oceans and 12 seas.
Russia has the largest number of neighboring countries – 18 in total. Russia borders with Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, China, Latvia, Lithuania, Mongolia, Norway, Poland, North Korea, Ukraine, Finland, Estonia, and with such new partially recognized states as Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
Russia has its sea border with Japan and the United States.
The longest border in the world is between Russia and Kazakhstan – 7,591 km.
Some time ago Russian territory was even bigger: Russia included Alaska too. But in 1867 Russia sold Alaska to the United States.
But why did Russia sell Alaska to America? In that time Alaska was almost non populated and it was very tough for Russia to protect Alaska. Gold and other minerals were found in Alaska a bit later. Back then Alaska was a big problem for the Russian government. Even the United States did not include Alaska in the country for a long time. Only in 1959 did Alaska officially become the 49th state of the USA.
45% of the territory of Russia is covered by forests. It means that Russia is the country with the largest forest reserves in the world. Russia has more forestterritory than the whole territory of the United States. Russian forests are the biggest “lungs” of the earth; they clean the atmosphere from carbon dioxide and other pollutants.
In Russia there are many unusual and unique places. We will describe a very unusual lake, Lake Baikal.