About Russia

Welcome to Russia, a great country that covers thousands of kilometers, spans 9 time zones and 2 parts of the world. Russia embodies the practicality of the West and the mysteriousness of the East!

Russia (the Russian Federation) is located in Eastern Europe and Northern Asia, and ranks first among the states in area (17,098,246 km ²), being the ninth largest by population (143 million people at the beginning of 2013).It borders with eighteen countries and is a multinational state - its territory is home to over 100 nationalities.

Climate

The Russian Federation is located in 4 climatic zones: arctic, subarctic, temperate and partly in the subtropical zone. The further east, the more continental is the climate.In the European part of the country, from the north to the south, the following kinds of zone replace each other: arctic desert, tundra/forest tundra, taiga forest, mixed forest, forest-steppe, steppe and semi-desert.

Most of Russia is located in the temperate climate zone, although some territories are dominated by arctic and subarctic (65% of the territory in Siberia and the Far East are occupied by permafrost), as well as subtropical climate (the Caucasian Black Sea coast).Vast areas and climatic variations give an amazing variety of natural landscapes: Russia is known for its snowy expanses and dwarf trees of the North, the harsh Siberian taiga, the familiar broad-leaved forests and green plains, sand dunes in the deserts, endless steppes, old mountain slopes of the Urals, the Caucasus and Altai, mighty rivers and quiet forest lakes, fantastic landscapes of Kamchatka and wet monsoon forests of the Far East.
Average temperatures in January can vary from 6 to -50 degrees Celsius, depending on the region, in July, from 1 to 25.

Geographical location and nature

Russia is located in the Northern Hemisphere, in the north of Eurasia. It is washed by the waters of the Pacific and Arctic oceans, as well as the Baltic, Black, Azov seas of the Atlantic Ocean and the Caspian Seaю Its coastline is the longest in the world (37,653 km). The Ural Mountains and Kuma-Manychskaya depression divide Russia into the European and Asian parts, the latter includes the North Caucasus, Siberia and the Russian Far East

70% of the land is occupied by plains and lowlands, the largest of which are the East European Plain and the West Siberian Plain. Mountains are located mainly in the south and east: the northern ranges of the Greater Caucasus (the highest peak of the mountain range, as well as of all Russia is Mount Elbrus, 5642 m), the Altai, the Western and Eastern Sayan, Stanovoe Highland and, of course, the Ural Mountains.Kamchatka Peninsula is where the highest volcano in Eurasia, Kluchevskaya Sopka (4750 m) is located. The Kuril Islands in the Far East are also covered with volcanoes.

Russia is rich in lakes and rivers. Thanks to the largest freshwater lake Baikal (31 700 sq. m.), the country is considered to possess one of the largest fresh water reserves. In total, surface waters occupy 12.4% of the territory of Russia.
Over 40% of the Russian territory is covered by forests, including half of world's coniferous forests. The flora includes about 25,000 species of plants, over 1,300 species of vertebrates, representing 20.7% of the global diversity. It is home to such rare animals at the moment, as the snow leopard, peregrine falcon, black stork, owl, Altai mountain sheep, golden eagle, Siberian tiger, bustard, black bear, moor frog, grouse, polar bears, bowhead whales, humpback whales, bison, Ladoga ringed seal and many others.

Russian natural attractions:the unique Baikal lake, Volga - the longest river in Europe, Elbrus - the highest peak in Europe, Kluchevskaya Sopka - one of the highest active volcanoes in the world, Karelia lakes, Kamchatka's volcanoes and geysers, and others can be rightly called unique natural objects.

Languages of Russia

The state language of the Russian Federation in accordance with Article 68 of the Constitution is Russian.

The peoples who inhabit Russia speak over 100 languages and dialects belonging to the Indo-European, Uralic and Altaic language families, Caucasian and Paleo-Asiatic language groups. Among the most common languages spoken, the most distinguished ones are Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Armenian, Ossetian and German (Indo-European language family), Tatar, Bashkir and Chuvash (Altaic language family), Udmurt, Mari and Erza (Uralic language family), Chechen, Avar and Dargin (Nakh-Dagestani languages), Kabardino-Cherkess (Abkhaz-Adyghe language family). Russian is the native language for approximately 130 million citizens of Russia (92% of Russia's population).

Russian currency

The currency of the Russian Federation is the Russian ruble.

Transportation

The transport system of Russia has a developed network, one of the most extensive in the world, and includes more than 120 thousand km of railways, 1 million km of highways, 230 thousand km of pipelines, 100 thousand km of navigable river waterways.

Public transport passenger turnover in 2010: air transport - 30%, bus - 29% railway - 29%, subway - 9%. Recently, the share of air transport in passenger traffic has been growing steadiy (it has almost tripled since 2000).

Culture of Russia

Given the multi-ethnic character of the population, Russia has a high degree of ethnic and cultural diversity. The most important factor of development of Russian material and spiritual culture was the impact of Orthodoxy, as well as various forms of paganism professed in different periods by local inhabitants, as well as significant external influences, in particular, from the Mongol-Tatars and Western Europe. Corresponding diverse heritage can somehow or other be traced in almost all forms of national art.

Russian Architecture

Russian architecture, on the one hand, developed national traditions (primarily wooden architecture), on the other hand, in stone and brick buildings of worship it followed a tradition whose roots were established in the Byzantine Empire, and then in the Eastern Slavic state of Kievan Rus. After the fall of Kiev, Russian architectural history continued in the following states - the Russian kingdom, the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union and contemporary Russian Federation. For the construction of a number of the most important buildings of the Kremlin and the Kremlin itself, Italian architects were invited. Original Russian national trends rooted slowly in cult construction, as they contradicted religious canons. After the reforms of Peter the Great, Russian architecture developed quite in line with the European one.Centralization of state power, which was inherent in Russia, led to the unification of the architectural style, often upon the direct orders of the Emperor.

Time zones in Russia

9 time zones are established on the territory of the Russian Federation.

Moscow and St. Petersburg are 8 hours ahead of U.S. Eastern Standard Time and 2 hours ahead of European time. The difference between Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and the time in some Russian cities is as follows: Moscow and Saint Petersburg: +3, cities along the Volga +4, Krasnoyarsk and towns along the Yenisei +7, Kamchatka +12.

National and Public Holidays

Date

Name

January 1-5

New Year Holidays

January 7

Christmas (day off)

February 23

Fatherland Defender's Day (day off)

March 8

International Women's Day (day off)  

May 1

Spring & Labor Day (day off) 

May 9

Victory Day (day off)

June 12

Russia Day (day off) 

November 4

National Unity Day (day off)

December 12

Day of the Constitution of the Russian Federation