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Russia hotel and accommodation destinations (alphabetical list)

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Abakan hotels

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Arkhangelsk hotels

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Asino hotels

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Astrakhan hotels

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Baltiysk hotels

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Barnaul hotels

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Belgorod hotels

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Birobidzhan hotels

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Bratsk hotels

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Bryansk hotels

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Cheboksary hotels

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Cherepovets hotels

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Cherkessk hotels

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Chernyakhovsk hotels

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Chita hotels

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about Russia


The Russian Federation (Russian: Росси́йская Федера́ция, transliteration: Rossiyskaya Federatsiya or Rossijskaja Federacija), or Russia (Russian: Росси́я, transliteration: Rossiya or Rossija), is a country that stretches over a vast expanse of eastern Europe and northern Asia. With an area of 17,075,400 km², it is the largest country in the world, covering almost twice the territory of either Canada, China, or the United States. It ranks seventh in the world in population, following China, India, the United States, Indonesia, Brazil, and Pakistan.

Once the preeminent republic of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), Russia has been an independent country since the dissolution of the union in December 1991. Under the Soviet system it was called the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic (RSFSR).

Most of the area, population, and industrial production of the Soviet Union, then one of the world's two superpowers, lay in Russia. Consequently, with the breakup of the USSR, Russia was again vying for an influential role on the world stage. This influence is notable, but is still far from that of the former Soviet Union.

Russia geography

The Russian Federation stretches across much of the north of the supercontinent of Eurasia. Although it contains a large share of the world's Arctic and sub-Arctic areas, and therefore has less population, economic activity, and physical variety per unit area than most countries, the great area south of these still accommodates a great variety of landscapes and climates. Most of the land consists of vast plains, both in the European part and the Asian part that is largely known as Siberia. These plains are predominantly steppe to the south and heavily forested to the north, with tundra along the northern coast. Mountain ranges are found along the southern borders, such as the Caucasus (containing Mount Elbrus, Russia's and Europe's highest point at 5,633 m) and the Altai, and in the eastern parts, such as the Verkhoyansk Range or the volcanoes on Kamchatka. The more central Ural Mountains, a north-south range that form the primary divide between Europe and Asia, are also notable.

Russia has an extensive coastline of over 37,000 km along the Arctic and Pacific Oceans, as well as more or less inland seas such as the Baltic, Black and Caspian seas. Some smaller bodies of water are part of the open oceans; the Barents Sea, White Sea, Kara Sea, Laptev Sea and East Siberian Sea are part of the Arctic, whereas the Bering Sea, Sea of Okhotsk and the Sea of Japan belong to the Pacific Ocean. Major islands found in them include Novaya Zemlya, the Franz-Josef Land, the New Siberian Islands, Wrangel Island, the Kuril Islands and Sakhalin.

Many rivers flow across Russia.

Major lakes include Lake Baikal, Lake Ladoga and Lake Onega.

The most practical way to describe Russia is as a main part (a large contiguous portion with its off-shore islands) and an exclave (at the southeast corner of the Baltic Sea).

The main part's borders and coasts (starting in the far northwest and proceeding counter-clockwise) are:

  • borders with the following countries: Norway and Finland,
  • a short coast on the Baltic Sea, facing nine other countries on its shores from Finland to Estonia and including the port of St. Petersburg,
  • borders with Estonia, Latvia, Belarus, and Ukraine,
  • a coast on the Black Sea, facing six other countries on its shores from Ukraine to Georgia,
  • borders with Georgia and Azerbaijan,
  • a coast on the Caspian Sea, facing four other countries on its shores from Azerbaijan to Kazakhstan,
  • borders with Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia, China again, and North Korea,
  • an extensive coastline that provides access with all the maritime nations of the world, and stretches
    • from the North Pacific Ocean including
      • the Sea of Japan (where the west shore of Russia's Sakhalin lies),
      • the Sea of Okhotsk (where the east shore of Sakhalin and its Kurile Islands lie), and
      • the Bering Sea,

      The exclave, constituted by the Kaliningrad Oblast,

      • shares borders with

        The Baltic and Black Sea coasts of Russia have less direct and more constrained access to the high seas than its Pacific and Arctic ones, but both are nevertheless important for that purpose. The Baltic gives immediate access with the nine other countries sharing its shores, and between the main part of Russia and its Kaliningrad Oblast exclave. Via the straits that lie within Denmark, and between it and Sweden, the Baltic connects to the North Sea and the oceans to its west and north. The Black Sea gives immediate access with the five other countries sharing its shores, and via the Dardanelles and Marmora straits adjacent to Istanbul, Turkey, to the Mediterranean Sea with its many countries and its access, via the Suez Canal and the Straits of Gibraltar, to the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. The salt waters of the Caspian Sea, the world's largest lake, afford no access with the high seas.

        Spatial extent

        A fact often mentioned about Russia is that the federation spans eleven time zones from eastern Europe to the easternmost point in Asia. This is a confusing piece of information, because it is not a reflection of the width of Russia per se, but rather the width of a relatively northern portion of Russia that is not nearly as wide as Russia as a whole. The easternmost point in Russia is Big Diomede Island (Ostrova Ratmanova); the westernmost, the boundary with Poland on a 40-mile(60-km)-long spit of land separating the Gulf of Danzig (Zatoka Gdanska) from the Zalew Wislany. The geodesic on the surface of the earth (i.e. shortest line between two points on a sphere) joining these two points has a length of about 4100 miles (6600 km), much of it over the Arctic Ocean north of Russia. In contrast, the distance between the two most widely separated points in Russia (the same spit, and the farthest southeast of the Kurile Islands, a few miles off Hokkaido Island, Japan) is about 5000 miles (8000 km), over 20 per cent further. This island is nevertheless further west than Big Diomede, by two time zones, and by over 44° of longitude, all but the nominal width of three of those eleven time zones.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Russia".

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