Thursday, May 06, 2010

The Diversity of Russian Geography

Russia’s border is 37,000 miles (60,000 km). The sea border is around 25,000 miles (40,000 km); the land border is around 12,000 miles (20,000 km).

In this article, we will elaborate on the diversity of Russian geography. This topic may be of specific interest for those who want to learn Russian or visit this country. It has become so popular to learn Russian online that you can even learn Russian free at some sites.

The Russian Federation is the largest country in the world by area – its territory is a little over 6.5 million square miles (17 million square kilometers). Russia is located in the eastern and western parts of Eurasia. About 30% of Russia lies in Europe, and around 70% lie in Asia. The country has 10 time zones.

Extreme Points: The extreme northern continental point of Russia is Cape Chelyuskin (Taimyr Peninsula). The extreme island northern point is Cape Fligely (Franz Josef archipelago). The furthest southern continental point is the Caucasus Mountains. The extreme western point is the Curonian Spit (in the Baltic Sea). The extreme eastern continental point is Cape Dezhnev (Chukotka). The furthest eastern island point is in the Bering Sea, near the US border.

Borders: Russia’s border is 37,000 miles (60,000 km). The sea border is around 25,000 miles (40,000 km); the land border is around 12,000 miles (20,000 km).

Sea Borders: Russia’s northern sea borders lie in the seas of the Arctic Ocean. The Eastern sea border lies in the seas of the Pacific Ocean; it borders Japan and the U.S. The Western sea border is in the Baltic Sea; it borders Sweden, Poland, Germany and the Baltic States. The South-western sea border lies in the Azov, Caspian and Black Seas; it borders Ukraine, Georgia, Bulgaria, Turkey and Romania.

Land Borders: Russia has land borders with 14 countries: China, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Finland, Norway and China.

Border Claims: Four countries (Japan, Estonia, Latvia and Finland) make claims to Russian borders. Japan claims several Kuril Islands; Estonia claims the Pechora region; Latvia claims the Pytalovsky District; Finland claims the lands of Karelia.


Great Russian Plain (East European Plain): The largest cities include Moscow and St. Petersburg. The landscape is tundra, forest-steppe, steppe, and semi-desert. Large rivers include Onega, Pechora, Dnieper, Dniester, Dvina, Don, Volga, and Ural. This area is the center of modern Russia.

West Siberian Plain: The largest cities include Novosibirsk, Omsk, Tomsk, and Tyumen. The landscape is tundra, forest tundra, and taiga. Large rivers include Ob, Irtysh, and Yenisei. This area has large deposits of oil and gas.

Central Siberian Plateau: The largest cities include Krasnoyarsk, Irkutsk, Chita, and Ulan-Ude. Large rivers include Lena and Amur.


Caucasus Mountains: This area has many resorts, and is popular for mountain climbing. The highest mountain in Russia – Elbrus, is located in Caucasus.

Ural Mountains: The largest cities include Yekaterinburg and Perm. Major roads and railways connect the European part of Russia with the Asian.

Other large mountain ranges include Altai and Kamchatka.


Russia is washed by 12 seas of 3 oceans, but it does not have access to the open ocean.

Arctic Ocean’s Seas: the Barents, White, Kara, Laptev, East Siberian, and Chukchi Seas.

Atlantic Ocean’s Seas: the Baltic Sea (Saint-Petersburg and Kaliningrad ports), Black Sea (major recreational area), and Azov Sea.

Pacific Ocean’s Seas: the Bering Sea (port Anadyr, the capital of Chukotka), Okhotsk (port Magadan), and Japan Sea (port Vladivostok).


Islands: Novaya Zemlya (the Arctic Ocean), Sakhalin (the Okhotsk and Japan Seas); Kuril Islands (the Pacific); Solovetsky Islands (the White Sea).


Russia has about 3 million freshwater and saline lakes.

The Caspian Sea: the largest lake in the world that washes the shores of Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Iran, and Azerbaijan.

Baikal: the deepest lake in the world, the 8th in the world by its area. It is located in eastern Siberia. It has 20% of all the freshwater on the globe.

Lake Ladoga: the largest lake in Europe. It is located near St. Petersburg.

Lake Onega: The small island of Kizhi has Russian wooden churches and homes from the 14th century.

Lake Peipsi: this lake borders Estonia. In 1242, the ice of Peipsi saw a glorious battle of Russian troops (led by Prince Alexander Nevsky) with Teutonic Knights.


Russia has 120,000 rivers longer than 6 miles (10 km); most are in the basin of the Arctic Ocean. The largest rivers are Ob, Irtysh, Yenisei, Lena, and Volga. Volga is the longest river in Europe. Russians call it “matushka” (mother – when you learn Russian online, this is one of the first words to master.) Russian rivers and seas are popular for fishing. In winter, anglers often get lost at sea on breakaway ice floes, and need to be rescued.

We hope that the country’s geography will tempt you to learn Russian. Please keep in mind that you can learn Russian free online.

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