How Many Lakes Does Russia Have?

One of the millions of lakes in Russia.
One of the millions of lakes in Russia.

With a total area of more than 17 million square kilometers, Russia is the largest country in the world. Due to the nation's large size, it has a diverse range of geographic features within its boundaries such as rivers, mountains, and lakes. Russia's drainage system is one of the largest in the world with a substantial number of water bodies such as rivers and lakes situated within the country's borders. Drainage features have played a vital role in Russia's history as communities tended to settle along their banks as it enabled them to get access to water. Some of Russia's most essential drainage features are lakes that occupy a substantial portion of the nation's territory. According to official figures from the Russian government, 2,747,997 lakes are located within Russia's borders.

Lake Baikal

One of Russia's most important lakes is situated in the southern region of Siberia and is known as Lake Baikal. The lake contains slightly less than 25% of the fresh water on the earth's surface. Lake Baikal also holds the title of the deepest lake in the world as its maximum depth is approximately 5,387 feet deep. The lake is also internationally renowned for its age and the clarity of the water within the lake. UNESCO listed Lake Baikal as a world heritage site in 1996, due to its importance to the world. Lake Baikal performs a vital ecological function as it supports a wide range of plants and animals. One of the unique animal species that make their home in the lake is the Baikal seal.

Lake Nero

One of Russia's oldest lakes is Lake Nero which is estimated to be at least 500,000 years old and is situated in Yaroslavl Oblast. Lake Nero is of great historical importance as people have settled around it for nearly 6000 years. The lake draws its name from the Merya tribe who lived along its southern shores, and they named it Nero because of the vast quantities of silt within it. Lake Nero is famous for two islands within the lake, Lvovsky and Gorodskoj.

Lake Beloye

Lake Beloye is one of Russia's most well-known lakes due to its great depth which is approximately 160 feet. The lake is situated within Russia's Klepikovsky District a region that occupies an area of roughly 1,249 square miles. A canal had been constructed to connect Lake Beloye and Lake Velikoye, however, in 2009, the channel was completely covered. In 1974, Lake Beloye achieved the status of nature monument due to its great value both scientifically and culturally.

Lake Ilmen

One of Russia's most important lakes is Lake Ilmen which is located in Novgorod Oblast. The lake's surface spans an area of about 379 square miles and extends to a depth of 33 feet. The lake was an important part of an ancient trade route that linked Scandinavian areas and a section of the Roman Empire.

Importance Of Lakes In Russia

Lakes in Russia provide a wide range of economic benefits to the Russian people. Lakes such as Lake Baikal attract vast numbers of tourists which leads to job creation as well as generating foreign exchange for the government.


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