As the world's largest country in total area, Russia showcases a wide diversity of landforms. In general terms, it is divided into some very specific geographical zones.
The broad European Plain, or Volga River Plain extends from the Ural Mountains to its western borders with Europe.
The central and southern areas of Russia include large fertile areas, marsh, steppes (plains without trees) and massive coniferous forests.
Siberia is a combination of frozen tundra, with rolling hills rising to plateaus, punctuated by scattered mountain ranges.
Mountains Mountain ranges are found across Russia, with many of the major ones stretching along its southwestern, southeastern and eastern borders
In the far southwest the Caucasus Mountains slice across the land. The country's highest point, Mt. Elbrus at 18,481 ft. (5,633 m), is located there. It has been marked on the map above by a yellow upright triangle.
The Kolyma Mountains in far northeastern Russia extend about 1,126 km (700 mi) north and south to the east of the Kolyma River and roughly parallel to the coast of Siberia. Some rise to over 6000 feet (1830 meters).
Rivers Russia has more than 100,000 rivers with a length of 7 miles, or greater. Some of the world's longest rivers flow through the vast lowland plains that dominate the Russian landscape.
Significant rivers include the Volga, Dnieper and Dvina (west), the Lena, Ob, and Yenisey (central) and the Amur in the far east.
At 1,642 m (5,387 ft), Lake Baikal (marked on the map) is the deepest and among the clearest of all lakes in the world. Baikal is home to more than 1,700 species of plants and animals, two thirds of which can be found nowhere else in the world.
Steppe Long characterized as the typical Russian landscape, the steppe region displays a broad range of treeless, grassy plains punctuated by mountain ranges, and provides the best conditions for human settlement.
Taiga Accounting for over 60% of Russia, this forested region extends from its western borders then east towards the Pacific Ocean. Russia contains the world's largest reserve of coniferous wood, however, due to extensive logging the supply is steadily on the decrease; as well, to make way for agriculture, much of the forested zone has been cleared.
Tundra Stretching 4,349 miles (7,000 km) from west to east, the Russian Arctic is a vast treeless and marshy plain, and is well-known for its white nights (dusk after midnight, and dawn fairly soon after) through summer and days of near total darkness through winter.
Russia has 46 provinces (oblasti, singular - oblast), 21 republics (respubliki, singular - respublika), 4 autonomous okrugs (avtonomnyye okrugi, singular - avtonomnyy okrug), 9 krays (kraya, singular - kray), 2 federal cities (goroda, singular - gorod), and 1 autonomous oblast (avtonomnaya oblast')
The oblasts are: Amur (Blagoveshchensk), Arkhangel'sk, Astrakhan', Belgorod, Bryansk, Chelyabinsk, Irkutsk, Ivanovo, Kaliningrad, Kaluga, Kemerovo, Kirov, Kostroma, Kurgan, Kursk, Leningrad, Lipetsk, Magadan, Moscow, Murmansk, Nizhniy Novgorod, Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Orenburg, Orel, Penza, Pskov, Rostov, Ryazan', Sakhalin (Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk), Samara, Saratov, Smolensk, Sverdlovsk (Yekaterinburg), Tambov, Tomsk, Tula, Tver', Tyumen', Ul'yanovsk, Vladimir, Volgograd, Vologda, Voronezh, Yaroslavl';
The 21 republics are: Adygeya (Maykop), Altay (Gorno-Altaysk), Bashkortostan (Ufa), Buryatiya (Ulan-Ude), Chechnya (Groznyy), Chuvashiya (Cheboksary), Dagestan (Makhachkala), Ingushetiya (Magas), Kabardino-Balkariya (Nal'chik), Kalmykiya (Elista), Karachayevo-Cherkesiya (Cherkessk), Kareliya (Petrozavodsk), Khakasiya (Abakan), Komi (Syktyvkar), Mariy-El (Yoshkar-Ola), Mordoviya (Saransk), North Ossetia (Vladikavkaz), Sakha [Yakutiya] (Yakutsk), Tatarstan (Kazan'), Tyva (Kyzyl), Udmurtiya (Izhevsk);
Autonomous okrugs: Chukotka (Anadyr'), Khanty-Mansi-Yugra (Khanty-Mansiysk), Nenets (Nar'yan-Mar), Yamalo-Nenets (Salekhard);
Krays: Altay (Barnaul), Kamchatka (Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy), Khabarovsk, Krasnodar, Krasnoyarsk, Perm', Primorskiy [Maritime] (Vladivostok), Stavropol', Zabaykal'sk [Transbaikal] (Chita);
Federal cities: Moscow [Moskva], Saint Petersburg [Sankt-Peterburg];
Autonomous oblast: Yevreyskaya [Jewish] (Birobidzhan)
Russia, the world's largest country by area, stretches from Northern Asia to Eastern Europe. The Arctic Ocean borders Russia to the north and the Pacific to the east. The country also has a short coastline on the Baltic Sea in the northwest. The exclave of Russia, Kaliningrad also borders the Baltic Sea as well as Lithuania and Poland. The southern borders of Russia are with Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China, North Korea, and Mongolia. The western and southwestern borders of Russia are with Finland, Norway, Estonia, Belarus, Ukraine, and Latvia.
Regional Maps: Map of Asia
|Legal Name||Russian Federation|
|55 45 N, 37 36 E|
|Independence||25 December 1991 (from the Soviet Union; Russian SFSR renamed Russian Federation); notable earlier dates: 1157 (Principality of Vladimir-Suzdal created); 16 January 1547 (Tsardom of Muscovy established); 22 October 1721 (Russian Empire proclaimed); 30 December 1922 (Soviet Union established)|
|Total Area||17,098,242 km2|
|Land Area||16,377,742 km2|
|Water Area||720,500 km2|
|Total Border||22,408 km|
|Bordering Countries||Azerbaijan 338 km, Belarus 1312 km, China (southeast) 4133 km, China (south) 46 km, Estonia 324 km, Finland 1309 km, Georgia 894 km, Kazakhstan 7644 km, North Korea 18 km, Latvia 332 km, Lithuania (Kaliningrad Oblast) 261 km, Mongolia 3452 km, Norway 191 km, Poland (Kaliningrad Oblast) 210 km, Ukraine 1944 km|
|Climate||Ranges from steppes in the south through humid continental in much of european russia; subarctic in siberia to tundra climate in the polar north; winters vary from cool along black sea coast to frigid in siberia; summers vary from warm in the steppes to cool along arctic coast|
|Coordinates||60 00 N, 100 00 E|
|Mean Elevation||600 m|
|Lowest Elevation||-28 m|
|Highest Elevation||5,642 m|
|Gora El'brus (highest point in Europe)|
|Ethnic Groups||Russian 77.7%, Tatar 3.7%, Ukrainian 1.4%, Bashkir 1.1%, Chuvash 1%, Chechen 1%, other 10.2%, unspecified 3.9% (2010 est.)|
|Languages||Russian (official) 85.7%, Tatar 3.2%, Chechen 1%, other 10.1% (2010 est.)|
|Religions||Russian Orthodox 15-20%, Muslim 10-15%, other Christian 2% (2006 est.)|
|Currency||Russian rubles (RUB)|
|GDP Per Capita||$11,585.00|
|Exports||Petroleum and petroleum products, natural gas, metals, wood and wood products, chemicals, and a wide variety of civilian and military manufactures|
This page was last updated on October 9, 2020