Which continent does Russia belong to?
Russia is a country of superlatives. It is the largest country on earth and with its more than 17 million square kilometers it covers almost a ninth of the world's surface. A trip on the Trans-Siberian Railway on the longest railway line in the world leads from Moscow in the west to Vladivostok on the Pacific coast. You cover over 9200 kilometers and have to reset the clock quite often because you cross a total of eleven time zones. Russia also breaks all records when it comes to the number of its neighbors, as 14 states and five seas border the country.
A land of contrasts
The over 142 million Russians are unevenly distributed across the large country. About 85 percent of the Russian population live in the small European part of the country. Most of the big cities are located there. Above all the capital Moscow with its over 12 million inhabitants. The much larger Asian part of Russia is rather sparsely populated.
This is also due to the often extreme temperatures east of the Ural Mountains, which separate the European and Asian parts of Russia. In eastern Siberia, for example, temperatures drop to as low as -50 degrees Celsius in winter. Much of the country has a continental climate. This means that there are very cold winters with temperatures down to -30 degrees and hot summers. The most extreme example is the eastern city of Oymyakon, the so-called cold pole. Although it is 2,900 kilometers from the North Pole, the lowest temperature in an inhabited area was measured here: -72.1 degrees in the winter of 1926. In summer, Oymyakon, on the other hand, can get over 30 degrees.
The Russian economy: strength through energy
Russia has many natural resources. Oil and natural gas are very important for the Russian economy, because many, especially Western European countries buy Russian raw materials and are dependent on them. That is why there are always disputes with European countries over energy supply, as Russia often exploits its position of power. Other important economic sectors are the Russian agriculture and machine industry. Nevertheless, many people are very poor, especially in rural regions of Russia, and do not live to be as old as in other European countries.
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