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Russia Country Guide

Russia is the largest country in the world and because of this reason has earned the nickname “Mother Russia”. Due to the sheer size of the country, the terrain consists of lush coniferous forests and tundra, broad plains and hills, as well as mountains. The country has over a thousand rivers and bodies of water inland which more than any other country. It also has a coastline that expands over 37,000 km. Russia occupies most of the eastern part of Europe and northern Asia. Russia borders the countries of Norway and Finland on its north-western side. The six countries that border it on the west are the countries of Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine and Poland. The southern border of Russia includes the countries of China, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and North Korea. Approximately 2/3 of the Russian frontier is bordered by water. It has shores on three oceans which include the Pacific, Atlantic and Arctic, and 13 seas. It is separated from the United States by a body of water called the Bering Straight, which happens to be a 53 mile long sea.

Russia is geographically divided into five zones that include the tundra zone, the forest zone (taiga zone), the plains zone (steppe zone), the arid zone, and the mountain zone. Due to its magnificent size, the climate in Russia varies among its regions. The climate in Siberia is frigid and arctic, but there is a sub-tropical climate near the Black Sea. Most of Russia is considered to have a continental climate that is moderate, where winters are cold and summers are relatively warm. 

The Russian government is a federation government. It is headed by a prime minister who is appointed by the president of the Russian Federation. It is also made up of a first deputy prime minister, six deputy prime ministers, and 21 cabinet members. Most ministries report directly to the prime minister, who then reports directly to the president. The prime minister will succeed the president if something should happen such as death, incapacitation, or resignation. 

Over 80% of the Russian population of 150 million people speak the official language of Russian as their primary and only language. The minority language spoken is usually Tatar and is spoken by about 3% of the total population. In specific regions, other minority languages are spoken such as Ukrainian, Chuvash, Bashkir, Mordvin and Chechen, however, these languages are spoken by less than 1% of the total population. There are 185 recognized ethnic groups in the Russian Federation.