Russia is huge. So huge in fact that it is transcontinental and geographically divided into two parts: European Russia and Asian Russia. The geography and history of Russia are both remarkable and fascinating. There is just so much to know about this culturally rich country. To help you learn more, here are some of the most interesting facts about Russia.
7 of the Most Interesting Facts About Russia
1. Russia is the largest country in the world
Just how big is Russia you ask? Well, Russia occupies one-tenth of all the land on Earth. It is the world’s largest country by area. It spans both Europe and Asia and has shorelines along three oceans, the Atlantic, the Pacific and the Arctic Ocean.
2. Russia shares borders with 14 other countries
The land border of Russia stretches 20,241km long, the second-longest of any country. Russia has boundaries with 14 countries: Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, the People’s Republic of China and North Korea. It also borders Lithuania and Poland via the Kaliningrad Oblast. This is a section separated from the rest of the country.
3. Russia has the most time zones in one country
Russia originally had 11 consecutive time zones from the Kaliningrad Oblast (GMT+2) to Kamchatka (GMT+12). However, in 2011 Vladimir Putin abolished Daylight Saving Time (DST) across the whole country. This wiped out two time zones. Therefore, since 2011 there have only been 9 time zones in use in Russia.
4. The longest river in Europe is in Russia
At 3,530km (2,193 miles) long, the Volga is the longest river in Russia and in Europe. It begins in the Valdai Hills and flows into the Caspian Sea. Along the way, it receives water from 200 tributaries. The overall river system has 151,000 rivers and permanent and intermittent streams, and when added together total 357,000km (221,800 miles).
5. Russia is home to the deepest lake in the world
In Siberia lies Lake Baikal. It is the largest (by volume) freshwater lake in the world and also the world’s deepest lake (1,700 metres). But that’s not all! It is also the oldest (25 million years) lake in the world. Known as the ‘Galapagos of Russia’ because it is an outstanding example of a freshwater ecosystem, it contains nearly 20% of the world´s unfrozen freshwater reserve. As a result, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
6. You’ll find the world’s coldest inhabited place in Russia
With average winter temperatures of minus 50 C ( minus 58 F) Oymyakon is considered the coldest, continually inhabited place on Earth. On 6 February 1933, the remote village recorded a temperature of -67.7°C (-90°F). This is the lowest temperature ever recorded outside Antarctica. Wrap up warm if you are planning a visit.
7. The Zhivopisny Bridge is the highest cable-stayed bridge in Europe
The first cable-stayed bridge in Moscow opened in 2007. The striking looking Zhivopisny Bridge spans the Moskva River and is the highest cable-stayed bridge in all of Europe. 72 orange ropes support the bridge, each of them consists of fifty wire cables. A unique feature of the bridge is that “most of its length runs along the river, not across it“. The bridge is a big tourist attraction in Moscow and one of the most beautiful bridges in Russia.